Unplugged Old English Porter | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Unplugged Old English PorterUnplugged Old English Porter

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by emerge077 on 08-10-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 217 | Ratings: 287
Photo of nrbw23
1.25/5  rDev -66.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Man, I really hope I just got a bad bottle of this one, but after reading some of the other guys I don't think so.

A- Pours a very odd looking grayish red color with a thin layer of bubbles for a head. No lacing at all.

S- Smells really funky. Nothing like I expected since it say English Porter. A tiny bit of darker fruits.

T- Ok this is terrible. Very sour and almost like vinegar. Nothing porter like at all.

M- Pretty thin in body and light carbonation.

D- Ok I've tried to New Glarus brews today and both went down the drain. Good luck with this one. I guess if your a big sour fan you might like this one.

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Photo of champ103
1.68/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to Onslow for sharing a bottle. I have been wanting to try one of these for a while.

A: Pours a clear amber/red color. A small beige head forms, and recedes to nothing in a second. No lace. Looks a little lifeless.
S: Sour and acidic malt. Very pungent vinegar aromas. Mold wood and overly sweet toffee.
T: Follows the nose, but even worse. Way to much vinegar sourness. Like someone poured a bottle of malt vinegar in the bottle and let it sit in the sun for a while. Way to sweet as well.
M/D: Way to thin and under carbonated. Very lifeless. Really hard to drink. This was a drain pour.

I love New Glarus, and the Unplugged beers that I have had are nothing but great. Though this is pretty much horrid. If this is what a true English Porter was like, then I would not be a fan.

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Photo of maximum12
1.76/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Picked up on a run across the border...never thought I'd be so happy to live only 25 minutes from Wisconsin's border! Consumed to console myself after getting the old skunk in perhaps the last day of fishing from the boat this evening. Beautiful day!

Pours an extremely deep, dark copper, very clear, no sign of floaties or sediment. Smell is surpassingly aggressive & unique: I have no idea what it is I'm smelling. It's sour & raisany. And strong. Not sure that's a good thing. A little afraid to put this in my mouth now.

Holy shitballs. Soured acidity dominates this...beer. Uchgd. Seriosly nasty. If this is what old porters tasted like, I'm surprised brewing survived to the present day. I can't drink this.

One of the worst beers I've ever had, but since New Glarus spins out plenty of masterpieces in addition to a solid everyday lineup, so what? I'd far prefer some swing & misses to go with the grand slams over everyday mediocrity.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
1.86/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - dark brown color with a beige head that faded fast.
S - smells like malt vinegar.
T - tastes like malt vinegar and I just couldn't get past that.
F - thin and vinegary.
D - Drain Pour!

I may have like it better sprinkled lightly over a plate of french fries.

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Photo of neorunner
1.88/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to Kirk (Florida9) for sending me this beer in Round #5 of the Blind Beer BIF.

Blind #3
Dark / Low / Pint or Tulip

Slightly cloudy dark copper color with some tiny carbonation bubbles.

Smell is a nice touch of lactose and vinegar and a hint of smoke.

This want to be classic aged chinese vinegar, but instead tastes like it was made in a lab with Limeade and Starsan.

The overall taste is an astringent bitter butter mess. Tartness but not overly cloying in the finish.

Guessing style I'm going to go with Flanders Oud Bruin for the style.

The reveal New Glarus Unplugged Old English Porter. Hmm, while I realize they intentionally soured half the batch I think it took hold of the rest of the beer.

Checking on the reviews it looks like this beer hasn't survived the test of time and the bugs are winning.

Guess it's time to send a nuke down a bug hole...

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.91/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

If this was marketed as a sour brown I would get it. I wouldn't like it, but I would get it.

As an "Old English Porter," I am flat mystified. It isn't old. It isn't English. It isn't a Porter.

I know the label claims that the Brits used to drink this stuff back in the day but I just don't buy it. Maybe it's possible that the rag collectors, match sellers, and night soil men of the late Dickensian era were forced to sip on such a foul beer out of abject poverty. Maybe... but I'm not going to drink it.

Appearance: Ultramirky deep dark almost purple brown with an eggshell white head.

Aroma: Rotten cherries, cocoa, vinegar, and faint smokiness.

