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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

960 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 960
Hads: 3,231
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 19.04%
Wants: 1,138
Gots: 715 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wisconsin Belgian Red Alström Bros
Reviews: 960 | Hads: 3,231
Photo of larryarms847
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep ruby red with a rather pretty strawberry colored head. Very well carbonated.

Smells incredible. Lush cherries that smell like you dove in a pool of them.

Floored instantly. Delicious in every way. Not so much a beer but like drinking a liquified, fermented cherry.

Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshingly carbonated to help cut down on the sweetness.

Overall this is perfect.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Deuane
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Clear blood red with a pinkish white head.

S-CHERRIES! What else? This beer is like sniffing the ultimate cherry Yankee Candle.

T-LIke a cherry sweet-tart. Has some underlying sweetness. Even with the awesome overpowering cherry flavor it is incredible appealing.

M-Lively carbonation keeps this from being sickly syrupy. Feels very nice despite the lack of "real" body.

D-This is one damn fine fruit beer. You had better like tart cherries, which I do! This beer balances the fruit sweetness and sourness perfectly.

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Photo of marksto
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From 5/29/10 notes.

a - Pours a ruby red color, with a little bit of reddish, off white head.

s - Smell is wonderful. Lots of cherries, both sweet and sour. Also some other citrus and dark fruits.

t - Taste is great as well. Tastes of sour cherries, sweet cherry, raspberries, and citrus.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I thought this was an amazing beer; one of the best fruit beers I've ever had. Very easy to drink, and would love to have again.
EDIT on 11/09/12: Have had this many times over the years, most recently last weekend on 11/02/12. Possibly my favorite fruit beer ever; this beer is amazing.

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Photo of LisaBarker
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Went to New Glarus Brewery a few years ago and fell in love with this beer. It just royally sucks that we cannot get it here in Oregon. It is the best tasting cherry beer. The cherry is fresh, tart yet sweet and the bubbles are amazing. It is a beer I still talk about to this day, very worth while.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle, dipped in dark red wax. Poured into a flute. Thanks Brian23456 (I think)!

A near perfect fruit beer for my tastes in most every regard. Aroma and flavor are dominated by rich, complex and completely natural fresh cherries. Thick, syrupy body with fine carbonation and a long lasting sour and tart cherry finish. Appearance is murky, thick rust and blood color with a large cream colored head with a light rosy tint. Long lasting retention and thick rings of web like lacing. Only thing keeping this from being all 5s for me is that I would prefer a little more tart to sweet cherry flavor, but it's a minor concern.

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Photo of jeffboo
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
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 Gatch
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on one of these.

A: Beautiful deep red in color with shades of brown and some haze. Looks like unfiltered cranberry juice. Creamy, bubbly, frothy, slightly off-white head that leaves good lacing and retention.

S: Mix of tart/sour cherries, cream, sugar. Superb.

T: Well, as expected, it's all tart/sour cherry. A fizzy, well-carbonated, cherry beverage.

M: Incredibly refreshing, massive flavor, perfect fizzy finish. Never cloying or too sweet.

O: This is the definition of a fruit beer. Utterly incredible. Could drink at least one a week. Divine stuff.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.76/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a flute at the brewery on 4/28/12

A - A beautiful mostly clear brilliant pinkish-cherry red with 1 finger light cherry head with good retention and moderate lacing.

S - The soul of a cherry, these fruit are so abundant it is intoxicating, nice oak, and fruity soda, bubble gum notes.

T - A very sweet cherry taste hits you so smooth you'll be charmed immediately followed by a bit of tartness and delicate oak notes and just a hint of hop floral aroma.

M - Moderate body, highly carbonated, effervescent.

O - So complex and satisfying and easily among the most drinkable fruit beer. Pairs well with a nice creamy Wisconsin cheese.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Just a wonderful fruit beer. Thick and luscious like a true apple cider only pink. Loads of tart cherries and hints of spices. Smells great, tastes great. Feels like velvet on your tongue. Not overly sweet at all and therefore very drinkable.

