Wisconsin Belgian Red - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

937 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 937
Hads: 3,085
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 1,112
Gots: 649 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 937 | Hads: 3,085
Photo of Popkas
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep reddish brown with a creamy froth with pinkish tones.

S: Wow, the cherries hit me upon opening the bottle and continue to dominate the nose. Very tart and a tiny bit of fink. Lovely.

T: More tart cherries. Very sweet complimented with a little sourness.

M: Thick and syrupy with loads of carbonation. Reminds me of a flavored soda.

D: Very enjoyable, but certainly only one in a sitting and it should be shared. I will certainly be enjoying more of these in the future. (490 characters)

Photo of srroos
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a flute.

Pours a hazy brownish red with a short lived earthen tone head. The aroma is juicy tart cherries. The taste is tart cherries upfront with a sweet and slightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. Easy drinking, but well suited for sharing due to the tartness.

An excellent brew and a definite must try! (365 characters)

Photo of iabeerbaron
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this while in Madison. Poured a dark red color with a off white head. Aroma heavy of cherries. This beer is always on hand at my house; perfect for dessert and great for people looking to try something different. First drink was very sweet. Very delicious fruit beer. (274 characters)

Photo of Dansting
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured a cloudy reddish-purple color with a light white head. No lacing. Aroma is very strong with a nice sour cherriness to it. Mouthfeel is excellent as it is very smooth. Flavor is a nice tart cherry taste with a nice sour aftertaste. An excellent beer. (264 characters)

Photo of wardough
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brought this back from a recent trip from WI. What a great gem!
A: Pours a light burgundy. A good 1/2 inch head that dissipates into a tight lacing.
S: Wonderful cherries.
T: Wow, you forget that you're drinking an ale. It's sweet, but not overly sweet. This would be a great desert beverage.
M: Medium-high carbonation makes this go down smooth, almost like champagne.
D: Highly drinkable.
All in all, you must get this beer. Great job, Mr. Carey. (452 characters)

Photo of SiepJones
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to DrewHamm on this one.

A: Pours a Brownish/Pink body(Ruby) with an inch of off white pinkish head. Leaves a pretty nice lacing on the sides of the glass as I spin it around.

S: Smells like glass of cherry Kool Aid. I hope it's not too sweet.

T: Full cherry flavor, as if I were eating a cherry which had a slightly tart finish.

M: The body is full and juicy, with a hint of tartness to the finish.

D: Extremely drinkable. I have no desire to share the rest of the bottle I opened with anyone. Yes I will have this beer again. (540 characters)

Photo of beerkittycat
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is hazy orange with red and pink hues. A rocky white head settles after a moment to a thin layer. Aroma has cherry pie upfront but behind that there is some nice malty notes and other interesting finds like buttery graham cracker crust and cheesecake. Flowery hops dance around the malt and cherries. Very complex nose. Right out of the gate in the taste is fresh Door-county cherry pie! What follows is an interesting mix of malt and rose-like hop flavors. Hop bitterness, however, is fairly restrained and it could be ramped up a bit to balance the moderate sweetness. I'm shocked this is only 5%ABV because the mouthfeel is like a Belgian Strong Ale. A very complex beer that you could spend all night finding new things to discover within. Don't miss it! (769 characters)

Photo of Kbogac
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a champagne glass. Thick cream colored foam on top of a light burgundy red beer. Slowly dissipates to a ring with nice lacing. Smell is sweet cherry reminiscent of candy. Taste is more of a sweet darker cherry. Not very complex.  Light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Overall a very nice cherry ale. Not overly sweet and easy to drink. I've not found anyone that doesn't like it.  (397 characters)

Photo of MadTown1000
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

I was greatly surprised to find that this offering by the folks at tiny New Glarus Brewery had the kind of national following that it does. It deserves it. Try it at least once. (1,191 characters)

Photo of DubbelTrubbel
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The brewery confirmed the date on this bottle as March of 1999. From the collection of my late aunt, it was stored on its side in the refrigerator. This is my first time having this beer.

Served in a flute.

A- Hazy red, hints of brown. Off-white head, moderate carbonation.

S- Delicious, complex cherries. Like cherry Kool Aid, but real.

T- Heavy on the cherries here, not a lot on carbonation or much of anything else. Perhaps it has lost something here.

M- Moderately thick, but not syrupy.

O- Definitely nothing bad to say about it. Even with its age, this was my favorite beer I had on Christmas! Especially as it warmed up, I was left wanting more. (659 characters)

Photo of jj21
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle
Pours like Champagne into flute. Murky red liquid topped by a quickly disappearing thick rose head. No lacing. Cherry aroma (duh) not too overpowering. Glad to see this. So often the aroma in fruit beers is too much. Taste was fruity with yeasty finish. Moves between sweet and sour while on the tongue. Cherry Pie in a bottle. (341 characters)

Photo of Pecorasc
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Traded with justn. Split two ways and poured into large flute glass.

