Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

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Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

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950 Reviews

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Reviews: 950
Hads: 3,179
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 1,134
Gots: 694 | FT: 81
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: 950 | Hads: 3,179
Photo of ryantupy
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of jdoherty
3.18/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I suppose fruit beers and lambics just aren't my thing, but I could not help but try this belgian red at the New Glarus Brewery.

Appearance: About as close to red as beer can get, you can see the carbonation bubbles flying towards the top

Smell: Cherries, a whole pound of cherries! You can smell it from a mile away

Taste: Incredibly sour, obviously I know this is a matter of palate, but I just could not handle it.

Mouthfeel: Champagne dry, almost needed a glass of water afterward.

Drinkability: You're not exactly going to drink this down fast, to be served in small doses. Definetely a beer for non-beer people, and the big fruit beer fan's holy grail, just not for me

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

More like drinking a fruit juice or drinking a liquid cherry pie than like drinking any other fruit beer. Huge cherry flavor and aroma. Only very slightly sour. Nice deep rich red color. Very, very drinkable. The perfect beer to give to a girl who says that they don't like beer, but why bother wasting such a good beer on a girl that you shouldn't be going out with in the first place.

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Photo of pweis909
4.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had been saving this one for months and opened it on my birthday, served with chocolate-almond cake for dessert. Given the fruit/vegetable beer category isn't that well defined, it is hard to review within any sort of style guidelines, but this is really enjoyable and really different. Sure, it is beer, but if you want something that tastes like beer, this isn't it, because this taste more like a cherry pop.

A: reddish brown, cloudy.
S: Yep. They really do use a pound of cherries per bottle.
T: A really good cherry pop, sweet, tart, not filling. Sparkling cherry wine? Cherry Cherry Cherry.
M: Lighter than beer (generally), not as dry as champagne.
D: Easy.

This is a good one to spring on someone who is not expecting to like it. My wife usually doesn't go for beer -- she was happy with this. Try it because it is different, because it is delicious. Pair it with dessert. Drink it one special ocassions. Like birthdays. Mmm.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was provided courtesy of badbeer and reviewed from mental notes. Thanks for the opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The wax was a pain in the ass to peel off, but it was well worth it; for under that sticky wax-covered cap was a cherry-flavored treasure. The beer poured to a nice ruby red color, practically sparkling under the light. Had a nice pinkish head as well.

The smell is like I just opened up a can of fresh marascino cherries. Incredibly strong, like an air-freshener. The flavor is just the same. The cherry flavor conceals anything else in the beer, but it is such a wonderful marriage of fruit and beer that I can't complain. Beautiful tartness, quite well balanced between sweet and sour.

I could drink an entire 750 of this, and that is saying quite a bit for its drinkability considering how much I usually dislike fruit beer. But when done well, they are great.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy off-red color with frothy head. Nice.

Nose is over the top. Dessert-like in sweetness. You can enjoy the aroma from 4 feet away.

On the palate it is very similar to the usual Kriek counterpart but this one is more cherry-fresh tasting. The cherry component is just more ripe. Very good.

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Photo of laintringulis
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy rusty cranberry color with significant sedimentation. Small, light cream colored head turns to film quickly.

Smell. Smells like cherries on crack! Sweet and tart cherry smell somewhat alternating. General vague spiciness and oakiness. Perhaps cloves, vanilla, and apple also present. It smells so good I can't wait to get my lips on it. As it got warmer, it developed more of a musty-venous quality.

Taste. Tastes as cherry as it smells. Excellent transitions from tart to sweet and back. Great balance between malt and hops, although, the hops are down played by the fruity spicy goodness.

Medium bodied. Nice dry, refreshing finish. Not syrupy or watery; just right. This ain't no kool-aid! Very drinkable, provided you wanted a cherry bomb. I thought I would get sick of the cherry taste, but I wanted more. Maybe a little too easy to drink.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - hazy, ruby red with lots of bubbles, small head around the edges with a little retention, small lacing as well

s - tart cherries exploding from the glass, the description on the label doesn't lie, smells like there is a pound of fresh cherries in there

t - intense sweetness up front with the tart cherries then engulfing the mouth, finish is long and sweet with lingering cherry flavor, slight sourness as well

m - light bodied, lots of carbonation, feels more like a slightly flat champagne in the mouth than any beer I've had, finish is quite dry

d - although quite sweet, I think I could sip on this stuff all night, definitely a change of pace beer though, not an everyday drinker

I've had this bottle sitting around since my trip to Madison over a month ago. Finally decided to crack it open tonight, and it was well worth the wait. New Glarus has certainly produced a beer like no other beer I'm familiar with. Great beer for something different and I can't imagine a better example of the style. Well worth any trouble you have getting your hands on this one.

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Photo of NoLiberty
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to GrassrootsVT for supplying me with the opportunity to try this beer. I'd been asking folks from WI if they had anything to say about New Glarus, most of my responses were about Spotted Cow and Totally Naked, not quite the beers I was thinking about.

