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Unplugged Old English Porter - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged Old English PorterUnplugged Old English Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

216 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 216
Hads: 286
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 38
Gots: 22 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: emerge077 on 08-10-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 216 | Hads: 286
Photo of Duff27
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours a "cola" reddish brown with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. No lacing and minimal head retention.

S- Smells of vinegar with a hint of cherries.

T- Tart/sour. Cherries in there somewhere. A vinegar aftertaste lingers. Actually quite tasty after the first could sips.

M- Thin mouthfeel for a porter, but this isn't your everyday porter so all bets are off. Low carbonation.

D/O- Not as vinegary/tart as I've experienced with it in the past, even a month ago. Much more tolerable. Props to New Glarus for going outside the box once again and I hope my last bottle of this tastes more like this one than of previous experiences. (648 characters)

Photo of THECPJ
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: murky brown with 1 finger off white head

smell: mocha, sour, sweet, tart

taste: sour and tart, with some iron oxidation taste

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: very interesting beer. I like what New Glarus was trying for here. Just wish it did not have the oxidation taste.

Cheers,
The CpJ (346 characters)

Photo of champ103
1.68/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to Onslow for sharing a bottle. I have been wanting to try one of these for a while.

A: Pours a clear amber/red color. A small beige head forms, and recedes to nothing in a second. No lace. Looks a little lifeless.
S: Sour and acidic malt. Very pungent vinegar aromas. Mold wood and overly sweet toffee.
T: Follows the nose, but even worse. Way to much vinegar sourness. Like someone poured a bottle of malt vinegar in the bottle and let it sit in the sun for a while. Way to sweet as well.
M/D: Way to thin and under carbonated. Very lifeless. Really hard to drink. This was a drain pour.

I love New Glarus, and the Unplugged beers that I have had are nothing but great. Though this is pretty much horrid. If this is what a true English Porter was like, then I would not be a fan. (790 characters)

Photo of TheDTrain
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A special surprise from BeerFM tonight. A rare New Glarus beer. Nice looking porter with strong brown color. Great aroma of mild roast malt, coco mixes well with the pungent vinegar. Wow this beer is sour! Tart vinegar blends with the malts and mild fruits but the flavor fades quickly. Slightly gritty. Finishes too dry and slightly metallic

A good brew that is probably better fresh. (386 characters)

Photo of billab914
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. It poured caramel brown in color with a bubbly, frothy, khaki colored head to it. The head settled to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and left a bit of lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a very intriguing sour chocolate flavor to it. I get some sharper, acidic notes to it, along with some sweeter, milk chocolaty, porter characteristics. Interesting aroma for sure.

The taste starts out with a sharp, acidic bite with some moderate sourness and funk to it. More towards the finish, some of the porter character comes out with just a bit of chocolate to it. A little more of the funky, sourness comes out in the finish as well. It feels overly sharp and acidic overall though.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being on the higher side. Overall, it was an interesting beer but I didn't like it as much as the other Unplugged beers I've tried. Just a little too sharp and acidic with the Porter character being a little too hidden. Cool to try though. (1,034 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Im sampling a 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a clear mahogany color with some ruby highlights on the edges of the glass. The head is beige and foams up 1 cm before fading to a tight edge layer with some large islands in the center of the beer.
the aroma is some chocolate malt and a bit of sour malt vinegar mixed in. I dont get any real hops but there is a bit of musty dry oak in the nose as well.
First sip reveals an average to light bodied beer with very fine prickly carbonation. Slight stickiness to the texture.
Flavor is briefly caramel and chocolate malt but quickly moves to a tangy lactic hit that puckers my lips a bit on each sip. Not an infection as the beer is partially fermented using a souring fermentation per the label. Definitely not what I thought I would find in a porter, but it isnt overwhelming and not on the sour level of a flanders red. Tart fruit tanginess is how I would describe the beer. No hint of hops or ABV anywhere to be found. I get a little roasted malt on the sides of my mouth just prior to each swallow. I enjoy the beer, but dont think I would drink several of these in a sitting. Interesting and worth a shot, but dont buy a 6 pack. (1,198 characters)

Photo of herman77
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown, mahogany. Small off white head with great retention. Good lacing.

