Unplugged Bourbon Barrel Bock - New Glarus Brewing Company
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Ratings: 113 | Reviews: 102 | Display Reviews Only:
4.14/5 rDev +4.3%
I'm not sure which has changed more in the 7 years that this has been in the cellar, this beer or my taste/experience with beer.
A - Slightly cloudy, dark brown. A small amount of large bubbles when poured.
S - Very sweet and sour with hints of cherry and bourbon.
T - Very sour at first, cherry, toffee and malty followed by sweet vanilla bourbon.
O - I can't get over how good this beer is after sitting in the cellar for 7 years. I don't remember liking this much when it was fresh, but I am glad that I have another one in the cellar after having this one. I have found many great beers and breweries in the 7 years since this beer was released, but my heart still belongs to New Glarus. Prost!
05-09-2014 22:41:38 | More by Bowers-Brew
3.94/5 rDev -0.8%
Reviewing the Unplugged Bourbon Barrel Bock from New Glarus Brewing out of New Glarus, Wisconsin. I was lucky enough to win this 2007 release, a New Glarus tick I long ago gave up on, in a raffle recently.
June 2007 vintage bottle served in a Perennial snifter/tulip hybrid glass and enjoyed on 08/15/13.
Appearance: Pours a clean, but translucent copper color that is free of floaties or haze. Has a wisp of head off the pour that totally settles, resulting in a liquor-like appearance. Minimal head or retention. 3.25/5
Smell: Primarily vanilla and caramel in the nose. There's a little bit of oak and even less dark fruit too, but it is really just malty/sweet vanilla and caramel interacting pleasantly here. Unknown ABV, but not a whiff of booze. 4/5
Taste: Taste follows the nose, but with a little fizziness in the finish. Caramel upfront, followed by vanilla. Mild cherry and tobacco flavors in the finish. Dark fruit undertones. The flavor components here meld almost seamlessly. Some sherry-like fruitiness comes through towards the finish as this beer warms up. No negative oxidization character is present, which is surprisingly given the age of this brew. This bottle was clearly stored well. 4/5
Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium bodied with very very low carbonation. This beer is not flat, though it is closer to undercarbonated than appropriately carbonated. That said, there is a little fizzy life in the finish that I did not expected given its headless, non-effervescent appearance. Malty sweet, but not cloying. 3.75/5
Overall: Acquiring older bottles often scares me due to the unknown factor and exponential importance of proper storage over time. I was surprised how well this beer was holding up given how over-the-hill the Unplugged Iced Barleywine was. While this beer is nothing overly complex, unique or epic in flavor, it is easy drinking and quite smooth. The sweetness here does not layer on the palate in a way that inhibits drinkability, and there is no booziness to speak of whatsoever. I am certainly glad to have finally ticked this one, but it is a not a must-try brew.
Cost: $5 for a 12 oz bottle. If you manage to find one these days, I doubt it will be that cheap.
08-16-2013 03:27:46 | More by jegross2
4.66/5 rDev +17.4%
In my cellar for awhile, thought it time to see how this one's aging.
A: copper color, slightly cloudy, some head but thin veil
S: deep rich bourbon and vanilla, but not overpowering with malt base, deep and rich
T: somewhat thin in body but good, surprisingly light for 20 plato, malt, no oxidation, good vanilla and bourbon with ever so slight brett, well-made beer
M: incredibly smooth and mellow, well-balanced
O: unique and a pleasure to drink
04-20-2013 16:20:37 | More by wisrarebeer
3.78/5 rDev -4.8%
A- Quickly disipating head on a red body. Some lacing left behind.
S- Sort of a sour bourbon aroma.
T- Tart cherries. Bourbon is still there but is muted until the end of each sip.
M- Medium to medium-thin mouthfeel. Below average carbonation.
D/O- Yum, a sipper and great. Has held up if you ask me. Worth seeking out inf you're dedicated to the series. Thanks ruizjoseph!
