Unplugged Imperial Saison | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Unplugged Imperial SaisonUnplugged Imperial Saison

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Atron67 on 05-10-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 188 | Ratings: 233
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From notes dated 2/21/10.

Well time in the cellar hasn't hurt the carbonation level in this one al all. I get nearly four fingers of rocky off white bubbles with ease. Bubbles crackle quickly and fade leaving dots of lace behind. Body is a murky haze of orange like a sunset into the sea. Nose is full of powdery fruit tones and soapy yeast notes, this is a very nice fragrance all together. Slightly tart but wonderfully fruity is what you get with first sip. This isn't big sour like most wild ales but rather the fruit tone really shinning. The yeast lengthens this fresh fruit feel all along the palate. Really just juicy and delicious. On the end of the palate is a nice soft dryness and slight hop presence that really bring perfect balance. Mouthfeel is just right like eating a peach. New Glares really should make this one again, it is a superb and wonderfully drinkable Saison.

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Photo of liamt07
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Sammy, 12oz into a tulip - 2009 vintage.

Hazy orange brown, with a white head. Moderate retention and mild lace. Nose has huge berry notes, red grapes, yeast, some berry pie and a just a ton of fruit character all around. Taste has more berries and cherries, yeast character, some bready and crusty character, and just delicious fruits - almost like a berry pie. Medium feel, no alcohol. Has held up exceptionally well for 3 years on this, further asserts New Glarus as one of my favourite breweries going.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, deep amber with plenty foam that settles to a centimeter of persistent head with some sticky bits of lace left behind. Smell is very complex; tart and sweet charry aromas mingle with vanilla (oak?) and a slight trace of balsamic vinegar. Gets pleasantly tart as it warms up. Sweet and sour finish. Suprisingly more body than I expected. Gets fizzy after a bit and the head falls to a very thin collar. Would like this to be a little drier; it's a little too sweet. Remarkably drinkable considering it's strength.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.37/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Overwhelmingly hazy. Nice steady stream of bubble pour to the head from the middle of the brew. Very nice self sustaining white head. Not too much lacing. Pretty off for the style.

Very fruity. Slightly bitter scent. Fairly metallic and cardboard scent. Not a sugar scent. Underlying light tartness. Decent, but not overly impressive.

Nice milky tartness, kinda peachy. Strong burn from the alcohol. Dry and horseblanket taste, very farm-y. Tartness is not nearly strong enough. Carbonation is high, but not overwhelming.

Not too sure what NG was shooting for with this brew. It seems confused, 1/2 way to a wild and 1/2 way to a Saison, there's no true style definition. I'm pretty sure Apricot made this brew into a mild turn-off... Somewhat recommended, but not worth a big hunt.

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Photo of corby112
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark golden orange color with a frothy two finger white head that slowly settles into a thin crown. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with some funky saison yeast countered by some zesty spice, bread, alcohol and light fruit. Subtle grassy barnyard character with hints of apple, pear and peach balancing things out.

Creamy medi body with tight carbonation and a heavy spice presence up front. Hintsnof pepper, clove and and coriander followed by estery fruits, bread and alcohol. Well balanced and complex with a dry finish. Slightly tart with hints of apple, pear and light grapes with a touch of earthy hops toward the end of the palate. refreshing and deceptively drinkable.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Deschutes snifter. No bottle date or ABV is listed here, but I think this is from 2010 from what I have read. Got as an extra in a trade a few months back.

A: Deep copper/orange color. Two finger off white to tan head. Tight white bubbles. Lots of carbonation. Some alcohol feet.

S: Tons of green apple and grapes on the notes. Really different from an other Saison. I guess some peach. Maybe some breadiness, but really lots of dry fruits.

T: Really interesting beer. Almost a dry white wine flavor: Sav Blanc or Pinot Gris. Lots of fruitiness. Really dry finish. Apples and pears and grapes. Lives in the mid tongue and close. It reminds me of a fall apple orchard. Really enjoyable actually.

M: Medium bodied, solely due to the ABV.

O: Pretty good brew but different then other Saison's I have had. Higher ABV and tastes.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours a hazy, golden amber color with two fingers of off-white head. Strong retention and lace, fierce carbonation.

S: Light fruits and some earthy funk-- brett?

T: Sweet, fruity malts up front, slowly turning cider-tart in the middle and fading to equal parts tart and sweet on the finish. Not too complex, but tasty nevertheless. Alcohol totally hidden.

M: Medium mouthfeel, equal parts soda and cream, bit of a pucker from the tartness at the end. Become creamier as the beer warms.

