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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,018 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2018
Reviews: 677
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: 2,018 | Reviews: 677 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of tyleeis


4.53/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is light golden but hazy, one finger head....looks amazing!

Smell isnt strong, lemony and slightly bready....

Tastes great! Sweet nice banana aftertaste and malty.

Smooth mouthfeel, med carbonation.

Could drink this beer all day all year around but in the summer is the best. A must have for the fridge.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2012 01:53:48 | More by tyleeis
Photo of NorthwoodsPro


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I chose this beer after tasting 3 different on-tap brews at Piggy's restaurant in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It was so refreshing and went well with a Norwegian salmon dinner. The next night, at a different restaurant, had it with a chicken dinner.

Excellent straw color with a crisp and clean finish.

Not much of a head. But I definitely want more of this beer!

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2010 07:50:49 | More by NorthwoodsPro
Photo of Brent


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one came at me from an unexpected angle. When I saw the bottle, the name "Spotted Cow" immediately made me think of milk stout. I suppose for a cream ale, it makes sense, too. Very bright and lively, with some lemony tartness that called to mind a super-mild Berliner weisse crossed with a German pilsner. Surpisingly drinkable, and the ABV would make this an ideal quencher. This may be the first cream ale that really caught my attention.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 19:32:01 | More by Brent
Photo of bluesbrewsguys


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now this is what I love to drink every day of summer for the past two years. This golden goodness of this beer has a hint of citrus and is slightly sweet and with a touch of hops to bring your taste buds all together and cheer. Sad that I can't get this beer here in Chicago, but at least it gives me a reason to go to Milwaukee to pick up a few cases when visiting friends. So great to enjoy on the back porch when listening to some Blues records on a summer day. Made my birthday just golden today.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 18:42:12 | More by bluesbrewsguys
Photo of KeefD


4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was the first beer I had by New Glarus, many moons ago, on tap and this was the first time I've had it in a bottle. Picked this sixer up at Stanley Liquor, in Stanley, WI.

Pours a superb hazy golden color. If I didn't know any better, I would guess that it was a heffeweizen, with a nice two finger head that dissipates quickly leaving behind a nice enough amount of lacing. Smell is of some grainy malts and some fruitiness. Taste is fruity, hints of apple and pear, slightly spicy, a nice hop undertone that doesn't take away from pale malts in the least, and lots of carbonation. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, medium bodied and quite delicious. I have not been disappointed from a New Glarus offering yet!

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2008 18:02:39 | More by KeefD
Photo of julian


4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
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 scottchesterhall


4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On the pour, it seemed a little dark for a farmhouse ale, but nice lacing and pleasant appearance.

Smell was mild, slight fruit on the nose, but not a lot there.

Taste was nice, well-balanced. Some wheat, nice solid malt, with gentle fruit and very understated balancing hops.

Mouthfeel was nice: pretty viscous and full.

Very drinkable beer...easy to have a few of these and they seemed to get better over time.

Nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2010 04:19:02 | More by scottchesterhall
Photo of mwa423


4.45/5  rDev +20.3%
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 Generik420


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

Had this on a pub crawl in Milwaukee last weekend and was very impressed. In fact, one bar was supposed to serve us Stella Artois, but had ran out and substituted with Spotted Cow and I was actually happy to miss out on the Stella.

Appearance: Pale and clear. Clean white head that didn't last long.

Smell: Sweet aroma and not hoppy. Very pleasant.

Taste/mouthfeel: This beer is on the sweeter side, and that may be a turn off to some. Very light on the hops. There is a bit of a twang to the backend of this, almost a hint of citrus. It is a little thin regarding mouthfeel.

This beer is a fantastic choice for a session beer or as a pallete cleanser between high hop beers. Great for summer as well. Wish I could get it where I live.

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2006 13:25:10 | More by Generik420
Photo of CSAsylum


4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-"Could be Bud Light" said the Special Lady Friend. It pours straw, a little darker than any Bud with a 1 3/4 finger head that disappears rapidly.

