Unplugged Eisbock | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Unplugged EisbockUnplugged Eisbock

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Eisbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UncleJimbo on 12-08-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 76
Photo of JAXSON
3.4/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle, pours a dark clear mahogany chestnut with a small ring of head. Nose is lots of rich malt, raisin, chocolate brownie, maybe a toasted nut. Mouth focuses on chocolate liqueur, toasted nuts. Paper oxidation takes over near the front palate. Thin and a bit washed out. The malts have faded a lot I would think, leaving mostly that liqueur and oxidized quality. Nose is good but the mouth reveals how past its prime this one is. Probably was nice 1-2 years ago.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Given JAXON's review, I am less-than-hopeful, but one never knows. I am slowly reducing some of the massive backlog in my basement and this is what surfaced.

From the bottle: "'Some people paint, some sing, others write ... I brew' - Daniel Carey"; "A few times a year we will cut Dan loose to brew whatever he chooses, uncensored, uncut, unplugged. Always handcrafted, the bottle you hold is brewed for the adventurous soul. This is a very limited edition and we make no promises to ever brew this style again."; "Eisbock"; "You hold the first of our 'Unplugged' series of beers. This Eisbock was lagered a full year and then frozen to incomparable smoothness. This is a big and complex beer, suitable for laying down or consuming immediately, serve at 55 F."; "Thanks for S[sic]upporting the Arts. (undersigned) Daniel & Deborah Carey".

I went with a gentle pour, resulting in less than a finger of light-tan head with low retention. Color was a hazy reddish-brown with ruby highlights at the edges. Nose had a molasses-like malty sweetness, but with the papery scent noted by JAXON. Mouthfeel was medium and it had a slightly medicinal taste, like some old cough syrup from my youth, or somesuch. Finish left me thinking of molasses and if you like that sort of thing, it would be for you, but despite the label, it was not meant to be "la[id] down" for this long. My apologies for allowing my cellar to get so out of hand that I could not keep up. I will have it emptied by the end of the summer break.

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Photo of roggae
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from sentry. Pours an amber. No lacing. Lots of carbonation. Mouthfeel is sharp, in a good way, and very carbonated. Taste is richly malty and complex. Some spicyness. Much dried fruit and plum/date/raisin taste. Some alcohol present, but not dominate. Good beer.

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Photo of Sephiroth
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JHop for the bottle. Pours with nice head, no lace, color is a deep ruby. The malty aroma is well blended.

Taste has plenty of caramel, nutty malt. There is a slight fruitiness, overall this has a dry taste that lingers. Mouthfeel is thick, pretty good drinkability.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown in color with a nice quarter inch mocha head.
Smell is subtle dark fruits and lots of yeast.
Taste is huge. Big and creamy on the mouthfeel. Taste is darkness. Both in fruit and toffee. This is a good Eisbock and has held up well with time.

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Photo of mentor
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by PatYoda...thanks for the opportunity! Hard pour to get minimal bubbles over a cloudy murk-brown liquid. Smells moderately weak, but of caramel and toffee. With searching, I get a clean alcohol sting and some chocolate. It's got a tiny hint of Thomas Hardy's sour & richness...which I guess is sorta brandy-like. Tastes caramel and mildly of chocolate with raisin and a hint of sour stepping in late. Also, oddly, early on there was a taste of spaghetti noodles. The aftertaste is toffee and chocolate, but doesn't persist very long before the wet sweet caramel dies in a dry alcohol and acrid applause. There is a little bit of mini-me when comparing this to decade-aged Thomas Hardy's Ales. Medium body, but clingy. Carbonation is moderate, but it forms fizz and potent acrid on my tastebuds. Why no head during the pour, but the carbonation burns my tongue?

