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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.

950 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 950
Hads: 3,176
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 19.08%
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wisconsin Belgian Red Alström Bros
Reviews: 950 | Hads: 3,176
Photo of Higravity
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not overly sweet like Lindeman's soft more deft hand at blending the Cherry flavor with the gentle malt. Smell is of Marichino cherries that are a little soured with some maltyness in the background. That is much the same but with a slightdry sourness in the finish, not like a true blended Lambic but I think the sour and dryness comes from the cherries themselves. It has a decent body with light carbonation and it is very drinkable, but it is best to share this bottle.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.87/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark red/brown color, poured from a green glass waxed and capped 25 ounce bottle. Small white head atop. Sweet cherry smell dominates this with a subtle maltiness in hiding, some what like a cherry cider. Taste is extremely cherry dominant, sweet, but not candy-like or cloying. Hops are no where to be seen. A very different fruit beer, nothing like I have ever had. Light evervescent and refreshing.

I took another BA's suggestion, and mixed this with some Young's Double Chocolate Stout, and it was one of the richest and flavorfull beers I have ever had.

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Photo of weeare138
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to GV for getting this to me! Shared w/ sckressler.

Wow! This beer is a winner on all counts. Even the bottle is cool. It poured a nice bold red into the glass with some carbonation popping up to the top. Not much head, or lacing but everything else seems to be in place here.
Smells absolutely terrific. Cherry explosion. Smells like I fell into a vat of red cherries with some malt backbone.
Tastes amazing. Super smooth with a slight maltiness to balance it out. Tiny bit of tartness does not linger and is pleasant to the finish. I would come back again and again.

Finger licking good!

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Striking dark red appearance. Just a bit of head. One sniff gives away what this beer is all about - cherries. Real ones, and plenty of them. The flavor is a wheat beer body with cherries throughout. Not those canned cherries, not cherry juice. If the flavor was just a little more tart, and not quite so sweet, it would be perfect. High carbonation helps prevent the sweetness from becoming cloying. I really like this beer, and I don't usually like fruit beers.

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Photo of mschofield
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cloudy cherry red with tannish edges, topped with a one finger pinkish tan head, leaves webs of lacing.
Great aroma, cherry, and wheat, fairly tart but mainly sweet cherry.
Fruit, great cherry aftertaste, more wheat up front, sweet and tart, grape, cherry skin, no real hop aroma or bitterness.
Medium bodied, good drinkability, it's a dessert beer not something you would base a session on.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Murky, rust red with highlights the color of not quite ripe cherries. I expected the cap to be girlie pink, but it's actually simple beige in color. Large initially due to a generous amount of carbonation, the head is dense with a stickiness that promotes perseverance and lacing. Soapy, pocked sheets cover a good portion of the glass and stay for the duration.

This beer doesn't smell much like beer due to the all-encompassing aroma of sweet cherries. Forget malt, forget hops, forget anything that isn't pure, unadulterated essence of cherry juice. Thankfully, there are no medicinal (i.e. cough syrup) aromas present. Simply put, this is one of the best fruit beer noses that I've ever smelled.

I love it! Wisconsin Belgian Red tastes deeper and more hearty than most cherry beers. Along with the bright fruit flavor is a more earthy, muscular flavor that is more akin to dried fruit or fruit jerky than it is to fresh cherries or cherry juice. The degree of acidity is nigh on perfect. As noted in the nose description, there isn't a whole lot present that isn't cherry related, just variations on the theme and layers upon layers of flavor.

The body is full in the best sense of the word, with a lush, mouthfilling, thickly coating feel. The sugar content is high and limits drinkability for me. Unless I can get my wife to drink some (extremely doubtful) I won't be able to finish this big bottle in one sitting. Despite the note on the label ('highly carbonated') and the loud 'pffft' upon opening, I don't really appreciate an excessive amount of carbonation. The CO2 does its part to aerate the thick, syrupy body without calling attention to itself.

WBR seems to be a 'love it or hate it' kind of beer. I recognize that though it's beer in the technical sense, it doesn't much resemble beer in the classic sense. I've decided to judge it on its own merits with my enjoyment as the sole criterion. It's hard for me to imagine a fruit beer in general and a cherry fruit beer in particular that is more delicious than Wisconsin Belgian Red. I've waited quite a while to taste this one and I have to say that it has exceeded my expectations with room to spare.

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Photo of clvand0
4.87/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to kmpitz2 for sharing this bottle with us. What a beer. It pours a bright red color with a small ring of pink foam around the top. Leaves some lacing on the glass as well. Very strong aroma of cherries with just a tiny bit of sourness. Nice. The flavor was unreal. Lots of cherry flavor all over the place. Slight tart character, but very slight. Love the flavor of the cherries in this one. Spectacular flavor. Drinkability is wonderful as well. I MUST seek out more of this beer.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow, my 500th review. About 2 years ago I would have never guessed that I would ever try this many beers in my entire life. Oh well, here's to even more beer! I am forever in debt to Kevin (kmpitz2) for sharing this brew with me. 750mL bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a slightly hazy medium burgundy color with two fingers of slightly pink head. There is a good deal of lacing left on the glass. The smell is very very strong, with me getting my first whiff with the glass about 5 feet from my nose. Strong notes of maraschino cherry juice (one of my faves) and just a slight bit of sourness. Amazing. The taste is full of cherry as well, and just a bit of tart flavors going on. It's very sweet as well. I enjoy it, but not nearly as much as the aroma. The mouthfeel is decently strong and smooth for a fruit beer. The drinkability is superb. I could surely drink a few bottles easily. A remarkable drink, a wierd beer.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes of a 750ml bottle sampled on 1/15/05. The bottle was dipped in red wax. About an inch of light red head formed over the murky dark red body. Some lacing was left as the head stayed in tact. Strong cherry aroma hits you first with a bit of tartness backing it. There is a slight malty sweetness lingering in the back as well. A sweet tart like flavor hits the palate first before all the cherry flavor rushes in. The cherry flavor is great in that tastes like real cherries not sweetened cherry juice or something artificial. A good amount of tartness that lingers for bit rounds this one out. About a medium body to it with an effervescent feel to it. Pretty much what you would hope for with the style. This stuff is hugely drinkable with the tartness being very present but not overpowering and the other flavors complementing each other so well. This would be a regular for me if it was local. Thanks for the bottle slander.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of inebrius
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
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 redmosquito
3.87/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

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

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!

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Photo of thoover
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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...

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

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!

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Photo of skybluewater
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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!

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Photo of UnionMade
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
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 CRJMellor
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

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

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Photo of faernt
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of beerinator
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 950 ratings.