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Unplugged Cranbic Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

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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 mynie
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a cheap pintglass with all the grace of a hat rack being thrown through a window. I'm not going to give a score below 3.5 because the beer is too good to get weighted down by a bad appearance score, but gee, not pretty

Smells really, really cranberryish. Like, exactly what you hoped BBC's Cranberry Lambic would be the first time you opened up a Sam Adam's Holiday mixpack. Part of it is the yeasty funk of a good lambic--just the right intensity, no where near the ickiness of a bad brew. The other part is sheer tart cranberries so strong they make the sides of your cheeks hurt a little bit.

Tastes as balanced and flavorful as it smells, but not quite as intense. This is actually impressive, though. This is like a cross between a fruit beer and a lambic. Its flavor comes mostly from its fruit; its funk and sourness are only bit players. In other words, it packs in as much fruit flavor as a fruit beer even though it has the ABV of a lambic. Really remarkable.

Ultimately, though, the beer is imperfect because it doesn't quite know what it's trying to be. It's not thick or pretty enough to be poured from a chalice, or is the kind of fruit-rollupy fruit beer that you sip slowly from a flute. It's good--it's great, actually--but not quite world class.

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Photo of Gyle41386
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by kkipple at a tasting. Thanks, Dan!

Clear orange/golden pour. Not much foam, not much lacing.

Aroma is of pungent cranberries and barrel. Sweet, tart, and slightly woody all at once.

Very nice, sweet flavor. All cranberry with woody/vanilla notes. Very flavorful. Great sweet, tart, and barrel qualities make this a really tasty beer.

Light, tingly feel. Reminds me of a beer with champagne yeast, like Ithaca Brute. High drinkability. I can see some people not liking the sweetness, but this one was too easy to drink for me.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Ruby red with very little head and no lacing. Can see clear through the glass.

S - Surprising amount of alcohol cuts through this for a beer that is only 6%. Cranberries are definately present throughout the entire nose, but a very sweet cranberry smell.

T - Taste reminds me a little bit of the raspberry tart. There is a very sharp alcohol taste at the end of this is very sharp and heavy, also a surprise. Sweet cranberry comes through almost the entire way and then is blasted out of your mouth by the alcohol at the end.

M - Lightly bodied, sour finish, decently carbonated for the brew.

D - Kind of hard to drink tons of this, too sweet and too much alcohol on the end makes it unpleasant after a while.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a white zinfinadal red with no white head. The beer is very clear with no lacing.

The aroma is all alcohol with some light cranbic at the end.

The taste is light at the end there is alcohol. There is a little sweet cranberry to it.

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Photo of grub
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

OHLRangers hooked me up with this as part of BA Secret Santa '09. thanks ed!

12oz bottle topped with red foil. sampled feb 16/2010.

pours crystal clear reddish amber with a thin layer of fine white head. the head quickly retreats to a ring around the glass and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is good. bit of lemon and malt vinegar. cranberry sourness. cherry. a bit nutty. touch of orange. white bread. alcohol. cracker. bit of biscuit. bit of straw. raw oak. bit of vanilla.

taste is nice. sour cranberry and cherry. dark chocolate and nut. bit of vanilla and raw oak. lightly sweet caramel and buttery toffee. sour, but not really acidic or vinegary, and with more lingering sweetness than i expected.

mouthfeel is good. medium-light body. medium-light carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. i like the cranberry character, and it's got an interesting and complex funk to it. it's just got a lot less funk and more sweetness than i would have expected.

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

12 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a very reddish pink, almost cranberry juice colour, thin white head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, and a bit of layer, some lace chunks stick.

Smell is neat, nice fruity sourness, lots of cranberry, lightly tart, cherries, wood and a bit of vanilla, lightly soapy, a bit of bread/biscuit, pretty interesting character, nice acidic lambic character, a touch of butter.

Taste is neat, sweet and malty, pretty opposite from the aroma, biscuit, lots of fruit, very malty, some vanilla and brown sugar, really nice caramel flavour, some lemon and cranberry tartness in the finish, a bit of sourness, but pretty different from the aroma.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Just a touch of acidity in the finish, pretty smooth stuff, real nice body. Thanks Russ!

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

Thanks goes out to beerwolf77 for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some minmal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some cranberries/apple notes, slight cinammon, and caramel. The taste is malty, sour, with some cranberries/apple notes. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew, glad to have gotten a chance to try it.

