Unplugged Abt | New Glarus Brewing Company

very good
190 Reviews
Unplugged AbtUnplugged Abt

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.75%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian Dark Candi Sugar encourages the decadence of rum, raisin dark chocolate and sherry like fruit tones to conspire happily in almost 20° Plato.

Added by beerwolf77 on 08-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 190 | Ratings: 305
Photo of xpdrinker
1.99/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle, trade extra from @shawnbgp - thanks!

A - Pours a clear, dark reddish brown. No head or lacing whatsoever.

S - Nothing. Nothing. Nothing at all. Seriously?

T - Barely carbonated apple juice, dark grapes.

M - Super light, low carbonation.

O - What the hell is this?

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Photo of MowryJC
2.38/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a foiled 12 oz. bottle into a goblet.

A - Deep brown with dark red highlights, light shines through when held up to it. Thick one finger head that settles slowly into a pillowy topping. Leaves very little lace down the glass.

S - Muddy, with almost no yeastiness. A little woody, and really faint candi sugar.

T - Even muddier than the smell, this devolves into a chaotic mess with an unpleasant woodiness. Absolutely no Quad-like character.

M - Thin and slightly astringent, not enjoyable at all.

D - Average Drinkability, but not that I would want to keep tossing these down.

This must have been infected or poorly handled. I'm clinging on to that hope, as I could not believe New Glarus would put this out intentionally like this, especially since the description is nothing like the actual taste. Might be my biggest disappointment to date (sounded so tasty!)

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Photo of harrymel
2.4/5  rDev -37%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottled August 2010

A: pours a really neat cola ale with a single finger of light tan head which falls quickly to a centrally capped sheet of the same. Little/no lacing. Gotsta give some recognition here, man it's brilliant, never seen a quad with this much clarity.

S: Malts are typical of a quad, sweet, nougat, some dark stone fruits, maybe a specific hint of prune. Yeast is there, subdued for the style, which is nice IMO.

T: Sweet and sweet. I really have a hard time here. Just seems like sweet, malty, belgian candy sugar. Some hints of earthy yeast.

M: Thin with moderate carb. Semi-dry finish. Expect a little more body here.

O: This beer looks great, unfortunately, it doesn't stand out in the nose. The flavors are one-dimensional. The mouthfeel is unimpressive.

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Photo of Dhren1979
2.56/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to AgentZero for this bottle (given as an extra in my 1st trade!)

Vintage: 2010

Serving Type: 12 Oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark, brown with a touch of mahogany. Very minmal head is noticed along with no lacing.

S: Not getting much of anything here. A slight...and I mean sligh sweet, malty aroma. (I feel fine and I am NOT stuffed up so my health is not a factor here)

T: A very weak taste...almost like stale water!! No sweet, fruity tastes at all. Maybe a slight malt flavor.

M: A very light bodied brew, which is fine. It does warm up after a few sips and continues to do so.

D: Eh...it would not be my 5th choice if I had to choose. Very bland. I will go and say I would like to try this FRESH to see if this is better than this review. Wish more brewers put "bottled date" on their beers!!

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Photo of bashiba
2.6/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a deep dark brown with a very thin soap ring head.

Almost no nose at all just traces of belgian candi sugar.

The taste is very off with a musty basement type of flavor with a bit of woodyness, very strange belgian quad, lacking the big yeast and fruity flavors I would have expected.

The mouthfeel is average with medium body and very light carbonation.

Pretty poor belgian quad, will avoid in the future.

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Photo of Blakaeris
2.65/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark copper with cola highlights. Head is initially dense, but quickly dissipates to a thin ring.

Aroma is sweet and malty. Caramel malt, hints of toffee, and rum soaked dark fruit.

Taste is initially sweet caramel malt. Then dark fruit and a mild alcohol warmth. Some earthy woody qualities surface. Finishes with a minerally, metallic quality that does not match with the rest of the flavors.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. Surprisingly thin.

Overall a very mild, fruity ale. Finish is off putting. No real Belgian yeast character to be found. Flavor is far too thin to be called a Belgian quad.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
2.7/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I got this beer from arvjunk. Thanks Ankur!

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - dark brown color with a beige head that thinned out to a ring, no lacing.

S - fig/date, earthy aroma.

T - dark fruit malty taste upfront is kicked hard with a rubbing alcohol taste that pretty much turned me off to drinking much more.

F - medium/full bodied, carbonation is mild.

D - I really didn't care for this beer and found it a bit difficult to drink.

