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Unplugged Cranbic Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged Cranbic AleUnplugged Cranbic Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

563 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 563
Reviews: 317
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 238
Gots: 87 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: alcstradamus on 10-16-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 563 | Reviews: 317 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of morimech
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, reddish amber with minimal pink head that quickly settles to a thin film. Just a little lacing is left on the glass. Aroma of cranberries, vanilla, and fermented grapes. The aroma is much more impressive than the flavor. Cranberries upfront with a slight acidic, sour finish. This beer captures the essence of cranberries much more than other so-called cranberry beers. The sourness is not that impressive but fortunately the vinegar flavor is kept in checked. Just a hint of vinegar. Could be an introduction to the style for some drinkers. The body is fairly light and has robust carbonation. Feels right for a lambic. Not a overly sour beer but has good cranberry aroma and flavor. If you like cranberries I suggest you get ahold of this beer.

Photo of samie85
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tried this one last night. Reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a strawberry wine-like color with a white barely there head.

S- Mouth-wateringly tart cranberry with some sweet base malt with a hint of oak.

T-Sweet cranberry at first with bitter, slightly sour cranberry and oak finish. It also has a sourness that lingers in your throat.

M-Refreshingly effervescent and tingly on the palate. Light bodied but very appropriate for this beer.

D- Really easy drinking. A lot easier to drink than lambics I've had due to the sweetness that balances things a little. I wish this one was readily available to me.

Photo of ronhocker
3.08/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

PIcked this up as I always do the latest unplugged beer upon release. To start off, this is probably the biggest let down from the unplugged series, close tie with the iced barleywine (which I am hoping years of aging will improve).

The appearance looks like champagne mixed with grenadine, works well in such a serving vessel. It is obviously filtered, I don't think natural settling can ever get a beer this clear.

Smell is as expected, some fruit, etc.

It tastes like a quickly made version of the Wisc Belgian Red, although there is more tartness in the fruit due to the cranberries. It has little to no lambic character, no wild yeast flavors present. I suspect this only has lactic acid produced and then added in to compliment the fruit. It is also quite sweet, implying it may have been backsweetened after filtering and pasteurization.

Overall it's ok, and I'm glad NG made it, but it is not one of there best offerings in the unplugged series - since I hold this series to be some of the best made beers in the U.S. (Imperial Saison, Berliner Weiss, Enigma, etc). Chicks will likely dig it.

Photo of scaliasux
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Medium amber-red. Clear. Thin apparently off-white head.

Smell - Most prominent aroma is sweet-tart cranberry. Maybe a hint of light malt.

Taste - Starts with a mild sweet malt. Tart flavor of cranberry dominates. Authentic flavor - nothing of the cranberry cocktail here. A little extra green apple sourness in the finish. Seems well balanced to me. Very nice, unique beer.

Mouthfeel - Light and crisp.

Drinkability - Two Wisconsin breweries are quite prominent in the fruit beer area. Where Leine's Berry Weiss seems to do everything wrong, this seems to do everything right. I wouldn't argue a bit if New Glarus decided to add this one to its year round slate.

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

12oz bottle poured into a New Glarus flute.

Beer pours a fairly light red orange color with a white, very small and very fast head. Almost none to be seen. No lacing is left as the head vanishes. Small bubbles continue to rise through the beer throughout the drinking. Smell is sweet and sour with cranberry very present. Taste is that of carbonated cranberry juice, just not as thick. Carbonation is high and the beer bubbles across the tongue all the way through. Very easy drinkibility as this has low ABV and is like a fruity soda. If you are a fan of cranberry this would be a very good beer for you. I can see this being a good one for the ladies also. Not my favorite flavor of fruit but still a good beer. New Glarus has done well with this one. I will be most likely revisiting this one soon, probably with my girlfriend. Definitely worth a try before it's gone.

Photo of nectar14
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12 oz.

Gold/amber color with a slight tint of red, 1 finger head that dissipates down to a collar. Plenty of bubbles come out w/ swirl.

