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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: 1,016
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 LuckySevens82
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%

750 ml Bottle care of garymuchow (thanks!)

Poured into a small champange flute as it seemed appropriate.
Reddish pink with very good carbonation and a small 1 finger head. Very little lacing.
Smell is cherry..oh boy is it cherry. Very little else, there is some astringency in the smell as well, but not in a bad way.
Tastes very much of cherry and a malt sweetness that is quite pleasant. Perhaps this is a bit too sweet though.
This is a great beer with desert but I feel that perhaps it would be great with a meal as well. This is not as sickeningly sweet as some other cherry beers that I have had, the tartness (even sour at some times) of this beer makes it feel very dry.
I would have to say that this is by far the best cherry beer that I've tried. I certainly wouldn't pass up a chance to try it again.

LuckySevens82, Jan 18, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%

This beer pours a nice rosey red color with a healthy 2 finger head over top that falls to generously coat the beer. The nose is huge cherry. Wow. It smells really nice, but not too big. The flavor is sour, sour, sour cherry. As soon as the beer departs the glass and crosses my lips, the sour grabs my tongue. As I swallow the beer, a sweetness and slight, very slight maltyness grabs me. The feel is super thick, almost sytupy, staying long on the tongue. This is a nice nice beer.

Edit: I still love this beer. So good. So balanced. A fine beer.

kmpitz2, Jan 15, 2005
Photo of inebrius
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%

Symmetry! Oh my goodness is this fruit beer balanced. Clear soda red with a thin cap of khaki-pink foam. Powerful aromas of cherry on the branch then some blossoms and finally a bushel full of aged and macerated fruit. The taste is sublime with a perfect blend of malt, fruit, acid and bitter. Yeah it's sweet, but in no way cloying as the tart and bubbles wash all that off your buds before it gets a chance to negatively root and then there is even a slight lingering bitter finish and the pull to renew. I'm not sure what critics of this beer think it should be but I think it's damn near perfect in its current form. Worth seeking out by travel or trade.

inebrius, Jan 14, 2005
Photo of redmosquito
3.88/5  rDev -11.4%

Again I must thank Clark for bringing this in. This beer pours more of an auburn in color tan a red (which you'd expect from a beer with cherries on the label) and an whitish head. The aroma is all cherry "fruit roll up" as one taster put it, and a slight tartness. The flavor is very sweet, little to no malt flavor, and then some tartness. This has some body to it but there is a little harshness in the finish. Overall for a Belgian style it is very drinkable, if you like sweet beers.

redmosquito, Dec 28, 2004
Photo of BadBadger
5/5  rDev +14.2%

This is a truely an amazing beer. It pours a dark color with red hints of the cherries contained within the beverage. The head was more than descent and lasted long enough to enjoy. The smell was an olfactory delight. Yum, the taste was absolutely amazing: first thoughts are of fresh homemade cherry pie. While rather pleasantly strong, the sweetness is nicely balanced by the hops. This is a beer to enjoy with friends after a nice meal. Enjoy!

BadBadger, Dec 26, 2004
Photo of thoover
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%

Appearance: A dark red, very cloudy. Not much head at all, and what head there is dissipates very quickly.

Smell: Smells like fresh sour cherries, the sort that you'd use for a cherry pie.

Taste: Full burst of cherries at the start, tastes like a tart cherry pie. The bitterness comes out in the end, for a clean, sour finish.

Mouthfeel: Not a light beer, lots of fruit in it, but it is very smooth.

Drinkability: I finished all 750 ml of the bottle, and it was great...

thoover, Dec 02, 2004
Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%

Wow. Everytime I have this beer I just have to savor it. (Especially since it's so tough to get for a North Carolinian!!) Special occasions...like Thanksgiving...are great times to break one of these out.

Sorry I had to give this a relatively low score in appearance, but this bottle poured a very hazy rusty red, but still had the nice pink head. I think I may have jostled the beer a bit before pouring it.
edit --> after trying two other bottles of this beer, I have to raise my appearance score. They have looked clear and very inviting.

