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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: 3,211
Avg: 3.65
pDev: 28.77%
Wants: 243
Gots: 755 | 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: 3,211
Photo of Koufax21
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass at the Milwuakee airport.

A - pours a very light yellow with a 1" head. Somewhat hazy in appearance with a small amount of yeast in suspension.

S - smells of corn and maybe a little bit of lemon zest.

T - light citrus, lemon flavor and the mild presence of corn. A little sweeter than I was expecting.

M - well carbonated and light bodied.

O - when I find out what I'm paying for this, I'm sure my thoughts on it would change. But, hey, I'm in an airport. This is a beer that I could session pretty easily. I'm a little confused on this beer though. BA lists it as a cream ale and the bottle says Wisconsin farmhouse ale. I side with BA on this one.

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Photo of Crundy
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: kind of a golden straw color, very clear, foamy white head and minimal lacing

S: citrus hops, some malt as well, sweet smell

T: grainy, bready, very mild flavors, virtually no aftertaste to speak of

M: creamy and smooth with somewhat of a bite. The beer has a decent crispness to it. Light medium bodied.

O: Not my favorite of all the New Glarus Beers i've tasted. this one had kind of subdued and boring flavors. It didn't taste bad but it didn't make me want to keep drinking it.

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Photo of MAFC_Trainer
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours little to no head. Body is a light, pale, gold. Faint smell of crisp banana and yeast goes with its taste and a slight hint of fruit. Goes down smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation. Really great beer that as far I know is only sold in Wisconsin. I always find me a 6 pack of these when I'm in the state.

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Photo of egrapplesberg
4.27/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2295 on twelve oz bottle. I'm thinking 229 day of the year. July/August. Not too old. Poured into snifter. Cloudy dark yellow with frothy 2 inch head that fades modestly. As I sip healthy spots cling to the glass and slide down leaving some stragglers. Smell is banana and some biscuit. Taste is similar. Drinkability is superb. Idk if it's because I just got off work but I'm loving this beer. Cheers!

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Photo of cadenwhitaker
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of spoons
2.92/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Has a hazy yellow body and a good white head. Leaves a little lacing.

Smells like an adjunct lager. Possibly some grainy corn. Not much of a hop presences to speak of.

The flavor has a nice malty twang to it. Its carried by a smooth mouthfeel but is light in body. A good example of a cream ale. I would drink it again, just not too often as it is a beer style that lacks flavor.

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Photo of fastpass17
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A: Crystal clear, yellow fizzy beer in color, creamy one finger head, good crisp carbonation.

S: Vanilla cream is in the forefront, clean malt takes hold of the rest of the nose, little to no hop presence.

T: A more full bodied throw back to Genny cream ale. There is more complexity in the malt and cream presence. The flavor is slightly corny and creamy which is very reminiscent to by gone days.

M,O: Well balance and pleasing to the tongue, a summer burger beer. Very session-able as well.

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Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
4.14/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into my Samuel Smith's pint glass. Pours a clear straw color with a decent amount of carbonation visible. There is a foamy white head that dissipates into a cap and leaves a good amount of lacing. Had aromas of sweet, grainy cereals and strawberries. Taste is grainy and sweet with a bit of earthy bitterness making an appearance. Very light and drinkable with a decent amount of carbonation. There is a lightly sweet aftertaste that lingers for a short while.

Overall: I'll admit that I haven't had many cream ales, but this is the best that I can remember. This is an awesome, drinkable beer. If I lived in Wisconsin, I would get a pitcher of this every time I went to a bar.

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Photo of OmahaKF
3.14/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Smell is of cream, King's Hawaiian sweet bread, and White Rabbit milk candy. Taste is sweet bread - basically a creamy lager. Easy drinking, but did not live up to the hype.

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Photo of Opethsprite
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was recently at a bar here in Wisconsin and asked what "this Spotted Cow business" was all about... "You've never had the Spotted Cow?!" the bartender asked, incredulous. "I'm not from around here..." He quickly poured a sample for me, saying very few people don't like this beer.

