Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

3,037 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,037
Reviews: 943
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.27%
Wants: 1,104
Gots: 628 | FT: 73
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,037 | Reviews: 943
Photo of Duff27
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a clear, ruby red with a small white head. Good lacing and head retention.

S- Cherries, hints of vanilla?

T- More cherries...fresh and above all else, real. Tart. Dare I say orgasmic?

M- Dances on the tongue like its sister Raspberry Tart.

D/O- I've had many a beers in my day but this remains one of the best beers I've ever had. Light and fruity, its an easy drinker although I find myself taking small sips just to savor. The epitome of "world class".

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 AlexFields
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Bell's tulip glass. A centimeter of head formed at the top and disappeared quickly.

A: At first this didn't look that great--lots of bubbles on the side of the glass in inconsistent patterns that just made it look spotty. After the bubbles mostly disappeared, it was a nice red color, notable because it's an unusual color for a beer, but not remarkable aside from that.

S: The smell is just amazing. No complexity, just a straightforward explosion of sweet cherry smell, like a whiff of cherry cobbler or something. Never smelled another alcoholic beverage of any kind with such an awesomely straightforward fruit smell.

T: Like the nose, the taste is almost pure cherry, but a little different than I expected from the smell, as there's a slight tartness to the flavor that isn't present at all in the smell. The sweetness is still big though, bigger than the tartness, but it all comes together into an amazing balance. Enough tartness that it isn't cloying or sickeningly sweet, but enough sweetness that you could drink this stuff like soda and never realize it was alcoholic (my girlfriend and I finished this bottle in record speed). Oh, and if I didn't make this clear already, the cherry flavor is HUGE. And really, really good.

M: Really light and well carbonated. Almost more like a fruit soda than a beer, but I mean that in a mostly good way (it is slightly odd).

Overall: Basically, after drinking this you're left wondering if New Glarus used any ingredients besides cherries. If you like cherries, you will love this beer, even if you dislike other fruit beers.

9.1/10

Photo of DrJay
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a cloudy, dull pinkish red colour. The head was composed of fine bubbles and showed excellent retention, with plenty of foam remaining at the bottom of the glass. Streaky, spotty lacing throughout. The aroma was amazing! Very fresh sour cherries, earthy cherry pits and skins, with mild toffee/caramel in the background - kind of reminded me of a fresh baked cherry pie. The flavour was intense with sour cherries, an excellent combination of sweet and tart. There was also some cakey spiciness and brown sugar. Full bodied and palate coating with low carbonation. Refined texture. This beer is incredible. I was sure it was over-rated, but I was very happy to find out it wasn't at all. Easily the best fruit beer I've had. I'd love to get my hands on another bottle (or twelve).

Thanks for sharing this Viggo!

Photo of Gobzilla
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a vibrant crimson red in color with pale ruby highlights and a thin head that barely left any lacing sticking to the glass.

S: tons of cherry fruit oozes out of the aroma with slight citrus qualities, tons of noticeable sweetness, maybe a little booze but not much. the cherries are definitely overwhelming but not in a bad way.

T: the story here is cherries cherries cherries, almost like a cherry puree but with slight booze. In the middle of all that cherry character I did manage to get a little citrus and hunts of funk but barely.

M: the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had very fruity, slight citrus, mild funky, and sweet finish.

O: This beer is a cherry bomb all the way. It surprised me that the cherry profile was still potent even after I sat on this bottle for 2 years; trip out.

Photo of Viggo
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to oakbluff in Winterpeg for hooking me up with this. Sampled with some fellow BA's, DrJay, biegaman, and grub.

Pours a very murky red/brown, thick off white head forms, settles down to a think layer and ring, nice lacing on the glass. Smell is amazing, rich real cherries, very earthy, toffee, brown sugar, nice sourness from the cherries, quite amazing. Taste is cherry cake, toffee, nice sour cherries through the middle, spices, some ginger, more cherries and brown sugar. Mouthfeel is full bodied, very thick, silky smooth low carbonation. Fucking amazing beer, just insane, I can't wait to try again! Thanks Scott, I owe you for this one!

