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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,913 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,913
Reviews: 930
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 1,085
Gots: 588 | FT: 70
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,913 | Reviews: 930
Reviews by Kbogac:
Photo of Kbogac
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a champagne glass. Thick cream colored foam on top of a light burgundy red beer. Slowly dissipates to a ring with nice lacing. Smell is sweet cherry reminiscent of candy. Taste is more of a sweet darker cherry. Not very complex.  Light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Overall a very nice cherry ale. Not overly sweet and easy to drink. I've not found anyone that doesn't like it. 

More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Murky, rust red with highlights the color of not quite ripe cherries. I expected the cap to be girlie pink, but it's actually simple beige in color. Large initially due to a generous amount of carbonation, the head is dense with a stickiness that promotes perseverance and lacing. Soapy, pocked sheets cover a good portion of the glass and stay for the duration.

This beer doesn't smell much like beer due to the all-encompassing aroma of sweet cherries. Forget malt, forget hops, forget anything that isn't pure, unadulterated essence of cherry juice. Thankfully, there are no medicinal (i.e. cough syrup) aromas present. Simply put, this is one of the best fruit beer noses that I've ever smelled.

I love it! Wisconsin Belgian Red tastes deeper and more hearty than most cherry beers. Along with the bright fruit flavor is a more earthy, muscular flavor that is more akin to dried fruit or fruit jerky than it is to fresh cherries or cherry juice. The degree of acidity is nigh on perfect. As noted in the nose description, there isn't a whole lot present that isn't cherry related, just variations on the theme and layers upon layers of flavor.

The body is full in the best sense of the word, with a lush, mouthfilling, thickly coating feel. The sugar content is high and limits drinkability for me. Unless I can get my wife to drink some (extremely doubtful) I won't be able to finish this big bottle in one sitting. Despite the note on the label ('highly carbonated') and the loud 'pffft' upon opening, I don't really appreciate an excessive amount of carbonation. The CO2 does its part to aerate the thick, syrupy body without calling attention to itself.

WBR seems to be a 'love it or hate it' kind of beer. I recognize that though it's beer in the technical sense, it doesn't much resemble beer in the classic sense. I've decided to judge it on its own merits with my enjoyment as the sole criterion. It's hard for me to imagine a fruit beer in general and a cherry fruit beer in particular that is more delicious than Wisconsin Belgian Red. I've waited quite a while to taste this one and I have to say that it has exceeded my expectations with room to spare.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of ricke
3.64/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Photo of brownbeer
4.82/5  rDev +10%
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.

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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of warnerry
3.7/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

Photo of grynder33
3.65/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty ruby red color surprisingly long lasting head, cherry vanilla aroma and then it goes downhill. A taste so sour you could never serve it with food, if it had been a little thinner, sour cherry might work, but this had a thick texture. Maybe if you pour a very small amount, you could work with this.

Photo of Beaver13
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Pours a muddy red-brown with a small wispy head that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet cherries, slightly tart with some wood.

The flavor is sweet yet tart cherries and wood with a dry slightly sweet finish. The mouthfeel is full and smooth with velvety carbonation.

Overall, it's kind of one-dimensional (cherry!), but I liked this a lot.

Photo of barhoc11
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

An amazing beer that tastes like sweet cherries, the taste is exceptional but I am not sure I could drink more than a glass at any time.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.94/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared this bottle at a family tasting.
Ruby red with a creamy white head

The aroma is wonderful cherries sweet and tart very fresh aroma almost earthy

The taste matches the aroma wonderful cherries sweet and real flavor. The carbonation is sweet and wispy wonderful and fills the mouth

Photo of Duster72
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish color with definite red highlights. Small ivory head quickly dissipates to a ring around the flute. Smell is incredible, like opening a jar of fresh cherries. Very enticing smell. Taste is pretty much like cherry pie filling, with a lot of tartness and sourness. Not as sweet as I expected. Medium body is nice. One glass is great, but two glasses is too much. A nice dessert which is best shared with 3 friends, not 1 spouse.

Photo of tjthresh
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in my Lindemans flute. Pours very murkey and muddy orangy-red with a tightly bubbled creamy pinkish head. You can smell the tartness and acidity of the cherries. Very nice. Some yeastiness. Absolutly spectacular flavor. Sweet up front. Tart at the end. Slight drying affect. Full luscious body. Lively carbonation. I bet I could get in a lot of knickers with this beer.

Photo of merlin48
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a slightly hazed, ruby body with a small pinkish head. Minimal wispy lacing.

Aroma is freshly crushed, ripe cherries with a hint of caramel.

Light medium body with low medium carbonation. Clean and smooth.

