Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

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Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

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2,753 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,753
Reviews: 919
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 1,035
Gots: 507 | FT: 50
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: 2,753 | Reviews: 919 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mhewes
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A : Pours a cherry reddish-brown color with an offwhite head that goes down pretty quickly

S : Fresh cherry sweetness and nothing else

T : Just like the smell, it is a nice cherry sweetness with a touch of tartness

M : Medium-bodied with good carbonation

D : Extremely drinkable. This is one that I could have any time and have no problem drinking.

Photo of illidurit
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of MadTown1000
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus Belgian Red, my all-purpose bribe when I need an out-of-state friend to let me sleep on their couch. Reviews on here regularly start with "I usually don't like fruit beers, but...", and I'll add to that chorus, along with numerous people I've made try it. Pours a beautiful ruby red, with more of a fizz than a foam and a tremendous cherry aroma that foreshadows exactly what you're about to get yourself into. The bottle calls it "the marriage of wine and beer", although I'm not sure there's too much wine to it outside of the fact that it's partially fruit-derived. Instead, it's more like soda pop for grownups, emphasis on the for grownups part. It could easily have been too sweet like a Smirnoff Ice or the like, but instead, it lands in a very rare place - the sweet spot of sweet, if you will. There is practically no place I can think of where it wouldn't be drinkable - on its own, with dinner, even with dessert. The only complaint I have is that it has a way of disappearing far too soon.

I was greatly surprised to find that this offering by the folks at tiny New Glarus Brewery had the kind of national following that it does. It deserves it. Try it at least once.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 1996

Pours mahogany with a deep ruby hue when held to the light. The head rises to an inch-plus, beige in color and dense as whipped egg whites.
Retention duration is several minutes before settling in the glass and leaving a few ripped sheets of lacework.

Aromatics are pungently filled with vineous cherries. A tart nod adds complexity and the beer is intensely inviting.
Beyond the cherries, there is a hint of caramel malt and cinnamon.

Creamy, lucious mouthfeel. The beer floats across the tongue.

A whallop of juicy cherries starts off the pallet, and tart vineousity follows. Becoming remarkably wine-like and a bit tannic.
Hints of balsamic vinegar, rhubarb, and red Zinfindel.

Some coarseness on the back of the throat lingers in the finish, along with unrelenting juicy cherries.

Twelve years on it's side in a cool cellar has treated this beer right. It's dried up a bit, and the tartness has stepped up to allow another dimension to shine through.
Shades of a Flanders red are apparent.

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

P- wax tops a 25oz bottle.

A- Pours a garnet color with a tan head that dissipates into thin lacing.

S- cherries, kind-of reminds me of grandma's Door County cherry pie.

T- sweet cherries with a well-balanced tartness.

M- medium bodied and refreshing.

D- a great choice served chilled on a warm summer night.

Photo of cjgator3
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Pours a deep dark cherry red color with a light pinkish colored head. The deliciously enticing aroma is filled with cherries, not the typical artificial cherry flavoring in most fruit beers, but a really fresh cherry aroma. The taste is sweet but not overly sweet, with a good dose of cherries. Wow, this is a really great beer that I enjoyed quite a bit. Definitely not overly sweet and artificial like your typical fruit beer. Would make for an awesome dessert beer. Highly recommended.

Photo of MSchae1017
3.55/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was tasted in a wine glass from the 750mL bottle. The beer pours a hazy pinkish red with a white head sporting a hint of pink as well. The head dissipates without leaving much lace. The smell is straight cherry juice. The taste bursts forth with more cherries and a bit of tartness to keep the sweetness in check, but the cherries really dominate. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with lively carbonation. A nice fruit beer displaying the cherries very well. Just a bit too sweet and overwhelming for me.

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

Pours a hazy reddish-brown with little head and a little bit of lacing. The nose has cherry, obviously and some cinnamon.

The taste surprised me at first. The cherry is there, sure, but the first sip tastes a lot like apple cider with the cherry rushing in a few seconds later. We've got a distinct sour taste at the end which is nice as it helps prevent the sweetness from being overpowering. It's very crisp in the mouth, lots of carbonation, but not in a distracting way.

This is an unusual beer, no doubt, and perhaps too unique to return to every day. It's certainly interesting though and quite delicious. I'll pick up another bottle without question.

Photo of 0110x011
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ughsmash for this one!

Pours a murky apple cider golden brown into a snifter. Short one finger head leaves spotty lacing. Smells of cherries. Shocking, I know. Bits of caramel and spice here and there, bit the cherries almost completely dominate the nose. The first few sips are like liquid cherry candy. After a bit of warming, the caramel and spice pull out for a better balance. I kinda wish I hadn't chilled it at all. Medium body & carbonation make for a smooth drink. Too sweet to want more than one bottle, but the one is damn tasty. A very unique brew, perfect for a summer evening.

Photo of WeymouthMike
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Big head after a rough pour which reduces to nothing in a short span of time with little lacing.Difficult to describe the color but a reddish brown which lightens considerably on the edge of the glass.