Photo of Bighuge
4.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Luscious cranberry-like red hue. Unbelievable aroma. Great cranberry/vanilla sweet smell with quite a bit of cherry too. It's a sweet aroma, but not a malty sweet aroma. Fruity sweet. The taste is exceptional. Woody, vinous, dry and of course, loads of cherry. This is one of my all-time favorites and it never fails. Every time I have had this, it has been exceptional. A true classic.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cool dark red, cherry appearance to it, thin head. Aroma is massively cherry, like you just opened a can of cherry pie filling. Bottle says a fuggin pound of cherries in every bottle! Every bottle! Damn!

Taste is exquisite, cherry, slight oak finish to it, sweetness takes the high road, counterbalanced by the wood and a slight tartness that is miniscule in comparison to the hearty cherry mouthfeel. Malt base keeps it from becoming overly sweet, good carbonation keeps it from feeling syrupy.

This is pretty much the holy grail of fruit beers in America, maybe the world. Blows away any other beer w/ cherry in it, here, the cherry is so dominate, don't even think of trying this beer unless you really like cherry. Not for hophead only guy. You can't understand the cherry dominance in this (but again, the nuances of everything else make it work even better) until you try it. Next time I'm in Wisconsin, I'm getting like 10 of these. Hopefully the fruit don't fade. Fresh is definitely very good here.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25.4oz bottle split between two snifters.

A - Pours a deep burgundy, red-amber with a tan-pink head.

S - Cherry chapstick. I feel like I am in the 4th grade again.

T - Cherry goodness? I really can't explain it.

D - Good carbonation, a touch oily in the mouth.

O - Strong cherry, but not overly sweet. Surprised how much I liked this one.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.85/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this bottle in a great trade with joe1510. Thanks a bunch, Joe!!

This isn't my first sample of this brew. I bought a bottle of it and the Raspberry Tart years ago before I started reviewing and have had samples of both every time I've been to the GABF. Boy am I thrilled to have it again!

Pours from capped and mimimally waxed 750ml bottle a cloudy red with a nice solid, be it small, head of foam with some good lacing.

The smell is of cherrries, cherries, and...more cherries!~ A +lb of cherries in every bottle will do that for you. ;^)

The taste...is of wonderful, semi sweet and sweet cherry. In the background, I can just get some wheat, more pronounced when I swish the beer in my mouth, and a slight woody flavour. Boy, is this a joy to sip on and yeah, it's very low in the abv department but when you get a brew of this caliber, sipping is the *only* way to go. The mouthfeel is almost chewy, nah, I'm going to say that it *is* chewy and the carbonation is very lively.. just the right level for me to make my drinking experience stellar. There's also a small hop presence there to add just a touch of bitterness; not too much, mind you, as the cherry flavour is what Belgian Red is all about.

I just poured some more into my glass and I have a huge smile on my face. Wow. Is this ever a satisfying beer.

Bottom line: This is a world class brew that hits my palate on all cylinders. Like I said before I got this in a trade and it certainly won't be the last time I trade for it. Thank again, Joe!!

Photo of cjgator3
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
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 scruffwhor
4.09/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bubbles and hardly any no head. But the color is just a dark, cherry red. Reminds me of fruit punch and wine mixed together. The aroma is almost a buttery cherry aroma. Very unique, and still pretty funky. The taste is a medium tart cherry juice. A little odd creaminess somewhere upfront, but very quickly fades. Strong, funky cherry flavors hit the mddle hard along with a slow lasting sweetness.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at my parents house in Chicago, they brought it back from Wisconsin. This has been on my must-try list based on a personal recommendation from beer god Boyd, and also it's currently number 30.

I won't detail the appearance, smell, and taste as they are detailed in full by previous reviews. The main thing about it is I hoped it was a Flanders red (sour ale). But it turned out to have a secret ingredient: cherries. It's a cherry lambic... huh.

