Thumbprint Enigma | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma
1,408 Ratings
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GCBrewingCo on 05-01-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,408 |  Reviews: 496
Photo of screwcitybeernut
2.54/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

:::purchased from the New Glarus Brewery's gift shop:::

a::: Murky brown red - the color of my parent's old velvet couch. Had to pour from over a foot up just to encourage some head, which quickly dissipated.

s::: Very little aroma. From the description on the bottle, I was expecting some fruit, horse-funk, vinegar, sour, SOMETHING, but no, just a hint of alcohol and maybe a little wild yeast. Maybe it's my allergies, but I don't think so.

t::: I see what he's shooting for, but I don't think the brewmaster hit the mark. Like the aroma, very subdued. I guess you could say it's a "balanced beer," but I was expecting a little more strength. flavor, or oomph from a limited availability, super-premium brew like this.

m::: Thin, and sticky. Leaves the mouth very dry, which is to be expected.

d::: I guess I would have this again if I were in Wisconsin, eating some venison or beef jerky. Otherwise, no.

I love the New Glarus Brewery, but Enigma was not to my liking. I still suggest you go to the (impeccably clean) brewery and take the tour.

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Photo of Jayli
2.59/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Acquired from Dunt via Support Your Team BIF so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a nice deep, translucent, bronze color with a khaki colored sudsy head. Head recedes immediately leaving no lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is very artificial cherry, a hint of bubble gum, and faint vanilla.

T: Taste just way artificial. Artificial cherry, artificial vanilla. Some minor hints of oak, but a crazy bubble gum flavoring mingled with artificial cherry flavoring. Cloying artificial sweetness in the finish.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, some what oily and sticky in the finish.

D: Goes down easily, not filling, not very tasty - far too artificial flavoring in this beer. This is a one and done for me.

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Photo of BeerCheese
2.6/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pulled this bottle out of the fridge and poured it into my favorite glass. Color was brownish orange and cloudy. Head was tan and dissipated almost immediately. Very disappointed in the lack of head retention. Smell was somewhat sweet/malty. First taste was a surprise. My first reaction was that it tasted a little like a wine cooler, but I've always thought that about the fruity beers. It's actually pretty good, bot nothing I'll drink very regularly. I don't think I'd even want to drink two in a row, so the drinkability would be considered low for me.

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Photo of shbobdb
2.64/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Why did they pull this monster out of retirement? Especially at the expense of, what, Staghorn? One of the best domestic Maerzens.

Maybe I'm being too hard on it, it tastes like a 80/20 mix between their Belgian Red and their Oud Bruin. Now, I didn't really like the belgian red but I loved the Oud Bruin, so the balance is towards me very much not liking this beer. But let's break it down:

It pours a hazy cherry read with a head that collapses into a ring around the beer. Not lovin' it.

It smells, ahhh, like something nice and rotten. Like the Oud Bruin mixed with some cherries. I was pretty excited while smelling it.

It tastes, like sweet cherry juice. Like I am drinking black cherry juice. As it warms there is some of the nice rankness of the wild fermentation. There is just too much of the former and too little of the latter. And it is way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way too sweet. It is an artesianal version of Leinie's Berry Weiss. (Original score, 1.5).

So, I let the beer sit until it was very near room temp. The funk has taken over a bit and it has gone from being actively bad to merely a letdown.

Mouthfeel: A little cloying, but not really bad. Just mediocre.

Drinkability? Heck no. No desire to have this beer again.

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Photo of fehrminator
2.64/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This smelled like English leather cologne and tasted like mulled cider. Oude bruin? More like a bad wild ale. This was a big miss in my book.

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Photo of PSU_Mike
2.73/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of harrymel
2.73/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Unsure of bottle date. Checked the Fresh Beer Only page and it didn't really help. Here's the code on the bottom of bottle, not other marking indicating date: 8361 B-21350

Only thing I can think is this was bottled late December, 2008.

A: Pours a rosey orange ale with excellent clarity and a transient single finger tan head. Rings of lacing. Sheet of light tan head.

S: cherries, allspice, clove, the cherries remind me of a cherry jolly rancher or some cough syrup. Just a hint of vanilla stemming from the oak.

T: Cherries, oak, yeast. Semi-tart up front with plenty of sweetness through the center. The fruit has taken on plenty of mineral-like flavors. Meh. Tastes like mulled wine.

M: Light syrup feel with low carbonation. Finish is slightly cloying but short lived.

O: Plenty fruity, but pretty much ends up tasting mulled wine. Probably would be good served warm.

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Photo of NappyB
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of AmandaSchaefer
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of Anaxagoris
2.76/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tastes like blood To me

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Photo of pwoody11
2.78/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Strong vinegar notes in the taste and aroma. Cherry cider vinegar to be more specific. I expect some vinegar characteristics in a sour, but this is beyond that.

