Unplugged Iced Barleywine | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Unplugged Iced BarleywineUnplugged Iced Barleywine
256 Ratings
Unplugged Iced BarleywineUnplugged Iced Barleywine

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 256 |  Reviews: 193
Reviews by charlesw:
Photo of charlesw
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I will never really understand people, I guess. Anyway, hey, I'm reviewing as an american barleywine because, like, hello. It's much better if you consider it one. In fact, I don't see English in this one.

Deep brown amber. Beautiful tiny bubbles flow slowly up to a nice had that is around for a few minutes. Pretty light in the nose - note really english or american. None of the prune notes and not over the top in bitterness. Different. A little passion flower, some new grass (baby grass in the early spring), ah. Some mustiness, too.

The taste is amazing. Great. Fantastic. Good description, huh? So... The main thing is that it's very well balanced. Sure, it's sweet. It's also bitter. And flowery. And earthy. Maybe a touch of caramel. But it's all so darned well balanced out that you're not really hit over the head by any one of the various elements. And, hey, I don't even notice the alcohol.

Pretty darned close to as good as it gets, that's all I've got to say!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of weatherdog
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a large brandy snifter

It pours a brilliant ruby with huge legs sticking to the side of the glass. There was no appreciable head when poured from the bottle. The color is what impresses me; it's about the most brilliant deep red color of a non-fruit beer I've seen.

The nose has this smooth and rich sweetness to it. At the end a nice warm but not harsh alcohol nose comes across.

The taste is nice and sweet with a smoky bourbonish flavor. The alcohol is present for sure but restrained. The beer isn't surprisingly medium/ light bodied for being 13.5%. I'm not sure if the icing process has anything to do with that or not. These flavors are really working for me and it seems like a well put together strong barleywine. This beer isn't scream in your face loud and bold but to me it's well crafted, smooth and the flavors have melded together nicely in the first year or so of age on it. I'm sure it will only get better with time.

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Photo of sgoodship
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the last beer I have left from my Steve's Liquors make a six fest in Madison.

A: This beer looks like it has a thick consistency when you pour it. It gave me a nice off-white half finger head at first but that dissipated quickly to a very think ring, a dusting and some large surface bubbles. The color is a dark mahogany. It is slightly hazy but the lack of clarity may to do with it's consistency.

S: Sherry alcohol. Fruit - maybe dark cherry. Almost a hint of honey.

T: There is an interesting combination of bitterness attacking the pallet of your mouth along with the sweet sherry and fruit on the tongue. The aftertaste becomes a more earthy dryness with residual bitter sweetness.

M: Medium to full bodied. This brew is pretty viscous. It would be smooth but the intense tangy bitterness prevents that delivery.

D: I am not an expert on Barley Wine. I also find overly fruity and sherry tasting beers to be too cloying, so my opinion is going to be very personal. I liked trying this beer and I can tell it is a quality brew but it is really hard for me to drink. I think that's fine, especially for an Unplugged where the expectation is to try something new and different. I always expect top notch beers from New Glarus and this one doesn't disappoint in that department, it's just not the type of beer I would go looking for again.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #26:

Going out on the deep end here with a massive Barleywine. Happy two fingers of head; dark, brassy, amber color. Thick aroma of raisins, caramel and a ripe alcoholic fruitiness. Thick and creamy like a cordial, but still bitty from the barley. Clean palate, which is nice to see for such a big beer. Suggestions of raisins, deep caramel and toasted crackers come to mind. Long, sweet flavor. Hops are modest, but pair up with the slightly spicy alcohol to help balance out the sweetness. Sure, there is that raisin/fig flavor here, but that's about it until the alcohol jumps in with a big fume and toasted grain flavor. Sweet, alcoholic, raisiny finish.

A massive beer, but not really that complex as the alcohol mutes some flavors out. Pretty damn tasty from start to finish, but nothing that really jumps at you, which is to no surprise coming from this style.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Don and Heather for making the trip to NG to snag me a pair of these.
Bright rust in color...very little head or lacing with a vigorous pour.
Decent aroma...some alcohol in the first whiff, followed by figs, candied-sugar, a hint of vanilla and citrus in the tail end.
Taste is where this one takes off...it still has some heat, but by god...it's almost 14% and my backup is a now show so this bad boy is all mine.
I am not overly sensitive to high gravity brews, so there is plenty of flavor besides the alcohol to truly enjoy this beast. Nice cherry flavor, more citrus, raisins, and even some floral green in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is beefy...this one is obviously a sipper.
Very warming after just a few sips...a monster of a beer.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Acquired via trade
Thanks, stig!

