Wisconsin Belgian Red | New Glarus Brewing Company

BA SCORE
97
world-class
3,566 Ratings
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
newglarusbrewing.com

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
3,566
Reviews:
1,003
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
10.32%
 
 
Wants:
1,167
Gots:
816
For Trade:
91
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,566 |  Reviews: 1,003
Photo of Beertron
2.89/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It's been years, almost a decade, since I last tried this beer. I wasn't a big fan of it the first time around; I took a greater liking to their Raspberry Tart and have since picked up that when I see the two side-by-side. Either way, the lady and I were having spaghetti at her place so I thought this would make for a good pairing. Poured from the trademark waxed 750 into a pretty standard water glass (she isn't quite yet to BA level, but she's getting there...)

A - Carbonation is kinda odd with this sucker. As I pour, there's no head. When I finish, it jumps up to an inch (on a soft pour) and then dissolves as quickly as it appeared, leaving no discernible lacing. When shaken, the bubbles appear and disappear yet again. Other than color, which is bright clear red (almost like a red soda), this resembles champagne in every regard. I wouldn't doubt that champagne yeast was at work in the creation of this brew.

S - Smells strongly of syrupy cherries; like maraschinos, cherry Torani, black cherry soda or red cough syrup. Not being a big fan of syrupy cherries (or cough syrup, for that matter), this smell is lightly nauseating to me. There really isn't much noticeable beer aroma here -- just overpowering cherry -- and I'm kind of wishing there was.

T - Tastes allay some of those syrupy fears. This is dry and bubbly with a strong cherry flavor. Thankfully, the flavor shows real cherries, probably from the Northwest (Ranier or Bing). This is far more pleasant than the aroma led me to expect. There's also a fruity alcohol taste that reminds me of fermented apple cider -- not hard apple cider, but regular unpasteurized apple cider that's gotten a bit dated and in which wild yeasts have started converting the sugars.

M - This hits a number of places on the palate. At the outset, it's bubbly and light and sparkles on the tongue. Then its sweet with a light syrupyness that ends dry and sticky. Despite all of this, the feel is soft and dry and makes me salivate after 10 seconds or so. Fun complexity.

D - Ehhhh. Pretty tough to do much of this. Especially considering the bottle size, I'd say you almost have to share it with someone, or probably someones. That sticky syrupyness is pretty tough to get over and I think it would give me gut-rot if I tried to drink this bottle myself. It's food pairing qualities (see immediately below) are causing me to kick this up a whole point above where I normally would've in this category.

F - This is an incredible drink to pair with food, especially dessert, because its one of those rare beers that will add a whole new component to a dish. I'm pressed to think of any food that would stand up to it's sweet cherry flavor, but I can think of a billion that it would be great with in terms of a contrast: vanilla bean cheesecake, sweet chocolate, peanut butter sandwich, fruit salad, duck confit (depending very much on what's with it), sugar cookies, etc. Interestingly enough, I had it with homemade spaghetti sauce and found it to match perfectly. It provide a fantastic sounding board to the acidity of the tomatoes and balsamic/red wine vinegars, the dark strength of the herbs and spices and the grainy nuttiness of the pasta. This beer likes food. Additionally, I wouldn't doubt that it'd make a great reduction sauce on its own. I'll have to try that one of these days.

O - I must say, the syrupy stickiness is a bit too overpowering and the malt a bit too under-powering for my tastes. I have real trouble trying to figure out how this ends up as the best beer in WI according to reviewers on this site. Overall, I think this has much more in common with soda (or sweet champagne) than it does beer and that's probably why it gets such great reviews. Everyone loves pop. I'm not a big fan, so I don't think this floats my boat as much as the next geek. However, it does have an amazing affinity for food and, approached from that standpoint, I find it to be quite useful and amazing. Either way, it's certainly an interesting brew and still leagues beyond most ridiculous attempts at this style.

 4,092 characters

Photo of Filabee
2.89/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Photo of bashiba
2.95/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into my goblet a very cloudy reddish/brown with just a thin little lace of head around the rim.

Smell was completely and totally cherries, fresh cherries too, not some fake sweet cherry smell.

Flavor is completely and totally dominated by cherries, slightly sweet and slightly tart at the same time. A think its a little overpowering for my taste and really barely has any beer likeness at all.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied, but with a touch of slickness to it.

Drinkability is low, I don't think I could drink to much of this one, In fact finishing off the 750 I opened was starting to be a struggle.

 619 characters

Photo of SacoDeToro
2.95/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice ruby red with a small off-white head.

The aroma of the beer was full of sweet and tart cherries and some malty sweetness in the background. No hops or alcohol on the nose.

The flavor of the beer was full of sticky sweet cherries. In fact, it was like drinking carbonated sweet cherry cider - the non alcoholic kind. Is this really a beer?

The carbonation was adequate, but the mouthfeel was deathly syrupy.

I did not really enjoy this as a beer. If it were bottled as a non-alcoholic cherry cider, I would have believed it. IMO, it was a syrupy overrated mess.

 578 characters

Photo of dvmin98
2.98/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Being a huge fan of New Glarus and pretty much everything I've had from them, I was pretty excited to finally try this one. I love cherries, so this has been a want for a bit.

The appearance and smell were awesome. Nice reddish hue and big cherry smell. Good carbonation. Not a huge head. Looking good so far.

Then....I tasted it and I felt like I was a kid again when Mom was trying to shove that synthetic flavored 'cherry' swill down my throat when I had a boo boo. I took another sip, then another, then another...then stopped. Wife tried it and like it...wife gets bottle of Belgian Red.

Really disappointed, esp after how much I love Raspberry Tart and Serendipity. This was not good, at least to me. Wife thought otherwise.

 733 characters

Photo of dlorton0844
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of dcisco44
3/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of ead73
3/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of ArdyExfor
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of jobart76
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of texasclimber
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of Clutch5
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of SteveB24
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of sobeleg
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of broodog
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of StoutFest
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of mrkdwrds
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of littlebeer
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of Weebay
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of RayUF07
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of jbuddle
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of PhineasGage
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of Rihup
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Photo of Spica66
3/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this as a gift from wellestone. Thank you, Chad. Shared with gwuilliums on Friday night. Poured chilled from 750ml bottle into tulip glasses.

A: Burgundy/red color. Decent head formation and retention. Carbonation persists. Some lacing.

S: Holy Mother of All that is Cherry! This does not smell like beer. It smells like a jar of tart cherries straight from Traverse City. Wow. I can not believe what I am smelling, then I read the bottle. "Over a pound of cherries in every bottle." Yep, now I get it. The one thing that I will say is that the smell is of of clean/fresh cherries. No cough syrup qualities at all.

T: Tastes like cherries topped with cherries and further topped by cherry topping. Really, just clean, concentrated tart cherry juice. I am not sure that this has any beer qualities at all.

M: This has a very nice medium body and excellent carbonation. But man, it is hard to get your head to stop thinking about the uber cherry taste in your mouth long enough to get the feel!

O: This beer is not for me, so, in keeping with my previous methods, when reviewing a beer that I would never drink again, I am rating this beer as straight 3's.

 1,164 characters

Photo of TonyTalon
3/5  rDev -31.2%

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.36 out of 5 based on 3,566 ratings.
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