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Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged Smoked Rye AleUnplugged Smoked Rye Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

241 Ratings

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Ratings: 241
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 14.92%
Wants: 31
Gots: 23 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerwolf77 on 01-17-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 241 | Reviews: 155
Photo of ChugginOil
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Up here in Northen WI sippin' on some locals.

This pours a dense amber ruby color with less than a fingers worth of khaki colored head. Spotty lacing. The nose is campfire smokey. Like pit BBQ. Had some ribs along with this brew to compliment. The taste is also very smokey and mesquite like. A little booze heat is noticed but not much. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamy texture. Moderate carbonation. Def. a sipper. Very bold smokehouse characteristics make this one great for grilled food.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to burnheartsMKE for sending me this one!

Pours a crystal clear iced tea color with a 1 inch off-white head that becomes a film on the top of the beer. Decent rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of smoke, band aids, malts, and spicy rye. Reminds me of a mix between a campfire and smoke smells that come from certain smoked foods. Taste is very smoke forward much like smoked meats or cheeses. There is a malt/rye taste and a bit of fruitiness after the smoke flavor fades. The label says this one is fermented with Turbinado sugar. There is a hint of the flavor from this type of sugar but very little sweetness. The aftertaste is mainly fruity on the palate. Beer has a mild carbonation level that makes for a prickly but medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice smoke elements. However, I am not too sure I would be able to have this one too often.

Photo of ddahlen
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel snifter with an extremely little amount of head.

On the nose I get quite a bit of smoke, it almost seems like I'm smelling a Hickory BBQ sauce. I'm having a hard time getting anything else on the nose with this one, the smokiness really predominates.

The taste has a great complex malty backbone with a smoky finish.

The mouthfeel is smooth and a bit on the heavy side, but definitely drinkable.

Overall, this is a super smoky beer. Not necessarily my favorite style, but I definitely respect this beer for what it is.

Photo of JoshVandy
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Shout out to Andy (DoctorRock) for throwing this in.
355mL bottle into a Bruery snifter.

A- Pours a reddish brown ruby color with about a 1 finger off white head that lingers for a while after the pour before dying down. Minimal lacing.

S- Smoky maple notes come though, with bacon and sweet maple syrup underneath there as well. I really like this, as it's very unique and interesting.

T- Sweet maple and brown sugar up front, followed by a lot of interesting smoky bacon flavor, and more smoke in the finish. Tastes a lot like it smells, which in this case, is a good thing. Very nice.

M- A touch over-carbonated for my liking, which detracts from the interesting flavor profile. Thin and light in the texture.

O- A very interesting beer that definitely has a super unique and delightful smell and flavor. I wish the this beer looked more appealing and felt better in the mouth. Worth a try regardless.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt (mtunnell) for this one. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Standard pour yields a 1 finger coarse off-white head with poor retention. Beer is a clear, dark amber. Lacing is non-existant. Not much to look at.

S: Nose is abundantly aromatic and smoky. Notes of maple syrup, logan, smoke, and bacon. Unique but very appropriate for the style.

T: Opens very sweet. Maple syrup, logan berries, light caramel and brown sugar. Smokiness creeps up towards the middle and end like charred wood. Malt presence remains throughout. Campfire-y at the finish with an accented maple syrup and smoke aftertaste. Very robust. Tasty.

M: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Silky and oily in the mouth but nevertheless with some ragged edges. Bubbles are present going down but rather viscous and heavy. Finish is accented with a lingering aftertaste. A bit thick for the style.

O: Overall this is a very unique take on the smoked beer style. A bit heavier and more rich than most, Smoked Rye Ale packs a very flavorful punch. Wish it would be a little less on the ABV though... it'd be quite the session beer.

Photo of Buebie
2.8/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color is pale and shaded with brown. Head formed about half an inch off a rigorous pour into an oversized snifter.
A skim of a collar now resides.
Aroma is malt driven with wisps of smoke off the swirl of the glass.
It smells a little like turnout gear.
Taste is a mixture of smoked meat, large dosages of malt and bready rye flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodies with moderate carbonation.
For me the smoke didnt mesh well with the rest of the beer.
Although no heat was noticeable i=and it has a smooth highly drinkable flavor. I just dont like the pairing with the rye.

Photo of BasementBer
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Red to brown hue. Poor head retention and a low brown finger of head.

S: This characteristic is fantastic to me. I am Vegan, so this is a bit wierd for me, but its smells like pork roast...and I like it. Hickory smoke with cherry notes.

