Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

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729 Reviews
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Reviews: 729
Hads: 3,073
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 6.61%
Wants: 235
Gots: 650 | FT: 17
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 729 | Hads: 3,073
Photo of objectivemonkey
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a orangish straw gold with a half finger of head that lasts about 7 seconds, and little bubbles sticking to the glass which lend to the nice carbonated yet creamy mouth, but a little odd for looks. Not much aroma, grassy and malty with some corn, just enough to barely detect. Taste is a little odd, sweet malts are evident, but there is this wierd tart fruit in there, though I couldn't quite pin it down. Honestly, not really impressed by this beer, nor can I understand its populartiy. Oh well, more for you 'Sconnies. (527 characters)

Photo of jar2574
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There's nothing wrong with this beer but nothing outstanding either. It pours with a thin head and a yellow color. Not much smell to speak of. It's a very mellow beer, pretty smooth. Nothing noticeable in the taste. No hops to speak of, some malts I suppose, but very muted. Mouthfeel is smooth and drinkability is high. You could have several. A good inoffensive session beer. (377 characters)

Photo of tatoodkelt
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a load a buddy visiting from Chicago brought with him. He raves about this one and I havent had a cream ale in years so here goes...

Consumed 9/4/09- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pale yellow, lightly hazy with a fluffy white two finger head. Virtually no lacing other than a ring around the glass. Little streamers of carbination.

S- Light fruits and a mild malt presence.

T- Grassy, corn, lightly toasted malt, very faintly hopped. no one flavor stood out but it seemed nicely balanced.

M- Very creamy and smooth, carbination was hardly noticable.

D- Pretty easy to drink, would make a great session beer. Nothing really that flipped my switch but I'm glad I tried it. (714 characters)

Photo of orfeu
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received as part of a mixed sixer trade with the mighty nflmvp -- big thanks, Steve! I really like the brewers' claim on the label that this is a "Wisconsin farmhouse ale". Seems as appropriate an appellation as any for a Cream Ale brewed with corn and flaked barley. Pours a hazy golden color with an active, short-lived, snow white head. Nothing too complex in the aroma: soured bready grains with a bit of grassy hop scent on top of a slightly sweet-smelling caramel malt quality. Sort of like an uninspired Pale Ale. Earthy bready flavors become apparent at first sip, rounding out into a sweetish malt taste punctuated with mildly spicy and grassy hops. Candy corn and vanilla sweetness arrives at the finish, highlighting the sort of sticky mouthfeel of this beer. Medium body seems a little thick for the flavor profile, thereby setting back the drinkability. Certainly not a bad beer, and I get the sense that it pays many of the bills so that we can enjoy such world class offerings as the Wisconsin Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart. Nothing I'd seek out again, but certainly happy for the opportunity to have tried it. (1,126 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap, served in a pint

Appears a pale golden color with a milky body. A frothy off white cap bubbled up and receded rather slowly.

Toasted grains and undercooked white bread hit me off the bat with some tropical fruits quickly in tow.

Very dry and crisp. Light bodied with a residual sweetness. Flavor profile is similar to the smell. Toasted grains and doughy yeast with a juicy fruit sweetness.

Very easy to drink, low abv. Easily sessionable, however I am not a huge fan of the flavor profile. (502 characters)

Photo of vishneda
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a mug.

Pours out looking like a very thin beer. The color is a light pale yellow with moderate cloudiness. There is a thick foam head about a half finger thick which quickly fades. No lacing.

The aroma up front is like juicy fruit, even out of the bottle. A very sugary smell. A small hint of herbal hops and maybe a little sourness from the yeast, but this is very light. Pretty pedestrian on the overall scent.

The flavor is not as sweet as the aroma would lead you to believe. Now it does have sweetness, and there really isn't an awful lot of bitterness to balance that out. However, there's just not a great deal of flavor going on here. There is some substance to the overall blend; juicy fruit flavors with hints of yeast and corn and maybe a touch of grassy herbs. However, the overall impression I got was that it was a watery beer.

I'll give it this -- Spotted Cow is drinkable. I can imagine it as a great lawnmower beer. The watery profile and light body help it go down easy, and the mild carbonation makes it feel pretty smooth. If the brewery set out to make an easy going beer with broad appeal I believe it hit the mark with this beer. (1,182 characters)

Photo of palliko
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a typical pale fizzy beer, not much foam. Aroma is citrusy, tart but mild. Initial taste has minimal hops and malt, some fruit, in the middle, but the finish is crisp and clean. No great shakes, but a decent beer for a hot afternoon. This was a gift shipped from Wisconsin to Colorado, and I am grateful for a chance to taste the products from another state. (372 characters)

Photo of popery
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
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. (633 characters)

Photo of rkinsella
3.14/5  rDev -13.5%
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. (666 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This brew pours a clear straw color. The head is two-fingers in heigth and recedes rather quickly into sparce lacing. The aroma is of yeast, and corn. The taste is not unlike the aroma, very corny. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and is somewhat silky. Overall, this beer isn't bad, but I don't see why so many people think it is so great. (363 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An easy drinking, pleasant enough light ale (quite lager tasting) with an underlying character of corn throughout.

