Wisconsin Belgian Red | New Glarus Brewing Company

BA SCORE
97
world-class
3,569 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:
3,569
Reviews:
1,003
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
10.32%
 
 
Wants:
1,167
Gots:
817
For Trade:
91
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,569 |  Reviews: 1,003
Photo of dbrauneis
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Kegatron
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
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 -0.2%

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Rifugium
4.23/5  rDev -3%
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 XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of billab914
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
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 ChainGangGuy
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
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 russpowell
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.67/5  rDev +7.1%
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 -8.3%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
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 +8.9%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.82/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottled served at about 50 degrees and poured into several gold rimmed tulip glasses over the course of the evening.

A - Poured a wonderful fire engine red color with a very hazy, cloudy and murky look to it. Almost looked somewhat like a Hawaiian Punch type drink to put it in perspective. Very nice head of light pink colored foam then reached over top and formed a nice little pillow on the top of it that reached a height of about two fingers or so high. Nice gradual settling of this left behind little to no residual layer and just a small amount of side glass lace. Some carbonation was visible streaming up from the bottle of the glass, letting you know this one was still going strong.

S - The aroma was very thick and pungent, with huge smells of deep rich cherry that you could literally pick up from across the room they were so good. It was one of the freshest aromas I have encountered, being very sweet and at the same time still tart. Lots of sugar in this one and that was really very obvious from the first whiff you took. Now they say over a pound of cherries in each bottle, and I can believe it from this smell, it was tremendous and I could not wait to dive into this.

T - Now the taste, what can you really say about this one other then the fact it was pretty much perfect for the style. I have never had any fruit beer as good as the ones being put out now by New Glarus. They are really just tremendous in their freshness, depth and flavor and this was the prime example. From the first moment you took a sip it was all about a deeply rich, sweet, sour, tart, cherry flavor that is almost indescribable it is soo good. The level of sweetness at first was huge, but as I let it warm up it started to get a little more tart, without loosing any of the great flavors. There was just a tremendously large amount of fruit in here, really stronger then anything I had before, comparable only to their own raspberry tart, which was also in a world all its own. Really nothing much more I can say, I was almost speechless this was soo good. The finish again was very strong and very sweet, leaving me with a very long lasting flavor that was simply a treat to go back and get more of.

M - Seductively smooth and I really mean that. The consistency was like that of silk, very fine carbonation bubbles giving it that really smooth let alive feel that simply rolls around and really starts to pop on your tongue. Crisp and refreshing when cold and a perfect dessert as it warmed, this was just fantastic.

D- Now lets be honest here, sometimes went you get something loaded down with as much fruit and flavor as this it could be a little difficult to have that much of it as the flavor really starts to become a bit overwhelming. Not in the case here as I easily went through the bottle, and if I had more time and another bottle I might add, could have gone through that one as well. This was just really that good. Quite different from anything else and really just an awesome brew.

Overall I really do not have enough good things to say about this one. Every aspect of it was fantastic and I would gladly welcome a steady supply of it into my home. It is one of those things that are perfect for a special occasion or just sitting around watching a movie. Truly unique and in a world of its own, these New Glarus beers never cease to amaze me. I must start setting up some trades for this one ASAP.

 3,427 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to gottajiboo2 for sharing this ale.
Served slightly chilled
A - Deep red like cherry syrup w/ good clarity and a small pink head

S - Lots of ripe cherry juice in the nose w/ subtle sweetness in the aroma

M - Very lively w/ sweetness and a nice tart fresh cherry acidity

T- An incredibly tasty cherry flavor w/ freshly crushed cherry intensity and gentle sweetness like Grandma's tart fresh picked cherry pie. The flavor is fresh w/ enough of a malt foundation to make it clear this is a fruit beer and not a cherry wine cooler. The carbonation is crisp enough to allow the taste to expand across the palate instead of becoming cloying. This is very complex w/ sweet tart and juicy flavors that aren't quit sour or sugary, but quenching and fulfilling all the way.

D - I wouldn't call this the ultimate fruit ale...yet, but it ranks very high. It has so many flavors and doesn't hold back. It tastes fresh, sweet yet is something that can be sipped and savored for hours. New Glarus has really made a fine Cherry beer - I will definitely seek this one out again

 1,073 characters

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of atrocity
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mdfb79
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
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 womencantsail
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to cvaypai for hooking me up with this bottle. I shared it with my girlfriend as a "desert" beer.

A: Wisconsin Belgian Red pours a cloudy, cherry red color with some hints of brown. A layer of pink foam sits atop the beer.

S: The first thing I thought of when smelling this beer was cherry pie. A slight tartness is present as well, but diminishes as the beer warms.

T: The flavor profile is very similar to the nose. An absolutely amazing cherry pie taste. The tartness is a bit more noticeable than in the nose. But once again, the sweetness comes through more and more as the beer warms up.

M: A fairly high level of carbonation gives a feeling of a dryer finish than this beer really has.

D: A really great and tasty beer. I don't think I could drink the whole 750ml though, as it is very sweet.

 811 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of woodychandler
4.64/5  rDev +6.4%
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 MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

And so falls the last of the Man's Weekend beer acquisitions. It pours a straight cinnabar topped by about two fingers of almost pinkish ecru foam. The nose is unsurprisingly heavy on the cherries, though a furtive little vein of medicinality seeps its way through to the surface. The taste tones down the medicine and ups the sweetness a notch, making the cherries pop all the more fiercely. It's pretty damn good, baby! The body is a nice medium, with a light carbonation and a kinda syrupy feel. Overall, an extremely drinkable blast o' fruity goodness. Get some!

 598 characters

Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.36 out of 5 based on 3,569 ratings.
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