T: You can really taste the wood, but also the deep thickness of the malt and that specific sugar used. Ive only had Jaggery in beer that was slightly comparable. Mild bittering finish with the boozy character.

M: Tingles. Its a thick wash on the palate and that smoke almost opens your nasal passage. Leaves a dryness in the cheeks.

D: Very nice beer with a special character and understandable that its not brewed that often. Lets keep it that way cause i cant drink many.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of levifunk, into a NB Globe.

A: Nice chestnut brown in color with an off white head that disappeared as quickly as it came to be. Excellent clarity. Pretty nice looking beer, even without a head.

S: Smells like peat smoked malt, a little bit of brown malt, kinda reminds me of a nice brown ale with some definite smoke. Slight bit of caramel. Not too shabby.

T: Really nice here, great smoked flavor, I get a bit of peat as well as some hardwood smoke as well. Nice little bit of caramel and vanilla in there. Brown malts, and a bit of a rye flavors, but the smoke and caramel is a nice combination.

M: Nice amount of body to this one, light carbonation, and fairly sticky. A bit of boozey warmth on the finish.

O: Nice beer, I really enjoyed the smoke and the bit of different graininess and body that the rye adds. Sweet and smokey is slowly becoming one of my favorite flavor profiles. Nicely done!

Photo of titosupertramp
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks goes to jawzman for the opportunity to try this.

A: Clear amber, ruby in color. About a finger of off-white head. Leaves some film and a large ring around the rim. Some lacing.

S: Out of the bottle, lots and lots of smoke, meaty in nature. Once it airs out a bit, the smoke dies down and you do get that band aid type smell. I know this'll sound weird, but I kind of like it. If you stick your nose down in there, you may be able to notice a little of the rye spiciness and just a hint of alcohol. Not terribly complex, but good none the less.

T: Good smokey flavor balanced out by the malt sweetness. Smoke, breadiness, slight rye spice and just a little alchohol. I tried really hard to find the hops in the taste, but wasn't successful.

M: Medium bodied, almost creamy. Leaves a slight tingle and burn.

O: This one is a sipper to be sure, but very enjoyable. If you're into smoked beers, this is one that you should certainly seek out.

Photo of Bighuge
4.8/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep bronze body. Thin dirty white head. Lace is minimal. Aroma is campfire smoke and smoked jerky. Also a sweet malty aroma. Great aroma. Awesome flavor as well. This is definitely in the Aecht Schlenkra range. Right up there, and that is high praise. Meaty malt flavor and smoky bacon like flavor. It really is an incredible blend and deserving of a 5. At 8.5% a/v, the alcohol is not noticeable. This is incredibly flavorful and drinkable. Dan does it again. I'd love to see this become a seasonal.

Photo of PurpleCloud
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep copper brown with hints of red. Very light, white head.

S: Heavy smoke and barley, very light on hops.

T: Very strong smoky flavor coming in, no real hints of hops, great aftertaste of grain and barley. But overall, the taste is absolutely dominated by smoke!

M: Smooth with moderate carbonation.

O: Big thanks to Wisrarebeer for dropping this one off. I'm a huge fan of smoked beers, and this one absolutely did the trick. The smoked flavor dominates, no gimmicks, no other significant tastes. If you're a smoked beer fan, this is a must!

Photo of EricCioe
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a transparent medium amber with a half finger head dying away quickly leaving no lace. On the nose there is an incredible smoke hit, and I like the other reviewers suggesting cured pork. It's not some wild, Laphroaig smoke, but quite refined. Further back there is some spicy rye. In the mouth there is a great balance between the smoke, the rye, and some sweeter malts. The spice and smoke especially really meld together. The body is medium full with a nice long finish with the smoke lingering longest. It might be a little sticky in the mouth, but that's a nitpicky point.

Overall, this is a fine beer. I've never gone out of my way to find a smoked beer before, but this one might have me changing my mind on that. It's well put together and the smoke is complimentary rather than overwhelming. Thanks to SalukiAlum for the assist.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to both BeerFMAndy and rmalinowski4 for getting me bottles of this. Served in a Captain Lawrence tulip.

Pours a medium brown color with a thin off-white head and a bit of lacing and a nice collar on the way down. The nose brings some lightly-smoked malt and it's just a tad bit meaty. Slight bread and just a bit of light caramel in the background. The taste is smokey toast. Pretty one dimensional, but nice for what it is. Smoked meats and lightly-toasted bread throughout. Light to medium body. A nice smoked brew.

Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a tulip it pours a saturated dark amber. Sharp clarity, with a finger's width of foam floating on the surface. Random spotty lace remains inside the glass after a few sips.

