Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

937 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 937
Hads: 3,091
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 5.75%
Wants: 1,112
Gots: 649 | FT: 75
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wisconsin Belgian Red Alström Bros
Reviews: 937 | Hads: 3,091
Photo of MysterySwirl
3.79/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My wife and I had this alongside with the Raspberry Tart.

It is a reddish brown in my glass with sticky lacing and some red/pinkness as I swirl my glass. Almost reminds me of apple cider with cherries.

Oh lord - this is a cherry bomb. Cherries and cherries dominate. There's a sour tartness and very fruity taste to it. I don't really get a sense of other flavors but that's because it's supposed to be cherries.

Had this out of the bottle on Friday night, celebrating the finishing of college. Thanks erocks for the trade, much appreciated! The carbonation is very present and the mouthfeel is a bit sticky and thick. It's a good beer but I'd pair this up with something sweet for food so it feels balanced.

We preferred this beer over the Raspberry Tart which seemed a bit dryer when swallowing. (802 characters)

Photo of PurpleCloud
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Scarlet red with a foamy, dissipating, pink head.

S: Heavy on cherries, as it should be, but also a distinct barley/grain nose.

T: Tart cherry taste at first with medium carbonation. Extremely faint barley taste, finishes with delicious cherry flavor. Tastes a lot like cherry juice. Quite sweet.

M: Good carbonation, not dry at all either.

D: Too sweet to have more than about two.

Overall: As a native Wisconsinite, New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red is in nearly every grocery store. I've had it before, but this is my first time rating it. The appearance is really great, deep scarlet, almost blood red. The taste is extremely heavy on cherry, but not unpleasant. There are hints, although faint, of barley, and the smell is quite nice as well. Give it a shot for its uniqueness! (790 characters)

Photo of Slynger
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep and cloudy red-orange color with a beige head that is tinted red.
Smells of . . . well, cherries. Not fake in the least, but fresh, slightly sweet and lightly tart cherries.
Tastes pretty much like it smells. Straight up cherries. Cherry pie sweetness along with very fresh, tart cherries, and that's about it.
The Mouthfeel is nice and full, but leaves some sugar coating on the teeth.
This is an interesting offering. If you like cherries it is probably pretty tasty. I don't have a strong opinion of them either way so this creation (it isn't really beer-like) just seems interesting to me. I will say that it does have a very real cherry flavor to it that is far from artificial, or medicine-like. It's well done, just not for me. (739 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful wax sealed 750ml bottle courtesy of BDitty.
The beer pours the color of cherry juice, initially peachish, turning a deeper red with depth. Evenly hazed. A large bubbled head fizzles and pops, finally settling into a white island surrounded by a bright red sea. The head actually grows some about halfway through, nearly covering the liquid.
The aroma is almost entirely pure, sweet cherry. Combined with the malt, it's very reminiscent of one of those packaged cherry pie snacks they sell at the gas station. Cookie sweetness, cherry and Inviting, but lacking somewhat in complexity.
Taking a sip, the beer opens with an explosive cherry sweetness. A good bit of toasty, cookie-like yeast and malt. Almost overwhelming on the palate, it would probably be cloying if not for a lurking cherry and cranberry acidity. Bright cherry, with hints of plum juice and and red grape lingering in the aftertaste. Fizzy, vibrant carbonation, supporting a strangely light yet full body. Sticky mouthfeel, almost crunching with cherry skin. Wow.
It's really amazing that this is beer. It tastes almost exactly like liquid cherry pie. While not the deepest beer, it certainly does have appeal and character. I don't know if I'd buy it again, there's certainly no way I could drink a whole bottle in one sitting, but I'd immediately think of it when introducing people to the world of beer. I'd bet it'd turn a few people into good beer. (1,434 characters)

Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.77/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at brewery and aged 1 year.
A-Pours a deep ruby-amber with thick off-white head. Decent retention and spotty lacing.
S-Tart cherries, sweet malt, brown sugar. Comes through very nice.
T-Sweet and sour cherries, nice backbone of toasted malt. I'm picking up slight bit of vinegar in the back, however.
M-Slightly syrupy, medium-thick body.
D-Best kept quite cold. I was hoping my wife would help with this one but she doesn't like it. It's decent, and something I'm glad to try, but only once. (503 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from brewcrew76, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 25oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep ruby red color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of cherries, light malts, some Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is sour with the strong tart flavor of cherries. There are light flavors in the background of Belgian yeast and a mild hops presence. There's a thin malt character but some sweetness does see its way through all of the sourness. The after-taste is tart and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, the label tells me "You hold the marriage of wine and beer." I'll certain give it that. Although these kind of beers typically don't appeal to me, it's one of the better fruit-infused beers that I've had and I can definitely see where, if you're into this type of thing, you'd probably really like this beer. (1,067 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to UMNBeerhunter for this as an extra!

