Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Thumbprint Wild Sour AleThumbprint Wild Sour Ale
1,021 Ratings
Thumbprint Wild Sour AleThumbprint Wild Sour Ale

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Stevedore on 07-09-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,021 |  Reviews: 120
Photo of jaydoc
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at the Protest Bottle Share For LA Beer Week held at Red Carpet Wine in Glendale, CA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with fruit, honey, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour and acidic fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a slightly better sour presence in the flavor.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.58/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i had really high hopes for this one, but like all new glares beers, this is incredibly sweet, which doesn't really work for me in the sour context, and in fact gets in the way of some of the more interesting features of this beer. it pours a clearish amber color with a pretty decent white head but it fades out. the nose here is sweet and malty, with a sharp acidity, especially when it warms up. not ac funky and bacterial tasting as it smells, i get a lot of berry type sweetness, summery and bright, with even an orchard fruit complexion as well. the sourness is only short lived, and its all in the finish. harshing acidity moves into tooth coating residual sugar that is indicative of new glares generally. i liked it, don't get me wrong, but all the sugar distracts from the souring elements that are supposed to define this one. a bit of a let down for me, but it doesn't alter my lofty appreciation of everything the make, this one just misses for my palate.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of Knapp85
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out as a reddish color with a thin white head on top. Good clarity on this. The smell of the beer has a good amount of funk on the nose. The taste, much like the nose has a good amount of funky tart flavors going on with a bit of caramel malt in there too. The feel of the beer is smooth, it doesn't rip the enamel off of your teeth which is nice. Overall it's a good brew.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

They have proven to make traditional sour ales of Belgian origins with pinpoint precision, zeal and class. So why not step into the sill-evolving American Sour Ale game?

Their "Wild Ale" pours with a crystal clear, redish amber hue. It releases a foamy medium-dense blanket of froth. It retains well, though with random pockets and broken lace. It simply does what sour ales do- their quite unpredictable with its pellicle spider-webbing.

Spicy sourness captivates the nose as the waves of scents start off with crab apples, dry white wine and light vinegar notes. Spicy with the suggestion of cedar but also cinnamon, peppercorn and light fennel. Mildly pungent, the scent of sea air, cellar-like must and damp hay helps to develop a complex scent. Background caramel aromas support the more tart and earthy notes and provide a rounded scent.

But to taste, it's a bit more simplified that the nose promises. The caramel hardly shows as the ale favors a light bread crust malt presence instead. But then the dry, clean, and crisp cidery flavors take hold. Distinctive sourness carries flavors of tart dry white wines, dried limes, light vinegar and acidic under-ripened berries. There's a rounded minerally "salty" taste that binds all the malt and acidic tastes and draws in the spicy wood tannin and light peppery character.

Clean, crisp, and highly refreshing, the beer's light body, champagne-like carbonation and sheer acidity strips the thirst with ease. Its short-lived malt texture and carbonation gives the beer a mild lift to start but finishes like the driest zinfindale. Lightly tannin-like and spicy warmth close the beer with a return of powdery sawdust in finish.

Wild Sour Ale is a very formidable sour ale that evades delineation. Yet its cleanliness and long list of subtle complexities gives this ale a charming and seductive character.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed live. No ABV is listed on the bottle. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with iconic green & gold New Glarus branded cap covered in red foil and appealing New Glarus label art acquired in a trade with the very gracious Duff27 (thanks again, buddy!) and served into Cantillon stemware in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Expectations are sky high given the brewery and style. 2013 vintage. Reviewed as a wild ale because it identifies as such in the name and on the label.

Served chilled - straight from me freezer - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of muted off-white colour. Decent creaminess, thickness, and frothiness. It could use a fuller head with a softer complexion. Some inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes; it has "legs." Head retention is above average - about 3-4 minutes.

Body colour is a clear translucent textbook copper of above average vibrance; it's got a dark decadent glow. Transparent. Appears adequately carbonated.

I'm looking forward to trying it. It's not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Overall, it's within style conventions.

Sm: Cedar wood, lactobacillus yeast and accompanying sourness, tart green apple fruit, crab apple, hay/straw, and some faint spice - white pepper, light (white) plum, and controlled wild yeast(s). I don't get any true bacteria or lambicus yeasts; it evokes a controlled, clinical character which makes it obvious it wasn't truly spontaneously fermented. I don't get much oak; the wood profile is primarily cedar and I don't find any vanilla or toasty notes consistent with oak barrel aging. Belgian pale malts. A buried hint of lime.

The aroma doesn't suggest heavy sourness or tartness, but does evoke a moderate inclusion of each.

Any hop character is minimal in presence, and seemingly generic in character - perhaps a light floral touch, but little else. Maybe a faint fruitiness?

No alcohol is detectable. An appealing aroma of moderate strength. I'm looking forward to trying it.

