Wisconsin Belgian Red | New Glarus Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
97
world-class
992 Reviews
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
Reviews:
992
Ratings:
3,463
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
19.27%
 
 
Wants:
1,170
Gots:
801
For Trade:
93
User Reviews
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Reviews: 992 | Ratings: 3,463
Photo of purplehops
3.82/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Belgian Red poured a hazy ruby brown with a cherry soda pink head that didn’t last long but did form a collar and leave some lacing on the glass. The aroma was a sweet and sour cherry with some earthy notes in the very far background. Taste started with a slap of cherry tartness that quickly becomes cherry sweetness followed by notes of malt and some spice. After the initial shock of tart and sweetness there develops a balance of cherry and malt that leans on the sweet side but the vinous flavors are never far away. The finish is less malty with the carbonation giving the sour/tartness one last stab at dominance. Aftertaste is a lingering sweet/tart cherry flavor with no malt or hop flavors noticeable. Mouthfeel is slightly sticky yet medium light in body with a light carbonation.
Overall I find Belgian Red more of a special occasion dessert beer than anything else. For me it is a bit sweeter and fruitier than I normally like. If I could change anything it would be to make it a bit tarter and a wee bit maltier.

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Photo of nickhiller
3.81/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: clear and ruby red, thin pink head with some nice lace

S: cherry Lifesavers, Halls cough syrup/drops

T: same as the nose, but with intense cherries, tart and sweet like cherry pie, dark fruits--like fruit leather.

M: medium body, well balanced carbonation, crisp and tart with a syrupy finish

O: I'm growing to like this style more and more. You have to go in with the understanding that it's not your traditional beer made of malts and hops, but it sure is refreshing

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Photo of trevorwideman
3.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber supplied to me by demcorhip. Poured into a wine glass, shared with my Girlfriend.

Pors and opaque reddish-orange colour with tons of sediment (all those cherries I assume!), minimal head with just a smattering of lace. Smell is exactly like cherry pie, or cherry pie filling I guess. There's nothing fake or artificial about this aroma though, and it's not even too sweet. Very simple, but exactly what I'd want a cherry beer to smell like.

Taste is extremely mellow off the bat, with the lovely cherry sweetness throughout. Tart on the tongue with a slight sourness that you might expect. A light maltiness as an afterthought appears along with a bit of yeasty goodness. In the mouthfeel, the tartness dries the palate with a little carbonation sparkling the sweetness across the tongue. Body is quite hefty.

Final verdict on this one Is that although it's a delightful brew, and would be a great after-dinner beer, I had a hard time finishing my half of the bottle because as with most fruit beers they give me some nasty heartburn. That said, don't let it stop you from trying this one, just share the bottle with a few friends after dinner, you don't need more than one glass.

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Photo of MysterySwirl
3.79/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My wife and I had this alongside with the Raspberry Tart.

It is a reddish brown in my glass with sticky lacing and some red/pinkness as I swirl my glass. Almost reminds me of apple cider with cherries.

Oh lord - this is a cherry bomb. Cherries and cherries dominate. There's a sour tartness and very fruity taste to it. I don't really get a sense of other flavors but that's because it's supposed to be cherries.

Had this out of the bottle on Friday night, celebrating the finishing of college. Thanks erocks for the trade, much appreciated! The carbonation is very present and the mouthfeel is a bit sticky and thick. It's a good beer but I'd pair this up with something sweet for food so it feels balanced.

We preferred this beer over the Raspberry Tart which seemed a bit dryer when swallowing.

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Photo of PurpleCloud
3.78/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Scarlet red with a foamy, dissipating, pink head.

S: Heavy on cherries, as it should be, but also a distinct barley/grain nose.

T: Tart cherry taste at first with medium carbonation. Extremely faint barley taste, finishes with delicious cherry flavor. Tastes a lot like cherry juice. Quite sweet.

M: Good carbonation, not dry at all either.

D: Too sweet to have more than about two.

Overall: As a native Wisconsinite, New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red is in nearly every grocery store. I've had it before, but this is my first time rating it. The appearance is really great, deep scarlet, almost blood red. The taste is extremely heavy on cherry, but not unpleasant. There are hints, although faint, of barley, and the smell is quite nice as well. Give it a shot for its uniqueness!

