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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 319 | Ratings: 593
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to fdkayti & duff27 for sending this bottle my way! Thanks Kayti & Duff!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: a weird pink bodied beer. Modest one finger of white head that drops to a ring around the beer.

Smell: yeah cranberries. Sour cherries. Decent oakiness with a musty and earthy funkiness. Vinegar is also quite present; it smells like its going to be really sour.

Taste: mildly sour and moderately vinegary. Tart cranberries and sweet cherries. To my surprise the beer is sweeter than I expected it to be. The oak barrel seems to have imparted a lot of vanilla character to the beer after some time has passed. It still has a touch of woody oak. The beer is a little musty with a little carboard note in there also.

Mouthfeel: low end of medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The beer is starting to get a little bit syurpy.

Overall: This is better than I remember when I drank it was fresh beer along time ago. Still an enjoyable beer. Try to get a bottle if you can and drink them now if you have a bottle!

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

Pours a clear dark reddish amber color with a white foamy head retains nicely and leaves some decent lacing as it recedes.

Aromas begin with sweetened cranberry juices with some underlying mulled spices and oak that emerge more as it warms.

The tastes follow the nose with sweet cranberry juice combined with some lemony sour/tartness that emerges midway through the flavor, though the sweetness kicks back up in the finish. As it warms the subtle acidic and oak notes that add more dimension to the flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Finish is on the sweeter end but the bumped up carbonation helps to create a dry balance.

Overall this is avery drinkable, refreshing fruit beer from New Glarus but just a little too much sweetness for my palate. Not as good as their Apple Ale or Raspberry Tart. Maybe that my bias towards those flavors but this one just felt a little one noted.

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Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for hooking me up, Steven. Almost 3 years old, this added beauty with age. Reddish brown, with some spider lace, and only the faintest head. Pleasant berry aroma. Smooth mouth feel, with some acidic bite. Very drinkable. Tasty and good job, different and not as biting as the Mikkeller 2 days ago.

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Photo of black13
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to sherm1016 for this bottle.

Opened this on a rare day in Oregon that hit 100F! Hoping it's refreshing.

A: A good pour produces a nice white head that rapidly dissipates to nothing. It sounded very effervescent, if only for a moment. Appears reddish/pink and reminds me of some Jello I made the other day.

S: Sweetness and a light fruity aroma. Not able to pinpoint the fruit, but it smells like berries.

T: Starts off with a sweet cranberry-esque taste, but also resembles berries in general. Quite refreshing with a crisp clean finish. Didn't pick up any tartness or sourness, which I really enjoy. As it warms up, I start to pick up dark fruit flavors that add some more body and complexity to the beer.

M: Quite effervescent with a full bodied flavor and feel. It coats the mouth without being overpowering.

D: Very drinkable, especially on a hot day like today. It would be easy to put down a few of these, and at this ABV, you probably wouldn't feel it.

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Photo of Duff27
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Short lived white head on a kind of pinkish-amber body. Very little lacing, no cap or collar.

S- Same sort of crisp, tarty smell you get from Apple Ale/Enigma/Wisconsin Belgian Red/Raspberry Tart. Can't pick out the specific fruit just yet but it smells good.

T- Ah yes, there it is. Like refreshing cranberry juice, only way better. Mouth puckering tartness (borderline sour) at the beginning, only to finish sugary sweet at the tail end. Nary a trace of alcohol.

M- Has that *dance-on-your-tongue" carbonation that we've come to know and love from New Glarus. Medium-thin mouthfeel.

D/O- Highly drinkable (my pint was gone in less than 10 minutes) but I wouldn't want more than one serving. My only complaint is that I wish the appearance was up to par with all of Cran-Bic's other attributes. Another great tart fruit beer from New Glarus.

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Photo of OneBeertoRTA
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big ups to mmatroop for this extra.

As a big fan of AWAs and sours in general I was excited to try this one on.

Big flavor and smell of cranberry. Almost tastes like a cider but the the subtle to mid size sourness peeps through.

It is probably just my BBRIS pallet but I can not taste a single hint of booze whatsover. The wifey shared this with me and she is a big sour fan but thought it was too sweet.

For what they were going for, they probably nail it. I can imagine the sorority girls way back in my college years chugging this stuff for days.

Great to try once. But I'll stick with the loons and the beefy RR offerings.

