Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

Unplugged Smoked Rye AleUnplugged Smoked Rye Ale
Liked This Beer
3.82 w/ 245 ratings
Unplugged Smoked Rye AleUnplugged Smoked Rye Ale

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beerwolf77 on 01-17-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 245 |  Reviews: 157
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to burnheartsMKE for sending me this one!

Pours a crystal clear iced tea color with a 1 inch off-white head that becomes a film on the top of the beer. Decent rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of smoke, band aids, malts, and spicy rye. Reminds me of a mix between a campfire and smoke smells that come from certain smoked foods. Taste is very smoke forward much like smoked meats or cheeses. There is a malt/rye taste and a bit of fruitiness after the smoke flavor fades. The label says this one is fermented with Turbinado sugar. There is a hint of the flavor from this type of sugar but very little sweetness. The aftertaste is mainly fruity on the palate. Beer has a mild carbonation level that makes for a prickly but medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice smoke elements. However, I am not too sure I would be able to have this one too often.

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Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

an oldie but a goodie at this point. no reviews here in over two and a half years, must not have been on the cellar radar back when it came out. lucky to have had a buddy of mine save one for a special occasion. what an interesting beverage, time has taken its toll, favorable in some respects, less so in others, i would have loved to taste this side by side with a fresh one, but it appears they are done producing it. malty dark brown in color, still some patchy off white head in the glass. smells like gourmet bacon and burning oil, some good some bad. some of the most intense smoke ever in a beer, coming almost at the expense of the rye malt i wanted to be there. but its meaty and fleshy and wintery, and it works with all the grain weight quite well. it tastes a bit like a tire fire, sort of acrid for awhile, never really getting sweet with rye taking up such a good chunk of the grain bill. hints of maple and almond and oxidation as it moves along, but the smoke is the dominant flavor agent by a considerable margin. smooth in feel, less bubbly than it looks, with a well hidden abv. i really like the overall flavor profile in the end, as my palate attenuates to it, i appreciate it more and more, but its one intense brew, maybe just past its cellaring peak. still cool to get to try some of these old relics from such a prominent operation. nothing out there quite like this...

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Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a tulip it pours a saturated dark amber. Sharp clarity, with a finger's width of foam floating on the surface. Random spotty lace remains inside the glass after a few sips.

At room temperature, definitely porky. Sweet delectable smoked pork products, mmm-hmm. Sweet and dry smoke dominates the nose, though it's not super pungent, it's definitely front and center. Second bottle (chilled) I didn't get the porky aroma, but it was a sweet smoke that dominated.

Rich malt sweetness, phenolic peat smoke, lasting woody campfire notes. As an Islay lover, this is right up my alley. The smoke lingers for a good while, balanced by a honey malt sweetness. Earthy, smouldering piles of leaves. Lingering bitterness as well, though it fades quickly into a smoked out, ashy finish. Body is a bit light, reminding me of more of Shlenkerla Helles with a metric ton of smoke than the hambeast that is Urbock. The abv is dangerously camouflaged. Apple wood, hickory, extra woody and dry smokiness pervades all else. You'd better like smoked beer to get down with this...

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Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to both BeerFMAndy and rmalinowski4 for getting me bottles of this. Served in a Captain Lawrence tulip.

Pours a medium brown color with a thin off-white head and a bit of lacing and a nice collar on the way down. The nose brings some lightly-smoked malt and it's just a tad bit meaty. Slight bread and just a bit of light caramel in the background. The taste is smokey toast. Pretty one dimensional, but nice for what it is. Smoked meats and lightly-toasted bread throughout. Light to medium body. A nice smoked brew.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of billab914
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into my Three Floyd's glass. It poured dark copper in color with a thin white head barely covering the top of the beer. The head faded and clung to the edges of the glass where it left some moderate lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a nice smoke presence to it. It's a very rich, smooth smoke flavor that I'm really liking. I get a little of the bready, rye flavors mixing with a sweeter, malty, slightly caramel like flavor. The smoke steals the show for me though.

The taste starts off with more of the malty, sweet flavors with a touch of the caramel to it. Midway the smoke really starts to come out and intensifies right through the finish. Again I'm loving the smoke, it's very flavorful but yet smoother then most smoky beers.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is on the lower side. I really loved the smoke flavor to it. It was definitely one of the smoothest beers with a big smoke presence I've had. Fantastic beer overall and pretty close to the best smoked beers I've had. I'm not sure if I like it better then Smoked Porter but it's close.

