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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

969 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 969
Hads: 3,302
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 19.04%
Wants: 1,151
Gots: 735 | FT: 82
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wisconsin Belgian Red Alström Bros
Reviews: 969 | Hads: 3,302
Photo of LittleBreeze
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks brdc for sending me fresh bottles.

This beer is close to absolute perfection.

The coloring is a festive red with a wimpy pink head. The flavor and aroma is of course cherry. Fresh cherries and not "cherry" flavor or artificial.
An ever so slight tartness begs you take another sip. A little fizz adds to the fun of drinking this. Thick and creamy.

This isn't overly sweet so drinkability is pretty high. Really an occasion beer. One of the best fruit beers I've had.
I hope to always keep this one on hand.

Outstanding beer experience.

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Photo of Flyer
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A wonderful beverage, but I struggle a little to rate this, because it really doesn't have a lot of beer-like qualities. It takes a pretty vigorous pour to get much of a head. The aroma is a hedonistic cherry immersion, and the flavor is more of the same -- tart, fresh, delicious. Malt and hops are undetectable, as is the alcohol. Actually, even a little bit of an alcohol burn would push it to a higher level for me. Recommended, definitely, but I do have to rate it in the context of a beer.

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Photo of maundythirsty
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm torn on this stuff, because it's unrecognizable as beer. Nonetheless, I enjoyed drinking it.

Pours to a thin head with just a wee bit of lacing. The beer is opaque and a very natural ripe red color that goes amber around the edges. Smells like cherry pie -- down to the crust.

Tastes like rich cherry pie filling, with nary a hint of any typical beer flavors. Incredibly sweet, but rounds out with nifty souring in the end.

Despite the lack of observable bubbling this feels like it has some zippy carbonation. Maybe a watery feel, but Belgian Red jumps on your tongue so hard it's hard to get a good feel for it.

Yowsa. So sweet that it is best enjoyed in moderation. I will keep a bottle of this stuff around to haul out after dinner now and then -- or as a trap to snag the "But I don't like beer" people.

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Photo of slaintemhor
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got to try a bottle of this last summer thanks to a beer trade friend. The colour was cloudy and amber with a temporarily thick head. The aroma was cherries, cherries and more cherries! On the palate, it was like getting a cherry pie in the face, and thoroughly enjoying it! Loads of pie cherry flavour, and even pie crust with hints of cinnamon and baking sugar. What a nice beer!!

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Photo of awalk1227
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 11/30/10

Poured into a Bruery tulip

A: Pours a DEEP ruby red that glows wonderfully in the light. Highly carbonated and pours a lovely white-pink head that fizzles out after a few seconds.

S: I can smell cherries when I open the bottle. All I smell are fresh, juicy, tangy cherries.

T: Wow! It's like sucking on a cherry Jolly Rancher, without the high fructose corn syrup. Bright, punchy fruity flavor comes at my mouth fast, and the 4.0% alcohol isn't tasted at all, but lends to the overall construction, letting me know this is a beer.

F: Glazes my tongue in a red bath with a few fizzles here and there. Goes down very smooth.

D: Certainly not a gulper, but it's not too strong to declare it strictly a sipper. My first glass I finished very quickly and my second glass I nursed a bit more, tasting all the nuances as it warmed.

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Photo of CruisaC
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to ericfb18 for this bottle in a recent trade

750ml bottle with red wax cap
Pours deep ruby copper color into my New Belgium glass. Forms about half an inch of foam that quickly dissipates. I'm lsurprised by how much lacing is left on the sides of the glass as I drink.

Smells of cherries--no shocker there, but there's a lot of different "cherry" smells and tastes possible. This strikes me as true; cherries soaked in a sweet alcohol, brandy possibly. The cherries are the star of the show for sure.

The taste is also heavy on the cherries--a mix of sour and tart with some maraschino thrown in the mix for sweetness. Make no mistake, this beer is sweet, but it is not overpoweringly so. It would probably pair best with a dessert, or heck even be a dessert.

