New Glarus Brewing Company

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German Altbier
4.07 | pDev: 12.04%
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 158 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by marcobrau:
Photo of marcobrau
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whoa...lots of carb; as in a glass full. This slowly settles down leaving sticky foam forming a rocky head. Boozy aroma mixed with the tingle of ethanol in the nostrils. This character fades after a bit and a complicated spiciness emerges mixed in with oak. Incredibly smooth caramel flavor and toffee flavor, but the sugary sweetness is kept in check by the hops. Juicy up front with a dry finish that has a tawny fade to it. Viscous, yet dry enough in the end. A tartness nips at the sides of my tongues as this warms up. A hot flash of alcohol burns a bit in the throat, but the warming sensation is welcomed this time of year. I can't seem to find out how strong this beer is, but I'd guess around eight percent alcohol by volume. If I'm correct, this drinks a lot easier than it should - Dopplesticke, anyone? Like others, I would like to see how this ages.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Duff27
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thin tan head on a clear dark orange beer. Decent to good head retention with a little lacing.

Definite spice, alittle oxidation.

Hops are there but a little subdued. Real sweet aftertaste. Well hiddden alcohol!

Still carbonated nicely with a medium to medium thin mouthfeel.

Held up pretty well. Second venture into the Alt style, this being the best thusfar. This is the second time TATURBO has pulled this out, glad I reviewed it this time...thanks for helping the NG tickathon Chris.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to hide the BA rating real quick 'cause I'm not sure where it's gonna go and I don't wanna be influenced by it.

OMFG only three more days after

Thanks be to great and excellent cohort in beer trading GraniteSkunk for the fine extra. Prost, mein freunde!!!

The basics: No idea on price (though I suspect it's hefty) and 9.5% ABV (nice)...

The beer looks good, a tasty yet cloudy amber with an orange hue...Nice three fingers of persistent head, yet a decided lack of lacing. Above average but towing the line, so to speak...

I'm in one of those moods, ya know...A mood wherein I like to picture what woman this beer reminds me of. So far it's very cute, yet not as stunning as many others. Methinks it will be one of those that surprises ya in the end...

Ahh, the aromas are wonderful...I get a lot of caramel malt, heaps of it, in fact. A nice strong sweetness also, that must be from the Turbinado sugar. The aromas meld well, and there are other things going on, such that I get things like roses and lavender in there also. It's compelling. Riding on top of all this is also a plethora ("Would you say I have a PLETHORA of balloons?") of berry notes: raspberry and blueberry being alpha amongst them. Very excellent...

This beer is striking me as the Robin Wright of ales: Compelling and beautiful, with a mysterious intrigue hiding beneath the surface...

The flavor is off the chain...It's very big and uber-malty. Lots of caramel malt smacks you around. The alcohol is VERY apparent, however...So much so some will be turned off by it. The oaked aspect is subdued rather than forefront, and lends it a wonderful characteristic. Kind of like drinking in Germany out of a wooden flagon...The beer evolves as it warms, such that the bigger malt flavors take the place of the alcohol...I still get a touch of raspberry in there also. Maybe I'm crazy, but that's what I get. Wonderfully made beer, and complex enough for a second round to really pull all the nuances out. Great beer and definitely worth tracking down.

What I like most: The wonderfully complex and inviting flavor profile.

What I like least: The strong alcohol notes when it's cold.

Verdict: Fantastic and unique, worth tracking down in every sense of the word.

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Photo of tjkurz
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass - murky burnt orange brown. Thick head - average consistency no lacing. Smells malty caramely upfront fruit boozey deep inhale - strong very easy to catch. Taste follows - malty upfront dry fruity finish - mild booze flavor. MF okay nothing out of ordinary drinkability - very interesting very smooth considering the fruity dry boozey finish reminds you of a warmer nice beer for winter.

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Photo of Greggy
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a massive off-tan colored head, at least 3 finger in height. The body is semi hazy and bronze/amber in color.

S- Big caramel notes, a touch of buttery oak, a nice sweet fruitiness in also present. Fruitcake comes to mind.

