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 Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Its been a while, yet this reminded me all along off the New Belgium. Copper amber colour with a cherry Slimovitz aroma, with alcohol. Small head. Average mouthfeel. Great cherry taste and satisfying aftertaste.
Thanks jpm30 for this unexpected bonus, you are generous to a fault.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Texasfan549
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

an interesting Americanized version of this style. it pours a bright shining orange amber color with a milkshake head in khaki hue. the nose is a lot of fruit for the genre, dried cranberries, cherries, figs, pears, very strange. the sweetness from that runs into a sour wall of yeasty and bacterial fermentation which is almost sharp in the nose. flavor wise, the first thing I detect is the ridiculously high sugar content here. this beer is downright sweet. its a funny trait to have in a sour beer, but its there alright. the sour is a hyper acidic, peroxide feeling, intense front of tongue type that is not entirely compatible with the fruit flavors. everyone in our crowd thought this beer was incredible, I wasn't quite so compelled for that reason. in terms of mouthfeel, the sugar content is cloying, and frustratingly sickening. even half a bottle of this is too much for me. the sour leaves a sour patch kids burn on the tastebuds and roof of my mouth, and its just out of sync somehow. good carbonation though, and a body that would be right on if not for the sugar. overall its a challenging brew for me, a staple characteristic of this whole series from new glarus, and although its well made, its not something I intend to revisit. more of a personal thing though, and I suggest this to any sour fan, or new glarus fan more generally. on a side note, this reminds me of the flanders fred, which was a much anticipated but underwhelming brew. similar flavor profile and storyline here.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to burnheartsMKE for sending me this one!

Pours a semi-clear honey orange color with a 1 inch light orange-brown head that fades to an oily cap. Thin and ragged rings of lace form on the drink down. The first smell I am getting from this beer is cranberry along with sour cherries and vanilla. There is also a slight funky vinegar aroma. Taste is slightly sour with cranberry/cherry flavors along with some funk and wood. I see this was fermented with a wild yeast and put in oak casks so that makes sense. A higher level of carbonation makes for a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer from New Glarus. Bottle calls this a sour brown ale, but whatever style this may be it is very tasty.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Knapp85
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a vibrant red color, beautiful clarity also. The head was white and fizzy. No lacing or retention. The smell reminds me of cola, with hints of cherry on the nose too. The smell is just very impressive to me. The taste is also impressive, it's got a blast of tart cherry and citrus upfront that fades into vanilla and some smokey oak flavors. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, it's thin like wine, but also dry. Overall... I'm really impressed, this is a very nice beer. Lots of great aromas and flavors in this beer and its not insanely sour which I love. This a gem in my opinion, never expected to like this as much as I did.

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Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of nmann08
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber/caramel color, with a wispy white head that dissipated very quickly.

Nose is fruit, cranberries, cherries, apples. The funk is there, which actually lets it take on a sour apple type smell. Oaky, but no vanilla.

Taste is tart fruit. Sourness is there, but a little timid. Caramel, a bit of medicine type flavor. It's pretty sweet, which is cutting the sour a bit too much for me.

Mouthfeel is good, decent carbonation, dry finish.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kinda like an Oud Bruin and Kriek blend, however the emphasis is on the sweet, allowing a tart counterpart for balance. The beer shows a pleasent malt sweetness (Brown Ale), but with a tart, candy-like sourness. A cherry aroma helps to solidify the tartness, while adding an added fruit sweetness. An earthy, aged-hop character adds balance to the sweetness and contribues an earthy, dirty complexity. With all this going on, the flavors are well melded and properly aged. A solid malt sweetness wants to play heavy to the mouth, but with the tarness acting as a thinning agent to make the beer very drinkable while adding a mild dryness and astringency late. A cherry flavor persists even after the remaining flavors subside. Unusual flavors, but likable nevertheless.

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Photo of oline73
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kojevergas
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with foiled over branded pressure cap acquired from Duff27 in a trade and served into a Uinta pilsner glass (it's all I have since me goblet broke!) in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are sky high given the brewery, but my good friend Blakelive784 told me it wasn't as great as he expected. Reviewed live. Thanks for this one, Duff27.

