Unplugged Iced Barleywine | New Glarus Brewing Company

193 Reviews
Unplugged Iced BarleywineUnplugged Iced Barleywine

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-04-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 193 | Ratings: 256
Photo of Mdog
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Red-brown, lots of little particles, great head for such a strong beer.

Smell: Sweet, cherry, candy-like.

Taste: Very complex stuff and very tasty. Sweetness, fruits, lasting brown sugar, a kind of red wine flavor all come to the party. A little alcohol burn lets you know to savor it slowly.

Drinkability: Most barleywines I'll have a bomber or a couple 12oz's, but at this strength, it is one and done. Awesome bargain though.

I have been looking forward to trying this since it was announced. Very tasty stuff and very strong. Definitely leans to the English barleywine side, but not overpoweringly sweet. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Atron67
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drank at just below RT in a tulip (specifically the harpoon 100 barrel glass)

This is the kinda big beer i look for :) not just a hop bomb this beer relies on old fashioned malt and technique to obtain its complex profile and subtlety.

A- poors a copper red hues amber that is crystal clear with an almost white head on top. amazing head formation and retention for such a huge beer.

S- amber malt charactheristics subtle character. pepper character and almost hidden hops. on the sweeter side, very enticing.

T- incredibly smooth, overtly malty but very subdued for a beer of this size. slight cherry character, pepper character again. sweet but much more balanced than i would have expected. this is less sweet than the alt. flows right over the tongue. this is a wonderful sipping beer that lets you know why barleywine's evolved.

M- much lighter than expected. smooth low carbonation. heavy still.

D- an awesome sipping beer, but a very powerful brew. i just love beers like this though.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle as an extra from gford217 - many thanks!! Split w/ dkachur, and poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark, vibrant mahogany, transparent when you hold it to the light but opaque due to the hue otherwise. The fast-fading, dirty white head fades quickly, leaving only a faint dusting of snow atop the gorgeously-hued body. Not sure what I expected at 13.5%, but this one's definitely alcohol-retarded.

Aroma: Very "heavy," in that I can tell there's a lot here, but it's all very hard to get. Cherries and heavy, dense malts are the first two things to great my nose. Alcohol emerges as things warm, though even it's heavy.

Taste: Intensely fruity, and intensely ... well, intense. Thick waves of malts - caramel, toffee, even some faint chocolate, though they're there sort of "in spirit" only, as if there essence has been concentrated. There's also a tremendous hop presence - strong bitterness, and tons of resinous, heavy, sticky pine and strong leafy, herbal notes, again distilled and concentrated, strong and prominent. The fruits bring this one into stark relief, though. It's funny how, even when New Glarus doesn't put fruit in its beer, it ends up with, well, a fruity beer. Cherries, grapefruit, pears, and grapes wrap up the majority of the notes here, again thick and syrupy, concentrated and intense.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth and even, borderline creamy despite the absence of all notes typically associated with creaminess. Almost like a melted cherry popsicle. With, you know, hops.

Drinkability: Whhhew. This one is off the hook. One might call it unplugged. Fruity, malty, and hoppy, this is one flavorful brew. It's also one high abv% beer - 13.5% is crazy for any beer, and though it's actually reasonably well-hidden here, it's still, yes, high. In some places (taste, mouthfeel) it doesn't detract, and in others (aroma, appearance) it does. Overall, it's a definitely above average brew, and one I'm very, very glad to have tried. I'm gonna give it a recommended, you be very careful!

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Photo of DIM
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This was a slightly hazy, ruby tinted mahogany color. It poured with a short lived, big bubbled, off-white head.

s: Flowery, boozy raisins and cherries, and some charred, smoky toffee dominate this one. There is some solventy heat, but not nearly enough to suggest an abv of 13.5%. Big and beautiful.

t: Over done toffee flavors up front which fade into a moderately sweet combination of sherry, cherries, and raisins. I love the way this starts off. The finish, though, is a bit rough. The solventy heat and charred caramel bitterness need some time to mellow out. Still, for a beer this big and this young, its drinking better than it probably should.

m: Gentle, lush carbonation and a velvety body make this one feel great. The lingering, sugary roughness lowered the score a bit.

d: First of all, big thanks to abents for this one. This was one I just had to try. It is better now than I hoped it would be, I can't wait to see how this beauty ages!

