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R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
R&D Bourbon Barrel KriekR&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

144 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 144
Reviews: 84
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 373
Gots: 11 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

August 2010 Release
1,500 Bottles

Ale infused with a large dose of sour cherries. Fermented in an Oak Vat using a blend of Ale Yeast and Lactobacillus. Then aged in freshly dumped bourbon barrels.

(Beer added by: alcstradamus on 07-30-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 144 | Reviews: 84 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by drowland:
Photo of drowland
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1/15/11. Bottle shared at the Sea Bass going away tasting. Amber/dark reddish pour with a small off-white head. Awesome vanilla BA aromas mixed with fantastic spiced cherry. Light spiced cherry flavor with a hint of vanilla and coconut. This is heaven!

drowland, Feb 05, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of weatherdog
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle poured into a Bells tulip glass. This beer was shares among friends at a recent tasting.

If you are familiar with NG fruit beers then that distinct bright red hue is recognizable. This ones is a mix of red and brown, maybe like a clear Belgian Red. A nice long lasting bright white head tops the beer.

The nose is that trademark tart cherry the New Glarus has used in many a beer (Belgian Red, Cherry Stout, Enigma to some extent) in addition to the cherry a stronger oakiness was present with noticeable vanilla.

In addition to the always welcome tart cherries this beer also had just a kiss of bourbon that complimented the beer. It was so slight that I'm guessing that these weren't first use bourbon barrels. Once again raw oak and vanilla take a supporting role to the dominating cherry in the taste. I'm also picking up just a little bit for tartness than the standard Ng fruit beer. This really is a great beer and just a step above what Belgian Red offers.

The mouthfeel, which is usually great on New Glarus beers, has this weird drying effect on my mouth. Almost like a piece of cotton was placed in my mouth. Drinkability was on par with other NG fruit heavy beers.

I can see so many similarities to Belgian Red in this beer. It almost tastes like they just took Belgian Red and stuck it in a bourbon barrel for number of months. I think this beer would do phenomenally well as a wider release and this seems like maybe a test batch for such a thing. It's really a great fruit forward beer.

weatherdog, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark golden-orange color with a white head. The aroma is awesome. I get a ton of bourbon, maple and vanilla notes up front, with the accompanying tart cherry notes. The flavor is more of the same. All of the notes from the aroma are present in the flavor. If I had to summarize the flavor, I would say it tastes like bourbon-chocolate covered cherries. The tartness and a little hint of funk just add to the other notes. I have never had a beer that tastes quite like this and I hope I get to try it again, although that is probably unlikely. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An outstanding beer.

Mora2000, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

bpfrush, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of boatshoes
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The last of the three R&D to be enjoyed from the package sent to me by Translucent, thanks again!

Appearance- Pours a nice shade of ruby amber with a relatively thin head that dies back to a ring and patching. Very nice color though and carbonation appropriate for the style.

Smell- First and foremost, the nose is comprised of cherries! Doesn't smell like fresh cherries necessarily but due to the wood smells more like a fresh cherry pie. Hints of vanilla and bourbon wood.

Taste- Flavor profile is similar to the nose with fresh cherry pie really the best way I can describe this one. Lots of cherry flavor backed up with nice highlights of vanilla and some bourbon warmth on the finish. Quite nice.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is nice for the style and not overly thin. Very drinkable though I didn't find it to be particularly tart I will say.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and wish I could get ahold of more. In a close race for my favorite of the three R&D beers with the Golden Ale.

boatshoes, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of Stigs
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle - served in a Lambic glass

A - poured slightly vigorously and yields only a brief lasting, loose white fuzzy foam. the beer is almost crystal clear, brownish ruby in color with some active bubbling.

S - vinegar and woody notes dominate. freshly crushed cherries, chocolate, oak add sweetness. faint bit of wild, lactic funk come through as well.

T - begins with a very quick, sharp sour lactic bite as black cherries explode in the mouth. turns almost instantly sweet with a more syrup-like cherry, vanilla, and oak. bourbon is present from the beginning, yet stays in the background for the majority of each sip. some light chocolate is added in as well, making this remind me of a cherry Tootsie-pop.