A- Deep red cherry color. Gorgeous off-white rocky head with nice retention. Lacing all the way down the flute looks great.

S- Cherries, cherry cough drops (Ludens), wheat and chocolate. No identifiable hops or barley, pure fruit beer.

T- Are there cherries actually in the bottle? Cherry medicine, with a bit of tartness, but not sour. Again, no hop or barley character. The taste really sticks between sips. Maybe a bit more dry and this would be incredible.

M- Much more body than I expected. Silky, with a tingle of carbonation.

D- For such a strong cherry flavor, extremely drinkable. I wish I didn't split the bottle.

Great fruit beer. Its nice to have a pure fruit beer and not a beer with fruit. A little drier and more carbonation and this would be perfect. (841 characters)

Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken at Greg's epic Wall St. tasting

A - Pours a reddish brown, with a light pink head that quickly recedes to a small collar.

S - CRANBERRIES! (thats all I wrote, but I have a distinct memory of how one-dimensional this was)

T - A typical fruit beer: very one-dimensional, but hammers its point home quite ferociously. A tad cloying.

M - Very thin, too light and champagne-like for my tastes.

D - Very drinkable, could session this all day but for the limited distribution. However, just because you could doesn't mean you should... (562 characters)

Photo of johnbjaeger
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy cats, this beer is just phenomenal.

It looks like melted rubies. Seriously, liquid rubies, were that possible. It actually smells better than actual cherries. I am not sure how they did that, but I swear, they have a deal with satan to make something that smells better than cherries (which already smell hilariously good...like a 3rd grade crush). It tastes pretty much like it smells and feels so nice going down. It has a really soft step and I could easily drink two or three 750s without impairing my ability to bowl.

If I had but one wish it would be that New Glarus somehow made this more sour. It would be my favorite beer in the world. God bles you, New Glarus. (679 characters)

Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours perfect see through cherry color. a nice pink tinted white fluffy head that settles down to a thin coating

S: Huge cherries as expected. real close to cough syrup but then a more fresh smell shows its face and says this isnt cough syrup

T: So much flavor! I was in the mood for this beer so the sweetness doesn't bother me. a nice real cherry flavor rather than just a flavoring agent with big sweetness. No real malt or hop flavor but thats expected

M: just enough carbonation to keep the beer going. mouth finishes off dry surprisingly

D: for a 5% beer its not crazy drinkable compared to others but this is just different from others. it will take me a minute to kill the bottle but I opened it on a hot day and was in the mood for this so the beer is just what i wanted. if you're not in the mood for big fruit then you wont like it (849 characters)

Photo of nouseforotacon
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been sitting on this for a couple of months, couldn't wait any longer. Faro sent me this in my first trade, much love, as it's the first brew I actively sought out that I can't obtain in my area.

Pours out a murky/muddy-looking darkened raspberry/caramel bottom. Nice, creamy foam head with a light red tint that dissipates slowly. Leaves nice lacing.

Smell is subtle, and not overwhelming. Very fresh cherries, with a hint of raspberry like tart/sourness. Subtle blend of malts. Smooth aroma.

Tinge of tartness on the tip of my tongue, and then a wash of sweet, plump cherries. Fruity with a little carbonation. Light malts and cherries work together harmoniously. Very lightly hopped finish with a bit of mouth puckering. Creamy mouthfeel holds this incredible brew together and really is the highlight.

The thing I love most about this brew is that it is subtle and delicious, without being over-the-top or too pretentious. Yeah, it's brewed with a whole lot of real cherries, but the fruit is used to accentuate the beer rather than to overpower it. Perfect blend of beer and fruit, and by far the best fruit beer I've ever tried. (1,154 characters)

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

Reviewed from notes
A - Pours a darkish red with a pink head.

S - Cherries, Cherries, Cherries and oh more Cherries

T - Amazing, here are those cherries again. Sweet with a decent tartness.

M - Light bodied and refreshing

D - Drinks well for a fruit beer. Not cloying.

Best fruit beer I have had so far. I look forward to trying the Raspberry Tart and hopefully the Apple Ale (2008 release?) (397 characters)

Photo of yeastsipper
4.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Popped this one open with friends at the end of a great dinner party. I had been wanting this beer for a while, and after finally obtaining one, get the right opportunity to enjoy it.

I was not disappointed!

Pours a deep, ruby mahogany red. Head appears but goes away quickly. Beautiful color. Smell is not surprisingly of cherries. Big, dark, perfectly ripe cherries. Only knock is the lack of other aromas, but this beer is what it is, and it does it well. Taste, again, cherries. Not complex in the sense that other beers are, but just fantastic. Not at all syrupy or overly sweet, just intense cherry flavor. What can I say - I absolutely loved it. Would not want this every day, or even every week, but this beer at the right time and place is simply amazing. (766 characters)

Photo of tprokop7
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to dhr for the bottle. Split with another BA, into Rodenbach glasses.

