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Unplugged Smoked Rye Bock - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged Smoked Rye BockUnplugged Smoked Rye Bock

Educational use only; do not reuse.

62 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 62
Hads: 71
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 19
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Skidz on 10-01-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 62 | Hads: 71
Photo of ChimRichels
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - muddy brown with ruby highlights. Bone colored head leaves a thin ring and minimal lacing

S - Bubblegum, campfire, green olives. Some pine resin, chocolate.

T - Briney, smokey, a bit chocolatey. A manifestation of the nose.

M - Very smooth. Highly viscous, which is to be expected in a rye beer. Very much on point.

O - Excellent smoked beer, maybe the best I've had. The thick viscosity of rye compliments the rich decadence of the bock. The smokiness is the cherry on top.

EDIT: I just went through and read other reviews and noticed everyone pointing out it is 12%. Is this right?!?? I would have guessed it to be around 7%. If so, I think this beer has to be the most well-masked beer I've ever had. Absolutely NO hint of alcohol in the nose or taste.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle split in a stemmed glass. No date or info.

Thanks to Bnieman for digging this old brew out of his Dad's deep cellar!

A - This aged Unplugged pours a hazed golden amber color with a low off-white head. Low retention and a small ring of foam. Some chunks of floating yeast are expected.

S - Lightly smoky sharp rye and caramel malt aroma. Low earthy hoppiness with a larger smoothness.

T - More smoke appears in the flavor with a nice rye bite. Heavily malted bock flavor with an earthy finish.

M - Smooth, a little carbonation loss isn't really surprising. Medium-bodied, crisp and smooth finishing.

D - Wow, 12%? That must be a joke. With the age on this there wasn't a HINT of alcohol in it. Decent drinkability for a beer that's aged pretty gracefully.

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Photo of levifunk
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a small tasting recently. Reviewed from notes.

a - big yeast chunks. cloudy gold.

s - peat smoke and rye.

t - smoke and caramelized malt.

m - medium body. low carbonation.

had no idea this was 12%, wow. the booze has mellowed significantly.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into CCB snifer.

Pours 1/4 finger collar of head. Leaves some spotty lace. Color is a hazy burnt orange. Some sediment got through.

Aroma: I can tell this is a larger bock beer just from the aroma. Rich and malty. Toffee with some raisins. It shows notes of sweetness and cloves. It has the slightest touch of smoke. No roasted malts here.

Taste: Well, I found the smoke. The smoke flavors show a lot more in the taste. Not dominate, but present. A very well flavored bock. Very malty and sweet. Caramel and toffee flavors. The yeast shows a lot with cloves. Some dark fruit flavors, raisins. A bit of booze shows in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and then it smooths out. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry with malt and alcohol notes.

Overall, a really good bock/smoked beer. It wasn't overly smoked, but what was there complemented the bock flavors well. I had no idea this was 12% abv. Drinks pretty well.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours an amber color with no head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of wheat, caramel malts, and definitely some smoke. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes smokey, roasted malts, caramel malts, rye, and wheat.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - I thought this was a very nice beer. Very easy to drink for 12% ABV and some nice smokiness in the smell and taste. Would love to try again.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Age is roughly 4.5 years old. It's been in my possession for about 3 years. I broke it out at a recent tasting with Gonzoillini.

It was a crystal clear light brown with a tan head. I has the last of three pours and mine had an ungodly amount of sediment and chunks in it. I'm not offended by it but it hurts the appearance score.

It had a fair amount of smoke in the nose but not over the top. I have a feeling age has mellowed it quite a bit. I'm also getting just a little bit of rye as well. Overall a pretty muted nose.

The taste had a lot of burnt smoky carmelness to it. It was also pretty crisp at the end. Body was a little thin I thought and not as chewy as I would have thought for a 12% bock type beer. It was unbelievably smooth though and didn't hint at the ABV at all. A little bourbonesque notes to it but that could also be the smoke.