Silky smooth mouthfeel with some tart carbonation towards then end; just about how this beer should feel

This is such an easy beer to drink. It's not easy for me to obtain and I couldn't see myself drinking it every night, and that's coming from someone who likes things on the sweet side of things. A delicious beer overall though and a great example of the style

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Photo of Scoobydank
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L: An amber red through out. Light fizzy head that dsiapates quickly.
S: Very sharp trat cherries fill my nose immediatly followed by a nice sweet candy.
T: Cherries covered in vanilla at first. Sours apples follow which turns it in to a sweet and than sour.
M:Big fizz makes it feel nice and round
D: Awesome!!! Certainly a great fruit beer.

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Photo of BasementBer
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this one while walking the swanky small craft - large scale brewery.

A: Pinkish head with good retention and lacing. Reddish brown hue. Sparkling wine-esque hue but darker in glass.

S: Tart. Maltiness notes but overwhelmingly cherry mash.

T: Pure raw cherries, no extract sweetness. Meaty cherry taste with light malts and little to no hops detectable.

M: Bites a bit on the tongue with the tartness and in the throat. But the lasting coating of the massive 1lb of cherries per bottle makes it linger for days.

D: Really enjoyed this as a special and unique brew. Desert anyone?

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The cherries predominate, and it tastes almost like a cherry-flavored soda or sparkling wine. Straddles the divide between beer and wine, to paraphrase the label. Interesting, quality product, but not sure I'd call it a beer.

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Photo of elmore
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pint 9 oz bottle, which I purchased at Market Place Grocery Store in Hayward, WI. Turbid, murky pink color. Minimal head that rapidly receded with scattered lacing.

Not suprisingly this smells of cherries as the bottle reads "over a pound of Door County cherries in each bottle". Not of artificial cherries, but rather the cherry streusel I used to get on Sundays at a local German bakery. No hops, no alcohol, no malt - pretty much only cherries.

Taste is very sweet with a tart sour aftertaste. Thick syrupy mouthfeel, similar to grenadine or maybe the syrup from marichino cherries. Sweetness limits drinkability.

Very unique beer and a lot of fun to try, but not something I would regularly drink. I can barely identify this as a beer. Similar to a lambic possibly. I think it would be great as an after meal drink similar to a dessert wine.

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Photo of Jwaks
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving 22oz bottle, thanks to nflmvp and sinstaineddemon

Reveals a mixed tawny brown and venitian red through a slightly hazy body, ample miniscule bubbles race upwards toward a fine frothy pink tinted head. The head dissapates within a minute leaving just a very faint ring of tightly packed bubbles.

A medley of cherry aromas dominate a hugely aromatic nose, sweet cherry aromas take center stage supported by some tart and sour cherries with a bit of fruit punch and light floral aromas hanging in the background.

Sweet cherries flavor leads a suble entry followed closely by tart cherries on a soaring mid palate; flavors slowly evolve into a off-dry lingering sour cherry flavor thast lasts over half a minute. Tart cherry pie filling is the best description for this beer's flavor. Wow, this undoubtly hits the mark on a pure cherry ale.

Full on the palate with a delectable syrupy character, this goes down with ease offering awesome balance and nothing but delicious cherry flavors.

Barnone, this is one of the best cherry ales and fruit/vegetable beers available. It delivers on all accounts and sets a high standard by which all other fruit beers can be judged.

Cheers!

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Photo of davod23
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the waxed-dipped bottle into a NG flute.

The pour is a clear, light red color with an off-white cap. It's not as dark or as striking a red as you might expect. It's okay looking.

I don't know if I even want to put separate "Smell" and "Taste" sections here. This beer is cherries, cherries, cherries, and more cherries. On the sweet side, but not cloying. If you like a good cherry beer, this is it.

Mouthfeel is fairly syrupy, with low-medium carbonation. Smooth. This would be a perfect score with precisely 13 more bubbles.

Drinkability is pretty good. If you split the bottle with another person, you're in good shape - any more than that, and the sweetness of the brew might start to wear on you.

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Photo of petacutlasaurus
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Grabbed this one as part of a big haul from Connecticut Avenue Wine and Liquor - big thanks to Al over there for coordinating an air-conditioned New Glarus truck-haul from Wisconsin to D.C.

After a few of New Glarus's 12oz beers, I finally cracked this bomber pretty much brimming with excitement. I had been hearing about New Glarus's fantastic fruit beers and sours for ages, so it was great to test that hyped-up mettle.

