Unplugged Imperial Saison | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Unplugged Imperial SaisonUnplugged Imperial Saison
235 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 235 |  Reviews: 188
Photo of sjstraub
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of AleApostle
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of jsurfs82
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of beersis81
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of bryanbrick
4.87/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle, with no apparent dating, into a burgundy wine glass. (Note to self get better proper beerware soon!)

At first this seemingly pours a touch flat but the carbonation rises from the bottom of the glass like a submarined, empty oil drum. There is no keeping this down. The ¾ inch thick head, with a tint of yellow to the otherwise marzipan color, sits sturdily on top of the unfiltered, cloudy tangerine/tarnished gold colored beer. Pleasing from the get go. The head comes back with the smallest swirl of the glass and sticks and slides slowly down the glass, receding leisurely back into the edges of the glass.

The nose here is nothing short of incredible. So forward, outgoing, engaging with unabashed aromas of cherry pit, saffron, orange zest, bubble gum, with the ginger spiciness and the tropical grains of paradise wrapping up everything in a tight bundle of joy. If I could wear this smell I would. As this warms in the glass the yeast becomes more available to the nose and really adds another layer of complexity to an otherwise already insane nose.

This comes in tart and tangy something like a cross between a bret/lacto driven sour and faro/gruit beer. Refreshing and full of lip smacking acidity this is a perfect summertime beverage. The depth here is really remarkable, I have to say as a huge Saison fan, this goes where few is any Saisons I've tried have gone before. There is so much to it with the sour, tart citric flavors wrapping themselves around the more tropical, sweet flavors of mango, pineapple and dragon fruit and finishing with a drying pithy bitterness that could be from some magical hop strain, or at least I'd like it to be. It is like a party in my mouth. (Feel free to make your joke here)

The feel of this beer is slick and while not coating it surely leaves plenty of residue behind. It is sort of heavy in that way, this has some serious heft for a Saison. While that is not my favorite aspect of this beer, this surely makes up for it with its sourness. There is a great stony dryness to the finish here all compounded by the stripping mid-tongue carbonation.

Overall this is one of the best beers I've had this year, which has been a year full of beer. I could drink this all day; the only thing that may get to me is the underlying sweetness that seems to build with time. Other than that the only knock I have is that this is too damn flavorful. It is almost exhausting to drink from sheer amounts of flavor that are attacking your palate.

Get this beer at all and any cost! It is a must and makes me want to go to Wisconsin just to meet the genius that made this!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip. No date or info save for a paragraph about the Unplugged series and the beer itself.

A - This beer pours with a brilliant clear orange apricot glow with a huge chimney of carbonation quickly making it's way to a fantastic cream-colored, three-finger head. The foamy and thick head had a great retention span and slowly dropped to a one-finger layer with thick lacing on the glass.

S - Light and profusely sweet, malts up front with a boozy fruity and spicy blend shortly following. Light orange peel with coriander and clove along side pineapple citrus with a peach iced-tea aroma. A lightly yeasty aroma is included in the nose also but is second to the artistic blends of delicate yet bold spice and fruit aromas!

T - An acidic sour bite grips your tongue fiercely with the first sip slowly allowing you to being tasting the orange-pineapple citrus blended with light spicing of coriander and a touch of black pepper. Sweet malts with a light apricot and yeast take a back seat here but blend well with a very light hop presence into this fantastic beer!

M - Medium in body, this Saison is spicy and sour with a bit of sweetness in the mouth. Well balanced and well carbonated. It is smooth but bubbles can be felt tingling down the throat on the finish. Very delectable!

D - Saison is quickly becoming one of, if not, my favorite styles. This beer is superbly drinkable but not the end-all-be-all. A few would make me an incredibly happy man but there would be a shorter limit to them. It's a potent yet wonderfully crafted beer. I'll be on my way out to get more really soon!

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.78/5  rDev +18%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to Zimmerbloke for including this in a truly epic trade...thanks Matt. My wife and I shared this 12 ounce bottle in a couple snifters.

The dark muddled apricot body has about a finger of ecru head sitting on top. The head itself is small tight frothy bubbles that don't dissipate beyond a centimeter cap. No lacing is apparent but this is 8.7% ABV so it wasn't entirely expected.

Funky yeast, green strawberries, ripe peaches, and a light amount of sweet malts dominate the aroma. It reminds me of Fantome quite a bit and is everything I want in a saison. Well done Daniel Carey.

