Unplugged Iced Barleywine - New Glarus Brewing Company
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Ratings: 247 | Reviews: 190 | Display Reviews Only:
4.15/5 rDev +3%
d0b hooked me up with this brew a couple weeks back after his day trip up north, thanks Dave! This gigantic BW has the darkest of red bodies that borders on brown. Some sunset grade crimson shines through when backlit. It took a strong high pour to get the head going but it finally rose to a finger of beige creaminess. After 10 minutes in the glass the head falls to a respectable collar that leaves sticky drink lines down the glass.
The nose is loaded down with sweet maltiness. I'm hoping it's not going to be too sweet on the palate. There's no stopping the toffee and caramel that leap from the glass. Plum pudding, fruitcake, cinnamon, orange peel and all sorts of other rich, intense aromas permeate this refined monster. The nose is very perfumey and somewhat floral as well. It would take me all night to try and pick out every singular scent in this beer so I'll leave it at that.
I'm pleasantly surprised by this brew. I expected to be hit over the head with a boat load of sweetness but it's magically balanced on the tongue. The rich maltiness is there but tempered by all the intense fruitiness and subtle spiciness. Cinnamon coated range peel, fruitcake, brandy, and plum all play major roles in this huge BW. Each sip seems to bring another nuance forward. Nothing hits you over the head in this beer and, this may sound absurd, but for being such a beast the flavors seem to be very refined and well integrated.
I'm shocked at the mouthfeel of this beer. Dan Carey somehow managed to make a 13+% beer's body feel more like an 8% body. The body has some heft but the carbonation is dialed in so well that it feels lighter as it works over the tongue. The finish has some dryness but there's barely any noticeable alcohol and what is there is superbly clean.
This is without a doubt a sipper among sippers with both the abv and massive complexity but one I could see myself sitting with for a couple hours on a cold evening. Although it's a warm night tonight it's still going down very easy.
When I first heard mention of this beer I had to have it. It's another gem in the New Glarus lineup. I've always had a soft spot for anything New Glarus but they've been turning out such great beer lately they're quickly moving up the list as one of my favorite breweries in the country. Thanks for the bottle Dave!
05-24-2009 04:04:26 | More by joe1510
3.7/5 rDev -8.2%
Paid $8.99 for a 4 pack of 12 oz bottles from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. I pour into a small snifter to review.
As stated on the side of the bottle:
A few times a year we will cut Dan loose to brew whatever he chooses, uncensored, uncut, unplugged. Always handcrafted, the bottle you hold is brewed for the adventurous soul. This is a very limited edition and we make no promises to ever brew this style again.
English aristocracy flaunted their wealth saving barley wines for exclusive friends. Our Iced Barley Wine is an intense brew of 28.5 degrees Plato OG. Frozen in the cellars over a powerful twelve week fermentation. You hold an elegant riot of bittersweet sherry and dark fruit earthy notes. Warm and expansive it will fill your senses. Great for contemplative sipping now or lay down for an elegant occasion with friends.
Onto my own review:
Poured as aggressive as possible to get a quarter inch white head consistent of very small bubbles that dissipate quickly. Minimal carbonation. Mysterious dark ruby red color when held to light. Still transparent with no sediment. Some OK lacing.
The lack of alcohol in the nose is intriguing for this hefty 13.5% ABV barleywine. Sweet and complex, I am getting a variety of aromas with this one. Candied apple, red licorice, aged oak wood, fig, raisin, brown sugar and molasses. Great smelling sweet medicinal syrup.
I begin to taste at 50°F. It really awakens the senses with full on flavor. Here its booziness comes out more and it really is quite warming. Very medicinal with candied apples dominating. Many of the intricacies of the nose become hidden in the taste. I am nearing the end of the beer at 59°F and flavors are not becoming more intense as what often happens with a RIS for example.
The mouthfeel is somewhat disappointing. Very flat and uncarbonated. Pretty dry and a quick finish. A moderate graininess is left behind in the mouth.
This is a nice sipper and would make a great dessert beer. I can't wait to try this one again in a couple years out of my cellar; I have a feeling it really is going to age well.
05-22-2009 03:09:09 | More by ibbjamin
3.58/5 rDev -11.2%
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.
05-21-2009 04:34:16 | More by scruffwhor
4.18/5 rDev +3.7%
i picked up bottles of this one in a trade with nflmvp and as an extra in a trade with EliteDigger. thanks steve and scott! Viggo also popped one of these at the hotel on DLD-eve, so thanks to eric too.
