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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

739 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 739
Hads: 3,123
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 235
Gots: 696 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 739 | Hads: 3,123
Photo of cfrances33
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Three Floyds pint.

Pour: Completely clear, pale orange with two fingers of puffy, soapy white head. Decent lacing. Lots of effervescence throughout the glass.

Smell: Some bright citrus and heavy breadiness. A touch of clove and banana. Lightly floral and grassy, and some yeast.

Taste: Follows the nose with a light citrus and heavy doughiness. Lots of yeast, and some more banana and clove. Finishes doughy and refreshing with citrus.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally drinkable, and highly carbonated. Light, and slightly watery, but good given the style.

Overall: A tasty, easy drinking beer. Good for what it is, but not exceptionally impressive in any category (682 characters)

Photo of Beric
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle into footed pilsner
Served: 4 July 2014

Appearance: Pours a pale, slightly hazy yellow with a huge two finger creamy white head. Huge carbonation coming up from the bottom of the glass. Looks wonderful.

Smell: Doesn't smell like much. Sweet, sweet malts and a harsher earthy edge. Easily the least inspiring part of this beer.

Taste: Marvelous flavor for a beer that is supposed to be easy-drinking and not complicated. The beer has a sweet malt backbone, lightened by the use of corn but you can tell the corn is actually adding some reasonable amount of flavoring too, in a very good way. The beer has light hopping levels which adds just a pinch of flavor and bitterness on the back end. A very easy drinking beer that makes it wonderful to drink.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation with a light body.

Overall: If I needed a go-to summer beer, lawnmower beer, or party beer and lived in Wisconsin, I would buy nothing else. This beer is perfect for drinking in quantity when you want something lighter for yourself (and guests) and still be craft with decent flavor. A perfect beer for summer. Marvelous. (1,121 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is light yellow with slight golden hues.

Smells like fresh wheat and the slightest hint of orange.

Taste is rather meh, but slight hints of wheat, malts, and cereal dominate this brew.

Mouthfeel is the only thing above average here. I can see why they call it a cream ale, very silky smooth, lightly carbonated but constantly fizzing head.

Overall an alright brew, would buy again but nothing to write home about. (428 characters)

Photo of nomad
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Like the previous review of this beer says, within the style of Cream Ale the Spotted Cow is very good. Drinking Gennessee Cream in college back east, its hard for me to think of a Cream Ale that could be made with care and artistry. Proof that any style is tasty if done well...

Pours a lightly hazy but glowing soft gold, quite alluring in fact, with a billowing head. Soft, fluffy, bilious - truly cloud-like. Looks like a summer thirst quencher.

Smells fairly moderate in general, but compared to most cream ales it does shine with artisanal touches. Scents of mashed corn, wheat, and pale malts swirl together to form a cornucopia of farm smells. This beer does come from Wisconsin, so...

Tastes of all the grainy aspects of corn and wheat with a great pale malt base. Barely sweet, and incredibly soft and easy on the palate without being bland. Little to no hop bite and possesses a small dash of creaminess toward the finish.

This beer goes down like a report on the various grains possible to a Midwestern brewer. A tasty drinker and a good choice for a flagship brew. (1,089 characters)

Photo of brstls4drmrs
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy, yellow, pine straw color with a 1" froth sponge head. A nice thick ring is left behind.

S - Very nice malt scents with some fruits in there that are pearlike and some hints of corn.

T - A nice creamy malty tone to it. Very interesting and quite delicious. Some banana taste with a little citrus zest in there too.

M - Very mild and exceptionally smooth and creamy. Very easy to drink.

O - A very nice refreshing type of cream ale. One I enjoyed very much and wouldn't mind getting more. (514 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a semi hazy golden/orange color. At first a two finger white head forms, but recedes in a second. Not much lace to speak of.
S: Sweet malt up front with light cereal aromas. A surprisingly substantial grassy and floral hop aroma that is really well balanced with the malt.
T: Again, a nice caramel malty sweetness and cereal flavors. Well balanced with the floral and grassy hops that linger on for a bit.
M/D: A medium body that is very creamy and smooth. Crisp and dry. Very easy and smooth to drink. I have made this a session several times.

This is a great no frills kind of beer. An easy to drink session with lots of flavor. Something I always enjoy when I get a chance to have it, and something I would recommend. (730 characters)

Photo of Yetiman420
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Glarus "Drink Indigenous" standard pint glass.

Clear golden color with no head. After reading the description about the sediment, I swirled the bottle and included the sediment for an initial psychadelic haze.

Unique aroma of malt and most likely the lager yeast. Also seems sweet.

Worth mentioning that this one is reviewed outside on the deck on a cloudless 65 degree day after lots of yard work (introduce bias for higher rating for this style).

