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Unplugged Cranbic Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged Cranbic AleUnplugged Cranbic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

574 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 574
Reviews: 318
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 235
Gots: 88 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: alcstradamus on 10-16-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 574 | Reviews: 318 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billyzoom666
3.73/5  rDev -11%
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
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
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
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
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
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
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
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
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
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
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
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of emerge077
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After drinking half a case of this, the realization came it was time to slow down. I hadn't stopped to review it yet! What was I thinking??

Into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip, 45º straight from the fridge. They recommend a flute on the label, but I tried it and prefer the tulip. Bright ruby orange, with a pink-tinged crown of vanilla cranberry sherbet. As it breaks, a drippy semicircle of lace is left on the opposite edge.

Barrel aroma of musty oak, vanilla, and obvious cranberry. Restrained and not especially funky, the proportion of fruit stands out, but with the traditional note of wet wood in the background. A swirl later as it warms brings out mild notes of rhubarb, cheese rind, and hay, but overall it's a little subdued.

Tart and spritzy, pure juicy cranberry and vanilla oak flavor. Firmly tart verging on sour, but it disappears as quick as it arrives. A tartness more characteristic of lactobacillius, clean and ephemeral, rather than acetic and lingering. There is distinctly dry, oaky aftertaste. In the middle as the cranberry recedes, residual vanilla and hay notes wash over. Simple and straightforward, not as complex as traditional Belgian lambics, but a lighter, more palatable traditional version for a broader audience (the gf loves it). It bears mentioning that this isn't intended to be a "traditional lambic", but simply inspired by them.

Light feel, almost too light, this is utterly slammable in fact. Not Cantillon sour, so there's nothing holding you back. It would be dangerous if the abv were any higher. The fruit is so well integrated, similar to the Apple Ale, with touches of Enigma-esque barrel complexity. Dan Carey does it again. I'd like to see a version of this with more than 5 months in the barrel, just to see what the critters do...

Photo of vacax
3.35/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a pinkish orange color with a fizzy one centimeter white head. The head disintegrates rapidly. High clarity. Aromas of buttery, sweet malts mix with some tart cranberry, cinnamon, and a big dose of wood. Tastes of butterscotch, spicy oak, and a tart cranberry balance on the midpalate. Salty buttered popcorn on the finish. Diacetyl level is a major flaw. Luscious medium body with a smooth, creamy carbonation, however the mouth is left salty instead of puckered. Pleasant enough to drink a bottle of this, but a sore disappointment.

Photo of PrinceDarren
3.32/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This tastes like what it is - fermented cranberry juice. My grandfather used to make cranberry wine back in the 1970s and this has some similarities to his experiments in his Beloit, WI cellar (I recently drank one of his bottles that had aged for over 30 years. We miss you Grandpa Ray!)

As far as lambics go, I'm not the biggest fan. I've had enough to tell the difference between those that are high quality and those that are not. New Glarus typically excels at this style. Their cherry Belgian Red, for example, is top notch. This one just tasted too much like plain old ocean-spray cranberry juice cocktail.

It lacks complexity and purpose. Some of you lambic fans may have a different opinion and might find that you like it very much. For me, it was an average-to-above-average beverage that just "is what it is" - a cranberry lambic style ale. Perhaps I should serve it colder next time...

Photo of drabmuh
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle without a freshness date into a Lindemanns lambic flute. Beer is clear and light red in coor. Carbonation high but the head is falling away quickly, not too much lacing on the glass. Lots of large bubbles in the beer. The head is thin and broken made up of small bubbles. Very effervescent.

Beer smells sweet and sour. There is some woodsey tones to the aroma. Smells very good.

Medium bodied beer, very tart. A fruity aftertaste, there's the wood again. Beer is drying not cleansing. Interesting flavors. Very fruity, hard to explain. Mouthfeel has good palate connectivity, almost a coconut-like flavor in there. Beer gets sweeter the more I drink it. I'm really enjoying this beer. I was slow to warm up but now that I have been sipping, I'm loving it.

Photo of robbyc1
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy orange light that is with small white head, good lacing, very nice.

Nose of cranberries, yeast, and sour vinager. Fits nicely together, sour milk nose as well.
The flavor has the crans, plus cherries, and vinus winey fruit. More tart than the other fruit beers they make, this is damn near perfect.

Optimal medium body, well carbonated, and a drinker for sure. So tart yet balanced this is an optimal refresher.

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

Pours an appealing ruby orange color with a small frothy white head. Aroma is cranberry juice. Period. Flavor is similar. Blackberries and cherries with a distinctive cranberry tartness in the finish. New Glarus manages to make another beer that tastes exactly like a fruit. Awesome.

Photo of mikey711
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this as an extra recently.

A: Its pretty vibrant orange, no head whatsoever or lace, but it is perfectly clears. If it wasnt as clear at it was I would have been slightly disppointed.

S: Very mild aroma of cranberries. There is a slight bit of funk that smells like hay and wood.

