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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

2,649 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,649
Reviews: 701
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 178
Gots: 362 | FT: 9
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,649 | Reviews: 701 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 23, 2004
Photo of BEERchitect
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An easy drinking, pleasant enough light ale (quite lager tasting) with an underlying character of corn throughout.

The appearance starts with a medium froathy pour, releasing a light but dense white head with good retention and light lacing. The beer carries a modest haze.

Aromas of light crackers, wetted grains, wheat-like malt, and creamed corn. Herbal and grassy hops play lightly in the background. Lightly sulfury.

Flavors of corn, raw barley, and grain husk round out in a lager-like way. A bit more rich, the beer has a briney, yeasty taste that keeps the grassy hops in check. Finishes with that unmistakable corn taste.

Creamy and almost rich, the beer holds onto its weight until the very last second when the hop bitterness ushers in a mild crisp and dry finish.

Because Cream Ales are supposed to have a corn-like character, this beer fares reasonably well. But it's one of those mystery beers that have a cult following by swill drinkers who think they have the best beer in the world.

BEERchitect, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

kjkinsey, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%
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.

Phyl21ca, Jul 19, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the pleasure of getting a whole bunch of brews from New Glarus recently so I have been working my way down the line and this was the next one up. I am not normally a fan of cream ales, but I figured what the heck and decided to give this one a shot. It poured a very nice cloudy and very light yellow, almost a white color. A large three finger head of fizzy white lace formed on top and then it faded quickly leaving behind just minimal lace on the top, but adequate side glass lace. Lots of visible carbonation was apparent. The aroma was very light, and somewhat sweet. Not really too much to pick up, maybe some light malts and a touch of bread but that was it, the style is not really know to be very full. The taste was very light, and refreshing. A touch of yeast or light fruit graced the opening of a very carbonated and light bodied ale. This was more refreshing then anything and it served that purpose well. A somewhat muted taste, maybe a touch of sugar and almost a cola like flavor in the back. Overall this was not bad. As I mentioned I am not really a fan of the style, but this was the best I have had from it, with maybe the exception of the Terrapin Golden Ale. This was pretty good though, and I could see it used while mowing the lawn in July kind of thing. Not bad and give it a try if you get a chance.

mikesgroove, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

jaydoc, Aug 31, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

kylehay2004, May 07, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a really nice clear yellow color with a bone white head on top. The lacing on this beer was quite impressive. The smell of the beer had some very light hop aromas but were mostly covered by the sweet malt character this brew has. The taste of the beer screamed cream ale right off the first sip to me. It's slightly sweet with a grainy malt flavor with just the lightest amount of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel was light bodied, easy going, drinkable and nicely carbonated. Overall this beer is one that you could drink a lot of if you choose too. It's a refreshing brew and can be enjoyed just about anytime of the year.

Knapp85, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Keeping it simple, keeping it real, this beer pours a yellow body with a small white head.

Smell: Aroma of pale malts, yeast, flowers. Why, there's even a few kernels of white corn in the nose.

Taste: Lightly sweet pale maltiness with a touch of corn. One drop of honey. A few flower petals. Very mild hop bitterness. Hint of yeast. Finishes watery and abrupt, but let's use the word "clean" instead, shall we.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A very easy drinking beer that's probably better suited to summertime temperatures in excess of ninety degrees. It's not often you see a cow-themed beer that doesn't turn out to be just another milk stout.

ChainGangGuy, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +7.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

JAHMUR, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at Twelve Pines.

When in northern Wisconsin, drink as the locals do. Enter: New Glarus. This offering pours a clear pale straw topped by about a half-finger of white micro-foam. The nose comprises green apple, peach, mandarin orange, corn, and a slight yeasty character. The taste holds notes of red apple, orange zest, lemonade, hard water, and corn syrup. Honestly, I didn't see so much fruit being involved here. The body is light, with an active carbonation and a crisp, dry finish. Overall, a nice li'l brew, nothing all too special, but definitely a highly drinkable bit o' Wisconsin-y goodness.

TMoney2591, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

SocalKicks, May 04, 2014
Photo of emerge077
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Burlington. Ask for the "house beer" with the antler handpull.

Pale yellow tone, small thin head of foam. This settles to a ring soon enough. Slightly hazy due to the yeast content. Slight corn in the aroma, mixed with pale malt. Taste is light with malt and mild citrus, vaguely bready. Mild overall, not unpleasant. Slightly fuller feel than your average lager, not really "creamy" though. Easy to put back a couple pints. Having these drafts, it felt like being in a speakeasy...

emerge077, Oct 15, 2007
Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a fizzy, orange, golden/yellow color with a fizzy, small, white head. It left no lace.

