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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: 3,177
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 19.08%
Wants: 1,135
Gots: 693 | 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
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Reviews: 950 | Hads: 3,177
Photo of Sammy
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bit much carbonation. Sour cherry ale. Faciniating pinkish red colour with pink head. Spicy aftertaste similar to good soda. Warms to the mouth. Sweetness only in mid-sip. Definately something to split with ,Tip of the hat to Feloniousmonk for the sample.
Bottle 8.3 years later asnd just as good.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to burnheartsMKE for sending me this one!

Pours a murky cranberry juice red with a tiny 1/2 light red head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. No lacing whatsoever. Smells of fresh sweet cherries in their own juice. A very fresh and mouthwatering smell. Taste is very much like the liquid form of a cherry flavored Jolly Rancher. Very sweet yet slightly tart at the same time in a perfect balance. This is a very carbonated beer that is very crisp and clean in the mouth. Overall, an awesome fruit beer all around and probably the best cherry flavored beer I have ever had. I will seek out more of these for sure.

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

arguably the best fruit beer ive ever had! it pours hazy pinkish pale red with a lovely white head on it. the nose is sour cherries, tart and a little sweet, with some funky yeast and a light malt body. my friend i shared this with took one whiff and declared, call them up and order me 50 cases. he hadnt even tasted it yet! positively wisconsin this beer says to me, with a cherry taste you cant get from washington state. over a pound per bottle it says, and i believe it. the taste is puckey from the cherries, almost like a sour beer, but this isnt one. theres also some other fruit esters in there, green apple and pears too, but this isnt fruit punch. there some bitter hops on the tail end, and a rounding cystal and pale malt body underneath it all. the carbonation is gloriously bright, while the body is just as big as it needs to be. i am in awe of this, one of the best fruit beers ever. drinkable and interesting, but unfortunately unavailable in our state of colorado for the time being. never ever pass this up if you get a chance to try it, youll be blown away.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

G: Half poured into a brandy snifter and half poured into a flute, per the bottle's suggested glassware.

A: Beautifully bright dark cherry color with an off-white, red-tinted head that recedes rather quickly. Pretty decent lacing.

S: Sweet and tart cherries. Not that anyone outside of Chicago would recognize this reference, but it reminds me of the smell of a Jewel cherry lattice coffee cake, which in my book is a very good thing. Don't want to harp on this too much, but it's unbelievable how much cherry smell there is without at all smelling like cherry cough drops or medicine.

T: Quite tart at the outset, fading into an incredible cherry sweetness. Cherry perfection.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation and a constant tartness. Beautiful.

D: Absolutely sublime. If I were able to get this at all times, I would never have a mimosa ever again. The perfect fruit-flavored concoction and a wonderful almost-summer treat. So long lawnmower ales, hello Wisconsin Belgian Red.

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Photo of brentk56
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a murky blood and russet color with a head that fizzes out quickly but does leave a few dots of lace

Smell: Maraschino cherries - extraordinarily powerful

Taste: After an initial touch of sweetness there arrives a blast of sour cherry that is very different than the maraschino aroma; after the swallow, the tartness is abated somewhat as the sweet and sour flavors blend into a lengthy finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lively carbonation; puckering mouthfeel well into the finish

Drinkability: A fine after dinner sipper, although I am not crazy about the sweet elements in the flavor profile and would prefer a cherry taste more akin to the purple ones that arrive in the summer

Thanks, jrdegriselles, for the opportunity and to Schmittymack, for the chance to re-visit

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Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Big thanks to TATURBO for this beautiful beer. The beer was perfect for the holiday weekend! This brew pours out as a nice looking brownish red color. The smell was of fresh cherry juice and a little bit of malt. The taste was wonderful, the cherries were sweet and just a little tart on the back end. Really well done flavor. The mouthfeel was nice, smooth and dry not a lot of carbonation. Overall the I found this beer to be damn near perfect, it's leaves a great impression on me and I'm very excited to try more from this brewery.