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Photo of Tdizzle
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Aimstatus for bringing this beer back from her Wisconsin trip. Poured into a New Belgium globe glass. No indication of ABV.

A- This beer pours a clear amberish-orange color with a thin head of pinkish-white foam that breaks apart to a sparse cap over the liquid. The lacing is minimal.

S- The smell is a spicy potpourri of cranberries and cinnamon. There are notes of wild yeast and oak barrel, but they're very much in the background. Collectively, the smell has an enticing vinous quality to it.

T- The taste is much sweeter than I expected. Flavors of cranberries, Sunkist Fruit Gems, and the spicy floral character of the aroma eventually yield to a mild tartness and a very light oak barrel earthiness. The finish is a tad dry but it leaves a deliciously sweet coating along the inside of the mouth.

M- On the light side of medium-bodied with active but soft carbonation bubbles. The beer has a light syrupy texture underneath the surface.

D- I'm not a big fan of beers with highly sweet flavor profiles, but this stuff is really, really drinkable. The tart character keeps the sweetness in check. A pure pleasure to drink.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle on 2/15/20.

A - Pours a crystal clear amber to rose color with a little bit of foam that ends up just as a ring of bubbles around the surface

S - tart cranberries, slight sourness, grapey sweeetness, some oak as well

T - tart cranberry flavor initially, followed by a bit of sour finish along with some oaky hints, a cherry flavor hits you in the middle of your tongue

M - light and crisp, the sweetness consumes your mouth with just a bit of pucker

D - The sweetness prevents you from wanting to have another, but overall the flavor and mouthfeel is very delicious. Definitely a once in a while beer.

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

12oz bottle picked up from my most recent business trip to to Wisconsin.

A- Pours a crystal clear amber with garnett hues to it. Thin white head. I was expecting more red.
S- Spices, some sweetness. Definately get cranberries in the nose.
T- Cranberries. A bit of fruity sweetness. I also get some buttery tones to it. Faint sour tartness in the finish. A little bit more sweet than tart. Buttery notes knock this down a little.
M- Surprisingly, a bit thin. Almost watery. Needs a bit more body and carbonation.
D- Surprisingly high. I didn't know what to think about it at first but kept going back for me.

Overall - A refreshingly different beer. There was a definate sweet/sour thing going on, which I strangly enjoyed. Only downside was the out-of-place buttery notes. With that being said, I will enjoy my last three bottles...

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

12 Fl. Oz. bottle poured into Flute glass. Served 40-45 F.
A: Cherry red and very clear. Pours quarter inch of bubbly head, none of which is retained.
S: Dark cherries, cranberry, and grenadine. Slight sour linger.
T: Cherry sweeps across palette. Cranberry bite comes in. The cranberry is very crisp and has a slight lime on the backside. Bold body that taste like flavored simple syrup. Bitter and sweet berry linger.
M: Lighter on tongue than expected. Very sticky syrup feel left behind on tongue.
D: Very full of flavor. A little too light, but a great domestic version of the style.

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Photo of number1bum
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mymrnngjckt for this one.

Pours a clear, very light reddish copper color. Generates about a finger and a half of light pink/beige head, which mostly disappears and leaves just a rimjob and no stick.

Smell is initially tart, with the cranberries shining through, but the tartness gives way pretty quickly to some oak, vanilla and a subtle sweetness. It is nice, although the sweetness surprised me a bit.

Taste also begins intially tart but then gives way to even more sweetness than the nose had. It was pretty undiscernable to the nose but now I am thinking honey. There is less oak character on the tastebuds than the nose let on, although there is some vanilla flavor. The finish is almost all sweetness, with some residual brown sugar/honey flavor left on the palate. Hmmm.

Mouthfeel does have a nice crispness to it which helps the lingering sweetness in the finish to subside and not be cloying. It's medium bodied and has more of a creaminess to it than most lambics.

This is pretty good...but, it's not what I expected and I'm surprised that they are calling it a Lambic. The label even states that it was brewed as a true Belgian lambic would be (paraphrasing). It doesn't drink that way. The sweetness, frankly, doesn't belong. Either that or they need to call it a fruit beer. I'm also surprised that this one came off without more tartness, given that cranberries are so naturally tart. In the end I think it's tasty enough and somewhat interesting, but it claims to be something it's not.

