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 wisrarebeer
2.53/5  rDev -39%
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 crossovert
3.59/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wasn't too excited about the fact that the Eisbock was ditched for this, but I figured I'd give it a go anyways.

Pours into my Champagne flute with a papaya mango glisten and a small soft white head.

Smell is pretty funky. I smell hits of cranberry, wax, oak, and sourness.

Taste is pretty funky too. Very large farmhouse style presence. Not too tart or sour, pretty sweet actually. Very oaky, which is rigid against the cranberry taste, it doesn't work for me. The is a ripe fruit sweetness about this that irks me to, maybe a bit too wine like.

Overall it isn't what I enjoy in this style, their other fruit beers are certainly better. It isn't tart enough for a cranberry beer and just seems overly funky despite being very fresh. On the other hand it is very light and easy to suck down. NG: Go back to Eisbock.

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Photo of beeronesse
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A delightful surprise, this poured a pretty deep pink/orange color. Small head that dissipated rapidly. Nice effervescence; almost champagne like but not in a vigorous way. Cranberry is there but not over-powering and not too sweet the way Lambics can be. Easy drinking, even refreshing, I could drink a lot of this!

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Photo of drizzam
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 100th review on Beeradvocate! I wanted my 100th beer to be a special one so I chose a brew from my favorite brewery - New Glarus. I also chose a brew style that I happen to appreciate very much.

Appearance - Poured from the bottle into one of my favorite New Glarus pint glasses. This brew is a clear orange/red color. A fairly aggressive pour yielded a beautiful white one finger head that dissipated after a couple minutes, leaving a thin white layer of head on the brew. What was left of the head left little wisps of lacing down the inside of the glass.

Smell - Smells of fresh cranberries. Smells tart but there isn't a huge nose on this one. Not a lot of complexity in the nose, just fresh, tart cranberries.

Taste & Mouthfeel - The taste mimics the nose. A big tartness up front followed by a bit of a smooth malty background. Medium bodied mouthfeel and minimal carbonation. Finishes crisp and clean. The label boasts that this brew spends 5 months resting in oak barrels...and I believe that. You do get some oak notes as you savor this one. I would say that as far as the lambic brewing style goes, this brew and Lindemann's lambics really are great examples.

Drinkability - Just consider that a pint of this brew disappeared almost as quickly as I did this review. I don't know what the ABV is but I would assume it's around 6%. I'm one that loves this brewing style so I could drink it all day. It might be a little too tart for others though. Either way, this is one damn fine beer from New Glarus. Get it before it's sold out!

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Photo of heliosphann
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Split with fellow BA infestaxion. Served in a tulip.

A: Little or no head. Pours a bright, crystal clear candy red. Looks very much like a cran-apple juice blend. Lacing is very minimal.

S: I get a little tartness and funk, but mostly the sweetness from the cranberries.

T: Very sweet cherry, cranberry and raspberry flavors. There's some underlying caramel malt and vanilla that really complement the fruit. There is some sour and tartness, but it's not out of control. I also get nice oak notes which add an overall richness.

M: Medium bodied. A little creamy, with perfect carbonation.

D: I found that my glass disappeared way to fast. With the low ABV, you could easily drink a few of these in a sitting.

What can I say, NG kills it once again with one of their Unplugged releases. Cranbic is a sweeter lambic, so that might deter some, but I found it to be quite delicious. I'll have to track down some more of these ASAP. Get some before they're gone!

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

Special thanks to alcstradamus for this one. An exceptional extra. 12oz. bottle poured into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter.

A: Poured a gentle 1 finger white coarse head with little retention. Brew was clear and reddish-purple pink... first time I've seen that coloration before. Also very carbonated and with spotty lacing at best.

S: Sour and very tart nose masks hints of oak, sweet raspberry and cranberry.

T: Cranberry, oak with a malty backbone opening that transitions into a distinct sourness. Hints of raspberry, sour grapes and cherries that lasts into the finish.

M: Light to medium body with a distinct coarsity that gets creamier towards the ending. Finish is very dry and clean. Carbonation really dances on the tongue here and adds to the dryness.

