Unplugged Cranbic Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

Unplugged Cranbic AleUnplugged Cranbic Ale
593 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: 593 |  Reviews: 319
Photo of djhowell
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A Clear ruby body with a thin, snow white head. Looks more amber than red depending on the glassware it seems.

S Tart, a little funk. Not as much of a cranberry nose as I anticipated.

T Tartness and funk initially, sweeter cranberry flavor comes out towards the back of the tongue and lingers after each sip.

M Very light and refreshing, finishes dry.

D More balanced than other NG fruit beers that I've had in the past but I still don't think I would have more than one in an evening.

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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 AdamGarcia
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brian23456 for this one!

A: Pours a reddish copper hue with bright highlights. In some lights it's pink, in others orange. Very clear. Ivory head that quickly dissapates to a thin layer.

S: Sweet and tart. Picking up a variety of tangy fruit...strawberry, kiwi, white grapes, and of course cranberry. Reminds me of the sparkling cranberry juice my mom used to serve us at holiday dinners when the adults were drinking wine. Little bit of funk.

T: Initially I taste tart cherry, but then it opens up into a very distinct, and natural, cranberry flavor. More complex than I would have expected. Full of bright flavors. Some crisp citrus - freshly squeezed lemon. Hints at a sweet and spicy Gerwurtztraminer. Finishes up with a tart zing on the back of my tongue. Very impressive.

M: The carbonation is mild, but very well suited to this beer. There is a softness that is very pleasant.

D: There is nothing cloying about the sweetness in this beer, but as much as I'm enjoying it I don't feel like I'd reach for another right away.

Good luck drinking this beer without a smile on your face. This is springtime in a glass. Beautiful color, bright aromas, and lovely balance of sweet and tart flavors. I wasn't crazy about the Unplugged Cherry Stout, but Cranbic is a homerun. Almost as good as Rasberry Tart. I really wish I had more of this.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A red foil wrapped 12 ounce bottle part of my secret santa 2009 haul from Scoobydank. Uncapped and poured into my Selin's Grove wine glass. Cranbic appears a clear crimson tinted copper color with barely a finger of off white foam. Nose and flavors consist of a boatload of tart, lightly sweet cranberries, champagne vinegar, light oakiness, a little bit of wild yeast funk, but not overwhelming. Lively carbonation and medium bodied. Finish is sweet, tart and slightly puckering. Thanks again scooby!

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the only one from these guys that has impressed me thus far, thanks, joe. so i should probably review it so i don't look biased against the good folks of Wisconsin.
a delirious hue of red stains my glass. it is like the juice of certain blood oranges. it makes my knees a bit weak. i smile, for it is a good life.

the cranberries are potent, tart but not too overwhelming. i could've gone with quite a bit more sour, maybe a bit more could've become a bit much, but c'mon, i beg of thee, make me wilt. make me say it "Barracuda!" (that's my safe word).

still, I am pleased. it's refreshing and light, but tart and playful. Just not quite naughty enough for me.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

G - Delirium tulip

A - Pours a pink-ish, tan-ish tinge, crystal clear, with a white wispy ring of foam that encircles the glass.

S - The aroma is tart and sweet, with much cranberry apparent.

T - Hugely accurate cranberry taste; aside from the cranberry, the specific flavor is hard to define, although it is very familiar. I like it, but it is strangely underwhelming; perhaps it is too soda-like. It is not tart enough for me, that is certain.

M - Very light and lightly carbonated, too.

D - Very drinkable, and tremendously interesting, although it is not the greatest fruit beer/lambic/sour/wild/beer/New Glarus/whatever.

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Photo of jt31914
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle:

A: Red-orange with small amounts of carbonation and head; Dec lacing; don't know much about the style but it looks like cranberries.

S: Smells like cranberry; sweet and sour, very fruity.

T: Cranberry with slight bitterness; lots of carbonation on the finish. Sweet, but not overly so with a nice sour finish.

