Alt | New Glarus Brewing Company

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158 Ratings

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 158 |  Reviews: 124
Photo of cdkrenz
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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

Grabbed one of these on my Wisconsin run a few days ago. Figured I'd give it a shot considering how well New Glarus does other German beers. Serving in a very skinny glass that's half-way between pilsener and stange - closest I could get.

A - Wow! Huge four-fingered foam that dissipates slowly and leaves tons of lacing. Mostly transparent amber color with tons of bubbles that accelerate as the move up the glass. Just a superb-looking brew.

S - Lots of caramel sweetness, with a tiny bit of Hallertau hop bite. Very bready, but also has some diacetyl, and a touch of alcohol to it. It's rich and complex, but just not my favorite bouquet.

T - The taste is quite a bit more spicy, with some fruit flavors - blackberries, apple - mixed in as well. There's a woody aftertaste kicking about as well. Since this the first Alt I've reviewed, I'm not sure how this compares (it's been a long time since I've had Uerige). I think I like the smell a little better.

M - Crisp and dry, which complements the wood notes. The carbonation is not over the top (even though it looks like it would be). Light, with a touch of residual stickiness and warmth to it.

D - This feels like more of an autumn beer - it's not exactly what I was looking for on a cold winter evening. That being said it went down quite easily, with the only complaint being a bit of bloatiness.

I'm guessing this is on the boozier side of Altbiers, but probably less than 8%. Not a criticism, as the the only sense I get is in the warming mouthfeel. Overall I'm guessing this is an excellent representative of a beer style I'm not all that into.

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Photo of PDXHops
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Giving this one a try thanks to ThomasHardy. 12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Great looking beer. Clear, bright reddish brown body with a dense 2 finger head. After a few minutes, the head reduces down to an even dense 1 finger, and that pretty much lingers all the way to the end. Nice lacing.

Smells good, too. Brown sugar and caramel, general malty sweetness with some dark fruit as well. This is shaping up to be a nice one so far.

A complex assortment of flavors. Lots of sweet buttery toffe, caramel and brown sugar. Subtle dark fruit flavors and a bit of noble hop bite keep the sweetness somewhat in check. I really like the strong oak flavor in the background. Vigorous carbonation and medium bodied. Crisp finish with some lingering booziness. Looks good, smells good, tastes good, feels good. Can't ask for much more than that!

Overall impression: Loved it. Since this is a 'sticke' version, I wonder how it would hold up to some aging? I might experiment with cellaring a few, and am seriously considering seeking out a trade for some more.

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Photo of pweis909
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not long ago, New Glarus solicited opinions about what seasonals they should brew. I suggested a sticke, figuring that Dan Carey would do a great job with any German brew, given how well they do lagers. Low and behold, they had an alt in the works for Christmas, and as I understand the style, it is on the big side for an alt. A Yuletide sticke? I'm fairly unfamiliar with the style, so my review will not be entirely along style guidelines.

This beer is a brilliant orange blossom honey color with a tawny head that fades readily, leaving some lacing on the glass. For some dumb personal reason, I have a soft spot for this color; it just looks so delicious.

The initial aroma was a rich breadiness, with maybe a hint of caramel, and a slight banana-like fruitiness (ethyl acetate?), which maybe is a little out of place, and a but of alcohol perfume. Absolutely no hop aroma.

The taste is clean malt with some residual sweetness. Hop levels counter the sweetness, to some degree, but it seems slightly out of balance, one-dimensional.

The mouthfeel is a bit slick. The sweetness slightly cloying, and the body a bit heavy, which coupled with high alcohol, impacts the drinkability of this beer for me. Other New Glarus beers have set the mark high, at least for me, and this beer, for which I had great anticipation, and this one does quite rise to the same heights, for me.

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Photo of scaliasux
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Light to medium reddish-brown. A little bit hazy. Thick cream-colored head.

Smell - Malt aroma is most prominent. Caramel and maybe raisins. Smells like something I'd like to drink.

Taste - Spicy malt and quite prominent alcohol. Not getting much in the way of hops. Nice complex malt flavor, but the alcohol may be a little much. Seems a little out of balance.

Mouthfeel - Medium.

Drinkability - A new style for me from a consistently good brewer is always a recipe for success. This isn't by any means my favorite, but at least it gives you something to think about.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

why don't I get new glarus in NH? I hope that made you laugh. This nice reddish brown brew with a nice white head smells nice with highlights of bready malts, toffee and light fruits. Taste follows the aromas with a crisp finish that really seals the deal.

