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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

2,948 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,948
Reviews: 739
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 220
Gots: 545 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Cream Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,948 | Reviews: 739
Reviews by HopsKeepDroppin:
Photo of HopsKeepDroppin
3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A buddy of mine from Wisconsin dropped some of this off for me just in time for the holidays. Poured from 12oz bottle into Independence Saison glass.

A- Pours a hazy yellow color with 2 inches of fluffy head that recedes and leaves a little lacing.

S- Hints of lemon and bubble gum come through. As it warms the aromas are a little more pungent and some corn comes through.

T- A mild malty flavor is the first thing that you taste with some hints of banana and corn.

M- Creamy and smooth. Very easy to drink.

O- This is a very refreshing beer. Would be a great session beer or something to drink outside during the summer. Would also be a great beer to offer to macro-drinkers looking to try craft beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is not a cream ale nor is it a Saison. It’s a Wisconsin Farmhouse Ale. Can we get that added as a style on BA?

Spotted Cow is available everywhere in Wisconsin and I dig that because it’s chill enough for my swill chugging friends to get into. It’s also a brew that is just adored by beer drinking females who might otherwise be drinking miller lite or worse…alchipops.

About 5 years ago bars around here started serving the cow with a lemon as if it was a Heffeweis. I don’t get it. I think that lemon ruins this beer and shy away rom it when possible.

The cow is sweet, the corn is just barely noticeable, there is absolutely no bitterness. Slightly bready, grainy, and with just a touch of lemon and orange.

Generally a great session beer but nothing too special. This has become the quintessential Wisconsin micro but don’t go expecting something spectacular from it. It’s really more of a micro for the masses then anything else.

Photo of brownbeer
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light straw color with a light head.

Aroma is similar to a lager with pale grain and grassy notes.

Taste is grainy and malty with a somewhat creamy mouthfeel, I think the difference is actually the mouthfeel being a little thicker than a lager.

I've heard people rave about this beer, i'm not sure why it's pretty middle of the road.

Photo of weatherdog
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle poured into a spotted cow pint glass

It pours a pale gold with a little haze. There is a rather unimpressive head that dies a little too quickly.

The smell is relatively absent. There seems to be some crisp cereal type grains (like 6-row) and a faint corn type smell. It is subtle and unoffensive.

Grainy malt dominated the taste but I also detect just a slight grassy hop flavor. It's full bodied and palatable to even the most inexperienced drinker.

The mouthfeel seems just a little slick and oily. The carbonation is mid range which is lower than I would expect coming from the nose and initial taste. The drinkability is phenomenal as I can and have pounded these as fast as BMC all through out college.

Growing up in Wisconsin I know first hand how popular this beer is among almost every resident of the state. This is the best designed gateway beer from BMC to craft that I have ever tasted. I have never met anyone who didn't like it and for this reason it can be found in pretty much every bar in WI, even the most grungiest of biker bars. This beer is practically a state symbol, and even though it isn't the most exciting of the NG offerings, I applaud it's ability to open up the palettes of Miller Lite swilling residents of Wisconsin one pint at a time.

Photo of sgoodship
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another one of the beers that I picked up in my "make a six" session at Steve's Liquors in Madison.

A: Poured a hazy straw color. Some carbonation on the bottom of the glass bubbling up as big single bubbles. Delivered a half finger, slightly off-white head which dissipated to a surface wisp and a ring. No lacing to speak of.

S: Fresh barley, malty goodness. Hint of fruit - maybe pear.

T: Much as you would expect from the smell but it finished with a more robust malt biscuity flavor which was exceptionally pleasing. The corn probably adds some of the clean, crispness to the brew. Don't detect much hop but that's not unexpected. My main complaint was the way the flavor just falls away at the finish, especially in the later stages of the drink and feels somewhat watery.

M: For a very light and crisp beer, it feels exceptionally fuller than you would expect. A nice balance. The carbonation adds to the crispness while the malts create creaminess.

D: I don't know the style that well but I like it. I could see myself knocking back a couple of these. Tastes like a fantastic brew to have on a hot summer day. A real nice, low ABV thirst quencher.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden yellow pour with a small bubbly white head that quickly falls to leave a ring around the glass. Sweet grains and corn waft up into my nose along with a light citric undertone. Some herbal spiciness is evident as well as some yeast. Nothing grabs my attention here.

