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Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Unplugged Smoked Rye AleUnplugged Smoked Rye Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

238 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 238
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.88%
Wants: 33
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: beerwolf77 on 01-17-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 238 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%

Aggressive pouring into a sam adams pint glass.

Appearance: amber, orange copperish colored body with a thin white head. Thin white lacing on the glass.

Smell: hickory smoked bacon on rye bread.

Taste: strong taste of bacon. Then strong taste of hickory smoke. Almost a sweet tasting smoke. Hints of rye that last far beyond the aftertaste along side the smokey flavor. Interesting, never tasted anything like this before.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation that is almost creamy.

Drinkability: This drinks like a bigger beer than i expected. Its a smoke bomb, but its still not overdone. Very flavorful without going overboard. Cheers to another great Unplugged beer from New Glarus!

03-05-2011 02:33:59 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. No date or info on the bottle.

A - Great clarity and deep bronzed orange in color but even a glug and tall pour couldn't create more than a thin skim of head on this one. Nice lace left over though.

S - Robustly smoked, this beer has a complex aroma of a dwindling campfire, liquid smoke, and peat-smoked malts. Rye and other ingredients are all but overshadowed by the smoke aroma. One-dimensional but good and inviting for a smoke beer.

T - Much more smoke profile in the nose, peat-smoked malts are left low in the flavor with rye pulling through nicely. Balanced but still leaning towards smoke.

M - Medium-bodied, smooth, and well-carbonated for the lack of a head, light smoke dryness comes through the finish but it's very well-balanced in the feel too.

D - This is a smoke beer people not generally fans of smoke beer might like. Big in the nose but more mellow in flavor, it's smooth and robust but not overdone at all. I wouldn't want more than two of these but I'd love to cook with it and pair it with cheese!

[I ended up pairing another bottle with Irish Dubliner and 10 year cheddar and it was fantastic. My mom also really liked it if that counts for anything :P]

03-04-2011 13:24:52 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of bertram
bertram

Illinois

3.05/5  rDev -20.4%

Pours an amber color, with a minimal head; smell is medicinal, like a band-aid, with a heaviness of smoke; an amazing amount of this smell comes through in the taste, with the majority of the flavor being that of a burnt wood; this beer really leaves a lot of the taste behind on the roof of the mouth.

I wouldn't say this is a beer I'd drink regularly, as it's not really my "thing."

03-02-2011 05:04:25 | More by bertram
Photo of BeerSoup
BeerSoup

Wisconsin

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%

12oz poured into pint glass.

A - Clear copper body 1 finger white head on a vigorous pour, head recedes quickly leaving no lacing.

S - Hickory smoked bacon, sweet smell of honey, hint of rye.

T - Hickory smoked bacon dominates with sweet notes of honey and spice.

M - Medium body turns creamy as it reaches room temperature.

D - While I'm not a fan of smoked beers this one took me by surprise. The flavor of honey becomes more pronounced as it warms up. Lacking the rye but one hell of a beer nonetheless.

03-01-2011 04:13:53 | More by BeerSoup
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +7%

Thanks to Severstad for this brew.

Pours into my glass a deep amber bordering on cola with a quarter inch of white bubbles that quickly becomes a ring at the top of the glass. Great clarity. Aromas start with...bam! Big meaty smoke all over the place. Reminds me of a smoldering campfire in the summer. Beneath it lies a somewhat spicy crisp malt body with caramel accents. Earthy as well.

First sip brings semi-sweet malts upfront with a mix of caramel and spicy rye. Smoke kicks into high gear and rides across the palate, big, meaty and earthy. A touch fruity with a hint of sweetness on the back end. Rye and smoke linger on the finish. An intriguing ale to savor!

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Good steady carbonation. Makes for a pretty good sipper. Overall this is a unique brew...smoke heavy with tasty rye in the mix. If you're a fan of smoked beers you'll probably like this, if not you should likely stay way. Cheers to New Glarus!

03-01-2011 02:40:56 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
UMNbeerhunter

Minnesota

3.2/5  rDev -16.4%

From a 12oz bottle into a town hall glass on 2/17/11

Pours and amber color with little head and no lacing.

Smells of smoke and roasted malts as well as some fruity tones.

Taste is not nearly as good as I expected. Zero hops and the smoke flavor is just off setting without any other complexity to this beer.

