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Alt - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

124 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 124
Hads: 157
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 7
Gots: 3 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 11-09-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 124 | Hads: 157
Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a three finger head that slides around the sides of the pint glass and leaves a few clumps here and there

Smell: Bready and woody, with a cidery sweetness underneath

Taste: Starts out with an herbal, rum-soaked stone fruit character that adds both sweetness and fusel alcohol flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors add the bready and woody dimensions that I detected in the aroma; the finish has a bit of fusel alcohol in it

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: A very interesting twist with rather bold flavors but lacks the underlying fruity complexity I enjoy in an Alt; it took me a while to get my arms around it but in the end, I really didn't enjoy it that much

Thanks, ThomasHardy, for the opportunity

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Photo of emerge077
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured at cellar temperature into a tumbler glass.
Puffy head of foam that laces all over the sides of the glass.

Sweet fruit and smudgy oak flourishes in the aroma, with a malty blanket underneath.

Full bodied, candied fruits and oak notes in the taste. For me the oak adds a lot, similar to his use of oak in the Bohemian Lager. Just subtle enough to not be obtrusive, yet it adds a layer of depth for sure. Dries out nicely in the finish. Very smooth and malty, it just wraps around you like a warm blanket. Long and lingering oak in the aftertaste that seems to last forever. So rich and tasty, i've never had a German Alt this good...

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a somewhat cloudy, bubbly, copper color with gold highlights. It had a small, tan, smooth and foamy head that left a little lace.

S - It smelled very malty, earthy and grassy.

T - It tasted malty and of a peppery spiciness. It had a sour fruitiness that was reminiscent of a dubbel.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is one of the best altbiers that I've ever had. It certainly stands out from the others I've tried.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another fine offering from New Glarus that sealed off my evening quite nicely. I had been waiting to come across this one and I have to say, I was not dissapointed. Served cold and poured into a pint glass and allowed to warm up, this one was consumed on 01/02/2009.

The pour was very nice, almost perfect for the style with a clean looking dark amber coming forward right away. Nice carbonation bubbling up toward the surface here as well, with a rich white, creamy head of lace on top for all the world to see.

The aroma was lovely. Rich bready malts, hints of toffee, light pears, and a touch of spice and grapes. Really just spot on. As it warms and you begin to get further down into the pint you can really start to pick up on some of the nice light fruit notes, pears, cloves as well as a bit more of a bitter twang to your last few sips. Smooth, mellow and rediculously drinkable, this is exactly what I wanted an alt to taste like. The final sips were punctuated by a wonderful mix of grape like sourness and a fine touch of grass like hops.

Overall another winner from New Glarus. They are fast approaching the level of my favorite brewer. Just really very consistent, and every beer better then the one before.

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Photo of russpowell
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from Beertracker, cheers Jeff!

Pours an effervescent copper with 1 thumb+ of cream colored head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Breadyness, apricot, & cherry

T: Cherry, cakeyness & slight smokeyness & dryness. Nice mix of honey & apricots as this warms, vanilla, & oakyness as well. Finishes dry with caramel & hints of shortbread with cherries on top.

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation & decent balance

Drinks fairly easy for the ABV, this a nice take on the dopplesticke IMO

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Photo of MasterSki
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed one of these on my Wisconsin run a few days ago. Figured I'd give it a shot considering how well New Glarus does other German beers. Serving in a very skinny glass that's half-way between pilsener and stange - closest I could get.

A - Wow! Huge four-fingered foam that dissipates slowly and leaves tons of lacing. Mostly transparent amber color with tons of bubbles that accelerate as the move up the glass. Just a superb-looking brew.

S - Lots of caramel sweetness, with a tiny bit of Hallertau hop bite. Very bready, but also has some diacetyl, and a touch of alcohol to it. It's rich and complex, but just not my favorite bouquet.

T - The taste is quite a bit more spicy, with some fruit flavors - blackberries, apple - mixed in as well. There's a woody aftertaste kicking about as well. Since this the first Alt I've reviewed, I'm not sure how this compares (it's been a long time since I've had Uerige). I think I like the smell a little better.

M - Crisp and dry, which complements the wood notes. The carbonation is not over the top (even though it looks like it would be). Light, with a touch of residual stickiness and warmth to it.

D - This feels like more of an autumn beer - it's not exactly what I was looking for on a cold winter evening. That being said it went down quite easily, with the only complaint being a bit of bloatiness.

