Alt | New Glarus Brewing Company

124 Reviews

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 11-09-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 157
Photo of brokenoly
4.88/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simple. The Best One and out Beer I have ever tasted. So complex and different I am writing my very first review. The color and clarity are the total opposite of what you would expect from this a brew this fullfilling.From the unexpected cream head, the complex flavor, depth of feel and lingering tastes that keep you guessing, I can only imagine a man trying to best himself at his craft. Do not let the ABV trick you into thinking that catagorically ALT is a brew with punch. When you taste this, you know the talented meister in WI had nothing less then using the bottle to knock wine tasters off their pedastal as inspiration. Stock up, save up, and enjoythis brew. ALT comes with a sence of pride from it's makers, and a renewed admiration of taste over all else,not soon forgotten.

 788 characters

Photo of nullz0r
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

More so an "imperial" alt, Carey's take on the style pushes it to its limits (but with great success).

A: Brilliant Bronze body; two finger head

S: Malty, rich, complex; hints of spice

T: Incredible flavor; malty with little hoppy flavor, hints of spice, perfectly balanced alcoholic bite.

M: Excellent carbonation, noticeable substance to this beer, but not chewy like a stout.

D: Deceptively smooth flavor that doesn't get old. My favorite New Glarus offering.

 468 characters

Photo of MNJR
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There may be some of the flavor profile of New Glarus' Spotted Cow in this brew. The only other flavor profile that comes to mind is Scottish Ales or barley wines: sweet and strong. The best features are the mouth feel and carbonation which are superb: grainy (in a good way), refreshing and effervescent going down. As far as flavor, the toffee/butter (diacetyl?) is apparent, but all I can say is that the flavor is far more complex than just this, and none of the flavors seem to overpower the others. I get inoffensive fruit, and an expansive range of extremely subtle flavors: cherry, vanilla, oak, malt, trace of hops, blackberry jam (just a faint hint?). Obviously, the abundant sweetness and fruitiness may be a negative, but it's not "sickly sweet" like some Scottish Ales.

This is unlike the other Alt beers I've had, which have all been German and on tap (at Heuttenbar in Chicago), and had far less fruit flavor and sweetness. This is a unique, full flavored beer that can really be savored and enjoyed. The high ABV is not even noticeable within the complexity of this beer. If you can find this, get some.

 1,120 characters

Photo of hopsbreath
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not for the first time and not for the last time, a big thanks goes out to zimmerbloke for sending me another delight. I knew nothing about this 12 ounce bottle until I opened it tonight and took one sniff. Oh my. I had to find out more. The label says that this has a three hour boil of caramel malts and turbinado, is open fermented, and aged on oak. A little research tells me that this is over two years old and contains an ABV over 9%. This is no ordinary Alt beer here. A review is definitely in order. Split with my wife into our matching pair of Portsmouth snifters. On to my thoughts.

A: The turbinado reference is appropriate here... Melted to be exact with a nice clarity. A finger of dusty white head dissipates to a spotty cap. We've actually got some nice unexpected legs here. Off to a nice start. I can't find any reason to dock any points. 5/5

S: As nice as this looks, the smell is where I really start to take note. Sugary dates initially come to mind. The brown alcohol is totally unrestrained and plays lead guitar to the sweet dried fruits rhythm pacing. Staying on the 4 piece band theme, the drums keeping time in the background would have to be the acidic twang that seems to be the New Glarus signature. The bass player would be the faint vanilla hue that is interesting in this beer, and similarly hidden in the background of a band. I still see no need to dock any points. 5/5

T: The copious amount of fermentables gives off a pure caramel sweetness that is highlighted by some cinnamon-like spiciness from the biting wood and kissed by the same vanilla found in the nose. An interesting extra flavor I had a hell of a hard time putting a finger on, just revealed itself to me as grape seed... Very interesting. I'm having a hard time picking out any other flavor characteristics but the ones it does have are well integrated and in wonderful balance. It should be noted that the alcohol from the aroma is minimal on the taste buds. 4.5/5

