R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek | New Glarus Brewing Company

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
151 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
R&D Bourbon Barrel KriekR&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
newglarusbrewing.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
151
Reviews:
84
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
10.64%
 
 
Wants:
376
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 151 |  Reviews: 84
Photo of cpetrone84
3.52/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a light dirty brown color with red edges and a thick off white head with a solid lace.

S-the nose has a ton of vanilla, hints of bourbon, lots of slightly synthetic cherry and very sweet from all the vanilla and cherry with a slightly medicinal note.

T-flavor follows the nose, the vanilla from the bourbon barrel is overstated, the bourbon and oak are subtle and impart the right amount of flavor. the cherry is very ripe and sweet, sharp red cherries with just a hint of sour to it. The vanilla dominates and it is too sweet, not cloying but just sweet.

M-extremely creamy juicy feel to it on a full body with a strong bite with a powerfully carbonated finish that is semi dry.

D-this is somewhat overly sweet and the vanilla is rather strong. the bourbon is so faint and the barrel is mostly oak. the cherry is tasty and not really medicinal in the flavor, it is somewhat sour and the finish mixes well being semi dry and sour but the overly sweet vanilla and the sour tart cherry seem to contrast. drinkable but a few flaws.

 1,040 characters

Photo of hopsbreath
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
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

 1,923 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into a Birra del Borgo tulip. Big thanks to Tony for sharing this, a major want of mine.

A: Cyrstal clear red-orange body with a later of fine tan foam. Nice.

S: Intense bourbon is front and center, with vanilla oak and characteristic NG cherries in the background. It smells nothing like a Kriek, and everything like the barrel room at the Jack Daniel's distillery. One of the most purely bourbon-y smelling beers I've encountered, and it works beautifully.

T: Sweet cherries and vanilla lead things off, followed by a hearty dose of whiskey in the middle, and finishing with the classic sweet + sour Montmorency cherry flavor that NG has done so much to showcase. Tons of whiskey, cherries, and vanilla = tons of awesome.

M: Sticky medium body with moderate, creamy carbonation. Solid.

D: Just enough tartness to balance out the whiskey and fruit. Terrific.

Notes: I missed out on being able to buy bottles of this and the Gueuze by less than a week this past summer, and it had been killing me. Being an erstwhile NG homer, the thought of missing out on their limited sours was painful. I'm hugely grateful to have gotten the chance to drink (and enjoy the hell out of) this great beer. It was weird and wonderful.

Cheers!

 1,245 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one a while back from the fantastic enelson... Thanks a ton Ed for a badass trade. I shared this one with the geeks and just now entering the notes.

Pours a clear orange... like a lite tawny port... little in the way of head or lacing.

The nose shows alot of bourbon with a lesser cherry.. not very sour at all.. Honestly alot like a vanilla and booze spiked Wisconsin Red... no funk on the nose.

Great cherry flavor.. oaky vanilla and bourbon.. doughy sweetness adds to a "pie essence"... too sweet for a "wild ale", but still very nice for what it is... the barrel presence adds waves of complexities to a familiar beer. I was just hoping for more funk.. instead there is a mild acetic quality that is the tie that binds.

Medium body and lite carbonation for any beer... for this "style", it is too heavy and needs more carbonation.

All of the above negatives go away on the drinkability... I loved this one and want more... a lot more... I want to score a couple more of this batch and let it age for a few years before I ever touch it again.

Thanks again Ed.... if you have more, please hit me up. :-)

3.5/4/4/3.5/4.5

 1,138 characters

Photo of mikeyv35
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled: 01/19/2011
Type: 500ml. Bottle
Vintage: 2010
Glassware: DFH Tulip

This brew pours a light reddish/brown mahoghany in color w/ a skim coat off white head, that surprisingly leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. The nose brings aromas of souring cherries, oak, light bourbon, and spices. Tastes pretty much on par, sour cherry and a touch of funk up front, and a finish of oak, bourbon, and warming vanilla. Medium bodied and lush. I could drink this brew all day as I find the flavors very complimentary and appealing. This brew seems alot bigger than the 5.50% ABV listing leads on.

Overall, this is a fantastic brew that I would drink as much of as possible. Not your typical kriek by any means. A little out of the style category, but who cares, it's a tasty brew. This is the second sampling of this beer that I have had and the bourbon/vanilla notes have seemingly faded a bit, bringing the sour notes more forefront. Additional aging should make this brew even better and maybe put alot of the naysayers to bed. Too bad it is a one off and so hard to acquire.

 1,082 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kevin for sending me this extra in the Whale BIF IV.

A: The pour is amber in color with a creamy off white head.

