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Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,526 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,526
Reviews: 909
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 1,015
Gots: 443 | FT: 42
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,526 | Reviews: 909 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my official 200th review, so I thought I would pull something special out of the cellar. I have been looking forward to this one, so what better time?

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish brown color what had about a half inch head of off-white bubbles at first pour. The head didn't stick around all that long to end up a small layer on top of the beer. There is some light lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: Rich and tart cherry aroma's dominate the profile as the beer is really cold. As it warms a bit, there is a bready yeast aroma coming out.

Taste: The flavor is very cherry pie like. In fact you can even pick out some bready flavors that taste like the crust. Amazing! There is also an underlying earthy malt (I guess) that is a subtle, but notable, part of the flavor. The finish is a bit syrupy and sweet. As the beer warms a bit, the flavor is moving a bit more toward the tart side...which is nice.

Opinion: Even though the fruit beers aren't my favorite, this beer goes down really smooth. It is a bit on the sweet side for my taste, but I prefer the fruit Lambics...especially Cantillon. I have had this bottle for about a year now, so I thought that the sourness would increase with age. I am pretty satisfied that isn't the case, so I will have to try a fresher example next time.

SkeeterHawk, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml capped and waxed green bottle received as a Christmas gift along with some other pricey beers from my Parents.

Pours a murky brownish-red, completely opaque and delicious looking. As soon as the wax is cut and the bottle opened, the room is filled with luscious cherry. A closer whiff and I'm blown away by the intensity of fresh fruit - cranberry, some apple, but obviously cherry takes center stage. The flavor somehow eclipses the nose in sheer gravity. Fresh, mouth-puckering cherry and cranberry puree with some subtle hints of vanilla and oak. Mouthfeel is rich and velvety. Indulgent. Lightly carbonated. Reminded me of a fresh Door County cherry cider with a tart alcoholic bite. The sour and sweetness of the fruit balance each other nicely and make for an easy-drinking desert beer that I could see myself downing a couple bottles of in the course of an evening. It was hard to share it with my lovely girlfriend, but it's the Holiday Season. A truly magnificent fruit beer from New Glarus, how lucky to have them in my backyard.

Golden2wenty1, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of ClearDog
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance -- Poured from bottle into Duvel tulip glass. Very thick, dark, reddish-pink in color; very reminiscent of grapefruit juice. Thin head that disappeared quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell -- Sweet fruit: apples, pears, cherries. It really reminds me of how a nice holiday fruit punch smells. Perhaps some spices as well. Very interesting.

Taste -- Tart cherries. Very pleasant and very fruity. This one in no way tastes artificial. This is the real deal. Quite refreshing.

Mouthfeel -- Thicker feel. Pretty clean overall. The carbonation reminds me of champagne.

Drinkability -- Outstanding drinkability. This is a really impressive beer. It's so different than what I'd expect in a beer. Very good find. This would taste fantastic outside on a crisp autumn day. I plan on seeking this one out again.

ClearDog, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of ggaughan
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to get a bottle of this and a bottle of the Raspberry Tart from a relative living near Wisconsin. This is the 3rd Christmas in a row I have received some of this and could not be happier. Shared this bottle with the family on Christmas day and it was a big hit.

The Belgian Red pours a very nice bright red color with a nice pink head that disapated rather quickly. The fresh cherry smell is evident once you pour. There is some nice champagne bubbling and noise going on which I like. The smell in the Belgian Red appears to be more natural than some of the more popular lambics that are out there. I really enjoy this one.

What a nice tart cherry taste with this. I could not get enough of this taste and the aftertaste that lingers in the mouth. The best part of this particular experience was giving 3 or 4 relatives the chance of trying this beer that they had never had before but now love. Too bad we are too far from Wisconsin to get this often. Thank god I have about 5 bottles of this and the Raspberry cellared away.

ggaughan, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of Boto
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
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!

Boto, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of soulgrowl
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A warm, sumptuous burgundy-fuschia rouge. No head to speak of, but what an interesting color.

