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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

958 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 958
Hads: 3,223
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 19.04%
Wants: 1,142
Gots: 712 | FT: 82
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wisconsin Belgian Red Alström Bros
Reviews: 958 | Hads: 3,223
Photo of MadTown1000
4.82/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus Belgian Red, my all-purpose bribe when I need an out-of-state friend to let me sleep on their couch. Reviews on here regularly start with "I usually don't like fruit beers, but...", and I'll add to that chorus, along with numerous people I've made try it. Pours a beautiful ruby red, with more of a fizz than a foam and a tremendous cherry aroma that foreshadows exactly what you're about to get yourself into. The bottle calls it "the marriage of wine and beer", although I'm not sure there's too much wine to it outside of the fact that it's partially fruit-derived. Instead, it's more like soda pop for grownups, emphasis on the for grownups part. It could easily have been too sweet like a Smirnoff Ice or the like, but instead, it lands in a very rare place - the sweet spot of sweet, if you will. There is practically no place I can think of where it wouldn't be drinkable - on its own, with dinner, even with dessert. The only complaint I have is that it has a way of disappearing far too soon.

I was greatly surprised to find that this offering by the folks at tiny New Glarus Brewery had the kind of national following that it does. It deserves it. Try it at least once.

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Photo of jj21
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle
Pours like Champagne into flute. Murky red liquid topped by a quickly disappearing thick rose head. No lacing. Cherry aroma (duh) not too overpowering. Glad to see this. So often the aroma in fruit beers is too much. Taste was fruity with yeasty finish. Moves between sweet and sour while on the tongue. Cherry Pie in a bottle.

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Photo of Pecorasc
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Traded with justn. Split two ways and poured into large flute glass.

A- Deep red cherry color. Gorgeous off-white rocky head with nice retention. Lacing all the way down the flute looks great.

S- Cherries, cherry cough drops (Ludens), wheat and chocolate. No identifiable hops or barley, pure fruit beer.

T- Are there cherries actually in the bottle? Cherry medicine, with a bit of tartness, but not sour. Again, no hop or barley character. The taste really sticks between sips. Maybe a bit more dry and this would be incredible.

M- Much more body than I expected. Silky, with a tingle of carbonation.

D- For such a strong cherry flavor, extremely drinkable. I wish I didn't split the bottle.

Great fruit beer. Its nice to have a pure fruit beer and not a beer with fruit. A little drier and more carbonation and this would be perfect.

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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken at Greg's epic Wall St. tasting

A - Pours a reddish brown, with a light pink head that quickly recedes to a small collar.

S - CRANBERRIES! (thats all I wrote, but I have a distinct memory of how one-dimensional this was)

T - A typical fruit beer: very one-dimensional, but hammers its point home quite ferociously. A tad cloying.

M - Very thin, too light and champagne-like for my tastes.

D - Very drinkable, could session this all day but for the limited distribution. However, just because you could doesn't mean you should...

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Photo of johnbjaeger
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy cats, this beer is just phenomenal.

It looks like melted rubies. Seriously, liquid rubies, were that possible. It actually smells better than actual cherries. I am not sure how they did that, but I swear, they have a deal with satan to make something that smells better than cherries (which already smell hilariously good...like a 3rd grade crush). It tastes pretty much like it smells and feels so nice going down. It has a really soft step and I could easily drink two or three 750s without impairing my ability to bowl.

If I had but one wish it would be that New Glarus somehow made this more sour. It would be my favorite beer in the world. God bles you, New Glarus.

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Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours perfect see through cherry color. a nice pink tinted white fluffy head that settles down to a thin coating

S: Huge cherries as expected. real close to cough syrup but then a more fresh smell shows its face and says this isnt cough syrup

T: So much flavor! I was in the mood for this beer so the sweetness doesn't bother me. a nice real cherry flavor rather than just a flavoring agent with big sweetness. No real malt or hop flavor but thats expected

M: just enough carbonation to keep the beer going. mouth finishes off dry surprisingly

D: for a 5% beer its not crazy drinkable compared to others but this is just different from others. it will take me a minute to kill the bottle but I opened it on a hot day and was in the mood for this so the beer is just what i wanted. if you're not in the mood for big fruit then you wont like it

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Photo of nouseforotacon
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been sitting on this for a couple of months, couldn't wait any longer. Faro sent me this in my first trade, much love, as it's the first brew I actively sought out that I can't obtain in my area.

Pours out a murky/muddy-looking darkened raspberry/caramel bottom. Nice, creamy foam head with a light red tint that dissipates slowly. Leaves nice lacing.

Smell is subtle, and not overwhelming. Very fresh cherries, with a hint of raspberry like tart/sourness. Subtle blend of malts. Smooth aroma.