At room temperature, definitely porky. Sweet delectable smoked pork products, mmm-hmm. Sweet and dry smoke dominates the nose, though it's not super pungent, it's definitely front and center. Second bottle (chilled) I didn't get the porky aroma, but it was a sweet smoke that dominated.

Rich malt sweetness, phenolic peat smoke, lasting woody campfire notes. As an Islay lover, this is right up my alley. The smoke lingers for a good while, balanced by a honey malt sweetness. Earthy, smouldering piles of leaves. Lingering bitterness as well, though it fades quickly into a smoked out, ashy finish. Body is a bit light, reminding me of more of Shlenkerla Helles with a metric ton of smoke than the hambeast that is Urbock. The abv is dangerously camouflaged. Apple wood, hickory, extra woody and dry smokiness pervades all else. You'd better like smoked beer to get down with this...

Photo of Jason
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with that fancy red foil to denote that this beer is part of their Unplugged Series. No freshness date.

No pssst when the cap what pulled off though showed enough carbonation to produce a healthy looking lace on top of the dark tawny brew. Thick smokey nose dominates, some fruit and spicy rye make their way to the aroma though. Smoothness is on top of this thick creamy body, big and mellow. Sweet malt base with that trademark spiciness from the rye gets lathered up real good with a big dose of smoke. Caramel and toasted bread within. Modest hopping. Warming alcohol has some hints of some vague ripe fruit but stays clean. Smoke flavor stay and lingers, maltiness holds its own though. The 8.5% abv is pretty tame but does grow sip after sip.

Yeah, a sipper ... smokiness is big but never goes over the top. While not the most drinkable brew it definitely comes across as one of the most flavorful.

Photo of drizzam
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a clear amber in color (with red highlights when held up to a bright light), topped with a half finger light beige head. Not especially great head retention (probably partly due to the high ABV) but some spotty lacing was left nonetheless.

S - Smoky, with a sort of burnt Band-Aid aroma in the very beginning...this aroma then seemed to shift away from Band-Aids and more toward a smokey meat smell.

T & M - As smoky as it was in the nose, it wasn't as bad once it poured across my tongue. It seems some sweet malt mixes with light smoke...there also seems to be a bit of vinegar toward the back end. There is an understated complexity at play here. Some light fruitiness to it as well. Medium bodied and it finishes surprisingly clean. The alcohol is hidden extremely well...I can hardly believe this is 9.75%.

D - I think I expected a smoke bomb with this one, and I'm glad it wasn't one dimensional like that. Another hit from New Glarus, I was pleasantly surprised!

Photo of birchstick
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to BarrytheBear for sending this guy my way!

A - pours a nice caramel chestnut brown with hints of rustic orange. Very limited head with close to no retention.

S - smell opens up with some sweet caramel malt, followed by grains, which is then followed by an ashy, charred oak / smoke aroma. Sweeter smell than I had expected.

T - the front of the tongue is greeted with the caramel malt right out of the gates. The sweetness carries over to the middle of the palate, where it is soon mixed with a more grainy tasting malt bill (spiceless rye?). The charred smoke is on the finish with a bit of smoked ham. The smoke is there, bit lighter than most takes on smoked beers, which is much welcomed. This is also not to say this isn't smoky, just not as much as the bottle leads you to believe. A little bit of smoke and spicy rye are on the exhale. Pretty solid stuff.

M - as reviewers before me have stated, this is 10%?! Nice mouthfeel to it

D - really solid smoke ale here. Solid blend of flavors in the palate made this very unique and enjoyable. The best thing about this smoked beer is that is wasnt as meaty as other smoked beers i have had. New Glarus has another great offering in their Unplugged (now thumbprints) series. I would love some more of this.

Photo of rye726
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Up fro review is a bottle of New Glarus Smoked Rye Ale. Poured into a pinta glass, cold, real cold. Has some nice smoked malts and rye. Light to medium body. Drinks well. Interesting beer. I like how thw rye and smoke play together. Like two year old, best friends in a sand box.

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.76/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has a thin wisp of yellowish tan head supported by a clear slightly dense brown body with a red hue in the light. There is a gentle carbonation.

S- There is a soft plastic band-aid aroma that grows as the beer warms and a light caramel malt underneath. As the beer finishes with a hint of rye spice but it wrapped in the band-aid.

T- The plastic band-aid flavor is full and dominates with some spicy rye hint to follow and a dry caramel malt note that is a bit softer. The finish has a plastic band-aid that sticks to my tongue.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a soft fizz and an alcohol warmth that comes through as the beer warms.