Reserved nose, mild lambic funk complements the cranberry and cherry.

Very clean flavors of pale grain, cherry, cranberry, and brett come through. Not big by any means.

Very easy drinking, easy to like. Smooth, clean, with nice carbonation carrying the flavors out.

High drinkability. Could drink several of these. Not overpowering at all. Laid back and satisfying.

Photo of hardy008
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale pink color with a small off white head with poor retention and no lace. Smell is tart cranberries and some oak. The taste is not as tart as the smell, there is some sweetness balanced with the tartness which I am glad for. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Has a somewhat "sticky" feel to it. The drinkability is pretty good.

Photo of DiabolikDUB
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from Bottle into Pint glass.

Pours a orange color with red highlights and a finger of pinkish head that quickly dissolve into a thin layer of broken head and a light ring around the glass. Aroma is a light cranberry, some barnyard funk and a touch of alcohol. The flavor is a nice balance of sweet malt with a good amount of cranberry tartness and finishes semi-dry. Its light-medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. This is a very delicate beer, the aroma more so than the taste, but still has plenty of cranberry. Very classy beer.

Photo of demcorhip
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying this one after Christmas dinner, in the flute i got from the Spooner Health System just over 5 years ago upon the birth of my daughter. A nice looking beer. A pinkish red highlighted over amber in colour. Decent one finger pinkish head formed on the pour, and sticks around, thanks in part to an active stream of bubbles from a nucleation site on the bottom of the flute. This sheets of lace form then breakdown into an intricate web which mostly succumbs to gravity.

The smell is quite nice. Fruity aroma of cranberry greets the nose, some clean pale malts, and the creamy vanilla character of their famous fruit beers is also present. Im looking forward to tasting this....

Very nice. The taste is much like the nose. The creamy vanilla character really adds complexity to this brew, and while the pale malts take the backseat to the fruity and vanilla notes they are evident. The cranberry is quite evident, but certainly not overpowering. Once again the craftsmanship of Dan Carey is quite evident.

Another brilliant offering. Very well balanced, the slightest touch of funk is also present in this brew, the tartness of the cranberry slowly grows as I enjoy this brew, but there is enough residual sweetness to keep things in check.

Quite drinkable for what it is. A great after dinner drink, and could pair quite nicely with a dark chocolate themed dessert. One will be enough, after all this is a decadent treat. Very highly recommended. Hopefully this is brewed again, it would make a wonderful late fall seasonal offering, and is a great compliment to the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Photo of tpd975
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice strawberry pink hue. Small fizzy head. No retention or lace.

S: Nice fresh cut oak, tart berries, and fresh sweet cherry juice. Nice sweet tart thing going here.

T: There is nothing that New Glarus does bad. Wow. Light tart cranberry up front. Sweet Belgian red cherry juice, and very very light oak. No acid.

M: On the lighter side, sweet and light tartness.

D: Damn good.

Photo of Onenote81
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle of this during my visit to WI. Pours a murky reddish hue with no head at all. Tiniest bit of lace sticks to the glass. Scents of cranberry, leather, and hay.

Nice crisp body to this beer. Light carbonation on the tongue. Flavors of tart cranberries, green apples, barn funk, and a touch of wood on the finish. This was really good. It's not a style that I can drink much of, but this was really well-made. Nice work, NG!

Photo of Arbitrator
2.8/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. From the beer exchange, courtesy of mattafett. Thanks Matt!

A: Pours a clear ruddy/pink hued copper body that momentarily develops a finger of off-white head. There is a small collar after collapse, with no lacing. Swirling pulls many bubbles out of suspension and produces a pretty decent (but again, short-lived) head. Quite nice for the style.

S: Tart cranberries with the slightest lactic sourness. Nicely oaky. Just the lightest hint of hay, must, and earth.

T: Fruit-forward to be sure, with a dominant, tart cranberry flavor that is supplemented by sharp lactic sourness. The mid-taste is still tangy cranberries rounded out by tannins and vanilla. A soft funky presence as the taste draws to a close, manifesting as must, earth, and rhubarb, with a semi-dry finish. I don't consider this a true lambic (not a lot of bacterial character), but this is worlds better than the Sam Adams attempt at the style.