I'm guessing this is on the boozier side of Altbiers, but probably less than 8%. Not a criticism, as the the only sense I get is in the warming mouthfeel. Overall I'm guessing this is an excellent representative of a beer style I'm not all that into.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Portsmouth pint glass (thanks Jeff), the beer is caramel with a fizzy two finger head that recedes in a minute and a half, leaving no lacing. I find myself staring at the bottle while I wait for the beer to warm up, and I've finally come to realize that the label says ALT. For some reason I just ignored it because it wasn't immediately recognizable, but I'll be damned, it says ALT. It really does.

The aroma is of sweet and rich caramel malt, alcohol, and sugar. Other aromas are of toffee, herbal hops, apples, and freshly baked bread. The flavor is malt forward and quite sweet. Flavors of caramel, bready malt, apple, pears, oak, and candied sugar are present. The finish is sugary with some caramel alcohol (the 9% is well hidden) and a low-medium level of hop bitterness.

Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. Düsseldorf, Northern German, or a mix of the two? You tell me.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to beerbeagle for this brew.

Pours a very nice clean/clear dark golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus foamy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, fruity, with some spice and caramel notes. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, some bitterness, fruity, with some caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this one is very tasty and a joy to drink, highly recommended.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a footed strange)

A- This beer pours a slightly dense but crystal clear orange body with a thick creamy beige head that last for a good bit. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that race to the surface.

S- This beer has a clean smell with light caramel malt notes and a hop hint in the finish. There is a light wet oak note that comes through as the beer warms a bit.

T- The big caramel malt flavor has a crisp carbonic acid note to it with a light oaky sweetness that leads to a bigger more vanilla oak and buttery as the beer warms. The finish has a nice snap that taste of green hops.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a tight fizzy finish that enhances the hops.

D- This is a nice but big session beer. The hops are a big player with the support of oak and hops in the background.

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Photo of akorsak
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eyncognito for this 12 oz bottle.

A: The alt is a copper color, brighter like a new penny at the narrower section of the glass. The color concentrates at the wider areas, obscuring anything on the other side of the glass. A thick head required two attempts to empty the bottle.

S: The ale has a light smoke aroma hanging around. It is paired with fruit, specifically melon. I've never picked up the melon angle (apart from watermelon); it is an interesting component.

T: This is the most unusual altbier I've ever come across. The smoke from the nose is amplified here, a light cured flavor. Caramel malts are in abundance, thick and sweet. Melon and pepper trade punches in a sweet and bitter back and forth. A great deal of the sweetness must come from the turbinated sugar and I really like what it adds. A well-rounded ale that is far more complex than any altbier I've had before.

M: The mouthfeel is both meaty and sweet. The smoke and sugar pop up at different times, so there is little interaction. The sugars add a sweet complexity that really works.

D: The ale has many, MANY dimensions over any other alt that I've had. I am floored that New Glarus took a traditional style and ran amok with it.

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Photo of Duff27
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thin tan head on a clear dark orange beer. Decent to good head retention with a little lacing.

Definite spice, alittle oxidation.

Hops are there but a little subdued. Real sweet aftertaste. Well hiddden alcohol!

Still carbonated nicely with a medium to medium thin mouthfeel.

Held up pretty well. Second venture into the Alt style, this being the best thusfar. This is the second time TATURBO has pulled this out, glad I reviewed it this time...thanks for helping the NG tickathon Chris.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew comes from the Super Trade with Abents!! I've had this one once before at a Boise RB/BA tasting, and immediately put it on my wants... Adam came out swinging like a champion... Poured into my shaped SA glass... Listening to Prodigy's new album.

2 Finger head leaves great lace and has quite a bit of retention atop a slightly hazy orange red brew...

Rich and malty.. quite a bit of fruity esters (surprisingly?).. slight flowery hoppiness...

Flavor is again surprisingly fruity for the style.. apple and pear come immediately to mind.. sorta nutty caramel is there too in higher proportions.. toasty bread with grape skins.. a little tannic (I know this isn't wood aged.. but still is reminiscent).. body is good .. so is the carbonation...

despite all my above negatives... this is still a great beer.. just don't expect a nice clean and more importantly dry Altbier..

Thanks Adam for the chance to try this one again.. I really like it... but honestly expected a better example from NG.


