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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,023 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2023
Reviews: 678
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 14.05%

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: 2,023 | Reviews: 678 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Shabedue


4.6/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden yellow. At first glance I commented on how the beer was very clear. After reading the bottle which says that it should be naturally cloudy I took a closer look and there is a very small amount of yeast particles but definitely not cloudy (I deducted for the missed description). I could not get much head out of either of the two bottle I poured for tasting (on two separate days) but the half finger head did last several minutes.

S: Sweet malts, I noted pilsner, and sweet corn adjunct. I know I just used "sweet" twice but it does not smell overly sweet at all. Slight lemon citrus smell which I take to be from hopping.

T: For me this is the highlight of the beer. It is sweet but finishes clean. Pilsner, corn, slight lemon citrus, and yeast can all be tasted but none stand out above the rest. I believe the carbonation adds to the citrus because the lemon flavor declined as the carbonation did (I take my time tasting).

Mf: Light and easy to drink. The "cream" texture is definitely there but the beer still finishes clean. Very pleasant to drink.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. It is very drinkable and pleasant but honestly it's a little boring. Its the sort of thing you can drink with your friends who aren't into craft brew but might be under appreciated by beer snobs (hopefully that makes sense).

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2013 21:18:06 | More by Shabedue
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in beer trade from a non-BA: coming back from Wisconsin (the long awaited Spotted Cow):

Into a pint glass:

A: clear yellow body with a two finger white foamy head, foamy ringy lacing, streams of carbonation rising

S: sweet through the malts, corn/rice

T: sweet the previously mentioned flavors

M: light, sessionable, sweet sticky aftertaste and finish

O: good for the style and good for me, I`d have again

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 16:19:12 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of UncleT62


5/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Personally, this is my favorite beer to date. I love the smooth taste of this Farmhouse Ale.
It is refreshing and goes well with a steak, Wisconsin cheese plate, or pizza.

We have been to the New Glarus Oktoberfest now two years in a row. Very nice town, with losts of New Glarus Brewery's finest.

I highly recommend touring the brewery, it's free. If you see Dan (Brew Master) or Deb (President), also married, talk to them and they will educated you on their product.

Spotted Cow is not filtered, which gives it the cloudy appearance. Take some for Tailgaiting sometime....especially at a Packer's game.

Go Pack!!!

Serving type: on-tap

03-23-2013 19:35:25 | More by UncleT62
Photo of kojevergas


3.34/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard branded pressure cap and cute label art served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery, which makes some beers I really adore. Cost was $3.99 at my favourite beer store.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 4 finger beige colour head of slight cream, nice thickness, and pretty good (4+ minute) retention. Body colour is a clear pale yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not at all cloudy like the label description suggests. Fairly vibrant. It isn't much to look at, admittedly.

Sm: Crisp pilsner malt, clean barley, evocative corn adjunct (in the best possible sense), good floral hop aromatics, crisp apple, and straw. A soft, pleasing aroma of mild strength. I don't detect any yeast or alcohol. Quite a good aroma for the style; I'm really looking forward to trying this one.

T: Really clean and pleasant to drink. Clean crisp pilsner malt. Light floral hop character. A bit of malty sweetness up front gives way to a dryer cider-like crisp apple climax. Malt and hop balance is good. The corn adjunct is as well executed as it could possibly be. No yeast or alcohol comes through. It's quite simple, but it's very well done for what it is. Great balance, even if the complexity is wanting. Some interesting subtlety here to boot.

Mf: Soft, smooth, wet, and refreshing. Suits the flavour profile quite well. It dries a bit towards the finish. Lightly creamy; I want a bit more.

Dr: This'd be a hell of a summer beer. Incredibly drinkable - wow. I could murder a stange of this on a hot day. One of the most sessionable beers I've had in the last six months. A really light ale that is surprisingly refreshing. I'd definitely pick this one up again if I was in the mood for it. This would be an excellent stepping stone beer to ease macro lager drinkers into craft beer. Very well executed for the style. I quite like it, though the price (at least here in grey market L.A.) is a bit rough. Simple but tasty.

Low B-

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 03:48:22 | More by kojevergas
Photo of scot_chale


4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- straw yellow body with a heavy 3 fingers of white foam the recede slowly and a light show of carbonation. lacing is heavy.

S- it's all diacetyl. mostly yeast with a hint of hay and corn malt.

T- a nice mix of sweet and sour, a bit of a light hop (probably willamette or similar), and a touch of yeast. it's a nice blend and it's all very balanced.

M- it's spritzy on the tongue and semi dry. light bodied and easy drinking. very style appropriate.

