Unplugged Smoked Rye Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

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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: 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 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.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$9.49 for 4/pk at local Pick and Save

A: nice clear copper colored beer, some lacing on top
S: smoke dominates but is cut a bit by rye spiciness
T: good beer, I would rather that this was a lager, because the smokiness would come through more, but it's still very prevalent, clean, crisp, spicy from rye, nice balance of hops (ie not over-hopped like most American beers), good beer but nothing outwardly special other than well-balanced
M: nice mouthfeel, not overly smokey finish, slight 'bite' from rye
D: I love rauch biers, this beer is drinkable but not something that I'd quaff all night like a classic Bamberger bier

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Photo of sweemzander
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint.

(A)- Pours a clear dark brown amber color. Produced a superb fluffy tan head with great retention behind it with lacing all over.

(S)- A nice hickory-like wood smoke that reminds me of good BBQ smoke. A nice mellow caramel-like sweetness behind it. This literally smells like a barbecue smoker.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A potent hickory smoked aspect with subtle caraway seed and burnt caramel.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. The smoke really takes centerstage in this one. Finishes smooth and mellow with a subtle spice from the rye.

(D)- I will say that I really do not care for smoked beers, however this one is quite nice without being over the top.

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Photo of CurtisLoew
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First unplugged of 2011, poured into my dogfish head pint glass. This is my first real experience with a beer where the smoked malts are meant to be featured, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

A - Pours a nice deep brown color, with a thin head that recedes quickly. Looks tasty.

S - Smells of the descriptions given by other BA's. Smokey, bacon, meats, and a nice gingerbread rye flavor in the background.

T - Not the complete smoke bomb I was expecting. I REALLY enjoy the rye flavors that shine through at certain points, it makes me wish New Glarus would simply do a rye ale without the smoked malts. However, the smoked malts are not really a turnoff, and add an interesting complexity to the beer.

M - Started out perfectly carbonated, but lost carbonation very quickly. By the bottom of the glass I was drinking basically a flat beer, strange. Didn't detract from the flavor too much however.

D - As the standard with New Glarus beers, drinkability is perfect. I really wonder what the ABV is, as I do not get a trace of alcohol or off flavors in this beer.

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Photo of boomer31
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Now I don't love smoked beers but have given them multiple opportunities to peak my interest. Figured why not try NG...hasn't ever let me down.

A - Pours a clear dark gold almost brown. No head and no stick on the glass

S - Big smoke nearly band aid nose. Not much else

T - Big mouthful of smoke followed by a dry rye character and a slight heat from the alcohol. I'd love to get the ABV on this guy.

M - Thin but a nice carb

D - Again I don't love smoked beers. This is a sipper as it states on the bottle. Decent but seems almost a bit 'hot'

Overall this didn't change my opinion on smoked beers. It's a smoke bomb to me but again it's not my favorite style...I know this is considered a 'rye beer' but smoke is all I get.

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Photo of awalk1227
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Consumed 1/31/11 Received this in a trade from kbutler1, thanks Kevin!

Poured into a Great Divide balloon

A: Pours a deep brownish red, almost mahogany. It's pretty clear with no signs of sediment. My pour wasn't too aggressive, so I got about half a finger of off-white head. It didn't stay for long, and dissipated into a very thin collar on the glass.

S: Wow, that's a campfire. I get smoked peat and rye spice. Perhaps the slightest scent of burnt caramel.

T: Again, WOW. I've never had a beer this smokey before. Honestly, this puts Hoptaneous Combustion to shame. If I had the chance, I'd buy this beer and bring it to every outdoor barbeque possible. The beer lets through the slightest sweet malt right as it hits my tongue, followed by a kick from the rye and then a cloud of smoke finishes and lingers on my tongue. There's a bit of a bite, but I can't tell if it's from hops, the smoke, or the rye spice.

F: Medium bodied. Not a great full mouthfeel, not much creaminess, or texture in the swallow. Perhaps this is partly due to the overwhelming taste of smoke causing me to take smaller sips.

D: Although I'd put this beer between 6% - 8% ABV, it's a sipper for sure. I don't dislike the beer, as it's incredibly interesting, but the flavor is almost startling. I would definitely drink this beer again for the sole reason that I think it would pair beautifully with certain foods. However, I would not drink more than one in a night.

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Photo of johnkale
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Effervescent red/amber, hard pour creates one finger of tight, off-white, but rapidly dissipating head, leaves a tiny bit of lacing

S - hickory smoke, smoked meat, clear rye tones, a little caramel and slight sour apple smell, a touch of plastic

T - flavor is sweet to start, nice caramel and white grape flavors, moves to sour rye, finish is warming with both alcohol and intense smokiness, as palate adjusts smokiness is diminished a bit while sourness is amplified and some interesting peppery notes come out

M - seems a little thin, but lively carbonation

D - smokiness is pretty intense, a slow sipper just as advertised on the label

This is a hell of a smoked beer, the turbinado sugar helps balance out the rather meaty characteristics of the smoke and while I would only ever drink one of these in an evening I do so with relish. Paired with sourdough rye crackers and aged brick cheese.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into standard pint.

A- Pours a nice caramel brown with a good size two fingers worth of head. The head recedes slowly and leaves a slow cap. Leaves pretty good lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Big smoke and cooked meat but not over the top. There is some charred wood and a light saltiness as well. The rye is very apparent.

T- It is almost like I am biting into a piece of jerky or some other smoked meat. There is also a salty pork quality as well. There is some malt presence but the rye has pretty much disappeared.

M- Medium to full bodied. I have noticed with smoked beers, it just seems like they coat the entire mouth or maybe it is just my perception. Smooth and just a little carbonation.