Over the weekend I sat out on a lake in Northern Wisconsin and consumed a bottle that I had kept in a cupboard for at least three years. I was a bit nervous that the beer would have spoiled but it hadn’t. It tasted exactly as I remembered it tasting fresh from the brewery.

Moreover, the beer was a perfect pick for the colorful fall day. It feels very much like a homemade cider and this makes it fit naturally with changing leaves and fire pit conversation.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reddish-brown in color. I take a whiff.... WOW... cherry! Smells like delicious, fresh-baked cherry pie, big time! Oh, and the flavor? Stunningly delicious-- tastes like the most wonderful homemade cherry pie filling with the slightest hint of spice. Can cherry beer (or any fruit beer for that matter) possibly taste any better than this?? Oh I surely would bet not! This beer is so smooth and lusciously drinkable... simply remarkable.

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Photo of cbutova
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Loved the raspberry tart, thanks to Chico1985 I now get to try this one. Reviewed from notes.

A- Dark red, can only see through it holding it up to light. Small pink, frothy head that dies down to a nice creamy cloud with big bubbles. Good fine random, spotty lacing.

S- All fruit. Amazing cherry and sweet aroma. Some vine hints, very similar to the Raspberry Tart in this catergory.

T- Fresh cherry overload. You get all the aspects of the cherry throughout the beginning and aftertaste, so unique. Tart and sweet at the same time. Fruity bliss. Slight vine.

MF- Syrup-like body with light carbonation and a tart sting. Very smooth and appropriate for such a fruit heavy drink. Amazing flavors coat the palate.

DB- This and the Raspberry Tart give me a reason to go to Wisconsin some time, absolutely awesome beers. Amazing flavor with a great sweet to tart balance. A eye-opening experience.

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Photo of Brewfan
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2 year old bottle. I've been sitting on this bottle for a while now. Drank the first one I had about a year ago. Decided to crack this one tonight. Why? Just because.
Poured into my Houblon Chouffe snifter.
Pours a clear garnet hue with a quick off white head. Head disapates to a nice ring of lace with some clinging lace up the sides. Lace is long lasting and clings throughout the entire session. Even roughing up the beer a bit, the secondary head drops very quickly. Frothy but quick. No signs of carbonation.
First whif is straight cherry reduction. Deeper than any cherry could give straight from nature though. Deep and rich and sugary, but definitely inviting. No hops present. No discernable malt overtones. Just cherries. Lucious, slightly smokey cherries.
Now for the goods. The taste. First thing that comes to mind is blood soaked cherries. I thought that the first time I tried this beer, and a year later, that's still what I think. You get a rich, tart, almost coppery tang. I can't expliain how deep the flavors go. Slightly sour, not like a lambic, but there is some "twang" there. Sweet and extremely drinkable.
EXTREMELY drinkable. No alcohol is present. Medium mouthfeel fills the mouth with cherry goodness.
This is a gorgeous beer. Albiet not for everyone, but I love cherries. This is the best fruit beer I've ever had. I dare someone to try to one-up this one. Good luck.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wisconson Belgian Red pours a hazy ruby color with a small, frothy head on top. The foam fades slowly leaving behind several spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is sweet and loaded with cherry. Reminds me of a cherry coughdrop.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is soft, rich and chewy on the palate. Mild carbonation. The flavor is like a cherry pie. Sweet with loads of cherry and a touch of toasted malt. Towards the end a touch of spice and sour notes poke through. Once gone the cherry flavor lingers on the palate.

This is a fantastic beer. I was lucky enough to get a bottle from a friend of a friend who was going to Wisconsin. Very flavorful and easy to drink. It's a dessert in a glass!

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Photo of illidurit
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into champagne flute

A - Pours a well carbonated orangish red but with minimal 1/4 inch head that falls to nothing.

S - Hmm, cherries? Almost like cherry kool-aid. Still, not too sweet and very enticing.

T - Tart cherries with little malt or hop. Not overly tart though or excessively fruity. Amazing balance and very tasty. Delicious.

M - Great sweet carbonation tingle with medium body (not syrupy) and a slightly drying aftertaste. Leaves you wanting more.