Smell: Tart, crisp, and irresistably appetizing, but rather one-dimensional. I smell cherries and that's about it.

Taste: When my brother first told me about this beer, he said it tastes just like cherry pie, and man, he wasn't kidding. Sweet, tart, very natural-tasting cherries, a touch of cinnamon spice, and some doughy notes, most likely from the wheat and roasted malts. Such a festive ale! I don't usually like sweet beers, but this is just plain delicious. Not artificial or syrupy in the least. Finish is clean and sour.

Mouthfeel: Sparkly and light, matches the tartness perfectly.

Drinkability: Since it is so sweet, I don't think I could handle more than a few glasses of this... but what a pleasure to savor slowly after dinner. I will definitely buy more when I return to Wisconsin for the holidays.

soulgrowl, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of slyke
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I came across a couple of bottles of this on a Sunday trip into the land of modernity [Wisconsin (at least in relation to alcohol sales)]. My brother had tried it a while back and liked it so I decided to give it a try.

Last night a friend who is a fan of the New Glarus Spotted Cow came over to break into a bottle since it was new to both of us.

Wow!

Appearance was outstanding - a deep opaque red with a nice little head of white.

Smell was heavily laden with cherries, but natural sweetness, not syrupy sweetness.

The taste was outstanding - I think it lived up to it's bill of a "perfect marriage of wine and beer." It was a very cherry taste - almost like a cherry juice.

Mouthfeel was pretty good, not too thin, not too thick.

Drinkability was great - we intended to share a bottle, then move on to something else, but finished both of the bottles I had and could have emptied another if It had been there.

slyke, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of granger10
2.73/5  rDev -37.7%
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.

granger10, Nov 04, 2005
Photo of battlekow
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Landmark 1850.

Belgian Red pours a dark, thick reddish color, as befits a cherry beer, with almost no head and no lacing. If only it had a nice, fluffy, pink head, this would be a beautiful beer.

It smells and tastes distinctly of...cherry! Not sickeningly sweet cherry syrup like in a kiddie cocktail, but like real cherries, still sweet, but also tart. As a result, the mouthfeel has a cool puckering effect to it. This beer isn't very "beery," but tastes extremely good--if you like cherries, of course.

battlekow, Oct 05, 2005
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

DaPeculierDane, Oct 03, 2005
Photo of petercmartin1
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another homerun for the New Glarus brewery in Wisconsin. This is one of two fruit beers that these guys do and they are both great. I've been drinking this one for quite a while now, and I really, really like it. I do prefer their Raspberry, but that is just a preference of raspberries over cherries. It has nothing to do with the quality of the beer.
These guys really get it right with their fruit beers. They seem to find a perfect balance where so many other breweries fall short. This beer is no exception. It pours a beautiful redish brown, cloudy, but in a way that enhances it, not detracts from it. The aroma is all about sour cherries. The flavor follows through with the cherry theme, with just a hint of yeast and underlying grain to remind you that you are drinking a beer. Like the Raspberry this one tastes like real fruit, not syrup or artifical flavoring. These guys take their fruit beers seriously and it shows. These beers rank up there with some of the best beers in the world, IMHO.

petercmartin1, Oct 03, 2005
Photo of mattcrill
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to cmaruschak for the chance to sample this rare one.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy brownish red with a thin sudsy white cap.

Smell: Pure cherry juice. Overpowering combination of sweetness, sourness, and tart cheeries. Very interesting and very different but it's all about the cherries, man.

Taste: Follows smell exactly. Pure cherry juice. A little yeastiness but it tastes like sour mashed cherry pie. The sour cherries make my jaw feel like it's going to collapse...but in a good way of course.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and carbonated. A slightly astringent feel on the back of the palate.

Drinkability: With the low ABV and the fruit taste, this one goes down easy. I can't say that I would make this a regular occurence. It really doesn't scratch the beer itch for me at all. But for what it is, it's very well done. Recommended.

mattcrill, Sep 25, 2005
Photo of Sixpoint
3.83/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Great beer from the first craft brewery I had an allegiance to growing up. This brewery was only about 30-40 miles from where I grew up in Wisconsin.

