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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 188 | Ratings: 235
Reviews by everetends:
Photo of everetends
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Stoked to give this beer a go. I have to thank kpruim01 for sending this my way with incredible generousity. Served up in a snifter.

A: Pours golden yellow to orange like copper, depends on where it is sitting in the glass and how much light is hitting it. Held to the light. Held to the light, we have more of the same going on in here. We have a bit more of the yellows coming out. The body is nice and hazy with a medium amount of carbonation moving around in here. The pour got me a little over a finger of white, foamy head. Falls to about half a finger and throws up some chunky lacing on the glass. Nice and sticky. This is a good looking brew.

S: The apricot is coming out nicely in this nose. Lots of clean apricot aromas coming out. Little bit of orange and tangerine making themselves known. Lots of fruit coming out in here. There is a bit of pepper kicking around in here with a touch of ginger. Really nice earthy hops coming across, nice and grassy. Little bit of yeast making itself known. Barnyard is nice and light, just a touch of wet hay and sweat in here. Really nice aromas.

T: Yet again we start out with a lot of fruit. Starts with a light, nice and fresh apricot flavor. Behind that some sour peach makes an appearance. Citrus rounds out the fruit with some orange and lemon and orange peel. A little bit of ginger bite along with some peppery spiciness as well, very tame though. The flavor doesn't hold much as far as barnyard flavors. A little bit of tartness might be covering up anything barnyard. All the sour that comes out is a bit grape like and comes in on the very backend. Just a touch of sour at the end but nothing crazy. Yeast is very light but also keeps on the backend as well.

M: Medium in body which has a nice slickness to it. ABV has a really big presence to it. Very not saison like. Huge amount of heat just sitting on the back of the throat and really warms you up. This is a beer to warm you in the winter (so says the label) so it is absolutely making that happen. Carbonation is a little prickly or it might be just before prickly. Aftertaste is that sour grape and a touch of residual peach.

D: This is a sipper for me which seems to be unlike other folks impressions. I am getting some serious heat and warmth out of this beer which is crazy because there is no booze in the aroma or flavor. Its a weird sensation. Still a very nice beer that has a lot of flavors kickin in here. We have fruity sweet, tart and sour all moving around in here. Very enjoyable and glad I had a shot at it. Tasty stuff.

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More User Reviews:
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 blackearth
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep orange with a white head. A rather vigorous pour into a snifter yielded a bit of yeast in the glass that made "legs" down the sides near the bottom. Aroma of grapefruit and alcohol. Full bodied with a spicy mouthfeel from the carbonation, very much like champagne. Sour finish with a touch of alcohol warmth. Nice beer, but you would only need to drink one in an evening.

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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 orbitalr0x
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge whoosh of CO2 as I pop the cap. Pours into my glass with a big billowing 3 finger white foam cap. Hazy orange brew lingers underneath the seemingly everlasting foam. Aromas start with bold yeast spiciness and loads of peach and tropical citrus. Crisp, earthy malt along with some pepper. Ginger is there and it has a nice overall freshness to the aroma.

First sip brings smooth spicy grains upfront with a melange of fruit flavors especially peach and tropical notes. Earthy accents with a big yeasty undertone. Ginger is quite obvious and I enjoy it. Flows down with a touch of pepper and a sour twang that kind of wraps it all together. Quite spicy overall.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with lots of fast moving carbonation. It'd a tad bit over carbonated for me personally, but otherwise it works well and is refreshing. For an amped-up beer in the framework of a saison it ends up tasty and I like the sour twang. Keep the Unplugged's coming Dan!

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Photo of 77apm
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of brow1901
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Slightly hazy straw gold with a decent bright white head. The head fades fairly quickly but leaves decent lacing.

S- Interesting smells, dosen't really remind me of other saison's. Nice yeast smell like most saisons's but its just a hint in this one. White grapes stick out.

T- Pretty tart white grape taste, nice balancing sweetness in the finish. The tartness fills the place of the hops quite nicely.

