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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,452 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,452
Reviews: 695
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.71%
Wants: 169
Gots: 284 | FT: 8
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: 2,452 | Reviews: 695 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kgotcher


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%

Med to low carbonation, very pale and opaque. Pretty light aroma. Taste is smooth and mellow vey very drinkable. Drinks more like a lager. Med body with easy finish.

Frankly not much depth but the taste is clean and good and it is extremly drinkable.

04-07-2011 22:59:19 | More by kgotcher
Photo of OddNotion

New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -14.5%

Received as an extra in a trade, thanks syrupjoe!

Appearance: Poured into my DFH Signature Glass. A one half finger white head appears and very quickly recedes into a light lacing around the glass. Under the head is a straw colored opaque liquid. Nothing out of this world.

Smell: Not impressed at all on my first inhalation. It is grainy and reminds me of Bud Light. I sincerely hope that it gets better as the beer warms and I will rate accordingly. As it warms I catch a little bit of fruitiness but a grainy scent still owns the smell.

Taste: Much more appealing than the smell. I was worried that this beer would not be good. However, this beer is nice and light and fruity. Reminds me of a kolsch, a good kolsch at that. Very sessionable beer. The grains from the smell do transfer over to the taste.

Mouthfeel: While the carbonation is not over the top by any means the mouthfeel of this beer is almost like a soda. Very strong almost burning tingle. A little thin but that is expected for the style.

Overall: It is good. Worth a try, I feel like I say that about 90% of the beers I drink. Nothing out of this world but I am glad I had the chance to try a New Glarus offering. Much better than any macro, however it does remind me of an adjunct lager, which I guess is expected given the description of the style.

03-31-2011 05:58:34 | More by OddNotion
Photo of beerandcycling88


2.88/5  rDev -22.6%

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.

03-28-2011 00:24:30 | More by beerandcycling88
Photo of portia99


3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

12oz bottle received as a gift from a macro drinker who has no idea what this is but dutifully returned from a trip to Wisconsin with a mixed NG case for me. Thanks Jamie (even though you will never read this). Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours a hazy, wheaty looking pale straw golden color. A finger of pillowy soft head rests on top for a minute and falls peacefully to a skim coat and a thick collar around the edge of the glass.

S - Very fruity aroma, lemon, oranges. Light with some spice and a noticeable bubble gummy aroma. The slightest hint of tartness and some cereal-like graininess also.

T - Light and crisp, cereal grain, wheat. Very fruity flavors with the bubble gum from the aroma continuing into the flavor. Hops are low in the flavor profile, not quite balancing out the sweet, malty and grainy flavors that are found from beginning thru the end.

M - Body is on the thin side, carbonation is also somewhat on the light side. Light and crisp...the fruitiness is simultaneously interesting and a bit distracting.

D - This seems to be made for an extremely hot summer day and a forced mowing of the lawn. This is a beer where you grab 3 or 4, find some shady place and relax for the afternoon. Very light and crisp. A bit "over-fruity" for my tastes, but I think if it hits the mid 90's I could finish a 6 pack in about 15 minutes. Even at only 5.1%, that might hurt eventually, but these would go down fast nonetheless.

03-16-2011 00:26:12 | More by portia99
Photo of u2carew


3.28/5  rDev -11.8%

12 oz longneck
A) Pours with a two finger head then settles quickly leaving a sticky lacing at the edge of the glass. The body is fairly clear, just a bit of chill haze. Bronze in color.
S) Some wheaty hefeweizen-esque notes. Dry grains. Just lingering below the surface hints of apple.
T) Very light malty taste up front, slowly moves across the palate has a nutty finish. With a lingering graininess in the aftertaste. Overall the flavor profile is a bit thin.
M) Fizzy. Light to body. A grainy tannin in the finish - not expected.
D) An alright brew. I could see downing a few of these on a hot summer day. A good transition beer for macro to micro converts.

