Unplugged Iced Barleywine | New Glarus Brewing Company

Unplugged Iced BarleywineUnplugged Iced Barleywine
Liked This Beer
4.02 w/ 256 ratings
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 256 |  Reviews: 193
Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a clear, dark ruby red with a quarter inch eggshell head that receded to a thin ring. The smell is sweet malt and booze. Digging deeper into the aroma one might pick up dark rum, overripe dark fruits, and spicy, earthy hops. The taste is sweet and boozy. The fruits and rum come to the front and the booze and spiciness of the hops tickle the top of the throat. Mouthfeel is oily and the carbonation tingles on the tongue and down the throat. The drinkability is lowered due to the large alcohol content. This one is definitely a sipper. I would like to revisit this one after a while in the cellar.

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

a: timid head shrinks back to a small island of bubbles on the surface of this dark rum brown ale

s: striking currents of spicy-sweet booze precede a malt body packed with vinous aromas of lightly oxidized cooking wines, cherry brandy, bushels of fermented fruits, subdued hops give some tropicals, malty barrel-aged liquors - rum and bourbon, and a persistence of new glarus excellence, prematurely intoxicating

m: a light carbonation carries the medium-full bodied beer across the tongue

t: doesn't quite carry the complexity of the aroma as the sweet ethanol really brought an extra dimension to my experience, cooking sherry, dry cherry brandy, toffee malts with a touch of toast at the end, fleeting moderate sweetness quickly followed by a buttery note before papery hops impart a moderate bitterness, booze revealed in the finish

d: for a 13-plus abv beer, just fine...can't wait to see what extended cellaring does to my other bottles

the latest installment of the Unplugged lineage sent down South by that gum you like is going to come back in style

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Photo of Murchmac
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

You are only coming in in waves... After the first sip, you feel the alcohol, but I digest...

Pours for me no head, no lacing, like the calm waters of Lake Minnetonka. I've always wanted to use the word chestnut, so im going to say a chestnut ruby Opaque.

No brett smell, but an awesome smell of traditional barleywineness. A big malt bakbone with little hop profile.

I didnt' detect any off flavors, but a lot of malts, some hops and alcohol. The taste is just the way it should be.

Won ov my favorites ov all tyeme.

P.S. this was in response to the pet peeves reviewing thread. Actually this beer is sweet smelling with a very enjoyable smooth aspect with a big bite of alcohol that overcomes your body. Good barleywine, top notch, top notch.

Edit: I love how the picture above of the beer was taken on a washing machine...

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Photo of nrbw23
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a really nice dark red color with a nice foamy off white head. Head has great retention and leaves some really nice lacing.

S- Smells of dark fruits, raisins and plums, touch of hops, sweet sugar and touch of alcohol.

T- Taste is of sweet malts, deep caramel, and bitter hops. Dark fruits and alcohol as it warms. Bready hints come through as well.

M- Medium in body and fairly low carbonation.

D- Wow this is easy to drink and very enjoyable.

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Photo of brokenleadedcask
4.79/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Tuo for hooking me up with this. Reviewed from notes. Sampled on 05/11/2009

The deep red goodness poured flat in the snifter, but some swirling creates a little action. Smells delicious, raisins (port), molasses and honey. No indication of the %13 ABV in the nose. It is also hidden in the taste. There are waaay hotter barleywines with less alcohol in them, could be the "iced" process. There are distinctive caramel and nutty flavors. The Barry White of barleywines, velvety smooth. A true joy to drink. Between the hidden ABV and silky smooth flavor, I could drink quite a bit of this, then hit the floor.

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

A - Vigorous pour results in massive head reducing to chunkiness and clingy lacing.

S - Brine, booze and underlying malt.

T - BOOZE. Yowzah. Harsh astringency and cooked fruit in there somewhere. It's nice, but it's like taking a shot.

M - Sweet and bitter and booze mix pretty darned well and finishes fairly neutral. Good carb and coating.

D - It growls, but you can forget it bites.

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Photo of koopa
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received in a trade with one of my great WI BA traders!

Appearance: Dark iced tea with minimal off white head. Not much retention but some lacing.

Smell: Very nice nose filled with fruit, loads of malt, an underlying boozy quality, and a touch of astringency.

Taste: Lots of rich malt up front that opens up into a fruit moment followed by booze and an astringent bitterness. Very nice up front and very tangy towards the end. Not sure I like the tangy finish but it does its job counterbalancing the enormous malt intro.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: Btw the mouthfeel, the astringency and the ABV this one is not easy.

I wasn't sure what I was expecting with this one and while its a good brew, I feel let down.