It was very smooth and very drinkable. I'm really glad I saved my last bottle for so long. I really hope NG makes another smoked beer soon.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another in the unplugged series. I only have two left I believe to complete the whole line, so I was thrilled to be able to knock this one off the list. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/21/2009.
The pour was interesting as at first there was a very nice amber color with amazing clarity. A nice head of white came up and over the top, settling down nicely into a firm pillow that coated the sides and really looked very nice. As it settled though, along came the floaties, and lots of them. This does not really throw me off per se, but I must make a note about it. Wondering how this was going to continue I lean in gently, finding a rich sour aroma, hmmm. Sour apples are the first thing that comes across my mind, but it was much more then that. Sweet, candy like notes as well, like sugary syrup mixed in with a rich sour note and a hint of some light grain, not sure what to make of this so I lean in for a sip. Quick hit of spice up front, rye I am assuming melds back in a delicious candy like flavor with a light tart bite to it. Not sure what I would call this still, but I am surprised, intrigued, and very happy with what I am finding. Light all around as the flavor was not heavy at all and lended itself very well to a fine session. As it warms the taste stays the same, smooth, even, delicious.
Overall this was easily the most interesting of the series for me and really had me guessing the entire time. Really nicely done and an interesting mix of flavors and feels. Again not really sure what to call it other then very, very good.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle obtained courtesy of Erdinger2003 as part of a trade extra. I can't thank you enough for raiding your cellar just out of sheer generosity.

The beer pours to a nice clear amber color. The carbonation is very active, but it keeps those floaties tumbling around indefinitely. No head on the pour, just a thin film.

The smell reminds me of Grape Nuts cereal, although I guess the easy argument would be that it smells like the raw cereal grains this beer was brewed with. Also has some berry esters. The alcohol is surprisingly mute for being a whopping 12% ABV. The dirty rye aroma and the smoke meld seemlessly, but neither are as pronounced as I would have thought, which is a good thing. Just because it says Smoked Rye on the label doesn't mean I need to be beat over the head with it. If there is one thing New Glarus does right, it's keeping things subtle, but not at the expense of keeping things interesting. That is what places them at the Upper Echelon of American craft breweries, IMO.

Anyways... The taste is very good as well, just as I would have suspected. The smoke is a little more pronounced, but still doesn't beat you over the head. The rye pokes its dirty little head out in the finish, accompanied by some fruity esters. Fairly dry with only a little bit of sweetness. The alcohol is very mellow as well. Either this beer spent a lot of time in the cellar mellowing out, or it was just that well crafted. Either way, I sure feel like I won the lottery with this one.

The body is fairly big and dry. The rye has a decent bite, combined with the alcohol bite. Carbonation is a little on the flat side, despite what the appearance shows off. Typical for a 12% ABV beer, however. Very well done, and quite drinkable for a beer that has so much going on. Too bad this was just a one time deal, because I would love to try one fresh to see how it compares.

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Photo of faernt
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I didn't know this beer was 12% ABV until I logged into this site. The large % is not overwhelming. Either is the rye. I sought out rye as I chose it to pair with an herbed chicken. It didn't show. I would call this a smoked bock. The smoke is light as well so I suppose I could call it a bock. However, the body and mouthfeel is big and viscous so I could call it a double bock.

It's a well made beer. It was full of floaties and I'd poured it into one of Jim Koch's "gift to us" glasses. Thanks Jim. The laser scoring that enervated the bubbles caused them to juggle the floaties. It really looks great. I'd never seen floaties juggled before.

I enjoyed it. The hops, as expected, weren't pronounced. This is my 100th review. What do you know? It's been fun.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. It was a very light color for a bock, kinda like an IPA. It was light brown/golden and there wasn't much head. Interestingly enough there was plenty of lacing on the glass. The appearance really lost points because there were big chunks of yeast swimming around in the beer. I actually resorted to pouring from one glass to the next through a sieve. It actually worked in that it shredded the chunks down to a more managable and less noticeable size.