Flavor has upfront sweetness. A result of the corn? Certainly a unique flavor profile. I continue to suspect the lager yeast and corn are playing a role in this. Nothing too sharp and quite enjoyable.

Even if you're not a fan of this style, this beer is easy to appreciate, is well done, and is ultimately an enjoyable session beer. (808 characters)

Photo of cadenwhitaker
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy yellow with a bright white head. Drink is smooth, grassy, corn, sweet some fruits and spices. I wouldn't say this is very complicated, but there is a certain amount of depth to it.

This is a fantastic gateway beer and is quite drinkable. I don't think an experienced (or even intermediate) BA will find anything new from this beer. (345 characters)

Photo of nortmand
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours straw yellow and cloudy with some white head.

Smell is grass and bready malt.

Sweet-tart flavor, with some noble hop balance and a bit of malt.

Refreshing and summery, a very drinkable beer, but would become world class with a bit of wheat or rye. (262 characters)

Photo of Greggy
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Pours a light yellow color with a nice 2 finger head that recedes rather quickly into a transparent thin lace. Light clinging lace.

S- Some light toasty grains with a very nice hop balance. A light hint of lemon is also there.

T- A very light malt/hop structure that is in great balance. Some light toasted grains, like the nose is apparent and also the same lemon in the nose.

M- Medium carbonation that has a great body.

D- Drinkability scores excellent here as it is very light, lower alcohol and easily drinkable. I can see this being a great crossover beer for BMC drinkers and a great session brew for beer geeks. (628 characters)

Photo of phishsihq
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spotted Cow pours a hazy, honey-gold color, and is capped with a thin white head that provides a moderate amount of lace. Light aromas of caramelized malt, grain, and a touch of corn blend together to make a wonderful bouquet. On the pallet the brew starts out with a light breadiness with the corn again peaking out ever so subtly, before a malty sweetness melts into a restrained hop bitterness. Moderate amounts of carbonation and a medium body round out this Wisconsin-only treat. (484 characters)

Photo of dakid618
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass. Pours straw colored golden with a finger of white soapy head. Smell is banana clove-like similar to a hefe but not overpowering like a lot of hefeweizens are. The taste is like a light beer should be. Like a good tasting macro beer. Medium bodied mouthfeel much thicker than I thought it would be. Extremely drinkable. If I lived in Wisconsin this would be my go to beer for all mass consuming events(golf, beer pong, etc). My first beer from New Glarus and I'm not disappointed. (515 characters)

Photo of TripT
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorites, this is a real quencher on hot summer days. Like others, I get the corn thing and the bread thing, and I guess I detect a hint of grassiness. To me, the overall appeal of this brew is that it's smooth and refreshing. It's not complex and it doesn't need to be. (281 characters)

Photo of hiikeeba
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have heard good things about New Glarus, and when a friend returned with a couple of bottles, I was excited.

A - Pours up cloudy yellow with a white head that disspates quickly.

S - A sweet malty beer with a hint of hops.

T & M - Malt sweetness dominates the flavor, with a bit of hop bitterness. Lighlty carbonated, but still full bodied.

D - Extremely drinkable beer. (375 characters)

Photo of brakspear
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A simple ale that is both an original craft beer and easy-drinking beerfor the masses. This is a great cross-over beer.

The beer pours a hazy orange-gold with decent head formation. The aroma is sweet and malty with a slight fruitness in the background, pleasant and unassuming. The taste is likewise sweet and malty, with a floral hop balance. Overall a very enjoyable ale that is also a very good session beer. (415 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bitterbeerguy for the bottle.

Appearance: Slightly hazed straw gold. Head is bright-white and quickly dwindles to a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Wisps of lace. Lively carbonation pulls throughout.

Smell: Apples, corn, grass, and pale malts. Nice fruity profile over a husky grassiness. Almost smells like a cider at the get-go. Slight tang of something that smells like wheat, but I know isn't. Very clean and crisp.

Taste: Pale malts ahoy! Loads of crisp delicious apple rounded out by some corn sweetness. Oh yeah, you can taste the corn. Touch of skunk lingers in the back giving it an extra edge. Sweetness is on point and adds a nice depth to the otherwise mellow flavor profile. Apples and corn chips.

Mouthfeel: On the thinner side of medium. Carbonation is high, but on point. Drinks on the smooth side with a nice dryness rounding out the back.

Overall: I would kill to have this as an every day drinking beer. It's at home with a day of mowing the lawn and football games or just sitting around and enjoying. A nice level of flavor and just enough of it to keep things interesting. (1,119 characters)

Photo of steveh
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All my years as a BA and drinking NG beers, I've never reviewed the Spotted Cow.

A -- Hazy, pale straw in color -- nearly as light as a macro lager, but don't let that fool you, dense white head that settles quickly, but revives well.

S -- Mild grain, light lemon-citrus character, some mild DMS. Good to style.

