Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Wisconsin Belgian Red | New Glarus Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Wisconsin Belgian RedWisconsin Belgian Red
BA SCORE
4.38/5
Outstanding
3,615 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
Ranking:
#276
Reviews:
1,014
Ratings:
3,615
pDev:
10.27%
Bros Score:
4.22
 
 
Wants:
1,168
Gots:
824
Trade:
92
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,615 |  Reviews: 1,014
Photo of Gagnonsux
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Thorpe429
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

G: Half poured into a brandy snifter and half poured into a flute, per the bottle's suggested glassware.

A: Beautifully bright dark cherry color with an off-white, red-tinted head that recedes rather quickly. Pretty decent lacing.

S: Sweet and tart cherries. Not that anyone outside of Chicago would recognize this reference, but it reminds me of the smell of a Jewel cherry lattice coffee cake, which in my book is a very good thing. Don't want to harp on this too much, but it's unbelievable how much cherry smell there is without at all smelling like cherry cough drops or medicine.

T: Quite tart at the outset, fading into an incredible cherry sweetness. Cherry perfection.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation and a constant tartness. Beautiful.

D: Absolutely sublime. If I were able to get this at all times, I would never have a mimosa ever again. The perfect fruit-flavored concoction and a wonderful almost-summer treat. So long lawnmower ales, hello Wisconsin Belgian Red.

 993 characters

Photo of billab914
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a set of New Glarus flute glasses. poured a ruby red color with a significant amount of carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. It poured with a small white head that quickly retreated to the sides of the glass.

The aroma is is all sweet cherries. Almost smells like a cherry syrup or cherry juice. The taste is pretty much again cherry dominated. It has some sweetness but is also offset by a little dry tartness in the finish. It still leans towards the sweeter side but the tartness helps it from being cloyingly sweet.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation. Drinkability is very good for as fruity as a beer as this is. it would probably pair great with a lot of deserts.

Overall I really loved this beer, but I absolutely love cherries. Cherries are probably my favorite fruit and this beer really tastes like real cherries instead of the fake extract in a lot of cherry beers.

 946 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Tired Hands stem/wine glass, a mostly clear, cherry red color tinted brown, with a 1-2 finger puff of pinkish-white head that receded to a wispy layer and left decorative lacing throughout the session. Aroma of cherries--naturally--and distant biscuity malts. Tasted pretty much spot on like cherry pie, black cherries, and doughy malts, good balance of tart and sweet, with the sweetness taking a slight edge and the breadiness of the malt keeping everything under control. Medium body, slightly chewy, moderate carbonation, very good overall.

 574 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Kegatron
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml wax topped bottle into a 1/2 pint glass. Special thanks to Deuane for sharing.

Pours a crystal clear blood red with a finger width of off-white (but with a pinkish tint) head that retained rather nicely into a thing creamy layer that left some good lacing. The aroma is OMG cherries right up the ole' nostrils with a little residual sweetness behind it.

The taste is just OK. A pound of cherries per bottle? Really? Just kidding! This is absolutely insane with a fresh, thick slap of cherry awesomeness right up side the ole' tastebuds that is perfectly balanced by just the right amount of tartness. What can I say? It isn't very complex but still hugely effective. The mouthfeel is a nice full medium with some lovely prickly carbonation.

Much like the Raspberry Tart, this is just a magnificantly made Fruit Beer and hugely drinkable despite a big does of sweetness that would indicate it shouldn't be. You Wisconsinite Bastards are very lucky. Very lucky...

 973 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of atrocity
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of paulish
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of ZEB89
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of russpowell
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from Jw347, cheer John!

Pours an effervescent orange/burgundy with a pinkie of ruby pink head. No head retention or lacing

S: Tart cherry, vanilla & oak

T: Tart cherries, oakyness, vanilla, tartness, persimmons & dryness up front. Tartness, cherry & oak dominate as this warms. Finishes tart, dark fruit & cherries

MF: Medium bodied with spritzy carbonation that fades quickly

Pretty drinkable, but the tartness would get to me after 2 or 3 bombers. A beer that both my wife & I enjoyed (that's a rarity when we both like it!).

A classic, shame about the lack of head retention & lacing, but I'd have this in the rotation if I lived in the Dairy State for sure!

 682 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of woodychandler
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Transcribed from undated notes, likely early-2010.

This bottle dated back to Summer 2004, I believe. The pour was lacking any sort of discernible head. Color was a deep red with a slight cloudiness. Nose was like standing in a cherry orchard in the summer and taking a deep breath. I was transported back to the days of my late grandmother's lattice-top cherry pies or making preserves in the early fall. I had some cherry preserves from Traverse City, MI while I was stationed on Diego Garcia that were intense, but this beer ... Holy Cherry, Batman! This left no room for survivors. To say dry would be an understatement. Arid! And cherry! Breathtaking! Mind blowing! Forget other mind-altering substances and put some of this in your peace pipe and smoke it.