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

Cheers to rmalinowski4 for sending me this beer back NOOB BIF 6 (back in the fall of 2011... I think this is the last beer from that box)

Consumed 6/24/12

Appearance: Mostly clear, orange with a slight touch of ruby - not as red as I would expect - small, white head - not much carbonation (this is years old, so whatever) - leaves spotty lacing

Smell: Sour and berries - some cranberries, but really more of a neutral, ripe berry aroma - very nice, and nicely sour - slightly sweet and tart - some pale malts underneath - honestly, reminds me of New Glarus Raspberry Tart

Taste: Sour berries - juicy, fleshy berries - nicely tart, slightly sour and puckering - fruit sugar - on the sweet side, with lots of cranberry sweetness - very interesting, with a lot of depth in the fruit

Mouthfeel: Medium body, fruit stickiness, adequately carbonated

Overall: Very interesting

In my humble opinion, this tastes more like a fruit beer than an American Wild Ale. It's slightly sour, but it's more tart and fruity. Regardless, it's tasty, and I'm more than happy that I had a chance to dry it.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to angrybabboon for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Bright orange with a slight chill haze. Almost no head. Tiny collar is bright-white and bubbly. Minimal carbonation. It glows.

Smell: Sharp bite of cranberry. Tart fruit flesh. Some wood. Bright tart edge. Juicy fruit flesh as well. Fresh juice and a pronounced sweetness. It's like cranberry juice fermented in an oak barrel. Mild funk edge. Bright.

Taste: Holy cranberry, Batman. Flesh and juice and skin. Destroyed the cranberry and then fermented it. Nice tartness cuts through some of the sweetness. Nicely layered. Touches of wood come through the back. Almost raspberry juiciness.

Mouthfeel: Just this side of medium. Almost no carbonation. Dry.

Overall: New Glarus + fruit = win. They know what they're doing and this is just another not te belt of New Glarus fruit beer.

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Photo of RuckusDu
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Has been sitting in my cellar for a few months but not too long. Poured into Stone Double Bastard tumbler.

A - Large bubble white head of about 1/4 finger which quickly fell. Body is clear and light. Looks like apple juice.

S - There is a nice funky quality to it like lime and lime rind to go with grapefruit. Only slight cranberry.

T - A lot sweeter than the nose. Great cranberry flavors that start sweet and finish with good sour. A lot of apple flavors in here and acidity.

M - A little light on body but carbonation is good. The fruitiness makes me want more body for some reason.

O - A wonderful fruit beer that I would call one of the best. I'm not a fan of the super sweet fruit sours, but this does a good job.

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Photo of dfernandez77
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Warm amber, lightly hazy, light head that dissipates nearly instantly.

Smell: Indistinguishable malt profile, wet gravel, dry dirt, old wood, sweet and fruity, acetic acid, mild funk.

Taste: Sweet and tart, slightly buttery, slightly salty, fruity like sour cherries, apple cider vinegar, invigorating. The aromas don’t give away the sweet/tart bomb in the flavor.

Feel: Light body, puckering and slightly astringent. Acetic acid forward in the finish.

Overall: A surprising complex wild ale. Sweet and tart battle with fruity sweetness and astringency between. At the first sip I exclaimed “Wow!” out loud at the surprise assault. Reminds me more of an old world Lambic than many other American wild ales. Well done.

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Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra from fastpass17 – big thanks for throwing this in.

Poured into a snifter – has a golden amber color, very similar to apple juice. Thin white head forms at first pour, then fades to some bubbles at the edges. Mostly still with some slight carbonation. Smells of funky green apples, oak and brett. There’s also some berry notes towards the back, but muddled by the sour apple.

Taste is much more cranberries, sour cherries and a slight bit of bitterness. Not overly sour with a bite at the back of the throat. There’s some slight barrel and woodsy notes as well. Again, not much (if any carbonation) but for the style it’s not needed. Good mouthfeel with a light to medium viscosity (much like apple juice).

This is a really tasty take on a lambic and quite enjoyable. If only I lived near New Glarus or they could ship CA…….

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Photo of rudzud
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade and poured into a Duvel Tulip.

A - Poured a crystal clear golden hue with a nice one finger white head that fades to leave spotty lacing and a nice creamy halo with spotty clouding.

S - Nice and tart and sweet. Not sure if I really get any cranberries per say but I do get some nice light tart. There are some fun barrel notes here, oak, vanilla. This is very, very perfumey too.

T - So, hmm. Its sweet, not too too sweet with light malt sweetness. Good cranberry tartness, a shocking amount of wood and vanilla from the wood and tons of perfume/potpourri flavours. Its kinda weird but I like it. Every now and then I get some nice distinct cranberry but mostly that potpourri.

M - Mouthfeel is solid for a wild ale. Nice and refreshing, enough carbonation to stop it from falling thin or flat.

O - Overall this is a good beer. The potpourri funk qualities is slightly distracting, as is the odd amount of vanilla I'm getting from the barrel. Still though, its worth seeking out if just to try.

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Photo of brystmar
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taking a break from my Power Through Random Extras Night to actually drink something good.

Pours a pinkish color that's rarely seen in beer. Mild white head leaves some mesh atop the brew. Sticky lace too.