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Photo of Beertracker
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unplugged Eisbock should be served at the suggested serving temperature of 55F in a short-stemmed tumbler or a brandy snifter. This special vintage Eisbock pours up softly without much carbonation. The tannish head dissapears quickly under a velvety cloak of mahogany brown. The honey-ish aroma is decidely malty and quite rich with hints of hot caramel, candied fruit and toasted hazelnuts. There's some underlying alcohol incorporated, but it's not as noticeable as one might expect in this warming style?

The flavor is rich and wholesome with lots of luxurious chewy caramel and complex melanoidin malt character. There's a touch of spicy "Noble" hop bitterness which helps to underscore the maltiness to create a somewhat harmonious balance. This is definitely a well-made, rich, smooth full-bodied beer that was brewed to satisfy. The only faults that I can find is that there's a slight astringency towards the finish and the overall effect could be a touch more vinous per style. Overall, I find this to be an exceptional brew worthy of savoring and hoarding back for a special treat during those long, cold winter nights. Enjoy this one by the fireside as a restorative or try pairing it with a piece of Turtle cheesecake. Here's to letting Dan Carey be UNPLUGGED more often.

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

brown on the pour, nearly opaque as I try to look through the haze. No head at all at first but slowly but surely a thin tan cloud rises up and over the top and settles down giving a touch of light foam along the sides and the bottom of the glass.

Tons of rich toffee and caramel initially on the nose, once it warms up though it becomes one of the most complex aromas I have ever encountered. Light alcohol notes, hints of dark cherries and fruit, light chocolate and almost a root beer like touch as it really comes up near room temperature. To say the aroma was inviting would be an understatement, this was intense. Smooth, full, thick body on this one really let the flavor just coat your tongue, and again this was an expierence all its own.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Eisbock pours a rich, dark mahogany color, with some ruby highlights within. Head is very thin and short-lived, with minimal bubbles rimming the glass. No lacing to really speak of either. Nice color, poor head. Nose is rich and malty sweet, with some caramel notes and suggestions of the 10% abv. Body was not as expected, being slightly less than medium, and with a bit of a bumpy passage on the tongue. Malty sweet, with some caramel and brown sugar all the way, plus a suggestion of nuttiness, though not too high on the overall flavor complexity scale. Slightly dry, bitter finish with a smidge of hops appearing. Still, fairly tasty, and a belly-warmer to boot.
Thnx to both JeffBoo and Tavernjef for samples of Unplugged!
Zum Wohl!!

overall: 3.95
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of waldowin
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby, with a thin white head that fades immediately.

Smells of strawberries, bourbon, and a hint of alcohol.

Tastes of strawberries, sherry, bourbon, and a very thin hint of smoke in the finish. Hops slam in at the end, with an edge of grapefruit.

Starts out thin and cold, and finishes hot and huge. This beer definitely sneaks up on you. Very tasty indeed!

If it weren't for the ABV, this stuff would be sessionable easily.

Thanks to Jetsbeer for this rare treat!

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Photo of mdfb79
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a murky amber color, with one inch of white head,

s - Smells of caramel malts and dark fruits mostly.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, roasted malts, dark fruits, and lightly of other fruits.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - An enjoyable beer with some nice dark fruits in the smell and taste. Would try again.

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Photo of Winter
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Right now as I gaze out my window, it's snowing heavily as March roars in like a lion. Hey, what better time to open and experience New Glarus' first in the Unplugged series-- Eisbock.

Pours a clear reddish amber in color with a light tan head. Aroma consists of malt, fruit, licorice and caramel. Nose becomes more brandy-like as the beer warms. Alcohol remains undetected for the most part. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a crispness from the carbonation and alcohol. Taste consists of a sweet malt, ripened fruit and a touch of oak. Alcohol flavors push back the malt sweetness and dominate the palette in the finish. Eisbock certainly does have a mild kick to it. It's definitely worth picking up a few extra bottles and setting them aside for another day. New Glarus makes no promises of ever brewing this again. If that's the case, it makes Eisbock even more special. I can't wait to see what's next.