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Photo of leakyfaucet12
2.76/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance is pretty average. Dark color and a white ring around the glass with head

Smell was non existant to me...could bareley smell anything but a faint hint of dark fruit

Taste pretty light. When I think of quad I think of malts and dark fruits. This is almost like a sweet water.

MF- Light and fizzy like a soda

Most everything that NG has done has been a homerun for me but when I try to compare this to a quad it ruins it for me. I have never had the westy 12 so its not like I am comparing this to the best in world. I am pretty unhappy with this one and I wish NG would have done a great quad.

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Photo of samie85
2.79/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes; originally 9/25.

A-Pours a ruby color with a one finger head.

S-Deep malt and dark fruit notes with some alcohol presence.

T-Mild spicy clove aspects of the yeast with dark fruit and some hot alcohol notes on the finish

M-Prickly, and well carbonated with a medium body and a warming mouthfeel.

D-Not very high as it's pretty rich but also hot and a little too carbonated for my taste.

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Photo of Trilogy31
2.83/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cocao brown with a finger of creamy colored khaki head leaving light lacing. The nose carries hints of cocao nibs, roasted chocolate malt along with a slight brown sugar note. The taste is very muted (maybe to cold) with slight banana and chocolate malts, very disappointing. The mouthfeel is average is not a tad watery. Not a favorite.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown color liquid, looks nice, leaves a good 1/2" head, and has decent retention and lacing. Aroma was very wine like, much of which is probably the very noticeable.

Lots of raisin and plum sweetness, tons of alcohol taste in this. Tons of brown sugary sweetness. I really don't have much more to say about this, a little bit of chocolate, but the alcohol and the sugary sweetness were a complete distraction and didn't really allow myself to contemplate any of the nuance or good flavors in this. Frankly, I know abt ain't my style, so I'm probably rating it higher than my actual experience was, but New Glarus makes so much good stuff, it kinda evened out an otherwise not as great as usual NG experience.

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Photo of kbutler1
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a medium dark colored brown with some slight reddish color with a slight off white head that collars around the glass. No sediment present. Some very muted dark fruit type flavors and sweet malt. Some yeast type aromas as well. Medium/light mouthfeel with decent carbonation. The taste is rather subdued with not a whole lot jumping out. I get sweet upfront with some dark fruit and spice. Lingering bitterness in the end but ends rather cleanly. Pretty dry. I think this would be better with additional malt and less carbonation. Not the best quad I have had. I don't really pick up any of the alcohol notes so that's a plus I guess.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.04/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Brown pour, solid half inch of off white head that is above par for retention. Uniform brussels lace. A good amount of brown sugar, red wine tannins, sherry like notes.

Tastes kind of like a waterfall. A little bit of everything dumped together, raisin, plum, red wine, sherry, chocolate and brown malts. Way too boozy for me, this was like breathing fire unlike any other New Glarus beer I've had. Big quad here.

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Photo of brow1901
3.09/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours a very dark maroon with just a wisp of off white foam. It's not exactly the prettiest color, somewhere between black and reddish brown.

S- I honesty can't pick much smell here minus a very very small hint of sweetness. Quite disappointing for an unplugged beer.

T- The taste too is unimpressive. Nothing that jumps out at me or strikes me as original or unique. No hints of sherry, not even a feint hint of booze. There is a nice taste of malty sweetness, actually it kinda reminds me of some home brews that didn't fully attenuate.

M- Good mouthfeel especially for a beer at almost 10%. Real nice carbonation.

D- Not terribly drinkable simply because it does not have great taste and it is rather high in abv.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of hu5om. Thanks Ryan!

It pours a deep crimson brown with a small head of foam, quickly dissipating.

The smell is of dark fruit, mostly figs and some prunes, and caramel malt. Smells...nice.

The taste reflects the smell to a T, content wise, only more subdued than I had hoped for. It's like the mute button was pushed. Except for the alcohol, which is substantial. Lots of warming.

The body...is very wine like with very low carbonation. I'm not digging the mouth feel.

Drinkability? Pretty much follows the not so glowing taste and mouth feel. The one bottle will be more than enough. Humm..this is my least favourite from the fine line of beers from New Glarus.

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Photo of pixieskid
3.11/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a miniature Chimay Goblet.

Looks like a quad should, a little more transparent redish brown than I would like, with a decent head.

Notes of brown sugar, dark fruits, and a lingering hint of molasses.

Finishes with notes of raisins, plum, and brown sugar.

