Unplugged Cranbic Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

319 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 319 | Ratings: 593
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for hooking me up, Steven. Almost 3 years old, this added beauty with age. Reddish brown, with some spider lace, and only the faintest head. Pleasant berry aroma. Smooth mouth feel, with some acidic bite. Very drinkable. Tasty and good job, different and not as biting as the Mikkeller 2 days ago.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for sending me this one!

Pours a clear hazy light red color with a 1 inch puffy off-white head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Only a few spots of lace dot the glass on the drink down. Very watery looking in my opinion - like watered down cranberry juice cocktail. Smell is of tart cranberries/cherries, wood, slight vinegar, and funky aromas. Taste is of cranberries, sour cherries, wood, and some funky yeast flavors. There is an acidic twang that lingers on the tongue after each sip. This beer has a very crisp carbonation with a very bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good fruit lambic and another winner from New Glarus. I am glad I got to try one of these.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a slightly reddish aspect; the foamy head retains nicely and leaves a fair amount of lace

Smell: Sweetened cranberry tartness with mulled spices and oak underneath

Taste: Sweet cranberry juice, up front, with the mulled spices and tartness developing by mid-palate; though the sweetness persists after the swallow, the subtle oak character adds a dimension to the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: A nice, refreshing fruit beer from New Glarus but just a little too much sweetness for my palate

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Photo of emerge077
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After drinking half a case of this, the realization came it was time to slow down. I hadn't stopped to review it yet! What was I thinking??

Into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip, 45º straight from the fridge. They recommend a flute on the label, but I tried it and prefer the tulip. Bright ruby orange, with a pink-tinged crown of vanilla cranberry sherbet. As it breaks, a drippy semicircle of lace is left on the opposite edge.

Barrel aroma of musty oak, vanilla, and obvious cranberry. Restrained and not especially funky, the proportion of fruit stands out, but with the traditional note of wet wood in the background. A swirl later as it warms brings out mild notes of rhubarb, cheese rind, and hay, but overall it's a little subdued.

Tart and spritzy, pure juicy cranberry and vanilla oak flavor. Firmly tart verging on sour, but it disappears as quick as it arrives. A tartness more characteristic of lactobacillius, clean and ephemeral, rather than acetic and lingering. There is distinctly dry, oaky aftertaste. In the middle as the cranberry recedes, residual vanilla and hay notes wash over. Simple and straightforward, not as complex as traditional Belgian lambics, but a lighter, more palatable traditional version for a broader audience (the gf loves it). It bears mentioning that this isn't intended to be a "traditional lambic", but simply inspired by them.

Light feel, almost too light, this is utterly slammable in fact. Not Cantillon sour, so there's nothing holding you back. It would be dangerous if the abv were any higher. The fruit is so well integrated, similar to the Apple Ale, with touches of Enigma-esque barrel complexity. Dan Carey does it again. I'd like to see a version of this with more than 5 months in the barrel, just to see what the critters do...

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a light reddish color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of tart notes with light sweet cranberry and acidic undertones is very enticing. Taste is a complex mix between some lightly sweet cranberry with some tart notes with a well balanced finish that includes green apple-like acidity and some light funky ester. Even though this beer present great complexity it is still very easily drinkable and very refreshing which I rated very highly. Body is about average with great carbonation. An excellent beer form a brewer that consistently amaze me.

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Photo of oline73
3.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy amber with a peach ting. There is a half finger of off white head that goes away completely.

Smell: Very sweet, tart, and funky. Sweet malt with some tart cranberry and citrus notes. There is a sourness that helps balance out the sweetness a bit.

Taste: Tart cranberries with some sour yeast, quite acidic. The finish reminds me a bit of raspberries as well as cranberries. There is a sweet malt in the background, but the fruit dominates.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a good lambic. A bit too sweet for my taste, but I enjoyed it overall.

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Photo of zeff80
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear orange/red color with a small, bubbly white head with a pint tint. It looks like a champagne in terms of its bubbly body and head.

S - It smelled of sweet cranberry with some tart notes. Not much else here.

T - Loads of cranberry flavor that is sweet at first but develops a more tart and sour taste as you continue to drink it.

M - It is sharp and very crisp. It has a mouth puckering quality from all the tartness. A very light bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice lambic. Of course, it's no surprise that New Glarus has cranked out another good fruit beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours an amber-red color with a slight off white head and some pretty decent retention. Nose is strong cranberry with a bit of acetic and lactic character. The taste is somewhat creamy and sweet with noticeable levels of cranberry as well as hints of wood and some acetic and lactic character. The sourness is just right and blends quite well with the fruit. Drinks really well when young and I'd like to see how it ages.