S-High crisp esters, a little grapey, a little cidery, a touch of honey. Special Lady Friend insists it smells like walnuts although I don't detect anything nutty. Hey! To each his own.

T- Very yeasty, even for those used to bottle conditioned beers. Corn is evident, not as off flavor but clearly deliberate as it's subtle but very much there. A hint of alcohol but definitely not off puttingl. Could use a little more malt...or hops to balance out.

Leave is a dry with a touch of yeast. Tasting essentially blind, I thought this was a rich lager: sweet, yeasty, and light.

M-light-med body. like honey water...like what I thought mead was supposed to taste like before I had mead. A rich beverage but very drinkable. This is a thirst quencher after a hard day's yard work or an after dinner sipper before bed.

D-A total session beer, no doubt. An unassuming leave combined with a fairly light body and a light hint of alcohol. This is basicalyl The Beer you want to serve at your next barbecue...or the beer you want to introduce your Miller Lite friends into craft brew with.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 02:10:36 | More by CSAsylum
Photo of Keeton


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

A close friend brought me this one from a friend of a friend out of Wisconsin with some pretty high expectations. I had heard of the spotted cow but this was my first sip.

I'm not sure about calling this beer a cream ale but I think I might of called it a pale but that's not my job.

I thought the nose and flavor worked perfect and matched the appearances well. light and refreshing but full flavor.

by the end of this delight I had several notes and all I was thinking was , how can I reproduce this beer. I will be spending some great time trying down the ingredients in this beer

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 06:03:57 | More by Keeton
Photo of TX-Badger


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

An offering from New Glarus Brewing Co. that I have had on many occasion while living in Madison. Finally decided to review it.

A - The Spotted Cow has a faint hazy yellow gold color, mainly due to the yeast left in the bottle. It also poured a very white fluffy head, about an inch that dissipated at an average pace.

S - On the nose I get light fruits, a little citrus from the hops, barley malt, yeast, and the unmistakable hint of corn.

T - On the palate I got exactly what I smelled on the nose, and that hint of corn on the finish adds a distinct sweetness, but not too much.

M - Medium-bodied on the palate, carbonated very well while conditioned in the bottle.

O - A fantastic offering from New Glarus. Each time I have a Spotted Cow, I understand more and more why this beer is their staple. It i a fantastic Wisconsin farmhouse ale with an unmistakable character. I do like it much more on tap than in the bottle, but it doesn't detract from this great brew. Great from start to finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 02:01:00 | More by TX-Badger
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 Westywood


4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 23:07:57 | More by Westywood
Photo of Wisconsin_Max


4.39/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is perhaps the best, most enjoyable beer produced in the great state of Wisconsin. It's smooth, light flavor is an ideal beer to share among friends year round. It is arguably the most beloved beer in the state. As it is only available within state borders, I recommend you stock up next time you are driving through.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 01:56:10 | More by Wisconsin_Max
Photo of akorsak


4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of nflmvp.

A: The ale is a pale straw yellow, much hazier than I expected (it looks like a saison). The head was not large on pour and remained only as a small white pool of foam.

S: The nose is soft graininess with an evident pale fruit flavor (some dry pear, apple) and a hint of lemongrass.

T: The soft flavors of the nose continue into the taste. The grainy biscuit flavors and softer fruits, including a subtly sweet lemongrass flavor, make for a very easy drink. The finish of the ale brings back the grainy dryness and puts a nice exclamation on the beer.

M: The ale is very restrained, full of strong flavors that never overdo it, tastewise. Another please!

D: This is a real sessioner, light on alcohol without skimping on taste. The beer is going right back on my 'wants' list.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2007 21:43:05 | More by akorsak
Photo of PoisonOakAdam


4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is just one of those beers that I have to keep going back to wisconsin to get, love new glarus.

Appearance is pretty a nice hazzy yellow/gold with a great head when poured, thick and creamy.

Smells crisp and smooth, no sharp tones.

Taste has a almost cream soda likeness to it, the carbonation is good and the light flavors work well.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, deffinitely tastes light but on your tongue is has a great substance.

