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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

960 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 960
Hads: 3,231
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 19.04%
Wants: 1,138
Gots: 715 | FT: 81
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: 960 | Hads: 3,231
Photo of danh53
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tons of cherries, especially cherry skins provide a nice puckering effect. Not very sweet. Bright red color. This one comes exactly as advertised. I look forward to drinking it again.

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Photo of tclipse
4.74/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another phenomenal offering from New Glarus. In between Serendipity and Strawberry Rhubarb on the sweetness scale, cherry forward (obviously) with a bit of barnyard funk at the end. A+

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Photo of TheBrewBrotha
3.87/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent brew by NG. Pours a nice fruit punch like red color with a white foam head that hangs around a bit. Great on the nose like cherry gummies with the taste to follow. Reminded me of drinking a slightly carbonated cherry fruit juice, could imagine definitely drinking this brew during the hot summers here in CA. A must try and have by NG, very satisfied with this one.

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Photo of kbwalters
4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look = 4.25 Pours a clear, vibrant deep red with 2 fingers of red tinted head composed of big bubbles. Active carbonation streams up through the glass. Relatively weak retention and lace.
Aroma = 4.0 Sweet cherries and other fruity notes, tart. Smells great but a little one dimensional.
Taste = 4.5 Tart cherries is the dominate flavor, pretty sweet but balanced by a nice tartness too.
Feel = 4.25 Light to medium bodied with high carbonation, very fizzy feel.
Drinkability = 5.0 Incredibly drinkable, low ABV.
Overall = 4.35 Terrific beer, very unique and easily the best fruit beer I’ve ever had.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours a lively pinkish red under a 1” off-white foam collar with a very fine bead.
S: Very cherry nose
T: Perfectly balanced cherry pie in a glass. The hops are very faint in the background. There is a touch of oak but not overstated.
F: Very creamy elegant body, very fine soft full effervescence.
O: A world champion beer.

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Photo of KeithE
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love cherries as much as the next guy, but this beer reminded me more of the cherry wines from door county than any highly rated fruit or sour beer. It is way too sweet. The bottle was super fresh as I bought it less than a mile from the brewery and drank it within a few days after purchase. Lucky I rated it over 3.5. If it was from Illusive Traveler or a Blue Moon seasonal I would have probably have rated it lower without giving it the benefit of the doubt. I finished the bottle the next day and it seemed slightly better but still can't go over 4. The sour seemed a little more prevelent but the sweetness of the cherries still was very strong. I think the anticipation of each testing affectedme in that I expected a great beer the first day and a horrible beer the second tasting and neither met those expectations.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.01/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml capped/red waxed green bottle. Arrived here indirectly via @mr-jj. 238 A3 2333 is printed on the bottom of the bottle. Wax is wrecked. Looks like this bottle endured some heat before arriving with me.

Pours ruby/pinkish with a small, very light pink (white with a slight reddish tinge) head. Smell is sweet, cherry, a little soap.

Taste is godawful sweet. Makes me think of Mort Subite, although not quite so bad. There is a little tartness to this (not so with Mort Subite). Sweet cherry, cough medicine. Cherry syrup. Seriously makes me think of the sweetened cherry concoction on the cherry kijafa crepes my wife likes to get when we go out for breakfast.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and dry for the sweetness. Overall, it's OK. It's way too sweet to be great.

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Photo of TH28
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Appearance: Deep ruby red, clear, with a pinkish khaki frothy head. Aroma: Black cherry dominates, light maltiness Taste: Tart black cherries, giving way to chocolate and toasted malt sweetness. Bitterness only enough to balance. Has a vinous quality. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with some silliness. Carbonation is high. Finish: A mix on lingering chocolate and cherry. Overall: Top notch fruit beer with a wonderful balance of cherry and chocolate components. Acidity and high carbonation would make this angriest dessert beer.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The cherries predominate, and it tastes almost like a cherry-flavored soda or sparkling wine. Straddles the divide between beer and wine, to paraphrase the label. Interesting, quality product, but not sure I'd call it a beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.52/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

BOTTLE: 1 pint 9 fl oz. Green glass. Red wax-ed over iconic branded pry-off cap. Good label design. Courtesy of the very generous Duff27.

Served cold into a Cantillon flute at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO. Reviewed live as a Belgian red ale per the label, though its obvious fruit component is a big factor.

Allowed to come to temperature as it warms.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~1.5 inches wide. Pinkish white colour. Nice complexion. Not real thick or full. Retention is nice - round 4 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Clear vibrant deep red. Clean, with no visible yeast particulate or hop sediment.

Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, it's a nice looking red ale, but it's not stunning or unique. I recall the other New Glarus fruit beers looking brilliant; this pales in comparison.

