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 corby112
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to brian23456 for sending this as an extra in a recent trade!

Pours a dark rosé color with golden orange hues and a one finger, frothy white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic streaks of lacing left behind.

Earthy, slightly funky aroma with a strong barrel presence and prominent fruit presence. Lots of earthy oak in the nose with musty funk and a ton of cranberry. The dry, tart character of the cranberry is complimented really nicely by the toasted oak and funky bugs. Like other NG fruit beers, the fruit is very prominent in the nose but it doesn't overpower the other characteristics.

Medium bodied with a slight creamy texture as well as a bone dry, tart mouthfeel. Dry and funky with lots of tart cranberry sweetness that's puckering without being harsh or acidic. There's also a strong oak presence that compliments the dryness of the fruit and the musty funk. The fruit character dominates giving the beer more of a dry sweetness than acetic sourness. There is some lingering vinegar-y sourness in the finish but it never becomes overly harsh or unpleasant.

Overall this was an interesting experiment that paid off. The cranberries worked really well in this hybrid fruit/sour beer because of their natural tart and dry flavor. If you enjoy cranberries than you will probably love this beer. If not, I suggest that you skip trying this beer altogether.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cranbic Ale pours a light red color with a small disapearing head, and alot of carbonation bubbles. Almost like a soda. The smell is weak with hints of cranberry. The taste is sweet, lots of cranberry that finishes a bit tart. Lots of carbonation but a nice bold flavor, and easy to drink. Overall an intersting beer, almost like a sweet chamgine, but intresting and great after thanksgiving.

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Photo of KAP1356
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bunch of these in a recent trade with StayWhatYouAre2 and I couldn't even wait until Turkey Day to open one up. Been psyched for these for a while. 12 oz. bottle poured into a Lindeman's flute...

A - Pours a nice shade of pale, rose-peach-light orange color. The color reminds me of a paler rose champagne. No real head to speak of but a cap of slightly fizzy white. The carbonation is very evident in the glass.

S - Light aromas of tart cranberries, Belgian yeast, some ever so slight wild funk, and candy sugar. There's a slight spice here and there. The sweetness and tartness of the fruit doesn't overpower the nose like I thought it would (given NG's other fruit laden beers).

T - Taste is really nice. After an initial sweet, sugary burst, there is a nice tarness from the cranberries. Vanilla and some very muted oak components come through next. Some candy sugars come next. Not too much in the way of funky, wild flavors, but there are some (very slight) lingering flavors of funk after the sip. Again, the fruit doesn't overpower.

M - Really coats the mouth with a lot of nice flavors that linger for quite a bit. Light-Medium bodied that really borders on being medium bodied. Medium carbonation adds a nice tingle on the tongue. Ever slightly dry on the finish.

O - Really enjoyed this one. I think it is a very interesting American interpretation on a classic Lambic with a nice different fruit component. Really glad I have a few more of these!

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of Todd. ROCKIN!

A: Clearish reddened copper. There’s very little head from this pour and the beer looks remarkably still.

N: Banana, cranberry, cheese, dough, and some leather. Doesn’t smell terribly tart, nor is there much oak. Plenty of funk, though. Lots of that for you to enjoy.

T: Sweet like banana and a minor level of tartness to break up the sugars. Some oak and funk lingers on this one. Has kind of a molasses-barbecue aspect.

M: Well carbonated with a lighter body. Lingers on the palate with a nice warmth.

O: A cross between the New Glarus fruit beers and a wild ale. Might be fallen off a bit, as I’m not sure when this was originally brewed. I do like it and would have it again. Just expect something much sweeter and fruitier.

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

I think I got this from Janderson91 (I think). This was just as surprisingly good as the Enigma I had prior. Light, clear orange color, decent wispy head and some lacing up the sides of the wine glass (I'm a connoisseur after all). Smells like a great wild ale, woody sort of, funk, fruit, easily distinguished from a true lambic but still impressive. Taste was even better, funk, sour, barrel, wood, just really tasty. I need more of this for sure.

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Photo of ottovon
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

shared by whiterascal.

A: pours out a rose-peachy color with a white fizzy head that fell quickly.

S: i get lots of tart cranberry, earthy funk, oak, and hints of vanilla. there is also some sweetness in the nose. hints of a vinous character.

T: this has a nice earthy, funk character to it. it has lots of tart cranberry, and some oak in there. there is a bit of vanilla on the finish, and it still has quite a sweet flavor to it.

M: thin with high carb, but still has some smoothness to it.

O: this is a good beer. i dont know it i would drink it over and over again, but i like it.

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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 armock
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to chixdighops for hooking this bottle up in the Good People Farm System BIF.

A - Poured a light pink color with a white head that leaves some lacing behind

S - Is a nose full of tart cranberries

T - Just like it smells lots of tart cranberry wonderfulness

M - This beer has a medium body with high carbonation to it

O - This is a very good beer I love wild ales/lambics but this is the first time I've had one with cranberries added and it is very easy drinking worth hunting down to try

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Photo of shivtim
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer during a tasting, paired with cinnamon donuts with a maple glaze. Worked very well together!