Tinge of tartness on the tip of my tongue, and then a wash of sweet, plump cherries. Fruity with a little carbonation. Light malts and cherries work together harmoniously. Very lightly hopped finish with a bit of mouth puckering. Creamy mouthfeel holds this incredible brew together and really is the highlight.

The thing I love most about this brew is that it is subtle and delicious, without being over-the-top or too pretentious. Yeah, it's brewed with a whole lot of real cherries, but the fruit is used to accentuate the beer rather than to overpower it. Perfect blend of beer and fruit, and by far the best fruit beer I've ever tried.

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Photo of Monsone
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes
A - Pours a darkish red with a pink head.

S - Cherries, Cherries, Cherries and oh more Cherries

T - Amazing, here are those cherries again. Sweet with a decent tartness.

M - Light bodied and refreshing

D - Drinks well for a fruit beer. Not cloying.

Best fruit beer I have had so far. I look forward to trying the Raspberry Tart and hopefully the Apple Ale (2008 release?)

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Photo of yeastsipper
4.73/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Popped this one open with friends at the end of a great dinner party. I had been wanting this beer for a while, and after finally obtaining one, get the right opportunity to enjoy it.

I was not disappointed!

Pours a deep, ruby mahogany red. Head appears but goes away quickly. Beautiful color. Smell is not surprisingly of cherries. Big, dark, perfectly ripe cherries. Only knock is the lack of other aromas, but this beer is what it is, and it does it well. Taste, again, cherries. Not complex in the sense that other beers are, but just fantastic. Not at all syrupy or overly sweet, just intense cherry flavor. What can I say - I absolutely loved it. Would not want this every day, or even every week, but this beer at the right time and place is simply amazing.

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Photo of tprokop7
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to dhr for the bottle. Split with another BA, into Rodenbach glasses.

Pours a dark pinkish-orange with about a cm of head. The aroma is dominated by cherries, and the taste reminds me a lot of a flemmish sour blended with cherry lambik. Feels well carbonated and smooth in the mouth, but the sourness in the stomach detracts from the drinkability at the end.

Overall a good brew that I'd like to have the chance to try again.

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Photo of Jammies
3.74/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for 8 mos.

A-pours a light orangish brown with deep red notes The inch of foam immediately retreats

S-sweet and fruity odor. The cherries are quite evident

T-sweet and a bit carbonated on the finish. Almost like apple juice with cherries. Not too sweet though

M-medium body and icredibly smooth

O-not an overly huge admirer of the fruit beers, but this one is pretty good. very smooth.

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark red into with little or not head. The smell is crisp and has a tart cherry smell to it. The taste is great. You can taste the fruit but it is not too overpowering. A nice carbonation in the mouth gives it a clean and fruity taste.

I enjoyed this beer but I could probably only do one of these every now and then. Any more than one in a sitting would kill my tastebuds.

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Photo of jwolfie70
3.73/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Have had this a couple of times out of the bottle and finally thought I would get around to reviewing. Pours a very bright, deep red. Smell is of cherries, cherries and more cherries. The taste is of a wonderful, fresh cherry. It has some tartness, the sweetness is a little overpowering. However, it is abundantly clear that this is not an artificial cherry flavoring but the real deal.

If I would have one compliant about this beer, is that it is too sweet to drink more than a glass of. I tried to sit down and drink a bottle by myself and couldn't finish it. Plan to drink this with friends (especially non-beer lovers, who may be converted with this sweet nectar).

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Photo of Knuckles
4.87/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

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Photo of hrking
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow what a sweet syrupy beer.. If you want to know what this taste like get a Hostess Cherry fruit pie and eat the filling puree inside of it and well you get the picture. This is without a doubt a desert beer and would be awesome for any after dinner treat..Worth the effort!..recommend

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Photo of FirstMan
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An utterly exquisite beer. When wine-lovers claim diversity in their grape-based world, I just roll my eyes and look to this beer. What a delight.

Pours deep red. Cloudy red. Redder than red. Red like hell except this is actually somewhere that you really really want to go. You might actually expect this to by syrupy by the look of it, but don't be decieved...

Smell is fresh fresh cherries. Nothing artificial in the nose at all. I was expecting something very tart but...

Light, bright, explosion of beautifully balanced cherry flavor. Tart, but not nearly as tart as I was expecting. The sour aspect is balanced perfectly with the sweet making this a very refreshing and flavorful brew. Nothing syrupy at all in the mouthfeel.

Just a great great beer. Without question the best fruit-based beer you can get in America. I'd take this over Lindeman's any day of the week ending in a "y".

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Photo of Larrytown
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy reddish-brown with little head and a little bit of lacing. The nose has cherry, obviously and some cinnamon.

