Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,750 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,750
Reviews: 917
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 1,036
Gots: 506 | FT: 51
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: 2,750 | Reviews: 917 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fbinla
3.7/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a great reddish color with a nice fizz and head. Smells like a cherry soda, it's amazing how much cherry aroma this beer has. Taste is all cherry, tart with a sweet mouthfeel. The smell and taste just never give up.

An amazing beer, i just can't understand how they get so much cherry flavor in the beer. But personally it's too sweet for me.

Photo of prototypic
3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wisconsin Belgian Red pours a very hazy brown color with a slight reddish tint. I was expecting something a little more 'red,' if you will, but that's not the case. It features a tan head on top. It only reached a finger or so deep and was pretty quick to recede. Lacing was definitely on the lighter side. It's intriguing and nice looking, but far from a knockout.

The nose is very sweet, sugary, and full of cherries. Imagine that. Beyond that, there's a slight earthy twist to it. Perhaps some grainy notes. That pretty much wraps it up. Ordinarily, I'd be extremely disappointed. In this case, not so much. I generally am not a cherry fan. Nor am I fan of fruit beers. But, this stuff smells pretty impressive in light of both of those facts. I'm not blown away by any means, but it does have a nice smell.

The flavor is extremely consistent with the nose. It is indeed very sweet and sugary. It has a very strong cherry flavor. I was expecting something more sour, but it's not that at all. It's just a sweet, straight forward cherry flavor. In a way, it's oddly reminiscent of cherry pie filling. But, it does have a nice earthy, grainy flavor to take some of the edge off and add a little depth. Fruit beers always disappoint me because they don't resemble beer very much. I can't say that this one is all that different. But, it does have a nice flavor that's enjoyable. Given my typical disdain for all things cherry, that's saying something. This is pretty damn good stuff for what it is.

Its body is light medium and has a smooth feel. Carbonation is light and isn't distracting at all. It goes down easy and is easily above average as far as drinkability goes. Ultimately, it's just a little too sweet and a 750 bottle is chore to finish. I'll pull through, but I would've preferred a 12 oz. bottle.

So, what's the verdict on Wisconsin Belgian Red? Well, it's without question a really impressive fruit beer. But, it is a fruit beer. I like it, but I'm not quite in love with it. I'm not sure that I've ever 'loved' a fruit beer. Just not my thing. It's very sweet and is probably best appreciated in concentrated amounts. But, it's easily one of the better fruit beers I've encountered. It's not very beer like, but has a strong enough flavor to be an overall success. From me, that's big for a fruit beer. Trust this. Definitely pick up a bottle if you have the opportunity. Just keep in mind that you're getting a fruit beer.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a beautiful blood red with a tiny bit of head and lots of little carbonation bubbles that float to the top. The smell is of rich cherries. There's a slight whiff of alchohol and a little earthy grassiness. The flavor is so intense with cherry you swear you were drinking a glass of s straight cherry juice. I get a mild alcohol flavor more akin to wine then beer but it's faint. The flavor comes on sweet and tart and finishes so smooth it's scary. The carbonation dances with every gulp. Gulp is the proper word too. You find yourself taking drink after drink because NG made it so damn enjoyable. I've yet to meet anyone who can't enjoy this lambic.

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

Pours a deep dark red, with a beige head up top. A lovely cascading effect as it settles down. Head sticks around for longer than I would have thought. Some light comes through around the edges, but that's about it. Pretty solid red.

Aroma is all ripe sweet, and a bit sour, cherries. Sounds simplistic, but it is actually quite amazing!

My god, I always forget how amazing this beer is! It's like a bite of homemade cherry pie, when you're starving. Saying it tastes like cherry is like saying the sun is hot. No evident hopping, a bit of roastiness from grains, but overwhelmingly cherry. Surprisingly, it doesn't seem out of balance. Medium bodied, but leaning towards full. Low carbonation.

I would love to pair this with some food. Maybe with some rich vanilla ice cream for dessert after eating some serious comfort food like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob. Or maybe with some extra sharp cheddar.

High drinkability, however the big bottle would be better shared than drank alone. My palate usually gets a bit fatigued by the end of the second glass. But a small price to pay for such a terrific beer. Cheers!

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

Poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a faded ruby red with a white head similar to a soda's in the way that it starts large, but quickly shrinks to just a small ring around the outside of the glass. Despite the quickly dissipating head, there is a little bit of lacing. Just a few rings show the previous levels of the liquid.

The nose is pretty much the most intense smelling cherry liquid of any kind I've ever smelled. Very acidic and vinegary, almost wine like. The best way for me to describe this is a cherry cider. Very sweet and very tart at the same time.

