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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

747 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 747
Hads: 3,158
Avg: 3.65
pDev: 28.77%
Wants: 242
Gots: 725 | FT: 18
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: 747 | Hads: 3,158
Photo of TheSarge
3.19/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer from a Wisconson native, she figured I'd like this beer...

Makes a deecetn two finger thick bright white head, and has a semi hazy white gold colored body.

The aroma is fruity, a hint of sour and no funk, but a hint of bubble gum/powdered sugar.

Taste shares much of the qualities of the aroma, but with a tinge of orange rind.

Feels light in body and refreshing to the palate.

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Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spotted Cow is a nice beer, but I can't really say I'm impressed. It's about the same as Genessee Cream Ale. The flavor is sweet and bland. It's hard to make out the grains or any concrete flavor. You know, on a hot Wisconsin summer day, this would probably hit the spot, but that's about it.

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Photo of MadTown1000
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This one's significantly better on tap than in a bottle, and if you're in just about any bar or restaurant in Wisconsin, they'll have it on tap. Very cloudy, close-to-opaque medium amber that looks a lot like a wheat beer. Grainy flavor with just a bit of hoppiness to it. It's quite heavy and not a beer I'd want to spend a whole evening with. That said, if the choice is between this and an MGD (which it often is in the Madison area), this is the one to get in a heartbeat. Not one of New Glarus's finest, but a decent standby.

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Photo of jahred
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to incongruity for volunteering thos beer, which pours a cloudy, yellow-brown color with lots of floating yeast bits and a yeasty sludge remaining on the bottom of the glass. A frothy white head disappears rather quickly.

The scent is light - sweet wheat and veggies. The tasty is slightly more fruity, with corn notes and a creamy, fruity aftertaste. Not a bad beer - it went down easy, but still not something I want to drink often.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i was anxious to try this as i was at a crap bar on some lake in wisconsin and knew there was only bmc there. when i saw the spotted cow sign, i thought it was a tease, but they actually served this at this fucking shithole bar. this one did not live up to my excitement over finding a new glarus brew for the first time, however. this was a light gold in color and just a tad hazy. nose was very subtle, some sweet, doughy malts and a hint of buttery corn and straw. taste is a light malt sweetness and just a touch of hops. this one is balanced more by the creamy carbonation. light and lively mouthfeel. drinkable, especially when your only other options are bmc and jaegerbombs.

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Photo of maximum12
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anybody else have the 'problem' of people giving them beer? My wife & I have a well-known love of beer, & friends, family, & people we barely know end up bringing us random beers from vacation, dead friend's attics, etc. Sometimes this is a great thing, but mostly it's well-intentioned but useless. But, hey, thanks to a buddy for this bottle. He's from Wisconsin, so he doesn't know any better!

Spotted Cow, beer of choice in questionable 'sconnie bars. Pale, pale yellow, with a nice, camera friendly ring of white. Smell is...beer. Nothing more, nothing less.

I have to say, this is a bit better when one is in enemy territory watching the Vikes rough up the Packers than it is sitting home in front of a computer monitor. Honestly, way too heavy on the cereal for me, with bursts of grassiness almost reminiscent of a decent hefe. Not much to it. It is creamy,

Decent enough beer, & one to look for in dark places far in the north woods of Wisconsin when the banjos start playing.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eh, I'm not too impressed with this one. The nose is flat, a touch of lemon in there. It tastes like it's a cheap beer trying to look bigger than it really is. It has a pilsener taste but seems a bit chalky, with the overall flavor being, just muddled. The body is ok, and thankfully that flavor wears off eventually. Too bad I have more of these from the sample pack.

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Photo of murrayswine
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What can I say about the number one beer in Wisconsin right now.... Well, It's my go to when all else isnt available, and all I have left is BMCs.
Pours a very light gold/yellow with a minimal head.
The nose is light and nutty with a little hop, and some butter.
The taste is loose and light. Tastes like good bread, but as a beer, it's a session horse, no more, no less.
Not bad if you wanna drink A LOT.

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Photo of plumcrazyfx
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Went over to 'Sconnie for a beer run and came back with this. Pours a nice cloudy straw color. Not much of a smell - light malty character. This tastes too close to mass produced beers - mostly malty flavor with a bit of corn bite and light hops. If I want craft, I want something more intense. This would be a good craft to throw at a mass beer drinker to get them into craft. I'd much rather have this than a Bud or something - so don't get me wrong - it's not bad just nothing really exciting. Maybe it's just the nature of Cream Ales but this just is lacking much in terms of depth. It does have a nice creamy body that I though was the best part of the beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brightly foggy lemon-gold with ethereal swirls of liquid smoke. The soft, yet dense, head of bone white foam displays a rumpled, hummocked surface interspersed with divots as the larger bubbles burst. A small amount of wispy white lace finds its way to the glass.

Spotted Cow smells distressingly like a macro lager with sweetish grain as the focal point. It must be that 'little hint of corn' as noted proudly on the label. The nose isn't offensive, not even a little, but neither does it thrill me or make me excited about tipping the glass up. Let's hope the flavor picks up the ball and takes off running.

