Unplugged Smoke On The Porter
New Glarus Brewing Company

Unplugged Smoke On The PorterUnplugged Smoke On The Porter
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Porter - Smoked
4.13 | pDev: 7.99%
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Unplugged Smoke On The PorterUnplugged Smoke On The Porter
Reviews: 172 | Ratings: 206 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dacrza1
dacrza1 from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

DATE: April 19, 2018... OCCASION: drinking on hopefully the last cold night of the spring... GLASSWARE: Stoudts pint... jet black body that admits no light supports a smooth brown head crowned with off-centered bubbles... the head recedes to a halo soon thereafter... the first waft is thick smoked sausage, peat, charcoal, medicinal elements akin to an Islay scotch--complex and alluring... the sip is creamy, smooth, lasting and medium-bodied.... thick with a cola's mouthfeel, yet more than the perfunctory flatness that purveys many other porters... a bit of vanilla sneaks in with peat, anise, and a playful sweetness... this one, brought by Jarrett from Wisconsin, is a winner, a drinkable, rewarding porter that is sooo meaty, the smokiness begs for a cigar pairing... as an everyday workingman's drink, this is worth a case, but I will take one when I can get one...

Apr 20, 2018
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superspak from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with the The-Adjunct-Hippie. 12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 12/4/2016. Pours clear nearly opaque dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that linger. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big peat smoke, wood, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, and herbal; with lighter notes of caramel, charcoal, fruit, leather, pepper, and roast/smokey earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of roast/bready/smoked malt and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with solid strength. A bit too fruity/peaty in the nose, but not overwhelming. Taste of big peat smoke, wood, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, and herbal; with lighter notes of caramel, charcoal, fruit, leather, pepper, and roast/smokey earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/spicy hop and roast/char bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of peat smoke, wood, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, herbal, light pepper, and roast/smokey earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of roast/bready/smoked malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great roast/hop bitter/sweet balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from roast/hop bitterness, lightly increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and fairly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 6.1%. Overall this is a very nice smoked American porter style. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of roast/bready/smoked malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. Other than the aromas being a bit off; this was spot on for an American porter in every way. A very enjoyable offering.

Dec 18, 2016
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OompaMentor from Georgia

4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is as close to a Schlenkerla Rausch beer that I have had. Nice smokiness, medium beer; easy on the palate. If you like smoked beers, this is one to try!

Aug 20, 2016
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woosterbill from Kentucky

4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle.

A: Black body, brown highlights, one finger of fine light-brown head. Ok retention, very nice lace. Solid.

S: Moderate smoke (equal parts woody & meaty) is front and center, with chocolate and tobacco undertones. Really, really good.

T: Follows the nose, but with a bit more sweetness alongside the smoke and malt. Some dark fruit and coffee as well as dark chocolate. Smoky, bittersweet finish. Delightful.

M: Thick and creamy, with lots of soft carbonation. All right, but a bit much for the style.

O: I found a few of these sitting in a small liquor store in Rhinelander, and bought them all without realizing that this was old enough to retain the Unplugged (rather than Thumbprint) label, and such a relatively low-ABV for the series. Any fears I had upon realizing the extent of the shelf cellaring were quickly allayed as soon as I poured the first bottle, though, as this was one of the best smoked Porters I've ever had and didn't show a hint of being too old. Delicious stuff.


Aug 14, 2013
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

3.16/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks to CaptainCougar for this beer. Served in a mini snifter. Pours a dark brown color with a good head. The nose has a moderate amount of smoke alongside some roast and a very light fruit component. Flavor is smokey and roasty. Nice and integrated. Medium body with good carbonation and a lingering smokiness. Not surprisingly, a German take on a beer that was done well by New Glarus.

Dec 15, 2012
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thain709 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another New Glarus beer from Deuane's basement. Vintage unknown.

A - Poured a darker shade of brown that had some clarity and some ruby highlights...the head was off white in color and stood two fingers tall...it quickly receded to a thin cap, then formed a tight ring...some lacing was left

S - The smoke has not gone away...reminds me a lot of bacon and smoked meat...reminiscent of a campfire as well...there is a roasted quality and also a little sweetness

T - There are smokey, roasty, and sweet flavors all around...the smoke goes a long way, but never overpowers...it brings a good meatiness to the beer...the roasted flavors add depth also...milk chocolate comes from the malts and it adds some sweetness to the beer...if you search hard enough, a trace of vanilla can be picked up...the finish is smokey with a hint of roasted bitterness

M - Medium bodied...not a lot of carbonation, but it makes for a smooth mouthfeel...some smoke and roastiness

O - This is one of the better Smoked Porters I've had...even with the age, the smoke flavor and presence has held up well...I would have two, but I think three would be pushing it

May 12, 2012
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drabmuh from Maryland

3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank Mike.

Beer is relatively dark, a little hazy / brown at the corners of the snifter, decent head but ow retention, some lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is smoke, roast, a little oak, perhaps some anise.

Beer is medium to light in body, quite smoky, interesting but not great. Other flavors, oak, malt, sweetness, a mildly dry finish, not a repeat for me.