Poured a cloudy, deep red with some pink-white sudsy bubbling on the surface. Aroma was of sweet cherries, practically candied, all qualified by this overarching sourness and a little bit of bite. On tasting, that sourness turns out to be more of a tartness, with just a bit of the wild notes I was expecting. Still, that bite comes through just as it's needed to unhinge the balance that's otherwise too sweet. The mild carbonation and the medium body give this beer the reach across the mouth it needs to deliver all that tartness.

Having had this beer after New Glarus's Cran-Bic, I feel like this is just the inversion of sweet/sour I wanted. For me, Cran-bic was maybe .75 sweet to .25 sour. Switch those two values around, and exchange the cranberry for cherry, and you get this stellar Wisconsin Belgian Red. After having loads of Belgian Kriek's, this is an awesome response from Wisconsin.

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Photo of marksto
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been fortunate enough to have had many samples of this one through the years, but waited until I had a new tasting opportunity to write a review.

Pours a deep, translucent red with off-white head made of dense bubbles. The nose displays a huge cherry essence along with some faint almond and a light mustiness. Flavor features a huge, juicy cherry flavor with just the right amount of sourness and tartness. This is not the "cough syrup" cherry you get from a lot of these fruit beers, but an exceedingly pleasant fruit flavor.

In the background is also a tangy "brown sugar/apple skin" element that really completes the complex flavor profile, and this represents a signature profile in this beer that I have tasted in no other. The complexity lends a vinous character that is marvelous.

NGBR is an absolute world classic, and a worthy recipient of it's excellent reputation and many awards. The perfect example of a beer that can make people who don't like beer, like beer. I've seen it happen many times.

I consider it the best fruit beer I've ever had. A must-try for anyone who can get their hands on it.

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Photo of ballz50401
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a New Belgium globe glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark red with steady carbonation. Nice head that is reddish/tan in appearance.

Smell: I get a nice spicy belgian yeast character paired with a bold cherry aroma. Very pleasent and inviting.

Taste/Mouthfeel: A very good, smooth cherry flavor. Nice and sweet with a touch of oak character. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall: A nice little treat that doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of vicinandp
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really liked this beer until I got halfway through my glass. Its great fruit beer but its very very sweet. Starts to coat the back of your throat like when you ate too much candy on halloween as a kid. Very jammy, tons of cherry in this, basically its like drinking a liquid cherry Jolly Rancher. There is a good amount of tart cherry in this beer I just wish it was less sweet.

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Photo of brow1901
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wax top green bottle, something you don't see every day.

A- Pours a bright and ruby red. Initially there is a nice one finger off white head, the head has a nice pink undertone to it. Unfortunatly the head never lasted long, maybe it was my glass. Once the head dissapeared it looked like a glass of rose wine. The beer left no lacing either.

S- The smell is just pure cherries, but not fresh cherries. It smells more like a cherry pie. The smell is more earthy and nutty than fruity and tart.

T- The frist thing I notice is the tartness, it almost gets to the point where I make a sour face but backs off. After the sourness comes the delicious cherry flavor, this time more grassy and fruity than the smell. Finally the taste shifts to a dry oak and buttery taste, this really reminds me of a white wine.

M- Medium bodied with nice carbonation. The carbonation is nessicary the keep the tartness in line.

D- One or two glasses is pleanty for me so a whole bottle is too much. The tartness and fruit flavors become too much for my palete. I enjoyed this beer when it was cold, like fridge cold, it was fun to taste it as it warmed but I found it better cold. Also I really regret not pairing this beer with some food or cheese.

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Photo of sideshowrob
4.82/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Being in Maryland, this beer is much like Romulan Ale; I have a few people who sneak me some bottles now and then. Wish they distributed more widely, but I'm also glad to have some meaningful regional variability left.

The beer pours a reddish/amber hue, almost like thin blood. Little head, but strong carbonation. First hint of what you're about to get comes with the smell, a tart cherry aroma not unlike Dr. Browns dark cherry soda.

The taste, mouthfeel and drinkability are all harmoniously welded. The balance between sour and sweet is incredible. Each receptor in your tounge is overwhelmed with flavor. Once you start to quaff this elixer, it's hard to stop. The body just demands more and more. If Belgian Red was sold by the gallon that'd be fine with me.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.92/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to bennetj17 for the beer trade.
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a oversized wine glass.
Sampled bottle with fellow BA nisjer05.