Overall; has the notes that a Quad should but awfully thin body and lacks any real character. A decent shot at the style, but nothing special.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I think this is a fairly fresh bottle. Poured into a Chimay goblet.
Rather dark and somewhat cloudy. Head was very short lived, and settles into a ring.
Aroma is really tight. But what can be captured is rich, dark fruit and somewhat sweet. Mild yeast which is low on phenols and spice. A touch of alcohol.
Flavor is sufficiently complex, but tame in intensity. Not overpowering is this one. Rich malt that holds some dark fruit flavors blends with strong yeast qualities and warm alcohol flavors. A rather short drying finish. A touch of vanilla.
Carbonation is both soft/smoothing, and prickly and sharp. Quite an accomplish really. Moderately light body.
The thing that is most remarkable about this beer is that it leaves no memory. As I walk away, there is nothing to capture my interest, or inspire me in any way. That's disappointing both for this style and this brewery.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, slightly reddish, amber, and quite clear, with a short layer or light-tan head.

Smell is sweet well-rounded malts. Dark fruits. A bit of smokiness, some yeast that's Belgian-like but not quite Belgian.

Taste is also mostly sweet, fairly rich caramel malts (and lots of them), again with dark fruit (dates). It's a bit overdone, though, giving it a cough-medicine syrupyness that I don't really like. The finish brings out the unpleasant elements of that, an odd combination of sweet and bitter that lingers for too long in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, chewy, with a syrupy stickiness. Ample (above average) carbonation lightens the load.

I'm happy I tried this, but I doubt I'll pick it again when there are much better quads out there. The flavors start out well, but it's overly sweet and has an unpleasant cough syrup bitter/sweet combo that really turns me off.

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Photo of mothman
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into snifter

Pours 1/2 finger of khaki head. Color is a dark copper brown with a ruby hue to it.

Aroma: A fairly muted nose. Notes of Belgian candi sugar, plums, raisins, and other dried fruits. Maybe some red apples. Fairly malty with notes of caramel. Has a bit of licorice as well.

Taste: A bit more flavor here, but not what a quad normally tastes like. Fairly rich and sweet with Belgian candi sugar. Plums, raisins, and some molasses. Toffee and caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, but very fizzy with a high amount of carbonation. Lighter bodied for a quad. Ends very dry.

Overall, not the biggest fan of this one. It has some decent flavors, but just doesn't click. A bit let down from this unplugged. Somewhat drinkable.

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours clear, dark ruby with a thin cream colored head that settles to a thin gauze. What can I say? It looks the part.

Put your schnoz over the glass and you'll get some light bready malt, some brown sugar, a little bit of banana and a very slight copper-metallic note that's just a bit off.

The mouthfeel is a solid representation of the style: medium bodied with a level of carbonation that keeps things smooth rather than sprightly.

The flavors are solid but they don't bring this into the upper tier of the style. It has all the flavors of a well-crafted quad: wheat bread, banana, caramel and an earthy sweet-potato note. But the flavors are too light and don't come together to a coherent whole. Worth a try, but it won't make you forget its cousins across the pond...

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Photo of nhindian
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Bottle generously provided by UMNbeerhunter as an extra, thanks Joe!

A - Pours a dark mahogany brown, translucent for the most part and with a darker purple where the glass is most thick. Only about a finger's worth or so of tan head, with moderate retention. Lacing is sticky at first, but gradually slides down the edges of the glass, leaving thin streaks.

S - The aroma on this is very sweet from the get go and has a bit of heat behind it as well. Belgian candi sugar, raisins, and grapes make up the bulk of the nose, to the extent that it's almost like a juice. There's some spiciness to it as well, probably due to the yeast. The darker fruits combined with the alcohol gives it an almost rum-like quality.

T - Again, getting a lot of sugar and fruits here, almost to the point of being cloying. Think of an alcohol Welch's grape juice and this isn't too far off in my opinion. The malts do come through more than in the nose, lending the beer an earthy or nutty characteristic that lasts through the finish. The spiciness is here as well, with some nutmeg and cloves. Fairly bready throughout, the finish is long and filled with a sugar-coated fruit sweetness with a pinch of alcohol. Finishes almost like a spiced rum.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy-bodied with decent carbonation. Almost feels syrupy at the start, but eventually the palate acclimates and it's not too bad. Finishes somewhat dry.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. A bit too sugary for my liking, and while the yeast imparts a noticeable characteristic, it definitely takes a backseat to the other notes in this beer. Trim down some of (okay, maybe a lot of) the sugar, some fruits, and beef up the malts a bit and this is a great beer, but as it stands now, I'd continue to seek out the more tried-and-true Belgians.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.22/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. A generous trade from Wisconsinality. Thanks, Kylie!

A: Pours a clear, but quite dark, slightly ruddy brown body capped by light beige foam. It retains poorly, leaving only a thin collar with a few speckles of lace down the glass.