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

12oz bottle obtained in the No BS 4 BIF via dirtylou. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" beige head over the slightly cloudy copper brew. Dense head lasts very well, with lasting lace. Aroma is oaky and lightly tart. Taste starts lightly sweet, goes tart int he middle, and then the oak character comes on with some alcohol at the close. Mouthfeel is soft over the tongue, and drinkability is good, interesting flavors keep you coming back.

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Photo of DrJay
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks!
Tawny amber with a bit of haze and a big, fluffy off-white head. Looks pretty good. Aromas of malt and caramel, plus some fruity apples, faint spice and mild alcohol. Pretty much the same in the flavour, but with quite a lot of apple and some definite alcohol character in the finish. Bitterness was restrained and caramel sweetness dominated up front. Lightish bodied with average carbonation level, nice texture. I was really looking forward to this beer, due to great experiences with New Glarus products, but was ultimately disappointed. I'm not saying this is a bad beer by any means - it's quite drinkable - it just didn't seem like a great altbier to me.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a trade with incutrav. Thanks Travis!

This pours a slightly hazy deep amber with a huge head of billowy foam that grows in my glass.

The smell is a nice balanced nose of sweet malt and hop spiciness. Nice.

The taste has the caramel malt sweetness along with some hop spice, some grain, some fruity tartness, and some alcohol. Re the fruit, I can taste some apple goodness...again, nice. The alcohol is stgronger than I expected for an Alt as I get quite a bit of warming. Ok, so it's a sipping Alt. No prob.

The mouthfeel is medium as is the carbonation. It finishes lightly bitter, lightly tart.

Drinkability? As I said, the alcohol presence is there so I'm taking my time drinking this puppy but I can't deny that this has good drinkability. Oh and head retention is terrific and the lacing is abundant.

Bottom line: I lke this Alt a lot. Another solid brew from New Glarus!

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Photo of Bighuge
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Couldn't wait. Finally! An alt from New Glarus. Picked up a case of this while in Milwaukee a month ago. I wanted to be able to say this is great. Like so many of their other beers are. But I can't. After working through a few six packs of this, I can merely say this is good...at best.

Slightly hazed caramel colored body. Thin and creamy beige head. Lacing is quite minimal. Aroma comes at you with and caramel and toffee, wedges of apple, fruity phenolics and lacings of EtOH. The flavor brings more of the same. Jonathan apples spruced up with some alcohol. Almost like a spiked cider feel. The caramel and nougat and toffee are here. They're just not that bold. The aftertaste brings some lingering hot ehtanol/solvent. I'd prefer a drier alt to this, which seems sweeter than it shoiuld be. This is decent, but it doesn't stand up to the Ueriges of the world. I'm gonna lay 6 if these down to see if time tames the alcohol a little.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Johnny Sausage rocks with the stellar hook-up.

Goos film o foam rests atop a rusty bronze hed brew. Great bubbling dispersed throughout the wholebeer. Very toasted aroma that makes me think of a delicate banana bread Just hint of hoppy pine for balance. elicious, sweet toasted malt bread. A little nature boy hps give a sft earthy aire to this delicately sweet malt bomb. Very smooth palate, would almost be sessionable if it wasn't so sweet.Not too sweet,just too sweet to be one of my session beers.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, another highly toured brew from the best brewery in Wisconsin

appearance: poured into an imperial pint glass, rich amber body, fairly clear, foamy beige cap and nice retention

smell: big sweet nose, caramel, apple and spice, rich and nutty

taste: this is a very nice beer - sweet juicy red apple, cinnamon/ginger and other spice, sweet caramel and nutty notes...the alcohol is well hidden and there is a minimal metallic touch compared to other alt's.

mouthfeel: creamy full body, sweet and chewy

drinkability: lovely

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

eyncognito sent me two of these, one of which I drank tonight. Thank you, Ian

A: Clear amber with a large off-white head with good retention. Plenty of visible carbonation. Great stuff!

S: Rich and malty while not syrupy. There's a great dark fruit character - raisins, dark plums, brown sugar, caramel. There's also an earthy, herbal hop character with a mild citrus/eucalyptus-like note. Plenty of sweetness though. Mildly phenolic as it warms up.

T: Fairly light in body, this alt opens up with a great malt character. Fruity and a little fresh with a farmer's market bouquet - brown sugar, honey, mild floral charcter. Fruity with plums as well as some lighter citrus and grape. There's a phenolic zing present as well. Drying finish with a unique blend of earthy hops and caramel and brown sugar

M: Light, crisply carbonated and an enjoyable, drying finish

D: Thoroughly enjoyable, I'd drink my last bottle if it wasn't that - my last bottle.

