Brewery: New Glarus Brewing Co., New Glarus, Wisconsin
Beer: Wild Sour Ale (Thumbprint Series)
Serving: 12 oz bottle
Style: American Wild Ale
Availability: Limited Release
Cellaring: Under proper conditions, this beer can be cellared for extended periods.
Pairings: “Roast Pork, lobster, broasted chicken, Sartori or LaClare hard Goat cheese, sherbet, strawberry shortcake, lemon meringue pie.”
Tawny amber in color the beer’s acidity kills it’s formidable ivory head quickly, resulting in a few fingers of lace creeping up the glass.
Oak-rich, this beer reeks of barrel-aging to the point it’s almost spicy. Funky yeast furthers the oak with an old basement-like must that’s terribly unique; acidic but unlike any other sour aroma. Black currant fruit and spicy, phenolic alcohol notes overtake the light toasted malt aroma.
Tart cherry skin and black currant develop around the rich oak flavor and wood and alcohol spice. Toasted malt seems like an afterthought with the depth the musty wild yeast and barrel-aging contribute to this beer.
Attacking at first, the combination of sharp acidity and carbonation are startling but quickly blend with undertones of fruit sweetness for a balanced and mildly sour finish.
New Glarus Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale is quite reminiscent of Sour Brown or Enigma with suggestions of fruit underscored by toasted malt, though this one is overly oaky. The highlight of this beer is it’s unique wild yeast that doesn’t harken back to any of the “classic” wild yeast characteristics but instead brings something’s new to the table, which is a breath of fresh air.
Score: 87 / 100 – Wonderful