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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

2,852 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,852
Reviews: 923
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 1,075
Gots: 553 | FT: 56
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
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Ratings: 2,852 | Reviews: 923 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chaney
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this in a trade with a great trader and all around amazing guy BeerFMAndy. Thanks Andy! It's been a while since I've tried this and I'm glad to score another bottle. It's like pulling teeth to get NG stuff outside of Wisconsin!

I split this with a bunch of my beer nerds at a recent tasting and poured into flute glasses:

A: Pours bubbly, champagne-like, with a cherry-vanilla appearance and great head retention. This is a beer?

S: Ground up sour "Sweet Tarts", combined with melted cherry popsicle. Awesome!

T: Sour cherry upfront with vanilla as more of an afterthought. The Door County cherries taste unlike any cherries I've ever tried. The tartness doesn't linger, but merely hits you with a brief punch before coating your mouth with candy!

M: Once again, sour coating and the carbonation is divine! I couldn't drink this in very large amounts, but I'm guessing the brewers don't want you to do that anyway.

D: I can't think of any other beer in their arsenal that encapsulates NG's attention to detail and exemplifies their desire for high quality. I constantly remind myself that the beer contains no wild yeast....just plain old awesome old-fashioned brewing. Gotta love it for that!

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Chaney. Thanks Brandon!

Served in a champagne flute, this renowned beer appears remarkably similar to cherry juice. The color is a beautiful, vibrant ruby hue. There is about an inch of head that fades over a few moments.

The smell, which is easily detectable from a few feet away, is reminiscent of cherry pie, with the cherries being predominantly of the sweet variety.

The taste is exactly what the aroma would indicate. Cherry pie, cherry juice, cherry cobbler, cherry soda - you name it. This beer is all about the cherries.

At a mere 4% abv, the alcohol is an afterthought. The feel is pretty good, though the beer is intensely sweet.

Like a great dessert, this is best enjoyed in small quantities. After about 4 ounces, I have had my fill and the beer begins to become cloying.

Photo of KAP1356
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A buddy of mine brought back 3 bottles for me after his last trip to WI. Split 3 ways with him and another friend. Poured into a red wine glass...

A - Pours a gorgeous, shiny ruby red color with no real head whatsoever. At times, with no light hitting it, it appears slightly brownish. Slight agitation produces a miniute fzz, but no head to speak of.

S - Sweet cherries and some slight spice to it as well. No malt or hop presence is noticeable. Most cherry aroma I've ever gotten from a brew.

T - Sour, sweet but not cloying in any way, slight spice. Like drinking a cherry pie; absolutely delicious and unlike any cherry beer I have ever had before.

M - Light body with mild carbination. Great crispness with a nice tart finish.

D - I could easily drink several of these. Not too sweet like I thought it would be and quite a nice refreshing beer to have. Would go great with desserts.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine May 2007.

The evolution of beer took a huge step forward over ten years ago with this brew. It's unlike any other Fruit Beer to the extent that it deserves more than the Fruit Beer label. There are well over a pound of cherries in every bottle and it's lagered in oak tanks for a year. Not many American breweries are doing that now--let alone ten years ago.

Pours with a light, spritzy carbonation, and its murky burgundy color shows no light at all. Just a thin ring of lace from the fizz of the head. The aroma is heavenly: a nose full of cherries in cherry juice. Sweet-tart cherry bouquet. Underlying crispness in the slick, medium body. Big bang of cherry sweetness to start. A balanced tartness sets in with mild oak, earth and a pinch of maltiness. Layers of cherry unravel slowly to finally reach a faint biscuit finish.

