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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,852 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,852
Reviews: 923
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 1,074
Gots: 552 | FT: 55
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,852 | Reviews: 923 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beertunes
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into tulip. Poured a pretty red color with an inch of pinkish-tan head that had very good retention and lacing.

The aroma is strongly cherry and not much else. On the tongue the cherry flavor is backed up by a bit of a grain taste.The body was very effervescent and crisp, sweet without being sticky. Drinkability will depend on how you like sweet and fruity brews, I loved it and would lots more if it were available to me.

Photo of nectar14
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer makes me long for my home state... Wisconsin.

A: Ruby amber in color, with a fluffy 2-finger off white head. Not much lacing. Looks fruity.

S: Scent of crunchy, tart cherries, with just a whiff of malt/wheat.

T: All about the cherries. Tart, delicious, beautiful cherries. Some sweetness balances it well, and it is never cloying. Finishes with a lingering cherry taste.

M: Medium bodied. Carbonation is perfect. Mildly effervescent.

D: ALL DAY. Light in alcohol, big in delicious flavor.

I don't know if it's possible to improve upon a beer like this... absolutely delicious. I wish I'd brought another back from WI after my last trip. Kudos to New Glarus.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 750 mL bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Slightly opaque bright ruby red color with a 2 cm off-white head. It fades somewhat quickly but still leaves a bit of sticky lace on the glass. Very full color.

Smell: Tart cherries dominate. A little bit sweet as well.

Taste: Strong tart cherry all the way through. Some sweetness sneaks in more and more as it warms, but cherry is in control the entire time. Nothing about this is incredibly complex, but it represents cherries very well without anything synthetic tasting or out of place.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light on the tongue. Bubbly carbonation. Sweetness leaves the lips a bit sticky.

Drinkability: This is not the kind of beer I would normally think about sessioning, but it has such a great balance of sweet and (mostly) tart cherry flavor that this could be a surprise addition to my regular stash.

Photo of jampics2
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A bottle split with new friends and neighbors at our first neighborhood block party. The lady and myself were new to the neighborhood and wanted to make a nice impression. This did the trick. Everyone loved this and wanted to know where to buy one. Looks like I'll need to stock up for the next get-together.

Red and fizzy, this looks more like a cherry soda than a beer. Great head, looks like a pillows atop a red sheet of lush beer.

Smell is wonderful cherry juice. Wow, this is incredible. No beer qualities at all, just natural (no Ludens here) cherries. Just a touch too sweet, otherwise it would be a 5.

Taste is wonderful Cherry is of course the leader on this journey. Some non-lacto tartness from the natural cherries. Just perfect fruit flavor, such depth, all of it natural layers - a deep dive into this lovely fruit. Never fake or cloying. How did they do this? I know, if they told me they'd have to kill me. Well, if there are 72 cases of this in heaven, I'm in.

Mouthfeel is perfect and IMO is easily the best feature of this wonderful beer. Wow, just enough body to be substantial and a perfect lively carbonation. Nectar of the gods I tell ye! And drinkability is close to perfect too. Just a bit too much cherry overload to do a bottle by myself. A perfect party beer to share with good friends and new friends.

Funny story, I wandered away from the group to do a quick audio rating and it turns out I ran into a neighbor who was having a smoke. We discussed the beer and, in the course of the conversation with the recorder running, I made my observations that are captured here over the course of a 5 minute conversation.

This will be a staple of our future tastings with the neighbors!

Photo of mdfb79
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of Shumista
3.04/5  rDev -30.6%
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.

Photo of herman77
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Blood red with a slightly pinkish/white read. Good clarity. A little bit of lacing is left behind.

S: Sweet and sour cherries. Mainly a tart red cherry. Kind of reminds me of the smell of a cherry filled pastry.

T: Cherry, what a surprise! The first few sips are very odd, but it gets better after you get to know it. Great combination of sweet and tart cherries. Its sweet, its a fruit beer, but its not overly sweet since the tartness balances it out. There also is a hint of another odd earthy/woody taste, can't quite figure what it is exactly. Doesn't taste artificial, just not used to having fruit beers I guess.

