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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

2,516 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,516
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: 2,516 | Reviews: 908 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brdc
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%

This is another great "dessert" beer from New Glarus, probably the best one.
Beautiful, cherry-red hazy beer with a small white head that quickly fades away.
Potent smell of cherries, sugar, malts and some alcohol, and a potent, full-bodied sweet and sour taste mostly of cherries, but multiple other fruits, citric and non-citric make their way into the rich taste.
The bitterness/sourness in there makes it easier than most "sweet" beers, quite easy to drink.

brdc, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of ElGordo
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%

Gotta give a shout-out to thefatkid13 for the trade on this one. Kept the bottle in my fridge from last May until now, though I don't really know why I didn't have it sooner.
Poured from the 750ml bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Body is a strange, opaque pink-brown hybrid with just a few wisps of creamy white head. Very sweet aroma of cherries, cherries, and more cherries, with maybe some confectioner's sugar mixed in. Palate is again thoroughly dominated by sweet cherries - this almost comes across like a soda rather than a beer. A mild hoppy bitterness emerges on the finish, but there is still plenty of residual sweetness. Body is smooth and creamy, which does provide a little bit of an indication that this isn't in fact soda. A bit too sweet for me to drink in large quantities, but still a very unique and enjoyable brew.

ElGordo, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%

Sampled in a 4 oz tasting glass...reviewed from notes over several samplings.

A - Pours a hazy red with good carbonation and a quick-lasting, off-white head. This color definitely stands out...I'm used to the typical fruit beer light-golden color, similar to an APA. I definitely like this - a raspberry beer should have a color like this.

S - Sweet scents of berries on a malty backbone. Wheat notes come through as it warms...makes me excited for a fruit beer.

T - Thanks to Phatz, I'm beginning to enjoy tart and sour beers...so I'm very glad this wasn't my first one! Despite the expected rush of berry tartness, there were plenty of complexities not usually associated with fruit beers. A bready malt formed a solid backbone on which the berry flavors developed. Juicy hops followed the sweet tones, until finally a fruity bitterness finished it off. Probably the best-tasting fruit beer I've ever had.

M - Medium body with good carbonation. Tart-bitter finish.

D - Overall, I really enjoyed this beer...just not sure I could ever handle more than one, which sounds like it might contradict my high taste ranking. I'm liking the juicy sourness, but the fruit is more than I'm used to. That being said...it's still the best fruit beer I've ever had.

JohnnyM2002, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of Iguana
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Bottle gotten via a trade with JeffKrenner

A: Poured a bright reddish with brown hues. 1 inch pink head that went down to lacing after a couple minutes.

S: Smells like fresh cherry pie.

T: Taste is simply amazing. Cherries, sour cherries, and umm cherries. As it warms up a nice chocolate taste starts coming through that took me awhile to nail down, but I thought it was tootsie roll flavored. Man thats a nice combo.

M: Smooth, very full and kinda tart which really brought everything together.

D: Quite probably the most enjoyable beer I have had to date. Gave my parents a try and neither of them who really cares for beer both said that 1 they would go out and buy. I know if I ever get the chance to get more of this, I will stock up. This beer is a must try for anyone especially if you enjoy cherries.

Iguana, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of TexIndy
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%

Poured from a 750ml bottle with no freshness date. The bottle has a wax seal on top and the label has a story about the beer and the cherries in it. The color is a cloudy ruby color (wife called it blood plasma). It had a small head and tons of initial carbonation that quickly dissipated. The aroma was heavy on cherries obviously and also had a noticeable wine smell. The mouthfeel was mild and went down smooth with just the right carbonation on the tongue. The taste was amazing. It had the expected cherry taste but was perfectly balanced to not be overpowering. Granted I wouldn't want to have more than one and not all the time but having this every couple months would be perfect. Highly recommend unless you don't like cherry. (4.5, HR, T, Y)

TexIndy, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of mnesporov
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%

Presentation: An 750ml Bottle with no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Pours a Dark almost red wine red. Fizzy head that disappears almost instantly.

Smell: A very cherry smell to it with a hint of vanilla.

Taste: A rich sweet taste of cherries that take over on this beer. A little hopy taste that turns out to balance real well.

Mouth-Feel: a medium bodied brew with a lot of carbonation.