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Photo of mothman
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into delirium tremens snifter.

Pours a small white head that fades down instantly. Color is a clear bright cherry pink red.

Aroma: Really nice aroma. Fresh cranberries. Very fresh. Low hop profile. Tart. Not a lot here, but I like what is here.

Taste: A lot more flavors are in the taste. Sugar, cranberries, yeast, cherries. A nice big taste. I really enjoy this.

Mouthfeel: Very refreshing and tart. Fairly light bodied. Good carbonation level. Ends pretty clean. Very good.

Overall, I think this beer is amazing. Very refreshing and I am glad I have decent access to this. I think this is one of my favorite beers that have come from the unplugged series. I could drink a lot of this.

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Photo of jlindros
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I haven't really been a fan lately of the New Glarus stuff, but I did love the only other Unplugged one I had, Old English Porter. So hopefully this one lives up to the Unplugged title. Thanks to levifunk for this one.

A very light fizzy head arrives, and actually seems to stay, mostly. The beer is a clear amber orange cognac color with hints of a reddish hue.

The aroma comes right on with lots of bourbon and oak. This is much different than I thought. A nice malty aroma that is very light but good, some sweetness, and a slight fruity aroma. It seems to have an apple juice aroma, and just the slightest hint of cranberry. I still can't get over how much bourbon and oak came out of it.

The taste starts pretty sweet, with a nice malty flavor. Again quite a bit of bourbon flavors, and some oak with that, but not heavy oak. A tingly acidity is also there. A fruit presence, but not so much cranberry as like an apple juice fruit punch. It does have a little tartness from the cranberry.

The mouth is medium body with lower carbonation and very tiny bubbles, and some tingly acidity.

It finishes mostly dry with just a hint of sweetness. Some lingering sticky sweetness and flemmy. It has a long lingering bourbon and some oak. There is some lingering tart fruit, again not much on the side of cranberry but a nice fruit medley. Drinks nicely except for the acidity.

A surprise with tons of bourbon and oak flavors, which I like. Not much for the cranberries, but any cranberry beer I've had that had a lot of cranberry was too overpowering. This seems to do the fruit well with the blend of the bourbon and light malts.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%

Twelve ounce bottle shared last night.

A: Pours a clear reddish orange with a 1/4-inch thick white head which settles to the rim and leaves spots of lace.

N: Sour, tannic, fruity - cherries.

T: Fruity, sweetly tart, cherry skin and juice, cranberry seems to have faded.

M: Light body and light carbonation. Finish is tart and fruity.

O: Not much cranberry left in this bottle, instead plenty of cherry replacement. Aged nicely, one of my earliest acquisitions. Thanks to whomever added this to our trade way back in the day.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a flute.

Pours a beautiful looking clear and effervescent coppery amber, with a finger of bright-white foamy head. This retains with more of a thin and fizzy covering, leaving back some light spotty froth that quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The cranberry flavor sits right on top of the aroma with a tart sting, but there's a bit more going on here behind it, with a mix of sugary doughs, lightly spicy hops, and some gentle warmth all helping give this some airy depth in the nose.

The taste once again tart up front with cranberry, with those doughy sugars helping add some balancing sweetness to the profile and a tingle of spicy hops running through the center of the profile giving this some zip. Finishes sweet at first but then settles into a dry long lingering tartness. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied, but still definitely has some presence in the mouth, with a sprightly and vibrant carbonation that prickles the mouth with a pleasant crispness. There seems to be some warmth present here (I can feel it in my stomach and back of the throat as I work on this) but the underlying slickness of this really keeps this smooth and easy.

Well, what can you say, it's another phenomenally well made Fruit Beer from New Glarus. Take the Rapsberry Tart or Belgian Red but insert cranberries instead and you get the picture. What's makes this even more impressive about this though, is that despite the higher ABV than those two, this still drinks like a champ. Great stuff as usual from these guys.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from HogWildLiquor courtesy of Secret Santa 2010, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a flute glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades very quickly and leaves almost no lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains cranberries, some spices, wild Belgian yeast and light malts.

T: The taste starts with a very brief burst of sweetness that is quickly followed by the tart flavor of cranberries. However the sweetness will frequently rotate back in along with touches of caramel and vanilla that you normally find with oak barrel aging. The sourness isn’t as over-powering as some as some beers in the style and the flavors seem more harmonious which provides a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth for the style, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style and it’s definitely one of the better Lambics that I’ve had.