First sip brings a crisp pale maltiness that exhibits sweet grain and corn flavors. As the brew makes its way down there's a light citric fruitiness along with just a touch of herbal hoppiness and hints of yeast. Nothing mindblowing..but a solid cream ale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat creamy with a nice smoothness after each sip. An easy drinking cream ale that would go nice on a hot day. Worth a shot.

Photo of sponberg
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy yellow gold - bottle conditioned, oh yeah! Aroma of some faint citrus hops, malt, whiff of corn/DMS.

Nice take on the style - starts with a slightly grainy-sweet flavor, with faint citric hops and yeastiness, mild underlying bitterness - not a tremendous amount going on, but what's there is solidly quaffable. Creamy, slightly spritzy mouthfeel. Found the glass empty far quicker than I thought I would.

Would beat the snot out of Corona in the cooler in the summer.

Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce brown bottle, without freshness dating. Pours cloudy, apricot amber, light tan head, with a musty nose. Mildly fruity creation, notes of some Belgian type yeast and some peppery spice. This is a crisp, dry offering with a hoppy finish. Worthy, everyday, easy drinking ale.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, high carbonation, straw gold in color, clear

Smell: straw, light funkiness and maybe a touch of apple

Taste: grass, straw, adjunct, and sugar

Mouthfeel: super light body, sweet with a touch of funk, medium-high carbonation

Overall: A nice summer beer, almost adjunct lager in style. This one is smooth and ejoyable but not overly complex. A nice warmer weather beer.

Photo of badbeer
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spotted Cow pours a cloudy pale yellow with 1/2" of head that quickly dissipates. Smell is predominantly of yeast and corn. Taste is much of the same, the corn is noticeable as well as the unfiltered yeast, pretty well balanced. Full bodied, light on the tongue, perhaps a little undercarbonated. Very drinkable, great session beer. This beer does no special tricks, it is what it is and what it is, is a great beer to spend an afternoon with.

Photo of cincybeernut
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On a week long trip to Wisconsin some family members insisted I have some spotted cow. It apparently has quite a following up here. Not a bad beer, quite smooth and easy to drink. Appealing color and smell. I would not classify this as a cream ale, at least no cream ale I'm familiar with.

Over all spotted cow is a good beer. I would not go out of my way to seek out spotted cow however if I saw it at the store (in my local area) I'd pick some up. I could sit around on my deck and drink spotted cow all day.

If you see it, TRY IT!

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to slasher007 for this bottle.

Pours a hazy straw color with a small white head. Aroma is malty sweetness with a little citrus and floral mixed in. The beer has a malty flavor with a slight corn flavor. There is also some hop flavor. This is a very tasty beer with a creamy mouthfeel that is easy to drink. Recommended.

Photo of mjwoolley33
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from the local store and enjoyed in a tall glass.

Poured a good yellow color with a small amount of head. Very little lacing left over from this beer.

Smelled rather sweet, full of malts.

Taste was quite good, and rather smooth. Seemed like very little carbonation which I found to be more enjoyable.

Very easy to drink and very good as well. New Glarus knows their stuff and I will be back for more.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
2.82/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy, yeast-induced hazy apple juice in color. Precisely zero head at all. F-L-A-T. Aromas of fruits mixed with some sweet corn. Flavor is rather bland. There's some citric sweetness up front, followed by a soft caramel note, and ends with a sour note. Thin mouthfeel and the strangest thing at the very end: it was as if someone just flipped off the taste switch. Just like that...everything disappears on the palate. Odd. Not very drinkable as it really did nothing for me.

Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for this bottle.

Photo of bsp77
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy honey-gold with thin white head.

Smell: Light sweet grainy malts. Barely detectable hops.

Taste: Semi-sweet grains with a little too much corn. Very light spicy hops at the end.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium-light creamy body.

Drinkability: Seems like an Adjunct Lager but more creamy than crisp. Easy to drink, but nothing overly special.

Photo of gibgink
3/5  rDev -19.6%

From label, "Cask conditioned ale has been the popular choice among brews since long before prohibition. We continue this pioneer spirit with our Wisconsin farmhouse ale. Brewed with flaked barley and the finest Wisconsin malts. We even give a nod to our farmers with a little hint of corn. Naturally cloudy we allow the yeast to remain in the bottle to enhance fullness of flavors, which cannot be duplicated otherwise. Expect this ale to be fun, fruity and satisfying. You know you're in Wisconsin when you see the Spotted Cow. "

This beer tasted no different than a standard AAL in my opinion. Did not smell or taste any fruitiness, creaminess, or corn for that matter.