12oz bottle topped with red foil. sampled may 18/09.
pours crystal clear deep red, a beautiful ruby hue when held to the light. a small dense pale tan head forms, quickly dropping to a ring around the glass and leaving spotty lace.
aroma is good. light alcohol. caramel and toffee. lightly toasted wheat bread. biscuit and cracker. very fruity too - date, raisin, plum, fig, orange, tangerine. a bit earthy and woody too. great depth and complexity.
taste is good. light alcohol - actually, you feel the gentle warmth more than taste it. lightly toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. dark caramel and toffee. again, loads of fruit here too. pretty much the same combination as in the aroma. medium-low bitterness level. bit of nut and dark chocolate too. the hints of earthy and woody character are here too.
mouthfeel is good. nice big body. medium-light carbonation level.
drinkability is great. the alcohol is hidden very well. great balance, great depth, and great complexity. it's good now and i'm excited to see how this one changes over time.
05-18-2009 23:58:29 | More by grub
4.08/5 rDev +1.2%
12 oz, thanks to grub for sharing this one, good thing I've acquired a few as well.
Pours a clear dark red, ruby colour, really nice and brilliant in the light, thin off white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring around the glass, good retention, some nice lace spots stick to the glass, looks great. Smell is neat, very strong, some alcohol and caramel, lightly sugary, very rich, woody, sherry, cranberries and strawberries, fruit salad, juice, grapes, would be a great fireplace in the winter beer. Taste is very rich as well, very fruity, strawberry candies, cherries, strawberries, cranberry juice, caramel and brown sugar, alcohol is there but pleasant, sherry, grapes, light biscuit, insane fruitiness, big malts and solid bitterness in the finish, nicely balanced for being so big, a bit of spiciness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, some significant warmth going down but not over the top considering the ABV. Real nice beer, would be interesting to see how this one smooths out and ages. Thanks Russ!
05-18-2009 23:35:11 | More by Viggo
3.85/5 rDev -4.5%
I had this one on tap at the Glarner Stube in New Glarus on 5/10/2009.
A= This ale poured a clear light brown color with some orange-amber highlights and a 1/2" creamy yellow/tan head. The head dropped to a skim in no time and eventually disappeared altogether. Some spotty and streaky lace was left behind on my glass.
S= Wildly hoppy and full of alcohol in the nose. The hops were of the tropical fruit and citrus variety. The malt aroma was heavy and dense. Did I mention the huge alcohol presence? I slowly inched the candle on our table away from this one...
T= Chewy malt sweetness up front (toffee, caramel) that was quickly subdued by the big hop presence and fruity, estery burst. The middle showed some of the classic barleywine notes like vanilla that I believe will really shine with some age. The alcohol in the finish was strong but not as strong as the smell lead me to believe it would be.
MF= Heavy, almost viscous body, with a slick feel giving way to a mild carbonation.
D= I would say that this ale will be far more drinkable in 5 years, but its prety tasty right now. IMO, the hops are a bit much to call this an English barleywine, but those will soften over time.
05-14-2009 03:30:48 | More by spointon
4.25/5 rDev +5.5%
Appearance: Poured with a nice creamy frothy tan head that dissipates to a thin layer leaving a beautiful lacing down my glass. The beer is clear with a deep orange brown color.
Smell: Citrus hops, strong nutty malt, fruity like pears and apples,
Taste: Citrus hops up front, vanilla, fruity malt, some lemon, pears, caramel nuts, and some alcohol but not much.
Mouthfeel: Thick syrupy body, some hop tingle on the tongue, good amount of carbonation, leaves mouth feeling sweet and slightly dry.
Overall: Good drinkability, strong hop bite, but also sweet. A lot of good fruity flavors with some roasted nutty character. I could see this being amazing with some age on it!
05-11-2009 05:23:23 | More by natasharai
4.05/5 rDev +0.5%
Thanks to DIPA for the hookup on this brew.
A - Reddish copper. Good clarity. Off-white head didn't retain for long. Very long legs indicate a significant presence of alcohol.
S - (As the beer warms, more flavors arise. In order of appearance:) Molasses, plum, alcohol. Raisins and toffee. Caramel.
T - Slightly bready with raisins and a toffee. Alcohol is certainly present and warms the palatte almost immediately. Not hot or solventy, though. Subtle earthy hops with a moderate amount of bitterness. Not nearly as bitter as American versions of this style.