Taste is a lightly lemon soured nectarine with a touch of watermelon rind and funky malt. I dare say this is BETTER than Fantome.

Mouthfeel is slightly sticky and drinkability is through the roof. its way to easy to drink and I want more!

The. Single. Best. Saison. To. Date! I loved this beer and must start tracking down some more. Get it if you can. This is my favorite of my favorite style, and highly recommended to all!

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Photo of mattafett
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of mandoskippy
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on the recommendation of a friend.

A: Very nice, a bit cloudy. I am new to this style, and the cloudiness doesn't bother me (probably normal) Very nice color.

S: It hits you dead on with a non-fruity fruit smell. What I mean by that is it is fruity without being sickly fruity, ie syrupy. I like it alot.

T: What can I say. I was surprised by the "Beer" flavor and how well it mixed with the sourness that the Saison brought. Very cool .

M: I'd call this sparkly. Very clean and carbonated.

D: As much as I like this, I am not sure I could do this multiple times in a row. It's an amazing beer, but I'd mix this up with some other styles to really make it stand out.

A great beer that anyone who likes beer should try!

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass, courtesy of Jason (MBABJJ) - huge thanks!

Pours pale copper, hazy with some gorgeous effervescence and a positively gargantuan off-white head. Head is just gorgeous - so dense and meringue-like, very long lasting and incredible 3D lacing. Took three pours to finally get the whole bottle in the glass. Just overall, a gorgeous beer - a bit more head retention would push this up to perfect.

Nose is fruity, a bit tart, apricots and peaches, some white grape, and some nice tangy wheat. Different, but I'm loving it.

Taste is big time tart and fruity - like nothing I expected. Lots of peaches, apricots, white grapes, with a fantastic light, fruity tartness that's really unlike anything I've found in a saison before. Very tangy. Some light yeasty breadiness in the body and towards the finish. Not really getting anything in the way of hops. There's definitely a white-wine character to this - juicy but a bit dry, with a light, fruity tarness. The very light lacto note just makes this beer. Very different, and very delicious. If I could buy a case of this tomorrow, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, very soft, medium-full bodied, juicy, with a light tartness towards the back of the tongue. Would be interesting to try this with a bit more carbonation, but the lightness really brings out the chardonnay aspects that I'm so into with this one.

Drinkability is phenomenal. Balanced but refreshing, never wearing on the palate, delicious, unique.

Note: 1-2 months after this posting, and the subsequent NG IS haven't stacked up to the first - the lacto has run wild, destroying what's left of the saison aspect. It's a bit of a mess at thi spoint, but I'll let my initial review stand. When I had my first, it was mind blowing.

 1,799 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Regal gold body. Clarity is almost perfect. There's a huge whipped head of white meringue on top supported by voluminous amounts of carbonation surfacing in the body. The lacing coats the entire glass as I drink. Once again, a New Glarus beer produces a top notch aroma. It just fills the senses with goodness. Yeasty, peppery, spicy. Yellow cake batter doughiness. Earthy fruitiness. Lots of goos stuff. The flavor starts out snappy and bright. Citrus and lemon zest coat the tongue. A little bit of intended sourness adds some quenching ability to this beer. I also get notions of peach,wet stone, honey and hay. This is a beauty. I usually prefer my saisons unsoured, but this is a dandy. The sourness is subtle and adds yet another level of complexity to an already outstanding beer. And at nearly 9%, this one could be dangerous as the alcohol is barely detectable.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. No bottled date. Thanks go out to BeerFMAndy for yet another fantastic trade!

(A)- Pours a slightly cloudy yellow orange goldenrod color that produced a massive white, almost effervescent head that is rather fluffy. Has perfect retention considering there was still some present with the last gulp! Plus is left behind some sticky lacing around the inside of the glass.

(S)- A sweet lemon and biscuit aroma with a grassy hay/ barnyard funk with ample clayish straw.

(T)- Tons upon tons of sweet yet puckered to sour lemons with a mouthcoating clay/hay/wheat/grassy middle that turns into a lightly spiced hoppiness that is slightly bitter with a fantastic drying finish.

(M)- Tons of carbonation. Actually, its almost too much carbonation for my liking, but it really does suit the beer very well. Has a great complexity that really keeps your taste buds guessing.

(D)- What a fantastic and interesting beer! Has everything I love about the Saison style, but with so much more potency. Has much more dryness, bitterness, and that light sour punch in the face all at the same time. If you love a good Saison, then this one you will rave about for years to come.

