Sunday, December 22, 2013

New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red Review

Name: New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red
Style: Fruit Beer
ABV: 4%

Earlier this year when this blog was in it's infancy, I reviewed a bottle of New Glarus Serendipity and found it to be absolutely fantastic. It's now 8 months later and New Glarus has brought back the beer that was originally in Serendipity's place, Wisconsin Belgian Red.

While Serendipity is/was brewed with cherries, apples, and cranberries; Wisconsin Belgian Red is brewed with just cherries. You see last year (2012), the cherry harvst in Wisconsin was severely affected by one of the worst droughts the Midwest had experienced since the 1930's. This drought caused New Glarus to use apples and cranberries in the recipe, in addition to whatever cherries from Door County they could get. The end result was an award winning fruit beer that became highly sought after across the country, and all of it happened pretty much by accident.

Now after being in cryogenic suspension for over a year, Wisconsin Belgian Red has made its triumphant return, hopefully to co-exist with Serendipity side-by-side. It calls itself the marriage between wine and beer, and uses a pound of Door County cherries used per bottle. Let's see if any of that holds up.

Belgian Red pours a clear ruby red with a red fizzy head and no lacing left behind. The carbonation appears quite high at first before going to a more subdued level. It looks like someone poured a bottle of Big Red soda into my glass.

The aroma gives off a sweet fruity cherry notes with an almost Pink Moscato-like scent and some light malts. That's all I'm getting because the cherries and moscato are quite strong.

Just like the nose, the flavor consists mainly of sweet cherries, light moscato grape along with some mild malt, oak and barley notes. Here is where you can tell that this is still very much a beer. With that said, it's still sweet tasting thanks to the cherries.

The body is pretty lightweight with a bit of a syrupy texture to it but it doesn’t hurt the quality. As for the carbonation, it's fairly tame so it doesn't get in the way of enjoying the flavor.

I'll get this out of the way now, this is an excellent fruit beer that is definitely worth your time, money and attention. With that said, I still think that Serendipity is a superior fruit beer because of it's more balanced and possesses a more complex flavor. Belgian Red didn't ”Wow” me as much as Serendipity did, but it still makes for a very robust & delicious fruit beer!

New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red - 9/10

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