Unplugged Belgian Quadruple | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Unplugged Belgian QuadrupleUnplugged Belgian Quadruple
113 Ratings
Unplugged Belgian QuadrupleUnplugged Belgian Quadruple

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Winter on 02-10-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 113 |  Reviews: 98
Reviews by coldmeat23:
Photo of coldmeat23
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I remember nights I’ve spent at Delilah’s in Chicago drinking late 1990’s vintages of saisons from Brasserie de Blaugies well. I crave them. I relish them. I find the Moneuses to take on a gueze like funky character as they age that I just can’t get enough of. Here in this fresh beer, released just days ago by New Glarus, I have once again found that character.

To be honest, pouring this beer into a large snifter startled me. The label says quad, correct? I’m not used to light mahogany quads. A ¾ inch thick light khaki, almost off white head made a nice impression though. Eventually it settled to soapy skim with a 1/8 inch rim around the glass. Better yet, a quick swish of my snifter and the head revitalized to a solid ¼ inch. It’s certainly very pretty, if off for the style.

After admiring the look of this brew I take a whiff…again, this is no quad. I am immediately struck by the funk. I’m excited. Frankly I thrilled. Very few American brewers even attempt to create a brew like this. Even fewer brewers in the Midwest give it a go and in my opinion those who do fall far short of their brewing friends across the pond. Heck, even New Glarus who has made some interesting stabs at the funk in the past with their Sour Brown and Enigma has never gotten it this right. I am truly stunned by the aroma of this beer.

Aromatic barnyard notes of hay and lemon are accentuated by an intense nutmeg and clove spiciness. Sour powdery yeast hints at what is to come. My mouth begins watering. I’m almost drooling in anticipation of the funk to come.

I take a sip. Whoa, the spice is really intense. After giving it some thought, I think that it’s almost too much, a problem that will be rectified with age. I manage to take in some cherry notes someplace in the middle and then a wonderful sour yeast flavor washes over my tongue along with some assertive carbonation.

As the beer warms with my mouth and belly along with it, the alcohol almost manages to shine through in the flavor. Apple and pear come into play as well and what is that other spice I get…vanilla? Yep, just the slightest touch of vanilla can found in the finish…and then there is the funky sourness. Oh the Bret comes through so well in this beer. I can only dream about what it will do with age. There are bits of hay, lemon rind, and one hell of a sour bite that is dramatically accented by the micro carbonation.

Now that the beer has reached somewhere in the 60 degree range the head is completely gone. It begins looking more like a fine liquor and frankly, it’s feeling like it. This beer weighs in at a healthy 25 degree plato and the ABV must have ended up some where around 10%. One brew is having a noticeable effect on me.

Drinkability is high. Despite the strength I find that it goes down quite easily, too easily frankly. This beer could be dangerous.

Now that it’s approaching room temp, I am picking up on a whole host of boozy dark fruit. Sadly, the funk is mostly gone, overwhelmed by the strength of the booze, the barrel, and the fruit. A sour finish still ends things rather nicely.

Through and through an outstanding beer. BAs who enjoy the saisons of Hiver or a nice glass of gueze should find this beer as Ass kicking as I do. I’m in beer heaven. Pick up a case of this your self, or trade with a Wisconsin BA so that you can join me.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The 12oz red foil capped bottle pours into my glass a clear amber orange color with a small, fizzy bubbly head that quickly falls to a small ring. Aromas begin with a touch of sour brett funk, cherries and woody tones as well. A touch of toffee, caramel and vanilla. Slight spiciness as well..maybe cinnamon.

First sip brings caramel malt sweetness met by a somewhat acidic, yeasty funk. Fruit tones move in with a predominant cherry flavor. Moves down with a nice spiciness and a hit of woody vanilla. Finishes fruity with a light bitterness on the end. Slightly warming alcohol. Quite an interesting, tasty brew. Lingering mix of brett and bourbon.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly slick. Good steady carbonation throughout that has a punchy, prickly aspect to it. Pretty nice but doesn't bring the body I normally enjoy in a quadruple. Overall, it was an interesting brew and a nice way to end the evening. Probably better classified as a wild ale than a standard quadruple. I have a few more to let sit and see what happens. Keep the Unplugged brews coming Dan!

 1,079 characters

Photo of badbeer
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an awesome reddish amber color with a white head that maintains a ring around the glass, but no lacing. Appearance is awesome, but I require a better head for a higher rating. Smell consists of nutmeg, allspice and some sour, yeast funk. Taste starts out with plenty of spice with a little bit of funk in there as well. I was thinking there would be more bourbon flavors in this, as it was aged in bourbon barrels, but turns out the bourbon was hardly noticeable. Finishes with some oak and some sourness. The sour tastes are not brutal, they just seem to add some nice complexities to the beer and seem to be balanced nicely with a bit of sweetness. Mouthfeel felt full bodied, but finished a bit dry, carbonation was soft, but still noticeable. This was another good offering from New Glarus and I get the feeling this one will age very well.

