Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 757 | Hads: 3,210
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.

 393 characters

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.

 573 characters

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.

 480 characters

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.

 1,161 characters

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

12oz bottle into tulip

A - Straw yellow, 1 finger fluffy white head, chill haze, slippery lacing

S - Grainy malts, wheat, some lemon and caramel

T - Confusing, tastes like a musty adjunct lager. Mostly just a grainy wheaty body with no supporting cast. Some sweet malts are barely distinguished in the background. There is a funkiness to it.

M - Decently crisp and light, but a little too effervescent.

O - This is classified as a cream ale and I really don't see how this even comes close to resembling one. Confusing. If anything, this seems to be closer to a farmhouse or even some variation of lager.

 609 characters

Photo of bboven
2.74/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Butterscotch yellow cloudy body with absolutely no head or lacing. This beer should be very clear and have at least a minimal head, but it looks very flat and unattractive in the glass.

Base malt and green apple, a defect from yeast fermenting at too high of a temperature, is very apparent. It can be there to some degree, but not this much.

Again, very fruity with the green apple dominating. The hops are lost and the malt is barely there because of the off-flavors.

Moderately carbonated, but a little more CO2 would help lift some of the sweetness up.

It's not bad tasting, but it's got a big defect in it. You usually only see this in lagers, but cream ale is so light to begin with that every little thing will be accentuated. I can't really recommend it unless you like fruit beers. In that case, you might like this one.

 833 characters

Photo of HugePlume
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle.

A- Pours a bright bubbly corn-yellow color. This was first cause for alarm of this hyped-up beer that I grew more and more dissappointed and leery of.

S- Smells like sweet mash, bread and musty hops.

T- This isn't good beer. More musty sweet mash. Finish is dry, which imparts a crude bitterness.

M- Mouthfeel is decent, carbonation good for a lighter brew, body is spot on but cant overcome the flavor shortfalls.

O- Don't believe the hype, this is not good. Go for the other new glarus brews, this is intended to appeal to Budweiser and Miller light drinkers. Overrated!

 590 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.79/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Monger: Poured a bright golden color ale with a big pure white head with good retention. Aroma of corn with light diacetyl is not extremely pleasant. Taste is dominated by too much corn with a light buttery note which is again unpleasant. Body is pretty full for the style with some great carbonation. This is probably the worst beer that I had from this otherwise fine brewery.

 397 characters

Photo of Jredner
2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mild grain and light alcohol in the aroma. Hazy yellow color. No head. Cool and refreshing with very little taste. Mild malty sweetness in the aftertaste. It is actually pretty dang thirst quenching though extremely un-flavorful. Not bad tasting just not much of anything tasting. It makes you take big gulping sips.

 316 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A--Pale golden yellow with a finger of quickly receding head

S--Fresh, light malty scent with a splash of hops in the background

T--A little too tasteless to be enjoyable on its own, but I suppose this is meant more for refreshment. Nothing foul about it, which is good. But nothing noteworthy either.

M--Light bodied but not too watery

D--Very sessionable but I'm not sure why you would want to since this there really isn't much here.

 440 characters

Photo of sleuthdog
2.81/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap poured into pint glass

A: When this was brought to my table there was almost no evidence of a head but I did see a very slight white ring. The color is of a nice light golden hue. The lacing is minimal to none.

S: I have nothing to say here. I smelled absolutely nothing! I couldn't believe it so I jammed my nose way down in the glass numerous times but came up empty each and every time! It was served ice cold so maybe this is the reason?

T: Bready, and somewhat sweet and malty. There is a definite corn taste to this one and slight hop presence on the back end. Very smooth and mellow taste.

M: Carbonation is present but not much and this adds to the creamy mouthfeel. This is very smooth and creamy.

O: A good interpretation of the style and very easy to drink. I could easily drink a few of these or more in a sitting. Not one that will have you thinking about it too much in terms of trying to pick out taste and aromas, but nothing wrong with it either. Just a nice easy drinking cream ale.

 1,012 characters

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
2.82/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy, yeast-induced hazy apple juice in color. Precisely zero head at all. F-L-A-T. Aromas of fruits mixed with some sweet corn. Flavor is rather bland. There's some citric sweetness up front, followed by a soft caramel note, and ends with a sour note. Thin mouthfeel and the strangest thing at the very end: it was as if someone just flipped off the taste switch. Just like that...everything disappears on the palate. Odd. Not very drinkable as it really did nothing for me.

Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for this bottle.

 522 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
2.82/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is average in every sense. Pale cloudy gold color, thin almost non-existant white head. Smell is very mild malt, touch of spice. Taste is rather bland, grainy tasting. Cream ale style says highly carbonated, which this one isn't. It just sits on the palate, no moutfeel at all. Maybe it's the styles i've been drinking lately but this beer holds no draw for me. I'll pass on this one in the future.

 408 characters

Photo of dpnelson1978
2.83/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$1.49 / ea.

A: Hazy straw body topped with one finger of loose white head that quickly dissipates leaving light foamy lace and a thin bubbly cover.

S: Fruit aromas with a hint of sweet corn and light flowery hops. Pretty straight forward and not unlike many batches I've made at home. Really not that impressive.

T: Sweet corn with hints of fruit and a light hop bitterness. Pretty much exactly how it smells. Light bitter aftertaste. Nothing special.