D- Normally, with smoked beers, the smoke is overpowering. With this one, it is about right. I really wish there were some other flavors showed off as well. Maybe tone down the smoke and amp up the rye. Interesting to say the least and with go good with meats and smoked cheeses.

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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.

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Photo of crossovert
4.44/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the lesser-hyped unplugged beers. I love smoked beers, I am a bit indifferent on the rye part.

It pours a clear reddish brown and absolutely struggles to form a head, thus is has the exact appearance of cola to me.

The smell is great though, it has a thick smokiness with a lot of campfire smell, there is some fruitiness as well, at almost smells like apples underneath, and there is of course some standard malts that bring a hint of caramel.

The flavor is pretty great. It has a balance of smokiness and sweetness that works well. It reminds me of a smoked doppelbock. It has the smoke, but with a nice crisp, slightly fruity, but mostly malty and bready backing. There are hops in here too that provide a little bit of cut to the sweetness.

This is an excellent easy drinker form New Glarus, the label says to sip slowly, but I can't help quaffing it.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours brilliantly clear amber-copper, almost bacon colored with a thin white head that quickly diminished. The aroma is intensely smoky--bacon like with some hints of clove, possibly from the yeast. The flavor much like the aroma is intensely malty, smoky bacon and spicy rye. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with just a bit of prick from the carbonation. After the swallow the beer finishes just a bit dry, so the sugar is doing its job, with hints of bacon and clove lingering on the palate. Overall this is a tremendously flavorful beer, that is complex and not for the faint of heart. If you like smoked foods you'll likely love this beer, if you do not, you will not like it. I'm glad I've got 3 more to slowly enjoy.

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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 Vdubb86
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

This beer pours a gorgeous clear amber color with a thick white foam head. The smell is rather weak in general, but the principle parts are a smoke flavor on the nose with a bit of sour rye to back it up along with a slight caramel note and faint hints of citrus behind all of that. The taste is fairly similar to the smell. There is a flavor of smoke that is light on the palate. Combined with the smoke is a slight sour flavor from the rye and a bit of pepper like spice to flavor the rye. The mouthfeel is rather viscous and smooth. It's a quality drinking beer, I must admit it's one of the better offerings I've had the pleasure to consume from New Glarus.

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Photo of jera1350
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker golden orange in color with a thin tan head and a little lacing.

Getting the woody and bacony smoke scent along with the sourish rye. The combo of the two creates this scent that reminds me of the Sucrets cough drops that also numb your throat that my mom used to have. Not a pleasant smell. Kind of a new plastic/rubber smell.

Lots of bacony wood smoke with plenty of sweetness and a little rye character. Smokey and sweet, kind of like some honey BBQ. Smoked wood aftertaste that is light and not overpowering.

Smooth, medium bodied with light carbonation and a lightly dry finish.

A beer that does drink well. The smell is my only problem with the beer. Everything else really works and it's a one of a kind brew. Love the smoked malt especially. Worth a try for if nothing else, uniqueness.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: amber, hue of crimson and brown, trace head, great lacing.

S: smoked BBQ, woodsy, rye, earthy

T: smoked wood, bbq meat, fresh baked rye bread.

M: Medium body, low carbonation

D: Well done, New Glarus! This is a hybrid Rauchbier; fun blend with rye. The flavors are excellent, try this delightful gem. I bet it would pair really well with steak, ribs, or brisket.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, un-hyped unplugged release

appearance: standard unplugged packaging, served in my delirium chalice, bright garnet body, healthy white foam that dissipates quickly to a small ring

smell: liquid smoke and lots of it, spicy rye loaf, candy sugar, booze

taste: so much for fruit beers, eh? applewood smoked bacon, liquid smoke, booze, smoked fruit, charred wood, spicy rye loaf. lovely little beer - highly complex and very drinkable

mouthfeel: smooth full body, oily

drinkability: higher than it should be

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Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Found this one over at Hudson, WI. Poured into a tulip glass a darker clear copper color with a collared white head, the head is actually more minimal than I thought it would have. Smoke aroma dominates the nose but after that the Rye gives off it's distinct spice type note. The mixture of smoke and rye gives it an almost plastic type smell though that I am not the biggest fan off. Medium/light mouthfeel. Sweet start along with the rye type spice flavors, the smoke isn't as prominate in the taste as in the nose but it does kick in in the end and lingers on. Some bitterness as well. Overall, not bad but nothing I would go running out to get again either.

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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.

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Photo of Fartknocker
4.62/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Copper color with quite bit of suspended solids. Essentially no head.
S- The smoke smell dominates the aroma.
T- Again, the dominant flavor is the smoke with a hint of rye spiciness. You can practically taste the charred wood used in a malt smoking process.
M- Smooth, basically no carbonation.
D- Very similar to Aecht Schlenkerla. May not be 'to style', but damn good.

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

A: Pours a medium brown with a thin white head that recedes quickly. Looks to be fairly carbonated.
S: Smoke is the strongest smell in the nose. Maybe some oak as well.
T: I can't say that I've really had anything quite like this before. The smokey quality is the strongest taste. Some taste of rye whiskey in the middle but not boozy at all, then finishes with an aftertaste of smoke. The smoky taste has the same quality as the smokiness you get when cooking with oak chips.
M: A little bit lighter than I expected it to be with decent carbonation.
D: Couldn't really drink a ton of this just because of how pronounced the smoke flavor is. I've had smokier beers, but that quality definitely makes one of these enough.
O: Another interesting unplugged beer from New Glarus. Definitely worth a try.

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