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Photo of russpowell
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a noisy & effervescent amber with 3 fingers of cream colored head. Great lacing & average head retention

S: Sour cherry, oakyness, slight pear scent

T: Um cranberry, tartness, faint cherry & dryness up front, plus a faint bourbon sourness as well up front. Vanilla oakyness, cherries & cranberries are all there as this warms wrapped in a lovely tartness. Finishes sour, tart with a raspberry/cherry twang

MF: Slick with somewhat lively carbonation, then dryness dominates

Puckery tartness is moreish, but the dryness does slow me down a bit. Great take on this style right now would love to cellar some & see how the profile changes. Near perfection now!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am soo happy to be able to review this and even happier knowing I have more in the cellar to enjoy. Poured into a snifter and consumed on 11/22/2009.

Gonna make this on short and sweet as alot has already been said about this one but ut is clearly just sublime. Pours out of the bottle a nice reddish color with a small head on top that receded into some nice side glass lacing and really just looked the part from the beginning. Rich aroma of tart cranberry mixed with hints of cinnamon spice and nice touches of brown sugar. Warming really brought out the fruit though as the rich cranberry aroma and flavor dominated everything around. Warming brought some nice light notes of brown sugar, nutmeg, hints of cinnamon and a really nice just fruit pie like flavor to it. Really a nice and sweet spice note to it all the way through really just perfectly done,

I will skip down to summarize that fruit beers can go either way but this one is done damn near perfectly. I have to say one of ths best i have ever had hands down.

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Photo of billab914
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into my Lost Abbey Sinner Stemware. It poured a deep amber color with a little bit of an orange/red tint to it. It started with a thin and fizzy head to it, which quickly retreated to the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a tart, sourness to it with a little acidicness to it as well. I get a little of the tart, slightly sweet cranberries to it as well. Very appealing and flavorful aroma.

The taste starts off with more of the fruity, tart, slightly sweet flavors. The flavors quickly turn more sour with a modest musty, funky flavors as well. The sourness lasts right through the finish and lingers nicely after. It's a little acidic, but more sour and tart overall.

The mouthfeel feels a little heavy for the style, but medium bodied overall. Carbonation also feels a little light compared to others in the style. Overall it was an excellent beer. I loved the way the sour and fruity flavors came together. Very flavorful and complex and just a great beer overall.

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Photo of Jason
3.67/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Slender lacing, color lands between copper and rose. Smells of tart cranberries, rose water, fresh cut wood and subtle wild flowers. Very puckering, very out there. Got some funk going on, mild but I'm getting that same rose water flavor as I did in the nose. Botanical, could be a by-product of the yeasties eating up the cran-sugars. Wood has a delicate pull on the palate. Very dry and certainly tart, all of which make for a very interesting brew. I am without a doubt happy to run into this beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to cvaypai for hooking it up with this one. Thanks Craig!

A: The pour is an amazingly clear ruby color with a lot of carbonation bubbles, but just about no head.

S: The smell is interesting. There is a mild tartness, cranberry, and also a sweet aroma. A slight bit of spice is also in the background.

T: This one is really full of cranberry, as you might expect. There is a mild tartness, but definitely not up to par with what you might think of when you hear a bear labeled as a *-bic. The sweetness is mild at first, but becomes more pronounced throughout the drinking experience.

M: There is a very nice, crisp feeling on the tongue, with plentiful carbonation.

D: The beer is fairly drinkable, but becomes just too sweet as you get through the glass.

Another interesting beer from New Glarus, but a bit more of a sugary beer than I was expecting. It's definitely not a lambic, but it's still significantly better than Sam Adams' offering.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 02/19/12 notes. Received from JYounger30 in the Birthday BIF; thanks Jay! Love the fruit beers I've had from NG so far so have been wanting to try this one. 12 oz. bottle poured into my Duvel tulip. 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a murky reddish-orange color with one inch of fluffy white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour cranberries, yeast, spice, oak, and lightly sour dark fruits. Nice and the cranberries are there, but not too sour.

t - Tastes of sour cranberries, tart dark fruits, funk, oak, spices, acedic, apples, and some yeast. Taste is a lot more sour and funky then the nose. Great, and a step up.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Crisp, and easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a great fruit -forward wild ale. The nose is a tiny bit sour, but the taste is nice and sour/funky. Easy to drink, would love to get more of this one.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.67/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to Homebrew311 for sharing this bottle!

And here a pretty crazy tasting ends. Good times. It pours a mostly clear pink sunset topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises raspberries, black cherries, cranberries, and very light roasted malts. The taste holds notes of sweet cranberries, raspberries, nutmeg, and black currants. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, considering my general distaste for cranberries, this wasn't half bad. I wouldn't mind having another, frankly. Pretty good times.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red colored and clear, this beer smells of cranberries and wood, with a slight mustiness about it.