A: Pours deep, deep cherry red. Says over a pound of cherries in every bottle - it shows. Thick quilt of pink-tan fine foam comes and goes with tips of the drink. Excellent clarity.

S: Tart cherries with slight yeasty scent. Very mildly syrup smell.

T: Yep, cherries. Like a liquid jolly rancher. Very, very nice.

M: Thick, syrupy, light to moderate carb. This beer sticks to my mouth. Man this would be perfect with a dollop of Cherry Garcia in it.

D: Absolutely a digestif for a warm afternoon. Slowly sip while reading a book. Very nice. (593 characters)

Photo of ahq514
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle into tulip.

Pours a deep red with a red hued head as well. Head is pretty solid, about a finger or so.

Wow, smells like pure cherries. Never smelled a cherry beer that had such a natural cherry smell. Given that it smells of cherries there is a little bit of tartness in the aroma as well. No distinctive malt or hop aromas in this one. Cherries are showcased.

Once again the cherries come through really well here. Tastes like fresh cherry juice with some carbonation. Some tartness, but not much. Once again there are no real distinctive malt or hop tastes, but mostly cherries. A medium amount of sweetness comes through.

This beer is very drinkable. Medium bodied. A little higher carbonation than I would like, but overall enjoyable.

Overall, this is a great tasting beverage if you love cherries. My only real problem with it is that it doesn't really remind me of beer and a 750 ml bottle can be daunting if sweet drinks overcome you fast. But, this is the best cherry flavored beer I've tried to date. (1,040 characters)

Photo of Jammies
3.74/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for 8 mos.

A-pours a light orangish brown with deep red notes The inch of foam immediately retreats

S-sweet and fruity odor. The cherries are quite evident

T-sweet and a bit carbonated on the finish. Almost like apple juice with cherries. Not too sweet though

M-medium body and icredibly smooth

O-not an overly huge admirer of the fruit beers, but this one is pretty good. very smooth. (395 characters)

Photo of jwolfie70
3.73/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Have had this a couple of times out of the bottle and finally thought I would get around to reviewing. Pours a very bright, deep red. Smell is of cherries, cherries and more cherries. The taste is of a wonderful, fresh cherry. It has some tartness, the sweetness is a little overpowering. However, it is abundantly clear that this is not an artificial cherry flavoring but the real deal.

If I would have one compliant about this beer, is that it is too sweet to drink more than a glass of. I tried to sit down and drink a bottle by myself and couldn't finish it. Plan to drink this with friends (especially non-beer lovers, who may be converted with this sweet nectar). (671 characters)

Photo of Lothore
3.73/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a translucent reddish brown with a 1.5 finger frothy head after a vigorous pour that dissipates quickly.

S- Smells is candy sweet, cherries, rich malty backbone.

T- Taste is earthy, hints of cherry, a tad sour, maybe hints of toffee.

M- Fairly thick and maybe a bit too carbonated for my taste.

D- Well crafted but I can barely drink 1 glass. Way too fruit forward for me. I like fruit beers a little more subtle than this. (436 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.72/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky reddish color. A small film of a head forms, but recedes in a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Big cherries and vanilla up front. Not very complex at all, but very nice.
T: Maybe a bit simplistic. Mainly cherries with some vanilla sweetness. Good, but one dimensional.
M/D: A light body that is crisp and smooth. I wish it was a bit dryer though. Easy to drink. I can finish a bottle in not time.

I really do like this. A very nice fruit beer, but does not compare to the Raspberry Tart. Very much worth a try however. (541 characters)

Photo of plfahey
3.71/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Brilliant ruby color with good clarity-absolutely gorgeous. Moderate pale-pinkish head with decent retention.

Aroma-Smells like a ludens cough drop. Very sweet cherry aroma, almost cloyingly so. The cherry notes are extremely intense, but somewhat one-dimensional, and the sweetness is a bit deterring, but as it warms it shows a slight hint of oak character, which helps temper the sweetness.

Flavor-Not quite as sweet as the aroma, which is relieving. Up front there is a lot of cherry flavor, but fortunately there's a little more depth than in the aroma. Subtle dark fruit flavors (plum and prune) linger in the background, along with some light tartness and a hint of tannic oak. Finish is still rather sweet, and has a soft cherry note to it, along with a smidgeon of malt.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body with moderate to moderately low carbonation. I personally would prefer it a little bit lighter and a bit more carbonated.