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Where to begin? When I saw the unplugged lineup for 2009 my jaw dropped to see that an Iced Barleywine would start off the year. Now, Dan and Deb rarely cease to surprise, but this one seems like it would come straight out of the DFH lab. A beautiful, rich, cognac body with whispy white head. Amazing clarity as well. The aroma is in-your-face malt sweetness and big boozy overtones. Large bouquet of bourbon soaked raisin carmelized sugars. Much like the aroma, the taste is amazing. Rich, port-like flavors come through with a wet-tobacco and whiskey profiles. The body is rich and textured. The alcohol warms the body but does not burn in any way. This is the ultimate sipper that opens up remarkably as it warms to room temp. I feel fortunate to be able to get this and have stashed away a 4-pack in the cellar. What an amazing beer that could be easily done badly. Well done...Well done!

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Photo of maximum12
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Been looking forward to this little Wisconsin gem for a while, since I'm a big fan of barleywines & the bizarre brewing process piqued my interest. Good marketing, so I hope the beer is decent!

I don't cotton much to this whole "Yer beer's got a real purty mouth" thing, but this is one of very few brews that comes right out with style. The color is a deep, amber, with a head that might have come straight from a beer commercial. It smells divinely sweet.

Holy alcohol bomb. The first sip made my eyes water as the alcohol assaulted my tender throat. After I stand up, right the chair, call my mommy, & half my brain shuts down, I can taste some other stuff, & the alcohol seems to recede into the background (did I imagine that? Am I on an island with a mysterious black mist? Is that you, Locke?) The sweetness in the nose comes out, & the thickness of the beer is evident. Port or sherry is right. This is a thick, sweet, sipping, alcohol stinkbomb.

I was planning on having another beer after the barleywine. Now I'm just hoping to finish this one & get to bed by midnight without bashing my head on anything.

Drinkable? Huh. That's the thing about drinkable, it's great because it's sweet, but it's going to take me an hour or more to drink this one. So I guess that's a wash.

Intruiging monster of a beer. I have a few, so I think I'll be trying them at a fairly steady pace over the next year or so to see what happens to them. Very interesting.

Best New Glarus beer I've had to date.

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Photo of ballewblake
4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Wow, didn't expect this. About a half finger head on a dump pour. Bone white head, dark purple body. Smell is figs, grapes, sweet fruits and yeast. Some ethanol burned my eyes too, on the smell. :) I put this in the fridge for about an hour and you know what, I think that was just about perfect. Great warm flavors pouring through. This is a really soothing brew. Great balance for the alcohol content, even warm the alcohol isn't slapping me around, really smooth. Awesome sweet flavors coming out of the malts, I get the balancing hops on the back to even it out. This is a class act barleywine.

Thanks to Taturbo for the bottles!

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Photo of Buebie
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up today in Wisconsin.
Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a tulip. A nicely wrapped red tin kneck.

2 inch of white fizzy head very quickly receeds to a ring around the glass of retention. Lace drapeage is thin and streaky.
Darker brownish transparent red color.

Aroma od cotton candy, sweet carmalised sugar and just a touch of breadyness. No alcahol at the nose, the aroma is very much subdued.

Taste of fermented fruits, raisins and candy sugar. Its pretty warm on the pallete, borderline hot, but not at all solvent like. Still sweetness is present with all that heat, its nice that it isnt dry and there is still a touch of unfermented suger.
There is a bit of roasted grain flavors, with a distant touch of cherries.
For 13.5% the alcahol definatly does not hide.
Lots of bready yeast flavor with sweet caramel rolls.
Hops are in abundance with pine packing a punch and grapefruit lingering. Its almost wine like in some respects due to the dry fruitiness and mild lingering sweet flavors.

Mouthfeel is mostly thn with carbonation hanging back. The carbonation that is present provides a nice smooth creamy feel.

This is quite interesting, never had a barley wine ice beer before. all the attributes of a barley wine with alcahol condensed to knock your socks off.
The heat on this might detur alot of people, hence my lower drinkability rateing. This did pair well with the all wheat pasta and turkey meat balls and red sauce my wife made. The red sauce set off the alcahol linger quite nicely.

