Unplugged Bourbon Barrel Bock | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Unplugged Bourbon Barrel BockUnplugged Bourbon Barrel Bock
Very Good
116 Ratings
Unplugged Bourbon Barrel BockUnplugged Bourbon Barrel Bock

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerBeing on 06-12-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 116 |  Reviews: 102
Photo of Sweffin
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beernads
2.5/5  rDev -36.9%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm not sure which has changed more in the 7 years that this has been in the cellar, this beer or my taste/experience with beer.

A - Slightly cloudy, dark brown. A small amount of large bubbles when poured.

S - Very sweet and sour with hints of cherry and bourbon.

T - Very sour at first, cherry, toffee and malty followed by sweet vanilla bourbon.

O - I can't get over how good this beer is after sitting in the cellar for 7 years. I don't remember liking this much when it was fresh, but I am glad that I have another one in the cellar after having this one. I have found many great beers and breweries in the 7 years since this beer was released, but my heart still belongs to New Glarus. Prost!

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of jegross2
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Unplugged Bourbon Barrel Bock from New Glarus Brewing out of New Glarus, Wisconsin. I was lucky enough to win this 2007 release, a New Glarus tick I long ago gave up on, in a raffle recently.

Score: 88

June 2007 vintage bottle served in a Perennial snifter/tulip hybrid glass and enjoyed on 08/15/13.

Appearance: Pours a clean, but translucent copper color that is free of floaties or haze. Has a wisp of head off the pour that totally settles, resulting in a liquor-like appearance. Minimal head or retention. 3.25/5

Smell: Primarily vanilla and caramel in the nose. There's a little bit of oak and even less dark fruit too, but it is really just malty/sweet vanilla and caramel interacting pleasantly here. Unknown ABV, but not a whiff of booze. 4/5

Taste: Taste follows the nose, but with a little fizziness in the finish. Caramel upfront, followed by vanilla. Mild cherry and tobacco flavors in the finish. Dark fruit undertones. The flavor components here meld almost seamlessly. Some sherry-like fruitiness comes through towards the finish as this beer warms up. No negative oxidization character is present, which is surprisingly given the age of this brew. This bottle was clearly stored well. 4/5

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium bodied with very very low carbonation. This beer is not flat, though it is closer to undercarbonated than appropriately carbonated. That said, there is a little fizzy life in the finish that I did not expected given its headless, non-effervescent appearance. Malty sweet, but not cloying. 3.75/5

Overall: Acquiring older bottles often scares me due to the unknown factor and exponential importance of proper storage over time. I was surprised how well this beer was holding up given how over-the-hill the Unplugged Iced Barleywine was. While this beer is nothing overly complex, unique or epic in flavor, it is easy drinking and quite smooth. The sweetness here does not layer on the palate in a way that inhibits drinkability, and there is no booziness to speak of whatsoever. I am certainly glad to have finally ticked this one, but it is a not a must-try brew.

Cost: $5 for a 12 oz bottle. If you manage to find one these days, I doubt it will be that cheap.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In my cellar for awhile, thought it time to see how this one's aging.

A: copper color, slightly cloudy, some head but thin veil
S: deep rich bourbon and vanilla, but not overpowering with malt base, deep and rich
T: somewhat thin in body but good, surprisingly light for 20 plato, malt, no oxidation, good vanilla and bourbon with ever so slight brett, well-made beer
M: incredibly smooth and mellow, well-balanced
O: unique and a pleasure to drink

 449 characters

Photo of cliff1066
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of Duff27
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Quickly disipating head on a red body. Some lacing left behind.

S- Sort of a sour bourbon aroma.

T- Tart cherries. Bourbon is still there but is muted until the end of each sip.

M- Medium to medium-thin mouthfeel. Below average carbonation.

D/O- Yum, a sipper and great. Has held up if you ask me. Worth seeking out inf you're dedicated to the series. Thanks ruizjoseph!

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Photo of EasyReader
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of corby112
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark ruby/chestnut brown color with mahogany edges and a half finger off-white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Spotty lacing.

Complex aroma with a prominent barrel character that doesn't overpower the sweet and roasted malt notes. Hints of toasted oak, vanilla and bourbon along with some caramel sweetness, chocolate malt, toffee burnt toast and hazelnut.