D: Like a Lindemann's but with a pleasant tartness that adds greatly to the character. Very well balanced and very tasty.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz, highly anticipated NG release - scooped my first two, of many, 4-packs from Star Liquor the other day

appearance: served in an unmarked tulip - copper body, hued pink, active carbonation, light beige lace

smell: tart cranberry, tart sugars, lovely oak presence... a familiar angle from NG

taste: reminds me a lot of enigma - substituting tart cranberry for tart cherry. the first hit is of sharp tart cranberry, tongue buckling sourness. New Glarus blends oak and tart fruit together like no other in this country.

mouthfeel: terrific tartness, very sharp from high carbonation. this one twists and bends the palate

drinkability: nice

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

Poured into a fluted tasting glass. Color is a pale mix of gold and pink with a thin white head that quickly fades. Aroma is of tart fruit, sourness and a bit of oak. Light bodied and low carbonation, this beer has a pleasant sourness with a lingering tart cranberry flavor in the finish. This could be passed off as a sparkling wine or champagne. The flavor is superb.

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

Bottle compliments of Rudylaw, BA all the way. Another beer to try from the unplugged series, joy.

A: Poured into my Duvel tulip, no flute glasses to be found in this house. Pours a effervescent pink, almost like champagne and a nice color. Small white bubble head without a lot of retention.

S: Sweet and sour cranberries, yeast, oakiness.

T: A good balance of fruit and beer, the cranberries are not overpowering and from what I can tell the oak aging gives way to a vanilla. I was expecting big bold fruit flavors like the other lambic offering of NG, but this can def be consumed more easily.

M:Light-bodied, would be confused with champagne before fruit puree.

D:A good seasonal brew, cranberry seems fitting of fall in the midwest. Easy drinkability and if I ever cross over to Wisconsin a real bargain of a beer.

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Photo of RJUGA03
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured into a fluted tasting glass. The body was orange with a redish tint and some outter rim head with minimal lacing.
S-Slightly sweet with a well represented cranberry tartness.
T-Sweet, carbonated, and pleasant cranberry flavors initially attack your palate. Then your left with a sligtly dry tart sensation that has your craving more!
M-Effervecent and carbon tingled initally flowing into flavor-bursting after-taste.
D-Very drinkable, but I would save this one for special occasions. This gives me a new faith in Lambic beer. thanks Dan...

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear orange color with a small fizzy white head. Much like cranberry juicy, but bit lighter in color.

Scent of bitter, juicy cranberries, prunes, sugars and a hint of yeast. More like cranberry juicy than beer, but I still like it.

Taste of cranberries, honey, sugars, and a nice bready yeast flavor. A tasty fruit beer, but I am doubtful that this will stand up to aging.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with a medium to low bite of carbonation.

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Photo of brdc
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Small capped bottle, poured into a flute as suggested on the bottle, cold.

Pinkish, copper tinted highlights, compact bubbly whitish head, good but not great retention and lacing.
Aroma is mostly sour and musty; oak plays subtle notes, and eventually the cranberry fruitiness takes over.
Medium to light bodied, refreshing, sweet and sour, fruity and slightly oaky. Nicely carbonated, ends crisp and dry, very easy to drink, a very nice one indeed.

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

Poured from a bottle into a flute. It pours a clear copper/red mixture. A bubbly 1/4 inch off-white head forms and very quickly reduces to basically no lacing. Carbonation is readily visible.

The aroma includes a nice dose of sour and oak. This is combined with a fantastic dose of bitter/sweet cranberries and perhaps some cherries. I'm thinking a bit of vanilla too.

The taste is very good as well, including the expected cranberry bitter/sweet mix, but also healthy doses of sourness, oaky, cherry, and vanilla (mildly).

The mouthfeel is light bodied and crisp. The carbonation is high but goes well with the flavor. It is crisp and clean and leaves a pleasant dry and sour feeling on your tongue.

This is a very easy beer to drink and overall very good. It is flavorful but does not destroy your palate. I am glad that I have many more and get to enjoy it more in the future and have some left to trade, preferably at DLD.

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

Picked up a sixer at the NG Brewery on the way to DDay.

Pours a pink color with a full finger of off-white head that retreats with some fizz.

I smell tart fruit, similar to fruit soda or spiked punch at the holiday party! Getting cranberries, cherries and raspberries.

Tastes the same, but there is a sour quality to this... as well as a bubbly champagne like fizz. It's not as overwhelming as the Red or the Tart, but there is still quite a bit of those NG fruity qualities in here.

It's light-bodied and finishes quite dry. Can't wait to have another with Thanksgiving dinner. Another winner from new Glarus!

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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 Ek0nomik
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter
Purchased At: New Glarus Brewery

Appearance: Pours a ruby red color with a finger of head that rapidly disappears. Slightly effervescent, as a thin stream of bubbles are making their way up to the top of my snifter. No lacing is on the side of my glass.

Smell: As one could guess, tart cranberries up front and quite dominant. Beyond the fruit subtly sits a Wisconsin barnyard with pieces of hay scattered on the floor.

Taste: My palate first picks up sweet cranberries, but this quickly turns into a sweet and acidic cranberry that's been sitting in a stable with horses, leather and hay. The brett character in this is quite pleasant for someone like myself who doesn't have a lot of experience with wild yeast. The brett character isn't blowing in your face, but it reveals itself throughout the tasting of the beer and it makes it really enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: A light to medium bodied beer. A very strong and crisp carbonation up front, but it quickly releases as it hits the tongue.

Drinkability: This is a very well put together beer. It has a very nice fruit backbone, and a nice touch of brett that makes it incredibly drinkable and in line with the lambic style.

This beer is brewed to style for the beer enthusiast, and has enough fruit character to make this an enjoyable drink for everyone during the holidays.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up some of this at the brewery on my way to Darkness Day 2009. Glad we were able to swing by there, an awesome brewery for sure. Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter.

A - Pours red/pinkish color with a half a fingers-worth of off-white colored head that quickly vanishes leaving some spotted fizzy head on top and a thin ring around the glass. A small amount of lacing remains along the side of the glass.

S - Mild tartness with some fruit punch-like sweetness.

T - There's a good amount of tart/sour coming from this, which I'm excited about. It's tart enough for me to like but sweet enough to appeal to a larger audience. There's a nice fruity sweetness up front followed by a sour finish.

M - Light bodied, nice light fizzy carbonation, very refreshing with a slightly dry finish.

D - This is like drinking fruit punch with a sour kick...really damn good. Probably my favorite Unplugged beer from the series.

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

I was lucky enough to not only tour the brewery on October 16th, but also snag up this gem the day the put it out in the brewery's store. The guys on the tour told us they just slapped the labels on the day before.

The color is amazingly red, crystal clear, with a pinkish bubbly head to it. The aroma gives off some very mild earthy and barnyard aroma, lighter than I would have thought, but there. What I got most in the aroma was sweet tart fruit (obviously from the cranberry) along with some clean malt.

The flavor is a bit sweet, there is some sourness that mingles well with the tart cranberry. For how red this beer was, I was expecting it to be overwhelmingly cranberry like, just like the Belgian Red is very strong in cherry and Raspberry tart is smash you in the face with it's raspberry flavor, this beer was not quite as fruit flavor packed as those two. The flavor is very good, with just barely enough brett in it for those who want to find it to be able to, but not nearly enough to put off others. My wife even liked it, and she hates geueze because of the brett character. All in all I didn't find the cranberry flavor all that much as you have come to expect from cranberry juice, but was rather more like semi-tart cherry than dry and puckering like I expected.

In the end, this will be a huge hit during the holidays, because it is just enough lambic to keep the beer geeks interested, and enough fruit beer to satisfy those looking for an easy drinking, sweet, and refreshing holiday beer. But if you are a hardcore geueze or lambic fan, don't expect to be hit over the head with funk, I think this beer was meant to be more a sweet holiday alternative to the traditional holiday spiced beers.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, crystal clear glowing red color with lots of bubbles and a sliver of head that fizzles out before I'm even done pouring.

The nose is unmistakeably one of a New Glarus fruit beer. No fake/manufactured fruit present whatsoever. Just a healthy (but not overpowering) dose of fresh cranberries. Light tartness seems to be present, probably halfway between the Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart in terms of perceived sourness (meaning: not that much). Some cherry candy-like qualities are present as well.

First sip and I am surprised at the mellow nature of this. My guess that it would be stuck in the middle of the big 2 fruit beers was spot on. Sorry sour/funk heads, you aren't going to find much of it here. At least not yet, of course, since this is very young and will surely age well and develop for years to come. Luckily, I'm not a sour head quite yet so this is right up my alley for fruit beers. Actually, I think I might like this even more than the New Glarus twins....probably won't find many people that agree with me on that though. Very light vinegar and white grape characteristics, overall just a very fine brew.

Mouthfeel is medium light with carbonation kept relatively low. No prickly carbonation at all, and really not even enough carbonation to splash it throughout the mouth. Almost gives it a fruit juice character.

I have to say, as a lambic novice I really enjoy this one. I'm not sure how true to style it is, you'll have to wait for some other reviews to pour in before that determination can be made. But judged on its own merits, I really enjoy this beer and it is definitely one of the best Unplugged beers yet.

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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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