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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: 3,209
Avg: 3.65
pDev: 28.77%
Wants: 243
Gots: 750 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 757 | Hads: 3,209
Photo of ginsbus
1.44/5  rDev -60.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

This is a Wisconsin "classic" that brings shame to its state.

A - Yellowish, with a white head. This was the best part

S - Reminiscent of cleaning up after a party three days later. Stale malts.

T - Ever drink Budweiser? There ya go.

M - Clean, watery finish.

O - One of my least favorite beers. What's the hype about? I feel like it must be people who don't know beer that really just want to drink Milwaukee's best, but would like to feel classy at the same time. It's perfect for that.

 493 characters

Photo of dcloeren
2/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a hazy very light straw color with a finger of bright white fizzy head. The head didn't stick around for long and I'm getting no lacing

Smells very light with some subtle citrus notes.

The taste of this beer is of a miller lite in a different bottle. This is highly disappointing

Mouthfeel is overly carbonated and my only guess is to try to cover up the taste

Overall this beer is a joke. Its nothing but a BMC lite with a fancier bottle. Avoid it if you can

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Photo of Hoploaf
2.17/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

I have been drinking spotted cow on and off for about 15 years and every time I have tried it I scratch my head. I just don't get why this beer is so popular... I find it overly sour and astringent. Sadly, it reminds me of beers gone bad. New glarus, has some amazing beers, and IMO ALL of them are better than Spotted Cow.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
2.18/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

spotted cow

a 3-3.5 clear golden with a slight amber cast, ginger ale like. the bubbles are fairly coarse, the short head drops quickly leaving only a quarter-sized island of a cap.

s 2.5-3 mostly lager-like aroma with a vague fruitiness that I also find in lagers. kind of malt liquorish.

t 2 yikes. if someone said this was a watered down ml bull, i'd have believed it. on tap i enjoyed this beer much more (but then 8 years ago i also recall enjoying it in the bottles). some corn syrup sweetness in an expanse of water with a touch of baking soda. dash of drying hops fails to clean it up. a little chalkiness (from yeast?) lingers with the corn syrup in the finish.

m 2 watery but for the diluted corn syrup, coarsley bubbled and chalky.

d not nearly as good as i remembered it. the pizza atmosphere helped when on tap, but clearly this bottled specimen is inferior. in a head to head with schlitz gusto, spotted cow got badly milked.

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Photo of TechMyst
2.2/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at Diamond Dave's. Smelled like a lager actually, very faint aroma anyway. Hazy green-yellow color. Actually tasted like a lager also. I could not detect fruit-y-ness, vanilla, or 'fun'. There was some corn hints. It is a beer with a full character, not a character I care for, but it had a full character for what it was. no lacing.

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Photo of jbschafer
2.23/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a slightly hazy light golden color. Looks like a standard American lager in color but a bit more cloudy. Produced very little head that disappeared immediately. Sides of the shaker pint were coated with a medium to small carbonation bead.

Smell "dusty" like hay or new mowed grass/wheat. No hint of hops at all. Also can smell the corn addition.

Tastes a bit dusty like the smell (I wish I had a better adjective for this sensation). Certainly can taste the corn. Has a wheat with a bit of a sour flavor in there that takes it away from a wheat beer flavor.

Fully carbonated. I felt a gassy feeling only half way through the beer.

I know that a lot of folks from the midwest like this beer and swear by New Glarus as a brewery. Having said that, this just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of kj8525
2.38/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

A: gold with white head like a macro lager.

S: grassy not getting much else. Maybe a little grainy.

T: very average in the taste. A little bit of of sweetness up front. Otherwise grassy and watery taste. IMO pretty bland.

M: well carbonated but again watery

O: very average beer nothing too exciting here. If you like the macro stuff there isn't much deviation in this beer from those.

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Photo of dhannes
2.43/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I haven't had one of these in awhile, as my memory of these wasn't pleasant. Tried again the other evening.

