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

3,035 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,035
Reviews: 943
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.27%
Wants: 1,104
Gots: 627 | FT: 73
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: 3,035 | Reviews: 943
Photo of tpd975
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Holy shit did I love this beer. Got two of them in a trade and the best thing is that I have another.

A: Pours a nice reddish brown kind of color. Nice bubbles rising to the top. Can't wait to taste.

S: The definition of cherry. Ton of sweet cherry aroma. There is a malty biscutiy aroma in the background, but man this smells like I cracked open a jar of cherries.

T: 5* no doubt about it. Huge cherry flavor like I have tasted in no other brew. There is some cinnamon in there as well. God I love cherry pie but would trade the best one on earth for another bottle of this beer. There is some cinnamon in the background, and finishes with a bit of tartness.

M: Perfect. Medium to light bodied and refreshing. I shared this bottle with 3 others and to be honest I wish I had saved it all to myself.

D: The most drinkable beer ever. I would drink it until they scraped me off the floor. I may move to Wisconsin just to have a steady supply of this beer.

Overall: I have come across many beers that I love Westy 12 and KY Stout most notably. This one here is a whole different matter. It's pure sex in a bottle. I love this beer. The aroma, the flavor, the enjoyablity is off the scale. New Glarus, YOU RULE!!!

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

Generously shared by Rutager.

A: 3/4" tan head that dissipated quickly over red liquid.

S: Cherries and candy sugar predominate.

T: Cherries, candy sugar and yeast flavours.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: Extremely drinkable. A beautiful treat of a beer.

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

thanks to nflmvp for this bottle;

A - as expected this ale pours a rich red color with a reddish tinted head, looks a shade like cranberry juice

S - wow, could smell the cherries immediately after the cap pop, before it was even off the bottle, and what an aroma! like fresh sweet cherries right off the tree, not that cherry cough syrup aroma either, real cherries, not even the sweetened but good pie filling cherries, real fresh cherries

T - HMOG! (thats Holy Mother Of God!) this is absolutely amazing, such rich great flavor, so silky smooth, such palatable carbonation, with a subtle hoppy background, simply incredible, fruit beer perfection!

M - silky smooth as i mentioned, a great mouthfeel, as smooth as soda but light years beyond

D - even a BMC drinker will enjoy this this is amazing

if this were weighted only as fruit beers, it would get a 5 across the board, but its not, but its still damn close, thanks again nflmvp and keep'em coming (j/k)

edit 1/23/07: well thanks to nflmvp, i got a few more bottles of this divine nectar, and it is even more amazing than i remember. if you do not live in the Wisconsin area, contact a BA from round there and trade for some of this. it is worth its weight in gold. try nflmvp, he always seems to be up for a trade.

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

A 750ml bottle I picked up during one of my many runs over to Wisconsin. This was a definatly great beer that I think my beer hating girlfriend actually enjoyed. It poured a ruby red juice like color into the glass. A very small developed but soon turned to film. The beer smells of cherries, naturally. But it is very sweet and tart even smells borderline oak. Tastes of huge cherry flavor with a nice balance of sweetness and tartness. There is nothing to complain about here. This is a very nice quality beer that should be enjoyed by all.

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

I love this beer, despite it being almost more of a cherry cider than a beer. This beer is all about the cherry, although the base beer must be solid to build the cherry goliath on top of. The cherry aroma, taste, sourness, and sweetness are all there, so intense it borders on medicinal but it is NOT, it's a natural/real cherry taste that is so enjoyable and refreshing. I could guzzle this stuff by the gallon and never tire of it, can't think of a negative except maybe there are more complex beers out there. I wish they made a sour variant of this, but they should never change this beer, it is exceptional on its own and for what it is; a cherry beer.

Photo of comat0se
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer! First you have to consider the elegant packaging... the green 750ml bottle, the red wax, even the label is classy. Then you pour... aroma is a blast of fresh pie cherries. And the color, a hazy beautiful dark pink-red complete with a light pink head which fades quickly. Taste is a refreshing, sweet-tart, complex sour, acetic, cherry flavor. Not for amateurs! My friend and girlfriend didn't really care for it and they gave me theirs. She said the tartness and carbonation reminded her of the inside of Zots candy. More for me! Just one drop of this beer is loaded with flavors. Medium body with a medium, brisk, carbonation accentuating the tartness. I look forward to trying it again at the GABF.

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

A : Pours a cherry reddish-brown color with an offwhite head that goes down pretty quickly

S : Fresh cherry sweetness and nothing else

T : Just like the smell, it is a nice cherry sweetness with a touch of tartness

M : Medium-bodied with good carbonation

D : Extremely drinkable. This is one that I could have any time and have no problem drinking.

