Unplugged Cranbic Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Unplugged Cranbic AleUnplugged Cranbic Ale
598 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: 598 |  Reviews: 319
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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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark pink (somewhere between pinkish purple and brown) with a light pink head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

S - Cranberries it is, with some hints of vanilla. A weird combination to be sure, but not off-putting. None of the funk/tart I was expecting, but I'm not disappointed.

T - This is like no other brew I've ever had, let alone any lambic. Indeed, there is not even a hint of funk or tart. In fact, the beer is actually quite sweet, with a strange combo of cranberry, sweet malts, and seemingly even a trace of vanilla and dare I say mint. Very, very complex to be sure, I'm just not convinced that all the disparate parts go together very well.

M - Pretty thick, especially for the style - although I'm not sure how well this fits into the category.

D - This was a very interesting beer, but not one I'd seek out again. Definitely couldn't stomach more than 1 in a sitting.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is another fine brew sent to me by my secret santa GCurlow. Thanks a lot Grant.

The New Glarus Unplugged Cranbic Ale has a translucent, dark pink body. The head is small, light pink, and it doesn't last very long or leave any lacing.

I can smell the beer as soon as I pop the cap, and I like it. Cranberries are the strongest aroma, with just a touch of tartness to it.

Up front Cranbic has a pretty strong tartness that I dig. The tartness mixes with cranberry flavors and eventually fades away, leaving just the strong taste of cranberries or cranberry juice. Cranbic is not very complex, but it has plenty of tartness and cranberry flavor and is probably about as good as the other New Glarus fruit beers.

The body is light, thin, and highly carbonated. Pretty good.

Overall, Cranbic is another great fruit beer from New Glarus. To be honest, I'm not even crazy about cranberries and I enjoyed it.

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

The beer is poured with a small off white head. The beer is clear deep copper, almost ruby. The nose on the beer has cranberry notes with a tad bit of sourness. When I take a sip, the same notes that I smell come throgu but just stronger. The cranberry sweetness. The beer is tasty, but its not the best tasting lambic. I would like more sourness. I think its because I don't like cranberries all that much.

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Photo of gatornation
3.2/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours an amber/pink color with almost no head with minimal lacing the smell is fruit almost wine/champagne smell..the taste is tart and fruit forward i do taste the cranberries it is very tart there is no/little presence of hops or malts..alcohol is high for a lambic @6.0 but i dont detect it.the mouth feel is very tart and sour ill try this but wont buy it again..not my thing NG is one of my favorite breweries and will try everything they put out.. this one however is one and done for me IMO

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Photo of Lunch
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a 12oz. bottle, obtained via trade with kbutler1 as a generous extra (thanks man!), into my Rogue Santa's Private fluted goblet at the appropriate temperature (12/25/09). This is my first real trip into the world of lambics and I appreciate Kevin sending me one that seems to be a great example of the style.

A: Pours a rather golden amber with some intense ruby hues capped of with a one finger head which dissolved rather quickly leaving some spotty lace.

S: Certainly is a cranberry lambic as the nose is dominated by tart cranberries and some slight red-wine vinegar perhaps.

T: The cranberry theme continues and is actually rather tasty in a pleasantly tart way. Rather sweet and tart, but not overly so. The is also a great degree of sourness that really lingers in and after the finish.

M: Rather light-bodied and tingly creating a refreshing feel.

D: For me the tart and sourness hold this back and 12oz. was just fine for me. I'm sure that those with more developed palates as it pertains to lambic would have a much higher degree of drinkability.

Overall this was certainly a surprise as I have given very little thought and consideration to lambics, but I am quite appreciative that Kevin sent along such a seemingly prime example. Perhaps not exactly my cup of tea at the moment, but certainly a style I will put a bit more weight behind in the coming months. Thanks again Kevin for the opportunity to try this.

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Photo of morimech
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, reddish amber with minimal pink head that quickly settles to a thin film. Just a little lacing is left on the glass. Aroma of cranberries, vanilla, and fermented grapes. The aroma is much more impressive than the flavor. Cranberries upfront with a slight acidic, sour finish. This beer captures the essence of cranberries much more than other so-called cranberry beers. The sourness is not that impressive but fortunately the vinegar flavor is kept in checked. Just a hint of vinegar. Could be an introduction to the style for some drinkers. The body is fairly light and has robust carbonation. Feels right for a lambic. Not a overly sour beer but has good cranberry aroma and flavor. If you like cranberries I suggest you get ahold of this beer.

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Photo of samie85
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tried this one last night. Reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a strawberry wine-like color with a white barely there head.

S- Mouth-wateringly tart cranberry with some sweet base malt with a hint of oak.

T-Sweet cranberry at first with bitter, slightly sour cranberry and oak finish. It also has a sourness that lingers in your throat.