I don't recall this brew having an aroma this spicy, but it's definitely reminiscent of a pumpkin ale. Seriously has pumpkin in the nose. Cranberries and funky yeast share the spotlight with the spices, though I wish it were free of spice.

Tart fruit, a touch of funk, and some sweetness compose most of the flavor. Tart cranberries work well in this mixture. It *is* a bit sweet, but I happen to like that.

Cranbic ranks among my favorite off-the-shelf sours from American brewers. Word on the street is they have no plans to brew this again, and that would be a shame. I love me some Cranbic!

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Photo of davey101
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No idea what vintage this is, but it is from the thumbprint series rather than the unplugged label. Thanks to woosterbill fro this beer! 12 oz red foil wrapped bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Slightly hazy dark orange body. Has an almost peach hue to it out of the light. One finger off white head formed initially. Settles down to some soapy edging with a ton of lacing and retention.

S - Tart cherries and cranberries. Smooth mixture of oak, vanilla, and funky brett. This is the pleasant form of the dirty sock aroma.

T - Tart and sour cranberry juice initially. This is followed by barrel notes of vanilla and oak. The finish is yeasty with a bit of spice and cinnamon. Funky notes linger around with the mouth puckering tartness. Mouth feel is spritzy and medium bodied, almost syrupy.

O - New Glarus makes some of the best fruit beers in America in my opinion. This is an awesome cranberry wild ale. Really tart and refreshing. I wish I had access to this stuff.

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Photo of thain709
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure about the vintage date on this one as it was pulled from Deuane's basement. Thanks man!

A - Pours with a clear golden body that showcases some darker ruby highlights...the head was thin and white in color and dissipated quickly to just a ring...a few patches of lacing

S - This one is sweet and full of tart cranberries...they give off a little juiciness, but the sweetness is foremost...nothing else stands out above it

T - The flavors are sweet, juicy, and tart...the cranberries were a good choice as they are the right amount of tart and adding some candied sugar cranks up the sweetness level...not getting too much spice or yeast coming through, which isn't problem...there is an underlying grape flavor that lends itself to being winey sometimes, but again, not a bad thing

M - Light bodied...tart, refreshing, bubbly,

O - I really enjoyed this one...I wish I would have been able to grab a few more bottles from the basement...some might say it's too sweet, but I think the cranberries were the right choice

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Photo of jegross2
3.44/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Cran-bic Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company. Full disclosure upfront: not a fan of sours generally.
Score: 84

2011 vintage bottle served in a New Glarus flute and enjoyed on 04/23/12.

Appearance: Pours a cider color with a thin layer of bubble head that quickly dissipates into a pencil thin ring around the glass. Minimal lacing, poor retention. 3/5

Smell: Tart cranberries, granny smith apples and a little white grape. Hawaiian punch and little sweet vinegar sour aroma too. Nice sweet-and-sour aroma. 3.75/5

Taste: Tart, sweet-and-sour cranberries and grape upfront, with a light yeasty twang, subsides into a funky/sweet cranberry flavor on the back half. I like how the beer starts, but I do not like how it finishes so funky. Decent puckering effect. Very straightforward and one dimensional. The funky finish gets a little less funky as the beer layers. Has a light sweet rice vinegar and cranberry linger -- less crisp than expected given its effervescence. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, lively carbonation. Champagne-like mouthfeel. Very prickly on the tongue. Sweet, sugary and dry. 4/5

Overall: Certainly not a bad beer; this is one of the better fruit beers I have encountered. However, an off-puttingly funky finish really ruins what would have otherwise been a really solid beer.

Recommendation: Fans of Smirnoff Ice will probably love this. I'm sure sour fans will also like this one a lot too.

Pairings: Apple walnut salad with balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Cost: $2.99 for a 12 oz bottle or $10.99 for a four pack.

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Photo of derkfromwi
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Half-inch white head, extremely clear amber-golden color, very good carbonation, satisfactory lacing

S: Tart cranberry, bit of funkiness, earthy, some straw or wheat (can't pinpoint it)

T: Sweet cranberry up-front that quickly becomes tart and sour, some funk, oak

M: Smooth and creamy, decent carbonation, gets the whole tongue involved

O: Good stuff, maybe just a touch too sweet to give it a 4.5 for me, hope they bring this back soon

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange/red with a small off-white head.

Aroma features a distinct tartness with a little bit of wheat malt.

Wonderful tart cranberry on the flavor. Light and effervescent with a subtle sourness.

Fairly light with good carbonation.

Another hit from New Glarus. They've got the fruited stuff dialed in. Just a bit tart with a nice light refreshing flavor.