M: This is drier than the NG Raspberry Tart and Belgian Red, but it still showcases the fruit nicely in an interplay of sweet and sour. Carbonation is restrained, giving a hint of bite and cleaning up nicely without interfering with the flavor.

D: New Glarus impresses me more and more with each beer. This is an outstanding fruit beer. I wish they'd stop labeling these things lambics / gueuzes, because those words invoke expectations of certain flavor profiles that just aren't found in their beers. A mediocre lambic or wild ale, an A+ (4.5 / 4 / 5 / 5 / 3) fruit beer.

Photo of steadydose
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a New Glarus flute. Thanks for the gift pack skybluewaters.

Beer looks a lot like light cranberry juice. (duh). 1/2 finger head that recedes quickly. This beer has high clarity.

I can smell cranberry, a little wood aroma and faint malt sweetness.

The taste follows the nose with cranberry, beer is sweet initially and finishes with good tartness. Beer leaves hardly any aftertaste. I don't get much oak or wild yeast flavors. Beer is pretty straight forward, with lots of cranberry goodness.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing

Overall, it is hard not to gulp this beer down. Its refreshingly tart, although it makes my stomach feel a little sour. I would have liked more complexity from the oak or a little funk, but good beer overall. Enjoyable.

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

12oz bottle to tulip.

A: Golden color with rosy hues and a rosy pink head. A swirl really got the head going again.

S: Sweet fruit and cranberries. Some wildness in there. Earthy smells.

T: Cranberries followed by a sweet acidity, with just a minimal amount of sour. Mostly sweet and fruity.

M: light bodied and tart and tangy. Nicely carbed but not super active. I enjoyed carbonation.

D: Very good and highly drinkable. I enjoyed it greatly as did anyone I gave a try to ;) I will sit on my 2nd bottle to compare after it has some time on it. I'm not a lambic expert by any means so this will be an interesting exploration of the style.

Photo of billyzoom666
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. An average speed pour caused a slight head. The head faded quickly and there was a nice slight carbonation. The beer itself is beautiful. It looks and smells like a carbonated cranberry blush wine (which, I'm not a wine guy, but I love a bottle of this every year...a Wisconsin tradition maybe). The initial taste gave a sharp cranberry bite over the tounge. That taste disappears all too quickly though and what's left over after that first bite, unfortunately wasn't all that impressive. I wouldn't say this has high drinkability, but with a medium body it's definitely a flavor where one or two would go great with a holiday meal.

Photo of portia99
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received in trade with cvaypai. Thanks again Craig! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours a beautiful pinky ruby red color with a thin collar of white bubbles and a few islands floating on the surface. This beer is crystal clear with small streams of bubbles rising from the depths of the glass.

S - Tart, acidic, cranberries, confectioners sugar, and quite a bit of floral, perfumey aroma (roses, maybe?). A touch of sour, and just a hint of funk in the aroma.

T - Sweet and sour...powdered sugar mixed with tart cranberries. A nice offset to each other. Very interesting beer. Cranberries go great with tart beers - just meant to be together. No real malt or hop flavors are detectable...all fruit and tartness.

M - Thin and waterlike in body. Carbonation is medium to high and puts an assertive tingle on the tongue. Tart, but not overpowering - not drying like many sour beers tend to be...actually makes the mouth water while waiting for the next sip.

D - This is an incredibly easy drinking beer. Something that non-beer drinkers might enjoy too. Quite tasty and fruity, tart and refreshing. Alcohol seems quite low and is not at all noticeable while drinking. Great sessionable beer...would love to have a few more of these.

Photo of womencantsail
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to cvaypai for hooking it up with this one. Thanks Craig!

A: The pour is an amazingly clear ruby color with a lot of carbonation bubbles, but just about no head.