02-19-2012 23:05:57 | More by Duff27
4.25/5 rDev +7.1%
Pours a cloudy dark ruby/chestnut brown color with mahogany edges and a half finger off-white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Spotty lacing.
Complex aroma with a prominent barrel character that doesn't overpower the sweet and roasted malt notes. Hints of toasted oak, vanilla and bourbon along with some caramel sweetness, chocolate malt, toffee burnt toast and hazelnut.
Medium bodied with some soft carbonation up font and a well integrated barrel presence that lingers throughout with becoming a booze bomb. Dry toasted oak along with some vanilla and coconut smooth out the sweet bourbon flavor and there are plenty of sweet and roasted malt notes underneath preventing it from becoming one dimensional. Hints of toffee, caramel, hazelnut, dark fruit and choclate as well as some dry, roasted coffee bean. Complex yet very easy to drink.
01-03-2012 03:05:12 | More by corby112
4.1/5 rDev +3.3%
Another bottle thanks to Jason.
A: A dark orange color with a white head that's fast fading.
S: Nice caramel and toffee presence with a pleasant amount of bourbon. Bread and a little vanilla. Oxidation is evident but not inappropriate for a near 4 year old beer - faint paper notes with sherry.
T: Rich toffee with trailing caramel and a nice bourbon presence. This has held up quit well. Smooth and malty with low bitterness.
M: Moderate carbonation and medium body. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth.
Overall: This has aged well and is pretty damn good.
06-25-2011 18:00:54 | More by HopHead84
4/5 rDev +0.8%
note: didn't actually have this on tap, I only say that to log a separate review.
Had this for a second time at a small tasting recently. Reviewed from notes.
a - light brown/red. low carbonation and head.
s - bourbon, very tart smell. the tart fruitiness and bourbon is resemblant of the new R&D BB Kriek.
t - bourbon, tart fruit, caramel, vanilla, and some booze.
m - medium body with lower carbonation.
I was very confused why I was picking up tartness from the beer...a bock. I didn't pick it up when I had it earlier this year. I looked up the description on NG website and read this "Wild Brett yeast sings in harmony to the tune of Bock." Now it makes sense. I'd say the Brett is kicking in. If you have a bottle, you can expect that this beer is becoming more wild and the bourbon/caramel flavors will be taking a back seat from here on out.
10-28-2010 18:35:03 | More by levifunk
United Kingdom (Wales)
4.2/5 rDev +5.8%
Poured into snifter.
Pours very little beige head. Color is a clear golden bronze.
Aroma: Bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel malt. Very warm. Lots of barrel aging shows. An awesome bock.
Taste: Warm bourbon with oak. Vanilla and toffee flavors. Sweet and boozy, but well done.
Mouthfeel: Warm, smooth, and creamy. Medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends dry, warm, and malty.
Overall, one of the best bocks I have had. A ton of great flavors and the bourbon really adds a nice layer to it. Pretty drinkable as well.
08-07-2010 03:39:19 | More by mothman
4.13/5 rDev +4%
Amber/light root beer color, with clarity and a lively albeit quickly dissipating head, minimal lace.
Smells of raisin bread, oxidized wine, biscuits grape jelly and a shotgun in need of cleaning.
The bourbon barrel aging is the first and loudest notion in this bock, although the bourbon-ness itself has slid into something even sweeter. A goodish amount of that vinous notion in the nose has shone through in the mouth. Ideas of some semi-evaporated port wine come forth. Maple sap that is still a couple hours of reduction away from being syrup. Gooey sticky buns. Alcohol is basically not noticeable.
Thick and slick in the mouth, the CO2 has mostly escaped the beer within 5 minutes of pour.
Plenty drinkable. For any folks still holding on to some of this, here is my recommendation: Split a bottle into two snifters and share with a friend after a good hearty meaty dinner. This can step right in there in place of a good English barleywine as a very nice desert beer.
