Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

936 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 936
Hads: 3,082
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 1,112
Gots: 647 | FT: 72
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: 936 | Hads: 3,082
Photo of granger10
2.76/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a dark dirty cherry color. It doesn't look exactly like a fruit beer but not really a normal beer either. Fizzy white head, medium in size, not really too much lacing. Aroma is exactly like cherry fruit gushers. I mean it's identical. I can't really get past it, I like it but in my beer? Taste once again has that cherry fruit gusher quality to it. Cherries aren't as tart as I expected. They're more sweet and almost taste fake. Body is somewhat thick and has a nice fizzyness to it. The first glass of this bottle was good but the second glass was tougher. Started to get cloying and too much cherry. Reminiscent of cherry juice. Sorry, I didn't care for this one. (684 characters)

Photo of mdcrouser
2.79/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Kinda ticked, as I'd reviewed a few nights ago while enjoying, and posted, but it's no longer here, so I'm reviewing based solely on memory.

Red in the glass so that when held up to the light, it looks like the cherry on a policecar. Pretty for a bright red beer.

Smells like a cup of freshly mashed cherries, but with obvious undertones of a Belgian - I'm intrigued!

If you're into drinking alcoholic jam, this one's for you. While it is pretty incredible what they've done to incorporate cherries here, it's just not a right for a beer in my opinion.

The mouthfeel is definitely the high-point here, being exceptionally smooth and inviting.

Because it's just so overloaded in sweet cherry, it's just not something that should be enjoyed more than as a dessert beer. (as I was left to enjoy the entire bomber by myself) (830 characters)

Photo of Beertron
2.89/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It's been years, almost a decade, since I last tried this beer. I wasn't a big fan of it the first time around; I took a greater liking to their Raspberry Tart and have since picked up that when I see the two side-by-side. Either way, the lady and I were having spaghetti at her place so I thought this would make for a good pairing. Poured from the trademark waxed 750 into a pretty standard water glass (she isn't quite yet to BA level, but she's getting there...)

A - Carbonation is kinda odd with this sucker. As I pour, there's no head. When I finish, it jumps up to an inch (on a soft pour) and then dissolves as quickly as it appeared, leaving no discernible lacing. When shaken, the bubbles appear and disappear yet again. Other than color, which is bright clear red (almost like a red soda), this resembles champagne in every regard. I wouldn't doubt that champagne yeast was at work in the creation of this brew.

S - Smells strongly of syrupy cherries; like maraschinos, cherry Torani, black cherry soda or red cough syrup. Not being a big fan of syrupy cherries (or cough syrup, for that matter), this smell is lightly nauseating to me. There really isn't much noticeable beer aroma here -- just overpowering cherry -- and I'm kind of wishing there was.

T - Tastes allay some of those syrupy fears. This is dry and bubbly with a strong cherry flavor. Thankfully, the flavor shows real cherries, probably from the Northwest (Ranier or Bing). This is far more pleasant than the aroma led me to expect. There's also a fruity alcohol taste that reminds me of fermented apple cider -- not hard apple cider, but regular unpasteurized apple cider that's gotten a bit dated and in which wild yeasts have started converting the sugars.

M - This hits a number of places on the palate. At the outset, it's bubbly and light and sparkles on the tongue. Then its sweet with a light syrupyness that ends dry and sticky. Despite all of this, the feel is soft and dry and makes me salivate after 10 seconds or so. Fun complexity.

D - Ehhhh. Pretty tough to do much of this. Especially considering the bottle size, I'd say you almost have to share it with someone, or probably someones. That sticky syrupyness is pretty tough to get over and I think it would give me gut-rot if I tried to drink this bottle myself. It's food pairing qualities (see immediately below) are causing me to kick this up a whole point above where I normally would've in this category.

F - This is an incredible drink to pair with food, especially dessert, because its one of those rare beers that will add a whole new component to a dish. I'm pressed to think of any food that would stand up to it's sweet cherry flavor, but I can think of a billion that it would be great with in terms of a contrast: vanilla bean cheesecake, sweet chocolate, peanut butter sandwich, fruit salad, duck confit (depending very much on what's with it), sugar cookies, etc. Interestingly enough, I had it with homemade spaghetti sauce and found it to match perfectly. It provide a fantastic sounding board to the acidity of the tomatoes and balsamic/red wine vinegars, the dark strength of the herbs and spices and the grainy nuttiness of the pasta. This beer likes food. Additionally, I wouldn't doubt that it'd make a great reduction sauce on its own. I'll have to try that one of these days.