D - Amazingly refreshing with no alcoholic effect, thus its quite drinkable. Not syrupy or overly sweet like most fruit beers. A must try and something I would often return to were it more available.

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Photo of drpimento
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The ulltimate cherry pie beer. Poured with a huge, foamy, frothy, thick, light tan head and a little lace. Color is red amber. Aroma is malt, sour cherries, and spice. Flavor's exactly like nose. Body is perfect and carbonation is the ultimate and cuts through the flavors exactly right. Finish is fairly long and exquisite. Not a session for me, but a great beer for desert or on a picnic.

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Photo of Boto
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle. I really liked this beer, from the red wax on the op to the very last drop. This one pours a definite reddish color. There was some haziness to the beer. It pours with a big head that drops to nothing almost immediately. There was some champagne-like fizzy carbonation that continued throughout. The nose is somewhat like a cherry pie, just not as sweet. It was sweet, sour and tart all at the same time. The taste was really nice. Cherries were the main component. They were somewhat tart, with some sweetness at the same time. Something of a medium malt body hiding back there. Very nice!

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - a clear crisp looking red, nice carbonation, no head at all

S - my face was in awe after smelling what must be 1-1/2 tons of cherries.. it smelled like a jolly rancher candy

T - just like the smell, it was delicious like candy, and just like jolly ranchers it leaves a tarty taste behind

M - nice and fizzy like a champagne, the tartness makes your cheeks quench making this a little harder to drink which is good because i got to savor every last drop of it

O - i wish i had a constant supply of this. it's honestly my favorite fruit beer i have ever tasted. the only thing close to this was smuttynose's hanami ale which was discontinued so i am very glad i got a chance to feel that taste in my mouth again (but better)

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Photo of TulipSnifter
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my husband, hopsbreath, who has nurtured an amazing trade relationship with zimmerbloke. In nearly every trade, zimmerbloke is sure to send a Wisconsin Belgian Red and a Rasberry Tart... Just for me ;-)

Appearance: Dark red in color.
Smell: Dark sweet cherries.
Taste: Delicious!!! This really tastes like sweet cherry juice. It is refreshing and not syrupy.
Mouthfeel: Carbonated, refreshing and clean.
Drinkability: A M A Z I N G. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

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Photo of inebrius
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of younger35
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After trying the Raspberry Tart, I swore I'd make a Wisconsin run to grab as much of the Tart and Red as possible. I did. Drank from a Radisson Inn Hotel glass.

Appearance- Pours a fuzzy light pinkish that really brought out my girlfriends eyes... Small half finger bright white head that leaves a spotty cap and thin collar. Remarkably, plenty of lacing is left down the side of the glass.
Smell- Smells exactly like Hostess Cherry Pie filling (and I love Hostess Cherry Pies!!). Very tart and inviting. Really no way to explain this brew other than a huge burst of delicious cherry awesomeness. When you read the explanation of the beer on the label, it says it uses more than a pound per bottle. I immediately called bullshit... then I smelled it. They use every bit of that pound.
Taste- Like the Raspberry Tart, I wonder how they can possibly get this much fruit in a "beer" (loosely use the term "beer" for these treats). Just amazing how good these things are... Not as tart as the Raspberry but subtly sweet and full of ridiculously smooth cherries. Very light vanilla and yogurt undertones but this thing is 99% cherry. Pretty sweet and teetering on cloying but stays really drinkable for the most part.
Mouthfeel- Thick and luscious I'm digging the full goodness. The label says this brew has a medium body and high carbonation. I'd describe it more as a full body with accenting carbonation. High the carbonation is not.
Drinkability- 5! I could honestly drink this brew all night. It's a bit easier drinking than the Tart but overall the tastiness of this brew is a bit lower. I know it's a semi different beast all together but 9-10 times I'd rather have the other. Still really really good for what it is. Probably should grab more before I leave the state. More than recommended!

EDIT: After a couple years of drinking both the Tart and the Red, the Red is much better. Scores reflected.

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Photo of bditty187
4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
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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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 960 ratings.