The smell was strong on the smoke and the rye. Some nice european malts coming through too, very nice.

The taste was a balance between yeast, smoke, and rye. The rye gave it a little bitterness but not much. Not sure how old this is but I would imagine that by now the flavor will have changed a little bit. Nice pleasant aftertaste as well. Overall very enjoyable.

Body was medium, as it should be for a bock. It also helped to accentuate the flavors a little bit in that the mouthfeel wasn't distracting or there to mask anything. Very drinkable beer. Nice sipper but can be consumed quickly as well.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle from NFLMVP ( Thanks Bro ) to a glass mug. The liquid is a dark gold with good carbonation, The head is one fat thumb white and leaves some lace.

The smell is toasty nut bread and a mild smokey aroma.

The taste follows. Nice mild smoke over a bready malt.

The mouthfeel is think and syrupy with good carbonation for the style.

I love a good sipping bock and this one works for my. Prosit und Zum Wohl. MK

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Photo of balconybrew
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic. White fine bubbled head rose and fell, leaving a good deal of lace. The carbonation kept all the yeast in suspension. The aroma is stong of yeast (belgian maybe, hefe) and maybe a hint of rye and even less smoke. For the alcohol content, I don't get any warmth. The flavor is balanced, not too much or too little of anything. I miss the hops, but good for the style. It's rather light in the body for the alcohol content. It's a good beer, but not sessionable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fluorescent orange peel with a flurry of yeast chunks. Abundant bubbles keep the solids in constant motion, giving the interior a cluttered, busy look. At the top of the snifter is a two finger disc of orangish ecru foam that lasts longer than anticipated given the sky-high ABV.

Despite the tapering sides of the glass that are doing their level best to concentrate the nose, it isn't all that powerful. I can appreciate a surprising fruitiness and a whiff of smoke. Good point: there's no alcohol. Bad point: there's no rye. Although it hasn't yet reached its second birthday, I wonder if this big ale is past its prime.

Unplugged Smoked Rye Bock is pretty good beer, but it isn't as good as I thought it might be. My guess is that it was much better when fresh. This is a remarkably subtle beer given the alcohol content. While there isn't a huge amount of malt present, I'm now able to appreciate the spiciness of the rye.

Actually, the beer is exactly as advertised. It tastes like a bock with rye and smoke added. Thankfully, none of those flavor elements overwhelm the others. It occurs to me that a rich, malty doppelbock would have been a better base beer (and was the base beer that I was expecting). Even so, this is a worthwhile effort that stakes out original territory in the often unimaginative world of craft beer.

This might be the lightest 12.0% beer that I've ever consumed. It's also a wee bit too bubbled. Again, I have a feeling that bottle conditioning and age have contributed to each one of those negatives. On the other hand, given the rest of the beer's attributes, the mouthfeel isn't that discordant.

I would love it if the Careys would brew Smoked Rye Bock on a semi-regular basis. Not *this* Smoked Rye Bock, but the Smoked Rye Bock that I imagined this Smoked Rye Bock was going to be. For all my complaining, this is a pretty good little sipper that should ease me into my midday nap with nary a toss or a turn.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours with much fanfare of bubblage into a Belgian glass. A dirty, sediment-filled tangerine color with a large fluffy white lid. Nice lacing to boot.

Aroma - smells like a Belgian - sweet and yeasty, except with a light smokiness added.

Taste - rye and a general sweetness to begin. The smoky flavor develops around mid-palate as the sugars start to wane. They last well into the aftertaste, staying at a low but consistent level. A little tickle of alcohol in there, too. The rye and smoke go amazingly well together.

Mouthfeel - very smooth and velvety, right on for a bock. Carbonation is pretty high, body is about medium.

Drinkability - interesting and easy to drink. Don't know about sessioning with this, but it'd be tasty with anything grilled. Thanks Derrick!

