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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,236 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,236
Reviews: 684
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.75%
Wants: 150
Gots: 201 | FT: 7
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: 2,236 | Reviews: 684 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jar2574


3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There's nothing wrong with this beer but nothing outstanding either. It pours with a thin head and a yellow color. Not much smell to speak of. It's a very mellow beer, pretty smooth. Nothing noticeable in the taste. No hops to speak of, some malts I suppose, but very muted. Mouthfeel is smooth and drinkability is high. You could have several. A good inoffensive session beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 00:42:45 | More by jar2574
Photo of ibbjamin


3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I've always considered Spotted Cow the Fat Tire of Wisconsin - enjoyed by many and a great segway into craft beer. I remember thinking it was average, but it has been a long time since I've had one and I'm much more into craft brew now. That coupled with me being from Wisconsin made me have to give this another try with a keyboard this time. I pour a 12oz glass into a tulip to review.

Yields about a half inch white head that dissipates quickly leaving a ring of lacing on the inner rim of the tulip. Very cloudy orangish yellow. Some lacing.

Aroma is fruity, sweet and creamy. Peach, mango and melon perhaps - it is hard for me to pinpoint the medley, but it reminds me of those Cream Savers hard candies. Blindfolded, I probably would not think this was a beer.

Taste is not as full as my nose predicted. Hints of cream soda with aforementioned fruit medley, just more muted.

Mouthfeel is a bit flat; with it was more carbonated which would add more life to the beer. Light to medium body with a pretty short finish. Easy to drink, but a bit too sweet to be sessionable for me personally.

Way, way better than I remembered and expected.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2011 04:55:46 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of chickenflea


2.93/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried this in on tap in the airport on my way out of Wisconsin. I had heard it was good, so I anticipated a treat.

Poured a light straw color with a medium white head. Medium cloudiness. Looked like a wheat beer without the massive head.

Not much aroma, but what there was smelled of light crackers, wetted grains, and wheat-like malt. 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, the beer holds onto its weight until the very last second when the subtle hop bitterness ushers in a mild crisp and dry finish.

It was OK, but I wouldn't call it a great beer by any stretch. It was refreshing, but I finished it unsatisfied. It drank more like a lager than an ale.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2011 18:58:34 | More by chickenflea
Photo of SkunkWorks

New York

3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from notes.

Had on tap while on a layover in Wisconsin. Had on tap and served in a pint glass. This is my first cream ale so take this review with a grain of salt.

Look: looks pale straw colored, a bit of sediment but no haze, a thin eggshell head forms and leaves an incredibly small amount of lacing.

Smell: smells malty, with a bit of honey, a bit of caramel, but nothing in the way of hops and its certainly not complex.

Taste: tastes like a step up from an American Adjunct Lager, truthfully. A bit of maltiness but otherwise, nothing really here.

Feel: thin, carbonated thoroughly, a bit crisp without much bitterness.

Drink: obviously, this is meant to be sessionable and it lives up to that aim. I had quite a few of these and it could be a good substitute for BMC if you are out getting your drink on.

Overall, not really impressed. Perhaps its the style and this seems like a good representative of the style but there's not much flavor here. This is my first New Glarus beer and given the hype around the brewery, I was excited when I saw it on tap and disappointed when I got this in my pint glass. I dunno if this is just not a great beer by them or what, but this doesn't give me much hope for New Glarus.


Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2011 03:29:04 | More by SkunkWorks
Photo of TriGuy20


3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip style wine glass.

A: Golden yellow (A little hazy) with moderate white head and a decent amount of lace clings to side of glass.

S: Toasted grain/ Malt/ Lemon/ Wheat/ Vanilla notes

T: The grain hits you up front with a little butter cream which is followed by some nice lemon flavors on the mid palate and a wheat and lemon zest finish.

MF: This beer feels solid on the palate; I would like it to be a little more velvety.

D: This would be a fine beer to session with; however, some might find the butter cream taste to get a little cloying after a while.

Well done New Glarus, a fine brew to enjoy with friends.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 00:14:05 | More by TriGuy20
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the Milwaukee airport. Hazy, dull yellow with a large white custard head. Craggy lace aplenty despite so-so retention.

Aroma is light grains and a nifty spice of some sort. Upon further review I found that nifty spice to be corn. I'll buy corn. Taste is similarly led by light grains and corn chip with some lemon zest. Doughy drying in back gives this beer a saison-like refreshing quality albeit less dry and more lawn mower.