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Photo of LFinCO
2.78/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of cokes
2.8/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Translucent muddied brown with magenta highlight under a nebulous ashy beige head that rapidly dwindles and relocates as a broken collar.
Tart cherry nose, obviously. With a loud burst of cinnamon, and more gentle reports of toasted oak. Wild-yeast induces uric acid, and balsamic vinaigrette, and these are on the louder side.
It's all grabby sweet-n-sour cherry concentrate at the outside. Oak adds a partial woody dryness and ghosts of toasted coconut and hazelnut. It's utterly outmatched here. Even the half-shearing tartness of lemon-juice and vinegar (and sauerkraut) can't force a tap-out on the ever-lingering sweettart cherry pulp. This drinks like marinade, while not expressly thick, its gooey, tacky, and gummy as the carbonation bubbles out after a few minutes leaving it lifeless and cloying.
While Belgian Red carries the roughly the same mass, it's cherries are bright and uncomplicated, and unapologetically the feature. Here they are musty, dank, and rotten-seeming, and too gussied up with flavors that do not compliment them. That's the first gripe.
The second is that the Unplugged line is stuck in a rut. Too much emphasis on wild-yeast and barrels. As a result, Sour Brown, Cherry Stout, Enigma, Belgian Quadrupel, and Bourbon Barrel Bock are all basically indistinguishable from each other (though I should note that Sour Brown and Quad do stand out above the rest, but the flavor profile among all of them is numbingly similar).
I've sat on this for a while hoping for something, I did with Cherry Stout...and once again I received nothing in return. What was once fresh when Sour Brown arrived is now tired. I'm hoping the Rauch (the next unplugged) has nothing to do with Brett or oak barrels.

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Photo of Wadsey
2.85/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Served in a DFH tulip

A:  Pours a brushed pale amber with minimal head. Lively effervescence feeds head, though. Sips leave foamy splotches sticking to glass. 

S: Vanilla and plump cherries, which remind me of Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek, and copper. Some wood. The copper is somewhat over the top and brings to mind pennies and blood. Very light vinegar. 

T: Sweet and tart cherries with a bit of vanilla. Spiced apple rings.  A little vinegar flashes across sides of tongue and is gone. Copper/pennies/blood is clearly present on palate and drives this beer's taste. Super drying. Taste alternates between watery and somewhat biting. Enigmatic? Sure, why not. 

M: Medium-light body with medium-high carbonation. Prickly on tongue. 

O: Enigma is a cross of fruit ale, 
Flanders red ale and oud bruin. Two of its three parts are fruit ale and one part is a Flanders style.  Interesting beer, although the copper note is very distracting. 

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Photo of Vancer
2.9/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This one started off just fine, deep amber with a frothy ivory head. And the cherry aroma was good too, but, there is something different about this guy. Sour and funky, this was a wild and crazy guy of a brew. A sour mash cherry bourbon brew, without the alcohol.

Tart and tangy, this is one wild brew with funky aftertaste.

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Photo of Khazadum
2.97/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Clear, super bubbled, apple juice. Well, sorta. It is the coloration of carbonated apple juice with a minor white collar. Lacing is minor at best, lacks the sticky nature or gravity to hold up the sides of my glass.

S- Tart cherries with that oaky vanilla character mashing itself all over the place. Very very sweet. Nauseatingly so at times. Minor nut finish. Something earthy and proteinaceous.

T- Opens just like you'd expect, some tart cherry presence, more sweet maraschino cherry than anything else. Middle is the oaky vanilla that grows and grows... begins to thicken and curdle into something sick. The vanilla is like a too sweet, sugary Christmas candy. Finish is delightfully woody at least. Something earthen, and balanced with a tinge of that leftover oak vanilla hue.

The sour nature doesn't balance it out enough, due to the cherries being more sweet than sour. Needs a bitter component possibly, more hopping.

M- Mild bodied, thick at times. Gritty right before the finish. Carbonation seems to find its way to run off faster than expected. The lack of lingering of the nauseous flavors is beneficial. I can dig the finish that is left over, at least.

D- Its... okay. Not the best beer I've had. Oddly similar to other offerings by New Glarus. I find the flavors distracting. It presents a challenge to finish twelve ounces. Six is probably my limit on enjoyability.

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Photo of IdrinkGas
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of NorthSideSean
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of slemkuil
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of cosine
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of DonDeDieulicious
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of popery
3.04/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The beer is brownish maroon with a tan head. Looks fairly cloudy but it’s a pretty dark beer. The aroma is mostly apple sauce. Some apples. Mild vaguely oud bruin sweetness with very mild sour note. Mildly sour taste. Milder apple sauce flavor but still definitely still in that sphere. Some crystal malt sweetness. Fairly light body. Really an odd beer. I’m not much of a fan.

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Photo of Sjixxxy
3.06/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A weird brew, truly fitting to the name of "Enigma". Each sip seems to hit you with the favors of about 15 different fruits, or maybe just one fruit created in a New Glarus basement laboratory that science is yet to give a name. Either way, this feels more like drinking a fruit juice that makes your head light, then a traditional beer style. Which may explain why everyone I let have a sip of mine universally said "That is the worst thing ever." I don't mind it though, I just couldn't see myself drinking it in mass quantities.

I do love the red/brown murky appearance though.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.1/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a goodsized head with an almost buttery smell in the backround. It's almost lambic-like with just a faint hint of horse blanket. The taste isn't quite as sour as the lambic and it's more bitter, the flavor isn't as smooth with bitter flavors it has. It still has a malty buttery flavor in it's backround. The mouthfeel is very carbonated giving it a bite. Overall I started out loving it, but I don't think I'd reach into my cellar for a while for this one.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.1/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I didn't really find this beer quite as exceptional as it is listed here. In fact, I found it not expectional at all...while I love sour, I did not find the sour in this beer to be particularly appealing. It is a sour cherry flavor, but the fruitiness was more of a rotting fruit than a pleasant fruitiness. Appearance was a red-brown with a soapy head. Mouthfeel was dry and astringent, and not bad.

This beer is not exceptional, but OK.

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Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 1,408 ratings