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Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

another in the unplugged lineup i was happy to be able to finally get ahold of. poured into a pint glass.

the pour was a nice burnt amber color with a decent amount of clarity in it that was soon filled with carbonation bubbling to the top. nice head of off white caps it at around one inch. aroma is light campfire, roasted malts, hints of bark, caramel, light earthy hops. all nicely put together. very light feel, but it seemed to work in this case. clean flavor with a smooth after taste that again seemed to work quite nicely. clean smoked flavor, lots of earthiness with a light finish that had a touch of roasted oak on the tongue.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my New Belgium globe.

a - Pours a dark amber -copper color with one to two inches of light tan head and light carbonation evident. Head only lasts for a few seconds and leaves a small amount on top throughout the beer.

s - Smells of smoke, ashes, bacon, apples, oak, an fruity malts. Mostly smells of a firepit and bacon, but every few swirls and smells I get some distinct apples, which is very nice. Then it goes back to the smoke.

t - Tastes of smoked meats, bacon, apples, fruity malts, toasted malts, light wood. Again, I'm getting some apples coming through in the taste, even moreso than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth body.

d - Overall I thought this was a good, pretty drinkable smoked beer. I really enjoyed the smoked bacon smell and taste mixing with the apples; it was unique and enjoyable. If you liked smoked beers it's definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Richard.

A: The beer pours an amber/mahogany color with an off-white head.

S: Very, very smokey. A bit of salt and meat, sort of like bacon, with a definite toffee undertone. A little bit of nuttiness and a mild chocolate aroma. Not much rye in the nose.

T: Like with the nose, a dominant smoke quality to the beer. A hint of dark fruit, along with some more meat and salt. Also as the nose indicated, there is a bit of toffee and nuts.

M: Medium in body and carbonation.

O: Not bad, but the smoke is really overpowering and you have to really reach to find anything else.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for this bottle!

I do loves me the smokie-ness, baby-cakes! This bit o' that pours a clear copper-bronze topped by a nice finger of bright ecru foam. The nose comprises soft smoked honey-baked ham, toffee, and a backdrop of oak paneling. It's simple and straightforward, very nice for a smoked beer. The taste tones down the ham, but keeps some nice, mild peat smoke in the fore, with a backup band of caramel, light pepper, and sourdough keeping the groove smooth all night long. The body is a sleek and slender medium, with a light carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a very nice smoked beer, one of the best offerings I've yet had from the Glarus.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Buddy brought home a bunch of beers from New Glarus. The Smoked Rye Ale poured a light amber with a faint haze. Half finger head faded to a wisp rather quickly. Smell included lots of hardwood smoke with an underlying caramel malt sweetness. Taste had malt some sweetness, spicy rye, and smooth smoke that stay in pretty good balance. Finishes dry and smokey. Mouthfeel was medium/full bodied with a nice smooth carbonation little too much ABV. Overall a decent beer.

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Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of AlexFields
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Duff27
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured violently to produce a near three-fingered white head. atop a dark red/border line brown bier. Drink-by-drink step lacing. Great head retention.

S- Smell is smokiness.

T- First taste is sweetness which turns into a smokiness. The deepest smoke taste is the lingering aftertaste. The rye base beer takes a backseat to the smoked malt. Beef jerky anyone?

M - Throat coating syrupy. Not much carbonation. I like it overall.

D/O- While I don't know that "drinkability" is any smoked beer's forte, this one doesn't really come close for me. Having, maybe even sharing, one of these in an evening would be plenty. That said, I'd say it's worth seeking out if you like smoked beers.

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Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of MasterSki
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris (spycow) for picking this up in Wisconsin. Served in a Night of the Living Ales taster pint.

A - Thin white crust of foam quickly settles to a ring and a few patches of bubbles, leaving tiny spots of lace. Transparent pale golden brown color.

S - Smoke! Maple-glazed smoked ham, a slight rye undercurrent, and a bit of peat as well. A bit simplistic, but does pretty much exactly what it promises. Pretty true to the Bamberg aesthetic.

T - Taste has a little more depth, with some sugar and toffee notes, as well as a faint apple flavor mingling with the smoked meats that dominate in the aroma. Unfortunately, I think the "new" flavors detract from the intriguing and intense nose too much.

M - Chewy, viscous, medium-full body that has a very juicy character to it. Carbonation is on the lower side. No obvious alcohol.

D - I plowed through 6oz in minutes, and Sean did largely the same. Even though it is far from my favorite Unplugged offering it was strangely easy to keep sipping - probably due to the mouthfeel. Wouldn't mind trying again at a slower pace to confirm my observations.

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Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 66.5% out of 100 with 245 ratings
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