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

It's basically a desert. Every bit as full, thick, and rich as a Framboise. And must be sipped like one. The tart aromas become mouthpuckering immediately. Sweet cherry scents come across as vigorously as a Yankee Candle. Flavors are intese cherries. That's it. It's basically cherry puree. Maybe with a little belgian beer to thin it down to a drinkable level. All the flavors are worthy of a 5 rating. I just wish there were bigger 'beer' flavors in there to ease the drinkability. Very full and rich on the palate. Another savoury brew. Finishes very sweet and tart. Great taste, just less beer-like than I wanted.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Ruby red, clear but hazy. The off-white head has a slight pinkish hue to it. Very good retention for a fruit beer.

Smell: Cherries abound, sweet and ripe. A hint of brown sugar and spice.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sweet and juicy, the cherries really take over this beer; it's like liquid cherry pie. Low acidity and very mild sourness. The malt backbone is soft, barely noticeable to my palate. Full-bodied yet spritzy. A clean finish without much residual sweetness makes this a lot more drinkable than most sweet beers, but the sweetness does still become taxing after a while. One glass is plenty, but it's one highly enjoyable glass.

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Photo of emerge077
3.91/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gorgeous crimson red, pinkish pastel foam. Slightly murky and unfiltered, a little bit of spotty lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell is nice initially, pie cherry dominates, but then it starts smelling like a musty dishrag. Flinty minerals and attic must.

Sweet and vaguely tart, it's like a Chinotto spritzer but with pie cherry, definitely Door county in origin. Straight up cherry pie, crust and all, sweet cherry hard candy, with a soda spritzer level of carbonation. At the riverside brewery, this used to be aged in large oak foeders, not sure if that's still the case as it doesn't have much oak character at all. Mainly an apertif with cheese, or paired with a dense chocolate dessert. Not something to put down solo really, more of a crossover for wine cooler drinkers.

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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 zeff80
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this with fellow BA dertbert.

A - Poured into a champagne glass, a reddish orange hue with a small, white, soapy head. Really didn't leave any lace.

S - It smelled of cherry and malt. Somewhat sour aroma.

T - The cherry taste was very balanced. It could've been overdone but it was very smooth.

M - Mouthfeel was champagne-like, bubbly and crisp. It was light to medium-bodied.

D - This was really good. I generally have not enjoyed many cherry brews, but this was quite good. It even reminded me of a sparkling cider.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottled served at about 50 degrees and poured into several gold rimmed tulip glasses over the course of the evening.

A - Poured a wonderful fire engine red color with a very hazy, cloudy and murky look to it. Almost looked somewhat like a Hawaiian Punch type drink to put it in perspective. Very nice head of light pink colored foam then reached over top and formed a nice little pillow on the top of it that reached a height of about two fingers or so high. Nice gradual settling of this left behind little to no residual layer and just a small amount of side glass lace. Some carbonation was visible streaming up from the bottle of the glass, letting you know this one was still going strong.

S - The aroma was very thick and pungent, with huge smells of deep rich cherry that you could literally pick up from across the room they were so good. It was one of the freshest aromas I have encountered, being very sweet and at the same time still tart. Lots of sugar in this one and that was really very obvious from the first whiff you took. Now they say over a pound of cherries in each bottle, and I can believe it from this smell, it was tremendous and I could not wait to dive into this.

T - Now the taste, what can you really say about this one other then the fact it was pretty much perfect for the style. I have never had any fruit beer as good as the ones being put out now by New Glarus. They are really just tremendous in their freshness, depth and flavor and this was the prime example. From the first moment you took a sip it was all about a deeply rich, sweet, sour, tart, cherry flavor that is almost indescribable it is soo good. The level of sweetness at first was huge, but as I let it warm up it started to get a little more tart, without loosing any of the great flavors. There was just a tremendously large amount of fruit in here, really stronger then anything I had before, comparable only to their own raspberry tart, which was also in a world all its own. Really nothing much more I can say, I was almost speechless this was soo good. The finish again was very strong and very sweet, leaving me with a very long lasting flavor that was simply a treat to go back and get more of.

