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New Glarus Unplugged Enigma 7.0% (2006)

Serve in Snifter, Tulip, Tumbler


on tap


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RATINGS: 440   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.93/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
A Complex and intriguing original. The mystery began with wild yeast spontaneously fermenting a rich treasure of malted barley and whole cherries. Unlined oak casks breathe deep vanilla hues and chords of smoke into this sour brown ale. Our Master Brewer has forged a smooth garnet tapestry that defies description. Wander off the beathen path.
2006 vintage - 7%
2010 vintage - 5.5% (separate entry)
You can tell the vintages apart as the 2010 bottles have the © symbol to the left of the UNPLUGGED banner while the 2006 does not.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
mensch (289) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JUL 31, 2013
Found the last bottle of this in the cellar, score baby! Sweet/sour cherry aroma, and maybe some rancid (but in a good way) brown sugared raison. Thin and sour with tons of funky fruit, plenty of acid. Tart and dry finish. I’m trying to imagine how it could better in any way, and not coming up with much. I think it’s changed just a little in the past seven years, maybe the brett has yielded to the acid. Freakin’ incredible.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
thebaldwizard (1206) - Ohio, USA - NOV 24, 2006
I think this is a fantastic brew---New Glarus never dissapoints. Aroma is of malt, spices, light fruits, and a very faint sour aroma. Brownish red in appearance. Medium palate with perfect carbonation. The taste is an incredible blend of light sour cherries and wood flavors. Some fruity hints (peach and apple?) too. Smooth and easy to drink--I absolutely love this one.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ogglethorp (917) - Ohio, USA - MAR 10, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2009 Bottle, via secret santa. Pours a brownish ruby color with a minimal tan colored head. Aroma of vanilla, sour cherry, oak. Flavor is vanilla, sour cherries, oak, vinegar, vineous, brown sugar. Palate is medium bodied, mildly carbonated, sweet, yet very tart, oh so complex finish. Good lord this stuff is great. Absolutely amazing the rainbow of flavors as this warmed. World class.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Magjayran (1378) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAR 12, 2007
Damn close to perfection here. The beer starts off with a muddy brownish red pour that is not exactly the most pleasing thing to look at. The aroma hits notes of cinnamon, cherry, and vanilla. Very woody. The taste is just amazing. Tart cherries and sweet oaky vanilla notes sit on top of a wonderful simulated spiciness. Neat banana like finish as well. Not quite as sour as some belgian examples of the style but it’s amazing fruity taste gives this one more complexity than I’m used to in the more traditional versions of this beer. I’m floored by this one. I knew having a little brother move out to Wisconsin would be good for something.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
whatsupstairs (112) - Inland Empire, California, USA - MAR 4, 2013
i rated the wrong one i think so this is the rating from the other vintage please disregard the other one/ i was given this beer at the eclipse party in 2012 its not the 2010 unplugged label so i think its the 06 being it looks like what the 06 says it looks like. that being said wooooowzer this beer was amazing poured a bronze amber with a small fleeting white head first the smell of fresh apples then small pepper and cinnamon notes it is then a whole new ball game sour tart fruit in my face no wounder these guys are the fruit beer gods. wow

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
muzzlehatch (4773) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 12, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 29, 2008 12 oz bottle from Steve’s in Madison (Mineral Point Road, Oct 2006) sampled at cellar temperature from a Corsendonk glass. A smallish tan head decays rapidly atop the deep muddy caramel body....oaky caramel and funky brett combine with light piquant cherry essence and hints of oregano for subtle pleasures.....tartness dominates the body throughout the tasting, sour cherries and oaky sherry touches are the key with the muted yeast mostly adding complexity to the marvellously full body....sour apples and a bit of acrid smokiness/tobacco make for a lip-smacking but challenging finish....to me this is closer to the Sour Brown than to any of the other fruit beers, though I like it a bit better, the malt is fuller and I think it goes down easier. At the finish after about a third of the bottle, touches of bitter chocolate show up, as if we needed anything more to be assured of Dan Carey’s greatness....PLEASE NOTE I find that this beer takes longer than most to breathe; my appreciation (and rating) went up a lot more over the course of the bottle, slowly consumed, than it usually does. I’d personally recommend letting it sit in the glass 10 minutes before tasting. 8/4/9/4/17 4.2

(May 2008) bottle from same batch, 1.5 years of age. The funkiness has really developed in this, the nose is as cheesy and bacterially weird and wonderful as anything I can remember, while a mineralic quality (lime, iron) merely adds to the already considerable complexity towards the finish. The body has not thinned out at all though the carbonation is a touch diminished....truly a rare and wonderful beverage at this point, and nearly on the level of the ambrosial Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart. I wish I had more left....

