Unplugged Cranbic Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Unplugged Cranbic AleUnplugged Cranbic Ale
598 Ratings
Unplugged Cranbic AleUnplugged Cranbic Ale

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by alcstradamus on 10-16-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 598 |  Reviews: 319
Photo of waltsj19
1/5  rDev -76.1%

Photo of oldp0rt
1.75/5  rDev -58.2%

Photo of chrispoint
2/5  rDev -52.3%

Photo of jophish17
2/5  rDev -52.3%

Photo of nrbw23
2.41/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

A- Pours an odd slightly hazy pinkish orange color with a really thin white head. Head is gone in a flash and leaves no lacing.

S- Smell is cranberries for sure. A bit of funkiness here too. A touch of wood.

T- Wow puckering tartness and cranberry everywhere. A touch of wood but very tart over all. Reminded me of more of a wine cooler taste rather than a beer.

M- Very light in body and carbonation seemed pretty nice.

O- I can understand how people enjoy this, but for me I really stuggled with this one. Apparently I just can't handle the tart/sour flavours.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
2.53/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: decent color but head retention is very low with big bubbles, force carbonated
S: OK but too sweet and not enough sourness, very subtle oak
T: more of a wine cooler taste, sweet, ever-so-slight-oak, with very, very little sourness, disappointing for a lambic style, also interesting that cranberries are incredibly tart so I'm wondering what happened to all that potential for the sour/tartness?
M: cloying, too sweet, needed zing from sourness
D: drinkable like an alco-pop or wine cooler

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Photo of ehammond1
2.7/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2


Woodshop Classix
Anaheim, CA

Thanks for sharing this one Cavery!

Glowing cherry red and light auburn with perfect clarity throughout. The head is fairly large and slightly pink. Dotted lacing down the glass.

Bright aromas of cranberry and cherry leap from the glass, along with a grape-like sweetness.

I wasn't nearly as impressed with the flavor as I was the aroma. It tasted like cranberry/cherry butter or margarine with a somewhat artificial, stinging, sweetness. It wasn't for me, but fortunately everyone around me eagerly drank my share.

Thin to medium mouthfeel though a touch oily. Perhaps this added to me associating this beer with butter or margarine.

This one wasn't for me, though everyone nearby thought I was crazy for saying so. Oh well. More for everyone else!

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Photo of t0rin0
2.75/5  rDev -34.4%

Photo of Arbitrator
2.84/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. From the beer exchange, courtesy of mattafett. Thanks Matt!

A: Pours a clear ruddy/pink hued copper body that momentarily develops a finger of off-white head. There is a small collar after collapse, with no lacing. Swirling pulls many bubbles out of suspension and produces a pretty decent (but again, short-lived) head. Quite nice for the style.

S: Tart cranberries with the slightest lactic sourness. Nicely oaky. Just the lightest hint of hay, must, and earth.

T: Fruit-forward to be sure, with a dominant, tart cranberry flavor that is supplemented by sharp lactic sourness. The mid-taste is still tangy cranberries rounded out by tannins and vanilla. A soft funky presence as the taste draws to a close, manifesting as must, earth, and rhubarb, with a semi-dry finish. I don't consider this a true lambic (not a lot of bacterial character), but this is worlds better than the Sam Adams attempt at the style.

M: This is drier than the NG Raspberry Tart and Belgian Red, but it still showcases the fruit nicely in an interplay of sweet and sour. Carbonation is restrained, giving a hint of bite and cleaning up nicely without interfering with the flavor.

D: New Glarus impresses me more and more with each beer. This is an outstanding fruit beer. I wish they'd stop labeling these things lambics / gueuzes, because those words invoke expectations of certain flavor profiles that just aren't found in their beers. A mediocre lambic or wild ale, an A+ (4.5 / 4 / 5 / 5 / 3) fruit beer.