O- best cream ale I've tried so far. I've brewed one, and drank a lot of the rise to the top cream ale from the third street brew house in the bottle and on tap. This is clean, lager like, easy drinking, and everything I envision a cream ale should be. If I found a good price on a case I'd be all over it.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2013 03:23:59 | More by scot_chale
Photo of FosterJM


3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1742nd Review on BA
Draft to Pint

@Brat Stop, Kenosha, WI

App- A bit of a AAL look in the color with a bit of a top fading orange/brown to a solid yellow gold on the bottom. A nice long lasting 2 finger head was there and stayed for a bit. Good cling lines and lace down the glass.

Smell- I didnt really get much off of this one. It was a bit light. With notes of hay, apple and some malts. Really just a step up from average, but I dont have the best luck with lighter styles anyway.

Taste- This was a nice beer. Crisp on the first sip and a bit bready/malty and a bit balanced out by some dominant wheat notes. A little bit of lemon and hay. I paired with a bratwurst and really rounded out the flavors on this one.

Mouth- A bit lighter in body with a smooth medium carbonation. The malts are the lasting flavors with a bit of lemon/hay and apples.

Drink- It was good. I thought would be better given the rep around her. Couldve been a off day for me. Will revisit when I open the bottle I bought.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2013 02:56:25 | More by FosterJM
Photo of 312HopBomb


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a light straw hue with modest head and some spot lacing.

Nose consists of light apple. Light malt.

Taste is clean and not too sweet. Nice fruit burst that lasts..

Refreshing and effervescent, light and crisp and slightly creamy with perfect carbonation.

A refreshing summer ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 02:21:04 | More by 312HopBomb
Photo of Hoploaf


2.21/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

I have been drinking spotted cow on and off for about 15 years and every time I have tried it I scratch my head. I just don't get why this beer is so popular... I find it overly sour and astringent. Sadly, it reminds me of beers gone bad. New glarus, has some amazing beers, and IMO ALL of them are better than Spotted Cow.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 21:03:29 | More by Hoploaf
Photo of TheSSG


3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dense, whipped, white head that has some decent lacing. A grassy hop aroma. Straw colored with a slight chill haze. Starts slightly tart and with floral hops. Moves into a medium-low hoppiness, and then this HUGE, rich maltiness comes out into the finish, which is slightly bitter (lingering hops) and has a few notes of flowers.

This is very, very excellent. It has this thick, luscious, creamy mouthfeel like velvet. It's like a slightly fruity/floral Wisconsin lager. Just great. I have zero complaints about this one.
This is the PERFECT brew to convert people from Miller/coors/bud/inbev into REAL craft bier.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2013 03:17:01 | More by TheSSG
Photo of czfreeman


4.19/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brought yesterday in a new mixed pack.
Poured into my New Glarus glass, very light golden-straw tone.Mild haziness, head is very nice. Thick and creamy, good medium carbonation.
Smells of apples, pepper, light grain, pale wheat maybe, actually smells quite a bit like an american Hefe. Pears, and some biscuit serve to round it out.
Flavor-sweet biscuit malt, wheat, lemon, pepper, apple, pear, grassy. I will not go so far as others to say this is like BMC in the fact that there is no diacetyl, and it is well balanced.
If this were the first NG beer I had...I would have been slightly disappointed. After trying as many of Mr. Carey's creations over the last few months as I could, I appreciate it.
They make beer for Wisconsin. Full of college kids and older traditional drinkers.. I can't very well see either being open to Serendipity or the Unplugged series, or Coffee Stout...etc. I really like Oberon and and the occasional 312 in summer...both just got replaced? Yes.
A gateway beer that is also really friggin' good?Brewed by a master brewer who cut his teeth in Germany and knows a thing or two about session beer?...only in Wisconsin

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2013 02:04:14 | More by czfreeman
Photo of WankelEngine


3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a very lightly hazy straw color. There is a white head of about one finger of foam which fades quickly (~30 seconds) to a few spots of bubbles resting atop the beer.

S: Smells like a macro with a little more to it. Lager yeast and toasted malt make up the entirety of the aroma.

T: Similar to the aroma. Light noble hops on the attack provide some contrast to the fairly sweet, toasted, bready malt. I detect very slight banana here as well (although I may just be reminiscing of the Hefeweizen I just had) which adds a little depth. The finish is fairly quickly, featuring some caramel flavor and some crisp, grassy hop flavor.

M: Relatively thin but still manages to be creamy, as per the style. Moderate-high carbonation is notably foamy.

