Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale
New Glarus Brewing Company

Thumbprint Wild Sour AleThumbprint Wild Sour Ale
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Wild Ale
Ranked #44
Ranked #420
4.39 | pDev: 8.66%
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Thumbprint Wild Sour AleThumbprint Wild Sour Ale
Notes: Naturally soured by farm valley winds blowing wild yeast into our oak casks. Finally, after a year and a half of patient coaxing Wisconsin dark malts whirl in a kaleidoscope of cedar, caramel and tart green plum exuberance. Available to the exclusive few who travel off the beaten paths, this is authentic Wisconsin sour brown ale. Truly unique this Sour Ale is brewed for those who live on the wild side and is suitable for laying down or consuming immediately, serve at 40 – 45 °F.
Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 1,085 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by mhksuccess:
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mhksuccess from California

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Jan 28, 2014
More User Reviews:
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tigerinatrance from New York

4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oofta, what Wisconsin can do! Brought it back to my displaced home for now of New York in a four pack of 12 oz. bottles. How I missed my favorite New Glarus brews, and discovered a few new ones, this being one of them. I also recommend highly the Raspberry Tart and Wisconsin Belgian Red. Also picked up some Two Women, Fat Squirrel, Spotted Cow, and Totally Naked which I will be reviewing in due time.

L: poured into a standard pint glass, pours a dark whiskey brown with golden honey hues at the edge of the glass. Just under a two finger head of creamy off white, very slight mustard tint. Head dissipates fairly quickly, I’ll get back to that. Cloudy, inconsistent lacing follows it down the glass slllooowwwlllyyy.

S: oh goodness. Fermented dark fleshy fruit, plum like scent precedes a SUPER funky faint rye bread fullness. A bit of fermented tobacco.

T: spunky, funky, yeasty sourness without too much bitter tartness. This tastes like the delectable, perplexing, high ABV beer you expect it to be. Slightly sweet, honey like at the end. Extremely complex. This beer separates myself from über experiences beer tasters. I’ll get there.

F: super carbonated at first, disspitating quickly to borderline syrupy feel if you hold it in your mouth for a few seconds. Slight (slight!!!) alcohol burn on the throat, but that might just be the sour spunkiness confusing me.

O: my favorite beer I’ve had since Switchback Smoked Marzen. Fantastic showing of a challenging style. I’m in love with everything about this beer. Extremely unique. I wish I had more friends here in NY so I could share with them something they’d probably never have the opportunity to experience otherwise. I miss New Glarus beer, I miss Wisconsin. This beer fills me with that.

Oct 03, 2018
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2beerdogs from California

4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2018 Wild Sour Ale
Poured into my elegant Yazoo Brewing tulip glass (generously sent to me by @Buck89 )
A dark amber hue pushes a sandy colored foamy cap just shy of 2 fingers in height. Clear, but dark enough to taunt the sunlight weakly piercing through. No lacing.
The smell is wow... There's a lot going on here. Sniff after sniff, combing my past culinary and zymurgical experiences, and challenging my vocabulary. Let's try some words. I wanna use the best words. The greatest words. Ugh, that sounds like a voice on the news. Ok, here we go.
Smells of plum, cherry, muddled raspberry, wet burnished leather, some wet oak barrel notes, all tied together with a soft sourness.
Taste has a sour plum, tart raspberry, oaky flanders tart to sour aspect to it. I'm getting a salted plum nuance that shadows these other more dominant flavors. Wow, it takes one for a ride all over.
Mouthfeel is medium, carbonation drops off to almost zero. Slightly slick.
Overall, I have no recommendations. I wouldn't be so presumptuous. It's an amazing sour that I assume is a sour brown.

Thanks, Chris!

Sep 20, 2018
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The poured brown with some dark red hints.

Smell - The revealed oak and definite tart notes.

Taste - At the front, I detect slight spruce notes. The cherry set in with notes of cherry skin, oak, and a hint of lime. The sourness is not overpowering of acidic. Oak notes shined in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation came in little bubbles and allowed the sourness to linger.

Overall - Wild Sour Ale is a treat.

