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 Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle enjoyed at Comet Cafe Store. Not a quad, but still an enjoyable Belgian brown style. carbonation was right here, with Belgian yeast aroma. Brown bodied, average mouthfeel, rasiny, mollasses, some chocolate malt, fig, and toasty. Sweetish, not cloying.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to burnheartsMKE for sending me this one!

Pours a semi-clear dark brown color with a 1 inch tan head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random legs of lacing form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark fruits (raisins, plums), spices, and yeast. Taste is very similar to the smell with dark fruits, rum raisin, spices, and yeast. A good level of carbonation makes for a bubbly and crisp feel on this beer. Slight alcohol warming in the back of the throat. Overall, this is a pretty good American quad from New Glarus. I am glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very well brewed Belgian Srong Dark Ale; perhaps one of the better ones made outside of Belgium.

Pouring a deep ruby/chesnut color, the beer carries a modest haze, allowing for a dim glow to penetrate. A froathy and sticky head nearly billows the glass while stubborn to fade, allows patterns of lace to cling to the sides. The beer looks about as good as can be expected from the style.

Grape-like esters, barley malt/grain, and mild chocolate lead the moderate intensity of aroma. Mild orange peel and soft corriander contribute subtle notes and weave into the yeasty phenolics well. Needing a bit more aromatic value to give better complexity and richness- I know it's in there; the beer's just not giving them up.

More boldness in flavor, the grape and currant esters come alive. And so do other berries, dehydrated apples, figs, dates, and plumbs to accompany medium spice of alcohol and rum. Conefectionate fruitiness reminds me of berry cobbler or stone fruits coated with powdered sugar. Though becomming more bold, the beer still holds back in taste.

Creamy and sweetly start has a smooth and even fade toward an evaporative feel (like cotton candy) and growing warmth. Finsihes dry with a mild bite from hops and residual sugar/grain.

Abt lives up to it's Abbey-like namesake. With smoothness, roundness, and genuine Belgian character, I still feel like I want more- as if its attempts not to over shoot the beer leaves it seemingly conservative. I'd much rather have it this way than the abrasive alcoholic, overtly caramel, and non-Belgiany Belgian Ales that most American brewers are making.

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Photo of brentk56
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cola color with a very slim head that leaves a few squiggles here and there

Smell: Spice cake, banana and figs

Taste: Opens with a bit of spice cake and fig flavor amid undertones of butterscotch and a vague hint of candi sugar; by mid-palate, a tart fruit element (currants) irons out the sweetness; after the swallow, there is a bit of a balsa wood flavor that leads to a rather dry finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A nicely drinkable beer but more like a Weizenbock masquerading as a Dubbel; I like that it is not too sweet, but it just doesn't approach the better Belgians in terms of mouthfeel or complexity

Thanks, DP34, for the opportunity

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Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label and red foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired from the very generous Duff27 in a trade and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high given the brewery - which may well be the best brewery in this country - and the style (abbey ale) - which I tend to like.

Served at fridge temp and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Appears soft, supple, and inviting. Head retention is good - about 6 minutes. Has some nice lacing, but little sticks to the sides of the glass. It's a good looking head for an abbey ale, but frankly it barely holds a candle to that of the best examples of the style. It isn't as delicate or fragile as say, Westvleteren 12.

Body colour is an opaque very dark red. Appears well-carbonated. There are no obvious flaws here. No yeast particles or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a damn fine appearance for an abbey ale, but I've certainly seen better. Not unique or special, but certainly healthy and inviting.

Sm: Rich decadent dark fruit: figs, plums, raisins. Belgian candi sugar. Belgian amber malts. Belgian abbey malts. Cream. Rum-soaked fruits. Sugarcane. The teasing bright plum is a highlight here. Very luscious and seemingly well balanced. Slightly bready.

I do pick up on a definitive Belgian character, which I think comes from the use of abbey/Trappist yeast, but I don't find any explicit yeast notes per se (e.g. biscuity notes, clove, banana, etc.)