S- A big bowl of marachino cherries, some cinnamon, sweet apples and vanilla

T- Again sweet cherries with cinammon, and light vanilla notes.

M- Super smooth which coats the mouth and no carbonation.

D- I could drink this one all day long at a slow pace, not something I want in a six pack for tailgating, rather slow small glasses during a party.

Photo of Domingo
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer has managed to get me to make several road trips to the Midwest just to bring it (and the Raspberry tart) back. Yup, it's that good. On my last trip I literally just bought the entire display at Woodman's.
Pours a deep maroon color with a pinkish head that levels out to a thick sheen across the top. Not really seeing a lot of fruit bits, so they likely filtered this pretty well, or they all sank to the bottom of the bottle with the yeast.
Smells like cherry pie. No artificial candy-like scents here. A little bit of grain and yeast lets you know it's a beer instead of a cherry wine.
The taste is fruity and delicious. Cherries, vanilla, cinnamon, and the barley still holds up to keep it from being too sweet or tart. Everything focuses on the cherry flavor, but it somehow balances.
Texture is moderate with a decent amount of carbonation to keep it a little thicker than what you might expect.
After finishing my glass I just keep wanting more. I think that's why I keep making that trip to Kenosha...
I love this stuff. It and it's raspberry brother are the best fruit beers in the world. I'll never quite understand why fruit-beer hating geeks love these as they're the fruitiest of them all...but who cares? This is GREAT.

Photo of tmitch75
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big ass bottle with wax-dipped top. A buddy picked this up on a recent trip to Madison. Cheers Jonny Boy!

Rusty reddish brown color, opaque, with thick pink head that drops quick.

Smells slightly sour with a ton of cherries. A lot like cherry pie.

Taste is of cherries as well. Minimal malt profile and no discernable hop flavor, but the cherries are obviously the focus. Nice and tart with a slight sourness.

Light bodied and smooth, almost creamy, with just a bit of a fizzy feel.

Very drinkable if you like fruit beer. A great dessert all by itself.

Tasted on 5/31/08.

Photo of Dansting
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured a cloudy reddish-purple color with a light white head. No lacing. Aroma is very strong with a nice sour cherriness to it. Mouthfeel is excellent as it is very smooth. Flavor is a nice tart cherry taste with a nice sour aftertaste. An excellent beer.

Photo of gford217
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a deep hazy reddish brown with a small, dense pinkish head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving little lacing.

S: Holy Moses, this stuff smells spectacular. Obviously, a lot of cherries in the nose, but not intensely tart. It's like someone dumped some ripe cherry juice into the beer with a heavy sweetness that balances the tartness out. There was a hint of the wheat, some molasses and cinnamon.

T: The taste is fantastic as well and a tad more tart than the smell. Again, a touch of grains in the finish along with a hint of oak, but not a lot is getting through the cherries in there. That's a compliment for this beer.

M: Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth and highly carbonated.

D: Drinkability isn't as high as it could be because of the heavy sweetness, but that's really nitpicking. I am not the biggest fan of fruit beers, but this is, without a doubt, the best one I have ever tasted.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tayner for the bottle and a great trade.

Pours a deep cloudy read, with a nice white head with a slight pinkish head. Nose is of some cherry and a bit of tartness. Flavor is a deep red tart cherry flavor. Almost a spritzer type quality in the mouthfeel. A very refreshing, but extremely sweet beverage to be enjoyed for desert on a summer day. Excellent brew, one to be admired. I still prefer the raspberry tart, but this is defenitely the second best cherry beer I have ever had, and the best cherry beer of this style I have had undoubtedly. Thanks again to Dana for letting go of this one.

Photo of Derek
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cellared for one year.

A: Brownish-red with a slightly pink head; very little retention; slight leg.

S: Tart cherries, jube-jube candy fruitiness, brown sugar.

T: Light tartness, sour cherries, pleasant fruity esters, woody, slightly bready with a hint of brown sugar.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has a slight acidity and a dry finish.

D: Very drinkable.

Photo of younger35
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Photo of russpowell
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from Jw347, cheer John!

Pours an effervescent orange/burgundy with a pinkie of ruby pink head. No head retention or lacing

S: Tart cherry, vanilla & oak

T: Tart cherries, oakyness, vanilla, tartness, persimmons & dryness up front. Tartness, cherry & oak dominate as this warms. Finishes tart, dark fruit & cherries

MF: Medium bodied with spritzy carbonation that fades quickly

Pretty drinkable, but the tartness would get to me after 2 or 3 bombers. A beer that both my wife & I enjoyed (that's a rarity when we both like it!).

A classic, shame about the lack of head retention & lacing, but I'd have this in the rotation if I lived in the Dairy State for sure!

