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
Reviews by drabmuh:
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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
More User Reviews:
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patrick16o from Wisconsin

4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Same label as other beers of the "Unplugged" series. Uses Wisconsin barleys that were generously cold smoked with apple wood.

Pours a rich pure ebony with a 2 finger frothy tan crown. Some light lacing and a thin head hangs around throughout.

Aroma is smoked jerky and ham with a touch of dark roast coffee which blends with dried apples.

Very tasty, sweet fruity maltiness, some chocolates and a touch of carmel, with a delicately smooth smoked flavor. The smoke lingers down the back of the tongue. The smoky flavor is not overpowering or too strong. The body is just about right for this style, not too heavy, not too thin. Very nicely balanced and quite easy to drink, though I'm not sure if the smokiness would wear on me if I had more than one. For just having one, its very good.

Feb 26, 2008
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msubulldog25 from Oregon

3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with the requisite red foil topping, an 'Unplugged' trademark; poured to a pint glass. Received this one late-winter/early-spring and it's rested in the fridge ever since. For the life of me, I can't recall which fine soul sent this one; if you're the type of guy who sends bottles to Oregon and dips caps in silver wax, please remind me. Many thanks, Mystery Trader...

A: Dark as a moonless midnight, really no light penetrating at all, but for thin slivers of crimson at the base of the glass. Lofty head, about a finger-and-a-half of tan-nish cream, slow to fall. Strong lace, sticking in speckled sheets.

S: Definite 'smoke' aroma roiling around a sweet chocolate and sugary coffee, but it seems to weaken (or I just grew accustomed too soon). Otherwise it's a pleasant-smelling, moderately roasted porter, with a lean towards sweetness.

T: Bakers chocolate, sweeter fudge, traces of coffee roast, earthier dryness in the finish. At this point, the 'smoked' flavor is more of an afterthought, a vague notion of campfire embers or mesquite chips. Flavor is a bit sweet overall, some vanilla and roasted pecans. has an interesting complexity, with flavors tumbling over and over with each sip.

M: Very likable mouthfeel, just enough carbonation and silken smoothness. Medium body, a little coating of dark malt and sugars hangs around for many minutes. Alcohol warming is hinted at.

D: A worthy brew from an excellent brewery. It's good to mix in a porter every now and then, especially on a cool summer day when temps don't rise above the mid-60's. A little heavy on the alcohol, but I'd be happy having another right now. Sadly though, it appears this one's been recently retired...so I guess it's one and done, glad to have tried.

Jul 09, 2009
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Phocion from Minnesota

4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Massive and extraordinarily resilient brown rocky head resides over a pitch black beer. After a couple minutes the head finally sinks enough to finish my pour. Beautiful.

Wow, this aroma is amazing. Thick earthy/meaty smokiness takes charge, but also a hint of roasted malts, caramel, and chocolate.

Unlike the aroma, the chocolate and other dark malts take charge here. Light touch of hoppy bitterness that I can't quite place. The name of the beer aptly describes the flavor; it is definitely a very solid porter with the smokiness excellently complimenting the rest of the flavor. Somewhat more subtle than other porters I've tried, but still extraordinarily complex and very pleasant. I honestly don't know how they could improve on this flavor.

Very solid medium body, but for porter standards it feels a little light. Carbonation is also at a medium level Very smooth and silky. Easily drinkable and I would definitely recommend. This is probably one of the 10 best beers I've ever tried.

Feb 01, 2008
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apfactor from Illinois

3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle:

Pours a deep dark brown with light brown hughes at the top and bottom of the glass. A smooth tan head falls quickly to the brew and leaves little trace.

A roasty aroma is noticeable but not much smoke at all. Taste is very smooth, the smoke is very balanced with the roasty-ness of the brew. It is not dominating or overpowering at all. Slight coffee bite with a milk chocolate finish. There is a hint of toffee in there at the finish as well. Light hop presence, well balanced...