O- The smoke is all plastic band-aid with everything else hidden and it was tough to get through a full bottle. I like a good smoked flavor in beer and food but this is all chlorophenols and it is to much.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.14/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Received as an extra from CaseyK, and later from semibaked, I believe. Thanks, guys.

A: Pours a clear, maroon body with a tan head that retains poorly. It collapses into a bead on the glass, with some broken, milky swirls on top of the brew. No curtains during sips.

S: Smoked wood that doesn't progress into bacon, the way Aecht Schlenkerla beers do (don't get me wrong, I like AS -- but as someone who stays away from pork, I sometimes get a little ill from those beers). It is somewhat salty, though. There are undertones of bread and rye that remind me of Staghorn, almost as if this is the same recipe but with some smoked malt added. Good integration on the nose.

T: As above, smoke comes through first and foremost. It's not tannic enough to be woody, exactly, but there is that rustic apple cider quality that I find in some New Glarus beers. It has a definite maltiness: very grainy, with great flavors of multi-grain bread (must be the rye). I don't get the spice bite that I typically associate with rye, though. Lightly salty.

M: I am completely incredulous that this is almost 10%. It drinks like a rauchbier: light in body, no heat. Very much a sucker punch in terms of the potency. Flavor integration is excellent.

O: I'm not a huge fan of rauchbiers in general, but I prefer this approach to the Aecht Schlenkerla Ham Beer interpretation. As usual, hard to find major faults with New Glarus...

Photo of ZAP
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off I am stunned at the ABV...no hint of that at all...drinks like a session beer...The flavor has a nice smoked meats impression, along with almost a candied maltiness (sugary)....a bit of floral aroma and just a hint of spiciness on the finish. The rye lays dormant on my buds....not a big rye impression but the smoke is pretty strong and dominates in a sense...

The more I drink this the more the sugary maltiness really seems to blend nicely with the smoke..almost a doppelbock sweetness with a smoked element....again, not noticing much from the rye.

Quality, enjoyable beer where the smokiness is strong but not overwhelming..

Photo of THECPJ
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark orange brown with a 1 finger head

smell: smoke, malts, sweet, caramel

taste: smoke, caramel malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: if you like smokey beers this is right up your alley. very interesting and glad I got to try it.

the CPJ

Photo of ballz50401
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a New Belgium globe glass.

Appearance: Dark bronze color with very little head.

Smell: Very smokey. Beachwood along with maybe some cherry, apple, and peat.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Smokey, spicy, and sweet. Alot going on here. Peat smoke. Dark fruit and caramel. Full bodied with a sweet finish.

Overall: This one is going in alot of different directions. Sometimes simple is better.

Photo of cjacobsen
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerFMAndy for this one

(A) Pours a clear reddish copper color with a thin head that lingers. Has a great even, deep hue to it that gets more brown when held up to the light.

(S) Smells sweet, definitely a good smokey base. Has the lighter malt aspect you get from rye. Slight meatiness to it.

(T) Has some apple and sweet smoke up front. Slightly sweet. Has a bit of wood character to it. The rye and smoke really add something to the ale base. Very good compliment. The alcohol is well masked as its almost 10% and you can't really pick up any of it.

(M) Well carbonated and lighter, but with full body. Hits the palate with a lot of flavor but doesn't kill your taste.

(O) Really well balanced with carbonation, flavor, and smoke. Not overly smokey and sweet like some smoked concoctions. NG Unplugged does not disappoint

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass, with a raise of the glass to Jeff, my tireless New Glarus supplier - you are a man among boys. Eskerrik asko!

Pours lightly hazy coppery-brown, with a creamy, two-finger tan head that settles into a thin, long-lasting creamy cap.

Nose is smokey up front, dry and campfire-esque, with a sweet, fruity undertone underneath. Bit of alcohol comes through clearly, despite the smoke.

Taste follows suit. Deep, rich smokiness is reminiscent of a well-crafted rauchbier, though a bit more restrained, and with a much stouter underlying malt body to hold it up as well. Sweet, almost sugary caramel and a rich fruitiness come through as well, more than balancing the smoke. if anything, I could have used even more smoke in this one. The sweetness really goes toe-to-toe with the smoke in a way that you don't find at all in rauchbiers.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky, smooth, creamy, with a bit of heat in the back of the throat. Though, this one certainly goes down easy, both for the smoke and the abv. Quite nice overall, a very enjoyable beer, with a smoky quality that captures the rauch style quite well. Doesn't quite live up to Schlenkerla standards, but that isn't to say it isn't a very nice beer. Danke, jeff!

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Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 241 ratings.