Dark copper in color with almost zero visible carbonation. This leaves some minimal stick down the glass, but this is basically still and not at all sticky.

A straightforward and malt-forward aroma, with good amounts of bread, caramel, toffee sweetness, mild plum character, and just a hint of alcohol. The alcohol is really well hidden though for this beer's magnitude.

At colder temperatures, I thought the flavor was going to be somewhat vegetable-like, but that has gone away after only moderate warming. A straightforward, though very tasty, barleywine: caramel, toffee, brown bread, moderate hop bitterness, and a bit of alcohol. A Sierra Nevada Bigfoot on steroids.

Full in body with nearly zero carbonation, though it seems perfectly appropriate all at once.

A perfect nightcap, though straightforward in practice.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to MPLS for my first IB!

Pours a dark iced tea brown with a 1-finger white head.

Smells nutty and boozy at first. Very malty as well... candy-like sweet.

Same sugary taste. Toffee, caramel... smooth as all get out. Leaves an extremely sweet finish. Mouthfeel is coating.

Another Unplugged winner!

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

A - Ruby brown in color with a scant off white head that leaves ripples of carbonation bubbles on the surface. As clear as can be expected with its coloring.

S - The aroma is wonderful. Smells of brown sugar, yeast, figs and a healthy dose of alcohol are very strong with mild earthy notes.

T - The first thing that comes out and grabs you is the earthy bitterness. Delicious tastes of figs and moleasses closely follow with strong warming alcohol present throughout. The taste very closely resembles the description on the website, "riot of bittersweet sherry and dark fruit earthy notes."

M - Definitely full in body. Big thick and chewy.

D - This stuff is down right awesome though a sipper for sure. The flavors harbor a fair amount of complexity that can only improve with age. I can't wait to see what this does in a couple of years.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of roostor07
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.34/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is a deep garnet, glowing despite its murkiness. No real head at all, and the wimpy crown that forms makes it look a little dead. Very few bubbles--which are more like tiny crystal spheres--move very slowly up the sides. An interesting appearance, that's for sure.

Aroma is dark fruits soaked in sherry, with something gooey and candylike enveloping the whole deal, but I can't pinpoint it finer than that. Maybe clover honey. But really, it's all so well-incorporated and dense it's hard to be specific, although it truly, clearly screams "barleywine!" into the nostrils.

I wondered, if this was iced in the way that German eisbocks are, if it would have any eisbock traits. It does, in terms of having a smoothness and sippability (new word, apparently) despite its unforgiving alcohol-forward warmth. All kinds of dripping overripe dark fruits swirl in the mouth (plum, date, fig) aided by a velvety, super-round but not over-thick body. Hops, vanilla and toffee come out and play as warmth continues to envelop the mouth in a most delightful way. Superbly balanced with tons of depth.

For 13.5%, the alcohol manages to play an up-front, never-cloying role. This is a regal barleywine, one that would take several different visits to truly get to know. Too bad I have just this one bottle, but I consider myself lucky even to have it. Thanks to mnwags for continuing to be my New Glarus/Surly hookup. And to Dan Carey for never courting bland mainstream tastes and constantly giving style-bound purists a swift kick in the ass.

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Photo of cokes
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crimson-amber colored with a sturdy rise of beige suds that dwindle over time but leave all sorts of lace.
Aromatic of toffee and sherry with stops at raisin and plum and brown sugar and vanilla and copper and blood. To summise, its caramelly rich and coppery sharp with a shot of dark booziness.
From the get go, the mouth is raided with a dark fruit monsoon. Dates, prunes, raisins, figs. But the sweetness is quickly swept aside as bitter almonds, copper, iron, and herbs takes its place. The herbals meld and sway with the forward booziness giving it an absinthe or herbsaint kick. Anise grows with the heat. Caramel and toffee are mainstay malt traits. Even after nearly a year, this is a huge flailing beast. Malt hasn't clearly identified its place, and its forwardly bitter and boozy. But it's a bit better that it started.
Hughly thick mouthfeel with enough carbonation to keep this from drinking like syrup (and it has improved here).
This is a work in progress...and progress has been noted. I didn't love this off the bat, and my current scores factor in some promise. Everything here seems to need another year. But it's heading where it should.

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Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Two year old aging. Rich malty aroma, not boozy but the alcohol is there. Cocoa coloured body, thicker looking, no head. Full mouthfeel. Taste of chocolate and other malt, a bit of fig. A big drink, and not one I could fully conquer in the middle of the day.Thanks Steven of Warren for hooking me up.

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Photo of dancinwillie
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark reddish brown with a tiny white head. Head disappears quickly, but I'll bet the liquid lasts a bit. Pretty clear beer, although deep rich color makes it hard, yet not impossible, to see through.