T- Starts out with a dark fruit, some belgian candy, a bit of medicinal notes and some pepper. There is also a nice dry buttery oakiness. The finish which has bits of dark fruit and a semi-astringent graphite note. Overall very belgian-esque. Quite nice.

M- Very big mouthfeel and low-med carbonation.

D- This is a nice beer. I don't know if I'd call it an alt per se. It tasted very Belgian to me. Either way, not a bad sipper as I think it's 10% ABV.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pour is amber with a medium head. not much lace. no murk what so ever. smell is alcohol... when agitated some wood, walnut, and apple come forth. but mainly alcohol. palate is quite peppery. sort of sharp on the tongue. this is the predominant duality in the beer. heat of pepper and heat of abv. in the finish walnut, apple, bread, oak and heat. had more so the appeal of a oak aged high alcohol lager with an effort at making it interesting. so with that said. i respect this beer. i would like to see more brewery tackle the alt. a good start... but drink it quite cold.

looking back and realizing with it being 9.5 abv... i can see the expectation of smoother lighter alt going out the window. still a bit much i believe.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours an orangeish red color with a hugh foamy off white head. Head has great retention and leaves pretty much lacing.

S- Smells very sweet and fruity with some spice notes.

T- Quite a bit of things on going on here apples, spicy yeast, sweet malts, honey, grainy, and floral hops.

M- Medium mouthfeel and high carbonation.

D- I had no expectations going in on this one. After a few sips I was like wow very nice.

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Photo of philipquarles
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Thanks Adam! Pours hazy copper with a fluffy light tan head that sticks well. Smells of grain, caramel sweetness, and some woody, earthy notes. Slight alcohol. Sweet caramel malt taste; very bready. The hop bitterness is there, but the hop character doesn't really jump out. Plum-like fruit notes. Sweet, warming finish. Light-medium feel that's almost sticky. I don't like "double alts" on principle, but this one was actually decent; certainly better than any other I've had.

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Photo of Pauly2X
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Copper color, massive two finger head.

S- Carmelized malts with a slight roasted presence and a light whiff of noble hops.

T- Complex caramel sweetness greets you at first. The middle features a dry complexity that accentuates the almost peppery hop character. A slight warming note adds to the smooth finish.

M- Solidly smooth and rich, just enough tang to break things up.

D- Dan, you better keep making this!

Simply a fantastic beer. This just might be the best from New Glarus yet!

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Photo of Strix
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bronze, decent head and some lacing.

Smells of malt, spices, and wood. I also get fresh apples for some reason.

Caramel malt, cherry, alcohol, sugar, cola, cocoa, wood and clove. Complex? Yes.

Mouthfeel smooth, carbonation bubbly.

This was inventive and drinkable. Never really had an Altbier that made an impression either way, but this is a winner. Has some Belgian qualities to it, reminiscent of something Unibroue would make. Seek it out.

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Photo of Naugled
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle

A: Pleasing deep orange red color. Head quick to subside. Carbonation looks nice with the constant stream of bubbles.

S: The smell is sweet and complex, but I occasionally caught a detergent like smell that must be from the higher alcohols. I think its something from the oak. I can just detect the oakiness, which is at a good level.

T: The taste is sweet and caramelly, with just a hint of the oak coming through. Taste is lingering.

M: The mouthfeel to me is med to high with good carbonation and last bitterness that is nice.

D: Average drinkability. This is a special occasion beer.

I enjoyed this beer, and it might get better with age. But I'm not sure if they still make this one.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Three fingers of off white head with good lacing and retention. Rich amber body with orange tints. Attractive!

S - Big amber malts and esters in the nose. Pear, herbs (mint?), and grassy/spicy hops round out the aroma. Defiantly a sweeter aroma than most Alts I have had in the past.

T - The entry was interesting: a very herbal caramel malt profile, with spice from the hops hitting my mouth right away. Hops to balance out the beer, but not too much more. Alcohol is present and prickly. Lingering flavor that reminds me of Wintergreen gum.

M - Mid body and crispness. Standard. If anything, a little too crisp...