M/D: Super bubbly but pretty smooth and very drinkable.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a clear, light amber color with a white head. The aroma is strong cranberry which not much else coming through. The flavor is a little more complex, but still heavy on the fruit. The beginning is sweet cranberrys and that is followed with some tart cranberry and oak characters. The beer is slightly puckering but is not as sour as some other beers. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A very nice American lambic that really showcases cranberries while not tasting like a wine cooler or some of the lower rated fruit lambics that you see on the shelves.

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Photo of hayesez
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a recent trade with justn. Split with my wife ...

Split between two small wine glasses. The color is a bright reddish-copper that appears a vivid orange when held up to the light. A soft fizzy pure white head rests on top. It is very slim and quickly becomes a thin ring around the edges. No lacing is left behind.

Smells of tart cranberries with a just a hint of cinnamon. I was pleasantly surprised by the slight funkiness on the nose. I had the New Glarus Raspberry Tart last week and smelled virtually none of the tart-funkiness - kinda figured it would be similar with this one.

As I begin to take the first sip, the sweetness is immediately evident. Cranberries for sure...and sweet. This is quickly replaced by that astringent tartness you get when drinking pure cranberry juice. A very slight bitter-funky aftertaste is left behind. All of this mixes together extremely well and leaves a fantastic taste between drinks. Excellent! Carbonation is good and the medium-bodied feel is very smooth!

Overall, I was impressed with this. I actually like it better than the Raspberry Tart. I'm generally not a fan of very sweet beers (or anything sweet, really), but this was balanced very well. Easy to drink and tasty. No surprise that my wife found this to be equally enjoyable. We'll keep it on our radar!

Consumed: 3/31/2010

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Photo of blackie
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

festival of filth up in here

a: st. louis flute glass, deep copper-amber color, topped with a fizzy white head, good retention

s: wheat and pale barley body, sugary with a moderate cranberry nose, oak blends in really well, subtle lambic tartness

m: carbonation prickly, on the lighter side, body occupies a satisfying and appropriate space between light and medium

t: simple base structure features full wheat and some sweet pale barley, candied cranberries, not too much funk - just a light tartness in the finish, delicate oak presence - flawlessly done, similar in a way to the other ng fruits but featuring a less dominant fruit and a more "beery" attitude, was unimpressed at first, but it really opened up to me after sitting with it for awhile

d: great drinkability - pretty sweet but the tart finish takes care of that, would consume many sequentially given the option

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brian23456 for this in a trade! 12 oz bottle poured into my flute glass.

A-Body is a transparent rose hue. Pours with a minimal 1 finger or so soapy white head-but this fades quickly to a thin collar. Very few traces of lacing are left in the glass. A steady, mild stream of tiny bubbles rises to the top.

S-The nose is mostly, if not all, dry fruity cranberries. Nose reminds me of Arbor Mist wine.

T- Flavor is mild upfront and offers sweet, dry cranberry. A mild amount of tartness comes through for the finish-which is relatively dry. There's not much more to the flavor profile its all mild to moderate cranberry.

M-Medium spritzy carbonation and light, dry body.

D-This is a decent-pretty good lambic overall. Its certainly better than SA cranberry lambic. The overall profile is pretty mild and it has a lot of wine-like qualities. There are better lambics out there-but this one is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of nsmartell
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12-oz bottle to a flute glass.
Appearance: Pours a light red color with a bubbly, dirty-white head that did not last as long as anticipated.

Smell: The smell is of sweet, tart cherries.

Taste: Just as the smell suggests, this beer has a sweet, tart cherry flavor. Sour comes through, but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, and tart with a nice dry finish.

Drinkability: More drinkable than other lambics I've had, but I think 2 or 3 would be enough for me.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From a 12 oz. bottle, thanks vacax and jerz,

A: Pours red with a nice white head, good head retention all around, solid.

S: Fragant cranberry all the way. Sugar, fruit pie, real fruit.

T: Absolutely delicious. The fruit flavour is nuts; it's incredibly good. Cranberry city, pie crust, I love it.

M: Smooth, very lightly acidic, I wouldn't classify this as a lambic due to the light acid, but it is very smooth and easy to drink.