S: Date, fig, brown sugar, even mango (yes, odd). A touch of nuts, plum. Nicely fragrant, but it has a noticeable booze note.

T: As the nose suggests, it is dominated by date, fig, brown sugar, and (again) mango. I am floored by the appearance of the mango flavor, but this reminds me heavily of aam ras (mango puree, basically) that I eat from time to time. Very unique for a quad. A 'signature' New Glarus contribution brings in nuts, a small grape-like presence, and a touch of plum. Very small yeasty presence.

M: It's a bit on the sweet, underattenuated side for me. I like how [relatively] dry Westvleteren 12 is. This one still carries a lot of residual sugar, which isn't so good. The carbonation is low-medium, and it struggles to scrub the tongue well.

D: Almost everything New Glarus does ranges from (at a bare minimum) good to outstanding. This is 'merely' good, but I know with some tweaks it will be amazing.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled January 2011
A vigorous pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a four-finger thick, lightly amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber to full brown color that shows a brilliantly bright clear, deep ruby with amber leanings hue when held up directly to the light. The aroma smells quite sweet with fruity notes of Brandy, alcohol soaked raisins and fortified plum wine that have all been fortified with cotton candy sugar. The nose also has a good measure of bubble-gum and spicy, turpene-like clove in the finish. If you really dig for it, the finish has a hint of nutty and / or toasty whole grain character to it. Despite all the aromas, this beer smells fairly simplistic, a bit too cloying and a bit too hotly of alcohol; if there was some malt complexity to the nose it would go a long way towards tempering these other notes that can be quite nice when they are part of a balanced beer.

Up front this beer isn't quite as cloying as the nose suggested, as it first hits the tongue the beer is sweet, but has some peppery carbonation and tongue lingering clove character to it. As the beer rolls across the tongue it picks up flavors of bubble gum, sweeter clove notes, . The beer finishes with a hot alcohol note that is joined by a lot of higher alcohol notes (that don't quite get to, but suggest at flavors of acetone) that remind me of poorly distilled fruit eau de vie (perhaps even more distinctly like distilled grape skins). As the beer warms up it starts to pick up some butterscotch like notes that help to accentuate an underlying malt character that suggests of caramelized malt, a touch of nutty toasted malt, . The body of this beer is not nearly as cloying as I had initially feared, it is perhaps even on the light bodied side, which is usually a good thing, but when paired with the fusel notes in the finish perhaps finishes a bit too thin (this seems to need more malt / body to stand up to the alcohols).

I really wish I wasn't so disappointed with so many of New Glarus' beers. There regular lineup and their wheat beers are stellar, but so many of these Belgian leaning special beers just seem to be lacking in much needed complexity and completeness; the best I can describe it is to say these taste like they are filtered all to hell (even if they aren't and it is just the ingredients / brewing process that makes them seem so).

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Photo of JohnL9013
3.24/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A: The appearance is identical to Coca-Cola, plain and simple. Very little head. This beer looks like it has been filtered and there is no "evidence" of bottle conditioning like there usually is in Belgian tripels and quads.

S: It has a pleasant, sweet smell with a dark roasted backbone.

T: OK, something is clearly amiss here. Quads are usually sweet but this one is just way too sweet. It has a candy-fruity taste on the front-end and a rum aftertaste. I've had plenty of Belgian style beers and plenty of quadrupels and this beer is neither. It isn't bad, but it just doesn't have nearly the refinement nor the complexity that our friends the Belgians have mastered. The thing that I miss the most about this beer comparing it to the real thing is the sheer BODY those big Belgian beers have, the way such a small amount can stimulate so many of your receptors at once.

M: For me, this beer feels unpleasant in my mouth, mostly due to the excessive sweetness. The rest of the beer would seem so much better if it wasn't so sweet.

This beer isn't bad, don't get me wrong, it's still way better than anything I can get on tap in my area, but if this company is going to put "Abt" on this beer, I'm not trying anything else from them anytime soon. This is probably the first Belgian-style beer I haven't liked.

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Photo of WJVII
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass this brew is a dark red almost cherry juice color with an off white thin head that settled into nothing. This almost has more of a wine consistency than a brew. The aroma is of raisin, fig, and slight malts. The taste is a little dry from the alcohol and the brew is thin and doesn't have much strength of flavor. There is some slight fig taste up front, warm alcohol and malt balance but this is thin. Not as bold as the other unplugged varieties I have had in the past. This is OK at best and not really worth the price.

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Unplugged Abt from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 305 ratings.
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