Unplugged Imperial IPA | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Unplugged Imperial IPAUnplugged Imperial IPA
148 Ratings
Unplugged Imperial IPAUnplugged Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Skidz on 06-04-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 148 |  Reviews: 130
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
3.33/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Color: Clear pale gold.

Smell: Orangey, leafy, aspirin, fresh mint, papaya, alcoholic esters and a honey-like maltiness.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Creamy body draws in the smoothness. Hop bitterness is very aggressive. Citirc rind, peppercorn, warming alcohol, mint, leafy resin and some dry bready malt. Hops don't let up so easy either. Tropical fruit, yeast and hard lingering hop in the bitter finish.

Overall: Hops are clearly the show stealer here, perhaps too aggressive as with each sip there is no recovering … just more hops.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice to finally get a chance to try a brew from New Glarus,pours a light golden with fluffy white atop.Not over the top hop wise in the aroma make no mistake its presence is there very herbal and piney but there is a real caramel malt note in there as well.A big well balanced IPA there is alot of malt to keep up with the heavy dose of hop,lemony/herbal hop goes niecley with a lightly sweet caramel backbone.I really like this double IPA its not tottaly one sided in its hop profile,well done.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like the color the prairie in fall when the goldenrod is at the end of its bloom and the pigweed has turned a dried brown. A nice splotch of cream appears fleetingly and quickly dissolves into a thin but sticky lattice. The aroma is very nice. It’s Strawberry jam. I’m not sure how that came to be but it is definitely strawberry jam. The taste is of a very mild IPA. Hints of apricot and honey make way through a spruce forest. The alcohol is well covered. Very bitter mouthfeel. More drinkable than the average IPA. Still, this one is too mild to be labeled as “Unplugged.” It’s good but there is nothing particularly exciting about it.

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Photo of weatherdog
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Edit: After working my way through several bottles I've bumped up the scores a bit since this beer is really growing on me. Original score of 4.15

12oz. bottle poured into a Bells tulip glass

It pours a slightly hazy golden orange with a 2 fingered nearly bright white head. Retention is medium low and lacing is minimal. A tiny layer of small bubbles remain on the top of the beer.

The nose is light bright and hoppy. The hop aroma has some juicy orange and that transitions into a medium intensity grapefruit. At the end there is just a touch of pine but this is much more focused on the citrus variety of hops. Little to no malt aroma is present.

A medium intensity lasting bitterness is present with the hop flavor pointed towards mostly grapefruit with a minimal amount of pine much like the aroma. A tiny amount of bready malt comes through at the end and then the bitterness just cuts through it and lasts well into the finish. The lasting bitterness isn't too harsh so it's not a huge turn off. While the hop flavor is full and present the intensity just isn't as in your face and not as bright as some of my favorite DIPA's

Mouthfeel is medium light with medium carbonation. The present bready malt lends just enough body to stand up to the bitterness but not get in it's way. Drinkability is great on this beer, but that's par for the course for NG. They always seem to land near perfection in the mouthfeel and drinkability department.

As an unapologetic NG fanboy, I'm glad to see a DIPA in their special releases. The prior release of their IIPA was before I got into craft beer. It's a valiant attempt, very tasty, but just not world class. It is, as all the unplugged/thumbprint series beer are, a insane value. $9/ 4-pack is nearly unbeatable in the market.

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Photo of blitz134
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small, thin white head on the pour. Perfectly clear apple juice colored body. Fair amount of carbonation bubbles raise to the surface. Mainly citrus and floral hops dominate the nose. Some grapefruit and apricot along with some caramel sweetness.

Mainly citrus in the taste. A touch of grapefruit with some lemony, pineapple essence. Unique. Light caramel from the malts. The finish reminds me of those pineapple lifesaver candies. Not sure what the ABV is but no alcohol can be detected. Not overly bitter. It has plenty of hop flavorings but not as bitter as most DIPAs.