S: A big time cherry pie aroma to this one, shockingly similar to Wisconsin Belgian Red. A bit of a caramel and malt sweetness along with some bourbon and vanilla. I get very minimal tartness.

T: Cherries and a cherry pie type flavor are what this one is all about. Again, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and vanilla. Surprisingly sweet for a kriek. Seems more like a bourbon barrel aged Wisconsin Belgian Red.

M: The body is medium and so is the level of carbonation.

D: Very disappointing, I must say. I do like their Belgian Red, but I was expecting something that is a little more of a departure from the same beer that you can get year round.

 769 characters

Photo of punkrkr27
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep rusty brown pour with a small, fizzy, white head. The aroma has lots of strong bourbon, lush tart cherries, caramel, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. The flavor is sweet and tart cherries upfront with a sweet malty middle and finishing with a kick of bourbon, vanilla, oak, lactic acid and a tiny bit of brett funk. Medium body with lots of effervescent carbonation.

 372 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep red color. Really nice clarity. Minimal white head.

S: Cherries and bourbon. It does not really smell like a kriek or a wild but the nose is super enjoyable albeit one dimensional.

T: Nice sweetness from the cherries mixed in with the bourbon. Quite a bit of oak as well. Again not the most complex thing in the world but it is different.

M: Medium body. A little syrupy.

D: This beer really is unique. It is quite tasty to boot which is always appreciated. I really don't think aging is going to do anything to make this beer any better.

 550 characters

Photo of craytonic
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice off-white head, pour is an amber/red with ruby edges

Aroma: Tart cherries, brown sugar, vanilla, toasted oak,

Taste: Tart cherries and brown sugar, this one is somewhat sweet and not very sour. After that I get vanilla and toasted oak, although the brown sugar never leaves. I get plenty of oak but not very much bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, slightly aggressive carbonation.

Drinkability: I keep wanting to call this one a Faro. I wish it were a good bit more sour.

 486 characters

Photo of Stigs
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

 1,231 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.46/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

 1,531 characters

Photo of JAXSON
2.58/5  rDev -39%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Dark clear pink pour. Nose is a whopping vanilla, medicinal cherry syrup. Tons of vanilla in the mouth, cotton candy. Sickly sweet body, a bit of bourbon, some sour cherry somewhere in the mix. Buttery, oily palate. Difficult to drink. Weirdly overrated.

 254 characters

Photo of bnieman
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear orange ruby. Fine lacing.

S - As if I just walked into cedar humidor. A hint of the sweetened end of a cigar.

T - A cedar plank submerged in freshly made cherry juice and soaked liberally.

M - fruit juice.

D - A single glass is satisfyingly sufficient and enjoyable to the last drop.

Brewed 2010-01-18
Thanks to BeerFMAndy for sharing

 349 characters

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing, James! From Nov 20th notes.

Pours amberish copper with nice frothy foam leaving some wispy lace.

The nose is mostly composed of a combination of cherry and vanilla-woody notes. I can't say its as pungently bourbon as the name would suggest. Definitely more woody-vanilla. Overall leaning toward sweet, but not as sweet or syrupy as their other fruit beers. There is a dash of acidity here to cut through it a bit. Overall the tartness is very subtle, relatively low carb, semi dry finish. I was hoping for this to be a bit more of a kriek than toward one of their fruit beers, but this R&D series shows promise for future blended releases. Thanks !

 671 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle shared, and I use that word quite loosely, with the wife and sister-in-law on a thank-god-the-week-is-over-I-was-ready-to-throttle-someone Friday.

Inch high white fluff atop a burgundy body with sharp red highlights. Sporadic bubbles from the depths tickle the surface as the egg white dissipates.

Initial whiff of mild oaky bourbon. Barrel presence is most vibrant upon the pour as the fluff rises and dives. Once settled, the fruit presence of this beer takes hold with reminders of Belgian Red and Enigma. Upon further settling and warming, the barrel returns in the form of woody vanilla. It's a beer smelled in distinctive stages, like the varied lifespan of Rush's musical career.

As per New Glarus's m.o., this beer finds its personality in its nuances. Nothing smashes you over head. The bourbon presence is soft and subtle and envelops the base beer. The carbonation is gentle and allows the beer to sit and settle on the tongue before slipping away. A mid palate tartness segues to a light tootsie roll kissed by barrel and followed by the delicate sweetness of cherries.

Not what I would describe as a typical Kriek, but enjoyable for what it is. In the battle between style and overall appreciation, I'll side with enjoying a beer that may be slightly misidentified. Regardless, I remain grateful that a half hour on country roads gets me to the brewery on the hill.

 1,399 characters

Photo of scaliasux
4.79/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark amber. Clear. Thin off-white not very persistent head.

