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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,746 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,746
Reviews: 917
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 1,034
Gots: 502 | FT: 50
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,746 | Reviews: 917 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GoldenVIKE
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is not a normal beer so this is really a difficult review to write...

a: pours a bright red with nice carbonation and good but quickly retreating head. No need to pour this too aggressively. lighter body so lace isn't too sticky. very unique bright color make this a joy to admire.

s: it smells like cherries, perhaps mixed with some cherry-flavored jolly ranchers, cherry-flavored sweet tarts, and a hint of Belgian ale.

t: almost like drinking sparkling fruit juice, extremely sweet and a little tart. no significant taste of hops or even really much taste of "beer" for that matter. this is a truly unique experience... they say right on the bottle that they've applied for a patent on this and you can see why that is. it's almost a whole new genre of beverage.

m: nice Belgian crispness. very bubbly and refreshing. could drink this while laying on the beach.

o: most fruit beers have a tinge of fruit in the beer; but this fruit beer has a tinge of beer in the fruit. it tastes incredibly fresh and just has a "realness" to it. it feels like it was assembled and came together naturally--not just "flavored" with something new and different like so many other "unique" beers. A lot of great beers can't really be appreciated by people that aren't beer connoisseurs but this sweet, crisp, low-ABV, refreshing beverage could be enjoyed by anyone.

Photo of maximum12
4.83/5  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.

Photo of NODAK
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%
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 locthebloke
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A.) - Shines a rusty, ruby hue in the glass. .5'' to 1'' frothy head that dissipates quickly. Fleeting lace as the glass is tipped.

S.) - Cherries, cherries, cherries. Fresh ones, at that. What would you expect?

T.) - A blast of sweet, tart cherries and not much else. Some pleasant malt sneaks in the back door. This hardly tastes like beer at all, and that is not a bad thing. Unforgettable taste. At only 4% ABV, hardly a tinge of alcohol, as one would expect.

M.) Smooth and sprightly. Utterly drinkable. Probably the least beer-like beer I have ever had, and I mean that in a good way.

O.) - Won't find a fruit beer much better than this. Picked up a bottle of this stuff at a liquor store 5 minutes from my house. Fortunate to be in Wisconsin where it is available. A good brew for the summer months. I see myself sitting on a lawn chair in the sun and going through 2 of the wine-style bottles myself. Mild, unique and utterly delicious.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to burnheartsMKE for sending me this one!

Pours a murky cranberry juice red with a tiny 1/2 light red head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. No lacing whatsoever. Smells of fresh sweet cherries in their own juice. A very fresh and mouthwatering smell. Taste is very much like the liquid form of a cherry flavored Jolly Rancher. Very sweet yet slightly tart at the same time in a perfect balance. This is a very carbonated beer that is very crisp and clean in the mouth. Overall, an awesome fruit beer all around and probably the best cherry flavored beer I have ever had. I will seek out more of these for sure.

Photo of Seeker41184
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date Drunk: 1/28/11

Bomber into pint glass

First off, this should be a soda made by Jones. I can't believe something this tasty is a beer. Smell of cherries fills the air the minute you open this bomber. Tart, sour, and sweet taste of cherries is experienced throughout the drinking process. Beer may be too sweet to have more then one bomber, but when the taste wears out, you crave another sip to satisfy the sweet cherry flavor. If only I was drinking this on a beautiful summer day instead of cold ass Chicago winter.

Photo of beerandcycling88
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a bottle. Also I would like to thank my buddy for bringing this back from Wisconsin with him.

A Pours out a nice deep burgundy color, with a smallish head that dissipated quickly.

S To begin sweet cherries were the dominate note here, with hints of raspberries, and an earthy note.

T The taste follows the nose with tart cherries leading the way. There was also an earthy note and a lot of tartness on the finish.

M This one was light and fizzy.

Overall I thought that this was an amazing example of a fruit beer. It smelled good and tasted good as well. If you are not a fan of cherries I would stay away as cherries dominate almost all aspects of the beer. Also there really are not any "beer like" qualities to it but if you want a good fruit beer you couldn't go wrong with this one.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep ruby brown color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades pretty slowly down to a thin right and laces nicely in the process.

