1. Introducing the Respect Beer® Society. Upgrading your account to a Society membership entitles you to more than a dozen awesome perks, from discounts, to ad-free browsing, extended users stats, and much more. Join today.
  2. BEER FEST ALERT: Don't miss FUNK Boston: A Wild & Sour Beer Fest on June 14-15!

Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Unplugged Smoked Rye AleUnplugged Smoked Rye Ale
Very Good
245 Ratings
Unplugged Smoked Rye AleUnplugged Smoked Rye Ale

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Smoke Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 245 |  Reviews: 157
Reviews by zachary80:
Photo of zachary80
4/5  rDev +4.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Kunstman
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of ctwinne
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of firstlighthiker
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of ralerwen
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of 77apm
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Brown lager appearance, good clarity, almost a half inch of head, real mild notes of smoke in the aroma, even less brown malt roastness.

Taste was smooth, fractional hops, amazingly hid over 8%, wow, good at that. The usual toffee and caramel notes, executed quite smooth. Always a good beer around a fire.

 309 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Jason
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with that fancy red foil to denote that this beer is part of their Unplugged Series. No freshness date.

No pssst when the cap what pulled off though showed enough carbonation to produce a healthy looking lace on top of the dark tawny brew. Thick smokey nose dominates, some fruit and spicy rye make their way to the aroma though. Smoothness is on top of this thick creamy body, big and mellow. Sweet malt base with that trademark spiciness from the rye gets lathered up real good with a big dose of smoke. Caramel and toasted bread within. Modest hopping. Warming alcohol has some hints of some vague ripe fruit but stays clean. Smoke flavor stay and lingers, maltiness holds its own though. The 8.5% abv is pretty tame but does grow sip after sip.

Yeah, a sipper ... smokiness is big but never goes over the top. While not the most drinkable brew it definitely comes across as one of the most flavorful.

 924 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off I am stunned at the ABV...no hint of that at all...drinks like a session beer...The flavor has a nice smoked meats impression, along with almost a candied maltiness (sugary)....a bit of floral aroma and just a hint of spiciness on the finish. The rye lays dormant on my buds....not a big rye impression but the smoke is pretty strong and dominates in a sense...

The more I drink this the more the sugary maltiness really seems to blend nicely with the smoke..almost a doppelbock sweetness with a smoked element....again, not noticing much from the rye.

Quality, enjoyable beer where the smokiness is strong but not overwhelming..

 642 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.8/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep bronze body. Thin dirty white head. Lace is minimal. Aroma is campfire smoke and smoked jerky. Also a sweet malty aroma. Great aroma. Awesome flavor as well. This is definitely in the Aecht Schlenkra range. Right up there, and that is high praise. Meaty malt flavor and smoky bacon like flavor. It really is an incredible blend and deserving of a 5. At 8.5% a/v, the alcohol is not noticeable. This is incredibly flavorful and drinkable. Dan does it again. I'd love to see this become a seasonal.

 501 characters

Photo of drizzam
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a clear amber in color (with red highlights when held up to a bright light), topped with a half finger light beige head. Not especially great head retention (probably partly due to the high ABV) but some spotty lacing was left nonetheless.

S - Smoky, with a sort of burnt Band-Aid aroma in the very beginning...this aroma then seemed to shift away from Band-Aids and more toward a smokey meat smell.

T & M - As smoky as it was in the nose, it wasn't as bad once it poured across my tongue. It seems some sweet malt mixes with light smoke...there also seems to be a bit of vinegar toward the back end. There is an understated complexity at play here. Some light fruitiness to it as well. Medium bodied and it finishes surprisingly clean. The alcohol is hidden extremely well...I can hardly believe this is 9.75%.

D - I think I expected a smoke bomb with this one, and I'm glad it wasn't one dimensional like that. Another hit from New Glarus, I was pleasantly surprised!

 983 characters

Photo of Chaz
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant copper in color, topped with a pale khaki/tan head. Head drops to a thin film after only a minute or two, and leaves a nice bit of clingy lace around the glass.

HUGE smokiness here*, with equal parts fusel alcohol and iodine, and deeper notes of ripe plum.