M: Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Light carbonic bite and a underlying smoothness. Solid.

D: Easily approachable and very simple overall. The flavor is ok, the mouthfeel is satisfactory, and the alcohol content is low. Easy sessioning beer, but for the style it is a bit disappointing.

O: I really expected more from this offering considering the execution of Wisconsin Belgian Red, and Raspberry Tart. The market share this beer holds in Wisconsin is surprising.

 975 characters

Photo of ballewblake
2.83/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle into my Duvel tulip.

Almost no head after a few seconds. Even the ring around the glass is weak. Hazy golden body, nose is mild to boring, not much of anything coming through. First taste was mint. Weird. Heavily carbonated, full body, not a whole lot of flavors coming out, not much to really pin down here. Maybe some wheat malts?

 352 characters

Photo of beerandcycling88
2.84/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into a pint glass

A pours a yellowish color with a decent head.

S the nose is light and floral with a hint of yeast maybe hard to tell.

T the taste is light. it has hints of sweetness and some yeast. But the lightness makes it hard to pin down.

M very light and easy to drink

Overall this isn't a bad beer but there is nothing about it that stands out.

 366 characters

Photo of scaliasux
2.86/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Appearance - Cloudy yellow. Foamy short white head. A few bubbles.

Smell - Faint. Some maltiness, maybe adjunct. Not very distinct.

Taste - Semi-sweet malt dominates. Some corn. Finishes with just a touch of bitter hops. Appears well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Very light, watery. Crisp. Similar to an american lager.

Drinkability - Nothing wrong with this beer, just not a very exciting style. Excellent replacement for macro-lager, but not much more. This beer has become quite popular in Wisconsin and I for one am glad to see a small brewer who does make some very high quality beers reach a large market.

 616 characters

Photo of BasementBer
2.86/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I heard so much about this beer and it possibly got my hopes up for it.

A: light straw yellow. Plenty of carbonation, bone white head with medium to heavy lacing.

S: Corn. Grainy but very much a note of corn in the aroma - as it expresses on the bottle. The rare instance the brewer is in favor and admits to it.

T: To tart for my licking. Less cream than tart and dry nose to finish.

M: The tartness stuck around a bit too much for me. For a hop fan this countertaste is a bit off putting.

D: I dont think ill go back to it, but if others are enjoying then by all means.

 578 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
2.86/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks mattafett!

A: Pours a hazy honey-gold body with 2 fingers of off-white head. Retention is great, leaving sudsy lace down the sides as the head recedes. No lace during sips, though.

S: Toasted malt, light floral hops, some yeast, and maize (corn).

T: As the nose suggests: mostly a light-flavored beer dominated by toasted pale malt, a hint of hops. Some yeast, with a white corn aftertaste in the exhalation.

M: Light-bodied, crisp. Watery flavor.

D: A good macro lager substitute, and that's it. I'd have it again but I wouldn't trade for it.

 589 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

So, this is the beer that built Wisconsin? :)

Big ups to seeswo! Thanks for this brother!

Pours a hazed, golden straw color, with a bright white spongy head. Nice retention, and the lacing is nice and web-like.

Slight milky quality to the aroma, light sweetness, bits of malts, and some hops.

Lightly sweet, noticeable hops, though faint, a bit of cream and light maltiness.

Feel is crisp, creamy, light and overall, good.

Overall, a decent brew. I'm glad to have tried it. I'd drink it again. This is the perfect any-time beer. Oddly, I think I liked the Genesee Cream Ale better... maybe it was the can...

 617 characters

Photo of clvand0
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to kmpitz2 for sharing this one. I like the name. This one poured a clean yellow color then took on a lot of cloudiness because my dumb ass didn't realize it was bottle conditioned. Oh well, I don't mind some yeasties. Small head that dies off quickly and leaves no lacing on the glass. The aroma was very subtle, but had a slight grassy and grainy character. Not what I was hoping for. The flavor wasn't what I was hoping for either. There is very little, if any, of the cream character I'm used to from other brands of cream ales. It has a slightly tart citrus thing going on (lemon?) and that same grainy feel from the aroma. Not so much my thing here.

 662 characters

Photo of xpdrinker
2.9/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass - hazy golden with thin white head, decent lace.

Smells of cream, banana, like a wit with no clove or other spice. Slight citrus, no real hop presence.

Super light bodied, very carbonated. Banana flavors, mildly tart. Very refreshing and crisp. Soda mouthfeel. Faint notes of sweet corn. 

I'd probably like a few of these here in Florida on a hot day. Easily the lightest body out of all the cream ales I've had. Not sure why the bottle says farmhouse but BA categorizes it a cream ale. Definitely a lawnmower beer, but more drinkable than standard yellow swill.

 602 characters

Photo of mikereaser
2.91/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle on 11/16/09

A - Pours a slightly hazy straw yellow with very little foam

S - light grain, sweet malt

T - light malt, corn, grainy

M/D - slightly carbonated, light, crisp feeling, nothing too outstanding, just a nice crisp beer

 258 characters

Photo of deeznuts420
2.92/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

this style isn't my favorite but i was in a place traveling that didn't have hardly any craft beers to choose from. it was also one of the first craft cream ales i had so i'd have to say it was fairly good although it did have a corny taste. but overall i can't complain. it was a decent beer.

 293 characters

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