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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
97
world-class

2,519 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,519
Reviews: 908
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 1,014
Gots: 441 | FT: 42
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: 2,519 | Reviews: 908 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dvmin98
2.93/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Being a huge fan of New Glarus and pretty much everything I've had from them, I was pretty excited to finally try this one. I love cherries, so this has been a want for a bit.

The appearance and smell were awesome. Nice reddish hue and big cherry smell. Good carbonation. Not a huge head. Looking good so far.

Then....I tasted it and I felt like I was a kid again when Mom was trying to shove that synthetic flavored 'cherry' swill down my throat when I had a boo boo. I took another sip, then another, then another...then stopped. Wife tried it and like it...wife gets bottle of Belgian Red.

Really disappointed, esp after how much I love Raspberry Tart and Serendipity. This was not good, at least to me. Wife thought otherwise.

dvmin98, Jul 17, 2014
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
Photo of leakyfaucet12
2.95/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

I had this beer to celebrate my brother moving into his new house and I was anticipating this to be the greatest beer ever. When i saw the beer It wasnt the most impressive beer i have ever seen, but i felt that when you make a cherry beer it would look like this, in that aspect the brewer had gotten exactley what they wanted. The smell was wonderful. When you are making a cherry beer you should smell Cherrys and nothing but. That is exactly what i smelled. The taste hit me as medicinal. I dont like to ever speak bad of beers but i could not shake the fact that it tasted like cough medicine. The mouthfeel was an exception to the taste. The beer seemed to be perfectly carbonated and didnt give me any reason to review it as bad. The drinkability of this beer was not good FOR ME. I emphasize for me because I know that there are people that could drink this like crazy but i am more of a beer guy and never drink wine. I feel bad to ever give out a bad review but to me this beer was like a fine painting that would never look good in my house but I can thoroughly appreciate the effort and time put into it.

leakyfaucet12, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of zackinthebox
2.95/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The bottle looks great with its red wax seal over the cap. The beer pours nice with a decent head. The color is a burnt orange red. I would opt to drink this over many desert wines. It is not the type of beer that I would want to drink in larger quantities. I was surprised how strong the cherry flavor was until I read they put a pound of cherries in every bottle. Honestly I would have liked it better if it tasted more like beer.

zackinthebox, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of dlorton0844
3/5  rDev -31.5%

dlorton0844, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of ArdyExfor
3/5  rDev -31.5%

ArdyExfor, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of jobart76
3/5  rDev -31.5%

jobart76, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of texasclimber
3/5  rDev -31.5%

texasclimber, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Clutch5
3/5  rDev -31.5%

Clutch5, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of josephwa
3/5  rDev -31.5%

josephwa, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of StoutFest
3/5  rDev -31.5%

StoutFest, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of mrkdwrds
3/5  rDev -31.5%

mrkdwrds, May 26, 2014
Photo of littlebeer
3/5  rDev -31.5%

littlebeer, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of Weebay
3/5  rDev -31.5%

Weebay, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of RayUF07
3/5  rDev -31.5%

RayUF07, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of jbuddle
3/5  rDev -31.5%

jbuddle, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of PhineasGage
3/5  rDev -31.5%

PhineasGage, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Rihup
3/5  rDev -31.5%

Rihup, May 26, 2013
Photo of Spica66
3/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this as a gift from wellestone. Thank you, Chad. Shared with gwuilliums on Friday night. Poured chilled from 750ml bottle into tulip glasses.

A: Burgundy/red color. Decent head formation and retention. Carbonation persists. Some lacing.

S: Holy Mother of All that is Cherry! This does not smell like beer. It smells like a jar of tart cherries straight from Traverse City. Wow. I can not believe what I am smelling, then I read the bottle. "Over a pound of cherries in every bottle." Yep, now I get it. The one thing that I will say is that the smell is of of clean/fresh cherries. No cough syrup qualities at all.

T: Tastes like cherries topped with cherries and further topped by cherry topping. Really, just clean, concentrated tart cherry juice. I am not sure that this has any beer qualities at all.

M: This has a very nice medium body and excellent carbonation. But man, it is hard to get your head to stop thinking about the uber cherry taste in your mouth long enough to get the feel!

O: This beer is not for me, so, in keeping with my previous methods, when reviewing a beer that I would never drink again, I am rating this beer as straight 3's.

Spica66, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of TonyTalon
3/5  rDev -31.5%

TonyTalon, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of DarthGuitarHero
3/5  rDev -31.5%

DarthGuitarHero, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of Unchi
3/5  rDev -31.5%

Unchi, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of Shumista
3.03/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Split a bomber 3 ways; from notes.

Pours deep red, head has a slight pink hue. A very strange yet enticing look that really begs you to find out more.Smells like cherry syrup, kind of a "cherry burnetts (vodka) smell" as someone else around the table said. Unfortunately the cherries in the nose are a little bit too candy-like to smell fresh. Tastes like black cherry soda pop, fresh cherries, citrus rind, and bubble gum. Honestly it tastes closer to cherry soda then it does beer. Lively carbonation, medium bodied but a touch syrupy. Drinkability suffered for me, it was just too sweet and too cherry-y. A few people at the table were getting frustrated because they wanted to move to the next beer in our tasting and I was taking too long to finish my pour. I think that says something about its drinkability.

I fear this one doesn't live up to the hype for me. I was especially let down because I had just had New Glarus's Unplugged Cranbic the night before which really impressed me so I had especially high expectations.

Shumista, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of EddieTheTrooper
3.03/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

I was quite surprised at this beer, surprised and disappointed. Normally I am a fan of all things new glarus but this beer was just too damn fruity. It smells like cherries, it tastes like cherries, it's cherry red. I mean, I like cherries and all but this stuff is like cough syrup. I wanted some beer with my fruit salad. One glass was enough, one bottle was far too much. For a brewery that ordinarily makes such well-balanced beers, this cherry thing has gotten a little out of hand. If I wanted juice, I wouldn't be drinking beer.

EddieTheTrooper, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of chugalug06
3.03/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A ~2-year old WBR

Not an overly impressive offwhite foam head... No lacing either. Brew is hazy beet red.

Phew! Tons of syrup-y, sugary, cherry... A bit over whelming. Slight horse blanket funk too, is this normal?

Very dry, not as I expected. Slight off cherry flavor, very sweet, almost too much so. Perfect carbonation. Near offensive, pungent, cherry flavor.

A bit all over the place and a bit over done... This brew is a bit over rated, IMO. I wont seek it again, it would also be hard for me to recommend. I much prefer Raspberry Tart. Thanks Nick for sharing!

chugalug06, Apr 22, 2012
Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,519 ratings.