The flavor has indeed picked up the ball... and sets off at a slow limp. This is interesting beer to say the least. It tastes like a much more flavorful, sweeter version of a BMC lager in ale form. I've had a few other cream ales and none of them tasted like this; not that I can recall at least. It is nicely malted in a untoasted pale malt kind of way.

Again, sweet grain is dominant and is coupled with a mild fruitiness, although I may be reaching on the fruit. There's very little hop presence, either in terms of flavor or bitterness, just as the style demands. The finish is short and sweet and the mouthfeel is characterized by under-the-radar carbonation. Might this be a malt liquor in low-ABV disguise?

Spotted Cow is a rather unique brew. I imagine that New Glarus sells a lot of it, but as we all know, there's no correlation between popularity and quality (except, in many instances, an inverse correlation). I don't hate The Cow, but I don't really like it either. Thanks all the same to Skidz for the bottle.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip, no freshness dating, and a thoughtful extra from Shango42.

Quite yellow in color, this beer looks bright and crisp. A head almost failed to form, though clean white bubbles ended up covering the top as the pour finished, quickly receding to a ring of large diameter bubbles.

The nose is rife with sweet corn and Pils malt like an all malt lager with just a little ale fruitiness, but also a lager-like cracker.

Flavor is right on the aroma's heels; sweet corn and elusive leafy hop. All is clean and unblemished other than I know New Glarus can do more.

The mouthfeel does find a sweet spot between tight, active bubbles and fizzing, light and substance.

While obviously executed excellently, Spotted Cow seems like a dumbed down craft beer. It reminds me very much of Simpler Times Pilsner from Minhas that can be had for $2.99/6 at Trader Joe's.

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Photo of AdmiralDiaz
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this one before in a bottle and wasn't too impressed. At Applebees for a birthday party this looked like the best thing available. Pours a golden body with a small white head with okay retention and no lacing. Smells sweet with lots of cereal grain along with fruitiness. Taste is about the same as the smell, the hops add a small amount of bitterness but grain and fruitiness are still the dominant flavors. Strong carbonation that doesn't show in the appearance, almost too bubbly for me, got distracted from the taste. Pretty drinkable though, however not being a huge fan of the flavor I wouldn't drink a ton.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
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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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz from the basement cooler.. brought home from coworkers who were in Minnesota earlier this year.. this is my last one.

Poured into my New Belgium goblet.. very pretty light gold.. good lacing and a 1" head.

Smell is clean.. low pale malts and an aroma that I can't put a finger on.

"Tastes like beer." Lingering maltiness with a very minimal sourness.. A slight corn flavor that is not offensive just present. Descent body and effervescent carbonation.. really pretty drinkable.

Spotted cow reminds me of a big-boned PBR... Nothing to Mooo about, but if it was available in Boise, I would probably still pick up a few every summer just to have around when I wanted something quaffable when working in the yard.

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Photo of dancinwillie
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As part of my New Year's Resolution to review all NG's beers, might as well start with their flagship. I've had this beer many times, but not lately, and I hope to review it with an open mind.

Pours blonde and fizzy, with an almost nonexistent white head. Nothing special here.

Aroma is a bit more promising. Some yeast fruitiness, and a lot of (what I assume to be) that corn sweetness.

Taste, is pretty good really. Sweet, to be sure, but the yeast is really there as well. Some discreet lemon, and a very restrained funk, but not bad at all. A quaffable beer, to be sure.

Mouthfeel is thin, but for what this beer is, it works. Semi-dry finish, with a little of the aftertaste.

Overall drinkability, would be low for me in my everyday, drink whatever I want home life, but as far as going out to bars in Wisconsin, this beer is EVERYWHERE. If I'm ever at a bar, and they have nothing I want, they ALWAYS have this. And this is always better than most Macro Lagers, and least to me. A good beer for what it is. Wouldn't it be awesome if Dan released an Unplugged Imperial Spotted Cow?!!?? Anyway, Cheers.

Edit: I forgot one thing I really wanted to say. Drinking this beer from time to time is a good thing to do, because it pays the bills, making it easier for New Glarus to brew the award winning beers we all love so very much. Such a small price to pay...

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Photo of beveritt
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. The label depicts a cow jumping over Wisconsin and mentions the use of flaked barley, malts, and corn. Described as "fruity and satisfying".

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, honey-colored yellow with no head whatsoever. Several streams of bubbles coming up.

Smell: Strong bubblegum and fruit smell.

Taste: Smooth and creamy, without the overpowering "cheap" flavor you often get with corn used as an adjunct. Almost no discernible bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average to above average carbonation level, as expected from the style. Good body.