Smell - Funky cherries and rich malt. A whiff of bourbon and vanilla. Unique.

Taste - Tart cherries are, unsurprisingly, the most prominent flavor. Bourbon, vanilla, and a little bit of funk also appear. A different take on the cherry beer from New Glarus' other products, but in my view no less exceptional.

Mouthfeel - Medium. Smooth and crisp.

Drinkability - New Glarus does a fine job with fruit beers and this one is no exception. Indeed, I believe I prefer this to any of New Glarus' other fruit beers (with the possible exception of Cranbic) - that's saying a lot. Unique and well worth the relatively hefty price.

 698 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle poured into a stemmed glass. 08-06-10 bottled date. Thank you Kiley for this one!

(A)- Pours a hazy copper amber color with reddish highlights. Produced a great bubbly eggshell colored head with good retention behind it. Some lacing.

(S)- A lively burst of near tart fruits: cherry, cranberry, and strawberry. A nice creamy vanilla-like woody oak presence. Some subtle dry hay.

(T)- A really nice profile of lightly tart fruits: cherry and cranberry. A subtle dry spicy vanilla oak present in the background. Finishes clean with the tartness staying throughout.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Nice tart fruits and subtle wood/barrel notes. I really could not tell this was bourbon barrel aged; great integration and feel.

(D)- A very clean taste/feel for the style. Not too funky or sour, but the fruits really are nice. I look forward to what age will do to this.

 899 characters

Photo of WeisGuy
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle from glazeman -- thanks, Scott! Review #500.

a - pours a dark copper color with a ruby tint, one-inch ivory head with decent retention for the style, light lacing, lots of bubbles indicate a high amount of carbonation, pretty clear with little sediment

s - sweet cherry aroma that's similar to other NG beers I've had, what's different is the oaky notes and considerable bourbon, very light tartness, smells a bit like cherry pie with a mild spiciness and vanilla

t - sweet and lightly tart cherries up front, slightly medicinal, pretty oaky on the midpalate, finish is more sweet and lightly tart cherry with some spicy and vanilla notes, oak makes its presence known and substantial bourbon flavors creep in as the cherry leaves the palate, there is a lingering mild tartness and spice, while this is a bit sweeter and not quite as tart as I would like, it's still a complex, unique beer that I'm enjoying drinking

m - medium-bodied with higher carbonation, some alcohol warming, on the sweet side, but the mild tartness balances it out a bit

d - the cherry sweetness limits drinkability for me a bit, I don't mind the bourbon notes though, there's quite a bit going on in the flavor, so it remains interesting for awhile, though the flavors don't work together perfectly

Very interesting beer, but, as other reviewers have noted, I think NG does the beer a disservice by calling it a kriek. The tartness and sourness is very mild and the sweetness is a bit high for my taste. That said, I'm glad to have had the opportunity to try this unique beer. I have higher hopes for the Gueuze.

 1,606 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

 668 characters

Photo of boatshoes
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 1,003 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500mL bottle courtesy of enelson. The label reads "Bourbon Barrel Kriek is spontaneously fermented in oak vats, then aged with sour cherries in bourbon barrels. Sour and intense, this is a wild beer."

It pours clear, a dark copper-tan color with reddish highlights, and a thin wet off-white foam. Not as red as expected for a kriek but still more red than yellow.

The bourbon and sour cherries really mix it up in the aroma, leaving an overall tasty impression if not quite as appealing as NG Cranbic. Dark fruits like plums in addition to the cherries, not really too many wild notes. The bourbon adds some light whiskey aromas, a a sense of more alcohol than the 5.5% ABV listed on the bottle.

This beer tastes more sweet than sour, more on the Lindemans side of the scale than Cantillon, but not near the Lindemans sweetness index value. The bourbon barrel adds flavors that are modest in intensity but massive in effect to the beer. I've never had this mix of flavors in a beer before, and I can immediately endorse it as delicious.

The carbonation is on the low side but definitely present, otherwise a nice light body. I liked this a lot and would try another one any time, well done.

 1,194 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewed 1.18.10, Bottled 8.6.10
13*P, 5.5% abv
A soft pour produces a fat-two-finger thick, nicely tan colored head. The beer is a deep, dark red color that shows a brilliantly clear, cranberry red color when held up to the light. The aroma smells lightly of tart cherries and a touch of cranberries (or is that just the color influencing me) up front. A lingering exploration yields a lactic sourness and a soft, spicy Bourbon / oak note. Interestingly enough this has quite a bit of toasted character; is it malt or oak toast though, it comes off more as being malt derived, but in thinking about it more it is definitely the toasted oak. There is definitely lots of oak and wood character, but I like that the cherries are expressive up front and then again in a long finishing aromatic note. As my nose gets used to this beer a much more expressive vanillin character starts to come out, at times it can even remind me of lightly toasted coconut. Towards the end of this beer the vanillin / coconut character even becomes the most dominant note.