D - An interesting example for sure. The malts themselves seemed dead on. I felt that the herbal quality, though present in most Alts I've had, were a bit extreme in this beer, and muddled some of the other qualities of the beer. The hops lent nice spice, but I would have actually liked to have seem more bittering hops used. Not a bad beer, interesting, but I would grab a Uerige over this 9 times out of 10...

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Photo of twbrewer
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a reddish/caramel color,nice 1/4" off white head,lots of visible carbonation in glass.Nice lacing.

S-Nose is of caramel malts with a fruity alcohol scent.Hint of sweet caramel and brown sugar.

T-Taste is somewhat fruity with a malt background.Can pick up some clove and spice and even a slight bitter oak flavor.

M-Medium body with a smooth creamy feel.

D-I havn't had many of this style,but overall it tastes good and the abv must be on the strong side as it has a nice warming feel.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: Amber/gold with a nice amber colored head that left a nice lace on the glass

S: I smelled a malt/candied sweetness to it, it reminded me a little of fruit juice, but not as strong? Loved it

T: I tasted a bunch in this beer. Yeasty/bready flavor right away and then the little spice notes started coming out. Reminded me a little of Tremens.

I wanted another drink right away, although it still left a great flavor all over your mouth

D: I really liked this beer, but you have to watch out at 9%.

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Photo of veachster
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(A) Copper color. It pours with an active, foamy head, slightly tan in color. There is visible signs of carbonation and no sediment.

(S) A sweet, rustic-like aroma.

(T) Seems to be a hoppy taste upfront followed by a more hoppy taste as it's swalloed. The after taste seems to stick around for a bit.

(M) Carbonation is sharp and crisp.

(D) Not a beer I would want to slam or get drunk off of, but great for a couple / few.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is a clear and bright orange-copper color with a one inch off-white head that rises to the top rim of the glass. I gave it about 10 minutes and there is now a nice cap on top. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is pretty mild overall with some slight caramel notes and a fruitiness that seems odd for the style. It's kind of like apples and oranges.

Taste has some caramel malts up front with the fruitiness coming in midway though. Finish is mildly spicy with some hops. Just doesn't seem very much like an Alt to me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but very smooth and creamy.

This was good, just doesn't really compare to stuff like Uerige. Not the best I've had from New Glarus, but it's quite good.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very beautiful murky old with a very thick off white head. Carbonation is nice out of my Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Smells bready, earthy, crisp, fruity.

Tastes lightly of bread and very lightly fruity, crisp and refreshing, but a bit lacking in depth.

Mouth is light to medium in body, high in carbonation.

Excellent beer and another winner from New Glarus, quickly becoming my favorite brewery I can't get.

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Photo of ahalloin
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice reddish clear fluid with a three fingered head of off white that recedes rather quickly leaving some lacing clinging to the side of the glass.

S: Hefty malty sweet aroma brings carmelized toffee to the floor with hints of red licorice and vanilla. Maybe even bourbon?! The label claims it was aged in oak barrels, so I wonder if there is a blend with bourbon barrels?

T: The nose carries some spicy hop flavor which quickly morphs into a big sweet malty body. The flavors are unabashed, slapping me in the face with vanilla, dried fruits, oak, plum, and possibly bourbon. Wow! This Alt is friggin huge! The aftertaste lingers for quite a while with a hop bitterness and a slight alcohol burn.

MF: Carbonation is moderate. Very smooth beer with a slight dryness at the finish.

D: This beer is full of complex flavors. Drinkable for open minded beer drinkers but not for everyone.

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Photo of Pullen
3.72/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Medium copper color. Two finger head that disapears quickly. The smell is prickly, ripe green apple notes in the aroma.

The body is medium, malty with a tangy prickly finish. Honesly, the flavor reminds me of a Michelob, but a damn good Mechelob.

Drinkability is solid... I'd pair this with Roasted chicken, Gumbo, chili or anything spicy.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of DBhog - thanks!! Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a bright, lively, robust orange-amber body, capped by a fizzy, incredibly fast-fading, slightly off-white, one-to-two-finger head (hard to determine precisely given the speed at which it fades) that leaves nothing but an erratic, spotty sheen of lace and a thin, soapy collar. I like the collar, but the retention/lacing isn't too hot.

