Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Enigma Arrives in Oshkosh

Enigma, the latest from New Glarus’ Unplugged series, made its way to Oshkosh in 4-packs at the end of last week. This beer is something special. If you had to classify Enigma, you’d probably get closest by calling it a Sour Brown Ale, but don’t be put off by that. This beer is so creamy and rich that its sourness behaves more like a finishing contrast than a primary flavor.

Enigma is fermented with wild yeast in oak barrels on Door County cherries. All of that comes through in the beer’s aroma. It’s slightly sharp, like wet wood, with a bit of funk that’s buffeted by a sweetish, vanilla hue. My favorite aspect of this beer is its mouthfeel. You don’t expect sour beers to be smooth or soft, but this one is downright lush. Notes of oak, cherry, vanilla and even a hint of smoke come through in the beer. Yet for all its complexity, this is still a highly drinkable brew. And Enigma is one of the few sour beers I’ve had where you wouldn’t mind following it up with another.

The idea of sour beer puts a lot of people off. It shouldn’t. If you’re the sort that loves hop-forward beers then sours aren’t all that much of a leap. This one is accessible and lacks that puckering aspect that some of the more overbearing sours pride themselves on. If you haven’t experienced a sour beer before, Enigma would be a great one to start with.


  1. Should have mentioned that you can get Enigma in Oshkosh at Festival Foods and the North Side Pick 'n Save.

  2. I had a four pack. I liked it. To me, it's a "dessert" beer... like they're cherry beer, etc.