Served chilled; I don't like my sours too cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour head of average thickness, average creaminess, and above average (~3 minute) retention. Body colour is a rich vibrant clear reddish copper - a great colour, just not for an Oud Bruin per se. Translucent. It's a gorgeous body, but the head is a little meh. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Restrained sourness with a touch of cherry fruit sweetness. Lovely crystal malt. Great oak, with hints of vanilla. More sugary than I expected; the sweetness really dampens the sourness, which has me a little concerned. It's not the sour bomb I hoped for, but it's definitely appealing. Heavy pie notes, including crust and cherry filling. A bit of lactobacillus yeast. Appealing, but more timid than I hoped for. A moderate strength aroma. Very evocative, but it doesn't come off as wild/spontaneous/sour as I want beers in this style to.

T: Timid lacto sourness up front in the first act gives way to a cherry pie body with firm oak running throughout. A bit of lacto resurfaces on the climax, joined by clean refreshing malts. Sweetness is good, but really masks the sourness. It's not as sour as I want it to be; indeed it's not that sour at all. There's not a whole lot of depth of flavour here either; the lacto doesn't get a chance to shine and dig into the palate. Cranberry fruit esters. Juicy green apple. Just a hint of cidery character. Maybe some caramalt. Love the light crystal malt touches. It's really well balanced and quite complex and subtle, but it's just too damn timid for an Oud Bruin. Newcomers to sours will love this - and in many ways, I do too - but it's wanting. The cherry pie character is dominant.

Mf: Fairly acidic. Soft and chewy. Smooth and wet. Good thickness and body. Good presence on the palate. I want more assertive sharpness from the sourness, though. It suits the flavour profile quite well, and the carbonation is perfect, but it's just unexceptional for the style. A touch dry on the climax, lending it a bit of a refined cidre feel for a bit.

Dr: A very solid very good beer from New Glarus, but it doesn't deliver on the style like I wanted it to. Don't get me wrong, it's damn good stuff, but the sourness isn't there. Not like it should be. Extremely drinkable and likable. I'd definitely get it again at the right price, but it leaves something to be desired. Still, it's a damn respectable beer. Thanks for the opportunity to try this one, Duff27!


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Photo of emerge077
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Excellent, drier and more woody than the last batch with notes of dark cherry skin and oaky vanilla.

Brand new batch, glad to see this one brewed again.

Seems a bit different from what I last recall, drank my last batch #1 bottle a few months ago. The major differences are the color and lighter feel of #2. The new batch very much resembles Cranbic, and i'd almost go as far to say they have the same base beer involved.

Looks: High clarity red with a russet twinge. Served cold into a Duvel tulip, a vigorous pour produced a two finger head. Spotty lace seems to cling somewhat as it slides back into the froth. A large cluster of surface bubbles remains, encroaching on a crescent of wispy skim across the top.

Aroma: Spiced cherries, brown sugar, faint hint of something cheesy and musty. Resembles a spiced apple dish at thanksgiving. Not the wild, woody Enigma of 2006.

Flavor: Mildly tart upfront, with sweet cherry in the middle. Dry oak and vanilla traces after the swallow, lingering into the aftertaste. Fairly clean and straightforward, with fruit seeming to dominate the barrel nuance. Nothing especially wild/funky manifesting, aside from the light tartness, which is very clean.

Feel/Drink: Light bodied, crisp and tart, finishing on the dry side. Definitely an accessible, mass-appeal type of "sour". Very quenching, perfect timing for the warmer weather ahead. Can't wait to pair with some funky cheeses.

#2 resembles a tamer Flanders Red, where the original #1 was harder to pin down, but was closer to an Oud Bruin variation. The whole "fruit beer" thing is getting a little repetitive, but NG continues to succeed with these styles.


A+ / 4.65 look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | drink: 4.5
Flanders-style sour ale, let's get that established...

Pours into a Moinette chalice, a ruddy brown color, with one finger of foam. Lacing stays for the duration of the glass.

Smell is rich and pleasant, mostly sweet molasses, aged gouda, vanilla, & oak. A sweetish whiff of bourbon...barrel-aged Oud Bruin?

Taste is complex, and seems to go through phases over time. At first, the sweet and sour character of a Flanders Red/Sour Brown is complimented by vanilla, dried cherry, and muted bourbon (sweet/woody) notes toward the end. The finish is oaky, slightly dry. Mouthfeel is rich, somewhat full & malty, but not heavy. Maybe a lactic quality as well. It's balanced, and well-crafted. After warming, the ale takes on a more balsamic sweet/tartness with oak still in the finish. Very delicious, I could easily have a couple in a sitting.

An exceptional, innovative gem from New Glarus...this is Dan Carey at the top of his game.

