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Unplugged Imperial Stout - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged Imperial StoutUnplugged Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

40 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.96%
Wants: 17
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  ABV ?

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Winter on 11-25-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by coldmeat23:
Photo of coldmeat23
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

coldmeat23, Jun 03, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one is a very dark brown in color with a beautiful brown head that came up nicely and left a lot of lacing as it settled.

Smell – The aroma here is mostly roasted malt and maybe a bit of coffee. The alcohol is evident but very soft, not sharp. The burnt aspects of the bouquet make me think this is a bitter brew.

Taste – The taste is somewhat reserved as is the smell, but mostly this is clean roasted malt that is very burnt. There’s some sugary sweetness at the very end but not a lot.

Mouthfeel – This is probably bigger than medium-bodied and very, very bitter. The alcohol is very light and pleasing.

Drinkability – This is one of the lighter RIPs that I’ve had. It went down very well and didn’t take two hours to drink like a Stone or Rogue. I would definitely “buy again” if we had availability out here in the PacNW.

Comments – Thanks to my brother-in-law for carrying this on the plane. Yo, bro, stop stalling and get a BA log-on!

RoyalT, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of badbeer
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out black, but brown around the edges. Head was a very light tan color, that had good retention and left decent lacing. Smell was malty, mostly sweet with very little roastiness. When agitated I get cocoa and a hint of dark fruit. Taste is sweet and almost creamlike, light cocoa that blends quite well, maybe even some molasses, and some roastiness, but not until the finish. Low carbonation with medium body and a somewhat dry, finish. Very drinkable for a high gravity stout, definitely one of the better ones I've had recently.

badbeer, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. red-foiled top amber bottle courtesy of AKSmokedPorter and his recent foray into the Dairy State.

A: Pour reveals a inky black body with a very impressive brown-colored head that not only lasts but laves a soapy patchwork of lace on my St. Bernardus chalice.

S: Some notes of roasted coffee, smoke, cocoa powder. Nothing too over-the-top...it's all pretty muted.

T: Good mix of freshly-brewed coffee (with cream and sugar) up front, followed by a chocolate milk infusion, with a dash of charred oak, and finishes with residual sweetness. Surprisingly, there's only a little hop note present here.

M: On the thin side, even for a stout, much less an impy stout. Not nearly as creamy smooth as expected.

D: Too sweet. Not enough of the stout/impy stout qualities I'd like to see.

OldFrothingSlosh, Nov 17, 2004
Photo of cokes
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Tarry black, highlighted with scarlet edges. Topped with a small tan film that eventually fades away.
Nose full of brown sugar and chocolate with traces of liquorice.
Begins with a big wave of sweetened chocolate and caramel nougat. Roastedness seeps in gradually. Notes of char. Gains burnt bitterness and imitates espresso. Brown sugar and molasses play bit roles to provide levity. Vanilla blossoms towards the middle, then the beer collaspes into an astringent, over-carbonated finale. Never explicitly hoppy, the flavor profile seems to disappear in the later half.
In fact, it seems rather muted overall. No vinous qualities. No alcohol is even noted.
Medium-full in stature, with distracting, mouth-scraping, fizzy carbonation.
Decent stout, but it falls well short of my hopes and expectations.
I'm more than a bit bummed.
More eisbock, please.

Immediate Update:
Second bottle this evening.
I poured one and let it sit for roughly an hour. Carbonation was still an issue, but not as much as before. Astringency is still present, but it begins to be replaced with a more acceptable black malt harshness. Burnt vanilla beans are more evident, especially as this begins to show its teeth. Alcohol flexes some bourbon characteristics, though remains mostly hidden in strength.
This still has its flaws, but is better than my initial impression, unless my ratings are merely inversely porportional to my sobriety.