A, M=looked and felt like a decent beer.

T=Not pleasant. Skunky, and not nearly as good as other cream ales I've tried.

I, for the life of me, do not understand why this beer is as popular as it is. Other than the Snowshoe, New Glarus beers just do not stack up to others that are available around here.

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Photo of Copernicandream
2.43/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A - Pale yellow with adequate foamy head.

S- Not much...

T- I literally picked up the bottle and looked to make sure this was beer. This is an incredibly bland ale. Almost devoid of flavor with a dry finish. Very subtle malts.

M- Light with low carbonation, just slightly thicker than a lager.

O- This beer is like a cow among the herd. One of many, nothing makes this better or standout from any of the other cows. Surprised to see the high ratings, maybe more representative of the rest of the brewery's line? Really falls short in terms of taste and substance for me.

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Photo of GreenWBush
2.49/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Graciously brought from Wisconsin by a non-BA friend.

12 oz. bottle.

This beer pours out a frightengly canary-neon yellow, with a tiny bit of yeast haze. The head is quite creamy, but only leaves a light notch of lacing. My friend took a whiff and proclaimed it smelled like "Grandma's bedsheets", then noted that if presented to him without identification, he wouldn't know if it was piss or pop. Hmm.

The only discernable odor on the nose is corn. I choose to use odor because if I wasn't rating every beer I got my hands on, I wouldn't have even tried it. I can't get over how bad this smells; I look for some malts, some sweetness, even a touch of hops - to no avail.

Actually, this one doesn't taste too bad at all. It sort of seems like a strange love-child between macro-swill and Guinness. It is quite nice on the mouthfeel, almost enough to disguise the heavy-handed corn influence. If you put this on Nitro, Macro lovers could do some serious damage. Still, just not enough going on here to interest me in another.

I've had worse. Maybe this beer is just an attempt at ramping-up swill drinkers. I'll try others by the brewery. I could also understand having a place in your heart for this - if I grew up on it, it might be a good fall back.

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Photo of willseph
2.53/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very light, transparent, golden color with a healthy finger of head that only stuck around long enough for a couple sips. Lots of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Not much of a nose, just a faint smell of lemon, wet wood, and other unidentifiable grains.

First taste is medium spiciness and vanilla but fades to a sweet grain taste as you drink it. Quite unremarkable, just a boring beer to me. It's a bit fizzy, burns the throat a touch on the way down. Overall, a passable beer but nothing to go out of your way for.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
2.55/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer has a hazy yellow color with no head at all. The aroma is slightly malty, but not at all interesting. The flavor is sweet, with no bitterness. There is some fruityness, like lemon and pineapple. Not at all creamy. Low carbonation. If there were some bubbles, at least it would have been easier to drink. I did not like this beer very much. It's available at almost every bar in Madison. Who drinks this?

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.56/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with two fingers of fluffy white head. Retention is great. I haven't had too many cream ales, but this looks nice enough.

S: Pale and sweet malts up front, though light, with slight citrus and spiciness that reminds me of AALs.

T: Very mild sweet malt up front with a spiciness and citrus flavor very similar to the smell. I also get a good amount of corn flavor that does not go well with the beer. The corn flavor along with a bit of a metallic flavor in the aftertaste is unpleasant.

M: On the thick side of what I expected from a Cream Ale with nice mild carbonation.

O: Reminds me very much of a AAL. Mild flavor with corn and a vague spiciness and citrus flavor and a terrible aftertaste. Not very good. I think I just really don't like Cream Ales.

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Photo of hardy008
2.58/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Light yellow color with a foamy white head with average retention and spotty lacing. The aroma has grain, some sweet malt, a whiff of corn. Nothing too special here.

The flavor of this beer is pretty plain. Sweet malt, grain, some corn, and a bit of yeast.

Light to medium bodied, average carbonation, and underwhelming in almost every way. This is a pretty disappointing beer, from an otherwise good brewery.