M - medium, creamy body holds up nicely against tight, punchy carbonation. sweetness lingering in the mouth for awhile, syrupy. lactic sourness attempts to wipe the palette clean, though some sweet fruity notes are left behind.

D - interesting as the name sounds...leans a bit more towards the sweeter side than I was expecting, though the bourbon adds a nice subtle touch to those delicious Wisconsin cherries - like a Wisconsin Red spiked at a holiday party. crisp, refreshing, and interesting all around.

Stigs, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of Lazerlobe
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Tawny amber with minimal head. The soft pour is a touch syrupy.

S: Marshmallow, vanilla and bourbon minus any liquor heat. Subtle fruit body but I'm having a hard time pinning down the cherries. Just when I think I have it, it escapes.

T: Slightly sour and very reminiscent of Belgian Red. Also similar to a toasted cherry marshmallow. No bourbon heat or bite. Still sweet but not as medicinal as Belgian Red.

M: Low carbonation. Slightly syrupy viscosity and bathes the tongue with vanilla.

O: Not too intense, an absolutely wonderful dessert beverage. Spot on vanilla characteristics without borrowing too much heat and liquor. A great sipper.

Lazerlobe, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared 500ml bottle with fellow BA, my Father.
From tasting notes.
A: A bold ruby red haze on the body sits below a thin line of off-white head. A very low carbonation is present from the appearance. No lacing, but for style this is just right.
S: A strong note of bourbon attacks the senses and reassures a quality aging process. A wild yeast aroma is also found. A very smooth and aromatic brew this is.
T/M: A bright, bold cherry note, along with a pleasant sweet whiskey notes. A very mellowed out finish with a bit of a acid undertone. This is a very complex flavor profile in this brew.
D: A very drinkable brew, not too sour, but just the right amount sourness. A great overall brew, but with a limit on amount sold and rarity, I was savoring every sip. I could see this NG brew coming back to make a consistent appearance.
Notes: Very, very good. I am not let down by this one, the hype is there for a good reason. I will be aging some to see how it does, so a year from now, and more we will see how it develops.

GDBEERMAN, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt (mtunnell) for this one. Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Lost Abbey tulip.

A: Standard pour yields a slowly rising 1.5 finger frothy, fluffy, off-white head with decent retention. Beer is a clear deep amber. Lacing is stringy and spotty with nice legs at points and very good stick.

S: Nose is bourbon, oak, vanilla, and an odd, medicinally sweet cherry. There's also that signature New Glarus fruit beer yeastiness. Aromatic and pleasant at first, this one declines and becomes less appetizing as it warms. No hint of funk or lacto tartness detectable.

T: Sweet cherry, bourbon, vanilla, and an odd, unpleasant butterscotch upfront that thankfully, fades into the background. Yeasty spiciness. Tart fruit builds gradually towards the middle but never really gets there. Sweet throughout. Butter returns towards the end along with sweet candied cherry. Buttery residue at the finish. Aftertaste is more of the same.

M: Light to medium bodied and amply carbonated. Prickly and bubbly in the mouth and abrasive and spicy going down. Finishes subtley with an aftertaste that is oily and filmy and lingers.

D: I'm not the most knowledgeable about brewing practices but I'm pretty sure something is amiss when a wild ale is largely missing any sort of funkiness or sourness and instead, displays an odd butterscotch and popcorny flavor. This is much more a fruit beer than it is a AWA... as a fruit beer though... its pretty good and quite enjoyable and refreshing. Not what I expected but decent nonetheless.

SpeedwayJim, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap @ malt house

The elusive bourbon barrel kriek - sold out to a bunch of fine people from Minnesota before I had a chance to buy some at the brewery. One day sell-out to be exact.