S: The smell is interesting. There is a mild tartness, cranberry, and also a sweet aroma. A slight bit of spice is also in the background.

T: This one is really full of cranberry, as you might expect. There is a mild tartness, but definitely not up to par with what you might think of when you hear a bear labeled as a *-bic. The sweetness is mild at first, but becomes more pronounced throughout the drinking experience.

M: There is a very nice, crisp feeling on the tongue, with plentiful carbonation.

D: The beer is fairly drinkable, but becomes just too sweet as you get through the glass.

Another interesting beer from New Glarus, but a bit more of a sugary beer than I was expecting. It's definitely not a lambic, but it's still significantly better than Sam Adams' offering.

Photo of sweemzander
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear but pale red color with copper highlights. Produced a large bubbly white head that dissipated down to bubbles after a minute or so.

(S)- Layers of tart cranberries with a cinnamon/nutmeg/oak spice. Has just a touch of baked apples among the cinnamon.

(T)- Plenty of crisp and delicious tart cranberries that quickly turn into a cherry character. The oak really gives it a brief dryness that comes & goes in-between the fruit. Definitely sour but not overly so.

(M)- A great carbonation level that fizzes to life on the tongue. A very crisp and refreshing beer that puts a fun twist on a fruit lambic with cranberries. The light spiciness from the oak creates a dynamic profile.

(D)- A great lambic made in perhaps a not-so traditional way. Yet again, New Glarus continues to surprise and impress me even further with their offerings. I could definitely have a couple of these.

Photo of kbm
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vacax hooked me up with a bottle of this gem. Thanks buddy!

Appearance: Pours clear beautiful amber/ruby or, dare I say, cranberry colored. Very clear with a small white head. The head dissipates quickly, leaving behind a nice long lasting ring of head on the edges. Very little lacing.

Smell: Upfront is cranberries, cranberries and cranberries. Cinnamon, apple slices. This smells great. There is a bit of Diacetyl butteriness but it doesn't bother me.

Taste: Great cranberry flavor. Mild tartness. Initially, I'm picking up a little bit of rubber in the back end, but it disappears pretty quick. The sweetness is balanced well; it's not overly sweet at all. This tastes a lot like a carbonated cranberry iced tea - I mean that in the best way possible.

Mouthfeel: Sharp carbonation. There's a butteriness (Diacetyl?) to the mouthfeel that I find really enjoyable.

Drinkability: It's very drinkable. With the sweetness in check, I think even more drinkable than your run of the mill fruit beer.

Awesome fruity lambic. I wish it was readily available.

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 once bottle into a champagne flute.

Pours a medium blush with an active fizzy head that dies to a cap but laces the glass well considering the airiness of the head. Crystal clear with the blush color,the color is very attractive.

Aroma is cranberry sauce, the real kind, not the candy sweet kid stuff. Cranberries and sweet grain. The aroma is almost of cranberry cake, like a 7-Up cake with cranberries. Aroma is quite pronounced, even though the beer is chilled. Slight alcohol whiff is very faint. Small aroma of fibrous fruit pulp.

Flavor is cranberries, fresh tart cranberries. Sweet, light bodied malt and mild yeast flavors ride in the background. The middle is tart cranberry and sour yeast. Cranberries taste slightly bitter from the flavor of the skin of the fruit, which balances everything out. Finishes tart, slightly bitter and sour and completely refreshing. The beer tastes more of cranberry than beer, but it is not sickly sweet like some fake fruit beers I've had. This tastes like real, fresh fruit. There is a very interesting bourbon flavor in the finish hiding which adds to the complexity of the profile. I pulled this out after the beer warmed a bit.

Mouthfeel is thin and crisp carbonation is aggressive and fits well with the tart sweetness of this beer.

Dan hit another homer with this one, very quaff-able and infinitely tasty. Reminds me f a cranbery version of Belgian Red.

Photo of Gtreid
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle thanks to mothman. Poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

A: Clear, ruby red color. The pour produced a nickel size, pink head, that vanished before my eyes. The beer left no lace.