Mouthfeel is good, slightly oily and slick on the tounge. Coats the mouth fairly well. Flavor hangs around allowing this tasty brew to be tasted for a while. Drinkability is really good and a definate high point for this one.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was lucky to pick up a couple of these from some great BA's...loved the NG Hop Hearty, so I am really looking forward to this seasonal offering.
Pours a clear, light copper color w/ two full fingers of bright white head...disappears to half its size almost instantly w/ very little lacing.
Aroma is very similar to a Hop Wallup I enjoyed last night...grapefruit and some citrus w/ a decent sweet malt backbone as well. Also get a whiff of some alcohol...no idea what the ABV is and don't care.
Taste is again, very similar to a Victory HW...but a touch sweeter.
Tons of citrus hops up front w/ plenty of malt to balance it out...bitter in the finish.
Mouthfeel is syrupy and medium-bodied for the style...I have had better IIPA's yet I do enjoy this one.
I believe I was expecting a bit more after trying their IPA...drinkability is one and done in an evening due to he sweetness. Many thanks to Kev and Don for sending these my way...I'll let the other sit for awhile.

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Photo of badbeer
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes from last summer, bottle as part of a mixed Unplugged 4-pack.

Beer pours a brilliant orange, think sun-setting orange. Head is an off-white color that leaves a pretty good lacing. Smell is hoppy, but not the typical piney/resiny hops you normally find in a double IPA, this has a more floral smell to it. There are a bit of citrus-like hops hidden in there as well. In the taste I found a bit of caramel from the malt, but the hops lead the way throughout this beer. The hops are a nice mixture of floral and citrus flavors. Medium bodied and a decent amount of carbonation. Really drinkable, as this seems to be a more tame version of a double IPA. This doesn't necessarily fit the "Unplugged" label, but it's still a damn good beer.

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Photo of dwvarner77
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy bronze color with about a quarter inch of ivory head. Very active carbonation. Nose is hoppy, wood and citrus, a bit grassy, but overall less powerful than I expected for an "Imperial IPA."
Big delivery in taste though. A strong flourish of pine and citrus hop with slight caramel undertones. A modest malt balance steps in momentarily before a sour-bitter aftertaste presents at the back of the tongue.
Mouthfeel is thick, almost syrupy. Good drinkability that increases with the session.

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Photo of TKEbeerman
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sent to me from benpopper. Thanks Ben!

A: Poured into my pint glass, this brew pours a golden straw yellow with a white capped head. This IIPA is surprisingly clear for being bottle fermented.

S: Lots of citrus and pinny hop aromas in this beer. The aroma is not too in your face, nor is it extremely complex, but this brew smells like a really good IIPA.

T: The flavor is a step above the nose. Fresh, raw, hops. Excellently crafted, this brew can improve by throwing in a little caramel malt. The malt profile is very light, very pale.

MF: Mouthfeel is full and well carbonated.

Overall, this is an excellent IIPA. It can be bigger, it can be more complex, but I really like the ABV, and it is extremely well crafted compared to the IPAs found in Florida.

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Photo of daveytheformer
4.62/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a nonic pint.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a thick white head that fades to a lot of lacing.

Smells perfumy, floral, resinous pine and citrus as well as a little bready malt flavor.

Tastes like pine, lemon citrus, and a little caramel sweetness and I do mean just a little. Lots of grapefruit and grassy hops with a light bitter aftertaste.

Moothfeel is crisp and medium with really good carbonation.

Overall is excellent! I love this beer and was kind of sad it was the last beer of my 4-pack.

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Photo of cokes
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SIlty goldenrod with a fleeting poof of whipping cream.
Nose of august grasses, pine tar, and lemon rinds. It lacks that "I'm snorting lines of hops" rush that seems implicit in the DIPA style, it also lack even a token malt appearance, aroma-wise.
It starts up with a honeyed graham cracker maltiness, that dissolves towards apricot, pears, and red apples. A bit doughy and loose in the midlands, before turning its focus onto meshing of citric zest, equal in oranges, grapefruits, limes, and lemons. That is its crowning moment, as the citricity of the brew is alluring. Fades towards spruce and pine needles, as a iron-forged grasses add a herbal (and more British- seeming) tone at the close. Alcohol is largely cloaked. Vaguely similar to Hop Wallop.
It's rich body and low carbonation, suggest heft, but a general lack of malt focus eliminates that conclusion.
It's certainly a drinker, and the hop burps are pungent and dank, but it's wholly the least punishing and the least flavorful Double IPA I've had. Label this a "standard" IPA- which tasted blind would be my guess- and the malt load is still needy.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to northyorksammy for a box of Wisconsin. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Dogfish Head oversized snifter.

