Unplugged Imperial Saison - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged Imperial SaisonUnplugged Imperial Saison

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

188 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 188
Hads: 230
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
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: 230
Photo of katan
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a pint, out of my cellar

A - Pours a golden to golden brown color. Very thick looking, very opaque and hazy. Apparently bottle conditioned. Strong head formation, dirty white, extremely well retained.

S - Spicy peppery yeast notes dominate, with just a little bit of sour/fruity notes. Some alcohol strength is detected.

T - Starts off lightly sweet, a bit grainy. Turns quickly to a sour note, very strong. Fruity, I can see the apricot and peach reference. Some yeast notes are present, lightly peppery. Phenolic burn comes through on the tail end, but not enough to come through the sour. Finishes clean, no strong aftertaste.

M - Slightly thin beer body, but that is balanced by a super strong carbonation profile. The sour acidic notes are tongue grabbing.

D - Moderate to low drinkability. The sour notes are just a bit too potent for any sessioning. Not a problem since this beer isn't made anymore.

Not my favorite unplugged nor did I think "imperial saison" when drinking it, but worth trying for sure. (1,028 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a hazy golden orange color with a huge white pillowy head. Belgian and fruit notes in the head. Maybe some spice as well. Sweet, tart flavor that transitions smoothly to fruit with alcohol flavor. Fruit notes include something sweet (maybe the apricot and peach) coupled with apple. Alcohol is very prevalent in this one to me. Fairly light mouthfeel. An interesting beer. (386 characters)

Photo of hopsbreath
4.78/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to Zimmerbloke for including this in a truly epic trade...thanks Matt. My wife and I shared this 12 ounce bottle in a couple snifters.

The dark muddled apricot body has about a finger of ecru head sitting on top. The head itself is small tight frothy bubbles that don't dissipate beyond a centimeter cap. No lacing is apparent but this is 8.7% ABV so it wasn't entirely expected.

Funky yeast, green strawberries, ripe peaches, and a light amount of sweet malts dominate the aroma. It reminds me of Fantome quite a bit and is everything I want in a saison. Well done Daniel Carey.

Taste is a lightly lemon soured nectarine with a touch of watermelon rind and funky malt. I dare say this is BETTER than Fantome.

Mouthfeel is slightly sticky and drinkability is through the roof. its way to easy to drink and I want more!

The. Single. Best. Saison. To. Date! I loved this beer and must start tracking down some more. Get it if you can. This is my favorite of my favorite style, and highly recommended to all! (1,030 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First of all, a bit thanks to crossovert for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours an incredibly hazy, dark orange color into my JP Pint Glass. About a finger of quickly dissipating white head is achieved that leaves little lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - A very inviting array of aromas. Apricots, grapes, peppery spices, green apples, slight barnyard funk, and some grassy notes.

Taste - An immediate puckering of the mouth. This is much more tart up front than the nose let on. The green apples are immediately apparent followed by some lighter peach flavors. The tartness continues through the entire sip, though it backs off a hint when the barnyard funk arrives. As the flavors come to an end, some white pepper and clove become apparent. Honestly, I am really enjoying this beer. A very funky, sour, yet refreshing saison. I would choose this any day over most other saisons out there. It is reminiscent to some of JP's saison offerings, which is probably why I am digging this beer so much.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, thicker than expected, somewhat creamy, prickly carbonation, finishes a bit dry.

Drinkability - An amazing saison. I could drink this all night, and I can't taste the alcohol one bit, though there is some warmth as it goes down. I highly recommend this and I will be trading for this in the future. (1,346 characters)

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

re-reviewed 12/31/10

decided to toast in the new year with one of these since it reminds me so much of champagne. was hoping it had improved since July, and indeed it has. the generic beeryness has receded, the sour has ramped up, and the flavor has basically improved all around. kinda makes me wish i'd bought more than the one 4-packerino.
been hatin on the new glarus a lot lately (as they deserve it!), but i'm more than willing to give credit wherever it's due. this still isn't one of my favorites and could use some complexity, but glad to see it's aging well.

a 4 clear tangerine, champagne bubbled, ginormous off white head becomes rocky and leaves scattered lace.