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Photo of kevanb
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer has a nice clear honey color, hints of orange and in a weird way, neon pink, with lots of bubbles rising to the glass, very effervescent. A thin wispy white head sits atop the beer for mere moments before receding, leaving behind a thin trace of film. Tart cranberries leap out of the glass, very tart, possibly with some spicing, the funk is somewhat mild but still a nice addition, the aroma reminds me of a nice cranberry sauce during the holidays. The flavors a bit sweeter, much more sugary, but the cranberry flavor is in full force and the tartness cuts down on the sugary aspects. Some faint oak, a little yeast, but the is almost like cranberry soda. The body is nice, very light and bubbly, not uncommon for a beer of this style though it compliments the flavors very well, doesn't get too heavy.

Verdict: Really tasty fruit lambic, it's a bit one dimensional and almost like a fruit soda, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. If you can find this limited release, stock up! 

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange-amber with a hint of pink. Small white head that disappears quickly. Scent is slightly tart cranberry aroma with hints of strawberry. Very juicy aroma with a hint of spice and some subtle oak aromas. Taste is initially a little bit tart, followed by sweet strawberry flavors. There are hints of cranberry, but not really getting that sharp, bitter cranberry flavor. Nice combo of sweet and tart. I hate when fruit beers are overly sweet, and this one has quite the balance to it. Nice oak flavors with the fruit. Mouthfeel is somewhat "spritzy"...soda like. Light bodied but full of flavor. Drinkability is very high. I could honestly sip on this all day on a warm summer day. Overall, I tend to like my wild ales on the more sour side, but somehow New Glarus came up with a way to add a good amount of fruity sweetness and get me to really enjoy it. Much better than Raspberry Tart.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very flat looking pour. Not too much carbonation. Very nice clarity in an orange and pink brew. Near perfect for the style.

Lots of sugar and spice! The cranberries play second fiddle to the spiciness.

Very spiced and slightly tart. This could really stand to be more tart, it's slightly bitter, but not annoyingly. Very sweet and perfectly carbonated.

A great NG Fruit brew. This brew is definitely NOT a Am. Wild Ale... It's a Lambic, just read the label. I judged it as a Lambic, not Wild. Every NG brew i've had I would highly recommend, this one is no different. Thanks Nick for sharing the great brew!

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Photo of birchstick
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - soft reddish orange without much of a head on it

S - cranberry and fruits with spicy belgian yeast

T - sweet citric lambic upfront washes down to cranberries and some tartness. The cranberries take the driver seat for a bit and has some oak in the mix with it. This beer reminds me of their belgian red made with cranberries, which is pretty solid.

M - a little spritzy and dry on the finish

D - good lambic / fruit beer from this side of the pond. I need to get some more of this.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into an Allagash chalice.

Appearance - As it pours, it looks a golden body with a reddish tinge. The more than goes into the glass, the darker it gets. By the end it's amber with a pinkish hue and almost no head.

Smell - Cranberry and some tartness. No funk or anything else reminiscent of a lambic.

Taste - Tart cranberry that builds a bit before giving way to a sweet fruity finish. I don't really know I would be able to distinguish it as cranberry from just a sour cherry. In fact, it reminds me a lot of Wisconsin Belgian Red.

Mouthfeel - As a lambic or any other wild, the mouthfeel is far too sweet. As a fruit beer, it's nice. Light and fruity. Nice on a hot day.

Overall - Not really a wild ale... and especially not a lambic, despite the name and the description from NG. Still a nice beer.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Mark (rempo) for this extra.
Pours a bright orange with a pink hue. Nice tight white carbonation. Head remains but becomes thin, perfectly transparent, you can see co2 rising up to the top to escape. Smells tart! Cherry, cranberry and light lactic lemon sourness. Smells amazing. A bit of damp wood. First sip is like a sweet tart. Cranberry soda, lemon tartness, a little lactic hit, then more sugar. A bit of oak at the end, sweet finish. There is just so much fruit in this beer. Just a little too sweet for me, but it is tart and i do like that part. As you sip it is spritzy in the mouth. Co2 explosions, it's rather a good thing. Sorry but I need this to be drier and have a funk component to it, but otherwise the other parts of this beer are spot on!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 02/19/12 notes. Received from JYounger30 in the Birthday BIF; thanks Jay! Love the fruit beers I've had from NG so far so have been wanting to try this one. 12 oz. bottle poured into my Duvel tulip. 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a murky reddish-orange color with one inch of fluffy white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour cranberries, yeast, spice, oak, and lightly sour dark fruits. Nice and the cranberries are there, but not too sour.

t - Tastes of sour cranberries, tart dark fruits, funk, oak, spices, acedic, apples, and some yeast. Taste is a lot more sour and funky then the nose. Great, and a step up.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Crisp, and easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a great fruit -forward wild ale. The nose is a tiny bit sour, but the taste is nice and sour/funky. Easy to drink, would love to get more of this one.

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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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