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Photo of Holland
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of mattafett
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of ronhocker
3.13/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

PIcked this up as I always do the latest unplugged beer upon release. To start off, this is probably the biggest let down from the unplugged series, close tie with the iced barleywine (which I am hoping years of aging will improve).

The appearance looks like champagne mixed with grenadine, works well in such a serving vessel. It is obviously filtered, I don't think natural settling can ever get a beer this clear.

Smell is as expected, some fruit, etc.

It tastes like a quickly made version of the Wisc Belgian Red, although there is more tartness in the fruit due to the cranberries. It has little to no lambic character, no wild yeast flavors present. I suspect this only has lactic acid produced and then added in to compliment the fruit. It is also quite sweet, implying it may have been backsweetened after filtering and pasteurization.

Overall it's ok, and I'm glad NG made it, but it is not one of there best offerings in the unplugged series - since I hold this series to be some of the best made beers in the U.S. (Imperial Saison, Berliner Weiss, Enigma, etc). Chicks will likely dig it.

 1,104 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.19/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Thanks goes to rudylaw for this one.

A: Pours a murky rudy brown color with a very short lived, thin off-white head that disappeared into a faint collar that left almost no lace.
S: Fruity, sweet and dry notes of red fruits, oak, light earthy funk and a bit of sweat.
T: Sweet fruits with a decent cranberry flavor followed by ambiguous citrus and red berries. There is a bit of gritty dry oak tannins and fruit skins as well. The finish is very sweet, almost syrup like, and the finish is lightly tart with flavors of cranberries.
M: Sweet, syrupy and slick mouthfeel, tingly carbonation and a medium-full body.
O: Much sweeter with less cranberry than expected. Pretty simple and syrupy.

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Photo of gatornation
3.2/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours an amber/pink color with almost no head with minimal lacing the smell is fruit almost wine/champagne smell..the taste is tart and fruit forward i do taste the cranberries it is very tart there is no/little presence of hops or malts..alcohol is high for a lambic @6.0 but i dont detect it.the mouth feel is very tart and sour ill try this but wont buy it again..not my thing NG is one of my favorite breweries and will try everything they put out.. this one however is one and done for me IMO

 497 characters

Photo of Nachojon
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Very interesting looking beer. Looks like a Rose Champagne with less carbonation.

S- Smells like sweet cranberry juice.

T- Just too sweet for me. Not enough tart, well really it's just not tart. Regular cranberry juice has more bite. It's so sugary. It tastes like cranberry juice, soda water and simple.

M- Sugary tongue feel like Mountain Dew. This is not a good thing.

O- Very unimpressed. Reading the label makes me like it less. It's not a lambic, sorry.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -22.4%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.27/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
Thanks to mnbearsfan for this one.

A - Pours a clear light reddish-orange with the smallest white head, almost just a film on the top.

S - Strong fruit tones, cranberry of course and some slight wheat pokes through.

T - Funky fruit, cherry, cranberry, and again some wheat.

D - Sweet, low carbonation.

O - Fruity and sweet, not much funk.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.3/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from glazeman -- thanks, Scott!

a - pours a deep copper color with a slight ruby hue, one-finger white head with retention around the collar and very light lacing, fairly cloudy

s - sweet red fruit, strawberry, cherry and (apparently) cranberry, strong cinnamon component, not much at all by way of tartness or funk in the aroma, light caramel

t - lightly tart red cherry and cranberry up front closely followed by a burst of red fruit sweetness, the sweetness is a bit cloying without much tartness to balance it out, finish is lingering mostly sweet cranberry flavor with light tartness and notes of cinnamon and brown sugar, alcohol isn't very evident

m - medium-to-light-bodied, moderate-to-low carbonation, sweet finish, not much alcohol warming

d - this bottle is a chore to get through, the cloying sweetness just overwhelms this beer and the palate, the cranberry taste is there, but it is a bit too masked

Pretty disappointed in this offering from a brewery that I typically love. Perhaps this would be better to me if it were better attenuated, but as it is, the overwhelming sweetness really hinders this beer from being something very good. That said, the more I drank, the better I liked the taste.

