Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

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Spotted CowSpotted Cow

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BA SCORE
82
good

728 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 728
Hads: 3,070
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 233
Gots: 646 | FT: 16
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: 728 | Hads: 3,070
Photo of diverdownrick
4.6/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great anytime of the year beer. Like all New Glaurus Brewery beers, it has a strong flavor, taste, and body...those cheeseheads know their beer! It has a smooth after taste that sits well in the mouth and is easy to down in summer or winter. I was also impressed that it tastes equally fresh in bottle as it does on tap...that is great aspect of this brewery. (369 characters)

Photo of Shabedue
4.55/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden yellow. At first glance I commented on how the beer was very clear. After reading the bottle which says that it should be naturally cloudy I took a closer look and there is a very small amount of yeast particles but definitely not cloudy (I deducted for the missed description). I could not get much head out of either of the two bottle I poured for tasting (on two separate days) but the half finger head did last several minutes.

S: Sweet malts, I noted pilsner, and sweet corn adjunct. I know I just used "sweet" twice but it does not smell overly sweet at all. Slight lemon citrus smell which I take to be from hopping.

T: For me this is the highlight of the beer. It is sweet but finishes clean. Pilsner, corn, slight lemon citrus, and yeast can all be tasted but none stand out above the rest. I believe the carbonation adds to the citrus because the lemon flavor declined as the carbonation did (I take my time tasting).

Mf: Light and easy to drink. The "cream" texture is definitely there but the beer still finishes clean. Very pleasant to drink.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. It is very drinkable and pleasant but honestly it's a little boring. Its the sort of thing you can drink with your friends who aren't into craft brew but might be under appreciated by beer snobs (hopefully that makes sense). (1,328 characters)

Photo of tyleeis
4.51/5  rDev +24.2%
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. (318 characters)

Photo of Brent
4.5/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one came at me from an unexpected angle. When I saw the bottle, the name "Spotted Cow" immediately made me think of milk stout. I suppose for a cream ale, it makes sense, too. Very bright and lively, with some lemony tartness that called to mind a super-mild Berliner weisse crossed with a German pilsner. Surpisingly drinkable, and the ABV would make this an ideal quencher. This may be the first cream ale that really caught my attention. (445 characters)

Photo of bluesbrewsguys
4.5/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now this is what I love to drink every day of summer for the past two years. This golden goodness of this beer has a hint of citrus and is slightly sweet and with a touch of hops to bring your taste buds all together and cheer. Sad that I can't get this beer here in Chicago, but at least it gives me a reason to go to Milwaukee to pick up a few cases when visiting friends. So great to enjoy on the back porch when listening to some Blues records on a summer day. Made my birthday just golden today. (500 characters)

Photo of NorthwoodsPro
4.48/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I chose this beer after tasting 3 different on-tap brews at Piggy's restaurant in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It was so refreshing and went well with a Norwegian salmon dinner. The next night, at a different restaurant, had it with a chicken dinner.

Excellent straw color with a crisp and clean finish.

Not much of a head. But I definitely want more of this beer! (359 characters)

Photo of onklsven75
4.45/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Spotted Cow is one of my favorite beers. Very easy to drink. The only thing I don't like about it is it has a little bit of a metalic aftertaste, not sure if that is just me though. (181 characters)

Photo of scottchesterhall
4.45/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On the pour, it seemed a little dark for a farmhouse ale, but nice lacing and pleasant appearance.

Smell was mild, slight fruit on the nose, but not a lot there.

Taste was nice, well-balanced. Some wheat, nice solid malt, with gentle fruit and very understated balancing hops.

Mouthfeel was nice: pretty viscous and full.

Very drinkable beer...easy to have a few of these and they seemed to get better over time.

Nice beer. (428 characters)

Photo of KeefD
4.45/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was the first beer I had by New Glarus, many moons ago, on tap and this was the first time I've had it in a bottle. Picked this sixer up at Stanley Liquor, in Stanley, WI.