M- Excellent carbonation, almost like champagne at times. Leaves the throat with a fantastic dryness.

D- Such a perfect beer for a warm summer night. My favorite saison ever! Great job NG!

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

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

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- The gentle pour produces a big creamy light tan foam with an apricot colored crystal clear body with a sea of micro bubbles. S- The soft lemony note fades to a slight green finish but it is pretty clean over all.
T- This beer has a tart sour beginning with a lemony soft black pepper hint in the finish. There is a lemon hint that lingers after each finish. The tartness grows and a soapy note comes through in the pepper.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel wit a slight alcohol warmth that comes through as it warms up. D- Some big tartness with light lemon notes and a peppery note but not really any typical saison notes. Nice summery crisp drink with some interesting flavors.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New Glarus- Unplugged Imperial Saison

A- Very cloudy white tinged orange with a thick billowy head. Too foamy and heavy lacing.
S- Sour and tart fruit rinds; orange and lemon with a nice touch of apricot, peach, and pear. Slight spicy peppery aroma too.
T- Sour/ tart fruit. Peaches, apricots, lemon, apple, and pear come through big and bold thick yeasty and spicy pepper, poppy seed, banana, and clove.
M- Thick tangy ripe fruitiness with a sour and slighty dry bitter coating on the tongue.Very tart.

Overall- Although I'm not a Saison fan, this was quite enjoyable. Any more funky and I wouldn't like it.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks incredible, like so many New Glarus offerings. The head is quintessentially Belgian: that tight, ultra-creamy, long-lasting look, with tons of lace to boot. Color is a hazy, near-murky apricot/peach.

Nose is vibrant, with ginger and lemon coming to mind quickly and apricot emerging more slowly. Not all that funky, the yeast seems to take a subtle role. The alcohol spikes out too much, even if it is 8.7%; gives a medicinal edge that overshadows the good stuff going on.

There's a puckery fruit thread running through this beer, more spice (ginger) and more fruit in the form of juicy, sweet, just slightly underripe peaches. Bouyant in the mouth, a springy balance of carbonation and creaminess. Nice that the yeast asserts itself throughout the flavor profile. A little tart in the finish, like young white grapes, and the alcohol lingers just a little too long, but I wouldn't call it cloying.

Fruity, yeasty, super-quenching. My only hangup is the too-present alcohol in smell and taste, but it's a minor complaint. There's tons to love about this beer, and it was a super-refreshing late-summer afternoon sipper.

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

Huge thanks to an overgenerous natasharai who hand delivered this and many others to the last frontier.

Pours a nice almost amber light orange hue with slight haziness and a huge fluffy white cauliflower head that retains extraordinarily well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is somewhat tart with notes of peach and potpourri, slight green apple and a little hay.

Taste follows with large belgian yeast profile and a fairly profound hoppiness. There is definitely some green apple notes, peach also comes out. A slight tartness is there, but its more of a subtle berlinerweisse-like tartness rather than blatant bugs. Absurdly dry on the finish. Some floral notes in the aftertaste, and the light fruits come out again.

Mouthfeel is nice and bubbly, appropriately carbonated for the style. Viscosity is right around where you'd think it would be for an "imperial saison". Insanely dry finish.

Drinkability is pretty damn good. The abv really doesn't make an appearance, and aside from a little more thickness and a touch more sweetness you wouldn't even know this was imperial.

Overall, a very nice beer. Certainly a unique, yet authentically oriented adaptation of the style. I like where the tartness sits here, and i also love how dry the finish is despite the fact that this one is a bit beefier than your average saison. Would be interesting to see how this one ages, but i can't see it going for much more than a couple of years. Another good one from NG, they continue to appease on a regular basis.

Thanks tash!!!