O: This was a nice beer for a warm afternoon. Nothing outstanding, but plenty tasty. I hope they bring it back again-- it's a good one.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brad for sharing this beer.

A: The pour is a slightly hazed golden-orange color with a rather large white head.

S: Lemon zest is the most prominent aroma on this beer. It's got an almost lemon drop candy aroma to it with all the sugary sweetness. Some yeast and a light spiciness with some oranges.

T: The flavor is pretty much exactly the same as lemon drop candies. Sweet sugar and more sugar with a bit of malt. A little bit of yeast and spice esters in there as well as some grass/straw.

M: Medium in body with a medium to high carbonation.

O: A pretty decent beer, but the sweetness was a little much for me.

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from my boy Peesie, thank you sir, this was a treat. Hazy light orange pour with a glorious white head. Delicious aromas of peaches, a little foot funk, some pepper spiciness. This is an outstanding saison. A little wheat, some sweat, some peach, a touch of bubblegum and banana. These all meld together in a slightly sweet and funky fashion that it utterly desirous. Well done, I'm sad to see that this is a retired brew.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle received in a trade long ago.

Pours a bright clear, golden copper with a massive and retentive cream colored head. Some legs and dots of streaky lacing. Aroma is fruity and mildly tart, mushy bananas, pear, clove and grass. Flavor is very fruity and tangy, like a hybrid hefe/saison. Not much funk or earth except for the dry grassy finish. Fruit is generally overly ripe and similar to a slightly past it's prime peach. Medium full body with soft carbonation and mild booze. Refreshing, yet robust; a very unique enjoyable saison.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review from backlog 2010

Looking forward to trying this one.

A - The brew pours a fizzy bright orange-golden hue, hazy, and is capped with a large pillowy white froth.

S - The smell is banana, bubblegum, clove, sour apple, metallic, peppery, and sweaty. The alcohol is too hot in the nose, and has a sort of Malt Liquor nuance that is less-than pleasant. It reminds me too much of Blue Moon Grand Cru, as much as I hate to say it.

T - The flavor is somewhat ripe and tart in comparison to the nose. Overripe banana, green apple, tart green grapes and a hint of that popsicle-y New Glarus character round out the fruity side, and the spicy side is grassy and with clove and herbal-lemongrass notes. There is a vague vegetal aspect that I am picking up on, but it is a mild objection. As it airs out some peach or apricot is noted, as is alcohol.

M - The feel is softly, yet steadily, effervescent; enhancing.

D - While I admit the drinkability of this brew is better-than-average, I am not blown away by the way either the flavor or the taste comes across. I prefer much of the regular lineup to this.

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

Bottle received from normyk in my Birthday BIF box. Thanks, Rob!

Poured into a MJ tasting glass. Pours a hazy orange hue with a huge, half-glass filling rocky head.

Aromas of lemon tart, spicy yeast. Club soda aroma.

Flavors of lemon curd, spicy pepper, light lactic sourness. Finish is short and sour.

Mouthfeel is a light coating of sourness. Good level of carbonation.

Overall a very nice beer. Big, bold saison.

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

Extreme carbonation. Well over half of my glass filled with foam. An extremely rich, rocky ohh-white head. Absolutely effervescent like champagne. Pale orange/dark golden color. Extremely clear. Some of the finest, tiniest bubbles I've seen. Good looking beer.

First scent upon first pour is nicely spicy with a hint of lemon citrus. This then gave way to a strong pilsner malt character -- A bit like mostly cooked but slightly raw bread dough.

Wow! Strong lemon/peach/tart taste followed by some spice elements and a hint of sweetness and bready malt. It finishes then with some more tartness verging on sourness. The sour-tartness at the end was the only part of the flavor profile I didn't completely enjoy. It came across as slightly astringent. Complex combination of flavors. No hint of nearly 9% abv.

Mouthfeel is thicker than your average saison, but not thick over all -- just thick enough to hold up to the strong flavors. Lots of carbonation.

Really nice beer. It has changed character some over the years, but still really refreshing & enjoyable.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 12/20/2009. Bottle thanks to FlssmrBrewAlum. Pours a cloudy orange with a small white head. Aroma of sweet fruits, lots of spices (clove, pepper, coriander, hop spices) and Belgian yeast. Flavor is spicy initially with a malty, grainy finish with some sweet citrus and sweet fruits. Very tasty and drinkable. Another winner from NG.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy golden orange color with a huge off white head. Head has good retention and leaves quite a bit of lacing.

S- Smells like a bit of funkiness going on here along with quite a bit of citrus.

