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Unplugged Abt - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged AbtUnplugged Abt

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

302 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 302
Reviews: 188
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 25
Gots: 45 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  9.75% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerwolf77 on 08-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Belgian Dark Candi Sugar encourages the decadence of rum, raisin dark chocolate and sherry like fruit tones to conspire happily in almost 20° Plato.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 302 | Reviews: 188
Photo of Chaney
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with BeerFMAndy a few years ago. Thanks, Andy!

Served in a Mekong snifter.

A: Funny, this poured clear as a bell, yet reddish brown and with really no head.

S: GLORIOUS! This was the smell I've been searching for in terms of American-made Quads: Figs, brown sugar, plums, raisons, and no alcoholic scent to speak of!

T: Excellent taste, yet not as complex as I'd hoped. All the top dark fruit players are there, and it had sort of a tea-like disposition overall.

M: VERY light in body and I'm not sure if that is what the brewer intended. Minimal carbonation, but the saving grace is that this wasn't sweet and had a killer balance to begin with.

O: I'm thinking this is probably a shell of its former self in terms of body and carbonation, but this drinks like a 70 - 80 shilling Scottish Ale!

Photo of Phocion
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into Westvleteren chalice. Beer was brewed in 2010 and kept at cellar temp since my purchase from a refrigerated cooler, so it is approximately four years old at the time of review. Dark mahogany color with a dense and creamy tan head. Poor retention but it drops to a swirly crown with thick sheets of lacing.

Very fruity aroma. Raisins, figs, and red grapes dominate, along with molasses and candi sugar. Slightly spicy yeasty phenols and a touch of alcohol.

Flavor is fairly toasted along with a nice touch of fruitiness. The grape flavor gives it a subtle vinous flavor, which combines nicely with the sweetness from the fermentables. Finish is alcoholic and fairly spicy.

Highly carbonated, medium-heavy body mouthfeel. A bit thick and sticky on the palate.

Overall, this is a good attempt at a Belgian DSA by an American brewery. It's a good beer and handles the age well, but it doesn't stand up to your St. Bernardus, Westvleteren, or Rochefort examples.

Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label and red foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired from the very generous Duff27 in a trade and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high given the brewery - which may well be the best brewery in this country - and the style (abbey ale) - which I tend to like.

Served at fridge temp and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Appears soft, supple, and inviting. Head retention is good - about 6 minutes. Has some nice lacing, but little sticks to the sides of the glass. It's a good looking head for an abbey ale, but frankly it barely holds a candle to that of the best examples of the style. It isn't as delicate or fragile as say, Westvleteren 12.

Body colour is an opaque very dark red. Appears well-carbonated. There are no obvious flaws here. No yeast particles or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a damn fine appearance for an abbey ale, but I've certainly seen better. Not unique or special, but certainly healthy and inviting.

Sm: Rich decadent dark fruit: figs, plums, raisins. Belgian candi sugar. Belgian amber malts. Belgian abbey malts. Cream. Rum-soaked fruits. Sugarcane. The teasing bright plum is a highlight here. Very luscious and seemingly well balanced. Slightly bready.

I do pick up on a definitive Belgian character, which I think comes from the use of abbey/Trappist yeast, but I don't find any explicit yeast notes per se (e.g. biscuity notes, clove, banana, etc.)

In no way boozy. No overt hop character is detectable.

Overall, it's a very appealing aroma of moderate strength. Attenuation does seem a bit low for an abbey ale; it's a bit more sugary and rich than I'd have anticipated.

Mf/T: Disappointingly, it's a bit weak and airy in terms of texture - almost akin to a nitro Irish stout. Smooth, wet, creamy, even refreshing. Shockingly light on the palate. Great overall presence. I'd prefer a bit more body and thickness though. Perfectly carbonated

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

The flavour profile delivers varied notes of dark fruit - mainly plum and fig, though I can see why the label suggests sherry. Raisin comes through too, but the texture isn't as dry as is needed to complement that note. Belgian candi sugar makes an appearance alongside wisps of Belgian amber malts and abbey malts. It's a biteen bready, but as abovementioned it isn't really as filling as you'd expect an abbey ale to be. A kiss of apple comes through as it warms.

No hop character or yeasty notes come through, nor does any alcohol, and I'm not finding the dark chocolate mentioned on the label.

Far from complex or intricate for an abbey ale, but in classic New Glarus fashion it boasts impressive subtlety and incredible balance. While I'm a bit surprised by how shallow the flavours are, I do like the beer quite a bit. Flavour intensity and duration are average.

Dr: It's strangely drinkable for an abbey ale. The airy texture makes it easy to quaff, but I'd prefer more of a full body and weighty presence to really support the flavours. With that in mind, New Glarus has brewed an abbey ale that succeeds in terms of taste but fails in terms of texture. I'd buy this again if I could easily find it on the shelf, but unlike most New Glarus beers in this series, it's not worth trading for again. As much as I love the brewery, this beer just didn't quite nail the style they were after. Maybe age hasn't done this well?