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Photo of gford217
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of abents poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep, clear copper with a smallish tan head that recedes to a ring with a swirl of tiny bubbles in the middle. Lacing is minimal.

The aroma takes some warming to open up. After the initial pour, the aroma was extremely subdued, but the warming produced a big caramel malt and molasses presence with lots of dark fruits thrown in, raisins and figs especially. The alcohol burn the nose ever so slightly.

The taste is much more potent with some intense fruit notes - both light and dark - apples, pears, raisins, figs, etc. The taste definitely has characteristics like a sherry and the booze presence is more than evident, especially in the finish. The backbone of caramel and toffee malts is present underneath all of the other flavors. Complex stuff.

The mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, slick and sweet with plenty of booze leading to comparisons with an after-dinner drink.

This is quite a brew from New Glarus and very much a sipper. The booze is present but not overpowering, making this surprisingly drinkable for 13+%.

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Photo of younger35
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a few of these gems from New Glarus on a recent visit. Very excited to give this brew a try as I really love these Unplugged brews. Drank from my Darkness snifter.

Appearance- Pours a reddish purple with a small dirty white head that recedes very quickly leaving no cap and very very thin collar. Obviously no lacing is left since there is no head!
Smell- Rich dried fruits such as figs, raisins, prunes and the like. Rich and malty with a big dose of caramel and toffee malts. The bottle is correct in its sherry reference along with a slight bit of something like bourbon. The alcohol is pretty strong but definitely not the focal point of the nose, just a side note. The only downside is that it isn't as pungent as the taste, it's fairly light considering.
Taste- Holy fucking smooth and fruity. It's full of dark fruit (again - figs, plums, black cherries, prunes) and ripe fruity berries (blueberry and blackberry) along with a big rich malt. I get the port/sherry thing but to me it takes on a more of a bourbon barrel type theme. I think it's just all the caramel and toffee and alcohol. Slightly sweet toward the finish with a light bit of lingering brown sugar and/or molasses.
Mouthfeel- Thick and viscous with a super SUPER smooth feel and a light bit of warming. Amazing body and feel considering the 13 ½% ABV.
Drinkability- I tell ya. I didn't think a beer with a ABV like this could have such a great feel and be damned drinkable. Granted it is a sipping brew but a fine one at that. The town of New Glarus is fairly surprising. It's a Swiss themed town in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin. To have a world class brewer there making these amazing brews blows my mind. Seek this and all NG brews out.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

huge thanks to madtowndmb1 for setting me up with this barleywine!

A - deep clear reddish brown color with a nice off white head.
S - figs, caramel, a hint of noble hops and a earthy note.
T - rich deep toffee, caramel notes, figs, raisins to a degree.
M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, slightly concentrated residual dark fruit notes.
D - oddly light in the abv notes it transmits. flavors warm up and blend in a harmonious way as temps increase to room temp. a sipper for sure but one that does not broadcast STRONG.

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Photo of groovy24
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Poured a 12 oz bottle into my Duvel tulip glass after 10 minutes of warming up.

Appearance: Poured a dark mahogany with a two finger head which disappeared quickley to a tight lace on the top. A bunch little bubbles rise to the top at a very slow pace.

Smell: Smells of figs, rasins and dark plums. Huge malt aroma with just a slight hit of hops.

Taste: Did I just put a piece of Bubble Yum in my mouth but what was that spice along with it?

Mouthfeel: Carbonation was very nice and the finish that is still confusing me a bit.

Drinkability: If this beer really comes in at 13%+ then this one could be dangerous. A very nice beer to sit home with on a Friday night. I can't wait to see what this one will be like a few years down the road.

