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Unplugged Smoke On The Porter - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged Smoke On The PorterUnplugged Smoke On The Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

195 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 169
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 7.99%
Wants: 34
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: abents on 11-08-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 169
Reviews by Jon:
More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark almost black brown with red hues and a healthy off-white head.

Aroma: Darn. I was hoping for a rauchbier but this isn’t it. At least I was forewarned when the label said “Smoke on the Porter” instead of Rauchbier as previously advertised by NG. That’s not to say that this beer doesn’t deliver. It does and I will say that I am pleased to see NG move away from barrel aged, funky, big beers. Ok, so to this beer…Smoke on the Porter has a subdued but ever-present woody smoked aroma blended with cocoa powder and touches of fruit…think grilled fruit. Very nice.

Taste: Dry and bitter chocolate balanced by sweet caramel completely wrapped up in smoke. Not off putting in the slightest, as many smoked and rauch beers are. One doesn’t necessarily have to be a rauchbier fan to enjoy this. Light smoke flavor lingers for some time.

Mouthfeel: Well balanced. Creamy and smooth. Could use a little beefing up as the body is quite light.

Drinkability: Goes down quickly and easily, especially for the style.

Doesn’t hold water against Alaskan but otherwise one of the best American smoked beers I’ve had.

Update: 11-28-07 - The last couple of bottle I've tasted seem a lot more smokey and meaty than the first. Perhaps a couple weeks in the cellar helped those flavors develop? At any rate, I'm enjoying this beer more and more.

Photo of weatherdog
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle date coded 3047 which I believe means bottled on the 304th day of 2007 which makes this beer a hair over 2 years old. It has been in my possession for almost that long.

Poured a deep brown into a tulip with a distinct lack of head during the pour. After the pour is completed the bubbles rise to the surace and create a half finger beige head that was quickly transformed into a ring of bubbles on the perimeter of the glass.

Aroma of roasted barley and coffee with a lingering smoke. Also has a little boozy sweetness reminiscent of a RIS which was surprising considering the gravity.

The taste is this full roasted barley explosion then it goes a little sweet. As the sweetness is taken away by the carbonation the smoke smacks you in the face. It is awesomely smoky and has this wonderful baconesque aftertaste. My uninformed wife's only comments was 'alright but tastes like bacon'. This description is fairly accurate since the label alludes to smoking the malt in a meat house with applewood. The smoke just sticks with you long after a sip and it is not at all unpleasant.

It drinks like a beer that is bigger than it is. With only 6.1% ABV it drinks like it is in the 9-10% range. Usually when that is said it is meant like it tastes boozy but this is nothing of the sort. It just has this residual sweetness that makes it seem like a big beer and almost forces you to savor this one in small sips. While this hampers the drinkability a little tad I love that it is forcing me to slowly enjoy the beverage and take it all in.

Oh man I am sad that this is my last bottle of this stuff. I picked up a 4-pack in my beer advocate infancy and enjoyed the other three before truly appreciating the style and intricacies. I am glad I have held on to this one for almost 2 years and can now have the proper experience. A wonderful smoked beer and here's to hoping that this one makes a return appearance on the NG lineup.

Photo of sgoodship
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Given to me by my good friend Brian - thanks. This is my first New Glarus and an unplugged is not a bad way to start.

A: Very active drink - it could barely wait for me to pour it. Nice dark almost black. Redish mahogany around the edges against the light. Some active carbonation visible. Poured a nice 1.5 finger, soft, creamy off-white head. Great lacing.

S: Great nose. Coffee, chocolate, oak, smoke and caramel. Can't go wrong.

T: Lovely big malt taste. Some caramel sweetness but a nice burnt toasted essence. Bit of a coffee bitter aftertaste - not very hoppy. I haven't had much experience with smoked porters but I can imagine how they can easily be overdone or unauthentic in taste. This is well done in my very limited experience.