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Photo of alexgash
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark ruby body with a small off-white head. Cool bottle too (like all the New Glarus products).
Smell: Very rich, almost vinuous barley malt. Maple syrup. Sweetish floral hop aromas, oh, and alcohol.
Taste: Sweet, clean toffee, bready, brandy-wine, all with a meaty edge. Finish is bitter with lingering sweetness.
Mouthfeel: big and syrupy, but deceivingly so.
I don't think I'd drink this every day, but it's pretty drinkable for its heft.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours small head, dark cola.

S - Sherry, dessert wine, charred malt.

T - Nice fat malt center, pretty sweet, but satisfying. Fairly nice balance with hops. Taste falls a little short in the very last - kind of dies.

M - carbonated adequately, fair coating, medium body.

D -Not for all night.

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Photo of jeffboo
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Whomp ! An Eisbock to make your eyes pop. I will be aging a few of these to see where it takes them, I have a feeling a year or two will smooth out the alcohol zap this one gave out.

A nice reddish brown color with plenty of red highlights and a quickly receding tan head. The aroma stands out well, lots of chewy malt with plenty of plum/raisin to perk up the nose. That's followed up with a full mouthfeel and an overwhelming complex malt flavor and drying alcohol. Flavors of almond, toasted and chocolate malt with a lightly sweet short finish. The alcohol starts zapping around the half way point, a little distracting but should round off with a little aging....stay tuned.

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Photo of drewbage
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 ounce bottle provided courtesy of tavernjef. (He's da man.)

Beer pours into my bock glass with virtually no head and is a deep brown ruby.

Nose is deeply caramel with cherries. Just a touch of oxidation in the nose and a faint metallic note.

Surprisingly large amount of carbonation held in the body that escapes with the heat of your tongue.

Spicy hops in the front with a drying brown nut malt that masks the start of a long alcohol burn through the throat.

Well crafted.

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Photo of levifunk
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at a small tasting recently. Reviewed from notes.

this was the most anticipated beer of the night.

a - purple/brown pour. low low carbonation.

s - caramel, campfire, fresh grapes (not an aged grape smell, which makes me think this will have a lot of life still), black cherry. wow, one of the best noses a beer could have.

t - damn. sadly somewhat watery flavor. brown sugar and raisins. quite the let down after that nose. I kept some in my glass for a long time just to keep smelling it.

m - medium body with low carbonation.

overall - mute flavor, but the nose is amazing.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jon for this one. This is the late 2002 vintage I think. Served in a flute at Ben's place while watching the Lost finale.

A - Pours with a finger of tan foam that dissipates to a thin collar and some nice haziness. Decent retention, but not much in the way of lacing. The body is a dark brown color with some transparency and a bit of suspended sediment.

S - Cocoa, carob, dark bread, dark fruits, port and a low amount of sherry-like oxidation that works pretty well here. Alcohol is very well hidden - I was kind of shocked to see that this was 10%.

T - Taste is pretty similar. Very standard bock flavors, with multi-grain bread, molasses, chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts, and surprisingly little oxidation or alcohol.

M - Chewy, bready, low carbonation, and a surprisingly dry, clean finish with minimal stickiness. No heat is apparent at all.

D - Split the 12oz with Ben and Justin, but definitely could have tackled it on my own. Looking forward to the long-rumored new batch in the works. New Glarus nails another German style here.

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Photo of marc77
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pellucid deep garnet hue. Head recedes into a thin, spotty light tan layer due to the ethanol content. Pronounced waft of dark, slightly buttery toffee melds with notes of sweetened toast and subtle figgish esters to lend an overall suggestion of sherry soaked poundcake. Hints of carob and cocoa butter emerge as the beer warms. Rich, yet clean, and a pleasure to inhale. Gentle wash of candied oily pecan initially in flavor is ensued by a stately combination of bittersweet, velvety dark chocolate and an impression of chilled, oak aged bourbon. Malt sweetness becomes lightly honeyish in nature mid palate and couples with the whiskeyish undertone facilitating a hot toddy suggestion mid palate. Lightly bodied, with its viscosity of a typical bock slightly lacking sufficient malt supporting girth. Finishes immaculately "malty", with simply toasty Munich leading into a soft ethanol warmth. A delicious, superbly crafted brew that would be world class with further cellaring. In its current state, the pronounced alcohol presence precludes true greatness, and prevents the rich malt presence from shining. It's a delectable belly warmer, nonetheless. Big thanks to Bighuge for sending this fine brew!

