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

3,032 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,032
Reviews: 943
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.27%
Wants: 1,104
Gots: 627 | FT: 73
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: 3,032 | Reviews: 943
Photo of EGledhill
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to ncbvc for this gem. Poured into snifter glass.

A. Redish brown with white fluffy head that leaves a nice lacing the whole way through.

S. Great smell of cherries and a slight maltiness.

T. Simply fantastic. A wonderfully balanced cherry flavor, slightly tart and mildly oaky. Possibly the most fantastic taste I've ever tried.

M. Light and crisp with a mild carbonation.

D. Exceptional drinkability. Could easily drink this all night and not get bored.

Overall this is one fantastic brew. Glad to have tried this and sorry to see this bottle empty. I knew I shouldn't have shared this with my girlfriend and her mother.

Photo of nsp73
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers.
Every bottle is made with over a pound of cherries and you can tell the moment you open the bottle.
It's a reddish color with a huge foamy head. As you drink you can smell and taste the cherries. Pretty much tastes like your drinking cherry pie.
It leaves a nice lacing as you go down but I feel the head can be a bit obnoxious at times. Especially towards the end because you really do savor and enjoy every sip of this beer. Fantastic.

Photo of NODAK
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
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 ManekiNeko
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle served chilled in a Lindemann's flute.

Appearance: Cloudy reddish brown colored liquid (almost like a Snapple or something) topped by a tall pinkish head that shrinks to a small layer of foam after a few minutes. Delicate and small sheets of lacing are left on the glass.

Smell: Funky sour cherries fill the nostrils and don't let go. Some oaky notes and a wee bit of horse blanket, too. Guess there be some brettanomyces action here.

Taste: Intensely sweet and tart cherries explode in the mouth. Very ripe and bursting with juice, this ain't no alcoholic version of Luden's Cherry Cough Drops, but the real deal. God-honest natural cherry flava. Hot Damn!

Mouthfeel: Quite puckering from th high acidity, sweetness, and tartness. Incredibly light in body and very refreshing. It's a mite too acidic, though. Perhaps I should have had something to eat with this.

Drinkability: My first, and hopefully not last, beer from New Glarus. This is an exquisite beer that reminds me of some chimera of Cantillon and Lindemann's lambics. It's got some of the funkiness I associate with Cantillon, but the mass appeal and sweetness of Lindemann's. I could drink this with abandon. I betcha this would go great with some plain cheesecake or a chocolatey dessert.

Huge thanks to tavernjef for the trade.

Photo of andrenaline
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a bright ruby red, finger of head with solid retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Loads of cherries, maraschino cherries, cherry blasters, candied cherries... Yup, cherries.

T - Much like the nose, heavy dose of cherries, but they're not artificial or overpowering in a bad way. Reminiscent of a sweet cider with a bready/malty finish. The oak aging is subdued, but still comes through. Finish brings with it the hints of oak, brown sugar, and toasted bread... Obviously sweet cherries as well.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a little stickiness.

O - This stuff is like candy, loads of flavour and absolutely delicious. I wish I grabbed more of this stuff, because it really is phenomenal.

Photo of LittleBug31
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Bright, deep ruby. Small white-pink head. Sparkly bubbles that meander toward the surface.

S: Cherries. Cherries and more cherries. Amazingly tart but incredibly sweet aroma. Fresh picked ripe cherries and my Grandma's awesome warm cherry pie.

T: Reminds me of my favorite snack-- dried tart Montmorency cherries from Door County, WI. Same exact flavor as the actual thing. Sweet and light with awesome flavor. Can't say "Cherries" enough.

M: Smooth and velvety with mild carbonation. Not much else is noticeable past the incredible flavor of this beer.

D: Like juice. This is so appealing to me that I could drink it for breakfast. Just tart enough that the sweetness does not dominate at makes this the perfect fruit beer.

Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to bennetj17 for the beer trade.
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a oversized wine glass.
Sampled bottle with fellow BA nisjer05.

Amazing beer!!!! Bright hazy, reddish color, very small white head. Lots of carbonation, very little lacing. Looks like some kind of fruit juice. Fantastic smell!!! Smells exactly like fresh cherry pie filling. Yummy!! I can't believe this is beer! Very sweet and tart, a true pleasure to drink. Light and slightly fizzy mouthfeel. My first offering from New Glarus, and the best fruit I've tried so far. Only available in Wisconsin, so do whatever it takes to get this beer. You will not be disappointed.