Bright gold and gamboge liquid is clearly unfiltered and topped by a lasting creamy ghost white collar and archipelago of micro-bubbles assembled at the surface. Delicate sandy arcs of lacing.

Grapefruit and pineapple in the nose - not quite tropical overall. Pure clean malt. Faint herbal notes as well.

Unapologetically powerful malt bill, though stays away from caramel notes so as not to impede the delivery of potent hop flavors. Menthol, watermelon, subtle pepper, and pine/citrus C-hops blend perfectly - crisp bitter refreshing profile overall. Finishes dry, bitter, and slightly herbaceous.

Medium-bodied, actively carbonated, and brisk.

Not a style I'd expect New Glarus to excel at, but this is the peer of the majority of top-tier hop-head-oriented examples available in SoCal. Worth seeking out for sure.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Pours a medium cloudy amber with a finger or two of white head and decent lacing. Smell is floral, perfumey, with light fruits and some ethanol. Flavor is rather subdued for an IIPA - muted floral hops, some earthy fruits, and a balanced malt backbone and a hint of astringent alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium and well-carbonated. This is about as tame as you'll see in a IIPA. Their "plugged" Barleywine is more "unplugged" than this. Still tasty though, worth a try as most New Glarus offerings are.

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Photo of Snow81
4.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Light orange glow with a nice clean body

Head: Big white head that leaves a nice lace on the glass

Smell: Bright citric hops

Taste: Bright tropical fruit with a big citric hop and heavy light malt that finishes hot

Weight: Medium body with low carbonation

Finish: Bright citric hops with nice sticky lips and a subtle heat

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4.57/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into tulip. (thanks to my buddy for bring me down this bottle)
A: Nice white frothy head that forms well and holds up just fine for the style. A layered swath of lacing is left. Slow, low levels of carbonation.

S: Really wonderful use of aroma hops, this is a truly powerful and unique aroma profile. Hints at pineapple, dancing on the rim of passion fruit and notes of piny grapefruit. Complex and very well done. The hops used are cutting edge and project this passionate aroma.

T/M: The beer has a lighter character, than I was expecting, with a smooth, silky body, not creamy in any sense. The hop flavor dominates the palate, as the malts really are set back in this one. The spicy, citrus like hop profiles set this with the high contenders of the IIPA world, but as the nose suggested the pineapple is a element that is sought after and I believe was achieved here. The lingering finish is a bit short and I am wishing it was longer, as I keep going back for frequent sips.

O: Overall, very wonderful IIPA, one that I wish they would keep on the main line or that would surface itself again... The aroma is really the high light for me, truly awesome. Nearly no complaints, lower level of carbonation and a shorter lingering effect on the mouthfeel are just about it. But huge props for the blending of hop to create this Island Style like hop aroma and flavor.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

found at Riley's in Madison, but this stuff is everywhere

appearance: golden orange, thin white carbonated head

smell: pine, citrus, bitter hops

taste: hoppy (kent golding, cascade, tomahawk, warrior, and chinook hops all present according to bottle. warming sensation present. complex hop flavors and bitterness