Aroma is rich caramel, and an abundance of malty goodness. Not picking up any alcohol in the nose.

My first sip is pretty intense. Got a good amount of alcohol, though mostly in my chest, i.e. not fusel. Strong malt obviously, and caramel flavors. Cherry and dark pit fruits are here, and almost a brandy flavor. I guess that's why "Eis"ing something is sometimes called freeze distillation.

Full bodied as one could hope for. Carbonation is high-ish, and really moves that flavor all over my tongue! Somewhat slick, and pretty damn smooth overall, which is a little surprising to me. I kind of expected it to be a bit of an unbalanced mess, but it's pretty balanced.

I wouldn't sit down to watch the game with 4 of these in the cooler at my feet. But as a late night sipper? Absolutely right. Another good beer, and a bold experiment for the lads of N.G. Keep 'em coming gents, you know we'll keep drinking them! Cheers!

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for this one. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Darkness snifter.

A: Cap opens without so much as a hiss. Pours super viscous and generates a .25 finger off-white head with poor retention. Dissipates into a cluster of big bubbles along the side. Beer is a clear, dark, brownish-amber. Lacing is slightly stringy and spotty with little stick.

S: Nose is deep, subtle, and very sugary. Caramel, toffee, prunes, and brown sugar. Grapes and plum also with a boozy tickle at the end.

T: Opens sweet plums, caramel, and toffee. A bit of toasted malt bitterness in the background with a sharp booziness. Grape and that signature clove/flower New Glarus house yeast taste comes in right at the end. Ends fruity with a lingering rough, brown sugar aftertaste.

M: Full bodied with very little carbonation and very rich. Oily and viscous in the mouth and still a bit of heat going down. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that lingers.

D: I'm used to New Glarus offerings that prominently display their vibrant fruit body and lively mouthfeel... which is why this one doesn't do it for me. It's a solid english barleywine and definitely worth a try but I can't say that its a style that New Glarus successfully dabbled and imparted their own vision in.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, probably my 5th or 6th sampled, need to increase my permanent stock to about 12 before this one falls off the shelf. new glarus is absolutely on fire the last few years - bias aside, this IS the best brewery in the united states

appearance: served in a de koninck chalice - looks innocent enough, pretty transparent amber body, beige ring with light retention

smell: slow forming aroma, thick and boozy, caramel and toffee, syrupy dark fruit

taste: dried cherry, very strong alcohol makes this one a slow sipper, toffee, sherry, dark fruits and brown sugar, candied walnut, bitter hoppy finish. This one is a monster and a nice improvement on the tailwagger barleywine from a few years back

mouthfeel: thick and coating, full of flavor and booze

drinkability: SIP

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Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of prototypic
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to BuckeyeNation and PaleAl for the bottles.

Iced Barleywine pours a darker, brown color. It's a little hazy, but backlighting gives it a cherry tint. A creamy tan head sits on top and rises to about two fingers in depth. It falls to a surface covering rather quickly, but held on for a bit. Lacing was sticky and thick. Not bad at all.

The nose is good. It's very heavy on dark fruit. Raisin, fig, and plum notes are prevalent throughout. There are also some citric grapefruit and mango scents. Suffice it to say it's loaded with fruit. The citrus varieties might be attributable to hops, but the hops don't smell that strong. Balanced seems appropriate. There are earthy and spicy qualities that are secondary, but add quality depth. It honestly smells like a mix of tobacco and leather. Alcohol is noted. No surprise there. But, it doesn't scream '13.5 ABV' by any means.

This is good beer. Up front, it's malty and very sweet. Much sweeter than I anticipated. Caramel/toffee malts are strong and give it a very sturdy backbone. Brown sugar is noted and only adds to the sweet factor. It has quite the array of fruit flavors. Fig, raisin, and plum seem to collide with grapefruit and mango flavors. It's an interesting mix, but tastes quite good. There are remnants of hops, but they've obviously faded. They give it an earthy, leafy flavor. Today, it really does have a nicely balanced hop/malt flavors. Alcohol is noticeable, but isn't hot. I was expecting the opposite. Finishes sweet and leafy. It's good. A tad sweet, but good nonetheless.

Iced Barleywine has a medium body that seems to grown thicker as it warms. It never feels thick. Honestly, it needs a tad more girth. It feels just slightly thin for such a big beer. Drinkability is above average. The flavor is good, but it's damn sweet and strong at 13.5%. I'll finish the bottle, but that's more than enough for tonight.

Overall, Iced Barleywine is good beer. It's a nice English Barleywine. Personally, I find it a little too sweet. It probably wouldn't suffer if the abv were a couple of points lower. It's still tasty beer. Not the finest release I've had from New Glarus, but more than solid. Easily recommended.

