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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

949 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 949
Hads: 3,173
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 1,134
Gots: 692 | 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
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Reviews: 949 | Hads: 3,173
Photo of Realale
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours deep opaque red/brown. Thin raspy head quickly dissapears, leaving only a solitary island in the center of the glass which slowly vanishes.

Nose is incredibly rich fresh sour cherries over earthy, slight apple-cidery, barnyard and bisquity-grain notes. Hints of chocolate and kirsch develop. Wow.

Even better in the mouth. Simply beautiful and rich on the palate with a penetrating sourness that leaves the tongue tingling. Great body, with a touch of residual sugar to take some of the sting out of the acidity. I'd prefer it to be a bit more sour, but its still an easy "5" as it is.

Great fine carbonation scrubs sourness away at the end of the incredibly long finish. A lick of the lips results in waves of sour cherry echoing across the palate. A tremendous beer.

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Photo of cretemixer
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rusty red in color . Murky and aromatic. The pinkish-tan head fades rather quickly to a thin layer and "cling-ring".
The aroma is of cinnamon and cherry soda. It's all about the cherries here.
Tart cherry taste. It reminds me of the cherry pies my grandma used to bake for me. This beer is a dessert in itself.
A well crafted brew to be sure, but one I can't see myself drinking all too often. I will keep the other bottles I have for special occasions though, since they are no longer available outside of Wisconsin.

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Photo of jcalabre
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Origianlly sampled 7 October 2002. This baby has a beautifully complex nose of cherries & cinnamon. The flavor is chocked full of cherries. It has a very nice red color. This beer is a great thirst quencher w/ its cherry sourness. A very nice example of a sour ale.

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Photo of rastaman
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yep, liked it. Extremely fresh. Soft texture, with a wonderfully lightly tart, soft, natural cherry sourness. Never candyish, always natural (except the aroma kinda smelled like lollypops or soemthing). Mix the cherrys in with some light oak and mayne some nuttyness. If i had one complaint it would be that its not assertive enough (more sour, more stink), but hey, the balance couldn't really be any better right? Thanks Feloniousmonk for this truly classic beer.

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Photo of beerguy101
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reddish brown color, hazy. Small to no head. Aroma is cherry and malt. WOW.. AND I DO MEAN WOW!! I had this beer several years ago, and while I had no notes on it. It tastes exactly the way I remembered it. Medium bodied. Intense cherry flavor, sweet, sour and tart. There is some malt sweetness as well as hop spiciness as well. Complex and intense flavors. Extremely smooth. Not very beer like, closest style might be a lambic?? But, who cares it tastes amazing. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is clean and sweet. World class beer.

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Photo of comat0se
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer! First you have to consider the elegant packaging... the green 750ml bottle, the red wax, even the label is classy. Then you pour... aroma is a blast of fresh pie cherries. And the color, a hazy beautiful dark pink-red complete with a light pink head which fades quickly. Taste is a refreshing, sweet-tart, complex sour, acetic, cherry flavor. Not for amateurs! My friend and girlfriend didn't really care for it and they gave me theirs. She said the tartness and carbonation reminded her of the inside of Zots candy. More for me! Just one drop of this beer is loaded with flavors. Medium body with a medium, brisk, carbonation accentuating the tartness. I look forward to trying it again at the GABF.

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Photo of jeffboo
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From tiny flower on a tree to a ripe red fruit for use in this wonderful brew, the cherry has not been featured quite like this before. The whole cherry is the star here, skin,fruit,pit, probablly even stem. Poured into a rounded glass, it's the color of ripe cherry red with a very pink and creamy thick head. The aroma is bursting with ripe whole fresh cherrys, pits and all- nothing artificial about it. The flavor follows suit with a sweet and tart whole fresh cherry flavor with a toasted oak finish. It is medium body holds a very rich but refreshing drink. The carbonation is mellow not bubbly, allowing the complex cherry flavor to stand tall.It could have hit a "5" in taste with a little more malt in the backround but I'm not complaining. This is good stuff !! This isn't what you may have had in other fruit beers, this is unique- try it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first time I sampled this brew was a blind taste test vs. Cantillion at a local bowling alley/restaurant/theater/music venue/beer and wine bar. NG came out on top!
Color is a rich, ripe, bright cherry red, with a short and soon departed head. Aroma is in a class of it's own: absolutely gorgeous! Rich, delicious, vinous, sweet, and sour, the perfect picture of cherries! It's utterly wonderful, and a joy to drink in deep with the nose!
On the palate, other tranformations occur: WOW! Dazzling, uplifting, and lovely! By tranformative, I mean that something new occurs in me, I am 100% happier by drinking this elixir, my mood is elevated, every atom has an energized attitude!
Several waves of sensation occur throughout the consumption of this ale, it jumps and jiggers in the mouth, surges in and sallies out. The taste continues, and the feeling wells up in and rides over every square inch of the body that is apt to perceive sensation! Finish is a bit tartish, but what do you want, it's cherries, man!
Wow...this was perfect, and I felt that the 750 ml wax finshed bottle was a bit stingy! Hook me up to a keg of this stuff!

