Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

Unplugged Smoked Rye AleUnplugged Smoked Rye Ale
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 245 |  Reviews: 157
Photo of herman77
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A light brown/dark amberish with a small, yet frothy light khaki head. Decent lacing.

S: Nice and smokey nose. Smoked meats. Not as smokey as a Rauchbier though. Picking up the rye malt in the background as well as some bread notes.

T: No surprise that it starts off smokey and that is the main flavor profile. Its not as smokey in the taste than it is in the smell though. A bit of spice from the rye and you can really taste the turbinado sugar. A nice combo of smokey, sweet and a bit spicy. Some hops and rye malt are in the finish and then the light smokiness sticks around for awhile.

M: Medium to lighter body. Soft carbonation. Feels slick and smooth.

D: Gotta be in the mood for this one. Its goes down fairly easy, but I'm only good for about one.

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Photo of Brez07
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled poured into SA Perfect pint glass. Thanks to oach for this one

A: Pours a clear mahogany. Fizzy white head, about 1/2 finger. Decent retention

S: Nice smokey malt scent. Reminds me of a toned down rauchbier. Bacon, wheat, bread and rye notes

T: Nose is a good preview for this. Good smoked malt flavor that leads the way. Semi-sweet rye flavor complimented with a bacon/smoked meat presence. There's a crisp peppery flavor as well

M: Full bodied. Fairly light carbonation. Lingering rye and bacon aftertaste

D: Didn't know what to expect going into this one, but it impressed. I'm a fan of rauchbiers so this was right up my alley. I could probably only drink one more before needing to switch it up. Recommended for smokey beer fans

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Photo of Lemke10
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought a single 12oz bottle of this at Woodman's in Janesville, WI for $2.59 in Mar. 2011.

Pours a medium brown color with rather less carbonation than most beers. The scent will be like roses to those who like to grill out. Almost reminds me of the smell of bacon. Has a good full flavor to it that again reminds me of the taste of a good swine dish. Obviously has a rye taste as well. Is very complex and hard to describe. An absolute most try, especially when grilling out.

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Photo of richkrull
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Picked up a single at Riley's Wines of the World in Madison. Poured a dark amber brown color. Not much head on it. I feel like it has a smokey fruit smell to it. Taste is heavy heavy smoke flavor. Tough to get past that flavor upfront. It's not bad, just may not be for me. Medium bodied beer, not much carbonation to it either. It was worth a try, but not sure that I'll be picking this one up again.

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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 JoeyBeerBelly
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this beer from arvjunk. Thanks Ankur!

12oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

L - clear amber color with a off-white head that thinned to a ring.

S - light hickory smoke with the rye malt in the background.

T - the smoked flavor starts things off with a sweet malty middle finishing with a smokey after taste.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation.

D - goes down easy enough but 1 or 2 is all I would/could have in a sitting.

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Photo of scaliasux
4.44/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Medium dark amber. Clear and bubbly. Fairly thick light brown/tan head.

Smell - Actually fairly mild. What's there is definitely smokey. Maybe a little light malt as well.

Taste - Smoke taste is obviously the immediate taste - a little jarring for those of us who haven't had one of these before. Once you learn to get past the smoke, this actually has a pretty sweet medium roasted malt flavor. Melds well into a rich, sweet roasted taste. Not picking up much in the way of hops.

Mouthfeel - Creamy. Very pleasant.

Drinkability - It took halfway through the second one of these for me to have any appreciation. Now I'm thinking of setting in a store.

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

Aggressive pouring into a sam adams pint glass.

Appearance: amber, orange copperish colored body with a thin white head. Thin white lacing on the glass.

Smell: hickory smoked bacon on rye bread.

Taste: strong taste of bacon. Then strong taste of hickory smoke. Almost a sweet tasting smoke. Hints of rye that last far beyond the aftertaste along side the smokey flavor. Interesting, never tasted anything like this before.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation that is almost creamy.

Drinkability: This drinks like a bigger beer than i expected. Its a smoke bomb, but its still not overdone. Very flavorful without going overboard. Cheers to another great Unplugged beer from New Glarus!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. No date or info on the bottle.

A - Great clarity and deep bronzed orange in color but even a glug and tall pour couldn't create more than a thin skim of head on this one. Nice lace left over though.

S - Robustly smoked, this beer has a complex aroma of a dwindling campfire, liquid smoke, and peat-smoked malts. Rye and other ingredients are all but overshadowed by the smoke aroma. One-dimensional but good and inviting for a smoke beer.

T - Much more smoke profile in the nose, peat-smoked malts are left low in the flavor with rye pulling through nicely. Balanced but still leaning towards smoke.

M - Medium-bodied, smooth, and well-carbonated for the lack of a head, light smoke dryness comes through the finish but it's very well-balanced in the feel too.

D - This is a smoke beer people not generally fans of smoke beer might like. Big in the nose but more mellow in flavor, it's smooth and robust but not overdone at all. I wouldn't want more than two of these but I'd love to cook with it and pair it with cheese!