Mouthfeel is disappointing and the smoke taste sits in my mouth unfortunately because it doesn't taste all that great.

Drinkability is low. I really wanted to like this one but NG let me down on this one. Glad its an Unplugged series as this one should disappear.

02-28-2011 06:52:32 | More by UMNbeerhunter
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

2.98/5  rDev -22.2%

As a certified rye freak, very excited to hear about this one & eager to give it a whirl; & hoping for more rye & less smoke. Glancing down the reviews quickly, I temper that expectation.

Pours an almost fire-engine red, deep enough that you could almost see your face (or thoughts, if you're so inclined) reflected back at you. Gorgeous. Smell is like a beechwood pork barbecue slaughterhouse. Exactly like it. All I need is the buzz of a few flies & Mike Rowe.

Unplugged Smoked Rye is, for my taste, cruelly heavy on the bacon. Smoked pork assaults the taste buds, with the curling campfire smoke of damp wood close behind; very heavy-handed. The rye can be teased out, gently, if one concentrates hard enough, as a whisper of indeterminate spice just at the end. Then I get pig in the mouth again.

Decent enough beer, but disappointed that the smoked malts completely obliterate anything else - especially the promised rye. A rare miss from one of the Midwest's best breweries.

02-28-2011 03:09:03 | More by maximum12
Photo of Brunite
Brunite

Illinois

2.85/5  rDev -25.6%

I start by saying that I am not a fan of smoked beers. However; being a huge fan of Rye Beer and of New Glarus...thought I would give this a try.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. Clear amber with anice head.

Smell: Can't get past the smoke. Smells like hickory bacon cooking. Not a favorite of mine.

Taste: Smoked bacon and liquid smoke taste predominate. Rye is faint and in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and an oily feeling in the mouth. Smoke or liquid smoke residue??

Drinkability: Not good for me. But; I'll give NG props for doing a good job for the style. My fault in thinking this would be more of a Rye beer and less of a smoked beer.

02-28-2011 01:01:49 | More by Brunite
Photo of ChrisPro
ChrisPro

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF #4 (thanks, Khazadum)

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a beautiful crystal clear amber with a soft pillow of foam on top. The head lingers...and lingers...it's not going anywhere.

The hint on the blinded label gave away nothing as I was hit with a beautiful hiss of smoke as soon as the cap was popped. This is a subtle aroma, something that i'd like for a nice smoked trout (rather than a big brisket). Definitely some caramel on the nose as well as a strange fruit like apple or pear.

The first sip yields the definitive taste of a german lager yeast. I'm thinking some sort of smoked marzen at first. There's a little honey sweetness, followed by taste of bacon on the tongue. This gives way to a perfectly balanced bitter finish. This finish is predominately a slight roast, but there's definitely some hop action going on here as well. I wouldn't say over the top, but I do get a nice herbal bitterness. As it warms, I get much more sweetness; the essence of honey and some apricot seem to come out of nowhere.

Fairly solid body on this beer, despite its delicate aromas and taste. The bubbles seem to just float on the tongue. Lingering, but not sharp. There's a hint of heat in the throat as it warms. I had originally guessed a light 5%, but starting to think there's a little more alcohol here. The light earthy smoke lasts for minutes after a sip. it's just fantastic.

This beer is hard not to just down in a few sips. It is so clean and well made and drinks very well. Could definitely have this all afternoon on a warm spring day.

My best guess is still a smoked maibock or marzen. Though if this is, in fact, local pride, I can't think of a single midwest brewer offhand that might be putting this out. Must be some Wisconsin guys...

The reveal: New Glarus Smoked Rye Ale...Is this a new one?

An ale? Time to re-taste. I definitely get the rye on the finish, but the yeast they used is really interesting. I swear it's with some lager yeast, but this is why I love this BIF.

Smoked beer: 4.5/4.5/4.0/3.5/4.0

02-27-2011 19:54:16 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of n2185
n2185

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

A: Pours a clear copper color with about a finger of white head that quickly recedes into a tiny ring with almost no lacing.

S: There's a slight caramel malt aroma up front followed by lots of smoke, like meat on the grill.

T: A touch of the caramel malt up front, which is then kicked aside for the very strong smoke flavors. The rye makes an appearance as well, adding a nice sourness that goes well with the smoky flavors. The aftertaste is very smoky.

