Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,961 | Reviews: 880 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Beertron:
2.93/5 rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
It's been years, almost a decade, since I last tried this beer. I wasn't a big fan of it the first time around; I took a greater liking to their Raspberry Tart and have since picked up that when I see the two side-by-side. Either way, the lady and I were having spaghetti at her place so I thought this would make for a good pairing. Poured from the trademark waxed 750 into a pretty standard water glass (she isn't quite yet to BA level, but she's getting there...)
A - Carbonation is kinda odd with this sucker. As I pour, there's no head. When I finish, it jumps up to an inch (on a soft pour) and then dissolves as quickly as it appeared, leaving no discernible lacing. When shaken, the bubbles appear and disappear yet again. Other than color, which is bright clear red (almost like a red soda), this resembles champagne in every regard. I wouldn't doubt that champagne yeast was at work in the creation of this brew.
S - Smells strongly of syrupy cherries; like maraschinos, cherry Torani, black cherry soda or red cough syrup. Not being a big fan of syrupy cherries (or cough syrup, for that matter), this smell is lightly nauseating to me. There really isn't much noticeable beer aroma here -- just overpowering cherry -- and I'm kind of wishing there was.
T - Tastes allay some of those syrupy fears. This is dry and bubbly with a strong cherry flavor. Thankfully, the flavor shows real cherries, probably from the Northwest (Ranier or Bing). This is far more pleasant than the aroma led me to expect. There's also a fruity alcohol taste that reminds me of fermented apple cider -- not hard apple cider, but regular unpasteurized apple cider that's gotten a bit dated and in which wild yeasts have started converting the sugars.
M - This hits a number of places on the palate. At the outset, it's bubbly and light and sparkles on the tongue. Then its sweet with a light syrupyness that ends dry and sticky. Despite all of this, the feel is soft and dry and makes me salivate after 10 seconds or so. Fun complexity.
D - Ehhhh. Pretty tough to do much of this. Especially considering the bottle size, I'd say you almost have to share it with someone, or probably someones. That sticky syrupyness is pretty tough to get over and I think it would give me gut-rot if I tried to drink this bottle myself. It's food pairing qualities (see immediately below) are causing me to kick this up a whole point above where I normally would've in this category.
F - This is an incredible drink to pair with food, especially dessert, because its one of those rare beers that will add a whole new component to a dish. I'm pressed to think of any food that would stand up to it's sweet cherry flavor, but I can think of a billion that it would be great with in terms of a contrast: vanilla bean cheesecake, sweet chocolate, peanut butter sandwich, fruit salad, duck confit (depending very much on what's with it), sugar cookies, etc. Interestingly enough, I had it with homemade spaghetti sauce and found it to match perfectly. It provide a fantastic sounding board to the acidity of the tomatoes and balsamic/red wine vinegars, the dark strength of the herbs and spices and the grainy nuttiness of the pasta. This beer likes food. Additionally, I wouldn't doubt that it'd make a great reduction sauce on its own. I'll have to try that one of these days.
O - I must say, the syrupy stickiness is a bit too overpowering and the malt a bit too under-powering for my tastes. I have real trouble trying to figure out how this ends up as the best beer in WI according to reviewers on this site. Overall, I think this has much more in common with soda (or sweet champagne) than it does beer and that's probably why it gets such great reviews. Everyone loves pop. I'm not a big fan, so I don't think this floats my boat as much as the next geek. However, it does have an amazing affinity for food and, approached from that standpoint, I find it to be quite useful and amazing. Either way, it's certainly an interesting brew and still leagues beyond most ridiculous attempts at this style.
Serving type: bottle
04-11-2007 18:48:03 | More by Beertron
More User Reviews:
4.61/5 rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Bottle with friends. Nice carbonation and warm cherry color. Nose is of a big red wine full of fruit. Smoooth stuff, Rich, ripe fruit but without the sugary sweetness. Lingers on and on. Don't know if this could be a regular consumption, but I'd like to try!
Serving type: bottle
03-13-2014 02:46:34 | More by ebones
Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 1,961 ratings.