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Photo of kirok1999
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, really different. Pours a brilliant dark gold with slight lacing and a minimal head.
Smells smoky and sweet, fruity and spicy.
Tastes first of smoke then the sweetness comes through along with some kind of earthy spicyness. The alcohol is very well hidden till after a few sips then it comes warming things up nicely. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, befitting the chunks of yeasties floating in the brew.
Probably wouldn't want more than one in an evening, even with a campfire burning nearby.

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Photo of Viggo
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to HogtownHarry for this treat!!

Pours a hazed golden, reddish hues, lots of floaties, thin white head, some spots, good retention. Smell is neat, very sweet malt, rye, spices, some sourness, very rich, huge complexity. Taste is sweet, some cider, fruits, nice smokiness, rye tang, very neat and enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, a very nice drink. Thanks a ton Harry!

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Photo of biegaman
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An enormous thanks to HogTownHarry for this rare, truly special gem!
Poured a deep orange colour, crowning of head, my glass would have a plethora of chunky yeasties floating throughout. A distinctly Berliner weisse aroma. Fresh, citruisy with a note of Brett-like lactic sourness to the yeast. Some perfumy caramel notes. Bits of pureed fruits -raspberries, currants. Mouthfeel hides the alcohol percentage extremely well, too well if anything. Boast the features of a nice eisbock. Flavour offers some tangy rind, estery malt grounded with darker rye malts. A fair bit of wheaty hefe like character, well blended. Only slight smoke character, but well suited. Considerably subtle, but well integrated. Great use of the Hamburg smoke malt. (Used as well as in the Schlenkerla we sampled prior). Drinkability far too easy. An awesome experiment. Again impressed with New Glarus.
Big thanks Harry!

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Photo of mcallister
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer courtesy of nflmvp has more floaties than any beer I've ever tried. A copper/golden with shades of crimson pours with a small white head that fades quickly and leaves very thin trace lace.

Nose is fabulous and hard too pull away from. Sweet vanilla lies underneath what seems too be a certain wood smoke. Butterscotch, and some sweet toffee are also present as well as some malty goodness.

This is one damn good beer. Very rich and creamy mouthfeel. Full of caramel, vanilla, and toffee goodness. The sweet smoked flavors blend perfectly and make this taste like sometype of dessert treat you would make over a camp fire. Very pleasant very drinkable and no signs of alcohol.

Highly recommended. Thanks MVP

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Callenak for the opportunity!

A: Lively carbonation. Very cloudy and murky, a dull pear juice color with cider highlights. Head is a finger tall, very light beige made up of semi tight bubbles.

S: Smells like prepared smoked ham just pulled out of the package. Some bologna, hot dogs and old rye as well.

T: Flavor sort of reminds me of smoked bacon bits. There are some underlying sweet malts in here. Some tomato soup, cooked strawberry, carrots and apricots which is all thanks most likely to the rye. Some brown sugar sweetness is blended well with a surprising yeast character that is more prevalent than expected. Like most smoked beers the smokiness is most alarming the first sip but relaxes as the mouth gets used to it. Finishes like a smoked bread...an exotic taste really. Alcohol is exquisitely hidden.

M: Full body and creamy. Mouthfeel is quite explosive on the palate.

D: Quite an interesting brew. I regret not having a plate full of deli meats to go along with this brew. I'm fortunate to have tried it.

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Photo of terrabyte
3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange/tan color with floating sediment. Small white head that disappears quickly.

Aroma has a hint of sweet citrus, but mostly I smell smoked sausage.

Sweet maple syrup with plums, raisins and caramel. There's a small amount of bite from the alcohol. Large amount of smoke covers the whole palette, although it doesn't taste like smoked sausage (as the aroma led on to be)

Quite carbonated, a little thick with a sticky syrup feeling.

Drinkability is high for the style and the ABV. I'm impressed.

