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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.

195 Ratings

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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
Photo of NOOGIE
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was hoping to get my hands on the new unplugged, seeing that it was giving a limited release as all unpluggeds are.

First I poured the beer in my mug from a 12 oz bottle.

It poured a dark brown that you couldn't see through. Very little foam. It had that unique smell as all new glarus beers do, to me at least. This one had a smoky smell to it, which made me think of a good restaurant. That smoky smell also lingered into the taste with hints of coco, which made it enjoyable. A good mouth feel, which made the drinkabilty easy as well.

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 demcorhip
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great looking porter. Black, lets no light through its dark body, even around the edges of the snifter. One finger tan head on the pour, subsides into a thin collar. Intricate, fine, sticky clumps of lacings cling to the side of my drinking vessel.

Nutty, roasty, and slightly smoky. Even a touch of anise before the leafy earthiness that goes quite nicely with the smoke character.

Mild and slightly creamy nuttiness gives way to roasted flavours, more like espresso than chocolate. A hint of anise that quickly gives way to some fruity esters that hint at apple and cherry, the smoke then makes itself known. The hops are quite subdued, with a mild qualities of decaying leaf and earth.

A very good brew, almost medium in body. A good amount of roasted barley and smoked malt provide the main counterpoint to the creamy and nutty malts. Fairly smoky, reaches a pleasant balance. Hops take the backseat, and don't detract from whats going on in this beer.

A nice smoked porter. Looking forward to taking this head to head with Stone and Alaskan's versions. Suppose i better buy some O'Fallons and through that into a smoky porter mix. I suspect this offering would measure up quite nicely. Its pretty drinkable for what it is, will be interesting to see how this one ages.

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 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 jj21
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Horse & Plow
Pours a still deep brown with a nice tan head with hints of red. The head settles nicely and retains for longer than I cared to wait! The aroma was a bit overwhelming at first. Almost like opening a bottle of liquid smoke at first, but mellows out nicely to reveal a Carmel-dark fruit base. The flavor is a wallop of smoke followed by sweetness followed by a nice hop finish. It almost has too much smokiness for me. Surprisingly, a very light beer. Much lighter than I expected at 9.5%. Laying this down for a while should do wonders. VERY good!

Photo of brewcrew76
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black with deep brown hues and 2 fingers of tan head. Some spots of tan lacing and a skim of head remain.

S - Smoked malt with some roasted malt and a hint of chocolate. The smoke settles as it warms and some oatmeal porter aromas evolve.

T - Smoke, roasted malt and caramel with a touch of chocolate. The smoke settles at times and the caramel and chocolate come into play a bit more.

M - On the light side of medium with light carbonation.

D - I am not a big fan of smoked beers but I enjoyed this one more than Alaskan Smoked porter. The smoke verges between flavorful and subtle.

Photo of twbrewer
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours black with a dark ruby color when back lit.Very little to no head with no lacing.

S-The smell is all smokey with a dark roasted malt background.It smells very rich.

T-First taste is all smoke and malt but does have a slight hop bitterness to round it out.I'm glad it doesn't taste as smokey as it smells.Not much to it,not to complex.

M-Light body,crisp smooth feel with very little carbonation.

D-It is a smooth beer and somewhat easy to drink,it's not my favorite offering from New Glarus,but in the right mood I would try it again.

Photo of ejquin
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep black with nice white head. Fades quick but leaves nice lace.

S: Great smelling beer. Smoked applewood definitely comes through, with a hint of hop and some malt. Smelled like a smokehouse BBQ.

T: Nice smokey taste balanced by a tinge of hop brightness, followed by a roasted malt backbone. I felt the beer was relatively one dimensional. Don't get me wrong, I liked the taste a lot, there was just not a whole lot of depth there.

M: Smooth with light carbonation. A bit thin feeling to me

Drinkability is good.

Ovr: This is a nice beer, and I liked it. I thought it had a chance to be great, but as is often the case with porters, to me, this one lacked depth and was a little thin for my tastes.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I agree that this beer is pretty good; and a fine example of this "Unplugged" series, which has been a bit hit&miss to me. This beer is smoke-y and a nice sampling of summer sausage flavor I’ve found in other smoked beers without the challenging intensity that some of those beers offer. Quite nice.

This beer pours a non-viscous but rich black that is nearly opaque. Head was rich and composed of tiny off-white bubbles. Intially, I had maybe 2cm of it atop my pint glass although this faded to 5mm coating that covers the breadth of my beer (rim to rim coverage on the glass). Aroma is a bit smokey, and offers some summer-sausage aroma that I’ve found in other beers, like Schlenkerla, although this beer’s smokiness is not overpowering in its intensity. The smokiness is up-front in this beer’s flavor; I get a lot of the smoked-sausage taste right at the beginning and in the front of my mouth. At the finish the dark roastiness becomes evident. I think this beer would be pretty good without the smokiness; I don’t get the impression that the smokiness is covering up anything unpleasant. Mouthfeel is very dry and cinder-y. This beer is very drinkable for a smoked beer (without being boring)...most beers of this style are more challenging for me to drink than this particular example.

I would highly recommend this beer, even if you’ve not enjoyed other smoked beers. I picked up a 12oz single of this at 3 Cellars in Franklin, WI.

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

Dark leather brown with ruby edges. Finger of solid, dense, glass-crawling head. Smoked ham and campfire sit atop a sweetish dark fruit, roasted malt, chocolate syrup base. Good smoke aroma, but not quite as strong as a good Bamburg beer. Taste starts tinny with slightly bitter flavors. Smoky sweet malt settles in soon enough. Solid, meaty smoke flavor melds nicely with peaty, slightly sweet roasted malt. Hint of vanilla before a smoky, mildly bitter roasted coffee finish. Medium-bodied, with a somewhat lively feel. A rather nice smoked beer, although I wouldn't mind a bit more smoke and body.

