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: 1,105
Gots: 628 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wisconsin Belgian Red Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,035 | Reviews: 943
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 OStrungT
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a murky, dark red color. It has a thin light tan head with a nice red tint to it. The head fades quickly, leaving a lot of lacing.

This beer has a sweet cherry aroma. It smells great. It has a slightly tart sour aroma also. It smells very sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.

This beer tastes just like it smells. Very sweet, with a great tart cherry flavor. Not much flavor other than tart, sweet cherries.

This beer leaves a tart cherry aftertaste. The carbonation is high, fitting the beer well.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It is low in alcohol, and it tastes great.

Overall: Wow, thanks HimerMan for a great beer. I love it, and so does MrsOStrungT. I would always have a bottle of this if I had access to it. The only problem is that it might just be a bit too sweet.

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

Wow. Everytime I have this beer I just have to savor it. (Especially since it's so tough to get for a North Carolinian!!) Special occasions...like Thanksgiving...are great times to break one of these out.

Sorry I had to give this a relatively low score in appearance, but this bottle poured a very hazy rusty red, but still had the nice pink head. I think I may have jostled the beer a bit before pouring it.
edit --> after trying two other bottles of this beer, I have to raise my appearance score. They have looked clear and very inviting.

The aroma is pure cherries. Pounds of cherries. Fresh cherries. Very clean.

The taste is what makes this beer. Sip and experience this; don't simply drink it. The cherries come through and the yeast adds a complexity along with a slight sourness.

Light and enjoyable, some effervesence.

A truly enjoyable beer. If you know about lambics and belgian beers, you'll appreciate this all the more. I wish I had another bottle!

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

Big thanks to ncbvc for this gem. Poured into snifter glass.

A. Redish brown with white fluffy head that leaves a nice lacing the whole way through.

S. Great smell of cherries and a slight maltiness.

T. Simply fantastic. A wonderfully balanced cherry flavor, slightly tart and mildly oaky. Possibly the most fantastic taste I've ever tried.

M. Light and crisp with a mild carbonation.

D. Exceptional drinkability. Could easily drink this all night and not get bored.

Overall this is one fantastic brew. Glad to have tried this and sorry to see this bottle empty. I knew I shouldn't have shared this with my girlfriend and her mother.

Photo of nsp73
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers.
Every bottle is made with over a pound of cherries and you can tell the moment you open the bottle.
It's a reddish color with a huge foamy head. As you drink you can smell and taste the cherries. Pretty much tastes like your drinking cherry pie.
It leaves a nice lacing as you go down but I feel the head can be a bit obnoxious at times. Especially towards the end because you really do savor and enjoy every sip of this beer. Fantastic.

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

Smells like maraschino cherry juice....very sweet and syrupy. Rich. Awesome.

Pours crimson red in my flute glass. Small but decent head.

And the taste?? Wowza. Probably the best fruit beer I've ever had. Actually, drop the probably...it IS the best. Starts off very sweet and juicy, with bing cherries bursting through all over. Really it's like I'm drinking the juice of ripe bing cherries. Know what else it reminds me of?? A cherry Jolly Rancher. I don't mean to make that comparison as to make it sound fake, as this doesn't taste artificial to me at all...which makes sense, considering they use real cherries in the brewing process. However, on the finish, there's a good acidic tartness that comes through and keeps the sweetness from being cloying throughout the drink. This dryness actually remains me of a wine. This raises the drinkability for me quite a bit. I'm not sure if these are tannins or not, though the website does say this is like a marriage between wine and beer.

Just awesome all around. Every drink was delicious and I awaited the next.

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

750 mL bottle served chilled in a Lindemann's flute.

Appearance: Cloudy reddish brown colored liquid (almost like a Snapple or something) topped by a tall pinkish head that shrinks to a small layer of foam after a few minutes. Delicate and small sheets of lacing are left on the glass.

Smell: Funky sour cherries fill the nostrils and don't let go. Some oaky notes and a wee bit of horse blanket, too. Guess there be some brettanomyces action here.

Taste: Intensely sweet and tart cherries explode in the mouth. Very ripe and bursting with juice, this ain't no alcoholic version of Luden's Cherry Cough Drops, but the real deal. God-honest natural cherry flava. Hot Damn!

Mouthfeel: Quite puckering from th high acidity, sweetness, and tartness. Incredibly light in body and very refreshing. It's a mite too acidic, though. Perhaps I should have had something to eat with this.

Drinkability: My first, and hopefully not last, beer from New Glarus. This is an exquisite beer that reminds me of some chimera of Cantillon and Lindemann's lambics. It's got some of the funkiness I associate with Cantillon, but the mass appeal and sweetness of Lindemann's. I could drink this with abandon. I betcha this would go great with some plain cheesecake or a chocolatey dessert.

Huge thanks to tavernjef for the trade.

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

A - Pours a bright ruby red, finger of head with solid retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Loads of cherries, maraschino cherries, cherry blasters, candied cherries... Yup, cherries.

T - Much like the nose, heavy dose of cherries, but they're not artificial or overpowering in a bad way. Reminiscent of a sweet cider with a bready/malty finish. The oak aging is subdued, but still comes through. Finish brings with it the hints of oak, brown sugar, and toasted bread... Obviously sweet cherries as well.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a little stickiness.

O - This stuff is like candy, loads of flavour and absolutely delicious. I wish I grabbed more of this stuff, because it really is phenomenal.

Photo of LittleBug31
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Bright, deep ruby. Small white-pink head. Sparkly bubbles that meander toward the surface.

S: Cherries. Cherries and more cherries. Amazingly tart but incredibly sweet aroma. Fresh picked ripe cherries and my Grandma's awesome warm cherry pie.

T: Reminds me of my favorite snack-- dried tart Montmorency cherries from Door County, WI. Same exact flavor as the actual thing. Sweet and light with awesome flavor. Can't say "Cherries" enough.

M: Smooth and velvety with mild carbonation. Not much else is noticeable past the incredible flavor of this beer.

D: Like juice. This is so appealing to me that I could drink it for breakfast. Just tart enough that the sweetness does not dominate at makes this the perfect fruit beer.

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