O - I must say, the syrupy stickiness is a bit too overpowering and the malt a bit too under-powering for my tastes. I have real trouble trying to figure out how this ends up as the best beer in WI according to reviewers on this site. Overall, I think this has much more in common with soda (or sweet champagne) than it does beer and that's probably why it gets such great reviews. Everyone loves pop. I'm not a big fan, so I don't think this floats my boat as much as the next geek. However, it does have an amazing affinity for food and, approached from that standpoint, I find it to be quite useful and amazing. Either way, it's certainly an interesting brew and still leagues beyond most ridiculous attempts at this style. (4,092 characters)

Photo of bashiba
2.95/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into my goblet a very cloudy reddish/brown with just a thin little lace of head around the rim.

Smell was completely and totally cherries, fresh cherries too, not some fake sweet cherry smell.

Flavor is completely and totally dominated by cherries, slightly sweet and slightly tart at the same time. A think its a little overpowering for my taste and really barely has any beer likeness at all.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied, but with a touch of slickness to it.

Drinkability is low, I don't think I could drink to much of this one, In fact finishing off the 750 I opened was starting to be a struggle. (619 characters)

Photo of SacoDeToro
2.95/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice ruby red with a small off-white head.

The aroma of the beer was full of sweet and tart cherries and some malty sweetness in the background. No hops or alcohol on the nose.

The flavor of the beer was full of sticky sweet cherries. In fact, it was like drinking carbonated sweet cherry cider - the non alcoholic kind. Is this really a beer?

The carbonation was adequate, but the mouthfeel was deathly syrupy.

I did not really enjoy this as a beer. If it were bottled as a non-alcoholic cherry cider, I would have believed it. IMO, it was a syrupy overrated mess. (578 characters)

Photo of dvmin98
2.98/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Being a huge fan of New Glarus and pretty much everything I've had from them, I was pretty excited to finally try this one. I love cherries, so this has been a want for a bit.

The appearance and smell were awesome. Nice reddish hue and big cherry smell. Good carbonation. Not a huge head. Looking good so far.

Then....I tasted it and I felt like I was a kid again when Mom was trying to shove that synthetic flavored 'cherry' swill down my throat when I had a boo boo. I took another sip, then another, then another...then stopped. Wife tried it and like it...wife gets bottle of Belgian Red.

Really disappointed, esp after how much I love Raspberry Tart and Serendipity. This was not good, at least to me. Wife thought otherwise. (733 characters)

Photo of Spica66
3/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this as a gift from wellestone. Thank you, Chad. Shared with gwuilliums on Friday night. Poured chilled from 750ml bottle into tulip glasses.

A: Burgundy/red color. Decent head formation and retention. Carbonation persists. Some lacing.

S: Holy Mother of All that is Cherry! This does not smell like beer. It smells like a jar of tart cherries straight from Traverse City. Wow. I can not believe what I am smelling, then I read the bottle. "Over a pound of cherries in every bottle." Yep, now I get it. The one thing that I will say is that the smell is of of clean/fresh cherries. No cough syrup qualities at all.

T: Tastes like cherries topped with cherries and further topped by cherry topping. Really, just clean, concentrated tart cherry juice. I am not sure that this has any beer qualities at all.

M: This has a very nice medium body and excellent carbonation. But man, it is hard to get your head to stop thinking about the uber cherry taste in your mouth long enough to get the feel!

O: This beer is not for me, so, in keeping with my previous methods, when reviewing a beer that I would never drink again, I am rating this beer as straight 3's. (1,164 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
3.01/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2015-07-05
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. (788 characters)

Photo of zackinthebox
3.03/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The bottle looks great with its red wax seal over the cap. The beer pours nice with a decent head. The color is a burnt orange red. I would opt to drink this over many desert wines. It is not the type of beer that I would want to drink in larger quantities. I was surprised how strong the cherry flavor was until I read they put a pound of cherries in every bottle. Honestly I would have liked it better if it tasted more like beer. (432 characters)

Photo of Shumista
3.04/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Split a bomber 3 ways; from notes.

Pours deep red, head has a slight pink hue. A very strange yet enticing look that really begs you to find out more.Smells like cherry syrup, kind of a "cherry burnetts (vodka) smell" as someone else around the table said. Unfortunately the cherries in the nose are a little bit too candy-like to smell fresh. Tastes like black cherry soda pop, fresh cherries, citrus rind, and bubble gum. Honestly it tastes closer to cherry soda then it does beer. Lively carbonation, medium bodied but a touch syrupy. Drinkability suffered for me, it was just too sweet and too cherry-y. A few people at the table were getting frustrated because they wanted to move to the next beer in our tasting and I was taking too long to finish my pour. I think that says something about its drinkability.