Photo of Risser09
4.91/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle poured into a wine tulip - fridge - probably 2009

Appearance: Pours a murky brown color with cherry red hues at the edges. A vigorous, but short-lived brown, red-tinted head builds and falls down just like soda would. A minimal lace ring stays behind.

Smell: Tons and tons of cherry aroma indicates the shear amount that they put in every batch. It's so strong, on the verge of medicinal, but is showing signs of sweetness and barrel aging (wood). Excellent, mouthwatering.

Taste: Super cherry intensity. The cherries are again on the border of medicinal, but they are curbed by the wheat malt flavor. It really tastes just like a sweet cherry picked off the tree, with an alcohol boost. Top notch.

Mouthfeel: Very effervescent and lively, compared to the raspberry tart. Sweet, tart, quenching and intense. Some lingering alcohol.

Drinkability: This beer is a superb dessert. I could have one every night if I could afford it and it was actually available in PA. I think this might be better than the raspberry tart.

Photo of 01001111
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Deep reddish brown.

S: Cherries, honey, oak, cherries.

T: Cherries, oak, nectar, vermouth, cherries.

M: Slightly syrupy but not cloying.

O: Really good. An amazing fruit beer. Not something you drink often but definitely worth savoring when you do.

Photo of CoalCellar
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my goblet....

A: Pours a murky red w/golden hues and a tiny red-tinged head, head dissipates quickly.

S: Rich, delicious, tart cherries, and some wheaty funk....

T: This beer tastes exactly like cherry pie. Rich, luscious cherry flavor w/nice tartness up front, finishes with a sweet candy flavor.

M: Average body

D: Outstanding. If this stuff was more readily available for me I could drink it all night long. This stuff is liquid desert. An absolute treat for beer geeks with a sweet tooth.

Photo of BOLTZ7555
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled at Hellbilly’s Hellraiser courtesy of Hellbilly via Bockyhorsey!!! "I can not tell a lie," this was like George Washington placing his right hand on the trunk and left hand on the branches of a cherry tree...and ringing it out like a towel just above my glass. INCREDIBLE!!! Pours a soft red with small rose foam. Washington cherry blossoms and freshly baked pie tease the nose. The flavor combines buttery flaky crust, sweet ripened fruit, and cherry tartness. This beer is distinguished, legendary, and should be celebrated!!!

Photo of Jredner
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ohh my god that is the best smell in the world. Rich ripe, sweet cherries and cherry puree. It smells like the filling of an expensively made cherry pastry. It’s just fantastic smelling that’s all that can be said. Faded pink/light red in color with a thin white film of a head. Jeez this brewery makes increndible fruit beers. Fore is full of cherry, spritzy carbonation, mild acidic citric notes toward the finish. The middle has ever so slightly sour notes, some nuttiness and a smooth icing laden fried, flaky sweet dough flavor that carries into the finish. This really is a liquid Cherry Fritter and it is utterly amazing. This is the kind of beer that gets you excited all over again about what beer is and can be.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml wax-dipped green bottle poured into tulip.

A - Deep blood red in color, Wisconsin Belgian Red pours with a frothy dirty pink foam that subsides to loosely packed bubbles and a smattering of thin lace on the tulip.

S - Cherries, cherry skins, and more cherries! The aroma is of fresh fruit, not that cough syrup artificial BS you get in some cherry beers. While New Glarus' fruit beers are spontaneously fermented, many of them don't show the slightest hint of wild yeast. Wisconsin Belgian Red is the most forthcoming with it's wild profile, though; behind the cherries lies the distant aroma of a forgotten, dusty wooden barn and trails of horse blankets it once held.

T - Beautiful cherry flavor coats the tongue with true fruitiness from the pit to the skin's sharp tannins while the spontaneous fermentation trickles traces of dry wild yeast across the back of the tongue. Perfection!

M - Effervescent carbonation livens up the sweet cherry profile of Wisconsin Belgian Red before it's finish is punctuated with a nicely balancing level of tart, relaxed cherry skin acidity.

O - New Glarus' Wisconsin Belgian Red is not only one of the greatest cherry beers available anywhere, it's also one of the most quintessential fruit beers on the planet. Packed to the brim with fresh cherries, this beer smells and tastes sublime, finishing semisweet with a perfect level of tart cherry skin acidity!

Photo of CBlack85
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thanks to crossovert for the hookup

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

The beer pours a hazy reddish color with an off white head that has just a hint of pink. The head recedes quickly leaving behind no hint of lacing whatsoever.

The nose is all cherries all day long. Really just a breathtaking sour cherry aroma. What an amazing aroma; I could almost forget about drinking this beer and just sit a enjoy the aroma all evening. Outstanding. No malts, no hops, just cherries...

The flavor is big, just as big as the aroma. A big full flavored glass of cherries. Slightly tart, while still remaining sweet and enjoyable. Well carbonated, making the beer almost prickly on the tongue. Medium bodied, and easy to drink.