The Malt House had one of two 1/6 barrels in circulation and it lasted a little under an hour on a Monday afternoon - just long enough to get a couple pours.

appearance: served in belgian glassware, light garnet body and light brown froth

smell: the trademark NG tart cherries, vanilla and oak

taste: Ah yes, the taste of rare beer...From all the bonanza surrounding the release, I was expecting a little bit more of a deviation from some of the other similar NG beers, particularly Engima. Don't get me wrong, I love Engima, and this was a very good beer too but I guess I was just expecting something a little wilder. The bourbon is pretty subtle but the barrel definitely provides hits of oak and vanilla. Tart and sweet cherries - as one would come to expect from NG

mouthfeel: medium-light, mild tartness

overall : solid, but not enough differentiation from the belgian red/enigma/cherry stout world

dirtylou, May 07, 2011
Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photekut, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of hooliganlife
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pour was a deep amber and copper with a little to no head. i got the bottom of the bottle though...

light cherry and light bourbon with a dark candy fruit. the cherry was quite pronounced.

lots of real cherry that was equally blended with a bourbon barrel flavor. this was totally 50/50 on balance. it was quite interesting. nice light sourness or tartness.

fairly light body with a moderate carbonation. a bit dry

this was quite interesting, not sure if i could ever finish the entire bottle though.

hooliganlife, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of nickd717
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle shared by Arbitrator.

Pours clear medium brownish-reddish-amber with a small off-white head on top.

The aroma is big on the bourbon barrels, with slight cherry, like a toned-down Wisconsin Belgian Red, with slight buttery oakiness and vinous notes.

The flavor is also a lot like Wisconsin Belgian Red without as much cherry. Rather sweet - definitely more sweet than sour. Acetic and vinegary with slight butter and metallicity.

Smooth and medium-bodied, but come on, where is the sourness and acidity? Medium-low carbonation level.

Overall, a tasty beer, but still a bit of a disappointment. Just not really very sour at all and not at all to style.

nickd717, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of FalconA
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

FalconA, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to sproser for sending me this one in the Secret Santa '10 BIF! Had during Hobo Tasting #5 with mikesgroove down near the railroad tracks near RJ Rockers. Brewed 1.18.10 and bottled on 8.6.10, 5 bbl batch. Served from bottle into a Bell's tulip. Poured a deep red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, funk, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, oak, and dark fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. The barrel was definitely present on this one without doubt. The barrel did cut down on the sour/tart aspect quite a bit for me. This one might be a good brew for those who aren't into the massively sour brews but still enjoy subtle aspects of them. Mike preferred this one over the R&D Gueuze that he brought, I preferred the Gueuze.

thagr81us, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of hopsbreath
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A New Glarus beer review usually starts with me giving a shout-out to my main trading partner zimmerbloke from Wisconsin. I love you Matt, but this time I have to give thanks to black13 for sharing his personal 500ml bottle with my wife TulipSnifter and I. We met up with Michael last night at Hair of the Dog for some Cherry Adam on tap and were invited back to his place to split a beer with him. Down into the mans cellar we went with him where he opened up a Bruey Old Richland, an '08 BCBS, and than one of my big wants, New Glarus Bourbon Barrel Kriek. As grateful as I wanted to appear, I still needed to tap out some notes about the beer on my BlackBerry. Again, thank you Michael... Now here's the review.

A: Poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip glass. A solid pour kicks up a nice fluffy white froth on top of a crystal clear, vibrant, ruby-orange body. The head retreats only a little and maintains a nice half-finger cap on top. Very impressive looking in the glass and moderate sheets of lace are left throughout the drink. 4.5/5

S: Sweet pie cherries, signature NG vanilla, cinnamon, no bourbon presence. I'm a sucker for the "New Glarus smell" and this is no exception. Just sniffing my glass is a very enjoyable experience for me. 4.5/5

T: Sweet cherries again at the forefront! This is barely tart at best. No real sour presence. Again with the signature NG vanilla. Pretty much just following the nose here but so damn good and supportive of the aroma. 4/5

M: Moderate body with minimal carbonation. Sticky lips and a sticky finish. I would expect a drier, crisper finish for a wild beer so this is one of the beers low points for me. None the less, I like it over all so I'm not docking it below a 3.

D: Another solid winner from Dan Carey and company. As far as krieks go, I don't think this one is very traditional, but as far as American Wild Ales go this is very approachable and enjoyable. 4/5

hopsbreath, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of brian23456
5/5  rDev +16.8%

brian23456, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of Ek0nomik
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Ek0nomik, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of Boski
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Boski, May 27, 2014
Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy reddish orange body, ample foam and minimal lacing. Decent retention with some spotty bits of foam clinging to the glass after each sip. Clarity is good, though the color isn't red like a traditional kriek (no points off for that).

