Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

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Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

937 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 937
Hads: 3,087
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 5.75%
Wants: 1,112
Gots: 649 | FT: 75
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 937 | Hads: 3,087
Photo of Boto
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle. I really liked this beer, from the red wax on the op to the very last drop. This one pours a definite reddish color. There was some haziness to the beer. It pours with a big head that drops to nothing almost immediately. There was some champagne-like fizzy carbonation that continued throughout. The nose is somewhat like a cherry pie, just not as sweet. It was sweet, sour and tart all at the same time. The taste was really nice. Cherries were the main component. They were somewhat tart, with some sweetness at the same time. Something of a medium malt body hiding back there. Very nice! (604 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - a clear crisp looking red, nice carbonation, no head at all

S - my face was in awe after smelling what must be 1-1/2 tons of cherries.. it smelled like a jolly rancher candy

T - just like the smell, it was delicious like candy, and just like jolly ranchers it leaves a tarty taste behind

M - nice and fizzy like a champagne, the tartness makes your cheeks quench making this a little harder to drink which is good because i got to savor every last drop of it

O - i wish i had a constant supply of this. it's honestly my favorite fruit beer i have ever tasted. the only thing close to this was smuttynose's hanami ale which was discontinued so i am very glad i got a chance to feel that taste in my mouth again (but better) (730 characters)

Photo of TulipSnifter
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my husband, hopsbreath, who has nurtured an amazing trade relationship with zimmerbloke. In nearly every trade, zimmerbloke is sure to send a Wisconsin Belgian Red and a Rasberry Tart... Just for me ;-)

Appearance: Dark red in color.
Smell: Dark sweet cherries.
Taste: Delicious!!! This really tastes like sweet cherry juice. It is refreshing and not syrupy.
Mouthfeel: Carbonated, refreshing and clean.
Drinkability: A M A Z I N G. LOVE LOVE LOVE! (461 characters)

Photo of inebrius
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Symmetry! Oh my goodness is this fruit beer balanced. Clear soda red with a thin cap of khaki-pink foam. Powerful aromas of cherry on the branch then some blossoms and finally a bushel full of aged and macerated fruit. The taste is sublime with a perfect blend of malt, fruit, acid and bitter. Yeah it's sweet, but in no way cloying as the tart and bubbles wash all that off your buds before it gets a chance to negatively root and then there is even a slight lingering bitter finish and the pull to renew. I'm not sure what critics of this beer think it should be but I think it's damn near perfect in its current form. Worth seeking out by travel or trade. (658 characters)

Photo of younger35
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After trying the Raspberry Tart, I swore I'd make a Wisconsin run to grab as much of the Tart and Red as possible. I did. Drank from a Radisson Inn Hotel glass.

Appearance- Pours a fuzzy light pinkish that really brought out my girlfriends eyes... Small half finger bright white head that leaves a spotty cap and thin collar. Remarkably, plenty of lacing is left down the side of the glass.
Smell- Smells exactly like Hostess Cherry Pie filling (and I love Hostess Cherry Pies!!). Very tart and inviting. Really no way to explain this brew other than a huge burst of delicious cherry awesomeness. When you read the explanation of the beer on the label, it says it uses more than a pound per bottle. I immediately called bullshit... then I smelled it. They use every bit of that pound.
Taste- Like the Raspberry Tart, I wonder how they can possibly get this much fruit in a "beer" (loosely use the term "beer" for these treats). Just amazing how good these things are... Not as tart as the Raspberry but subtly sweet and full of ridiculously smooth cherries. Very light vanilla and yogurt undertones but this thing is 99% cherry. Pretty sweet and teetering on cloying but stays really drinkable for the most part.
Mouthfeel- Thick and luscious I'm digging the full goodness. The label says this brew has a medium body and high carbonation. I'd describe it more as a full body with accenting carbonation. High the carbonation is not.
Drinkability- 5! I could honestly drink this brew all night. It's a bit easier drinking than the Tart but overall the tastiness of this brew is a bit lower. I know it's a semi different beast all together but 9-10 times I'd rather have the other. Still really really good for what it is. Probably should grab more before I leave the state. More than recommended!

