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Unplugged Iced Barleywine - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged Iced BarleywineUnplugged Iced Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

191 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 191
Hads: 253
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 156
Gots: 17 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  13.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 02-04-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Unplugged Iced Barleywine Alström Bros
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Reviews: 191 | Hads: 253
Photo of jt31914
2.04/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A: Red/Amber color; little to no carbonation.

S: Barley and a little wheat; sweet with little to no hop aroma.

T: Super bitter; not anything like the smell. No sweetness or balancing flavors, just harsh, bitter disappointment.

M/D: Undrinkable drainpour

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Photo of Fartknocker
2.76/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle

A- pours a dark carmel / deep brownish color, very little head

S- None that I remember too well

T- It is like pouring a shot of liquor into a beer. Very high alcohol taste.

M- Little carbonation

D- I bought a four pack, but I am definitely sticking to one at a time. Very strong.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
2.79/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I really dont know why I happened to open up about 3 beers tonight and all were too sweet in my opinion. I didnt even know anything about them either. This was the third and final of the night.

Got in a trade from natasharai.

Pours a thick maple syrup color. Not as thick as maple syrup but thick for a beer. No head at all and no lacing.

Not much in the smell. Sort of sweet smells like an eisbock.

Tastes like an eisbock. It tastes like Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock but without the raspberry and a little more hops. I like my barleywines a little hoppy like this years bigfoot but this beer is not very well balanced. Too malty and sweet but in a weird way and not enough hops.

Mouthfeel is too thick.

I wouldnt drink this again. Not my cup of tea. Too sweet and I dont think i am going to be able to even finish the glass. Oh well going to have to call this night a loss.

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Photo of sulldaddy
2.86/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got this bottle as part of the Premier league winnings last season. Im pouring at cellar temp.

The beer pours a clear mahogany with thin beige edge layer of foam develops, and creates some tight lattice on the glass when swirled. Aroma is boozy and dark fruit and brown sugar but lots of heat.
First sip is average body with slightly sticky texture. Flavor is caramel and sweet but quickly dominated by hot fusol alcohol.
This beer is a little on the harsh side, beyond a sipper with the heat. I wonder if cellaring even longer would help or if it is a lost cause?
Anybody with additional bottles may send to me for long term storage. ;)

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Photo of Vixie
2.97/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a really nice clear deep ruby red. This is one of the nicest looking beers I've ever seen. There is basically no head, not surprising considering the alcohol content.

Very little smell to this one. Can detect a hint of malt, and can smell some alcohol, and not much else.

Taste starts sweet, but then the hops kick in. This is a very hoppy beer, reminds me a lot on an IPA. I can also tatse a hint of fruit, like raisins, and a touch of brown sugar.

The feel is decent, a decent amount of carbonation helps make it feel solid.

What hurt the drinkability on this for me is the high hops content. I am not a huge fan of hoppy beers, but if you like a lot of hops in your beer, this one is well worth checking out.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a medium copper color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of caramelized sugar with some dry notes. Taste is not as complex as I had hoped with some caramelized sugar notes and a weird dry finish which didn't really fit in this mix. Body was about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I must admit that this one didn't completely convince me.

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Photo of WJVII
3.08/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter this brew has a nice mahogany red color with a light white head that left a ring around the top of the brew. The aroma of this is immediately alcohol, and at 13.5 ABV you get the point. There is a depth of dark cherry and some dried fig and clove as well. The taste blast warmth throughout your body. Very smooth, but lacks the depth you get in the nose. Too much alcohol steals the stage and takes away from the overall product. Good to share with some friends, but not something I could have even 2 bottles of in a sitting.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.08/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have been avoiding this beer for a while for some reason. I finally used 4oz of it in a steak pan sauce (which turned out quite well), so I had to finish the rest. A steady pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces an almost two finger thick, lightly amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a deep red color that shows a brilliantly clear, deeply red stained, copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma, interestingly enough, smells sort of like raisin juice with citrus peel in it that has been spiced with a touch of herbal notes. I am actually quite amazed how un-complex this beer is; this lack of complexity does seem to be a signature note of many of the "special" beers I have had from New Glarus though. The fruit character also reminds me of cherries and the alcohol boosts notes of brandy. As the beer warms it becomes quite a bit more hot and alcoholic, though not overwhelmingly so.