I'd take another one of these if offered happily.

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Photo of beerad666
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to kenoftheyear for this guy. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an American pint glass. It pours a nice clean golden clear brownish color, with a small head and a slight carbonation. In the aroma I am getting a slight sour malt smell. There is also a good amount of sugar aromas coming out. The taste is slightly sour with a large amount of warm alcohol coming through. Similar to what you might expect from a bourbon. In the finish there is a slight oak with a small hop bite.

This is a lot more complex then other alt beers I have had. So being very unique it is very interesting. But personal not very drinkable for myself.

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Photo of MNJR
4.82/5  rDev +19%
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.

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Photo of blackie
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: cool bottle, tyranena pint, rich caramel amber color, light retention

s: toffee nose with rich spiced fruit, lightly buttery caramel, overcooked sugar cookie, raw sugar, heavy on the sweet grains, but accompanied by a nicely spicy noble hop aroma

m: lively carbonation, medium-full body

t: much like the aroma, well rounded flavors of rich toffee and fruits balanced with a crisp noble hop bitterness, spiced apple, raw sugar and oak in the finish, rich and dynamic in flavor, all quality

d: great alt, and i'd love to have access, probably good for at least 3

bottle smuggled back from wisco

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Photo of Mdog
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Orange-amber, yeast chunks, good sized head.

Smell: Oaky, sweet, fruity.

Taste: Reminds me of wine. Not really boozy, somewhat fruity but mainly oak and a dry finish.

Drinkability: Not the greatest flavor combination for my palate, but I won't have trouble finishing the 6er.

This is probably the first New Glarus beer that I am not crazy about. I think the beer takes on a little too many of the characteristics of the barrel it was aged in. Ok to try.

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Photo of twbrewer
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
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 zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a somewhat cloudy, bubbly, copper color with gold highlights. It had a small, tan, smooth and foamy head that left a little lace.

S - It smelled very malty, earthy and grassy.

T - It tasted malty and of a peppery spiciness. It had a sour fruitiness that was reminiscent of a dubbel.

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

D - This is one of the best altbiers that I've ever had. It certainly stands out from the others I've tried.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
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 robbyc1
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber golden look with a 2 inch head of white in my Sam glass, looks really nice.

Nose is mild, nice malts, deep smell, some dialectal buttery nose, nice but not great.

I'm not a knowledgeable person about Alts, but this has deep malt flavor with some apple fruit taste that goes down easy, soft buttery biscuit type malt without any hops, but not sweet at the end, well balanced.

The mouthfeel is great, nicely heavy with a slick feel, goes down so easy. Very drinkable, hard to think this is at 9%, no alcohol noticeable. Really a good drinker, I will keep a few in the cellar to see how they come out say in a year of aging, a nice beer.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
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 MPLS
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another one from the highly rated New Glarus. This beer makes me think over rated New Glarus.

A: Nice hazy copper/amber coloring. Nice 4 cm froth head that took a while to settle. Good beer foreplay.

S: Rather inviting warm smell, apples and aramel, a dash of banana. Smells German enough.

T: At first it was mild apples and caramel taste, but the end was a lot of alcohol, astringent and unpleasant that lingers. Makes my tongue want to go through the roof of my mouth.

M: Medium body with ample carbonation

D: The price is right the taste is not so right.

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Photo of kenito799
3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a mini-pilsener glass.

Medium rosy amber brew with tan head that recedes to a ring.

Caramel malt hits the nose. On the palate there is a surprising heaviness, sweetness, cooked caramelized effect that does not remind me of alts I have tried in the past...I expect a dry, pleasing toastiness. Therefore the fine NG brewers are creating a different beast here, another style of alt, perhaps. The heaviness leaves this beer less enjoyable an drinkable for me, so I sadly proclaim my opinion that this is one of the weker NG offerings. They set the bar very high though, being one of teh best breweries in the country.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by shigadeyo.

Poured clear brown color with an average fizzy off-white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing.

Moderate roasted caramel and tart citrus aroma.

Medium body with a sticky texture and soft carbonation.

Medium to heavy bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration.

My expectations where met with one of my top six active bottled beers for style.

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Photo of beachbum1975
2.86/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks go out to beerbeagle for adding this extra in a recent trade. Thank you!

Note: This is the first Alt beer I've ever had, so my review may not be up to par with my other reviews for its' style and my findings.