Exceptional brilliant red hue eminating from my goblet. Sort of a deep amber and brown, the red shines through like garnet.

An aroma of deep caramel and cherries. You might as well have your nose stuck inside a cherry pie. This is ridiculous.

The taste is SWEET! A bit of sourness in the finish, and even a hint of oak. However, the taste is definitely dominated by SUGAR SUGAR!

Very complex and amazing beer. Not too drinkable for me, as I like the drier and funkier fruit beers. Nevertheless, an American Classic. Bravo.

Sixpoint, Sep 16, 2005
Photo of bashiba
2.93/5  rDev -33.1%
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.

bashiba, Aug 25, 2005
Photo of FirstMan
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An utterly exquisite beer. When wine-lovers claim diversity in their grape-based world, I just roll my eyes and look to this beer. What a delight.

Pours deep red. Cloudy red. Redder than red. Red like hell except this is actually somewhere that you really really want to go. You might actually expect this to by syrupy by the look of it, but don't be decieved...

Smell is fresh fresh cherries. Nothing artificial in the nose at all. I was expecting something very tart but...

Light, bright, explosion of beautifully balanced cherry flavor. Tart, but not nearly as tart as I was expecting. The sour aspect is balanced perfectly with the sweet making this a very refreshing and flavorful brew. Nothing syrupy at all in the mouthfeel.

Just a great great beer. Without question the best fruit-based beer you can get in America. I'd take this over Lindeman's any day of the week ending in a "y".

FirstMan, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of Knuckles
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'll make no secret of it, I love this beer. I had my first taste of it almost ten years ago, back in the halcyon days when it was named "Wisconsin Cherry Ale". My friend Chip is from Door County, and would pick up a bottle or two here and there when he went home for the holidays, just to shut me up. I was utterly blown away by it then, and remain blown away to this very day. It's not for everyone, but I think any beer such as this that completely defines itself, and many other American beers to follow, really needs to be given due credit.

Appearance: This is the only area I'm disappointed. It pours a brilliant red (not quite pink), with a light pink head. However, as it's unfiltered, it gives it sort of a murky appearance that leads one to believe it's going to feel a bit thicker than it really does.

Smell: Well, kids, there's no denying it. This is a cherry beer. I don't drink fruit beers as a general rule, as most tend to try and add fruit flavor to a typically bland ale of some sort. This beer does no such thing. This beer revels in its cherryness. It exists solely for the cherries, not for the beer, and that's all you smell. No yeast, no malt, no beer. Just cherry.

Taste: Again, if you don't like cherries, you won't like this beer. Me, I like them. Sweet at the start, dry and tart at the finish. I've given this beer to many people who have said, "This isn't beer." And were it not for the strict definition of the process that makes a beer a beer, I might actually agree with them. But since this beer follows the rules, then by jinkies I'm going to call it a beer. And to hell with all y'all that disagree. I will also love every precious $10 bottle I can get my mitts on.

Mouthfeel: Again, the murk belies the lightness of tongue that this beer has. It is really a very delicate feel, almost like sparkling wine. It does have a definite malt presence, but doesn't have the tongue-sticky cloyingness that an American wheat beer like UFO or Widmer does. This sumbitch is incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day.

Drinkability: This all depends (as previously mentioned), on your tolerance for cherries. What makes this beer truly great, however, is that you can share it with almost anyone (yes, the boys got a wee nip and were suitably impressed) and they will generally enjoy it. That said, a little cherry can go a long way. My wife and I have done two of the 750 ml bottles of this at once, but that's about all I'd do.