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Photo of PrinceDarren
3.32/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This tastes like what it is - fermented cranberry juice. My grandfather used to make cranberry wine back in the 1970s and this has some similarities to his experiments in his Beloit, WI cellar (I recently drank one of his bottles that had aged for over 30 years. We miss you Grandpa Ray!)

As far as lambics go, I'm not the biggest fan. I've had enough to tell the difference between those that are high quality and those that are not. New Glarus typically excels at this style. Their cherry Belgian Red, for example, is top notch. This one just tasted too much like plain old ocean-spray cranberry juice cocktail.

It lacks complexity and purpose. Some of you lambic fans may have a different opinion and might find that you like it very much. For me, it was an average-to-above-average beverage that just "is what it is" - a cranberry lambic style ale. Perhaps I should serve it colder next time...

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Photo of tewaris
3.34/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A part of what was known as the Unplugged series earlier, Cranbic belongs to the Thumbprint series of New Glarus' experimental and specialty beers. 2011 release poured into a Surly pint glass.

Pink hued, and brilliantly clear, Cranbic pours with a light rosy head that is pedestrian for Lambics, and that minuscule head leaves soon too leaving some patchy lace. Aroma hints at the sourness to come, along with some funk that I didn't notice at earlier tastings. Lots of spice (clove and cinnamon).

Tastes fruity tart with strong notes of spice, and surprisingly only a hint of cranberries. Maintains its beer roots instead of tasting like cranberry soda. The finish is tart and long with some funk at the back. Quite acidic overall, and more so than many a Gueuze in my opinion!

Well carbonated, very crisp and very very refreshing. And yet it doesn't settle as well as a similar beer would sit with this weather because of the spicy notes that remind me of a Winter Warmer/Christmas beer :/

Overall a beer that is above average for fruit beers and at an unbeatable price! (~$10/4-pack)

Appearance 2/5; Aroma 3/5; Taste 3.5/5; Mouthfeel 4/5; Overall 3.5/5

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Photo of vacax
3.35/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a pinkish orange color with a fizzy one centimeter white head. The head disintegrates rapidly. High clarity. Aromas of buttery, sweet malts mix with some tart cranberry, cinnamon, and a big dose of wood. Tastes of butterscotch, spicy oak, and a tart cranberry balance on the midpalate. Salty buttered popcorn on the finish. Diacetyl level is a major flaw. Luscious medium body with a smooth, creamy carbonation, however the mouth is left salty instead of puckered. Pleasant enough to drink a bottle of this, but a sore disappointment.

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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark pink (somewhere between pinkish purple and brown) with a light pink head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

S - Cranberries it is, with some hints of vanilla. A weird combination to be sure, but not off-putting. None of the funk/tart I was expecting, but I'm not disappointed.

T - This is like no other brew I've ever had, let alone any lambic. Indeed, there is not even a hint of funk or tart. In fact, the beer is actually quite sweet, with a strange combo of cranberry, sweet malts, and seemingly even a trace of vanilla and dare I say mint. Very, very complex to be sure, I'm just not convinced that all the disparate parts go together very well.

M - Pretty thick, especially for the style - although I'm not sure how well this fits into the category.

D - This was a very interesting beer, but not one I'd seek out again. Definitely couldn't stomach more than 1 in a sitting.

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Photo of Tuckersmth
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of emmasdad
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice coppery color, with a good rocky white head. Aromas of tart cranberries, pale wheat, cherries and white zinfandel. Flavors of wheat, Belgian yeast and cranberries. Not all that sour, with all of the tartness being contributed by the cranberries. Drinkable and refreshing, but not one I'd drink a lot of.

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Photo of Juicer
3.44/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Unplugged Cranbic Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 598 ratings