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Photo of tavernjef
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh what a joy this stuff is! Its been a while since the last time I had this stuff, all I remember is, "me want more". I take it all in stride as the bottle itself is awesome with the bottle dipped in red wax covering the cap and neck. Very cool. Then the color is very gem-like when put up to the light, glowing with reddish, pinky/orange thats slightly opaque with a very unique pinkish/orangy head of light bubbly froth, with some large bubbles, and poured out to be about two inches high and settled down to a small bubbly froth with some curtain-like lacing of tiny-tight bubbles.
Smells of nice fruity tart cherries and a bit sour, like a lemonade.
Taste is a heavenly nice sweetly sour and tart cherry thats easily smooth and a bit like a fruit juice or wine cooler but much nicer flavor. It's medium body and generously carbonated with a huge sweet feel in the front, then just lays down smooth and slightly drying to the finish leaving a great sour tart bite in the back of my mouth. Take a cherry lambic and lighten it up a bit and here ya go, a very interestingly, very drinkable treat of yumminess.

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Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, capped coated with red wax, pours a deep reddish brown in color that has a big head that doesn't last, sweet, fruity cherry aroma with a sweet and lightly sour taste of cherries, very carbonated on the tongue, finishes clean and fruity.

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Photo of bditty187
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, cherry red with a slight tawny influence, white head, reached about a ¼ inch before it faded away, soapy remnants, some sporadic spotty lace. Powerful cherry nose, very real in aroma, lively… an underlying hint of yeast/wheat can be found, doughy as well. Surprisingly balanced, equally tart as it is sweet… the cherry flavor dominates but with faint hints of dough and wheat. Surprisingly dry, cleanish finish with a pleasant aftertaste -- alcoholic cherries. The carbonation is perfect. Wisconsin Belgian Red is truly mouthwatering good. Purchased in Madison, WI.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1 pt 9 oz green glass bottle, capped, with red wax on the cap and neck. No freshness date. I estimate this bottle to be a few years old.

The bottle states that each bottle contains a pound of cherries, and I believe it! This is a very delicious cherry lambic-style (is there such a thing?) ale.

Pours a hazy, red-amber with good off-white foam that leaves nice lace down the glass (a flute, in this case). The smell was very pleasant: cherries, citrus, and a hint of spice. The taste was sweet and tart cherries with a little hint of cinnamon. Not too sweet, not too tart. The mouthfeel was creamy with medium body and moderate carbonation. This was a very nice and refreshing cherry ale. I enjoyed it very much. I can see why this is an award winner.

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Photo of aracauna
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I kind of liked the bottle. Label even looks kind of old fashioned like a early 1900s european wine ad. Hazy medium red w/ ok head. Aroma is big fruity cherry and floury wheat. Big juicy cherry up front, tart finish. Very active carbonation tingles the tongue and complements the cherry acidity nicely.

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Photo of jreitman
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cherryish,hazy dark brown with a head that is quick to come and go. Aroma is intoxicatingly filled with cherries and a underlying sweetness. I was hoping this would not be nearly as sweet as the Lindeman's kriek and was quite pleased to find out it is the opposite. Cherry and sweet flavors lay on top of what is a quite pleasing sourness. The sourness does just enough to make sure that the beer does not end up tasting to much out of whack. A great feat by the brewer. Drinkability is a little low due to the intense flavors on this beer.

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Photo of Winter
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My 100th review had to be something special. Fortunately, an award winning, unique and local ale can be had in New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red. It was hard waiting to review this spectacular offering, but the time has finally arrived...

Belgian Red comes in a 750 ml green bottle with red wax dripped over the cap and top of the neck. I grabbed a brandy snifter and began pouring it into the glass. The color is a clouded, tawny red with a thin light-pink head. The aroma consists of sweet cherries and oak. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and crisp from the carbonation. Initial taste is of sweet cherries followed by a tartness that balances out the initial sweetness. This never-ending act of sweet & sour tartness is played out to perfection as both of the oppossite flavors are kept in check by each other somehow in an ideal balance. Pleasant carbonation hits the middle of the tongue. Belgian Red retains the earthy and wood flavors of the oaken casks that were used to age this ale followed by a mild tartness in the finish.

This is the perfect beer to replace wine at the dinner table with Thanksgiving Turkey. Or great to share with a loved one on Valentine's Day. Wisconsin Belgian Red is an ale that's meant to be savored and enjoyed. Perfect for special occasions, and holidays, yet it's great beer to have on hand and serve anytime.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brownish red with a reddish white head that quickly dissipates. Aroma is awesome. Smells like a Cherry Crisp fresh out of the oven; tartness of the cherries mingled with the sweetness of the brown sugar and cinnamon. I could sniff this one endlessly. Taste is dominated by cherries, but a wonderful balance between sweet and tart has been struck. Medium mouthfeel with lots of carbonation. Drinkability is maintained by the balance between the sweetness and tartness; my 750ml bottle was gone too quickly. While I'd still prefer a good IPA or porter overall, this is a very good beer that is excellent within it's style and can make for a nice change of pace.

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Photo of brakspear
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For my 100th review I had to select the best specialty beer brewed in Wisconsin -- it was certainly tough to let the bottle sit in my beer cave awaiting my entry into the mugclub!