The taste is straight up cherries. Sweet and tart, more leaning towards the sweet side, but not overly sweet. To me, this is a combination of ripe sweetened cherries mixed with unripe tart cherries. There is literally nothing else here, just cherries. Me not being a cherry fan at all (I much prefer raspberries) this is great stuff. Cherry flavor is real cherries (over a pound in every bottle), and in no way artificial, which was a big relief.

Light bodied and slightly tart, with a lively carbonation. This has the mouthfeel of a slightly flat cherry pop. Great drinkability.

Overall, a solid offering from New Glarus, who ceases to amaze me. Every single time they satisfy me.

I have to say, I am a much bigger fan of Raspberry Tart, but this is still a more than stellar offering. Highly recommended and it definitely earned it's spot in the Top 100.

Photo of admiralcrunch
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to CapitalAmber for bringing this back from WI.

750 ml bottle into big snifter (not the whole bottle)

A) Smells like cherry Italian ice. Wow!

S) The beer is quite opaque, and red to reddish brown depending on how the light hits it. Not a whole lot of head on top, but when it is there it has a pink hue.

T) The taste is all cherry and wheat. It's tart, but in a soft and mellow way.

M) It feels fairly sweet even though it doesn't taste particularly sweet.

D) I could probably have the whole thing but I'd feel bad about not sharing - it's too good to hog.

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

A: Served in tall champagne flute. Dark bordeaux like red body. Moderate pink head with good retention. Some lacing left behind.

S: Fresh cherries. Simultaneously sweet, tart and sour. Very nice indeed.

T: Falls off quite a bit from the nose. For me, the cherry flavor is dampened by the general tartness that pervades from start to finish. The cherry flavor has a slightly artificial twinge to it, but is still very pleasant and enjoyable.

M: Nice, light body. Good carbonation levels without becoming fizzy.

D: A very nice fruit beer. Not quite as good as the Raspberry Tart, but a great representative of the style. Many thanks to mnjeff for the trade!

Photo of Gtreid
3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 m bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: A semi-clear ruby red color. The pour produces about a finger of off white reddish head the receeds to a thin rim, and left no lace.

A: Cherries all the way. Tart cherries, sweet cherries, more cherries. There are some bready malts and a little earthy hop presence, but the sweetness of the cherries is strong.

T: Very nice if your in the mood for this type of beer. Tastes like cherry juice with a hints of hops and bread. Super sweet and very fruity.

M: Medium body, high level of carbonation give it a strong tingle at the back of the throat. Semi-creamy, nice.

D and overall impression: For me, it is too sweet. I really enjoy the flavor component, but I had to share the bottle with a good buddy of mine. So it doesn't get high marks here. Overall, I think this could be a beer my wife would like,(she's not a craft beer lover). I like it, just don't love it. Skal.

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

Appearance: Poured with a smooth off white/light red head composed of small bubbles that dissipates somewhat quickly to a thin rim around the edge of my glass and remained till the last drop of beer. The head is easily aroused and leaves some lacing down my glass. The beer is a cloudy reddish brown color.

Smell: Huge cherry pie smell, some apple pie/apple cider, then a very strong very sweet slightly tart ripe cherry aroma, and a light yeasty biscuit smell.

Taste: Sweet cherry, that becomes more tart, similar to cherry pie filling, some sour apple, and ends with a sweet very ripe cherry flavor.

Mouthfeel: Nice tart tingle, good amount of carbonation, sweet sticky feel, and a bit dry.

Overall: Great drinkability, nice smooth feel, nice faint tartness to balance out the strong sweetness. Nice dry feel toward the end. The cherry flavor is NOT artificial which I was a bit worried about, but the cherry flavor is very sweet like really ripe cherries.

Photo of daledeee
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A trip to this brewery was well worth it. This beer comes in a larger bottle with wax over the cap.

The "red" pours with a nice powerful head and is bright red in color. The nose is very fruity.

Taste is fresh, sweet, very cherry and clean and at the same time a little earthy. The sweet and earthy seems like an impossible combination. The mouth feel is like sweet tarts. Lots of bite. This is such a refreshing beer for a summer day. Best served cool. The only reason I discounted the drinkability is the sweetness. It may be hard to drink much of this at once. I would be hard pressed to find a better beer in this category. It is easy to see how this beer won the Belgian beer contest IN BELGIUM!!

Photo of birchstick
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Ruby red in appearance with a pretty small head. There is a huge amount of lacing though, which makes it look very sexy in my flute glass.

S - I am glad the label said cherries were in this, otherwise I wouldn't have ever guessed (j/k). Cherries and spices (cinnamon?) pop out immediately. Smells quite delicious.

T - Wow. Starts off with a spiciness that is reminiscent of cinnamon. This is followed by the sweet cherries and a little bit of malt. Ends with a tart sourness to it. The flavors blend really well together, making for a very enjoyable, unique drinking experience. This would make an excellent beer to drink during the fall.