Knuckles, Aug 22, 2005
Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

as with the raspberry tart, this thing blows away most any fruit beer you could find

appearance: dark pink, cherry read, thin foamy head

smell: very sweet cherries, sugar, cherry pie

taste: an explosion of sweet sugar covered cherry, quite sweet and tart. I think I like this guy a little better than its counterpart, raspberry tart

mouthfeel: carbonated, fizzes on the tongue

drinkability: quite tart, 1/2 a 750ml bottle is plenty

dirtylou, Aug 22, 2005
Photo of MuddyFeet
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich red color with a pinck head. Whole lot of lace lining my chalice. Aroma is very sweet and fruity--all cherries. Thank God not marachino cherries though. Flavor is almost all cherries, but I am picking up some sweet spice as weel and just a touch of hops at the finish. Cherries came across as pie filling very sweet and tart. The tartness clung to the inside of the mouth, but did not coat it with a scummy feeling. Mouthfeel is very full flavored. Finish is just slightly dry and some cinnamon. Very easy to drink the bottle.

MuddyFeet, Aug 14, 2005
Photo of walleye
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to bieristgut for this. had this a few months ago. poured a nice bubble red with a pink head. aroma I know this will make bieristgut upset and maybe others but it smelled like a wine cooler, but it was good got cherries, spices, and a little bit of hops. flavor, wow those cherries come right out and grab your taste buds, like a lot of other reviews tart cheery pie. normally I am not into the high carbonated fruit beers but this one was good

walleye, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of Brian700
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a ruby red with an off-white head that fizzled down to a foamy island in the middle of my glass. The smell was an abundance of cherries. Smells amazing. The taste is tart and with an incredible amount of cherry flavor. There is also a light decection of alcohol. The mouthfeel is good, swish it around a bit and nurse those flavors. This is a great beer to drink with friends. I highly recommend it.

Brian700, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice hazy ruby with a frothy and tall off-white head which lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was very fruity with sweet cherry pie with a slight graham aroma and coupled with a very subtle and yet enticing cinnamon spice.

The flavor was crisp with a nice light tartness coupled with mounds of cherries that start on the palate as sweet but immediately dry and leave a very nice fruity impression with a light graham character and slight spice complexity.

The finish was dry with a lasting cherry impression, grapham flavor and light cinnamon spice. The body was medium or just a bit less with a nice level of carbonation. A very nice and complex fruit beer. Very well done with the tartness and fruit.

750 ml capped and waxed bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.85/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

appearance: cloudy like a duchesse or rodenbach, hard to say whats going on inside. crusty lace and a mild, thin head of dense foam.

aroma: cherry pie filling, what more needs to be said? simplicity at its best in beer.

taste: reminds me of said syrup that surrounds said cherries in said pie. some additional champagne like dryness, most likely from the slightest addition of summery hops. just enough contrast to remind me of its true constitution. much more balanced than the raspberry tart.

some residual sugar in the aftertaste, overall a simple brew. nothing special.. except.. well, it's totally unique.

goodbyeohio, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of garymuchow
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Aroma is a very pleasing sweet/sour presentation of cherries.
Pours a pinkish,darkish cherry red with ambers of brown and orange. Pinkish/tannish head with some girth and stamina.
Flavor is nice sweet/sour cherry with a cherry phosphate quality that's not exceedingly sweet. No extract type flavors. A small yeasty quality.
Adequately carbonated leaving a bubbly effect on the tongue. Thick enough.
Really nice dessert beer, but it also maintains a refreshing quality, leaving it as a summer drink too. So nice all around.

garymuchow, Jun 22, 2005
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Rusty red. Assume the underlying ale is brown, mixing with the red cherries. Beautiful color. Nice lacing. Not too much head.

Taste: Not picking much up til the end. Then an explosion of cherries. Great cherries. The kind of cherries that are used in baking. Wonderful.

Incredibly drinkable. I kept coming back to get more of that cherry taste. Slightly sour.

GeoffFromSJ, Jun 20, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light pink/red color ale with a huge bubbly head with average retention. Aroma of delicate sweet cherries is enchanting; I could spend hours smelling this beer. Taste is perfect with nice balance mix between naturally sweet cherries and malt. Subtle sourness at the end brings everything together for a perfect close. Carbonation is perfect for a fruit beer as well as carbonation and level of sweetness. Truly the best fruit beer I ever tasted.

Phyl21ca, Jun 03, 2005
Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,526 ratings.