The aroma is pure cherries. Pounds of cherries. Fresh cherries. Very clean.

The taste is what makes this beer. Sip and experience this; don't simply drink it. The cherries come through and the yeast adds a complexity along with a slight sourness.

Light and enjoyable, some effervesence.

A truly enjoyable beer. If you know about lambics and belgian beers, you'll appreciate this all the more. I wish I had another bottle!

ncbrewerbun, Nov 26, 2004
Photo of skybluewater
4.03/5  rDev -8%

Pours a deep, dark cherry-red. Smells like cherry cobbler, or one of those cherry pies you ate as a kid. Taste is quite the same, a huge, massive cherry explosion. It also tastes a bit sour.

This is certainly an odd beer. It doesn't even taste like one even. I'm sharing the bottle with family, because I don't think I could drink a whole bottle alone. Nevertheless, this is quite tasty, certainly the bridge between beer and wine.

skybluewater, Nov 25, 2004
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%

Not much more needs to be said about New Glarus' Wisconsin Belgian Red. It's easily and without a doubt one of the best cherry beers in the world. It reeks of cherries, it tastes like cherries.... it is cherries! A pound per bottle, in fact. And it's completely authentic, there are no extract flavors here! It's rich and sweet and somewhat tart. And unlike some other examples (ie. Gluhkriek) it's not cloyingly sweet or too full-bodied to be enjoyed as anything more than a dessert beer. Excellent!

NeroFiddled, Nov 22, 2004
Photo of UnionMade
3.8/5  rDev -13.2%

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.

UnionMade, Nov 17, 2004
Photo of beerluvr
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%

Great googly-moogly! This nectar pours with a creamy off-white/light pink head that settles over cloudy crimson colored liquid. The nose (and what a nose it is) is comprised of sour cherry, light maltiness and apple pie spice scents...very appetizing to me. Taste is sour and somewhat acidic, almost astringent...with more cherry sourness and apple-like flavors. Not the most complex beer, but very soothing and drinkable...a perfect blend of taste and mouthfeel. Ends up long and ultra tasty with a nice dry sour tanginess at the end...I like this beer, I really like this beer! I could drink gallons of this stuff...or better yet, swim in it!

Thanks to Chip (faernt) for the chance to try this long sought after gem. It was as good as I had expected!

beerluvr, Nov 06, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%

Pours a neon red and caramel candy apple mix. Big carbonation bubbles that sit on top of a moderate bright white foam.
Aroma has heavy does of cherry, along with some aplle, cinnamon and mulled spices. Reminds me of a carbonated apple cider. Almost wine-like.
flavor is sweet and hyper-tart cherries with a solid mild amber ale underneath. Picked up a hint of cinnamon and apple as well.
Mouthfeel is lip-puckering tart with some lingering sherry sweetness but finishes surprisingly dry.
Drinkability is OK for my taste. Great fruit beer without a doubt just didn't fit me. My wife became addicted to this and is begging me to find more.
Thanks to trbeer for this gem.

CRJMellor, Sep 27, 2004
Photo of elmocoso
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%

A dull red color(not dull-dull), pulpy looking. and weaker in the thin parts. decent head with a darker collar around the edge. Most of the head disappears. Cloudy. Beautifully big and authentic cherry nose. Deep and fruity - tart. A multitude of bubbles in the glass. Flavor hits a tart note early with a sweetness that soon follows. there is a bitterness that reminds me of a pit of the cherry. This is a treat, but kind of overbearing. A long tall drink of cherry pie!
Mouthfeel is nice and rounded.

elmocoso, Sep 20, 2004
Photo of faernt
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%

What a beer! Big bottle with wax opening into a champagne flute with the aroma of Door County. A pie crust colored head appears and grows to colossal size on top of a slightly brownish red body that looks like cherry jelly. The taste is sweet and then tart bringing me back to chopped cherry preserves on toast. It's like breakfast. The mouthfeel is lighter than expected but if it were heavier the jelly thing would take over the experience. This is a very drinkable beer. I don't like fruit beer much but this is always on hand.

faernt, Jul 14, 2004
Photo of egajdzis
4.6/5  rDev +5%

Poured a copper, amber color with a small slightly off white head and some light lacing on the glass. Aroma of sweet fresh cherries. Taste is sour cherries, alittle yeast, but the cherries are extremely fresh! This was not sickly sweet artificial syrup taste. Hey, I may need another one of these

egajdzis, Jun 14, 2004
Photo of beerinator
4.6/5  rDev +5%

Appearance: Dark Red. Cloudy with slightly pink head.

