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
Photo of Bighuge
3.05/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pale looking light copper. Thin off white head leaves moderate amounts of lace. Any visual signs of carbonation are missing in action (aside from a few stray bubbles surfacing). The aroma is more piney and citrusy than pungent and resiny. I prefer the later more in an aroma for this style, but the aroma is still decent. A little sweet malt is detected on the nose as well. The flavor consist of a pretty solid hop blast and then a lingering sharp bitterness. The hoppiness is piney and citrusy, as it was on the nose, with a little bit of hop resin characteristics as well. The bitterness is sharp and almost astringent. The beer could use a little more of a malt backing, like maybe some toffeeish or caramelly malt tones in the background, but there's really not a lot there. Carbonation is on the low side and the body of the beer is around medium-full. I've got to say I'd pass on this one if I saw it at a liquor store.

Thanks for the sample cokes. It's not like New Glarus to drop the ball on their unplugged brews, but I think they did on this one. I'd take their Hop Hearty any day over this one.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.1/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The pour is a hazy dark yellow bordering on light brown with only a thin white head. The foam doesn't last long at all and leaves no lacing on the inside of the glass.

The aroma is strong, interesting and unique but not something I'd expect or look for in a double IPA. The alcohol is clearly evident as is the sugar along with a bit of pineapple sweetness - the beer smells more like a rum drink than an IPA.

The flavor is also lacking in qualities that would make it an IPA - namely some sort of strong hops presence. There's a very sweet, sugary malt body with a fruity alcohol note but only a touch of floral hop flavors. I'm guessing Noble hops - maybe Fuggles which would explain an earthy, nutty component. The surprising thing is there's no real bitterness; it's completely overwhelmed by the sweet flavors.

The brew is medium bodied with a reasonable amount of carbonation. The excessive sugars tends to make each sip a bit sticky and cloying and with no hops bitterness the palate doesn't clear very well.

The flavors are interesting and it was an experience to drink this brew but it doesn't fair well when compared to other Double IPAs. If they'd called this a strong ale I would have rated it a bit higher but it was still overly sweet.

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Photo of granger10
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a bronze color with a medium white head that goes down to nearly nothing. Decent lacing. Aroma was lemon, grapefruit, and pine. It was good but way weak for what I was expecting. Taste began with a medium hoppy flavor, a bit grassy/floral but more citric. The citrus holds up nicely but there's no malt to counter this. A little biscuit in there but not enough and there's no sweetness I can detect at all. Finish is resiny and piney and sharp. The hops were weak for what this beer was supposed to be and the malts were almost nonexistant at times. There's just better DIPA's out there. This is enjoyable but not too good for its style.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellow with an orange hue and a small white foamy head. Not much lace or head retention. Pretty nice floral and citric hoppy notes with a supportive sweet caramel malt backbone. A bit mild overall for a double IPA. Big sweet malty flavor upfront with a juicy citric hop backing. Light piney hops but overall this was way too sweet. Sweet finish with a light citric hoppiness. Pretty good body and pretty smooth. Drinkable enough but it got a bit cloying as it warmed towards the end of the glass.

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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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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.36/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

thx kev

pale orange and clear, nice and cold. lots of bubbles ascending quickly. creamy and dense head that finds its happy place at a slight but thorough coating. uniform, tight lacing. looks light and crisp.

smells hoppy with some licorice and an eye-burning alcohol character. smells serious.

starts thick and syrupy, wastes no time assaulting the drinker with an overwhelming bitter twang from all directions.. notes of everything from citrus to green to smoky bitter, but nothing too dominant. finishes a bit chalky.. but once that clears you're left with the previously-hidden sweet malt. completely unbalanced but containing an array of interesting flavors.

drinkable despite its viscosity and crazy flavor. there's just something that makes this "not quite right" for a double IPA.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of emmasdad
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to FrankenBrew for sending out a few more unplugged treats. This one poured a golden color with a nice white head. Aromas of citrusy hops (orange, pineapple) and a little malt. Similiar on the palate, medium bodied with a nice hop/malt balance.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

burnt amber with a big off white head and a nice bit of lace that flowed down the glass. The smell was dominatd y alcohol, as was the taste. Once it warmed some decent hints of citrus hops were brought forward and could finally be smelled. Lots of hop presence and a nice sweetness that tried to balance it out.The taste was smooth, albeit overpowering with the strong alcohol flavors. Overall this was a good brew, however I think this may be one that was so brought up on ABV that really didnt need to be, and that brings down the drinkibility a bit.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.59/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a very light orange-yellow liquid with a thin and splotchy yet creamy white head. A little bland looking for the style.

S- A massive amount of pine up front followed by some grass, mint, and fruitiness. There is a bit of a malt backing, but it is only there as a formality.

T- Sweet malt with a nice piney hop aspect. Simple, sweet, and bitter.

