Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Unplugged Smoke On The Porter | New Glarus Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
170 Reviews
Unplugged Smoke On The PorterUnplugged Smoke On The Porter

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by abents on 11-08-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 170 | Ratings: 201
Photo of Tone
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color. 1/2 inch head of a tan color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of smoke, roasted malt, slight alcohol, and slight hops. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and creamy with a low carbonation level. Tastes of smoke, slight alcohol, and roasted malt. Good blend, not overpowering smoke flavor, easy-drinking, but a little lacking in body.

 392 characters

Photo of koopa
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received in a trade with FlanderNed thanks!

Appearance: An attractive chocolate brown with a creamy beige 1 finger crown that shows some retention and loads of lace.

Smell and Taste: A hypnotic medley of chocolate, roast malt, hazelnut, and coffee. I bet the nose and taste were even more potent when this one off was first released.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy medium bodied brew that is a bit chewy.

Drinkability: Btw the flavor and the mouthfeel I could drink this one all day and night.

Another Home Run From New Glarus!

 532 characters

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

One of the better looking porters out there. Brown with bricking around the edges but really set off with the deep mocha head fluffy and like a soft pillow with long retention and great lacing.

Roasty notes with a layer of chocolate cake and hints of smoke. Rye bread and charred aromas with a other bready malt esters.

Damn nice porter. A style that I've really been less and less enticed with over the years but this one has very nice drinkability and a distinct smoked malt flavor that doesn't overpower but adds a bit of complexity to a usually un-complex style. Slight meat flavors from the smoked malt, burnt chocolate, roasty middle, a bit of coffee flavors and a dry moderate finish. Nice.

 699 characters

Photo of mdwalsh
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: With a very vigorous pour I was able to get a 1.5 finger head of light tan on top of this beers black body. Just the slightest shred of a red light gets through, but this sucker is dark. The head does't stay long, and I don't want it to, but it does leave a nice lacing.

S: Smokey, duh, like a campfire after it has been extinguished though, not like actively burning wood. There is no hops and no other malt, not even a roasted malt, just the smoke. It's not too strong, but it is pungent.

T: The smokey flavor is still there, but it has a much thicker, richer taste, not the expired taste of the nose. This is more like an open fire wood grill or the scent of smoking meat. There is still no hops, but a better malt flavor, something rich like peated malt or a good caramel.

M: Thinnish, it doesn't match the taste at all. No carbonation either, which is ok, but not great. A pretty simple thing all in all, nothing to complain about, nothing to laud.

D: If you like the flavor, this is the beer to drink. It has a decently low ABV and tastes even lower. There is no harshness or anything, a perfectly drinkable smoked beer.

 1,134 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one came to me via Masterski. Thanks Alex.

A brown body that allows light through around the edges, it actually looks a bit like cola without all of the extremely vigorous carbonation. The head is at least two fingers of creamy light brown foam. Fairly good retention as a ring of foam covers the entire top of the body. Good, fairly thick lacing in both rings and sheets.

The aroma is pretty good, with a dose of smoke, coffee, and a bit of toffee.

Coffee flavors come through first, tasting more like coffee beans than actual coffee. A bit of toffee is next, with maybe a touch a chocolate malt. Smoke permeates the beer throughout, but it mostly hangs around in the background until the finish, where the flavor becomes quite pronounced. The aftertaste is all liquid smoke. Considering this one is over a year old, I'm actually surprised how well the smoke flavors held up. In fact, I don't normally like to age porters much at all, but this one has held up nicely.

Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium in body, with about moderate carbonation. Pretty standard.

A drinkable beer, another winner from New Glarus. Overall, I'm also impressed with how this one has held up.

 1,187 characters

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

Picked up a pack of this a year ago and threw one in the cellar to see what would happen.

A: Pours with a vigorously rising head, taking a couple minutes to completely empty the bottle. Finally it settles into a finger-thick creamy tan layer that sticks like glue. The beer is very dark brown with the slightest tinge of mahogany around the edges.