I fear this one doesn't live up to the hype for me. I was especially let down because I had just had New Glarus's Unplugged Cranbic the night before which really impressed me so I had especially high expectations. (1,031 characters)

Photo of s1ckboy
3.06/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - a dull red with a white head.

S - a ton of cherries. Also a bit of cinnamon

T - a ton of cherries, a bit of cinnamon. Slight tart/ sour.

M - thin side of medium.

O - yep it's a fruit beer. I'm glad I tried it? I will not be seeking this out again. Could not drink more than 1/2 a glass, just too much. (312 characters)

Photo of EddieTheTrooper
3.07/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

I was quite surprised at this beer, surprised and disappointed. Normally I am a fan of all things new glarus but this beer was just too damn fruity. It smells like cherries, it tastes like cherries, it's cherry red. I mean, I like cherries and all but this stuff is like cough syrup. I wanted some beer with my fruit salad. One glass was enough, one bottle was far too much. For a brewery that ordinarily makes such well-balanced beers, this cherry thing has gotten a little out of hand. If I wanted juice, I wouldn't be drinking beer. (535 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.07/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A ~2-year old WBR

Not an overly impressive offwhite foam head... No lacing either. Brew is hazy beet red.

Phew! Tons of syrup-y, sugary, cherry... A bit over whelming. Slight horse blanket funk too, is this normal?

Very dry, not as I expected. Slight off cherry flavor, very sweet, almost too much so. Perfect carbonation. Near offensive, pungent, cherry flavor.

A bit all over the place and a bit over done... This brew is a bit over rated, IMO. I wont seek it again, it would also be hard for me to recommend. I much prefer Raspberry Tart. Thanks Nick for sharing! (571 characters)

Photo of leakyfaucet12
3.08/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

I had this beer to celebrate my brother moving into his new house and I was anticipating this to be the greatest beer ever. When i saw the beer It wasnt the most impressive beer i have ever seen, but i felt that when you make a cherry beer it would look like this, in that aspect the brewer had gotten exactley what they wanted. The smell was wonderful. When you are making a cherry beer you should smell Cherrys and nothing but. That is exactly what i smelled. The taste hit me as medicinal. I dont like to ever speak bad of beers but i could not shake the fact that it tasted like cough medicine. The mouthfeel was an exception to the taste. The beer seemed to be perfectly carbonated and didnt give me any reason to review it as bad. The drinkability of this beer was not good FOR ME. I emphasize for me because I know that there are people that could drink this like crazy but i am more of a beer guy and never drink wine. I feel bad to ever give out a bad review but to me this beer was like a fine painting that would never look good in my house but I can thoroughly appreciate the effort and time put into it. (1,116 characters)

Photo of walshclimb
3.1/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Attractive bottle with wax melted over the cap. No dates of any kind. I sort of wonder if I got an older bottle. Read on... Pours clear cherry red with thin head that almost immediately dissipated to a thin film. Obvious sweet cherry aroma with a little sour yeast. Taste follows smell - almost like an alcoholic cherry soda but with a somewhat pleasant lingering aftertaste of candied cherries. Not at all complex. I feel like this beer could use a little more balance, maybe a little more in the hops department. I couldn't taste any as it is. Medium bodied, light carbonation, sticky syrup. Overall, this is interesting and worth a try, but I would recommend splitting the bottle between four people. Try it with something of considerable contrast like salty rye or pumpernickel crackers and mild cheese like gouda. (818 characters)

Photo of ptykozoon
3.11/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours tomato red with a hairs length of foam on top which never leaves. Decent lacing, with tons of minuscule bubbles that play around the top when swirled.

Smells of fruit punch, cherries, cherries and more cherries.

This is an interesting beer. It is very hard to describe, there are of course the sweet cherries, acidic carbonation. Then there is this earthy quality, herbs, floral bits, perhaps vegetables come through along with a touch of sour. I suppose this just isn't my type of beer but it tastes too sweet and off-balance to me, like a cherry flavored soda or exotic mixed drink - which taste fine but aren't particularly appealing to me in a beer. Not gonna lie - reminds me of a higher quality, more subtle Mike's hard lemonade.

No alcohol detected. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, with a touch of syrupy sweetness.

Drinkability is no good on this one, maybe if I was a child drooling for candy, but after a while this makes one sick. I'll revisit this again sometime but it's not too appealing to me as of now. (1,030 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.17/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to oakbluff for this one.

