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Alt | New Glarus Brewing Company

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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
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Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 157
Photo of ahalloin
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
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 Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to beerbeagle for this brew.

Pours a very nice clean/clear dark golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus foamy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, fruity, with some spice and caramel notes. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, some bitterness, fruity, with some caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this one is very tasty and a joy to drink, highly recommended.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a reddish-orange glow more akin to a double IPA or a sunnier looking barleywine. Long-lasting creamy head is made of very tight and tiny bubbles.

The nose is unique for the style, and overall just fantastic. I'm guessing it's the hops imparting a fruitiness to this beer. Real apple cider, a unique maltiness that reminds more of Bigfoot or other barleywines than anything else. Could that be the raw Turbinado sugar noted on the label? Even the alcohol lends a boozy dimension to the aroma. So I'm guessing this is a big-alcohol alt and a different take on the style.

And the flavor says: errr, yes, it is quite a different alt--and an appreciated one--but I'm not sure it's great. The fruitiness has a flatness, probably as its up against a really woody flavor that works to shut it down; it's more like the acrid character of fresh-cut wood and not the old, used barrel stuff. I could be wrong. The alcohol lays into the apple, tobacco and wood flavors pretty well, not dominating but certainly adding it's own little bit of oomph to one very unusual flavor. Sour/tart in the finish.

Texture has some stick, despite being fairly light of body, weight-wise. Ample carbonation is a gentle caress, like zillions of near-microscopic bubbles massaging and scouring your tongue. Interesting.

Well, New Glarus is an amazing brewery, and more and more they're reminding me of Dogfish Head in their will to throw rules and confines to the wind. And in another way this reminds of a barrel-aged Hair Of The Dog old ale, in its new woodiness and in the characteristics that remind more of old ales than alts. Despite having a completely unique character that you really should try to track down just for fun, it's not their greatest experiment, even though I'm very glad to have tried it.

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Photo of DIM
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: This was a hazy peach color with golden edges. It poured with a long lasting, off-white, frothy head.

s: Some moderately sweet, mild, kool-aid like grape aroma is the first thing I noticed. I don't mean that in a bad way at all. Also, some honey and flowery apricots.

t: Lightly sweet honeyed bready malts with fruity elements of grapes and cherries. The finish is dry, flowery, and a little warm.

m: Fizzy, active carbonation and a slick body.

d: My first alt, thanks to imperialking. I can't say anything about how authentic this is or isn't, I can suggest trying it because it is quite good.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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 Fartknocker
2.46/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle from a six pack. Since this is not brewed anymore, the beer may be a bit dated.

A- a deep, reddish color
S- somewhat of a burnt odor to it
T- again somewhat of a burnt or bitter flavor
M- avearge carbonation
D- I won't miss it now that it's retired

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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".

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Burnished and glistening amber body with remarkable clarity. The head comes on strong and maintains a solid backbone as it settles to a head that remains throughout.

S-Big old bouquet of malt graininess, caramel, raisin, and boozy oak. This carries a slight resemblance to rye whiskey. Wonderful and rich aromas that are multi-layered and carry great depth and complexity.

T- Again, the maltiness comes out strong with a bug rush of oakiness. Vanilla and raisin flavors are predominant with an ever-present malt sturdiness. The hops are definitely present but blend beautifully into the foreshadow of the aforementioned characteristics.

M-Rich and chewy with enough hop sharpness and bitterness to remain balanced and enjoyable on the palette.

D-This is big altbier with big flavors without being too aggressive. The alcohol is definitely noticed as this borderlines with an Old Ale but it seems appropriate for the body. This is one insane beer at an insane price tag ($6.99 sixer). Although this is tough to get outside WI and will be even tougher now that they have pulled it from distribution, it is worth seeking out in a trade. Well done!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a footed strange)

A- This beer pours a slightly dense but crystal clear orange body with a thick creamy beige head that last for a good bit. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that race to the surface.

S- This beer has a clean smell with light caramel malt notes and a hop hint in the finish. There is a light wet oak note that comes through as the beer warms a bit.