It's good for it's style but not really my cup of tea.

Photo of Gusler
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The color on the pour is a deep black cherry red with a Brobdingnagian sized head that is semi-creamy in texture, the color a light tan tinged with red and as it evanesces the lace forms a thick and clinging curtain to obscure the glass. Nose is that of ripe cherries, and sweet malt grains, tart and crisp, fresh an appealing like homemade bread fresh from the oven. The front is ambrosial, loaded with malt, the top rich and full, what a treat. Finish has a meaningful acidity with the hops present and delicate in their spiciness, cherry sweetness and flavor carries to the somewhat vinous and dry aftertaste, what a “Hoot”, and once as with Lambic’s I shunned this style of beers. Thankfully I’ve had a reclamation and now see the errors of my ways, and thanks to tavernjef, another opportunity to sample a great beer from a great brewery.

Photo of jrallen34
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank from a 750ml bottle into a champagne flute.

This fruit beers pours a deep red, almost purple with a light pink head that has a dash of brown in it. The head rises about 2 inchecs and has decent retention, no significant lacing.

The aroma is big and bold with lots of sweetness. It smells totally of cherries, like a nice cherry slushy. There is a hint of cola and smidge of tartness.

The taste is very sweet, once again almost all cherries is what you get. The sweet is very nice, but lightly let down and not rewarded with any sour or tart bite to it. The sweetness is great but makes it hard to drink a lot of it without it being balanced between sweet and tart.

The mouthfeel is light and its very drinkable despite how sweet it is.

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

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark murky brown/red with minimal pinkish head

smell: cherry, sour, more cherries

taste: reminded me of a certain cough drop, cherries,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a very nice cherry beer. the ladies at the beer dinner preferred this one over the Raspberry Tart.

Cheers,
The CPJ

Photo of dirtylou
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
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

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

Received this in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear ruby red with a good two finger light tan head that slumps to leave a nice creamy thick blanket and good side lacing.

S - Nice and sweet, like cooked cherries. Smells like sweet, lightly spiced cherry pie filling.

T - Oh yah, definitely cherry pie filling. Nice nutmeg/cinnamon flavours and even a little bit of crust/dough. This is cool. Delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is good, nice carbonation, not heavy or syrupy. Perhaps a slight bit too sweet, but this isnt cloy.

O - Overall this is a delicious fruit beer. Very very cherry without being cloy. I love this.

Photo of xnicknj
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into large tulip

Pours a bright ruby red color with some black cherry darkness. Little head comes through, although a small collar of white film rests along the beer.

Boatloads of fresh cherry scent in the nose - almost like a fresh baked cherry pie or homemade jam. A bit sweet with a very light natural tartness from the fruit. Mellow and wall received by the senses.

Pure cherry flavor right up front on the tongue with a soft tartness. Almost like slightly unripe fruit, but with a tempered sweetness. Touch of sugar with juiciness. Finishes with more cherry and a lingering dry tartness.

Lighter medium body, slightly higher carbonation, smooth yet bubbly on the tongue. This is easily one of the better fruit (not sour) beers I've had in recent memory.

Photo of DefenCorps
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Joe was kind enough to send me one of these long time wants in the LNBA BIF a while back. Thanks, Joe! I split this with 2 friends last night.

The pour is quite gorgeous, hazy and turbid ruby red with a large, dense off white head with excellent retention and lacing. The nose is pure cherry juice, fresh and refreshing with a delicious blend of tartness and sweetness. Mildly jammy, this is glorious! The palate is similar, with sweet cherries, rich and pure. Mild tartness is present and the acidity and funk are very restrained (almost non-existent) for a beer that's supposed to have wild yeast and bacteria. The finish is a touch disappointing, with the sweetness fizzling out rather rapidly. Medium in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is a treat, but my 8oz were sufficient. I would never turn this down, though.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml wax-dipped green bottle poured into tulip.