T -- Here's where the macros get left behind. Some mild grainy malt up front that carries some nice sweetness (probably from corn), but doesn't become harsh or sharp as some macros taste -- probably because of a good balance of barley malt. Finishes with a lemon citrus character that balances the grain nicely and makes the beer very refreshing. There's a good bitterness in the aftertaste that finishes off the balance of flavors nicely.

M -- Mouthfeel is creamy to crisply dry in the finish with a medium light body.

O -- I'd forgotten how good this beer is. It's the beer you want to have a few of without worrying over missing some complex character, yet it's not so bland that you forget you're treating yourself to something good. (1,054 characters)

Photo of ericj551
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spotted Cow pours a light gold with a nice head. The aroma is slightly grainy and malty with a night light fruitiness. The flavor is crisp with some light malt and just a hint of sweetness before a dry finish. The bitterness is very light, and there is really no hop flavor. The finish is fairly clean with just a bit of lingering fruitiness. (342 characters)

Photo of jayrod20
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spotted Cow pours a cloudy pale yellow with 1/2" of head that quickly dissipates. Smell is predominantly of yeast and corn. Taste is much of the same, the corn is noticeable as well as the unfiltered yeast, pretty well balanced. Full bodied, light on the tongue, perhaps a little under carbonated. Very drinkable, great session beer. This beer does no special tricks, it is what it is and what it is, is a great beer to spend an afternoon with. (444 characters)

Photo of confer
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pale yellow and cloudy. Head fluffs up and then fade to a layer of froth.S- Smells like a trippel candy-like.T- The taste is also sweet. Again it reminds me of a toned down trippel.MD- The feel is very creamy and smooth. This beer is unbelievably easy drinking. Wisconsinites are very lucky people.
Thanks to Bill for sharing this bottle. (341 characters)

Photo of CuBuffsaNut88
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It is really hard for me to admit this, being a Bears fan but you cheese eating weirdos pulled it off with this one. New Glarus has a number of good beers and the spotted cow is as good as just about any of them. It is a very well balanced and medium bodied brew with a mildly lingering citrus taste and aroma. It pours a nice yellow and sits well in a pint glass. All-in-all, it is a well crafted 'back to the basics' beer, simply, it is what beer is supposed to taste, look, and feel like. (491 characters)

Photo of indiapaleale
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spotted Cow pours a medium yellow color, sort of straw like and slightly hazy when held to the light. The head on this beer is nice and fluffy white. Nothing too spectacular to look at.

Aroma is sweet, grainy, some apples and pears as well. Not a whole lot going on in the smell. It does remind me a bit of some Belgian beers actually.

The taste of this beer is definitely where it shines. As far as "cream ales' go, this is by far the best I've ever had. The flavors that really stand out are the fruit esters, some cereal/grains, the corn sweetness and a nice dose of caramel.

Very drinkable and straight forward, the type of beer you could enjoy for a long time with friends. Great job New Glarus! Cheers! (711 characters)

Photo of seaoflament
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired in a trade with Initiative.

Pours a pale and hazy yellow, similar to pineapple juice, with a quickly fading layer of foam.

The aroma is of subtle citrus peel, sweet corn, pale malt and a bit of grass. It smells really crisp too.

Upfront sweetness and corn flavors, with a bit of sweet orange and grapefruit in the finish. Slight hop presence with a little mint. A slight fruitiness in the finish/aftertaste. Very clean and crisp tasting.

Mouthfeel is average to slightly above average, for the style I say it is spot on, not too light but enough body to make this feel like a well crafted beer. I’m not too fond of lagers, and this one obviously has lager qualities but blending it with an ale gives it a nice body that I feel combines two great aspects from both types of beers: refreshing taste, and a malt body to back it up. I wouldn’t mind drinking this again. (881 characters)

Photo of Baraka
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a super cloudy straw color with a mild head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells like peaches, apricot, oranges, ect. Very pleasing aroma. Taste adds a spicy yeast character and some bready malt. Solid carbonation gives it a crisp refreshing feel. While it may not be incredibly complex, it is a very drinkable, very tasty beer that I will definitely have again the next time i find myself in Wisconsin. (411 characters)

Photo of KBomb
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich cloudy gold, small creamy head. Aromas of fruit (citrus), grains, and a little yeast. Taste is a nice mild malt flavor with some sweetness of corn at the end of a sip. A little fruit note (grape) lingers in the mouth, but it does not out do the flavor of the grains. The only downside is the sweetness might turn slightly sour at the end of the sip. Still, very crisp and clean flavors. Crisp mouthfeel and fairly light body makes a very drinkable beer.

A great "go-to" beer, good "gateway" for macro-drinkers, and its one of my favorites for hot summer days. It strikes a balance of light body and well rounded flavor. Refreshing and pretty tasty. (663 characters)

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 739 ratings.