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New Glarus Unplugged Old English Porter



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RATINGS: 306   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
This beer was inspired by the writings of Graham Wheeler, a noted English Beer Historian. Mr. Wheeler describes the original Porters as: "... the least understood of the old British beers. The subject (of the Porter Beer Style) is complicated and confused because porter’s heyday lasted from about 1700 to the pale ale revolution of the mid 1800’s. During that time it passed through many transformations. Porter was simply a mixture of two brown beers. The only characteristic that set the porter apart from any other beer of the day was that porter was deliberately soured by adding a percentage of sour beer to freshly brewed beer. The original porters were not, as is commonly supposed, jet-black in colour, but a translucent brown. They had a rich, smoky flavor derived from the use of brown malt and a winey aftertang produced by the deliberate souring, highly regarded by Londoners." Our interpretations is a Brown Porter based on the style popular in 1870’s London. It was brewed with mostly floor malted English malts including the famed pale ale malt, Maris Otter. A touch of smoked malt produced by Briess Malting Company of Chilton Wisconsin was also used. Half of the batch went through a souring fermentation, in the traditional way, to promote the characteristic wine-like acidity. Lastly the beer was aged on wood to extract sweetness from toasted oak.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - SEP 4, 2009
Wow. Not really sure what to think of this one. Totally came out of left field. It really made me redefine what I thought I knew was a porter. Has the style changed that much over the decades?

The one pours out a maple syrup looking brown, mostly clear with a 1" light tan head. I knew it was going to be different when the beer was transparent. Aroma was very lactic-y. Meat marinade, light chocolate, fingernail polish, brown sugar, subtle smoke and roasted nuts. Clearly not what I’m used to, but intense and intriguing at the same time. Flavor is acidic, yet the underlinging sweetness really plays well with each other. Lots of chocolate and wine up front, light roasted malts and smoke about mid-palate, toffee, black cherrie puree, and buried is the vanilla to finish it off. Just a scramble of flavors, yet it works so well and it so different. Kinda reminded me of Rodenbach Grand Cru mixed with porter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
IrishBoy (3960) - Bakersfield, California, USA - SEP 4, 2009
12 oz bottle from Iowaherkeye. Nose is coffee, lactic acid sourness, toasted sourdough, and some light oaky vanilla. Clear brown with a small beige head. Flavor is roasty coffee and plenty of tartness. Actually a nice coffee lambic, not too tart, not too sweet!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SrSilliGose (3322) - pouring bus, New Brunswick, CANADA - SEP 3, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2009 bottle. pours a clear dark brown with a small tan head. aroma of coffee, chocolate, nice sweet zuchini bread. flavor is tart chocolate covered cherries. really nice. well balanced tart and sweet malts. tasty. bonus points for the combination of being interesting, very tasty, affordable, and light and drinkable enough that i want many more. they have to brew this again! Side note: This is one beer that I thought was actually a lot better cold than at a typical serving temperature. When it was cold it tasted like a typical chocolately brown ale or porter with a nice sour bite to it, which i thought was interesting and tasty. As it warms though, the medicinal note seemed to become more apparent. Maybe that is a bad thing for the beer, that once you can actually taste what is in it, you don’t like it as much, but who knows.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tmoney99 (12041) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 3, 2009
Bottle shared by ShareANevada. Poured clear dark brown color with a large frothy light brown head that mostly lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate toasted chocolate malt and yeast aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy sweet & sour flavor with a medium to heavy sweet & acidic finish of moderate to long duration. Good complex brew that met my expectations.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
lithy (2996) - Capital of Appalachia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 1, 2009
This was surprisingly awesome. A light brown-red color with a thin light tan head. The nose is sour vinegar, roasted malt. Taste is nutty, some chocolate and caramel, roasted malt, then a finish of sour vinegar.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JPDIPSO (5124) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 1, 2009
Brown color, with a hint of garnet when held to the light. Modest beige head. Aromas of lightly roasted malt, molasses, hints of smoke and slightly acetic. Initial toasted malt flavor is commandeered by oak and cherry pit sourness. The roasted malt returns in the finish. Fairly dry in the linger, but toasted malt, and a light sour bite make this a quenching mix. I could see how this would satisfy the porters of the day. I find this rather addicting. A working man brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 29, 2009
Bottle. Subdued carbonation produces a small light tan head. Aroma is of wet wood and stewed sour cherries. Reminds me a lot of Gale’s Old Ale. The flavor is more tart than I expected, having the same profile as their Enigma. Otherwise there’s the same soggy wood element alongside a darker wheat bread malt. Finishes with tart cherry and bread.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Brigadier (3260) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - AUG 29, 2009
12 oz bottle
Again thanks to noncaloric for zipping a few bottles of this my way. I was interested as soon as I read the description and the result was no letdown. Much more sour than your typical porter this is a beer that makes a statement from start to finish.

Aroma / Appearance - The flat reddish brown body created a nice head but not so much carbonation as to be distracting. Coffee, caramel, and wood come out of the strongly tart blend.

Flavor / Palate - Tasting like a blend of Enigma and porter it packs a nice whallop that shocks the senses without being overwhelming. Almost like caramel popcorn that has been soaked in a bath of Dr Pepper the sweetness and tartness make it different than modern porters. I can’t wait to open another bottle.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 29, 2009
12oz bottle picked up directly from the brewery.... dark caramel and cherry brown pour, some fizziness, with a thin soapy white head..... aroma of chocolate/cocoa, a bit of roast, and finishes of on a tart sour cherry note.... tartness was a little more upfront than i was anticipating but i think i kind of dig it. sharp sour cherry acidity greets the mouth and more of the typical porter qualities surface shortly there afterwards. reminds me of a lighter madrugada obscura with more of the emphasis on the sour....anyone else get that?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Petrucci914 (910) - Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 28, 2009
Pours a brownish-amber color with a thin creamy off-white head which lingers for a while and leaves some streaks of lacing. Aroma is honey mustard, liquid smoke, and some sour lactic acid. Taste is very different. It is very sour up front, then moves on to some smokey, chocolate, and cardboard taste, which finishes clean and very dry. I’m sure it captures the old style well, but it is something to get used to. Not sure how I feel about it. If it didn’t finish so dry, it may have been more up my alley. Thanks for sharing, bro!

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