03-14-2011 00:01:31 | More by u2carew
Photo of levifunk


5/5  rDev +34.4%

I just noticed there are 499 reviews for this, so let me be lucky number 500 ;)

This is a fantastic beer. Its the beer I drank before I got into beer. Yes its a great cream ale. Yes its craft beer. But, you have to realize that in WI this has become as common as miller light, so I argue one should review it as a BMC beer. I give it straight 5's for taking a strong bite out of the BMC hold here in WI, and would give it nearly as high of a rating even if it wasn't.

03-12-2011 20:06:23 | More by levifunk
Photo of jsulko


4/5  rDev +7.5%

Bottle poured into tulip glass

Slightly cloudy yellow color with small white head that does noit linger long

Hints of corn and sweetness in the smell.

Light bodied beer tase does not linger.

Creamy taste. Given the corn used in the recipie and the cream ale style it might not be for everyone but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

03-07-2011 04:24:51 | More by jsulko
Photo of beergod1


3.3/5  rDev -11.3%

Pours a yellow color with a white head that goes away pretty quick. Smell has some sweetness, grainy? And a touch of fruitiness. Taste is sweet and smooth, pretty drinkable. But once it started to warm up....Changed for the worse. I guess it is a Cream Ale.

03-06-2011 23:00:40 | More by beergod1
Photo of smm


3.13/5  rDev -15.9%

On tap at the bar in the Telemark Lodge, Cable, WI.

A- Straw yellow cloudy pour with a thin lacy white head.

S- Corny and sweet.

T- Sweet and a bit malty. Notes of whole grains.

M- Medium body and high carbonation. Creamy on the tongue.

D- Low alcohol, nice feel to it. A nice upgrade from an average adjunct... Price might hold it back though.

02-26-2011 00:24:32 | More by smm
Photo of Frosty80


4.6/5  rDev +23.7%

Color: pours very pale yellow. sits clear yellow-gold, with some suspended sediment, with a two-finger, bone white head

Smell: very clean pale malt character with a hint of adjunct. hops are very light and earthy

Taste: very tasty, super clean, slightly sweet and grainy pale malt flavor. again, hint of corn adjunct is present. little bit of fruitiiness. hops are very light contributing only a hint of earthiness. finish is grainy sweet and light

Mouthfeel: light bodied with medium carbonation

Notes: fantastic light-bodied brew that actually has great flavor. just enough adjunct to make it fun, otherwise a pure expression of sweet, pale malts. perfect for a hot day and close enough to sessionable for any activity. wish we got this in Michigan. we need a beer like this

02-18-2011 03:37:31 | More by Frosty80
Photo of matjack85


4.26/5  rDev +14.5%

12oz brown bottle with a little story about the beer along the side of the label. The New Glarus website lists this beer as a farmhouse ale while BA calls it a cream ale. After tasting, I have to side with BA on this one. It's definitely a cream ale.

The beer poured a cloudy pear yellow color and made a 2-finger foamy white head that lasted awhile. Nice lacing.

Wow, this is one fruity beer. Smelled like opening a roll of Life Saver candies.

Bready malt backbone with lots of fruit flavors - lemon, pear, apple, and banana. Add some vanilla cream and there you have it. Nothing overpowering - more on the subtle side. The smell is stronger than the taste, but the taste is still good.

Smooth and creamy with only moderate carbonation. More medium than light in body.

Enjoyable and really easy to drink. I believe this is New Glarus's signature brew.

02-17-2011 06:06:39 | More by matjack85
Photo of KickInTheChalice


3.05/5  rDev -18%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Spotted Cow pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color with a 6 cm fizzy, rocky, white head that sits on top of the beer in my pint glass. Eventually it fades to a 1 cm cap, and it leaves some lacing down the side of the glass.

Smell: I was surprised that this smells like a macro lager. After the good things I had heard about this beer, I was not expecting it to smell like this.

Taste: It starts out with a honey sweetness, sweet pale malts, and some corn flavors. Hmm. Not any real hop flavors or much complexity at all. The definition of average in my book.

Mouthfeel: Almost before I notice the flavor I notice how creamy this is. It gets points for the smoothness, for sure. Light to medium body.