M/D: Medium to fuller body. Lots of zippy, small carbonation. A very rich fruit beer. Drinkability is hard to rate for this one. Its easy to drink, more like a pop than a beer, but I couldn't do much of this. Split a 750 and that is plenty. Good overall.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a nice ruby red color with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Cherry, some sweet, some tart but mainly tart cherry

T: As we talked about while drinking this cherry Luden cought drops, light tart and sweet cherry exchanging blows

M: Smooth feel, well carbonated and little booze

D: Great beer and representation of the style.

Photo of squaremile
3.21/5  rDev -26.7%
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.

Photo of bonkers
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a 750 ml bottle into 2 snifters. It pours a fizzy, quava color, with lots of white head and lacing. The smell is pure cherries. At first the cherry flavor is a bit much, and overly sweet. But by the second sip the cherry flavor really comes through making it very refreshing. The beer is highly carbonated, light in body and very wine like. For me this is more of a sipper. The best fruit beer I have ever had, IMO a must try for any BA.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
2.24/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

750 ml bottle poured into my lambic glass.

A- Body is beautiful. Its a nearly transparent, rich, dark, gem-like, cherry hue. Pours with a 1-2 finger foamy pink head. Head retains well at about 1/2 finger and leaves plenty of lacing down the glass.

S- Ripe cherry. Like when you open a jar of cherries soaked in cherry juice. Very rich. Cherry pits, cherry tartness, cherry sweetness. Not artificial whatsoever.

T- Taste is similar to the smell. Its very cherry all the way through. A hint more tart than sweet but there is a slight cherry pit woodiness to it as well. Taste is pretty consistent the whole way through and the flavor lingers for a while.

M- Low to medium carbonation with a rich, thick, and sticky mouthfeel.

D- In short I didn't really like this beer at all. I drank one lambic glass full and gave the rest away-which is easy because this is a very popular beer. To me it gave the impression of cough syrup without the medicinal aspect (which would have been an improvement...IMO). I really respect that this beer is all cherry without being artificial...which is why I am trying not to slam it too much...but this brew is just not for me.

Photo of mtstatebeer
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a hazy, reddish-cranberry color with a small frothy off-white/pink head, good lacing. Aroma is cherries mostly with a hint of caramel malt. Flavor is sour cherries, a hint of oak, and some wine/grape flavors. Mouthfeel is medium, sour and a fairly active carbonation. Very drinkable beer.

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

Is this pop? I swear I used to drink this cherry soda when I was a kid. This smelled so sweet and looked so much like a wine cooler, I thought I was going to be disappointed. Disappointed? Not with this one!

Bomber into New Glarus glass. The bottle recommended a tulip or flute, but I thought the branded glass would do just fine.

A - Red wine color with a light head... for soda.
S - Big blast of montmorency cherries. Really strong with this one. I made my wife smell it (the beer) and she said "Wow, that's stong!"
T - Really great tasting sweet/tart fruit beer.
M - I hope all the sugar in this soda doesn't rot my teeth :) Felt like a fizzy wine in the mouth... but in a good way.
D - Could drink another bottle or three of this.

Overall thoughts are I can't believe I passed this bottle up so many times. I will be in WI again this week and will definitely be on the lookout for another bottle. This may be a good gateway beer for the right person. Great alternative to someone who likes wine coolers.

Photo of hawks10
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle poured into my Ithaca Beer Co. tulip glass...

Pours a nice ruby red with two fingers of fluffy pink head, some lacing is left behind...

Cherry, very sweet and fruity. A bit, and I stress "bit" of sourness and oaky dryness, but it is very subdued...pretty much just a cherry bomb, ha...

Cherry Ludens cough drops with a bit of a drying oak flavor. Slightly bitter in the finish but mostly this is just a sweet blend of alcoholic cherry juice with a bit of a drying, woody character and slight tart flavors at the end...kind of feel guilty liking this beer so much...

Medium bodied and very well carbonated. Tingly and crisp on the palette...

I really doubt there is any alcohol in this beer, but New Glarus insists there is. I feel kinda stupid enjoying this juice box so much, but it is great, a nice after meal treat...

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.94/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip. Thanks to alcstradamus for this one.

4.0 A: Murky amber red color sort of how dried blood looks. Two fingers of frothy white head with average retention and some lacing.