M - Seductively smooth and I really mean that. The consistency was like that of silk, very fine carbonation bubbles giving it that really smooth let alive feel that simply rolls around and really starts to pop on your tongue. Crisp and refreshing when cold and a perfect dessert as it warmed, this was just fantastic.

D- Now lets be honest here, sometimes went you get something loaded down with as much fruit and flavor as this it could be a little difficult to have that much of it as the flavor really starts to become a bit overwhelming. Not in the case here as I easily went through the bottle, and if I had more time and another bottle I might add, could have gone through that one as well. This was just really that good. Quite different from anything else and really just an awesome brew.

Overall I really do not have enough good things to say about this one. Every aspect of it was fantastic and I would gladly welcome a steady supply of it into my home. It is one of those things that are perfect for a special occasion or just sitting around watching a movie. Truly unique and in a world of its own, these New Glarus beers never cease to amaze me. I must start setting up some trades for this one ASAP.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to cvaypai for hooking me up with this bottle. I shared it with my girlfriend as a "desert" beer.

A: Wisconsin Belgian Red pours a cloudy, cherry red color with some hints of brown. A layer of pink foam sits atop the beer.

S: The first thing I thought of when smelling this beer was cherry pie. A slight tartness is present as well, but diminishes as the beer warms.

T: The flavor profile is very similar to the nose. An absolutely amazing cherry pie taste. The tartness is a bit more noticeable than in the nose. But once again, the sweetness comes through more and more as the beer warms up.

M: A fairly high level of carbonation gives a feeling of a dryer finish than this beer really has.

D: A really great and tasty beer. I don't think I could drink the whole 750ml though, as it is very sweet.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brewed with Montmorency Cherries (purportedly a pound of whole cherries per bottle), locally grown wheat, and Hallertau hops, the beer is then left to mature in 12 ft. tall oak tanks. Okay, great, let's get to it. Murky ruby-hue capped by a flamingo-pink head appearance and harbors an aroma reeking of unabashed cherrynicity, there's nothing fake or artificial about this beer. With a taste reminiscent of fruit leather, the flavor is certainly aggressive in it's sheer determination to cram that pound of cherries down your damn throat. It deftly walks the fine line between sweet and tart and carries with it a jolt of juicy, cheek-pinching acidity. The malted wheat and hops definitely take a backseat to the deep, strong cherry fruitiness. God, I hope you like cherries. The high level of carbonation in the beer does well to bring a much-needed levity to what otherwise would be a heavy body. You do like cherries, right? Overall, a deliciously unique beverage, though I suspect some may be left angrily shouting the catchphrase "Where's the Beer?"

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Photo of oline73
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Very red with a finger of off white head that leaves a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet and fruity, natural somewhat tart cherry.

Taste: Sweet and natural cherry, like carbonated cherry juice. Mildly sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with mild carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: A very nice fruit beer, like this slightly more than the raspberry. Surprisingly, not too sweet.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

And so falls the last of the Man's Weekend beer acquisitions. It pours a straight cinnabar topped by about two fingers of almost pinkish ecru foam. The nose is unsurprisingly heavy on the cherries, though a furtive little vein of medicinality seeps its way through to the surface. The taste tones down the medicine and ups the sweetness a notch, making the cherries pop all the more fiercely. It's pretty damn good, baby! The body is a nice medium, with a light carbonation and a kinda syrupy feel. Overall, an extremely drinkable blast o' fruity goodness. Get some!

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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 Kegatron
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml wax topped bottle into a 1/2 pint glass. Special thanks to Deuane for sharing.

Pours a crystal clear blood red with a finger width of off-white (but with a pinkish tint) head that retained rather nicely into a thing creamy layer that left some good lacing. The aroma is OMG cherries right up the ole' nostrils with a little residual sweetness behind it.

The taste is just OK. A pound of cherries per bottle? Really? Just kidding! This is absolutely insane with a fresh, thick slap of cherry awesomeness right up side the ole' tastebuds that is perfectly balanced by just the right amount of tartness. What can I say? It isn't very complex but still hugely effective. The mouthfeel is a nice full medium with some lovely prickly carbonation.