I haven't had many smoked beers. In fact, only one so far, and it was undrinkable. So that is why I like this one. However, I don't see the point of buying a lot of these. There are other flavors I would rather invest in.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to dirtylou and the "these go to 11" BIF for this offering.

A: Pours a cloudy orange yellowish color with an initial one finger white head. Dissipation is quick, leaving no head. Super chunky--though settles after a good while.
S: A blend of aromas: From yeasty banana phenols to citrus to beef jerky. Starts out nice and soft and finishes with that harsh camp fire smokeyness.
T/M: Excellent balance on this one--you can tell that right from the beginning. Citrus notes dance the tango with the smoked flavors. Very soft and creamy across the palate, with a slighty dry sweet finish. Carbonation is almost non existent, except for subtle prickles on the tongue. Good strong body. abv of 12%? Goes completely masked. Chunks of yeast seem to get stuck at the back of the tongue--a grainyness gets more pronounced the more you drink.
D: Drinkable to an extent. Definately worth a try if you can get one of these one offs. New Glarus puts out some dandies.

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Photo of sacfly
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, no date
Pours a peach color with a thin white head. Lost of chunks in suspension. Smoke is immediately detected in the nose, as well as a spicy aroma I would normally associate with a Belgian double. Flavor is smoky but not as strong as expected from the aroma. Nice balance of smoke to sweet malt. Aftertaste is lightly smoky with a little sticky sweetness left on the tongue. The rye seems to come out more in the finish. Doesn’t linger long. Looks rather unappetizing with all the large chunks, but tastes very good. Drink this one from a stein.

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Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jpm30. A greyish tinge to the bock. Malt and smoke and roast barley and rye and yeast aroma, kind of walking through a European deli. A bit aggressive carbonation, yet refreshing. Understated smokey flavour. Smooth easy drink.I like rye,m I liked the spice notes from the yeast.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
2.63/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The beer pours out a deep hazy golden color with only a thin white head. Given the high ABV it's no surprise the crown disappears in almost no time leaving only the slightest collar and no lacing on the glass.

The nose is full of fruit esters and phenols that borders on the banana flavorings of a hefe. Plenty of golden sugar notes dominate with no hops and no alcohol sweetness of note.

Taste-wise this brew is a minor-league phenol bomb with an overabundance of banana notes. If I hadn't known better I'd have thought this was a Belgian Blonde ale. There were no traces of Smoke and no Rye flavoring... If I hadn't seen the other reviews described the tastes similarly I might have wondered if the beer wasn't mis-bottled. Certainly not the experience I was hoping for with this beer...

Mouthfeel was acceptable... The medium bodied beer had just enough carbonation to lighten up the palate but with no bittering there was a bit of a cloying aftertaste that coats the tongue.

Not a beer I'm likely to try again.

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Photo of expatsteve
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy golden/orange color. 1/2 inch head, with left some heavy suds and lacing on the glass. Low clarity and low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Sweet blend of raisins, maple and a hint of sourdough malt. Not as much smoke detectable in this as in other bottles I've had, maybe owing to age. Light apricots in a particularly sweet nose.

Taste: Thicker and sweeter than I remembered, this almost tasted like a Belgian Golden rather than a bock, with a little citrus and some orange and plum sweetness. Nonetheless, fruity maibock malts were detectable, along with mild smokiness on the front palate. Some mild raisins, molasses and caramels. Ever-so-slight alcoholic bite.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, sweet, with low carbonation. Light malt/smoke finish balance some of the sweetness.

Drinkability: This beer has aged in an interesting way, with more fruits and sugar in the beer and a mellowing of the smokiness. Has probably gained in complexity of flavors what it's lost in terms of bock style. I still have a bunch of these tucked away, so I'll continue to report on the flavor. Still quite drinkable, if a little harder to think of as a bock.

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Unplugged Smoked Rye Bock from New Glarus Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.