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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
94
outstanding

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:
Photo of Arbitrator
2.45/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. I tried this twice: once courtesy of nerd, once from a bottle I shared (generously traded to me by Wisconsinality).

I'm a huge New Glarus fan. I think of myself as their homer from another mother. So when I don't enjoy one of their beers, I prefer to try it again and re-review it. That's what I did here.

A: Pours a brownish amber; quite clear in the glass. The pour generates some light beige head, which quickly vanishes, leaving a tendril or two of lace on the sides.

S: This smells like a cherry dessert of some kind. Maraschino cherries; not even much tannic bitterness that you would get from cherry skins. Bourbon and vanilla are muted, but you do smell them.

T: Definitely on the sweet side. The cherries contribute a mild tartness that is strongly muted by bourbon and butter. The finish develops just a hint of burn that suggests vinegar sourness, but it's not found in the main taste at all. I find myself struggling to detect any bacterial character. Instead, I enjoy the beer for what it is: it's like walking into the barrel room at a vineyard. It has that woodsy, rustic, cerealy, slightly grape-ish taste sensation that enters your mouth when you step into those rooms. It's tasty for sure; the flavors are balanced, delicate, soft. As a fruit beer, it's goo. It just doesn't have any 'wild' flavors, and it reminds me more of a barrel-aged fruit beer (specifically, the Belgian Red) than anything else.

M: As always, they nail the mouthfeel. Supple, velvety, rich in flavor. The cherries don't build up and coat the palate. I appreciate that quality.

D: I hate, HATE, saying bad things about New Glarus. But if you're going to call your beer a kriek, you conjure certain expectations of it tasting like a cherry lambic, and failing that, at least like a cherry wild ale. This does neither. So I'm forced, based on style considerations, to give it a lower score.

Arbitrator, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of JAXSON
2.55/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Dark clear pink pour. Nose is a whopping vanilla, medicinal cherry syrup. Tons of vanilla in the mouth, cotton candy. Sickly sweet body, a bit of bourbon, some sour cherry somewhere in the mix. Buttery, oily palate. Difficult to drink. Weirdly overrated.

JAXSON, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of Sarlacc83
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Sarlacc83, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Rose red with golden highlights. Pretty.

Smell -- Rich macerated cherries, gentle oaky vanilla, and soft bourbon sweetness. Delicious, but not at all wild, funky, or sour.

Taste -- Classic Wisconsin Belgian Red flavor of freshly macerated cherries and a gentle cracker malt. On top of this is oaky vanilla, woody tannins, and a taste of bourbon liqueur. Again: no funk, no sour.

Mouthfeel -- lighter carbonation, medium body. Slightly syrupy.

Drinkability -- Let's call a spade a spade; this isn't a lambic or a wild ale; this is essentially barrel-aged Enigma. If this were listed as a fruit beer, it would be a perfect 5.0. But it isn't.

yeahnatenelson, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of brystmar
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brendan provided this tick, thanks!

Gorgeous pour: murky body with tons of head, foamy lace, and excellent retention. Astonishingly good-looking for a kriek.

Lots of sweetness in the nose, sweet cherries and malts. Not much funk or tartness though, and that has me worried.

Mild cherry flavor is reminiscent of maraschino cherries; this one's more sweet than tart. Nice mouthfeel. Needs more sourness, more yeast, and a lot less sugar. Reminds me of Wisconsin Belgian Red. Zero bourbon, btw.

Far too sweet to be taken seriously.

brystmar, Jul 19, 2012
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 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 Anonymous1
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Anonymous1, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of pmoney
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

pmoney, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of cpetrone84
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a light dirty brown color with red edges and a thick off white head with a solid lace.

S-the nose has a ton of vanilla, hints of bourbon, lots of slightly synthetic cherry and very sweet from all the vanilla and cherry with a slightly medicinal note.

T-flavor follows the nose, the vanilla from the bourbon barrel is overstated, the bourbon and oak are subtle and impart the right amount of flavor. the cherry is very ripe and sweet, sharp red cherries with just a hint of sour to it. The vanilla dominates and it is too sweet, not cloying but just sweet.

