Wednesday, November 16, 2005

New Glarus Unplugged Sour Brown Ale

This New Glarus beer comes from brewmaster Dan Cary's Unplugged line. These are small batches Dan brews occasionally that they make no promise to ever brew again. Distribution is limited to the state of Wisconsin, making these beers fairly hard to come by. The Sour Brown Ale is brewed in the Flanders Oud Bruin style, which originated in the Flanders region of Belgium. They are normally characterized by a tart/sour fruity malt flavor, many with evident cherry flavors. Many are brewed on oak or in oak barrels and may be spontaneously fermented by wild yeast and bacteria. Let's see how the New Glarus Unplugged Sour Brown fares:

The New Glarus Sour Brown pours from the bottle a cloudy reddish brown with a small tan head that falls to a ring around the glass fairly quickly. A bit murky. Aromas initially of sour cherries and rotten apples with a caramel sweetness. Notes of wood mix with a slight vinegar funkiness. A little more subdued than I was expecting really..but still quite nice.

First sip brings a sweet musty, woody caramel maltiness upfront. Sour cherries, grapes and rotten green apples show up again with a nice acidic tartness that pulls on the side of the mouth. More woody, vinegar flavors follow through on the way down. There's a big battle here between the sweet, syrupy aspect of the beer and the acidic tartness. Definetly a unique, intersting brew here..but the syrupy aspect just takes it down a notch for me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and with a nice blast of carbonation Goes down smooth and it's actually pretty easy to drink. However, it's not something I could see myself wanting more than one of in a sitting. If you have access to New Glarus I'd give it a try...but I wouldn't tell ya to go out of your way to get it.

Overall rating I gave this beer is 3.55 out of 5.

Check out what's brewing at New Glarus at