The beer tastes sweet, though not nearly as much so as Wisconsin Belgian Red or Raspberry Tart. The sourness and tartness of the cranberries does come forth, but to my disappointment, is overwhelmed by the cloying sweetness that lurks in every New Glarus fruit beer. The sweet / sour dance of Cran-bic never quite seems to find a happy equilibrium.

This was a fun and tasty beer to drink, but ultimately, a bit sweet for me. A few ounces is ample.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into an Allagash chalice.

Appearance - As it pours, it looks a golden body with a reddish tinge. The more than goes into the glass, the darker it gets. By the end it's amber with a pinkish hue and almost no head.

Smell - Cranberry and some tartness. No funk or anything else reminiscent of a lambic.

Taste - Tart cranberry that builds a bit before giving way to a sweet fruity finish. I don't really know I would be able to distinguish it as cranberry from just a sour cherry. In fact, it reminds me a lot of Wisconsin Belgian Red.

Mouthfeel - As a lambic or any other wild, the mouthfeel is far too sweet. As a fruit beer, it's nice. Light and fruity. Nice on a hot day.

Overall - Not really a wild ale... and especially not a lambic, despite the name and the description from NG. Still a nice beer.

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Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to younger35 for the chance to try this one. Standard brown bottle poured into a small wine glass. Cran-bic ale appears a clear light pink color mixed with a brownness...dare I say strikingly similar to a light cranberry juice except for the fizzy finger of white foam that appears. The head receeds fairly quick leaving copious amounts of spotty lace about the glass.

The aroma of this brew has a light fruity scent, maybe not immediately identifiable but after a sip is taken it makes more sense as being very cranberry-like. Also included in the scent of this beer is a bit of a yeasty note that come across a bit earthy and is quite similar to other fruited lambic brews. As it warms, there is a bit of funk that comes out that smells like a mild taleggio cheese.

Taking a sip this brew is light bodied with an effervescent and prickly level of carbonation in the mouth. Quite tart upfront tasting like cranberry. The tartness of the lambic style really makes sense with this choice in fruit. I like it. There are some estery notes of alcohol also present in this brew which compound the flavor and accent the sharpness of the acidity.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to d0b for picking up a four-pack of this stuff on his way to Darkness Day. Served in my trusty Kuhnhenn tulip while listening to some Richard Strauss.

A - Pours with a finger of eggshell white foam that slowly dissipates to a solid cap. Some patchy lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass. Gorgeous transparent mauve-red color that has a fiery glow when held to the light. A dense stream of tiny bubbles journeys up the middle of the glass. Other than head volume this is pretty superb.

S - Sweetened cranberry juice, vanilla, oak, horsey funkiness, caramel and graham cracker malts. The smell is just as intense and appealing as the Belgian Red & Raspberry tart, but features a profound depth that neither brew can attain. There's a delightful hint of pediococcus lactic flavor, but thankfully no buttery flavors.

T - The taste is more tart, with a bit more aggression on the part of the cranberries and a bit less saccharine malt character - a healthy dose of horsey brett follows. There's some light vanilla mixed in the tannic oak character that sort of takes over mid-palate. Finish is mildly sour and again quite oaky. It's slightly more barrel-influenced than I prefer from my fruit lambics, but it's still pretty amazing.

M - The body is a surprisingly viscous medium body, with active carbonation. This is a little bigger than I was expecting - especially compared to the dry champagne-like character of Cantillon fruit lambics. This is more juice-like, with a sugar-coating residual feel and only a touch of dryness.

D - Wonderful taste, no obvious alcohol - the only knock is the slight heaviness in the feel. Damn - I may have to drive up to Woodman's to pick up more of this wonderful stuff, as the four-pack (errr...now three-pack) I have will not suffice. Quite possibly the best Unplugged series beer I've had, and that's saying a lot considering the impressive consistency and quality that comes from New Glarus.

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Photo of Duff27
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Short lived white head on a kind of pinkish-amber body. Very little lacing, no cap or collar.

S- Same sort of crisp, tarty smell you get from Apple Ale/Enigma/Wisconsin Belgian Red/Raspberry Tart. Can't pick out the specific fruit just yet but it smells good.

T- Ah yes, there it is. Like refreshing cranberry juice, only way better. Mouth puckering tartness (borderline sour) at the beginning, only to finish sugary sweet at the tail end. Nary a trace of alcohol.

M- Has that *dance-on-your-tongue" carbonation that we've come to know and love from New Glarus. Medium-thin mouthfeel.

D/O- Highly drinkable (my pint was gone in less than 10 minutes) but I wouldn't want more than one serving. My only complaint is that I wish the appearance was up to par with all of Cran-Bic's other attributes. Another great tart fruit beer from New Glarus.

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Unplugged Cranbic Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.15 out of 5 based on 593 ratings.
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