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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.

564 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 564
Reviews: 317
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 237
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: 564 | Reviews: 317 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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
3.33/5  rDev -20.5%
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
3.33/5  rDev -20.5%
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
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
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
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
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
3.73/5  rDev -11%
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
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
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
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
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
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
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!

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

Bottle received in a trade with brian23456 who is an awesome BA trader thanks!

Appearance: Pours a transparent brown with light garnet tinge. Head is slightly off white and minimal, as is the retention. Some lace.

Smell: Good mixture of cranberries, leather, cobwebs, oak, and lactic tartness.

Taste: Good amount of tartness followed by a semi sharp cranberry acidity. earthy grain, and wheat. Well done!

Mouthfeel: Crisp, fairly light, carbonation seems correct.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for a fruit lambic.

Another home run! Dan Carey is a genius with a better batting average than most brewers!

Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear strawberry with nice carbonation rising from the glass. White head displays some light lace.

Nose has tart cranberries, oak and farmyard funk.

Taste is full of sweet cranberries, wood, wild yeast and subtle funk.

Crisp, refreshing body. This is a great beer. It has a nice funky presence that I felt was lacking in their other fruit beers.

Photo of botham
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a wine glass. pours a fiery garnet color with a single finger of rapidly dissipating head that is gone after a few seconds. resembles a soft drink in appearance.

aroma is of light funk and a touch of fruit, alongside a light vinous tartness. very complex and well proportioned in the nose.

taste follows the nose with a masterful bouquet of light farmhouse funk, a touch of vinous acidity, and a distant note of sweet cranberries. the fruit is almost framboise-esque in character. very pleasant and easy drinking.

mouthfeel is a wonderful mix of a light body and a light tartness with a touch of effervescence. this brew is excellent in mouthfeel.

drinkability is very good. well done and extremely well proportioned as far as the fruit, funk and tartness goes. cheers!

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

from TPatuto in a trade, thanks Tom

A - this beer is a light brown with light-red
pink highlights, a fizy white head wells up from the pour that fades to a lace quickly

S - the aroma is very berry, similar to NG's raspberry tart, if i didnt know it was cranberry i wouldve guessed raspberry due to its similarity to NG Raspberry Tart, the berry-ness nearly drowns out all other aromas with the exception of a sour funk true to the lambic in it

T - theres the cranberry, the taste is very different from NGRT and very distinctly cranberry and quite delightful, the berry is poignant and abundant, but amazingly does not drown out the yeasty, funky lambic qualities that make lambics great

M&D - light and airy on the palate, with a dry finish, powerful flavors without drowning out other qualities and overpowering the palate, NG has mastered the art of adding fruit to beer and staying true to both, what a brew!

Photo of msubulldog25
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, capped in the now familiar red foil wrap. A Post-Thanksgiving treat; one of two bottles received, thanks to BA alcstradamus.

A: A careful pour leads to a less-than-lofty head, maybe a 1/2 finger of fizzy whitish-ness falling to a pock-marked cap. The glory here is in the color and clarity: a resplendent shine through vibrant copper-redness, an abundant cascade of small bubbles rising, sparkling. Lace sticks in creamy icicles and scattered flakes.

S: Tart fruit in the nose, a lactic twinge. Musty hay/wheat, wet grass, aged paper. Cranberry aroma is earthy and not very sweet, melding a dankness with a weathered woodiness. Some cereal grain wriggling in intermittently.

T: Punch of tartness upfront, not a pucker-inducer per se, but a cranberry tang that instantly gets one's attention. Once the initial hit subsides, the middle fruitiness is milder and sweeter, marrying with a vague woodiness and dry, earthy grain. The conclusion was the real surprise: yeasty like a buttered biscuit, a trace of vanilla and popcorn. A wonderful journey for the taste buds with every sip.

M: As mentioned above under taste, the feel evolves - what starts with an unsubtle crisp zeal (refreshing, cheek-drawing, astringent) gradually unveils a buttery creaminess. Light-medium body, dry/grainy finish.

D: New Glarus does it again, another terrific fruit creation; this will go on the mantle along with several other memorable brews of 2009. Although it's as memorable as any this year, Cran-bic wasn't the easiest to finish. The reflux induced by the acidity was an issue for me, the back-and-forth flavors grew tiring over the course of 12 oz.; that said I still want more! Highly recommended!