Taste: Hints of cocoa and coffee grounds try as they might just can't escape the overwhelming flavors of rot and vinegar. We're not talking clean vinegar here either. I'm talking about putting some raisons in a glass, pouring some apple juice on them, leaving them on the window sill for a week, and seeing what happens sort of vinegar. It just tastes foul and wretched. A touch of sour cherry shines through on occasion.

Mouthfeel: Hypercarbonated and utterly sour and without any hope of anything else coming through. I love sour beers but this just doesn't work. All of the porter aspects are overwhelmed by it. The wood notes are overwhelmed by it, and "it" doesn't bring anything along for the ride. Nowhere in this beer are found pleasant sour notes of lemon or dank hay, nor do we find interesting, though sometimes off putting notes of horse blanket or barnyard muck. All we get is rot for rot's sake.

Drinkability: Drain Pour.

One dimensional, offensive, and misexecuted.

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Photo of hardy008
1.96/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a brown ruby color with a small tan head. Has an unpleasant sour smell with cherries, coffee, and raisins. The taste is just like the smell, with the emphasis on the sour cherries and vinegar. I like sour beers, but this is unpleasant, and poorly executed. Neither a porter or a sour ale in my opinion. Whatever it is that tastes like vinegar was a horrible idea, and ruined the beer for me.

Has a thin mouthfeel, low carbonation, and the drinkability is poor. It tastes more like a fruit beer which went horribly wrong than a porter. I had this once before and was not sure what I thought, so I tried it again and made up my mind. This is terrible.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.14/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Huge thanks to mikesgroove for this surprising extra. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Gentle pour yields an upward creeping 1 finger coarse, grayish-light brown head with near no retention, dissipating into a group of bubbles atop the brew. Beer is a surprising, deep red amber. Lacing is stringy and spotty with little cling.

S: Toffee, caramel, the slightest hint of coffee and... get this... pungent sweet and sour cherries and raspberries. To the New Glarus guys... please keep doing what you're doing and put fruit in everything! Nose is very aromatic and incredibly enticing.

T: Extremely sour with a cherry tartness upfront. Has infection set in? I think so but the taste seems to match the nose perfectly and all the other reviewers mention this aspect of the beer. Toffee, caramel sweetness is barely there in the back. My palate never gets used to the sourness and it can't detect anything else. Acidic sourness is pervasive. Finish is more of the same and the aftertaste just warns me of what's to come if I take another sip.

M: Light to medium bodied, coarse, and more carbonated than it should've been. A bit watery in the mouth and not smooth or oily in the least. Finish is messy as is the aftertaste.

D: Every sip that I had to take to review this beer made me cringe and I usually love New Glarus offerings. Sourness is way too much here and it doesn't mesh well with the classic english porter flavors. Skip this. I couldn't get paid enough to finish this beer. A complete drain pour.

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Photo of Strix
2.23/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Poured a clear copper, decent head that fades to a ring.

Smells very malty, sweet, then a vinegar note. A bit of cherry too.

Taste is all over the place. Sweet malt, cherry, then a sour note shows up reminiscent of lemon, seawater, cough drop, and chlorine. A bit of smoke in the finish. I kept drinking just to figure out what was going on, but I didn't particularly enjoy it.

Mouthfeel bubbly.

A unique offering I suppose, but it wasn't my style. I just couldn't get past the sour notes mixed with the malt.

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Photo of dstc
2.26/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very dark color with a ruby color when held to the light. Big foamy tan head falls nice and slow. Clingy lace.

Tangy hickory smoke aroma. A bit sweet but mostly tangy.

Roasted malts up front but followed by an immediate puckering sour tangy taste. Ends with a bit of a coffee taste. Not to my liking at all.

Thinner than I would have thought in the mouth with no noticeable carbonation.

Okay, love New Glarus but hate this beer. What the hell is this?

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Photo of Murchmac
2.26/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Got in a trade with LJarsenal. Thanks again Lucas.

Let this bitch warm! Drink it in its various degrees, but drink it mostly warm. It changes from beginning to end.

Wasnt expecting the sour, red wine smell I got, or the head that stays with the beer and its dark brown reddish highlights.

Very sour at first with a porter aftertaste, changes as it warms up with more classic porter tastes warming through.

I respect what they did and it is probably fantastic for people that want sour with their porter, but I like my porters malty and homosexuals flaming! (thats a simpsons reference so calm down)

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Photo of ahq514
2.44/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip.

Pours a deep amber/brown with a reddish hue. About a one finger head.