S: Sour (malt vinegar) with hints of chocolate malt and oakiness. A bit of vanilla sweetness and a hint of smoke.

T: The sourness is evident right of the bat. Not quite as sour as a "sour" is, but still pretty sour. Probably doesn't taste as sour as it actually is because you can really pick up the elements from the toasted oak aging; vanilla and wood. A bit of chocolate malt and a hint of smoke from the smoked malts they use.

M: Lighter body. Soft carbonation. A bit slick.

O: Drinkability is on the lower side since its sour and I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting, one is actually a little too much. That being said, it is very interesting and made extremely well. Think Dan Carey nailed this one to a T as the way old porters from the late 1800s tasted like. (858 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
2.64/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

First of this is a very strange and complex. It poured a dark brown color, with a very small head. The smell is very strongly of vinagar. The taste is very sour, and tastes like vinagar, has a very wet flavor, and finishes a bit more smooth, with a hint of coffee. Full flavor, and strong sour tatses, and nicely carbonated. Overall I really dont know about this beer, it does stink, but the taste is first repusive, but finshes nice. (434 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from Davolebomb, thanks for the opportunity. Pours a deep garnet color with great highlights when held to light, smallish off white head dissipate to eventually form a cap on top. First whiffs tell me this one is different, more of a historical brew and reading the label confirms this. Smells very vinous with hints of vinegar, sweet lightly fruity malt, very little roast or chocolate left in this one. At close to two years old this one is not very porter like anymore. Taste is like dark bread mixed with vinegar and hints of sherry. Light smoke in the finish, but very little porter left here. Creamy tart and sour in the mouthfeel, medium body and level of carbonation. Certainly different, hard to call this one a porter, hard to judge this one. I enjoyed this oud bruin, I guess I'll rate it that way. (827 characters)

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip, and thank you, Craig, for this big time want.

This claimant to the historical moniker of Porter is a purple red-brown and surely transparent. It has a small frothy off-white head, eschewing the darker tones of modern interpretations here as well. Big frothy bubbles ring the top and haven't gone away.

The nose is undeniably acidic, with strong Balsamic character and some oaky vanilla which grows in intensity. It smells a bit wine-like.

Flavors begin tart and fruity and move towards something only slightly more recognizable to us modern Porter consumers. Brown malt forms a base and chocolate, oak, and vanilla are a part of this beer, but not at the forefront. These flavors follow the lactic tartness of green apples and smokey Balsamic to a moderately bitter and acidic finish. I think it's a subtle triumph. The warmer it gets the more prominent the vanilla.

The mouthfeel is on the thin side as you might expect. There is a little tooth coating from the acid and the carbonation is fine and rather prickly. Porter was remarkably like some Flanders sours if it was like this.

For some reason this is a beer I really wanted to try. In part I think that it's the history student in me. Is this really what Porter was like? If so, I say not bad, not bad at all. It's quite like the few Flanders sours I've had. (1,350 characters)

Photo of BieresDesMoines
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a medium head. The color is brilliant a nice deep reddish brown. The beer is particularly aromatic and smells a great deal like red wine with some notes of chocolate and light fruit perhaps some strawberry. If the aroma shows a restrained fruitiness the beer is very focused around it with some strawberry and apple notes. This beer is particularly interesting and creates a bit of a paradox matching roasty and chocolate notes with a very nice sourness and fruitiness; this for me is balanced well and pulled off perfectly. There is a nice woody character to the flavor of the beer as well. (602 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A buddy of mine recently found a four pack of this hiding at a gas station or something in Wisconsin and decided to save one for me and bring it back to NY.

The dark brown body sports a light brown cap of foam that has very good retention and lacing.

Surprisingly sour aroma sports a little bit of apple, some roasted malts and some smoke. Smells pretty good.

This is exactly what I picture an "Old English Porter" to taste like. Up front is a ton of sourness that is both acidic and fruity, with notes of both apples and vinegar. That initial sourness is followed by some sweet malts, some roast, and a hint of wood. The finish has a delightful smoked malt character to it. This beer is about a year and a half old right now, and despite the fairly low ABV, it is drinking wonderfully.