M-extremely creamy juicy feel to it on a full body with a strong bite with a powerfully carbonated finish that is semi dry.

D-this is somewhat overly sweet and the vanilla is rather strong. the bourbon is so faint and the barrel is mostly oak. the cherry is tasty and not really medicinal in the flavor, it is somewhat sour and the finish mixes well being semi dry and sour but the overly sweet vanilla and the sour tart cherry seem to contrast. drinkable but a few flaws.

cpetrone84, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of Sean9689
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Kan, thanks dude!

A - Pours a reddish brown color, slight bubbly carbonation with reduces down to a few large bubbles here and there. No lacing, no retention.

S - Sour cherries, barrel, bourbon, burnt sugars.

T - Not as much sour/tart/funk as I'd would have expected. More like Belgian Red aged in bourbon barrels. Lots of barrel, bourbon, and cherries. Not enough funk for me, plain and simple. Sweet bourbon finish. I'm not a fan of the bourbon in this beer.

M - Light to medium, good carbonation, dry finish.

D - Meh. Good, not great. I think this one needed some more funk to bring it to the next level. If I want a cherry beer, I'll drink Belgian Red. The bourbon doesn't work well here.

Sean9689, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of Overlord
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a very generous TPatuto!

Pours a deep brown amber with maybe some orange/slightly ruddy highlights.

Light white crust. No real head.

Small champagne bubble streams. Ooooo.... pretty.

Smells sweet. Yeah. Sweet. Like Maraschino cherries with a stronger than expected bourbon flavor. Aroma clearly the best part of brew.

Taste is too sweet. The cherries have some mild tartness, but this really reminds of their Belgian Red mixed with bourbon with a bit of cherry tartness. Not particularly integrated well. Like someone took an eye dropper of bourbon to it.

Grew on me after a while.

Overlord, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing, James! From Nov 20th notes.

Pours amberish copper with nice frothy foam leaving some wispy lace.

The nose is mostly composed of a combination of cherry and vanilla-woody notes. I can't say its as pungently bourbon as the name would suggest. Definitely more woody-vanilla. Overall leaning toward sweet, but not as sweet or syrupy as their other fruit beers. There is a dash of acidity here to cut through it a bit. Overall the tartness is very subtle, relatively low carb, semi dry finish. I was hoping for this to be a bit more of a kriek than toward one of their fruit beers, but this R&D series shows promise for future blended releases. Thanks !

Ineedabeerhere, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of Jens_Hauser
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Jens_Hauser, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of DefenCorps
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many, many thanks for this treat, Casey. I split this with Devin tonight.

Brilliant garnet red with a dense, off-white head that falls off to a ring, it does deserve to get dinged a bit, but the color and clarity are rather breathtaking. As for the nose, this is about as much of a Kriek as the Phoenix Kriek is. Very fruit forward with lots of cherry and a rather noticeable bourbon character with a mild heat and moderate vanilla. Sourness is all cherry with no real lambic character present. Vanilla, oak and not much cherry skin/pit character are other attributes, but this really does have gobs of cherries, reminding me alternately of maraschino and sour cherries.

The palate opens with plenty of cherry flavor, very pie like and almost a touch metallic. The sour cherry character is pronounced and is actually quite wonderful. Deep and rich, the fruit is very well expressed here. Brown sugar, vanilla and oak are present in the classic New Glarus combination. Drying on the finish with some sourness with plenty of tartness and moderate fruit character, there is some bourbon heat on the finish that comes across surprisingly close to a grain alcohol/neutral spirit like character, causing the flavors to fizzle out, leaving just a little brown sugar, cherry and vanilla. Decent stuff, I'd love to try this side by side with Enigma and Wisconsin Belgian Red.

DefenCorps, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of denimdemon
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

denimdemon, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

zestar, May 05, 2014
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

t0rin0, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of tom10101
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

tom10101, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kevin for sending me this extra in the Whale BIF IV.

A: The pour is amber in color with a creamy off white head.

S: A big time cherry pie aroma to this one, shockingly similar to Wisconsin Belgian Red. A bit of a caramel and malt sweetness along with some bourbon and vanilla. I get very minimal tartness.

