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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,315 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,315
Reviews: 685
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.75%
Wants: 159
Gots: 229 | 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: 2,315 | Reviews: 685 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vixie


2.98/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a yellow color, with just a hint of orange. Forms a bit of a white head which slow dissipates into lacing.

Smell is sweet, quite a bit of citrus in there. Slightly flowery, reminds me a touch of a fresh mown lawn.

Tastes very fruity, seems to be like a carbonated orange juice. Has quite a bit of carbonation, and to me finishes a bit watery.

This was quite thin, not much going on outside of the carbonation.

While certainly not a bad beer, nothing really of note here. A good summer beer, one you'd want after working outside on a hot day and want to cool down with a beer that refreshes, but isn't too heavy.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2009 01:40:43 | More by Vixie
Photo of natasharai


3.05/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured with a fizzy foamy white head that dissipated leaving almost no lacing. The beer is clear with a light yellowish golden color.

Smell: Sweet apple juice, very light flower aroma, not much going on in the smell.

Taste: Sweet apple and pear, small flowery hop character, sweet fruity malt, weird and unpleasant sour aftertaste that reminds me of the way mothballs smell.

Mouthfeel: light body, a lot/too much of carbonation, leaves mouth dry.

Overall: For the style the drinkability is okay. The flavors up front a great but fade to an unfavorable stale sour flavor. The mouthfeel is far too carbonated for me to enjoy this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2009 04:24:16 | More by natasharai
Photo of Pmazz19

New York

3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into some tiny hotel glass because I'm in a hotel in Oshkosh, WI and this is all I have.

A - Light golden, straw color. 1 finger head with decent lacing. Some noticable sediment

S - Beautiful smell, fresh apples light malty background

T - Light fruity sweetness. Hints of corn and yeast, very well balanced

M - Crisp and well carbonated but thicker than the apperance would lead you to believe

D - Great beer for a hot Long Island summer BBQ down on the beach (Too bad I'm stuck in a hotel in WI and its SNOWING!) refreshing and smooth. I love the hints of fruit. Maybe this beer tastes better because I spent the last 2hrs driving around the middle of nowhere looking for a place that sold beer after 9 but I don't think so, this is a very well crafted beer

Edit: I wrote this review after a very long day and an epic quest to find beer. After having a few more I don't love it as much as I did at first but still an enjoyable beer that would be very refreshing on a summer day.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 03:49:28 | More by Pmazz19
Photo of dakid618


4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2009 22:15:49 | More by dakid618
Photo of BrewerB


4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to greenvilleguitar for the hookup on this beer!

A - Poured into my Old Rasputin nonic pint glass, this brew is a medium golden color with great clarity. Formed a two finger white head that thinned down but retained well. Little lacing left on the glass.

S - Moderate cracker-like graininess with hints of pilsner malt and a touch of corn. Light floral hoppiness. Modest ester profile.

T - Hints of corn along with an upfront ester character. A touch of grape with saltine crackers in the background. Slightly perfumy.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth.

D - An excellent warm-weather brew, light and refreshing but with enough complexity and flavor to entice you in for another sip.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2009 23:08:34 | More by BrewerB
Photo of degerbah


4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pub glass. Omg, this is an amazing beer. Ohio should invade Wisconsin just to get this beer. The smell and taste is vaguely fruity without being overpowering the way leinenkugels or Sam Adams tends to be. This might be the mostt drinkable beer I've ever had. I accidentally killed the bottle within about fifteen minutes and it was delicious. I have a friend in Wisconsin and I definitely just gave him some money to smuggle me back a case.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 01:49:06 | More by degerbah
Photo of Bounty628


3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With an ABV of 5.10%, Spotted Cow is a very smooth ale that is well rounded in almost all aspects of the beer. The 5.10% ABV allows this beer to be enjoyed without being inundated with a powerful alcohol content.

Spotted Cow pours a golden straw color that maintains a cloudy haze upon the pour. There is a very fine white head when poured that dissipates quickly after hitting the glass. Minimal lacing is present during the tasting.

The smell is very faint with this beer and the nose is perhaps the only real weakness with this offering. Nothing really jumps out of the pint glass with the Spotted Cow; rather, a distant citrus presence is noticed along with a mild nose of hops and malts.

The taste of this cream ale is very pleasant with a smooth and subtle nature to it. Cream ales traditionally are not heavy on flavor and this beer is really no different. There is just the right balance to the taste to ensure that the beer has enough of a flavor to it to keep this beer away from being just a bland mouthful. The taste is a light wheat and citrus/fruit combination that easily glides across the palate. A hint of a biscuit nature works its way into the taste and serves this beer well. Thankfully for there is not a giant hop presence or this cream ale would fall outside of its category.