T: Superb tart fruit - mainly green apple/crab apple. Has a lovely surge of lactobacillus-induced clean sourness, which isn't pucker-inducing but leaves the drinker with a satisfying lip-smacking note. The wild yeasts lend some added sourness, but again it's obvious this didn't undergo true spontaneous fermentation; it's got that clinical clean controlled feel of most American wild ales, and that holds it back from really giving the Belgian sours a run for their money. It's not an overwhelming sourness, but delivers enough to satisfy the discerning sour-lover. The same can be said about the tartness. I don't find any explicit brettanoymces funkiness. I don't get the heavy puckering character of actual lambicus yeast or bacteria either.

Spritzy crystal malts. Has some limited spice: mainly white pepper. Straw/hay. Clean barley. Pale Belgian malts. A biteen cidery. Has a kiss of vinegar; it could use more of an acetic build. Light lime. Some vague crackery malts.

Any hop character is quite tame; maybe there's some generic floral and fruity notes but I have trouble finding much there.

The only barrel character I find is a restrained cedar, which is an interesting, almost even a unique, approach to the style. I don't find the telltale vanilla or toastiness of oak.

No alcohol comes through.

It's a well balanced sour, and it's got superb cohesion, but I don't know that I'd call it gestalt. If we're nitpicking, it's not as complex or subtle as the best beers in the style, but don't get me wrong - there's plenty of both. Above average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

Excellent sweetness/bitterness/sourness balance; the sourness/tartness is a highlight - as it should be.

Overall, I'm a big fan. This is some tasty stuff.

Mf: Has a perfect acidity. Great body and plump thickness. Near-perfect smoothness/coarseness and dryness/wetness; it's coarse and dry enough to coax nuance out of the flavour profile but smooth and wet enough to keep it refreshing. balanceExcellent presence on the palate. Nicely soft; very approachable. Just a biteen overcarbonated, but I'm nitpicking. Complements the flavour profile quite well. Good execution.

Not oily, harsh, gushed, hot, boozy, rough, or astringent.

Dr: Extremely drinkable. Another enjoyable sour from New Glarus. I'd definitely get it again and would recommend it to friends and trade partners. It's an excellent example of the style, but I don't know that I'd call it world-class. I'd buy it by the case if I had the opportunity. I already want another.

Thanks again to Duff27 for the opportunity to try this.

Drank very well from a Cantillon glass.

Would pair well with a salad, but frankly I think it demands to be consumed alone and savored.


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Photo of oline73
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark reddish orange, bright clarity, with a lighter orange highlight in the meniscus of the glass. Spotty lace around the edges, and lasting surface coverage for the first five minutes.

Oaky and acidic aroma, sour cherry and some minerality.

Bracing acidity in the taste, sharp and citric, fruity cherry and cranberry notes at the front with dry oak in the aftertaste that lingers for awhile. Got some sour grapefruit when tasting again on a fresh palate. Clean sourness, acidic with palate scrubbing carbonation. Definitely delivers in the wild yeast and sourness aspects. Reminiscent of the first batch of Enigma years ago, unique and complex.

Review #3000

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of brentk56
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a copper color with a modest head that leaves a few strips of lace behind

Smell: Tart green apple, ripe berries and tart cherries; a hint of oak

Taste: Tart cherries and stone fruit flavors, up front, with some brown sugar rounding out the tartness in the middle; a touch of oak in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Give New Glarus an inch and they will pack a beer with fruit flavors that can range all over the map; this one verges on the sour side, but there is plenty of tartness and malty complexity as well

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.74/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of mothman
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A lot of foam from this one. Color is a dark amber.

Flavor: Very sour and tart. Green apples, cherries, tannins. A bit of malt. Some vinegar and acidity. A bit of red apples as well. Very clean.

Mouthfeel: Lively, crisp, and clean. Light bodied with a lot of carbonation.

Overall, this was an enjoyable beer. Very easy to drink and not over the top sour.

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Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of jlindros
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudzud
Pours a fizzy head that rises quickly but starts to fade quickly, then retains a nice head covering for a while, decent lacing, sought hazy but clear iced tea brown color.

Nose goes to all kinds of places, a nice sour malt, soured mash like, little sweet malt, lots of sour lactic funk, lacto souring maybe pedio, tons of buttery oak and vanilla, toasty oak, a little berry like almost vinous wine, raspberry, apple, mulberry, etc.

Taste starts quite sour, a creamy lactic sour funk, and maybe pedio too, with a soured mash like flavor, sour dark reddish malts. Then a mild berry fruit, hint raspberry and mulberry, little acidic bite with more vinous wine notes, lactic acid, other generic berry. Some buttery oak and little vanilla, toastyoak. Finish is sticky and flemmy, mild sweetness with sour malt and sour berries.

Mouth is med bod, lighter carb.

Overall very interesting, nice Flanders like sour malts and fruits, great berry, nice souring bacteria, and great barrel.

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Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.37 out of 5 with 1,021 ratings