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Photo of mikey711
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have been excited to try this one for a while!

A: Deep mahagony color with a small ring of lace sitting around the top.

S: Some smokiness, figs, and leather which a malty backbone to boot.

T:Huge caramel and smokey flavor. SOme of the fruitiness comes through in the finish as well.

M: Very creamy, slightly boozy but more mellow than I expected for such a big beer.

D: I would like to give this s very high rating because it is really easy to put down, but can't justify it.

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Photo of barleypopmaker
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Garnet in color and quite clear. There was a rich head off the pour, although as expected it did not last long in the glass. Lacing is minimal.

There is a strong caramel aroma along with a rich earthy hop presence. The hop aroma blends well with the high alcohol aroma as well. There is a very nice prune and raisin character as well. Some of the more subtle notes are that of toasted toffee and some dark cherry hints as the beer warms. The dark cherry is my favorite aroma in the beer. This beer is very complex and you could spend hours smelling it and searching out new treasures.

Very strong hop flavor and alcohol presence. Don't get me wrong, there is a rich and complex caramel and toffee-like malt profile. But it's my opinion that the hop flavor is just a bit over the top for an English style barleywine, but not enough to really push it out of style. It is just right at the cusp of the upper edge for me. The bitterness lingers very long and blends with some rich dark caramel for at least 30 seconds after you swallow. The alcohol is unmistakable and bordering on brandy-like. This is to be expected in such a high alcohol beer and does not detract from the flavor. There is a figgy quality to the beer in the middle, which becomes easier to pick up as the beer warms up. I just think even with the iced aging, the beer just seems a bit too young yet.

Mouthfeel is Rich and chewy and not in any way coarse. It is very velvet-like on the pallet and a bit sweet. The bitterness cuts through it though and leaves you wanting another sip.

Overall I like this barleywine, and find it complex for it's young age. But I don't buy into the ice aging hype quite as much as I did when I read about it. The beer is obviously still a bit young despite the iced aging, but not as young as it would taste at roughly 2 months old. I am saving the remaining bottles I have for a later time because this beer is going to be outstanding in a year and just heaven in two. The complexity and rich malt flavor give this beer what I am looking for, however I think the hop bitterness is a touch too high, but this fades with age so that is another reason I am excited to let it age. Although you probably couldn't drink 6 of these, you can easily get through and enjoy a bottle before bed.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
2.79/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I really dont know why I happened to open up about 3 beers tonight and all were too sweet in my opinion. I didnt even know anything about them either. This was the third and final of the night.

Got in a trade from natasharai.

Pours a thick maple syrup color. Not as thick as maple syrup but thick for a beer. No head at all and no lacing.

Not much in the smell. Sort of sweet smells like an eisbock.

Tastes like an eisbock. It tastes like Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock but without the raspberry and a little more hops. I like my barleywines a little hoppy like this years bigfoot but this beer is not very well balanced. Too malty and sweet but in a weird way and not enough hops.

Mouthfeel is too thick.

I wouldnt drink this again. Not my cup of tea. Too sweet and I dont think i am going to be able to even finish the glass. Oh well going to have to call this night a loss.

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Photo of nickd717
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade thanks to alcstradamus.

A - Pours dark brown with a minimal off-white head. Low carbonation evident, but this is normal for an English Barleywine (right, Tomme?).

S - Caramel malt, whiskey, dark fruit, and spice.

T - Loads of sweet caramel malt, whiskey, spices, hops, fig, plum, vanilla, and alcohol. A little boozy, but not more than I'd expect for a 13.5% ABVer. Hop bitterness and alcohol linger on the finish.

M - Medium-full and a little syrupy with low carbonation.

D - Good for the ABV and style.

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Photo of russpowell
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one is from imperialking, cheers Jeff!

Pours an effervescent amber/caramel with a finger of tan head. Very vicious, a bit of lacing & minimal head retention

S: Some cakeyness & fruittyness (dates & figs ), plus some booze, & leafy hops

T: Cakeyness, toffee, caramel, apricots & leafy hops up front, plus boozeyness. Oaky & cherry notes to go along with dryness, some apricot, figs & boozey oranges. Finishes dry, boozey & with breadyness, cinnamon & brown sugar; plus some figs

MF: Medium bodied, slick, a bit syruppy, very warm

Drinks like a 12% abv, was hoping for a a bit more subtle effort here. Too hot, I guess even NG can't hit a homer every at bat...If I had any more, I would age for at least another 8 months..

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Unplugged Iced Barleywine from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 256 ratings