Pours a superb hazy golden color. If I didn't know any better, I would guess that it was a heffeweizen, with a nice two finger head that dissipates quickly leaving behind a nice enough amount of lacing. Smell is of some grainy malts and some fruitiness. Taste is fruity, hints of apple and pear, slightly spicy, a nice hop undertone that doesn't take away from pale malts in the least, and lots of carbonation. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, medium bodied and quite delicious. I have not been disappointed from a New Glarus offering yet! (717 characters)

Photo of julian
4.45/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark straw/orange color. Pretty murky, opacity is about 65-70%. Possibly unfiltered. Small decent 1/2 finger white head appears but doesn't stick around very long. Lacing is non-existent.

Smell: Awesome aromas of sugar, malt, and a sweet fruity aroma that I can't quite pinpoint. Corn adjuncts also present.

Taste/Mouthfeel: This is a fantastic beer. I absolutely love it. The taste is a beautiful blend of mellow fruity flavors, corn adjuncts, crystal malt, and a light hop presence. Carbonation is average to below average which is perfect for the style, and lends well to the drinkability. This is a very easy drinking, refreshing beer. Tastes great!

Drinkability: Very high. This is a delicious, highly re-drinkable brew for almost any occasion. (764 characters)

Photo of Keeton
4.42/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A close friend brought me this one from a friend of a friend out of Wisconsin with some pretty high expectations. I had heard of the spotted cow but this was my first sip.

I'm not sure about calling this beer a cream ale but I think I might of called it a pale but that's not my job.

I thought the nose and flavor worked perfect and matched the appearances well. light and refreshing but full flavor.

by the end of this delight I had several notes and all I was thinking was , how can I reproduce this beer. I will be spending some great time trying down the ingredients in this beer (589 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
4.42/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An offering from New Glarus Brewing Co. that I have had on many occasion while living in Madison. Finally decided to review it.

A - The Spotted Cow has a faint hazy yellow gold color, mainly due to the yeast left in the bottle. It also poured a very white fluffy head, about an inch that dissipated at an average pace.

S - On the nose I get light fruits, a little citrus from the hops, barley malt, yeast, and the unmistakable hint of corn.

T - On the palate I got exactly what I smelled on the nose, and that hint of corn on the finish adds a distinct sweetness, but not too much.

M - Medium-bodied on the palate, carbonated very well while conditioned in the bottle.

O - A fantastic offering from New Glarus. Each time I have a Spotted Cow, I understand more and more why this beer is their staple. It i a fantastic Wisconsin farmhouse ale with an unmistakable character. I do like it much more on tap than in the bottle, but it doesn't detract from this great brew. Great from start to finish. (1,001 characters)

Photo of KFBR392
4.41/5  rDev +21.5%

Appearance: Pours with a bold yellow color with some light accents of orange. Half a finger of very rich head on the pour which was regenerated while drinking. Active carbonation is spot on for the style. Rich rings of lacing left behind with each drink.

Smell: Sweet malts with accents of biscuit and dough jump out right away. Touches of orange peel and lime dance ever so lightly on the edges of the aroma. Refreshing barley and grains liven up the back end. Butter, cream, and light toffee pull this beer full circle.

Taste: That flaked barley is really what sets this beer off on the right foot. Creamy, decadent grains pack a rounded flavor on the front of the palate. Light fruity hops greet the drinker mid body then are washed away by continuous waves of sweet malts. Some grassy hops clean off the palate and balanced malt on the back end just keep you coming back for more.

Mouthfeel: Easily one of the most drinkable beers out there. Sweet malts and bright buttery texture are balanced out by some crisp hop notes. Carbonation is everything it should be.

Overall: This used to be a beer I mocked due to its folklore-ish type popularity. But now approaching it with an open mind, it is easy to see why this is such a popular beer by the masses, and should be equally popular with geeks. A perfectly executed cream ale should be highly drinkable with creamy decadent malts and a splash of hops, which is exactly what the cow brings. No longer will I discredit this beer because everyone loves it, which was a ridiculous thing to do in the first place, but instead enjoy it often for its truly wonderful characteristics. (1,655 characters)

Photo of Generik420
4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on a pub crawl in Milwaukee last weekend and was very impressed. In fact, one bar was supposed to serve us Stella Artois, but had ran out and substituted with Spotted Cow and I was actually happy to miss out on the Stella.

Appearance: Pale and clear. Clean white head that didn't last long.

Smell: Sweet aroma and not hoppy. Very pleasant.