It remains lacking as an Imperial. But I'm beginning to like it more.
A pretty monster stout, all told, I just yearn to grab more flavor out of it.
All this needs is assertiveness.

cokes, Nov 26, 2003
Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

My first beer from New Glarus' "Unplugged" series, I've been on a porter and stout kick of late and the pretty red foil over the cap must have caught my eye. Pours a dark black with garnet tones with a minimal off-white head that disappears quickly. Nose is quite bitter, more hoppy than I would have thought with burnt chocolate and coffee undertones. Taste is more of the same, with a grapey, wine-like alcoholic bite at the end. Not exactly what I was expecting from a stout, but interesting nonetheless. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with decent carbonation. The alcohol went straight to my head with this one, I don't think I could have more than a couple but I think this would be a decent warmer on a winter day. Not outstanding but a solid offering from New Glarus.

Golden2wenty1, Jul 19, 2005
Photo of dirtylou
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, sadhanna's

not sure how old this is, its been retired for a while

appearance: very dark, almost black, bubbly chocolate brown head and some spotted lacing. pretty strong looking imp stout

smell: roasty, faint cherry fruity aromas, cocoa powder, nice hints of smoke and coffee as well, raisin

taste: cocoa powder, sweet dark fruit, raisin, chocolately and roasty, somewhat sweet. some hop bitterness definitely present, defined smoke flavors. This isn't bad but not the best unplugged by any means.

mouthfeel: quite smooth and silky, some hop bitterness in the aftertaste

drinkability: pretty drinkable for the high abv

dirtylou, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of bditty187
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost completely black in hue, only when held to a light did a tickle of ruby peak through, mainly around the edges. The color is bold and impressive in its darkness but it is an Imperial Stout after all! The head was brunette and the foam reached about a half finger in height before quickly fading away. Only a soapy collar remained. Lacing was spotty. The appearance is not noteworthy; it basically looks like it should. I was in the mood for a stout. The nose was everything I wanted. Malt dominates, deep roasty aromas with added depth of char, coffee, and milk chocolate. These aromas all play nicely with each other. Plus the potency is solid, it could be louder and it is one-dimensional. Even hints of alcohol or hops would be appreciated. Maybe I’m just use to Americanized Imperial Stouts, this one comes off more “traditional” like Samuel Smith. I’ll respect that. Inviting. The palate is not a hop monster. However the hops are in play, which is nice because they were absent in the nose. I really like the balance in this beer, sure it is malty but the hops do add plenty of support. Upfront is a big blast of coffee beans infused with sugar and milk. The middle hits with a mellow introduction of char, roast, and chocolate. In the finish some alcohol is found but the end is really the home of the hops. They’re fairly astringent. One thing I don’t care for is the almost cloying sugary sweetness. It is not overbearing but it is too noticeable. Overall the palate is tasty, it really is, I can’t complain but I will add this is a small Imperial Stout, I’ve hand regular stouts that were just as big. The aftertaste is hopppy with a fair amount of bitterness with just a tickle of citrus that plays nicely with the roasty/sweet flavors. The beer ends on a happy note. Medium in body, not very thick for the style, more malt is needed to increase the body. Carbonation is moderately low but appropriate. The mouthfeel is workable but not outstanding. Frankly this is too easy to drink. Beers like these should be sipped and savored. I’m sure the abv is fairly high but I still didn’t feel compelled to “take it slow.” Still I like this beer for what it is, flaws and all. I can’t imagine drinking more than two of these in one sitting; the sweetness would wear on me. I’d give this a shot with a hearty cheesecake. I purchased one bottle in Milwaukee, WI for $3.00, it is worth a try but don’t go out of your way for it.

bditty187, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Beertracker, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +8.7%

emerge077, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of CRJMellor
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a drk black with just the slightest hint of red present. Ring of white head forms and leaves moderate spotting of lace.
Aroma of chocolate, black currant, cola nuts, coffee, raisins. all notes seem to be very light.
Flavor is coffee and chocolate dominated with some secondary notes of root beer, brown sugar, cassis and resiny hops noted.
Mouthfeel is moderate at best, almost thin like a porter. Most likely too thin for style.
Drinkability is above average. Bit too thin for style and not as complex as I expected. Tad disappointing given N.G.'s other offerings.