M - Medium/medium-full body. Moderate low carbonation. Slightly viscous.
D - I'm impressed how well the alcohol is masked but I think the beer could use some age. Certainly not as complex as some vintage JW Lee's I've consumed. Never the less, a good example of the style and I hope to find one for cellaring.
05-06-2009 04:47:40 | More by BrewerB
4.38/5 rDev +8.7%
Bright burgundy in color. That's if a bright burgundy exist. Thin wispy head that's gone in a flash.
Earthy aroma with some leather and pipe tobacco.
This is one big bold beer. Rich sweet caramel malts. Black cherries and plums. Hint of vanilla. But this beer is all about the alcohol. I normally don't like to taste the alcohol in my beer. But, how does New Glarus make such a big bold beer taste so good? This is a beer that speaks it's mind with little tact, but says it so eliquantly it leaves you mesmerized.
Rich chewy mouthfeel that coats the mouth. Some nice spicy burn to the mouthfeel.
It's a sipper for sure. I'm corking my 12oz bottle and drinking the rest tomorrow night. But man it sure is tasty.
Thank you jj21!! I MUST beat you in fantasy baseball so you can send me some more of these delicious New Glarus beers.
05-05-2009 02:35:01 | More by wcudwight
4.13/5 rDev +2.5%
Pours a deep rich dark red color, with few bubbles, thick and syrupy, almost resembling cola. The aromas are strong and rich, smelling like dark cherry, sherry, port, with clear whiffs of the high alcohol content. It is powerful and warming right off the bat, the tart flavor of raisin, fig, and bitter fruit set against rich malt and the sharp tang of alcohol. This is a complex, delicious beer, one best slowly sipped --you wouldn't want to drink more than one or two at most.
05-05-2009 02:18:14 | More by dewalt
3.08/5 rDev -23.6%
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.
05-03-2009 20:41:06 | More by WJVII
3.9/5 rDev -3.2%
Pours a deep burgundy color with very little head.
Scent of sugars, maple, fruit and some oats. Some alcohol is apparent, but not overpowering.
Taste of sugars, fruit, more sugars, grain, alcohol, and maple. A very good barley wine, but strong sugars and apparent alcohol keep it from being perfect.
Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and smooth with a nice bite from the alcohol.
05-02-2009 02:46:58 | More by paco1029384756
3.9/5 rDev -3.2%
Dark burgandy body with deep tones and some ruby clarity on the edges. Head sneaks up briefly, half a fingers worth, but goes less subtly than it comes. Pretty cool. The nose is bursting with roasted malt, black-pepper, fruit, and alcohol. Smells like a bold syrah. Sweet fig flavors jump out at first, backed up with a tiny hint of chocolate and followed by quite a bit of spicy hop bitterness. The alcohol can't hide in here, and this beer's only defect is a that a little too much astringency doesn't play nicely with the beer's other bitter flavors. It becomes more palatable as it warms up, I'd let it get closer to room temp before drinking my next one. Sweet flavors seem to have more depth halfway through the glass. Body is a little slick, and moderately heavy. Its most definitely a sipper.
As other reviewers have said, I'm looking forward to cellaring this for a while so some of the bitterness might mellow and the fruit/molasses sweetness might develop.
05-01-2009 15:03:02 | More by KBomb
4.7/5 rDev +16.6%
I love barleywines and had high hopes for this beer. I wasn't disappointed. Nice balance of hops and fruit. You can taste the high-alcohol nature of the style but it isn't overwhelming. Nice thick feel in the mouth, wonderful aftertaste. I need more of this beer! I wish that I still lived in Wisconsin and will have to bother the relatives to go get more for me!
04-29-2009 02:42:55 | More by krazycatlady
4.43/5 rDev +9.9%
Scored in a trade @ DLD from Emerge077, thanks a ton for this rarity, Matt. Enjoyed with the wife in the hotel room afterwards.
Pours a copper, rubyred color. no real head, kinda standard BW pour.
The nose is subtle, possibly a bit to cold for the style. Smells of dark fruits, mostly raisins, and figs. Some prunes in there.
The taste is fantastic on this one. Much of what the nose has to offer. Great dark fruit flavors, super raisony, and nice chewy barley flavor. It tastes like something you would expect from a 1yo BW, not a fresh one. Not hot at ALL. I honestly couldnt believe that this was 13.5! Didnt know until I logged on to enter this review. I originally had the taste at 4.5, but in light of finding out that it was HIDING that much, it gets a half point bump to 5. This one would be wonderful in a couple of years. Only wish i could have some more to cellar. Dammit...