Aroma: Hard core cherry aroma. Super sour aroma with a smattering of cherry candy bitterness lingering.

Taste: Sourness lingers through the aftertaste along the end of the tongue. Sweet through the middle of the swallow. Cherryness is dominate with heavy sweetness. Mouthfeel is solid, with smooth flavors. Finish is complete with lingering sourness and bitterness.

Notes: Excellent, almost perfect.

beerinator, Jun 14, 2004
Photo of Skidz
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%

750ml bottle with red waxed neck, poured into a champagne flute. Pours out orange, with a reddish tinge to it, and sits a light reddish-orange in the glass with a small white head on top. Nice color display in the flute, light yellow-orange all the way up to a crimson red near the top.

Smells like a combination of marichino and tart cherries. All cherries, all the way. Light spiciness on the nose too. I think the Raspberry tart has a much better nose than this, but that is just my opinion.

Taste is tart, semi-sour and goes super sweet at the end. Delicious 100%. Blends of marichino-like sweetness and the classic Door County tartness of cherries gives this a unique taste and makes for one great fruit beer (even though Door County cherries are the only cherries used, it still tastes like a blend to me). A bit of wheat flavor comes out inbetween and finishes sweet, refreshing and not the least bit dry or bitter.

Smooth, rich and bold in the mouth, I'd call it a medium-light body. Goes down easy, probably too easy. Try and drink one alone and you'll feel sorry, and lonely. A top of the line fruit beer who definately deserves its reputation. Pair it with a nice chocolate dessert or another rich sweet, but I'd say having it with cherry pie would be going overboard.

Skidz, Jun 02, 2004
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev -13.2%

Pours a hazy deep red color, there is no real head, though there is a bit of wispy pink bubbles. A sweet full cherry flavor dominates the nose, notes of vanilla and sour cherry. No surprise, this beer has a sweet full flavored cherry taste. This beer is by no means traditional, but it is at least cherry sweet and not sugary sweet. This does not approach the complexity of a Flemish sour or a Lambic, but it is a well made exploding celebration of the cherry. This is a perfect after dinner/ desert beer.

The beer itself is quite sweet and refreshing, though reasonably viscous with a medium body. As a beer I might not have to much respect for this one, but it is damn tasty and a perfect desert beer. Has a sour, tart, fruity, tannic-cherry stone thing going on. The aroma is so intensely cherry, it is quite wonderful. I am gonna have to say that this would be much better, more authentic, if they had used a beer such as La Folie as the base beer. I really can't get over how intense the cherry flavor and aroma are. This is certainly quite an experience. As a desert it is a 4.6, but unfortunately my biases and prejudices come into play.

Gueuzedude, May 31, 2004
Photo of Sammy
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%

A bit much carbonation. Sour cherry ale. Faciniating pinkish red colour with pink head. Spicy aftertaste similar to good soda. Warms to the mouth. Sweetness only in mid-sip. Definately something to split with ,Tip of the hat to Feloniousmonk for the sample.
Bottle 8.3 years later asnd just as good.