M: Creamy and smooth. Nice amount of carbonation to keep it lively. Medium/light body. The mouthfeel seemed to degrade throughout the drink - started to feel thin toward the end.

D: It's a simple drink (or at least deceptively simple) and well balanced. Just slipped down. I couldn't consume it fast enough. I would have been happy to consume a few more right on the spot too! Maybe I can beg Brian to give me another? Is this really 6.1 ABV? Makes me want to dig into New Glarus and see what else they have for me!

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

New Glarus Brewing Co.'s Unplugged series is where the owner/brewmaster gets to go out on a limb. What is brewed generally is outside the box and beers from this series may or may not be brewed again. Both smoked Wisconsin malt and smoked malt from Bamberg Germany were used to brew this beer.

Dense mass of hasty cascading bubbles form three fingers of rocky tan head, the lacing from this is epic. Creamy dark cocoa, mild char and even smokiness in the nose, very aromatic. Creamy and smooth with a depth of crispness in the medium body. The smoky character stays true with an even keel of complex flavor throughout. Hops are very mild, the malt really shines with a soft cake-like sweetness within. Suggestions of dark-roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate come to mind. A long road of slowly fading smoke and roasted malt in the end.

No doubt, the balance of this smoked porter is unsurpassed. You know it's there but it never comes over the top and that sets it apart from the rest. When Bostonians think of beers like this, fresh-shucked oysters come to mind--both shellfish and fatty fish like salmon will do well for a pairing.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into my glass an extremely deep, dark brown that edges towards black with a inch of creamy, bubbly light tan head atop the brew. Thick patchy lacing all the way down the glass. Aromas start off with big, slightly roasted dark malts immediately swept up by a strong smoke aroma, akin to a wood smoke campfire! Visions of yummy smoked meats come to mind. Touches of chocolate and a bit of coffee lurk underneath, but the woody smoke aroma lingers on.

First sip brings a nice dark roasted malty body upfront that quickly moves into dense smoky territory. Again, wood smoke comes to mind along with smoked meats. Notes of chocolate and coffee with a mellow fruity aspect move through as the brew goes down. It finishes off with a touch of bitterness and lingering smoky aftertaste. Good stuff!

Mouthfeel is solidly medium bodied with a smooth creaminess all the way down. I found this brew really enjoyable to drink and actually quite refreshing as well. Overall, a solid, tasty smoked porter from New Glarus. I enjoy the smoked beers and this one definitely ranks up there. Would like to see more brewers take a stab at the style.

Photo of FatheadBrew
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark, chocolate brown with deep red highlights. Very little in the way of foam (light tan) that disappears quickly. Looks oqaque and rich.

S: Smell is dominated by smoke. A very pleasant smoke aroma. Can also pick up some oak?

T: Sweet and malty upfront, maybe some chocolate malt. Finish is all smoked malt flavor. The smoke lingers for a long time and gets a little bitter. Overall, an enjoyable flavor.

M: Medium/Full. Start is less than finish for me.

D: Goes down ok. I could see myself having maybe 2 at one sitting.

Another good beer from New Glarus. I liked this one much better than the last "Unplugged." (Bourbon Bock) Recommended to anyone that likes Rauchbiers.

Photo of badbeer
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown/black with dark red when tilted to the light. Head is a light tan color that retains well and leaves some nice lacing. Smell is roasty, with some smokiness (though not much) and has hints of sweet cherries. Additional bottles I have had have given me a fresh, juicy bacon aroma; would be great with breakfast. Taste is roasty right at the start, leading into a little bit of sweetness from lactose followed by a lighter fruitiness (pear-like?) and of course has a lingering smoky finish. Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium body and on the lower side of carbonation. Good beer, I'll have to try it again in something other than a pint glass.

Photo of Mora2000
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to angrypirate06 for sharing this beer.