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

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12oz bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby red to almost brown in color with an off-white head that doesn't last long in the snifter.

Smell: Alcohol, raisins, caramel and woody.

Taste: Alcohol is more subtle than the smell would suggest. Fruity with grassy hops and bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with low carbonation.

Drinkability: Very tasty brew, but due to the high alcohol content, I don't think I would want more than 2 of these beers. I also found this beer to be quite filling.

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Photo of joe1510
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

d0b hooked me up with this brew a couple weeks back after his day trip up north, thanks Dave! This gigantic BW has the darkest of red bodies that borders on brown. Some sunset grade crimson shines through when backlit. It took a strong high pour to get the head going but it finally rose to a finger of beige creaminess. After 10 minutes in the glass the head falls to a respectable collar that leaves sticky drink lines down the glass.

The nose is loaded down with sweet maltiness. I'm hoping it's not going to be too sweet on the palate. There's no stopping the toffee and caramel that leap from the glass. Plum pudding, fruitcake, cinnamon, orange peel and all sorts of other rich, intense aromas permeate this refined monster. The nose is very perfumey and somewhat floral as well. It would take me all night to try and pick out every singular scent in this beer so I'll leave it at that.

I'm pleasantly surprised by this brew. I expected to be hit over the head with a boat load of sweetness but it's magically balanced on the tongue. The rich maltiness is there but tempered by all the intense fruitiness and subtle spiciness. Cinnamon coated range peel, fruitcake, brandy, and plum all play major roles in this huge BW. Each sip seems to bring another nuance forward. Nothing hits you over the head in this beer and, this may sound absurd, but for being such a beast the flavors seem to be very refined and well integrated.

I'm shocked at the mouthfeel of this beer. Dan Carey somehow managed to make a 13+% beer's body feel more like an 8% body. The body has some heft but the carbonation is dialed in so well that it feels lighter as it works over the tongue. The finish has some dryness but there's barely any noticeable alcohol and what is there is superbly clean.

This is without a doubt a sipper among sippers with both the abv and massive complexity but one I could see myself sitting with for a couple hours on a cold evening. Although it's a warm night tonight it's still going down very easy.

When I first heard mention of this beer I had to have it. It's another gem in the New Glarus lineup. I've always had a soft spot for anything New Glarus but they've been turning out such great beer lately they're quickly moving up the list as one of my favorite breweries in the country. Thanks for the bottle Dave!

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Paid $8.99 for a 4 pack of 12 oz bottles from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. I pour into a small snifter to review.

As stated on the side of the bottle:
A few times a year we will cut Dan loose to brew whatever he chooses, uncensored, uncut, unplugged. Always handcrafted, the bottle you hold is brewed for the adventurous soul. This is a very limited edition and we make no promises to ever brew this style again.
English aristocracy flaunted their wealth saving barley wines for exclusive friends. Our Iced Barley Wine is an intense brew of 28.5 degrees Plato OG. Frozen in the cellars over a powerful twelve week fermentation. You hold an elegant riot of bittersweet sherry and dark fruit earthy notes. Warm and expansive it will fill your senses. Great for contemplative sipping now or lay down for an elegant occasion with friends.

Onto my own review:

Poured as aggressive as possible to get a quarter inch white head consistent of very small bubbles that dissipate quickly. Minimal carbonation. Mysterious dark ruby red color when held to light. Still transparent with no sediment. Some OK lacing.

The lack of alcohol in the nose is intriguing for this hefty 13.5% ABV barleywine. Sweet and complex, I am getting a variety of aromas with this one. Candied apple, red licorice, aged oak wood, fig, raisin, brown sugar and molasses. Great smelling sweet medicinal syrup.

I begin to taste at 50°F. It really awakens the senses with full on flavor. Here its booziness comes out more and it really is quite warming. Very medicinal with candied apples dominating. Many of the intricacies of the nose become hidden in the taste. I am nearing the end of the beer at 59°F and flavors are not becoming more intense as what often happens with a RIS for example.

The mouthfeel is somewhat disappointing. Very flat and uncarbonated. Pretty dry and a quick finish. A moderate graininess is left behind in the mouth.

This is a nice sipper and would make a great dessert beer. I can't wait to try this one again in a couple years out of my cellar; I have a feeling it really is going to age well.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lukasi rules!!!! Thanks for the hook-up.

Pours a syrupy, deep amber reminisent of a good brandy. No foam or bubbles, but this beer looks like it has texture. Sherry and light prunes mix with some heat and a little bitter mint. Taste starts with some caramelized dark fruits that segue into an alcoholic sherry and clean bitter flavor. The finish i a little metallic though. Syrupy palate and high abv. make for a sipper through and through. The combo of clean hops and alcohol make for a somewhat metallic finish.

