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Unplugged Imperial Saison - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged Imperial SaisonUnplugged Imperial Saison

Educational use only; do not reuse.

188 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 188
Hads: 233
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 48
Gots: 10 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Atron67 on 05-10-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 188 | Hads: 233
Photo of Dibujob
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer pours a lovely amber color with lots of thick, white foam. The body is cloudy in appearance and a steady stream of bubbles race from the bottom forming a dense head which laces the glass.

Smell: Nose is seriously tart, you can smell it from a foot away as soon as you pop the cap. There are hints of citrus fruits, apricot, and peach, but champagne was the first thought that came to mind.

Taste: The smell is a good indicator of what to expect. The flavor of apricot and tartness of sour apples is very prominent, again it reminds me of champagne or a dry white wine, but there is a noticeable malt character that balances the tartness. Finish is bitter and lingers, but not unpleasant. There is a boozy warmth throughout.

M: I've said it twice already but it really reminds me of champagne. I feel like it's dancing in my mouth, very carbonated.

D: INTENSE. I would not be able to drink more than one or two in a sitting, but not at all unpleasant. Very flavorful and interesting.

I have to say that I would be hesitant to even classify this as a saison as it is unlike any other I've ever tasted. It's delicious and brilliant, as I'd expect anything coming from Dan Carey would be, but it's considerably more tart and intense than any saison I've ever had. Delicious, keep up the good work, New Glarus!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ahh yes, another in the unplugged series bites the dust. The newest release, I have to admit I was a bit giddy when this one hit the front porch. Served chilled and poured into a goblet, this one was consumed on 05/20/2009.
The pour was magnificent. Rich golden amber in color with a large head of white on top that reached a height that was easily in excess of three inches. Settling down, very reluctantly this one left a huge coating of white all along the sides and the bottom of the glass, making it nearly transparent and opaque as it went forward. Light haze and cloudiness made it really look the part. As I go in I pick up nice notes of peach and banana, hints of a light grassy note and a touch of spice to go along with it. Really nicely done here as it served to really served to hide the ABV quite well. Light grain hints bouncing around now as well. Very smooth, very gentle flavor here. Nicely done again I have to admit. All ABV well masked as light peach, grassy and herbal notes take center stage here. Smooth, well carbonated and really just a very nice sipper.
Overall I thought this was excellent, really a very well done example of a style, taking to the next level. I have to give them credit as I have always been impressed with the unplugged series and this just continued it along.

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Photo of mnjeff
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to tulip.
A: Pours an brilliant, sparkling golden color, with a thick 1 finger head that dissipates quickly.
S: Very muted notes of grapefruit, a little boozy smelling.
T: Intense tart flavor followed by a mellow citrus aftertaste. A crisp hop finish rounds this brew out. Great balance between all the flavors, I can't pick all the fruit out. An impressive complex beer!
M: Medium body with many differing floral notes and clear sour tones.
D: A quite drinkable beer which is amazing considering the style. The higher ABV deteriorates from this ever so slightly.
Still a solid addition to the new glarus lineup, and an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, 4pack from whole foods. been looking forward to this one

appearance: poured into my hopleaf tulip...lightly hazy apricot body, huge fluffy white cap with daunting retention. lively carbonation - nice

smell: a big whiff of funky yeast, peppery, moist yellow cake, corriander, apricot and other spiced fruit, lemon zest

taste: this one has some fire in it - a full blast of funk, sour hay, zesty yeast, a touch of lemon zest, honey, apricot, peach, a little touch of tart cherry, apple and pear, spicy white/black pepper. a pretty wild and potent saison - probably go through 24-32 of these like i do with every unplugged release

mouthfeel: thick, sour, funky, potent

drinkability: not high relative to the style - heavy alcohol and nice sourness

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Photo of Soneast
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale yellow to golden color, clear, save for the small yeast cloud that formed from my fairly aggressive pour. Forms a large, 3 finger thick, foamy white head with admirable retention, leaving bits of lace all the way down the glass.

A very light, fresh and invigorating aroma, a tad spicy, lots of tart, citrus notes with some nice peachy aromas as well.

The flavor is quite fruity, predominated by peaches and a nice tart citric note as well, quite dry in the finish, and rounded out incredibly well by a tartness that sticks on the palate.

Mouthfeel is quite crisp and refreshing, the carbonation accentuate the overall tart, fruit flavors quite well, going down very smoothly. Its actually hard to believe this is as strong as it is, considering the lack of alcohol presence anywhere in this beer.

