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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,923 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,923
Reviews: 737
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 211
Gots: 519 | 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: 2,923 | Reviews: 737
Photo of pb9613
5/5  rDev +34%
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.

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

I poured this 12 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. No best by date apparent.

A: cloudy golden color, the head is tiny and quickly falls into a scant but persistent wispy cap and good lacing.

S: corn, light, cracker-like grain, a hint of floral/herbal hops.

T: fresh sweet corn, lightly sweet cracker-like grain, a faint citrus (lemon) note in the background, and that hint of floral/herbal hops on the finish.

M: light-bodied, lightly silky to watery texture, abundant carbonation with a good crisp body.

O: This is a good, easy-drinking lawnmower beer. Millions of cheddar heads can't be wrong about this one, can they?

Photo of brew3crew
2.71/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at uncle mikes for my first venture into wisconsin.

A-hazy yellow with a little bit of head that sticks around

s-pale malt and grain is all I get

t- follows the nose. Not really a whole lot here. Kind of upset I ordered it

m- light bodied and smooth. Only thing that's nice

o-decent lawnmower beer. That's about it

Photo of Westywood
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Looks like straw. Golden. Sunlight. Nice white head bubbles up about 2 fingers width then settles into a nice white ring around the glass. Good lacing good carbonation.

Smell - Light and crisp. Some fruity notes but mainly sweet light grains.

Taste - Smoothness in great balance with lively carbonation. Not a touch of bitterness but enough hop presence at the end to establish a great finish and leave you wanting another drink.

Mouthfeel - Nice presence to this beer. Carbonation and textures really play well together. This is a great thirst quencher/session beer.

Overall - I loved it. I drank it with several other guys and they all loved it. It's a great "go to" beer from New Glarus.

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

Notes from 7/27/11. On tap in Milwaukee

A - Poured a cloudy yellow colour. Hazy. One finger of white head.

S - Light citrus notes with bready malts.

T - Bready malts with a slight sweetness. Light citrus notes in the background.

M - Light body; light carbonation.

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

I am not overly enamoured with the Spotted Cow like others. Pours a slightly hazy pale straw color with a white head that faded quickly. In the aroma included grains with scents of citrus. Taste is grain, malt, and citus undertones with slight yeast character. Mouthfeel is medium body with a medium high carbonation. It ok overall, decent drink for the summer.

Photo of sendsilk
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, my first New Glarus beer ever, Yeah!! I guess I could have chosen a more interesting style but the friggin writing on the side explaining what the hell it was, was written too small so I really didn't know what this was.

A- Nice and crisp and clean. Looks just like a American Adjunct.

S- Smells a shitpile better than a Bud though! Quite a bit of citrus on the nose.

T- Pretty nice actually, fairly creamy and complex for something so clear and clean. Nice aftertaste.

M- Pretty well spot on. Never had a cream ale before so maybe expected a little thicker mouthfeel.

O- Good, solid beer, just nothing to jump up and down about.

Photo of draheim
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (code 1171 14:57) poured into a tulip - thanks MammothBrew!

Pale straw color with a thin white head. Looks and smells like a standard American lager.

Taste is mild fruit, hops, and clean water. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Nice crisp finish. The water is a main ingredient here.

Label says this is a farmhouse ale - but this is no saison. Yeast profile is totally different. If anything, this reminds me more of a Kölsch.

Photo of xerotime
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought back a few when I was in WI just recently. Pours a slightly hazy pale straw color with a white 1 finger head that faded quickly. In the aroma I'm picking up a graininess balanced with citrus. Taste is more of the same with a slight yeast character. Mouthfeel is medium body with a medium high carbonation. Overall a great summer drinker. Well done NG!

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very slightly hazy pale yellow straw colored with a one finger head that fizzles down to nothing.
I can smell pears, sweet malts, faint banana, and mildly yeasty dinner rolls. Taste includes the same and also some vague hints of sweet corn. The finish is the holder of all the hops, which are all of the mild earthy variety to my taste. Mouthfeel is smooth and silky, medium thick just like a cream ale ought to be. If only there was a better head on this brew....

I can tell why this is NG's cash cow, it is easily accessible to just about anybody, beer snob or joe blow. It hits the balance point between being simple enough to be accessible to the BMC drinkers on the college campus and flavorful enough with sufficient complexity to intrigue craft beer drinkers. Does a lot of things really well enough to be mainstream popular, but neither does it do any one particular thing spectacularly well either. For that sort of specialization, one needs only look to NG's other offerings to be easily satisfied.