EDIT: After a couple years of drinking both the Tart and the Red, the Red is much better. Scores reflected. (1,904 characters)

Photo of bditty187
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, cherry red with a slight tawny influence, white head, reached about a ¼ inch before it faded away, soapy remnants, some sporadic spotty lace. Powerful cherry nose, very real in aroma, lively… an underlying hint of yeast/wheat can be found, doughy as well. Surprisingly balanced, equally tart as it is sweet… the cherry flavor dominates but with faint hints of dough and wheat. Surprisingly dry, cleanish finish with a pleasant aftertaste -- alcoholic cherries. The carbonation is perfect. Wisconsin Belgian Red is truly mouthwatering good. Purchased in Madison, WI. (574 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light pink/red color ale with a huge bubbly head with average retention. Aroma of delicate sweet cherries is enchanting; I could spend hours smelling this beer. Taste is perfect with nice balance mix between naturally sweet cherries and malt. Subtle sourness at the end brings everything together for a perfect close. Carbonation is perfect for a fruit beer as well as carbonation and level of sweetness. Truly the best fruit beer I ever tasted. (468 characters)

Photo of vacax
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle shared with jerz.

A: Quick white head rises and falls like champagne bubbles. Great cherrywood color coming from the cherries.

S: Cherry cider. Cherry juice. Fresh cherries. Cherries.

T: All about the cherries. Tantalizingly tart with and a mild to moderate sour finish plays all over the tongue. Bushels of cherry flavor and an acidic presence and tartness that prevents it from being "too sweet."

M: Medium bodied with champagne-like bubbles to lighten it up.

D: New Glarus's fruit beers are a testament to why we should all move to Wisconsin, or at least befriend someone from this great state. Already famous for its cheese, I think beer is a good pairing. I would buy this beer often and drink it on many occasions were I able to. Drank half of a bottle, savoring it all. The only thing slowing me down drinking this was making sure to savor every drop. Strong acidity is the only drawback, but no problem here as this is a perfect beer to share with friends and family. (995 characters)

Photo of cetherid
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a tulip

A.

It is a murky dark red color. about 2 fingers worth of bubbly pink head.

S.

smells amazing. huge sweet cherries dominate the nose. A little oakiness in there as well.

T.

just as nose. Nice sweet cherry juice....a little tartness in there but balanced perfect with the sweetness.

M.

medium bodied, great carbonation level. Coats the mouth well. Not as syrupy as one would think from a fruit beer. A nice cherry aftertaste left in the mouth.

D.

very high. Only a 4.5 IMO because.

1. only available in WI. I had to trade for this
2. Might be too sugary to have more than a bottle yourself. I could drink this all night but not sure my stomach would agree with me. (699 characters)

Photo of beergeek279
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 750 mL bottle, into a goblet. The color is cherry-red, with a wisp of white head. The smell is a sweet, tangy cherry. The taste is a very tangy, sour cherry that seems to be just perfectly balanced; no particular sense seems to dominate, but they just meet perfectly. Mouthfeel is very thick and syrupy. As for drinkability, I could have quite a few of these.

A fine accomplishment from a fine brewery. Even better than the Raspberry Tart, as the cherry seems to fit the beer much more. Simply fantastic, and one I'd give to someone who didn't much care for beer. Thank you to Bighuge for the bottle. (617 characters)

Photo of coldmeat23
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees

This pours a slightly muddled cherry pink color. The one-finger head of loose foam is cotton-candy pink. It recedes to a spotty, filmy, surface covering. The lacing is spotty, but plentiful, and nicely sticky.

Cherries.
Cherry juice. Maraschino cherries. Ludens cherry cough drops. Cherry lifesavers. Cherry skins.
This nose is all about the cherries. I could sit and sniff this one for hours, I think.