s 3.5-4 a bit "different" for a saison. sweet citrus fruit candy and grapes at first, then a pronounced generic barley beeryness. now a touch of sour vinegar.

t 3-3.5 sour, fermented white grapes (again with the champagne traits), some pear and apricot. the finish fails to dry out, leaving me with the impression of a lower shelf champagne (i'd still probably drink this instead, but the degree of similarity is a bit eerie). and complaining about lack of dryness is something i rarely if ever have done.

m 3.5 near medium bodied with that unwelcome residual sugar. the carbonation is appropriate.

d 3 i started this tasting in a good mood, fully prepared to inflate the hell out of the score. the good mood persists, thankfully, but the score is going to have to tell it like it is. new glarus imperial saison is ok, but far from great. hopefully this will age well and dry out a bit without exploding... (1,589 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must first respectfully say that I am not a fan of New Glarus beer. I recently went through Wisconsin and tasted every New Glarus I could find and disliked all of them. I admittedly did not have any of the Unplugged series. I've now tasted other Unplugged and thought that they were clearly superior to the regular brews.

This one pours a dark copper tinted amber with a white head.

Nose is a big assertive orange that goes to orange spice with undertones of candi sugar, peaches and green bananas.

Mouthfeel is rich, bold, bright cream and very appealing.

Flavors are all big assertive full and rich orange spice with bright citrus tones. Flavors are delicious and you want more and more. There is an "almost sour" "almost tart" character.

Finish is all citrus spice with sweet wild yeast undertones.

Very drinkable; a really remarkable brew with an amazing flavor profile. Best New Glarus I've tasted. I could put this in my top 10 beers if a second and third bottle mirror this one. (998 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy golden orange color with a two finger head that had nice retention and a decent amount of lacing.

S - Fruity, with a little bit of tartness. I get pears and apples mostly. Decent yeast notes help your remember this is a saison.

T - Earthy and grassy with some nice fruit notes. Little bit sour with a touch of bitterness at the end. Dry, almost like a sparkling wine in some ways.

M - Light, dry, nice carbonation.

D - Pretty good, didn't realize that the ABV was as high as it was. Not bad, and I'm not a fan of this style usually. (546 characters)

Photo of ckeegan04
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy yellowish-gold with a huge foamy eggshell white head. Lots of carboantaion in this bad boy. Chunks of foam left behind on the glass

S - Pepery spice and hints of citrus fruit. Belgian yeast aromas come through as the beer warms with just a hint of banana. WHite pepper initially with baking spices coming through on the back end. Clove primarily.

T - Belgian fruitiness initially with a quick kick of white pepper and corriander/clove. A light sourness kicks in mid-drink. Finishes with a well melded taste of all the above mentioned flavors.

M/D - Medium bodied with a crisp mouth feel. Alcohol is well masked and makes for an easy drinking saison. Certainly not my favorite take of the style but another interesting beer from the Unplugged series for sure. (770 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Poured a hazy amber orange color with a fluffy white one inch head filling the remainder of the glass. The head faded a bit but had had decent retention overall and also left some moderate lacing.

The aroma has some apple, pear and cherry fruitiness to it. It has a moderate tartness to go along with the fruit aromas, and a bit of citrus spice. I get a bit of sourness to it as well but not a lot.

The taste starts off with some of the tangy fruit like tartness found in the nose. The apple and pear flavors come out more at first and the finish has a bit more of the cherry flavor coming through. The sourness is there mostly in the finish and gives it a nice added complexity. The sourness came through more as it warmed up.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being on the higher side. Drinkability is good, especially considering the abv%. It had a pretty wide range of flavors to it making it a pretty complex and interesting beer. Id did feel a bit heavy and big though which made it a bit less drinkable. I guess that was the point of imperializing it though. Still a very good beer overall . (1,177 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a year aging, this one is still working and carries a bit of a boozy tone. There are nice dough and fruit tones, with some standard style sweetness there as well. Smooth feel. The booze on it and the part that kind of rests in your mouth to stay is a bit of a detractor, but this is still a nice enough one. (313 characters)

Photo of klikger
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass

A - Dark amber with a massive, billowing white head which reduces in size over the course of several minutes, leaving behind trails of lacing.