The website boasts "Over a pound of Door County cherries in every bottle", and I believe it. Just a terrific beer. Really teh best example of a fruit beer that I have ever tasted.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Halcyondays raved about it. kbm told me it's crazy to not like it. That's a good enough record to justify a taste. On to the beer:

Spotty lacing is left around the glass from this orangish red colored beer. It kind of looks like punch. The aroma is beauty. Sometimes cherries in beer can be over the top and very acidic, but the cherries in this one are mellow yet very aromic. Sweet cherries and cherry skins, yeah.

Its taste is a beautiful and simple. Sweet succulent cherries crash into the palate wave after wave. It's never really tart, and never really acidic. In fact, it's almost like a cherry punch. With a flavor so rich and full of the fruit, the body seems medium full, which is amazing at 4% ABV. As a bonus, unlike the Raspberry Tart, the WBR is much too easy to drink.

Like the Raspberry Tart which I'm in love with, the Wisconsin Belgian Red is tops in its class. Any doubter of fruit beers should take a look at the offerings that New Glarus is producing, which are beautiful beverages to drink. The next mission will be securing a full bottle to myself.

Photo of Skidz
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle with red waxed neck, poured into a champagne flute. Pours out orange, with a reddish tinge to it, and sits a light reddish-orange in the glass with a small white head on top. Nice color display in the flute, light yellow-orange all the way up to a crimson red near the top.

Smells like a combination of marichino and tart cherries. All cherries, all the way. Light spiciness on the nose too. I think the Raspberry tart has a much better nose than this, but that is just my opinion.

Taste is tart, semi-sour and goes super sweet at the end. Delicious 100%. Blends of marichino-like sweetness and the classic Door County tartness of cherries gives this a unique taste and makes for one great fruit beer (even though Door County cherries are the only cherries used, it still tastes like a blend to me). A bit of wheat flavor comes out inbetween and finishes sweet, refreshing and not the least bit dry or bitter.

Smooth, rich and bold in the mouth, I'd call it a medium-light body. Goes down easy, probably too easy. Try and drink one alone and you'll feel sorry, and lonely. A top of the line fruit beer who definately deserves its reputation. Pair it with a nice chocolate dessert or another rich sweet, but I'd say having it with cherry pie would be going overboard.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark red/brown color, poured from a green glass waxed and capped 25 ounce bottle. Small white head atop. Sweet cherry smell dominates this with a subtle maltiness in hiding, some what like a cherry cider. Taste is extremely cherry dominant, sweet, but not candy-like or cloying. Hops are no where to be seen. A very different fruit beer, nothing like I have ever had. Light evervescent and refreshing.

I took another BA's suggestion, and mixed this with some Young's Double Chocolate Stout, and it was one of the richest and flavorfull beers I have ever had.

Photo of GlassFreeek
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a champagne flute from a 750ml bottle.

A: Pours, an amber/ruby red color w/ a eggshell/pink some what creamy looking head. About 3 fingers worth of head.

S: A mix between a ripe cherry and cherry pie. Just amazing, really catches the essence of a cherry in here.

T: Just the same as the smell, it's sweet, but not too sweet. And's it's tart and but too tart, just like it should be. Very perfectly well executed.

MF: Great dense, creamy mouthfeel, that is actually quite unique and enjoyable.

Overall, I'd suggest you get one of these bottles immediately, and drink it. You won't be disappointed! Wow, this is a great fruit beer right here.

Photo of GradyS1
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 into an Allagash Tulip. Red, with a slight brownish tent. Small amount of carbination with a small head, poured very, very cold.

Fresh Cherry pie filling on the smell, really awesome. Does not smell like cherry cough syrup, this is fresh pie filling. Such a sweet smell that it is almost cherry candy by the finish.

Taste almost exactly as it smells. Predominately cherry pie filling. Fresh and sweet with a small amount of tartness. Very small hints of alcohol at all, especially for a fruit beer

Smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation. This is refreshing, especially for the amount of sweetness that it has in it. Almost perfect as far as taste and mouth feel good.

This beer is very tasty, as close as a desert beer as I would think you could get. There is really no malt characteristic to this at all, Its like you are drinking a fruit soda, that is the only downfall

Photo of Knuckles
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'll make no secret of it, I love this beer. I had my first taste of it almost ten years ago, back in the halcyon days when it was named "Wisconsin Cherry Ale". My friend Chip is from Door County, and would pick up a bottle or two here and there when he went home for the holidays, just to shut me up. I was utterly blown away by it then, and remain blown away to this very day. It's not for everyone, but I think any beer such as this that completely defines itself, and many other American beers to follow, really needs to be given due credit.