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Photo of Slynger
3.78/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep and cloudy red-orange color with a beige head that is tinted red.
Smells of . . . well, cherries. Not fake in the least, but fresh, slightly sweet and lightly tart cherries.
Tastes pretty much like it smells. Straight up cherries. Cherry pie sweetness along with very fresh, tart cherries, and that's about it.
The Mouthfeel is nice and full, but leaves some sugar coating on the teeth.
This is an interesting offering. If you like cherries it is probably pretty tasty. I don't have a strong opinion of them either way so this creation (it isn't really beer-like) just seems interesting to me. I will say that it does have a very real cherry flavor to it that is far from artificial, or medicine-like. It's well done, just not for me.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.78/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful wax sealed 750ml bottle courtesy of BDitty.
The beer pours the color of cherry juice, initially peachish, turning a deeper red with depth. Evenly hazed. A large bubbled head fizzles and pops, finally settling into a white island surrounded by a bright red sea. The head actually grows some about halfway through, nearly covering the liquid.
The aroma is almost entirely pure, sweet cherry. Combined with the malt, it's very reminiscent of one of those packaged cherry pie snacks they sell at the gas station. Cookie sweetness, cherry and Inviting, but lacking somewhat in complexity.
Taking a sip, the beer opens with an explosive cherry sweetness. A good bit of toasty, cookie-like yeast and malt. Almost overwhelming on the palate, it would probably be cloying if not for a lurking cherry and cranberry acidity. Bright cherry, with hints of plum juice and and red grape lingering in the aftertaste. Fizzy, vibrant carbonation, supporting a strangely light yet full body. Sticky mouthfeel, almost crunching with cherry skin. Wow.
It's really amazing that this is beer. It tastes almost exactly like liquid cherry pie. While not the deepest beer, it certainly does have appeal and character. I don't know if I'd buy it again, there's certainly no way I could drink a whole bottle in one sitting, but I'd immediately think of it when introducing people to the world of beer. I'd bet it'd turn a few people into good beer.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.78/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. One of my oldest (but not most desirable) 'wants'. It poured a dark red. The aroma was sweet cherry juice with an earthy element to it. A shimmer of tartness? Flavor was like a Luden's Cough Drop. Sweet and almost medicinal. Maraschino cherry juice. Earth. A little tartness. Sticky feel. Really full for a beer clocking in at 4%. Not necessarily what I expected and I am sorta disappointed but I can now un-check the 'want' button.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.77/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at brewery and aged 1 year.
A-Pours a deep ruby-amber with thick off-white head. Decent retention and spotty lacing.
S-Tart cherries, sweet malt, brown sugar. Comes through very nice.
T-Sweet and sour cherries, nice backbone of toasted malt. I'm picking up slight bit of vinegar in the back, however.
M-Slightly syrupy, medium-thick body.
D-Best kept quite cold. I was hoping my wife would help with this one but she doesn't like it. It's decent, and something I'm glad to try, but only once.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from brewcrew76, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 25oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep ruby red color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of cherries, light malts, some Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is sour with the strong tart flavor of cherries. There are light flavors in the background of Belgian yeast and a mild hops presence. There's a thin malt character but some sweetness does see its way through all of the sourness. The after-taste is tart and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, the label tells me "You hold the marriage of wine and beer." I'll certain give it that. Although these kind of beers typically don't appeal to me, it's one of the better fruit-infused beers that I've had and I can definitely see where, if you're into this type of thing, you'd probably really like this beer.

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Photo of harrymel
3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to UMNBeerhunter for this as an extra!

A: Pours deep, deep cherry red. Says over a pound of cherries in every bottle - it shows. Thick quilt of pink-tan fine foam comes and goes with tips of the drink. Excellent clarity.

S: Tart cherries with slight yeasty scent. Very mildly syrup smell.

T: Yep, cherries. Like a liquid jolly rancher. Very, very nice.

M: Thick, syrupy, light to moderate carb. This beer sticks to my mouth. Man this would be perfect with a dollop of Cherry Garcia in it.