In no way boozy. No overt hop character is detectable.

Overall, it's a very appealing aroma of moderate strength. Attenuation does seem a bit low for an abbey ale; it's a bit more sugary and rich than I'd have anticipated.

Mf/T: Disappointingly, it's a bit weak and airy in terms of texture - almost akin to a nitro Irish stout. Smooth, wet, creamy, even refreshing. Shockingly light on the palate. Great overall presence. I'd prefer a bit more body and thickness though. Perfectly carbonated

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

The flavour profile delivers varied notes of dark fruit - mainly plum and fig, though I can see why the label suggests sherry. Raisin comes through too, but the texture isn't as dry as is needed to complement that note. Belgian candi sugar makes an appearance alongside wisps of Belgian amber malts and abbey malts. It's a biteen bready, but as abovementioned it isn't really as filling as you'd expect an abbey ale to be. A kiss of apple comes through as it warms.

No hop character or yeasty notes come through, nor does any alcohol, and I'm not finding the dark chocolate mentioned on the label.

Far from complex or intricate for an abbey ale, but in classic New Glarus fashion it boasts impressive subtlety and incredible balance. While I'm a bit surprised by how shallow the flavours are, I do like the beer quite a bit. Flavour intensity and duration are average.

Dr: It's strangely drinkable for an abbey ale. The airy texture makes it easy to quaff, but I'd prefer more of a full body and weighty presence to really support the flavours. With that in mind, New Glarus has brewed an abbey ale that succeeds in terms of taste but fails in terms of texture. I'd buy this again if I could easily find it on the shelf, but unlike most New Glarus beers in this series, it's not worth trading for again. As much as I love the brewery, this beer just didn't quite nail the style they were after. Maybe age hasn't done this well?

Low B-

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear dark brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of candi sugar and dry fruits is quite nice with light candi ester. Taste is also a good mix between some residual candi sugar, fruit ester and dry raisins and plums with big malt backbone. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Solid interpretation of the style without being overly sweet.

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a one-finger, cream colored head of foam. It had nice retention and left thin wisps of lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruits - cherry, raisins and currants. A slight spicy aroma.

T - It tasted of dark cherry and other dried fruits like raisin and plum. It had a nice yeasty, spicy quality.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied beer with a fairly dry finish.

D - This is a really nice quad. New Glarus has out done themselves again!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of BeerFMAndy. Served in a tulip.

Pours dark brown with a bit of a crimson hue and a light tan head with a moderate amount of lacing. The nose is pretty plain with some light, brown-sugar sweetness as well as some yeasty esters. Some booze there as well. The taste brings some more sweetness and dark fruits as a well as a bit of molasses. A bit boozy. Body is medium with moderate carbonation. Pretty good, though doesn't rise to the level that New Glarus normally hits.

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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 jlindros
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to paco1029384756 for this one a while back.

Pours a nice fluffy almost 1 finger head thick and creamy but fades semi quick over semi clear cranberry maroon reddish brown color.

NOse starts with sweet malts, candy aromas, reddish toasty candy malts, candi sugar, toffee, caramel, a bit of a fermented apple pie aroma with soured apples, lots of Belgian esters and light phenols with a bit of booze, some nutty, nice brown malts, little candy bar aroma.

Taste starts with more candy, toffee, nutty, caramel a plenty, candy bar flavors, even a little candi syrup. Then sweet malts, crystal malts, belgian brown malts, sweet toasty brown malts, quite sweet overall. Booze comes in lightly but brings some appley esters as well as light phenols, a bit of a soud apple flavor too.Dried dark fruits, fig, raisin, candied nuts, etc. finish is still fairly sweet, lots of lingering candy malts and sweeteners, mild bitterness, booze starts warming more and more.

Mouth is med bodied, some warming booze that gets tingly.