S - Apricot, yeast, and powdered sugar

T - Fresh apricot, earthy grains, and some funky yeast appear quickly, and are evident throughout. The high level of carbonation and particular blend of flavors remind me of champagne. The end is slightly sour, with citrus and raspberry elements shining through and increasing the bitterness.

M - Medium-bodied with a lot of carbonation, this is lively, active, and very enjoyable on the palate.

D - Dangerously high for the ABV. I would enjoy having two or three of these on the patio on a warm summer afternoon.

I've only had a few saisons before this one, but this is as good as I've had. I can't think of anything in need of improvement here. I heartily recommend this beer. (905 characters)

Photo of thetomG
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a nice crisp amber color with a very large head that disappears within minutes leaving virtually no lacing up the glass. Smell is slightly tart but the flavor comes through with loads of super tart citrus elements. The finish is surprisingly boozy with a warming alcoholic finish inn the aftertaste.

Glad I was able to try this, but not my cup of tea... (369 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to the random dude behind me in the bottle pick-up line at Dark Lord Day who traded with me for this 12oz brown bottle.

Poured into a goblet, it appears a hazed golden orange color with a finger of fluffy yellowish stained head comprised mostly of large bubbles. Constantly streaming bubbles of carbonation rise to the surface in support of the head that retains very well and seemingly climbs up the edges of the glass in a very ackward uneven pattern of lace that leaves the head with larger bubbles on the botton and a smooth silky layer on top...interesting. Aroma of this beer is quite fruity with a scent similar to a combination of pears meets grapes. Also evident in the smell of this beer is some maltiness and just a touch of some sourness and funk in the backend. Taste is tart with a bold amount of alcohol character upfront that leads through a warming body to a dry finish that is partially puckering and tart. Flavors of the alcohol are noted throughout the body along with a touch of some funky barnyard or hay flavors. The aftertaste of this beer resorts back to the pear and a bit of the barnyard flavors mixed with a peppery note partially accented by the dryness and boldness of the alcohol bite. Feel of this beer is light with a very lively, high amount of carbonation. Overall it was a good experience and I would love to try it again. (1,375 characters)

Photo of mwa423
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly cloudy gold with tons of head which I had to pour over several minutes to get it all in the glass.

S - Excellent saison smell with a slightly sour note, very dry, and some fruity pear-like notes.

T - Dry and fruity flavor with a light tartness. No real alcohol taste which is impressive given the abv.

M/D - Mouthfeel is light, tart and dry. This is reasonably drinkable considering the abv/style. (421 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled March 2010
A steady pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces almost four-fingers of lightly amber tinged, pale tan colored froth. The beer is a murky amber hue that shows golden-orange tinged, somewhat hazed, amber color and tons of streaming carbonation bubbles when held up to the light. The aroma smells quite strongly of expressive, floral peach. the fruitiness has a hint of tartness to it, but mostly smells sweet like flower nectar and perhaps honey-like notes. There is a hint of earthy phenolics and spiciness towards the finish of the nose, but mostly this smells like juicy-fruit bubble-gum and peaches. Perhaps a hint of clove and some cracker like grain notes are noticeable as this warms.

Somewhat dry, with a faint tartness as it first hits my tongue, the tartness picks up and becomes solidly noticeable, though not more than soft, as the beer finishes. Again, floral peach notes play a big role in the flavor, but there is not nearly as much perceived sweetness as was in the aroma. It has that grain-like quality that I associate with wheat. A touch of phenolics and some very earthy, perhaps pepper like note scent the finish as does a dry, ginger-like flavor and a hint of peppery alcohol. The tartness and the zippy carbonation help this beer to be quite quaffable; strangely the medium'ish body tends to negate the high level of carbonation

This is quite a nice beer; I really am enjoying the balance between floral, peach, hint of spice, wheat, subtle sweetness and light tartness. It can seem a touch phenolic, or perhaps it is also a mix of higher alcohols that come through, in the finish at times, but for the most part this is well in check. I do like that this "Imperial" is not overly sweet. (1,741 characters)

Photo of Reaper16
3.01/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to GbVDave, who gave this to me as an extra!
12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass.