T- The big caramel malt flavor has a crisp carbonic acid note to it with a light oaky sweetness that leads to a bigger more vanilla oak and buttery as the beer warms. The finish has a nice snap that taste of green hops.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a tight fizzy finish that enhances the hops.

D- This is a nice but big session beer. The hops are a big player with the support of oak and hops in the background.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
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 JohnGalt1
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew comes from the Super Trade with Abents!! I've had this one once before at a Boise RB/BA tasting, and immediately put it on my wants... Adam came out swinging like a champion... Poured into my shaped SA glass... Listening to Prodigy's new album.

2 Finger head leaves great lace and has quite a bit of retention atop a slightly hazy orange red brew...

Rich and malty.. quite a bit of fruity esters (surprisingly?).. slight flowery hoppiness...

Flavor is again surprisingly fruity for the style.. apple and pear come immediately to mind.. sorta nutty caramel is there too in higher proportions.. toasty bread with grape skins.. a little tannic (I know this isn't wood aged.. but still is reminiscent).. body is good .. so is the carbonation...

despite all my above negatives... this is still a great beer.. just don't expect a nice clean and more importantly dry Altbier..

Thanks Adam for the chance to try this one again.. I really like it... but honestly expected a better example from NG.


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Photo of drizzam
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured into my pint glass with a HUGE fluffy off-white head! Head retention was marvelous and left spectacular lacing down the inside of the glass. The brew itself was a cloudy orange/copper color.

Smell - Malty aroma with a hint of spice and a hint of some sort of a fruity aroma. I can almost smell a bit of caramel in there as well.

Taste - Buttery toffee taste...the caramel malts are really coming through on this one. A light hoppy twang on the swallow. The mild sweetness almost cloaks the hop notes.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability - Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Lightly carbonated. Finishes very clean. This is a very smooth brew, and the smoothness lends to the sessionability. I don't know what the ABV is but I would guess around 5-6%. I'm very impressed with what New Glarus did with this one. They managed to brew a complex little brew that you could session, and all at a reasonable price. I do love my New Glarus!

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Photo of akorsak
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eyncognito for this 12 oz bottle.

A: The alt is a copper color, brighter like a new penny at the narrower section of the glass. The color concentrates at the wider areas, obscuring anything on the other side of the glass. A thick head required two attempts to empty the bottle.

S: The ale has a light smoke aroma hanging around. It is paired with fruit, specifically melon. I've never picked up the melon angle (apart from watermelon); it is an interesting component.

T: This is the most unusual altbier I've ever come across. The smoke from the nose is amplified here, a light cured flavor. Caramel malts are in abundance, thick and sweet. Melon and pepper trade punches in a sweet and bitter back and forth. A great deal of the sweetness must come from the turbinated sugar and I really like what it adds. A well-rounded ale that is far more complex than any altbier I've had before.

M: The mouthfeel is both meaty and sweet. The smoke and sugar pop up at different times, so there is little interaction. The sugars add a sweet complexity that really works.

D: The ale has many, MANY dimensions over any other alt that I've had. I am floored that New Glarus took a traditional style and ran amok with it.

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Photo of Cresant
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sierra Nevada hops glass. No date. The body was rich golden-brown in color with a huge pithy, khaki-colored head. There was a slight haze in the body.

Smell was fruity. Cantaloupe and metal.

Taste was sweet maltiness. Tart, syrupy malt. Bread dough. Light booziness.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and medium to light in carbonation. Smooth, silkiness.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
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 drseamus
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber to red body with great carbonation forming a decent but not thick enough off white head. It appears there there is some haziness but I just took it out of the fridge and that could have been the problem.

S: Light sweet malt. Some fruit notes like banana.

T: Good full flavored beer. Not quite as good as the Alt in Dusseldorf but I'm not expecting that either. There is big caramel malt flavor with just enough balancing bitterness.

M: Almost syrupy but medium bodied at best. Interesting feel.