**Edit 25 May 2011**

It looks like I managed to score another one of these. Two years since my original review.

The nose is rather marvelous. rich, figgy, bready, caramel, toffee, nougat and a little bit of smoke, this is rather fantastic. Rich fruitiness is present, this has an excellent nose. The palate shows a little bit more oxidation, more of the fruity kind rather than the papery. Rummy, bready, brown sugar, mild smoke and a moderate raisin and port oxidative character, this is excellent. Scores stand.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into glass - i forget who sent me this, but thanks!

Pours a brilliant auburn color with some golden orange hues. A thick off-white head bubbles up and dissolves fairly quickly, retaining with some film. Some patches of lacing as well.

Somewhat richer, doughy malts with breaded notes. Burnt brown sugar with some hints of candied dark fruit. Some oaky notes as well, maybe a hint of oxidation?

A bit sweet up front with raisin and cherry. Thick malted backbone with caramel and bread crust. Some earthy, woody tones with sweetness and burnt sugar. Noticeable booze heat in the finish with some residual sugar.

Fuller medium body, high carbonation, somewhat dry and chewy. This was pretty solid, although I think it might be showing signs of turning a bit.

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Photo of ZAP
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tastes like no other alt I've had....really lacks "alt" characteristics..

A-Pours a deep hazy copper color wit ha frothy white head.

S-Malty and candy sweet....caramel apple....brown sugar...dark fruits...has some oak aged notes too....very inviting.

T-Rich and sweet...toffee...caramel...fruity (apples, dark berries, red grapes)...even a little vanilla wafer...

M-Medium to full bodied...good carbonation....

D-Very enjoyable beer....this is a winner but don't expect a typical "alt"....just as easily could have been labeled New Glarus Winter or some shit like that..


Just read some reviews and apparently this is 9%??? Never would have guessed it....maybe a little heat but not bad....I'd have guessed 6% tops by the way it tastes..

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Photo of drpimento
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured with a nice head and almost no lace. Very slightly hazy deep amber. Aroma is a heady sweet, caramel, a bit fruity, malt. Flavor is very sweet, malty with a tinge of bitter on tongue tip. Nothing at all like the Alts from Germany I've had which were much drier. Not bad. Full bodied and thankfully enough carbonation to stand up to the sweetness. Sweet finish. Some chemical flavors too. Not a session beer. Ok finish.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Never had an Altier before so this was a new experience.

Color was a rusty amber color with a decent head when poured into a pint glass. Head seemed to stick with the beer the entire time until beer was gone.

The beer was medium bodied. First you get the malty and sweet taste and beer finished with a bit of bitterness. They balanced each other out thou...just as much sweet as bitterness. It was like they cancelled each other out. Not too much complexity to this beer it seemed to be very straight foward.

Fairly drinkable beer.

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Photo of gford217
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear deep orangish amber with a bubbly beige head that recedes to a collar fairly quickly.

The aroma is full of sweet caramel malts and lots of lighter fruits, apples especially. More sweet than anything else, but in a good way.

The taste is more complex with an initial apple fruitiness that gives way to caramel but with a more sizable bready backbone than the aroma suggested. There is some nutty presence as well.

The mouthfeel is very smooth, light to medium bodied, and full of carbonation.

I've not had many altbiers but this one sets the bar pretty damn high. It's an exceptionally drinkable beer that has lots of complexity in the taste.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. III Issue I:

Big bubbled lace shows the sugar in this beer; the head retention is unharmed. Tawny color, a little hazy as well. Sweet bready malt in the nose; some cider-ish aromas from the sugar and complexity, yet they don't overwhelm. Big creamy smoothness rolls around in the medium body. Maltly all around with biscuit and bread crust written all over it. Modest yet firm herbal hop flavor flexes a small bitterness. Slightly oaky and yeasty as well, some apple skin and dry wood add amazing depth to this beer. The finish turns very dry with lots of clean grain and wood tones for the taste buds to sort out.

Not so pure, as the addition of sugar disses the passé German Purity Law. But you know we love a little bit of defiance when it comes to breweries and their beer. Fermented in oak and bottle conditioned, a beer geek's fantasy in a bottle.

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Alt from New Glarus Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.