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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
98
world-class

2,688 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,688
Reviews: 916
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 1,025
Gots: 479 | FT: 43
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: 2,688 | Reviews: 916 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -8.7%

GRG1313, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -8.7%

kjkinsey, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
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

brentk56, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

BEERchitect, May 07, 2006
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
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 14, 2005
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -8.7%

ygtbsm94, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

mikesgroove, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of womencantsail
4.38/5  rDev 0%
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.

womencantsail, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Knapp85, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.6/5  rDev +5%
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?"

ChainGangGuy, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

SocalKicks, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of largadeer
3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

largadeer, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

emerge077, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of TMoney2591
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

TMoney2591, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

zeff80, Jul 18, 2007
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

StonedTrippin, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
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!

NeroFiddled, Nov 22, 2004
Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Jason, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep murky ruby red pink grapefruit tone with a nice white pink tinted head leaves nice fine evenly dispersed lacing nice and intricate. Aroma: A full on flail of cherries nice tart and sweet with a candy like tone to it, but what makes this is the creamy edge that surrounds the fruit bouqet. Taste: A parfait dessert like tart cherry tone very sweet and creamy, just so good. I am by no means a fan of fruit infused ales but this Wisconsin bred cherry beast is definitely a winner definitely based off of legendary Belgian style ales lacks some of the farmhouse and woody cask aged flow of a Cantillon but delivers something a Lindemann's isn't capable of. Mouthfeel: A fuller bodied creamy textured heavenly dessert beer. Drinkability: I just polished off a bottle and I didn't think I was going to drink it all, but once I started sipping on it the bottle emptied into my snifter faster than anticipated it was excellent, not ready for a second but extremely satisfied.

WVbeergeek, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.78/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
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...

Kegatron, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.38/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

RblWthACoz, Jun 06, 2009
Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 2,688 ratings.