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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.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,515 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,515
Reviews: 908
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 1,013
Gots: 442 | FT: 41
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: 2,515 | Reviews: 908 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mattcrill
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%

Thanks to cmaruschak for the chance to sample this rare one.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy brownish red with a thin sudsy white cap.

Smell: Pure cherry juice. Overpowering combination of sweetness, sourness, and tart cheeries. Very interesting and very different but it's all about the cherries, man.

Taste: Follows smell exactly. Pure cherry juice. A little yeastiness but it tastes like sour mashed cherry pie. The sour cherries make my jaw feel like it's going to collapse...but in a good way of course.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and carbonated. A slightly astringent feel on the back of the palate.

Drinkability: With the low ABV and the fruit taste, this one goes down easy. I can't say that I would make this a regular occurence. It really doesn't scratch the beer itch for me at all. But for what it is, it's very well done. Recommended.

mattcrill, Sep 25, 2005
Photo of Sixpoint
3.83/5  rDev -12.6%

Great beer from the first craft brewery I had an allegiance to growing up. This brewery was only about 30-40 miles from where I grew up in Wisconsin.

Exceptional brilliant red hue eminating from my goblet. Sort of a deep amber and brown, the red shines through like garnet.

An aroma of deep caramel and cherries. You might as well have your nose stuck inside a cherry pie. This is ridiculous.

The taste is SWEET! A bit of sourness in the finish, and even a hint of oak. However, the taste is definitely dominated by SUGAR SUGAR!

Very complex and amazing beer. Not too drinkable for me, as I like the drier and funkier fruit beers. Nevertheless, an American Classic. Bravo.

Sixpoint, Sep 16, 2005
Photo of bashiba
2.93/5  rDev -33.1%

Poured into my goblet a very cloudy reddish/brown with just a thin little lace of head around the rim.

Smell was completely and totally cherries, fresh cherries too, not some fake sweet cherry smell.

Flavor is completely and totally dominated by cherries, slightly sweet and slightly tart at the same time. A think its a little overpowering for my taste and really barely has any beer likeness at all.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied, but with a touch of slickness to it.

Drinkability is low, I don't think I could drink to much of this one, In fact finishing off the 750 I opened was starting to be a struggle.

bashiba, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of FirstMan
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%

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".

FirstMan, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of Knuckles
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%

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.

Knuckles, Aug 22, 2005
Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%

as with the raspberry tart, this thing blows away most any fruit beer you could find

appearance: dark pink, cherry read, thin foamy head

smell: very sweet cherries, sugar, cherry pie

taste: an explosion of sweet sugar covered cherry, quite sweet and tart. I think I like this guy a little better than its counterpart, raspberry tart

mouthfeel: carbonated, fizzes on the tongue

drinkability: quite tart, 1/2 a 750ml bottle is plenty

dirtylou, Aug 22, 2005
Photo of MuddyFeet
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%

Pours a rich red color with a pinck head. Whole lot of lace lining my chalice. Aroma is very sweet and fruity--all cherries. Thank God not marachino cherries though. Flavor is almost all cherries, but I am picking up some sweet spice as weel and just a touch of hops at the finish. Cherries came across as pie filling very sweet and tart. The tartness clung to the inside of the mouth, but did not coat it with a scummy feeling. Mouthfeel is very full flavored. Finish is just slightly dry and some cinnamon. Very easy to drink the bottle.

MuddyFeet, Aug 13, 2005
Photo of walleye
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%

thanks to bieristgut for this. had this a few months ago. poured a nice bubble red with a pink head. aroma I know this will make bieristgut upset and maybe others but it smelled like a wine cooler, but it was good got cherries, spices, and a little bit of hops. flavor, wow those cherries come right out and grab your taste buds, like a lot of other reviews tart cheery pie. normally I am not into the high carbonated fruit beers but this one was good

walleye, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of Brian700
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%

This poured a ruby red with an off-white head that fizzled down to a foamy island in the middle of my glass. The smell was an abundance of cherries. Smells amazing. The taste is tart and with an incredible amount of cherry flavor. There is also a light decection of alcohol. The mouthfeel is good, swish it around a bit and nurse those flavors. This is a great beer to drink with friends. I highly recommend it.

Brian700, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

The beer poured into the chalice hazy ruby with a frothy and tall off-white head which lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was very fruity with sweet cherry pie with a slight graham aroma and coupled with a very subtle and yet enticing cinnamon spice.

The flavor was crisp with a nice light tartness coupled with mounds of cherries that start on the palate as sweet but immediately dry and leave a very nice fruity impression with a light graham character and slight spice complexity.

The finish was dry with a lasting cherry impression, grapham flavor and light cinnamon spice. The body was medium or just a bit less with a nice level of carbonation. A very nice and complex fruit beer. Very well done with the tartness and fruit.