One of the most complex beers in the US to date, yet still very approachable and drinkable. Excellent balance of sweetness to tartness. It's a beer worth driving to Wisconsin for, or at least finding a friend to ship you some. A mild yogurt cheddar cheese with tart apples sounds like a great pairing.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
2.43/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: cloudy reddish brown with a quickly diminishing light tan head receding to a collar of thin lace.
S: cherry cough syrup and some woody/earthy notes.
T: cherry cough syrup and some woody earthy notes as above. medium/full sweetness, tartness and sourness equally so. these two intermingle in a long sweet and sour dark cherry finish.
M: light to medium body, much bigger than the abv would suggest, i suppose from the residual sugars. kinda slick from the remaining sugars as well.
D: was excited to try this, but somewhat let down. a darkish cherry 7-up mixed with some children's cherry cough syrup would be an apt comparison. hopefully this review (with it's high rDev and low score on a high rated beer) won't get deleted.

Photo of PSUDREW
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to LeviFunk for this
A: a rudy, ruby color, with hints of brown along the edges. no head, no sense of carbonation
S: like Neil Diamond sings "cherry cherry"
T: well, is is pretty obvious - cherry pie, or turnovers cherries from the summer, or that cherry juice drink you had as a kids. This fruit is the star in the brew, and it is a good thing. A solid measure of tartness is present here too. Little bit (very little) of Belgian spice for good measure
M: heavier then expected, but not a bad thing
D: high. just really solid, and a low ABV

Photo of ptykozoon
3.11/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours tomato red with a hairs length of foam on top which never leaves. Decent lacing, with tons of minuscule bubbles that play around the top when swirled.

Smells of fruit punch, cherries, cherries and more cherries.

This is an interesting beer. It is very hard to describe, there are of course the sweet cherries, acidic carbonation. Then there is this earthy quality, herbs, floral bits, perhaps vegetables come through along with a touch of sour. I suppose this just isn't my type of beer but it tastes too sweet and off-balance to me, like a cherry flavored soda or exotic mixed drink - which taste fine but aren't particularly appealing to me in a beer. Not gonna lie - reminds me of a higher quality, more subtle Mike's hard lemonade.

No alcohol detected. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, with a touch of syrupy sweetness.

Drinkability is no good on this one, maybe if I was a child drooling for candy, but after a while this makes one sick. I'll revisit this again sometime but it's not too appealing to me as of now.

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

I've wanted this for a long time. Not disappointed.

A- Dark red-to-brown. Decent inch high head into a flute. Dissipates quickly.

S- Small cherry and biscuit.

T- Most profound cherry flavor balanced with some malt and yeast.

M- A bit heavier than I expected but the body is welcomed. Would be excellent paired with a dessert cheese plate.

D- So drinkable. Sweet but not cloyingly so.

Photo of Jayli
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Acquired this beer from dunt via Support Your Local Team BIF so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours a very light reddish, brown color with one finger of sudsy almost rose colored head. Head recedes rapidly and leaves sticky spider webbed lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of extremely sweet candied cherries. Somewhat like a chocolate covered cherry.

T: Taste starts with a nice sweet candied cherry flavoring. Taste then moves in to an almost chocolate covered cherry flavoring before a nice tartness comes in and really holds through the finish.

M: Light bodied, medium carbonation, nice crisp with a dry finish.

D: Goes down ridiculously easy, not too filling, mild kick, this is a great beer that I could have again and again.

Photo of wschmit
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a snifter.

A: Certainly a nice reddish hue, but there's enough transparent, malty brown to qualify this as beer. Very carbonated, with a pop-like fizziness. Head dies down quickly to a thin white head.

S: Cherry, cinnamon, clove. No bitterness, and next to no malt on the nose.

T: Sour, sweet, spicy, and with a bit of biscuity barley in the end. Agree with the earlier reviews--cherry pie and Christmas-y flavors abound. I don't think it's too overwhelming, but I'm a bit of a NG fanboy, and I really like cherries, beer, and cherries in beer.

M: A very nice carbonated zip, and otherwise, a light feel to the beer. Not a thin beer by any means, despite the low ABV, but far from a full feeling. The taste lingers on the tongue everywhere except the bitter back end.

