Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

New Glarus Unplugged Series – Smoked Rye Ale

Last spring, I got bored one Sunday and made a trip over to the Casanova Bottle Shop in Hudson, Wisconsin to pick up some New Glarus and Dogfish head beers (DFH was still available in Wisconsin at the time, no longer). One of the New Glarus beers I grabbed was a Smoked Rye Ale, part of their “unplugged” series where brewmaster Dan experiments in the brewhouse with whatever ingredients his heart desires.

I was really excited to try this smoked rye ale, as I’m intrigued about the possibility of using smoked and rye malts in my own beers. The only other “rye” beers I’ve tried previously (Summit’s Unchained #3 RyePA and Surly’s Surlyfest rye Octoberfest beer) have pleased me greatly, so my expectations were high for New Glarus. This beer had lower carbonation than I would have liked, less rye flavor than Summit’s RyePA. Most of the smoked malt flavor came through in the aroma, some in the flavor. This beer had the hops dialed back to make way for the rye spiciness and smoke flavor. Smart move.

You know how you smell after sitting in front of a campfire all night? That’s how this beer smelled. Pretty cool! Went well with bacon cheese pizza. I’d definitely buy a six pack of this stuff, though not sure that’s possible as it was/is limited edition. Dan never commits to making his “unplugged” series beers again.

Does this mean I must formulate my own clone recipe? Hmmm…

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2 responses

  1. Kevin

    That is one tasty beer, I bought a four pack in may and loved all four of them. This beer is also 10% and you would never know it, it is so smooth and the smoke flavor is subtle. Wish I could buy it all the time.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    • 4 pack? Jealous! Where’d you find that and when, Kevin?

      August 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm

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