D: I could drink this stuff by the gallon, it's just fantastic. I didn't think I could like a New Glarus beer any more than Wisconsin Belgian Red, but this is coming close. Good Lord can these guys make fruit beers!

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Glad I got one of these as an extra to try.

Pours a cherry red with no head. Just a film that turned into a ring. No lacing.

The aroma is more of cherries than cranberries. Smells like a lighter version of their Wisconsin Belgian Red.

Taste is great. I can see why this is called cranbic. Tastes like cranberry juice but a little more sweet and with a tartness that is more like a sour than a pucker you would get with straight cranberry. A little bit of funk in the flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is slightly malty but it needs more carbonation for the style.

Overall a very tasty beer that I wouldn't mind getting more of in some trades.

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Photo of Stigs
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle acquired in a trade, served in a Stone Levitation glass

A - poured a solid inch of light and bubbly off-white foam with a slight pinkish hue. slowly falling to a thin floating island. the beer is clear, amber again with reddish tint, somewhat active carbonation.

S - slightly musty, quite a bit of tart cranberries. leaning towards slightly sour, makes the mouth water. subtle crackery and doughy maltiness glides the fruits along nicely.

T - yeow! not shy like the nose at all. intense, ridiculous cranberries...tart, sour, sweet, fruity, just slightly acidic. tons of other fruits balance out the tart cranberries: apple, grapes, blueberries, cherries...could go on and on. more sweetness in the form of oak, wood, vanilla. only a very subtle vinegar and acidity are there to give it some extra character...quite nicely.

M - love the thick, syrupy body...anything short of this would seem out of place with the intensely delicious flavor. carbonation is moderate, might benefit from just a touch more.

D - very much impressed with this one...possibly my favorite fruit/lambic to date. borders perfectly between sour, tart, sweet but insanely refreshing and delicious. paired quite well with some light salty cheese.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle courtesy of tuo. Served in my Allagash goblet. Poured a translucent pinkish copper with tight clusters of bubbles adhering to the glass. Head was a quarter inch, loose skim that quickly dissipated into a a slick of bubbles and a loose band. Nose is predominantly buttery and oaky - not much in the fruit department here, maybe some light esters, but really pleasant and complex. Cranberry definitely comes out, but a little more sweet than tart - finishes up with the buttery quality present in the nose - wood pretty much dissipates due to the acidity. Mouthfeel is light bodied with a fairly assertive carbonation that peaks towards the back of the tongue and finishes with a little burn; acidity lightly stimulates the salivary glands along the cheeks. I really enjoyed this beer - definitely more sweet than tart, but really quite tasty.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to a very generous trader for the extra! Had this last night, from notes. 3.10.10

Pours a surprisingly clear copper-orange color. Not too much head at all, gone in a flash to leave some spots on the side of the glass.

The aroma... is... cranberries. What is it your period? Cranberry juice all day here. Mixed in with a myriad of other berries, really fruity without being too overly sweet. This is due in part to some of the fruit composition being tart, lending some acidity to balance the sweetness. Very very subtle spice note in the distance. The taste is a lot of fruit again, not surprisingly. Mostly sweet but just a little bit of under-ripened tart berries. Lots of cranberry. Low carbonation seems a little bit off... this is fairly thin bodied. It's hard not to want to compare it to their other two fruit beers... but this is considerably less syrupy in the mouthfeel and much more drinkable. Pleasant to sip on, but a little too sweet and I really wouldn't want to tackle a whole bottle by myself. This really wasn't what I expected at all - I would've loved some more tartness and a little spice component or more yeast character. Maybe they will tweak this and re-release it in the future.

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Photo of afausser
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, fizzy cranberry tinted orange with about half a finger of head. The carbonation makes it appear to be colored soda water, with large bubbles streaming to the top at first. When they (and the head with them) disappear, it leaves a ring of creamy and fine foam around the top of the glass and a much redder toned color once it all settles down, though still predominantly orange. Beautiful lacing, though it doesn't last long and slinks down the side of the glass quickly. An interesting looking beer.