Much like the Raspberry Tart, this is just a magnificantly made Fruit Beer and hugely drinkable despite a big does of sweetness that would indicate it shouldn't be. You Wisconsinite Bastards are very lucky. Very lucky...

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Photo of jlindros
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm really excited for this one. Probably should have drunken it earlier, but was saving it. Had a terrible day today, so figured it was a good time to crack it. THanks a bunch to kkipple for this beauty.

The bottle pops off with a loud ppppfffftttt... but no head rush. It pours with a reddish light fizzy head that barely covers the spread of the beer, with many big bubbles that pop their way down to almost nothing. THe beer itself consists of a rosy almost neon bright red, a whitened cranberry color, with a decent clarity.

The nose smells just like a candi cherry lollipop! Wow! It has some light tart sour cherry aroma, a bit of Bolotin cherry, and very slight Maraschino cherry, a light sour dry tart funk way in the background. I'm starting to feel dizzy and sugar high just from the aroma, but a bit of cherry cough syrup aroma also wafting out helps cure my sickness. A slight anise and peppermint are barley detectable, but there. A slight bit of vanilla and oak balance it a bit, but I can't really get any malts out of it.

Taste starts pretty much as I was expecting, bringing a sweet slap in the face, or kick to the glands at least. Tons more cherry of course, bringing more Bolotin cherry, but less Maraschino this time. Again more candy cherry lollipop, but a tart flavored one. A slight spicy acidic bite gives it some edge, a little lactic acid taste, followed by a creamy smooth malt, with a hint of vanilla and oak. A bit of a cherry cough syrup warms the mouth, and leaves it almost anesthetized, but also tingles and soothes the throat. A bit of a sticky sweet taste turns to a slightly dry and tingly acidic finish, with more lactic acid, and a really long cherry candy taste, and surprisingly not really flemmy. A slight bit more creamy oak feel very late on the finish, like a couple minutes later as the tartness and sweet candy cherry die down.

The mouth is medium bodied, good carbonation, with a bit of a tingly acidic bite. The carbonation helps air out the mouth between the tart, sweet, and acidic hits.

Drink is surprisingly well for all the craziness of this beer. Lots of bite from the tingly feel and acidic bits, but the carbonation and sweetness balance that, and the tart plus sweet candy flavors really give your mouth a rollercoaster ride it keeps wanting to board. It's like that kid who gets beat up on teh rollercoaster, but as soon as the ride ends he wants back on. I can barely put the glass down to type a sentence before I need to take the next sip. Sessionable.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from brewcrew76, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 25oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep ruby red color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of cherries, light malts, some Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is sour with the strong tart flavor of cherries. There are light flavors in the background of Belgian yeast and a mild hops presence. There's a thin malt character but some sweetness does see its way through all of the sourness. The after-taste is tart and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, the label tells me "You hold the marriage of wine and beer." I'll certain give it that. Although these kind of beers typically don't appeal to me, it's one of the better fruit-infused beers that I've had and I can definitely see where, if you're into this type of thing, you'd probably really like this beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to gottajiboo2 for sharing this ale.
Served slightly chilled
A - Deep red like cherry syrup w/ good clarity and a small pink head

S - Lots of ripe cherry juice in the nose w/ subtle sweetness in the aroma

M - Very lively w/ sweetness and a nice tart fresh cherry acidity

T- An incredibly tasty cherry flavor w/ freshly crushed cherry intensity and gentle sweetness like Grandma's tart fresh picked cherry pie. The flavor is fresh w/ enough of a malt foundation to make it clear this is a fruit beer and not a cherry wine cooler. The carbonation is crisp enough to allow the taste to expand across the palate instead of becoming cloying. This is very complex w/ sweet tart and juicy flavors that aren't quit sour or sugary, but quenching and fulfilling all the way.