Poured from a 1 pint 9 fl. oz. bottle into 2 champagne flutes (me & my wife)

Appearance: Pours a dark, crimson red with 1 finger head & lots of carbonation. Not bad.

Smell: Sour cherry notes with slight sweetness. Nice smelling aroma.

Taste: Sourness hits me straight on. Sour cherry with a dry, wood-like quality.

Mouthfeel: Heavily carbonated but sourness unrelenting. I would have liked some more sweetness to balance it out. I have trouble distinguishing some of the nuances & am feeling the taste getting to me which brings us to:

Drinkability: I had trouble finishing this one, even while drinking it with my wife. A 12oz. bottle for 2 would be enough until then, i don't think i would try it again.

Overall: As with the Raspberry Tart, i must admit to being overwhelmed by these brews. They are high-quality for sure as the taste is clearly natural & not artificial but not for me which is strange because i actually like many fruit beers but i guess these particular ones aren't for me. I am grateful for being able to try them though. (1,083 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
3.18/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am the one who usually likes the unusual fruit beer.Not this time. This is way too tart and way too cherry.

I dragged this back from Wisconsin last week. It seemed like a great value, but now I'm not looking forward to finishing it. Throwing it out would be alcohol abuse. (275 characters)

Photo of jdoherty
3.18/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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 (689 characters)

Photo of squaremile
3.21/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured at a recent BA tasting event. Someone said that these NG beers are what you give to people who say they don't like beer as a way to convert them and I can easily see that. This pours a hazy auburn and smells overwhelmingly like maraschino cherries. The taste is like drinking a cherry dum-dum pop. Very sweet. Light on the tongue but the sweetness for me was overwhelming and I didn't want any more than about 2oz of it. Warrant would love this beer. (457 characters)

Photo of Jaunty
3.22/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Warm red color, poured in a pilsner glass.
I had this beer before and loved every minute of it Head poured thick, but soon disappeared to a
fine white lacing. Fragrance comes across very sweet, almost syrupy
Wonderful fragrance of sweet cherries.
Other reviews I read thought that this was a very sweet beer. I did not find this so.
Very tart cherry flavor permeated the brew. Previous versions that I remember having did not seem as strong cherry flavor. This tart taste may take a while to get used to. Maybe, I should have aged it longer.
The finish is a very spicy with a dry/bitter bite. (597 characters)

Photo of davedahl
3.25/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle I picked up at Woodman's in south-west Wisconsin.

Appearance is ruby-red. Red red red. So much so that it makes me slightly nervous. Hard pour gives a couple fingers of pink head which dissipates very quickly - snap crackle pop.

Not much to the nose - slight cherry scent. Smells vapid cold and cherry.

First sip is a blast of cherry sweetness. Whoa. Some tart too which makes it less of a cherry popsicle. If you look for it you'll find a slight, but interesting, roasted malt flavor in back.

The mouthfeel starts syrupy then quickly gets crisp and thin.

I bought two bottles, will let the other age a bit and hopefully the sweetness will relax a bit. Glad I had the young one, but won't likely have another till the second bottle ages 6 months or so. (784 characters)

Photo of Etan
3.27/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml into a tulip, shared by Agold at last night's tasting.

A: Ruby with a small off-white head.

S: Syrupy. Cherry cough syrup. Hrm...

T: Better than the aroma. Cherry pie - candied cherry flesh, sugary pastry dough, heavy spice like nutmeg and cinnamon.

M: Slight carbonation, medium-bodied.

O: Pretty interesting - tastes just like cherry pie - but I could barely kill my 8oz pour, let alone a whole bottle. Good for a one-time experience. (447 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.34/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I don't think I got a bad bottle, the the beer store had this one in the fridge, I just think I'm not a fan. It did look gorgeous, I've never seen a pink cascading head before. The aroma, however, just reminded me of Juicy Juice, not a fine beer. The taste was a little more complex with a mild tartness and sweet cherry flavor. I really couldn't find much depth here. I'd go back to the Raspberry Tart before this one. (419 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.38/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an almost clear brown with red hues. Very thin tan head that doesn't stick around. Nose is cherry juice. Flavor is much of the same. Tastes like cherry cough syrup almost. Almost seems like a touch of apple cider on the back there as well. Eck. Feel is much like the flavor. Syrupy. Carbonation is a bit lower I guess. Good lord. What a disappointment. I think this is going to be a bit of a challenge to drink. I put this on the level of all those overly sugared fruit beers from Belgium. This just makes me miss Liefmans Kriek even more. (545 characters)

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 936 ratings.