750 ml capped and waxed bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.85/5  rDev -12.1%

appearance: cloudy like a duchesse or rodenbach, hard to say whats going on inside. crusty lace and a mild, thin head of dense foam.

aroma: cherry pie filling, what more needs to be said? simplicity at its best in beer.

taste: reminds me of said syrup that surrounds said cherries in said pie. some additional champagne like dryness, most likely from the slightest addition of summery hops. just enough contrast to remind me of its true constitution. much more balanced than the raspberry tart.

some residual sugar in the aftertaste, overall a simple brew. nothing special.. except.. well, it's totally unique.

goodbyeohio, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of garymuchow
4.6/5  rDev +5%

Aroma is a very pleasing sweet/sour presentation of cherries.
Pours a pinkish,darkish cherry red with ambers of brown and orange. Pinkish/tannish head with some girth and stamina.
Flavor is nice sweet/sour cherry with a cherry phosphate quality that's not exceedingly sweet. No extract type flavors. A small yeasty quality.
Adequately carbonated leaving a bubbly effect on the tongue. Thick enough.
Really nice dessert beer, but it also maintains a refreshing quality, leaving it as a summer drink too. So nice all around.

garymuchow, Jun 22, 2005
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%

Rusty red. Assume the underlying ale is brown, mixing with the red cherries. Beautiful color. Nice lacing. Not too much head.

Taste: Not picking much up til the end. Then an explosion of cherries. Great cherries. The kind of cherries that are used in baking. Wonderful.

Incredibly drinkable. I kept coming back to get more of that cherry taste. Slightly sour.

GeoffFromSJ, Jun 19, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%

Bottle: Poured a clear light pink/red color ale with a huge bubbly head with average retention. Aroma of delicate sweet cherries is enchanting; I could spend hours smelling this beer. Taste is perfect with nice balance mix between naturally sweet cherries and malt. Subtle sourness at the end brings everything together for a perfect close. Carbonation is perfect for a fruit beer as well as carbonation and level of sweetness. Truly the best fruit beer I ever tasted.

Phyl21ca, Jun 03, 2005
Photo of pentathlete
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%

Thanks to kmpitz2 who sent me this in a trade. Today is the wife's birthday and I used this bottle in lieu of some sparkling wine. She loved it...label didn't mention any aphrodisiac qualities, but I'm thinking it'll work. That should be plenty to recommend it, but on to the tasting.

Dusty red with plenty of foam that falls to a pale pink ring. Nose is cherry pie filling or toasted cherry pop tarts. Taste is liquid sugary cherry with some carbonic bite and a hint of hops (it is a beer!). Finish is acidic from carbonation and cherry skins. Mouthfeel is medium. This is certainly drinkable, none of the tart and funk of decent lambic here, so it will appeal more broadly to most drinkers. Pour this into a footed pilsner glass with two scoops of vanilla if you don't want to drink it straight. Definitely a desert brew. Tasty.

pentathlete, May 31, 2005
Photo of Higravity
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%

Not overly sweet like Lindeman's soft more deft hand at blending the Cherry flavor with the gentle malt. Smell is of Marichino cherries that are a little soured with some maltyness in the background. That is much the same but with a slightdry sourness in the finish, not like a true blended Lambic but I think the sour and dryness comes from the cherries themselves. It has a decent body with light carbonation and it is very drinkable, but it is best to share this bottle.

Higravity, May 03, 2005
Photo of TastyTaste
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%

Dark red/brown color, poured from a green glass waxed and capped 25 ounce bottle. Small white head atop. Sweet cherry smell dominates this with a subtle maltiness in hiding, some what like a cherry cider. Taste is extremely cherry dominant, sweet, but not candy-like or cloying. Hops are no where to be seen. A very different fruit beer, nothing like I have ever had. Light evervescent and refreshing.

I took another BA's suggestion, and mixed this with some Young's Double Chocolate Stout, and it was one of the richest and flavorfull beers I have ever had.

TastyTaste, Apr 18, 2005
Photo of weeare138
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%

Much thanks to GV for getting this to me! Shared w/ sckressler.

Wow! This beer is a winner on all counts. Even the bottle is cool. It poured a nice bold red into the glass with some carbonation popping up to the top. Not much head, or lacing but everything else seems to be in place here.
Smells absolutely terrific. Cherry explosion. Smells like I fell into a vat of red cherries with some malt backbone.
Tastes amazing. Super smooth with a slight maltiness to balance it out. Tiny bit of tartness does not linger and is pleasant to the finish. I would come back again and again.

Finger licking good!

weeare138, Apr 09, 2005
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%

Striking dark red appearance. Just a bit of head. One sniff gives away what this beer is all about - cherries. Real ones, and plenty of them. The flavor is a wheat beer body with cherries throughout. Not those canned cherries, not cherry juice. If the flavor was just a little more tart, and not quite so sweet, it would be perfect. High carbonation helps prevent the sweetness from becoming cloying. I really like this beer, and I don't usually like fruit beers.

beveragecaptain, Apr 08, 2005
Photo of mschofield
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%

Pours a dark cloudy cherry red with tannish edges, topped with a one finger pinkish tan head, leaves webs of lacing.
Great aroma, cherry, and wheat, fairly tart but mainly sweet cherry.
Fruit, great cherry aftertaste, more wheat up front, sweet and tart, grape, cherry skin, no real hop aroma or bitterness.
Medium bodied, good drinkability, it's a dessert beer not something you would base a session on.

mschofield, Mar 28, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%

Murky, rust red with highlights the color of not quite ripe cherries. I expected the cap to be girlie pink, but it's actually simple beige in color. Large initially due to a generous amount of carbonation, the head is dense with a stickiness that promotes perseverance and lacing. Soapy, pocked sheets cover a good portion of the glass and stay for the duration.