The appearance starts with a medium froathy pour, releasing a light but dense white head with good retention and light lacing. The beer carries a modest haze.

Aromas of light crackers, wetted grains, wheat-like malt, and creamed corn. Herbal and grassy hops play lightly in the background. Lightly sulfury.

Flavors of corn, raw barley, and grain husk round out in a lager-like way. A bit more rich, the beer has a briney, yeasty taste that keeps the grassy hops in check. Finishes with that unmistakable corn taste.

Creamy and almost rich, the beer holds onto its weight until the very last second when the hop bitterness ushers in a mild crisp and dry finish.

Because Cream Ales are supposed to have a corn-like character, this beer fares reasonably well. But it's one of those mystery beers that have a cult following by swill drinkers who think they have the best beer in the world. (1,006 characters)

Photo of Holland
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: straw color with a thin head that continues to reproduce itself all the time.

S: sweet malt smell, slightly acidic

T: sweet malt, slightly acidic like the smell, and has a great light malty aftertaste.

M: best part - it somehow feels creamy and crisply carbonated at the same time.

O: not complex, but it's well made. There aren't any flaws in it. Thanks to Treebs for the extra. (389 characters)

Photo of jera1350
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
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. (552 characters)

Photo of andrewjraab
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A Golden yellow pale color. A frothy foam of yellowish head stuck to one side of the glass. Not stick or lacing.

S - A sweet corny smell jumps out with faint fruity elements.

T - This is a crisp and clean brew that drinks more like a session lager. Nothing really special about it so I'm surprised it was so highly acclaimed.

O - Meh. I'll pass next time. (363 characters)

Photo of OddNotion
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
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. (1,325 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It is straw colored, just like my lawn. A large white head was on top, but it settled to a thin skim.

S - I get some grain and grass. It reminds me of an American adjunct.

T - It has a lot of those adjunct qualities in the taste as well.

M - It has a certain creaminess to it.

O - I was excited to try a New Glarus beer; however, this is not one to be excited about. (419 characters)

Photo of Dithyramb
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Milky, pale straw appearance with no head. Very slight hints of lacing on the side and no carbonation within the brew itself. Appeared pretty limp for a bottle conditioned brew.
Lemon and farm funk aroma.
From the description on the bottle and the smell, I thought originally that this would be a saison. Flavor didn't match. After looking it up, it does seem to fit very well with the classic cream ale. Basically, no hops in there to speak of, with a sedate malt profile. Flavors of citrus, wet paper, and dry popcorn.

Mouthfeel was light, with no harshness, but not smooth and creamy either. It should have possibly been sampled during the hot summer months. This would probably work better as a lawnmower brew.

Drinkability gets an average. I wouldn't knock people over to try it, but I wouldn't shun it either. (824 characters)

Photo of samie85
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Uncle Mike's Hwy. Pub in Kenosha; reviewed from notes, originally 6/6/10.

A-Pours a golden color with a white head. Leaves some light lacing.

S-Corn and grain with some very light citrus hops.

T-Follows the nose with corn and grain, finishes dry and a little bitter.

M-Thin bodied with med. carbonation, pretty smooth and coats the mouth.

D-This is a pretty decent beer, and miles better than Totally Naked, but it's ultimately one of New Glarus's weaker offerings. It's really easy drinking and I understand why they make it... it sells really well and allows them to make their better beers. (617 characters)

Photo of BeerRun13
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly pale golden color. Firm creamy white head is fed by one of the most spectacular bubble shows I've ever seen.
Lightly malty, subdued aroma.
Malty a touch of tart fruitiness. Corn is a major playa' in this one.
Light, smooth, and slightly creamy. Easy on the palate.
This ones okay. Par at best. (314 characters)

Photo of smm
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
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. (349 characters)

Photo of pmcadamis
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was up at Lake Delavan for a wedding when I happened by a crappy looking little gas station on Geneva Road that had an outstanding selection of beer (at least for a tiny little gas station)! I picked up some New Glarus stuff. When in Rome..., right?