M: Medium body with low carbonation--nothing really stands out about it.

D: This is a pretty drinkable beer. It goes down easy and leaves a taste like you just ate a few strips of bacon.

Overall, a good smoked ale. I upped the score of my review a bit since they changed the classification of this beer from rye ale to smoked since I thought it made a much better smoked ale than a rye ale.

02-25-2011 16:05:54 | More by n2185
Photo of CooperEllis
CooperEllis

New York

3.1/5  rDev -19.1%

from sononma01.

This poured with no head, it doesn't seem under carbonated in the mouthfeel, but there is zero head on it. Very nice color, bronze and opaque. If it had any head it would be a 4 easily.

Slight smoked aroma over the rye. But nothing else.

Same as the aroma, slight smoked flavor, little bit of rye. For a big mouthfeel, this simply doesn't have a flavor to match.

Very nice mouthfeel, good bite up front, a bit of carbonation in middle that emphasises the rye flavors, and a crisp finish that is actual slightly ruined by the lingers smoked flavor.

It's a fine rye beer. Not my cup of tea, but fine enough.

(102nd)

02-21-2011 23:58:33 | More by CooperEllis
Photo of zoolzoo
zoolzoo

Connecticut

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%

Thanks littleg!

A: Pours deep copper or maybe bronze, white head quickly reduces to a white ring.

S: All smoke and wood. Smoked bacon, and some sweetness cutting through. Honey glazed ham perhaps?

T: Big smoke as in the nose, but there is something else I initially couldn't put my finger on. In reading other reviews I must agree, there is an acute acidic taste here, much akin to apple cider vinegar. So what we have is really smoked meat and caramelized apples - I think that sums it up.

M/D: Creamy, velvety...although I think the carbonation is a little lacking. More carb would add to drinkability in this case.

Overall a good beer, and interesting to drink. This paired excellently with homemade spicy tomato soup. Some BA's are commenting on how this is the "smokiest" beer they have had, and that may well be true. For me, however, that tart vinegary note somewhere in the middle turns the smoke right off.

02-21-2011 23:35:31 | More by zoolzoo
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4/5  rDev +4.4%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my New Belgium globe.

a - Pours a dark amber -copper color with one to two inches of light tan head and light carbonation evident. Head only lasts for a few seconds and leaves a small amount on top throughout the beer.

s - Smells of smoke, ashes, bacon, apples, oak, an fruity malts. Mostly smells of a firepit and bacon, but every few swirls and smells I get some distinct apples, which is very nice. Then it goes back to the smoke.

t - Tastes of smoked meats, bacon, apples, fruity malts, toasted malts, light wood. Again, I'm getting some apples coming through in the taste, even moreso than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth body.

d - Overall I thought this was a good, pretty drinkable smoked beer. I really enjoyed the smoked bacon smell and taste mixing with the apples; it was unique and enjoyable. If you liked smoked beers it's definitely worth checking out.

02-18-2011 00:13:31 | More by mdfb79
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

Appearance: Fully transparent reddened bronze with next to no lacing and minimal visible carbonation.
Aroma: Charcoal Ash. Liquid smoke hickory. Bacon.
Taste: Boozy. Liquid Smoke drenched and paprika coated, smoked short ribs. Sweet finish of burnt caramel. Bready.
Mouthfeel: Smoky. A beer like this reminds me that one could almost add "smoky" to the list along with bitter, sweet, salty, savory, etc... Although savory (or umami) also fits this beer well. Medium bodied, balanced, with quite a bit of alcohol presence. Warming is accentuated by the smokiness.
Drinkability: Pretty good considering the style. I'll gladly finish this one and have another. Not really for sessioning though.
Overall a very enjoyable beer. Surprisingly it is able to hit you in the face with smoke while maintaining some balance.

02-14-2011 01:19:12 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of gatornation
gatornation

Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%

from 12 oz bottle

A- pours a clear dark copper color with a 1 finger khaki head to start it then recedes to a fresh tan collar..some lacing on glass

S- smoke is the first smell..followed by bacon and BBQ beef/meats... then some more murky/musky smoke fire pit smells

T- is musty smoke fresh from a fire pit i pick up BBQ meats/pork a hint of rye with malt and some burnt toffee and a bacon hit

M- is medium carbonated full of smoke on the pallet a dash of rye and spice

D-im not a smoked brew fan (just have not had many) but this one is well crafted and was easy to drink..i will seek out more smoked styles of beer

02-12-2011 21:33:15 | More by gatornation
Photo of Soneast
Soneast

Wisconsin

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%

Pours a clear copper color. Grows a small light brown colored head that receded pretty rapidly leaving a small amount of watery lace on the glass.