Sweet and smokey on the first sip, with a nice brisk carbonation. Smokiness permeates the palate on this one, and although there's a nice dry malt character in here it struggles amidst the smoke, the smokey-sweet fruity, and an ample hop bitterness that was not apparent in the first sip. Alcohol lingers quite nicely here, warming slowly and steadily. There's some spice that becomes more apparent further along in the drink (right after the mid-palate) and becomes somewhat more apparent as this warms. Lighter metallic aspect to this one, more of an "edge" to be smoothed-out by the alcohol than anything. A lighter cherry tang presents itself alongside the metallic character, at the end of the drink as this warms -- very nice!

The rye malt is in here but it is fairly-well obscured; For a good reference/comparison to this one I'm thinking Schlenkerla Urbock.

Not a small or thin beer at all, but for its weight (ABV) it drinks quite easily; The intense character of the smoke is the only thing that keeps this one from going down too easily.

A real sipper which would be worth cellaring for a while, and would pair nicely with a tart/granny smith, and a little Keens Cheddar.

 1,463 characters

Photo of cokes
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear bronze bodied with a low-crowned, off-white head that quickly gathers towards the edges. It laces well every time the glass is shifted.
Big time, cured pork/bacon aroma, with campfire, and hickory smoke wafts. It drifts a bit phenolic at times, as burnt band aids occasionally come to mind, less so as it warms. Caramelized brown sugar adds depth, but this is a smoke bomb, aroma-wise.
There is a dichotomy of tastes, all seemingly occurring at once. Smoke and sweet, with a ripple of sour deep within. Woody and apple-y. Campfire and brown sugar. Bacon and toffee and smoked almonds and raspberries. It's like a smoked hard cider, and probably a spiked one, with an incongruent vinegar note. Hops add just a drying herbal note late. Rye threads in and out throughout, and doesn't seem specifically important, thought it's noticeable here and there, with concentration.
It sits, fat, glassy, and a bit flat-seeming. It's a big, smoky, gorilla of a beer. It's curious sweet-tart/smoky balance adds depth intrigue, but doesn't exactly aid drinkability. And I don't think this was intended to be consumed in bulk.
It's a fun arsonist's nightcap.

 1,149 characters

Photo of london1o1
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of tavernjef
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat muted tone of copper with a slim, active, firmly foamed crown of dark beige. Not much lace sticks, a few thin strings and sporatic spots decide to grab at the glass.

Lovely aroma of sweet tangy smoked meat and bready malt. Much like a fresh jerky of beef or dark turkey.

Taste is tamed down compared to the aroma as it's much more balanced and toned within its tang of meaty fresh smokeyness while the bready slick malt keeps it oily and lucid. The rye notes are toasty way in the background but there with a semi crispness around the edge of the overall tangy smokey meat tone.

A very well balanced medium body with a slick, oily, creamy, boldness of firm malt and tangyness that builds gracefully with its smokeyness and rye noted crispyness.

Another damn solid effort in the Unplugged series at NG. Keep 'em coming!

 832 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Michael, beer served in a snifter because that's what I had in my hand. At the time of this review, this is the #21 beer on the Top Beers - Smoked Beer list.

Beer is clear, amber, with a wispy lazy white head of small bubbles, some lacing, low retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is smoke and more smoke.

Beer is medium to light in body, a little sweet up front and a dry smokey finish, not too dry but dry enough to emphasize the smoke. Beer is sort of one dimensional to me, the smoke dominates everything else, still decent though.

 542 characters

Photo of sauron681
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

lost notes from 9-4-11

Pours a reddish gold color with a quick head that is thin and fizzy, with lots of carbonation. Smells of plums, raisins and a campfire. Medium Mouth feel, but not chewy.
Taste is very smoky, but hints of sweetness come thru as well. Light alcohol burn followed by more smoke. A very good pale ale base, and the smoked rye puts it over the top. It is not too overpowering, but lingers long after a drink, but somehow manages to turn into sweetness as well

 479 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Fully transparent reddened bronze with next to no lacing and minimal visible carbonation.
Aroma: Charcoal Ash. Liquid smoke hickory. Bacon.
Taste: Boozy. Liquid Smoke drenched and paprika coated, smoked short ribs. Sweet finish of burnt caramel. Bready.
Mouthfeel: Smoky. A beer like this reminds me that one could almost add "smoky" to the list along with bitter, sweet, salty, savory, etc... Although savory (or umami) also fits this beer well. Medium bodied, balanced, with quite a bit of alcohol presence. Warming is accentuated by the smokiness.
Drinkability: Pretty good considering the style. I'll gladly finish this one and have another. Not really for sessioning though.
Overall a very enjoyable beer. Surprisingly it is able to hit you in the face with smoke while maintaining some balance.