Medium bodied with some soft carbonation up font and a well integrated barrel presence that lingers throughout with becoming a booze bomb. Dry toasted oak along with some vanilla and coconut smooth out the sweet bourbon flavor and there are plenty of sweet and roasted malt notes underneath preventing it from becoming one dimensional. Hints of toffee, caramel, hazelnut, dark fruit and choclate as well as some dry, roasted coffee bean. Complex yet very easy to drink.

 857 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of dksl16
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of HopHead84
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Another bottle thanks to Jason.

A: A dark orange color with a white head that's fast fading.

S: Nice caramel and toffee presence with a pleasant amount of bourbon. Bread and a little vanilla. Oxidation is evident but not inappropriate for a near 4 year old beer - faint paper notes with sherry. 

T: Rich toffee with trailing caramel and a nice bourbon presence. This has held up quit well. Smooth and malty with low bitterness.

M: Moderate carbonation and medium body. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth. 

Overall: This has aged well and is pretty damn good.

 572 characters

Photo of levifunk
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

note: didn't actually have this on tap, I only say that to log a separate review.

Had this for a second time at a small tasting recently. Reviewed from notes.

a - light brown/red. low carbonation and head.

s - bourbon, very tart smell. the tart fruitiness and bourbon is resemblant of the new R&D BB Kriek.

t - bourbon, tart fruit, caramel, vanilla, and some booze.

m - medium body with lower carbonation.

I was very confused why I was picking up tartness from the beer...a bock. I didn't pick it up when I had it earlier this year. I looked up the description on NG website and read this "Wild Brett yeast sings in harmony to the tune of Bock." Now it makes sense. I'd say the Brett is kicking in. If you have a bottle, you can expect that this beer is becoming more wild and the bourbon/caramel flavors will be taking a back seat from here on out.

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Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter.

Pours very little beige head. Color is a clear golden bronze.

Aroma: Bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel malt. Very warm. Lots of barrel aging shows. An awesome bock.

Taste: Warm bourbon with oak. Vanilla and toffee flavors. Sweet and boozy, but well done.

Mouthfeel: Warm, smooth, and creamy. Medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends dry, warm, and malty.

Overall, one of the best bocks I have had. A ton of great flavors and the bourbon really adds a nice layer to it. Pretty drinkable as well.

 532 characters

4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber/light root beer color, with clarity and a lively albeit quickly dissipating head, minimal lace.

Smells of raisin bread, oxidized wine, biscuits grape jelly and a shotgun in need of cleaning.

The bourbon barrel aging is the first and loudest notion in this bock, although the bourbon-ness itself has slid into something even sweeter. A goodish amount of that vinous notion in the nose has shone through in the mouth. Ideas of some semi-evaporated port wine come forth. Maple sap that is still a couple hours of reduction away from being syrup. Gooey sticky buns. Alcohol is basically not noticeable.

Thick and slick in the mouth, the CO2 has mostly escaped the beer within 5 minutes of pour.

Plenty drinkable. For any folks still holding on to some of this, here is my recommendation: Split a bottle into two snifters and share with a friend after a good hearty meaty dinner. This can step right in there in place of a good English barleywine as a very nice desert beer.
Glad I laid a couple of these aside in the cellar.

 1,035 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a murky, amber color with no head or visible carbbonation.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, fruit, and vanilla.

t - Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, and oak.

m - Medium body and low caronation. Easy to drink.

d - A very nice beer with lots of bourbon and vanilla to it. Would like to try again.

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Photo of Beertracker
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

New Glarus UBBB pours up with a light carbonation that creates a low tannish white head that barely rings the slightly dull deep auburn-bistre brown body. The nose is quite complex with a wonderfully inviting rich melanoidin maltiness that's reminiscent of freshly baked Tin Vienna bread. There's just a hint of fruitiness, hop spiciness and a noticeable alcohol with traces of bourbon, oak, tobacco, vanilla and oxidation. The flavor is dominated by a rich, chewy melanoidin maltiness that is marked by a light spicy bitterness. The medium full-bodied finish is a touch syrupy with a cream sherry-like consistency combined with a chewy, grainy complexity. This finely crafted limited release offering from New Glarus puts an interesting twist on a continental favorite and comes highly recommended to all malt lovers. My only regret is not drinking a bottle sooner. Here's to live & "Unplugged!"

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Unplugged Bourbon Barrel Bock from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 116 ratings