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Photo of zeff80
3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
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 WJVII
3.47/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a flute as suggested, this brew has a light red color similar to a blush wine. The head is light and settles to nothing. The aroma is full of cranberries and has a slight woodiness. The taste is oddly mild to the point of being unappealing. Maybe I am being critical as it is an unplugged and I have come to expect more from them. This is lacking a certain sour punch to it and is very thin and even light on the cranberry flavor. This one misses the mark and for the price there are better unplugged selections.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

schlepped all the way to the great white north by natasharai. Thanks lady!

Pours a deep red color, totally clear with a lambic like head that reduces pretty quickly to a thin ring of scud.

Nose has a touch of wild yeast, but i actually smell more of the cranberries. Maybe a little bit of wood-like notes.

Hmmm. Definitely lacking is sourness for anything that takes a lambic-like name. That being said, a very tasty beer. Really is about half way between fruit beer and oud bruin as far as taste is concerned. The cranberry presence is right where it should be, maybe the tiniest bit too sweet. The finish is nice and dry, but again, the sourness is lacking. There is some tartness here, but it really isn't strong enough to come out from underneath the tart schema of the cranberries themselves.

Mouthfeel is too thick for the style, but not too bad, carbonation is about where it should be, if anything the tiniest bit low. Nice and dry.

Drinkability is ok, but for the style it is a bit tough, considering it is both too thick and too sweet. But all around, not horrid.

Overall, a nice beer, very tasty, and could certainly be beneficial to have around when courting a young lassie. That being said, a bit off for the style. close, and certainly with a few tweaks it could be very nice. The wild presence is there, just nowhere near prominent enough. NG rocks the fruit beers though, so their prowess in that niche certainly makes its presence known in this beer as well. A nice beer.

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

I bought some New Glarus beers shortly after Xmas when I traveled up north. I had already tasted some from a beer trade so I was excited to pick up some more.
S-Bottle, may have become partially frozen on the travel back to Chicago. Served in a New Glarus flute
A-Light red hue, almost like a blush wine. Initially pours with a light head which dissipates with bubbles.
S-Slight oak scent, plenty of fruity cranberry, and some funk.
Taste-Very effervescent, sort of like champagne. Bubbly flavor leaves a tang on your tongue, with a wonderful cranberry flavor.
M-Light and bubbly, slight syrupy-ness. Tiny sips really float around in your mouth.
D-Very easy to drink this beer if you are thirsty. I find it's best to drink from a flute in order to pace myself.
Overall a delicious beer. Quite disappointed that New Glarus doesn't distribute outside of Wisconsin.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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 Strix
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear light peach-red with a big head and constant streams of rising bubbles.

Fruity cherry or cranberry note, with a slight whiff of sourness.

Cranberry flavor dominates, but it's hard to pin down as cranberry, seems like notes of cherry and pear are present as well. Reminiscent of Belgian Red but with a milder flavor. Some slight sour/funk notes in there, and they blend well.

Mouthfeel bubbly.

This was very pleasant to drink. Nothing felt fake about it, and it's less sweet (but also less flavorful) than NG's other fruit beers.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yet another exceptional beer from FrankenBrew. Shared this one with my friend.

A- Clear, sparkling light red. Not unlike the color of a white zinfandel. A bubbly, champagne like pink head leaves some small patches of lace on the glass.

S- Cheesy funk, tart berries and a candy like sugariness. Its a nice unexpected combination between sweet, sour, tart and funk.

T- The taste is quite tart, very crisp and biting. This is a fairly sweet beer. The funk isnt very strong, just enough to make the spontaneous fermentation obvious.

M- Much like champagne. Bubbly, prickly and light.

D- I liked this beer very much. Much more than I expected to, to be honest.

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Photo of KBomb
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cranbic is a brilliantly clear red color with a wispy thin layer of head. Smells like, wait for it... Cranberries! A little malt smell accompanies it, but this is all cranberry. Tastes strongly tart and sweet. One is left with a mouth-puckering sour effect. Mouthfeel has pickly carbonation but a fairly thin body. Feels fairly light and alcohol seems practically undetectable.

I like New Glarus Cherry and Raspberry Tart, but for whatever reason Cranbic doesn't blow my socks off. I can admire its craftsmanship, but to me it seems more like a really good carbonated cranberry cocktail than a beer. I'd like a little more funk or a little more malt character to remind me this is beer. I'll recommend it to cranberry fans, but ultimately its not my cup of tea.