Glad I laid a couple of these aside in the cellar.
07-19-2010 19:59:09 | More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
4/5 rDev +0.8%
From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.
a - Pours a murky, amber color with no head or visible carbbonation.
s - Smells of bourbon, oak, fruit, and vanilla.
t - Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, and oak.
m - Medium body and low caronation. Easy to drink.
d - A very nice beer with lots of bourbon and vanilla to it. Would like to try again.
07-17-2010 18:40:25 | More by mdfb79
3.88/5 rDev -2.3%
New Glarus UBBB pours up with a light carbonation that creates a low tannish white head that barely rings the slightly dull deep auburn-bistre brown body. The nose is quite complex with a wonderfully inviting rich melanoidin maltiness that's reminiscent of freshly baked Tin Vienna bread. There's just a hint of fruitiness, hop spiciness and a noticeable alcohol with traces of bourbon, oak, tobacco, vanilla and oxidation. The flavor is dominated by a rich, chewy melanoidin maltiness that is marked by a light spicy bitterness. The medium full-bodied finish is a touch syrupy with a cream sherry-like consistency combined with a chewy, grainy complexity. This finely crafted limited release offering from New Glarus puts an interesting twist on a continental favorite and comes highly recommended to all malt lovers. My only regret is not drinking a bottle sooner. Here's to live & "Unplugged!"
02-15-2010 06:28:10 | More by Beertracker
3.63/5 rDev -8.6%
A: Pours a amberish hue with a small cream colored head. No real retention and no lace noted.
S: Nice big blast of bourbon, vanilla, and sweet candy like malts.
T: Wonderful almost sour like wood flavor up front. Mild vanilla goes well with toffee, and brown sugar. Light chocolate seems to mingle with hints of dark fruit.
M: On the fuller side of medium, light carbonation, smooth.
D: Drinkable, and pretty damn tasty.
02-13-2010 14:57:27 | More by tpd975
4.1/5 rDev +3.3%
12oz bottle via trade thanks to badbeer, consumed on the Caltrain on New Years Eve out of a clear plastic cup (hey, I couldn't risk my good glassware). Looks like this bad boy was released in June 2007, making it 2-1/2 years old. The age has done it well it seems.
Pours a somewhat cloudy brown color with a two-finger beige head and good retention.
Aroma is bourbon, wood, caramel malt, and some vanilla.
Flavor is very nice and complex with lots of caramel and toffee as well as some apparent Munich malt, lots of oaky flavors, vanilla, sherry, and of course bourbon. A little oxidized from age, but I think this helps the beer more than it hurts it. There is also a little bretty tartness in there, which works well.
Medium-full body and smooth on the palate with a great long finish.
Drinkability is good for the style and ABV, which I'm guessing is in the neighborhood of 9%. Really like this one.
01-02-2010 20:38:17 | More by nickd717
4.13/5 rDev +4%
Thanks to eyncognito for letting me lift one of these off of him in a great trade...always fantastic to get a couple of beers you're hankerin' for in a single swoop. Thanks Ian!
Split the 12 oz. bottle with the wife. Barely a pop & little swirl in this two-plus year old bottle (I presume). Deep amber. Smells astoundingly sweet with a subfloor of the barrel.
This Bourbon Barrel Bock tastes dandy. A maelstrom of stuff whirling around in the pint glass. Toffee is on top, with the bourbon coming along close behind. Vanilla & a mite tang of brettish cherry round out the morass, giving it simultaneously a smoothness with a remarkable little jilt at the end. Nice. No idea what this tasted like fresh, but at this age the brewe has integrated everything into a smoothly running Bock. Six ounces aren't enough, but this is a sipper.
Excellent beer. Another great Unplugged, say it ain't so? Is there anything in this series that isn't? Man. Bring this one back, please!
09-22-2009 02:53:20 | More by maximum12
Unplugged Bourbon Barrel Bock from New Glarus Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.