Additional info: If you are expecting a beer similar to St. Bernardus, you will not get what you expected. This is, however, a damn solid beer that I will be aging as well as enjoying plenty right now. Alcohol has got to be high as this bottle is kicking my ass, but there is no alcohol burn or tastes when drinking.

 1,170 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a crystal clear reddish-brown body that is pretty transparent. There is a strong carbonation of micro-bubbles gliding to the surface. There is a thin light tan creamy head that offers a bit of lacing but soon slides back into the beer.

S- This beer has a light sweet fruit smell with a note of oak and brie rind. There is soft grapefruit/cheese note which increases to a white wine quality as it warms a bit. There is also a note of Febreze room spray, which is nice aswell.

T- The big alcohol, oak and softer cherry flavor gives way to bourbon, slightly sweet caramel malt with a hint of citrus zest and dry spice in the finish. There are also notes of white sugar and syrup that come through the malt flavors as it warms. There is a soft taste of young soft cheese rind that is in the bourbon flavor.

M- this beer has a medium-full mouthfeel that coats my mouth with a syrup feel but the nice alcohol heat cleans the finish.

D- This beer has an excellent balance of wild and wood with big flavors that really balance each other. The malt sweetness was paired with alcohol and the softer oak and cherries had a unique twist of some wild yeast. I was expecting another sugary imitation of a Belgian Quad but this beer is original and creative.

 1,302 characters

Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twilight auburn honey colored with a rising- and falling- ochre head.
The nose is full of burnt coconut, vanilla-caramel-hazelnut nougat, charred wood, and cherries. Aside from the Bretty yeast aromas of basements, this could basically pass for diluted Bourbon, if smelled quickly.
It enters with a vague wash of tropical and dark fruits (a la mangoes, starfruits, dates, plantains, plums, and papayas), then the barrel and Brett characteristics send them scurrying for the corners. Now it's all on that aroma omen: burnt coconut, vanilla-caramel-hazelnut nougat, charred wood, and cherries. Congruency is cool, I guess....even when it is jammed down your throat. Brett traits are more peppery than funky, and add coherency to the upcoming cinnamon booze bash closing. It finishes hot, but not shudderingly or jarringly so.
Thickened, nearly sticky body, given boost with some straggling CO2. This drinks well as a nightcap or digestif. I am sorry if this review nearly mimics my previous one for Unplugged Bourbon Barrel Bock, but it's intentional, as they are eeriely similar. This one is better overall, primarily because the texture, but it is also helped by the fact that it fits into a style with a lot more leeway.
Good overall, but the Unplugged lineup is getting a bit redundant. These don't taste like anything else, except each other.

 1,346 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle was aged a year. It pours a cloudy pure yellow with minimal head. It has an eggy yeasty smell, and that is in the taste. Not complex and fruity, it is still an interesting fullmouthed Belg, with a salty and very high alcohol in aftertaste above all, a drop of the advertised nutmeg.

 294 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple 4-packs at Riley's here in Madison. Have a feeling I'll be laying these down for a while.

Pour: crystal clear strawberry blone under a few fingers of loose, foamy, tan head that fizzles quickly to a ring. Swirling leaves a viscous, soapy film along the sides of my Duvel tulip.

Nose: Spice, spice and more spice. Nutmeg dominates, with strong notes of clove and allspice. Musty yeast and alcoholic vapors struggle to peak through.

Taste: Again, the spicy characteristics dominate, but that's what they stress on the bottle, so not a huge surprise. Sweet malts assert themselves following the spice along with some fruiter notes of baked apple and pear. Finishes dry with oaky tannins, musty yeast and noticeable but balanced alcohol sizzle. Imagining this is in the 10% range, but the booze is hidden fairly well.

Feel: thin and dry, from the booze and barrel-aging. A pleasure to sip.