M - Surprisingly great mouthfeel. Due to all of the lacing I figured this would be packed with carbonation. The carbonation is there, however it merely tickles your throat as the Belgian Red slides down rather smoothly.

D - This is the best fruit beer I have tried without a doubt

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

Chilled bottle into a glass. Courtesy of a trade with badbeer. Thanks Mike!

A: Pours a delicious ruby-chestnut body with a light rose-colored head that rises to 1.5". The head recedes into a thick collar and some filming on the brew, with washes of lacing that track each swig and slide slowly down the glass. Magnificent.

S: Tons of oak, cherry, and earth on this one. I couldn't pick out anything else. Good points for its sheer pungency.

T: The taste is where the complexity really shines. An initial light spice (cinnamon?) pricks the tongue, segueing into a tart, juicy dark cherry flavor. The finish is earthy with some oak tannins giving it a little acidic bite.

M: Medium bodied, with fairly fizzy carbonation that cleanses the palate pretty well and prevents the beer from becoming too cloying. Still, it is slightly syrupy. No alcohol burn, as expected for a mid-range ABV.

D: I'm not the hugest fan of fruit beers, so I won't go out of my way to trade for this. But I'm glad it was suggested to me as a trade, because it turned out to be damn good. If I saw it in person, I'd get it again.

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

From a 750 ml bottle this poured a very rich and dark cherry head with almost no head. The nose is very strongly cherries and some hard to identify spices. Very lively mouthfeel. Flavor is sweet with the cherries dominating. This is a remarkable fruit beer.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to brdc for the trade.

750ml green glass with red wax-coated cap. no date. tasted in late april/early may 2009. poured into tulip.

dark, natural cherry juice color, skins and all, with no artificial dyes. slightly dulled by brown tint. no haze (slight dusting of sediment in the bottle). faintly pink, 1-finger head soon fades to wispy layer and ring, and eventually just wisps. nice, multiple rings of lace.

aroma: fruity, whole cherries - fresh and dried, with skins, pits and all. touch of earthiness? whiff of acidity.

taste: rich cherry fruitiness, similar to aroma. nicely fresh (and NATURAL), mild tartness matches well and has its own deep fruity character. dried grass and more fruit skins in the finish. possible touch of caramel maltiness underneath. just a trace of oak.

medium body, smooth, almost lightly syrupy, but with acidic texture towards the end. mild to moderate carbonation is crisp and refreshing, matching with acidity, and gives flavor lift.

would have liked just a touch more acidity and even just a trace of funk or farmhouse. oh well. still, this is nice, although the sweetness keeps the drinkability from scoring higher.

Photo of nightcrawler
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The liquid pours a creamy red with a quick-dying head. The smell was of sweet cherries and the taste was exactly the same. I expected this and enjoyed it for what it was, even though it bordered on coy for me. Personally, I would have *preferred* a beer I could see through, lighter body and a bit cleaner on the finish. But the effervescent tingle in my mouth after each sip was wonderful.

Photo of atigerlife
3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a kriek glass.

Pours a murky brownish-pink with a small brownish/red head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma is black cherry soda.

Taste is of cherries, not too sweet and very little tartness. Some farmhouse/hay taste.

Mouthfeel is med-light and somewhat flat.

Overall, very nice taste and quite drinkable. I wouldn't call this a typical kriek, but it is good nonetheless.

Photo of brow1901
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wax top green bottle, something you don't see every day.

A- Pours a bright and ruby red. Initially there is a nice one finger off white head, the head has a nice pink undertone to it. Unfortunatly the head never lasted long, maybe it was my glass. Once the head dissapeared it looked like a glass of rose wine. The beer left no lacing either.

S- The smell is just pure cherries, but not fresh cherries. It smells more like a cherry pie. The smell is more earthy and nutty than fruity and tart.

T- The frist thing I notice is the tartness, it almost gets to the point where I make a sour face but backs off. After the sourness comes the delicious cherry flavor, this time more grassy and fruity than the smell. Finally the taste shifts to a dry oak and buttery taste, this really reminds me of a white wine.

M- Medium bodied with nice carbonation. The carbonation is nessicary the keep the tartness in line.

D- One or two glasses is pleanty for me so a whole bottle is too much. The tartness and fruit flavors become too much for my palete. I enjoyed this beer when it was cold, like fridge cold, it was fun to taste it as it warmed but I found it better cold. Also I really regret not pairing this beer with some food or cheese.

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

Crowned-and-waxed 750ml, courtesy of MrFacto. Thanks, Matt!