The bottle label is great, an old school Belgian style label with classic cherry illustration and off white paper; simple but good. Bottle is head is draped in red wax. The beer pours a gorgeous, cloudy thick almost ox blood colored red. This beer is so impressively cherried it looks more like cherry puree than beer. This is likely a bottle conditioned beer even though the sediment is quite low in the bottom. The head is nice and big, foamy white and lingers for the entire drink.

The aroma is simple: Baking cherry pie. Such a delicious combination of sweet fresh cherries and earthy grain. Nice!

The taste? Wow! The taste is somehow bigger than the nose; cherry all the way through. Big round sweet, honey, wheat, cherry flavor. Baked cherry pie front with round sweet fruity middle, and tart almost lactic bite at the end. The lingering flavors of fruit last for a while.

The mouthfeel is nice big and well rounded. Smooth and well carbonated, thick but not syrupy. Dry finish.

Great nose, great taste, but so much so that it's hard to say more than one full glass is possible. I'll certainly look for this again for dessert.

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Photo of beckje01
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 1Pint 9oz bottle poured into short glass

A- Ruby red, small white head around the edges.

S- Light cherrys a touch of malt in the background.

T- Semi tart cherry very sweet. Alittle bit of a bitter end.

M- Good feel no activity.

D- A slow drinker, very sweet nice desert drink.

Notes: This is a great beer because my girlfriend also like it who at other times usally described beers as too beer tasting... not that I ever understood that. So its worth a try unless of course you hate cherry then don't bother.

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Photo of maundythirsty
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm torn on this stuff, because it's unrecognizable as beer. Nonetheless, I enjoyed drinking it.

Pours to a thin head with just a wee bit of lacing. The beer is opaque and a very natural ripe red color that goes amber around the edges. Smells like cherry pie -- down to the crust.

Tastes like rich cherry pie filling, with nary a hint of any typical beer flavors. Incredibly sweet, but rounds out with nifty souring in the end.

Despite the lack of observable bubbling this feels like it has some zippy carbonation. Maybe a watery feel, but Belgian Red jumps on your tongue so hard it's hard to get a good feel for it.

Yowsa. So sweet that it is best enjoyed in moderation. I will keep a bottle of this stuff around to haul out after dinner now and then -- or as a trap to snag the "But I don't like beer" people.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at my parents house in Chicago, they brought it back from Wisconsin. This has been on my must-try list based on a personal recommendation from beer god Boyd, and also it's currently number 30.

I won't detail the appearance, smell, and taste as they are detailed in full by previous reviews. The main thing about it is I hoped it was a Flanders red (sour ale). But it turned out to have a secret ingredient: cherries. It's a cherry lambic... huh.

It's good for it's style but not really my cup of tea.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer came to me by trade with dhchatfield. Thanks again for the great beers!

Appearance: The beer had a somewhat murky red coloration. The head was a thin white coloration. The head resolved fairly quickly.

Smell: The beer has a great smell. The beer has a fantastic cherry smell both sweetness and tartness alternate. Man this beer is a cherry bomb. The beer has a good spicy combination. The beer smells of spicey cloves, cinammon with a wiff of vanilla.

Taste: The beer lives up to the smell. Gods of beer thank you for this gift! This beer is a perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. The beer has good co-flavors. The beer has some spicey vanilla, cloves and I swear there is a apple flair in here.

Mouthfell/ Drinkability: The beer is light bodied. The beer is well carbonated. The beer has a bit of acidity that aides in drinkability. This was a very easy beer to drink. I couldnt see sessioning this beer. If you find your self in Wisconsin make sure to find some of this beer.

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Photo of Generik420
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the true greats brewed in the US. I have had it 4 or 5 times, always in a 750ml bottle. This beer pours at a deep ruby color with a fantastic cherry aroma. This is a beer that deserves to be served in a large snifter style glass, or something similar to a wine glass. Did I mention the aroma? Very tart cherry flavor that you will want to sip and savor. The flavor is not at all sweet as some might expect when they see the cherry on the label. This isn't an everyday beer, and it definitely isn't a session beer. This is something that is great for a nice meal or after dinner.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of Fuller
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to thefatkid13 for sending this to me. I wish it was available here in TN.

poured a hazy reddish brown color with a nice head. The head is white with some pinkish tones. Had decent retention but disappeared completely and had almost no lacing. Smells and tastes are exactly the same - cherries, sweet and sour. Low carbonation with a smooth medium body.

A delicious dessert drink. The only thing that affects the drinkability for me is that it may be a little too sweet to drink more than one bottle. Well maybe two or three, but definitely no more than that.

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Photo of westweasel
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a hazy, ruby/orange color from a 750ml champaign bottle.
A quarter-inch of ivory head floats on top, that looks almost pink as
you stare into the red liquid. The smell is fully dominated by tart,
sweet cherries.

The taste is excellent. A nice sour/tart cherry taste that is strong but
not so overpowering that you feel that you're not enjoying a beer. The
taste is also sweet, but more a sweet cherry taste than a malt flavor.
The mouthfeel is medium, with a tart, but not bitter finish.