S: Smells like a camp fire, with some extra woody-ness in the background. Under it all is a sweet caramel aroma and bitter dark chocolate.

T: The smokiness dominates. There's more of a roasted coffee flavor taking over now, and the body is held up by mild chocolate and caramel, and some other complexities that I can't quite identify. Very mellow, the sweeter flavors fade and a small coffee-like bitterness lingers for a while.

M: Medium body, smooth as silk, almost a little creamy/frothy. The palate shifts toward the bitter end as it warms up, but is still much more mellow than most other porters. The alcohol content is definitely warming, but I can't even really taste it, probably due to the aging. Overall an incredibly delicious experience that makes me sad I'll never have it again.

 1,146 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
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.

 1,754 characters

Photo of movingtrain
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark brown, light head with some decent carbonation.

Very smokey...smells of smokes meat...which, as the bottle notes, was the inspiration for the beer...a local meat market/smokehouse near the brewery. Some chocolate notes, and coffee in the background...but the smoke is the overpowering element here.

Taste is similar...like drinking smoke. Light coffee flavor, caramel, chocolate...drinking this cold, but would probably be a little better warmed up a bit. This would pair well with smoked meats, some caramelized oinions...

This one is not incredibly drinkable...it's an interesting style, one in the style of other good smoked beers from Germany. Not one I would want to drink often, but one that I would love to have with a meal from the grill.

 767 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
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.

 436 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown color with a small light tan head.

Scent of chocolate, smoke/bacon, oats, and roasted malts. The smoke here is much more balanced than most smoked beers I have had before it.

Taste of chocolate, roasted malts, and smoke/bacon. Had the great qualities of a porter with a nice smoke flavor to back it up.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with good carbonation.

 390 characters

Photo of aggiearcher13
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been sitting on this for a little while, wish I had kept more around but they were too darn tasty.

A: Chocolaty black, not much much head or lacing.

S: Not as much smoke to it anymore, but it's there, kind of a subtle woody aroma.

T: Smoke and some chocolate, not as much malt characteristic as I remember. Pretty good though, kind of bourbon-ish as it warms.

M: Medium bodied, very smooth, nice carbonation.

D: It's good, but I think the smoke is starting to wear out my palate as I finish it. For a smoked beer, it's better than average drinkability.

 564 characters

Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is about smoked, not about porter. There are some porter tastes, but all I get is beautiful smoke and woodiness, that carry you. Very lovely drinkability, backed by an understated sweetness and a little chocolate. Another great unplugged, another great WI state beer. Thanks Phys21ca.

 289 characters

Photo of Birchgrove77
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, poured and drank at cellar temperatures.

A: Very dark brown with some subtle red highlights when held up to a light. Nice mocha head that laces very nicely down the pint glass.

S: Not as smokey as I remember, but there is a definite smokehouse quality there. Some nice aromas of a commercial dark chocolate, graham crackers, and a malty sweetness.

T: Initial taste is of smoke, but as that begins to dominate the senses a very nice chocolate bloom opens up. Very porterish, but not overstated. Some bits of wood develop with a subtle vanilla character. Maybe a hint of molasses and bourbon quality.

M: A bit more carbonated than I expected. In a dream world, this would be the perfect beer on cask. In some respects, the smoke quality kind of reminds me of a cask conditioning.

D: A great beer, but the smoke quality keeps this to a every now and again drink.

 878 characters

Photo of zeff80
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.

 494 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single I picked up in WI. Shared with the wife in matching FOBAB mini-pint glasses.

A - One finger of light tan foam, with excellent retention and some spotty lacing. Dark brown, but a little lighter at the edges.

S - Smoke, hickory, sweet caramel, roast malt, hint of coffee & cream. It's not very big smelling, it gets a little more intense as it warms up, but I almost got my nose wet with this one.

