R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek | New Glarus Brewing Company

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R&D Bourbon Barrel KriekR&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek
151 Ratings
R&D Bourbon Barrel KriekR&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by alcstradamus on 07-30-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 151 |  Reviews: 84
Reviews by younger35:
Photo of younger35
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a couple bottles of this gem at New Glarus on my way to The Great Taste of the Midwest. My new beer budget was shattered this weekend but totally worth it for any New Glarus release. Drank from my New Glarus 'Drink Indigenous' pint glass while grilling up some tasty steaks.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear shade of copper yellow with a decent one finger bright white head. Small collar sticks around that manages to deposit a couple threads of lacing here and there.
Smell- Very fruity smelling with that Belgium Red shell oozing from this beer. Sort of tart and ripe with a fresh cherry aspect that only New Glarus (and somewhat Selin's Grove) can pull off. Nothing smells particularly Kriek like at the moment as it's just the cherries and a bit of bourbon. Definitely smells woodier than I expected as it warms with MAYBE the lightest touch of vanilla.
Taste- I get a fruity blast of tart Montmorency cherries that is quickly whisked away by an aggressive bite of barrel. The bourbon isn't hiding here as it's quickly the dominate factor of the beer. There is always a light snippet of cherry in my mouth but the fresh fruitiness is definitely subdued. A rather aggressive bit of caramel is present as well is some vanilla. The finish is woody and robust with a bit more vanilla and a lightly buttery note.
Mouthfeel- Medium body that is damn near perfect with a very light bit of carbonation. Nice lightly creamy feel overall.
Drinkability- If you're a fan of Belgium Red you are either going to love this beer or totally despise it. The base is still there but the wood and bourbon have taken it their own way. I'm assuming this will sour up a bit with some time and I can't wait. A bit more bite will tighten this little gem right up. I really look forward to future reviews to see what people have to say about this - especially you sour purists.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of weatherdog
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle poured into a Bells tulip glass. This beer was shares among friends at a recent tasting.

If you are familiar with NG fruit beers then that distinct bright red hue is recognizable. This ones is a mix of red and brown, maybe like a clear Belgian Red. A nice long lasting bright white head tops the beer.

The nose is that trademark tart cherry the New Glarus has used in many a beer (Belgian Red, Cherry Stout, Enigma to some extent) in addition to the cherry a stronger oakiness was present with noticeable vanilla.

In addition to the always welcome tart cherries this beer also had just a kiss of bourbon that complimented the beer. It was so slight that I'm guessing that these weren't first use bourbon barrels. Once again raw oak and vanilla take a supporting role to the dominating cherry in the taste. I'm also picking up just a little bit for tartness than the standard Ng fruit beer. This really is a great beer and just a step above what Belgian Red offers.

The mouthfeel, which is usually great on New Glarus beers, has this weird drying effect on my mouth. Almost like a piece of cotton was placed in my mouth. Drinkability was on par with other NG fruit heavy beers.

I can see so many similarities to Belgian Red in this beer. It almost tastes like they just took Belgian Red and stuck it in a bourbon barrel for number of months. I think this beer would do phenomenally well as a wider release and this seems like maybe a test batch for such a thing. It's really a great fruit forward beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of boatshoes
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The last of the three R&D to be enjoyed from the package sent to me by Translucent, thanks again!

Appearance- Pours a nice shade of ruby amber with a relatively thin head that dies back to a ring and patching. Very nice color though and carbonation appropriate for the style.

Smell- First and foremost, the nose is comprised of cherries! Doesn't smell like fresh cherries necessarily but due to the wood smells more like a fresh cherry pie. Hints of vanilla and bourbon wood.

Taste- Flavor profile is similar to the nose with fresh cherry pie really the best way I can describe this one. Lots of cherry flavor backed up with nice highlights of vanilla and some bourbon warmth on the finish. Quite nice.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is nice for the style and not overly thin. Very drinkable though I didn't find it to be particularly tart I will say.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and wish I could get ahold of more. In a close race for my favorite of the three R&D beers with the Golden Ale.

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Photo of Stigs
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle - served in a Lambic glass

A - poured slightly vigorously and yields only a brief lasting, loose white fuzzy foam. the beer is almost crystal clear, brownish ruby in color with some active bubbling.

S - vinegar and woody notes dominate. freshly crushed cherries, chocolate, oak add sweetness. faint bit of wild, lactic funk come through as well.

T - begins with a very quick, sharp sour lactic bite as black cherries explode in the mouth. turns almost instantly sweet with a more syrup-like cherry, vanilla, and oak. bourbon is present from the beginning, yet stays in the background for the majority of each sip. some light chocolate is added in as well, making this remind me of a cherry Tootsie-pop.

M - medium, creamy body holds up nicely against tight, punchy carbonation. sweetness lingering in the mouth for awhile, syrupy. lactic sourness attempts to wipe the palette clean, though some sweet fruity notes are left behind.

D - interesting as the name sounds...leans a bit more towards the sweeter side than I was expecting, though the bourbon adds a nice subtle touch to those delicious Wisconsin cherries - like a Wisconsin Red spiked at a holiday party. crisp, refreshing, and interesting all around.