I'm just okay on this one. It's a bit overly sweet for my tastes, and the Cherry notes are somewhat one-dimensional, especially in the nose. Tastes more like Cherry Soda than a complex Belgian-style kriek. (1,190 characters)

Photo of warnerry
3.7/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pors clear deep red with minimal head.

Initial aroma is intense tart cherry. The smell of real cherries is nice. Hints of candy sweetness mix in with the tartness. Pretty simple, but good.

Taste is tart cherry up front, giving way to a slightly medicinal taste too often found with cherry flavors. Again, not complex, but simple and good.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean with minimal aftertaste.

Overall I wanted to like this more. It is pretty tasty, except for the slight medicinal notes, but this is something I wouldn't want too much of. (542 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
3.7/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Not really a fan of fruit beer or cherries but this one still tasted good to me, so if you are a fan of either you will probably be in love with this beer. The only knock I have on it is the drinkability because, like I said, I haven't gotten into the style yet. (262 characters)

Photo of fbinla
3.7/5  rDev -14.9%
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. (349 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.69/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into tulip glass. Pours a nearly opaque, glowing deep ruby with a bubbly, fizzy pink head. Tremendous cloudlike, chunky lacing. Aroma of Luden’s cough drops, pure dark cherries, pie crust, brown sugar, and notes of subtle, buttery yeasty dough. Medium to slightly robust bodied with a mellow, creamy, sweetly tart mouthfeel. Spacious, slow, and tangy finish. Not my favorite style but would suit any fruit beer lovers extremely well in any case! (466 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
3.68/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color with no head and some carbonation with a very thin ring of lacing.

Scent of tart maraschino cherries, and that's pretty much it, good stuff.

Taste of tart cherries with a hint of cinnamon, some sugars and a hint of banana in the finish.

Mouthfeel is clean and biting, similar to the Raspberry Tart.

I prefer the Raspberry Tart over this because this one is a little shallow to me. It is good though and I will likely purchase it again. (463 characters)

Photo of ngandhi
3.66/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks like blood. Like coagulating blood. Little to no head, but then this is wine, right . . . ?

Smells tart of sour cherries with some Christmas spice light in the background. No wafts of aroma as I had expected (as you might get from some lambics e.g.). No beer.

Served very chilled, the tartness is unbearable. My lips pucker, my cheeks flood into an oral void of sweetness. The taste is true -- this is definetly made with one pound of cherries (a whole friggin' pound?!) -- but I need to let it warm before I can drink more than two ounces of it. The flavors do come together soon after. The tartness is reduced and gives way to medium full body and a distinct "beeryness" (as opposed to its primary berryness). The beer quality is ungratifying, however, as it seems to be layered beneath the cherries instead of integrated.

The goal of this brew is clearly to give intense cherry flavor. And the means to this end are quite respectable: New Glarus uses locally grown cherries and devotes a full pound to every bottle. At $10 a bottle ( = $5 a glass) this stuff ain't cheap, but when you figure what a pound of cherries costs on its own, the price is foolishly reasonable.

If the goal is to simply give us cherries -- sour, almost cranberry-like -- then I wonder what sets this apart from something like apple cider. The little sugar from the cherries (key to their distinct taste) is devoured by the yeast leaving us with nothing but the bite. The malts give wonderful body to the beer, but offer nothing else. They act as adjuncts to the cherries for fermentation. This is juice first, beer later.

It's a world champion and I can see why. I don't believe in brews like this, however (perhaps it's the reinheitsgebot talking). Drier even than some lambics, I don't think this can be rightfully labeled "ale" for it's more influenced, in taste, by spontaneously fermented beers. And, amongst them, New Glarus Belgian Red stands out like a sore thumb. Stacked up against classic krieks like Cantillon, the first thing you notice about this is its lack of earth and must that characterizes the style. For an American intepretation, however (keeping in mind this stuff isn't fermented in rooms caked with yeast and mold), this is quite a feat. This brewery can do anything.