This beer is very drinkable and easy to enjoy. It would be excellent
to enjoy it outside on a shady deck during a warm summer day. I could
definitely see drinking a few of these.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very murky in color when held to light. Nice red hues when moved about. Very interseting and full cherry aroma-reminds me of a red Life Saver actually! Fantastic flavor-a mix of sweet cherries and malt. Has a great sort of tang to it. Sweet but with a nice drying finish. Doesnt have any of the tartness I expected. Great body for the low abv. While "bright" on the palate at first it finishes quite mellow and even. What a fantastic beer. I am almost gulping it down it is so enjoyable. I have read about this brewery for years and never had any of its products. Just a great, great beer. A million thanks to buckeyenation for the bottle.

Edit: 7/28/07 Another bottle. Fuckin A-simply great. Outstanding flavor and body. Move me to WI...

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Photo of BillyB
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Over a pound of cherries in every bottle! This is an amazing fruit beer. The best cherry flavored fruit beer I've had thus far. Brewed with, " whole Montmorency cherries, Wisonsin farmed wheat and Belgian roasted barley".

This was a deep rich red color with a pinkish foamy head.

Aroma was of cherries and a slightly belgian candi sugar smell, but not too sweet and the taste was not cloying at all.

Flavor was Cherry, Cherry, Cherry with some slightly sweet belgian yeasty, sugary notes. A little bready, wild, farmhouse taste.

I can't drink too many fruit beers but if I had to this would be the one.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.86/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pt, 9 oz. bottle into a thin pilsner.

hazy glowing red with hints of orange and pink. a thick foamy slightly pink head that retains well and leaves thick rings of lace, even inside the bottle.

sugary-sweet candied cherries in the aroma. smells more like cherries than cherries do. difficult to pick out anything else; comes off like cherry candy or a cherry icee.

light mouthfeel with a light carbonation. powerfully sweet cherry taste. impressive that they can get this much sweet cherry flavor without any syrup or extract; just cherries and beer. light feel avoids any cloying, and even the big bottle was gone pretty quickly. an impressive brew, even if it doesn't quite match my tastes; with no hints of alcohol, malt or hops, i'd prefer it to be a little more beerlike.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Champagne bottle brought back from WI for our anniversary. Thick, brownish red and opaque. Nice head turns creamy after a couple of minutes. smells like cherries and wine. Tastes like a liquid cherry pie, not very beer-y but some malt can be picked up on the finish. Texture of liquified fruit with heavy carbonation. Very nice overall. Best of the best as fruit beers go, I would say. New Glarus has the type down well...what with Raspberry tart on their menu as well.

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Photo of Zorro
2.74/5  rDev -37%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Sampled through the efforts of 120/190 BIF and lostbearbrew.

Pours a completely opaque reddish brown beer with not a great deal of head. In the looks department this one looks like real crap.

Smell is sweet and sour fruit aroma of raspberries. Not much more in the smell here except the fruit and a lemon edge. Scent is very much like Raspberry Lemonade.

Taste is extremely sweet with the favor of raspberry and tobacco in the first sip. Shockingly sweet with a sour after taste to match it. The after taste of this is all pipe tobacco. Quite powerful and not all that complex.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Well this is official not a favorite beer of mine. Far too sweet and sour this is something like over sweetened Kool aid with tobacco thrown in it. Not recommended.

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Photo of supercolter
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ok so wow... never been this impressed with a beer before

The appearance is quite good- looks heavy, alomst like melting shake, peachish red in color. Some head, decent retention.
Smell is quite good, smells like cider or Grandma's home cooked cherry pie, not too complex but very distinct
Taste- ok um if beer gets better tasting than this sign me up- tastes like you just sank your teeth into a bing cherry, finishes with a very slight alcohol taste and a bit of nutty flavor, maybe pecan
M- just like it appears, heavy, a little carbonation, but goes down smooth
D- this is a dessert in a bottle, sip it

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Photo of phisig137
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very hazy reddish brown. A one finger head emerges and sticks around for a while.

Aroma is incredibly full and delicious. Sweet bing cherries dominate, while hints of sour cherries and caramel are also present. This amazingly smells like real cherries, not medicinal or fake at all. Very very nice aroma.

The flavor is just as incredible as the aroma. Cherries, both sweet and sour are here in abundance, as well as a bit of graininess, and almost a thin flaky pastry flavor. Tastes like liquid cherry pie. Again, I am blown away by how "real" this tastes. Seems like the majority of other fruit beers I drink either don't have enough fruit flavor, or have an artificial type smell. This one is just right, and I can't imagine it getting any better. Mouthfeel is sheavy and oily, but aggressive carbonation and tiny bubbles lift it up, leading to a flavor that lingers forever. Drinkability is somewhat low, due to the hue amounts of flavor in this beer. Thanks go out to badbeer for trading this one to me.

I was expecting this to be good, but I had no idea it would be this nice. I am blown away, and can't wait to try some other things from New Glarus.

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 950 ratings.