Photo of Skidz
3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out chocolate brown and sits near-black with only a glim, burnt-red escaping around the sides. Smaller dark tan head fading quickly to a few light traces of foam and some minor lacings around the glass.

Delightfully aroma is a meld of smoky, roasty and charred malts, and that is about all you can get past.

Malts are prominent, lightly sweet and quickly turning to deeply roasted and just-barely-burnt toast flavors. Smoky attributes are fairly coy and are mostly hidden beneath the other more assertively roasted malts. Low bitterness and minor influence of alcohols.

Body is leaning towards thin, but respectably fulfilling. Solid and mouth-drenching carbonation.

A nice porter. Nice smoky aromatics but difficult to find the right flavors, however this makes it all the easier to enjoy in greater frequency.

Photo of irishman646
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12oz Tulip -probably a mistake

Apearance- Dark. Brown to black color. Fairly tight 2 finger head that exhibited some chunkiness. The chunkiness dissapeared after the beer warmed and I repoured revealing a beautiful dark cream colored head.

Smell- As expected there is a hefty smoke aroma to this beer. It is much more of a salty smoke than other rauchbier's and smoked porter's. This comparison is somewhat analogous to of the aroma real smoked meat versus meat flavored with artificial smoke in a bottle, Smoke on the porter being the latter. I think the fact that I had this in a tulkip negatively affected the beer. The salty sort of aroma was so overpowering that by the end of the beer I had to hold my breath while sipping to avoid the aroma masking the taste of the beer. Some hints of chocolate make their way through the smoke screen and I want to say the slightest inkling of Coffee but I will hold off on that until another review.

Taste- Smoke is not as present in the taste here as it is in the nose but again smoke dominates everything else. Salt comes through in a fairly consistent manner here complimenting the smoke taste nicely, bringing to mind a nice chunk of smoked beef jerky.

Mouthfeel- The mouthfeel of this beer is its greatest asset. It has a great prickly taste on the tip of the tongue that gives way to a slick, smooth, and somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability- definitely the most drinkable smoked beer I have had. I imagine serving this in a pint glass would have enhanced the drinkability even more

Bravo to New Glarus on this offering. The early rumors labeled this beer a rauchbier and it ended up being called a Smoked Porter. I would say this is somewhat in between, a good representation of the emerging American style that could be called American Smoked Porter.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. The brew pours a dark brown color with some nice cola-colored hues around the edges. A finger of tan head sits nicely atop the brew and sticks around after sitting for 10 minutes. Clarity appears to be good on this one and there is a moderate carbonation working up the sides. This is a nice looking brew. The aroma is dominated by smoked malt. It has a nice sweetness to the smoke. There appears to be a little caramel behind this, but the smoke certainly is what I smell. Taking a sip, I get a strong blast of sweet smokeyness that hits initially. This moves to a slight caramel that transitions to light chocolate, coming back with smoke again, and settling at some chocolate, caramel, and a light pine hop. I like the transitions that it goes through. It has distinct smoke quality and distinct porter qualities; neither dominates, but they both play well together. Mouthfeel is moderate with a lighter carbonation. Overall impressions of this one are good. It is well built, flavorful, and delivers on all fronts. I am going to ejoy this one while it is out.

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It reminds me of the coffee stout right off...maybe used the same malt and brewery, who knows. This is not as smoky as I have heard from some people. Pours a nice tan head that leaves a great lacing and a thin head. Black with some dark purple colors at the edges when held up to the light. Smell is a light roastiness with some breadiness and a light smoke that's not sweet or off flavored. Taste is smoky with roasty flavors tying into the smoke. The body is well balanced with a good base malt between the smoky/roasty flavors. Mouthfeel is a medium body with a smooth mouthfeel. Overall I enjoyed this beer very much and would like to have more.

Photo of Atron67
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- poured a clear black with a thin off white head, It didnt build up much but it lastd on top for a little bit, and slowly fell down to a thin head resting above the liquid

S- has very nice smoky malty scents. There smooth roasted flavors mix well with the smoked scents, and there is also a nice note chocolate laying underneath, before a balanced note of bitterness settles in from the hops

T- a superb malty smooth body, which tastes predominantly like a porter, a nice mix of smooth chocolate malt flavors with an underscored roasted flavors. the anticipated smoked flavor is surprisingly dormant untill the end as the malt flavors leave the tongue. there is a lingering smokey flavor that leaves the longest flavor on the tongue which is remarkably tasty. The flavor improved as I let the temperature rise, and was actually much better at the end than when i started so I highly recommend drinking this at near room temp.

M- has a lighter body than was expected, however the body was still pretty solid. had a pretty high carbonation which i thought clashed a little so i swirled it in my glass to lower the carbonation. and let the temperature warm up, which made it much more enjoyable

D- was a solid drink throughout, well worth the $9/ 4 pack

Photo of getch
3.43/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a-dark copper color, one finger of head, foam quickly dissaptes

s-its ok, roasted smell, some chocolate

t-nice crisp taste, long after taste, of light roasted chocolate

m-very smooth, for a smoke porter,

d-i expect more from new glarus, i have high expectations, and this does not meet it, it lacks flavor, but still above average beer.

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 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 abents
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

pours a dark ruby brown with wispy light tan head. Smells of smoke, but not as much as a rauchbier, just lightly smoked. Definitely a smoky taste however very smooth and creamy with that lingering smoked wood taste. Wish it would be a bigger kind of mouthfeel, but this is a very drinkable beer. Very balanced beer that is the closest thing WI will get to the Alaskan version that is so famous. Nothing over the top, just a quality well crafted New Glarus beer... as usual.

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