M: Smooth, crisp, and full-bodied? That's a rare feat for a beer to accomplish, but this one does just that. 5/5

D: This bad boy is immensely drinkable. Bring it back as an "Unplugged" beer at the very least Mr. Carey. You've got a real winner here and given a little hype, this would have beer geeks falling all over themselves to get a hold of. I do believe this beer seals the deal for me. New Glarus is my favorite brewery in America... Its not even a contest anymore. 5/5

 2,449 characters

Photo of Sconnie
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I list this as an Altbier, although it would be more accurately termed an Imperial Alt or something of that nature (12 degrees Plato), it's really Dan Carey's own spin on the style.
Copper colored, smells of caramel malt and vanilla. Tastes like a big bold altbier, caramel, a noticeable but not overwhelming taste of oak. On the drier side, probably because of the turbinado sugar. Very flavorful but very drinkable for something so big and bold. Really a fantastic beer from New Glarus, and a bargain at their normal 6-pack price (rather than their "unplugged" specialty series). Go drink this beer!

 603 characters

Photo of ronhocker
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

New Glarus describes this as a departure from the alt style with more dark flavors and hops, but it is somewhat close. They claim it would be more accurately called a "triple alt" since it comes in at 20deg Plato. Some quick math tells me that means this thing is around 9% ABV.

I don't know why, but this is selling for the same price as spotted cow and all other NG 6 packs, despite having twice as much malt and being aged in oak barrels per the label. This thing is more like an unplugged beer with out the unplugged price!!!

It pours a copper orange color, head retention is not the best. Although it is bottle re-fermented according to the label, no indications of yeast in the bottle.

The smell is very sweet, has indications of apples and toffee. Although I am also tasting the "apple ale" tonight as well, so my palette could be off.

The taste is perfect. Everything is balanced well. Just enough hops and bitterness. Sweetness is great. Some toffee and dark flavors. I think The New Glarus website's description is very accurate.

I used to love new glarus Native Ale, which is no longer made, but was an Alt. This one is better hands down. Except that considering I have only had 1/2 of a one tonight, and I can already feel it, backs up the mathematics of the 9%+ ABV.

This beer may now be in my top 5.

 1,319 characters

Photo of KI9A
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not really sure where to begin with this beer. Impressive isn't a strong enough word.

A: Bottle, into tulip glass. Foggy amber, puffy off white head, lasts forever. Picture perfect lace.

S: Whiskey laced with sugar. About the most amazing smell I have ever had in a beer.

T: Again, where to begin. First thing, You notice a big time bourbon taste, followed by a really sweet, dark fruit, figgy hit. Reminds me of a Belgian strong sweetness, but, I think that just might be the 9% ABV talking to me. I detect a small shot of hops at the end, with a big warmth of alcohol. Funny, but, don't detect the huge malt amount-even though I am a malt0head!

M: See above. Leaves a long lasting sweetness in your mouth, almost like the lacing on the glass.

D: 9% ABV, surely not a session beer. But, a perfect, I mean perfect beer for a cold evening.

I have totally fallen in love with this brewery. I like the whole outlook of Dan & company, and obviously the beers. Makes it worth the 5 hour drive to cheeseland, for a beer run. $7 a sixpack? Awesome. Just freaking awesome.

 1,076 characters

Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper bronze color with a thick rocky off white head and great lacing. The head eventually settles down to a rim above the glorious liquid. Smells of rum soaked fruits, biscuit, yeast bread and a little alcohol. Tastes of sweet malts mellowed with a little hops and notes of fig, plum, rum, maple, and vanilla. Mouthfeel is wonderful with thickness and rich carbonation. Drinkability is superb.

 413 characters

Photo of geographie
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance is dark copper with off white head, quick to dissipate. aroma is as if the fruit wants to escape but is holding back, true to form. notes of buckwheat and corriander come through. flavor is mildly grainy with some very nice warming alcohol coming through, accented by some gently cloying spice. bitterness is reserved, no hop aroma or flavor detected. delectable and medium full body. faint carbonation but large bubbles. yum!