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

i picked up bottles of this one in a trade with nflmvp and as an extra in a trade with EliteDigger. thanks steve and scott! Viggo also popped one of these at the hotel on DLD-eve, so thanks to eric too.

12oz bottle topped with red foil. sampled may 18/09.

pours crystal clear deep red, a beautiful ruby hue when held to the light. a small dense pale tan head forms, quickly dropping to a ring around the glass and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is good. light alcohol. caramel and toffee. lightly toasted wheat bread. biscuit and cracker. very fruity too - date, raisin, plum, fig, orange, tangerine. a bit earthy and woody too. great depth and complexity.

taste is good. light alcohol - actually, you feel the gentle warmth more than taste it. lightly toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. dark caramel and toffee. again, loads of fruit here too. pretty much the same combination as in the aroma. medium-low bitterness level. bit of nut and dark chocolate too. the hints of earthy and woody character are here too.

mouthfeel is good. nice big body. medium-light carbonation level.

drinkability is great. the alcohol is hidden very well. great balance, great depth, and great complexity. it's good now and i'm excited to see how this one changes over time.

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

12 oz, thanks to grub for sharing this one, good thing I've acquired a few as well.

Pours a clear dark red, ruby colour, really nice and brilliant in the light, thin off white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring around the glass, good retention, some nice lace spots stick to the glass, looks great. Smell is neat, very strong, some alcohol and caramel, lightly sugary, very rich, woody, sherry, cranberries and strawberries, fruit salad, juice, grapes, would be a great fireplace in the winter beer. Taste is very rich as well, very fruity, strawberry candies, cherries, strawberries, cranberry juice, caramel and brown sugar, alcohol is there but pleasant, sherry, grapes, light biscuit, insane fruitiness, big malts and solid bitterness in the finish, nicely balanced for being so big, a bit of spiciness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, some significant warmth going down but not over the top considering the ABV. Real nice beer, would be interesting to see how this one smooths out and ages. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of spointon
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this one on tap at the Glarner Stube in New Glarus on 5/10/2009.

A= This ale poured a clear light brown color with some orange-amber highlights and a 1/2" creamy yellow/tan head. The head dropped to a skim in no time and eventually disappeared altogether. Some spotty and streaky lace was left behind on my glass.

S= Wildly hoppy and full of alcohol in the nose. The hops were of the tropical fruit and citrus variety. The malt aroma was heavy and dense. Did I mention the huge alcohol presence? I slowly inched the candle on our table away from this one...

T= Chewy malt sweetness up front (toffee, caramel) that was quickly subdued by the big hop presence and fruity, estery burst. The middle showed some of the classic barleywine notes like vanilla that I believe will really shine with some age. The alcohol in the finish was strong but not as strong as the smell lead me to believe it would be.

MF= Heavy, almost viscous body, with a slick feel giving way to a mild carbonation.

D= I would say that this ale will be far more drinkable in 5 years, but its prety tasty right now. IMO, the hops are a bit much to call this an English barleywine, but those will soften over time.

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

Appearance: Poured with a nice creamy frothy tan head that dissipates to a thin layer leaving a beautiful lacing down my glass. The beer is clear with a deep orange brown color.

Smell: Citrus hops, strong nutty malt, fruity like pears and apples,

Taste: Citrus hops up front, vanilla, fruity malt, some lemon, pears, caramel nuts, and some alcohol but not much.

Mouthfeel: Thick syrupy body, some hop tingle on the tongue, good amount of carbonation, leaves mouth feeling sweet and slightly dry.

Overall: Good drinkability, strong hop bite, but also sweet. A lot of good fruity flavors with some roasted nutty character. I could see this being amazing with some age on it!

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Photo of BrewerB
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DIPA for the hookup on this brew.

A - Reddish copper. Good clarity. Off-white head didn't retain for long. Very long legs indicate a significant presence of alcohol.

S - (As the beer warms, more flavors arise. In order of appearance:) Molasses, plum, alcohol. Raisins and toffee. Caramel.

T - Slightly bready with raisins and a toffee. Alcohol is certainly present and warms the palatte almost immediately. Not hot or solventy, though. Subtle earthy hops with a moderate amount of bitterness. Not nearly as bitter as American versions of this style.

M - Medium/medium-full body. Moderate low carbonation. Slightly viscous.