Sweet cherry nectar hits your tongue like sex in your mouth. Damn, that's delicious. Then it spreads out into your mouth and you get the taste of perfectly ripened cherry flesh. Sweet, succulent and full. It finishes with a light ouch of cherry skin tartness and another tiny wisp of cherry sweetness.
Absolutely excellent.

Full bodied with a mild-to-medium level of natural carbonation. It's like crushed velvet sliding over your tongue. Smooth, with a nice amount of creaminess.

The fact that the sweetness is kept in check, helps this one out alot. Combine that nice balance with the low 5.10%abv and you've got a nicely drinkable brew here.
This was worth the wait and will be worth the effort to track down another. (1,178 characters)

Photo of tuo
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep red body with golden highlights and a very nice white/reddish head that is persistent throughout the glass.

Smell: All kinds of cherries up front smelled absolutely fantastic. There is also a faint smell of oak underneath.

Taste: Nice in your face sour/tart cherry flavor that finishes in a sweet cherry pie flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Perfect carbonation with a fizzy and smooth feel. Fizzy upfront but in the back nice and smooth. This beer could be drank all night long. Absolutely fantastic. (519 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (672 characters)

Photo of scottyshades
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off, thanks to beerwolf77 for this beauty. Secondly, this is hands down the best cherry flavored beer on the planet.

A: Pours a cherry wood/pinkish color with a small white cap that retains for a minute or two then fades away.

S: Fresh, ripe, delicious cherries! Sweet smelling for sure, with a little twang. I don't pick up on any hops, and malts are pretty faint and hardly noticeable amongst the mass amounts of cherries. The cherries do not smell artificial at all, sweet and sour.

T: Wow...this is what a fruit beer should taste like. No artificial fruit, just ripe, sweet & sour cherries! Tastes like cherry cheesecake pie filling. Highly addicting, and completely different than "beer." Tastes more like a cherry flavored soda. The flavor makes you pucker, but then a sweet side comes out.

MF/D: Expect high carbonation because this is a light brew, light body, lingering sweet & sour cherry finish.

As far as fruit beers go, amazing...but not like typical beers. There were definitely moments where I just wanted to tip the glass back and chug, so be careful and refrain from doing so. (1,106 characters)

Photo of geryeb624
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to zimmerbloke for the bottle! 750 mL waxed bottle into my trusty DFH signature glass.

A- Dark ruby red into brown with a fizzy off-white head. Quickly dissipates into a thin film.

S- Huge, heavenly tart cherry aroma. A little biscuity malt in the background, but mostly wet, juicy cherry.

T- Oh man. I may be biased, as cherry is one of my favorite flavors, but this is incredible. Big, wet, authentic cherry taste, balanced with a little spice and some biscuit malt. Tastes like a cherry pie.

M- Thin and fizzy, which works perfectly for a beer like this.

D- Can I give it a 6? This goes down so easily, and at 4%, I don't feel so guilty enjoying the whole bottle.

This stuff is phenomenal. One of all-time big wants since I started on BA, and no disappointment here. I could drink this everyday and be happy. So good. (838 characters)

Photo of robbyc1
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light red with a solid white head that dissipates fast. The color is unlike anything I've ever seen, and this makes the mouth water.

Nose is a powerhouse of cherries without any cloying sweetness, and a malt backbone so you know this is not just cherry juice.

Outstanding balance between the cherry and malt backbone, notes of deep stone fruit. If this is not a beer I don't know what is. Might be my favorite based on the clean cherry malt flavor, unmistably balanced perfectly. What a beer.

Light mouthfeel with good carbonation, almost fizzy in the mouth, accentuates the fruit. Oh so drinkable, a bomber for one is my kind of evening, though I usually have to share it with the spouse.

I know it's hard to make, but keep it up, Dan! (740 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 1 Pint 9 Fl. Oz. bottle
2007 vintage
Acquired in a trade with Beertracker
Served in a champagne flute

The beer poured a hazy, deep ruby red color with a creamy, two-finger, pink-ish tan head that slowly faded to a thick, clingy ring. Huge blocks of lacing cascaded down the glass.