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Photo of marcpal
2.61/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to maximum12 for sending this in a trade. Liking New Glarus so far.
12oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass
Bottle Graphics: 8/10. Like it.

A: Hazy dehydrated pee yellow. Very cloudy with a filmy head that left thin veil of lacing. Nothing too impressive.

S: Quiet in the aroma with something cornlike and grainy. I have to say, I expected much more to start this one out. I had some stronger things earlier in the night but this just fell to the wayside. I find it odd that the fruit is really the dominating aroma.

T: Still not anything that rocks your world but sugary flavors give this some character. It has a corn flavor that hits at first but as it finishes off, the cream finally comes on. It is unique but buttery flavors pop out.

The bottle claims it to be full of flavor. I have to beg to differ.

M: Carbonated but moderate through and through. Like the aroma, quite bland. The dryness of the fruity flavor is unpleasant.

D: This isn't the best New Glarus, nor the tops in terms of cream ales. Don't hate it, don't particularly like it. Bottom rung cream ale. Glad I had the chance, this is a terrific brewery- noone can bat a thousand.

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Photo of tut2528
2.62/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a light golden color with a bright snow-white colored 1 fingers worth of head formation. thousands of tiny bubbles are seen rushing to the top to support head retention and a thin film remains.

S: cream of corn and grain dominate this brew. very watery smelling. quite unappealing

T: glad that there a bit more to this than in the nose. grain, corn, mild malt and a possible biscuit-like character with a light cream finish.

M: light bodied, quite watery. doesnt leave much on the palate.

O: this is a perfect brew for someone just starting out in the micro/craft beer world. its highly drinkable and is a step up from the mega domestics (al la Miller, Coors, Bud, etc)

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Photo of Koolbreeze2
2.65/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Cloudy-like an unfiltered beer should be.

Smell: Nice smell. I liked the smell better than anything.

Taste: Not my cup of beer. Right up there with Bud. Just did not work for me. Had my 38 yr. old stepson try half a bottle. He is on my side per taste.

Mouthfeel: Nothing special.

Drinkability: Not for me but on a hot day outside I could drink a few and probably feel refreshed (somewhat).

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Photo of Joeynocturnum
2.65/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Received as an extra in a trade for some Belgian Red and some Raspberry Tart.

A- Golden yellow and cloudy one finger head.

S- Nothing really stood out, smelled similiar to an American pilsner.

T- Bland I was expecting more from this beer, nothing stood out. Maybe a little bit of hops but mostly a taste of wheat.

M- Nothing great here, not overly carbonated.

D- This was not palatable, it ended up as a drain pour. This was not drinkable for me, at least not tonight.

During the week I usually only drink one beer per night. This was the beer I cracked... took two sips maybe three and realize it was not worthy of being the one. Cracked open a Sinebrechoff Porter which was excellent and all is right in the world.

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Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping
2.66/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My respectful parents were nice enough to bring back a menagerie of New Glarus beer when they crossed through Wisconsin. Always nice to know people who travel and know you like good beer. Had three bottles of Spotted Cow in a sampler pack.

Well, the pour was a pale gold. Nothing unusual or multispectral in colour. All I expect from a cream ale. Somewhat of a murk to it. Very gentle murk.

Smells very light of fresh straw, a tad citrusy, sweet corn... all pretty light.

Taste: Light sweet corn kind of a taste which is nice, not unpleasant, a tad muted lemon... tastes like... well... beer, for lack of better terms. Has a bit of a cream of wheat thing going on. All the flavors are pretty well evened out all the way through.

The mouthfeel certainly saves the day and makes it a very clean but not entirely crisp beer which is cool. It lives up to it's cream ale style. Mouthfeel is probably the best cream ale mouthfeel I have had in a beer to date.

Overall nothing out of this world but I can definitely see why this is one of Wisconsin's most popular craft beers. It appeals to many crowds and is utterly non offensive. A winner for those who enjoy good beer and those who may have no idea what good beer is.