The aroma is pretty much what I expected, smokey. It's a pretty clean and enticing smokiness, like some nice smoke hickory or the like. I pick up some meaty, ham like character, almost salty like bacon. Probably just my mind playing tricks on me due to the nice smoke aroma. It's hard to pick up much else, maybe a light caramel maltiness, but pretty much just smoke.

Well the flavor follows suit. Smoke up front, a tasty smoked meat character that moves into some mild caramel and a pretty dry, slightly grainy finish that ultimately ends on a semi-sweet and salty note.

Quite a unique beer, even in the world of Rauchbiers, but I enjoyed the experience overall. Sure it's tough to get over all that smoke character in liquid form, but when it come right down to it, I truly do enjoy all those flavors and aromas and it really isn't too hard for me to enjoy smoked beers. Probably why I've been drinking more of them lately. I certainly don't want to drink more than one in a sitting, but that's fine by me.

02-12-2011 02:10:57 | More by Soneast
Photo of TheDTrain
TheDTrain

Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

Rye can bring something very unique to beer if done right or can be very off putting if done wrong. New Glarus did it right! Smells of a smokey BBQ, bacon, wood. Taste of powerful smoked rye and summertime campfire. It's not something I can drink regularly, but a nice strong smokey brew with something to prove!

02-12-2011 00:45:17 | More by TheDTrain
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +3.9%

Grabbed this on my roadtrip through Milwaukee...
Served in my New Belgium globe for lack of a better glass.

Very deep amber-- almost a maroon brown... Small off-white head. Mild retention and small amounts of lace.

The biggest thing I smell is apples. Spiced and smoked apples. A cidery vinegar note is present amongst the smokiness. Smoke pork shines bright. No real rye notes on the nose.

The taste is just as I expected-- smoke pork chops and some charred applewood plus a slight apple cider vinegar. The finish is dry, with notes of port and a touch of booziness. There is a tart acidic quality that is really interesting (and enjoyable!).

The body seems a little undercarbonated... Not bad... Not great.

This is a pretty easy drinking smoked beer. It is tasty and interesting, but nothing really blows my mind. It is well-made, as are all of the New Glarus beers I've had. Smoked beers are not something I can really drink a lot of... But once in a while, they can be quite fun.

02-11-2011 05:44:34 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Pretty good for a heavy smoke flavor beer. Generally for me, a beer that is this smokey in flavor is too much for me. In this case the fruitiness of the rye I think, helps to balance. Pours with a small to medium sized very light tan head that mostly settles down and good lacing. Color is a clear dark amber. Aroma is mainly smoke with malt, caramel, toffee, a little fruit. Flavor is very similar. Body is fairly full and carbonation is very good. Finish is like flavor and is fairly long.

02-11-2011 02:48:42 | More by drpimento
Photo of wisrarebeer
wisrarebeer

Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

$9.49 for 4/pk at local Pick and Save

A: nice clear copper colored beer, some lacing on top
S: smoke dominates but is cut a bit by rye spiciness
T: good beer, I would rather that this was a lager, because the smokiness would come through more, but it's still very prevalent, clean, crisp, spicy from rye, nice balance of hops (ie not over-hopped like most American beers), good beer but nothing outwardly special other than well-balanced
M: nice mouthfeel, not overly smokey finish, slight 'bite' from rye
D: I love rauch biers, this beer is drinkable but not something that I'd quaff all night like a classic Bamberger bier

02-11-2011 01:30:29 | More by wisrarebeer
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint.

(A)- Pours a clear dark brown amber color. Produced a superb fluffy tan head with great retention behind it with lacing all over.

(S)- A nice hickory-like wood smoke that reminds me of good BBQ smoke. A nice mellow caramel-like sweetness behind it. This literally smells like a barbecue smoker.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A potent hickory smoked aspect with subtle caraway seed and burnt caramel.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. The smoke really takes centerstage in this one. Finishes smooth and mellow with a subtle spice from the rye.

(D)- I will say that I really do not care for smoked beers, however this one is quite nice without being over the top.