The beer pours black with a tan head. The aroma is strong smoke and roasted malt. The flavor is a meaty BBQ smoke with some roasted malt. The smoke is the predominant flavor but it doesn't overpower. Medium, slightly creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a dense black body with a thick yellowish-tan head with a big bubble carbonation.

S- This beer has a black roasted malt aroma with a coffee roasted malt note followed by a light salty smoke smell and a faint damp peat quality.

T- The black roasted malt is big and followed by a soft cola note and a soft smoked meat flavor. There is a lighter caramel malt taste that increases as the beer warms. There is a soft bitter black malt and smoke tartness at the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture.

D- This beer is a good solid porter first and that is supported by a nice salty smoke undertone. The smoke is a great flavor and doesn't have the band-aid peat flavors that many smoke beers do.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Homerbag for the trade.

Pours a deep black with ruby tones and a very stable and creamy light tan head that leaves ok lacing. Nose is smoked malts and roast, peat. Taste follows with good smoked and roasted malt flavor. A nice vanilla creaminess through the middle. Ample carbonation. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, great viscosity. Drinkability is very nice for the style. Overall I am quite impressed with this one. The smoke element is right in between subtle and obvious. So if you dont like balls out smokiness (AK smoked) but you want more than some wussy microhint of smoke (stone smoked) this is perfect for you. A good and interesting brew. Glad I have a couple more of these to enjoy.

Photo of cokes
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Since this was named as an Unplugged Release circa early Spring of this year ('07), it has been listed as "Rauch" on New Glarus' website (and still is, at least as of yesterday). When I found out it was actually a smoked porter, I felt downright betrayed. On the other hand, I've been bandstanding for NG to cease the barrel-aged wild-yeast Unpluggeds out of their numbing sameness. Ultimately, I got met half way, up front.

And I'll concede a little too, as my deflatedness over the smoked porter instead of a true-styled Rauch is short-lived once a glass of this sits in front of me.

It pours opaque, the darkest cola-brown possible, and basically presenting as jet black unless held to a strong light. The tan head is tight and short, but longstanding as a fluffed collar.
The nose is where smoke always shines...or smolders brightest. And it does here with campfire, cured ham, and cocoa powder.
Into the mouth, there's a deep roasted nut, and dilute coffee essence up front, as it ventures sweeter towards hot cocoa just prior to the smoke. Then the smoked applewood and Bamberg malts usher in campfire stories, fireplaces, burn barrels full of newspaper and autumn leaves. Meatiness is subtler, but smoked beef brisket drips out near the end. But this never truly ends, and the linger is noteworthy unto itself. After the sips, as late October smoke still swirls around the mouth, a sweetness is found anew with a burnt vanilla flair, and a revisit to marshmallowed cocoa.
Medium light in build, carbonation is low, slow and steady. This modest build reflects the beer itself, and ensures this as a drinker and very sessionable and food-friendly. It could easily overpower, and it doesn't. It shows restraint without feeling restrained.
For those of us in Wisconsin that can't track down a steady supply of Alaskan's version, this is a very worthy replacement...while it is available.
A triumphant return to form for the Unplugged lineup. My initial misgivings seem utterly foolish now.

Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is about smoked, not about porter. There are some porter tastes, but all I get is beautiful smoke and woodiness, that carry you. Very lovely drinkability, backed by an understated sweetness and a little chocolate. Another great unplugged, another great WI state beer. Thanks Phys21ca.

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, scooped a 4pack from somewhere around here

appearance: pours into a great dane imperial pint glass, big chocolate-mahogany body with a creamy tan head and pretty strong lacing

smell: roasty and chocolatey, beefy smoke currents, creamy caramel malts - nice nose on this porter

taste: creamy and delicious...beef jerky and smokey undertones compliment the strong malt structure...dark chocolate and very roasty

mouthfeel: creamy and medium-light body

drinkability: good

Photo of nickd717
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle shared at a tasting. Thanks to whoever brought this - unfortunately I lost track by this point.