Overall meh. nothing special, lots of candy and not much else, not really even Belgian style, some esters and phenols with the booze but they don't even seem to blend well. All the characters of the beer were good, but just seemed like the flavors didn't merge as well as they could have, I don't know what it was but the beer just didn't seem as good as the profile makes it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, dark fruit, Belgian yeast, caramelized malts and a touch hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of dark fruit and caramel. Then a hearty roasted malt character and Belgian yeast come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a good beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very deep ruby color with a small, off-white head on top. Not much retention, leaving behind a nice ring of foam and some thin, but sticky lacing.

S: Nice aroma of dark fruit, candied sugar, and some caramel. Very straight forward and inviting.

T: Not as flavorful as the aroma led on, but some caramelized sugar, some raisin and fig. Slight bready malt presence and a little bit of spice.

M: A little light for style, but makes it quite a bit more drinkable. Having no problem with it at all. Moderate carbonation, rather smooth.

O: A pretty good quad, especially for a US made one. Could drink this one without a problem.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

so what in the world inspired me to open a quad in the afternoon after a dipa, but what the hell right? served cold and allowed to warm, this one was consumed on 11/06/2010.

really a nice pour here with a thick dark brownish color, much like currants with a big off white head that really stuck around and clouded up the sides of the glass simply wonderfully.

aroma of dark fruits, figs, plums, lots of spice, grains, hints of apples, nearly perfect with that spiced rum touch as it hits room temperature. flavor carries over perfectly as each sip opens up another world of flavor, huge notes of spiced fruits, grains, breads, plums, pears, and figs. clove and dark spices come full circle. the most remarkable feature is a warmth and hidden alcohol that made the whole thing round out nearly perfectly.

overall a superb example of the style and one of the best quads i have had in a very, very long time.

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Photo of Jason
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Thin lacing with good stickage, deep dark mahogany color has some clarity when put to the light. Very aromatic with grape-skin, cooked raisins and brown bread. Exceptional smoothness in the bigger body. Very bready with an underlying light sweetness. Hint of raisins and brown sugar, dried plums as well. Alcohol is very mellow but the warmth grows with each sip. Drying finish still keeps on throwing that breadiness at the palate.

Exceptional, very clean and dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dan for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a dark brown color with lots of amber tones to it and some slight haze and yeast floccs floating.

S: Sweet candi sugar and dark fruits let you know this is a quad. Some hints of banana and brown sugar are there as well. Black cherries, prunes, and maybe a bit of a candied orange peel note, too.

T: Plenty of sweetness to this beer. Lots of fruit flavors such as cherries, bananas, plums, and candied oranges. There is a mild spice note to the beer, mostly clove, along with candi sugar, brown sugar, and caramel malts.

M: The body is medium and the beer isn't quite as effervescent as I would generally like from a quad, but it's sufficient.

D: Another winner from New Glarus. Good flavors and aromas and quite easy to drink despite a rather high ABV.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chimay goblet.

Thanks to dug for this bottle!

Missed out on this one during the Man's Weekend a few months ago, so I'm glad to have gotten this guy as an extra. It pours a deep ruby-brown topped by a bit less than a finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises light rye bread, cinnamon, nutmeg, wheat, and some light fig. The taste holds more of the same, with more fig and the addition of raisins, red grapes, and clove. The body is a straight medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a mildly grainy and syrupy feel. Overall, a solid quad, not one of the best I've had, but more than enough to satisfy.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Glarus Abt...Unplugged!

Dark brown body, crimson edges, slim, soon gone cocoa-toned head.

Aroma, cola and nuts, followed by dark fruits, grapes, dates, figs, some black pepper. Nice.

Taste: mmm, nice. Spice, and tasty warm malt. Getting earthy and rustic on the palate. More intriguing, more complex. Little bits of hops, but it's malt driven, and so rich and multi-layered. Chocolate meets port wine, nougat coated cognac. Cocoa-licious, with a side of pinot noir.