Photo of BadgerBrewer16
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Awesome in your face cherry smell right up front, poured into a champagne flute a reddish amber color, head dissipated almost immediately to just a ring of foam, taste is tart cherries up front with a sweet finish, this is one great beer that left me wanting more

Photo of DrJay
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a cloudy, dull pinkish red colour. The head was composed of fine bubbles and showed excellent retention, with plenty of foam remaining at the bottom of the glass. Streaky, spotty lacing throughout. The aroma was amazing! Very fresh sour cherries, earthy cherry pits and skins, with mild toffee/caramel in the background - kind of reminded me of a fresh baked cherry pie. The flavour was intense with sour cherries, an excellent combination of sweet and tart. There was also some cakey spiciness and brown sugar. Full bodied and palate coating with low carbonation. Refined texture. This beer is incredible. I was sure it was over-rated, but I was very happy to find out it wasn't at all. Easily the best fruit beer I've had. I'd love to get my hands on another bottle (or twelve).

Thanks for sharing this Viggo!

Photo of stealth
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly cloudy amber/red with a rapidly vanishing foamy pinkish/white head. Not much lacing - steady carbonation rising up the glass while drinking. Smells pretty much just like a cherry Jolly Rancher. My mouth immediately starts to salivate. The flavor of this 'beer' is perfect. Liquified cherry Jolly Rancher. New Glarius really hits a home run with the balance between the cherry sweetness and sour cherry tartness. No aftertaste, and finishes real dry. Leaves you puckering for the next drink. I can't imagine this being improved at all. This is a very refreshing and crisp drink. A nice body that was much thicker than I expected.

This is the perfect fruit beer. Ranked #1 in the world for a reason.

Photo of tpd975
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Holy shit did I love this beer. Got two of them in a trade and the best thing is that I have another.

A: Pours a nice reddish brown kind of color. Nice bubbles rising to the top. Can't wait to taste.

S: The definition of cherry. Ton of sweet cherry aroma. There is a malty biscutiy aroma in the background, but man this smells like I cracked open a jar of cherries.

T: 5* no doubt about it. Huge cherry flavor like I have tasted in no other brew. There is some cinnamon in there as well. God I love cherry pie but would trade the best one on earth for another bottle of this beer. There is some cinnamon in the background, and finishes with a bit of tartness.

M: Perfect. Medium to light bodied and refreshing. I shared this bottle with 3 others and to be honest I wish I had saved it all to myself.

D: The most drinkable beer ever. I would drink it until they scraped me off the floor. I may move to Wisconsin just to have a steady supply of this beer.

Overall: I have come across many beers that I love Westy 12 and KY Stout most notably. This one here is a whole different matter. It's pure sex in a bottle. I love this beer. The aroma, the flavor, the enjoyablity is off the scale. New Glarus, YOU RULE!!!

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Generously shared by Rutager.

A: 3/4" tan head that dissipated quickly over red liquid.

S: Cherries and candy sugar predominate.

T: Cherries, candy sugar and yeast flavours.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: Extremely drinkable. A beautiful treat of a beer.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thanks to nflmvp for this bottle;

A - as expected this ale pours a rich red color with a reddish tinted head, looks a shade like cranberry juice

S - wow, could smell the cherries immediately after the cap pop, before it was even off the bottle, and what an aroma! like fresh sweet cherries right off the tree, not that cherry cough syrup aroma either, real cherries, not even the sweetened but good pie filling cherries, real fresh cherries

T - HMOG! (thats Holy Mother Of God!) this is absolutely amazing, such rich great flavor, so silky smooth, such palatable carbonation, with a subtle hoppy background, simply incredible, fruit beer perfection!

M - silky smooth as i mentioned, a great mouthfeel, as smooth as soda but light years beyond

D - even a BMC drinker will enjoy this this is amazing

if this were weighted only as fruit beers, it would get a 5 across the board, but its not, but its still damn close, thanks again nflmvp and keep'em coming (j/k)

edit 1/23/07: well thanks to nflmvp, i got a few more bottles of this divine nectar, and it is even more amazing than i remember. if you do not live in the Wisconsin area, contact a BA from round there and trade for some of this. it is worth its weight in gold. try nflmvp, he always seems to be up for a trade.