Photo of deebo
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A review of New Glarus' flagship beer from a bottle.

A- Pours a pale yellow, which is slightly hazy from the yeast in the bottle. Has a weak white head with very few carbon dioxide bubbles rising to the surface.

S-Not much aroma here-slightly fruity, corny, with a slight spicy hop note.

T-Clean, light malt. A hint of sweet corn. Very light hop presence. Smooth and creamy.

M-Extremely soft with a very quick finish. Nice body with a slightly creamy mouthfeel.

D-Extremely high, an easy to drink beer with some character.

O-A beer that has transformed many a beer drinker in WI from always grabbing a lager to having this extremely drinkable ale on hand.

Photo of ryanocerus
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was given this beer by a friend to try, so I am not certain as to its age. Clear golden color with minimal carbonation and some white sediment in the glass. The smell was fruity/sweet, with slight hops undertones. The taste was a bit more fruity, with malt playing more of a role. Without much carbonation, the beer flows quite smoothly. It is a refreshing beer and highly drinkable, especially on a hot summer day.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.06/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Golden colored ale with a pretty minimal head. Very good clarity on this beer. The aroma is pretty straight forward with the smell of light malt and corn. Very smooth mouthfeel. Just a quick splash of light malt and corn flavor. Aftertaste is non existent and watery. This is not my thing, but it isn't bad.

Photo of MattyG85
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy pale golden yellow with lots of rising bubbles. Big four finger white head with good retention. Leaves a lot of lacing sticking to the glass.

Smell: A fairly sweet and light aroma. Pale malts along with wheat and cereal grains. Hints of cracker and biscuit. A little corn and flakes. Also some hints of straw and a little lemon. Laid back but a decent smell.

Taste: Like the smell gives off, a light and sweet grainy tasting beer. Sweet pale malts and wheat cereal grains . Taste of straw, crackers, biscuit, corn, and cream. Also a little taste of citrus lemon. Has an adjunct like taste but one of the better tasting light tastes.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, crisp, and very smooth.

Overall: A pretty decent light beer. Light with a corny taste but its far better than a typical BMC lager. Would make a great gateway into craft beer.

Photo of tyleeis
4.51/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is light golden but hazy, one finger head....looks amazing!

Smell isnt strong, lemony and slightly bready....

Tastes great! Sweet nice banana aftertaste and malty.

Smooth mouthfeel, med carbonation.

Could drink this beer all day all year around but in the summer is the best. A must have for the fridge.

Photo of BurdockBoy
3.02/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass. Not going to say a lot on this, except a little disappointed. Normally I love this brewery's beers, but this was just a little too bland and over carbonated for me. If you're used to more complex brews, please don't judge these guys on this one.

Photo of BadBadger
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours, from the bottle, a slightly hazy golden color into the pint glass. The head is white and foamy to abut an inch in height. I does not stick around long, even though carbonation bubbles continual rise from the bottom. The smell is faintly fruity, though not at all convincing that there is any thing there for the palate to await in anticipation. The taste is like the smell, average at best. Being a HUGE fan of some of the New Glarus offerings, I was more than a bit disappointed in this beverage. Not an awful beer by anymeans, but not a brew I would go in search of.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Ah, the famous Spotted Cow.
Poured into becker pint glass; bright clear yellow with lively carbonation and a bright white fizzy thick head that doesn't leave much lacing. Smell is slightly vinous, light lager yeast and corn with a bit of grassy crisp hops. Taste is light and crisp, light grain and corn with a pinch of crisp hops to dry out the finish, which is lightly sweet and a bit sticky, but mostly clean. Mouthfeel is crisp, clean and carbonated.
While I'd prefer a steam beer or a kolsch when it comes to lighter, lager-influenced ales, this is a good beer. It'd be a great beer for introducing a BMC drinker to craft. It's nothing special, but I can see why it has such a fervent local following, spanning all spectrums of beer drinkers.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A strangely cloudy yellow beer. Makes good head and retains though. Interesting funkiness to the beer, maybe its the rural Wisconsin thing, but it smells farmish.

Taste, unique as well, went from mild and easy to drink to having a recognizable presence of lemon and bitterness that migrated into minimal sweetness. At no time does it get challenging to drink but is appreciable for what it is. A suitable entry level beer.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,948 ratings.