This is a light orange/pink beer. Very clear, like pink-ish apple juice. White bubble head.
Nose is sweet cranberry juice, wild lambic notes, sour candy. Yummy.
Taste is sour, tart, vinegary cranberry, with vaguely Belgian sugars. Slight malts, more sour, more tart. Delicious.

Another great brew from New Glarus.

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

A - Pours a clear red-tinged copper with only a collar of head and no lacing.

S - Cranberry dominates the nose, with only small earthy funk presence. The is both tart and sweet aromas.

T - A reasonable tart cranberry taste up front quickly transitions to sweet. Not overwhelmingly sweet, but I would have like a more pronounced tartness throughout. Very faint funky yeast presence. Not a bad flavor, but a bit too much like a cranberry soda.

M - Medium, slightly sticky mouthfeel

O - A pretty good beer, but a bit too sweet and lacking complexity. I would love to see a more traditional dry, tart, funky lambic that utilized cranberries, as is it seems like a flavor combination that could be incredible.

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Photo of Mississipping
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a completely clear orange.  No head, rocky foam around the edges.  No lacing. 

S: Sour and lactic, nice mix of sweet and tartness, a touch of vinegar. 

T: Slightly tart cranberry, a touch of apple, and some lactic sweetness. 

M: Medium-bodied with low carbonation that is slightly coating.  A touch of heat at the finish, but it's really nice with the taste and body.

D: Not overly tart and not very sweet.  A great mix and very easy to drink.

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Photo of amphion1065
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from a huge box of New Glarus love, courtesy of duffcalifornia. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very deep red, almost brown. Quite translucent. A half-finger white head doesn't last terribly long, and leaves only minimal lacing.

Say what you will about the style classification of this beer, but the aroma is quite lambic-like. Tart, sour and vinous, though balanced with quite a lot of fruity sweetness. There's a bready, biscuit aroma as well. Given the "wild" smell, this reminds me quite a bit of a framboise, and I'm not sure I'd necessarily call this a cranberry-flavored beer from the aroma alone.

Cranberries come through more strongly in the taste. This is quite tart (if not quite mouth-puckering), with much more funk that I was anticipating. Bready, malty aftertaste. Overall though, the sweetness from the fruit exercises a huge influence over the beer's flavor. As I worked my way through the bottle and became slightly inured to the sourness, it took on a lot of juice-like qualities.

The mouthfeel is very solid, medium-bodied and rich. Carbonation is on the high side.

A totally passable American Wild Ale, though not a New Glarus beer I'd seek out again - I'd rather focus on their regular fruit beers, which are outstanding. Perhaps this will become more sour over time, but at this point it lacks a certain element of complexity.

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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 xnicknj
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip - this is from when it was still part of the unplugged series. i've received a few of these over time, so thanks to whoever sent this one!

Pours a slightly hazed burnt orange color with some reddish hues and a soft brown touch. Looks a bit like apple cider almost. White head fades into a well retained coating of film, leaving some spotty lacing on the glass.

Sour and lactic in the nose with touches of cranberry and apple. Hints of cider-like vinegar tones and oak. Juicy and tart.

Fairly acidic up front with cranberries and apple. Sourness is persistent throughout the profile with softening fruit sweetness from the berries. At times there's some feeling of cran-apple juice with a cider component. Some dry oak tones with vanilla. Finishes tart, dry, and long.

Medium body, higher carbonation, sticky, dry, and lingering on the tongue. This reminds me a bit of a wild version of the apple ale with a spike of cranberry. Definitely tasty, but probably doesn't stand up to a true Belgian fruit lambic (ie - Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek). I have a fresher bottle I'd like to try to see how they compare and contrast.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Scarlet red body with pinkish tinting to it. Beautiful looking beer. It glows. Small beige head leaves sporadic lace. Big full aroma of mashed cranberry, brown sugar and a little barnyard funk. Spritzy mouthfeel with a light-medium body. This is not a typical lambic, but it is a typical New Glarus Fruit beer....and that means very good to me. This is very reminiscent of their Belgian red and Raspberry tart in the sweet fruity flavor with accents of brown sugar. Slight barnyard funk, but not much really. Very solid fruit beer though.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Lost Abbey tulip glass. No bottle date present. I have had this one since the late spring though.

A: Pours a orange red color. Lots of carbonation, tight tiny bubbles. It actually made sound on the pour. About a finger of white head initially that died quickly. No lacing.

S: You get a little barnyard and a good amount of cranberry. There are some bready yeasty notes as well.

T: Another interesting NG beer. It's a cranberry Saison technically. You don't get that much barnyard when sipping. You get cranberry bitterness up front, but that fades to a nice sweetness in the middle. Lots of Cran. Finish is full.

M: medium bodied

O: B+

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Photo of Jefe73
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a 12 oz snifter.