T- Taste is quite a bit of a sour/funk to it. Green appple and lemon dominate this brew.

M- Lighter side of medium in body and medium in carbonation.

D- Not terrible to drink by any means, but I'm not sure how often I'd seek this one out.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from pochman, courtesy of BA Secret Santa 2009 so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy deep orange/gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, citrus, spices, caramelized malts, some Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very fruity and sweet with strong citrus flavors of orange and lemon up front. There's a little bit of spice in the background as well. Then some bready flavors of Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character come in. The hops presence is very mild but provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty but overly fruity, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, for those that are used to Blue Moon and such, this is good next level but overall the fruitiness makes it just a decent beer.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium Globe glass.

It pours a kind of murky amber orange with a huge frothy white head. Half the glass filled with a nice foam layer and it doesn't really die down. The nucleation on the bottom of this glass is constantly adding more head to this beer. Peering into the bottom of the glass a tornado of tiny bubbles can be seen. This is one lively beer.

The nose first hits with a nice saison yeast spice punch. Behind that a fairly bright citrus orange and grain is present as well. At the end a pretty distinct ethanol aroma is there as well, it's not harsh like a fusel but present nonetheless.

The taste starts off with some tartness and then transitions into a citrus orange flavors. The middle of the taste it gets a little oily before finishing with some yeast bite and again with the ethanol.

Mouthfeel is medium lights with an insane carbonation level. I think the carb level added to the initial tartness I was picking up. In this style I can tolerate a high carb level so I didn't find it so distracting. Drinkability was ok. I usually find this style very very drinkable on the whole but for some reason I didn't get that with this beer. The ABV level could have been a big factor in that though.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice amber color. A bit dark for a normal saison, but what the hell--this one is from Wisconsin. Nose brings forward some really nice characteristics with a bit of light malt plus some earth, caramel, light fruits, and some mild hay. The flavor is a bit sweet and not nearly as dry as many saisons. Good fruit notes and nice malt. Medium body with good carbonation. This was quite the tasty brew and I'm disappointed that I finally ran out of these; hopefully it gets brewed again.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.61/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top, foiled, and very classy looking. No date to be found, but nice little ditty about the beer. Poured into my Hennepin glass. I busted this one out to toast the passing of one of our pets.

Appearance: This beer pours a burnt orange/copper hue, with a massive, fluffy ivory cap which shows good retention. Some steady streaming carbonation. My first thought is that this is a lot brighter (i.e. not cloudy) than I expected it to be. Looking in the bottom of the bottle, however, I see a thick layer of highly-compacted sediment. I guess I've been holding onto this one a bit longer than I thought. Oh well, on to the good stuff!

Smell: At first I'm not getting a lot besides crisp, vibrant pilsener malt and some noble hoppiness. Don't get me wrong, really pleasant, just not what I expected. However, as this warms a bit, a decent bit of fruitiness begins to emerge. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking peach and an almost white-wine fruitiness. Maybe just a ghost of caramel sweetness? Lacking the spicy, funky character of many saisons.

Taste: Now this is different! Sour! As in way sour. The label suggests that this was soured, but I was thinking maybe a light dose of Brett to compliment the spices/hops. But I'm not getting much of a "wild" flavor; instead, there's a puckering (but kind of pleasant) sourness up front, with a dose of pils maltiness and grassy hop bitterness in the background. To me (and I thought this in smelling this beer as well) it's almost like an amped-up German Pils gone wild. The taste totally supports that. A bit of crackery malt, noble hops, and a big hit of sour, slightly wild flavor. Of the ginger and grains of paradise that this was brewed with, there is no sign. I guess that probably shouldn't be a surprise, as I'm pretty sure this is fairly old. I've held onto it for just over a year now; w/out a date there's no way to tell how long it was in the brewery's cellars (I purchased this one at the hilltop brewery on our honeymoon). The label suggested that this one could be laid down long-term, so I'm not upset with myself for aging this, but I am finding this to be a much different beer w/some age than what I've seen reviewed on here. Sidenote, this hides the alcohol pretty well behind the tart/sour peach and citrus notes and the hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light, crisp, effervescent, as a good saison should be...I'm not sure I've ever given the highest score for mouthfeel, but this is a big beer at almost 9%, but it manages to remain light and refreshing on the palate, the way a saison should, therefore, I think the highest score is warranted.

Drinkability: Medium; I don't find any sours to be knock-down drinkable...

Conclusion: I had no idea what to expect from this beer, but I was certainly not expecting what I got. This is like a wild/soured German Pils, maybe with a touch of crystal malt. That sounds odd as hell, and...well...it is. But it's pretty tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to adamharbaugh for this, shared with tenderbranson69, tasted in a la fin du monde tulip.