Drinkability: Really sort of negatively surprised on this one. It has a nice creamy mouthfeel, but the aroma and taste are just not up to snuff. I can drink this, but it's not that good. Until I drank it, I can honestly say I did not know anything about this style, but I won't be going after it again.

02-02-2011 06:49:37 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of boyfromthenorth


5/5  rDev +34.4%

Just had this smuggled in from Wisco and love it. Now, I get it . Their other beers are more unique and will get more accolades but this beer is fantastic. Sorry Oberon , can't touch this. This is so well balanced and yes, so funny to think that corn might add something unique but it might. Once banned from micros this adjunct imparts something unique. I wish one of the Michigan Micros would make something like this.

01-31-2011 16:18:35 | More by boyfromthenorth
Photo of vette2006c5r

South Dakota

3.65/5  rDev -1.9%

This beer poured a golden slighty hazy color, with a small lacing head. They wasnt a strong smell, but it had sweet aromas. The was unquie. There was first a stong cream taste, similar to a cream soda, and it was followed by just a bit of a hoppy taste, but left a sweetness on the palatee. Nicely carbonated as well, and very easy to have a few. Overall not my cup of tea, but a very interesting flavor did make it enjoyable, and unquie, deffently worth a try.

01-30-2011 21:11:48 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of Brunite


4.33/5  rDev +16.4%

Appearance - The label recommends a few rolls of the bottle to incorporate the settled yeasts. I did so and poured into a pint glass. Pours a hazy straw yellow with 2 fingers of white head after a moderate pour. The head dissipates rather quickly, leaving some lacing on the sides of the glass. Decent carbonation.

Smell - Slight bready malt, banana, pear, some sweetness from the corn. Very slight hops.

Taste - Similar to the nose. Very balanced. The taste is quite nice. The corn seems to add a distinctness as it is used as a flavoring ingredient and not as a cheap adjunct (as in BMC class beers). I have seen many reviews that state there is something in the taste that keeps them wanting another for days. I get that. There is also a very subtle lemon flavor that comes through more as the beer warms a bit. There is a lingering tasty flavor in this mellow light brew. Could it be that corn (as a flavor...not a filler) could be a semi-desirable thing? After all....who does not like corn?

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, decent carbonation, crisp clean finish.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink. Low ABV makes this a great session beer. Great summer beverage.

Overall - In all honesty...this was my second tasting. The first time was a little less memorable. The second time was the charm. Perhaps incorporating the yeast added enough to the flavor to make a difference. This seems a great version of this style. I once homebrewed an HB competition award winning cream ale that matches well with this beer. Glad I live at the WI border as I have a 30 minute drive to stock up on NG products. This will hit my regular rotation as a highly drinkable, light, crisp beer. A great crossover drink for BMC drinkers.

01-28-2011 22:50:40 | More by Brunite
Photo of thain709


3.4/5  rDev -8.6%

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden body with a creamy white head...the head was two fingers tall and showed decent retention...some lacing clung to the glass

S - A saison type nose going on...lots of herbal and grassy notes...some lemon and other citrus...bready and pale malts

T - You can pick up on everything from the aroma...the beer overall has a grassy/earthy flavor to it...the middle of the beer shows a buttered bread and pale flavor...the hops are subtle but they finish the beer with a little zip

M - Light bodied...refreshing with good carbonation

D - This is a little step up from the Totally Naked I tried...not sure if I've ever had a cream ale but aspects of this beer reminded me of drinking a saison...good enough for one or two but that's enough

01-20-2011 11:56:53 | More by thain709
Photo of jar2574


3.15/5  rDev -15.3%

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.

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


3.63/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

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


2.93/5  rDev -21.2%

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.

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

New York

3/5  rDev -19.4%

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.


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


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

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


3.68/5  rDev -1.1%

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.

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


4.78/5  rDev +28.5%

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.

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


3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

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.

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


2.15/5  rDev -42.2%

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.

12-27-2010 03:08:25 | More by brewmudgeon
Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,452 ratings.