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Photo of Lazerlobe
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Tawny amber with minimal head. The soft pour is a touch syrupy.

S: Marshmallow, vanilla and bourbon minus any liquor heat. Subtle fruit body but I'm having a hard time pinning down the cherries. Just when I think I have it, it escapes.

T: Slightly sour and very reminiscent of Belgian Red. Also similar to a toasted cherry marshmallow. No bourbon heat or bite. Still sweet but not as medicinal as Belgian Red.

M: Low carbonation. Slightly syrupy viscosity and bathes the tongue with vanilla.

O: Not too intense, an absolutely wonderful dessert beverage. Spot on vanilla characteristics without borrowing too much heat and liquor. A great sipper.

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4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared 500ml bottle with fellow BA, my Father.
From tasting notes.
A: A bold ruby red haze on the body sits below a thin line of off-white head. A very low carbonation is present from the appearance. No lacing, but for style this is just right.
S: A strong note of bourbon attacks the senses and reassures a quality aging process. A wild yeast aroma is also found. A very smooth and aromatic brew this is.
T/M: A bright, bold cherry note, along with a pleasant sweet whiskey notes. A very mellowed out finish with a bit of a acid undertone. This is a very complex flavor profile in this brew.
D: A very drinkable brew, not too sour, but just the right amount sourness. A great overall brew, but with a limit on amount sold and rarity, I was savoring every sip. I could see this NG brew coming back to make a consistent appearance.
Notes: Very, very good. I am not let down by this one, the hype is there for a good reason. I will be aging some to see how it does, so a year from now, and more we will see how it develops.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.46/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt (mtunnell) for this one. Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Lost Abbey tulip.

A: Standard pour yields a slowly rising 1.5 finger frothy, fluffy, off-white head with decent retention. Beer is a clear deep amber. Lacing is stringy and spotty with nice legs at points and very good stick.

S: Nose is bourbon, oak, vanilla, and an odd, medicinally sweet cherry. There's also that signature New Glarus fruit beer yeastiness. Aromatic and pleasant at first, this one declines and becomes less appetizing as it warms. No hint of funk or lacto tartness detectable.

T: Sweet cherry, bourbon, vanilla, and an odd, unpleasant butterscotch upfront that thankfully, fades into the background. Yeasty spiciness. Tart fruit builds gradually towards the middle but never really gets there. Sweet throughout. Butter returns towards the end along with sweet candied cherry. Buttery residue at the finish. Aftertaste is more of the same.

M: Light to medium bodied and amply carbonated. Prickly and bubbly in the mouth and abrasive and spicy going down. Finishes subtley with an aftertaste that is oily and filmy and lingers.

D: I'm not the most knowledgeable about brewing practices but I'm pretty sure something is amiss when a wild ale is largely missing any sort of funkiness or sourness and instead, displays an odd butterscotch and popcorny flavor. This is much more a fruit beer than it is a AWA... as a fruit beer though... its pretty good and quite enjoyable and refreshing. Not what I expected but decent nonetheless.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap @ malt house

The elusive bourbon barrel kriek - sold out to a bunch of fine people from Minnesota before I had a chance to buy some at the brewery. One day sell-out to be exact.

The Malt House had one of two 1/6 barrels in circulation and it lasted a little under an hour on a Monday afternoon - just long enough to get a couple pours.

appearance: served in belgian glassware, light garnet body and light brown froth

smell: the trademark NG tart cherries, vanilla and oak

taste: Ah yes, the taste of rare beer...From all the bonanza surrounding the release, I was expecting a little bit more of a deviation from some of the other similar NG beers, particularly Engima. Don't get me wrong, I love Engima, and this was a very good beer too but I guess I was just expecting something a little wilder. The bourbon is pretty subtle but the barrel definitely provides hits of oak and vanilla. Tart and sweet cherries - as one would come to expect from NG

mouthfeel: medium-light, mild tartness

overall : solid, but not enough differentiation from the belgian red/enigma/cherry stout world

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Photo of blabaer
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of hooliganlife
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pour was a deep amber and copper with a little to no head. i got the bottom of the bottle though...

light cherry and light bourbon with a dark candy fruit. the cherry was quite pronounced.

lots of real cherry that was equally blended with a bourbon barrel flavor. this was totally 50/50 on balance. it was quite interesting. nice light sourness or tartness.

fairly light body with a moderate carbonation. a bit dry

this was quite interesting, not sure if i could ever finish the entire bottle though.

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Photo of nickd717
3.48/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle shared by Arbitrator.

Pours clear medium brownish-reddish-amber with a small off-white head on top.

The aroma is big on the bourbon barrels, with slight cherry, like a toned-down Wisconsin Belgian Red, with slight buttery oakiness and vinous notes.

The flavor is also a lot like Wisconsin Belgian Red without as much cherry. Rather sweet - definitely more sweet than sour. Acetic and vinegary with slight butter and metallicity.

Smooth and medium-bodied, but come on, where is the sourness and acidity? Medium-low carbonation level.