Amazing beer!!!! Bright hazy, reddish color, very small white head. Lots of carbonation, very little lacing. Looks like some kind of fruit juice. Fantastic smell!!! Smells exactly like fresh cherry pie filling. Yummy!! I can't believe this is beer! Very sweet and tart, a true pleasure to drink. Light and slightly fizzy mouthfeel. My first offering from New Glarus, and the best fruit I've tried so far. Only available in Wisconsin, so do whatever it takes to get this beer. You will not be disappointed.

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Photo of halfP1NT
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to EliteDigger for hooking me up with this one!

This beer pours a beautiful, cloudy, deep mahogany with a warm reddish hue, almost purple. There is a fizzy quality that creates a nice, off-white head with a red tint. Some lines of lacing are left behind.

First smell to hit my nose is sweet cherries. It reminds me of a black cherry soda.

Taste is sweet black cherries with a tart finish. The flavor coats the inside of my mouth and the tartness lingers for a while. It becomes even more tart as it warms. I actually enjoyed this beer at a colder temperature; I found it very refreshing.

This beer reminds me of a nice black cherry soda, except the beer's sweetness is not as overbearing, its body is more robust, and its carbonation bubbles are much smaller, giving it an enjoyable mouthfeel. This is a very unusual beer, like nothing I've ever tasted before.

This is a great fruit beer; just thinking about some other fruit beers that I think missed the mark (Southern Tier's Raspberry Porter comes to mind), this beer is right on. The sweetness is accompanied by a thick, full body and enticing tartness that makes me want to keep drinking.

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Photo of hoffman
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is amazing that anyone could capture the smell and taste of this beer. The beer is ruby red in the glass with a smallish white head. The smell is purely cherry like pie filling or marachino (sp) cherries. An amazing smell for a legitamate beer. I absolutley love it. The taste is largely sweet, and quite tart in the finish. Possibly some slight hops in there but mostly just cherries. The mouthfeel is quite creamy and good very nice. If you can get your hands on this one...try it. It is what it is and it is damn fine at that. Drink it after a big meal and you cannot help but be satisfied.

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Photo of Atricapilla
4.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. This was good. Poured from a champagne bottle; it has a garnet color with a small slightly pinkish head. The beer is light in carbonation although this meshes well with the sour and sweet tastes that are imparted from the cherries. Has a tremendous and complex cherry taste. This bottle was gone way too fast.

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Photo of raoulduke37
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again to LJArsenal, my Wisconsin pipeline, for this trade. I have to say that I wasn't expecting great things from a fruit beer, but god damn this is hitting the spot right now.

A - Bottle is sealed with red wax. Pours a deep red and brown with a beautiful 1/2 inch pinkish off-white head. Lacing goes all around the glass.

S - Lambic sourness with cherries prevalent in the background.

T - Syrupy cough medicine from childhood. Cherry and malt with other dark ripe fruit.

M - Thick and syrupy, mild carbonation tingle at the end. Coats the tongue similar to tannic wines.

D - A beer I'd want to drink around Christmas instead of those shitty macro Christmas beers.

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Photo of bristol2120
3.97/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1pt. 9 oz bottle. Pours with a quickly dissipating pinkish white head, that leaves behind next to nothing in terms of lacing. Beer is a pleasing, hazy brownish red color. Smell is dominated by tart cherries, with maltiness lurking in the backround. Taste is also dominated by cherries, with maltiness still lurking in the background. Mouthfeel is quite nice and tight with decent carbonation. Overall, though it's not a beer I would drink quite often, today is the hottest day in Chicago in five years, and this beer is incredibly refreshing and is really hitting the spot.

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Photo of AllDayIPA23
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Was able to get a bottle in a trade. Really have been into fruit beers recently, and this one did not disappoint.

red cherry appearance. Big foamy head. Strong carbonation is visible.

Tons of cherry in the nose. I saw someone mention a creamy/buttery scent, and I definitely picked up on that.

Taste was a fantastic representation of cherry freshness. Extremely addictive taste. Very refreshing. Easily drinkable. Not overly sweet.

Light-body with strong carbonated feel. Creamy.

Wonderful beer that I had on my Want list for a very long time. Exceeded expectation. Would purchase over and over.

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 969 ratings.