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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 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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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 storksonm
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pint Glass

Very nice cloudy copper color, very carbinated awesome head retention. Unmistakeable peach and apricot with a crazy farmhouse taste. The contrast of flavors in this beer is like a rollercoaster for your tongue. The mouthfeel was most excellent with a carb burn and slightly sour aftertaste. There is no chance that I am going to let these get away im buying a four pack of these right away. Its great and thats not just the alcohol talking...and im not high...

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Photo of afausser
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, orange-amber with fluffy white head that has excellent retention. The lacing is equally impressive. Thin streams of bubbles rise to the top, giving the appearance of sparkling cider. Very nice.

Smell: Sweet bread, honey and caramel, apples, citrus, and light spice.

Taste: Light, but also bold and complex. Tastes almost exactly like a granny smith apple. Delicious. A little warming which serves to make it spicy. Sweet and tart at the same time--hints of peach and apricot as well.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation in this one is high--but it works wonderfully here. Like I said above, there is a decent amount of warming that compliments the fizz.

Drinkability: Light but delicious, definitely one of my favorites so far. Goes down easily and I think I could drink this one with anything (Though unfortunately I don't think I can get it in VA...).

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Photo of mynie
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Awfully dark, for the style: cloudy amber with a very nice white head. Nice, but not what I expect out of a saison.

Smells like a damn fine saison: tart, citrusy and a little funky with heavy nodes of lemon and champagne.

Tastes like a damn fine saison, though maybe a little too heavy. 7-Up, Champagne, pears. Near the end the yeast is very heavy and beery. It's a bold change from the crisp and refreshing, "might as well be soda" vibe that you get from most saisons. This is a heavy beer, not what you'd drink during a lazy summer lunch so much as what you'd drink several hours later, after dinner and sex, and well there's certainly a place in my heart for a beer like that.

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Photo of DissentFatsquirrel
4.56/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GRG1313
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must first respectfully say that I am not a fan of New Glarus beer. I recently went through Wisconsin and tasted every New Glarus I could find and disliked all of them. I admittedly did not have any of the Unplugged series. I've now tasted other Unplugged and thought that they were clearly superior to the regular brews.

This one pours a dark copper tinted amber with a white head.

Nose is a big assertive orange that goes to orange spice with undertones of candi sugar, peaches and green bananas.

Mouthfeel is rich, bold, bright cream and very appealing.

Flavors are all big assertive full and rich orange spice with bright citrus tones. Flavors are delicious and you want more and more. There is an "almost sour" "almost tart" character.

Finish is all citrus spice with sweet wild yeast undertones.

Very drinkable; a really remarkable brew with an amazing flavor profile. Best New Glarus I've tasted. I could put this in my top 10 beers if a second and third bottle mirror this one.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter
Purchased At: Steve's Wine Market (Madison, WI)

Appearance: Pours a beautiful copper and gold color with two fingers of cream colored head. I hold the snifter up to the light, and it's got a nice level of effervescence that keeps the head alive. Speaking of which, a handful of minutes later ,the head is still here, although it's reaching it's thinning point. The head retention is quite good. After taking a few preliminary sips, the lacing reveals itself. There's a few small, medium and large sized spots on the side of the glass. Next to the spots are a few streaks of lace that trickle their way down to the beer.

Smell: The side of the bottle is spot on. Notes of apricot and peach. I'm not picking up any of the ginger noted on the bottle, but I am getting some nice clove aromas. There's a little dash of sourness too. The fruitiness of the nose is more than I was expecting, but it's incredibly pleasant.

Taste: Some of the same notes listed in the nose, apricot, peach and clove. The sourness comes in to play as well. The level of sourness is fantastic, making this a different beer than I was expecting, but one that I want more of! The near 9% ABV is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodied beer and well carbonated. It was nice and crisp, which was expected given the style. The carbonation was spot on right after the initial pour.

Drinkability: If I see another bottle of this, I'm picking it up. Enough said.

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Photo of aggiearcher13
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a golden copper with a little bit of pale head that retreats quickly.

S: Peachy, spicy, and almost a gummy worm type aroma (I don't think I'm having a stroke). Aroma is similar to that of a sweeter champagne, no toast to it like you'd get from a dry.

T: Tart, fruit, and alcohol. It's very tasty, kind of like a fruity champagne. Finishes real dry.

M: Creamy, great carbonation. Heavy. Just wonderful on the palate.

D: I could probably drink a couple, but any more than that would be pushing it.

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Unplugged Imperial Saison from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 235 ratings