2007: Audible fizz, nice head on a year-aged bottle. Spice, woody barn funk, and celery oddly enough. Still at the same level of tartness, medium carbonation. Still funky and complex as well, maybe not as distinct as it was fresh. Looking forward to finishing off the stash.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy russet, with a decent sort of head that fades fairly quickly, leaving a few shards of lace

Smell: The initial vanilla-toned waft of oak is supplanted by a tart cherry aroma in short order; cinnamon and funk, too

Taste: Nice oaky taste up front that takes a while to be joined by the vanilla, tart cherry and subtle Bourbon elements, underneath; after the swallow, it is predominately tart cherry

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a puckery feeling from the tartness, too

Overall: A fantastically balanced oud bruin/kriek concoction

Thanks, ThomasHardy, for the opportunity to revisit

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Photo of Kurmaraja
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Monger: Poured a dirty brown/reddish color ale with a medium light foamy head with average retention and good lacing. Aroma consists of oak with some tart notes and some red wine characteristics. Taste is a very well balance mix of oak with some tartness and some acidic notes well balance by light cherries and some dry red wine. Body is above average with some low filtration and medium carbonation. Very well done and definitely something that I would like to try again.

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Photo of SocalKicks
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mothman
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Lost abbey stemware

Pours almost two fingers of beige head. Color is an autumn orange color with a ruby hue to it.

Aroma: Cherries up front with some spice notes following. Has a very sharp fruit flavor sticking out. Vanilla notes. A very nice aroma. Lightly tart, making my mouth water.

Taste: The cherries in this beer are identical to those in the WI Belg Red. Very good. Has a lot of vanilla and spiced to dry out the beer. It is oaky, but the cherries dominate most of the flavor in a good way.

Mouthfeel: Very clean and smooth. Refreshingly tart. Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry, but overall really nice feel to it.

Overall, another beer from ng that I enjoy a lot. The cherries are spot on and provide a bit of tartness to this refreshing beer. I am really glad NG brought this one back. Very drinkable.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As I sit down to review this beer it is with both joy and sorrow, for this is the last of my 6-pack stash. It also reminds me of my last serious girlfriend who moved to Madison a year ago, and whom I first enjoyed this beer with. But that's also kind of like this beer in a way, as it's sweet and sour, but with great depth behind it.

It pours a murky, deep chestnut brown beneath a short head of creamy off-white that fades steadily to a thin collar. Minor spots and splashes of lace are left about the glass, but not much more.

The nose is malty with a sweetish edge that's almost sugary but fruity, kind of like a jam. Lots of vanilla, apple, and cherry. Clear notes of oak come through as well, and I'm thinking a tiny bit of barnyard underneath. There's even a kind of pineapple note to it. Complex and interesting! I could enjoy this beer just based on the smell alone!

In the mouth it's medium with a decidedly dextrinous edge, and a delicately crisp, tiny-bubbled carbonation.

The flavor is intense, with tartness and sweetness fighting it out for dominance in a face to face death-roll. Over and over they swirl, repeatedly gaining and losing to each other. The vanilla and oak do the same, and the cherry and some caramelish malt all help to round it out. There's a suggestion of earth and smoke in the background, but they're soft. No bitterness is really needed, and it finishes with a lingering note of sharp acidity and caramel-sticky malt that clings to the teeth. Cherries fade to apples, apples fade to vanilla, vanilla fades to oak, and then vanilla returns softly along with a note of soft, sweet caramel in the long-lingering finish.

A year in the cellar has done wonders for this beer, and it's far more smooth and round than when I first tasted it fresh from the brewery. Oh that I could have more, oh that I could see my sweet love once again!

I realize that this is listed on BA as a fruit/vegetable beer, but this is one of tne of the best oud brune/sour Flemish brown ales in the world!!! Absolutely worth seeking out!!!

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Photo of largadeer
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nickd717 shared this one. This is the original batch, '03 I believe. Thanks a bunch, Nick. Turbid and murky, brown in color with a thin off-white collar. The aroma is complex and inviting, smelling intensely of funk and sherry-like oxidation with a backbone of cherries and bourbon. There's a bit of toffee and faint buttery oak as it warms. Tart cherries are surprisingly up-front on the palate for such an old beer. Caramel, bourbon and sherry are equally prominent, leading into a lightly acetic mid-palate with more sweet and tart cherry flavor and a touch of balsamic vinegar. Finishes sweet and tart with lingering cherry and bourbon flavors. Delicious.

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