Pours very dark brown with a small off-white head that fades to a film.

Awesome smoky and roasty aroma, with hints of meat in there. Maybe a little chocolate. Smells pretty much like you'd want it to.

Flavor is also great and smoky with roasted malt, smoked meat, toffee, and dark chocolate. Really interesting and good beer.

Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel and lasting smokiness.

Drinkability is high. What do you know, New Glarus brewed another great beer. These guys are definitely one of my favorites nowadays.

Photo of kenito799
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, Porter tasting.
Brown-black, thin ring of white foam.
2008. Fruity cherry pipe tobacco smokiness on the nose.
Vanilla, more restrained smokiness but very nicely integrated. Very pleasant mild fruitiness balanced by smoke. Excellent effort, as usual.

Photo of russpowell
4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this one from czoch75, cheers Clint!

Pours a chestnut tinged mahogany with 2 fingers of tan colored head. Good lacing & very good head retention

S: Mesquite notes & hints of vanilla

T: A bit of smoked ham, vanilla beans, roasted malt, & dryness up front. Some faint herbalhops surface as this warms, along with mocha, fainter smokeyness, plus nioe vanilla presence. Finishes with roasty grain, a touch of peppery rye?? & chococlate

MF: Smooth, medium bodied, low carbonation

Drinks super, easily on the best porters I've had in a long time!

Photo of MMAJYK
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Deep chocolate brown; opaque. Not much head and looks slick and oily.

S. Typical roast with the a light touch of campfire smoke. No hops just sweet malts. Creamy.

T. Light coffee and cocoa mixed with smoke up front followed by bittering hops that balance nicely. The finish is a little bit dry but the mouth is left with a light touch of sweetness.

M. Thin in the mouth and medium carbonation. Definitely lacks a little in body.

D. Not a session beer, but a great one to try. The smoke is a little much in the taste and light in the nose. I'd flip-flop that to suit my tastes, but who am I?

Photo of cannabanaceae
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Look was Pitch black, tan brownish head, some lace.

Smelled of smoked wood, medium malt, burnt sugar, and oats.

Taste didnt have as much smoke as aroma. Has a mellow smokey taste that is very smooth with a cleansing, smooth mouthfell that would go great with BBQ. Leaves a very little hop bitterness in the finish.

Very good beer and sessionable, but not as exciting as I expected. Not sure of the ABV or price. I would love more smoke flavors in this brew.

Photo of shbobdb
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus is a ballsy brewery, and I like that. Take this beer, a lesser brewery would have released a bourbon barrel aged extreme what-have-you beer. But that ain't the way Dan rolls. This is a nice session beer that happens to be fantastically well done, with a hint of smoke for added complexity. It just works on being good, that's all. Nothing else. Unplugged is right, they are working on showing off their craft while other breweries play up their pyrotechnics and costumes. America needs more beers like this.

I will say that even though I do praise NG for having a lighter touch with their Unplugged beers, I think the touch here may have been a little too soft. The base beer is less a porter and more of a dry stout. It is just so light.

The carbonation is very light, just a nice prickle on the tongue. Then there is a quick hit of light roastiness that fades into just the right amount of smoke. Rauchbiers are too much for me, but the taste of ham worked well with the initial hit of roasted malt. A little bit of chocolate fades in-and-out in the finish and the smokiness fades into a light fruitiness.

It is a very good showcase of what smoked malt can do in a way that heavier-handed rauchbiers don't. That is great in terms of a "getting to know your malts" perspective. But I wish the base beer had a little more to it. Not in an ueber-imperial way, but just a more robust beer. There are any number of porters that I can name with more ooomph and a little of that ooomph would work with the smoke. Good stuff though.

Photo of morimech
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a nice tan head that has good retention. Abundant amounts of lacing is left on the glass.

I smell smoked meat, wood smoke, but also I detect some dark fruit.