T - Smokier tasting that it smells. Lots of campfire, wood, with more suppressed sweet caramel and creaminess. The taste is much more lively and a significant improvement.

M - Moderate carbonation - tingles as it hits my upper lip. Gets smoother and creamier as it moves through the mouth. Good medium viscosity that is appropriate for a porter. The mouthfeel is the best thing about this brew. It's complex, dynamic and complements the flavors well.

D - Not too boozy, but like most smoked beers it gets tiring pretty quick. One bottle is plenty - glad they had singles.

This is definitely the weakest Unplugged brew I've had, but it's still quite solid. If you like smoked porters then give it a shot!

 1,117 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JAYW for this foil-wrapped 12 oz bottle.

A: The porter is dark, the color of Hershey's chocolate syrup. Lighter coffee colors only emerge at the sides of the glass. A thick tan-colored head blankets the mouth of the glass.

S: The nose combined dark chocolaty malts with a smokehouse aroma. The two aspects share the stage, one of the few smoked ales that allows the underlying beer to emerge.

T: I don't think that I've ever had a shoddy unplugged beer. This one brings together the full-bodied porter, chocolate and burnt graints, with lush smoky rauchbier. The porter, up front and at the end, sparkles with a full roasted flavor. The finish, especially, is loaded with porter malts. The middle of the ale shows off the smoke, delicious with a curehouse flavor that fits naturally with the porter. A real winner.

M: Mmmm bacon. The smoked malts are a great match with the porter, bringing out both flavors with greater intensity.

D: I would spend a weekend sipping on this heavenly brew. This is a meal in a glass.

 1,031 characters

Photo of MMAJYK
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Deep chocolate brown; opaque. Not much head and looks slick and oily.

S. Typical roast with the a light touch of campfire smoke. No hops just sweet malts. Creamy.

T. Light coffee and cocoa mixed with smoke up front followed by bittering hops that balance nicely. The finish is a little bit dry but the mouth is left with a light touch of sweetness.

M. Thin in the mouth and medium carbonation. Definitely lacks a little in body.

D. Not a session beer, but a great one to try. The smoke is a little much in the taste and light in the nose. I'd flip-flop that to suit my tastes, but who am I?

 601 characters

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

A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass nets me a two-finger thick, lightly browned, tan colored head. The beer is quite dark, with a burnt, concentrated brown color. When held up to the light the beer shows an almost opaque darkness, but does show some flashes of murky, concentrated amber around the edges. The aroma has the hearty aroma of smoked malt, it smells quite similar to beech-wood smoked malt, though perhaps a touch softer ad less meaty. Underneath the chewy smoked malt character are notes of roasted grain; a touch of char, a rich toasted whole grain character and as the beer warms a bit, rich notes of dark chocolate and city roast coffee beans. I really like that the smoke is distinct, dominant even, but doesn't drown out the beautiful dark malt aromatics here.

Fairly light bodied, almost thin in some ways. The beer is also quite dry tasting up front, with even a touch of roast grain derived acidity to it. The smoke adds some richness to the flavor, but isn't quite as prominent as it was in the aroma. The dark, roasted malt notes play a significant, almost leading role here; roasted cocoa, well toasted whole grain bread crust, blackened toffee and, in the finish, a bitter, burnt grain note and some charred acidity lingers on in the palate. The smoke seems to accentuate, or perhaps even contribute to a certain sweetness here in the finish. As the beer warms up it starts to gain in richness and texture; the body has more viscousness to it and it feels fuller as it rolls across the tongue. The malt sweetness also is magnified as the beer warms up, this works really well with the smokiness and even adds a touch of dark fruit character up front.

This is quite a nice beer. I really like the mix of flavors from the smoked and the roasted malt mix. My biggest complaint is that a 12oz bottle is not nearly enough of this for one sitting. This is one of those beers that started out a bit slow, but finished up great.