 437 characters

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

Another fine offering from New Glarus that sealed off my evening quite nicely. I had been waiting to come across this one and I have to say, I was not dissapointed. Served cold and poured into a pint glass and allowed to warm up, this one was consumed on 01/02/2009.

The pour was very nice, almost perfect for the style with a clean looking dark amber coming forward right away. Nice carbonation bubbling up toward the surface here as well, with a rich white, creamy head of lace on top for all the world to see.

The aroma was lovely. Rich bready malts, hints of toffee, light pears, and a touch of spice and grapes. Really just spot on. As it warms and you begin to get further down into the pint you can really start to pick up on some of the nice light fruit notes, pears, cloves as well as a bit more of a bitter twang to your last few sips. Smooth, mellow and rediculously drinkable, this is exactly what I wanted an alt to taste like. The final sips were punctuated by a wonderful mix of grape like sourness and a fine touch of grass like hops.

Overall another winner from New Glarus. They are fast approaching the level of my favorite brewer. Just really very consistent, and every beer better then the one before.

 1,225 characters

Photo of Strix
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

 447 characters

Photo of Pauly2X
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
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!

 493 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Bright orange copper with 2 fingers off white head that slowly fades to a thin layer of foam. A lot of bubbles rushing to the top.

S - Oak with caramel and toffee, fruity with a touch of sweetness and a hint of grassy, spicy hops.

T - Sweet toffee and caramel followed by hints of oak, a sugar cookie like sweetness, fruity in the middle and a touch of spicy hops and alcohol. There is a unique lingering aftertaste I can't quite place.

M - Medium body that feels soft on the tongue, maybe even a touch creamy.

D - Unique and interesting. Not your standard alt and full of subtle complexities. I swear they use the same oak vats for all oak aged beers and they have a similar aroma/taste you can pick up in all of them.

 727 characters

Photo of KBomb
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's taken me a while to get around to reviewing this beer in part because each bottle of my sixer has had a little different nuance. I'll review the best of the bunch, but make a note of a few anomalies I observe bottle to bottle.

Alt pours a bright copper/amber, with a fluffy eggshell head that sticks around. Smell has some crisp flavors; a spicy spy apple jumps out into the nose, surrounded by rich caramel malt and the most subtle hint of floral hops. Taste is a great balance of caramel malt, fruity pear, a little hops, and just a bit of oak chardonnay. Rich without being overly sweet, chased with a pleasant alcohol warmth that does not distract from the flavors up front. Very smooth. Medium body, crisp mouthfeel. ABV is a little high for sessions, but its not hard to have more than one.

The best bottle of the sixer was absolutely delicious-- usurping my former favorite Alt. Still I should note that a couple of bottles had a bit of "musty" flavors and the alcohol was more astringent. I don't know if they came from separate batches, but those bottles would be "C" grade while the better ones are a solid "A".

 1,128 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured at cellar temperature into a tumbler glass.
Puffy head of foam that laces all over the sides of the glass.

Sweet fruit and smudgy oak flourishes in the aroma, with a malty blanket underneath.

Full bodied, candied fruits and oak notes in the taste. For me the oak adds a lot, similar to his use of oak in the Bohemian Lager. Just subtle enough to not be obtrusive, yet it adds a layer of depth for sure. Dries out nicely in the finish. Very smooth and malty, it just wraps around you like a warm blanket. Long and lingering oak in the aftertaste that seems to last forever. So rich and tasty, i've never had a German Alt this good...

 644 characters

Photo of Wisconsin
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice two finger head. The color is brown with a cloudy appearance. The head retention was over five minutes.

S - Caramel and the Turbinado sugar welcome your nose.

T - Initially, I could detect the alcohol but after a few more sips I could hardly notice the alcohol. The sugars and caramel malts hide the 9% abv real well.