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

This was the first Barleywine I've had, so I was expecting it to be stronger than anything I've had in the past. Even with that mindset, I was still blown away by how unprepared I was. Even those who drink a lot of this style would probably feel much the same way. The typical ABV range for this style is 7 - 12. This one's 13.5%. Strong enough to smell the alcohol coming through the well-balanced malt and hop scents. It smells like what you'd expect a good beer to smell like: pure and nothing surprising. It pours a very dark brown. It's not as dark as a stout, it looks more like a fine dark rum. There is little head, which isn't surprising, because there is very little carbonation. Likewise, there was very little lacing: only a thin ring remains for a brief moment. The mouth feel is very thick. It seems to stick to your tongue and cheeks as it slides slowly and smoothly down your throat. This one is definitely a sipper. The presence of alcohol is easily detectable on your pallet, yet it is balanced well by the malt and hops. The after taste is more interesting than any beer I've had before. The upfront taste of the beer lasts for awhile, but every once in awhile a floral taste seems to cut through it. It's complex, yet familiar is the best way I can describe it. This would probably be an interesting brew to lay down for a few years.

I reviewed this out of a 12 oz. longneck bottle, poured into a 22 oz. snifter.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a snifter.

Pours a deep ruddy red, slightly murky with no visible head.

Aroma is peaty malt with a huge phenolic alcohol aroma. Hop aroma is present and lends an interesting character to the smell with the intense malt aromas going on.

Flavor is surprisingly hoppy up front with an immediate hit of booze. Rum and raisins are in there with a husky, earthy grain flavor. The hops are very resinous, which when melded with the alcohol makes for a very bitter, intensely piney flavor. Dates and prunes with blackstrap molasses comes through as the beer warms. The booziness is unmistakable and understandable with a beer this big. The hop flavor almost seems to intensify the alcohol. Very hearty flavor of dextrose and raw cane type sugar.

Mouthfeel is thick, viscous and oily. This is a very substantially bodied beer.

Something different for me, a little intense, but I enjoyed the opportunity to try it.

(edit) I changed my scores because as this one warms to room temp it gets much, much better.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours to a deep mahogany with a quickly dissipating head

Smells of sherry, wine, and alcohol

Tastes of waves of dark fruits on a bed of alcohol. Burn is evident.

Oily mouthfeel, somewhat thick

Drinkable for a beer of its magnitude, but one'll do you. Certainly plan on cellaring this monster.

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Photo of INTENSEdan
4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Room temp out of a wine glass.

Straight to the point - amazing. Beautiful ruby/copper appearance, wonderful aroma filled with cherries, vanilla, caramel, toasty biscuits. Basically huge malty richness with layers of dark fruits on top.

I don't tend to be able to detect alcohol in beers, but this one has a slight burn. Considering the ABV it's quite the feat. It does not detract from the drinkability, either.

Incredible beer for the price. Don't pass this one up.

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Photo of Soneast
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Westmalle goblet, after allowing to warm up for 15 minutes. Pours a very dark reddish-brown in color with a 2 finger thick, light brown colored head that disappears fairly quickly leaving a small bubbley ring that leaves an intricate lace composed of very tiny bubbles.

Aroma is heavy up front with toasty, biscuity malts, caramel, molasses and some residual dark fruit in the background. A very rich aroma, with very little alcohol detected.

Flavor is quite strong and complex. Toasted biscuits, caramels, molasses, sweet malts, with a very nice hoppiness towards the end, an earthy bitter flavor that balances out the up front sweetness incredibly well with a moderate dry finish. This beer is very well balanced and full of flavor. Warms ya up, but doesn't overwhelm you with alcohol, which is an impressive feat considering the ABV.

This full bodied beer has a very nice carbonation factor, it feels velvety smooth in the mouth. Just a great combination of flavors going on here and it goes down so smooth. I am thoroughly impressed with the drinkability on this, much more so than other barleywines I've had (although to be honest, I've always been partial to English Barleywines).

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Photo of beeronesse
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. straight out of the bottle and ice cold wasn't very pleasant but after 15 to 20 minutes in a wine glass.... wow. Beautiful, clear mahogany/reddish brown appearance. Nice but quickly diminishing head. The nose is screaming caramel, raisins, licorice and vanilla, a wisp of smoke. Follows through in the mouth. Big caramel, licorice, raisin/currant fruit... and again a hint of smoke. Mouth feel is good, albeit a tiny burn from the alcohol. High drink-ability for such a powerful style.

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Unplugged Iced Barleywine from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 256 ratings.
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