Photo of ryantupy
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 750ml bottle I picked up during one of my many runs over to Wisconsin. This was a definatly great beer that I think my beer hating girlfriend actually enjoyed. It poured a ruby red juice like color into the glass. A very small developed but soon turned to film. The beer smells of cherries, naturally. But it is very sweet and tart even smells borderline oak. Tastes of huge cherry flavor with a nice balance of sweetness and tartness. There is nothing to complain about here. This is a very nice quality beer that should be enjoyed by all.

Photo of landhoney
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, despite it being almost more of a cherry cider than a beer. This beer is all about the cherry, although the base beer must be solid to build the cherry goliath on top of. The cherry aroma, taste, sourness, and sweetness are all there, so intense it borders on medicinal but it is NOT, it's a natural/real cherry taste that is so enjoyable and refreshing. I could guzzle this stuff by the gallon and never tire of it, can't think of a negative except maybe there are more complex beers out there. I wish they made a sour variant of this, but they should never change this beer, it is exceptional on its own and for what it is; a cherry beer.

Photo of comat0se
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer! First you have to consider the elegant packaging... the green 750ml bottle, the red wax, even the label is classy. Then you pour... aroma is a blast of fresh pie cherries. And the color, a hazy beautiful dark pink-red complete with a light pink head which fades quickly. Taste is a refreshing, sweet-tart, complex sour, acetic, cherry flavor. Not for amateurs! My friend and girlfriend didn't really care for it and they gave me theirs. She said the tartness and carbonation reminded her of the inside of Zots candy. More for me! Just one drop of this beer is loaded with flavors. Medium body with a medium, brisk, carbonation accentuating the tartness. I look forward to trying it again at the GABF.

Photo of mhewes
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A : Pours a cherry reddish-brown color with an offwhite head that goes down pretty quickly

S : Fresh cherry sweetness and nothing else

T : Just like the smell, it is a nice cherry sweetness with a touch of tartness

M : Medium-bodied with good carbonation

D : Extremely drinkable. This is one that I could have any time and have no problem drinking.

Photo of Risser09
4.91/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle poured into a wine tulip - fridge - probably 2009

Appearance: Pours a murky brown color with cherry red hues at the edges. A vigorous, but short-lived brown, red-tinted head builds and falls down just like soda would. A minimal lace ring stays behind.

Smell: Tons and tons of cherry aroma indicates the shear amount that they put in every batch. It's so strong, on the verge of medicinal, but is showing signs of sweetness and barrel aging (wood). Excellent, mouthwatering.

Taste: Super cherry intensity. The cherries are again on the border of medicinal, but they are curbed by the wheat malt flavor. It really tastes just like a sweet cherry picked off the tree, with an alcohol boost. Top notch.

Mouthfeel: Very effervescent and lively, compared to the raspberry tart. Sweet, tart, quenching and intense. Some lingering alcohol.

Drinkability: This beer is a superb dessert. I could have one every night if I could afford it and it was actually available in PA. I think this might be better than the raspberry tart.

Photo of 01001111
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Deep reddish brown.

S: Cherries, honey, oak, cherries.

T: Cherries, oak, nectar, vermouth, cherries.

M: Slightly syrupy but not cloying.

O: Really good. An amazing fruit beer. Not something you drink often but definitely worth savoring when you do.

Photo of CoalCellar
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my goblet....

A: Pours a murky red w/golden hues and a tiny red-tinged head, head dissipates quickly.

S: Rich, delicious, tart cherries, and some wheaty funk....

T: This beer tastes exactly like cherry pie. Rich, luscious cherry flavor w/nice tartness up front, finishes with a sweet candy flavor.

M: Average body

D: Outstanding. If this stuff was more readily available for me I could drink it all night long. This stuff is liquid desert. An absolute treat for beer geeks with a sweet tooth.