Very prominent smell of sour fruit and vinegar. Get some typical porter aromas in the background of roastiness and chocolate, but the sour fruit dominates it.

Tastes exactly as a soured porter would taste. I thought this was an infected batch at first and then I read the label and it says that half the batch went through sour fermentation. There was a little bit of smoke, roast, coffee, and chocolate on the finish, but the sour vinegar really threw me and dominated the taste. By the taste, I would say this is a sour brown/flanders oud bruin, not a porter.

Mouthfeel was good. Carbonation was good, lighter medium body.

Overall, I'm still not sure what to think of this beer. Maybe its my dislike of overly sour things, but I was not a fan of this beer. Too sour. The other elements that I expected from a porter I think should have been more prevalent. Sorry New Glarus, but I did not like this one.

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Photo of billyzoom666
2.49/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This was my first English Porter and I was expecting something like an American (my favorite style). Wow, I got something totally different. When I cracked it open, the smoke held in the neck of the bottle and a vinegar scent hit my nose. Agter pouring, the scent got stronger; it was very enticing. There was no head on the pour, but the carbonation was steady throughout. The color reminded me of a river that's tannin stained. You could see through it in spots, but it had a beautiful murky color to it. I wasn't ready for the bite this beer had. But wow, it really jumped off the tounge. Yeah, it was sour. Really sour and I don't know if I ever need to have one again, but there was something that was ok about this beer. At first I wanted to dump it, thinking it had gone bad. By the end of it, I really enjoyed the bite. Nice for a one off.

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Photo of Srodri10
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was on a business trip in Milwaukee and was on a mission to acquire as much of the unplugged series as possible. My previous experience of the unplugged series was great so I was super pumped to try this. When I went to the store to purchase this 4 pack the clerk asked if I liked sours, and I do, so I was even more pumped to try this. I also checked the reviews and it mostly had good reviews.
So when I tried this brew I tried it with a few other fellow BAs. Upon pouring this beer it had a light brownish color. Upon smelling this beer I got a lot of coffee on the nose and could smell the sour (interesting). The taste was something completely different, just awful, a rotten mess, almost like rotten fruits. Out of 7 of my BA friends only 1 liked this one.
Now I will say this tho, the smell and taste were so completely different from each other it blew my mind and I felt I had a great appreciation for the craft in this beer. I wouldn't ever order it in a bar or go to great lengths to try this but none the less Im glad I had the opportunity to taste it. I really don't see how this one got rave reviews.

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Photo of Blakaeris
2.53/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very cola like light brown. Head is a thin sheen.

Aroma is an unusual sour smokiness.

Taste is sour, then tart with strong apple notes. Hints of caramel malt. Finishes with a lambic like musty fruit quality.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, I would put this ale in the sour brown category rather than a porter. I find no real bitterness, or roasted grain as I would expect in a porter.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.55/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a mahagony and cola color with light, slow bubbling. Pretty small head and only a half moon of foam after two sips. The aroma is of sour grape and apple with a dabble of fresh grouinf coffee. Smells like something from Belgium, not England. The taste starts with unripened apple juice poured over texas toast. The has some sour fruits in the middle while the finish adds some roated malts into the sour fruit mix. This seems like more of an Oud Bruin than an English porter. But this is does gove an interesting look into the past. Thos was the most popular style of beer of England in the 1870's. Not my idea of a session ale.

Just a side not, how should one rate this. I think its safe to assume this is not a "modern" English porter. But since this beer may be true to style of the 1870's, its just not my pint of ale. So how do we rate something that "may" be true to style, but we don't necessarily care for?

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Photo of bashiba
2.63/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cola like brown with a soap ring of head.

The smell was very bad, vingery and sour to the extreme. Almost a Balsamic quality.

The flavor is very strange, has a mild coffee flavor mixing in with an almost buttery sourness, The sourness is there but not quite to the dominating levels of the smell.

The mouthfeel is slick and oily.

Very strange beer, you will really have to like sours to drink this one, even then its still pretty odd.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
2.64/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

First of this is a very strange and complex. It poured a dark brown color, with a very small head. The smell is very strongly of vinagar. The taste is very sour, and tastes like vinagar, has a very wet flavor, and finishes a bit more smooth, with a hint of coffee. Full flavor, and strong sour tatses, and nicely carbonated. Overall I really dont know about this beer, it does stink, but the taste is first repusive, but finshes nice.