For what it's worth, one of the best cream ale I've had. That said I'm not a cream ale fan.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2011 01:45:25 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of richkrull


4.78/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer. It has a great taste, a great name and it's brewed in Wisconsin. Just doesn't get much better than that.

Spotted Cow has a nice cloudy golden color with a bit of a citrus smell/taste. It's a really easy to drink beer, even in large volume.

I highly recommend this beer to everyone.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2011 21:34:24 | More by richkrull
Photo of flexabull


3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted blind courtesy of KimR, thanks again!

Pours a bright and hazy gold color with a faint white head.

Aromas are bready, grassy, and with some lemon hop notes.

Taste is lightly citus, some lemon zest, and bready creaminess. Taste is pretty mild and muted. Finish has really faint crisp and mineral hops. Not a bad tasting beer, but not much going on here.

Mouthfeel is decent, pretty good fullness and carbonation.

Drinkability is also decent. Kind of a boring tasting beer, but it is easy to drink and pretty refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 00:32:03 | More by flexabull
Photo of brewmudgeon


2.15/5  rDev -42%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 03:08:25 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of drabmuh


3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 03:49:05 | More by drabmuh
Photo of cooch69


4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Spotted Cow pours a hazy deep and slightly bright yellow. It had no head, instead just some remaining patches of lacing.

The nose was grainy with a bit of pears in it.

Taste was a real husky graininess and pretty refreshing. A little lemon in the finish as well as a bit of a doughy bread.

This brew is a relly good session ale. It goes down smooth and is really tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2010 01:47:40 | More by cooch69
Photo of BeerLover99


3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: straw yellow hazing body, very little head.

S: sweet slight malt, hint of citrus and hops...very faint.

T: slight sweet, malt, and hops. goes down smooth.

M: decent carbonation, light-to-med body, slight bitter aftertaste.

D: Great summer beer and session beer. Not the best offering at New Glarus, but I have started many new beer drinkers with this solid brew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2010 21:30:05 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of etn3000


3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had Spotted Cow maybe 9 times in the course of 4 years. Every time I have one, for at least a week after that I am craving another one. I don't know what it is about the beer. It has a very cloudy orangish color, and it goes down very smooth, and it's flavor is excellent. Very crisp. I would recommend this beer to anyone. It's one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 22:08:29 | More by etn3000
Photo of tehawful


3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was able to get a bottle of this through a friend of a friend, as I have not seen it locally. The label mentions that they have given a nod to Wisconsin farmers with a little hint of corn...which makes up a large portion of the aroma. Floral hops, spice and sweet grain hints are also noticeable. Spotted Cow pours a hazy golden straw color, due to brewers decision to keep the yeast in the bottle.

There is a pale malt taste upfront with just a bit of grain. Nothing too bold upfront, but it picks up quickly with a pleasantly sweet corn characteristic that seems to compliment the style. Though it starts slow, its a pretty enjoyable experience overall. Spotted Cow also finishes cleanly which makes it a very drinkable ale. I would definitely pick this up from time to time if it was available.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 02:11:36 | More by tehawful
Photo of DKight


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received from a friend who lives in Wisconsin, since this beer is all but impossible to find in Indianapolis.

Served in bottle.

For an ale it is very good. Perfect amount of malt to make it drinkable, yet set it apart from most ales I have drank. I prefer malty beers, and this is one of my favorite light malt beers.

Not much head when poured out of bottle, color is nothing special. Very drinkable and smooth, especially for a non-light beer. For anyone wanting to get into craft/micro-brews this is the beer for you.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 19:06:31 | More by DKight
Photo of snaotheus


3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle shipped from the west coast to the east coast

Pours a mostly clear golden color, almost no head, medium amount visible carbonation. Smells malty, very bready and yeasty, with a fair amount of citrus and banana.

Taste is a bit of a letdown after that smell...first thing that comes to mind is flat, sour apple juice, but that's not really a fair description. It is a sort of confusing sweet-and-sour taste with a little banana and a lagery finish.

Mouthfeel is light but flat. Not a great beer, not a bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 03:32:30 | More by snaotheus
Photo of mariposafan


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Slightly murky golden color with a nice one finger of tight, creamy head. Some lacing.

The aroma is sweet and grainy. A touch of corn but nothing like it was on tap.

The taste is again nicer than it was on tap. Slightly sweet with a touch of corn and some maltiness. A little waterier than ideal but none of the sourness that I got from the tap version and much more flavor.