A - A hazy honey-gold brew looks like nectar from the honeycomb, and is topped with a one finger head that leaves a good deal of lace on the glass. If the glass is left alone, the head recedes to a collar but even gentle agitation results in a fat finger of foam! This looks refreshing...actually, it sort of looks like a witbier.

S - Light honey notes on top of saltine cracker malts. Hold on....I can't smell it anymore because I just let the nastiest fart. Ohweee! Ok I think all of the ass-blast is gone. Smells a bit Belgian in it's sweet yeastiness, and there is a bit of lemony twang. Corriander also? Almost smells like a wit, but much more sweet and honeyed.

T - Sweet confectioner's candy and honey at first, and then tart citric flavors next. Really crakery, sugary, and sweet. This has a very light hint of wheaty twang behind a powdered sugar sweetness. Big yeast flavors too. Pineapple juice from the can....Dole's.

M - A bit dull to be honest. The syrupy sugar levels and lack of hop bitterness, alcohol warmth, or sparkling carbonation results in a less than stellar mouthfeel. It's sort of heavy and dumb. Not vibrant like a beer like this should be. It's moderately carbonated but feels like it needs more tingly bubbles.

D - This isn't all bad, but it is a very awkward beer. It's sort of wit-like but it's too syrupy sweet and heavy. It needs to make up it's mind and be a vibrant summer quencher or a yeasty Belgian brew. It's not really either, but it did hit the spot on a hot summers day so it's not terrible. (1,791 characters)

Photo of ajmoody76
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

buddy gave me a twelve ounce bottle. cloudy straw color. not much of a white head. looks ok.

light malts on the nose. some fruitiness. no off odors.

sweet and fruity. a little hop crispness. dry aftertaste.

not much carbonation. light to mid body. decent beer. i am new to cream ales. would like to try again. (312 characters)

Photo of Soneast
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a semi-cloudy golden orange color with a 1/2 inch white head that has fair retention and moderate lace.

Aroma consists of a sort of graininess compounded by some fruitiness with a hint of citrus.

Flavor is fairly sweet, with the graininess making a presence again as well as some mild citrus notes.

This light bodied beer has a creaminess that is hidden in the appearance and aroma, however it does feel pretty good in my mouth. If it weren't for the sweetness I would find this beer to be much more sessionable. All in all not a bad offering from New Glarus and in Wisconsin this is available at literally every bar/grocery store/gas station/liquor store around, this is certainly a better option than it's BMC counterparts. (734 characters)

Photo of Chaz
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In the glass this is a clear pale straw in color which is somewhat hazy in the manner of a keller bier. It's topped by a thin off-white head with a touch of slick lace around the edge.

On the nose the aroma of semi-sweet corn (sour mash-like) blends with pale malts and sweet crystal malts, affecting a rather vegetal quality overall. There are hops in here, but the variety is not apparent on the nose and overall the hopping strikes me comes across as indistinct.

On the tongue the semi-sweet cooked corn mash and mild malt flavors merge, affecting a very bland, industrial lager-like flavor. This taste improves slightly through the mid-palate and it takes on more of a classic pale ale character as the vegetal corn quality subsides and the lightly bitter hop quality takes over. Somewhat fruity, the corn notes also tend to take on an oat-like quality. Finish is fairly clean, being neither sweet nor truly dry, and the bitterness is not overly pronounced. Altogether it's slightly more fruity than a macro lager.

Mouthfeel is quite average for the style, and again strikes me as very much in the vein of an industrial lager. And with regards to the cream ale style there are certainly more full-bodied examples that have less drinkability, but these (e.g. Little Kings) seem to benefit from that punchy alcohol . . .

Overall it's a fairly average cream ale and not one of my favorites (for what it's worth I prefer a regional lager like Point when I'm in the area.) Spotted Cow benefits from a cute name and an established cult following, but it's far from the most impressive offering from New Glarus.

Served on-tap (and quite warm) at Dick's Bar and Grill, Hudson WI. (1,681 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Someonce once urged me to try one, and declared it "the best". So now I have, but that claim speaks more about them then it does aobut this.
Appearance: a clear pale yella hue, with a slight, soon vanishing white head.
Nose is mee, softly citric, a tiny bit sour.
Smooth on the palate, though not entirely without flavor. Practically no hops no speak of, just adequate enough malt, vestigal fruit notes whisper briefly.
Finish is brief, non-descript. Body is light to the point of invisibility. A very fragile, meek little beer.
Would be a decent choice for a "lawnmower" brew, maybe, when complexity and challenge are not in the order.
Not a bad beer, but not much, either.
Thanks to cokes for helping me try it out! (724 characters)

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 729 ratings.