D - I'm impressed how well the alcohol is masked but I think the beer could use some age. Certainly not as complex as some vintage JW Lee's I've consumed. Never the less, a good example of the style and I hope to find one for cellaring.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright burgundy in color. That's if a bright burgundy exist. Thin wispy head that's gone in a flash.
Earthy aroma with some leather and pipe tobacco.
This is one big bold beer. Rich sweet caramel malts. Black cherries and plums. Hint of vanilla. But this beer is all about the alcohol. I normally don't like to taste the alcohol in my beer. But, how does New Glarus make such a big bold beer taste so good? This is a beer that speaks it's mind with little tact, but says it so eliquantly it leaves you mesmerized.
Rich chewy mouthfeel that coats the mouth. Some nice spicy burn to the mouthfeel.
It's a sipper for sure. I'm corking my 12oz bottle and drinking the rest tomorrow night. But man it sure is tasty.
Thank you jj21!! I MUST beat you in fantasy baseball so you can send me some more of these delicious New Glarus beers.

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Photo of dewalt
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep rich dark red color, with few bubbles, thick and syrupy, almost resembling cola. The aromas are strong and rich, smelling like dark cherry, sherry, port, with clear whiffs of the high alcohol content. It is powerful and warming right off the bat, the tart flavor of raisin, fig, and bitter fruit set against rich malt and the sharp tang of alcohol. This is a complex, delicious beer, one best slowly sipped --you wouldn't want to drink more than one or two at most.

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Photo of WJVII
3.08/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter this brew has a nice mahogany red color with a light white head that left a ring around the top of the brew. The aroma of this is immediately alcohol, and at 13.5 ABV you get the point. There is a depth of dark cherry and some dried fig and clove as well. The taste blast warmth throughout your body. Very smooth, but lacks the depth you get in the nose. Too much alcohol steals the stage and takes away from the overall product. Good to share with some friends, but not something I could have even 2 bottles of in a sitting.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep burgundy color with very little head.

Scent of sugars, maple, fruit and some oats. Some alcohol is apparent, but not overpowering.

Taste of sugars, fruit, more sugars, grain, alcohol, and maple. A very good barley wine, but strong sugars and apparent alcohol keep it from being perfect.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and smooth with a nice bite from the alcohol.

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

Dark burgandy body with deep tones and some ruby clarity on the edges. Head sneaks up briefly, half a fingers worth, but goes less subtly than it comes. Pretty cool. The nose is bursting with roasted malt, black-pepper, fruit, and alcohol. Smells like a bold syrah. Sweet fig flavors jump out at first, backed up with a tiny hint of chocolate and followed by quite a bit of spicy hop bitterness. The alcohol can't hide in here, and this beer's only defect is a that a little too much astringency doesn't play nicely with the beer's other bitter flavors. It becomes more palatable as it warms up, I'd let it get closer to room temp before drinking my next one. Sweet flavors seem to have more depth halfway through the glass. Body is a little slick, and moderately heavy. Its most definitely a sipper.

As other reviewers have said, I'm looking forward to cellaring this for a while so some of the bitterness might mellow and the fruit/molasses sweetness might develop.

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Photo of krazycatlady
4.72/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love barleywines and had high hopes for this beer. I wasn't disappointed. Nice balance of hops and fruit. You can taste the high-alcohol nature of the style but it isn't overwhelming. Nice thick feel in the mouth, wonderful aftertaste. I need more of this beer! I wish that I still lived in Wisconsin and will have to bother the relatives to go get more for me!

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Photo of mikecharley
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scored in a trade @ DLD from Emerge077, thanks a ton for this rarity, Matt. Enjoyed with the wife in the hotel room afterwards.

Pours a copper, rubyred color. no real head, kinda standard BW pour.

The nose is subtle, possibly a bit to cold for the style. Smells of dark fruits, mostly raisins, and figs. Some prunes in there.

The taste is fantastic on this one. Much of what the nose has to offer. Great dark fruit flavors, super raisony, and nice chewy barley flavor. It tastes like something you would expect from a 1yo BW, not a fresh one. Not hot at ALL. I honestly couldnt believe that this was 13.5! Didnt know until I logged on to enter this review. I originally had the taste at 4.5, but in light of finding out that it was HIDING that much, it gets a half point bump to 5. This one would be wonderful in a couple of years. Only wish i could have some more to cellar. Dammit...

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Photo of rtepiak
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a mahogany with a tint brown. not too clear with almost no head. smell is right were it needs to be. sweet tea with lemon zest, a light rotten mango, crisp ethanol. the palate has a nice sweet crisp interaction of lemon zest, apple, grape, and a grapefruit just before the bitterness kicks in with the pepper. goes down pretty hot. body is a bit thin. seems like it would be wonderful after about 2 year of cellaring.

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Unplugged Iced Barleywine from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82.8% out of 100 with 256 ratings
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