The mouthfeel is about as I remember it - a little thin but creamy and with nice carbonation.

This is much more drinkable! The amount of flavor just changes the whole experience. This would go down very easily time after time, though I don't think I'd grab it instead of New Glarus' own Back 40 or Stone Soup if they were available.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 21:08:51 | More by mariposafan
Photo of jwinship83


3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle brought back from wisconsin by a coworker. drank from my samual adams perfect pint glass. no freshness information can be found on the bottle.

A- this one pours out a lightly hazy golden straw colored body. the head on top is bright white, huge, and fluffy. it takes a few minutes to fall, and leaves behind a small wall of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice are the lightly sweet pale malts. its also faintly yeasty and there are some very light floral hop notes at the end. im pretty sure i can pick up the scent of corn in here, but that might just be because of the bottle. either way, this beer lacks the strong and off-putting corn odor that american adjunct lagers have.

T- very delicate tasting. sweet pale malts up front. the yeast presence i could smell comes through stronger in the taste. i can taste the corn, im sure of it. its still lightly done and doesnt bring with it the distinct metallic taste. floral hops at the end come through faintly.

M- light bodied and highly carbonated. little to no aftertaste left behind.

D- easy to finish this one, and at a strength that most consider sessionable. this is a nice alternative to the big three.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 16:15:50 | More by jwinship83
Photo of CenCalMario


3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Low alcohol much as expected with a cream ale. Color and appearance are desireable. Head was nice and full, good carbonation. I found the aroma to be lacking, almost had to try to "find" it in the nose, very subtle and light. Taste lacked character and was average, was expecting a bit more.

Overall this beer rates as a beer worth trying but not worth buying.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2010 06:07:19 | More by CenCalMario
Photo of dpnelson1978


2.83/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 19:45:50 | More by dpnelson1978
Photo of mcmahon41


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Only sold in Wisconsin. A very smooth, light honey colored ale.

"The Cow" is semi-cloudy with a gentle carbonation. The head is frothy white and seems to disappear quickly. It is pleasantly sweet with a fruity smell. Crisp and light on the palate. This beer goes down quickly and and will surely be a party favorite.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2010 21:27:52 | More by mcmahon41
Photo of cpolking


3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a honey golden and slightly cloudy. The aroma is of tart fruit and green apple. It tastes fruity, slightly sweet, round and soft on the mouth, with a hint of grain in the back. It tastes like a golden honey ale although this has no honey.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2010 23:36:29 | More by cpolking
Photo of SpdKilz


3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to my brother-in-law who sent me this after talking about it over the phone. Cheers friend!

Appearance - Pours a hazy yellow into my SA Perfect Pint. About a finger of white head is achieved with a moderate pour. The head dissipates rather quickly, leaving fine lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Grain, citrus, bready malts, slight hops.

Taste - Similar to the nose but a bit more fruity. Very balanced. As the beer warms up you get more grain/corn in the flavor/aroma.

Mouthfeel - Medium to thin bodied, moderate carbonation, crisp clean finish.

Drinkability - I can put back a six pack of these like it was nothing. Totally a summer beer or beer to pair with BBQ foods during summer or pizza. Glad I was able to try this and can't wait to have some this summer when I'm back in the hot, humid, Midwest!

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 01:32:09 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of Thorpe429


3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours yellow with a slight white head. The nose is pretty plain with some really light malt and some slight fruits. Very mild hops. The taste is just a tad bit of lightly-sweetened malt and really not much else. Body is light and somewhat creamy with good carbonation. Drinks quite well and I can see how it sells so much.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2010 02:49:07 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Pours a 1 finger foamy white head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear corn yellow. Lacing is patchy with little cling.

S: Nose is subtle but exceedingly sweet. Lemon, lychee, and cane sugar. Very style appropriate but not really much of anything going on here. Also not the most aromatic.

T: Opens displaying a big malt backbone. Spicy notes from the beginning to middle. Lemon. Beer sours just a tad towards the end and fades sweet and with hints of corn.

M: Light bodied, highly carbonated, lively and quite abrasive going down. Slightly watery in the mouth. Finish is clean and aftertaste is slightly oily but doesn't linger.

D: I can't remember the last beer I was this indifferent to. Very plain with an appropriate mouthfeel but there's nothing exciting or out of the ordinary about this one. Just a peg above the macros. Nothing to complain about but there's no real reason to come back to this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2010 23:30:42 | More by SpeedwayJim
Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,236 ratings.