Full-bodied, yes. Long finish, yes. Non-stop deliciousness, indeed.

Well done, New Glarus!

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Photo of MasterSki
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a recent Wisconsin beer run. Served in a Westvleteren chalice.

A - Pours with a dime of slightly tan foam that settles to a thin ring and some wispy film that lingers. No lacing remains. Transparent burgundy body that is quite attractive.

S - Booze-soaked dark fruits, apples, candi sugar, some light Belgian yeast and cake, and notes of anise and other spices. Definitely less harsh than the Gravitation I had a few nights ago, although it should be considering it's 2% lower in ABV.

T - The taste has more bitterness, and spicy alcohol esters. There's some fruit character that is more on the green apple side of things. Some burnt sugar and more bread and yeast than suggest by the nose. I don't dig this as much, and the alcohol is definitely more present. As it warms it does get a touch sweeter, adding some cherry and raisin notes.

M - Body is medium-full and smooth, with a faint tingle of carbonation. The texture feels slightly watery, and there is some definite alcohol warmth in the finish.

D - This is a good, but not great, Quad that should hold up for years of cellaring and hopefully lose some of the spicy alcohol character. Still, it went well with my Thanksgiving pasta, and finishing the 12oz bottle never felt like a chore. I still have yet to find a convincing authentic quad brewed in America, but this is among the better attempts.

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Photo of Duff27
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown/dark red color with a one-fingered head into the tulip glass. Pleasant lacing and decent head retention.

S- Nose is of faint cherries.

T- Sour cherries, raisins...other dark fruits. Belgian yeast.

M- Very well carbonated.

D/O- You wouldn't guess this one at almost 10%abv. The Belgian yeast doesn't overpower at all. For the style, I find this highly drinkable because of the hidden booze.

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Photo of liamt07
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Sammy, 12oz into a tulip. August 2010 vintage.

Brown with ruby highlights, tan head with a light ring of retention. Nose of grape juice, some rum notes, raisin and a hint of chocolate. Taste has sweet plummy and grape notes, light dark bread flavours, raisin and still some mild chocolate. Smooth sweet finish, gently integrated alcohol. A good quad, not super complex but very drinkable. Quite nice all 'round.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this bottle. Always happy to try a new beer from New Glarus.

The beer pours a reddish-brown color with a white head. The aroma is full of dark fruit with some chocolate, cherries and alcohol mixed in. I get a lot of the notes that I expect in a quadrupel. The flavor is somewhat unexpected. I get a lot of grape notes as well as some other dark fruit. In addition to the fruit notes, I get a lot of toffee and alcohol as well as some candy sugar notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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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 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 spinrsx
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle - thanks to iguenard for this one

Appearance - Clear reddish brown colour with a small size fizzy beige coloured head. There an average amount of carbonation and there isn't much lacing. The head lasted for 2-3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, raisins, rye, grains

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, chocolate, and malts. There is also some raisins mixed with grains, and a bit of rye. It ends with a malty dark fruit aftertaste with a hint of chocolate.

Overall - It's really amazing how masked the alcohol is in this beer. It's extremely drinkable and not cloying at all. The taste is well balanced and it's an above average beer that I'm glad I had the chance to try.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a deep dark brown color with ruby red highlights. Produced a large fluffy eggshell colored head with solid retention behind it.

(S)- A richness behind it with some ripe and juicy dark fruits. Bits of dry earthy clay. Some banana & lemon.

(T)- Cream city. A great creaminess with the combo of ripe dark fruits, banana, and earthy clay really make this a winner for the style in terms of flavor.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Rich and creamy with good fruits, but has a crispness to it as well. Smooth and almost refreshing. A bit lighter in body for the style, but it is a welcome.

(D)- A fantastic Dubbel that may be the finest example of the style I have seen so far from the states. When I think I have seen all that New Glarus can do, they release something like this. Well-done yet again!

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