R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek
New Glarus Brewing Company

R&D Bourbon Barrel KriekR&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek
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Wild Ale
4.3 | pDev: 10.47%
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
R&D Bourbon Barrel KriekR&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 153 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Prefacing this review by saying this is based on a 9 year old bottle. Its as real as it gets, even if not faithful to the fresh version of the beer. Dark brown body, distinctly oxidized appearance, half finger offwhite head, fair retention and no lacing. Smell is basically aged Belgian red- no acidity, this is mostly tasting like sweet cherry essence, no bourbon or barrel, but a very pleasant taste to it. It doesn't have as much complexity on the palate, fairly sweet. It's what I imagine Belgian Red aged with yeast in the bottle to taste like. Medium lighter bodied, good carbonation even after this time, mildly sweet cherries on the finish.

May 05, 2019
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a burnt orange color with a decent head that leaves some lacing behind

Smell: Bourbon, vanilla and cherry tones underneath

Taste: The Bourbon dominates bringing oak and vanilla and the cherry and tart tones linger underneath from start to finish, though they never really emerge from the shadows

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I think the cherry tones were stronger when the beer was younger and I have lifted the ratings according to what I think it might have been rather than what it is now

May 26, 2014
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jegross2 from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Apr 23, 2014
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Treebs from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a New Glarus flute. Bottled 8/6/10. Thanks to sweemzander for the share.

A: Pours a clear amber brown color with a thin white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin ring that leaves some splotchy lace down the glass.

S: Tart cherries with a nice barrel presence. Light oak, smooth vanilla and a little kiss of bourbon.

T: Sour cherry, tart cherry skins with faint bourbon note. Light oak with some caramel sweetness.

M: Medium high carbonation with a sweet finish. Just a touch of sour cherry.

O: The bourbon barrel is holding up well and giving this beer a really sweet overtone that balances the cherries. Definitely enjoyed this one.

Apr 11, 2013
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Duff27 from Illinois

4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

700th review!

Pours a murky brown with a short white head on top. Leaves a small collar and cap.

A perfect mix of tartness and cherry sweetness.

Ripe red cherries. Tart, not sour. Vanilla, oak, slight bourbon but not much. Some booze is detected.

Tongue dancing carbonation, perfect. Medium mouthfeel.

Found this similar to Wisconsin Begian Red with added oakiness. And that's oaky with this guy as WBR is one of, if not, my favorite beer.

Aug 06, 2012
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brystmar from Texas

3.42/5  rDev -20.5%
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.

Jul 19, 2012
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Mora2000 from Texas

4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark golden-orange color with a white head. The aroma is awesome. I get a ton of bourbon, maple and vanilla notes up front, with the accompanying tart cherry notes. The flavor is more of the same. All of the notes from the aroma are present in the flavor. If I had to summarize the flavor, I would say it tastes like bourbon-chocolate covered cherries. The tartness and a little hint of funk just add to the other notes. I have never had a beer that tastes quite like this and I hope I get to try it again, although that is probably unlikely. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An outstanding beer.

Jun 03, 2012
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TATURBO from Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 8/6/2010
A: Amber. No Head.

S: Tart/Sour but very inviting.

T: Wow, Really good! Fruity, mainly cherry. Tart. Butter flavor in middle and nice Oak Finish at end.

M: Tingly carbonation on tongue. Medium body.

O: Great Flavors. Sour but not overly so. Tart, Fruity. Wish I'd have gotten more of this, surprised I didn't try it sooner. Has held up well in cellar. Solid 4.25 IMO.

Apr 26, 2012
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phichifiji00 from California

3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

Mar 07, 2012
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orangesol from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I brought this one to our recent gueuze tasting. Served alongside the gueuze.

A - Pours reddish brown with a nice one finger tall white head leaving slight streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells like a fresh baked cherry pie initially. Once it dies down a bit you get hints of vanilla, warm bourbon, brown sugar and a touch of chocolaty sweetness.

T - Starts off with quite a bit of sour maraschino cherries quickly giving way to hints of vanilla, brown sugar, caramel malt and some warming bourbon. The tartness dies down and the sweetness intensifies as it warms up. Finish is pretty sweet, lingering for some time after consumption.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth, slightly sweet feel with a touch of warm bourbon coming through as it warms up.

O - I really enjoyed this one. The fruit matched very well with the warm bourbon. It had all the right flavors to keep me interested and it was very easy to drink. Awesome stuff.

Feb 12, 2012
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drowland from Georgia

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1/15/11. Bottle shared at the Sea Bass going away tasting. Amber/dark reddish pour with a small off-white head. Awesome vanilla BA aromas mixed with fantastic spiced cherry. Light spiced cherry flavor with a hint of vanilla and coconut. This is heaven!