Taste/mouthfeel: This beer is on the sweeter side, and that may be a turn off to some. Very light on the hops. There is a bit of a twang to the backend of this, almost a hint of citrus. It is a little thin regarding mouthfeel.

This beer is a fantastic choice for a session beer or as a pallete cleanser between high hop beers. Great for summer as well. Wish I could get it where I live. (748 characters)

Photo of PoisonOakAdam
4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is just one of those beers that I have to keep going back to wisconsin to get, love new glarus.

Appearance is pretty a nice hazzy yellow/gold with a great head when poured, thick and creamy.

Smells crisp and smooth, no sharp tones.

Taste has a almost cream soda likeness to it, the carbonation is good and the light flavors work well.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, deffinitely tastes light but on your tongue is has a great substance.

Drinkability is fantastic, deffinitely sessionable. (510 characters)

Photo of mwa423
4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark yellow, almost brown if you're not holding it up to the light with a pure white head that dies down to nothing.

S - There's a yeasty/malty smell to it, not at all strong, and there's another hint of something, but I can't figure out what it is. Nice smell though

T - While this doesn't have a lot on any really flavorful style, I really enjoy the flavor. Remember folks, it's a cream ale, there isn't much flavor to it. Malty, and a bit fruity.

M - I hoped for a bit better mouthfeel, it tilts to the watery side.

D - If I could get every keg of BMC replaced with this, I could die a happy man. (607 characters)

Photo of scot_chale
4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- straw yellow body with a heavy 3 fingers of white foam the recede slowly and a light show of carbonation. lacing is heavy.

S- it's all diacetyl. mostly yeast with a hint of hay and corn malt.

T- a nice mix of sweet and sour, a bit of a light hop (probably willamette or similar), and a touch of yeast. it's a nice blend and it's all very balanced.

M- it's spritzy on the tongue and semi dry. light bodied and easy drinking. very style appropriate.

O- best cream ale I've tried so far. I've brewed one, and drank a lot of the rise to the top cream ale from the third street brew house in the bottle and on tap. This is clean, lager like, easy drinking, and everything I envision a cream ale should be. If I found a good price on a case I'd be all over it. (761 characters)

Photo of CSAsylum
4.39/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-"Could be Bud Light" said the Special Lady Friend. It pours straw, a little darker than any Bud with a 1 3/4 finger head that disappears rapidly.

S-High crisp esters, a little grapey, a little cidery, a touch of honey. Special Lady Friend insists it smells like walnuts although I don't detect anything nutty. Hey! To each his own.

T- Very yeasty, even for those used to bottle conditioned beers. Corn is evident, not as off flavor but clearly deliberate as it's subtle but very much there. A hint of alcohol but definitely not off puttingl. Could use a little more malt...or hops to balance out.

Leave is a dry with a touch of yeast. Tasting essentially blind, I thought this was a rich lager: sweet, yeasty, and light.

M-light-med body. like honey water...like what I thought mead was supposed to taste like before I had mead. A rich beverage but very drinkable. This is a thirst quencher after a hard day's yard work or an after dinner sipper before bed.

D-A total session beer, no doubt. An unassuming leave combined with a fairly light body and a light hint of alcohol. This is basicalyl The Beer you want to serve at your next barbecue...or the beer you want to introduce your Miller Lite friends into craft brew with. (1,231 characters)

Photo of Westywood
4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Looks like straw. Golden. Sunlight. Nice white head bubbles up about 2 fingers width then settles into a nice white ring around the glass. Good lacing good carbonation.

Smell - Light and crisp. Some fruity notes but mainly sweet light grains.

Taste - Smoothness in great balance with lively carbonation. Not a touch of bitterness but enough hop presence at the end to establish a great finish and leave you wanting another drink.

Mouthfeel - Nice presence to this beer. Carbonation and textures really play well together. This is a great thirst quencher/session beer.

Overall - I loved it. I drank it with several other guys and they all loved it. It's a great "go to" beer from New Glarus. (711 characters)

Photo of Wisconsin_Max
4.37/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is perhaps the best, most enjoyable beer produced in the great state of Wisconsin. It's smooth, light flavor is an ideal beer to share among friends year round. It is arguably the most beloved beer in the state. As it is only available within state borders, I recommend you stock up next time you are driving through. (322 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of nflmvp.