S - Aroma is packed full of sweet cherry. Really rich and tart. There is also some Belgian yeast beneath the cherry.

T - Starts off with rich slightly tart cherry flavor. The is some background oak and earthy flavor. Through the middle, the tartness builds a bit but stays really fresh tasting (not sugary). The finish is full of light tart cherry flavor that lingers just right.

M - Medium bodied with moderate-low carbonation. Just a but syrupy without feeling thick. Finish is a bit more syrupy but surprisingly not overly sweet and tart.

D - Really drinkable. Super bold flavors that just feel well balanced and never feel out of control. The fruit flavor is excellent in this beer. Finish is really nice, and not as palate blasting as expected.

Photo of ballz50401
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a New Belgium globe glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark red with steady carbonation. Nice head that is reddish/tan in appearance.

Smell: I get a nice spicy belgian yeast character paired with a bold cherry aroma. Very pleasent and inviting.

Taste/Mouthfeel: A very good, smooth cherry flavor. Nice and sweet with a touch of oak character. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall: A nice little treat that doesn't disappoint.

Photo of thagr81us
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saw this bad-boy on tap and HAD to have it as the bottle I had before was quite excellent. Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. poured red with a three finger very light pink head that subsided to one and a half very slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cherry, and slight sour. The flavor was of sweet malt, cherry, sugar, slight tart, and slight sour. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this brew is nothing short of excellent. Really can't believe I got the opportunity to try this one on tap. It was really just as good as out of the bottle. Everything in this one just WORKS! Nothing at all missing for the style and is likely my favorite brew of the style only compeating with Raspberry Tart. If you haven't had this brew before regardless of the serving type, you need to do so as soon as you possibly can.

Photo of BasementBer
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this one while walking the swanky small craft - large scale brewery.

A: Pinkish head with good retention and lacing. Reddish brown hue. Sparkling wine-esque hue but darker in glass.

S: Tart. Maltiness notes but overwhelmingly cherry mash.

T: Pure raw cherries, no extract sweetness. Meaty cherry taste with light malts and little to no hops detectable.

M: Bites a bit on the tongue with the tartness and in the throat. But the lasting coating of the massive 1lb of cherries per bottle makes it linger for days.

D: Really enjoyed this as a special and unique brew. Desert anyone?

Photo of krazyboi
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a fluted glass.

A: Mahogany color with small foamy head that dissipates quickly.
S: Tart cherries. Very similar to the smell of Luden's cherry flavored cough drops.
T: Sweet and tart cherry notes in the beginning, full cherry flavor in the middle and tartness in the ending.
M: Low to medium body with high carbonation.
D: This is pretty darn tasty if you're into cherries. A bit hard to finish the whole bottle, unless you really love cherries. Very good stuff. Try it, at least!

Photo of Spica66
3/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Co-reviewed with Jesus Quintana

I gave it a 4, Jesus gave 4. Great reddish color with a touch of chill haze, keeps about the same head which is not that much, but has fantastic lacing, with sheets adhering to the glass on every sip.

Smell, me 4.5, Jesus 4. Smells like a wonderful carbonated fruit juice.

Taste. Me 4.5, Jesus, 5. You would expect a syrupy content coming from a beer made of fruit, but yet I gotta say it's almost wine-wooler-esque, with a finish of beer. A strange descriptor, to be sure, but make no mistake, this stuff tastes damn good.

Syrupy, and very tart, yet still very sweet. Lingering sweet and sour cherries. Me 4, Jesus 4.

Overall drinks GREAT. I give it a five, and Jesus concurs.

With the weighted average, I give Jesus the tie-breaker on the weighted average, for taste.

Hail New Glarus!

Photo of Spider889
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MbpBugeye for sharing this at the first Central Ohio Beer Tasting. I was really looking forward to this one.

Pours with a grayish head (similar to some better lambics). The beer is a blood-orange color that left spotty lacing.

Smells immediately of ripe black cherries. Very sweet.

The flavor was composed of honey, cherry syrup, and fresh wet fruit. Tangy but not full-on sour.