AROMA: The dominant cherry is nice, but some North American drinkers will definitely note medicinal cough syrup character. Powdered white sugar. Very tart, to its benefit. The tartness plays well with the cherries - as least here in the aroma.

Aromatic intensity is average.

I find no oak character, roasted barley, wine, or hop notes (as mentioned on the label).

It's appealing overall, but I worry it will be medicinal.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Cherry rightly dominates, and is complemented beautifully by the soft powdery mouthfeel. The tartness plays off the cherry, delivering a gorgeous one-two punch of synergistic flavours, but I can't help but wonder if some souring bacteria additions would really set this off in a direction I'd love. It's beautifully balanced, though it does flirt with what some North American drinkers will associate with a medicinal or cough syrupy taste.

Balanced as it is, it's not the most intricate brew, and doesn't boast the level of nuance and subtlety that the other beers in this series do. Still, it's a lovely build for a fruit ale, and I'd definitely call it gestalt. That said, the ostensible Belgian character is lacking; nothing about this screams Belgian yeast.

I also find no oak - which is a missed opportunity - and no roasted barley (Belgian or otherwise) or overt hop character.

The mouthfeel is wonderful, boasting perfect carbonation, an ideal light to medium body, and perfect heft and weight on the palate for this kind of beer. It's sticky, sure, but not syrupy - which helps it avoid the pitfall of a medicinal cherry taste to me. Acidity is well above average.

Well put-together and enjoyable to drink.

The mouthfeel exceeds the taste in quality, and its excellent execution helps make the beer more expressive. Nice pairing of texture to taste.

OVERALL: It's a lovely albeit simple fruit ale from New Glarus that is devilishy easy to drink and pretty high in quality. That said, it's not the world-class offering the other New Glarus fruit beers are, and there are missed opportunities for increased intricacy and subtlety. I'll love putting this bottle down, but I don't think I'd buy it again if I had access to other better New Glarus beers. It's disappointing if only because I expected greatness given the brewery, but it's still a hell of a fruit ale, and always tastes like a beer - never a candy or fruit soda. Easily one of the better genuine fruit ales brewed in the U.S.A.

Enormous thanks to Duff27 for this long-time want.

Low B (3.52)

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Photo of GrahamDN
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The hazy and bright tawny-ruby color practically sparkles in the glass--gorgeous. The smell is forward with fleshy cherry fruit and cherry juice, accompanied by a tartness, some funk, apple cider, and baking spice.

The palate and mouthfeel are a combined masterclass in finesse and balance. Over-ripe cherries and cider with plenty of sweetness, but balanced against a beautifully integrated, mouth-watering acetic component, all amplified by tongue-tingling cinnamon-peppery spice. Precise use of wheat keeps the body right where it needs to be. This beer is the complete package.

I will buy it again whenever the opportunity presents itself. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of cvm4
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - Pours a cranberry red color with an eggshell one finger head that dissipates quickly.

S - Smashed cherries, light tartness, sweet and medicinal.

T - Falls in line with the smell. Really a huge amount of cherries up from, some tartness and a sweetness to it. The medicinal taste is there, but not as up front as it was during the smell.

F - Light bodied and medium carbonation. A little syrupy feel. Has a dry finish.

O - The sweet and medicinal theme really can go across the big bottle fruits NG puts out.

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Photo of Moose21
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got via trade- thanks Jared Mathys!

L- pours a light red with small white head which disappears quickly. Leaves a nice white lace with no legs.

S- Boom! great cherry burst. Intoxicating cherries and sour. My favorite part of this beer.

T- Cherry heavy upfront, pie, light undertones. I was worried it would be too much, but it fades quickly.

F- has a nice mouth, finishes clean. Very heavy upfront, but finishes nicely.
Has a little cherry weight on the back, but is crisp.

Overall- great beer! An amazing American interpretation of the style. Compare to a Kriek, but with american cherries- a truly unique beer.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

25.9 ounce bottle poured into a Belgian tulip glass

A: Nice mahogany, dark cherry red color, with a reddish pinkish head, lots of carbonation streaming off the bottom, head vanished quickly after the pour, some minor lacing, clear.

A: Cherry bomb, big cherry, tart aromas, not getting much else, no alcohol on the nose, very nice aroma, it's not a medicinal cherry aroma, it smells like real crushed cherries, very nice.

T: Cherries, tart, slight sour, sweet, very balanced, flavors blend very well, very good.

M: Light, carbonation not as big on the mouthfeel, semi-dry finish.

O: Very impressed, almost reaches the tart and sourness of a sour or wild ale but then pulls back, it's sweet, and the cherries are overwhelming on the nose and flavor. I'd love to have access to this beer too bad it's not distributing in Southern California. I would love to try some of the other New Glarus fruit beers. This would be a great beer to sip on during hot California summers.