A - Deep blood red in color, Wisconsin Belgian Red pours with a frothy dirty pink foam that subsides to loosely packed bubbles and a smattering of thin lace on the tulip.

S - Cherries, cherry skins, and more cherries! The aroma is of fresh fruit, not that cough syrup artificial BS you get in some cherry beers. While New Glarus' fruit beers are spontaneously fermented, many of them don't show the slightest hint of wild yeast. Wisconsin Belgian Red is the most forthcoming with it's wild profile, though; behind the cherries lies the distant aroma of a forgotten, dusty wooden barn and trails of horse blankets it once held.

T - Beautiful cherry flavor coats the tongue with true fruitiness from the pit to the skin's sharp tannins while the spontaneous fermentation trickles traces of dry wild yeast across the back of the tongue. Perfection!

M - Effervescent carbonation livens up the sweet cherry profile of Wisconsin Belgian Red before it's finish is punctuated with a nicely balancing level of tart, relaxed cherry skin acidity.

O - New Glarus' Wisconsin Belgian Red is not only one of the greatest cherry beers available anywhere, it's also one of the most quintessential fruit beers on the planet. Packed to the brim with fresh cherries, this beer smells and tastes sublime, finishing semisweet with a perfect level of tart cherry skin acidity!

Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ThirstyBird for sharing. Served in a tulip. Poured a bright maroon with some light penetration. Pour revealed a quarter inch, wispy, thin off-white head that quickly dissipated into a soapy swirl. Nose was cherry Sucrets and cinnamon. Taste follows nose with some additional cinnamon heat. Mouthfeel fell between light and medium with very little carbonation. This is by far the easiest drinking fruit beer I've ever had. Extremely flavorful (without being sickeningly sweet) and low abv makes it a great dessert beer.

Photo of champ103
3.72/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky reddish color. A small film of a head forms, but recedes in a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Big cherries and vanilla up front. Not very complex at all, but very nice.
T: Maybe a bit simplistic. Mainly cherries with some vanilla sweetness. Good, but one dimensional.
M/D: A light body that is crisp and smooth. I wish it was a bit dryer though. Easy to drink. I can finish a bottle in not time.

I really do like this. A very nice fruit beer, but does not compare to the Raspberry Tart. Very much worth a try however.

Photo of thagr81us
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saw this bad-boy on tap and HAD to have it as the bottle I had before was quite excellent. Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. poured red with a three finger very light pink head that subsided to one and a half very slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cherry, and slight sour. The flavor was of sweet malt, cherry, sugar, slight tart, and slight sour. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this brew is nothing short of excellent. Really can't believe I got the opportunity to try this one on tap. It was really just as good as out of the bottle. Everything in this one just WORKS! Nothing at all missing for the style and is likely my favorite brew of the style only compeating with Raspberry Tart. If you haven't had this brew before regardless of the serving type, you need to do so as soon as you possibly can.

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

The color is a deep red that's so cloudy and thick I can only call it murky. A a cap of head, the color of which is a pink dark enough that it's nearly red, begins about a finger and a half in height. It retains its form well and leaves patchy lacing along the glass.
The smell belies what this beer will be: authentic and complex. No cough syrup, fake sweeteners, or anything of the like are detectable. Cherries hit the nose with a bang, and it's powerful stuff. Sweet without cloying serves to offset a bit tartness, along with a bit of a vanilla-like sweetness. It's a bit spicy and a touch woody/earthy as well. While not as complex as the flavor, this aroma is quite good.
While the smell is very nice, the flavor is as close to perfectas it gets. Hops are in the aroma but really come out in the flavor, and so perfectly that nothing about the cherry is detracted from. Deliciously woody with that same very gentle spiciness and woodiness offsetting the sweet and tart, this is one of those beers in which everything comes together just right.
This beer's body is medium with a creamy heft and plenty of depth. Just crisp enough with a steady carbonation, this beer goes creamy smooth and heavier without getting too filling. I'd take down the crispness an almost infinitesimal degree.

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 3,037 ratings.