A very likable beer, insanely drinkable. I was wishing for more pretty quickly.

A lot of people seem to hate on Lindemans for its sweetness, but this beer is nearly as sweet. If you like this the only reason you ought not to like Lindemans is its style categorization. Given that Belgian Red resides in a style that this site lists as "experimental and temporary" it isn't that hard of a stretch to think of this as a really sweet lambic.

Don't get me wrong - this is overall more likable than most Lindemans, but they're more similar than some would have you think imo.

Photo of emmasdad
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Although I have had this beer many times over the last 7 or 8 years, I never felt rushed to review it, figuring I'd just get it next time.

The time is now, after we split a five year old bottle last weekend (thanks so much Marty) in the backyard.

I was amazed that the fruit presence was still so prevalent, the cherries as fresh and juicy as the day they went into the barrels. I was blown away by how well this one held up for such a low alcohol beer.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown color with a suggestion of slightly pinkish foam on top. The aroma is all fresh cherries, with a very light tartness, some vanilla and malt. Light bodied and refreshing, lightly tart, a little malt, but mostly delicious fresh cherries.


Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cool dark red, cherry appearance to it, thin head. Aroma is massively cherry, like you just opened a can of cherry pie filling. Bottle says a fuggin pound of cherries in every bottle! Every bottle! Damn!

Taste is exquisite, cherry, slight oak finish to it, sweetness takes the high road, counterbalanced by the wood and a slight tartness that is miniscule in comparison to the hearty cherry mouthfeel. Malt base keeps it from becoming overly sweet, good carbonation keeps it from feeling syrupy.

This is pretty much the holy grail of fruit beers in America, maybe the world. Blows away any other beer w/ cherry in it, here, the cherry is so dominate, don't even think of trying this beer unless you really like cherry. Not for hophead only guy. You can't understand the cherry dominance in this (but again, the nuances of everything else make it work even better) until you try it. Next time I'm in Wisconsin, I'm getting like 10 of these. Hopefully the fruit don't fade. Fresh is definitely very good here.

Photo of brewballer
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of a kind brew here! Pours a dark ruby color, with a pinkish foam. You can smell this is bursting with cherries the minute you open the container. Its unlike any fruit beer I have ever tasted, They say theres a pound of cherries in every bottle ( 20+ oz bottle) And I don't doubt them for a moment. This beer just rushes to the palate. Its quite bubbly, but that works wonderfuly with the flavor, which is cherry, cherry, and more cherry. If i could put cherry pie in liquid form, this is what i'd come up with. Simply amazing.

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25oz bottle, Boulevard tulip, and thank you Craig.

The appearance itself is a paragon of cherry. It looks like cherry juice with a cherry blossom colored head of small proportions. The initial pour is crystal clear, though I'm guessing at the bottom of the bottle is some nice trub. It looks like it smells and tastes.

Syrupy Maraschino cherry; the nose is very sweet. Cough syrup comes through a bit medicinally with some bite. No denying that this thing is loaded with cherries.

I really can't imagine the fitting of cherry flavor into a beer better than this liquid in front of me. It's a huge juicy sweetness like cherry Jolly Ranchers. There is a cough drop/syrup heavy turn at the end, a slight tingle on the tongue. Goodness this stuff is sweet, but like fruit is, not like 10% super sweet Barleywine. Low level of oak tannin help close it out and lift some of the sweetness.

Fairly high level of carbonation works on keeping things from being perceived as syrupy. The body is right there. It is thick and sweet. Even more carbonation would not be out of line.

I'm slightly confused about the difference between this and sparkling cherry juice. Since it is beer, it seems like an example of some exceptional brewing skill. Some may find the medicinal character to be objectionable, but I don't.

Photo of trappistlover
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(750ml bottle courtesy of Alpar!). Pours hazy red juice color with minimal head. Aroma of maraschino cherries. Taste is sweet. Medium bodied with a luscious, ripe fruit finish. Man, this is a delicious beer...Thanks for sending this out Alex. Awesome stuff! This is the holy grail of fruit beers.