mouthfeel: very bitter/hoppy, perhaps the downfall

drinkability: the hops will take over your body after a couple

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A buddy brought a bunch of samples from New Glarus. The IIPA pours an attractive slightly hazy golden orange with a decent white head leaving a nice lacing. The smell includes a interesting herb followed by citrus and a strong floral and malt notes. The taste brings more of the nose along with a bitter refreshing bite that combines with a strong malt. The mouthfeel was full/medium body. Not quite as high in abv as some IIPAs but was very nice.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.62/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on September 19, 2005. Bubbly effervescent orange-tinged yellow pour, topped with a quite creamy, yet watered head of just a tinge yellow. First aroma blast is a mellow dose of floral hoppy goodness, grapefruit and lots of it, fresh squeezed. Inhaling deeper I get a delectable run of chewy malts. Wow, much more malty than I expected. A restrained but appreciable hop run, mostly appearing right off the bat and then again at the end. A very chewy brew, I could read that from the aroma. Flavor has honey, graham-crackers, brown sugar, and some plum. Hop features are saccharin and lingering. More of that fresh ruby red grapefruit residue in my mouth. Respectable, but doesn’t have that lovely blast of almost bready, burning hops that I expect and enjoy with a well balanced IIPA. The malt is showing through and that’s okay, but makes this beer seem weak. Speaking of which, alcohol doesn’t show, which is kind of nice. Palate is a lingering almost oaky smack, with a tinge of popcorn, toast, and almonds. A good aftertaste.

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Photo of OddNotion
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Sierra Nevada bulb glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice light golden color with a two finger white head. Very bubbly, head does not seem to want to recede any time soon.

Smell: Very citrus-y. Nice and pungent, bitter hoppiness as well. Malt backbone seems to be present but the hops dominate the smell.

Taste: Wow delicious! Perect balance of bitterness in conjunction with citrus flavors. Honestly I am surprised this beer is not more highly regarded! Maybe due to the slight noticability of the alcohol content but other than that it is clean and nice and refreshing. Reminiscent of Pliny the Elder (I hate these comparisons most times but this one really does remind me of it).

Mouthfeel: To style, heavier side of medium but low to medium carbonation.

Overall: Very much enjoyed! I would love to have regular access to New Glarus offerings and am so happy I had the chance to try this one out!

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Photo of bashiba
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice slightly hazy amber with just a touch of head and good lacing.

Smell was a nice green hop odor with some citrus and juniper mixing in.

Taste was a very smooth hop charachter, a nice hint of pine with a little grapefruit taste.

Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, and dry.

Drinkability is good on this tasty beer, although lacks some of the hop punch that can be found in other Double IPA's.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy golden color with a generous fluffy white head. The lacing is spotty.

It's extremely aromatic with grapefruit, pineapple, and lemon. There's a slight grassy touch.

The taste is fresh grapefruits with a touch of pine and grass. It's delightfully bitter and dry. There's little malt balance to this, but that's how I prefer it.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean. It finished dry.

Overall, a very solid DIPA from New Glarus that, if given the opportunity, I'll definitely have again.

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Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of alleykatking
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks to SuperNova777 for spliting this beer with myself and betsona.

A- Pours a light hazed golden color with a little bit of a orange hue to it. One and a half finger white head shows medium retention. Nice streaks of lace on the sides of the glass when I drink this one down.

S- I get some citrus style hops in the front of the aroma (mostly orange and mango). There is a light caramel underbody to this that goes hand in hand with the aroma of the hops. Grassy hops in the front of the ending of the nose with a light dash of alcohol. Citrus hops show up one last time to give the beer a final zing to it.

T- Citrus hops right in the front of the beer give off a good hop kick from the get go. This turns to a light grassy earthy hop that blends with a caramel malt underbody by the middle of the beer. Citrus hops in the backing of the beer come out once again showcasing the bitter hop kick. Alcohol does show up in the ending but to be honest doesn't really give off any actual flavor profile.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Citrus hops and some caramel malts are left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly warming alcohol, citrus hops, and caramel malts. Flavors were balanced more so to the style in a clean way with no off flavors being present during this beer. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer was a nice drinker. I really thought the ABV was well blended into the beer as a whole. While I could taste it I didn't regret it afterward as there was no medicinal quality to it at all. This beer could get me in trouble and I would limit myself on it so it didn't happen. Worth seeking out if you want a nice well balanced DIPA.

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Photo of LoraxLager
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -2.7%

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Unplugged Imperial IPA from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 148 ratings