CRJMellor, Jan 22, 2005
Photo of mikesgroove
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

deep dark brown, essentially black with a large tan colored head. Nice slow retention left behind copious amounts of side lace. Smell was full of roasted coffee, chocolate, and an almost Brandy like aroma. Very thick with a bit of a sweet note to it. The taste followed along almost exactly. Very full bodied, rich and creamy feel let you really enjoy the bold dominating flavors of dark chocolate and coffee and the long finish helped you find some of the more subtle hints of a hoppy finish. Just the smallest touch of an alcohol warming, but nothing that really took you over

mikesgroove, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of Erdinger2003
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a small head with some retention, but not much. Color is black enough to not let light through, but just a small amount on th every edges. There is a lacing that looks ok. Smell is slightly roasty with some dark fruit flavors. Taste is good, not too many characters that I can taste, it's almost like a Guiness Draught only much better and with smaller amounts of head and breadiness. The mouthfeel is slightly carbonated making the feel more crisp. The body is light, but overall I would drink this again.

Erdinger2003, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of weeare138
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to kmpitz for the trade of this one!

Appears black with a one finger tan head. Plenty of tan lacing. Smell is of sweet, dark fruit and toasted nuts with creamy malt.
Taste is a bit thin for the style but it's ok. I would've guessed this to have been more of a porter, or possibly a double bock gone awry. Creamy, toasted malt taste with an alcohol bite.
Mouthfeel is creamy with a slightly burnt taste that resonates.
Overall, a bit disappointed with this one, especially being that I've enjoyed everything else I've had from them.

It's ok, dog.

weeare138, May 20, 2005
Photo of sweethome
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown to black - almost opaque. Medium brown head. Roast malt nose, hint of coffee and chocolate. Full mouthfeel, coffee flavors fairly well pronounced. A good amount of carbonation is somewhat surprising for the style. The roast malt charchter kicks in late and leads to long finish of chocolate malts. Just enough hops to keep the sweetness in check.

A well made beer, but not of abundance. Probably closer to style than many american examples. Lacks the depth of flavor and complexity that my favorite imperials reach.

sweethome, Feb 09, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Skidz. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1" of medium brown head over the opaque dark, dark brown brew. Head retention is good, laces well. Aroma is of coffee and chocolate malts, but a bit low on the intensity for my blood. Taste is well balanced with the coffee and chocolate malts, but there is certainly something lacking in the strength depart for this to compete in the Russian Imperial Stout arena. Mouthfeel and drinkability is are high, but unfortunately this is because I do not feel the brew reflects the traits of a beer in this category should, and for this reason have knocked excellent ratings down to just good. A great brew for what it is, but "suffers" in the ratings for what it isn't.

ppoitras, Aug 12, 2004
Photo of aracauna
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours oily and silent. A very dark mahogany in the pouring stream turns to black in the glass. The head is oddly light, too light to even qualify for a lighter shade of khaki, but has this odd grayish cast. Fads to a fuzzy weather pattern. The aroma is wood char and a citrus, giving it a surprising smell. The flavor is drier than many imperial stout, the wood char being up top, but not overwhelming, and fading to dark chocolates and esters. Interesting imperial stout. Quite drinkable, but not what I was expecting.

aracauna, Feb 01, 2004
Photo of faernt
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The second in the series of unplugged beers. I like the brews of this brewery and will taste whatever they make. I look forward to Dan Carey's opportunity to disregard marketability and brew a big beer for the joy of doing something well.

The pour is "to style". It's opaque and has a small head of tight bubbles. No light seems to penetrate the beer. The smell is chocolate. The taste is sweet. It strikes me as an oatmeal stout and the body seems loyal to the oatmeal stout...somewhat lacking in thickness to meet my standards for an Imperial.