A very easy mouthfell is at play with Spotted Cow as there is just the right amount of carbonation to help work the beer across the palate. Because of the mild taste of the beer, there is no aftertaste left with after drinking the offering and the beer truly does serve as a very nice session beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 01:18:04 | More by Bounty628
Photo of ThaBobfather


3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy yellow, a bit hazier than Miller Lite. Thin head that shrinks even smaller to a millimeter around the rim.
Smells of a bit citrus spice and barely.
There are some wheaty/citrusy spices here, not very upfront.
There is a nice tingly sensation on my mouth after a big drink, I like that.
Very drinkable and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 22:44:37 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of alcstradamus


2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A--Pale golden yellow with a finger of quickly receding head

S--Fresh, light malty scent with a splash of hops in the background

T--A little too tasteless to be enjoyable on its own, but I suppose this is meant more for refreshment. Nothing foul about it, which is good. But nothing noteworthy either.

M--Light bodied but not too watery

D--Very sessionable but I'm not sure why you would want to since this there really isn't much here.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 23:29:48 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of mwa423


4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark yellow, almost brown if you're not holding it up to the light with a pure white head that dies down to nothing.

S - There's a yeasty/malty smell to it, not at all strong, and there's another hint of something, but I can't figure out what it is. Nice smell though

T - While this doesn't have a lot on any really flavorful style, I really enjoy the flavor. Remember folks, it's a cream ale, there isn't much flavor to it. Malty, and a bit fruity.

M - I hoped for a bit better mouthfeel, it tilts to the watery side.

D - If I could get every keg of BMC replaced with this, I could die a happy man.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 22:34:22 | More by mwa423
Photo of sgoodship


3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another one of the beers that I picked up in my "make a six" session at Steve's Liquors in Madison.

A: Poured a hazy straw color. Some carbonation on the bottom of the glass bubbling up as big single bubbles. Delivered a half finger, slightly off-white head which dissipated to a surface wisp and a ring. No lacing to speak of.

S: Fresh barley, malty goodness. Hint of fruit - maybe pear.

T: Much as you would expect from the smell but it finished with a more robust malt biscuity flavor which was exceptionally pleasing. The corn probably adds some of the clean, crispness to the brew. Don't detect much hop but that's not unexpected. My main complaint was the way the flavor just falls away at the finish, especially in the later stages of the drink and feels somewhat watery.

M: For a very light and crisp beer, it feels exceptionally fuller than you would expect. A nice balance. The carbonation adds to the crispness while the malts create creaminess.

D: I don't know the style that well but I like it. I could see myself knocking back a couple of these. Tastes like a fantastic brew to have on a hot summer day. A real nice, low ABV thirst quencher.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 04:01:55 | More by sgoodship
Photo of cadenwhitaker


4.08/5  rDev +10%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 18:40:45 | More by cadenwhitaker
Photo of Yetiman420


4.08/5  rDev +10%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 16:04:25 | More by Yetiman420
Photo of rkinsella


3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light hazy straw color. Poured into a "beer clean" glass with a proper pour...very little head, and gone in just a couple minutes.
Almost no lacing.

Smell had a little grain, a little malt sweetness, bit of fruit, but very little of anything else.

Taste was slightly better than average. Way on the light side. Subtle sweetness, minimal hops. The part I liked the least was the seltzer water like finish.

Mouthfeel was decent, medium carbonation.

Very drinkable, and on the right day, it could be very refreshing. I've just had much better beers from New Galrus. I'm a little surprised this is their flagship. I really wanted to like it. But just average to me.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2009 00:26:37 | More by rkinsella
Photo of DarbyOGill


3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellow with a okay head. There is also some decent head.

Smell: the nose is really fruity. It almost resembles the nose of a Trappist, but not as good.

Taste: I first get a nice strong malty taste, then a hint of hops, and finishes with a malty aftertaste. Not overly impressive, but definitely good.

Drinkability: These are pretty light and I could easily drink a whole six-pack. Good beer for parties or tailgating because everyone likes it and it's easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 01:40:39 | More by DarbyOGill
Photo of Voonder

Alberta (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a lot TATURBO for this one!
Pours cloudy light yeloow with good white head. Smell - grainy, malty, not very strong. Taste - slight banana flavor, maltiness. It is not bad, but i find it a bit boring. Mouthfeel is much better though, it is rally smooth and creamy, very well balanced. Drinkability is good.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 02:49:24 | More by Voonder
Photo of Opethsprite


3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2009 18:45:02 | More by Opethsprite
Photo of AdmiralDiaz


3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this one before in a bottle and wasn't too impressed. At Applebees for a birthday party this looked like the best thing available. Pours a golden body with a small white head with okay retention and no lacing. Smells sweet with lots of cereal grain along with fruitiness. Taste is about the same as the smell, the hops add a small amount of bitterness but grain and fruitiness are still the dominant flavors. Strong carbonation that doesn't show in the appearance, almost too bubbly for me, got distracted from the taste. Pretty drinkable though, however not being a huge fan of the flavor I wouldn't drink a ton.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2009 20:40:33 | More by AdmiralDiaz
Photo of popery


3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to deliriumfest for tihs beer.