Sammy, Apr 29, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%

Woh! Impressive appearance. Muddy reddish brown with pink hints, but most of all: a monstruous cloud (darker than the rest of the pour) stalls scarily in suspension in my glass. Superior head, white, very sticky and foamy. Stellar visual. I'll be damned if this doesn't smell quite as good as the raspberry tart, of course both are very similar besides being made from distinct fruits. Pure cherry pie made of pure fresh cherries. Moreover, this is a children's puree, cherry flavoured, this stuff used to be good, admit it, we had some all over our clothes when we used to eat the stuff. Decadent dessert material, fresh, lovely, crisp, sweet, superb focus, chocolatey, caramelic.
Barry: "Oh my god, oh my god"
Martin: "I'm gonna try and find some defaults for you"
Well this is very sweet, but damn, one can't help but help it and anyone who hates beer would love it. Just decadent pie flavor with restrained oakiness. My only complaint (severe judging) is that the acidity could be more pronounced as this is extremely sweet. It tasted like it was baked.. spicy with vanilla notes. And a "wow" creamy velvety body with a surprisingly above average carbonation, biting actually. Legendary beer from the world's best non-lambic fruit flavored beers brewer hands down. Thanks again Nexxus.

Rastacouere, Apr 05, 2004
Photo of yankeeheel
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%

Got to love the wax sealed 750ml bottle.Pours a really wild looking candy apple red. Not much of a head but lots of fizz up from the bottom.

Smells quite cherryish. Shocker eh?

Tastes like liquid pie. There's really not a whole lot to tell about it. Very sweet up front with a slight drying sweetness in the back. It's complexity lies in the fact that it tastes like eating a cherry man!

Mouthfeel is quite syrupy, which I enjoy in my pie.

I like pie.

yankeeheel, Apr 04, 2004
Photo of alexgash
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%

Ah, yes: 200 review time! What better way to commemorate than with a top 50 brew (one I know I like at that!). Shared this with my girlfriend Sus over our Valentine's Day dinner. Was this fine concoction a suitable aphrodisiac? Why yes it was. Poured a muddy, ruby red with a small off-white head. The smell of rich, fresh sweet and sour cherry pie just pours off this beauty. Amazing! How did they get this to not smell like cough syrup (like SA cherry wheat)? Taste is...guess what? Yep cherries. Sweet at first with a pie crust maltiness. Sourness kicks in and finishes nice and tangy. Delicious. Nice bubbly mouthfeel (think cherry champagne), that I could drink more often than I can afford to!

alexgash, Mar 05, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%

Appearance: Pours a deep murky ruby red pink grapefruit tone with a nice white pink tinted head leaves nice fine evenly dispersed lacing nice and intricate. Aroma: A full on flail of cherries nice tart and sweet with a candy like tone to it, but what makes this is the creamy edge that surrounds the fruit bouqet. Taste: A parfait dessert like tart cherry tone very sweet and creamy, just so good. I am by no means a fan of fruit infused ales but this Wisconsin bred cherry beast is definitely a winner definitely based off of legendary Belgian style ales lacks some of the farmhouse and woody cask aged flow of a Cantillon but delivers something a Lindemann's isn't capable of. Mouthfeel: A fuller bodied creamy textured heavenly dessert beer. Drinkability: I just polished off a bottle and I didn't think I was going to drink it all, but once I started sipping on it the bottle emptied into my snifter faster than anticipated it was excellent, not ready for a second but extremely satisfied.

WVbeergeek, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of ManekiNeko
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%

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.

ManekiNeko, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%

Wisconsin Belgian Red was served from a wax sealed 750 ml bottle into a champagne flute. The beer was a lovely orangish-ruby hue, and murky like fresh unfiltered cider. Topping this off was a fine and ample whitish head, which left excellent lacing. It looked beautiful in the champagne glasses. The nose was curious and seducing, with notes of fresh tart cherries and cinnamon spice. I don't believe I have ever experienced such a marvelous combonation. The peak of enjoyment came with the flavor. The beer starts with a massive sweet and tart cherry bomb, hitting the palate with tingling fizzy delight. This sensation smoothly transitions into a semi-dry finish with delicious lingering flavors of cherry and subtler winey cinnamon. All of this is perfectly balanced but charged with life, with perfect carbontion and a sleek mouthfeel. The tartness level was much lower than a kriek, but in this case was just right, leaving me completely satisfied and ready to drink another bottle of this if I had one. This is a phenomenal fruit beer that completely blew me away. Endless thanks to ngandhi for "deliverating" this into my possession.

HiroProtagonist, Feb 10, 2004
Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,516 ratings.