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Photo of cokes
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Translucent apricot-tan colored with a thick, gaseous rise of misty, milky, buttercreme suds with plenty of rise and stick.
Vinous, champagne aroma. Touches of peaches, apples, and kiwi. Funkier as the inhale deepens, with sawdust and wet concrete, then a small garden of pressed floral hoppiness.
Tart and grapey upon entering the mouth. This could readily pass for Champagne. Fruitiness stays in the grape realm throughout, but stretches a couple tendrils towards apple, pear, cherry, and peach. This sour fruit/Champagne persona is the bulk of the beer, but later nuances include driftwood, rosewater, honey, cedar, and ginger. And a small alcoholic smolder at the swallow.
It's tart and heavy, but not at all sticky in the mouth. The persistently active CO2 dissuades that. It's a fantastic base for this beer.
Interesting now, all fruit and champagne. It's just an infant. But I see greatness as this ages and deepens and grows.

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

Steven's bottle, aged from over 3 years. Great yeasty aroma, revealing a red grape. Fresh, invigorating, a sipper.Earlier:Jon's bottle. Aroma is yeasty, orange, spice. Orangy colour with siginificant white foamy head. Medium plus mouthfeel,easy drinking. Soursih fruity citrus yeasty taste, with orange residual taste. Smooth, New Glarus fruity citrus interpretation of style.

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Photo of dancinwillie
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super active pour, I should have known better. I only decanted around half so far, but it's lovely! Huge fluffy white head, with lemon yellow highlights. Dark peach colored liquid, and little geysers of carbonation are being released very rapidly.

Lemon is the first scent I pick up on. Also a light grassy note. I think another B.A. described it as champagne. I agree with that completely. Reminds me a bit of their Berliner Weiss, which I had earlier this evening.

My first drink is pretty tart up front, and very fruity. Pit fruits, peach and nectarine mainly, Although it almost has a plum-like quality about it. I had tried this beer right when it came out, and thought it was just decent. I should never have doubted New Glarus. It's damn tasty. I could have been drinking this for a few months. Damn. Oh well.
Some strong lemon and honey flavor, and a tiny taste of black pepper. Decently bitter, just enough to keep the flavor from tipping.

Medium to full bodied. Maybe just full bodied for the style. Sweet tart finish, and long. A little dry, but I think it could stand to be a little dryer. Small thing though really.

Drinkability level high. Feeling a bit of the alcohol and am about 2/3 into this glass. But this was the right beer for today, and it's definitely a crutch that keeps me up, while I pine for the awesomeness that was the Imperial Weizen. Cheers!

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an oversized wine glass.

A: Moderate pour yields a 2 finger coarse white head that dissipates rather quickly. Brew itself is a semi-cloudy orange-peach color. Lacing is near non-existent.

S: Farmhouse skunkines, spiciness, booze, and some sort of red fruit that I can only identify as faint cherries.

T: Starts off sharp tartness that dissipates slowly and really lasts through the whole experience. Booze is also apparent throughout and fades a bit, making way for subdued cherries, raspberries, and other red fruitiness. No real "ending" here as the flavors kind of just fade gradually.

M: Light to medium bodied, crisp, highly carbonated and coarse. Finish is very clean and semi-dry with near no aftertaste.

D: Pretty drinkable for a saison and exactly what I'd expect from New Glarus. A little fruit twist and the light mouthfeel makes this very enjoyable. Definitely worth seeking out and trying and in my opinion, yet another winner from the Wisconsin brewery.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, 4pack from whole foods. been looking forward to this one

appearance: poured into my hopleaf tulip...lightly hazy apricot body, huge fluffy white cap with daunting retention. lively carbonation - nice

smell: a big whiff of funky yeast, peppery, moist yellow cake, corriander, apricot and other spiced fruit, lemon zest

taste: this one has some fire in it - a full blast of funk, sour hay, zesty yeast, a touch of lemon zest, honey, apricot, peach, a little touch of tart cherry, apple and pear, spicy white/black pepper. a pretty wild and potent saison - probably go through 24-32 of these like i do with every unplugged release

mouthfeel: thick, sour, funky, potent

drinkability: not high relative to the style - heavy alcohol and nice sourness

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Photo of beertooth
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks to Jay for picking up a four pack of these for me.