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - DEC 10, 2006
A huge thanks to drewbeerme for this one. Wow, what a beer. The flavor initially hits you with a slight cider vinegar tangyness but finishes sweetly. It glides over your tongue with a complexity of fruit and sour. I really like this beer (can you tell?). This is truly a world class beer in my book. I just wish I could buy it here in Calif.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
oh6gdx (25392) - Vasa, FINLAND - MAR 20, 2007
Bottled. Hazy amber colour, not much head. Aroma is coconuts, cookies, alcohol, grapes and some slight touch of caramel. Flavour is sweet fruits, malts, caramel, alcohol and some plum. Though the sweet fruits, the overall is quite sour. Wellbalanced, and quite easy-to-drink. Very pleasant thing! WOW!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
mmcdowell3 (13) - USA - OCT 17, 2007
Deep reddish color. Even deeper cherry/vanilla flavor, kind of tart or even a bit sour, but in a delightful way. tickling to the back of the tongue. smells slightly vinegary, with a slight tinge of apple.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
GarrettB (1462) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 4, 2009
Interesting back story to this one. My parents moved into a new neighborhood - one of the neighbors came to greet them in the first week and introduced himself as a capable home brewer. My parents replied that they had an avid beer consumer in the family, and relayed that when I came home for the holidays I should be happy to meet the new neighbor. So I did. Honestly, I expected a humble brewing set-up, with some coolers and bottling equipment and completely satisfactory beers to sample. What I was shown was extraordinary engineering skills and intuition, zealous dedication to the craft, ingenuity and stunning brews including a pre-prohibition style Pils - the best pils I’ve had to date. After talking beer for a bit, he asked me to sample a bottle from his collection -a New Glarus Enigma. Naturally, my jaw dropped. I never thought I’d have a chance to have at this retired brew, but here I found myself in the capable, magnanimous hands of a beer patron who happened to live across the street from my parents. So, I gingerly carried the beer home and waited for the right moment to sample it. January 1st, opening 2009, I popped the cap, and had a surreal beer experience. I anxiously poured the beer like I was handling a piece of enriched uranium - careful, precise, and with a certain nervous twitch. Out came a murky date brown brew, a muddy concoction with but a few ashen gray bubbles drifting aimlessly on the surface of the Enigma. I slowly crane my neck over the beer, careful not to corrupt it by dipping the tip of my nose into its sanctified depths. I breath in the vapors, catching fresh, sweet red grapes, a slight acerbity and sourness, a heavy, nose-wrinkling wood aroma, a hint of dry balsamic vinegar, and a bit of cobwebs, as if the beer had retained a dusty flavor from aging. It reeks of luxury, a sophisticated aroma that makes me feel very unworthy - a serf coming across someone else’s buried gold and greedily spending it for himself. The next few lines in my notes, which mark the moment I tasted the Enigma, are filled with expletives of shock and disbelief, some of them hyperbole, but most of them genuine. I then pose a question to myself: “Where do I begin?!” The experience, the journey, the epiphany, the Enigma begins with a sweet, easing taste of caramelized apples, oak aged tastes, red grapes and then yawns, slipping into a supine relaxation of flavor, before re-posturing itself into a rejuvenated sweet phase. Here I find a veritable dessert tray of gourmet dessert flavors, including a delicate apple pie and more red grapes, dusted with cinnamon and all-spice, all amidst a brilliant backdrop of none-too-sour acidity. I feel like I’m watching a creative work of art being developed/performed in at a fast timelapse speed, with the final product delivered to my tongue - but I can PERCEIVE the effort the brewers put into the Enigma. Indeed, this is the most “compelling” beer I’ve ever drank. I’m struck with palate awe, slowly sipping this beer which, as it warms, dons a nice black pepper puff taste and a restrained but firm hit of alcohol in the back of the throat. I feel like this should be paired with a tremendously fancy or elegant meal in a classy restaurant to match, but here I am in a humble living room reigning in 2009 with one of the best beers of my life. If the review is a bit cloying, I promise you nothing about this beer is. It is, perhaps, the best beer of 2009.

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