Low B-

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dull dark walnut brown with a thin white head that fizzles quickly into nothing. The nose is a potent candi sugar and bready sweetness forward with notes of aluminum, cherries, and peppercorn. Similar fruity sweetness found in the nose hits the palate first followed by bread and finishes with a slightly bitter & yeasty bite. It's light-medium bodied, malty, yeasty, and has slightly bitter, biting alcohol finish. This is a very drinkable and enjoyable abt, with very little alcohol detected, big bready yeast, and pleasant aftertaste. However, I think this beer would be better with more ramped up fruit in the nose and taste.

Photo of beagle75
3.49/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, dark amber color with a peripheral ring of off-white bubbles. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Cake, cooked apples, figs, and cloves make for a dark and traditionally Belgian-like smell. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins sweet, with heavy Belgian pale malt and some cola. Dark raisin fruit emerges into the middle, while earthy roast and hops bring up the rear in the relative absence of the layered malt of the early profile. Cloves linger on the palate alongside some late carbonic acidity. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium to thick viscosity, syrupy and heavy on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This quadrupel is light on obvious Belgian yeast character, so much so that it could be mistaken as a doppelbock. The other ingredients register clearly their contributions to the sensory profile, with the malt and hops almost volunteering to be dissected apart and illustrate the structure that is present. This beer could be especially attractive to those that enjoy strong dark ales, but not a dominant Belgian yeast presence.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, dark fruit, Belgian yeast, caramelized malts and a touch hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of dark fruit and caramel. Then a hearty roasted malt character and Belgian yeast come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a good beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to paco1029384756 for this one a while back.

Pours a nice fluffy almost 1 finger head thick and creamy but fades semi quick over semi clear cranberry maroon reddish brown color.

NOse starts with sweet malts, candy aromas, reddish toasty candy malts, candi sugar, toffee, caramel, a bit of a fermented apple pie aroma with soured apples, lots of Belgian esters and light phenols with a bit of booze, some nutty, nice brown malts, little candy bar aroma.

Taste starts with more candy, toffee, nutty, caramel a plenty, candy bar flavors, even a little candi syrup. Then sweet malts, crystal malts, belgian brown malts, sweet toasty brown malts, quite sweet overall. Booze comes in lightly but brings some appley esters as well as light phenols, a bit of a soud apple flavor too.Dried dark fruits, fig, raisin, candied nuts, etc. finish is still fairly sweet, lots of lingering candy malts and sweeteners, mild bitterness, booze starts warming more and more.

Mouth is med bodied, some warming booze that gets tingly.

Overall meh. nothing special, lots of candy and not much else, not really even Belgian style, some esters and phenols with the booze but they don't even seem to blend well. All the characters of the beer were good, but just seemed like the flavors didn't merge as well as they could have, I don't know what it was but the beer just didn't seem as good as the profile makes it.

Photo of GPHarris
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2010 vintage

a - poured a 1/2 finger thick bubbly, light tan head into a snifter that dissipated quickly to a thin ring and disappeared halfway through the beer. the body was a dark ruby red to purple color.
s - rum, belgian candi sugar, dark fruit aromas of plums and raisins.
t - sherry, plums, grapes, raisins with a rum burn in the finish.
m - medium and slick.
o - nice quad, not up to belgian standards but very interesting sipper.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark red-brown with a thin finger of frothy tannish head. Fades fairly quickly.

S - Dark caramel malts, candi sugars, fig, raisins, other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, spices, and a bit of booze.

T - Sweet caramel malts, Belgian candi sugars, fig, plum, raisins, other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, other spices, some booze.

M - Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth and a touch thick with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Very nice Quad. Great mouthfeel and overall balance. Great example of the style.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of candi sugar and dry fruits is quite nice with light candi ester. Taste is also a good mix between some residual candi sugar, fruit ester and dry raisins and plums with big malt backbone. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Solid interpretation of the style without being overly sweet.

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

AGED REVIEW

This one has been cellared at ambient concrete poured basement temperature in Madison, WI for about a year.

Pours out a dark yet clear mahogany with garnet highlights around the edges when held up to the light. A brief fizzle of cream colored head sadly doesn't leave behind any lacing, but expecting lacing from a aged quad is somewhat foolish in my experience. Body is on the thinner side of medium, light carbonation.

Smells mostly of prunes, fig newtons, and molasses with lesser amounts of raspberry and earthy tones. Tastes of all these things and also has a red madeira / raisin bread sort of mid-sip flavor. Believe it or not, there is still a faint garnish level of clove flavor and orange peel in it, but the other spicing elements have long since vacated the premises. The finish is where a small amount of malt oxidation shows up but it is nowhere near an deal-breaking issue at this point.