Jan 27, 2012
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yourefragile from District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

Dark, clear cola brown with a thin cream head. Sweet and smokey aroma, caramel and chocolate. Tastes like a nice cocoa porter, sweet caramel malt with a subtle meaty, smoke finish. Medium thick, syrupy body, with very light carbonation. Very enjoyable still.

Jan 14, 2012
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321jeff from Maryland

4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Michael for breakingout this old rarity.

Pours a deep brown with ruby edges and just a few bubbles where the head should be.

The aroma is really nice, the smoke isn't overpowering but still manages to remind me of a good bacon.

The taste has faded a bit but there is still a nice sweetness up front but there is a hint of oxidation in the finish, which doesn't ruin the beer by any means but its starting to show its age.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and there isn't a whole lot of carbonation to speak of. Very nice for a four year old smoked porter.

Jan 14, 2012
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flexabull from California

4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of jj21, thanks again! Looking forward to this one...

Pours a deep dark brown color with a nice white head.

Cocoa and light smoke on the nose as well as some roasted nuts. Aromas are on the lighter side.

Taste is creamy, sweet and chocolately up front. Super smooth mouthfeel, and a wonderful slight smokey salmon like hint on the crisp finish.

Mouthfeel is about perfect.

Overall, very impressive beer. Subtle, smooth, and super drinkable. Very impressive, well done New Glarus. Best beer I've had in a while.

Mar 26, 2011
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 3047 on the neck.

Thanks to bnieman and his Dad for breaking this out of the "beer museum" that is his cellar.

A - Dark mocha brown with no head that even be roused by a swirl. The beer has a nice clarity with ruby highlights showing through.

S - Light notes of smoke waft in around the mocha roasted malt aroma. The nose is good, but has low presence and isn't very complex.

T - Lice heavy smoke flavor with a strong malt backing of boldly roasted malt. No hops to speak of in this one.

M - Lighter-bodied and crisp with a roasted smoke dry finish.

D - Crisp and nice, this has good drinkability for a smoke beer. Especially a beer with the age on it. I've been finding the Unplugged series beers to stay good for quite a while.

Feb 26, 2011
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PittBeerGirl from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Body is a dark brown nearly black hue. Pours with a foamy 1-2 finger dark tan head-which eventually fades to a thin collar and leaves little lacing in the glass.

S- Decent amount of smoke, smoked meat, a hint of roasted malt and vanilla underneath.

T- The taste is a lot more reserved and less in your face than the nose. The initial flavors are good, classic porter flavors. Slightly sweet overall0 Vanilla, chocolate, a hint of roasted malt. The finish adds a touch of smoked meat to everything else thats already going on and balances everything out perfectly.

M-Medium carbonation and a nice smooth creamy mouthfeel.

D- This is a very good beer overall. Great mouthfeel-good smoke character over a porter. Very well balanced and easy to drink-too bad this is limited. Sweet and smokey.

Jan 21, 2011
Photo of kenito799
kenito799 from New York

4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, Porter tasting.
Brown-black, thin ring of white foam.
2008. Fruity cherry pipe tobacco smokiness on the nose.
Vanilla, more restrained smokiness but very nicely integrated. Very pleasant mild fruitiness balanced by smoke. Excellent effort, as usual.

Nov 24, 2010
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levifunk from Wisconsin

3.38/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a small tasting recently. Reviewed from notes.

a - pours deep brown to black. tan head.

s - menthol smoke. charred wood.

t - sadly a muted flavor due to age. smokiness is still there, but the rest is a subtle porter flavor.

m - medium-light body with a good amount of carbonation.

fun to try a bit of NG history, but not really holding up well.

Oct 28, 2010
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kbutler1 from Minnesota

3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a dark brown brown color wih a slight tan head. The aroma is smoky but not extremely so, no more like only a small campfire as opposed to the full on smoke of some other beers. Laces on the glass pretty well. Slightly sweet tasting up front with a mild smokiness that lingers. Medium/light mouthfeel. In the world of smoke beers this one is on the light side but very easy drinking. This would be the ideal beer to introduce people to smokes.

Oct 25, 2010
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mothman from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Bells snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of tan head that fades to a thin layer. Good retention from there on. Leaves some lace. Color is dark brown, nearing black.

Aroma: A lot of smoke and roast up front. Reminds me of pork and bacon. Has some chocolate notes with hints of apples and oak. A pretty nice aroma.

Taste: Very much like the nose, but I get some creaminess out of it. It also has a milk chocolate flavor in the finish. Not as smokey here, but it still shows a decent amount. The milk chocolate really takes over this beer more than I expected. Has a bacon flavor as well with a light amount of oak in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Light roastedness to the feel. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with milk chocolate and smoke.

Overall, a smoked beer that I really enjoy. I didn't expect to be this creamy, but it works really well with this beer. It has a good drinkability as well. Nice.

Oct 22, 2010
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

New Glarus Brewing Co.'s Unplugged series is where the owner/brewmaster gets to go out on a limb. What is brewed generally is outside the box and beers from this series may or may not be brewed again. Both smoked Wisconsin malt and smoked malt from Bamberg Germany were used to brew this beer.