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Photo of pweis909
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Crystal clear, with a red color evocative of a christmas lollipop that has been sucked on for 10 minutes, thinning the candy and diminishing the absorbance. The head is thinimal and fleeting.

Aroma promises unspecified fruit and possibly a little funk. The taste combines sweet and sour, comparable to New Glarus's Raspberry Tart or Belgian Red, but cranberry is a less easily recognized flavor than cherries and raspberries. Cran-bic is intriguingly cryptic in this way.

This goes down like an After the Fall carbonated fruit drink. Don't get me wrong. I loved those things. It's a delicious beer. The alcohol is not noticed. Consuming one makes me crave the rest of the 4-pack. Highly drinkable if you don't mind sweet and sour.

New Glarus fruit beers really change one's perception of what beer is. If you are looking for hoppy or if sweet or sour turns you off, look elsewhere. For me, I am open to the broader perspective. Although NG fruit beers are accessible to me and I could stock my fridge with them, I tend to drink only 1-2 a year. Keeps them special.

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Photo of kenito799
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Fin du Monde tulip.

Lovely dark pinkish color, minimal head with spots of lace.

Aroma is beguiling and wonderful, spice box, cedar, sweet cranberry and cinnamon, with som eunderlying earthiness. The palate is unlike Belgian lambics, much less aggressively sour and funky, but still a pleasant tartness, crisp and dry yet full of flavor. The woody notes linger in teh finish. Deliciously drinkable, I wish I had more.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inflatablechair brought this over a couple weeks ago.. thanks Sam!! Reviewed from a paper note.

Pours an orangey/lite amber .. foamy head dies quickly..

The aroma reminds me of my Thanksgiving cranberry sauce.. nice fresh berries with some background orange zest and just enough sweetness to balance.

Flavor has a pretty much perfect mix of sweet and tart.. there is a bit of spiciness that I wasn't really expecting that even more reminds me of cranberry sauce.. some complimentary vanilla and a bit of unidentifiable yet pleasant spice.. cardamom or cinnamon probably.. Honestly like all the other NG fruit beers.. don't take it the wrong way.. this is a gem of a beer.. really interesting and simple at the same time.

Thanks Sam.. an unexpected and very welcome treat.


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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Consumed in my New Glarus flute that I received as an extra in a trade with eyncognito. Thanks Ian! The beer appears reddish amber with a half inch creamy head that quickly disappears.

The nose is fresh and lightly tart cranberries. It's intoxicating. A dash of lactic character is evident, and it's accompanied by a light earthy and musty quality. On the whole, the tartness is rather clean. The malt foundation is solid and most resembling caramel. Vanilla is evident, and cinnamon is unmistakable.

The flavor is initially a battle between sweet caramel malt and the semisweet and tart cranberries. The fruit wins out midpalate. The cranberry flavor is authentic, slightly tart, and delicious. A low level of lactic character can be detected. Other notes are of cinnamon, oak, vanilla, and bog familiars. The finish is a tantalizing blend of sweet and tart cranberries with drying oak. Another winner from New Glarus. What more can be said?

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you, Ian.

Poured into my New Glarus flute (thanks again, Ian!), this beer is a pretty, burnished copper-amber with a dense off-white head with good retention. Some lace is present, this glass really shows off this beer.

This isn't a lambic, not even close. That said, this still does smell very good. Definitely malty with a delicate caramel and cinnamon sugar aroma along with a nuanced oaky vanilla, burnt caramel, and of course, the fruit. Tart, fruity cranberries round out the nose. Great stuff.

Opens tart and fruity, with a blend of macerated cherries and cranberries. In fact, if you've ever made cranberry sauce from scratch, this is kind of like what you've experienced. A blend of tartness, a rich sweetness with oaky vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon and a complex malt bill with a rich melanoidin character. A little tannic character is perceptible, rather hard to discern with the sweetness that's present, though. Mildly drying on the finish with a lingering tartness and vanilla, this is pretty darned solid. Light in body with a fairly high carbonation, this beer is thoroughly drinkable, I am really enjoying this.

**Edit 16 May 2014**
My last bottle. The classic New Glarus fruit character is present, as is their characteristic yeast character. Not quite dusty, but a mildly funky/earthy/leathery note. Not much has changed here since my review 4 years ago. Excellent, refreshing stuff.

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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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