Drink-Ability: I really enjoyed this brew but I could not drink a lot of it.

mnesporov, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of fisherman34
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%

Bottle sampled with rudge75 and my friend Reid. Dark red in colour with hints of brown. Low to medium carbonation. Huge sweet cherry aroma with additional notes of vanilla, and some pale barley malt. Very large in the mouth with the cherries obviously taking centre stage, along with a bit of other red berry fruit. As sweet as it is, there are more dimensions than sweet fruit to this beer, with notes of vanilla and earth. It’s smooth on the palate, yet there’s enough earthy bitterness to keep things in check. Not something you could knock back a lot of, but this is one heck of a dessert beer.

fisherman34, Dec 30, 2006
Photo of Erdinger2003
4.78/5  rDev +9.1%

The beer pours out with a white head that falls right away. The deep red color is cloudy and very inviting. The smell is slightly tart, but very fruity. The taste is a blast of cherries, just wonderful stuff. I have had at least 6 bottles of this beer and it never gets old. The aftertaste is of slight barly once it warms up, deep down it is a beer. The mouthfeel is smooth and nice. Overall this is a great beer and I will continue to enjoy a lot of it.

Erdinger2003, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of oakbluff
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%

Served into a champagne flute. Poured a murky red color, slight head and lacing. Smell is hard to describle- kind of a musty sweet smell. I wasn't sure what to expect from this beer and it met my non expectations. Wow- what a different flavour! Huge cherries, with a really sour finish, but yet sweet at the same time. the sweetness seems to be like a honey flavour. Good mouthfeel and carbonation. I'm not a huge cherry, so the flavour of this beer is probably wasted on me. I due to have to give credit for an awesome effort and a very complex brew. I am very glad I had a chance to try this, but probably a one time try.

oakbluff, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of trevorwideman
3.8/5  rDev -13.2%

22oz bomber supplied to me by demcorhip. Poured into a wine glass, shared with my Girlfriend.

Pors and opaque reddish-orange colour with tons of sediment (all those cherries I assume!), minimal head with just a smattering of lace. Smell is exactly like cherry pie, or cherry pie filling I guess. There's nothing fake or artificial about this aroma though, and it's not even too sweet. Very simple, but exactly what I'd want a cherry beer to smell like.

Taste is extremely mellow off the bat, with the lovely cherry sweetness throughout. Tart on the tongue with a slight sourness that you might expect. A light maltiness as an afterthought appears along with a bit of yeasty goodness. In the mouthfeel, the tartness dries the palate with a little carbonation sparkling the sweetness across the tongue. Body is quite hefty.

Final verdict on this one Is that although it's a delightful brew, and would be a great after-dinner beer, I had a hard time finishing my half of the bottle because as with most fruit beers they give me some nasty heartburn. That said, don't let it stop you from trying this one, just share the bottle with a few friends after dinner, you don't need more than one glass.

trevorwideman, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of mghotbi
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%

Supplied by a buddy from Milwaukee via UPS - Thanks, Doug.

Pours a murky cherry red with copious off-white head and a bit of lace. Smells like a big bowl of cherries, I detect no hop or malt aroma at all.

Taste is perfectly fruity, with little in the way of notable malt or hop notes. More like a cider or even a sweet wine. Finish is pinpoint and clean with no cloying or candy sweetness lingering. Mouthfeel is thick and carbonation is pronounced.

This is a perfect after-dinner or dessert drink. I could also see serving this as a wine substitute during a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. This is the best fruit ale I've ever tasted, but it's certainly no session beer.

mghotbi, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%

I've had a few store bought cherry beers and always been disappointed. Invariably they taste artificial and worst case artificial and cloying. I got this via trade and was uncertain how it would taste. Would it be a worst case? Would it be sour beyond belief?

Surprise! This beer rocks! From pour to taste it is an unadulterated, incredibly balanced beer which screams real cherries used! I felt as though I might actually be snacking on a ripe, fresh from the tree bowl of cherries! Best of all, this is done in a very complimentary beer and yeast combination. No worst case, no fruit cooler here. Just a wonderful blend of malt, yeast and cherries. Enjoy if you can get it!

barleywinebrewer, Dec 04, 2006
Photo of tjthresh
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Served in my Lindemans flute. Pours very murkey and muddy orangy-red with a tightly bubbled creamy pinkish head. You can smell the tartness and acidity of the cherries. Very nice. Some yeastiness. Absolutly spectacular flavor. Sweet up front. Tart at the end. Slight drying affect. Full luscious body. Lively carbonation. I bet I could get in a lot of knickers with this beer.

tjthresh, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of orfeu
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Many thanks to Faro for sending me this bottle in our trade earlier this fall. Murky scarlet, almost like watered-down blood with a thin dusky-pink foam cap. The aroma is almost an exact sensory replica of the scent one detects when opening a can of naturally sweetened (i.e. without high fructose corn syrup or any other goo) organic cherries; pure fruit, thick, pulpy, skins-and-all. There's a hint of tartness, too, so it's not all just a sickly-sweet mess of fruit. The flavor is more of what the aroma foretells: thick, chewy cherry pulp, intensely sweet but not syrupy with a tart, dry edge at the finish. There is little in the way of grain flavor; perhaps only a little funky tartness from the wheat malt. A small and indistinct spice note weaves in and out of the middle as well, sort of like faint cinnamon. Dry and tart on the palate; not too puckery, but the intense sweetness is all fruit and no residual sugar syrupy crap. I don't know that a cherry-flavored beer that isn't a lambic could be done any better than this. Very nicely done fruit beer, and very special beer generally speaking. This paired quite well with the vegan chocolate mousse I had for dessert tonight. My wife didn't like it too well, but she's a hophead.

orfeu, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of nouseforotacon
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

I've been sitting on this for a couple of months, couldn't wait any longer. Faro sent me this in my first trade, much love, as it's the first brew I actively sought out that I can't obtain in my area.

Pours out a murky/muddy-looking darkened raspberry/caramel bottom. Nice, creamy foam head with a light red tint that dissipates slowly. Leaves nice lacing.

Smell is subtle, and not overwhelming. Very fresh cherries, with a hint of raspberry like tart/sourness. Subtle blend of malts. Smooth aroma.

Tinge of tartness on the tip of my tongue, and then a wash of sweet, plump cherries. Fruity with a little carbonation. Light malts and cherries work together harmoniously. Very lightly hopped finish with a bit of mouth puckering. Creamy mouthfeel holds this incredible brew together and really is the highlight.

The thing I love most about this brew is that it is subtle and delicious, without being over-the-top or too pretentious. Yeah, it's brewed with a whole lot of real cherries, but the fruit is used to accentuate the beer rather than to overpower it. Perfect blend of beer and fruit, and by far the best fruit beer I've ever tried.

nouseforotacon, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of trep
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

750ml bottle thanks to JeffKrenner

Pours ruby red with a huge pink-tinted head that fades to leave a small ring around the glass. Delicious cherry aroma that I could smell for hours. So rich and sweet smelling, with a lil tartness and funk.

Sweet, like drinking Cherry Kool-aid, but much thicker and more delicious. Robust cherry flavors dominate throughout and leave you wanting more after every sip. So very smooth also.

Medium bodied, fairly thick for what I was expecting. Nice amount of carbonation to keep it bubbly. Incredibly easy drinking. Like I said earlier, like drinking cherry kool-aid. Truely an exceptional beer experience.

trep, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of ryantupy
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%

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.

ryantupy, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of jdoherty
3.13/5  rDev -28.5%

I suppose fruit beers and lambics just aren't my thing, but I could not help but try this belgian red at the New Glarus Brewery.

Appearance: About as close to red as beer can get, you can see the carbonation bubbles flying towards the top

Smell: Cherries, a whole pound of cherries! You can smell it from a mile away

Taste: Incredibly sour, obviously I know this is a matter of palate, but I just could not handle it.

Mouthfeel: Champagne dry, almost needed a glass of water afterward.

Drinkability: You're not exactly going to drink this down fast, to be served in small doses. Definetely a beer for non-beer people, and the big fruit beer fan's holy grail, just not for me

jdoherty, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of bigbelcher
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

More like drinking a fruit juice or drinking a liquid cherry pie than like drinking any other fruit beer. Huge cherry flavor and aroma. Only very slightly sour. Nice deep rich red color. Very, very drinkable. The perfect beer to give to a girl who says that they don't like beer, but why bother wasting such a good beer on a girl that you shouldn't be going out with in the first place.

bigbelcher, Oct 03, 2006
Photo of pweis909
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

I had been saving this one for months and opened it on my birthday, served with chocolate-almond cake for dessert. Given the fruit/vegetable beer category isn't that well defined, it is hard to review within any sort of style guidelines, but this is really enjoyable and really different. Sure, it is beer, but if you want something that tastes like beer, this isn't it, because this taste more like a cherry pop.

A: reddish brown, cloudy.
S: Yep. They really do use a pound of cherries per bottle.
T: A really good cherry pop, sweet, tart, not filling. Sparkling cherry wine? Cherry Cherry Cherry.
M: Lighter than beer (generally), not as dry as champagne.
D: Easy.

This is a good one to spring on someone who is not expecting to like it. My wife usually doesn't go for beer -- she was happy with this. Try it because it is different, because it is delicious. Pair it with dessert. Drink it one special ocassions. Like birthdays. Mmm.

pweis909, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of neonbrown82
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%

This beer was provided courtesy of badbeer and reviewed from mental notes. Thanks for the opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The wax was a pain in the ass to peel off, but it was well worth it; for under that sticky wax-covered cap was a cherry-flavored treasure. The beer poured to a nice ruby red color, practically sparkling under the light. Had a nice pinkish head as well.

The smell is like I just opened up a can of fresh marascino cherries. Incredibly strong, like an air-freshener. The flavor is just the same. The cherry flavor conceals anything else in the beer, but it is such a wonderful marriage of fruit and beer that I can't complain. Beautiful tartness, quite well balanced between sweet and sour.

I could drink an entire 750 of this, and that is saying quite a bit for its drinkability considering how much I usually dislike fruit beer. But when done well, they are great.

neonbrown82, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of yemenmocha
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%

Hazy off-red color with frothy head. Nice.

Nose is over the top. Dessert-like in sweetness. You can enjoy the aroma from 4 feet away.

On the palate it is very similar to the usual Kriek counterpart but this one is more cherry-fresh tasting. The cherry component is just more ripe. Very good.

yemenmocha, Sep 24, 2006
Photo of laintringulis
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%

Pours a cloudy rusty cranberry color with significant sedimentation. Small, light cream colored head turns to film quickly.

Smell. Smells like cherries on crack! Sweet and tart cherry smell somewhat alternating. General vague spiciness and oakiness. Perhaps cloves, vanilla, and apple also present. It smells so good I can't wait to get my lips on it. As it got warmer, it developed more of a musty-venous quality.

Taste. Tastes as cherry as it smells. Excellent transitions from tart to sweet and back. Great balance between malt and hops, although, the hops are down played by the fruity spicy goodness.

Medium bodied. Nice dry, refreshing finish. Not syrupy or watery; just right. This ain't no kool-aid! Very drinkable, provided you wanted a cherry bomb. I thought I would get sick of the cherry taste, but I wanted more. Maybe a little too easy to drink.

laintringulis, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of WeisGuy
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%

a - hazy, ruby red with lots of bubbles, small head around the edges with a little retention, small lacing as well

s - tart cherries exploding from the glass, the description on the label doesn't lie, smells like there is a pound of fresh cherries in there

t - intense sweetness up front with the tart cherries then engulfing the mouth, finish is long and sweet with lingering cherry flavor, slight sourness as well

m - light bodied, lots of carbonation, feels more like a slightly flat champagne in the mouth than any beer I've had, finish is quite dry

d - although quite sweet, I think I could sip on this stuff all night, definitely a change of pace beer though, not an everyday drinker

I've had this bottle sitting around since my trip to Madison over a month ago. Finally decided to crack it open tonight, and it was well worth the wait. New Glarus has certainly produced a beer like no other beer I'm familiar with. Great beer for something different and I can't imagine a better example of the style. Well worth any trouble you have getting your hands on this one.

WeisGuy, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of NoLiberty
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%

Thanks to GrassrootsVT for supplying me with the opportunity to try this beer. I'd been asking folks from WI if they had anything to say about New Glarus, most of my responses were about Spotted Cow and Totally Naked, not quite the beers I was thinking about.

The bottle label is great, an old school Belgian style label with classic cherry illustration and off white paper; simple but good. Bottle is head is draped in red wax. The beer pours a gorgeous, cloudy thick almost ox blood colored red. This beer is so impressively cherried it looks more like cherry puree than beer. This is likely a bottle conditioned beer even though the sediment is quite low in the bottom. The head is nice and big, foamy white and lingers for the entire drink.

The aroma is simple: Baking cherry pie. Such a delicious combination of sweet fresh cherries and earthy grain. Nice!

The taste? Wow! The taste is somehow bigger than the nose; cherry all the way through. Big round sweet, honey, wheat, cherry flavor. Baked cherry pie front with round sweet fruity middle, and tart almost lactic bite at the end. The lingering flavors of fruit last for a while.

The mouthfeel is nice big and well rounded. Smooth and well carbonated, thick but not syrupy. Dry finish.

Great nose, great taste, but so much so that it's hard to say more than one full glass is possible. I'll certainly look for this again for dessert.

NoLiberty, Sep 12, 2006
Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,516 ratings.