 813 characters

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a thistle (it's smoky:)

Pours a dark ruby/copper rust with a non-existent head that recedes to a cap (very unusual for a NG ale, must be high ABV). Clarity is pretty good for an ale.

Aroma is sweet smoke. Sweet malt and sugar. Vanilla creeps into the middle and sits well with the sugar. Candy sugar and yeast bring the finish, rounding off with grassy grain, spicy and peppery.

Taste opens with sweet malt and smoke, holy shit it's hickory, or heavy oak or apple. This beer is a smoke bomb. Middle brings sweet candy sugar and more smoke. Finishes slightly dry, with a huge kick of smoke and a smallish hop or rye rider with a bit of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full and rich, creamy and the carbonation is awesome. Oiliness on the tongue is easily achieved with this amount of smoke.

Drinkability is good for an after dinner sipper.

As much as I love smoke (competition BBQ guy) this one is almost over the top. Now for me saying almost, I'll opine that the majority of drinkers will find this overpowering. The smoke overpowers any hop or rye presence. That being said this is a unique beer that has a sweetness giving body and a HUGE smokiness that I like. It's an acquired taste, you'll love it or hate it.

I could drink a lot of this beer, but sadly I believe I am in the minority.

I'll also add that if this isn't a scotch ale I'll eat my hat AND shorts.

 1,401 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good for a heavy smoke flavor beer. Generally for me, a beer that is this smokey in flavor is too much for me. In this case the fruitiness of the rye I think, helps to balance. Pours with a small to medium sized very light tan head that mostly settles down and good lacing. Color is a clear dark amber. Aroma is mainly smoke with malt, caramel, toffee, a little fruit. Flavor is very similar. Body is fairly full and carbonation is very good. Finish is like flavor and is fairly long.

 491 characters

Photo of mynie
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seems an appropriate followup for the Knotstock black pepper IPA.

Pours a little translucent for a rye. Smells a little translucent, too: big, meaty, tasty smoke, but not that much by way of rye complexity or even beeriness.

Tastes a good notch better than it smells. The smokiness is like a Swiss Colony sampler and it dominates the front end. This gives way to a very thick beeriness that's like a combination of an old ale and a rye. Thick caramel, rye bread, smoked cheese, prunes, and aggressive yeast.

I like this just a wee bit better than Three Floyds' Ham on Rye. But when two of the country's very best brewers both go all out on a beer style of have it come up as definitively "okay" as this, maybe it's a sign the style ain't so great.

 751 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.76/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer has a thin wisp of yellowish tan head supported by a clear slightly dense brown body with a red hue in the light. There is a gentle carbonation.

S- There is a soft plastic band-aid aroma that grows as the beer warms and a light caramel malt underneath. As the beer finishes with a hint of rye spice but it wrapped in the band-aid.

T- The plastic band-aid flavor is full and dominates with some spicy rye hint to follow and a dry caramel malt note that is a bit softer. The finish has a plastic band-aid that sticks to my tongue.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a soft fizz and an alcohol warmth that comes through as the beer warms.

O- The smoke is all plastic band-aid with everything else hidden and it was tough to get through a full bottle. I like a good smoked flavor in beer and food but this is all chlorophenols and it is to much.

 878 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Severstad for this brew.

Pours into my glass a deep amber bordering on cola with a quarter inch of white bubbles that quickly becomes a ring at the top of the glass. Great clarity. Aromas start with...bam! Big meaty smoke all over the place. Reminds me of a smoldering campfire in the summer. Beneath it lies a somewhat spicy crisp malt body with caramel accents. Earthy as well.

First sip brings semi-sweet malts upfront with a mix of caramel and spicy rye. Smoke kicks into high gear and rides across the palate, big, meaty and earthy. A touch fruity with a hint of sweetness on the back end. Rye and smoke linger on the finish. An intriguing ale to savor!

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Good steady carbonation. Makes for a pretty good sipper. Overall this is a unique brew...smoke heavy with tasty rye in the mix. If you're a fan of smoked beers you'll probably like this, if not you should likely stay way. Cheers to New Glarus!

 954 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 245 ratings