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Photo of joe1510
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle

Dave, AKA d0b, tossed me one of these the other day after a recent trip up north, thanks man! New Glarus's Imperial Saison sports a gleaming, polished copper body with only a touch of yeasty haziness. Carbonation rises in streams from all over the glass and keeps the stellar head in place. The crown grew to two fingers and shows great staying power only falling to a one finger over the course of a glass. Sticky, clumpy lacing coats the glass when I'm finished.

I could smell the peppery apricot from a foot away as this was being poured into the tulip. This Imperial Saison has orchard fruit all over the place, not only is the tangerine huge but dripping juicy peach plays a major role as well, white pepper spiciness and coriander. The base is slightly sugary and has an angel food cake smell to it. Fruit abounds in this brew with another wave of ripe red apple, banana, and gritty pear. The spice is there but tempered enough by the unique fruitiness that it never gets in the way. I could keep my nose tucked in the glass all day long.

The flavor doesn't quite live up to the aroma but that's to be expected with a nose of that caliber. A wheat twang starts things off with some banana ester qualities. The apricot and peach quickly take over again with faint hints of red apple and pear. The finish is slightly spicy with white pepper, coriander and a musty feel on the swallow. There's a touch of tartness in the middle but the slightly sweet angel food cake pushes it back rather quickly. I have to say, the flavor isn't far off the aroma.

The mouthfeel has been nailed on this big, bad saison. The body has a velvety character that comes across nicely light when combined with the lively carbonation. The carbonation never reaches prickly put creates that airy feel on the back of the tongue like I enjoy so much in properly carbed saisons with a bit of tongue sapping dryness on the swallow.

This saison could get me in some trouble if I had a healthy supply on hand. The alcohol is nowhere to be found and the unique fruitiness makes this beer hard to keep from gulping.

I was a little worried this beer would be too spicy for my liking, turns out its expertly balanced. The particular fruitiness in this big saison is unlike any I've encountered in the past and it works surprisingly well; incredibly well as a matter of fact. Don't expect the "standard" saison when you reach for this one. I'm looking forward to picking up a few 4-packs of this in the near future. New Glarus hit yet another homerun with this one, they can do no wrong in my book. Thanks for the bottle Dave!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Regal gold body. Clarity is almost perfect. There's a huge whipped head of white meringue on top supported by voluminous amounts of carbonation surfacing in the body. The lacing coats the entire glass as I drink. Once again, a New Glarus beer produces a top notch aroma. It just fills the senses with goodness. Yeasty, peppery, spicy. Yellow cake batter doughiness. Earthy fruitiness. Lots of goos stuff. The flavor starts out snappy and bright. Citrus and lemon zest coat the tongue. A little bit of intended sourness adds some quenching ability to this beer. I also get notions of peach,wet stone, honey and hay. This is a beauty. I usually prefer my saisons unsoured, but this is a dandy. The sourness is subtle and adds yet another level of complexity to an already outstanding beer. And at nearly 9%, this one could be dangerous as the alcohol is barely detectable.

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Photo of bakeller
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a stella glass from a 12 oz bottle.

A: Pours a clear golden orange/copper color with a 2 finger pearly white head. Head dissipated into a ring around the glass. Small carb bubbles cascade up from the bottom.

S: Nose is sweet and spicy. There are hints of citrus fruits, apricot, and peach. There is also a bready malt backbone to balance out the fruit. Very aromatic and inviting.

T: Taste follows the smell. There is a good amount of apricot flavor and sour green apple tartness. Lemon is also prominent, may even get a hint of banana. Again the malt balances the tartness. Finish is quite spicy which lingers in the back of the throat for quite some time.

M: Heavy on the carbonation. Has the mouth-feel of a champagne/prosecco. There is a sweet/sour/tart punch all mixed into one. Goes down smoothly despite the high carbonation.

D: Very intense flavors that rattle the taste buds. Would not want to drink a bunch of these in one sitting as it may be overwhelming. Will be aging the rest of these to see how the flavor mingle. May become extremely drinkable in flavors mellow and integrate.

Note: While I am not usually a fan of saisons, I had to try this. By far the best saison I have had. A great one off from New Glarus.

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Photo of eyncognito
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Duvel tulip. Appearance is copper, amber that glows slightly orange when back lit. Quite clear with only a touch of haze, interesting. Two-fingered white head quickly reduces into a cap, but can be swirled back to life in a moment. Wonderful tight tiny bubbles. Aroma is a huge blast of fruit goodness: sweet peaches, apricot, bananas, lemon rind-an odd mixture of sweet and sour. Only a slight notion of bready grains, grassy hops, and yeast...not much spice to speak of, but I get the touch of ginger.