T: Cherries and a cherry pie type flavor are what this one is all about. Again, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and vanilla. Surprisingly sweet for a kriek. Seems more like a bourbon barrel aged Wisconsin Belgian Red.

M: The body is medium and so is the level of carbonation.

D: Very disappointing, I must say. I do like their Belgian Red, but I was expecting something that is a little more of a departure from the same beer that you can get year round.

womencantsail, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of phichifiji00
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber with a sublte white head that fades quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell: sour cherries, oak, a little vanilla, brown sugar.

Taste: sour cherry, oak, cola, bourbon as it warms.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, tart, cidery.

Overall: A good young sour. Not very complex, but very drinkable.

phichifiji00, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of jegross2
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing the R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek from the New Glarus Brewing Company out of New Glarus, Wisconsin.

Score: 87

Brewed 01/18/10, bottled 08/06/10. Served in a Firestone Walker reserve series mini snifter and enjoyed on 01/24/14. Sampled side-by-side with New Glarus R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek, R&D Sour Ale and R&D Very Sour Blackberry. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours a reddish brown “oh hey, are you a Flanders red?” color with a thin layer of fizzy head that settles to a ring around the glass. Good lacing and retention. 4.25/5

Smell: Cherry juice, vanilla and oak. Brown sugar too. Minimal apparent sourness, comes across as being sweet in the nose. 4/5

Taste: This is basically bourbon barrel aged Belgian Red. Sweet cherry juice, bourbon, light vinegar and funk, vanilla and oak. The cherry flavor is a bit medicinal towards the finish. No real sourness here — just a little crisp tartness towards the finish as it warms, lacking any real bite. Finishes with sweet cherry/oaky vanilla. 3.75

Mouthfeel: Viscous, low carbonation. Sweet and oily mouthfeel, with a modestly dry finish. 3.75

Overall: This beer is basically just bourbon barrel aged Belgian Red and sweet Flanders red-like in taste. Take that as you will, and seek out accordingly.

Cost: $8 for a 500 ml bottle.

jegross2, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of WeisGuy
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle from glazeman -- thanks, Scott! Review #500.

a - pours a dark copper color with a ruby tint, one-inch ivory head with decent retention for the style, light lacing, lots of bubbles indicate a high amount of carbonation, pretty clear with little sediment

s - sweet cherry aroma that's similar to other NG beers I've had, what's different is the oaky notes and considerable bourbon, very light tartness, smells a bit like cherry pie with a mild spiciness and vanilla

t - sweet and lightly tart cherries up front, slightly medicinal, pretty oaky on the midpalate, finish is more sweet and lightly tart cherry with some spicy and vanilla notes, oak makes its presence known and substantial bourbon flavors creep in as the cherry leaves the palate, there is a lingering mild tartness and spice, while this is a bit sweeter and not quite as tart as I would like, it's still a complex, unique beer that I'm enjoying drinking

m - medium-bodied with higher carbonation, some alcohol warming, on the sweet side, but the mild tartness balances it out a bit

d - the cherry sweetness limits drinkability for me a bit, I don't mind the bourbon notes though, there's quite a bit going on in the flavor, so it remains interesting for awhile, though the flavors don't work together perfectly

Very interesting beer, but, as other reviewers have noted, I think NG does the beer a disservice by calling it a kriek. The tartness and sourness is very mild and the sweetness is a bit high for my taste. That said, I'm glad to have had the opportunity to try this unique beer. I have higher hopes for the Gueuze.

WeisGuy, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of SummitVA
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Reddish brown, hazy pour.

S - Huge oak, bourbon, and cherries. Malt sweetness behind the cherries.

T - Sweet, cherry syrup followed by enormous bourbon barrel character. Definitely wasn't expecting quite so much oak. A bit of tartness on the finish.

M - On the lighter side of medium.

O - Very happy to try this, but I must admit that, like others, I was expecting more sour. Still, a nice brew.

SummitVA, Apr 15, 2011
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R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek from New Glarus Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.