D: Too sweet for session quaffing, of course, and certainly a nicer dessert or pairing beer.

Overall, this is easily one of the better fruit beers out there. Number 1? There are some poorly-executed cherry beers out there, and this trumps them. I'm glad this is a pretty regular NG offering, but perhaps its rank is just a bit high--but only a bit.

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

Shared a 750ml. poured into flute. From notes.
A: A hazy body, that is ruby red in color. A red nose, retreats into a faint layer. No lacing left on glass.
S: Like diving into a bowl of fresh cherries, or the sensation of s mashing a pound of cherries. Undertones of barley are also present.
T/M: As far as Fruit beer goes and cherries for that matter, this is the cats meow. Smooth mouthfeel, with great amount of carbonation. Nice layering of cherries, with a bit of an acidic finish. Much like a Belgian sour with no sour undertones, mainly sweet and amazing.
D: This is the most drinkable brew around, I find is light and enjoyable and could drink a bottle to the dome each day. But slightly pricey and needs some traveling to get. If you could pick this one up in every bottle shop in America then a full 5.0 would be granted.
Notes: A friend was having an un-named cherry brew and told me she is looking for the perfect cherry beer, but has not yet to find it. I reply with "finish your glass and we're going to my place, I have got what you are looking for." Needless to say, now she has found a new cherry favorite. Another friend of the family does not drink beer, but when we insisted she try this one, she had a glass. This is a beer (lack of better words) that can get people into sour beers and who know into what from there on.
Cheers and New Glarus this one is a staple.

Photo of djmichaelk
3.57/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

750ml bottle into a snifter. Had to have this in several sittings, as noted below. Courtesy of RTrain12 (thanks Ryan!).

A - Looks like fetid pond water. No head, and no lacing. Just a weird, cloudy, reddish-brown. It may be one of the worst-looking beers I've ever seen, which seems out of place for a beer of this quality. I absolutely do not understand all the high ratings for appearance for this beer. Luckily, it gets better.

S - Unsurprisingly, cherries are everywhere. Somehow sweet and tart at the same time.

T - Wow, this is delicious. Tart cherries are dominant, and maybe a hint of apples lurking in the background, but that's it. Like a liquid Luden's cough drop. It begins tart, then becomes sweet, and then back to tart on the finish. There's really not much more to say about it other than that. Somewhat one-dimensional, but it handles that one dimension SO well. The alcohol, although there's not much to begin with, is not noticeable in any way.

M - Medium bodied, with a fairly short finish. Perfect carbonation.

D - The cherries definitely got to me after a couple of glasses. I had to drink this over the course of two days, as there was no way I could go through an entire 750 in one sitting. While the flavor is nice, it can just be too much of a good thing.

O - Very glad I got the chance to try this. I could see it as a fantastic dessert beer, but it would definitely have to be split among the entire table.

Photo of biggred1
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Kyle & Mark for bringing me this gem!

Dark, cherry russet brown with a creamy pink tinted tan head that settles slow and leaves sheets of lace on the glass. The aroma is stunning.. big cherries, and not artificial cough syrupy cherry either, more like a freshly baked cherry pie with mildly toasted oak. Velvety smooth tart cherry flavors with a soft, caramelized oakiness. Full bodied and creamy with seltzery carbonation. Finishes sticky. This is really nice, proof that great beer can be under 5% ABV.

Photo of Reaper16
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle served into a mason jar

Sorry for the "quick hits" reviews tonight; I could only take so many notes at this tasting. I'll be back to long reviews next time.

Pours a slightly hazy cranberry color. The finger's worth of pink head dissipates quickly. Not much lacing to speak of. This looks like what is smells and tastes like; there's something to be said for that.

One expects this beer to smell like cherries. It does. Lots of ripe cherries and cherry puree. Not tart on the nose. A very small amount of funk. Maybe a little spice.

