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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

757 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 757
Hads: 3,210
Avg: 3.65
pDev: 28.77%
Wants: 243
Gots: 751 | FT: 20
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 757 | Hads: 3,210
Reviews by pburland23:
Photo of pburland23
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of spacecake9
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is one of my go-to beers when I'm spending time in Wisconsin. No surprises, just a consistently great tasting beer with an ABV that allows me to have a few.

 162 characters

Photo of SitkaSteve
4.21/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Finally got a hold of some of this. Thanks Jake.
This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a nice looking hazy to semi-transparent golden color. A quickly dissipating less than a finger's worth of white foamy head just slides right on out into non-existence. Lacing, what lacing, but I'm not worried, read on please.
The smell takes sweet corn malts and blends into a super light sweet breadiness.
The taste copies the smell and has no aftertaste nor finish.
The mouthfeel was light bodied with a nice sessionable creamy smooth feel about it. Carbonation runs light and smooth.
Overall, as a cream ale this one works. I expected nothing less. When in Wisconsin, one doesn't drink AB products when you have this. I heard it's considered a saison on untappd, because people are idiots on that site. I'm glad Beer Advocate has it correct.

 848 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 964 characters

Photo of weatherdog
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

 1,286 characters

Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.29/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

When one reads the bottle, it says "made with a Wisconsin farmhouse yeast." Though I don't live in Wisconsin and have had this before through trades and as a prior homebrewer, this is a nice cream ale and not a saison. Anyone who has ever had this can tell you that the "Wisconsin farmhouse yeast" is due to the fact that this style was produced during Prohibition in farmhouses so they wouldn't get in trouble with the law.
After further ado, here's the rest why this is a cream ale.
Cream ales should be poured into pint glasses and that is what I did.
The appearance was a light straw golden yellow color with a thin white little head. A nice transparency allows a carbonation to be seen rising into the head.
The smell, let's just say, it's a Budweiser that is clean, clear-cut with a light playful sweet corn malt.
The taste was mainly sweet subjugating my taste buds with a clean sweet aftertaste and finish.
The mouthfeel was light on the body with a crisp sweet sessionable feel surrounding my tongue.
Overall, its a wonderful cream ale and often hard for some American brewers to re-create though some Irish ones are getting it right. New Glarus is the American company on their tales as far as this style goes.

 1,220 characters

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 7/10/2015. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy bright golden yellow color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon, cracker, corn, white bread, pear, apple, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and restrained fruity yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, cracker, corn, white bread, pear, apple, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, cracker, corn, white bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and restrained fruity yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness. Very clean flavors after the finish with the restrained yeast fruitiness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly creamy/bready/grainy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.8%. Overall this is a fantastic cream ale style. All around awesome balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and restrained fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,529 characters

Photo of Spaul23
5/5  rDev +37%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfect beer. Great taste. Wish it was available where I live.

62 characters

Photo of mull0263
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jmurphy919
4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very smooth and easy to drink. This is one of those beers that you can drink all day long and never get sick of. Being from Illinois people rave about this beer since they can't get it in Illinois. What they don't realize is that NG makes a ton of other amazing beers that are just as good, if not better than Spotted Cow.

 325 characters

Photo of MadScientist
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of brownbeer
3.65/5  rDev 0%
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.

 344 characters

Photo of JJH79
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Tiernan
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of mykd
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of CheSoto
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

Photo of SanFranJake
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dmheinz57
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of ajkiser12
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of sgoodship
3.65/5  rDev 0%
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.

 1,160 characters

Photo of dacubz
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 699 characters

Photo of loose5682
4/5  rDev +9.6%

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 757 ratings.