A - Pours a copper color with a reddish tint. Starts with a thin, white head that quickly fades to nothing.

S - Tart cranberries right up front, with some other fruity sweetness mixed in.

T - Initially sour, then the sweetness from the fruit creeps in which is followed by notes of vanilla, cinnamon and maybe a little brown sugar.

M - This one really seems to coat the tongue nicely with flavors that linger a bit. Medium carbonation.

O - I've enjoyed everything from the Unplugged Series and this one is no different. I highly enjoyable beer that I would seek out again.

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

Clear copper body with light white carbonation coating the surface.

The smell is fresh cranberries, vanilla, and brown sugar.

The flavor is intense and fresh. Cranberries, vanilla, wood, and brown sugar. It's tart and sweet at the same time and vivid.

Mouthfeel is light-medium body and slightly dry.

It's an extremely enjoyable beer, extremely flavorful and aromatic, and easy to drink.

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Photo of Florida9
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Lovely shade of yellow-orange. Forms a fizzy thin white head that quickly reduces down to a thick ring around the edge and a very thin, patchy surface coating.

S: Cranberry and cranberry skin. Oak, vanilla, and the sweetness of fresh fruit.

T: Starts off with a fresh cranberry sweetness. Tart. Some light oak and lots of fruit: cherry and strawberry. A little tannic bitterness from the cranberry skins.

M: On the lighter side of medium. Appropriate carbonation. Dry finish and a mild tannic bitterness.

O: A very good beer. Nicely balanced with a fresh fruit sweetness, a light sourness, and a dry finish.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Thumbprint series (newer batch). I'm not sure whether to review this as a lambic or a fruit beer.

A: Orange-red and very clear with a ring of head on top of the beer. Looks very inviting, but particularly lambic-like.

S: Tart and sweet cranberries with cinnamon and nutmeg. Very nice.

T: Much like the smell. There is a great balance between a dry, tart flavor and some fruity sweetness. There is just a bit of sourness to keep it interesting. The cinnamon and nutmeg are still there, but a bit more restrained than the smell would have you guess. It's complex, but not in a lambic sort of way.

M: Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Supports the flavor well.

O: This is really an exceptional beer. It's not a traditional tasting lambic by any means, but it's absolutely wonderful tasting. As a fruit beer, this beer is wonderful. I wouldn't say it's as complex as a lot of AWAs, though.

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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 tapman
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cider-like, rose-copper body with a decent sized head of pink foam that dissipate quickly. No yeast on bottom so filtered I suppose. Smells like a mixed bouquet of flowers crossed with a really good greek yogurt. Taste is creamy cranberry kefir (a tart yogurt drink). Very pinching mouthfeel, appropriate for the style and makes sipping a lot of fun. I want to pour this over a pound cake and eat the hell out of it.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hannydawg for this brew.

A: Pours a pinkish-red, very reminiscent of a blush. There is a thin white head that becomes almost non-existent. Very little lacing left as it drinks.

S: Smells earthy and sour. I know this beer is made with cranberries, but I get more of a sour cherry scent. The earthy notes remind me of some of the other New Glarus fruit beers (RT, WBR, and Apple Ale).

T: The taste is pretty tart. This beer is sour the second it hits the palate, and that flavor lingers till the end. In the finish those earthy notes come through. Again, it reminds me of the RT and WBR.

M: I'd have to go medium bodied on this one. The tartness makes it a bit chewy, and the flavors linger for a bit after drinking.

O: This is the first cranberry lambic I've ever had, and I think it's just OK. I'm glad to have tried it, but I don't think I'll seek it out again.

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

This is the first of several of the Unplugged series I get to try thanks to BYOFB.

The color is essentially copper with plenty of clarity and a distinctly red tint in the light. A white head with a nearly imndiscernable pink tinge to it starts at one finger tall but fades fairly quickly but does leave good lacing.
The aroma offers the cranberry without doubt with a light touch of funk bringing along earthy and woody undertones. There's a bit going on under the fresh cranberry tartness.
This is a delicious beer that offers all the fresh cranberry juice flavors mingling together while maintaining a very clear beer distinctiveness. Fresh, tart, sour and with a light funk, it's a pleasure to drink. I know the true staple of brewing the Lambic is the acidic and funky characters, so perhaps there could be a little more of that in addition.
The mouthfeel is light to medium and crisp with a considerable but not overbearing carbonation.

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Photo of bertram
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle picked up in the land of cows and cheese...

From the first moment the pour hit the glass, this ale had an amazing appearance - rich and red from the cranberries.

The smell is even better - sweet and fruity.

The taste is sweet, tart and sour. A very good combination of the two - the tart hits you immediately, then the aftertaste mellows into a fruity sweetness, followed finally by the sour.

This is a highly-carbonated beer, which fits the taste and smell perfectly...it really plays on the tongue nicely.

Overall and really good beer - perfect for a summer or fall evening. I look forward to enjoying more soon.

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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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