[I ended up pairing another bottle with Irish Dubliner and 10 year cheddar and it was fantastic. My mom also really liked it if that counts for anything :P]

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Photo of bertram
3.04/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color, with a minimal head; smell is medicinal, like a band-aid, with a heaviness of smoke; an amazing amount of this smell comes through in the taste, with the majority of the flavor being that of a burnt wood; this beer really leaves a lot of the taste behind on the roof of the mouth.

I wouldn't say this is a beer I'd drink regularly, as it's not really my "thing."

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Photo of BeerSoup
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz poured into pint glass.

A - Clear copper body 1 finger white head on a vigorous pour, head recedes quickly leaving no lacing.

S - Hickory smoked bacon, sweet smell of honey, hint of rye.

T - Hickory smoked bacon dominates with sweet notes of honey and spice.

M - Medium body turns creamy as it reaches room temperature.

D - While I'm not a fan of smoked beers this one took me by surprise. The flavor of honey becomes more pronounced as it warms up. Lacking the rye but one hell of a beer nonetheless.

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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!

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Photo of UMNbeerhunter
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

From a 12oz bottle into a town hall glass on 2/17/11

Pours and amber color with little head and no lacing.

Smells of smoke and roasted malts as well as some fruity tones.

Taste is not nearly as good as I expected. Zero hops and the smoke flavor is just off setting without any other complexity to this beer.

Mouthfeel is disappointing and the smoke taste sits in my mouth unfortunately because it doesn't taste all that great.

Drinkability is low. I really wanted to like this one but NG let me down on this one. Glad its an Unplugged series as this one should disappear.

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Photo of maximum12
2.99/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As a certified rye freak, very excited to hear about this one & eager to give it a whirl; & hoping for more rye & less smoke. Glancing down the reviews quickly, I temper that expectation.

Pours an almost fire-engine red, deep enough that you could almost see your face (or thoughts, if you're so inclined) reflected back at you. Gorgeous. Smell is like a beechwood pork barbecue slaughterhouse. Exactly like it. All I need is the buzz of a few flies & Mike Rowe.

Unplugged Smoked Rye is, for my taste, cruelly heavy on the bacon. Smoked pork assaults the taste buds, with the curling campfire smoke of damp wood close behind; very heavy-handed. The rye can be teased out, gently, if one concentrates hard enough, as a whisper of indeterminate spice just at the end. Then I get pig in the mouth again.

Decent enough beer, but disappointed that the smoked malts completely obliterate anything else - especially the promised rye. A rare miss from one of the Midwest's best breweries.

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Photo of Brunite
2.86/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I start by saying that I am not a fan of smoked beers. However; being a huge fan of Rye Beer and of New Glarus...thought I would give this a try.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. Clear amber with anice head.

Smell: Can't get past the smoke. Smells like hickory bacon cooking. Not a favorite of mine.

Taste: Smoked bacon and liquid smoke taste predominate. Rye is faint and in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and an oily feeling in the mouth. Smoke or liquid smoke residue??

Drinkability: Not good for me. But; I'll give NG props for doing a good job for the style. My fault in thinking this would be more of a Rye beer and less of a smoked beer.

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

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF #4 (thanks, Khazadum)

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a beautiful crystal clear amber with a soft pillow of foam on top. The head lingers...and lingers...it's not going anywhere.

The hint on the blinded label gave away nothing as I was hit with a beautiful hiss of smoke as soon as the cap was popped. This is a subtle aroma, something that i'd like for a nice smoked trout (rather than a big brisket). Definitely some caramel on the nose as well as a strange fruit like apple or pear.

The first sip yields the definitive taste of a german lager yeast. I'm thinking some sort of smoked marzen at first. There's a little honey sweetness, followed by taste of bacon on the tongue. This gives way to a perfectly balanced bitter finish. This finish is predominately a slight roast, but there's definitely some hop action going on here as well. I wouldn't say over the top, but I do get a nice herbal bitterness. As it warms, I get much more sweetness; the essence of honey and some apricot seem to come out of nowhere.

Fairly solid body on this beer, despite its delicate aromas and taste. The bubbles seem to just float on the tongue. Lingering, but not sharp. There's a hint of heat in the throat as it warms. I had originally guessed a light 5%, but starting to think there's a little more alcohol here. The light earthy smoke lasts for minutes after a sip. it's just fantastic.

This beer is hard not to just down in a few sips. It is so clean and well made and drinks very well. Could definitely have this all afternoon on a warm spring day.

My best guess is still a smoked maibock or marzen. Though if this is, in fact, local pride, I can't think of a single midwest brewer offhand that might be putting this out. Must be some Wisconsin guys...

The reveal: New Glarus Smoked Rye Ale...Is this a new one?

An ale? Time to re-taste. I definitely get the rye on the finish, but the yeast they used is really interesting. I swear it's with some lager yeast, but this is why I love this BIF.

Smoked beer: 4.5/4.5/4.0/3.5/4.0

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Photo of n2185
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper color with about a finger of white head that quickly recedes into a tiny ring with almost no lacing.