Pours a vivid but cloudy pale golden orange with a fluffy white head. Yeast, orange, and hops are present on the nose, as well as a hint of something floral. Creamy indeed! The citrus is mellowed significantly by the sweetness of the grains (barley flakes and a hint of corn, according to the bottle). Though I enjoyed the initial burst of sweetness from the cream, the sweetness from the grain is a bit much for my palate. Playful carbonation.

Edit: After having a couple more, I've decided that I'm not as keen on this as I initially judged. It's that grainy over-sweetness. Narsty. I have thus dropped the smell and taste by half a point from my original review.

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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 hochief
4.24/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Spotted cow is a staple in my diet. a good full flavored beer with a sweet malt that just melts in your mouth. Poured into a pint glass this beer has a small amount of head with good looking lace, color is a nice light gold while being quite cloudy. I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of twbrewer
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a hazy yellow color very little head that disappears fast leaving nothing.

S-Mild fruit smell but more sourdough/yeast.

T-Similar to the smell,fruit and yeast with a tart or sour finish.it reminds me more of a Belgian beer,which I love!

M-Light bodied low carbonation.Smooth on the palate but I wouldn't say creamey.

D-Very drinkable beer.Love the taste and smell,Belgian/France inspired?I might have to stock this one in the fridge.

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Photo of pb9613
5/5  rDev +37%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - A hazy golden straw color with a touch of sunlight and a nice white head and good lacing.

Smell - Light and crisp with some fruity notes and a hint of hops on top of a sweet light grain smell.

Taste - Smooth in a great balance with the lively carbonation. There is just a touch of bitterness and a touch of corn. It leaves you wanting more and disappointed when the bottle is empty.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation and malt base really play well together making this light ale feel a little heavier and not like a light beer.

Overall - I loved it. There is not anotherlight ale that can match the balance of bitterness, malt background with the excellent carbonation. I feel the need to head to Wisconsin and smell their "Dairy Air" and have another Spotted Cow.

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Photo of RJUGA03
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Foggy school bus yellow with a tiny bit of head...rather outer perimeter lacing.

S-The usual with slight citrus notes.

T-Good slightly like a Hefe beginning and malty finish.

M-Smooth without overpowering carbonation.

D- It is a good beer with a high drinkability because many part time beer drinkers express the greatness of this one. I've had this one in a bottle and on-tap at The Brat Stop and The Burlington in (Logan Squre) Chicago.

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Photo of brewdub17
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden colored body with hues of light amber. A thin and quickly disappearing head sits atop the cloudy body.

Smell: The fresh smells from the light use of hops come forward and are complimented well with the dry malty scent.

Taste: A dry malty flavor that is noticeable when smelt comes out strong and is carried throughout. The fresh citrus notes from the hops compliment the dry flavor. A slight amount of sweetness is intertwined amongst all of the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Again, the freshness and dryness make a crisp, clean mouthfeel.

Drinkability: The beer feels pretty "light" and not too flavor intensive. Though I may not want to spend more money for one, they still go down easy.

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Photo of irrgalaxy
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Clear, very light golden color. Lots of head, rather thin.

S: Lots of grains

T: Carrots, hops, bit of a sharp finish.

M: Light, but finishes well.

O: Very good for a cream ale, but I don't think it's my favorite style. Not many strong flavors to distinguish this from similar kinds, although the balance (as usual from NG) is excellent.

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Photo of BeerCheese
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Took from the fridge and poured right into my glass. Poured slightly cloudy yellow with small white head comprised of big bubbles. Head dissipated quickly. Aroma was barely detectable. More CO2 bite in the aroma than anything else. Taste like any average ale. Not bad. Not great, but very drinkable.

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3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: New Glarus’ flagship beer pours a cloudy hay-gold with just under two fingers of pure white head that eventually settles to a nice looking white crust on the surface of the beer. The carbonation is minimal, as is lacing. There really isn’t much to say about the beer; it is quite plain and unremarkable.

Smell: The smell is unique, if also plain. Most of the nose is dominated by a creamy and sweet corn-tinged scent mixed with a healthy dose of wheat and moderate suggestions of malt and barley. Yeast is also present here, though not very strongly.