02-06-2011 21:52:22 | More by sweemzander
Photo of CurtisLoew
CurtisLoew

Wisconsin

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%

First unplugged of 2011, poured into my dogfish head pint glass. This is my first real experience with a beer where the smoked malts are meant to be featured, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

A - Pours a nice deep brown color, with a thin head that recedes quickly. Looks tasty.

S - Smells of the descriptions given by other BA's. Smokey, bacon, meats, and a nice gingerbread rye flavor in the background.

T - Not the complete smoke bomb I was expecting. I REALLY enjoy the rye flavors that shine through at certain points, it makes me wish New Glarus would simply do a rye ale without the smoked malts. However, the smoked malts are not really a turnoff, and add an interesting complexity to the beer.

M - Started out perfectly carbonated, but lost carbonation very quickly. By the bottom of the glass I was drinking basically a flat beer, strange. Didn't detract from the flavor too much however.

D - As the standard with New Glarus beers, drinkability is perfect. I really wonder what the ABV is, as I do not get a trace of alcohol or off flavors in this beer.

02-04-2011 01:33:07 | More by CurtisLoew
Photo of boomer31
boomer31

Minnesota

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%

Now I don't love smoked beers but have given them multiple opportunities to peak my interest. Figured why not try NG...hasn't ever let me down.

A - Pours a clear dark gold almost brown. No head and no stick on the glass

S - Big smoke nearly band aid nose. Not much else

T - Big mouthful of smoke followed by a dry rye character and a slight heat from the alcohol. I'd love to get the ABV on this guy.

M - Thin but a nice carb

D - Again I don't love smoked beers. This is a sipper as it states on the bottle. Decent but seems almost a bit 'hot'

Overall this didn't change my opinion on smoked beers. It's a smoke bomb to me but again it's not my favorite style...I know this is considered a 'rye beer' but smoke is all I get.

02-04-2011 01:06:36 | More by boomer31
Photo of awalk1227
awalk1227

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev -6.5%

Consumed 1/31/11 Received this in a trade from kbutler1, thanks Kevin!

Poured into a Great Divide balloon

A: Pours a deep brownish red, almost mahogany. It's pretty clear with no signs of sediment. My pour wasn't too aggressive, so I got about half a finger of off-white head. It didn't stay for long, and dissipated into a very thin collar on the glass.

S: Wow, that's a campfire. I get smoked peat and rye spice. Perhaps the slightest scent of burnt caramel.

T: Again, WOW. I've never had a beer this smokey before. Honestly, this puts Hoptaneous Combustion to shame. If I had the chance, I'd buy this beer and bring it to every outdoor barbeque possible. The beer lets through the slightest sweet malt right as it hits my tongue, followed by a kick from the rye and then a cloud of smoke finishes and lingers on my tongue. There's a bit of a bite, but I can't tell if it's from hops, the smoke, or the rye spice.

F: Medium bodied. Not a great full mouthfeel, not much creaminess, or texture in the swallow. Perhaps this is partly due to the overwhelming taste of smoke causing me to take smaller sips.

D: Although I'd put this beer between 6% - 8% ABV, it's a sipper for sure. I don't dislike the beer, as it's incredibly interesting, but the flavor is almost startling. I would definitely drink this beer again for the sole reason that I think it would pair beautifully with certain foods. However, I would not drink more than one in a night.

02-01-2011 04:54:18 | More by awalk1227
Photo of johnkale
johnkale

Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

A - Effervescent red/amber, hard pour creates one finger of tight, off-white, but rapidly dissipating head, leaves a tiny bit of lacing

S - hickory smoke, smoked meat, clear rye tones, a little caramel and slight sour apple smell, a touch of plastic

T - flavor is sweet to start, nice caramel and white grape flavors, moves to sour rye, finish is warming with both alcohol and intense smokiness, as palate adjusts smokiness is diminished a bit while sourness is amplified and some interesting peppery notes come out

M - seems a little thin, but lively carbonation

D - smokiness is pretty intense, a slow sipper just as advertised on the label

This is a hell of a smoked beer, the turbinado sugar helps balance out the rather meaty characteristics of the smoke and while I would only ever drink one of these in an evening I do so with relish. Paired with sourdough rye crackers and aged brick cheese.

01-30-2011 23:53:24 | More by johnkale
Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 238 ratings.