The beer is somewhat sweet, though certainly not as much as one might expect. The beer finishes with a bitter grain character that isn't roast derived, but there all the same. The bitterness is mainly from hop bitterness though, and there is also a light herbal character up front. The finish has some heat to it that makes the hop bitterness a bit harsh, and some this is part of the astringent grain character in the finish too. Flavors of brandy, sweetened red grapes, perhaps a touch of cranberry, rum soaked raisins. This is definitely a thick and viscous brew, it is probably somewhat light considering its alcohol content, but this is most definitely a beer that needs to be sipped slowly. Surprisingly for a beer of this strength there is not a whole lot going on here.

This beer isn't all that bad, but it is overly clean and simplistic. My bet is that this needs a bit more age, it is somewhat like Samichlaus in that it probably won't become drinkable until after at least a couple years. When a beer starts out this simple, and because it is so strong, it really needs a significant amount of oxidation before it has the needed complexity to be tasty and drinkable. To be honest this was uninspiring enough that I don't even care to get another bottle to test my theory out on.

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Photo of botham
3.22/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. pours a drab brown color with amber highlights and a thin layer of tan head that retains poorly and leaves a soapy rim after a few seconds.

aroma is heavily malty with earthy undertones and a base of alcoholic sharpness. some dark fruit is in the background, with notes of raisens and some apple.

taste is thick with malts; bready, caramel, grainy, and earthy. fruit notes include the same raisen and apple notes from the aroma along with a base of alcoholic sharpness. finishes sharp and biting with an aftertaste of residual bready malts and a touch of apple.

mouthfeel is full bodied, thick, and sticky with a sharp finish of alcohol. the residual is lightly slick.

drinkability is poor. the alcohol is very sharp and hurts the finish. the profile on the palate is well composed, but it is just ruined by the finish. problem is, the brew would be great if not for the 13.5%. the first dissapointing Unplugged beer for this BA.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from Backlog

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for the brew

A - The brew pours a ruddy translucent tea-brown hue, and is capped with a smattering of bone-colored soapy bubbles.

S - The nose is somewhat boozy, which is certainly to be expected. There are notes of corn, dried orchard fruit (pear, apricot, apple), and maple-soaked cardboard. It is interesting and complex enough to draw the focus away from the sizable alcohol component.

T - The taste is just not as interesting as the nose, and as a result the alcohol is intrusive. I get some naked and caramelized grain, some dried apple notes, a hint of herbal spiciness, a bit of cardboard, molasses and dark fruit. One of those things is not good, I bet you can guess what it is. There seems to be a lack of depth here, despite the variance of notes. Booze is still well-hidden, I guess, as this tastes every bit of 9% but not at all like 13.5%.

M - The feel is just above medium in body, and is somewhat velvety where many Barleywines are sticky.

D - Drinkability is moderately high, as the ABV is well-hidden. Overall though, this beer is not quite malt-centric nor richly-flavored enough for my EBW tastes.

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Photo of semibaked
3.42/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a very dark brown with about a finger of little tan head, looks like it pours pretty flat.

S - A lot of syrupy sweetness, some Xmas spices, roasted malts, but no hops in the smell.

T - Good mix of hops, syrupy sweetness, malts, also has a citrus peel bitterness too (almost too much bitterness). Hides the alcohol VERY WELL, almost too well.

M - Pretty smooth mouthfeel but also a bit slick too.

D - This is a weird one for me I like this overall except for the extra bitterness, this is
definitely worth a try though.

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Photo of davod23
3.44/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Stone tulip.

The pour is a lovely color. Deep, dark, but still somewhat clear brownish red. A thin off-white cap forms, but with a few minutes recedes to a few wisps of foam. The brew sticks to the insides of the glass, leaving little dimples of foam hanging from the sides. Quite nice looking, and probably the best part of this beer.

Smell. Hmm. Well, this is just... ah, not memorable. The aroma is muted, not nearly as aggressive as I would expect from a beer of this strength. Booze is upfront, and the strongest component of the overall aroma. Searching around, you can make out traces of vanilla, raisin, and perhaps cherry. But these are dominated by alcohol.

Taste is better than the aroma, but not by much. This beer is incredibly earthy, one of the earthiest beers I've tasted. That's unexpected. Boozy. Sweetness up front, but is balanced at the end with hop bitterness. It has a spirit or deep red wine-like quality, though I struggle to identify them exactly.

Mouthfeel seems a little thin, and the carbonation is a bit too aggressive for my tastes. Very warming throughout. My belly feels warm right now, and I'm about halfway through the glass.

Drinkability is just okay. This is going slowly, and I wouldn't want to drink much of this. One bottle is plenty.

This is an okay beer, worth trying, but it didn't knock my socks off. I have two more in the cellar, which I probably won't open for a long while just to see what happens to them. Although the Belgian Red and the Raspberry Tart are flipping phenomenal, I haven't been very impressed with the New Glarus Unplugged Series thus far. I greatly admire their business practice, and have tremendous respect for them, and as such I will continue to seek them out... but this series seems to keep falling short for me.

