Spotted Cow | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 779 | Ratings: 3,313
Photo of Opethsprite
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was recently at a bar here in Wisconsin and asked what "this Spotted Cow business" was all about... "You've never had the Spotted Cow?!" the bartender asked, incredulous. "I'm not from around here..." He quickly poured a sample for me, saying very few people don't like this beer.

Pours a vivid but cloudy pale golden orange with a fluffy white head. Yeast, orange, and hops are present on the nose, as well as a hint of something floral. Creamy indeed! The citrus is mellowed significantly by the sweetness of the grains (barley flakes and a hint of corn, according to the bottle). Though I enjoyed the initial burst of sweetness from the cream, the sweetness from the grain is a bit much for my palate. Playful carbonation.

Edit: After having a couple more, I've decided that I'm not as keen on this as I initially judged. It's that grainy over-sweetness. Narsty. I have thus dropped the smell and taste by half a point from my original review.

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Photo of Bounty628
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With an ABV of 5.10%, Spotted Cow is a very smooth ale that is well rounded in almost all aspects of the beer. The 5.10% ABV allows this beer to be enjoyed without being inundated with a powerful alcohol content.

Spotted Cow pours a golden straw color that maintains a cloudy haze upon the pour. There is a very fine white head when poured that dissipates quickly after hitting the glass. Minimal lacing is present during the tasting.

The smell is very faint with this beer and the nose is perhaps the only real weakness with this offering. Nothing really jumps out of the pint glass with the Spotted Cow; rather, a distant citrus presence is noticed along with a mild nose of hops and malts.

The taste of this cream ale is very pleasant with a smooth and subtle nature to it. Cream ales traditionally are not heavy on flavor and this beer is really no different. There is just the right balance to the taste to ensure that the beer has enough of a flavor to it to keep this beer away from being just a bland mouthful. The taste is a light wheat and citrus/fruit combination that easily glides across the palate. A hint of a biscuit nature works its way into the taste and serves this beer well. Thankfully for there is not a giant hop presence or this cream ale would fall outside of its category.

A very easy mouthfell is at play with Spotted Cow as there is just the right amount of carbonation to help work the beer across the palate. Because of the mild taste of the beer, there is no aftertaste left with after drinking the offering and the beer truly does serve as a very nice session beer.

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Beer pours brilliant and yellow with a white head. Carbonation level is good. Flavor profile is very clean, almost like a lager more than a farmhouse. Hops are subdued as are the grains. Everything in harmony. Beer is very refreshing, this is more of what I would imagine a farmhouse to have been like back in the day. More refreshing than funky.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Bright golden color that's fairly hazy, small white head that didn't do much.

S - Corny, grainy, malty, fairly straight forward.

T - Sweet and malty. Actually has more of a hop presense and a bit more sweet weight in the taste than I was expecting.

M - Very creamy, medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Pretty easy drinker, not unpleasant and could do a couple of these.

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Photo of sfoley333
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Poured a hazy light golden color with a thin white head that fades quickly. Smell is ligth with corn and sweet malt. Taste is light malt flavor with a sweetness. Mouth feel is light body with a mild carbonation. This is a session beer for sure but not very complex.

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Photo of Homerbag
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This has become one of my favorites. Think its part Wisconsin pride, part taste, and just good times drinking it. I took a mild hiatus from beer (yes I am a sinner) and this brought me back. I like the detail that this brewery puts into beer. They are not trying to be the biggest, just the best.This always has a place in my fridge.

A re-review from having this on tap while out to eat a nicer establishment. Maybe my tounge is getting better or maybe the formula changed, but this is not as good as it used to be. The corn was over bearing, the taste did not blend well with my food. On it's own it is still a good beer, but with simple food that should blend with it, it is a no go

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Photo of hardysf
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

easy drinker. Corn flavor. Would be confused for a macro in a blind taste test. I was excited to try a new glarus beer, but this was a let down. Upon review, this isnt one of their well liked beers though. Im guessing the analogy is Goose Island 312 beer.

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Photo of rapayn01
3.25/5  rDev -11%

It is too much like a lager for my tastes, but I did enjoy the creaminess. I picked up the malt with very little hop balance, though the malt was not overpowering by any means. Meh.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For some reason am surprised to see this labeled as a cream ale.
Poured a very light straw color with a pretty big haze and nice white head. Lacing is good.
Taste is of sweet malts and fairly minimal in the hop dept. Very yeasty almost reminded me of some type of Belgian yeast strain.

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Photo of bsp77
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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Photo of BadBadger
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Hazy dull lemon body, with thin faint rising carbonation. Head makes a real fluffy three fingers with lots of staying power. Kind of a creamy top. Looks like a foamy adjunct lager, with a hazy appearance.

Nose smells like corn, and some sweet like malts hiding in the back. The corn sense seems to dominate quite a bit, but some refreshing grist like quality manages to keep me interested and exploring. Unfortunately that lager like adjunct feeling permeates to much, it's a bit off putting.

Palate hits with a noticeably wet body. Light malts come forward, but a real thin flavor squeeks out. Controlled sweetness, a minor afterfinish of just a hint of bread. Some slight seltzery quality also but carbonation is fairly low.

Overall it's fairly easy drinking, but this really doesn't appeal to me at all. Tastes like a slightly better "adjunct" but not by much, don't feel inclined to try another either.