Photo of maximum12
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus could save me a lot of gas money by just sending their brews one state west to Minnesota. I find myself making at least monthly trips to the Badger State for something good. Picked up a four of this in Hudson, WI a couple weeks ago.

The pour is rosy & the coolest bits & pieces of head I've ever seen. The carbonation must have been hitting it just right, because every piece was moving in a perfect counterclockwise circle. Wild. Uh, smells like tart cranberries out of a can.

Cran-bic. Cranbic. Crrran-bic. Anyway you say it, this is good. Crisp & tart without being sour, sweet without being cloying, & taste of cranberries without tasting like cranberries (which I hate), if you know what I mean. The sweetness of the malt almost turns this to cherry vs. cranberry. Very clean, highly carbonated, but that seems right here. Drinkable? Man, this is one you need to put down between sips, having this held in one's hand would lead to the brew disappearing at a rapid rate.

Well, I've traded most that I picked up, now I'm going to have to go get some more. Excellent beer & another sterling effort from the Unplugged series. A perfect gateway lambic.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What a pleasant surprise, totally not into these lambics, but can recognize when one is decently made. Plus, you really can't ever beat a New Glarus brew. Almost always tasty.

Very pink, sweet, sour experience all rolled into one. Might be something cool to have in the beer fridge for when the ladies come over, but its almost too good to be that kind of drink.

This was one of my first forays into something that was fruited and sourish. Not a lambic per se, but hey, it opened my eyes.

Photo of bound4er
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A heavy pour produces about two fingers worth of white head that recedes rather quickly. Nice light redish color with orange highlights. Small dots of lacing. Not the most powerful nose but what is there smells great - spiced fruit (cranberries and cherries) with just a hint of sourness. Tastes very refreshing and clean - picks up the cranberries from the nose along with some maltiness and an overall sweetness that is not cloying at all. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Drinkability is through the roof. I can't put this beer down - when I finish a sip I immediately want another. I am no expert in this style but if this is indicative of lambics, I will be seeking others out. As always, another great NG Unplugged beer.

Photo of boatshoes
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this bottle as an extra from a very generous trader, Wisconsinbeer1, in a recent trade hooking up my dad with some NA beers. Thanks again!

Appearance- Pours a very intriguing strawberry blond color that is almost a pinkish red but with highlights of golden showing through here and there. More head than I expected for the style as well with about a finger of pinkish-white head growing off of the body and sticking around for a bit before dying back to a ring. Some lacing down the side of the glass as well as I drink.

Smell- Nose is comprised of fresh tart cranberries, mixed with cereal grains, and an interesting flowery bouquet that comes through as well. Can't really pinpoint the flower but can't shake the smell either.

Taste- Surprisingly, the flavor profile on this is not what I was expecting. Tart cranberries are present but not in the overwhelming fashion which I was expecting. Instead, they are integrated in with notes of honey, cereal, wild flowers, and a touch of sweetness. The cranberries do however linger on the palate in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is just the slightest bit thin even for a lambic but the mild tartness and complex flavors really make this a good drinker.

Overall, another incredibly unique and tasty beer from New Glarus. With exception of Spotted Cow, I have loved everything I've had from these folks thus far.

Photo of Wisconsinality
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from 12 oz bottle into New Glarus flute

A- This beer pours a nice pinkish/orange that is very transparent. There is minimal head that recedes rather quick. Many tiny bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass.

S- The smell is of fresh cranberries that you can tell are the real thing, not some syrup. There is a bit of woodiness to go along with what might be butter.

T- Much like smell, cranberry is the first taste but not overpowering. It is accompanied by the taste of wood which it was aged in. There also a creamy buttery finish that I particularly like. A good complexity that will probably get better with age.

M- There is that initial bit of bite on the front of the tongue but not too bad. There is a smoothness to this one, oddly just a little sour but not puckering.

D- On this, day of Thanksgiving, I give thanks to New Glarus for another stellar beer. I could put these back all night but that would take all the fun out of enjoying this great beer.

Unplugged Cranbic Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 564 ratings.