The aroma was outrageously intense. Sweet, ripe cherries were instantly recognizable. A subtle, powdery yeast note was initially detectable, but it subsided as the beer warmed. Some sourness and a touch of oak came through as well.

The taste was a full-on flood of cherry juice. Sweet and syrupy yet not overly cloying. A bit of wheat came through up front. Candy-like in the center (cherry Jolly Ranchers came to mind) with a touch of cherry cough medicine on the sweet/semi-tart finish. Quite simple and straightforward, yet so good.

The mouthfeel was creamy and ultra-smooth with a fine, moderate carbonation. Light and fluffy on the palate.

This beer is simply candy in a bottle. It might be a good thing this is not distributed outside of Wisconsin because most people could not handle it.

Although I preferred Raspberry Tart to this beer (the bright pink head and tartness in flavor gave it a slight edge), both were truly phenomenal products. Now, if they only did distribute this outside of Wisconsin. (1,309 characters)

Photo of mjohn27603
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Eagerly anticipated. Pours rust in color with little head. A thin ring of carbonated foam remains after a few minutes. Aroma is of cherry juice and dark red cherries. Sweetness and a slight sour aroma. First sip reveals a slightly acidic and not as sweet as I anticipated. Not as tart as a kriek. Cherry flavor remains on tongue for half a minute after sipping. Not thick and syrupy, light on the tongue. Easily drinkable. Thanks to shippos for trade. This was worth getting. (475 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well. After visiting New Glarus a couple weeks ago & using 4 of my 6 tastings on Wisconsin Belgian Red, I figure I ought to review this. Probably sent at least a dozen of these out in trades/extras over the years.

Split up. Pours is a pure, filtered cherry red. No other way to describe it. Nose is ripe cherries, only better, mixed with a little sweet malt & fermented in the vats of angels. Or something liek that.

Wisconsin Belgian Red tastes just like it smells, but that simply doesn't do it justice. The cherry taste is pure & unadultered; unlike other breweries and/or ciders and/or Mike's stuff, there's absolutely zero medicinal taste. Nothing unreal. Nothing that tastes like it dropped out of a cough syrup or dye #40 or corn syrup. Just luscious cherry. Period. Full stop. OK, except better, Because this tastes bestester than real cherries. How'd they do that?

Smooth & easy. At 4%, this is the kind of fruity drink that you could do about anything with. Put it in a mixed drink. Slip it into a wine-drinkers glass. Give it to a BMC fanatic. Drink it all day, all night, & then again when you wake up.

Absolutely beautiful brew. It bears repeating: New Glarus could teach the world a lot about fruit beers. The only remaining question is: better than Raspberry Tart? That warrants a side-by-side. Good excuse to have another glass of each. Excellent. (1,371 characters)

Photo of nectar14
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer makes me long for my home state... Wisconsin.

A: Ruby amber in color, with a fluffy 2-finger off white head. Not much lacing. Looks fruity.

S: Scent of crunchy, tart cherries, with just a whiff of malt/wheat.

T: All about the cherries. Tart, delicious, beautiful cherries. Some sweetness balances it well, and it is never cloying. Finishes with a lingering cherry taste.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation is perfect. Mildly effervescent.

D: ALL DAY. Light in alcohol, big in delicious flavor.

I don't know if it's possible to improve upon a beer like this... absolutely delicious. I wish I'd brought another back from WI after my last trip. Kudos to New Glarus. (674 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle acquired from scoobydank in a trade, thanks for giving me the chance to try this great beer

This one kicked off my incredible night of beer drinking, shared this with my girlfriend, she loves sours and was a huge fan of the Raspberry Tart, so I decided to pop this open while we watched a movie and I am glad I did

Poured into my Duvel tulip glass with a deep red color that was a little on the pink side when help up to the light and a light tan head that mellowed quickly, left lots of lacing the entire time