 1,967 characters

Photo of stumac
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on a Sunday afternoon with my buddy Onslow along with the new BrewDog Paradox Smokehead. Both were amazing....

it pours up a super dark brown color with a decent tan head. great lacing as well. Wow! the nose is very nice. smoked meat, nice malt character. the taste is crisp malts, a nice smokey flavor, charcoal, roasted malts. medium to full bodied, low crispy carbo. Delicious

 393 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.47/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle acquired as a gift from R&S.

Tried Jul 2008.

Large brown head. Pitch black in color. Smells quite smoky, roasty, coffee and A claims egg yolks. Starts somewhat bitter and acidic, smoke flavor is milder than the smoke smell. Petillant in the mouth. Also some cocoa and pumpernickel. Finish is roasty sweet. The acidic start detracts from an otherwise good beer.

 376 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear black color porter with a nice foamy head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma consists of light smoke with some notes of light coffee. Taste is a nice mix between some creamy roasted coffee notes with a lingering smoke final. Body is a bit light for the style with some good carbonation. Some additional smoke and a fuller body would have improved this beer in my mind but still is a great achievement as is.

 439 characters

Photo of spointon
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This ale poured a very dark brown with faint cola colored highlights around the edges. The light tan head poured about 1" and left a lot of lace down the glass.

S= The malt aroma was mostly sweet but with a touch of roast in there too. The smoke was muted and fixed pretty deep in the middle of things.

T= This beer started out with a short burst of sweet malt then morphed into a faintly bitter blend of grain husk, roasty chocolate, and earthy hops. The smokiness kicked in around halfway and carried this into a superbly smooth finish.

MF= Slightly to the heavy side of medium bodied with a silky smooth mouth feel despite a decent amount of carbonation.

D= Very drinkable and dare I say sessionable. This was an outstanding smoked porter with a modest amount of smokiness. Without a doubt one of the best I have ever had (and I have had some good ones!).

 939 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to ThirstyBird for sharing his beer haul from his trip to Wisconsin. Served in a tulip. Poured a deep brown with no head; just a swirl of soapy foam. Nose was smokey, roasty, coffee and beef jerky. More roasted character in the mouth as well as smoked bacon. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied and ever so slightly carbonated. Nice complexity and smokiness was not overwhelming.

 384 characters

Photo of bound4er
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ho hum - another great Unplugged beer. Pours black with a one finger tan head. Forms a decent skin and spotty lacing down the glass. This stuff smells like cured meat with bacon and coffee undertones - wow. The cool thing about this beer is that these heavy, rich smells don't translate into a heavy, plodding tasting beer. It is pretty light on its feet - smooth roasted malt flavors with some of the coffee and smoke thrown into the mix. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Drinkability is quite high given the strong flavors - my glass disappeared more quickly than I would have liked. Great beer to savor on the last day of 2008!

 635 characters

Photo of marcpal
4.51/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm pretty unfamiliar with the Unplugged series and this was thrown my way in a trade a while back. I really was impressed and need to try some more of the series based on this.

12oz bottle poured into imperial pint.
Bottle Graphics: 8/10. Simple.

A: Black, not much more to say. Cream soda head.

S: I guess I should have thought about it by the name, but the abrupt smoky flavor was a surprise and a great one at that. Roasted smoke flavors alongside a fresh bbq meal. Wow.

T: The smoke on this is awesome, simply awesome. It is like vanilla coating a toasted and smoky marshmallow platter. Unlike many porters, its not burnt or overkilled by chocolate.

M: A little bit watery but shit, the smoothness and great smoky texture in the back of the mouth made up for it.

D: As the first trip into the unplugged series combined with usually thinking porters are all the same, this was great. Would love to have as my standby porter.

Rauchbier meet porter. Porter meet rauchbier. They become good friends in this treat.

 1,021 characters

Unplugged Smoke On The Porter from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.13 out of 5 based on 201 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!