It's very drinkable and I enjoy it but it doesn't have the mouthfeel of an Imperial. It's a really good beer but, I expect the stylistic properties of an Imperial and I'm getting an oatmeal stout.

faernt, Jul 07, 2004
Photo of woodychandler
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

My cellar continues to reduce in all new and unexpected ways. I truly have no idea what is down there any more and by the end of summer, I hope to have the bulk of it finished off.

From the bottle: "'Some people paint, some sing, others write ... I brew' - Daniel Carey"; "A few times a year we will cut Dan loose to brew whatever he chooses, uncensored, uncut, unplugged. Always handcrafted, the bottle you hold is brewed for the adventurous soul. This is a very limited edition and we make no promises to ever brew this style again."; "Imperial Stout"; "Fourth in our series this is Dan's 'Unplugged Imperial Stout'. This beer is handcrafted for you with the same care that English brewers used when they brewed Imperial Stouts for the Russian Royal Family. Thiis is a strong beer brewed with lots of black barley. Back home, that makes this beer ans excellent candidate for lying down in your beer cellars."; "Thanks for S[sic]upporting the Arts. (undersigned) Daniel & Deborah Carey".

This seems to have held up really well! Lots of carbonation still evident and I got just under a finger of deep-tan head with moderate retention from my pour. Color was a solid black, allowing zero light penetration. Nose smelled of dark chocolate, charcoal, smoke, raisins and plums. Mouthfeel was unexpectedly thin, but the tastes of dark chocolate and dried dark fruits were really good on the tongue. Finish was very chocolaty with some smokiness at the extreme finish. This held up really well and was the first of the three NOT to come with a twist-off cap, which may have led to the early decline of the previous two.

woodychandler, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of abents
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a deep black with a light white/tan head that fades away shortly.

Smell: Chocolate tones with a malty sweetness detected.

Taste: Burnt taste begins this beer with a slight bitterness. Coffee and chocolate than dominate the taste with a slight sweetness and coffee in the finish. Very bitter taste that oddly lingers. No alcohol in this taste at all. Unsure about this.

Mouthfeel: This does not leave a pleasant taste if this is supposed to be an Imperial stout. Very light thin beer that has an excessive ammount of carbonation even after it sits in my glass awhile.

Drinkability: This is a good tasting beer, but I wouldn't like to drink very many.

I just expected a brewery like New Glarus to blow me off my feet with an Imperial Stout sadly they did not do so.

abents, Mar 02, 2004
Photo of 12vUnion
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another one of the fine Unplugged series. Since it's 'retired', I'll give it brief review.

It pours a little thick and a deep, dark brown. About what you'd expect from a stout. Not the thickest or the darkest, but it is what it is. It certainly doesn't take anything from it.

It smells of roasted grains, plenty of chocolate and even some fruity, maybe cherry smells. I would have expected a pretty smoky, coffee like taste form the smell. It smells somewhat sweet even. Very pleasant.

The taste threw me off a little. It's certainly a stout. But I'm not sure where to place it in the land of imperials. It would make a very fine stout, but it's not as gripping as I've come to expect from most imperial stouts. It starts a little roasted. The roasted malt is close to being almost bock. Sort of roasted, sort of green. Not too strong and pretty smooth. The middle is full of sweetness. It has a great middle. Some cherry flavor in there and more chocolate. It has a little different malt in there. It finished by fading slowly to black. Sort of a alcohol/hop twinge, but really nothing special. It hangs out for awhile before leaving your tongue. It's a pretty smooth transition.

The mouthfeel is smooth. Not really and sharp bumps in there. It speaks right before the middle, but doesn't jump out and bite you. It's pretty easy going. That's both good and bad. I expected a stronger, rougher flavor coming from an imperial. But what does it matter. It's a fine brew all the same. There's no ABV listed, but I'll guess around 8. I'd be surprised to see it any higher than that.