Smell was full of cherries and sour aromas, strong smells of sweetness

Taste was fantastic, best sour I have had up there with Funky Barrel, smooth start with super sweet cherries that fades into a nice and subtle sourness, not overpowering like most others I have had, just a great fruity taste overall, could taste the small amount of hops that were thrown into balance the abundance of fruit, gave it a nice bitter side at one point, lots and lots of cherries in this one but they are nicely distributed, this fruit beer blew my mind

Only bad thing about this is the large amounts of carbonation, could be too much at times but still a nice body and mouthfeel

Could drink this all day if it was not so sweet, but other than that it is only five percent alcohol and does not fill you up at all, goes down really easy

Second beer from New Glarus and another winner, best fruit beer/wild ale I have ever had next to Supplication, highly recommended, wish I had more of this stuff, get some as soon as possible

This is definitely a beer that deserves to be towards the top of the list on the Best of BA (1,634 characters)

Photo of WesM63
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a champagne flute.

A: Pours an opaque brownish amber with a tiny 1inch head. Lacing and retention are pretty much non-existent.

S: Tart Cherries! Honestly, just amazing tart cherries. Not the fake stuff either.

T: Spot on the nose. Huge amounts of semi tart cherries. Some sweetness hiding in there as well.

M: High carbonation, light to medium body.

O: Phenomenal! Honestly, after having New Glarus's offerings on Fruit beers, now sure ill be able to go drink any others. Buy it. Drink it. Enjoy it! (537 characters)

Photo of jamie2dope
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to jonstubb for this beer. Poured out in to a wine glass a murky dark pink, with lighter hues towards the top, and a small white/pink head. Smell is of fresh cherries and other fresh red fruits, jolly rancher, some vinous properties, hints of oak and wine. Flavor is composed of luscious cherries, pie crust, more oak, bits of tart funk here and there, but overall more sweet. Body is light, with wonderful carbonation that prickles the tongue ever so slightly. It is hard to believe that this is made up of malt and hops, as the fruit is so damn prevalent. Drinking this is far too easy, I could probably go through two bottles. This is close to being a perfect beer for me. If I lived in Wisconsin this would be in my fridge at all times. (751 characters)

Photo of HopDerek
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Kegatron for sharing some of this with me.

Pours a slightly hazy red with dark orange hues. 2 fingers of fluffy pinkish eggshell head has good retention and leaves beautiful lacing. Smells of sour cherries, brown sugar, cinnamon, and light bread, much like fresh cherry cobbler. Tastes of brown sugar and light cinnamon along with pie dough and a huge dose of sour cherries, with a touch of grass. Medium in body with great fizzy carbonation, almost champagne-like. Very smooth and creamy with excellent sweet fruitiness and a nice punch of tartness. This is definitely among my top dessert beers, and wouldn't mind having it every week with Sunday dinner. (667 characters)

Photo of petacutlasaurus
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Grabbed this one as part of a big haul from Connecticut Avenue Wine and Liquor - big thanks to Al over there for coordinating an air-conditioned New Glarus truck-haul from Wisconsin to D.C.

After a few of New Glarus's 12oz beers, I finally cracked this bomber pretty much brimming with excitement. I had been hearing about New Glarus's fantastic fruit beers and sours for ages, so it was great to test that hyped-up mettle.

Poured a cloudy, deep red with some pink-white sudsy bubbling on the surface. Aroma was of sweet cherries, practically candied, all qualified by this overarching sourness and a little bit of bite. On tasting, that sourness turns out to be more of a tartness, with just a bit of the wild notes I was expecting. Still, that bite comes through just as it's needed to unhinge the balance that's otherwise too sweet. The mild carbonation and the medium body give this beer the reach across the mouth it needs to deliver all that tartness.

Having had this beer after New Glarus's Cran-Bic, I feel like this is just the inversion of sweet/sour I wanted. For me, Cran-bic was maybe .75 sweet to .25 sour. Switch those two values around, and exchange the cranberry for cherry, and you get this stellar Wisconsin Belgian Red. After having loads of Belgian Kriek's, this is an awesome response from Wisconsin. (1,325 characters)

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 937 ratings.