M- A bit oily and smooth with a dry finish.

O- Definitely on the forgettable side for the style. The piney aspect is great, but other than that there is not much else going on.

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Photo of antoines15
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: light golden color, very clean looking with nice lacing on the glass -- sunflower yellow.

S: orange peels, possibly grapefruit. Not as citrusy as I was hoping. Bitter finish, but smooth tasting.

T: alcohol is well hidden, bitter hops but balanced with the malt. Almost reminds me of Dogfish Head 90 minute. The bitterness lingers quite nicely.

M: kinda thin on the mouthfeel for a DIPA.

O: Here's the thing about this beer. It is a good DIPA, maybe better than good, and then you factor in the cost (9 bucks for a 4-pack) and it becomes that much better.

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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 cetherid
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip.


beer ilooks like your typical american lager. A basic pale yellow/golden color, however it has a huge amount of pillowy off-white head. (About 3 fingers worth dissipating to about a fingers worth after sitting for a few minutes.)


As soon as this one was cracked open, a big whiff of fresh hops came out of the bottle. A nice combination of citrus fruit and grassy/dank aromas. A nice little sweet malt is detectable as well.


hop dominant IMO. Getting lots of pine/resiny tastes to this. A slight touch of sweetness from the malts but that's about it. No "nutty" flavors detected which is apparently a trait of the Maris Otter malts.


about medium bodied with decent carbonation. A pretty dry finish on this beer as well which is probably attributed to the abv and lack of sweetness.


A decent DIPA, but one I wouldn't seek out. Definitely not a terrible beer but would rather grab a DIPA from FFF or Short's if I wanted something from the midwest. Can't comment on price but availability is a little difficult as it being a New Glarus brew.

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Photo of expatsteve
3.66/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle with Golden2wenty1 while watching Clint Eastwood escape from Alcatraz.

Appearance: Nice golden color, with hints of orange. Poured a nice 3/4 inch head, which subsided in a few minutes. Left some nice thin lacing. Low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Sweet honey from the hops and a nice brush of grapefruit and cloves from the hops.

Taste: I'm assuming that age has mellowed this quite a bit, as I get a little honey from the malts, and a warm but not particularly aggressive finish from the hops. Not much of an aftertaste. Overall, this is really drinkable and pretty well-balanced, but lacking the hops assertiveness that I expected from an imperial IPA. In many ways this is comparable to Stone and Magic Hat IPAs, rather than hop-bomb specials.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with low carbonation. Bitterness cleans the palate, rather than building up in the throat.

Drinkability: Really drinkable IPA, though I feel like this should be a little more oppressive given the style. It's nice, but I'm not sure that it's that much better than regular old Hop Hearty. Balanced, mellow, but a little one-dimensional for an NG Unplugged.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Poured into a little Delirium Tremens tulip glass a clear, golden orange color that like applejuice. 1/2 finger white head that settles out pretty quickly to form a collar around the glass. Danky, pine mixed with fruit notes like orange, grapefruit, mango, apricot, and pineapple. Medium mouthfeel. Not as fruit forward tasting as I would have thought but more of a mild sweetness of orange with a slight alcohol note. Really not a lot of bitterness in this one either except at the end which lingers on. Overall, it's ok, not outstanding and knock me out but decent.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ThomasHardy for the trade!!
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.
No freshness or batch date.

Pours a bright, hazy orange color. Yellowish highlights around the edges. A decent one finger thick, fluffy white head forms, slightly clumpy. Average head retention that leaves a good amount of sticky lacing. Lots of carbonation. The smell is an equal combination of hops and malt. Some usual citrus aromas as well, with hints of pepper and spice. Somewhat floral. Well balanced hop and malt taste. Piney, citrus flavors meld together well, leaving a somewhat dry finish. Mouthfeel is kinda heavy with a crisp finish. Leaves with just the right amount of hop bitterness. A decent offering from New Glarus.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 ballz50401
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Pours a golden orange. Good carbonation. Average head.

Smell: Citrus and floral notes from the hops. Sweet caramel malt.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Strong malty sweetness along with a touch of citrus hop character. Full mouthfeel with a creamy and dry finish.

Overall: Not a bad example of the style, but not one of my favorites either.

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Photo of edognight
3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very BIG and drinkable beer. Personally, I won't drink a beer unless you hand it to your Miller Lite loving friend and he chokes and recoils with a violent -what the heck is this???

That's a good sign.

Flavor is big hops up front with a complex and fruity well hopped finish. Definitely on the fruity side. Lots of big citrus, a bit of soft fruit (apricot, pineapple) and a tiny bit of butter. Head is a monster foamy straw, and the color is a light amber. Not the strongest looking beer, but don't let the color fool ya.

If you have a jones for a strong beer flavor, this will tickle your happy spot!

Light malt and a big beer. Perfect for watching the boats from the deck on Bone Lake, western Wisconsin.

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