Photo of BOLTZ7555
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled at Hellbilly’s Hellraiser courtesy of Hellbilly via Bockyhorsey!!! "I can not tell a lie," this was like George Washington placing his right hand on the trunk and left hand on the branches of a cherry tree...and ringing it out like a towel just above my glass. INCREDIBLE!!! Pours a soft red with small rose foam. Washington cherry blossoms and freshly baked pie tease the nose. The flavor combines buttery flaky crust, sweet ripened fruit, and cherry tartness. This beer is distinguished, legendary, and should be celebrated!!!

Photo of Jredner
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ohh my god that is the best smell in the world. Rich ripe, sweet cherries and cherry puree. It smells like the filling of an expensively made cherry pastry. It’s just fantastic smelling that’s all that can be said. Faded pink/light red in color with a thin white film of a head. Jeez this brewery makes increndible fruit beers. Fore is full of cherry, spritzy carbonation, mild acidic citric notes toward the finish. The middle has ever so slightly sour notes, some nuttiness and a smooth icing laden fried, flaky sweet dough flavor that carries into the finish. This really is a liquid Cherry Fritter and it is utterly amazing. This is the kind of beer that gets you excited all over again about what beer is and can be.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml wax-dipped green bottle poured into tulip.

A - Deep blood red in color, Wisconsin Belgian Red pours with a frothy dirty pink foam that subsides to loosely packed bubbles and a smattering of thin lace on the tulip.

S - Cherries, cherry skins, and more cherries! The aroma is of fresh fruit, not that cough syrup artificial BS you get in some cherry beers. While New Glarus' fruit beers are spontaneously fermented, many of them don't show the slightest hint of wild yeast. Wisconsin Belgian Red is the most forthcoming with it's wild profile, though; behind the cherries lies the distant aroma of a forgotten, dusty wooden barn and trails of horse blankets it once held.

T - Beautiful cherry flavor coats the tongue with true fruitiness from the pit to the skin's sharp tannins while the spontaneous fermentation trickles traces of dry wild yeast across the back of the tongue. Perfection!

M - Effervescent carbonation livens up the sweet cherry profile of Wisconsin Belgian Red before it's finish is punctuated with a nicely balancing level of tart, relaxed cherry skin acidity.

O - New Glarus' Wisconsin Belgian Red is not only one of the greatest cherry beers available anywhere, it's also one of the most quintessential fruit beers on the planet. Packed to the brim with fresh cherries, this beer smells and tastes sublime, finishing semisweet with a perfect level of tart cherry skin acidity!

Photo of CBlack85
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thanks to crossovert for the hookup

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

The beer pours a hazy reddish color with an off white head that has just a hint of pink. The head recedes quickly leaving behind no hint of lacing whatsoever.

The nose is all cherries all day long. Really just a breathtaking sour cherry aroma. What an amazing aroma; I could almost forget about drinking this beer and just sit a enjoy the aroma all evening. Outstanding. No malts, no hops, just cherries...

The flavor is big, just as big as the aroma. A big full flavored glass of cherries. Slightly tart, while still remaining sweet and enjoyable. Well carbonated, making the beer almost prickly on the tongue. Medium bodied, and easy to drink.

The website boasts "Over a pound of Door County cherries in every bottle", and I believe it. Just a terrific beer. Really teh best example of a fruit beer that I have ever tasted.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Halcyondays raved about it. kbm told me it's crazy to not like it. That's a good enough record to justify a taste. On to the beer:

Spotty lacing is left around the glass from this orangish red colored beer. It kind of looks like punch. The aroma is beauty. Sometimes cherries in beer can be over the top and very acidic, but the cherries in this one are mellow yet very aromic. Sweet cherries and cherry skins, yeah.

Its taste is a beautiful and simple. Sweet succulent cherries crash into the palate wave after wave. It's never really tart, and never really acidic. In fact, it's almost like a cherry punch. With a flavor so rich and full of the fruit, the body seems medium full, which is amazing at 4% ABV. As a bonus, unlike the Raspberry Tart, the WBR is much too easy to drink.

Like the Raspberry Tart which I'm in love with, the Wisconsin Belgian Red is tops in its class. Any doubter of fruit beers should take a look at the offerings that New Glarus is producing, which are beautiful beverages to drink. The next mission will be securing a full bottle to myself.

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,032 ratings.