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Photo of mandoskippy
2.85/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A very intriguing beer. I don't know if I like it, but it's complex to say to least. It had a decent look to it with some decent head, the smell was strong, almost astringent. The taste was also that, very vineger... It's hard to say what but while I liked the sparkle in the mouth feel, I couldn't drink more than one of these. It was a unique experience that I am glad I had, but I wouldn't purchase this beer on my own.

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Photo of garbercury
2.86/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for the generous extra!!!

A--Very light with some lacing, looks very thin.

S--You can smell sourness and a hint of coffee?

T--Whoa!? This is really strange. Sour but kind of in a bad way in my opinion, like bad coffee or something. At first, I wondered if the beer went bad, it had not, this beer tastes funky.

M--MF is fine, carbonated and smooth.

D---What kind I say, this beer is really strange, never had anything like it and struggled to finish a full bottle. Guess I am glad that beer has evolved from this interpretation of what this "old" style is supposed to be...I do not recommend this one at all.

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Photo of rayjay
2.88/5  rDev -23%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Much different than I expected! Looks like a flemish red ale, very light bodied and with a red hue. No dark porter appearance. Lots of haze, and some chill haze, and a few chunkers as well. Absolutely no lace and the tiny bit of foam is quick to scatter. Not impressed at all, and I had to make sure they didn't package this beer in the wrong label!!!

It reminds me of Sinner's Blend 09, which reminds me of an infected stout or porter. I like the idea, but in practice I think the beer has got a lot of refining left to do. Quite tart, much like the notes from their Belgian Red ale, and I don't think these microbes work well with the roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is thin, and lacks carbonation. Simply average. That hurts drinkability, although it remains fairly easy to put back.

Maybe it would be better on cask, but I just didn't like how things came together with this one.


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Photo of trxxpaxxs
2.88/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to leschkie for this bottle.

A: Pours a dark brown with huge redish hues throughout. There is about 1 finger of off-white head that slowly dissipates.

S: Smells yeasty, bready, and a sour. It actually reminds me of church wine mixed with fermented bread. I also get a bit of soy and candies plums.

T: Wow. Sour. Like vinegar mixed with Sour-Patch Kids. Yup, I'd say that's an accurate description. I'm not a fan of this.

M: Medium bodied beer, but it's super tart and finished really dry.

O: I wasn't really expecting the flavors of this beer to be so sour. I don't think this is an awful beer, but it's certainly not my favorite. Either-way, I'm happy to have tried it.

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Photo of JAXSON
2.9/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is officially my least favorite style at this point, or possibly second next to mead. I really need to visit more styles to explore the whole spectrum and stop drinking only styles I like. Rating from memory, poured a chestnut brown with a large fizzy head. Nose is sweet malt, heavy vanilla, vinegar. Strangely sour in the mouth...what happened to this? The label boasts "wine like acidity", so apparently it's intentional to some extent. I tried to approach it as a sour ale, but that was no better, as the sweetness was overbearing. Really thin and over carbonated. I hate this style, maybe the three examples I'm basing on were all infected, but it will be awhile before I go down this road again.

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Photo of mikereaser
2.93/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with Hophead101 on 12/29/09

A - pours a mostly clear deep chestnut brown with ruby highlights, 1/4 inch of foam that quickly disappeared

S - sweet malt, brown sugar, bitter chocolate, milky toasted aroma

T - smokey malts, woody up front, sourness takes over, as it warms vinegar dominates the flavor, not bad, but ust not that enjoyable to me

M - good cargonation, medium bodied, sourness really dominates the whole thing

D - interesting to try, but flavors just do not blend well

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Photo of billab914
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. It poured caramel brown in color with a bubbly, frothy, khaki colored head to it. The head settled to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and left a bit of lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a very intriguing sour chocolate flavor to it. I get some sharper, acidic notes to it, along with some sweeter, milk chocolaty, porter characteristics. Interesting aroma for sure.

The taste starts out with a sharp, acidic bite with some moderate sourness and funk to it. More towards the finish, some of the porter character comes out with just a bit of chocolate to it. A little more of the funky, sourness comes out in the finish as well. It feels overly sharp and acidic overall though.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being on the higher side. Overall, it was an interesting beer but I didn't like it as much as the other Unplugged beers I've tried. Just a little too sharp and acidic with the Porter character being a little too hidden. Cool to try though.

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Unplugged Old English Porter from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 287 ratings.
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