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Photo of zeledonia
2.68/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly golden pale straw yellow, the color of a wheat field in late summer, with a fluffy one-finger white head. Translucent and so light enough to be almost see-through. Head retention is okay, not much lacing. Streams of bubbles running up through the glass.

Smells slightly sweet and slightly grainy. Also corn, pale malt, and light hops. Some faint apple juice fruit notes. In many ways, it smells like an adjunct lager.

Flavor is mostly pale malt and a touch of vegetable hops (kinda like plant stems). I also get a touch of apple juice here. A hint of bitter in the finish, which is gone almost before I can say "hops."

Light and delicate in the mouth, with high carbonation. Highlight of the beer. Finishes quick, crisp, and dry. Like that, it's gone.

Meh. I can see why this beer sells so well - it drinks like an adjunct lager. It's inoffensive, refreshing enough, and just doesn't have much flavor. Not much malt, not much hops, not much of anything else. I found myself chasing the flavor, taking more sips cause I wanted more out of it, but still disappointed by each one. Works all right for cooling off on a hot summer day, but there are so many other beers that would do the same job with more pleasure.

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Photo of brdc
2.71/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Small capped bottle, poured into a pint.

Good looking dark yellow brew with an average white head but not a lot of retention. Aroma is faint, and not really that easy to describe, since there is not much there; grains and light alcohol.
Light bodied, easy to drink, but corn and other grains is as much as I can get.
A little better than BMC. Certainly a lot worse than most NGs out there.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
2.71/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy, pale gold color with active carbonation and a frothy, one-finger head that fades quickly.

S: Sweet grain and yeast. Traces of malt. A faint hint of citrus.

T: Harsh and grainy taste profile that's somewhat reminiscent of Rolling Rock. Must be the "hint of corn." Notes of vegetal matter, biscuit and lemon citrus. Finish is bitter and astringently dry.

M: Medium-bodied and well-carbonated.

D: Honestly, I've never understood why this beer is so popular in Wisconsin. Never been a fan. After mulitple sessions, it's time to put this cow out to pasture.

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Photo of brew3crew
2.71/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at uncle mikes for my first venture into wisconsin.

A-hazy yellow with a little bit of head that sticks around

s-pale malt and grain is all I get

t- follows the nose. Not really a whole lot here. Kind of upset I ordered it

m- light bodied and smooth. Only thing that's nice

o-decent lawnmower beer. That's about it

 327 characters

Photo of MaximalC
2.72/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours pale straw in color, slightly hazy, with bountiful carbonation bubbles. The aroma is mild, mostly grainy, with a hint of fruitiness and some hops. The flavor pretty much matches the smell, with no specific element really carrying the load. I fail to see how this manages to be the flagship brew of a very respectable brewery with many superior offerings in the stable. Maybe because it most resembles light beer? Regardless of the reason, this just doesn't resonate with me.

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Photo of Oxymoron
2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Are you saying you spotted a cow or hey there is a spotted cow? Pours a light sunny yellow color with ok clarity. A good head but limited retention which is ok per style. Limited lacing throughout.

The nose is off. There is a more sweet corn nose, which is ok, but no malt presence at all. Some noticeable sour smells which makes me think infection. Some hoppy notes that balance well. Clean as far as yeast notes but some minor vegi/cabbage notes on the back end.

The taste is a bit off as well. The malts come out more with a more 2 row flavor but plays second to more of a corn essence. Would have like more malt but ok. Some grainy and husky notes helps the accent the malt flavors. There is a light bitterness that comes out but a more noticeable floral finishing hop. On the backend there is a metallic almost copper taste that is more perceivable as it warms. Fairly clean yeast finish but some minor fruity notes that is boardline acetaldehyde.

The body is light which is spot on (pun intended). Decent carbonation helps accents the corny and hop notes. Overall this is limited with some noticeable off flavors with a beer that is hard to high them.

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