This still has some residual sugars in it that adds a soft sweetness. Up front this has a nice lactic tartness to it, which accentuates the cherry notes. This then moves into a vanillin laden, fruity Bourbon-leaning, and lightly spicy oak finish. There is a lot going on in this beer and it is quite well balanced. I am definitely enjoying this a bit more than I was expecting. Up front the carbonation adds to the percieved tartness with some carbonic acid. The texture is a bit fizzy, though it is not aggressively carbonated. The beer is light leaning, but does have a medium'ish texture to it that lightly clings to the palate. I really like how the cherry flavors intermingle with the rich vanillin notes from barrels, this works together really well. It is also quite nice that the oak and Bourbon character is not too overwhelming for this beer; especially in a beer of this relatively low strength. Toasted coconut starts to come out in the flavor after a bit and becomes a significant contributor to the flavor of the finish.

This beer is quite nice. It is much better than I was expecting for some reason and even the light sweetness works well here. In fact, without it, this beer would be unbalanced as the Bourbon and oak character wouldn't work nearly as well as it does. My biggest complaint is that the base beer and the fermentation character really doesn't play much of a role here; the Bourbon barrel and oak play first billing, and the cherries play a significant role as well, but the base beer plays hardly even a supporting role here. The base beer contributes some soft lactic tartness, perhaps a hint of maltiness in the middle and not much else. Still the flavors that are here are quite enjoyable and balanced between themselves.

 2,807 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nerd shared this one. Thanks, Michael.

Clear red with copper highlights, this has great color, and the head is solid and lasting.

The nose is redolent of ripe macerated cherries, sweet with a mild tartness. There's a hint of vanilla and caramel, which I guess is the influence of the bourbon barrel, but it's subtle.

Abundant sweet cherries, this is only mildly piquant on the tongue and hardly sour. Vanilla and caramel make brief appearances, along with hints of oak in the finish. There's a bit of graham cracker maltiness; otherwise, it's all about the sweet, intense, dessert-like cherry flavors.

OK, this isn't a true kriek, nor is it particularly sour, but it is a very good fruit beer. I enjoyed my pour and I'd gladly drink it again.

 746 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
2.49/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. I tried this twice: once courtesy of nerd, once from a bottle I shared (generously traded to me by Wisconsinality).

I'm a huge New Glarus fan. I think of myself as their homer from another mother. So when I don't enjoy one of their beers, I prefer to try it again and re-review it. That's what I did here.

A: Pours a brownish amber; quite clear in the glass. The pour generates some light beige head, which quickly vanishes, leaving a tendril or two of lace on the sides.

S: This smells like a cherry dessert of some kind. Maraschino cherries; not even much tannic bitterness that you would get from cherry skins. Bourbon and vanilla are muted, but you do smell them.

T: Definitely on the sweet side. The cherries contribute a mild tartness that is strongly muted by bourbon and butter. The finish develops just a hint of burn that suggests vinegar sourness, but it's not found in the main taste at all. I find myself struggling to detect any bacterial character. Instead, I enjoy the beer for what it is: it's like walking into the barrel room at a vineyard. It has that woodsy, rustic, cerealy, slightly grape-ish taste sensation that enters your mouth when you step into those rooms. It's tasty for sure; the flavors are balanced, delicate, soft. As a fruit beer, it's goo. It just doesn't have any 'wild' flavors, and it reminds me more of a barrel-aged fruit beer (specifically, the Belgian Red) than anything else.

M: As always, they nail the mouthfeel. Supple, velvety, rich in flavor. The cherries don't build up and coat the palate. I appreciate that quality.

D: I hate, HATE, saying bad things about New Glarus. But if you're going to call your beer a kriek, you conjure certain expectations of it tasting like a cherry lambic, and failing that, at least like a cherry wild ale. This does neither. So I'm forced, based on style considerations, to give it a lower score.

 1,920 characters

Photo of kbutler1
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle. Clear reddish copper orange color with an of white collared head. Slightly funky brett aroma mixed with sweet/tart cherries along with the bourbon oak notes with a hint of rarity. Light mouthfeel with some good carbonation. To me this has a nice complex and layered taste. The initial and easiest flavor to pick out is the cherries, I mean, let's be honest, New Glarus KNOWS how to make fruit beers and this one is no different. Besides the cherry goodness, there is a really nice blend of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Not really overaly sour by any means at all and I wonder how time will treat this bottles. Really a good beer that I suggest people try. Very drinkable.

 677 characters

R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.23 out of 5 based on 151 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe