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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.

2,746 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,746
Reviews: 917
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 1,033
Gots: 503 | FT: 50
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: 2,746 | Reviews: 917 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured this into a Champagne Flute and a tulip glass as the label says enjoy in either a brandy snifter or champagne glass. Poured one for my wife and one for myself.

Neither pour produced any sort of head. In the snifter I tried to aggressively pour and still nothing built up. The color is a cloudy reddish/purple color. Speckled lacing dots the glass as the beer is consumed.

The aroma is certainly of cherries and also has an earthy quality to it. You can detect a sharpness or tart nature to the aroma. This is certainly consistent with cherries.

The taste is certainly very interesting and obviously different. Is it a cider? A sparkling wine? Beer? Starts a bit sweet, then heads to a tartness that lets you know we are dealing with real cherries. It then finishes with a slight bread like quality that lingers in the background of the tartness. Yes, it has a fruity cherry nature to it from front to back.

The mouth feel is certainly sparkling and vibrant. The drinkability is the real question for me. It's a slow drinker in a different way than an Imperial Russian Stout. The tart nature is almost shocking with every sip.

I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to try this, but I'm not sure it's my cup of tea.

You can tell it's a well built beer though.

Photo of Lothore
3.73/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Photo of Greggy
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice cloudy red/orange w/ a nice small head. Decent lacing is present.

S- Very fresh cherries. Very reminiscent of the little debbie cherry pies, but classier.

T- Very nice cherry that has a nice balance between sweet/dry/funk. There is an oakiness presence to it that was very nice that almost gave a dry chocolate note. The finish is dryer.

M- Nice low carb and the oakiness is great on the palette.

D- I will definitely drink this again. It's easily drinkable. I'm glad I'm moving to WI so I can have more of this.

Photo of nickynick
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New Glarus Belgian Red poured a brownish reddish color. Smell was all of cherries. Very sweet nose. The taste was sweet and sour cherries. Tasted close to a Belgian Flemish Red. Not overly sweet, and a nice tart aftertaste. Mouthfeel was ok, a bit thick. Drinkability was nice. Overall a good beer. I wish that New Glarus would send some of their beer to Illinois.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for including this beer in a very generous trade and giving me the chance to have this again and finally review it. This beer is even better than I remember it- extremely rich and spicy with laser-like cherry flavors. Almost tastes like a slightly less spicy version of a Gluhkriek there is so much spicy goodness in the beer. Pours a hazy red leaning toward brown a bit. Smells of sour cherries, cream, spicebox notes, and a slight cheesy funk, probably from the aged hops. The taste is downright magnificent. Glorious sweet and sour cherries with an almost vinous finish, a touch more of that cheesy funk, and lots of spice- clove, allspice, pepper, cinnamon. Complex, deeply flavored and long, and with a nice creamy mouthfeel that ends in a spicy snap. More proof that complex Belgian style brews can be masterfully done in the U.S. A wonderful beer.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dirty reddish-plum color with a thin head. The aroma is fresh cherry juice with shades of cranberry sneaking in. Background gives off a gingerbread smell.

My first thought and my last thought regarding the flavor is cherry cobbler. The cherry is sweet and succulent, with only very mellow tartness. The cobbler comes from the doughy, graham cracker-ish malt base. Yeast enters and gives a twist of added complexity to the main flavors. Sourness and tartness are more magnified in the finish, and the unique malt background sticks around along with the cherry dominance. A bit puckery but not overly so.

Absolutely superb, and worthy of the "Belgian" in its name. New Glarus went all-out with this one. A must-try, even for those who claim to dislike fruit beers. This one could completely change your mind.

Photo of Damian
4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 1 Pint 9 Fl. Oz. bottle
2007 vintage
Acquired in a trade with Beertracker
Served in a champagne flute

The beer poured a hazy, deep ruby red color with a creamy, two-finger, pink-ish tan head that slowly faded to a thick, clingy ring. Huge blocks of lacing cascaded down the glass.

The aroma was outrageously intense. Sweet, ripe cherries were instantly recognizable. A subtle, powdery yeast note was initially detectable, but it subsided as the beer warmed. Some sourness and a touch of oak came through as well.

The taste was a full-on flood of cherry juice. Sweet and syrupy yet not overly cloying. A bit of wheat came through up front. Candy-like in the center (cherry Jolly Ranchers came to mind) with a touch of cherry cough medicine on the sweet/semi-tart finish. Quite simple and straightforward, yet so good.

The mouthfeel was creamy and ultra-smooth with a fine, moderate carbonation. Light and fluffy on the palate.

This beer is simply candy in a bottle. It might be a good thing this is not distributed outside of Wisconsin because most people could not handle it.

Although I preferred Raspberry Tart to this beer (the bright pink head and tartness in flavor gave it a slight edge), both were truly phenomenal products. Now, if they only did distribute this outside of Wisconsin.

Photo of Duffman
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An absolute cracker...

The appearance of the beer is simply gorgeous. A shade of brownish red, perhaps a mahogany red. Whatever color you would call it, it is beautiful and not far short of perfect. Wonderful smell, with cherries and oakiness, a touch of hoppiness and malt coming through in harmony. The taste is even better. Cherries dancing on the tongue with the smooth oakiness balancing perfectly. A touch of sourness adds some contrast as well with the traditional beer-like tastes of hoppiness and malt delicately coming through towards the end. A long and smooth finish that is about as delicious and drinkable as beer gets. Exquisite.

Photo of SaucyA
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Scant head. Brown/Maroon body. No lacing... into a tulip.

S - Ripe cherries, underripe cherries, slight wine affects from the oak, definite oak character as well. I get slight cinnamon notes at the very bottom of the glass.

T - Cherries, semi-tart, black cherries. Nothing fake about this. The more it warms, the more the oak and malt peek through, but cherries are definitely the center stage of this one. Not overly sweet like Raspberry Tart.

M - Medium/light bodied, and quite sparkly.

D - Pretty awesome drinkability. A definite easy-drinker, and a converter.

Notes: My girlfriend and her sister fell in love with this, only to have their hearts crushed finding out it was from Wisconsin. Looks like another trade shall be in the works. Thanks DrDogBeer ;)

Photo of marksto
4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been fortunate enough to have had many samples of this one through the years, but waited until I had a new tasting opportunity to write a review.

Pours a deep, translucent red with off-white head made of dense bubbles. The nose displays a huge cherry essence along with some faint almond and a light mustiness. Flavor features a huge, juicy cherry flavor with just the right amount of sourness and tartness. This is not the "cough syrup" cherry you get from a lot of these fruit beers, but an exceedingly pleasant fruit flavor.

In the background is also a tangy "brown sugar/apple skin" element that really completes the complex flavor profile, and this represents a signature profile in this beer that I have tasted in no other. The complexity lends a vinous character that is marvelous.

NGBR is an absolute world classic, and a worthy recipient of it's excellent reputation and many awards. The perfect example of a beer that can make people who don't like beer, like beer. I've seen it happen many times.

I consider it the best fruit beer I've ever had. A must-try for anyone who can get their hands on it.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle as an extra from gford217 - many, many thanks! Per gford's suggestion, I split this one with my girlfriend. Poured my portion into a weizen glass, hers into a chalice.

Appearance: A deep hazy brown beer with red highlights - or is that a red beer with brown highlights? - with a fast fading, dirty brown head. Like dirty, murky, brackish water (all that cherry goodness, I s'pose). Streaky, runny lacing.

Aroma: Cherries! Sweet and syrupy cherry smell, tart in places. Lemons and plums, as well. The malt that's there is doughy and spicy, almost like graham crackers, which is complimented by a honey sweetness ... starting to smell like cherry pie here ... and there's also some woody earthyness which I'm assuming is coming from the oak.

Taste: A little more tart here, and that's good, because it balances itself very, very well. Some faint spice again, more nutmeg than cinnamon here with a little bit of allspice. The tartness has a certain spiciness to it. There's some vanilla and oak again, as well as that same honey sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Spritzy and effervescent, medium thickness and medium-bodied and very uneven. Left only the faintest hint of a cloying afterfeel, which is actually in its favor given how bad it potentially could have been with all this cherry action!

Drinkability: As a fruit dessert beer? Outstanding. A very impressive natural cherry flavor that I imagine was pretty tough to achieve. A completely manageable abv, as well. You gotta be in the mood for this one though, as it's definitely all cherries, all the time. Give it a go.

Photo of tayner
3.6/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml green bottle with red wax.

Poured into a tulip glass. It pours a ruddy brown with slight pink overtones. With frothy head does not stick around long, just barely maintaining a tiny broken ring around the edges, little to no lacing.

Smell is a sweet cherry, like Ocean Spray Cran-Cherry juice. I can also smell the oak in the background. Smells very sweet and dessert-ish for sure.

Taste is of cherries. Fresh, ripe, sweet cherries. It is intensely sweet and hardly tastes of "beer" at all. The cherries overwhelm every other flavor except some wood/oak in the finish which manages to peak its head out for only a moment. I was hoping to find some bready belgian yeast flavors, or some maltiness, but nope, nothing but cherries.

This one has a relatively good mouthfeel for being such a sweet beer. It is verging on cloying, but doesnt quite get there. could use a tad more carbonation IMO.

Drinkability.. now, if you are someone who doesnt like beer... drink this, doesnt taste like beer at all. Would be perfect as a New Years Eve toast rather than champagne, or a wedding toast, some special occasion such as that. I could easily suck it down fast like my morning orange juice, but when i want a beer this just wont be a go to one. Give this one to your friends who dont like beer, they will like this one for sure. I will attempt to keep at least one bottle on hand, though, for occasions as above. Nicely made beer for what it is.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a ruby color. The head is small and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is of cherries, with a ton of tartness, and an underlying nuttiness. The taste is a lot more sour than the aroma. There is a lot of cherry, some nuttiness, and a lingering tartness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriately low carbonation. Overall, this is a wonderful dessert beer. I will certainly drink this again.

Photo of bloberglawp
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this beer, wonderfull ale to have while listening to live beer radio on the brewing network.

Pours red, some head that dissipates eventually. Huge nose of cherries. Flavor of sour and tart cherries. Dry and tart finish. Awesome.

Look for it and enjoy.

Photo of beveritt
3.6/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a wine bottle into a champagne flute. The label is a typical New Glarus, unbelached paper with a short description about the beer. This bottle has over a pound of cherries used.

Appearance: Pours with 2 fingers of slightly pink faom. This settles into a luscious, creamy head, with a fair amount of lacing left behind. The beer itself is a deep reddish brown.

Smell: Tart cherry aroma. What can I say, not much else.

Taste: Tart sour cherries again. Very slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lots of tiny bubbles, like they used a partial methode champenoise. Body is okay.

Drinkability: A great beer, definitely off the beaten path. Like a liquid version of sour cherry jam. Very refreshing.

Photo of stumac
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours up a deep reddened brown color with a decent size white head. the nose is like a red Life Saver candy. and oddly enough, it has a slight aroma of ketchup! the taste is candy sugar and cherries! very delicious! a straight dessert beer!

interested in trying some of this brewery's other concoctions

Photo of HopDerek
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Kegatron for sharing some of this with me.

Pours a slightly hazy red with dark orange hues. 2 fingers of fluffy pinkish eggshell head has good retention and leaves beautiful lacing. Smells of sour cherries, brown sugar, cinnamon, and light bread, much like fresh cherry cobbler. Tastes of brown sugar and light cinnamon along with pie dough and a huge dose of sour cherries, with a touch of grass. Medium in body with great fizzy carbonation, almost champagne-like. Very smooth and creamy with excellent sweet fruitiness and a nice punch of tartness. This is definitely among my top dessert beers, and wouldn't mind having it every week with Sunday dinner.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Glarus- Wisconsin Red

Big thanks go out to Sholland119(Scott) for sending me this!

A- Reddish brown with heavy carbonation and a moderate bubbly head. Quick dissipation though.
S- Slight grainy malt aroma with cherries.
T- Big sour cooked cherries. Just like fresh cherry pie! Cherries, Cherry puree, crust, cinnimon, and nutmeg.
M- Big soury tart start but mellows out into a sweet tangy cherry pie feel.

Overall- Another great dessert beer. Exactly like Cherry pie! (Thanks Scott!)

Photo of mhewes
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%
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 illidurit
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Ughsmash for breaking this out at the RBSG 08 Grand Tasting. Poured into my Chouffe glass, the color of the dark end of a tequila sunrise. Solid pinkish beige head leaves streaks of lacing. Aroma is dead-on cherry pie. Flavor is cherry pie filling. This beer embodies the sweet/sour dynamic that makes cherries so good. Phenomenal dessert beer.

Photo of MadTown1000
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus Belgian Red, my all-purpose bribe when I need an out-of-state friend to let me sleep on their couch. Reviews on here regularly start with "I usually don't like fruit beers, but...", and I'll add to that chorus, along with numerous people I've made try it. Pours a beautiful ruby red, with more of a fizz than a foam and a tremendous cherry aroma that foreshadows exactly what you're about to get yourself into. The bottle calls it "the marriage of wine and beer", although I'm not sure there's too much wine to it outside of the fact that it's partially fruit-derived. Instead, it's more like soda pop for grownups, emphasis on the for grownups part. It could easily have been too sweet like a Smirnoff Ice or the like, but instead, it lands in a very rare place - the sweet spot of sweet, if you will. There is practically no place I can think of where it wouldn't be drinkable - on its own, with dinner, even with dessert. The only complaint I have is that it has a way of disappearing far too soon.

I was greatly surprised to find that this offering by the folks at tiny New Glarus Brewery had the kind of national following that it does. It deserves it. Try it at least once.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 1996

Pours mahogany with a deep ruby hue when held to the light. The head rises to an inch-plus, beige in color and dense as whipped egg whites.
Retention duration is several minutes before settling in the glass and leaving a few ripped sheets of lacework.

Aromatics are pungently filled with vineous cherries. A tart nod adds complexity and the beer is intensely inviting.
Beyond the cherries, there is a hint of caramel malt and cinnamon.

Creamy, lucious mouthfeel. The beer floats across the tongue.

A whallop of juicy cherries starts off the pallet, and tart vineousity follows. Becoming remarkably wine-like and a bit tannic.
Hints of balsamic vinegar, rhubarb, and red Zinfindel.

Some coarseness on the back of the throat lingers in the finish, along with unrelenting juicy cherries.

Twelve years on it's side in a cool cellar has treated this beer right. It's dried up a bit, and the tartness has stepped up to allow another dimension to shine through.
Shades of a Flanders red are apparent.

Photo of Sticket
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- wax tops a 25oz bottle.

A- Pours a garnet color with a tan head that dissipates into thin lacing.

S- cherries, kind-of reminds me of grandma's Door County cherry pie.

T- sweet cherries with a well-balanced tartness.

M- medium bodied and refreshing.

D- a great choice served chilled on a warm summer night.

Photo of cjgator3
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Pours a deep dark cherry red color with a light pinkish colored head. The deliciously enticing aroma is filled with cherries, not the typical artificial cherry flavoring in most fruit beers, but a really fresh cherry aroma. The taste is sweet but not overly sweet, with a good dose of cherries. Wow, this is a really great beer that I enjoyed quite a bit. Definitely not overly sweet and artificial like your typical fruit beer. Would make for an awesome dessert beer. Highly recommended.

Photo of MSchae1017
3.55/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was tasted in a wine glass from the 750mL bottle. The beer pours a hazy pinkish red with a white head sporting a hint of pink as well. The head dissipates without leaving much lace. The smell is straight cherry juice. The taste bursts forth with more cherries and a bit of tartness to keep the sweetness in check, but the cherries really dominate. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with lively carbonation. A nice fruit beer displaying the cherries very well. Just a bit too sweet and overwhelming for me.

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 2,746 ratings.