O: Nothing to write home about. Actually very similar to a macro, but with slightly more body and flavor. Would be a good substitute to serve non-craft drinking friends.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 00:20:32 | More by WankelEngine
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice cream ale, a style id like to have more of available. this one pours nice and clear, flatish looking, sort of matted blonde in color, orange hues, two inch head. the nose is sort of bland malt on the light side, some sweetness, and a grassy hop complex that seems unfamiliar. the flavor too features that unique hopping. its not hoppy per se, but the hops used impart a new flavor to me, and combined with the light malt and unidentified sugar, makes for a really unique and drinkable light beer. to me, like the moon man, this is an all day beer. everythings in balance, nothing is too bold or brutal, and its not a boring drink at all. civilized might be a good way to describe this one. bright carbonation and a smooth textured light body lend to superior sessionability. maybe not as adventurous as some other new glarus brews, but certainly as skillfully crafted. beer me another!

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 21:05:31 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Tonis56

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great Wisconsin Classic from New Glarus . One of my personal favorites. Nothing too special just a nice simple beer. 90% of the time I enjoy it from the bottle. On the rare occasion I will drink it from a pint glass. Either way it is a good beer if you are looking for quantity. Great Job!

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 19:01:57 | More by Tonis56
Photo of elNopalero


4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This pours a cloudy golden color with a light white foam atop it. No hop aroma to speak of, although I get a light orange peel & coriander whisper. The flavor is light, crisp, and has a pleasant sweet wheat note with a clean finish. The Spotted Cow has a crisp, fruity note on the flavor with a light corn malt sweetness. I imagine this could show the BMC macros a thing or two. In fact, I could drink this all day on a summer day.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 07:13:46 | More by elNopalero
Photo of WolfsbaneBloom


4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a beautiful four fingers of rich, bubbly white foam over a bright pale yellow body. Relatively clear despite the claim that it's bottle conditioned with yeast. Looks amazingly fresh and mouth-watering.

Smell: Bready/crackery malt, grain, corn, white pepper, and a light fruitiness from the yeast.

Taste: Follows the nose. Grain, crackery malt backbone, corn, a light lemony sweetness, and just a touch of a white pepper-like spice.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, dry, crisp, tingly, and refreshing.

Overall, New Glarus certainly makes more interesting and flavorful beer than Spotted Cow but it's easy to see why this is their flagship beer: anybody can drink it. Simple, clean, light, and refreshing. This is the kind of beer you want handed to you after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day. This is the kind of beer you want a whole cooler full of at a backyard BBQ. This is the kind of beer you want to drink outside with the sun shining behind it, illuminating its beauty. Understated, delicious, and utterly satisfying. One of life's simple pleasures.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 00:50:16 | More by WolfsbaneBloom
Photo of tut2528


2.68/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a light golden color with a bright snow-white colored 1 fingers worth of head formation. thousands of tiny bubbles are seen rushing to the top to support head retention and a thin film remains.

S: cream of corn and grain dominate this brew. very watery smelling. quite unappealing

T: glad that there a bit more to this than in the nose. grain, corn, mild malt and a possible biscuit-like character with a light cream finish.

M: light bodied, quite watery. doesnt leave much on the palate.

O: this is a perfect brew for someone just starting out in the micro/craft beer world. its highly drinkable and is a step up from the mega domestics (al la Miller, Coors, Bud, etc)

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 20:01:00 | More by tut2528
Photo of barczar


3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light golden with a frothy one inch white head that slowly dissipates, leaving thick lacing.

Corn, grain, floral hops, and cracker-like malt form the aroma. There's a hint of diacetyl, and banana esters surface as it warms.

There's a lightly sour note that underlies the flavor profile, which finishes with a crackery dryness. Floral hops are light and hit mid palate. The malt flavor is slightly sweet.

Body is on the light side with carbonation that's fairly high. It's a touch spritzy.

Decent brew, for the style. Carbonation may be a bit high, but fairly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 19:43:38 | More by barczar
Photo of wingman14


3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy straw yellow, with a frothy white head. Smell is weak, a little malt, a little grain. Taste is malty and light, with a hint of bitterness. A very light beer, nice carbonation. A good beer for what flavor is there, nothing spectacular, but a solid beer nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 21:44:11 | More by wingman14
Photo of smakawhat


3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Hazy dull lemon body, with thin faint rising carbonation. Head makes a real fluffy three fingers with lots of staying power. Kind of a creamy top. Looks like a foamy adjunct lager, with a hazy appearance.

Nose smells like corn, and some sweet like malts hiding in the back. The corn sense seems to dominate quite a bit, but some refreshing grist like quality manages to keep me interested and exploring. Unfortunately that lager like adjunct feeling permeates to much, it's a bit off putting.

Palate hits with a noticeably wet body. Light malts come forward, but a real thin flavor squeeks out. Controlled sweetness, a minor afterfinish of just a hint of bread. Some slight seltzery quality also but carbonation is fairly low.