Taste is freshly crushed cherries, tart and sweet. A hint of caramel and a kiss of yeastiness. Nothing cloying or artificial. Amazing how the essence of fresh ripe cherries is so seamlessly integrated into the body of this beer. A hint of oak creeps into the finish.

Not at all complex, just an exquisitely crafted fruit beer that has exceptional drinkability. Fans of cherries and/or fruit beers should seek this one out. Thanks to dancinwillie for the opportunity to savor this Wisconsin treasure.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to stonecrusher for this one...huge thanks.
Pours a cloudy red color with half a finger of pinkish, off-white head...some sporadic lacing as it fades.
Beautiful in the nose...huge cherry aroma with a gentle sweetness to complement things.
The taste is, as fruit beers go...simply phenomenal.
Tremendous cherry profile with a tart finish that makes you crave this brew more and more. Perfect summer beer...has the belgian feel, but with the local cherries added, brings it closer to home.
Medium bodied mouthfeel...quite carbonated, but perfect for the style.
Goes down so easy...especially on a day like today.
If you are into fruit beers at all, this one is a must...even if you are not, you should find enough in this brew to at least be impressed with its creators.

Photo of codysjb
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from Vanilla101 in a trade, poured from bottle into a goblet glass
A: Pours a cherry red, with a decent head.
S: Cherries, some cherries, a few more cherries, (almost a little syrupy) with a lot of carbonation. Smells like it’s been aged for a while (in a barrel) as opposed to a new, right into the bottle beer.
T: Cherries, very tangy and sour with a lot of carbonation.
M: Cherries, tons of them that settle on the palate but no syrup flavor (very natural). Tastes more like juice than beer. Very sour and lots of carbonation that fills the nose.
O: Good, more like a Lambic or Wild ale than a fruit beer, very sour and just lots of cherries. Not all that complex, gave me somewhat of a stomach ache due to the sourness and the carbonation. Not something to drink a lot of but pretty good.( B+) – (A-) range

Edit: Tried this again with a year on it, no longer as much carbonation but a lot of sour fruit going on. Very delicious, the way it aged made it smooth out but didn't get rid of the fruit, IMO holds up to some of the best cherry krieks. (A)

Photo of Homebrew35
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a half finger of a white foamy head. Hazy deep amber/red body which clears as it warms. Minimal lacing with no head after a short time.

Smells like a big sweet cherry pie filling. Some simple carmel sweetness and light confectionery frosting notes.

Big medium tart cherry flavor. Light puckering acidity and sourness. Sweet forward and fairly refreshing.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Lightly sticky on the finish with an obvious cherry taste.

Great beer, great fruity flavors and well balanced for the style.

$9 a 750/bomberish

Photo of tigg924
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: minimal head, high carbonation, red in color, clear

Smell: sweet cherries and fresh fruit

Taste: sweet and tart cherries, light cinnamon. The cherries are layered here so there is excellent depth of flavor.

Mouthfeel: super light body, sweet with a touch of tartness, high carbonation, prickly

Overall:This sets the new bar for me in fruit beers. I love the depth of the cherry flavors. This one is borderline wine-like, but still has some beer flavor. The fruit seems natural and not in any way artificial. When I am back in Wisconsin next year, I will bring back several. One of my favorite beers in any style.

Photo of badbeer
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a red-brown color with white head that had little lacing. Smell is of tart cherries. Taste is full of cherries, very tart, as it warms it even started to taste like a cherry cobbler with a bit of yeasty breadlike flavors coming through. Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a medium carbonation. Beer was quite drinkable, and I can't wait to have more.

Edited from: 4.5, 4, 5, 4, 4

Photo of Mora2000
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

Pours reddish-orange with a white head. Aroma is unmistakable, lots of sugar, cherries and something that reminds me of red wine. The flavor is more cherries, with a ton of sweetness. This tastes like cherry filling inside of a fried pie. Mouthfeel is syrupy and carbonation is medium-low. Easily the best fruit beer I have ever sampled.

Photo of deebo
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this several times and enjoyed as a change of pace. Here's a review from a fresh bottle.
A-cloudy. Looks like rusty water. A weak tan head that quickly breaks down. Tons of lively carbonation
S-cherries and lots of them!
T-again lots of tart cherries. A bit sour and puckering. A nice balance of sweetness and sourness and of course cherry flavor.
M- lots of carbonation, light refreshing body. Slightly puckering at the end
O-amazing amount of fruitiness. Hard to believe there isnt cherry flavor added but with a pound of Cherries in every bottle I guess that is the ticket. A wonderfully unique delicious beer

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,913 ratings.