Drinkability is fantastic, deffinitely sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 22:58:36 | More by PoisonOakAdam
Photo of mcmahon41


4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Only sold in Wisconsin. A very smooth, light honey colored ale.

"The Cow" is semi-cloudy with a gentle carbonation. The head is frothy white and seems to disappear quickly. It is pleasantly sweet with a fruity smell. Crisp and light on the palate. This beer goes down quickly and and will surely be a party favorite.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2010 21:27:52 | More by mcmahon41
Photo of woosterbill


4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of Beerman777 into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear deep gold body with lively carbonation refreshing a finger of coarse white foam. Average retention and light lace. Decent looking beer.

S: Rich, sweet, malty/corny aroma prevails, with some smooth fruity notes backing things up. I can't imagine anything all that much better for the style.

T: Smooth, malty, and corny, with some definite fruity notes (apple and grape especially) and a bit of crisp hop bite on the finish. Again, while this isn't the most delicious beer I've ever had, it's far better than I'd ever expect from a cream ale. Deservedly popular in my former home of cheese-land.

M: Incredibly rich and creamy, with abundant, fine carbonation supporting a solid medium body. Excellent.

D: Since I've been giving this beer extra-high scores based on its exemplarity with its style, I suppose here it would only be fair to point out that its concentrated flavor doesn't make it the most easily quaffable of cream ales. Still, it's not at all a hard beer to drink.

Notes: While this is far from my favorite New Glarus brew (I could easily rattle off 10 that I prefer), it's still a truly tasty brew and one that I'm especially happy to find on tap at practically any half-decent bar in Wisconsin. It's fun to see corn used to enhance, rather than mask, flavor. Good stuff from NG, as usual.


Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 01:02:52 | More by woosterbill
Photo of LarryKemp


4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This unfiltered beer looked much more cloudy in the 12 ounce brown twistoff bottle than it did once I poured it into my glass. The beer poured a slightly cloudy bright yellow. The head was fluffy white and not long lasting but it left a little lace on the side of the glass. The aroma of malt jumps out of the glass and fills your nose. What a joy. It makes the anticipation much greater. The taste lives up to the aroma. A sweet maltiness grabs your tongue and lingers in your mouth. The mouthfeel is medium light and has a slight creaminess. This is a great beer for pleasure and for a session. Too bad my friend only brought me one. DAMN!!!!

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2003 16:05:11 | More by LarryKemp
Photo of jneiswender


4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a sample glass.

A-golden, yellow body, some haze. Thick, white sponge head.

S-metallic, mineral like, some earth.

T-SOOO creamy! like liquid donuts, a nice hop touch makes it not too sweet.

M-very light, well carbonated, far from dry

D-great session. really really tasty. I could drink this all night.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 01:21:37 | More by jneiswender
Photo of DKight


4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received from a friend who lives in Wisconsin, since this beer is all but impossible to find in Indianapolis.

Served in bottle.

For an ale it is very good. Perfect amount of malt to make it drinkable, yet set it apart from most ales I have drank. I prefer malty beers, and this is one of my favorite light malt beers.

Not much head when poured out of bottle, color is nothing special. Very drinkable and smooth, especially for a non-light beer. For anyone wanting to get into craft/micro-brews this is the beer for you.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 19:06:31 | More by DKight
Photo of Brunite


4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 22:50:40 | More by Brunite
Photo of pschul4


4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz into fancy NG pint

A- Pours a straw yellow with a big fluffy white head that leaves some nice lacing

S- Nice fruit esters with banana and orange dominating

T- MMM just like the smell it comes through strong with banana and citrus. This is the perfect summer day beer

M- Light but what did you expect?

O- I wish I lived in WI just to drink spotted cow while doing lawn work. Excellent job NG

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2012 03:47:18 | More by pschul4
Photo of jpohl


4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite beer of all. Goes down smooth but still has some body to it. Problem is that they only sell it in Wisconsin which is a problem since I live in AZ now. I had to bring about 6 cases out with me before I moved. The color is fine and the mouthfeel is smooth.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2012 21:23:57 | More by jpohl
Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,018 ratings.