5.0 S: Holy shit, the cherries. I just had the Raspberry Tart and this is pretty much the same aroma, but with cherries. Cherries, cherries, cherries! Nothing but cherries. The cherries block out everything else. I didn't give the Tart a 5 on the nose, because I appreciate complexity, but i can't not give this a 5 because it's so damn enticing.

5.0 T: Again, the cherries dominate the hell out of this beer, but it doesn't matter. It's so damn tasty. Cherries are mainly sweet, like maraschino cherries, but not in a fake way. There's a subtle tartness that balances the sweetness well. Like the Tart, there isn't any malt or hops to talk about, but I'm sure they do their part in the background.

5.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation is spritzy and dances on the tongue. Super smooth.

5.0 D: I need more of these fruit twins. This is the PERFECT dessert beer for both beer aficianados and BMC guzzlers alike. I'm both sad and disgusted that I only have one bottle left.

Photo of yourefragile
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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

Review from notes at DLD 4/24/10

This beer poured a lovely, hazy, deep ruby red with a white cap that had the slightest pink in it. The body is a shade darker than the Cranbic. Lots of cherries (Bing and Maraschino type) and a hint of apples. The flavor is so similar to the aroma that the only difference is that I discern a touch more tartness in it. Overall very sweet. Smooth texture, light and bubbly. A great drinker all around.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Bobby8405 at our micro-epic NFL Draft tasting.

A - It pours a grenadine-red, with giant pink foam that is quite short-lived, but it is just a intriguing and beautiful looking brew.

S - The smell is super cherry. It is tremendously fragrant. There is a palpable tartness apparent, too.

T - The taste is saturated entirely with tart red cherries. It is not without dynamic, it is just that every bit of the dynamic is cherry-centric. Sweet like grenadine, tart like cherry pie, earthy like fresh cherries, etc. Awesome. When compared to its sister brew, NG Raspberry Tart, this brew stands far above it; it has complexity in its flavor, highlights and celebrates all flavors cherry, and is much more tart than the Raspberry Tart.

M - Medium-bodied and tart-sweet with a clean and slightly dry finish.

D - Great stuff; it was enjoyed by all.

Photo of washburnkid
3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of a trade with soulforpeanuts. Tasted with dgb3. (I love BAs!) I was blown away by Raspberry Tart and was really looking forward to this one.

Appearance is not what I'd expect from a Belgian. Very cloudy rubies and purples and reds, which makes the body absolutely gorgeous. But the head is minimal and there's not much retention to speak of. Aromas are all cherry...it's very prominent and in your face, but the flavors reveal something a little more subtle. It's actually a lot sweeter on the palate than expected. At the tasting, I said the aromas were freshly picked and ripened cherries, but the flavors were more on the maraschino cherries side of the spectrum, just really sweet and tons of residuals covering the mouth. Each sip revealed a varied level of tartness, which I suppose kept things interesting. Not much "Belgian" in here that I could discern. The cherries really take this one over.

All parties agreed that this brew would be best for either a hot day or a brunch. It was really great for what it was, but I couldn't drink more than one goblet of this in one sitting, whereas I happily drank the entire bottle of Raspberry Tart in a short amount of time.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.43/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Split this one with the wife after dinner. Poured mine into my duvel tulip and my wife used a lindemanns flute.

This thing is bright and clear. Pinkish red with a pink tint to the head. Nice vertical chunks of lace hang on the curves of my glass.

This beer smells like ludens cherry cough drops- you remember the ones that were more like candy than medicine. Cherry is all I really smell or taste... With exception of a slight sourness that hopefully intensifies with age. I'll be saving a bottle for a while and re-review this at that point. I'm hoping the cherry mellows out and other flavors make an appearance.
I mean this really reminds me of cherry pie filling.

The level of carbonation is great, though less than the raspberry tart. The body is still light and drinkable. This does lose some points on taste and drinkability for being a one trick pony...
But it is not a total loser... It is enjoyable for what it is...It is a fruitbeer afterall.

Photo of Cubsfan1087
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really liked this beer. It reminds me of Samuel Smith's Organic Cherry. It pours a dark red and smells like cherry, of course. The taste is great, sweet like cherry but not too sweet. I highly recommend this beer for anyone who likes fruit beers, Samuel Smith's Cherry, or New Glarus beers.