Smell: Reminds me of summers when I was younger up in Massachusetts. Heavy cranberry in the nose, and I mean heavy. These add sour notes....and I love sour notes in my beers. A little bit of a barnyard funk along with that as well--sour cranberries, hay, grass, saddles, green apples--it's all there, but stems primarily from the acidity of the cranberries. It smells almost quite literally like pure cranberry juice. Juicy apples and oranges are also pretty heavy. There's certainly a cider note, and there's a slight bit of very sweet alcohol that comes across here.

Taste: Oh, this is excellent. Sour, but light enough that it doesn't feel like you're drinking vinegar (though the taste does have notes of white vinegar present, they just aren't abrasive), and the juicy notes are not overwhelmed. It does taste like a cran-apple combination, though much more acidic. Not really any funk present here, just nice sour notes. No alcohol evident here. As it warms it becomes a bit less fruity and a bit more vinegar like, but still is pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is just about perfect--it's present enough to lift up the brew, yet is subtle enough to still maintain a fruit juice-esque element. That said, it's not flat the way fruit juice is, yet it's not super bubbly the way that sparkling cider might be. It's slightly and lightly carbonated with perfectly sized bubbles to get the job done. Not hot one single bit.

Drinkability: Another classic new glarus fruit beer. Absolutely love it, very easy to drink, and you can barely tell there's any alcohol at all aside from the nose. The only thing that holds it back is the vinegar, which makes it a little hard to drink quickly for your stomach's sake.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle courtesy of SkinnyElvis as a very generous extra in a charity LIF. Thanks! Poured in to a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a crystalline peach berry amber, suggestive of beer that was originally a lighter shade but with, perhaps, I don't know, cranberries added? Perhaps that's my brain filling in to the Holding it up the light reveals plentiful carbonation bounding forth from the bowl of the glass, racing upwards very quickly at first though slowing down considerably not a great deal of time after the pour. A white, fizzy head - approximately one finger tall, airy but uniform - has the sort of retention one has come to expect from most lambics: not so great. Nonetheless, the surplusage of effervescence keeps a continuous and nearly complete thin sheet of lace on the surface of this brew, with a slightly thicker, sticky collar to match. Splashes of glittery snow white lace dollop the sides of the cervoise after agitation and sips. Nice.

Aroma: Not sharply acidic. It's in fact somewhat heavy, laden down by a fair amount of fruit and a good, underlying maltiness. Sure, the sourness is there, but it comes across how it should in a fruit lambic - tart, with the fruit notes complimenting and being complimented by the sour aspects. I get dense, juicy cranberries, hints of raspberries and kiwi, and a slight kiss of funk over a sea of nice cereal grains, crisp, sweet, and honey-like.

Taste: Again, not sharply acidic at all - indeed, I think brews like NG's Raspberry Tart are indeed more sour than this beer. Any sour components present in this brew are expertly well-integrated in to the fruit notes, and it reminds me more and more as I drink it of NG's other fruit beers (the highest of compliments). The authentic berry notes - not limited to cranberry, I should say, with hints of raspberry and even strawberry at points - dominate over a sea of slight lambic-oriented tartness (distinct from the fruit tartness, in that it's slightly funky and mildly acetic) and simply sweet/moderately roasted malts. In the realm of lambics, this gets a 4.0.

Mouthfeel: Gorgeously smooth - as all of NG's fruit beers are - with the perfect amount of embedded carbonation in a slightly oily, crisp body. The carbonation does just enough to enhance the tartness of the fruits and lambic sourness, and the end result is a moderately fluffy, slightly prickly, but incredibly soft and even body, the perfect vehicle for these flavors.

Drinkability: Incredibly refreshing, and incredibly drinkable. I just got in from washing my car on one of the few warm days Virginia has had in the past three months, and after first tasting this beer, I literally wanted to take a few "gulps." Now, I know gulping craft beer is generally frowned upon, and as I only have one of these, I did slow it down, but it was tough. No overpowering sweetness, no artificial fruit notes, no shortage or overage of funk or potentially offputting lambic-notes, nothing too lactic or too acetic, and the abv is a moderate, quaffable 6.0%. In the land of the fruit beer, NG continues to reign supreme in all things.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple 4-packs in Milwaukee this week, about $9 each. Upon trying my first bottle, I find that I lucked into buying one of the best beers I've found so far in 2010. This stuff is so damn tasty, and just after drinking a Founders Nemesis, another lucky find.