Overall, a tasty beer, but still a bit of a disappointment. Just not really very sour at all and not at all to style.

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Photo of FalconA
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to sproser for sending me this one in the Secret Santa '10 BIF! Had during Hobo Tasting #5 with mikesgroove down near the railroad tracks near RJ Rockers. Brewed 1.18.10 and bottled on 8.6.10, 5 bbl batch. Served from bottle into a Bell's tulip. Poured a deep red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, funk, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, oak, and dark fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. The barrel was definitely present on this one without doubt. The barrel did cut down on the sour/tart aspect quite a bit for me. This one might be a good brew for those who aren't into the massively sour brews but still enjoy subtle aspects of them. Mike preferred this one over the R&D Gueuze that he brought, I preferred the Gueuze.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A New Glarus beer review usually starts with me giving a shout-out to my main trading partner zimmerbloke from Wisconsin. I love you Matt, but this time I have to give thanks to black13 for sharing his personal 500ml bottle with my wife TulipSnifter and I. We met up with Michael last night at Hair of the Dog for some Cherry Adam on tap and were invited back to his place to split a beer with him. Down into the mans cellar we went with him where he opened up a Bruey Old Richland, an '08 BCBS, and than one of my big wants, New Glarus Bourbon Barrel Kriek. As grateful as I wanted to appear, I still needed to tap out some notes about the beer on my BlackBerry. Again, thank you Michael... Now here's the review.

A: Poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip glass. A solid pour kicks up a nice fluffy white froth on top of a crystal clear, vibrant, ruby-orange body. The head retreats only a little and maintains a nice half-finger cap on top. Very impressive looking in the glass and moderate sheets of lace are left throughout the drink. 4.5/5

S: Sweet pie cherries, signature NG vanilla, cinnamon, no bourbon presence. I'm a sucker for the "New Glarus smell" and this is no exception. Just sniffing my glass is a very enjoyable experience for me. 4.5/5

T: Sweet cherries again at the forefront! This is barely tart at best. No real sour presence. Again with the signature NG vanilla. Pretty much just following the nose here but so damn good and supportive of the aroma. 4/5

M: Moderate body with minimal carbonation. Sticky lips and a sticky finish. I would expect a drier, crisper finish for a wild beer so this is one of the beers low points for me. None the less, I like it over all so I'm not docking it below a 3.

D: Another solid winner from Dan Carey and company. As far as krieks go, I don't think this one is very traditional, but as far as American Wild Ales go this is very approachable and enjoyable. 4/5

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Photo of brian23456
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of drowland
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
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!

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Photo of Ek0nomik
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Boski
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy reddish orange body, ample foam and minimal lacing. Decent retention with some spotty bits of foam clinging to the glass after each sip. Clarity is good, though the color isn't red like a traditional kriek (no points off for that).

Sweet nose of oxidized malts, vanilla, caramel, and dried cherry. Seems more like a sweetened Flanders (WI Belgian) Red than anything. Not really funky, acetic or much resembling traditional Kriek, though it's pleasant enough for what it is.

Slightly sweet tartness on the tongue, bolstered by sweet malt (more than expected), some saddle leather and damp hay notes, but not especially funky. Cherry is there, not as pronounced as a fresh bottle, but it melds nicely with a light vanilla pastry flavor. Light to medium bodied, easily sipped.

Overall this is a bit too similar to the long line of closely related fruit beers from New Glarus. Barrel-aged Belgian Red isn't too far off to be honest. Elements of Cherry Stout, Enigma, and WI Belgian Red show up here. Hopefully future batches are a bit more wild... it's just too similar to past releases to seek out. Thanks Joe for sharing this alongside the Gueuze.

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Photo of theminutemen
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500 ml bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip. Batch 5 bbl, Brewed 1.18.10, O.G. 13°P, Bottled 8.6.10, ABV 5.5%, IBUs 12.

Infinity thanks to Beerwolf77 for picking a bottle of this up for me AND sharing a bottle with me! You're my #1 ninja Todd!

A - Clear as crystal and ruby brown-red is brilliant looking with a big three-finger head from a tall pour. Good retention with some good lace left over.

S - Phenomenal aroma of mixed spice and mild funk. The funk is mildly reminiscent of barnyard but is overshadowed by equally mild tart cherry and raspberry and general berry fruitiness. A fantastic barrel aroma of very mild bourbon comes through as well. This aroma is fan-freakin'-tastic!

T - Oh wow. Very mild sour funkiness adds fantastic layers of undertones to this complex and orgasmic flavor. Yes, orgasmic. Tart cherry and raspberry blends so well with a very tiny splash of bourbon barrel. I can't stop drinking it!

M - Smooth and soft initially with a great tart and sour balance to the finish. I can't believe how good this goes down. Smooth and very lightly carbonated to the perfect level.

D - Well, I can't give this anything less than a 5 in drinkability since I have to hold myself back from just drinking the whole thing immediately instead of savoring it sip by sip. Once again Dan Carey proves that he knows fruit beers inside and out. Hot damn, this is one of the best beers I've ever had.

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R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 151 ratings