M - Very full body with only a slight detection of the alcohol in the beer.

D - I put this low simply because of the alcohol content. On a cold night I could have 3-4 of these but the high alcohol content will catch up with you quick.

One the best New Glarus beers I have had. Here, in Wisconsin, drinking this beer is like adding another coat to your body when its twenty below outside.

 730 characters

Photo of brewbucker
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium copper with a smallish head and medium carbonation. This beer is starting to confuse me. I bought a 6 pack and the first three bottles had caramel flavors with hints of oak, smoke, and light hops. The bottle I am drinking right now has a bourbon influence. Hey.. It sure works for me. A surprising little treat. I do not doubt the rumored 9% abv either. I really warmed up after a couple. Overall a real nice treat from New Glarus. Time to pick up a case or two as it should age fairly well.

 506 characters

Photo of dmtaylor
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma - Moderate-low fruity esters, low sweet caramel malt, very low diacetyl. Definite vanilla character from the oak aging, shows up moreso as it warms up. No hops detectable.

Appearance - Orange, crystal clear, well carbonated with tiny bubbles, good creamy off-white head with long retention.

Flavor - Musty, oaky vanilla, alcohol, caramel and burnt toast. Slight spiciness from hops, but primarily firm, smooth bitterness. Low diacetyl, pleasant like toffee. Shockingly complex. Finish is dry and bitter but not cloying. Aftertaste is cleanly bitter.

Mouthfeel - Moderate body up front, with tingly, effervescent carbonation that provides full mouthfeel in mid-gulp. Slight warming sensation from relatively high alcohol content. No astringency.

Overall - Astoundingly complex and smooth while quite bitter. I really like the oaky vanilla, and toasty notes. I've had other alts, but this one takes the cake. Bravo, give me another.

 940 characters

Photo of cdkrenz
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A couple inches of frothy white head. The body is amber in color with visible yeast amidst a very active and fast flurry of carbonation. This beer is alive!

S - The aroma of a solid quadruple with pungent fruits accented by alcohol.

T - Firm malt flavor with a hop finish. There are pungent fruits, subtle clove and a hint of alcohol.

M - The brew starts out smooth and mild before it escalates slowly to a slightly coarse finish.

~ I'm embarrassed to admit I've never had this brew before. It is a top quality beverage. One I will definitely purchase again soon.

 572 characters

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium to light amber with a sticky head that shows lasting lace.

Aroma is mild fruit and huge yeast presence.

Taste is mildly sweet with a candy sugar hit that makes the beer sweet but it is not cloyingly sweet. Great medium roasted malt character with fruity undertones. Middle is fruit and slightly hoppy flavor. Finish is straight dates and biscuity, bready aroma, like a sweet roll with raisins. Fruitcake and cinnamon rolls with a hint of yeast. Honey is there, like it was drizzled on the sweet roll.

Mouthfeel is slick and full, but with the amount of flavor is really good.

Very good beer, and almost a StickeAlt with the full flavor.


 667 characters

Photo of RJUGA03
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am editing this post with an update: On 1/12/10 I had a pint of this at the Glarner Stube in New Glarus...the gods of good beer smiled upon me that day!

I recently visited new glarus and took the self guided tour. It was a very interesting tour, but the sampling (that you could purchase at the end of the tour for 3.50/ 3 3oz samples with a commerative glass) was a little dissappointing because there were only three beers to sample and around 10 available for purchase. I digress....

I am an extreme amatuer when it comes to reviews and I will say the alt beer was sweet, a bit hoppy and a strong 9.5% abv.

 615 characters

Photo of umustdrink
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy orange color. Offwhite head settles at an eighth inch. Little to no lacing.

S - Orangey hoppiness, sweet and peppery bubblegum yeast, earthy wheaty malts, some pungent phenols. Smells like a good belgian dubbel.