Drinkability/Overall: A fantastic winter ale with pleanty of warming and spiced characteristics. If you're expecting a quad in the St. Bernies/Rochefort vein, you're barking up the wrong tree. This is definitely a lighter, fruitier, sweeter and drier American-style quad, but it avoids the overwhelming hotness that some tend to run into as the booze and dryness get out of control. Traditionalists will be disappointed. Those who can appreciate an American take on a Belgian institution, and are looking for a true "Winter Warmer" look no further. This is a smooth, woody cordial of a beer. Dan Carey has created another inspired, well-executed Unplugged offering. I can't wait to see what a few years will do for this one.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stunning! Absolutely stunning! Unlike the dark and malty monsters you might expect from a beer labeled "Belgian Quadruple", New Glarus offers a clear, orange-copper ale that's thoroughly complex and unlike anything you'd ever expect. The Brettanomcyes hit me first, peeking through the honey-sweet malt of the nose like a tart apple that's been rotting in the orchard next to the barn. Beautiful! Then in the flavor I found lots of oak. Ah, how wonderful. What a great combination, Brett and drying oak. But there's also caramelsih malt, spiciness and mild alcohol, and more fruit (raisins, cherry, fig). Quite marvelous! But then, there it was in the finish, bourbon. Yep, bourbon! What an unusual and bizarre combination, and yet it works so completely well that I could never imagine it any other way. It goes from lightly funky and slightly tart, to raspy dry and spicy, and then dripping sweet with gooey vanilla before a varied fruit background. Did I say stunning? The spice and alcohol return in the dry finish along with some dark-skinned fruit. Kind of peppery in a way, but also drizzled with caramel... dry but sweetish... wacky! A most memorable brew! If you're a fan of Brett or Bourbon you'd better try to get some of this before it's gone.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, bought a few 4 packs at Riley's but this stuff is in every place that sells beer in town (oh what a town we live in!)

anxiously awaited NG Unplugged installment as the last handfull have been incredible

appearance: pours into my la chouffe tulip, clear orange-amber body with a ferocious fizzy beige head - solid lacing left behind. The body in this guy is a little lighter and more glowing than some "traditional" belgian versions I have had the privilege of trying

smell: sour funk meets potent sweetness...sugar covered cherries, strong brown sugar...strongly spiced - nutmeg, clove, yeast present on the nose, boozy notes come through rather vividly.

taste: As many New Glarus unpluggeds have turned lately (smoked rye bock, cherry stout, enigma), this thing is impossible to classify. Dan Carey may have had quadruple on the mind but the resulting beer is clearly the result of a vivid imagination and a complete fearlessness when it comes to exploring the funk. The complexity as quite staggering to me, as I havent tasted anything quite like this. The first wave of flavours that crosses my tongue is strong oak barrel effects mixed with vanilla and brown sugar...as this hits the background a strong bourbon booze kick with soaked dark fruit hits and quickly fades into the funk...tart cherries tossed in sugar, lemon, grassy, tons of spicing

The yeast presence is noticeable but I cant say I know the difference between "Brett" yeast and any other kind. Upon review of wikipedia, it seems to be a style particularly associated with belgian styles such as gueze, lambic, oud bruin, and flanders red. The similarities are definitely noticeable.

mouthfeel: all sorts of things going on here...piercing woodyness leading into a heavy boozy bomb and a funky sour masterpiece

drinkability: strong but rewarding

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Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of kenito799
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a chalice

Dark amber with tan foamy head that raises when swirls then recedes.
Tangy sour cherries, caramel malt, nutmeg notes on the nose, a very winey aroma.
Creamy mouthfeel. A tangy balanced attack of cherries, spice and malt with hop making themselves apparent in the finish. New Glarus makes use of cherries to excellent effect, as I have tasted with the full-on cherry brew Enigma and of course the Cherry Stout...here the flavor is integrated into an interesting expression of the Quadrupel style. Fully enjoyable but definitely different.

Also tasted at belgique tasting, Hugo MN Thanksgiving 2010, notes:

Clear amber...small head...fine bubbles...Horse blanket nose...Caramelized

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Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this one from Beertracker, cheers Jeff!

Pours a caramel tinged amber with a pinky of cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing & mice oily sheen to it

S: Dark fruit & pineapple

T: Dryness, cherries, pineapple, raisins & leafy hops up front. Some boozeyness as this warms, along with cherry, apricots & dates. Finishes boozey, with a ton of dark fruit & slight leafy hoppyness

MF: Vigorous carbonation, slightly sticky with medium body

Drinks a bit slow, but this is a very nice Quad, albeit a tad fruitier than I prefer. This makes me think of a GOOD Christmas fruitcake

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Photo of brewbucker
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one is coming along quite nicely. When it first came out I did not care for it. It is settling down real nice and should be fine for years to come.

Pours a medium clean copper with a small head. The aroma is out of this world. Nice and tart (cherry & apple) with a fair amount of bourbon and oakey traces. The flavor is not quite as tart as the smell indicates. Touches of fruits, bourbon, vanilla, malt. Mouthfeel is almost silky but also a fair amount of tartness in the finish. This is totally different than a true Belgian Quad but it really seems to be turning into a nice beer. I am glad I have a couple of four packs in the ol cellar.

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Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of DIPADude01
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Windigstadt
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A brilliantly clear deep amber/topaz.
S: Wonderful aroma. Yeasty up front with all sorts of stuff going on... Spices like ginger, cinnamon, perhaps coriander; sweet cinnamon raisin bread; slight tart raspberry.
T: Lots of alcohol here. As far as malt is concerned, it's surprisingly not complex. Some molasses and earthy tones with tartness in the finish. Overall rather dry, with a hint of whiskey on the top of the tongue.
M: Effervescent and thin; appropriate for a Belgian.
D: The simplicity of the malt profile actually makes this beer more drinkable... any further complexity to this beer would make it utterly undrinkable.