This might be a little bit light for a porter, but I think it works with the malty, sour mix that it has going on.

Old English Porter is a wonderful beer. Sour, malty, smokey, just like I imagine and old world porter would be. The balance and complexity of the flavors really sets this one apart. Another great beer from New Glarus. (1,125 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, one of two sent by alctradamus in a trade back in Fall 2009. Red foil-wrapped cap, the typical 'Unplugged' label with a smirking Dan Carey-cature. Poured to a smallish teardrop glass.

The label text describes 'a Brown Porter based on the style popular in 1870's London'. Maris Otter and smoked malts are used; half of the batch was then subjected to a souring fermentation, then aged on wood.

A: Not so dark, nor even 'brown'; here's a porter with more of garnet/auburn tone. Looking at the now-empty bottle, it sorta matches the color of the glass, but with a deeper cherry-redness. Still a healthy amount of carbonation, wiggling trails that rise to 1/2 finger of sandy cream. Head dissolves to a yin-yang swirl of film and slim clinging crescent. A few spikes and specks of lace.

S: A little powdered cocoa, hint of smoked nuts, then it's a wafting dry and tart fruit. Nostril-twitching fumes, but no alcohol. Subtle and complex at once.

T: Oh, wow. The intentional souring creates a Porter unlike any notion I've had of a Porter: yep, there's still plenty of underlying nutty maltiness, even a slight peaty/smoky quality, but then a woodsy-dry souring with a melody of fruits moves in (citrus rind, pie cherry, musty raspberry, muscat and green apple). Deep and curious, transforming sip to sip.

M: Creamy smoothness for a (barely medium) feel but then an acidic current that tugs at the cheeks and wrinkles the tongue. Ends with silky yeastiness and a little woody dustiness; a lasting juiciness, too, that seems oddly 'refreshing'.

D: A great sipper, with flavors and aromas confounding enough that lengthy pauses are warranted. I believe I tried this once over a year ago, when 'fresh', but I'm wholly in love with this aged version. Wasn't sure what to expect from this here in early 2011... fortunately there's one more in the cellar; it's now a front runner for a springtime 'sour' tasting.

***Yeah, I know it's been 'retired' a while (or has it? I now see many recent reviews), so it was with some consternation I posted this review. But OEP (at this stage in life = 16-18 months) is TOO good to NOT post... wow. (2,145 characters)

Photo of AleWatcher
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a few bottles on my recent trip through Wisconsin...
Served in a pint glass.

Rusty reddish color... White head of 2 fingers. Settled to a frothy cap but left nice lacing in giant chunky rings.

Smells of coffee and sour cherries. Wow is this interesting.

Black tea and coffee notes on the taste-- nice bitterness that melds with the sour notes and creates a taste-experience like I've never known. Very very interesting. Toffee on the aftertaste. Caramel malts? Hmmm. This thing is a headscratcher, but it is interesting and tasty. Wow. I really like the tartness on this-- but dies it really belong? I think so. And I like it.

The body is good. Medium, well carbonated, and smooth feeling.

Very interesting and tasty beer. I like it. I really really like it. It is a sour porter, but well balanced-- the sourness doesn't overpower the beer-- I still get lots of other notes from this. Tastes better than it smells! (928 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured into a generic tulip with a hazy, deep red/mahogany color with about a finger of tan colored head that dissipates quickly leaving slight lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Tart cherries, barnyard funk, oak, apples, nutty, vinegar.

Taste - Woah, very interesting. My mouth puckers up yet I still get the obvious English porter taste. The nuttiness comes through almost immediately after the tartness subsides. An obvious similarities to a Flanders Oud Bruin. Interesting to say the least.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, prickly carbonation.