Dense mass of hasty cascading bubbles form three fingers of rocky tan head, the lacing from this is epic. Creamy dark cocoa, mild char and even smokiness in the nose, very aromatic. Creamy and smooth with a depth of crispness in the medium body. The smoky character stays true with an even keel of complex flavor throughout. Hops are very mild, the malt really shines with a soft cake-like sweetness within. Suggestions of dark-roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate come to mind. A long road of slowly fading smoke and roasted malt in the end.

No doubt, the balance of this smoked porter is unsurpassed. You know it's there but it never comes over the top and that sets it apart from the rest. When Bostonians think of beers like this, fresh-shucked oysters come to mind--both shellfish and fatty fish like salmon will do well for a pairing.

Aug 01, 2010
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mdfb79 from New York

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 7/11/10 notes.

a - Pours a brown color with a little bit of tan head.

s - Smells of smoke, roasted malts, toasted malts, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of chocolate and roasted malts. Some nice smokiness to it.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A nice smoked porter and another great beer from the unplugged series. Would try again.

Jul 17, 2010
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Lukafer from Michigan

4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into pint glass, thanks Alleykatking!
From notes:

Pours black with a tan head. Smells a bit smoky with some chocolate, so it smells good! Taste some chocolate, a hint of smoke, maybe some meat on a weber? Mouthfeel seems a bit watery, but not enough to make this bad. If I was in the mood for a smoked beer, this would be my go to!

Apr 29, 2010
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alleykatking from Indiana

4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Review from notes.

A- Pours out a dark brown color...almost black. One finger tannish head comes rising up and dies down lightly. Leaves nice streaking lacing into the glass.

S- Big smoked meats on this one....bacon mostly. This makes my mouth water a little bit. Some light roasted malts with some faint bittersweet chocolate malts in the background. Hints of come and go of coffee as I try to pick out anything else....bacon mostly though. That's not a bad thing right?

T- Big roasted malts right in the front end of this one. The roasted malts give way to light bittersweet chocolate light presence. Then it hits you...what is that might you ask? Well the smoked flavor of course. This runs throw until the end and big on the bacon flavor once again. The alcohol seemed to be a little mellow to me which I didn't mind.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts and ligth smoked flavor left on the palate..while the aftertaste is taken over by a smoked bacon flavor. Flavors blend together nicely for the most part. Light oxidation...very light if that.

D- This was a very interesting beer that I would like to visit again someday. New Glarus has surprised me with there Unplugged Series. Am looking forward to trying more and more from them. Would suggest to anyone that wants to try a good smoked porter...or else a bacon beer!

Apr 07, 2010
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champ103 from Texas

4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color. A large, wispy, tan head rises with good retention. Nice sticky lace is left behind.
S: Smoke up front, but it does not overpower. Roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, and coffee. I love it.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of smoke, but held in check with the roasted malt. Lots of smooth chocolate.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Smooth and creamy. Very easy to drink.

This is great. The smoke is very prevalent, but does not overpower. There is a lot of flavors going on other than meaty smoke. This is one of my favorite smoked beers. A huge thanks to MiguelMandingo for sharing a bottle.

Mar 21, 2010
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Mora2000 from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to angrypirate06 for sharing this beer.

The beer pours black with a tan head. The aroma is strong smoke and roasted malt. The flavor is a meaty BBQ smoke with some roasted malt. The smoke is the predominant flavor but it doesn't overpower. Medium, slightly creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Mar 17, 2010
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sholland119 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a hazy dark brown with some visible floaties, a quickly dissipating mocha head and no lacing.

S-Mmmm...bacon. Nice smokiness, maybe a little bit of roasted malt but lots of smoke.

T-Much more complex than the nose. Sweet malt dominates the front, smoked pork dominates the back. I am not a huge fan of the style but this one is very nice, especially in that it has more tan one note.

M-Light to medium bodied, flavorful but not much lingering smokiness. Which is a good thing from where I sit.

D-Yeah, real nice. A very tasty smoked beer.


Feb 25, 2010
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Hopfist from Illinois

4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Few beers can claim to be as big and simultaneously drinkable as this one. Ever wish beer tasted like bacon? You will once you've tried this one. Better for breakfast than the famous "Breakfast Stout" from an unnamed brewery, and just as easily served during or after dinner. It's a basic smoked porter, but done really, really well... really. It will be missed.

Feb 07, 2010
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nickd717 from California

4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle shared at a tasting. Thanks to whoever brought this - unfortunately I lost track by this point.

Pours very dark brown with a small off-white head that fades to a film.

Awesome smoky and roasty aroma, with hints of meat in there. Maybe a little chocolate. Smells pretty much like you'd want it to.

Flavor is also great and smoky with roasted malt, smoked meat, toffee, and dark chocolate. Really interesting and good beer.

Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel and lasting smokiness.

Drinkability is high. What do you know, New Glarus brewed another great beer. These guys are definitely one of my favorites nowadays.

Jan 11, 2010
Unplugged Smoke On The Porter from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 206 ratings