There just isn't enough going on with this beer for me. Everything about it is so light and airy. It's not bad looking, but it's very light, mildly hazy. The head dissipated rather quickly. The aroma is a tad lemony and a lot of light malt. The flavor is even tamer. I don't hate it, and it's possible that this beer is quite good very fresh. It's certainly not a bad beer. I would have preferred it served a bit colder, and it's certainly not difficult to drink. There are no real off flavors. I don't know if corn is as an adjunct grain in this beer, but it has a similar bland favor to corn.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2009 06:26:33 | More by popery
Photo of jjanega08


3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A= pours a hazy yellow color with a two finger head that falls fast leaving just a thin layer on top with some but very spotty lacing
S= A lot like an Adjunct lager. A small amount of extra sweetness
T= Adjunct lager taste with a sweetness to follow it. Tastes an awful lot like Minnesota's grain belt premium only with an extra creamy sort of twist. Not bad... Very good actually. Still prefer GBP though.
M= Smooth and a little creamy
D= Very high. Not a bad beer at all. Tastes a lot like an adjunct lager only a little sweeter and some strange creamyness. Recommended at least once or when drinking quantity.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 02:13:42 | More by jjanega08
Photo of djeucalyptus


3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a fizzly light lemon yellow hue with a good bit of suspended cloudiness. A half-finger fizzy off-white head hangs around for a minute before fizzling away, leaving behind just a bit of lacing. Looks exactly like a few other cream ales I've encountered, for better or worse.

aroma is fairly subdued and a bit muddled. bready malt, caramel sugars, a hint of corn, a hint of generic cereal grain, and a bit of honey. a hint of citrus fruit creeps in. I don't necessarily find the corn offensive... almost reminds me of honey cornbread.

aroma of sweet malt with a bit of cereal. oat and hints of corn. some bright citrus - lemony... and a bit of fruit - pear and tart cherries. a touch of hops, a touch of creaminess. honey and sugary... a bit sweet. but at the moment, it hits the spot.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy - exactly as a cream ale should be. the sweetness comes across a touch via a light syrupiness, but the ample carbonation helps cut through it. A touch thin on the whole, but again, the carbonation helps.

Maybe I was just really in the mood for a cream ale... maybe it hit the spot just right. but on the whole, I found this one really drinkable and enjoyable. Not the most complex beer in the world, and a few funky flavors, but all in all, I was pleasantly surprised. If someone wants to send me another bottle, I can see if I find another bottle as enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 19:45:30 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of ballewblake

New Jersey

2.83/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle into my Duvel tulip.

Almost no head after a few seconds. Even the ring around the glass is weak. Hazy golden body, nose is mild to boring, not much of anything coming through. First taste was mint. Weird. Heavily carbonated, full body, not a whole lot of flavors coming out, not much to really pin down here. Maybe some wheat malts?

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 02:45:37 | More by ballewblake
Photo of julian


4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark straw/orange color. Pretty murky, opacity is about 65-70%. Possibly unfiltered. Small decent 1/2 finger white head appears but doesn't stick around very long. Lacing is non-existent.

Smell: Awesome aromas of sugar, malt, and a sweet fruity aroma that I can't quite pinpoint. Corn adjuncts also present.

Taste/Mouthfeel: This is a fantastic beer. I absolutely love it. The taste is a beautiful blend of mellow fruity flavors, corn adjuncts, crystal malt, and a light hop presence. Carbonation is average to below average which is perfect for the style, and lends well to the drinkability. This is a very easy drinking, refreshing beer. Tastes great!

Drinkability: Very high. This is a delicious, highly re-drinkable brew for almost any occasion.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 05:03:00 | More by julian
Photo of Thanby


4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful pour, golden honey color with cloudy yeast, two fingers of foamy white head, retention and a little lacing. Smells of wonderful sweet wheat, honey, orange, and a little of the trademark banana in every wheat ale. Obviously North American yeast, hardly any Belgian nose that you typically find in wheat ales, but then again New Glarus has always been good at breaking traditions. First taste is smooth wheat and mild yeast, not quite as sweet as it smells but certainly not dry either. The citrus and honey come out after a moment, and linger just a little bit after the finish. Somewhere between light and medium body, wonderfully smooth, full and balanced flavor, and just all-round delicious. This has to be my favorite wheat ale so far.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2009 03:41:57 | More by Thanby
Photo of jera1350


3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale straw yellow, slight cloudiness with two finger white frothy head. Good lacing.

Smell is yeasty and bread like.

Tastes lightly like fresh yeast, light and clean. Some wheat taste. Like a light hefeweitzen. Not a much flavor going on here. Slightly, dare I say, watery.

Medium carbonation, thin feeling.

Light easy to drink beer. With the lack of flavor here, not something that I would want to drink very often.

This is not my style of beer so maybe their are some better options out there, but I can live without this one ever again.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2009 03:00:39 | More by jera1350
Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,315 ratings.