Special Cellaring Commentary:

Compared to how it was fresh, the sweet dark fruit and vinous qualities have been significantly amplified and the booziness that was a bit of an issue when fresh is absolutely nullified at this point. Very rounded, rich and full of luscious fruitiness. I'm sure that a cellaring age of 8-10 months rather than a year would save a bit more of the spicing qualities, potentially eliminate the faint cardboard oxidation in the finish, and still achieve my goal of sweetening up the fruit and sanding down the sharp edges of the booziness. Admittedly, this one was not really all that boozy to begin with, but it was enough that I wanted to see what would happen with some experimental cellaring...so I did. It was certainly a worthwhile experiment in the end.

Photo of liamt07
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Sammy, 12oz into a tulip. August 2010 vintage.

Brown with ruby highlights, tan head with a light ring of retention. Nose of grape juice, some rum notes, raisin and a hint of chocolate. Taste has sweet plummy and grape notes, light dark bread flavours, raisin and still some mild chocolate. Smooth sweet finish, gently integrated alcohol. A good quad, not super complex but very drinkable. Quite nice all 'round.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish snifter

A- pours a very dark shade of brown with a one finger tan head that fades quickly. Meh

S- the candi sugar comes through in the forefront...very sweet smelling aroma, with some dark fruit coming though as well

T- light bit of sweetness in this, mild dark fruit taste as well. Really not much else all going no here

M- body is leaning on the thick side. Lord.

O- not a huge fan...quads aren't really my favorite, but I can respect a good one. This isn't one of them.

Photo of beergod1
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an Old, slightly murky Brown, with a small off white head. The smell is dark fruit, Belgian yeast, faint alcohol, and a touch of spice. The flavor starts with the dark fruit...wow, full bodied, yet smooth. Plenty of sweetness to this beer. Lots of fruit flavors such as sour cherries, bananas, plums, and There is a mild spice note to the beer, mostly clove, along with brown sugar, and caramel malts. Abv starts to show when it warms. Good brew.

Photo of zonker17
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Listed as retired, but I just bought a 4 pack 2 weeks ago.

A - Poured a very dark clear coppery brown into a Rochefort glass. Light brown head of 1/4 inch very thin and dissapated rapidly. No lacing. Trace amount of sediment in the bottle.

S - Feight nose but good representation of the style. Spices and candied sugar.

T - At 45 degrees: not very complex but again fairly representing the style. Is there such a thing as a light ABT? At 55 degrees: subtle malt and spices arriving but not as much as I'd like.

M - Seems thin but somehow the alcohol is not overwhelming.

O - Doesn't stack up to a Belgian but still is a fair representation. Not sure I'd choose it again.

Photo of spinrsx
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle - thanks to iguenard for this one

Appearance - Clear reddish brown colour with a small size fizzy beige coloured head. There an average amount of carbonation and there isn't much lacing. The head lasted for 2-3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, raisins, rye, grains

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, chocolate, and malts. There is also some raisins mixed with grains, and a bit of rye. It ends with a malty dark fruit aftertaste with a hint of chocolate.

Overall - It's really amazing how masked the alcohol is in this beer. It's extremely drinkable and not cloying at all. The taste is well balanced and it's an above average beer that I'm glad I had the chance to try.

Photo of djmichaelk
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a goblet. Thanks to RTrain12 for the extra!

A - Pours a somewhat murky brown, with a slim half-finger of head floating on top. No retention or lacing to speak of.

S - The requisite plums, raisins, figs, and assorted dark fruit. Bit of brown sugar. Nothing superlative, but plenty fine for the style.

T - Candi sugar, toffee, dates, figs, and lots and lots of raisin. There's a bit of smoke in the background, but not much. It's sweet but not cloying.

M - Medium-dry finish, plenty of fine bubbles. Not aggressive in general, but for the style it's a bit harsh (at least compared to the Belgian examples).

O - This is definitely one of the better American examples of the style, although the Belgians blow this out of the water. If you live in the northern mid-west, seek this out. (Although I just realized it's retired. Oops.)

Photo of JRdaSconnie
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P: bottle hiding in back of fridge poured 1/2 into Leinie's Perfect Beer Glass.

A: Deep brown, dark copper in light. Light tan 1/2 finger head recedes into ring. No lace. Very effervescent.

S: dark sugars, caramel malts. Light boozy smell. Raisins, sweet, fruits. No hops per style. Very nice

T: malty, Belg yeast spiciness. Dark fruits &efforts sugars. Not as intense as I had hoped.

M: prickly effervescence. Champagne like. Thin compared to others in Abt/Quad style. Clean on tongue. Not much alcohol warmth. Would like heavier feel out of a slow sipper like this.