Photo of myspoonistoobig
3.32/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in a trade, though I've had this beer dozens of times back home in WI. 12oz bottle poured into my New Glarus pint glass.

Appearance: slight haze, golden straw.

Smell: pretty clean, hints of passion fruit or guava, but apart from that, nothing too special or memorable here.

Taste: light, perfectly drinkable, the malt comes through. I feel like I could drink this all night (and have on several occasions)

Mouthfeel: light, fizzy, slightly creamy. Just fine.

Overall: Don't get me wrong, I just love New Glarus beers, but my memory of this beer far exceeds what I'm experiencing now. This beer would be great for a barbeque with a bunch of people around who aren't too into beers or hops. I'll take it over a BMC any day, probably even Yuengling, but beyond that, I'll branch out.

Photo of jcartamdg
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my bruery tulip. Cloudy golden in appearance with a thin head that sticks around. Aroma of apple, pear light malts, no hops detected. Taste follows the nose, almost a wine quality but also with hops present. Smooth and creamy. Easy drinking all around good brew

Photo of Kadonny
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a bunch of NG brews from MammothBrew. This is the first one I tried. Thanks Dustin.

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: A light gold color that is a bit hazy. A one half finger white head disappears quickly. Not much glass lacing.

S: Light fruit smells, grains, grass, bready sweetness and some slgiht yeastiness.

T: Nice mix of light fruit flavors with apple. pear, banana coupled with grains, straw/grass, yeast and a bready doughy flavor. Finish yields some hops flavors that are quickly smoothed out by the grainy finish. Nice and smooth.

M: Creamy, nice carbonation, no alcohol, very drinkable.

O: A real good drinker, just a a cream ale should be. Enjoyable, but not spectacular.

As I just said, I enjoyed this beer and I was really glad to try it. NG is a brewery we can't get here in PA so I am really excited to try these beers I got in the trade. A nice start to the NG experience.

Photo of logmacschlog15
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful pure white foamy head that slowly fades. Streams of carbonation throughout. A bright, yet slightly hazy, sunshine yellow/blonde. Also some good lacing.

S: Notes of light grains and bread along with more subtle sweet notes. There are some wonderful hints of light fruit in here as well, pear and apple comes to mind.

T: Light breads and a very subtle apple like fruitiness comes through at first. I suspect the fruity flavors may be from the yeast. This is followed by more grainy flavors with almost no hop presence except for a slight balancing earthy bitterness.

M: Truly a cream ale with a creamy mouthfeel. Smooth carbonation and a relatively light body, making for a very easy drinker.

O: I enjoyed this a lot. Very refreshing and light, but provides a lot of flavor. A good lawnmower beer for sure.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer from Penguin3200. Thanks Bill!

12oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

L - hazed yellow color with a white head that thinned out to a ring.

S - a bit of grainy sweetness, on par for the style.

T - again the grainy sweetness comes into play but there is a light bittering on the finish.

F - medium bodied with a crisp feel.

O - a good example of the style.

Photo of Mario61Aler
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one was a gift from chewytheman.

poured a very bright light amber color with 1 1/2" of head on an aggressive pour, that was almost white.
I splashed about 3" of this into the bottom of a tulip and stuck my nose in the glass to be greated by the wonderful aroma of sweetness.
I sipped this one and smiled and offered a sip to my wife, she sniffed, sipped and smiled too. Yummy is a good discription of this one. A very good example of a cream ale. Soft but tart.
I may have to make a trip to a distribution area to pick this up, overall a good example of the style, that leaves a clean feeling in the mouth. Like Little kings on Steroids! It would be easy to drink this one in multiples.

Thanks Chris! I owe you a couple for this one.

Photo of seeswo
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Finally reviewing a beer that I have had a million times (I grew up in WI).

Pours a hazy straw with a medium whitish head. The nose is slightly citrusy (lemon) and a touch of malt. Taste has a bit of lemon sweetness that tastes a touch artificial and maybe a little grassy. Pretty clean. The mouthfeel is nice medium-light body with good carbonation. Cream ale is an interesting designation. Exceedingly drinkable. This beer is available at the worst (and best) of WI bars and is kind of the macro of craft beer in the state. It's not nearly my favorite and I rarely order it, but I'll miss it when I don't live here anymore. Overall gets a nostalgia 5.

Photo of Wadsey
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Spotted Cow

Served at refrigerator temperature in New Belgium Tulip 

A: Pours clear pale straw with a modest, white head. A little sporadic effervescence is noted. 

S: Biscuity malts, grass/hay and light lemon. 