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Photo of sgoodship
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the last beer I have left from my Steve's Liquors make a six fest in Madison.

A: This beer looks like it has a thick consistency when you pour it. It gave me a nice off-white half finger head at first but that dissipated quickly to a very think ring, a dusting and some large surface bubbles. The color is a dark mahogany. It is slightly hazy but the lack of clarity may to do with it's consistency.

S: Sherry alcohol. Fruit - maybe dark cherry. Almost a hint of honey.

T: There is an interesting combination of bitterness attacking the pallet of your mouth along with the sweet sherry and fruit on the tongue. The aftertaste becomes a more earthy dryness with residual bitter sweetness.

M: Medium to full bodied. This brew is pretty viscous. It would be smooth but the intense tangy bitterness prevents that delivery.

D: I am not an expert on Barley Wine. I also find overly fruity and sherry tasting beers to be too cloying, so my opinion is going to be very personal. I liked trying this beer and I can tell it is a quality brew but it is really hard for me to drink. I think that's fine, especially for an Unplugged where the expectation is to try something new and different. I always expect top notch beers from New Glarus and this one doesn't disappoint in that department, it's just not the type of beer I would go looking for again.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a clear chestnut brown with no foam whatsoever

S - boozy aroma hits you first followed by a big hit of sweet malts

T - sweet malts, brown, burnt sugar, candied sugar with a sweet finish

M/D - medium bodied and low carbonation, an interesting flavor that i'm glad i got to try, but not one that I'd drink often.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.51/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle courtesy of viggo, this one was on my wants for a while so thanks for bringing it out!

Pours a rich caramel, toffee color with a thin layer of head which recedes to a collar and some swirling islands.

Nose is rich and sweet, perhaps a little too so. Toffee, raisins, caramel, brown sugar.

Just thick and sweet, a real sipper. Toffee, raisins, light wood, touch of hops still remain in the finish to give a pleasant dryness, some serious hotness still in the finish as well, boozy, feels 'concentrated' which it is but just seems too syrupy and sweet. Thick mouthfeel which coats and sticks. A real nightcap of a beer.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

You are only coming in in waves... After the first sip, you feel the alcohol, but I digest...

Pours for me no head, no lacing, like the calm waters of Lake Minnetonka. I've always wanted to use the word chestnut, so im going to say a chestnut ruby Opaque.

No brett smell, but an awesome smell of traditional barleywineness. A big malt bakbone with little hop profile.

I didnt' detect any off flavors, but a lot of malts, some hops and alcohol. The taste is just the way it should be.

Won ov my favorites ov all tyeme.

P.S. this was in response to the pet peeves reviewing thread. Actually this beer is sweet smelling with a very enjoyable smooth aspect with a big bite of alcohol that overcomes your body. Good barleywine, top notch, top notch.

Edit: I love how the picture above of the beer was taken on a washing machine...

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Photo of yourefragile
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A friend opened a bottle recently and told me this had taken a turn for the worst. With great trepidation, I open one of mine. 12 oz, red foil top bottle served in a snifter.

Pours an attractive dark cola brown with ruby-ish tinges and a massive, dense camel colored head. Excellent retention and light lacing. Pleasant boozy aroma of dark fruit, raisin, plum, etc, vanilla, booze, toffee and caramel. Flavor starts off similarly, before veering into the land of sherry, cardboard and wet dog. Body is medium thick, soft and chewy, but not quite viscous. Sigh, this tastes like something I would have liked, but the dry, bitter, cardboard aftertaste ruins this.

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Photo of Zorro
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear VERY deeply amber colored beer with absolutely no head at all. Slighto range tinge when held up to the light.

Smell is spicy orange scent to it mostly NW style hops. Scent is very mild for the beer style.

Starts out bitter sweet and woody with a fairly sharp bitterness level. After acclimating to the hop level the beer becomes very earthy in flavor mostly mushroom and wood.

Mouthfeel is OK but light for the style.

OK drinkabilty but I only have the 12 OZ so finishing this is no problem. OK Barley Wine but not outstanding.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel glass. Thanks to madtowndmb1 for the trade.

Appearance is a somewhat hazy reddish brown color with a half inch off-white head. Falls to a ring and skim leaving no lacing.

Aroma is surprisingly mellow, but good. Some notes of dark fruit like figs and a bit of a sweet sugary tone and some mild alcohol. Some citrus also shows up.