A: Sour fruit. Cranberries, cherries, strwberries, and lemon. I get a little chardonay as well.

T: Sweet and sour. I get the sour up front and the sugary syrup at the back. There is just a touch of funk to this as well. Really tasty.

M: Medium body. Although there is sufficent carbonation, I would have liked to see a bit more. The mouthfeel gets a little syrupy.

D and overall impression: The relatively low ABV accompanied with the sweet and sour aspect really make the drinkability quite good. Overall, I think this is a very good example of a lambic. I can't wait to get to Wisconsin next week to pick up some more of this one. Skal.

Photo of rpstevens
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to maximum12 for this beer. Poured from a bottle into a White Birch glass. The beer pours a light red, almost pink (the color of pink champagne almost) with a one finger pink-to-white head that fades to a tight white ring around the edges of the glass.

The smell is fairly muted, some fresh cranberries and oak, pleasant but not very strong.

The taste is a perfect blend of brown sugar, oak, tart cranberries and graham cracker malt. There is also some citrus characteristics in the background. All of the balanced flavors come at you at first, and then a huge wave of tart cranberries takes over and blasts the taste buds.

The beer is light, well carbonated and the mix of balanced flavors, cranberry tart and the dry finish make give it a great mouthfeel. This is a beer that I could drink a lot of, as it's not overly sour and all the components come together very well. This is definitely a beer I will revisit.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to younger35 for this one. He's talked this one up pretty good, it better not suck.

12 oz. red foil topped bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a clear brownish/ruby with a quick one finger off-white head. Very minimal stick to this one, not much on the sides of the glass at all. Smell consists of sweet red berries; cranberries, cherries, and strawberries. Some tart, but not overdone. Some earth and toasted grains in the nose as well, although the aroma is all about the fruit. Wow, flavor has much more cranberry to it than the aroma leads on. All those other berries in the nose are gone, just cranberry on the tongue. Taste has some wood and biscuit flavors as well. Once again the tartness is really kept in check, this tastes more like a fruit beer than a lambic. Light to medium body with a sparkling feel from the lively carbonation. I've never been a fan of fruit beers, but New Glarus seems to know how to perfect them. This beer is amazing and really needs to be brewed more often. Scary drinkable, top notch beer, delicious, etc, etc...

Photo of mothman
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into delirium tremens snifter.

Pours a small white head that fades down instantly. Color is a clear bright cherry pink red.

Aroma: Really nice aroma. Fresh cranberries. Very fresh. Low hop profile. Tart. Not a lot here, but I like what is here.

Taste: A lot more flavors are in the taste. Sugar, cranberries, yeast, cherries. A nice big taste. I really enjoy this.

Mouthfeel: Very refreshing and tart. Fairly light bodied. Good carbonation level. Ends pretty clean. Very good.

Overall, I think this beer is amazing. Very refreshing and I am glad I have decent access to this. I think this is one of my favorite beers that have come from the unplugged series. I could drink a lot of this.

Photo of homebrew311
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured in to Delirium snifter. Big thanks to drhinehart for hooking me up with this one!

A: Pours a sparkling reddish pink. Crystal clear with a slight ring of foam, no real head to speak of. This has a really nice color, reminds me a of a blush wine.

S: huge tart notes from the cranberries, some acidic sours notes, a little woody funk going on, some notes of vanilla, this smells like a legit fruited lambic

T: the taste starts with sweet fruity notes which quickly turns into tart, and acidic notes. The cranberry is the star of this beer and is showcased in an amazing way. The flavor manages to capture that hint of sweetness followed by the nice tart finish. This one finishes long as residual tart cranberries dazzle on the palate for a bit. This does not taste like beer, no traceable alcohol whatsoever

MF: this has a very light body with a nice amount of carbonation, seems to fit with the flavor profile of the cranberries perfectly

D: This is insanely drinkable. It has a nice crisp finish that leaves you wanting more I'm not huge into fruit beers, but New Glarus has challenged that preference time and time again with Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart, this one is no exception.

Unplugged Cranbic Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.