Drinkability - A one and done type of beer. Again, interesting to try, but wouldn't pick up another four pack in the future. (691 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 1/17/2010. Bottle thanks to FlssmrBrewAlum. Pours brown with a small white head. Aroma of sour malt, bready/grainy notes, a hint of roasted malt. Flavor is rather sour but not acidic with the same grainy notes. Interesting beer and well done! The sourness really compliments the malt character. Clearly this should not be classified as a porter though...Overall, very tasty and a great beer. (403 characters)

Photo of ChrisPro
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF #3:

Blind Beer #7 (of 12) thanks to mtunnell.

12 oz bottle poured into my brand new Bruery tulip: http://picasaweb.google.com/chris.prochak/BlindBIF302?authkey=Gv1sRgCPjCxqG645LKOg#5552962948033832754

Pours a nice burgundy with a fluffy two-fingered head that keeps going, and going...

Aroma is a bit confusing at first (and I'm sure it'll stay that way). First thing I smell was dark fruit, almost sour. This is like a slightly fermented fig, if I could imagine that. I was thinking a flanders red for a second. however, that was only in the first few seconds and it quickly gave way to some dominating malt aromas. Some nice roasted nuts (almonds if I had to pick), as well as some molasses and treacle. This aroma is really complex...as the head fades I pick up a ton more coffee. Oh yeah, lots of coffee....Given the maduro earlier, this is what I might remember cubano espresso to smell like. After it warms up, I'm getting a bit more fruit. maybe some cherry?

Time to take a sip....What is going on here!?!? My taste buds are all over the place. I am truly perplexed....There is definitely sour, and there is definitely coffee. I get some great deep dark molasses sweetness up front which gives way to a forceful tartness. This is reminiscent of something like the Oak Podge or Brouwer's Imagination #2: sour, yet dark and savory at the same time. not so much fruity, but a certain tartness is present. The finish is strange. It's like a burnt or caramelized balsamic vinegar. The tartness lingers, but there is a strong bitter roastiness on the tongue. Wow...After it warms, definitely getting some more fruitiness. But the bitterness is strange. It's almost like a cherry porter or something...(see guess below!)

This is a medium-bodied beer and drinks cleanly, leaving only the bit of tartness on the tongue, along with some dryness, possibly from oak. Carbonation is muted, but present, and really plays with the flavors on my tongue.

For as much as this beer has going on, it is insanely drinkable. There's a tiny booze there, but I'm thinking it can't be more than 7-8%. This is sickeningly balanced between sweet, sour and roasted bitterness. I'm pretty much in awe of this beer. I can't say it's one of the best beers I've ever had, but in complexity, it is definitely up there. Funny that the first thing I wrote was "confusing" and it holds true to every aspect of this beer.

By far this is the hardest beer to drink half my way through and not reveal...After it warmed a bit, I'm getting some definitely fruity tartness, but that roastiness is still there. I mentioned cherry porter above, and the closest thing I can think of is Bell's Cherry Stout, or something like that. The color is a bit too light, but if I had to guess something, it'd be along the lines of a fruit porter/stout.

And the reveal: New Glarus Old English Porter!

How did I not get this one?!?! I had all the clues and I just drank another NG beer like an hour ago. Great beer and I'm so glad to have gotten to try it.

Without knowing much about the style, I can't say if it's spot on or not, but I love this beer and hope my review shows it:

4.5/4.5/4.5/4.0/4.0 (3,195 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear mahogany with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like dry cocoa nibs and some dark cocoa powder and coffee grounds, with a little brown sugar.
T: It tasted like tart raspberry and dark chocolate, with a bit of coffee. It had a super clean, tart and sweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with some carbonation. A bit thin, but not bad for the style.
D: This was a great sour English porter, with delicious scent and taste. Body was a bit weak, but it was super easy to drink. Awesome beer that bucks the trend serves as a great example of a more traditional style. (587 characters)

Photo of jnn4v
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper / Irish red ale color. Translucent crimson. Pale mahogany. Perhaps most like a stained cherry color.

S: Very dry, very tart scent. Not much beyond just the dry, tart scents of a sour. Expecting something like the raspberry tart or a geueze.

T: Very smoky, nice, subtle flavor. Coffee, toffee, sweet tarts, champagne, and raspberry. Tons of flavors, but none overpowering.