The beer doesn't taste exactly like the nose. For one, the cherries are more tart on the tongue. Secondly, there are a lot of spices in this beer. Holiday spices; I search for a flavor but what my mind calls forth are holidays: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some malt taste way behind all the cherry. Many reviewers say "cherry pie" is what this beer tastes like. They're pretty much right.

Light body. Nice, active carbonation. This is a very drinkable fruit beer. It isn't all sweetness all the time like a lot of the beers of the style can be. Plus, it is only 4% ABV!

This is the same beer as Raspberry Tart, only with cherries. They have similar malt profiles and similar levels of spices. If you like one then you will like the other. And trust me: you will like one.

Photo of geryeb624
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Nappie for hooking me up with a bottle of this!

Poured into New Glarus flutes.

Pours a murky, dark red. Very small pinkish head. Smells like cherries, I should say like real cherries, wow. Taste is cherries, tart cherries, kind of like a homemade cherry pie, very, very good! Mouthfeel and drinkability are exceptional on this one. This beer lives up to all of it's hype. My girlfriend and I got done this bottle and just sat there, sad that we couldn't just go and buy another one. I would LOVE to get more of this and try pairing it up with some desserts and maybe some entrees. Seek this beer out!

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

Poured from the bottle into my Lindeman's flute. Got this one in a trade with portia99. Thanks man!

A - Orange-brown body with a ruby glow. Small white head rests on top.

S - Sweet cherry flavor. A little artificial smelling. Smells nice and sweet like cherry pie. Yum.

T - Sweet cherry flavor similar to the nose with a nice tartness at the end. A bit sweeter than I'd really like and that makes it taste a tad artificial. However this is is spot on for what I would think a cherry fruit beer should be.

M - medium body, a bit syrupy with a ton of carbonation

D - Nice cherry flavor. What a fantastic brew. However I think I liked the raspberry tart a bit better. This has a slight artificial taste but it's still good. Definitely would have this as a constant in the fridge if it were readily available.

Photo of rhodeska
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting beer, thanks to my trading buddy hu5om for this one!

Very deep cherry smell, pretty much caught all cherry ever since the bottle was opened. Nice red color to it, wasn't quite sure if this was the beer I was looking for tonight, though.

I pretty much got the same taste as I did smell. It was like cherry pie all the way through, with a nice sweet taste to it. Not a fizzy carbonation or anything like that either, just a very fruity beer.

Photo of Stigs
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, split with a couple people...served in small red wine glasses

A - thin and quickly vanishing champagine-like light pink foam. the beer is very cloudy, red/pink in color...exactly as expected.

S - bright fresh, lightly tart, freshly picked and insanely juicy cherries. picking up some extracurricular oak and vanilla sweetness.

T - cherries...picked by the dozens, squished, squeezed and pulverized directly into a light ale. naturally sweet and slightly tart. perfect.

M - lighter but slick body with tight sprakling and playful carbonation, just about spot-on.

D - its only flaw is in its simplicity.

Photo of drpimento
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The ulltimate cherry pie beer. Poured with a huge, foamy, frothy, thick, light tan head and a little lace. Color is red amber. Aroma is malt, sour cherries, and spice. Flavor's exactly like nose. Body is perfect and carbonation is the ultimate and cuts through the flavors exactly right. Finish is fairly long and exquisite. Not a session for me, but a great beer for desert or on a picnic.

Photo of kbutler1
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a clear reddish brown hued color with a slight red head that pillows to the top of the glass. Honestly, the aroma is strong smell of cherry fruit punch! When you drink this I think it would be totally possible to not really know it is beer. Ever so slight tart beginning that transitions to a full boddied cherry flavor. Very clean tasting. Light/medium mouthfeel. You do not taste the alcohol at all! For a fruit beer this is just outstanding. Full of fruit flavors AND alcoholic. mmm

Photo of jwinship83
4.09/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

this bottle was picked up by my sister, who was living in WI at the time. review from ages ago (notes of course). drank from a champagne flute.