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Photo of ttango
3.64/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

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Photo of Schimms
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


L: Cloudy red with white head that quickly dissipates.

S: Boom! Big cherry! No mistaking this one for what it might be.

T: Huge, delicious cherry. Best fruit beer I've ever had. Hint of cinnamon. Perfect sour-ish-ness (not too much, not too little) with tart.

F: Light carbonation that tickles the tongue. Smooth mouthfeel.

O: Best. Fruit. Beer. Bar none.

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Photo of cambabeer
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is just packed with cherries. From reddish hue to cherry nose and tart cherry flavor. Some deep malt and wood flavors in the background. Would have again.

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Photo of spoonhawk
4.01/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

There is significant aggressive carbonation, and the mouthfeel is crisp.

The flavor of tart cherries is fully developed, potent, and anchor the beer through to the finish. As the cherry dissipates a bit a sweet doughy quality comes through on the back end midsip, and gives the beer a pastry like flavor. That however is short lived, as drier oaky wood notes clear things out.

The lingering flavor is sharply tart cherries and light wood.

A great beer at the near pinnacle of the style. It leans towards the one-dimensional, but there is just enough to open the beer up to make it a real worthy beer of seeking out.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Great tannish reddish head and great lasting on this brownish red
Smell - sour cherry smell
Taste - fantastic slightly sour cherry taste
Feel - creamy medium body and soooo smooth
Fantastic sour. Great cherry taste!

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Beer pours ruby red in color with a light pink head.

Cherry aroma, sweet cherry taste with a slightly tart finish.

This beer is a cherry bomb through and through. It is absolutely delicious. The cherry flavor, aroma, and color is very authentic and not cough syrupy like a lot of commercial cherry beers. Beer is not very sour but just tart enough in the finish to give the impression of tart cherries.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%

Poured from a 750ml bomber into a stemmed tulip glass and shared with friends.
Thanks to Gotti311 for the bottle!

I have never had a beer that was so singular in flavor profile that was so absolutely delicious! This brew is a psalm to cherries from start to finish. The dark brown-reddish body, the tan/pinkish head and the blast of cherries in the nose and on the palate all scream ripe, red, juicy cherries. It also achieved an impressive body and mouthfeel at only 4%. Truly delicious!

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle purchased at the brewery, unknown brewing/packaging date but likely 2014; poured into their flute-ish pint glass (obtained at the brewery); drank over 30 minutes

A: 3/3 - ruby red coloration; high clarity (can both read and see through); initially frothy, pinkish head settles into a subtle glass lacing; small carbonation bubbles arising off the bottom of the glass; moderate alcohol legs

S: 10/12 - total cherry bomb from the first opening of the bottle and essentially overwhelms all other flavors - no hops, no malts, no yeast

T: 17/20 - on the front of the tongue, there is lite bitterness; this is immediately overtaken by huge cherry pie and Robitussin notes; very little alcohol or yeast flavors on the back end but finishes semi-sweet and inviting

M: 4/5 - high carbonation, low-to-moderate body, refreshing finish

T: 9/10 - essentially a one-dimensional fruit bomb but that's what the style is about? I'd put it up there with the best Belgian krieks; for $9.25/750 mL bottle at the brewery, this is a total steal that is recommended for trade if not in WI

TOTAL - 43/50

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Photo of gcamparone
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Lindeman's flute. Acquired in a trade with moonman14, thanks!

Pours a hazy, effervescent dark amber body with a big gushing light pink head that reduces quickly at first, then slows down to leave frothy foam which sticks around for a while. Leaves nice lacing.

Aroma is BIG cherries.. cherry candy, marischino cherries, all cherry! Slight metallic aroma in he background.

Taste follows the nose, big cherries, pretty sweet but not cloyingly, slightly tart finish. It might be my imagination but I got a hint of cinnamon on the finish. High carbonation, extremely refreshing and tasty. Medium body, slightly syrupy.

I'm a sucker for a cherry bomb, and WBR didn't disappoint.. straight cherries all around. Comparable to Lindemans but a little less sweet and more full body. If you like a lot of cherry flavor, seek it out.

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Photo of LisaBarker
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Went to New Glarus Brewery a few years ago and fell in love with this beer. It just royally sucks that we cannot get it here in Oregon. It is the best tasting cherry beer. The cherry is fresh, tart yet sweet and the bubbles are amazing. It is a beer I still talk about to this day, very worth while.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is liquid cherry pie! Color is a dark red, aroma is cherry puree, and taste is like sweet cherry pie. If you like cherries, this beer is for you.

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 960 ratings.