T: The cranberries are very prevelent and very pleasant. At times it is like drinking cranberry juice. There is not a ton of funk but a bit of honey sweetness and some wood notes.

M: No vinegar or booze which i found enjoyable. Slightly harsher than I would have liked but still.

D: It almost tastes liek a sprtizer but is highly enjoyable for those who do enjoy sours and or those who do. Light and enjoyable

Photo of davedahl
3.74/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man I love New Glarus. I drink all their stuff. And I love the fact that 7 years ago (or so) they pulled out of distributing in Chicago to have enough product to satisfy Wisconsin. That's cool.

But the Cranbic Ale, while interesting, and a worthy investment, is nothing to shout about.

- Appearance: pours fast, you really need to get on it to drive a head out of the beer. A half-finger head dissipates to nothing in a couple minutes. Color is a light amber with a bit of a rose' tinge.

- Smell: tart cranberries on the front, cloves(?), slight nondescript sweet smell in the middle, malt on end of aroma, pretty simple.

- Taste: Sharp sugar, sweet cranberries, slight malt on the finish. Not terribly lambic-like...no real complexity.

- Mouthfeel: slight acidic bite (true to style), cleans up fast, but berry-like sweet aftertaste with some tartness.

Photo of LittleBug31
4.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Appearance: Beautiful Christmasy rosy red/pink that glows cozy and warm when held up to light.
Pale pink head with a subtle bubbly sparkle. Looks like the perfect holiday picture when poured into a snowflake flute (to match the flakes falling outside tonight!).

Smell: Excites my nose with a strong cranberry aroma reminiscent of my grandmother's homemade cranberry sauce. Light and sweet with flowery hints once you get past the juicy berries. A bit winey-smelling; alcohol barely present.

Taste: Perfect balance of sweet and tart. Intense cranberry flavor that bubbles all the way into my tummy. Sparkly and delicious--brings upon a feeling of happiness and holiday cheer. Sour, but not puckering.

Mouthfeel: Finely carbonated, burns my tongue in the most pleasant way possible. Smooth, no heaviness.

Drinkability: Awesome beer, but with the intense tartness, I'm not sure how much of this I could drink at one time. One bottle is delightful, however.

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

A: poured into a Surly snifter. Looks darkish pink with very little head and minimal lacing.

S: very tart cranberries with some serious funk

T: more cranberries, good mixture of tart and sweet. can taste the funk but the cranberry balances perfectly with it

M: light, sweet, tart, bitter and crisp

D: could drink several of these if only I had more. The cranberry and funk is blended together perfectly.

Overall, an amazing fruit beer. Would highly recommend everyone try if you can get it.

Photo of brian23456
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a DFH Signature glass.
A- Nice copper/pinkish hue, not much for head or lacing.

S- Tart cranberries, funk and maybe a little oak.

T- Mmmm Fantastic! Refreshing and lots of cranberry flavor. Then tart with a clean finish that makes me want to have another drink. After a few more drinks I think there is a slight flavor of cherries and grape. The oak is mellow.

M- Medium-light body, good amount of carbonation, perfect for the style in my opinion.

D- This glass is emptying very, very quickly.

I would like to give this beer a 5/5 as it seems flawless, but after having Blåbær, I just can't give it a perfect score. Very easy drinking, well balanced and tasty. Easily my second favorite lambic/fruit beer, for now...

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

had this with wisconsin belgian red and raspberry tart and old english porter. it was a new glarus tasting potpourri.

looks light red, somewhat transparent. lots of white bubbles, nice white head.

smell is sour, funky, sweet. interesting. unique. I'm not a sour beer guy in general, but I liked it.

tasting it....wow. first 1/3 I was trying to figure out the flavors. second 2/3 I appreciated them. vinegar, sour fruit, some sweetness, a little funk, but not too much. this is a really interesting beer. I kept coming back for more, and I can't say that for the others listed above.

Clean and dry, disappears quickly on the tongue. Rather elegant.

definitely the best of the new glarus fruit beers I tried.

might end up being a gateway beer for me. Bring on the sours?

Photo of Casey10
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Does New Glarus do anything bad? This was a fantastic extra received in a trade from supercolter.

A - Light red orange hue with minimal head.

S - Cranberry, nothing more nothing less very floral though great smell.

T - Cranberry thats what they were going for and got it spot on nice and tart just the right amount of sweetnees as well.

M - leaves a puckering feel after drinking one a great one at that.

D - Rated as 5, as I want another this was the only one I had and was a fantastic drink so smooth and tasted so great !!

Photo of kbutler1
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my first forays into fruit beers although I have had some lambics before. I poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Poured a beautiful light crimson color with a small head. Smells of tart fruit and maybe sherry like alcohol notes. Taste does not dissappoint, nice tart sour flavors of cran followed by a subtle sweetness to finish it off. Has an excellent light feel in the mouth. Very smooth from start to finish.
I am really impressed with this. Not something I could drink everyday as it was a little sweet but very tasty. I need to go buy more!

Unplugged Cranbic Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 574 ratings.