A: The ale is a pale straw yellow, much hazier than I expected (it looks like a saison). The head was not large on pour and remained only as a small white pool of foam.

S: The nose is soft graininess with an evident pale fruit flavor (some dry pear, apple) and a hint of lemongrass.

T: The soft flavors of the nose continue into the taste. The grainy biscuit flavors and softer fruits, including a subtly sweet lemongrass flavor, make for a very easy drink. The finish of the ale brings back the grainy dryness and puts a nice exclamation on the beer.

M: The ale is very restrained, full of strong flavors that never overdo it, tastewise. Another please!

D: This is a real sessioner, light on alcohol without skimping on taste. The beer is going right back on my 'wants' list. (826 characters)

Photo of mcmahon41
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Only sold in Wisconsin. A very smooth, light honey colored ale.

"The Cow" is semi-cloudy with a gentle carbonation. The head is frothy white and seems to disappear quickly. It is pleasantly sweet with a fruity smell. Crisp and light on the palate. This beer goes down quickly and and will surely be a party favorite. (317 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.34/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of Beerman777 into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear deep gold body with lively carbonation refreshing a finger of coarse white foam. Average retention and light lace. Decent looking beer.

S: Rich, sweet, malty/corny aroma prevails, with some smooth fruity notes backing things up. I can't imagine anything all that much better for the style.

T: Smooth, malty, and corny, with some definite fruity notes (apple and grape especially) and a bit of crisp hop bite on the finish. Again, while this isn't the most delicious beer I've ever had, it's far better than I'd ever expect from a cream ale. Deservedly popular in my former home of cheese-land.

M: Incredibly rich and creamy, with abundant, fine carbonation supporting a solid medium body. Excellent.

D: Since I've been giving this beer extra-high scores based on its exemplarity with its style, I suppose here it would only be fair to point out that its concentrated flavor doesn't make it the most easily quaffable of cream ales. Still, it's not at all a hard beer to drink.

Notes: While this is far from my favorite New Glarus brew (I could easily rattle off 10 that I prefer), it's still a truly tasty brew and one that I'm especially happy to find on tap at practically any half-decent bar in Wisconsin. It's fun to see corn used to enhance, rather than mask, flavor. Good stuff from NG, as usual.

Cheers! (1,380 characters)

Photo of bubseymour
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

So my newest recruit as an eager young beer nerd into my inner sanctum of beer nerdery had his mother mule this beer back from Wisconsin all the way to Ohio, where he made the beer exchange and then he continued to mule the beer back to Maryland for sampling. I made him a good injun trade for a few Wisconsin brews (some world class beers and future home brews).

So on to the beer review (my first experience of anything New Glarus):

Appearnance is pretty solid. Nice light pale orange that borderlines on yellow but with a hazy, semi-translucent murkiness. Nice 2 finger milky head that holds retention fairly well. Excellent lacing on the glass.

Smell is quite delightful. Sweet and creamy. No noticeable hop presence.

Best way to describe the taste is smooth and "like butter". Slight sweetness and very malty. Carbonation is very light and the finish is very refreshing. Some lingering aftertaste that is a touch off is only way I can describe it.

Mouthfeel is usual something I don't count or consider much but this beer is truly about mouthfeel. Its slides down so easily and smooth and feels like butter on the toungue.

Overall - I truly can understand why this beer is the staple go-to beer in the state of Wisconsin. Its nothing over the top but easily any BMC drinker could switch to this one as well as be appreciated by craft beer nerds as well. I wish every state had a similar, fresh, local go-to beer of this caliber. Makes me want to go on a road trip to Cheese-head country. (1,499 characters)

Photo of LarryKemp
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This unfiltered beer looked much more cloudy in the 12 ounce brown twistoff bottle than it did once I poured it into my glass. The beer poured a slightly cloudy bright yellow. The head was fluffy white and not long lasting but it left a little lace on the side of the glass. The aroma of malt jumps out of the glass and fills your nose. What a joy. It makes the anticipation much greater. The taste lives up to the aroma. A sweet maltiness grabs your tongue and lingers in your mouth. The mouthfeel is medium light and has a slight creaminess. This is a great beer for pleasure and for a session. Too bad my friend only brought me one. DAMN!!!! (644 characters)

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 728 ratings.