Photo of scottyshades
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off, thanks to beerwolf77 for this beauty. Secondly, this is hands down the best cherry flavored beer on the planet.

A: Pours a cherry wood/pinkish color with a small white cap that retains for a minute or two then fades away.

S: Fresh, ripe, delicious cherries! Sweet smelling for sure, with a little twang. I don't pick up on any hops, and malts are pretty faint and hardly noticeable amongst the mass amounts of cherries. The cherries do not smell artificial at all, sweet and sour.

T: Wow...this is what a fruit beer should taste like. No artificial fruit, just ripe, sweet & sour cherries! Tastes like cherry cheesecake pie filling. Highly addicting, and completely different than "beer." Tastes more like a cherry flavored soda. The flavor makes you pucker, but then a sweet side comes out.

MF/D: Expect high carbonation because this is a light brew, light body, lingering sweet & sour cherry finish.

As far as fruit beers go, amazing...but not like typical beers. There were definitely moments where I just wanted to tip the glass back and chug, so be careful and refrain from doing so.

Photo of MrDanno96
3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Doodler sent this to me as an EXTRA in our most recent trade. Thank you for the generosity my friend.

WARNING: My bottle foamed over as soon as I had the cap off and made a decent mess on my kitchen table. I'd recommend opening this over the sink just to be safe.

A: A finger of off-white head sits atop a beautiful reddish brown liquid that gives off ruby hues when held to the light. Some spotty sticky lace sticks to the sides of the glass. Head mostly dissipated after a few minutes.

S: Pretty much straight cherry and not much else. Hints of sourness and acidity are present too. In general, this isn't an unpleasing aroma at all. However, when it's coming from a beer I worry it's going to be too sweet.

T: Tart cherries an a little yeasty funk. Pretty much tastes like sour fruit juice. Are you sure this is beer in my glass?

M: Light body and not a whole lot of carbonation. Dries out a little in the finish. I would actually have liked to see a little more carbonation here.

D: This was good, but I'm not crazy about it to be honest. It reminded me a bit of table wine: very sweet and appealing to drink in small doses. After I was about half-way through the bottle, however, I'd had enough. It just got a little too sweet after a while. I wouldn't drink 750 ml of fruit juice, and that's basically what this tastes like. Despite this, it's still a very respectable fruit beer. The Red Raspberry is much better IMO.

Photo of boatshoes
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My fifth or so time with this beer due to a generous relative of mine who lives in Wisconsin. About time I gave it a review.

Appearance- Pours a really nice shade of ruby-crimson into my snifter with about two fingers of pink head sitting on top. Head gradually dies down to a thin sheet across the top. Mild lacing and beading as i drink.

Smell- Wow, a whole lot of fresh cherries here. Smells like a fresh cherry pie, just a little bit sweet and jammy. Hard to really detect anything else beyond the cherries, but very fresh and not artificial at all.

Taste- Again, really up front on the fresh cherries. Lots of fresh, sweet cherry and cherry preserves. Mixed in however is a little bit of cherry pit woodiness as well, which adds a little bit more depth. Very nice for dessert, and I imagine it would go very well with cheesecake. Finishes off with a very mild tartness at the end.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is solid with adequate carbonation and not too thick. Drinkability suffers just a touch because this one got a little sweet towards the end of my glass.

Overall, a great cherry inspired fruit beer. Can lean a little towards sweet at the end of your glass, but it never struck me as an artificial fruitiness. Give it a shot

Photo of billab914
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a set of New Glarus flute glasses. poured a ruby red color with a significant amount of carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. It poured with a small white head that quickly retreated to the sides of the glass.

The aroma is is all sweet cherries. Almost smells like a cherry syrup or cherry juice. The taste is pretty much again cherry dominated. It has some sweetness but is also offset by a little dry tartness in the finish. It still leans towards the sweeter side but the tartness helps it from being cloyingly sweet.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation. Drinkability is very good for as fruity as a beer as this is. it would probably pair great with a lot of deserts.

Overall I really loved this beer, but I absolutely love cherries. Cherries are probably my favorite fruit and this beer really tastes like real cherries instead of the fake extract in a lot of cherry beers.

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,852 ratings.