Pours a slightly hazy, dull copper with a thin mocha head and little head retention.

Nose is a strange bitter, caramel and apple phenol mix.

This is a light bodied and medium flavored brew with more of the apple phenol traits mentioned in the nose. Moderately complex mix of candied sweets, lightly toasted malts and apples. I can definitely see how this was barrel aged in light wooded barrels (like a white wine). Average carbonation on my tongue and a slightly bitter apple trail on the finish.

Again, I am not versed in Alt-style beers, but if I was blind-folded, I would have guessed this to be a lighter version of Southern Tier's recently released Cuvee Series #1. Unfortunately, I wasn't a fan of that beer, as well. Something about their barrel aging method turned me off, as it was too unusual for me...

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Photo of ZAP
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tastes like no other alt I've had....really lacks "alt" characteristics..

A-Pours a deep hazy copper color wit ha frothy white head.

S-Malty and candy sweet....caramel apple....brown sugar...dark fruits...has some oak aged notes too....very inviting.

T-Rich and sweet...toffee...caramel...fruity (apples, dark berries, red grapes)...even a little vanilla wafer...

M-Medium to full bodied...good carbonation....

D-Very enjoyable beer....this is a winner but don't expect a typical "alt"....just as easily could have been labeled New Glarus Winter or some shit like that..


Just read some reviews and apparently this is 9%??? Never would have guessed it....maybe a little heat but not bad....I'd have guessed 6% tops by the way it tastes..

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
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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Photo of cokes
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a misty, darkened, peachy brass with a solid rise of moderately sticky sand-colored suds.
The nose is interesting, if a bit out of norm for a alt (and that will be a recurring theme). Stewed apples sprinkled with cinnamon. Grape, and darker raisin notes. A touch of oak, and them some toffee nougats. And then some booze vapors.
The sugar is immediately perceived with something denser than brown sugar, but sparser than caramel. Cooked apple fruitiness again, and minus any real tartness at this point. Light impressions of spiciness arrive, mostly in the clove and cinnamon ginger realm. There is not a real definitive malt foot print here, even though it is on the sweet side at first. The second half sees the oak emerge through the phantoms of spice, and thoroughly drys it, abetting the stripping, sometimes sourish, alcohol fumes. A dab of herbal hops can be identified the eddies of ethanol, but is otherwise unimportant.
The mouthfeel is thinner than expected, mostly due the notable ABV and the extensive use of sugar.
Some rest should do this good....hopefully.
This is something of a wildcard if not downright weird. It's almost unrecognizable as an altbier or sticke alt or any close variant of the style. It's absolutely well-crafted and clean as a whistle and definitely in the Winter Warmer vein (and, I think, that's was half the intent, and scores considerably higher when judged as such, as I enjoy this a good deal more than my overall score would indicate).
Nevertheless, it's pretty cool to grab a sixer or more of this a $7 a pop, even at the local gas station. I never thought I'd see the day that the PDQ down the road had a 9% Altbier on its shelves.

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Photo of hellbilly
2.91/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

bottle from bockyhorsey...

pours a hazy copper orange with a fairly large soft off white head. lots of drippy and spotty lacing is left on the glass.

initial blast of floral alcohol on this one... bananas come to mind followed by rich caramel malt, piloncilla sugar, yeast and some grassiness.

no doubt that this is on the sweet side for my palate... loads of brown sugar, malt, earthy spice, over cooked caramelized d'anjou pears and some florals before alcohol comes in on the finish. something strange in there... reminds me of a chemical laden malt liquor (perhaps the abv%, idk). there also seems to be a faint tartness in the background trying to get out. a daunting task given the sugar content...

thick sticky body coats the palate with a gritty texture similar to banana starch.

i'm not digging this one. far too sweet for me and lacking a whole lot of character to mix it up. i'd be hard pressed to choke down a bottle. good thing i've got superdave70 here....

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.21/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah, my first beer at Three Cellars new beer cafe/store location on 76th Street. The good news - I thought this beer was pretty true to style. The bad news - a lot of diacetyl and some copper-iness.

It poured a brilliant brassy color with pretty minimal white head. Aroma was caramel-y and a touch of malted milk ball. Flavor was some caramel, quite a bit of copper taste, and lots of diacetyl. Mouthfeel was pretty good.

Not bad, but not a new favorite of mine. I'd weakly recommend.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Alt from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 158 ratings
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