Aroma: Much like a spicier, caramelly hefeweizen, filled with other fruity notes ... ok, maybe it's not like a hefeweizen at all, but it's definitely a German yeast strain. Spice - particularly clove and coriander - is faint in the background of the nose (much stronger in the mouth, see below), w/ bananas and pears, candied and roasted (I wouldn't have said Turbinado sugar, but I read the side of the bottle, so ...). Pleasant.

Taste: Whew, that one's interesting. Candied citrus and tropical fruits are the first thing that comes to mind. It's slightly spicy, peppery, perhaps faintly clove-like throughout - particularly up front and in the finish - with sweet pears, apples, medium-ripe bananas, faint mango, a slight bitterness, and a few green, leafy, herbal flourishes throughout (likely the Syrian Goldings). The malt base is relatively dry, a little biscuity, and reasonably well-roasted - that is to say, there are a few caramel overtones. It's a bizarre beer, but a surprisingly balanced and enjoyable one.

Mouthfeel: Huge bodied - that is, well carbonated, very well-carbonated, though surprisingly so, given that I saw zilch in terms of carbonation in the appearance. I think it works decently well with the flavor profile on this one ... maybe I'll bump it up to a 4.0. Yeah, I think so.

Drinkability: I don't seem to be quite as high on this beer as most, but I still think it was very tasty and solid. Sort of like an estery, roasted hefeweizen - spicy and fruity to the max - this is a strange one, but I'm glad to have given it a try. I'd estimate the abv% to be around 5.5-6%, though I can't quite be sure, so that's not too drinkable or undrinkable for the style, really. Another (though I'm more hesitant here) winner from New Glarus, a brewery which continues to push the envelope, offering interesting and unique beers, made in the old w/ style w/ local ingredients - I approve.

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Photo of torchednoodle
3.72/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very nice altbier. I say "nice" because it's not outstanding, but it is still a very good beer worth revisiting. Pours well; clear and with a nice head. Smells good, with sweetness tickling the nose.

Taste has a hint of fruitiness. Not quite an identifiable fruit, but sweet and pleasant all the same. Decent mouthfeel, as this swirls around my mouth the fruit is more prominent.

A nice and drinkable beer, a good representation of the style. I'd drink more. I dug it, really a nice beer, can't wait to try the other New Glarus treats in my fridge. Thanks natasharai!

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a slightly hazy golden-copper amber with one-finger head that fades into thin cap. Light tracing. Loose bubbles of carbonation visible within.
S-Initial aroma is of toffee with light spice and faint veil of bubble gum. There is also faint apple and fruit. Floral and vanilla characters emerge as it warms.
T-Malt and toffee, spice, wood, apple, hint of bubble gum. Finish is characterized by noble hops and is a little boozy.
M-Medium-bodied w/rich carbonation. Decent balance, hot at the end. The immediate aftertaste is hoppy with alcohol, and the bitterness is a little strong, coating the mouth and giving a sensation like KY bourbon and potent herbal hops. This slowly subsides and the result is a harmonious, well-cleansed palate.
D-I am not very familiar with this style, but this one is unique and complex. The nose is beautiful as it warms.

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Photo of darklordlager
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a luxurious red, with a nice 1" head with some staying power.

Smell is some fusel alcohol, and a nice fruitness going on.

Taste is of dark fruit, plum. Fades into a complex sweet malt profile...

Mouthfeel is light to medium, with a pleasant carbonation.

Drinkability--Not sure about the ABV on this (The NG site and BA don't list it) but it sure goes down easy...

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Photo of Loogs
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of paco1029384756
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark peach color with a big creamy white head.

Scent of caramel, cherries, malts, and a hint of hops. Wonderful stuff, sweet and floral, makes me pine for warmer days.

Taste of tart cherries starts, an earthy flavor comes in with some sweet caramel. Finishes with earth, caramel and a faintly warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied with some fairly strong carbonation.

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Alt from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 158 ratings