The beer is reddish orange, clear, with a thin pink-tinted head, no lacing that I could see. The aroma is dark fruit (obviously it must be cranberries, but it smells like plums) and light bret funk, a little oak barrel. The taste is also outstanding, sweet cranberry juice with light malts and funky lambic flavors. This is definitely among the best fruit lambics I've had, especially from the US. Very accessible, this is more sweet than sour. Could use more bret character maybe, but really this is probably more refreshing as is.

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Photo of Josievan
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cranbic pours an appropriate deep cranberry-red hue. Ruby streaks of color also glisten throughout the beer.

Smell: The smell is a strong waft of tartness. It's similar to the aroma of cranberry juice, only more intense. There's also a little oak-age vibe going on.

Taste: This beer has an impressively authentic cranberry flavor. It's only mildly sweet. Cranbic is sour, but less in a funky/musty/traditional lambic sort of way, and more in a vinegar sort of way. In this regard, it is similar to another excellent New Glarus Unplugged beer, Old English Porter.

Mouthfeel: Cranbic has the rich texture of fruit juice, but isn't syrupy. The tartness provides a pleasant tingle on the tongue.

Drinkability: This concoction is more drinkable than many lambics and fruit beers, because it's not as sour as many lambics and not as sweet as many fruit beers.

Notes: New Glarus has done it again. This beer fits perfectly into this brewery's Unplugged Series. It's an enticing and appetizing treat that would make a lovely winter holiday beer. Recommended to fans of lambics, fruit beers, and cranberry flavor in general!

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Photo of John_M
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love trying these unplugged beers from New Glarus, and Dyan had a number of them for us to try the other night.

The beer pours a somewhat hazy rose color, albeit with not a great deal of head retention, but decent lacing. Really liked the nose on this one, which consisted of a very appealing combination of cranberry and light sour funk. Who knew this combination of aromas would be such a winner? The sweetness of the cranberries seemed to dominate this beer on the palate, though I also got some nice butter and honey flavor as well. The sour flavor was pretty well dialed down, which always enhances drinkability for me. Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied and drinkability was very good I thought.

There seemed to be a lot going on in this beer, making it one of the more interesting beers I've tried in a while.

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Photo of abecall98
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very bright pink. Light lacing, some bubbles going on there.

S - Sweet, and light malt. Biscuity. Faint cranberries come through.

T - Starts off sweet, then slight tart, fruity esters of cranberry come in the finish. A slight offputting aftertaste of overwhelming sweetness follows the taste.

M - nicely carbonated, however, just slightly thin in the finish.

D - Would rate this higher, but the aftertaste isn't the most pleasant. Something probably with the wheat I am kinda tasting in the aftertaste? Not sure, I just wish it wasn't there. I am happy to have tried this however.

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Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rosy orange color with a foamy pink tinted white head. Head falls relatively slow. Thin lace.

Tart somewhat sour tones of cranberries. Bit metallic.

Sweeter than I would have thought. Nice cranberry tartness and full of flavor. Not my style but I really like this.

Medium bodied and very crisp in the mouth.

Nice beer. I always enjoy trying one of the New Glarus Unplugged series.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a DT tulip. Thanks to JLArsenal for this from our recent trade!

A: Pours a crystal clear, cranberry red (duh!) color. Sitting on top is a soft and creamy, off-white colored layer of foam. It quickly recedes down to a thick ring that's fed by ample carbonation.

S: Aromas of fresh tart cranberries with a bit of vinegar and spicy cherry juice.

T: See above. As it warms the vinegar found in the nose fades into the background and is more or less replaced by a stronger flavor of spiced berry juice.

M: Sweet and spicy, with a fantastic dryness in the finish that lasts forever. This then leads to more spicy and tangy berries.

D: Extremely drinkable. Right up there with the fruit twins.

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Unplugged Cranbic Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 593 ratings
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