Pours a darkish, honeyed orange color. It has enough clarity to make out the carbonation torrents jutting upward to the head but you cannot see all the way through the body. Three huge fingers of off-white foam form loosely on top, with thick, horizontal clumps of lace left after it. This looks like a Double/Imperial IPA in many respects. It is a bit too dark to be really pretty but that is nitpicking.

There is a lot - A LOT - of aroma coming up out of this glass. Apricots & white grapes come to mind immediately. I can pick out something that approximates honeydew melon. Juicy Fruit brand bubblegum is evident. The malt is light and biscuity. A touch of alcohol provides some warmth and, unfortunately, makes for an aroma that can seem like a wine cooler. I may have described a lot of scents but don't mistake them for complexity. While different discernible scents, they all hit the same note -- sweetness. It smells good for what it offers, but it brings none of the drying hop aromas or funky yeast aromas that good saisons have.

Sour peaches make up the bulk of the taste, washed away by a flush of, like, pilsner malt taste. Because of the sourness, this has a slightly vinous quality. I don't want to overstate the sourness -- this is sour in the way that, say, a Lindeman's sweetened Lambic is sour: kindasorta. This beer would be way too sweet if not for that tartness that hits at the start of each sip. And as long as I am making the comparison, I'd rather drink a Lindeman's Peche than this. Bottom line: this doesn't taste much like a saison to me. Perhaps I am too forgiving, but I'm rating this as average because it is pretty balanced between sweet and sour and spices and malt.

I like the mouthfeel of this for the purposes of expressing its flavors. It is briskly carbonated and medium-bodied, which benefits all of the fruit tastes. As far as drinkability goes, this is below average for me. I don't much care for wine coolers, and this can taste an awful lot like one. Add to that its massive (for the style) ABV% of 8.70 and you have a not-so drinkable "farmhouse ale."

Imperial Saison. Interesting experiment, but if this beer is any indication then you really can't brew an Imperial Saison that still drinks like a true saison. I've had saisons of similar ABV% that were much more complex (Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux, nearly anything Fantome) and earlier this evening I had a saison that was more complex that happened to be half of the ABV% of this beer (Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire, 4.5%). I liked this beer a bit more than my score indicates but that doesn't take away from the fact that New Glarus' Imperial Saison is likely not something that Saison fans will fall in love with. (2,806 characters)

Photo of drpdaddy
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Out of Chimay Chalice at 40 F.

Appearance: Light orange/amber with slight hazing, very volumous head with light lacing,

Smell: Loads of fruity esters, apple, pear, peach

Taste: The taste matches the smell, and is quite tart envelops the tongue is a quite. I didn't detect much hop presence which is indicative of the style.

Mouthfeel: was a little light and with quite a bit of carbonation, I would have to say is my only complaint with this offering.

Drinkability : Although overall the this beer was quite enjoyable, I can't see myself wanting more then one of these in a sitting. The alcohol is well hidden. I tried this beer back in December and it was way to hot/tart/busy. It has mellowed quite nicely with a little age. Interested to try it again in couple months. (781 characters)

Photo of sauron681
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy straw color with a nice creamy head and sticky lacing throughout. Smells of citrus, with a hint of light grain. Medium body with good carbonation as well.

Tastes a bit on the sour side, like lemons and maybe a touch of peach or apricot. Being a homebrewer, i can pick up styrian? hops. The yeast used for this brew, belgian, really overpowers and complexes the flavors in this beer. Hopefully they will release this again (435 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks go out to abbddull for hooking me up with a bottle of this at DLD. Andy you rock for this one!

A- Pours a hazy golden orange color. Two finger eggshell white head takes a while to die down. Left ringing lacing as I drank it down...kind of stick altogether.

S- Big funky aroma as soon as the cap is popped. Barnyard mixed with green apples and ripe pears in the front end of this. Grassy notes along with some light spices in the ending of aroma. Some yeasty alcohol all throughout the aroma as a whole.