A beautiful hazy and glowing burnt orange with slight yellow edges and a big three fingers of white head that slowly slipped down to a dense, but thin layer.

I'm smelling sour apples, champagne, lemon, pears, spicy yeast, a little alcohol, brown spice, apple cider, white grape juice. It's quite delightful! A little more intense than most saisons I've had.

The first gulp gives me tart apple skin, green grapes, spice, tons of yeasty goodness. The tartness is sharpening up as the beer warms with a champagne like dryness.

Mouthfeel is prickly and full.

I really wish I had a whole case of this beer instead of just three more bottles left. I guess another trip to up North is in order!

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Photo of Jon
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of mikey711
3.61/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from adamharbaugh.

A: Nice golden color with a bit of orange mixed in. It pours a giant head that disappates very quickly and leave a great lace.

S: Lots of banana, cloves and pepper. Nothing too funky, closer to a wit in smell I think.

T: Banana and bubble gum, cloves, and some other citrus. Not too much funk. It is sweet tasting with a slight bit of vineagar and acidity to balance it a bit.

M: Full yet acidic.

D: Pretty drinkable. Could definitely have more than one.

This one surprised me a little. I really enjoy saisons, but this one doesn't seem like a saison to me. I did enjoy this beer, but did not get any funk. It tastes a bit more like a hybrid of a wit and trippel.

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Photo of barleypopmaker
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First, I make it no secret that I am a huge fan of New Glarus. There have been a few beers I don't care for personally, but they hit the style. Yet others are not within style, but I just love how they taste regardless. If I could describe this beer in three words it would be Wow, Wow, and Wow. It is very tart with a clean sourness that makes this beer incredibly thirst quenching. The color is a rich gold color and fairly clear with just a slight haze. It is highly carbonated and poured a beautiful rich head, and the best part is the head remains throughout the entire pint. The aroma is sweet and fruity and reminds me of lemons and tart peaches, but with not as much hops as I would expect. The malt profile is sweet and grainy. The whole perception is very much like champagne.
The flavor is where this beer really shines. The tart sourness hits you right away and is very pleasant. There is a citrus flavor that melds well with the tart sourness which creates the impression of lemons in the beer. I really really love this one and think it's going to be a huge hit. There is also a very very mild pepper spice the beer, but that comes in the right before the finish, and it's just a flash. It does finish quite dry which adds to the thirst quenching quality of the beer. It also finishes quite clean without any real lingering aftertaste, just a bit of lingering tartness. The alcohol is reported at being about 8.7% but the beer masks it quite well so be careful.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of nickd717
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle via trade.

Pours a hazy golden color with a massive white head that lasts an eternity.

Aroma is Belgian yeast, apple and light fruit, funk, and pale malt.

Flavor is pale malt and lots of yeasty funk and citrusy tartness. Some apple juice on the finish. Decent but maybe a little strange.

Medium body with high carbonation.

Drinkability is fairly high. Despite being odd, this is refreshing, with ABV well hidden.

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Photo of kenito799
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Fin du Monde glass.

Orangey golden brew with rich foamy head, massive, great retention, lots of lacing, very nice. Aroma is tart fruit, aprocit is evident, not a whole lot on the nose.
Lots of tart tangy peach and apricot on the palate, with a creamy smooth mouthfeel that is very nice. Refreshingly tart yet silky and rich. A subtsantial summery brew, another very interesting and well-made offering from one of teh best breweries in the US.

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Photo of LeslieA
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The first taste is where it's at, apricoty and slightly sour that gets the saliva glands working. Nice cloudy, honey color. Quarter inch layer of foam that stays until the end. Light peachy smell. Great balance of flavors. My favorite New Glarus yet.

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Unplugged Imperial Saison from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 235 ratings.
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