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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,889 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,889
Reviews: 733
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 206
Gots: 496 | FT: 13
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,889 | Reviews: 733 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dcloeren
2/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a hazy very light straw color with a finger of bright white fizzy head. The head didn't stick around for long and I'm getting no lacing

Smells very light with some subtle citrus notes.

The taste of this beer is of a miller lite in a different bottle. This is highly disappointing

Mouthfeel is overly carbonated and my only guess is to try to cover up the taste

Overall this beer is a joke. Its nothing but a BMC lite with a fancier bottle. Avoid it if you can

Photo of chicagoabbot
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Emma's Bar in River Falls, WI.

I'm surprised that this is labeled as a 'cream beer'. Interesting. I've had this beer as much as any in my life, drinking it all through college in Madison. I'll do a bottle review soon too. I'm surprised that it's rated so low, but maybe I'm just partial to it from long habit, although they don't distribute in Chicago so I barely drink it anymore except when I'm up north. I do like it slightly more out of the bottle--it's cloudier.

Pours a bright pale golden cloudy straw body with a head that attenuates well. I've always liked the way this beer looks.

Not as much yeast character on-tap as out of the bottle, but still decent. Some malt sharpness. Not that hoppy at all, which is fine for the style.

Overall, I highly recommend this beer.

Photo of beerbears
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 12 oz bottle into a pint. Color is delightful, a nice yellow-golden hue. First time drinking anything from New Glarus Brewing Co. Overall impression this a great summer beer, very crisp and refreshing.

Smell: wheat and breads.

Taste: bread and a bit earthy.

Mouthfeel: Thin body with very little carbonation.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, courtesy of RuchKrull (thanks Rich!). I don't know why but I expected this to be a brown ale, maybe a milk stout. I guess it's the cow name. No, this is pale golden colored, hazy, with a wet looking layer of foam. It smells mainly of malts, grainy and not too far from a lager aroma. Biscuit and toast in the flavor, a little sweet, no bitterness, very approachable flavor. Approachable but maybe a tad dull. Gentle mouthfeel, creamy, goes down easily. This would be a great summer beer on the deck.

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: hazy golden yellow with 1 finger head

smell: bread, wheat, grass

taste: bread, wheat, grass

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, thin to medium body,

overall: very nice summer beer. would definitely drink if given the chance. I need more new Glarus in Delaware.


Photo of BasementBer
2.86/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I heard so much about this beer and it possibly got my hopes up for it.

A: light straw yellow. Plenty of carbonation, bone white head with medium to heavy lacing.

S: Corn. Grainy but very much a note of corn in the aroma - as it expresses on the bottle. The rare instance the brewer is in favor and admits to it.

T: To tart for my licking. Less cream than tart and dry nose to finish.

M: The tartness stuck around a bit too much for me. For a hop fan this countertaste is a bit off putting.

D: I dont think ill go back to it, but if others are enjoying then by all means.

Photo of ferrari29
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from bottle into Mug shaped glass

A - Beer poured with a cloudy, golden color body; had plenty visible floating sediment of yeast; lots of carbonation; one finger head formed and dissipated rather quickly, white in color and frothy looking; the body and head of the beer appeared a bit oily

S - Malty and bit airy like a lager; slight fruit and yeast back-end; corn or grainy notes to it; some wood smell to it from cask

T - Fruit and yeast bite to it when you first take a sip, which disappears pretty quickly; some corn and mostly grains; malty goodness on the back end; aftertaste is grainy; little wood taste to it from cask

M - Slight oily body; not very effervescent; crisp and clean finish on the palate; good balance of corn and malted barley

D - I'm more impressed with the smell than the taste; I still like this brew and I'm always impressed with New Glarus beers; they always make a quality beer

Photo of mjryan
4.31/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A cream ale. A corn laden, fizzy yellow beer with character. A north American classic. Thank you Wisconsin! Not sure what others expect when they dig into this beer. Big hops? No. Massive body? No. Bourbonbarrelfarmhousehorseblanketcohumuloneibublahblahblah? No. How bout an easy drinkin, well made, clean, unpretentious beer? Yeah, there ya go. Great stuff. Certainly has some elements of the much maligned American adjunct lager, but of course why wouldn't it? Drink with brats and cold diced potatoes mixed with mayo, yellow mustard and onions. Hell, drink it with Sunday breakfast and then with lunch. Drink it in a movie theater, its fun. A great beer all around and one that I would never turn down. Skol!

Photo of EgadBananas
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

So, this is the beer that built Wisconsin? :)

Big ups to seeswo! Thanks for this brother!

Pours a hazed, golden straw color, with a bright white spongy head. Nice retention, and the lacing is nice and web-like.

Slight milky quality to the aroma, light sweetness, bits of malts, and some hops.

Lightly sweet, noticeable hops, though faint, a bit of cream and light maltiness.

Feel is crisp, creamy, light and overall, good.

Overall, a decent brew. I'm glad to have tried it. I'd drink it again. This is the perfect any-time beer. Oddly, I think I liked the Genesee Cream Ale better... maybe it was the can...

Photo of mdaschaf
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to forgetfu for sending me this one!

A: Poured a hazy golden yellow with a one finger head. Decent head retention leaving behind some spotty lacing. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

S: Has a light grassy aroma. A little bit of wheat and some bready malt.

T: Some light fruits, grassy again, a little grainy with some wheat. Very crisp.

M: Pretty light, nice crispness. Could drink this easily in the summer months.

O: It was fine, nothing spectacular, but I could knock a few of these back on a hot day, no problem. A good alternative to BMC drinkers I would think.

Photo of cincybeernut
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On a week long trip to Wisconsin some family members insisted I have some spotted cow. It apparently has quite a following up here. Not a bad beer, quite smooth and easy to drink. Appealing color and smell. I would not classify this as a cream ale, at least no cream ale I'm familiar with.

Over all spotted cow is a good beer. I would not go out of my way to seek out spotted cow however if I saw it at the store (in my local area) I'd pick some up. I could sit around on my deck and drink spotted cow all day.

If you see it, TRY IT!

Photo of OakedCanuck
2.73/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into tulip

A - Straw yellow, 1 finger fluffy white head, chill haze, slippery lacing

S - Grainy malts, wheat, some lemon and caramel

T - Confusing, tastes like a musty adjunct lager. Mostly just a grainy wheaty body with no supporting cast. Some sweet malts are barely distinguished in the background. There is a funkiness to it.

M - Decently crisp and light, but a little too effervescent.

O - This is classified as a cream ale and I really don't see how this even comes close to resembling one. Confusing. If anything, this seems to be closer to a farmhouse or even some variation of lager.

Photo of kgotcher
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of OddNotion
3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of beerandcycling88
2.84/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of portia99
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of u2carew
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of levifunk
5/5  rDev +34%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of jsulko
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of beergod1
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of smm
3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Frosty80
4.6/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Photo of matjack85
4.26/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.04/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of boyfromthenorth
5/5  rDev +34%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,889 ratings.