All in all a darn good stout if you can find it. Pretty good if you like your stouts without the strong coffee/smoke/roasted flavor. It's in there, but not accentuated any. Very easy going down.

12vUnion, Oct 07, 2005
Photo of ecoboy
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

C'mere my little retiree! Time to take you off the shelf and see what your made of.

My, you are a dark one, and your head retention spanks Samuel Smith's back across the pond. Aroma of prunes and chocolate plus whole hosts of other notes is admirable. Trouble is, should your mouthfeel really be so thick and cloying, when I expect a slippery oiliness (Garrett Oliver is the first guy I read who mentions "tar" like it's a good thing; ain't enough tar and licorice here for my take) from your style? Yes, your power and complexity is evident, and you would be wonderful with sweet rich desert. I get the roasty and espresso. But I want acidity and more bittering, too.

Some folks are going to love this take on the style. I say it's enjoyable, but lacking.

ecoboy, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of beveragecaptain
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Pours out black with a brown head. The aroma is malty with a touch of coffee. Weak at first, but the aroma improves as the beer warms. Sweet, dark malty flavor. A little bit fruity. There is a chocolate flavor too. All the flavors are nice, but very subtle, probably too subtle. I like my imperial stouts fuller. An unexceptional version.

beveragecaptain, Mar 22, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: A 12 ounce standard brown glass bottle that has a high quality cream colored cartridge type paper with dark brown picture and lettering with the word ‘uplugged’ emblazoned across in a banner style box with a red background. Metallic red foil covers the crown cap and has a cream colored neck label that simply says ‘Imperial Stout’. No strength or freshness (does it need one?) listed.

Appearance: Almost pitch black body with some light bending qualities that produces a dark brown ‘fuzz’ at the edge of the glass. A thin but good looking tan head sits atop the beers torso but it lasts. Light conditioning but attractive appearance.

Nose: A nice coffee aspect sits amongst the roasted facets of the dark malts and a rather bitter sharp nasal ending. Not much hint of the alcohol in this one I have to say.

Taste: Bitter malts with some aged black coffee and a little astringent hop-bitterness. This is a nice enough offering, but I think it falls short of the moniker ‘Imperial’. It seems to lack some rudeness; it tickles and licks your balls as opposed to kicking you in them. Don’t get me wrong it is a nice enough offering, and I am no fan of judging a beer by its intended style, but it does lack some of the strong headed tortured teenager aggressive boldness that I typically like in my Imperial Stouts. The alcohol only really comes through in the ending. A very smooth strong tasty Stout that is easy on the senses.

Mouthfeel: This has a smooth body and a light creamy feel. Nicely textured and easy on the mouth, even easier to imbibe, it never offends. Light to average body but a late feel lends some nice ‘beef’ in the background; at least once the alcohol comes through in the latter third and after the swallow. Still average overall though.

Drinkability: The smooth creamy feel and the tasty bitter-sweet malts make for a nice drinkable extra Stout experience. The 12 ounce soon disappeared from view. Little effort was needed to take care of this one.

Overall: Lacks a little “ooopppmh” to be a great Imperial Stout, nevertheless, it is a good one, it like the Good Boy of Imperial Stouts that as a Father you want your Daughter to bring home. Maybe aging will lend this one some of the characteristics of the more complex, better variants of this style, but somehow I doubt it. Comparisons aside, I would most certainly drink this one again though, with little hesitation.

An Imperial ‘Na Zdravi’ to BigHuge for this one!

TheLongBeachBum, May 14, 2004
Photo of shippos
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured a dark brown almost black color witha a thin skimp head. sweet oily and sugary aroma. coffee at first in the taste with some mocha qualities, has a non-stylistic mouthfeel to it...light bodied, maybe better classified as a coffee stout. has a slight roasted bitterness coming through in the aftertaste.

shippos, Jun 29, 2005
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Unplugged Imperial Stout from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.