Overall it's fairly easy drinking, but this really doesn't appeal to me at all. Tastes like a slightly better "adjunct" but not by much, don't feel inclined to try another either.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 23:39:06 | More by smakawhat
Photo of philbe311


3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A generous co-worker bestowed me with a 12-pack after her recent Thanksgiving jaunt back to Wisconsin...

A - A finger's worth of slightly dense slightly lush pure virgin white froth... Decent retention gives way to a full thick collar and a thin veil of lacing... The color is an even lighter than expected pale golden straw... Filled with carbonation that starts with a moderate pace and picks up some serious pace as it climbs... A little bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - An array of sweet pale malts... Cereal grains... Some very faint apple notes as well...

T - The nose was a perfect approximation for what to expect on the palate... Cereal grains... Pale malts... Perhaps a hint of wheat... Some very light apple notes...

M - On the fuller side of light bodied... Uber clean and quite crisp... Brisk carbonation...

D - Simple, straight-forward and quite quaffable... Not bursting with flavor and doesn't wow you in any particular category, but this is a solid enjoyable brew none the less... You don't always need an imperial this or a double that, sometimes a simple refreshing understated brew is needed and this is an ideal beer for such occasions...

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 02:16:07 | More by philbe311
Photo of LeRose


3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Meh... Tap and bottle on numerous occasions because when in Rome and all. Lightly hazy, not much head, light body, a little tart, and little yeasty. Fares better on tap, but pretty much an average drinker. Very prevalent where I travel in WI - many times it is the best choice available. Not a bad beer, certainly drinkable and something about it is just enjoyable, but nothing truly outstanding either.

Review from notes

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 16:27:17 | More by LeRose
Photo of MattyG85


3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Pours a cloudy pale golden yellow with lots of rising bubbles. Big four finger white head with good retention. Leaves a lot of lacing sticking to the glass.

Smell: A fairly sweet and light aroma. Pale malts along with wheat and cereal grains. Hints of cracker and biscuit. A little corn and flakes. Also some hints of straw and a little lemon. Laid back but a decent smell.

Taste: Like the smell gives off, a light and sweet grainy tasting beer. Sweet pale malts and wheat cereal grains . Taste of straw, crackers, biscuit, corn, and cream. Also a little taste of citrus lemon. Has an adjunct like taste but one of the better tasting light tastes.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, crisp, and very smooth.

Overall: A pretty decent light beer. Light with a corny taste but its far better than a typical BMC lager. Would make a great gateway into craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 07:52:56 | More by MattyG85
Photo of starrdogg

District of Columbia

3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bertram for sending this one along as an extra.

Beer pours a hazy light yellow/gold with a thin white head. Smell is a little on the sweet side with hints of maybe apple or even a little grape. Flavor follows the nose, this is essentially a better version of an adjunct lager that brings a slight hint of apple and sweetness to go along with the usual corn of the adjuncts. It's far from spectacular tasting, but it's a good representation of what it is. Mouthfeel is thin-medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is essentially the high end version of your average light lager. It's pretty decent, and I can see why the Wisconsin-ites swear by it in the summer, but it's far from great, just above average.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 01:41:25 | More by starrdogg
Photo of dhbiker0889


3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Golden color with a very little head

S- Very sweet at first. Maybe a slight vanilla apple smell and a little bit funky

T- Sweet with virtually no bitterness. A little bit of cream. Very plain beer taste. But delicious

M- Great. Pretty carbonated and very smooth.

O- Very good beer but kind of plain. Loved by all my friends who don't drink craft beer but still enjoyed by those that do. Very easy to drink all night.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2012 05:44:32 | More by dhbiker0889
Photo of BlackBelt5112203

South Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special thanks to my buddy Taylor who brought a New Glarus variety pack straight from Wisconsin all the way down here to Charleston. Thanks, Taylor!

12 oz bottle poured into a mug at fridge-cellar temperature.

L – Pale gold color with barely a finger of white fizzy bubbles that dissipate almost immediately. No lacing. Clear with lots of bubbles.

S – Some grainy malt but mostly corn. It smells an awful lot like a BMC adjunct lager minus some of the skunkiness that’s sometimes there.

T – Sweet all the way through with grainy and bready malt and a healthy dose of corn. While it smells a little like the big guys, it tastes a lot better.

F – Light-bodied with lots of carbonation, a smooth and creamy but crisp mouthfeel, and a sweet and slightly dry finish. The high amount of carbonation yields a perceived acidity at the finish, as well.

O – This is a solid cream ale. I’m not really a big fan of the style since it’s essentially an adjunct “ale,” but this is a great example of the style. For a cream ale, this is very tasty and definitely refreshing and drinkable. Great lawnmower beer. Nicely done, NG.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2012 02:21:26 | More by BlackBelt5112203
Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,023 ratings.