Mouth feel is pretty smooth with a carb bite towards the end. Very very drinkable beer and a quite enjoyable one at that.

Jul 07, 2008
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shbobdb from Indiana

3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus is a ballsy brewery, and I like that. Take this beer, a lesser brewery would have released a bourbon barrel aged extreme what-have-you beer. But that ain't the way Dan rolls. This is a nice session beer that happens to be fantastically well done, with a hint of smoke for added complexity. It just works on being good, that's all. Nothing else. Unplugged is right, they are working on showing off their craft while other breweries play up their pyrotechnics and costumes. America needs more beers like this.

I will say that even though I do praise NG for having a lighter touch with their Unplugged beers, I think the touch here may have been a little too soft. The base beer is less a porter and more of a dry stout. It is just so light.

The carbonation is very light, just a nice prickle on the tongue. Then there is a quick hit of light roastiness that fades into just the right amount of smoke. Rauchbiers are too much for me, but the taste of ham worked well with the initial hit of roasted malt. A little bit of chocolate fades in-and-out in the finish and the smokiness fades into a light fruitiness.

It is a very good showcase of what smoked malt can do in a way that heavier-handed rauchbiers don't. That is great in terms of a "getting to know your malts" perspective. But I wish the base beer had a little more to it. Not in an ueber-imperial way, but just a more robust beer. There are any number of porters that I can name with more ooomph and a little of that ooomph would work with the smoke. Good stuff though.

Jul 18, 2008
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Deuane from Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Dark brown with ruby highlights with a thick tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

S-Nice sweet hickory and a bit of coffee. Not overwhelming but certainly you know it is smoked porter.

T-Nice roasty malts with the unmistakable smokiness from the wood. Not overly heavy but a nice dose of smoke. A very pleasant tasting brew, all of the flavours blend very nicely.

M-Medium-light body with a nice smoothness. Maybe a bit on the thin side for me...the only real flaw in this brew.

D-A very nice example of this style. Certainly not the best but solid nonetheless. A great beer to enjoy with a Wisconsin Brat!

Apr 08, 2008
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gmcfarre from Colorado

3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a pitch black shade with a smallish light tan head that fades quickly. Lacing is minimal.

S - Strong, authentic smoke scent with sweet barley accents. Earthy peat flavor. A bit of alcohol spice.

T - Again, smoke is the dominant flavor. A bit of molasses to mix with the earthy peat flavor. Sweet malt with a good deal of drying effect at the finish.

M - Dry with a medium body and mild carbonation. Extra dry at finish from intense smokey flavor.

D - Despite its intense nature, the smoke flavor never outstays its welcome. Alcohol is not much of a factor. Another interesting brew from New Glarus.

Oct 23, 2008
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

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

Acquired from BuckeyeNation, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a large light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very smoky along with complimentary notes of coffee, chocolate, dark malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is likewise smoky and malty as you would expect, but the smoky flavor is done very well unlike some other smoked beers. The smokiness is backed up by normal porter flavors of coffee and chocolate. There's a very mild hops presence but enough to bring some balance. The after-taste is maintains the smoked flavor.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style with excellent emphasis its targeted segment of the style. It's a very good beer to drink for a long time if you're craving the smokiness. This is the third of three beers that I traded for in the Unplugged series and I thought that it would be the one I would like the least. I was very pleasantly surprised to find I liked this beer better than the Imperial Weizen & Berliner Weiss, especially given the fact that I usually don't like smoked beers.

Nov 13, 2008
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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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Erdinger2003 from Iowa

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It reminds me of the coffee stout right off...maybe used the same malt and brewery, who knows. This is not as smoky as I have heard from some people. Pours a nice tan head that leaves a great lacing and a thin head. Black with some dark purple colors at the edges when held up to the light. Smell is a light roastiness with some breadiness and a light smoke that's not sweet or off flavored. Taste is smoky with roasty flavors tying into the smoke. The body is well balanced with a good base malt between the smoky/roasty flavors. Mouthfeel is a medium body with a smooth mouthfeel. Overall I enjoyed this beer very much and would like to have more.