Overall: Some may find this isn't big enough or extreme enough to qualify as exceptional, but I actually think its modesty is its asset. While the quadrupel is my least favorite style brewed in New Glarus's "Unplugged" series, this just might be my favorite beer of the series.

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Photo of dfourh
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

There have been beers like Bells Hopslam and Victory's HopWallop lately that take styles and set them on their ear, but this Unplugged from a local brewery that I typically never purchase, because many of their standard beers are too slight, is a serious overachiever. Take the juicy fruity joy of their Belgian Red, and mix in the satisfaction of the most dessert-like Lambic, and top it off with ueber-potent yeast pungency, and you have a product like has never been produced nor experienced before. New Glarus has often made me shrug (from an extreme-beer perspective), but this product is the BOMB.

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

A 12 oz foil-wrapped bottle courtesy of JeffKrenner at DLD 2007. I shared this with that incalcuable mooch Deuane.

A: The ale is a light amber color, golden orange with touches of cherry red. A small head from the pour didn't stick around long.

S: The nose has sour cherries running amok. They leave a tart sweetness that is lambic in nature.

T: The taste does not pull punches. Apple butter and tart cherries emerge from the first sip. The ale is not sour but the cherries go a long way in adding tartness. Touches of cinnamon add more sweetness and heat to the flavor. The finish to the ale burns a bit as it sits there.

M: The ale nicely showcases the tart cherries. The montmorency-like flavors are chewy and delicious. The tastebuds can't help but appreciate the flavor.

D: Too many New Glarus ales are too good. This is another solid offering that doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of emerge077
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huh, never reviewed this. Well...drinking it now, so it's time.

Strong cheesy aroma, something like Parmesan and fresh bread dough, strangely enough. Also dried dates and a touch of alcohol. Beautiful high clarity orange color with strong foam initially. Wondering if there was any Brett yeast in the mix, something there that strongly resembles bread dough, definitely attributed to the yeast strain. Flavor is dried fruit to the Nth degree...apricot, raisin, rhubarb fruit roll-up all in one. Lovely residual nutty almond flavor. This is better than Westvleteren for my money, with less sugar involved too. Very rich and savory feel, one to sip and savor...

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.42/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Demcorhip: Poured a medium-to-dark brown color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with hint of vanilla and bourbon coming out. Taste is quite sweet but avoid being exceedingly sweet which would have gross out this beer with some light vanilla and some alcohol. Body is not as full as I would have expected for the style. I find this style to be quite thought for the brewer with the high expectation resulting from the wonderful Trappist example of the style. I also thought that the barrel-aging didn’t work really well on that one and that bourbon taste I could have done without and the sweetness was not balance right.

 691 characters

3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decent carbonation brings about an inch of tan head. Body is a reddish honey amber in color. Head fades to just a skim in a couple of minutes. nose has hints of green apples, tart berries , and sweet malt laced notes in the backround. Enters the mouth and quickly wakes up the tongue with a bit of tart twang but that quickly yeilds to a spicey malty richness that is bold and almost peppery at times but not harsh. The dark fruit notes are there as well and linger on the tongue creating a rather thick mouthfeel. The tart feel calms as the beer warms and the complexity develops. Unique personality really brings out the drinkability of this brew.

 649 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle split into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip.
No date or info.

A big thanks to Bnieman and his dad for sharing this aged beauty!

A - Mostly clear orange amber with a low but persistent white head. Tiny patches of lace cling to the tulip.

S - Yeasty all over the place with big fruity esters of strawberries and plum that moves into caramel and toffee malt sweetness. Low phenolic alcohol.

T - Sweet caramel and toffee malt and low yeast esters. The flavor is a little thinner and less nuanced than the aroma.

M - Smooth, full, and soft with a warming finish and nice flavor.

O - It's definitely showing signs of it's age but with that said, for it's age, it's still quite good, just a little less nuanced than it would have been fresh.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It had a nice solid copper color with some alcohol shimmer. It had a very small head that quickly dissipated. No lacing and minimal carb. The smell starts off great with the brett and cherries but gets dinged by the bourbon smell. The taste is pretty good with a good sour taste offset by some sweet malt. The alcohol shows up at first but tones down as you drink more - not sure if it fades or you just get numbed to it. Good mouthfeel. Overall, a pretty good beer but quads are an every so often style for me and the bourbon smell and taste limit this one further. Glad I tried it but won't be looking for more. (3.5, NA-OIE, ML, N)

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Unplugged Belgian Quadruple from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 113 ratings