Sep 08, 2018
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joe1510 from Illinois

4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle, 4-Pack
New Glarus Beer Depot

This most recent Thumbprint pours a mahogany body with ruby highlights when backlit and good clarity. The fizzy, crackling head grew quickly to two fingers in height before just as quickly falling to a ring around the glass. A burst of carbonation rises periodically to the surface.

Damp oak, the woods, and a surprising amount of vanilla all contribute to a sour cherry fruitiness that has me salivating. The oak sharpens with a quick swirl but after settling the vanilla and cherries combine to form a medicinal quality at times and an acidic quality at others. Wild Sour Ale seems to never sit still. Evolving, Constantly evolving.

Sharp acidity hits the front of the tongue and works all the way through. Tannic damp oak and sour cherries dominate over the top of a light caramel base. Secondary notes of gritty pear and the tartness is that of a green apple. A ghost like hint of cherry sweetness appears on the finish. This is one complex beer that's tough for me to fully wrap my head around.

The tannins have my lips and teeth feeling the effect. The body is on the lighter side of the spectrum but with enough weight to leave some residual flavor behind. Carbonation is pretty zippy and helps push the whole through fairly quickly.

This is a really complex beer. The harder I think as I drink the harder it is for me to pick out exactly what's going on. It's like it's ever changing. With that said, you can count me as another big fan of Wild Sour Ale. Dan Carey did yet another great job up there in Little Switzerland.

Aug 28, 2013
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DavidR_9 from California

4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown semi cloudy body with amber/red color towards the edges. Thin khaki head with tight bubbles. Aroma is light, earthy, oakey, and fruity. Taste is plesantly sour plum, hints of cherry tartness, oak, cedar, hint of caramel, and a funky lemon rind character that elegantly tapers off with the caramel, cedar, and toasted malt finish. Medium smooth mouthfeel and almost silky as the light prickly carbonation accentuates the wild yeast funk character. Very pleasantly and certainly their more sour offering that I’ve tried thus far.

Sep 13, 2018
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zoober911 from New York

4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L - a deep red with a slight orange hue. Pours a solid finger width of off white head. Head fades a bit but remains at about half a finger width. Clings perfectly to the glass.

S - Smell is a very soft funk. Berries.

T - A certain sweetness up front with a little bit of sour. The sour lingers foreverrrr. It puckers you up and can feel it in the back of your jaw. Makes your mouth water thinking about it.

F - damn this is smooth. For the amount of head that forms I was expecting the tickle of bubbles but definitely drinks unbelievably smooth for the style.

O - Damn this is good. I would have drink this by the case if I could. Forget trading for whales...NG hit the nail on the head with this and you should try it if you can!

Apr 09, 2015
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2018 version from a bottle thanks to Joe. Joe, thanks Joe. Joe.

A copper, no Rusty orange colored beverage here. Brown and red highlights too. Opaque and reminds me of Munich malt syrup actually. A two finger off white foam lazily descends leaving good spotted lacing behind.

Though it makes no mention of it, I am immediately accepting this as a Flanders Red. The acidity is piercing, and the dark cherry and plum fruity elements undeniable. Each sniff triggering the glands in the back of my mouth to salivate uncontrollably.

Exquisite. The plum comes in first followed by dark cherries. A puckering sourness comes quickly behind, but a faint chocolate then clean wood barrel flavor offsets it. A lingering flavor of tart candied apples makes pauses between sips remarkably enjoyable.

The feel is just perfect for this. Luxuriously soft with a tingle of tartness and light carbonation act as the perfect vessel to deliver such poise and balance to the its sweet roots.

New Glarus Thumbprint beers continue to blow me away. This one is rediculously good yet again. No need to age. Drink this now!

Thanks again Joe! Cheers.

Nov 11, 2018
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garymuchow from Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sweet, sour, tart, funk, fruit (orange, cherry to name a couple). Very similar to Enigma and equally as enjoyable. I like the hints of the vanilla from the oak.
Smallish head, that fizzes out in fairly short order. A slightly cloudy darker amber with more browns with the orange.
Yum, that's so damn good. Again very similar to Enigma, but the darker malts do show in this one. Still the complexity of the yeast - again funk, sweet, sour, fruit and nicely balanced tartness that is persistent but never overwhelming. I'm having a harder time picking up the advertised caramel - might be some on the finish. I do like the woody character, not exclusive to the vanilla.
Even with the smaller head there is plenty of tingly, prickly bite to the ample carbonation.
Another outstanding beer. I really like the wild yeast stuff. I liked Enigma better, but I have no issues of any importance for this one. Complex as all get out, tart, refreshing yet requiring slow drinking. Wonderful.