04-27-2009 00:32:17 | More by mikecharley
3.9/5 rDev -3.2%
pours a mahogany with a tint brown. not too clear with almost no head. smell is right were it needs to be. sweet tea with lemon zest, a light rotten mango, crisp ethanol. the palate has a nice sweet crisp interaction of lemon zest, apple, grape, and a grapefruit just before the bitterness kicks in with the pepper. goes down pretty hot. body is a bit thin. seems like it would be wonderful after about 2 year of cellaring.
04-25-2009 18:51:59 | More by rtepiak
4.38/5 rDev +8.7%
I've been holding off on reviewing this one... Abents has been MIA now for about 4 weeks.. I'm just hoping Adam is okay... I'm done waiting.
I really only want a beer or two tonight.. The Unplugged Iced Barleywine has been staring at me for a looong while now.. My Chimay goblet is wet with a thick and very substantial brew. Given the ABV.. it's pretty obvious the head is gonna drop.. but still .. pretty quick.. The brew is a very clear deep brown and some pretty purple tones.
Boozy (not bad even remotely given the ABV) with a ton of caramel malts... the dark dried fruits.. dried cherries and some raisin and lite prune.. The nose is really pretty amazing.. lite chocolate as it warms.. but it is a damn complex brew..
The palate is a monster of (sweet)/malty complexities.. quite a bit of yeasty fruitiness.. burnt sugars are in the middle.. there is a good hop presence (but what do I know?) I love the thick malts and a smooth spicy element from the EtOH.. Bing Cherries come to mind.. Brown sugar.. a little figgy as it warms up.. nutty toffee .. smoke? .. thick body is expected.. and the carbonation is an honest surprise... Most brews of this magnitude are bordering on still... yet NG pulls it out.. This brew is still fresh right now.. smooth.. velvety carbonation.. lush... a little boozy.. but that's gonna be the nature of a beast like this one.
If I lived in Wisconsin... I would build my cellar around this brew.. It is amazingly drinkable right now (a sipper though) .. but I want a case... a couple of cases.. a keg!! to age for years!!
Again... props go out to Abents... Adam.. one of my BEST trades .. ever... GGRRRrrrr...!!! Log back on.. I'm already plotting future endeavors. ;-)
04-24-2009 09:42:36 | More by JohnGalt1
4.3/5 rDev +6.7%
mikesgroove sent this one with the Fight Club: Project Mayhem BIF.
12 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale tulip. Thin light tan head that quickly dissipates. Thin ring around the edge, but no real lacing. Color is like the flesh of a red plum.
Smell is boozy with a fruity sweetness. Plums, dates, a little bit of cherry. Taste has a slight plum skin bitterness, but really it is all about the malts. It's burnt caramel with pitted fruits.
Mouthfeel is syrupy and thick. Very chewy, a small sip seems to expand. Very slow sipper to be sure.
Blipped "Ice Cold Ice" by Hukser Du
04-21-2009 03:48:25 | More by bort11
3.73/5 rDev -7.4%
12oz bottle obtained in the No BS 4 BIF via dirtylou. Thanks for the opportunity.
Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/8" tan head over the clear burnished copper brew. Head is, as expected for the style, gone in a flash, with lots of legs but not much lacing. Aroma is lightly of leather and strongly of alcohol. Taste follows the nose to start, goes sweet in the middle, and then the alcohol comes on strong. Some fruitiness present, but really all about the booze here. Mouthfeel is a little harsh, and drinkability is kind of limited, this is really a sipper. But thank god it's no Beast.
04-20-2009 01:14:02 | More by ppoitras
4.22/5 rDev +4.7%
Got this one from maximum12. Thanks, Corey!
A-Pours a clear caramel amber with a nice white head.
S-Lots of caramel and apple sweetness (maybe even caramel apple) with some hop notes behind.
T-Delicious. Caramel, dark fruit and raising notes, with a brown sugar sweetness and a nice closing hop kick. A bit of alcohol, expecially as it warms.
M-Coating, rich, medium to heavy bodied.
D-Boozy but still tasty.
Another winner in the Unplugged series!
04-16-2009 15:34:24 | More by sholland119
4.1/5 rDev +1.7%
Drinking this with mothman!