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Photo of joedon
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was a little uncertain about tasting this beer. I had bought a six pack of the "Unplugged" barley wine and had let it "age" for over a year in my cellar. When I finally got around to trying it, there was a big layer of chunks in the bottom of the bottle. Some kind of sediment that made the beer really cloudy and it wasn't yeast.

Anyhow, I poured this into a snifter with very little head. Beautiful, clear dark garnet color. Pleasing smell of caramel, malt and sherry.

Nice flavor; mostly dark fruit, caramel, more sherry notes and just enough hops to notice. Very good mouthfeel for a strong beer. Just a bit of fizz with medium-heavy body. Aftertaste of dark sugar and molasses.

This is a very drinkable beer for 10% ABV. Good winter warmer.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a million to cokes for this beer.

It pours a beautiful rubied brown color with a ring of head around the top of the beer. The nose is foremost grainey, but not offensive, with a nice background of dark fruit and bready notes. I dig it. The flavor is not bad at all. Some nice dark fruits and a touch of roasted tones. A nice beer. The feel is moderate to thick. I really enjoy this beer. Its not my favorite style at all, but this is a nice example. Just took a look at things and this rings in at 10%. Damn. I never would have known.

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Photo of Jredner
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of concentrated caramel, brown sugar, rum-raisin and pumpernickel aromas waft up from the glass. Dark brown with lots of red hints...almost no head..just a wispy white smattering. A big dose of caramel and sweeter rum-raisin flavors in the fore. More malts some spice, toffee and heartier bready notes in the middle. Finish is sweet and savory with more caramel and a little bit of cocoa. Quite tasty. There is a peppermint-like spiciness that comes out in the aftertaste as it warms.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, no date info

Noisy, fizzy towering head of fine off-tan bubbles that slowly settles. Deep ruby highlighted amber with no carbonation streams. The smell is rich and full sweet, thick malt, dark fruits and alcohol laced. The taste is sweet and malty, filled with alcohol and loaded with dark fruit, jammy. Brown sugar and plums. Sweet all the way through, finishing with a warming alcohol presence. Full bodied with a thick heavy mouthfeel, the lack of carbonation only adds to its weight. Slightly creamy with a milk fat slick feel. Enjoyable.

Thanks to stonecrusher for the opportunity. How's that tasting thimble working out for you?

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a dark ruby red color with two fingers of head. There is just a tad bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell is fairly malty with lots of caramel and toffee sweetness. Some dark fruits in there too, like plums or currants. There is a little bit of alcohol to the smell as well. The taste is also sweet and malty, with more caramel coming through, as well as cherries and raisins. A little bit of hops, and a hearty alcohol bite on the finish. The mouthfeel is just super thick on the tongue, but very smooth. Such a fantastic body. The drinkability is a little low due to the 10%, but this is still a fantastic eisbock.

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4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours 1/2" head which diminishes rather quickly, leaving a thin veil, and little lacing. This beer is very dark, yet light permeates so you can see into it, and get a sense of it's thickness.
The sweet, malty, strong nose lets you know that this beer is not F-ing around.
The taste is very sweet and malty and intense, with a little bit of cloying. Not a distraction though. The alcohol really warms, but fits right into the beer no problem, even at 10%. This beer really reminds me of a tweaked up version of Optimator. Pretty complex and intense. I believe this Eisbock has changed my life for the better.

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Unplugged Eisbock from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.24 out of 5 based on 76 ratings.
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