The color of glowing peach in the glass w/ slight haze and thick 2 finger cream of pale beige w/ ultrafine beading. A slinky ring of lace clings on the glass and holds well. The smell is wonderful- stone fruit and slight tropical scents of papaya and pineapple w/ a mild spice ester and slight herbal note. The nose has some ginger which is complimented by some alcohol presence which is not a bad thing. The feel is fruity with a tanginess and very high carbonation w/ mild spice and a very dry finish w/ light tannic quality. A mild tinge of sourness is there which blends well with the subtle alcohol.

The taste is lovely with a papaya and peach blend up front and some ginger w/ lemony taste and mild spiced notes. The peppery tinge from the grain of paradise has a mild floral and the yeast gives a light pineapple taste with a hint of bubblegum. The subtle lemony notes add to the mild woodsy accents and golden pear tang in the finish. A seriously good saison, WOW, lots of fruit from the yeast! A beer I could drink anytime, a wonderfully good experience from New Glarus - exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received a bottle via trade from crosamich...thanks Adam! Opening it the same day I got it! Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Koningshoeven small snifter glass. Pours a very hazy and pale broze like color with a hint of amber. Infact, it resembles a grapefruit juice like color. Massive frothy off-white head, that becomes very creamy and has very nice retention. Leaving a nice thick, creamy, sticky lacing. Once again, the appearance is extremely cloudy.

Aroma is wheat-beer like at first. A bit of lemon zest and crispness. But overall there's a musty blandness that resides. Similar to a typical Fantome saison aroma actually.

Hmm, very interesting. I like it...that's for sure, but it's definitely odd. Theres a very sharp tart crispness, lemon and citrus background...very high carbonation...a slight booze is noticable. But the "Saison" funk is there, just hidden by all the other characteristics. It's unique because the tart/sourness is so strong...although, being a "sour" lover, this is right up my alley. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, very tasty...interesting...unique! I would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Body is a uniformly translucent golden hue. Pours with a 2-3 finger foamy white headwhich eventually fades to 1/2 finger and leaves traces of lacing behind in the glass.

S- Nose is mild-with lemon, floral hops, and bready yeast. A hint of funk is there as well.

T- Initial flavor is loaded with lemon. A hint of floral hops accent the flavor with a bready yeast backbone and a hint of yeast funk. Floral hops are the higlight of the finish as well as a blast of citrus flavor. A hint of floral hop bitterness lingers with some citrus.

M- High carbonation and a light to medium weight, slightly dry body.

D- This is a good saison overall-it has a lot more lemon presence than most. Job well done by New Glarus.

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Photo of newk340
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: opaque golden amber, thick head that leaves spotty lacing.

S: hints of citrus and light fruits abound, peaches, apricots, spices, and coriander.

T: while the aroma was strong, the taste was very subdued, light in fruit flavors that quickly dissipated, floral finish.

MF/D: highly carbonated that has a crisp finish.

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Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a rather large head that leaves quite a few shards on the way down

Smell: Sure wasn't expecting a sour stone fruit and ginger aroma, but that's what I got (should have read the label first)

Taste: Fruity, at the outset, with a growing tart character that becomes truly sour by mid-palate; stone fruit (apricot and peach), with a spicy herbal character character; after the swallow, the sour fruit character develops nicely, leaving the herbal elements to grow in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: Expecting a Saison, I was worried that something was wrong for the first few sips, but after reading the label and understanding more of the brewer's intent, I grew to really enjoy this beer; more of an American Wild Ale, in my book but you can call it what you like

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Photo of bevenson
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Deep gold to copper and clear. Very strong off white head that fills half the glass and takes several minutes to settle down. I had to wait for the head to settle down before pouring the last 1/4 of the beer.

S - Sweet candy aroma followed by a slight grassiness and alcohol. Sweetness and alcohol overwhelm other aromas.

T - Sweet candy flavor up front with a light hop bitterness. Has a moderate grassy hop flavor and a toasty/grainy malt flavor. A sherry flavor is starting to develop from age, which is a nice addition to the beer. There's a little spiciness from the yeast, but not as many yeast derived esters as I expected from a saison.

M - Light bodied with less carbonation apparent in feel than expected from the massive foam. Even though it has a sweet flavor, it has a dry, refreshing finish.

D - A very good saison, but not as good as Saison Dupont. Still, it's a very enjoyable beer that I was happy to have a chance to try.

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Unplugged Imperial Saison from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 233 ratings.
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