The presentation alerts you that this beer is something different: a 25 oz champange bottle sealed with crimson bottling wax....the beer is best served in a brandy snifter or champange flute according to Master Brewer Dan Carey.

The beer pours a deep ruby red with a frothy pink head, that does not linger long, but does not need to with the lingering carbonation hidden in the depths of this ale.

The aroma is an explosive blend of sour Montmorency cherry and spicy oak earthy notes. Tremendous balance in the aroma that prevents the cherry from becoming overwhelming.

The taste is also an amazing blend of cherry tartness and slight malty sweetness, balanced with an earthy oak dryness. This is not an ale to be gulped, but savored throughout the night.

This is a nearly perfect example of what craft brewing can produce, given the skills of an expert brewer, the use of exceptional local ingredients, and a daring to try something unique. New Glarus deserves all the awards they have received for this tremendous ale.

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Photo of ethosx19
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is by far the best fruit beer I have tried. Pours red...cherry aroma...high carbonation. The sweetness and carbonation give a great mouthfeel and I love the sour tart finish of the Door County cherries. I can't image getting any more cherry taste in this beer. Good with chocolate too.

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Photo of MJR
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cool raspberry color with an interesting light pink head. The head disipates somewhat quickly.

Smell: Scent of sharp cherries, with a touch of a musty, earthy smell. A kind of sweet/sour balance which is very well done. A hint of oak too. Very addictive aroma...

Taste: First impression is that of a sharp, cherry tart. This flavor stays the whole time, but doesn't smother the others. I pick up on cinnamon, which grows stronger as it warms. Slight spiciness too. I can tell this has been aged/stored in oak barrels, as there's a nice earthy, oak character on the tail end. I pick up on a slight sweet, bread/biscuit flavor as well. The balance of sweet and sour is absolutely incredible. Amazing well-done brew...

Mouthfeel: Sharp and acidic...this easily replaces Champange. Finishes very dry with an overall light to medium-light mouthfeel. Makes me hungry!

Drinkability: Really, really high...in the right place and mood. This isn't an everyday beer, but it truly is spectacular in the right setting.

For a while, I had heard how great and unique this beer was...the many awards...the constant critical praise, etc. Now that I've tried it, all of it is fully deserved. In true Belgian style, it stretches the bounderies of what beer is and can be. Objectively speaking, this is one of the best brews I've ever encountered.

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Photo of cokes
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle for the first time since a couple years ago. I had not been a fan back then (and I was just getting into beer), and I don't really dig fruit beers in general. Things done changed.

Pours a murky ruby-amber with a big, puffy, pink-tan head. It recedes fairly quickly, but never goes away.
Screaming tart cherry aroma. Underlying this is some oaky/woody notes and subtle cinnamon spicing.
Taste, as one would expect, is heavy on the cherries. Initally very sweet, then moves more toward the sour direction. Stays both sweet and tart throughout. Carmelized malt provide a backbone but not much else. Yeast adds a little more sourness and some doughy notes. Touches of cinnamon appear as it warms with some spicy wood accents.
At times, when the tartness and spicy notes hit the back of the throat just right, this can be eye-wateringly intense. A lot of flavor here.
Easily the best fruit beer I've had (along with it sister, Raspberry tart). This will now take the place of champagne. I am glad I revisited it.

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Photo of marc77
3.49/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy ruby in hue, covered by a lightly pinkish, thin white head. Cherries expectedly dominate the aroma and are very fresh in nature. As the brew warms, a caramel malt aroma and nuttiness surface slowly, lending a subtle marzipan note when combined with the fruitiness. Assertively sweet in flavor, with sugary fresh cherry sweetness dominating the flavor profile. A mild tartness partially offsets the sweetness, but fruity sweetness remains dominant. Strong cherry persists from start to finish and perhaps overshadows malt character, leaving this brew a bit one dimensional. Well carbonated with a spritzy mouthfeel. Appropriately light body. Finishes with a combination of sugary sweetness and subdued tartness lingering on the palate. Although the fruitness was very fresh and clean overall, Wisconsin Belgian Red seemed to lack the malt character that their Raspberry tart had. It's a unique and enjoyable brew nonetheless!

Big, huge thanks to Bighuge for the bottle!

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Photo of ZAP
4.97/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mahogony/cherrywood color...bubbly lace...smells of cherries(surprise)..great aroma...heavy cherry taste with a hint of brown sugar..tart finish...if you want a fruit flavored beer this is it..a CLASSIC....nice carbonation keeps from tasting syrupy.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Luscious cranberry-like red hue. Unbelievable aroma. Great cranberry/vanilla sweet smell with quite a bit of cherry too. It's a sweet aroma, but not a malty sweet aroma. Fruity sweet. The taste is exceptional. Woody, vinous, dry and of course, loads of cherry. This is one of my all-time favorites and it never fails. Every time I have had this, it has been exceptional. A true classic.

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Photo of QXSTER1
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful dark tan with a hint of red color, bursting with cherry aroma. Taste of tart cherries, balanced by the sweet malt. Better than a cherry wine.

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 949 ratings.