S - It smelled of yeast, clove, gains and wheat.

T - It tasted of light caramel malt, grains, clove and some yeast. It really tasted like an american pale wheat ale.

M - It was crisp and very sharp. A light bodied beer.

D - This is a nice cream ale very sessionable and easy drinking.

zeff80, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice cream ale, a style id like to have more of available. this one pours nice and clear, flatish looking, sort of matted blonde in color, orange hues, two inch head. the nose is sort of bland malt on the light side, some sweetness, and a grassy hop complex that seems unfamiliar. the flavor too features that unique hopping. its not hoppy per se, but the hops used impart a new flavor to me, and combined with the light malt and unidentified sugar, makes for a really unique and drinkable light beer. to me, like the moon man, this is an all day beer. everythings in balance, nothing is too bold or brutal, and its not a boring drink at all. civilized might be a good way to describe this one. bright carbonation and a smooth textured light body lend to superior sessionability. maybe not as adventurous as some other new glarus brews, but certainly as skillfully crafted. beer me another!

StonedTrippin, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from ughsmash so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, grain and a touch of hops.

T: The taste likewise starts out bready with flavors of grain, light malts and a bit of corn. Then some malt sweetness comes in. The hops presence is very mild yet complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: A little tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, good representation of style, decent beer to pound down several of over a long period of time.

TheManiacalOne, May 25, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy gold, with a 1/2 finger of eggshell white head. Retains around the edges, with a light spotty cascade of lacing. The aroma has a light smelling tasty corn bread type character going on it with it from a combo of oats and citrus. Some floral hops float along the back. This isn't overly complex but still pleasant.

The taste is sweet toasted oats, with a bit of citrus, and that same corny taste coming out towards the backend. Solid tingle of hop bitterness gives this some good balance, added firmness to the profile, and a dry feel in the finish. The mouthfeel lighter-medium bodied, with a bit more presence than I thought it would have, relative to a sharpness in the carbonation that I did not expect. There is a bit of a thicker underbelly to the feel (where the sweetness dwells) that is holding the drinkibility of this back some for me.

Light but refreshing for the most part, this was a decent Cream Ale. I was glad that I was actually able to pick a bit of corn out in this (especially in the aroma) as I really enjoy the flavors it puts off when mixed with the maltier components of these.

Kegatron, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

RblWthACoz, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Someonce once urged me to try one, and declared it "the best". So now I have, but that claim speaks more about them then it does aobut this.
Appearance: a clear pale yella hue, with a slight, soon vanishing white head.
Nose is mee, softly citric, a tiny bit sour.
Smooth on the palate, though not entirely without flavor. Practically no hops no speak of, just adequate enough malt, vestigal fruit notes whisper briefly.
Finish is brief, non-descript. Body is light to the point of invisibility. A very fragile, meek little beer.
Would be a decent choice for a "lawnmower" brew, maybe, when complexity and challenge are not in the order.
Not a bad beer, but not much, either.
Thanks to cokes for helping me try it out!

feloniousmonk, Oct 02, 2003
Photo of drabmuh
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a DFH snifter. Beer is yellow and hazy with a big white head that falls away quickly leaving some lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Sweet, creamy aroma with a little hops.

Beer is light in body and in flavor. There is a minimal sweetness at the lead off and it caves in to reveal....nothing. There is not a lot of anything going on in this beer. Interesting. The finish is bland and easy. Its like drinking sweetened water.

drabmuh, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

mendvicdog, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12/18/11 notes.

a - Pours a pale yellow color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, grains, spices, light fruit. Not bad, but a bit bland in the nose.

t - Tastes of bready malts, cream, light toasted malts, grain, light fruit and floral notes. Cream is definitely here in the taste and much better than the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Super smooth and creamy, and very very easy to drink. Best part of the beer.

o - Overall an interesting beer. The nose is a bit bland, but than the taste is very bready and creamy, which is pretty nice. The mouthfeel is near perfect, and it would be very easy to have a few of these. Something I'd like to try again sometime.

mdfb79, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of MarkyMOD
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

MarkyMOD, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to slasher007 for this bottle.

Pours a hazy straw color with a small white head. Aroma is malty sweetness with a little citrus and floral mixed in. The beer has a malty flavor with a slight corn flavor. There is also some hop flavor. This is a very tasty beer with a creamy mouthfeel that is easy to drink. Recommended.

Mora2000, Dec 28, 2009
Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,649 ratings.