Taste has some sugary sweetness up front but it is brief. Follows with a bit of the figgy dark fruit character and ends up way hoppier than I expected. Hops of the citrus and piney variety. They linger on into the finish combined with some warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel medium-full bodied, quite chewy, a good carbonation level for the style. Kind of hard to drink with the hops and booze in the finish though.

Well I'm not sure who decided to list this as an English Barleywine as it's not even close really. It's pretty solid right now but I think I am going to hang onto my other bottle for as long as possible to age as the hops (especially) and booze are way too strong.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep, dark garnet-hued body with a full inch of off-white head.

Smell: Earthy, fresh-ground pepper medley nose with some toasted caramel candy and a big blast of isopropyl alcohol. Woof!

Taste: Slightly bready malts with a moderately sweet 50/50 mix of dark caramel and toffee. The hotness of the alcohol presence is felt almost immediately. Chunks of fruitcake swimming in vinous Oloroso. Earthy hop character with a medium-high bitter mingled with the peppery alcohol. The finish is bitterish and fairly warming.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Robust and rather potent, though more than a bit harsh in alcohol at this early stage. IMHO, this is one to cellar away to allow it time to mellow.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lukasi rules!!!! Thanks for the hook-up.

Pours a syrupy, deep amber reminisent of a good brandy. No foam or bubbles, but this beer looks like it has texture. Sherry and light prunes mix with some heat and a little bitter mint. Taste starts with some caramelized dark fruits that segue into an alcoholic sherry and clean bitter flavor. The finish i a little metallic though. Syrupy palate and high abv. make for a sipper through and through. The combo of clean hops and alcohol make for a somewhat metallic finish.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for this one. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Darkness snifter.

A: Cap opens without so much as a hiss. Pours super viscous and generates a .25 finger off-white head with poor retention. Dissipates into a cluster of big bubbles along the side. Beer is a clear, dark, brownish-amber. Lacing is slightly stringy and spotty with little stick.

S: Nose is deep, subtle, and very sugary. Caramel, toffee, prunes, and brown sugar. Grapes and plum also with a boozy tickle at the end.

T: Opens sweet plums, caramel, and toffee. A bit of toasted malt bitterness in the background with a sharp booziness. Grape and that signature clove/flower New Glarus house yeast taste comes in right at the end. Ends fruity with a lingering rough, brown sugar aftertaste.

M: Full bodied with very little carbonation and very rich. Oily and viscous in the mouth and still a bit of heat going down. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that lingers.

D: I'm used to New Glarus offerings that prominently display their vibrant fruit body and lively mouthfeel... which is why this one doesn't do it for me. It's a solid english barleywine and definitely worth a try but I can't say that its a style that New Glarus successfully dabbled and imparted their own vision in.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from a trade wih TPatuto, thanks Tom

A - light brown with a ring of white fizzy head, fed by scant visible carbonation

S - big alcohol in the aroma, some maltiness resulting in some deep molasses or brown sugar aromas

T - alcohol again is big in the flavor as it was the nose, some roasted nutty malts complimented with a delicate grassy hops, capped off with a licorice like aftertaste

M&D - hot and fierce, lively on the palate, not smooth in the slightest, but thats not a bad thing. its a challenge of a beer with some great flavors, layered skillfully

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Photo of gkatsoris
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured dark brown, no lace, and NO floaties at all.

S: Alcohol, vanilla, oak, bread, tons of malt and raisens.

T: Malt and alcohol. Vanilla. Super bitter on the back end, guessing from the hops but I don't taste any hops.

M: Very thin and alcoholy.

O: I think this one should have sat for another year or two; way too hot.

Thanks Redliner8 for sharing the brew.

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Photo of bobsy
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost forgot about this one, which would have been a shame, as it's a great little barleywine. Cracked by Eric during a bout of arm wrestling.

Ruby-brown pour with a whispy head and a few spots of lace. Good, sweet aroma on the swirl, lots of toffee and some dark fruit, but predominantly sugar heavy. For such a sweet beer there's still some hops lurking in there which help take a bit of the edge off. I say 'a bit', because this beer is almost all about rich, sweet goodness, and makes the ideal nightcap or dessert beer. Lots of dark caramel, brown sugar and raisins. Sadly, there's also some pretty prominent alcohol, which isn't worn with the finesse that the best barleywines exhibit. Thick, chewy body with a restrained carbonation suits the style well.

Quite nice and I liked it a fair bit, but I'm not sure how much I could drink in a sitting. Its still a little hot, and I think the sweetness would become overpowering after a while, but as a nightcap split with friends its great!

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Unplugged Iced Barleywine from New Glarus Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.