This beer doesn't smell much like beer due to the all-encompassing aroma of sweet cherries. Forget malt, forget hops, forget anything that isn't pure, unadulterated essence of cherry juice. Thankfully, there are no medicinal (i.e. cough syrup) aromas present. Simply put, this is one of the best fruit beer noses that I've ever smelled.

I love it! Wisconsin Belgian Red tastes deeper and more hearty than most cherry beers. Along with the bright fruit flavor is a more earthy, muscular flavor that is more akin to dried fruit or fruit jerky than it is to fresh cherries or cherry juice. The degree of acidity is nigh on perfect. As noted in the nose description, there isn't a whole lot present that isn't cherry related, just variations on the theme and layers upon layers of flavor.

The body is full in the best sense of the word, with a lush, mouthfilling, thickly coating feel. The sugar content is high and limits drinkability for me. Unless I can get my wife to drink some (extremely doubtful) I won't be able to finish this big bottle in one sitting. Despite the note on the label ('highly carbonated') and the loud 'pffft' upon opening, I don't really appreciate an excessive amount of carbonation. The CO2 does its part to aerate the thick, syrupy body without calling attention to itself.

WBR seems to be a 'love it or hate it' kind of beer. I recognize that though it's beer in the technical sense, it doesn't much resemble beer in the classic sense. I've decided to judge it on its own merits with my enjoyment as the sole criterion. It's hard for me to imagine a fruit beer in general and a cherry fruit beer in particular that is more delicious than Wisconsin Belgian Red. I've waited quite a while to taste this one and I have to say that it has exceeded my expectations with room to spare.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 14, 2005
Photo of clvand0
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%

Thanks to kmpitz2 for sharing this bottle with us. What a beer. It pours a bright red color with a small ring of pink foam around the top. Leaves some lacing on the glass as well. Very strong aroma of cherries with just a tiny bit of sourness. Nice. The flavor was unreal. Lots of cherry flavor all over the place. Slight tart character, but very slight. Love the flavor of the cherries in this one. Spectacular flavor. Drinkability is wonderful as well. I MUST seek out more of this beer.

clvand0, Feb 07, 2005
Photo of SheepNutz
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%

Wow, my 500th review. About 2 years ago I would have never guessed that I would ever try this many beers in my entire life. Oh well, here's to even more beer! I am forever in debt to Kevin (kmpitz2) for sharing this brew with me. 750mL bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a slightly hazy medium burgundy color with two fingers of slightly pink head. There is a good deal of lacing left on the glass. The smell is very very strong, with me getting my first whiff with the glass about 5 feet from my nose. Strong notes of maraschino cherry juice (one of my faves) and just a slight bit of sourness. Amazing. The taste is full of cherry as well, and just a bit of tart flavors going on. It's very sweet as well. I enjoy it, but not nearly as much as the aroma. The mouthfeel is decently strong and smooth for a fruit beer. The drinkability is superb. I could surely drink a few bottles easily. A remarkable drink, a wierd beer.

SheepNutz, Feb 03, 2005
Photo of meathookjones
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%

Reviewed from notes of a 750ml bottle sampled on 1/15/05. The bottle was dipped in red wax. About an inch of light red head formed over the murky dark red body. Some lacing was left as the head stayed in tact. Strong cherry aroma hits you first with a bit of tartness backing it. There is a slight malty sweetness lingering in the back as well. A sweet tart like flavor hits the palate first before all the cherry flavor rushes in. The cherry flavor is great in that tastes like real cherries not sweetened cherry juice or something artificial. A good amount of tartness that lingers for bit rounds this one out. About a medium body to it with an effervescent feel to it. Pretty much what you would hope for with the style. This stuff is hugely drinkable with the tartness being very present but not overpowering and the other flavors complementing each other so well. This would be a regular for me if it was local. Thanks for the bottle slander.

meathookjones, Jan 20, 2005
Photo of LuckySevens82
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%

750 ml Bottle care of garymuchow (thanks!)

Poured into a small champange flute as it seemed appropriate.
Reddish pink with very good carbonation and a small 1 finger head. Very little lacing.
Smell is cherry..oh boy is it cherry. Very little else, there is some astringency in the smell as well, but not in a bad way.
Tastes very much of cherry and a malt sweetness that is quite pleasant. Perhaps this is a bit too sweet though.
This is a great beer with desert but I feel that perhaps it would be great with a meal as well. This is not as sickeningly sweet as some other cherry beers that I have had, the tartness (even sour at some times) of this beer makes it feel very dry.
I would have to say that this is by far the best cherry beer that I've tried. I certainly wouldn't pass up a chance to try it again.

LuckySevens82, Jan 18, 2005
Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,515 ratings.