Photo of beerkittycat
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is hazy orange with red and pink hues. A rocky white head settles after a moment to a thin layer. Aroma has cherry pie upfront but behind that there is some nice malty notes and other interesting finds like buttery graham cracker crust and cheesecake. Flowery hops dance around the malt and cherries. Very complex nose. Right out of the gate in the taste is fresh Door-county cherry pie! What follows is an interesting mix of malt and rose-like hop flavors. Hop bitterness, however, is fairly restrained and it could be ramped up a bit to balance the moderate sweetness. I'm shocked this is only 5%ABV because the mouthfeel is like a Belgian Strong Ale. A very complex beer that you could spend all night finding new things to discover within. Don't miss it!

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

Deep yet bright ruby in color with thin lacing when swirled. The nose shows off an abundance of rotting cherries. This continued into a medium-bodied palate with lots of carbonation and crispness. While simple this is very well-balanced, refreshing and enjoyable.

Photo of Tilley4
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Lordsloth for including this in the Virgin BIF and knocking a Want off my list..

The wife and I enjoyed this one while having some of her homemade cheesecake on Father's Day..

Poured into a champagne flute...

Pours out a murky reddish brown that forms a smallish eggshell head....barleywine like in color...

Delicious fruity aroma of fresh hand picked cherries that have been crushed into some sort of compote... It smells vaguely sweet but not overly so... This really smells delicious...

This is just a masterfully crafted brew here... Its loaded with delicious cherry flavor but at the same time maintains its integrity by not being overly sweet or cloying... It partners perfectly with the cheesecake that I'm having... I don't know what they could have done to improve upon this (except distribute it in Tennessee!!). I've had the Raspberry Tart and it was good but this is on another level. I place this brew up there with the truly elite ones that I've had. Simply a masterpiece..

This is one of those brews that you savor, enjoy... and rue over when its gone. I have got to trade for more of this... Its too good not to have more of...

Photo of errantnight
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just a remarkably delicious beer...

Thanks to Joe1510 for my first bottle (although not the one I'm reviewing now), and DontCallMeSurly for the bottle I'm drinking now.

Pours a distinctly reddish amber brown that's slightly hazy with a fizzy, thin finger of head that actually smooths out into a nice creamy layer. Attractive, organic lacing. Head lasts on the perimeter until the bitter end.

Aroma is a wallop of cherries... fresh baked cherries. Slightly sweet, but not quite candy.

The taste backs this up... a cherry-centric middle with a balancing tartness and maybe a suggestion of bitterness on the back-end. Warm malt sweetness underlies the cherry but stays in the back. Leaves a slight candy aftertone on the tongue.

Smooth, medium-bodied, with nice carbonation. Easy to enjoy without being syrupy thick or too spritzy and thin.

Amazingly drinkable except for the slightly heavy sweetness. But then... this isn't a lambic.

Great great great... and something I wish I could always have a bottle or two of stowed away. And of course... the lady loves it.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is easily on my top 5 beers tried and I have had around 32 of the top 100. This is my 3rd bottle that I have drank and I'm finally starting to review the beers I drink.

Poured into a lindemans flute glass. Pours a nice looking bright red color with almost no head.

Smells of straight sweet and tart cherries. Smells amazing.

Taste just punches you in the face with how much cherry flavor is in here. So good with the sweetness and tartness balanced well.

Mouthfeel is great with a nice amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is very high with me though I have been told by friends that they could not drink alot if this because of the sweetness. But for me I could drink the whole 750ml bottle. I stocked up on this after my first taste. Awesome brew that everyone should seek out. Can see the ladies liken this one...

Photo of aerozeppl
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to drseamus for bringing this.

A: Cloudy bright red. Minimal white head.

S: Cherries big up front with some sweetness. Tartness in the back.

T: Cherries and tart. The raspberry tart has me dreading this but the tartness was not nearly as strong. Amazing the amount of flavor for such a low ABV ber.

M: Light body making this even more drinkable.

D: Tons of flavor for such a small beer. As a brewer this is one of those beers that toally blows my mind. How did they do this?

Photo of Oxymoron
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Is cherrirific a word? Pours a darker shade of red with definite brown hues. Almost like a Flanders red. Good clarity with a slight haze, although I did pour in a bit of sediment on the bottom. A reddish white head when poured but did dissipate complete. Limited lacing as well.

The nose is very unique. Some sweeter malt notes mixes with a sugary cherry aroma. Almost like a masaccio cherry in a way but more of a syrup like smell. Very complex with a lot of different esters and malt notes. A citrus and tart notes, apples, figs, caramel and a hint of rose.

The taste is also very unique. The cherry flavor balances well with the malt but definitely cherry wins out. Almost has a wine spritzer taste with a sweet, sweet fruit flavor coming out. The malt is easy to pick out though. There is a Flanders red quality with some Belgian malt notes. Some caramel/Special B notes and a distinct yeasty notes as well. Some esters and woody characteristics as well. The taste continues long after you taste it with a sugar and cherry finish. Very good flavor.

The body is hard to pin down with a moderate feel but with the sweetness that lasts into the finish gives it more of a fuller texture. Because this is so sweet it deters from drinking too much and leaves a lot of aftertaste. Overall a fun beer and must try at least once.

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,753 ratings.