M: Very fine carbonation. Light body otherwise.

D: Nicely drinkable. Excellent flavor and good enough balance to drink an extended quantity. (530 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.24/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Body is a dark mahogany hue. Transparent vibrant red hues shine through when held up to the light. Pours with a one finger or so foamy tan head that quickly fades to a thick collar and some lacing is left behind the glass.

S- Nose is interesting. A sour tartness, oak barrel, and a hint of chocolate. Nose is somewhat of a mess and it doesn't seem to blend well.

T- The flavor has the same components as the nose-but has a soft balance to it. The chocolate and oak barrel come through initially with a hint of cherry. The finish is more sour as the initial flavors intensify. The finish is a little off as an impression of sour milk chocolate lingers-and thats weird.

M- Feel is well done. Soft carbonation and smooth, creamy body.

D- Sour porters are very interesting and of the few I've had I've only really enjoyed one. This is decent and very interesting but the novelty of it wears fast. (899 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as a nice mix of extras from Zimmerbloke... Thanks Matt!! The other will be shared with the Boise homies.

Pours with a thin off-white head... the brew is very clear brown.

Nose is much more sour than I was expecting... very much like a Flemish red.. apple cider vinegar and very minor toasty malt presence..

Malty and acetic with some dark raisin sweetness.... dark breads... sorta dark rye with hints of diacetyl... a bit smokey... but the finish is a nice mash-up of sour, cherry, and buttery dark malts..

Wow... I appreciate this one, but don't think I would ever want another one of these by myself... tooo much of a good thing that I am still having a hard time wrapping my mind around.

Thanks Matt for the fantastic trade!!

3.5/4/4/3.5/3.5 (762 characters)

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to cmswoboda for the hookup.

pours a beautiful reddish-brown amber hue with a decent one-finger buttery colored frothy head. A collar of giant soapy bubbles persists, leaving gobs of lace. looks intriguingly ominous.

aroma is interestingly confusing... rich earthy malt, caramel and toffee. burnt sugar... all like a traditional porter. then a hint of sour oak, sherry, hint of sherry vinegar.

wow. complex, as the label implies. a dark earthy malting followed by a complex sherry-like sour. This reminds me almost of an oud bruin. intense yet light vinegar sourness. Tastes almost like a 15year oak-aged sherry vinegar i have, mixed with a bit of porter. on the edge of overpowering, but not bad. Reminds me of the '08 dissident crossed with a brown.

Mouth is fizzy, tart and puckering from the sour. Maybe a bit heavy on the carbonation, big bubbles, making it almost prickly. lingering tart/bitter is familiar.

All in all, one interesting beast. delicious. I don't have any other experience with sour english porters, but this one seems to deliver exactly as described on the label. need to brush up on my sour porters. This is one I'd definitely love to revisit any day. a pleasant surprise. (1,208 characters)

Photo of bashiba
2.63/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cola like brown with a soap ring of head.

The smell was very bad, vingery and sour to the extreme. Almost a Balsamic quality.

The flavor is very strange, has a mild coffee flavor mixing in with an almost buttery sourness, The sourness is there but not quite to the dominating levels of the smell.

The mouthfeel is slick and oily.

Very strange beer, you will really have to like sours to drink this one, even then its still pretty odd. (447 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
2.53/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very cola like light brown. Head is a thin sheen.

Aroma is an unusual sour smokiness.

Taste is sour, then tart with strong apple notes. Hints of caramel malt. Finishes with a lambic like musty fruit quality.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, I would put this ale in the sour brown category rather than a porter. I find no real bitterness, or roasted grain as I would expect in a porter. (402 characters)

Photo of levifunk
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - pour is reddish brown with a tan head. head retains well.

s - brown sugar sweetness and smoky sour.

t - similar to the nose. it very sour up front, but has a brown sugar sweet, nutty, and smoky that follows. end is bitter/sour/dry. unusually, but works.

m - light body. good carbonation. dry feel.

I had this around the time it came out. Its done well over the last year. It will be interesting to see how this unusual style ages. (438 characters)

Unplugged Old English Porter from New Glarus Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 216 ratings.