M-Refreshingly effervescent and tingly on the palate. Light bodied but very appropriate for this beer.

D- Really easy drinking. A lot easier to drink than lambics I've had due to the sweetness that balances things a little. I wish this one was readily available to me.

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Photo of ronhocker
3.13/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

PIcked this up as I always do the latest unplugged beer upon release. To start off, this is probably the biggest let down from the unplugged series, close tie with the iced barleywine (which I am hoping years of aging will improve).

The appearance looks like champagne mixed with grenadine, works well in such a serving vessel. It is obviously filtered, I don't think natural settling can ever get a beer this clear.

Smell is as expected, some fruit, etc.

It tastes like a quickly made version of the Wisc Belgian Red, although there is more tartness in the fruit due to the cranberries. It has little to no lambic character, no wild yeast flavors present. I suspect this only has lactic acid produced and then added in to compliment the fruit. It is also quite sweet, implying it may have been backsweetened after filtering and pasteurization.

Overall it's ok, and I'm glad NG made it, but it is not one of there best offerings in the unplugged series - since I hold this series to be some of the best made beers in the U.S. (Imperial Saison, Berliner Weiss, Enigma, etc). Chicks will likely dig it.

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Photo of scaliasux
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Medium amber-red. Clear. Thin apparently off-white head.

Smell - Most prominent aroma is sweet-tart cranberry. Maybe a hint of light malt.

Taste - Starts with a mild sweet malt. Tart flavor of cranberry dominates. Authentic flavor - nothing of the cranberry cocktail here. A little extra green apple sourness in the finish. Seems well balanced to me. Very nice, unique beer.

Mouthfeel - Light and crisp.

Drinkability - Two Wisconsin breweries are quite prominent in the fruit beer area. Where Leine's Berry Weiss seems to do everything wrong, this seems to do everything right. I wouldn't argue a bit if New Glarus decided to add this one to its year round slate.

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

12oz bottle poured into a New Glarus flute.

Beer pours a fairly light red orange color with a white, very small and very fast head. Almost none to be seen. No lacing is left as the head vanishes. Small bubbles continue to rise through the beer throughout the drinking. Smell is sweet and sour with cranberry very present. Taste is that of carbonated cranberry juice, just not as thick. Carbonation is high and the beer bubbles across the tongue all the way through. Very easy drinkibility as this has low ABV and is like a fruity soda. If you are a fan of cranberry this would be a very good beer for you. I can see this being a good one for the ladies also. Not my favorite flavor of fruit but still a good beer. New Glarus has done well with this one. I will be most likely revisiting this one soon, probably with my girlfriend. Definitely worth a try before it's gone.

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Photo of nectar14
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12 oz.

Gold/amber color with a slight tint of red, 1 finger head that dissipates down to a collar. Plenty of bubbles come out w/ swirl.

Reserved nose, mild lambic funk complements the cranberry and cherry.

Very clean flavors of pale grain, cherry, cranberry, and brett come through. Not big by any means.

Very easy drinking, easy to like. Smooth, clean, with nice carbonation carrying the flavors out.

High drinkability. Could drink several of these. Not overpowering at all. Laid back and satisfying.

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Photo of hardy008
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale pink color with a small off white head with poor retention and no lace. Smell is tart cranberries and some oak. The taste is not as tart as the smell, there is some sweetness balanced with the tartness which I am glad for. The mouthfeel is medium bodied. Has a somewhat "sticky" feel to it. The drinkability is pretty good.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from Bottle into Pint glass.

Pours a orange color with red highlights and a finger of pinkish head that quickly dissolve into a thin layer of broken head and a light ring around the glass. Aroma is a light cranberry, some barnyard funk and a touch of alcohol. The flavor is a nice balance of sweet malt with a good amount of cranberry tartness and finishes semi-dry. Its light-medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. This is a very delicate beer, the aroma more so than the taste, but still has plenty of cranberry. Very classy beer.

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

Enjoying this one after Christmas dinner, in the flute i got from the Spooner Health System just over 5 years ago upon the birth of my daughter. A nice looking beer. A pinkish red highlighted over amber in colour. Decent one finger pinkish head formed on the pour, and sticks around, thanks in part to an active stream of bubbles from a nucleation site on the bottom of the flute. This sheets of lace form then breakdown into an intricate web which mostly succumbs to gravity.

The smell is quite nice. Fruity aroma of cranberry greets the nose, some clean pale malts, and the creamy vanilla character of their famous fruit beers is also present. Im looking forward to tasting this....

Very nice. The taste is much like the nose. The creamy vanilla character really adds complexity to this brew, and while the pale malts take the backseat to the fruity and vanilla notes they are evident. The cranberry is quite evident, but certainly not overpowering. Once again the craftsmanship of Dan Carey is quite evident.