D: Absolutely a digestif for a warm afternoon. Slowly sip while reading a book. Very nice.

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Photo of ahq514
3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle into tulip.

Pours a deep red with a red hued head as well. Head is pretty solid, about a finger or so.

Wow, smells like pure cherries. Never smelled a cherry beer that had such a natural cherry smell. Given that it smells of cherries there is a little bit of tartness in the aroma as well. No distinctive malt or hop aromas in this one. Cherries are showcased.

Once again the cherries come through really well here. Tastes like fresh cherry juice with some carbonation. Some tartness, but not much. Once again there are no real distinctive malt or hop tastes, but mostly cherries. A medium amount of sweetness comes through.

This beer is very drinkable. Medium bodied. A little higher carbonation than I would like, but overall enjoyable.

Overall, this is a great tasting beverage if you love cherries. My only real problem with it is that it doesn't really remind me of beer and a 750 ml bottle can be daunting if sweet drinks overcome you fast. But, this is the best cherry flavored beer I've tried to date.

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Photo of Jammies
3.74/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

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Photo of jwolfie70
3.73/5  rDev -14.4%
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).

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Photo of Lothore
3.73/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a translucent reddish brown with a 1.5 finger frothy head after a vigorous pour that dissipates quickly.

S- Smells is candy sweet, cherries, rich malty backbone.

T- Taste is earthy, hints of cherry, a tad sour, maybe hints of toffee.

M- Fairly thick and maybe a bit too carbonated for my taste.

D- Well crafted but I can barely drink 1 glass. Way too fruit forward for me. I like fruit beers a little more subtle than this.

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Photo of champ103
3.72/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky reddish color. A small film of a head forms, but recedes in a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Big cherries and vanilla up front. Not very complex at all, but very nice.
T: Maybe a bit simplistic. Mainly cherries with some vanilla sweetness. Good, but one dimensional.
M/D: A light body that is crisp and smooth. I wish it was a bit dryer though. Easy to drink. I can finish a bottle in not time.

I really do like this. A very nice fruit beer, but does not compare to the Raspberry Tart. Very much worth a try however.

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Photo of plfahey
3.71/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Brilliant ruby color with good clarity-absolutely gorgeous. Moderate pale-pinkish head with decent retention.

Aroma-Smells like a ludens cough drop. Very sweet cherry aroma, almost cloyingly so. The cherry notes are extremely intense, but somewhat one-dimensional, and the sweetness is a bit deterring, but as it warms it shows a slight hint of oak character, which helps temper the sweetness.

Flavor-Not quite as sweet as the aroma, which is relieving. Up front there is a lot of cherry flavor, but fortunately there's a little more depth than in the aroma. Subtle dark fruit flavors (plum and prune) linger in the background, along with some light tartness and a hint of tannic oak. Finish is still rather sweet, and has a soft cherry note to it, along with a smidgeon of malt.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body with moderate to moderately low carbonation. I personally would prefer it a little bit lighter and a bit more carbonated.

I'm just okay on this one. It's a bit overly sweet for my tastes, and the Cherry notes are somewhat one-dimensional, especially in the nose. Tastes more like Cherry Soda than a complex Belgian-style kriek.

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Photo of warnerry
3.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pors clear deep red with minimal head.

Initial aroma is intense tart cherry. The smell of real cherries is nice. Hints of candy sweetness mix in with the tartness. Pretty simple, but good.

Taste is tart cherry up front, giving way to a slightly medicinal taste too often found with cherry flavors. Again, not complex, but simple and good.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean with minimal aftertaste.

Overall I wanted to like this more. It is pretty tasty, except for the slight medicinal notes, but this is something I wouldn't want too much of.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Not really a fan of fruit beer or cherries but this one still tasted good to me, so if you are a fan of either you will probably be in love with this beer. The only knock I have on it is the drinkability because, like I said, I haven't gotten into the style yet.

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Photo of fbinla
3.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a great reddish color with a nice fizz and head. Smells like a cherry soda, it's amazing how much cherry aroma this beer has. Taste is all cherry, tart with a sweet mouthfeel. The smell and taste just never give up.