Heavy with flavors of smoke. Somewhat meaty with a lingering bitterness. Typical porter flavor qualities are there as well. Seems like it would be a very good porter even without the smoke elements.

Has a surprisingly thin body. Carbonation is low.

The intense smoke flavor limits the amount I would want to drink. Still a very good porter and worth a visit.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a snifter, the liquid is a nice dark brown with very good carbonation. The head is a big 2 fingers tan and leaves nice lace.

The smell is smoky but mellow and nice some chocolate malt as well. Certainly not over dune.

The taste follows nice taste very nice. Mellow smoky wood and a great malt base, Really nice.

The mouthfeel is good nice better then medium body and good carbonation.

The drinkability is very good, I can't wait to try this again. another fine brew from NG. Keep up the great work.

Prosit und Zum Wohl. MK

Photo of alleykatking
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Review from notes.

A- Pours out a dark brown color...almost black. One finger tannish head comes rising up and dies down lightly. Leaves nice streaking lacing into the glass.

S- Big smoked meats on this one....bacon mostly. This makes my mouth water a little bit. Some light roasted malts with some faint bittersweet chocolate malts in the background. Hints of come and go of coffee as I try to pick out anything else....bacon mostly though. That's not a bad thing right?

T- Big roasted malts right in the front end of this one. The roasted malts give way to light bittersweet chocolate light presence. Then it hits you...what is that might you ask? Well the smoked flavor of course. This runs throw until the end and big on the bacon flavor once again. The alcohol seemed to be a little mellow to me which I didn't mind.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts and ligth smoked flavor left on the palate..while the aftertaste is taken over by a smoked bacon flavor. Flavors blend together nicely for the most part. Light oxidation...very light if that.

D- This was a very interesting beer that I would like to visit again someday. New Glarus has surprised me with there Unplugged Series. Am looking forward to trying more and more from them. Would suggest to anyone that wants to try a good smoked porter...or else a bacon beer!

Photo of akorsak
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JAYW for this foil-wrapped 12 oz bottle.

A: The porter is dark, the color of Hershey's chocolate syrup. Lighter coffee colors only emerge at the sides of the glass. A thick tan-colored head blankets the mouth of the glass.

S: The nose combined dark chocolaty malts with a smokehouse aroma. The two aspects share the stage, one of the few smoked ales that allows the underlying beer to emerge.

T: I don't think that I've ever had a shoddy unplugged beer. This one brings together the full-bodied porter, chocolate and burnt graints, with lush smoky rauchbier. The porter, up front and at the end, sparkles with a full roasted flavor. The finish, especially, is loaded with porter malts. The middle of the ale shows off the smoke, delicious with a curehouse flavor that fits naturally with the porter. A real winner.

M: Mmmm bacon. The smoked malts are a great match with the porter, bringing out both flavors with greater intensity.

D: I would spend a weekend sipping on this heavenly brew. This is a meal in a glass.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear black color porter with a nice foamy head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma consists of light smoke with some notes of light coffee. Taste is a nice mix between some creamy roasted coffee notes with a lingering smoke final. Body is a bit light for the style with some good carbonation. Some additional smoke and a fuller body would have improved this beer in my mind but still is a great achievement as is.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 3047 on the neck.

Thanks to bnieman and his Dad for breaking this out of the "beer museum" that is his cellar.

A - Dark mocha brown with no head that even be roused by a swirl. The beer has a nice clarity with ruby highlights showing through.

S - Light notes of smoke waft in around the mocha roasted malt aroma. The nose is good, but has low presence and isn't very complex.

T - Lice heavy smoke flavor with a strong malt backing of boldly roasted malt. No hops to speak of in this one.

M - Lighter-bodied and crisp with a roasted smoke dry finish.

D - Crisp and nice, this has good drinkability for a smoke beer. Especially a beer with the age on it. I've been finding the Unplugged series beers to stay good for quite a while.

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Unplugged Smoke On The Porter from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.