Taste is great-all the fruits again: peach, apricot, banana...then sour lemon rind and green apples. The grains are more pronounced, especially as it warms, seems slightly wheaty and creamy. Hard to detect the styrian goldings hops-just a touch of fresh grass, but ginger and yeast is noticeable along with a slightly dry finish. I hope this beer drys out some after another month or so of bottle conditioning. A nice, medium and round body, with prickly bubbles. Near perfect for the style. Starts with sweet fruits, but quickly moves to a slight puckering sour. Makes the mouth water.

Highly recommended-it's a New Glarus Unplugged, which is really the only thing you need to know. Kudos to Dan and Randy. It'll be really interesting to see the Belgian influence Randy will bring to an already World Class operation. This would be a five for drinkability, but at nearly 9%-yeesh. That said, the alcohol is nearly undetectable. Again I hope this beer drys out some, maybe see if the lacto can draw out some more sourness too.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip. Thanks to neubernie for the hook-up!

A: Pours a glowing, hazy-peach color with two-fingers of creamy off-white foam sitting up top. The head recedes to a thick and sticky ring and some neat looking curtains of lace are left on the glass.

S: I really like the different fruit aromas that come and go from this as the temp changes. Tart peach, apricot, green apple, red apple, lemon, banana, and a touch of pear mix it up with spices, grassy hops, and pepper.

T: Let me run through the fruit again: tart peach, apricot, green apple, red apple, lemon, banana, and pear along with tangy berrries, and tart cherry. A touch of vinegar at the finish and ginger, white pepper, and fruity/spicy yeast.

M: Near perfect levels of prickly and tart with the sour and puckery addition of vinegar in the middle and early finish. Starts fruity and juicy and ends dry and peppery.

D: Pretty much 180º from what I expected and that would've been great, too. I'm really liking each new New Glarus beer to hit the shelves. Fruity, tart, and spicy...wow!

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 4-pack at Woodman's in Kenosha, WI.

A: Pours an only slightly hazy (hazy isn't even a good word because this is clearer than that) golden yellowish color with tons of white head that reduces down to a small amount of bubbles and leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass.

S: scents of light banana, yeast, bread

T: similar to the smell but way more intense in the flavor - banana, yeast, bread, lemon, slight alcohol tinge, some spicy aspects in there too

M: very full bodied, which really pushes this into the creamy zone for me with a big amount of carbonation...it really fits well in this beer

D: i do like the flavor, although it is somewhat intense (as to be expected for an imperial though so whatever) and there is an alcohol flavor in there as well that knocks the easy to drink factor down some

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Photo of emerge077
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dave for the quick beer swap yesterday!

Poured the single into a Duvel tulip. There was about a finger of white foam that started to lace, but it didn't really stick, save for a few little spots. A swirl brought the foam right back into action. The color was nice, a bright sunset orange with good clarity. Peaches and hefe banana in the nose, with a light sweetness and mild spice. Grains of paradise are listed on the label, so that could be the spicy element.

Smooth wheaty feel, much like the Imperial Weizen & Crack'd Wheat. Much more fruity flavor, with big peach and mild lemon tartness. The more I sip, the more I dig it...definitely growing on me. Very mild hop presence in the aftertaste, the label mentions Styrian Goldings. Somewhat phenolic, with a juicy initial feel that dries out in the end. The tart bite melds well with the fruit element.

Another solid one-off from New Glarus...

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Photo of Atron67
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Label Description = "Our Imperial Saison captured a bold celebratory shout of apricot and peach in a bottle. Both bright and bold this is a lively truly living beer. Bottle conditioned with rare Belgian yeast and soured to illuminate its copper hued body. Ginger and Grains of Paradise promiscuously dance with Styrian Golding hops. Wipe winter from your brow and enjoy now or attempt to resist its siren song and lay down in your cellar."

A- Crystal clear gold with a huge fluffy white head on the top. huge retention.

S- very fruity, fits the description of peach and apricot character. light grainy malt character.

T- very smooth malty character. golden maltiness. very smooth only a touch of sourness in it so far. has a more subtle fruit characteristics than i would have guessed from the label however on top of the maltiness it is the major flavors. s

M- very high carbonation. constant effervescence in the glass. crisp with a finishing sour character.

D- very smooth and tasty and goes down smooth. ill have to save a few more of these for seeing how the sour character develops.

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Unplugged Imperial Saison from New Glarus Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.