Aug 05, 2013
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33nickadams from Michigan

4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat transparent, amber color with a slight head. Smells of oakiness, cherries, banana and what can be described as funk. Upon tasting, tart cherries followed by a tolerable sourness. Finishes dry with a pleasant aftertaste. Mouthfeel is moderate and well carbonated. Overall, I am generally not a fan of sour beers, but this is one of those beers that changes my mind about that. I am going to look into trying some other beers of this style, and compare them to this. This is what I like to describe as a great beer experience.

Jul 25, 2013
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BMMillsy from Florida

4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Tim. Thanks! Pours into my tulip glass a somewhat opaque amber color that clears up as it settles with a full one finger off white head that quickly receds. Aroma of sour vinegar, cherries, lots of fresh apples, berries, oak, some brown sugar. Flavor is big time sour, cherry is there, white vinegar, light malt presence and brown sugar, then finishes with a lingering distinct apple flavor left on the palate, very acidic and a punch in the face with sour. Easy drinking, plenty of carbonation, low to medium dry, but also worth slowly sipping if you like. Very nice brew, though I think I liked Enigma slightly better--but the difference between the two is very nuanced from what I can tell.

Dec 14, 2013
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Hastur23 from Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Feb 11, 2014
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Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jul 10, 2018
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AudioGilz from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Dec 27, 2013
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redleg411 from Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 05, 2015
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BeerBucks from New York

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Nov 22, 2013
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Ctrauty from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Dec 17, 2013
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Grodd87 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apr 05, 2015
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.74/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a reddish color ale with a medium size off-white foamy head with OK retention and light lacing notes. Aroma of vinous notes with some oak and sour notes also perceptible. Taste is a nice mix between some vinous notes with some oak and tart notes. Some light residual sugar notes can also be detected. Body is quite full with good carbonation. Good sour that is closer to a Flander Red that a wild ale. A bit overrated in my opinion.

Feb 29, 2016
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jjheinrichs from Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Jul 12, 2013
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beergorrilla from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Mar 12, 2014
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MrNate from Florida

5/5  rDev +13.9%

Oct 15, 2013
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Big_Dave from Texas

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Aug 13, 2014
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

3.79/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A steady pour into my New Belgium globe glass produces a two-finger thick, tan colored head. The beer is a rich amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, interestingly orange-tinged, bright amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of sour, fermented fruit, followed by an interesting woody note that leans towards a mix of oak and cedar. Bright plum notes, tart berry character, some definite strawberry character, as well as a light toasted woodiness, and perhaps a touch of caramelized cracker character are noticeable in the nose.

Prickly and effervescent, the beer foams up quite a bit during my first sip. This is fairly tart / sour, it has an edge to it that seems to be acetic in character, though this is well constrained, the predominant sourness seems to be from lactic acid; this is fairly smooth overall, and doesn’t have the sharp / harsh edge that beers with a fair amount of acetic acid have. This has quite a bit of fruit presence with notes of plum, sour, somewhat floral apple, tart not-quite ripe currants, and even some nectarine like notes towards the finish. The latter is accentuated by a hint of nail polish that can comes out in overly ripe versions of that fruit. This has a backbone of soft, caramelized malt, some toasted whole grain cracker notes, and some light nutty malt character. The body is fairly light, there is some viscosity here, and the beer clings to the palate a bit, though this is nicely balanced by the acidity. Soft woody flavors accentuated the light toasted character, the nutty notes, and perhaps a touch of woody spice character.

This has a nice balance of acetic acid and lactic acidity; the former doesn’t overwhelm the flavor profile of this beer, which is an easy flaw. Quite nice and drinkable, assuming you like sour beers, but perhaps a touch simplistic. Still this is a nice mix of fruit and sourness that ends up quite drinkable in the end.

Aug 31, 2013
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cosmonick from Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Aug 07, 2013
Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 1085 ratings