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-poured a slightly cloudy maize color with about a finger of head that faded to a small cap

S-not a lot of smell just a hint of some bready malt

T-banana is the first taste that comes to me but it is not really strong

M-starts out sort of creamy but after the head faded it was a little watery

O-not bad just a simple easy to drink beer maybe I was expecting more from this one though

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Photo of biggred1
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazed, pale yellow with a creamy off-white head. Sweet and corny, much like many old school macro lagers. Sweet butterscotch and sweet corn with untoasted grain and a touch of hop bittering in the finish. Pretty average fair here, not bad at all but not great at all. Somehow I remembered this beer being better than it is.

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: One of the lowest SRM beers I've seen, and very low considering it's New Glarus. The Head is a creamy creamy white with variable sized bubbles. It's really pretty hazy though, almost unfiltered it looks. The head, a few fingers, has ok lasting abilities.

S: Mild, sweet. Fruity a little I guess. Oddly, the more I try to smell it, the more difficult it is to smell. No hops though, that's for sure, its all malt and maybe some corn or rice? not sure on that though.

T: A very solid taste. As in it pretty much is the same when it hits the tongue as when it goes down the hatch. A little BMC, I can see when this is so popular in Wisconsin. Sort of a grainy taste, no hops.

M: Smooth and creamy, especially for its color. But it's a cream ale, so it better be.

D: Well, it would be a great compromise for a BMCer and a Crafter, that's about all I can say.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy pale yellow with a white head. In the aroma, light banana and a sparkling like aroma. In the taste, sugary and a light dry banana. A small bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a light dry banana like aftertaste. Quite carbonated, light flavor, but more of a wheat compared to a cream ale.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Thorpe429 for the hook-up.

A - Nice appearance. Pale straw-yellow with a finger of white head, lil rings of lace.

S - I can't smell anything. At all. Not even basic beer aroma, nor hop, grain or yeast. I am not sure if that is a remarkable achievement in and of itself.

T - Not much to write about, certainly nothing to wax superlative. There is a little banana, a bit of grain, a vague lemon tinge, and it's kinda sweet and unremarkable; like most Cream Ales.

M - Lighter-bodied, very average feel.

D - This is a good beer, but it cannot achieve a high rating due to its intended banality. There is plenty average-good about it, but nothing to consider excellent.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: Crystal clear straw yellow, plenty of loose carbonation. Fine white head that actually has decent retention, although only as a veneer.

S: Faint. Light grain, lemon, even mango, although that may be wishful smelling.

T: Same as the nose. Luckily there was no detectable corn flavor that was mentioned on the bottle. There are no flaws, but nothing compelling either.

M: Light, lively body. Easy gulper.

O: Easy drinking, a good beer to drink and not think about. Right up there with Hamm's (I mean that as a compliment), but without any of the flaws.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.22/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

As with any beer review its in the bottle of the beholder. My bottle was very carbonated with a harsh prickly feel. The flavor seemed washed out but presented some wheat like malt, obvious yeast tones, light pear and a crackery lager taste.

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Photo of loren01
3.22/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very light straw color, almost like a bud/miller light. Very small head that dissipated very quickly. Minimal carboation observed.
S: Smell is pretty fruity, very strong citrus smell. Pretty complex smell to it.
T: Taste is pretty sweet. I can't really detect any hoppiness to speak of. There is also some slight tartness to the taste maybe like a sweet berry flavor.
M: Mouthfeel is pretty well balanced, goes down pretty easily.
D: I could see myself drinking quite a few of these on a hot summer day. It seems like its more of a light Belgian Wit or something rather than a Cream Ale though.

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Photo of strattor
3.22/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Came to me a cloudy golden yellow with a thin, white head that disappeared quickly.

Sweet, somewhat fruity aroma. Contains hints of malt.

Taste is of yeast and corn, and a little sour, almost like a Belgian Witbier. The flavor isn't bad, but there isn't much of it.

Mouthful is moderately creamy, without much carbonation, and in all a little too watery for my tastes. I think this also contributes to the sense that the flavor isn't very present.

This would probably be a great beer for a hot day, when you want something cold and thrist-quenching. However, it's not high on my list of beers to return to, as it lacks that complexity and fullness of flavor that leaves me wanting more.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.22/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've had this before, but its been over a year. It pours a slightly hazy yellow color with a small ring of head. The nose is somewhat lemony, a little grainey. The flavor is pretty weak, with a slight zesty lemon and honey in there, but the flavors are really just weak. The feel is smooth and creamy, ith a slight carb. Not a bad beer by any means, but far inferior to anything else I have had from this brewery.

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Photo of NeutroMan
3.21/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a pale straw color with a half-finger whitish head that had surprisingly good retention. Mostly clear and sparkling due to high carbonation.

Some faint malt notes on the nose. Also getting some adjuncts (I think corn, but it's hard to tell, there's not much aroma here). Can't detect any hops at all.

Taste is a little bit of malty sweetness with a lot of cereal grain adjunct stuff. Not much going on here, although certainly better than others in the style.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp, and the high carbonation along with the high attenuation gives this one that "thirst quenching" quality. Certainly drinkable, if not the most enjoyable beer out there.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.21/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from a friend. Pours clear light golden with a head that recedes quickly and fizzy. Aroma of corn and Bud Light. Taste is a very light and drinkable effervescent sweet honey corn and hay flavor, much like a light lager but without any dirtiness on the finish. Clean and crisp with big carbonation and very light mouthfeel. Good for summertime out on the lake.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found that this beer drank very similar to a wheat beer. It was a rich gold color with no real head and some small prickle bubbles. The nose was grain and a touch fruity like a wheat beer. The attack was a little maltier and the malt was definitely "out front." There were some hints of banana and clove in the flavor. The finish was pretty dry. It was decent beer, but there is just so much beer out there to try.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 779 ratings.