The taste surprised me at first. The cherry is there, sure, but the first sip tastes a lot like apple cider with the cherry rushing in a few seconds later. We've got a distinct sour taste at the end which is nice as it helps prevent the sweetness from being overpowering. It's very crisp in the mouth, lots of carbonation, but not in a distracting way.

This is an unusual beer, no doubt, and perhaps too unique to return to every day. It's certainly interesting though and quite delicious. I'll pick up another bottle without question.

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Photo of twbrewer
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer poured a deep red color with very little to no head.

very aromatic, was able to smell sour cherries before lifting the glass.

the taste was all cherry,tart and sour.the warmer the beer got the sweeter it tasted.

it seemed to be a lighter in body than expected.nice carbonated bubbly feel.

this is a great beer by itself but is also a great dessert beer.
hard to beat for this style of beer.

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Photo of RJUGA03
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pale rose bubbly body with a speckled white head.
S-Deep cherry and fruit.
T-Sweet cherry draw with a smooth, but slightly tart finish.
M-Thick and syruplike with ample carbonation.
D-A good special occasioned beer. I really enjoyed this one very much as an after dinner treat.

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Photo of clarkm04
4.84/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Pours a great ruby. A nice light pink/whitish head forms, but recedes quickly. A little lacing but not as much as I would aspect.

S- Very strong on the cherries. That's the overwhelming profile is slightly tart cherries. I get a slight malt flavor but this beer is designed to showcase the cherries and it does a great job.

T- I love the taste of this beer. No matter how many times I drink it, I always want more. The cherries shine through but in a balanced why so the sweetness is tempered and it's just a perfect complex cherry taste. Every time I drink it, I get new notes out of it. Very fresh with a nice tartness. Absolutely my favorite dessert beer.

M- Medium bodied with a good carbonation. Very delicate on the palate with a little stickiness but very full bodied.

O- Very outstanding! Easily one of my favorite beers. The beer is so unique and so well done that I sometimes am stunned that a cherry beer could be this delicate, fresh, and such a fun drinking experience.

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Photo of davedahl
3.25/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle I picked up at Woodman's in south-west Wisconsin.

Appearance is ruby-red. Red red red. So much so that it makes me slightly nervous. Hard pour gives a couple fingers of pink head which dissipates very quickly - snap crackle pop.

Not much to the nose - slight cherry scent. Smells vapid cold and cherry.

First sip is a blast of cherry sweetness. Whoa. Some tart too which makes it less of a cherry popsicle. If you look for it you'll find a slight, but interesting, roasted malt flavor in back.

The mouthfeel starts syrupy then quickly gets crisp and thin.

I bought two bottles, will let the other age a bit and hopefully the sweetness will relax a bit. Glad I had the young one, but won't likely have another till the second bottle ages 6 months or so.

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Photo of BeerCheese
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pretty much looks like a bottle of wine, and the whole red wax seal thing was kind of interesting. Poured a cloudy redish orange brown. Kind of the color of rust. Pretty big fruity smell, mostly of cherries and maybe a little hint of citrus. What little head there was dissipated very quickly. Very lively on the tongue. Both sweet and tart with a nice cherry fruit taste. Be sure to lick your lips after taking a drink of this one, because the taste you'll find there is delicious! Carbonation was just right, and the balance was perfect with the tartness offsetting the sweetness. Not sure I detected much hop flavor. Overall a very drinkable beer, which is good with such a huge bottle!

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Photo of adrock7309
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a 2011 vintage into a cigar city snifter.

With an aggressive pour, almost no head. What little head there was faded quickly to a small ring around the edge of the glass with some minimal bands of foam stuck to the glass - no lacing.

Smell is huge on cherries, pie crust, some bready yeast, and some floral/leafy notes. There is also a bit of tartness there too.

Flavor is big on cherry flesh, cherry syrup, and some tangy cherry candy. There is zero hops and the malt is very subdued here. Almost non-existent.

This is such a great beer. Just wish it had a bit more complexity to the flavor as it is dominated by cherries only.

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Photo of gueuzer
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber bottle

App- Bright, bright red with a lacy white head

Sm- Tart cherries and that's about it.

Ta- Incredible cherry flavor. Tasted like real cherries, not an extract, artificial flavor. No detectable malt or hop flavors.

MF- Good sharp carbonation to play off of the tartness of the cherries.

Dr- For those that like cherries, hard to get enough of.

You don't feel like you are drinking beer, but get rid of those preconceived notions and this is an absolute treat. Highly recommended.

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Photo of SQNfan
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep yet bright ruby in color with thin lacing when swirled. The nose shows off an abundance of rotting cherries. This continued into a medium-bodied palate with lots of carbonation and crispness. While simple this is very well-balanced, refreshing and enjoyable.

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 958 ratings.