Another brilliant offering. Very well balanced, the slightest touch of funk is also present in this brew, the tartness of the cranberry slowly grows as I enjoy this brew, but there is enough residual sweetness to keep things in check.

Quite drinkable for what it is. A great after dinner drink, and could pair quite nicely with a dark chocolate themed dessert. One will be enough, after all this is a decadent treat. Very highly recommended. Hopefully this is brewed again, it would make a wonderful late fall seasonal offering, and is a great compliment to the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Photo of tpd975
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice strawberry pink hue. Small fizzy head. No retention or lace.

S: Nice fresh cut oak, tart berries, and fresh sweet cherry juice. Nice sweet tart thing going here.

T: There is nothing that New Glarus does bad. Wow. Light tart cranberry up front. Sweet Belgian red cherry juice, and very very light oak. No acid.

M: On the lighter side, sweet and light tartness.

D: Damn good.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle of this during my visit to WI. Pours a murky reddish hue with no head at all. Tiniest bit of lace sticks to the glass. Scents of cranberry, leather, and hay.

Nice crisp body to this beer. Light carbonation on the tongue. Flavors of tart cranberries, green apples, barn funk, and a touch of wood on the finish. This was really good. It's not a style that I can drink much of, but this was really well-made. Nice work, NG!

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.84/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. From the beer exchange, courtesy of mattafett. Thanks Matt!

A: Pours a clear ruddy/pink hued copper body that momentarily develops a finger of off-white head. There is a small collar after collapse, with no lacing. Swirling pulls many bubbles out of suspension and produces a pretty decent (but again, short-lived) head. Quite nice for the style.

S: Tart cranberries with the slightest lactic sourness. Nicely oaky. Just the lightest hint of hay, must, and earth.

T: Fruit-forward to be sure, with a dominant, tart cranberry flavor that is supplemented by sharp lactic sourness. The mid-taste is still tangy cranberries rounded out by tannins and vanilla. A soft funky presence as the taste draws to a close, manifesting as must, earth, and rhubarb, with a semi-dry finish. I don't consider this a true lambic (not a lot of bacterial character), but this is worlds better than the Sam Adams attempt at the style.

M: This is drier than the NG Raspberry Tart and Belgian Red, but it still showcases the fruit nicely in an interplay of sweet and sour. Carbonation is restrained, giving a hint of bite and cleaning up nicely without interfering with the flavor.

D: New Glarus impresses me more and more with each beer. This is an outstanding fruit beer. I wish they'd stop labeling these things lambics / gueuzes, because those words invoke expectations of certain flavor profiles that just aren't found in their beers. A mediocre lambic or wild ale, an A+ (4.5 / 4 / 5 / 5 / 3) fruit beer.

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Photo of steadydose
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a New Glarus flute. Thanks for the gift pack skybluewaters.

Beer looks a lot like light cranberry juice. (duh). 1/2 finger head that recedes quickly. This beer has high clarity.

I can smell cranberry, a little wood aroma and faint malt sweetness.

The taste follows the nose with cranberry, beer is sweet initially and finishes with good tartness. Beer leaves hardly any aftertaste. I don't get much oak or wild yeast flavors. Beer is pretty straight forward, with lots of cranberry goodness.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing

Overall, it is hard not to gulp this beer down. Its refreshingly tart, although it makes my stomach feel a little sour. I would have liked more complexity from the oak or a little funk, but good beer overall. Enjoyable.

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

12oz bottle to tulip.

A: Golden color with rosy hues and a rosy pink head. A swirl really got the head going again.

S: Sweet fruit and cranberries. Some wildness in there. Earthy smells.

T: Cranberries followed by a sweet acidity, with just a minimal amount of sour. Mostly sweet and fruity.

M: light bodied and tart and tangy. Nicely carbed but not super active. I enjoyed carbonation.

D: Very good and highly drinkable. I enjoyed it greatly as did anyone I gave a try to ;) I will sit on my 2nd bottle to compare after it has some time on it. I'm not a lambic expert by any means so this will be an interesting exploration of the style.

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Photo of billyzoom666
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. An average speed pour caused a slight head. The head faded quickly and there was a nice slight carbonation. The beer itself is beautiful. It looks and smells like a carbonated cranberry blush wine (which, I'm not a wine guy, but I love a bottle of this every year...a Wisconsin tradition maybe). The initial taste gave a sharp cranberry bite over the tounge. That taste disappears all too quickly though and what's left over after that first bite, unfortunately wasn't all that impressive. I wouldn't say this has high drinkability, but with a medium body it's definitely a flavor where one or two would go great with a holiday meal.

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Unplugged Cranbic Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 598 ratings