Pours a dark pinkish-orange with about a cm of head. The aroma is dominated by cherries, and the taste reminds me a lot of a flemmish sour blended with cherry lambik. Feels well carbonated and smooth in the mouth, but the sourness in the stomach detracts from the drinkability at the end.

Overall a good brew that I'd like to have the chance to try again. (440 characters)

Photo of Jammies
3.74/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for 8 mos.

A-pours a light orangish brown with deep red notes The inch of foam immediately retreats

S-sweet and fruity odor. The cherries are quite evident

T-sweet and a bit carbonated on the finish. Almost like apple juice with cherries. Not too sweet though

M-medium body and icredibly smooth

O-not an overly huge admirer of the fruit beers, but this one is pretty good. very smooth. (395 characters)

Photo of mymrnngjckt
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark red into with little or not head. The smell is crisp and has a tart cherry smell to it. The taste is great. You can taste the fruit but it is not too overpowering. A nice carbonation in the mouth gives it a clean and fruity taste.

I enjoyed this beer but I could probably only do one of these every now and then. Any more than one in a sitting would kill my tastebuds. (390 characters)

Photo of jwolfie70
3.73/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Have had this a couple of times out of the bottle and finally thought I would get around to reviewing. Pours a very bright, deep red. Smell is of cherries, cherries and more cherries. The taste is of a wonderful, fresh cherry. It has some tartness, the sweetness is a little overpowering. However, it is abundantly clear that this is not an artificial cherry flavoring but the real deal.

If I would have one compliant about this beer, is that it is too sweet to drink more than a glass of. I tried to sit down and drink a bottle by myself and couldn't finish it. Plan to drink this with friends (especially non-beer lovers, who may be converted with this sweet nectar). (671 characters)

Photo of Knuckles
4.87/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'll make no secret of it, I love this beer. I had my first taste of it almost ten years ago, back in the halcyon days when it was named "Wisconsin Cherry Ale". My friend Chip is from Door County, and would pick up a bottle or two here and there when he went home for the holidays, just to shut me up. I was utterly blown away by it then, and remain blown away to this very day. It's not for everyone, but I think any beer such as this that completely defines itself, and many other American beers to follow, really needs to be given due credit.

Appearance: This is the only area I'm disappointed. It pours a brilliant red (not quite pink), with a light pink head. However, as it's unfiltered, it gives it sort of a murky appearance that leads one to believe it's going to feel a bit thicker than it really does.

Smell: Well, kids, there's no denying it. This is a cherry beer. I don't drink fruit beers as a general rule, as most tend to try and add fruit flavor to a typically bland ale of some sort. This beer does no such thing. This beer revels in its cherryness. It exists solely for the cherries, not for the beer, and that's all you smell. No yeast, no malt, no beer. Just cherry.

Taste: Again, if you don't like cherries, you won't like this beer. Me, I like them. Sweet at the start, dry and tart at the finish. I've given this beer to many people who have said, "This isn't beer." And were it not for the strict definition of the process that makes a beer a beer, I might actually agree with them. But since this beer follows the rules, then by jinkies I'm going to call it a beer. And to hell with all y'all that disagree. I will also love every precious $10 bottle I can get my mitts on.

Mouthfeel: Again, the murk belies the lightness of tongue that this beer has. It is really a very delicate feel, almost like sparkling wine. It does have a definite malt presence, but doesn't have the tongue-sticky cloyingness that an American wheat beer like UFO or Widmer does. This sumbitch is incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day.

Drinkability: This all depends (as previously mentioned), on your tolerance for cherries. What makes this beer truly great, however, is that you can share it with almost anyone (yes, the boys got a wee nip and were suitably impressed) and they will generally enjoy it. That said, a little cherry can go a long way. My wife and I have done two of the 750 ml bottles of this at once, but that's about all I'd do. (2,466 characters)

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

Wow what a sweet syrupy beer.. If you want to know what this taste like get a Hostess Cherry fruit pie and eat the filling puree inside of it and well you get the picture. This is without a doubt a desert beer and would be awesome for any after dinner treat..Worth the effort!..recommend (287 characters)

Photo of FirstMan
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An utterly exquisite beer. When wine-lovers claim diversity in their grape-based world, I just roll my eyes and look to this beer. What a delight.

Pours deep red. Cloudy red. Redder than red. Red like hell except this is actually somewhere that you really really want to go. You might actually expect this to by syrupy by the look of it, but don't be decieved...

Smell is fresh fresh cherries. Nothing artificial in the nose at all. I was expecting something very tart but...

Light, bright, explosion of beautifully balanced cherry flavor. Tart, but not nearly as tart as I was expecting. The sour aspect is balanced perfectly with the sweet making this a very refreshing and flavorful brew. Nothing syrupy at all in the mouthfeel.

Just a great great beer. Without question the best fruit-based beer you can get in America. I'd take this over Lindeman's any day of the week ending in a "y". (902 characters)

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 937 ratings.