Relax, relax.
ng (2,314 characters)

Photo of grynder33
3.65/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty ruby red color surprisingly long lasting head, cherry vanilla aroma and then it goes downhill. A taste so sour you could never serve it with food, if it had been a little thinner, sour cherry might work, but this had a thick texture. Maybe if you pour a very small amount, you could work with this. (305 characters)

Photo of mikey711
3.65/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Got this as an extra some time ago from Youbrewidrink! Thanks

A: Murky red almost mahogany in color with a pinkish off white head that fluffs up on top. Not much in terms of lacing, and not much transparency. Head retention is perfect as a quarter inch layer sits throughout the time i drank it

S: The cherries are very prominent in the nose and it reminds me slightly of either a shirley temple or a cherry dr. pepper.

T: It also tastes slightly like a cherry doctor pepper or shirley temple. It also reminds me a bit of a cherry wine spritzer or a cocktail of some sort. Very fruity and unlike another beer i have had before

M: The body and richness of this is actually very good and enjoyable. No acidity and very mild.

D: I dont think I would be able to have more than a glass of this becaus it does get to be a little bit on the sweet side and i typically like my fruit beers to be sour (896 characters)

Photo of ricke
3.64/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Ruby red with a small off-white head that settles into a ring of lacings.

S: Lots of sweet cherries dominate. The cherry aromas are rather candy-like (guess that's what happens when you put so much cherries in the brew). Hints of grass and something in the line of cookies. Not a complex smell, and not very interesting, but my god does it smell like cherries.

T: The taste is way better than the smell. Sweet cherries up front (the cherries are still candy-like but not as much as in the smell). Notes of sweet malts. A gentle but noticeable tart note develops and is really welcome since it levels the sweetness nicely and really balances everything. Notes of cookies and earth. The finish is nicely dry and light with grassy notes and chemical cherries. Not very complex, but still with enough hints of other things than cherries to make it interesting and most importantly tasty.

M: Somewhat sticky in the mouth with a nice dryness in the finish. Medium body.

D: A good beer. The taste is better than the smell, thankfully. Impressive flavors considering the low ABV. I could really see this one working well as a dessert or coupled with dessert. But it's too sweet to drink a lot of. (1,196 characters)

Photo of ttango
3.64/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sweet. Given that the word "Belgian" is used in the name its closest relations to beers from that country would be the lesser, sweetened lambics. Fans of Cantillion and Oude-styles will probably want to avoid this beer. Otherwise it stands-out in the overly sweet lambic genre with unusual roastiness and tones of molasses. (326 characters)

Photo of pwoods
3.62/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Atron67 for this trade at DLD.

750ml dark green bottle, red wax dipped, poured into a flute.

A: Literally pours blood red, opaque. Maybe 1 finger worth of lightly tinted head forms and holds to a fat skim for a bit. Some wisps of lacing.

S: Cherries. Yep, Cherries. Very juicy and syrupy sweet with a faint tartness in the back. That's about it. Cherries.

T/M: Haha, it's so weird. It's hardly like beer at all, yet it is. The cherry flavor is very very good. Not too tart, just enough to cut the juicy sweetness. A good drying effect midway and through to the end. The tartness comes out a bit more as the drying occurs but it never gets to the 'wine' stage. A little bit of a 'pit-y' flavor comes out a bit.. like from a cherry pit. Body is about medium with a syrupy feel to it. Carbonation is on the higher side. As it warms further, it becomes much drier and the tartness boosts way up.

D: The 750ml was way too much for me. It's very tasty, but in small doses. I'd say splitting a 750 with 3 other people would be perfect for my liking. Also, it /completely/ changes as it warms up. (1,103 characters)

Photo of lurpy1
3.61/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sky high anticipation for this one. Have already had Raspberry Tart and loved it. Raspberry Tart is the #2 beer in its style. This is #1. No pressure, New Glarus, you just have to be out of this world to meet expectations. No pressure.\

Belgian Red tumbles out of the glass a cross between gold, orange and red. The head that appears is incongruous because without the head, it doesn't really look like a beer.

Wisconsin Belgian Red presented me with the weirdest "smells lousy, tastes great" conumdrum ever. Could be me, could be my many bad experiences with vile, vaguely Cherry flavored 70s vintage asthma and cold elixirs, but on first whiff, my brain registers "Robitussin", and I start to get queasy. Once I persuade myself to taste, it's really good. Not nearly as tart as I expected, but still really good. Cherry Jolly Ranchers come to mind.The aftertaste, though, brings the asthma elixir taste back into play though, and that knocks the taste score down.
Modestly carbonated,yet another New Glarus beer that doesn't taste like beer.

Overall verdict, this was a mixed bag for me due to the aroma and the flashbacks it caused. Still a good beer, but I definitely think Raspberry Tart's the better choice. (1,217 characters)

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 937 ratings.