Poured with almost no head, and what there was dissipated quickly. Head was an off white color. The beer itself is a clear dark amber color with good carbonation. Left some light splattered lacing.
Smelled really hoppy during the pour. Once in th glass it was a bit maltier, with some hops, dark fruits, and brown sugars.
Tastes of malts, dark fruits, and brown sugars - similar to the smell. The alcohol is very apparent in this beer, reminding me of of a bourbon whiskey. I think the alcohol adds a nice touch.
Mouthfeel is smooth and full bodied. Medium to low carbonation. The alcohol creates a nice warming sensation.
This beer is more of a sipper than a drinker due to the high ABV. The alcohol also makes it hard to drink more than one or two of these consecutively. Very nice barleywine though.
04-15-2009 23:52:24 | More by ThePeskyDingo
United Kingdom (Wales)
3.95/5 rDev -2%
Enjoying some NG with ThePeskyDingo.
Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass.
Pours only about a 1/2 finger head. Thins out quickly, but the etching produces a constant flow and allows for a circle of head in the center. Leaves some thin splattered lacing. Color is a dark blackberry ruby. Very appealing.
Aroma is wonderful. Earthy hops come out first. There is also a lot of citrus notes, like a DIPA. Then the other notes hit. Nice bright fruits. Grapes, strawberries (I may be off a little here), maybe a hint of plumes. Some bready malts as well. No 13.5% abv so far.
Taste: the the booze hits. WOW is this strong. Here there is a lot of dried fruits versus the ones noted in the aroma. Earthy hops bombard the palate, backed up with some bready malts. Last note I got was some plums. The Dingo noted the alcohol reminding him of Bourbon Whiskey. I agreed.
Mouthfeel comes off bitter and then the alcohol hits the mouth. A little overwhelming. Gets a little smoother, but ends with a sticky boozy taste in the mouth.
Overall, this beer is a sipper. I don't see myself having more than 1 in a night. It has a complex aroma and a great taste. However, I think the alcohol masks some of its flavors.
A side note for no purpose but being interesting. The head in my glass at the end formed a tie-fighter. It was pretty neat. Evil just like the 13.5% abv.
04-15-2009 03:48:59 | More by mothman
4.22/5 rDev +4.7%
Small capped bottle poured into a snifter.
Dark brown with golden highlights, it is very good looking considering the minimal head, expected for the ABV.
Aroma and flavor walk hand in hand, although the nose is not as pronounced as I like.
Sweetish caramel, pine hoppiness, citric fruits. It shows more balance than I expected, and not as much alcohol as I expected - nicely hidden for the 13+ ABV. Body is viscous, and drinkability is as high as it can be expected for such a monster.
It is a very nice barleywine, balanced as expected for british versions, and should improve remarkably with age, evolving into a more complex brew. Now I have to go get some more.
04-14-2009 00:36:41 | More by brdc
4.47/5 rDev +10.9%
I will never really understand people, I guess. Anyway, hey, I'm reviewing as an american barleywine because, like, hello. It's much better if you consider it one. In fact, I don't see English in this one.
Deep brown amber. Beautiful tiny bubbles flow slowly up to a nice had that is around for a few minutes. Pretty light in the nose - note really english or american. None of the prune notes and not over the top in bitterness. Different. A little passion flower, some new grass (baby grass in the early spring), ah. Some mustiness, too.
The taste is amazing. Great. Fantastic. Good description, huh? So... The main thing is that it's very well balanced. Sure, it's sweet. It's also bitter. And flowery. And earthy. Maybe a touch of caramel. But it's all so darned well balanced out that you're not really hit over the head by any one of the various elements. And, hey, I don't even notice the alcohol.
Pretty darned close to as good as it gets, that's all I've got to say!
04-03-2009 20:55:25 | More by charlesw
4/5 rDev -0.7%
I got this in a trade with wery0001. I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. The smeell is the first thing you notice about this one, as soon as the top is poopped the room filled with alcohol. As the beer was poured in the glass there were some fruit notes, but booze was predominant. The brew pours a deep red with garnett highlights. A moderate head forms and leaves some lacing. The flavor is dominated up front by big boozy flavors. The more subtle notes IMO are drowned out by the booze. This has a medium body and it has a pleasan warmth to it as it is consumed, a by product of 13.5% ABV. I enjoyed this slow sipper.
04-03-2009 11:47:05 | More by bonkers
Unplugged Iced Barleywine from New Glarus Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 247 ratings.