Photo of surlytheduff
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle, shared with the wife. The beer poured a ruddy dark amber with a fingers with of billowy red-tinged beige foam. The head didn't hang around too long, and after receding it left a tight circle of small white bubbles around the outer edge of the surface of the beer fed by a steady stream of fine carbonated bubbles.

It smelled like a juicy red cherry sweet-tart, with a twist of lemon and a hint of wheat. The taste was a direct continuation of the nose. Tangy candied cherries up front that leave you with a little pucker. The beer had a medium body with a medium-high (but well balanced) amount of carbonation. It felt mildly creamy, and had a somewhat acidic finish. I ended up drinking the majority of the bottle, and didn't grow tired of it through 4 smaller glasses. Was a very refreshing beer.

Photo of AlexFields
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Bell's tulip glass. A centimeter of head formed at the top and disappeared quickly.

A: At first this didn't look that great--lots of bubbles on the side of the glass in inconsistent patterns that just made it look spotty. After the bubbles mostly disappeared, it was a nice red color, notable because it's an unusual color for a beer, but not remarkable aside from that.

S: The smell is just amazing. No complexity, just a straightforward explosion of sweet cherry smell, like a whiff of cherry cobbler or something. Never smelled another alcoholic beverage of any kind with such an awesomely straightforward fruit smell.

T: Like the nose, the taste is almost pure cherry, but a little different than I expected from the smell, as there's a slight tartness to the flavor that isn't present at all in the smell. The sweetness is still big though, bigger than the tartness, but it all comes together into an amazing balance. Enough tartness that it isn't cloying or sickeningly sweet, but enough sweetness that you could drink this stuff like soda and never realize it was alcoholic (my girlfriend and I finished this bottle in record speed). Oh, and if I didn't make this clear already, the cherry flavor is HUGE. And really, really good.

M: Really light and well carbonated. Almost more like a fruit soda than a beer, but I mean that in a mostly good way (it is slightly odd).

Overall: Basically, after drinking this you're left wondering if New Glarus used any ingredients besides cherries. If you like cherries, you will love this beer, even if you dislike other fruit beers.


Photo of tewaris
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a wine glass. Brilliantly clear, bright scarlet colored with a medium sized creamy pink hued head. Average head retention and little lacing, but very beautiful looking beer, especially when help up to light.

Aroma is very sweet, loaded with cherries and some softer floral notes. The taste is similar, but stronger: very sweet but in a light and tart way, with a bare hint of hops at the end. Lip smacking good. Medium bodied with good carbonation, but not enough to scrub the sweetness off the palate, or it could be the temperature of the beer, which has gotten warmer. Overall a very good and unique beer.

Photo of GPHarris
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

shared a bottle of this w/ bonhoeffer & deaconbluez at the j.clyde...

poured a ruby red color into a snifter. the nose was overwhelmingly cherries but with a hint of sweetness. the taste was the same but with the slightest tartness just to balance out the sweetness. the mouthfeel was silky smooth. i could have easily drunk the whole bottle but was glad to share it with some friends.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle courtesy of levifunk. Into an unbranded tulip.

A: Pours a murky brown with a fair amount of red highlights, of white head with some pink accents. About an inch of head or so that recedes into a thin cap of bubbles leaving behind a few nice spots of lacing. A fair amount of carbonation moving up through the glass.

S: Incredible cherry smell, never once does it even come close to the nasty artificial cough medicine-esque cherry flavor in a lot of cherry beers. Smells very clean and fresh. Some notes of vanilla and a slight lemon-esque wheat malts offer a little tartness and tanginess. Quite nice.

T: Again, incredible amount of true cherry flavor, nothing artificial. Incredibly robust fruit flavors. Nice crisp wheat malts and a touch of tartness that never quite reaches sour. Slight amount of oak/wood/vanilla as well.

M: Fairly heavy on the body, with a surprising amount of carbonation, sweet and slightly tart on the finish. Very well rounded and feels quite nice.

D: Very easy to drink, we will have no issues finishing this 750ml of. Nice beer, but I think the Raspberry Tart is just a little nicer. Both are outstanding fruit beers, and live up to the hype.

Thanks Levi!

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 2,746 ratings.