T: A bit sweet up front, then above characteristics step in. Simple profile. Bitterness is low-key, and the finish is clean. 

M: Medium-light body and medium carbonation. Considering the simple, light flavor profile, the mouthfeel seems like it should be lighter. Still, it is relatively crisp. 

O:  I accidentally chugged a bottle of Spotted Cow last night, which speaks volumes as to its drinkability. A great lawn-mowing beer. It would be even better if it were available in cans. 

Thanks to Garrett, my neighbor, for the sixer. 

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a Becker glass. The color is a solid gold that has a hint of caramel tan in it. A chill haze developed after the pour. Two fingers of off-white head dissipated to leave a spotted lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Lots of musty adjunct grain. It smells a little fruity with hints of apple and strawberry, and it also has a lemon zest. As it warms, the apple predominates.

Taste: The mouthfeel is light and refreshing, and the flavor offers the maltiness and fruit from the smell. Adjunct grains, apple, strawberry, and lemon citrus. Oddly, I also tasted a little cotton candy. Go figure. There is also a hint of caramel, but it is very muted. Each sip offers a nice bitter bite.

Drinkability: It is a nice, light (and not in the derogatory sense) beer that is easy drinking, but it does not offer much in regards to complexity. Then again, it is not supposed to.

Photo of emmasdad
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to schmittymack for sharing this one (over the course of what seemed like at least an hour) at his first tasting :) Poured a straw color with a nice white head. Aromas of straw, yeast and light malt. On the palate, this one was light bodied, with flavors of yeast, straw and light malt. At least the chair was comfortable.

Photo of zeledonia
2.68/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly golden pale straw yellow, the color of a wheat field in late summer, with a fluffy one-finger white head. Translucent and so light enough to be almost see-through. Head retention is okay, not much lacing. Streams of bubbles running up through the glass.

Smells slightly sweet and slightly grainy. Also corn, pale malt, and light hops. Some faint apple juice fruit notes. In many ways, it smells like an adjunct lager.

Flavor is mostly pale malt and a touch of vegetable hops (kinda like plant stems). I also get a touch of apple juice here. A hint of bitter in the finish, which is gone almost before I can say "hops."

Light and delicate in the mouth, with high carbonation. Highlight of the beer. Finishes quick, crisp, and dry. Like that, it's gone.

Meh. I can see why this beer sells so well - it drinks like an adjunct lager. It's inoffensive, refreshing enough, and just doesn't have much flavor. Not much malt, not much hops, not much of anything else. I found myself chasing the flavor, taking more sips cause I wanted more out of it, but still disappointed by each one. Works all right for cooling off on a hot summer day, but there are so many other beers that would do the same job with more pleasure.

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

Poured into a pint glass
A: Aggressive pour yields 1.25 fingers of off-white head with great retention. Hazy lemon straw liquid. I remember this beer being hazier, even cloudy. Good lookin'

S: Nice clean malt with light phenolic notes. Slight citrus hop. very nice for a session beer.

T: Gentle light malts with nice gentle hop balance. Some wheat/hefeweizen flavor is a nice addition.

M: Full and creamy. Very silky;like lactose was added almost.

D: I could and would drink several of these

Photo of dhannes
2.43/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I haven't had one of these in awhile, as my memory of these wasn't pleasant. Tried again the other evening.

A, M=looked and felt like a decent beer.

T=Not pleasant. Skunky, and not nearly as good as other cream ales I've tried.

I, for the life of me, do not understand why this beer is as popular as it is. Other than the Snowshoe, New Glarus beers just do not stack up to others that are available around here.

Photo of Infamous7100
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a hazy, cloudy, off gold color. Very thin head, no lacing. A bit of yeast remnants as well.
S: the aroma seems muted to me. I get a lot of bread upon the first whiff and just a hint of hops. Nothing strong or remarkable though.
T: what it lacked it aroma it made up for in taste. A sweet malty biscuity flavor up front is balanced by a slighty acidic hop/fruit flavor at the back. Not picking up on the corn, but a nice mix here. Fresh and pleasant.
M: Its very creamy, but the what I would consider high carbonation gives it a bite the compliments the creaminess well. Not filling in the least.
O: this is a pretty decent and easily sessionable brew, providing you can get your hands on some. Because it's refreshing and tasty, this would be good anytime.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from ughsmash so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, grain and a touch of hops.

T: The taste likewise starts out bready with flavors of grain, light malts and a bit of corn. Then some malt sweetness comes in. The hops presence is very mild yet complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: A little tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, good representation of style, decent beer to pound down several of over a long period of time.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,923 ratings.