When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Wisconsin? Drink New Glarus. I try to abide by this mantra each and every time I make a trip to or through this neighboring state. New Glarus has become a hot commodity to the Chicagoan, in part, I’m sure, to it’s exclusivity to the land of cheese. The Unplugged series even more so, as Dan Carey’s let-loose-brews come in limited supply. So, when I saw this Imperial Weizen on the shelf in Door County, Wisconsin, it made a bee line to my fridge.

As the brew was dubbed as “Dan’s bold creation” the remainder of the description had my captive interest. It poured like a Weizen, huge puffy head leaving just a fraction of beer, that slowly creeps up the glass, in the end winning the battle and filling my glass. The puff slows down and leaves a literal lace around the top the inches of my glass. It is a vanilla shake in color, capping a hazy golden, apricot body. The smell is the first sign of the predicted intrigue. It is both Weizen-ey and hoppy. And both of them come in tremendous doses. The typical clove and banana are there, but the power of the hop presence turns it almost slightly sour. The yeast is there too, like a liquid fresh baked bread.

It tastes, well, complex. I’m unsure at first if I can completely enjoy the combination of flavors, so unexpected they are. The banana actually hits first, but the hops grabs hold, overtaking the wheat characteristics handily and leaving a bitter, but caramel coated, finish. The body is less thick and coating than I would have hoped, maybe the hops thin out the Weizen here, but it is by no means thing, just shy of what I thought “Imperial” would be. An interesting brew, by all means, and as it just comes in fours anyway, worth the buy. Worst case, you can definitely find some friends who’ll enjoy.