S: There's a slight caramel malt aroma up front followed by lots of smoke, like meat on the grill.

T: A touch of the caramel malt up front, which is then kicked aside for the very strong smoke flavors. The rye makes an appearance as well, adding a nice sourness that goes well with the smoky flavors. The aftertaste is very smoky.

M: Medium body with low carbonation--nothing really stands out about it.

D: This is a pretty drinkable beer. It goes down easy and leaves a taste like you just ate a few strips of bacon.

Overall, a good smoked ale. I upped the score of my review a bit since they changed the classification of this beer from rye ale to smoked since I thought it made a much better smoked ale than a rye ale.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

from sononma01.

This poured with no head, it doesn't seem under carbonated in the mouthfeel, but there is zero head on it. Very nice color, bronze and opaque. If it had any head it would be a 4 easily.

Slight smoked aroma over the rye. But nothing else.

Same as the aroma, slight smoked flavor, little bit of rye. For a big mouthfeel, this simply doesn't have a flavor to match.

Very nice mouthfeel, good bite up front, a bit of carbonation in middle that emphasises the rye flavors, and a crisp finish that is actual slightly ruined by the lingers smoked flavor.

It's a fine rye beer. Not my cup of tea, but fine enough.


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Photo of zoolzoo
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks littleg!

A: Pours deep copper or maybe bronze, white head quickly reduces to a white ring.

S: All smoke and wood. Smoked bacon, and some sweetness cutting through. Honey glazed ham perhaps?

T: Big smoke as in the nose, but there is something else I initially couldn't put my finger on. In reading other reviews I must agree, there is an acute acidic taste here, much akin to apple cider vinegar. So what we have is really smoked meat and caramelized apples - I think that sums it up.

M/D: Creamy, velvety...although I think the carbonation is a little lacking. More carb would add to drinkability in this case.

Overall a good beer, and interesting to drink. This paired excellently with homemade spicy tomato soup. Some BA's are commenting on how this is the "smokiest" beer they have had, and that may well be true. For me, however, that tart vinegary note somewhere in the middle turns the smoke right off.

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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 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.

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Photo of gatornation
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from 12 oz bottle

A- pours a clear dark copper color with a 1 finger khaki head to start it then recedes to a fresh tan collar..some lacing on glass

S- smoke is the first smell..followed by bacon and BBQ beef/meats... then some more murky/musky smoke fire pit smells

T- is musty smoke fresh from a fire pit i pick up BBQ meats/pork a hint of rye with malt and some burnt toffee and a bacon hit

M- is medium carbonated full of smoke on the pallet a dash of rye and spice

D-im not a smoked brew fan (just have not had many) but this one is well crafted and was easy to drink..i will seek out more smoked styles of beer

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Photo of Soneast
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear copper color. Grows a small light brown colored head that receded pretty rapidly leaving a small amount of watery lace on the glass.

The aroma is pretty much what I expected, smokey. It's a pretty clean and enticing smokiness, like some nice smoke hickory or the like. I pick up some meaty, ham like character, almost salty like bacon. Probably just my mind playing tricks on me due to the nice smoke aroma. It's hard to pick up much else, maybe a light caramel maltiness, but pretty much just smoke.

Well the flavor follows suit. Smoke up front, a tasty smoked meat character that moves into some mild caramel and a pretty dry, slightly grainy finish that ultimately ends on a semi-sweet and salty note.

Quite a unique beer, even in the world of Rauchbiers, but I enjoyed the experience overall. Sure it's tough to get over all that smoke character in liquid form, but when it come right down to it, I truly do enjoy all those flavors and aromas and it really isn't too hard for me to enjoy smoked beers. Probably why I've been drinking more of them lately. I certainly don't want to drink more than one in a sitting, but that's fine by me.

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

Rye can bring something very unique to beer if done right or can be very off putting if done wrong. New Glarus did it right! Smells of a smokey BBQ, bacon, wood. Taste of powerful smoked rye and summertime campfire. It's not something I can drink regularly, but a nice strong smokey brew with something to prove!

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed this on my roadtrip through Milwaukee...
Served in my New Belgium globe for lack of a better glass.

Very deep amber-- almost a maroon brown... Small off-white head. Mild retention and small amounts of lace.

The biggest thing I smell is apples. Spiced and smoked apples. A cidery vinegar note is present amongst the smokiness. Smoke pork shines bright. No real rye notes on the nose.

The taste is just as I expected-- smoke pork chops and some charred applewood plus a slight apple cider vinegar. The finish is dry, with notes of port and a touch of booziness. There is a tart acidic quality that is really interesting (and enjoyable!).

The body seems a little undercarbonated... Not bad... Not great.

This is a pretty easy drinking smoked beer. It is tasty and interesting, but nothing really blows my mind. It is well-made, as are all of the New Glarus beers I've had. Smoked beers are not something I can really drink a lot of... But once in a while, they can be quite fun.

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Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 245 ratings
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