An amazing beer, i just can't understand how they get so much cherry flavor in the beer. But personally it's too sweet for me.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.69/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into tulip glass. Pours a nearly opaque, glowing deep ruby with a bubbly, fizzy pink head. Tremendous cloudlike, chunky lacing. Aroma of Luden’s cough drops, pure dark cherries, pie crust, brown sugar, and notes of subtle, buttery yeasty dough. Medium to slightly robust bodied with a mellow, creamy, sweetly tart mouthfeel. Spacious, slow, and tangy finish. Not my favorite style but would suit any fruit beer lovers extremely well in any case!

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.68/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color with no head and some carbonation with a very thin ring of lacing.

Scent of tart maraschino cherries, and that's pretty much it, good stuff.

Taste of tart cherries with a hint of cinnamon, some sugars and a hint of banana in the finish.

Mouthfeel is clean and biting, similar to the Raspberry Tart.

I prefer the Raspberry Tart over this because this one is a little shallow to me. It is good though and I will likely purchase it again.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.66/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks like blood. Like coagulating blood. Little to no head, but then this is wine, right . . . ?

Smells tart of sour cherries with some Christmas spice light in the background. No wafts of aroma as I had expected (as you might get from some lambics e.g.). No beer.

Served very chilled, the tartness is unbearable. My lips pucker, my cheeks flood into an oral void of sweetness. The taste is true -- this is definetly made with one pound of cherries (a whole friggin' pound?!) -- but I need to let it warm before I can drink more than two ounces of it. The flavors do come together soon after. The tartness is reduced and gives way to medium full body and a distinct "beeryness" (as opposed to its primary berryness). The beer quality is ungratifying, however, as it seems to be layered beneath the cherries instead of integrated.

The goal of this brew is clearly to give intense cherry flavor. And the means to this end are quite respectable: New Glarus uses locally grown cherries and devotes a full pound to every bottle. At $10 a bottle ( = $5 a glass) this stuff ain't cheap, but when you figure what a pound of cherries costs on its own, the price is foolishly reasonable.

If the goal is to simply give us cherries -- sour, almost cranberry-like -- then I wonder what sets this apart from something like apple cider. The little sugar from the cherries (key to their distinct taste) is devoured by the yeast leaving us with nothing but the bite. The malts give wonderful body to the beer, but offer nothing else. They act as adjuncts to the cherries for fermentation. This is juice first, beer later.

It's a world champion and I can see why. I don't believe in brews like this, however (perhaps it's the reinheitsgebot talking). Drier even than some lambics, I don't think this can be rightfully labeled "ale" for it's more influenced, in taste, by spontaneously fermented beers. And, amongst them, New Glarus Belgian Red stands out like a sore thumb. Stacked up against classic krieks like Cantillon, the first thing you notice about this is its lack of earth and must that characterizes the style. For an American intepretation, however (keeping in mind this stuff isn't fermented in rooms caked with yeast and mold), this is quite a feat. This brewery can do anything.

Relax, relax.
ng

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Photo of grynder33
3.65/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty ruby red color surprisingly long lasting head, cherry vanilla aroma and then it goes downhill. A taste so sour you could never serve it with food, if it had been a little thinner, sour cherry might work, but this had a thick texture. Maybe if you pour a very small amount, you could work with this.

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Photo of mikey711
3.65/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Got this as an extra some time ago from Youbrewidrink! Thanks

A: Murky red almost mahogany in color with a pinkish off white head that fluffs up on top. Not much in terms of lacing, and not much transparency. Head retention is perfect as a quarter inch layer sits throughout the time i drank it

S: The cherries are very prominent in the nose and it reminds me slightly of either a shirley temple or a cherry dr. pepper.

T: It also tastes slightly like a cherry doctor pepper or shirley temple. It also reminds me a bit of a cherry wine spritzer or a cocktail of some sort. Very fruity and unlike another beer i have had before

M: The body and richness of this is actually very good and enjoyable. No acidity and very mild.

D: I dont think I would be able to have more than a glass of this becaus it does get to be a little bit on the sweet side and i typically like my fruit beers to be sour

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Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.36 out of 5 based on 3,463 ratings.
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