Drinkability: Not one I thought I would like, based on the characteristics of the style, but this is, as usual, another quality beer from New Glarus.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 12-15-19
Cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Cloudy dark yellow, 1/2 finger of foam, very little carbonation but is present

S - Smell citrus notes, more hop aroma then malt

T - Light bodied brew, heavy on the malt aftertaste even though I couldn't pick it out as much. Sweet tasting

M/D - A decent brew but not too overpowering except for the malty aftertaste, Pretty light on the tongue. I could indulge myself with more than 1 at a sitting. The brew didn't blow me away but enough to have me come back for more

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Photo of ppoitras
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" white head over the slightly cloudy, light golden brew. Head,fades to an uneven layer of bubbles, and lacing is minimal. Aroma is light pale malt with a tinge of citrus. Taste starts with smooth pale malts, and closes somewhat crisply with a bit of citrus character. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good, but without easy access of this one, it falls into the "why bother" category for me.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a orangish straw gold with a half finger of head that lasts about 7 seconds, and little bubbles sticking to the glass which lend to the nice carbonated yet creamy mouth, but a little odd for looks. Not much aroma, grassy and malty with some corn, just enough to barely detect. Taste is a little odd, sweet malts are evident, but there is this wierd tart fruit in there, though I couldn't quite pin it down. Honestly, not really impressed by this beer, nor can I understand its populartiy. Oh well, more for you 'Sconnies.

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Photo of jar2574
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There's nothing wrong with this beer but nothing outstanding either. It pours with a thin head and a yellow color. Not much smell to speak of. It's a very mellow beer, pretty smooth. Nothing noticeable in the taste. No hops to speak of, some malts I suppose, but very muted. Mouthfeel is smooth and drinkability is high. You could have several. A good inoffensive session beer.

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Photo of tatoodkelt
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a load a buddy visiting from Chicago brought with him. He raves about this one and I havent had a cream ale in years so here goes...

Consumed 9/4/09- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pale yellow, lightly hazy with a fluffy white two finger head. Virtually no lacing other than a ring around the glass. Little streamers of carbination.

S- Light fruits and a mild malt presence.

T- Grassy, corn, lightly toasted malt, very faintly hopped. no one flavor stood out but it seemed nicely balanced.

M- Very creamy and smooth, carbination was hardly noticable.

D- Pretty easy to drink, would make a great session beer. Nothing really that flipped my switch but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of orfeu
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received as part of a mixed sixer trade with the mighty nflmvp -- big thanks, Steve! I really like the brewers' claim on the label that this is a "Wisconsin farmhouse ale". Seems as appropriate an appellation as any for a Cream Ale brewed with corn and flaked barley. Pours a hazy golden color with an active, short-lived, snow white head. Nothing too complex in the aroma: soured bready grains with a bit of grassy hop scent on top of a slightly sweet-smelling caramel malt quality. Sort of like an uninspired Pale Ale. Earthy bready flavors become apparent at first sip, rounding out into a sweetish malt taste punctuated with mildly spicy and grassy hops. Candy corn and vanilla sweetness arrives at the finish, highlighting the sort of sticky mouthfeel of this beer. Medium body seems a little thick for the flavor profile, thereby setting back the drinkability. Certainly not a bad beer, and I get the sense that it pays many of the bills so that we can enjoy such world class offerings as the Wisconsin Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart. Nothing I'd seek out again, but certainly happy for the opportunity to have tried it.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap, served in a pint

Appears a pale golden color with a milky body. A frothy off white cap bubbled up and receded rather slowly.

Toasted grains and undercooked white bread hit me off the bat with some tropical fruits quickly in tow.

Very dry and crisp. Light bodied with a residual sweetness. Flavor profile is similar to the smell. Toasted grains and doughy yeast with a juicy fruit sweetness.

Very easy to drink, low abv. Easily sessionable, however I am not a huge fan of the flavor profile.

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Photo of vishneda
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a mug.

Pours out looking like a very thin beer. The color is a light pale yellow with moderate cloudiness. There is a thick foam head about a half finger thick which quickly fades. No lacing.

The aroma up front is like juicy fruit, even out of the bottle. A very sugary smell. A small hint of herbal hops and maybe a little sourness from the yeast, but this is very light. Pretty pedestrian on the overall scent.

The flavor is not as sweet as the aroma would lead you to believe. Now it does have sweetness, and there really isn't an awful lot of bitterness to balance that out. However, there's just not a great deal of flavor going on here. There is some substance to the overall blend; juicy fruit flavors with hints of yeast and corn and maybe a touch of grassy herbs. However, the overall impression I got was that it was a watery beer.

I'll give it this -- Spotted Cow is drinkable. I can imagine it as a great lawnmower beer. The watery profile and light body help it go down easy, and the mild carbonation makes it feel pretty smooth. If the brewery set out to make an easy going beer with broad appeal I believe it hit the mark with this beer.

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Photo of palliko
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a typical pale fizzy beer, not much foam. Aroma is citrusy, tart but mild. Initial taste has minimal hops and malt, some fruit, in the middle, but the finish is crisp and clean. No great shakes, but a decent beer for a hot afternoon. This was a gift shipped from Wisconsin to Colorado, and I am grateful for a chance to taste the products from another state.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 747 ratings.