 762 characters

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

Brewed with Montmorency Cherries (purportedly a pound of whole cherries per bottle), locally grown wheat, and Hallertau hops, the beer is then left to mature in 12 ft. tall oak tanks. Okay, great, let's get to it. Murky ruby-hue capped by a flamingo-pink head appearance and harbors an aroma reeking of unabashed cherrynicity, there's nothing fake or artificial about this beer. With a taste reminiscent of fruit leather, the flavor is certainly aggressive in it's sheer determination to cram that pound of cherries down your damn throat. It deftly walks the fine line between sweet and tart and carries with it a jolt of juicy, cheek-pinching acidity. The malted wheat and hops definitely take a backseat to the deep, strong cherry fruitiness. God, I hope you like cherries. The high level of carbonation in the beer does well to bring a much-needed levity to what otherwise would be a heavy body. You do like cherries, right? Overall, a deliciously unique beverage, though I suspect some may be left angrily shouting the catchphrase "Where's the Beer?"

 1,054 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep red color, lots of bubbles and a nice pink head that dissipates quickly.

S: Lots of fresh tart cherries, reminds me of a Ludens coughdrop.

T: Tons of cherry flavor, very sweet. A slight malt bready taste, but dominated by the cherries.

M/D: Light to medium bodied with a nice carbonation feel. Very clean and crisp. It is very sweet, but extremely drinkable. One of the best fruit beers I have had. Wish I could get my hands on some more of this.

 468 characters

Photo of duceswild
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Murky, rust red with highlights the color of not quite ripe cherries. I expected the cap to be girlie pink, but it's actually simple beige in color. Large initially due to a generous amount of carbonation, the head is dense with a stickiness that promotes perseverance and lacing. Soapy, pocked sheets cover a good portion of the glass and stay for the duration.

This beer doesn't smell much like beer due to the all-encompassing aroma of sweet cherries. Forget malt, forget hops, forget anything that isn't pure, unadulterated essence of cherry juice. Thankfully, there are no medicinal (i.e. cough syrup) aromas present. Simply put, this is one of the best fruit beer noses that I've ever smelled.

I love it! Wisconsin Belgian Red tastes deeper and more hearty than most cherry beers. Along with the bright fruit flavor is a more earthy, muscular flavor that is more akin to dried fruit or fruit jerky than it is to fresh cherries or cherry juice. The degree of acidity is nigh on perfect. As noted in the nose description, there isn't a whole lot present that isn't cherry related, just variations on the theme and layers upon layers of flavor.

The body is full in the best sense of the word, with a lush, mouthfilling, thickly coating feel. The sugar content is high and limits drinkability for me. Unless I can get my wife to drink some (extremely doubtful) I won't be able to finish this big bottle in one sitting. Despite the note on the label ('highly carbonated') and the loud 'pffft' upon opening, I don't really appreciate an excessive amount of carbonation. The CO2 does its part to aerate the thick, syrupy body without calling attention to itself.

WBR seems to be a 'love it or hate it' kind of beer. I recognize that though it's beer in the technical sense, it doesn't much resemble beer in the classic sense. I've decided to judge it on its own merits with my enjoyment as the sole criterion. It's hard for me to imagine a fruit beer in general and a cherry fruit beer in particular that is more delicious than Wisconsin Belgian Red. I've waited quite a while to taste this one and I have to say that it has exceeded my expectations with room to spare.

 2,180 characters

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of mdfb79
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From 5/29/10 notes.

a - Pours a ruby red color, with a little bit of reddish, off white head.

s - Smell is wonderful. Lots of cherries, both sweet and sour. Also some other citrus and dark fruits.

t - Taste is great as well. Tastes of sour cherries, sweet cherry, raspberries, and citrus.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I thought this was an amazing beer; one of the best fruit beers I've ever had. Very easy to drink, and would love to have again.
___
EDIT on 11/09/12: Have had this many times over the years, most recently last weekend on 11/02/12. Possibly my favorite fruit beer ever; this beer is amazing.

 640 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a goblet. Thanks to MarcatGSB for this bottle!

Appearance - Dark, dull, red with a pinkish, but only slightly pinkish, head. Less brilliant looking than the Raspberry Tart. Great retention, great lacing. Aside from a dismal color, it looks quite nice.

Smell - Fresh cherry aroma. Nothing artificial about it. It smells like a box of cherries.

Taste - Slightly tart cherries, but nothing more than the cherries themselves. A hint of sweetness at the end, but it doesn't build the way the Raspberry Tart did.

Mouthfeel - Crisp and light. The sweetness is really under control with this one. I put this bottle away way too quickly.

Overall - A glass of cherries. If that's what you're looking for, great. It's still tough to rate these bizarre beers.

 778 characters

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 3,615 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.