Feb 05, 2012
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DovaliHops from California

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a medium, white head. Scent is sweet bourbon and brown sugar at first. Immediately followed by tart cherry aroma. Lots of oak and dessert wine aromas. Taste is initially sweet cherry with a bit of dark cola. Sweet, delicious bourbon with a nice amount of oak. Vinous. Mouthfeel is slightly sticky with a smooth and tart finish. Drinkability is very high. Overall, an interesting style that I would love to see more of (bourbon aged sours). Much better than Raspberry Tart from New Glarus. Wish I could get more of this.

Jan 25, 2012
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoyed from the bottle in a cervoise thanks to orangesol.

The color is reddish amber with a thin cap of cream with ultra fine beading. The lace sticks well. The smell has a nice sweet aroma with woody and vanilla notes of the bourbon barrel with a lot of sweet esters coming from the fruit with slight nutty tinge. The feel is a big bold body with mild alcohol and moderate sweetness level with mild carbonation level and light tannin.

The flavor is moderately sweet cherry on the tip of the tongue with a mild bourbon accent with slight woody tinge and vanilla-like taste in the background with slight toasted note and mild hint of tart cherry skin. the taste is very well balanced between the sweetness of the cherries and the lacto with a nice woody tannic tinge too. The stone fruit is fresh tasting and gives a semi-dry finish. Overall I really liked this one, a pretty high quality cherry beer with a nice blend of bourbon barrel which gives a vanilla quality to compliment the cherry flavor, this is really nice and drinkable too.

Jan 13, 2012
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drabmuh from Maryland

4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Thorpe, kind of a fascinating beer really.

Beer is reddish, hazy, thin white head, wispy, small bubbles, some lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is sweet and tart, cherry and bourbon all rolled into one. Mild citric nose too.

Beer is thin in body, bourbon slightly up front along with a little sweetness, the second half of the beer is bright and fruity with a tart finish. This beer was kind of like sticking two good beers together and getting a decent beer.

Jan 10, 2012
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mdfb79 from New York

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 01/02/12 notes. Big thanks to Thorpe429 for sharing this one; have wanted to try it for a while. Poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark reddish-brown copper color with one inch of fluffy white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, spices, tart cherries, cinnamon, and sour dark fruits. Bourbon still comes through but isn't too strong. Sour cherries and dark fruits still come through as well, probably a little more than the bourbon, which I really like. Really nice.

t - Tastes of spices, sour cherries and dark fruits, light bourbon, fruity malts, yeast. Agauin, very nice, though a bit spicey and not as sour as the nose. A step down for me.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a really nice wild ale. Apparently it has faded a bit over time but I still enjoyed it a lot, so would have liked to try it fresh. Nice sour nose and easy to drink, would certainly like to have it again.

Jan 04, 2012
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yourefragile from District of Columbia

4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle shared by Thorpe.

Dark copper brown color with a light tan head that settles into a ring of bubbles with some legs of lacing. Strong bourbon aroma with mild dark cherry and vanilla notes. Aroma is more sour than the flavor suggests, initially cherry forward followed by light bourbon and oak. Not as sweet as the aroma. Slightly metallic in the finish. Medium thick body with low, fine carbonation and a smooth finish. I would have preferred to try this fresh, but this was still nice.

Jan 02, 2012
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is sunburst orange with a half inch of white head that leaves spotty lacing on the glass. The aroma offers oak, wine, booze, berries, wild yeast. The beer is tannic, with a blend of booze and fruit. Lots of wood comes through. Cherries soaked in bourbon. Nice balance of sweet cherries with tart flavors, boozy bourbon, and a general tannic / barrel character. Light bodied and smooth feeling on the palate. An interesting beer for sure. For what it is, this is very well done.

Jan 02, 2012
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KickInTheChalice from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a snifter. Thanks to Dunt for bringing this over.

Appearance: My pour is an amber brown color with a transparent edge. A soft eggshell head slowly fades to a few islands and a collar around the edge.

Smell: Sweet bourbon, bready malt, and tart cherries.

Taste: The flavor starts with a dark cherry sweetness. Next comes vanilla, oak, and sweet bourbon, and then the flavor goes tart. Cherry and a bit of lemon zest to close out.

Mouthfeel: Slightly grainy, tart and salivating, smooth and creamy carbonation, and a light to medium body.

Overall: I enjoyed this, partly because I think I like sweet bourbon barrel aged beers, better than the average review.

Dec 14, 2011
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amphion1065 from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottled, served in a Duvel tulip. Thanks for going totally overboard Chris. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a rusty shade of copper red, with great clarity. A half-finger off-white head with loose bubbles lasts about two minutes or so, and leaves moderate lacing.

The aroma is rich with the earthy, bready character present in true lambics. A tart, vinous funk with just a hint of cherry predominates. A definite oak presence, with a little bit of vanilla from the barrel.

The taste is pretty delightful. Up front, there's a strong - but not bracing - tartness. A very pure, natural cherry flavor shines through. There's a little bit of that bready funk in the mix, though the fruit is the star. But in the back end, this is all about wood with a touch of bourbon. The vanilla really comes out, and it's in perfect harmony with the cherry. The barrel presence is so subtle and so well-integrated.