Nov 25, 2007
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objectivemonkey from Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a Guinness glass, pours a dark brown with a nice, creamy tan head, some nice lacing around the glass in rounded streaks and fingers. The aroma is a nice balance of smoked and roasted malts, nice but simple. The taste isn't all too complex, but its smokiness is spot on perfect, and the roasted and chocolate malts seep through perfectly. Its delicious, and with a smooth, creamy mouth, its one wonderful beer to drink.

Dec 04, 2008
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DarkerTheBetter from Minnesota

3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a mysteriously dark brown with beautiful flashes of port purple in the bottom of my glass with an irregular creamy head of lumpy tan film.

Smells of sweet caramel, banana peal and a touch of campfire smoke, which is nice, but there's a metallic sourness here that throws things off.

Tastes quite similar with the same caramel and light banana but there is not a far more pronounced dryness that ties the smoke to a more solid ashy coffee. The balance is far better here.

Feels a bit frothy with a swarm of little pinpricks, but over all its quite clean.

There's a lot going for this beer, but there's also a lot not in its favor.

Sep 13, 2008
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bennetj17 from Arizona

3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark black, thin tan foam leaving a decent ring. Roasted malt intensity with loads of smoke in the aroma. Lots of coffee plus some buttery and meaty notes. Also a bit of chocolate cake sweetness.

The flavor yields more roasty smoke, but has very little sweetness to balance and comes off a bit watery perhaps. Very low bitterness at the end. The mouthfeel has a watery smoothness with moderate carbonation.

Overall I would say its a bit one dimensional with its smokiness but worth a try...

Mar 31, 2008
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ygtbsm94 from Utah

3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Jan 16, 2012
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jj21 from Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Horse & Plow
Pours a still deep brown with a nice tan head with hints of red. The head settles nicely and retains for longer than I cared to wait! The aroma was a bit overwhelming at first. Almost like opening a bottle of liquid smoke at first, but mellows out nicely to reveal a Carmel-dark fruit base. The flavor is a wallop of smoke followed by sweetness followed by a nice hop finish. It almost has too much smokiness for me. Surprisingly, a very light beer. Much lighter than I expected at 9.5%. Laying this down for a while should do wonders. VERY good!

Dec 09, 2007
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markaberrant from Canada (SK)

3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - opaque black, thick creamy tan head. Leaves a thick sheet of lace down the glass.

S - appealling mix of malty roasted chocolate and meaty smoke. Sounds gross, but it works. Quite strong, but not overpowering or harsh. I spent a little extra time just enjoying the aroma before taking the first sip.

T - taste is predominantly porter-like, a bit of dark fruit/toffee along with deep chocolate flavour. Hop bitterness is quite low, which is how I like porters. There is a woody flavour, but seems more like oak than smoke. After getting half way through the bottle, the smoke character begins to emerge.

M - There is a bit of astringency in the mouth that is smoke-like, and is more obvious in the finish and aftertaste.

D - interesting aroma, but otherwise this is just a decent porter.

Somewhat of a letdown based on previous hype and the incredible aroma. I'm not getting a lot of smoke character other than in the nose. I would enjoy the astringency if there was more smoke flavour to accompany it, but otherwise it just detracts from enjoying what is a solid base porter.

Thanks to Demcorhip for the bottle!

Jul 06, 2008
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GbVDave from Illinois

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Caracole tulip.

A: Pours a lovely looking black color with a creamy, light-tan head that leaves a thick coating of sticky lace in the glass.

S: Big aroma of salty, smokey meat. This is followed closely by some roasted malt and hops.

T: Salty smokehouse meat and chocolate at the forefront here. As they die down a little, a tart cherry flavor emerges as well as some brown sugar, dark fruit, and hops. Tastes kind of peaty and boggy. Yum!

M: Feels rather big and rounded for the style. The bitter chocolate, hops, and smoked malt add an excellent layer of roughness to this.