Appearance: This is the only area I'm disappointed. It pours a brilliant red (not quite pink), with a light pink head. However, as it's unfiltered, it gives it sort of a murky appearance that leads one to believe it's going to feel a bit thicker than it really does.

Smell: Well, kids, there's no denying it. This is a cherry beer. I don't drink fruit beers as a general rule, as most tend to try and add fruit flavor to a typically bland ale of some sort. This beer does no such thing. This beer revels in its cherryness. It exists solely for the cherries, not for the beer, and that's all you smell. No yeast, no malt, no beer. Just cherry.

Taste: Again, if you don't like cherries, you won't like this beer. Me, I like them. Sweet at the start, dry and tart at the finish. I've given this beer to many people who have said, "This isn't beer." And were it not for the strict definition of the process that makes a beer a beer, I might actually agree with them. But since this beer follows the rules, then by jinkies I'm going to call it a beer. And to hell with all y'all that disagree. I will also love every precious $10 bottle I can get my mitts on.

Mouthfeel: Again, the murk belies the lightness of tongue that this beer has. It is really a very delicate feel, almost like sparkling wine. It does have a definite malt presence, but doesn't have the tongue-sticky cloyingness that an American wheat beer like UFO or Widmer does. This sumbitch is incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day.

Drinkability: This all depends (as previously mentioned), on your tolerance for cherries. What makes this beer truly great, however, is that you can share it with almost anyone (yes, the boys got a wee nip and were suitably impressed) and they will generally enjoy it. That said, a little cherry can go a long way. My wife and I have done two of the 750 ml bottles of this at once, but that's about all I'd do.

Photo of clvand0
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to kmpitz2 for sharing this bottle with us. What a beer. It pours a bright red color with a small ring of pink foam around the top. Leaves some lacing on the glass as well. Very strong aroma of cherries with just a tiny bit of sourness. Nice. The flavor was unreal. Lots of cherry flavor all over the place. Slight tart character, but very slight. Love the flavor of the cherries in this one. Spectacular flavor. Drinkability is wonderful as well. I MUST seek out more of this beer.

Photo of bobsy
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The last of the reviews I'm gonna write up on the beers we had last night. I wouldn't trust my palate or memory to accurately recall anything more than the first couple we had. Fortunately the first couple were classics.

Deep blood red body with a foamy off-white head. Sticky lace. Full on kriek aroma - sour cherries, leather and a touch of cider. Sour cherry flavour with a great deal of funk, leather and sugar. A pound of cherries in each bottle and you can tell. In terms of its profile and intensity it reminded me a lot of ice cider. Full, decadent mouthfeel and slightly sticky. This would make a great dessert beer.

Its fascinating and special. I hope my wife can bring me some of this back from the midwest... it may well make up for her chickening out on the growler of masala mama.

Cheers Troy!

Photo of shand
4.86/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. Thanks to redbird!

Well, this is just a little embarrassing. I held on to this for a long time. Probably longer than I should have, since I got this bad boy about 8 months ago, and who knows how long it was around before then. Hoping for the best! Pours a very hazy red color with a tiny head that drop fast. The smell? Dear GOD that smells good! Cherries! There are cherries in this beer. Lots of cherries. I love cherries. This smells very good. It also tastes like there's cherries in this beer. It does a great job of balancing the sweet and the tart. The mouthfeel is crisp and light, and the drinkability is amazing. Why did I wait so long to pop this one? This is seriously a world-class beer. If you like cherries, you will like this beer. No way around that.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle to Founders tulip.

A - Poured cherry red with a slight glow around the edges. One finger of light brown/cream coloured head formed and receded to a thin layer full of big bubbles.

S - Dark cherries dominate the nose but the aroma is very fresh and not artificial. Lighter notes of spice and sweet bready malts in the background. Almost smells like fresh baked apple pie.

T - Huge fresh baked cherry pie flavour full of dark cherries and sweet flaky pie crust. A touch of spice is present as well. An amazing flavour profile.

M - Almost full bodied. Creamy and thick. Light carbonation.

O - This was by far the best fruit or vegetable beer have had.

Photo of grub
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Viggo was nice enough to share this truly excellent beer. huge thanks eric!

750ml bottle, topped in dark red wax.

pours hazy pinkish red with a bit of dense pink head. some spotty lace.

aroma is fantastic. tons of cherry. at a distance it seemed vaguely cough-syrupy, but up close it is great. sour cherries with a nice fresh earthy character. light sweetness. bit of sourness. excellent.

taste is excellent. wow. lots of cherry, but not at all cloying or syrupy. slight sour cherry. bit of spiced cake. hint of brown sugar and spice. truly great stuff.

mouthfeel is awesome. super silky smooth carbonation. nice body, but not at all cloying.

drinkability is excellent. this is a truly excellent beer.

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,035 ratings.