Mouthfeel is fantastic. Lively carbonation, but this is lush and thick. An unbelievably easy beer to drink, a bomber wouldn't be enough, to say nothing of the 500 mL format.

What this beer lacks in mouth-puckering sourness it more than makes up for in sheer deliciousness. An absolute treat, this one made me smile.

Nov 28, 2011
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AgentZero from Illinois

4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Kan for sharing this.

A - Dark brown colored beer with a bit of a tan head that had some nice legs on the side.

S - Cherries, oak, barrel, vanilla, and bourbon. Beer is nice in that the bourbon and barrel isn't obliterating the base beer. Good smelling stuff.

T - Sweet beer with cherries, vanilla, spice, bourbon. Just a great mix overall, with some toffee and caramel.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Beer was very sweet, so it got slightly fatiguing. Still, really nice beer and an interesting combination that worked.

Sep 04, 2011
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AleWatcher from Illinois

4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes-- still trying to get caught up!

This is another beer, along with the gueuze, that I have had the chance to sample a few times. These notes were taken from the most recent time-- but I will flat-out say that it is amazing how well this beer has been progressing. I would have given this a D upon sampling the first bottle the week after it was released. Now, with each subsequent bottle, it gets better and better.

Served in a tulip. Both of these were shared by weatherdog.

Pinkish, kinda orange color. White head. Surprisingly good retention and lacing.
The nose is... wow. This is almost like brandy. It's like the cherry sweetness of Wisconsin Belgian Red, plus bourbon, plus a light tart sourness. It is kind of weird. There is a light toasted coconut note I'm picking up here if I strain really hard--- it's almost like the overall bouquet creates a note that reminds me of suntan lotion (which translates as toasted coconut). I like it-- it blends nicely into the nose.

This is fantastic now.
(at this point in the voicenote I have a 5 minute discussion with yeahnatenelson and oreo about my house)

The taste has a lot going on: some light sour funk, some really tasty cherry notes.

Medium body, low carbonation level. There is a lingering note of bourbon that lingers with a little boozy warmth. It has certainly faded out a good deal though.

Overall-- this is certainly improving, and has gotten MUCH better than it was originally.
I have high hopes for the NG sours from now on!

Aug 28, 2011
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ottovon from Arizona

4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

shared by ejyoung.

A: pours a clear ruby-orange color with a white head that fell quickly to leave a coating over the beer.

S: a nice aroma. Lots of cherry, hints of bourbon and oak. i get some vanilla and sweetness. there is also some lacto in the nose as well.

T: a touch sour. a good amount of cherry and cherry skins. oak and vanilla. not much bourbon in the flavor.

M: thin with lots of carb.

O: a very good beer.

Aug 02, 2011
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hansgruber from Indiana

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber body with a slight reddish hue. Small head and not much lacing or retention. 

Bourbon and cherries primarily with a bit of sour and wild character too. Oak is in there too contributing some spicy and vanilla notes. Really nice. 

Taste is tart and has a nice cherry flavor. A touch of sour in there on the finish but nothing much. Bourbon isn't too up front but just enough along with the barrel to add a layer of complexity to the beer. 

Mouthfeel has just enough carbonation. Medium bodied. 

Overall I really enjoyed this beer. Only thing missing would be more in the sour department. Would like to see this available again in the future. 

Aug 02, 2011
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4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

150th Review!

HUGE thanks to thewimperoo for trading this beer to me! Thanks Dan!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: A mix of orange and deep red colored beer. 3 fingers plus head after an aggressive pour that bubbles down into a nice cap that remains on top the beer. Looks awesome.

Smell: The mains smells of this beer are dark cherries, vanilla, oak, nice small hint of funkiness.

Taste: Tart cherries and medium funk. The vanilla is mellow, but noticable and the sweetness that is imparted is great with the cherries. The oak is nice and the barrel really makes this beer really tasty. As the beer warms the cherry becomes more sweet and really balances out the funk flavors really well.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with lots of carbonation. Nice soft finish that seems to have some spiciness to it. Crisp and dry as well.

Overall: Man, this is a great beer! It reminds me of New Glarus Enigma in a bourbon barrel. It is awesome. I really wish I had more bottles of this beer! Sours are really growing on me and this beer amplified that! Wow!

Jul 20, 2011
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Phelps from Arizona

4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by ejyoung, poured into a tulip.

Light cherry-orange color, perfectly clear. A half-finger head of fuzzy dark tan quickly becomes a frothy medium ring.

Tart! Toffee, herbal mint, dark cherry syrup, vanilla, butter. A terrific blend, with the barrel accenting, rather than overpowering, the other aromas.

Flavor is glorious. Black cherry lends a gentle tartness in front of caramel, toffee, vinous oak and big scoops of butter.

The body just a bit above light, softly fizzy and hot on the tongue. The tartness hits hard while the alcohol adds peppery heat. Carbonation tickles the tongue lightly.

Quality stuff, this Kriek. The beer exhibits a brilliant blend of cherries and barrels character, with neither overpowering the other.

Jul 20, 2011
R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 153 ratings