D: Not too bad. Maybe a bit too sweet for me.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained in the No BS 4 BIF via dirtylou. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" beige head over the slightly cloudy copper brew. Dense head lasts very well, with lasting lace. Aroma is oaky and lightly tart. Taste starts lightly sweet, goes tart int he middle, and then the oak character comes on with some alcohol at the close. Mouthfeel is soft over the tongue, and drinkability is good, interesting flavors keep you coming back.

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Photo of veachster
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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 u2carew
3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(A) Copper colored. Pours with an active, foamy head. Visible signs of carbonation.
(S) A sweet, green apple-like aroma.
(T) Slightly sour on the frontside, then fades into smoky malt sweetness, and finishes smoothly with a mild hop bitterness.
(M) Has a slight syrupy feel with crisp carbonation.
(D) A decent brew, more of a sipping beer than a big gulping beer.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into my glass a deep copper orange hue with a half inch of bubbly off white head on top. The brew has great clarity. Aromas of toasted bread and caramelized fruits. Toffee and oak tones lead into some spicy, herbal hop notes.

First sip brings big sweet caramel and toffee malt flavors along with woody oak accents. Lots of fruity flavors flow throughout the brew. Spicy, herbal hops weave themselves in but can't really stand up to the sweetness of the brew. Finishes off with toasted bread and lingering toffee and oak flavors.

Mouthfeel is big, smooth and creamy...carbonation bursts out with each sip. Goes down easily and is an interesting twist on an Alt. Another tasty brew from New Glarus, glad I picked some up.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Portsmouth pint glass (thanks Jeff), the beer is caramel with a fizzy two finger head that recedes in a minute and a half, leaving no lacing. I find myself staring at the bottle while I wait for the beer to warm up, and I've finally come to realize that the label says ALT. For some reason I just ignored it because it wasn't immediately recognizable, but I'll be damned, it says ALT. It really does.

The aroma is of sweet and rich caramel malt, alcohol, and sugar. Other aromas are of toffee, herbal hops, apples, and freshly baked bread. The flavor is malt forward and quite sweet. Flavors of caramel, bready malt, apple, pears, oak, and candied sugar are present. The finish is sugary with some caramel alcohol (the 9% is well hidden) and a low-medium level of hop bitterness.

Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. Düsseldorf, Northern German, or a mix of the two? You tell me.

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Photo of Dotcubed
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another beer picked up in Northern WI on my way back to Minneapolis from Chicago in January.

Pours a huge head, more foam makes it more Alty right? Looks dark and rich. Lot of color, looks to me like a darker Sam Adams. Can't smell much.

Creamy foam, Bananas & hot clove. Some light bitterness.

Really heavy flavors. Big carmel with burnt sugar. Like a making a crem carmel & burning the sugar. Bubble gum and a flat burnt watery finish. Nice ride, but overwhelming.

Gets a bit too heavy. I think it's too sugary. Makes we want some water.

Or better yet.
A big salty pretzel and assorted mustards.
Not a stand alone drinker pair and enjoy.
Smoked pork sausages, maybe a nice Kassler ripchen and spatzel.

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Photo of nicnut45
3.31/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a transparent hazy golden brown. Had about 3 fingers worth of an off white head. Settles to about an 1/8 inch of foam. Good retention.

Smell: Apple on the first whiff. Various fruits.

Taste: Has a musty sweetness to it. This beer is very fruity with an alcohol twang right after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, moderate carbonation, quite smooth I would say too.

This beer is smooth but has some unusaul flavors im not used to. I dont think I would ever but it again.

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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.

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Photo of DrJay
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks!
Tawny amber with a bit of haze and a big, fluffy off-white head. Looks pretty good. Aromas of malt and caramel, plus some fruity apples, faint spice and mild alcohol. Pretty much the same in the flavour, but with quite a lot of apple and some definite alcohol character in the finish. Bitterness was restrained and caramel sweetness dominated up front. Lightish bodied with average carbonation level, nice texture. I was really looking forward to this beer, due to great experiences with New Glarus products, but was ultimately disappointed. I'm not saying this is a bad beer by any means - it's quite drinkable - it just didn't seem like a great altbier to me.

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Alt from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
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