Taste: Initially the corn and sweet malts are very strong, but as they fade into the background, the deeper malt character and yeast force their way to the front. The aftertaste is a bit fruity (bananas and pineapples?), but not so sweet as to ruin the spicy bite that the yeast gives it. Again, the beer is unique, and taste is definitely where it excels, but it is not overly impressive in the grand beer scheme.

Mouthfeel: This one is best served cold to make it as refreshing as possible. It exceeds in the drinkability category and is thus a great session beer, especially considering its relatively low ABV. As mentioned in taste, the yeastiness gives it a great bite and makes up for the lacking carbonation. Not a lot else going on here.

Overall: Drinking the beer that New Glarus is known for turned out to be somewhat disappointing, but that shouldn’t discourage prospective drinkers from trying it, and those who have also been disappointed or felt indifferent should give the other great New Glarus brews a shot. Also worth noting is that the Cow really varies, sometimes from bottle to bottle, batch to batch, and certainly from tap to tap; some glasses are really delicious and deserving of a 4-4.5, but most are somewhere between 2-3.5, sadly. If drunk on the porch on a hot summer day, this otherwise mediocre beverage gains roughly .5-it is that refreshing. 13/20

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Photo of MickeyBeer
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a beer that I have had dozens of times, but decided to finally write a review on it.

A- Pours a slightly cloudy, golden color. Head was rather minimal, leaving only about a half a finger of white head that dissipates rather quickly. No real lacing to speak of.

S- Smell is sweet and malty with a little bit of a wheat aroma. Doesn't exactly hit you in the nose, but some nice aromas are present.

T- This beer has a good deal of flavor, but in many ways is hard to describe. It has an almost fruity flavor similar to that of a cider. Also has a spiced presence to it. Hops are not very prominent in the flavor, and mostly the sweetness of the beer comes forward.

M- This beer is smooth and drinkable. Makes for a great summer session drinking beer in my opinion.

O- A unique brew that is widely available in Wisconsin. It is tasty and reasonably priced. Not the most complex beer that I have ever had, but I will certainly continue to purchase it.

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Photo of mpcrump
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Hazy amber color. At least 1 inch of head that slowly disappeared leaving some lacing.

S: Malts and biscuit with a hint of light fruit - bananas, pears.

T: Light malts. Light citrus as well. Tastes very good but this beer will not overwhelm any taste bud.

M: Light and creamy. Light carbonation as well. Very drinkable.

O: A very well tasting and mild beer. If you are looking for something strong this isn't it. Nice and light.

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Photo of Fuller
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another Wisconsin beer shipped to me by thefatkid13 :thumbup:

poured a hazy yellow with almost no head even with an aggressive pour. A slight ring of foam does stay on top of the brew most of the way throughout drinking though. Smells great for a hot day - light and fruity with a touch of grain. Hop bitterness is nonexistant, taste is of a hint of citrus and grain with a noticeable dry finish. Definitely see why its a cream ale in the mouthfeel area. Goes down smooth and creamy.

Nothing about this beer screams out "hey, look at me!", but that's part of what makes it so damn drinkable.

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Photo of kingothewoods
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a little on the yellowish side with not much head and not much carbonation. Very sweet smells which are the malts - kinda like homemade bread. Slightly smooth and easy to drink with the aftertaste of a little hint of hops in there. This is a beer I would call a summer brew that you have at a neighbor's barbecue party.

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Photo of bjohn84
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pale yellow with a slight haze. The little head that was present dissipates quickly

S - Fresh straw and yeast. Sweet bread coming through a bit

T - Clean and bready with sweet malts. Corn. mellow hop along with banana comes in on back side.

M - Extremely drinkable with a slightly higher creaminess and mouthfeel than expected. Great sharp carbonation of tiny bubbles throughout

O - Great refreshing beer. I really enjoy the carbonation balance and just enough flavor to keep it interesting with the low ABV

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Photo of snaxcat
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly cloudy pale straw color.
Smells of banana, bready malt, pineapple.
Tastes of straw, bread, banana, sweet fruits. Decent hop bitterness not overpowering.
Smooth, light, refreshing.

Overall: a solid, go to, easy drinking summer beer.

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