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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

2,688 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,688
Reviews: 916
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 1,025
Gots: 479 | FT: 43
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,688 | Reviews: 916 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Beertron:
Photo of 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.

Beertron, Apr 11, 2007
More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Just a wonderful fruit beer. Thick and luscious like a true apple cider only pink. Loads of tart cherries and hints of spices. Smells great, tastes great. Feels like velvet on your tongue. Not overly sweet at all and therefore very drinkable.

Over the weekend I sat out on a lake in Northern Wisconsin and consumed a bottle that I had kept in a cupboard for at least three years. I was a bit nervous that the beer would have spoiled but it hadn’t. It tasted exactly as I remembered it tasting fresh from the brewery.

Moreover, the beer was a perfect pick for the colorful fall day. It feels very much like a homemade cider and this makes it fit naturally with changing leaves and fire pit conversation.

DaPeculierDane, Oct 03, 2005
Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

DanGeo, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -8.7%

tectactoe, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of ricke
3.7/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby red with a small off-white head that settles into a ring of lacings.

S: Lots of sweet cherries dominate. The cherry aromas are rather candy-like (guess that's what happens when you put so much cherries in the brew). Hints of grass and something in the line of cookies. Not a complex smell, and not very interesting, but my god does it smell like cherries.

T: The taste is way better than the smell. Sweet cherries up front (the cherries are still candy-like but not as much as in the smell). Notes of sweet malts. A gentle but noticeable tart note develops and is really welcome since it levels the sweetness nicely and really balances everything. Notes of cookies and earth. The finish is nicely dry and light with grassy notes and chemical cherries. Not very complex, but still with enough hints of other things than cherries to make it interesting and most importantly tasty.

M: Somewhat sticky in the mouth with a nice dryness in the finish. Medium body.

D: A good beer. The taste is better than the smell, thankfully. Impressive flavors considering the low ABV. I could really see this one working well as a dessert or coupled with dessert. But it's too sweet to drink a lot of.

ricke, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of MadScientist
5/5  rDev +14.2%

MadScientist, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of jono0101
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

jono0101, May 05, 2014
Photo of brownbeer
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is always a treat. Thanks to Thirdeye11 for this one.

A- Bright cherry red

S- Like sweet cherry candy with graham cracker malt. Not too complex, just brilliance.

T&M- Soft and delicate. Sweet and slightly tart cherry at the same time.

D- Refreshing and delicious. The kind of beer my mom(or anyone who doesn't like beer) would and should drink.

brownbeer, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Schlais, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of cjn40277
5/5  rDev +14.2%

cjn40277, Nov 03, 2014
Photo of SkiBum22
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep burgundy, red-amber with a tan-pink head.

S - Cherry, plain and simple. Great nose. Cherries and brown sugar. Very tart nose with this.

T - Very good with the cherry the huge star of course. Not as tart as I would have thought. And the grains add just the right backing to this. Just outstanding.

M - Medium body with mild carbonation and a slick finish.

O - Awesome brew from New Glarus. Never been to Wisconsin before but made sure I tried this before I left. Wish we could get this out East.

SkiBum22, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine May 2007.

The evolution of beer took a huge step forward over ten years ago with this brew. It's unlike any other Fruit Beer to the extent that it deserves more than the Fruit Beer label. There are well over a pound of cherries in every bottle and it's lagered in oak tanks for a year. Not many American breweries are doing that now--let alone ten years ago.

Pours with a light, spritzy carbonation, and its murky burgundy color shows no light at all. Just a thin ring of lace from the fizz of the head. The aroma is heavenly: a nose full of cherries in cherry juice. Sweet-tart cherry bouquet. Underlying crispness in the slick, medium body. Big bang of cherry sweetness to start. A balanced tartness sets in with mild oak, earth and a pinch of maltiness. Layers of cherry unravel slowly to finally reach a faint biscuit finish.

One of the most complex beers in the US to date, yet still very approachable and drinkable. Excellent balance of sweetness to tartness. It's a beer worth driving to Wisconsin for, or at least finding a friend to ship you some. A mild yogurt cheddar cheese with tart apples sounds like a great pairing.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of Ben7773
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Ben7773, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of newk340
4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: BR has an opaque ruby red color upon pouring with a hint of brown hue to it when held to the light. Little to no head when poured into a champagne flute (poured during a celebration immediately following Dom Perignon... hopefully that doesnt mess with my review... haha)

S: one word: CHERRIES. the strong smell of cherries blasts the olfactory senses, invoking thoughts of a Wisconsin summer on a lake.

T: an explosion of cherries tingles the tongue while emitting undertones of beer and wine with a champagne finish.

MF/D: an intensely fruity beer with the smoothest carbonation possible (considering how much it has). not a fruit beer kind of guy, but i could practically be content with a case of this for the night.

newk340, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of skybluewater
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark cherry-red. Smells like cherry cobbler, or one of those cherry pies you ate as a kid. Taste is quite the same, a huge, massive cherry explosion. It also tastes a bit sour.

This is certainly an odd beer. It doesn't even taste like one even. I'm sharing the bottle with family, because I don't think I could drink a whole bottle alone. Nevertheless, this is quite tasty, certainly the bridge between beer and wine.

skybluewater, Nov 25, 2004
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a deep, vibrant cherry red that explodes in the light. A light, fizzy off pink head rises and falls. Looks nice in the glass for sure. Aromas start with a blast of bountiful sweet and tart cherry scents. Crisp, light malts lurk within. Reminds me of a fresh made cherry pie! Quite intoxicating and no holding back on the cherry here.

First sip brings a solid, crisp malt body upfront along with an instantaneous burst of sweet cherry flavor. As it flows down tart notes move in as well. Juicy, with a massive cherry fruit flavor. Cherry pie in a glass. Just an awesome fruit beer bursting with flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat slick with a touch of a syrupy quality to it from the residuals sugars of the fruit I assume. Quite an easy drinking beer that the girlfriend enjoys as well. I could probably drink the whole bottle though too! The top tier of fruit beers for me and one I always enjoy drinking. Worth a trip to Wisconsin - grab some Raspberry Tart as well.

orbitalr0x, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of blitz134
4.25/5  rDev -3%

blitz134, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of supa0525
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

supa0525, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of bulldogg915
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

bulldogg915, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of dlorton0844
3/5  rDev -31.5%

dlorton0844, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of NWer
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

NWer, May 07, 2013
Photo of DaftPatrick
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

DaftPatrick, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of Sam_Gladieux
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Sam_Gladieux, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of equinox1
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

equinox1, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of warnerry
3.68/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pors clear deep red with minimal head.

Initial aroma is intense tart cherry. The smell of real cherries is nice. Hints of candy sweetness mix in with the tartness. Pretty simple, but good.

Taste is tart cherry up front, giving way to a slightly medicinal taste too often found with cherry flavors. Again, not complex, but simple and good.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean with minimal aftertaste.

Overall I wanted to like this more. It is pretty tasty, except for the slight medicinal notes, but this is something I wouldn't want too much of.

warnerry, May 25, 2011
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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 2,688 ratings.