T- This beer is mighty sour in the front kick. Funky fruits (apples and apricot) right after the sour blast. Light clove and yeast spices after that mellow out the beer a little bit. Light toffee and alcohol in the backing of this beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Cabonation is good for the style making it very alive on the palate. Funky fruits left on the palate with each sip fading into a clove based aftertaste with some barnyard funk. Slightly chewy I thought. Flavors are balanced pretty well but the sourness kicks through it all. Light drying on the palate with each sip.

D- Great drinkability. I had no problem finishing this beer quickly although the higher ABV would limit these since they are so easy to drink. Good job on yet another good tasting Unplugged beer. (1,291 characters)

Photo of Rbald42
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to the Doodler for the beer!

A- Thick cloudy dark golden color, pours a nick thick creamy head leaves suds all around the rim of the glass.

S- WOW, tart peach and ginger, peppery clove spice and funkiness. This is one interesting smelling Saison.

T- A tart fruity blast initially followed quickly by a sour notes and spiciness. Fruity esters abound in this brew, a bit of bubblegum flavor.

M- Nice and creamy, very smooth and enjoyable. I enjoyed swishing it around and letting all the different flavors come out.

D- Its very drinkable, probably would have at least another, but with so much going on and the tartness, it probably would be a one per night beer, unfortunately I have zero access to any more. (723 characters)

Photo of phreak1983
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Big head even for a saison, it even leaves lacing as the head dies down. Lots of tiny bubbles rush around the dark golden beer.

S- Funky apricot and maltiness.

T- Malt, apricot, and a tart sourness that makes it really stand out.

M- Thin and good carbonation, finishes dry.

D- Outstanding! I could drink this all night if only I had more than this one bottle. I am only sipping it because I want the wonderful taste to last. (431 characters)

Photo of fropones
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice light copper orange with some nice eggshell head. Probably a bit darker than normal saisons.

S - Nice fruity and lightly spiced aroma. Very strong; I could smell it as soon as I cracked open the bottle. Apples and pears and white peppercorn.

T - Some nice sourness up front with some nice fruity notes followed out by more white peppercorn and clove. Apricot and peaches noticeable as well. Nice balance of spice and fruit.

M - Nice carbonation and effervescence, medium light body.

D - Alcohol well hidden and nicely drinkable. (549 characters)

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

A: Hazy, dirty straw, good retention, light lace.

S: Earthy funk, apricot, grass, hay, spice, ginger, candied pineapple.

T: Earthy rind, light tartness/funk, toffee, ginger, alcohol is subtle... some really good flavour here.

M: Light to moderate body has a dry finish.

D: A good drinker. (292 characters)

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Steven's bottle, aged from over 3 years. Great yeasty aroma, revealing a red grape. Fresh, invigorating, a sipper.Earlier:Jon's bottle. Aroma is yeasty, orange, spice. Orangy colour with siginificant white foamy head. Medium plus mouthfeel,easy drinking. Soursih fruity citrus yeasty taste, with orange residual taste. Smooth, New Glarus fruity citrus interpretation of style. (376 characters)

Photo of sisuspeed
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange color with a nice foamy white head. Some lacing on the glass. More orange hued than I've seen with most saisons.

The nose is quite funky for a farmhouse ale. Lots of orange notes mixed with hints of coriander and some sourness. Sweet malts make up the base. It seems that New Glarus is really bringing the "farm" to farmhouse ale on this one.

A couple of sips reveal a juicy, somewhat sour, tart, orange laded saison. Further inspection brings out some banana notes, Belgian spice and lighter fruits. The finish is fairly dry and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel has ample carbonation that is kind of spritzy and a little prickly. Has a fairly beefy body for the style and adds just a touch of mouth puckering.

Drinkability is fairly average. One bottle or splitting a bottle is the serving size I would enjoy. Definitely an interesting brew, which keeps me coming back for more. Not really a sour, nor a typical saison. I would probably prefer to pick one style or the other.

Overall, this was a unique beer and one that I'm pretty excited to have tried, since it may not be made again. The flavor was funky and interesting. Not exactly my thing for a saison, but it was fun to try and has me interested in the other Unplugged beers from New Glarus. (1,271 characters)

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