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.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,021 |  Reviews: 120
Photo of BobbysLiquors
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of fuzzcherry
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a DFH signature glass. Thanks to Mjmoser for sending this extra.

A - Pours a bright ruby color that glows when held up to the light. There is very little head apart from a thin, cream colored halo lining the rim of the glass. Lacing is scarce.

S - Smells of granny smith apple, green grapes, and black cherry. Some wheat-like malt aromas in the background as well as some fresh cut oak. Complex.

T - Aggressively sour upfront with raspberry warhead and tart apple. The sour assault continues throughout with just a touch of cedar and oak. Very mild caramel sweetness. The tartness is all of the candy/fruit variety and never ventures into the vinegar regime. Clean flavor with nothing out of place. Delicious.

M - Prickly carbonation to go along with the prickly flavor. Puckering finish with a dryness that lingers.

O - This is a very impressive beer that I could hardly put down until it was gone. I wish I had more of this stuff. The sour fruit flavors are intense, but welcomed. This is among the best sours I have ever had; perhaps THE best. Try this if you can get it.

 1,105 characters

Photo of BeerBuddy2122
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of marine1975
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of MNPikey
4.5/5  rDev +3%

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.

 358 characters

Photo of Devi0us
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of diverite
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of AleWatcher
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.79/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

 1,921 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle - brought 4 back from my recent visit to Madison for the Great Taste

Football season is back!

Served in the fantastically elegant oerbier stemmed glass - glowing garnet brown body, nice creamy beige cap. Quite woody with aromas of oak and cedar, sweet tarts, wild yeast. This is a really nice sour brown - tart and wild with an abundance of wood, berry, cherry, and bread. This is exceptionally crafted and drinking quite well relatively fresh.

 458 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Piddmeista
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of ajs4bd
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Circleo12
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

 1,860 characters

Photo of ravot
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of pinnser
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of hochief
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of plumcrazyfx
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of joe1510
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 1,583 characters

Photo of CWhite
4.5/5  rDev +3%

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