T/M - Starts out with very sharp carbonation bite and some faint dark fruit flavors. Chalky wheat with more sweet fruits and some caramel. Finish is a sweet cherry fruitiness, chalky wheat flavor and some sweet yeast. Tastes like a good belgian dubbel.

D - I would never have pegged this as an altbier, but what do I know. Great drinkability, I'd love to see this one in the year-round lineup.

 617 characters

Photo of natasharai
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with a 1cm bubbly off white head that dissipated after 3 minutes leaving the tiniest layer of bubbles on the top. No lacing is left on the glass. The beer is translucent and a nice orangish brown color.

Smell: Very sweet and fruity with some spice aromas, then some malts and a little alcohol.

Taste: Very sweet fruit up front similar to white grapes peaches and bananas, the malt characteristic is prevalent throughout, then the alcohol is detectable in the end along with some spices like nutmeg and cloves, I think, giving a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly syrupy, carbonation bubble on the tongue all followed by a small alcohol bite on the tongue and in the throat.

Overall: This beer is pretty drinkable, a lot going on with the spiciness and fruit flavors/odors. The alcohol is noticeable throughout but not overwhelming. I only have one bottle of this stuff, so I may have to try to find some more, it is a nice change of pace compared to the hop bombs and heavy stouts/porters as of lately.

 1,047 characters

Photo of Soneast
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep copper color with a 2-finger thick, cream colored head, with minor retention that eventually creams up to a decent little layer of suds, with moderate lacing.

The aroma is heavy up front with toffee and sweet malts and a hint of vanilla buried in there, very subdued hop spiciness detected.

The taste has a very nice creamy, toffee presence initially and some bourbon and sweet malts throughout and right when you think there will be no notable hop presence you pick up a delightful little bitterness right at the end to really help bring all the sweetness together and add a nice little dry finish.

The medium bodied beer feels rich and creamy, despite that it has a pretty nice carbonation factor leaving your mouth feeling sparkly and happy and just enough alcohol to warm the innards a bit. A really great offering from New Glarus, and a great Altbier for that matter (more of an Imperial Alt as others have noted). I'm very happy I decided to pick up a six pack of this and I'm VERY happy that it was the standard price for a sixer vs. the cost of the Unplugged series 4 packs. Thanks for the Christmas present Dan! You absolutely can't go wrong with this beer at this price, even though it would still be worth every penny if it were sold at Unplugged prices, IMO.

 1,291 characters

Photo of Chaz
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly-cloudy (partly chill haze) copper in color, topped with a lighter tan head that recedes after a couple of minutes. Minimal lacing.

Nose is a little bit different, definitely more fruit-forward than any of the imported German Altbiers I've sampled over the years. There are definitely notes of tropical fruit (e.g. pineapple) blended with ripe and tart apple, and this one is sweet and yeasty all at once. No hops presence that I can detect. A lighter booziness in the nose, but considering the ABV for the style I'd expect this to be boozier than it is -- I imagine that several years since in the bottle since it was packaged has mellowed this aspect. There's also lighter notes of toffee and vanilla.

Sweet, tangy and musty on the first sip, and there's definitely been some oxidation (and doubtless some fading of the flavor profile), but there's still a good bit of potency here. Juicy and fruit forward, just as it was on the nose ("fruit punch" comes to mind), with a light cherry tang paired with green grapes and grapeskins. Despite the lack of hops on the nose there's still plenty of lingering bitterness here to balance the sweetness. The alcohol is warming and subtle enough for the strength of the beer. Chocolate notes in the finish, and they definitely linger and blend with the other fruit notes as this one warms.

This one is definitely not to style in the sense of a traditional Alt, although Uber Alt or Doppel Sticke would work as a descriptor. More than anything I'm getting British barleywine / old ale, and it's favorably reminiscent of e.g. a fresher 'Lee's Harvest Ale'.

Whatever the style, New Glarus Alt is an impressive beer and one that I'd say is among the more memorable beers from the brewery -- worth seeking out (and I'm guessing it won't be re-visited...).

 1,813 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Alt from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 157 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.