D - I wouldn't call this the ultimate fruit ale...yet, but it ranks very high. It has so many flavors and doesn't hold back. It tastes fresh, sweet yet is something that can be sipped and savored for hours. New Glarus has really made a fine Cherry beer - I will definitely seek this one out again

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Photo of kojevergas
3.52/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

BOTTLE: 1 pint 9 fl oz. Green glass. Red wax-ed over iconic branded pry-off cap. Good label design. Courtesy of the very generous Duff27.

Served cold into a Cantillon flute at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO. Reviewed live as a Belgian red ale per the label, though its obvious fruit component is a big factor.

Allowed to come to temperature as it warms.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~1.5 inches wide. Pinkish white colour. Nice complexion. Not real thick or full. Retention is nice - round 4 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Clear vibrant deep red. Clean, with no visible yeast particulate or hop sediment.

Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, it's a nice looking red ale, but it's not stunning or unique. I recall the other New Glarus fruit beers looking brilliant; this pales in comparison.

AROMA: The dominant cherry is nice, but some North American drinkers will definitely note medicinal cough syrup character. Powdered white sugar. Very tart, to its benefit. The tartness plays well with the cherries - as least here in the aroma.

Aromatic intensity is average.

I find no oak character, roasted barley, wine, or hop notes (as mentioned on the label).

It's appealing overall, but I worry it will be medicinal.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Cherry rightly dominates, and is complemented beautifully by the soft powdery mouthfeel. The tartness plays off the cherry, delivering a gorgeous one-two punch of synergistic flavours, but I can't help but wonder if some souring bacteria additions would really set this off in a direction I'd love. It's beautifully balanced, though it does flirt with what some North American drinkers will associate with a medicinal or cough syrupy taste.

Balanced as it is, it's not the most intricate brew, and doesn't boast the level of nuance and subtlety that the other beers in this series do. Still, it's a lovely build for a fruit ale, and I'd definitely call it gestalt. That said, the ostensible Belgian character is lacking; nothing about this screams Belgian yeast.

I also find no oak - which is a missed opportunity - and no roasted barley (Belgian or otherwise) or overt hop character.

The mouthfeel is wonderful, boasting perfect carbonation, an ideal light to medium body, and perfect heft and weight on the palate for this kind of beer. It's sticky, sure, but not syrupy - which helps it avoid the pitfall of a medicinal cherry taste to me. Acidity is well above average.

Well put-together and enjoyable to drink.

The mouthfeel exceeds the taste in quality, and its excellent execution helps make the beer more expressive. Nice pairing of texture to taste.

OVERALL: It's a lovely albeit simple fruit ale from New Glarus that is devilishy easy to drink and pretty high in quality. That said, it's not the world-class offering the other New Glarus fruit beers are, and there are missed opportunities for increased intricacy and subtlety. I'll love putting this bottle down, but I don't think I'd buy it again if I had access to other better New Glarus beers. It's disappointing if only because I expected greatness given the brewery, but it's still a hell of a fruit ale, and always tastes like a beer - never a candy or fruit soda. Easily one of the better genuine fruit ales brewed in the U.S.A.

Enormous thanks to Duff27 for this long-time want.

Low B (3.52)

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Photo of Rifugium
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Tired Hands stem/wine glass, a mostly clear, cherry red color tinted brown, with a 1-2 finger puff of pinkish-white head that receded to a wispy layer and left decorative lacing throughout the session. Aroma of cherries--naturally--and distant biscuity malts. Tasted pretty much spot on like cherry pie, black cherries, and doughy malts, good balance of tart and sweet, with the sweetness taking a slight edge and the breadiness of the malt keeping everything under control. Medium body, slightly chewy, moderate carbonation, very good overall.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.38/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an almost clear brown with red hues. Very thin tan head that doesn't stick around. Nose is cherry juice. Flavor is much of the same. Tastes like cherry cough syrup almost. Almost seems like a touch of apple cider on the back there as well. Eck. Feel is much like the flavor. Syrupy. Carbonation is a bit lower I guess. Good lord. What a disappointment. I think this is going to be a bit of a challenge to drink. I put this on the level of all those overly sugared fruit beers from Belgium. This just makes me miss Liefmans Kriek even more.

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