O: started out liking more then got boring by end of bottle. I would like better with more residual sugars/higher F.G. Very attenuated. Would like to hide one for a couple years and sample again. Glad I tried it.

Photo of nataku00
3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a hazy dark brown, with some lighter brown highlights at the edge of the glass. Initial half a finger of tan colored head dissipates quickly to a thin collar and a few patches of bubbles. Plenty of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Very light aroma, some sweet dark fruit, plum and cherry, brown sugar sweetness.

Taking a sip, fresh dark fruit, plum and cherry though light, some spiciness from yeast and fruity esters. Brown sugar and bready malt mid tongue. Finishes medium with some light residual fruity sweetness.

Medium body with plenty of zesty carbonation that is typical of the style. Cleans off your tongue nicely for the next sip, and not be heavy as the high abv is completely hidden.

Photo of xpdrinker
1.99/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle, trade extra from @shawnbgp - thanks!

A - Pours a clear, dark reddish brown. No head or lacing whatsoever.

S - Nothing. Nothing. Nothing at all. Seriously?

T - Barely carbonated apple juice, dark grapes.

M - Super light, low carbonation.

O - What the hell is this?

Photo of pmarlowe
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle to tulip glass.

A: Pours a clear reddish amber color with some light khaki head which recedes to a ring. Some nice tiny champagne-like bubbles. Decent retention and almost no lacing.

S: Malty raisin, sweet brown sugar, spiced rum, apple, and caramel undertones.

T: Amberish malt, rum and caramel, dark fruit and spice, followed by a little acidity and finishing off-dry with some candi sugar.

M: Light, smooth carbonation. Fantastic, lively, champagne-like mouthfeel. Perhaps lacks some of the heft of other Belgians, but not necessarily for the worse. Alcohol is not at all noticeable, and not particularly warming either.

O: Solid Belgian-style ale, on the lighter side but still maintaining nice complexity.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.94/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown color liquid, looks nice, leaves a good 1/2" head, and has decent retention and lacing. Aroma was very wine like, much of which is probably the very noticeable.

Lots of raisin and plum sweetness, tons of alcohol taste in this. Tons of brown sugary sweetness. I really don't have much more to say about this, a little bit of chocolate, but the alcohol and the sugary sweetness were a complete distraction and didn't really allow myself to contemplate any of the nuance or good flavors in this. Frankly, I know abt ain't my style, so I'm probably rating it higher than my actual experience was, but New Glarus makes so much good stuff, it kinda evened out an otherwise not as great as usual NG experience.

Photo of ahq514
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into St Bernardus chalice.

Pours a dark amber color. Few, but big bubbles rise to the surface and there is almost no head. Appears to have low carbonation.

The aroma on this beer is dominated by the yeast. Big and strong whiffs of dark fruits (raisins and plums) and a very light spiciness. There is also a rum-like alcohol aroma. There is also a decent malt presence, but less so than some of the popular Belgian quads I've had.

Taste is exactly what I expected from the aroma. The balance of malt and yeast influenced flavors tips a little bit more towards the malt than in the aroma, but still seems to be dominated by those dark fruits. There is also a good amount of warming alcohol that can be felt still a couple minutes after taking a sip; slightly reminds me of rum and coke (the alcohol part). Touch of brown sugar too.

Medium to full body and low carbonation. A nice sipper, alcohol can be felt.

An enjoyable quad, but lacked some complexity that I've experienced and enjoyed in other quads. Still quite delicious and another solid offering from New Glarus.

Photo of hippityhops85
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz foiled bottle into my St. Bernardus goblet. BIG thanks to kawilliams81 for the assist!

Pours an hazy purplish brown. Very little head on the pour and what was there quickly dissipates into nothing. What I'd expect from a good Quad.

The nose doesn't really have a lot going on. Definitely dark fruits, little bit of cinnamon or another holiday spice? Not really sure but whatever it is, it's muted.

The taste, on the other hand, is fantastic! Tons of dark fruits melded with a really nice Belgian aroma. If you put this in front of my blind, I'd probably say it was a Belgian. Impressive.

The mouthfeel is medium with little carbonation. I would have liked to have seen just a little more carbonation to really brighten this brew but I'm not complaining.

Overall, I love this beer. New Glarus is somewhat of an enigma to me here in PA so I'm always stoked to try anything new from them and they have been nothing but impressive thus far.

Photo of kawilliams81
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a La Choffe tulip.

A- pours a dark amber, 2 finger light tan head.

S- roasted malts, faint whiff of dark fruits

T- roasted malts, some smoked malt, slightest taste of vanilla

M- medium body, medium carbonation, dry finish

O- not my favorite style but a good beer none the less. Very simple beer could be a little more complex.

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Unplugged Abt from New Glarus Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 302 ratings.