CanIHave4Beers (4187) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - OCT 21, 2010
Pours a beautiful burgundy color with a big fluffy semi loose head and some good lacing on the glass. The aroma is chocolate and pie cherries with some toasty nuttiness and some nice earthy funkiness. There are some more subtle notes like ran drenched soil and horse blanket. The whole aroma is very well woven together. The flavor is at first fairly dominated by tart cherries well complimented by a mild smokiness and some chocolate. The beer has plenty of nice toasty maltiness and while sour throughout is not particularly puckeringly so. There are some notes of raspberry vinaigrette and some mild vanilla and woody tones. My description just seems like a litany of flavors that wouldn’t seemingly work but somehow the subtlety of some of those flavors along with the pungency of others just works together really really well. What a beautiful artistic expression of what beer can be. allfreej (556) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - OCT 17, 2010
Bottled, at BBC Wort Hog Club October 2010 tasting. Cloudy, dark brown pour, tan head. Sour nose. Tart flavor much like an Oud Bruin is accompanied by an unexpected pumpkin pie spice taste. The "defies description," part of the label is spot on. I really enjoyed this offering from a great brewery. dm9831 (1512) - Monee, Illinois, USA - OCT 17, 2010
clear bourbony color, no head, tiny off white, tiny off white bubbles ring the glass. nose of bourbon and pencil shavings. flavor of sour, dry fruit and malt. medium bodied, light sour finish. a fun brew. beernbourbon (1592) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - OCT 16, 2010
Bottle tasted along side the 2006 version. Pour is clear caramel color with a light white head. Much lighter and clearer than 2006. Aroma is light funk, light cinnamon, light nutmeg, light mixed berry, vanilla, and wood. Flavor is also lightly funky and sour with notes of berry, wood, light coconut, light spice, and a nice lightly woody and lightly vanilla finish. This beer is smooth and cohesive while maintaing a nice complexity. Really enjoyed this one. Maybe this is what the 06 tasted like 4 years ago. Gonna lay a few down to see what happens. FlacoAlto (4182) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 14, 2010
5.5%, 2010 Bottling; Sampled October 2010
Hair6a11 (1481) - Illinois, USA - OCT 12, 2010
A vigorous pour fills my 25cl tulip glass to the rim with an amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a deep red color that shows an almost clear, cranberry red color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of richly caramelized sugars, a wisp of smokiness, brown-sugar coated toasty grain and a sourness. The end has an interesting mix of sourness and almost cinnamon like sweetness that is really quite loud smelling at times. The nose is actually too sweet smelling, it might be able to pull it off if it was a bit more complex. The nose makes me think this is a sweet desert beer of some sort and now I am curious if the flavor follows suit (though I really hope not).
The beer is not nearly as sweet smelling as the nose suggested… and now I get it, that boosted sweetness / spice character in the nose was coming from some barrel aging; ample vanillin and a big toasted coconut flavor sweetly spice the flavor of this beer. This beer does have some sweetness to it, this is evenly balanced by the lactic tartness that is found in this beer. While the sweetness is perhaps a touch to much for my preferences, the tartness is not anywhere near noticeable enough; especially with the big, smooth oak character and supporting sweetness this beer could have used a whole lot more lactic sourness. As with a lot of New Glarus’s beers, this is quite clean and approaches being too simplistic; this can be ok in something like a Pale Ale, but a sour really should have some wildness and funkiness besides the clean lactic character that is in this beer. The combination of the sweetness, the vanillin and the coconut as well as the light tartness makes this beer seem quite fruity tasting; it reminds me of berries, or really cherries (hmm after checking the label there actually are some cherries added to this).
After realizing the oak presence in the flavor, it is now quite apparent in the nose with lots of layered vanillin and a solid, but strikingly fruity coconut character that almost dominates the nose. The body is somewhat full for a beer of this strength, but not overly so, but it definitely clings to the palate a fair amount.
The oak really saves this beer from being overly simplistic and clean. This is a nicely drinkable beer; it is quite approachable and is a great beer for those that are used to the likes of Lindeman’s but are looking for a bit less of the cloying sweetness. While this is not a bad beer I am finding myself deeply disappointed that this beer is not more interesting; it is actually quite surprising how clean this beer is considering the label says that it is spontaneously fermented.
Bottle: Pours a Clear Amber, with a modest off whitish head. Aroma is distinctly cherry with an interesting hint of oak and caramel. Seems fairly carbonated, mouthfeel is light to medium.This brew is at first cherry with a butter like complexion, coupled with smoked oak, barley, and there is the vanilla, finally. Interesting brew - HogTownHarry (6900) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - OCT 12, 2010
12oz bottle shared with blankboy and garthicus courtesy of JCapriotti. Clear amber, average frothy white head. Smell - mmmmmmm - oak, cherry, mild sweet toasted caramel, just a hint of lemon, mild alcohol - a really simple and deeply appealing aroma. The taste ... so soft, so subtle - cherry, mild green oak - hell, everything’s mild and understated, but it just floats over you palate, leaving a whispery memory of lemon, cherry, caramel, oak and awesomeness. Soft, lightly acidic mouthfeel, mild carbonation, a fantastic tingly light aftertaste. Stunning stuff, so drinkable. garthicus (2929) - Dublin, IRELAND - OCT 12, 2010
Thanks to HogTownHarry. Appearance: Ruby red, medium white head. Aroma: Lovely sour aroma, tangy, spicy, cloves, cinnamon, cherry. Delicious. Flavour: wow, cherry, pumpkin spices?, wood, cinnamon, lovely sourness, lots of sweetness, slightly tart, beautiful long sweet finish. Awesome. craftbeerdesign (2254) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 8, 2010
12 oz. bottle thanks to Tharreld. Enigma pours a deep red / light brown with ruby highlights and a 1 finger off white head. The nose is full of sour cherries and oak. Medium smooth body with more cherry tartness, vanilla from the barrels, deep wood notes and a slight acidity. Sweet finish with a semi-dry back, more oak and cherry tartness. Overall Enigma is a very nice entry level sour beer that flirts between fruit beer and sour.... this is not really that sour and you don’t pick up the typical lacto bacteria that is present in most sours. It is very enjoyable and drinkable. The use of the oak gives this beer such a solid foundation. Glad I got to have a bottle.... JohnC (3008) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - OCT 4, 2010
Thanks to darklordlager for getting me this beer.
It pours an opaque amber/red color with a small head. The mouthfeel is creamy. It’s a thirstquenching beer with flavors of tart cherries, vanilla and a few other goodies that I can’t quite place.
IMO, this is a very approachable beer that’s complex and very nicely crafted.