D: I found this to be a very interesting and challenging porter. Worth seeking out.

Dec 31, 2007
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a thick, tan, foamy head. It left some sticky lace.

S - It smelled fairly smoky. Bacon and smoked meats with a slight malty nose.

T - The smoky flavor was not over the top powerful. It had a nice burnt toast maltiness underneath the smoky flavors.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied porter.

D - This is a nice smoked porter. The smoke flavor is not overpowering and you can drink it without food as an accompaniment.

Feb 25, 2009
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Murchmac from California

4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my new favorite brews, thanks to Phawk for the trade and a taste of my first New Glarus

Pours black as night, with a brown head that quickly disappears into the dark void.

Smell of smokey meats, malts, some hops discernible. There is also a sweetness to this beer I cant quite grasp, like Walter Payton breaking tackles in the backfield.

The taste of this beer is subtly dignified. Smoke flavors turn to hoppy, chocolate sweetness which gives way to a lingering burnt cocoa taste.

Great mouthfeel which fills up every corner of your mouth, medium carbonation, just a well balanced beer that doesnt overwhelm, but slowly envelopes your sense of taste.

Deep purple has smoke on water, but New Glarus has a fire in this guy, I want more.

Jun 01, 2008
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ClockworkOrange from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my standard shaker glass. It's a bit humid tonight, this one wants to foam over. But a careful pour yields a clear dark mahogany colored ale topped off by two fingers of lingering fluffy ecru foam. Smells and tastes of medium smoked malts, bitter chocolate, smoked ham, slightly sour, some sweet malt tries to sneak in now and then. Slightly thin bodied and amply carbonated. A really nice smoked ale.

May 22, 2009
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jaxon53 from Connecticut

3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thank you to Faro, for sending me this brew in the Secret Santa '07 BIF. Finally got around to trying this brew. Servrd this slightly chilled, in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle. My second beer from the Unplugged series.

Appearance: Smoke On The Porter pours out a deep brown color, just a few shades lighter than black. Beer shows deep ruby highlights when held up to a light. A somewhat easy pour brings almost two fingers of creamy off-white foam. Head slowly fades into a thin white layer atop the beer, but does manage to leave some thin streaky lace behind.

Smell: The heavy smoked malt aroma definitely dominates. A bit of charred wood lends itself to the smokey aroma. Molassas and brown sugar are noted with some dark fruity hints. Smells like it might be a bit sweet.

Taste: Plenty of rich smokey flavor, but not obnoxious. Some faint chocolate and coffee notes under the extremely smooth smokiness. Dark fruit, maybe plum or raisin. Finishes smooth and dry. A smokey aftertaste lingers after each sip.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel seems a bit on the thin side, but still coats the palate nicely. Plenty of tingly carbonation is felt.

Drinkability: Quite smooth and very drinkable. Clean tasting and delicious.

Jun 28, 2008
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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
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tmitch75 from Illinois

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

Oily black color with tan head that drops to nothing. Looks very enticing...

Smoke on the nose big time. Flavor is deliciously smoky as well, with a little bitter hoppiness.

Nice medium to full body, very smooth.

Awesome. Smoky flavor is very fresh and authentic. I love it.

Tasted on 4/2/08.

May 04, 2008
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brdc from Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Small capped bottle poured into a pint.
Black, with a foamy cocoa head, which holds reasonably well and leaves some lacing.
The aroma is good, and it keeps improving as it warms up; initially more of a standard porter, with roasted malts, particularly coffee, but some coffee too, evolving then into a more clearly smoked, oaked, firewood aroma with some hints of smoked meats.
Easy to drink, medium bodied with a decent carbonation, the flavor also evolves from unsweetened coffee to a clearly smoked pattern.
This is more delicate than the powerhouse rauchbiers, but is still very nicely crafter, one of the best smoked beers I found around here.
Very worthwhile.

May 10, 2008
Unplugged Smoke On The Porter from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 206 ratings