A- this one pours out a reddish pink colored body with a small pinkish hued head. the head fades quickly and leaves behind little to no lacing.

S- the smell is unlike any beer ive ever smelled before. cherries are the only things that come through. cherries and sweetness. real cherry juice, not artificial syrup.

T- the taste is once again straight cherry. very sweet. very natural tasting (again nothing artificial). theres a little hint at sourness, but not the lambic like brew i was expecting.

M- a little thin and watery with little carbonation. very much juice like.

D- if youre in the mood for a cherry beer and youve had this before, there probably isnt a suitable substitute. its truly one of a kind. low enough ABV to be sessionable, but im not sure how much i could have before needing a change of pace.

Photo of cbutova
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Loved the raspberry tart, thanks to Chico1985 I now get to try this one. Reviewed from notes.

A- Dark red, can only see through it holding it up to light. Small pink, frothy head that dies down to a nice creamy cloud with big bubbles. Good fine random, spotty lacing.

S- All fruit. Amazing cherry and sweet aroma. Some vine hints, very similar to the Raspberry Tart in this catergory.

T- Fresh cherry overload. You get all the aspects of the cherry throughout the beginning and aftertaste, so unique. Tart and sweet at the same time. Fruity bliss. Slight vine.

MF- Syrup-like body with light carbonation and a tart sting. Very smooth and appropriate for such a fruit heavy drink. Amazing flavors coat the palate.

DB- This and the Raspberry Tart give me a reason to go to Wisconsin some time, absolutely awesome beers. Amazing flavor with a great sweet to tart balance. A eye-opening experience.

Photo of stakem
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml wax dipped bottle care of younger35. Split with the wife and poured into wine glasses. This brew appears a pretty clear ruby red color with less than a finger of white fizzy head that dissolves fast leaving just a thin layer of bubbles sitting atop. Constantly rising bubbles provides a lasting ring around the inside perimeter of the glass and a bit of patchy lace clings to the glassware.

The aroma of this brew immediately reminds me of luden's cherry cough drops. Medicinal cherry nose has a little bit of spice added in the backend smelling like cinnamon. It also has a bit of an earthy quality that brings it all together with a pleasant aroma overall that is a mix of fresh cherries meets cherry medicine.

The taste is a cherry mixture of sweet and sour upfront. Just like in the aroma, the cherry flavor is a mixture of medicinal cherry along with a fresh, natural cherry pit flavor. Through the medium light body there is a bit of a spiced flavor that is somewhat reminescent of cinnamon with a touch of oak. The tartness of this brew along with the spiced character makes this one finish quite dry with an aftertaste of cherry pits and spices left lingering in the mouth.

Quite drinkable with a lively level of carbonation. Overall a fine example of the style. My only gripe is that I find myself half way through the experience drinking it faster just because it starts to get a bit too acidic and agitate the back of my throat.

Photo of woosterbill
4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 Capped and waxed bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Bright hazy red body with an impressive but fleeting pink frothy head. Just what I expected.

S: Cherries, cherries, cherries. Sweet and tart cherries. Say no more.

T: Begins with a pure deluge of rich, sweet, long-lasting cherry flavor, then finishes with just enough sharp tartness to keep it from being cloying in the least. Absolutely amazing. I might take off a half-point for excessive sweetness if this were listed as a lambic, but for a fruit beer it's almost miraculously perfect.

M: Medium-bodied with some sweet stickiness and lively carbonation.

D: Incredibly drinkable for being such a dessert beer.

Notes: What is there to say about this classic beer? If you like cherries, you'll love it. If you hate cherries, you might still love it it - it's that good. I know that the "Belgian" in the name confuses some people and makes them expect something wild like Cantillon Kriek, but for what it is and what it's trying to be, Wisconsin Belgian Red is practically perfect.

Cheers!

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,852 ratings.