New Glarus Belgian Red pours rosy-amber and is capped with a thin layer of lively pink foam. The head is comprised of fast-fading, snappy bubbles that are continually replaced by the steady streamers of carbonation surging from the depths of my pokal glass. A few freckles of lacing left behind are all that marks the passing of the drink.

The smell is of tart and tangy fruits with a caramel candy-scented note languishing in lazy, token support. The fruitiness is crisp, mildly vinous, fresh, and potently cherry-laden.

Cherries are front-and-center in the flavor profile, and are backed with... well, more cherries. Sweet, tart, acidy, syrupy... all the cherry family of flavors show up for the big fruity hoedown in my glass. A mellow, earthy dryness, a touch of herbal spice, and a cooling note of oak work hard to assert themselves, but truthfully, the non-cherry notes only succeed at doing so after the fruitiness has washed over the palate and the elixir is long gone down the gullet.

The drink is crisp, medium-bodied, and quaffable with a snappy spritz of refreshing carbonation. A super-easy drinker on a hot June afternoon.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.38/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an almost clear brown with red hues. Very thin tan head that doesn't stick around. Nose is cherry juice. Flavor is much of the same. Tastes like cherry cough syrup almost. Almost seems like a touch of apple cider on the back there as well. Eck. Feel is much like the flavor. Syrupy. Carbonation is a bit lower I guess. Good lord. What a disappointment. I think this is going to be a bit of a challenge to drink. I put this on the level of all those overly sugared fruit beers from Belgium. This just makes me miss Liefmans Kriek even more.

Photo of hardy008
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a hazy dark red color with a small off white head which disappears quickly.

Smell - Cherries which have a nice balance of sweetness and tartness.

Taste - Just like the smell. The balance of sweetness and tartness in the cherry flavor is outstanding.

Mouthfeel - Nice carbonation, medium bodied, has a bit of a sweet and sticky feeling to it, almost like a soda.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. Another outstanding effort from New Glarus.

Photo of bobsy
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The last of the reviews I'm gonna write up on the beers we had last night. I wouldn't trust my palate or memory to accurately recall anything more than the first couple we had. Fortunately the first couple were classics.

Deep blood red body with a foamy off-white head. Sticky lace. Full on kriek aroma - sour cherries, leather and a touch of cider. Sour cherry flavour with a great deal of funk, leather and sugar. A pound of cherries in each bottle and you can tell. In terms of its profile and intensity it reminded me a lot of ice cider. Full, decadent mouthfeel and slightly sticky. This would make a great dessert beer.

Its fascinating and special. I hope my wife can bring me some of this back from the midwest... it may well make up for her chickening out on the growler of masala mama.

Cheers Troy!

Photo of infestaxion
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

nflmvp brought me this one. Big thanks.

A - Hazy muted red with a white head that fades quickly. Looks sort of like carbonated juice.

S - Sweet, tart cherries dominate the smell.

T - Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb! Yeah. I went there. Very sweet cherry flavor. Tastes like a carbonated version of French Lick Winery's Montmorency Cherry. Very good. Slight malt in the finish.

M - I love the way it coats your mouth and sticks with you. The carbonation really adds to the whole experience.

D - Goes down really smooth. No alcohol detected at all. But that's not really a surprise.

Photo of tedpeer
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip.

A - Poured red, with a thin white head that quickly became a whispy layer with ring around. Some spotty lacing that sticks to the end.

S - Cherries. That's it.

T - Both tart and sweet cherries. It's sweet but finishes tart.

M - Crisp carbonation. Medium thickness.

D - This is a pretty good fruit beer.

Fruit doesn't belong in beer. That being said, this was a pretty good fruit beer.

Photo of Sean9689
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into a taster-sized nonic and shared with my girlfriend.

A - A pretty straight forward red color, off-white fizzy head, some lacing.

S - Cherries, cherries, and cherries. Some sweet, some tart. A small hint of a beer, but not really, more like a fruit drink.

T - Sweet cherries up front and a nice tartness on the finish. Some creamy flavors, very good. I really love the cherry flavors and it's better then I would have expected with this beer.

M - Rich and smooth, like yogurt or sorbet, medium in body. Very good, and perfectly constructed for this type of beer.

D - Split this with my girlfriend but probably could have easily split this three ways. We finished it easily, but my craving for this type of beer has been satisfied for a while.

Photo of KI9A
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear, red. Reddish/tan head.

S: Screams sweet cherry candy. Almost too much to handle...gotta dive right in!!

T: Obviously cherry. Some hints of vanilla, and light malts. The cherry blows away everything, but, at a pound of cherries per bottle, why not? The sweetness gives away to a fairly tart, not sour, finish.

M: Lighter than the the Rasberry tart. Not as gooey-sweet.

D: Too much fruit for one person to finish off a whole bottle, but, found it to be a superior after dinner drink. Nicely done, Dan!

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,750 ratings.