Sweet nose of oxidized malts, vanilla, caramel, and dried cherry. Seems more like a sweetened Flanders (WI Belgian) Red than anything. Not really funky, acetic or much resembling traditional Kriek, though it's pleasant enough for what it is.

Slightly sweet tartness on the tongue, bolstered by sweet malt (more than expected), some saddle leather and damp hay notes, but not especially funky. Cherry is there, not as pronounced as a fresh bottle, but it melds nicely with a light vanilla pastry flavor. Light to medium bodied, easily sipped.

Overall this is a bit too similar to the long line of closely related fruit beers from New Glarus. Barrel-aged Belgian Red isn't too far off to be honest. Elements of Cherry Stout, Enigma, and WI Belgian Red show up here. Hopefully future batches are a bit more wild... it's just too similar to past releases to seek out. Thanks Joe for sharing this alongside the Gueuze.

emerge077, May 08, 2011
Photo of theminutemen
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

theminutemen, May 14, 2012
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500 ml bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip. Batch 5 bbl, Brewed 1.18.10, O.G. 13°P, Bottled 8.6.10, ABV 5.5%, IBUs 12.

Infinity thanks to Beerwolf77 for picking a bottle of this up for me AND sharing a bottle with me! You're my #1 ninja Todd!

A - Clear as crystal and ruby brown-red is brilliant looking with a big three-finger head from a tall pour. Good retention with some good lace left over.

S - Phenomenal aroma of mixed spice and mild funk. The funk is mildly reminiscent of barnyard but is overshadowed by equally mild tart cherry and raspberry and general berry fruitiness. A fantastic barrel aroma of very mild bourbon comes through as well. This aroma is fan-freakin'-tastic!

T - Oh wow. Very mild sour funkiness adds fantastic layers of undertones to this complex and orgasmic flavor. Yes, orgasmic. Tart cherry and raspberry blends so well with a very tiny splash of bourbon barrel. I can't stop drinking it!

M - Smooth and soft initially with a great tart and sour balance to the finish. I can't believe how good this goes down. Smooth and very lightly carbonated to the perfect level.

D - Well, I can't give this anything less than a 5 in drinkability since I have to hold myself back from just drinking the whole thing immediately instead of savoring it sip by sip. Once again Dan Carey proves that he knows fruit beers inside and out. Hot damn, this is one of the best beers I've ever had.

BeerFMAndy, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one a while back from the fantastic enelson... Thanks a ton Ed for a badass trade. I shared this one with the geeks and just now entering the notes.

Pours a clear orange... like a lite tawny port... little in the way of head or lacing.

The nose shows alot of bourbon with a lesser cherry.. not very sour at all.. Honestly alot like a vanilla and booze spiked Wisconsin Red... no funk on the nose.

Great cherry flavor.. oaky vanilla and bourbon.. doughy sweetness adds to a "pie essence"... too sweet for a "wild ale", but still very nice for what it is... the barrel presence adds waves of complexities to a familiar beer. I was just hoping for more funk.. instead there is a mild acetic quality that is the tie that binds.

Medium body and lite carbonation for any beer... for this "style", it is too heavy and needs more carbonation.

All of the above negatives go away on the drinkability... I loved this one and want more... a lot more... I want to score a couple more of this batch and let it age for a few years before I ever touch it again.

Thanks again Ed.... if you have more, please hit me up. :-)

3.5/4/4/3.5/4.5

JohnGalt1, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of enelson
5/5  rDev +16.8%

enelson, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of scaliasux
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark amber. Clear. Thin off-white not very persistent head.

Smell - Funky cherries and rich malt. A whiff of bourbon and vanilla. Unique.

Taste - Tart cherries are, unsurprisingly, the most prominent flavor. Bourbon, vanilla, and a little bit of funk also appear. A different take on the cherry beer from New Glarus' other products, but in my view no less exceptional.

Mouthfeel - Medium. Smooth and crisp.

Drinkability - New Glarus does a fine job with fruit beers and this one is no exception. Indeed, I believe I prefer this to any of New Glarus' other fruit beers (with the possible exception of Cranbic) - that's saying a lot. Unique and well worth the relatively hefty price.

scaliasux, Nov 16, 2010
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R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek from New Glarus Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.