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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

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2,851 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,851
Reviews: 726
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 199
Gots: 459 | FT: 10
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: 2,851 | Reviews: 726 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of NODAK
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Has a grain and corn aroma to it. They do state they use corn to sweeten this beer and it's evident.

Taste basically gives me the impression that this beer is a bridge of sorts between macro beers and the beers most craft geeks drink. Has a fruitiness about it that I'd liken perhaps to apple that opens the beer up. There's also a creaminess in it and a sweetness from the corn. There really aren't any hops to be found in this beer. Carbonation seems to be pretty high. Finishes easy.

When I read that this was found everywhere in Wisconsin, I was impressed that the people there were seemingly drinking tons of craft beer but the fact is that this isn't really anything most craft beer nuts would seek out too actively if they had other options. Despite that, it's very enjoyable and a great quaffer. It's still much better than macros and fits the bill when you want something that isn't too complex or heavy.

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.86/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Took the family out for dinner the other weekend and jotted these notes down on the kiddie placemat. My options were mostly mass produced swill so New Glarus was a no brainer. Spotted Cow on tap. I could go 16 oz or 23 oz per the waitress, once again a no brainer.

A) Looks tasty, kind of thick looking. A hazy yellow, with a good inch of white head that faded pretty quick, nice lacing in the pilsner style glass.

S) No wow factor here. I'd say fresh bread, little bit of fruit scent.

T) Very creamy... Made me think of Sleeman's Cream Ale. I haven't had one of those Canadian beers in way too long. Good after taste is a plus.

M) I like it. This stuff just sticks right to my grill.

O) I really enjoy this brew, but how this is New Glarus's best seller is a mystery to me. They have many offerings that I routinely purchase in favor of it.

Photo of EricCioe
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a slightly opaque full gold with a one finger off white head fading down to something less than a sheet with no lace. On the nose there is a big note of wet grain, pretty pleasant. After that, the only thing I can think of is the cereal Apple Jacks. In the mouth the sweet grains hang out on the front of the tongue. Is this what corn tastes like when it's added for flavor and not economics? It's not bad. The problem is that there isn't a whole lot else going on. Maybe some really, really light fruit further back. The body is light, the finish medium with the fruit hanging out for a bit, and the carbonation is pleasant. I guess I associate brews with corn to brews with ridiculous carbonation that fills me up, and this isn't that.

Overall, this is a decent beer, proof that corn can be used in a positive way in a beer. I wish there were a little more going on but it's pretty good as is. I bet lots of cheese eaters drink this an awful lot in the summer. It'd doubtless be a nice change from wheat beers in the summer. Thanks to my old pal Agro for the assist.

Photo of fastpass17
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A: Crystal clear, yellow fizzy beer in color, creamy one finger head, good crisp carbonation.

S: Vanilla cream is in the forefront, clean malt takes hold of the rest of the nose, little to no hop presence.

T: A more full bodied throw back to Genny cream ale. There is more complexity in the malt and cream presence. The flavor is slightly corny and creamy which is very reminiscent to by gone days.

M,O: Well balance and pleasing to the tongue, a summer burger beer. Very session-able as well.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly clouded, straw gold with a large, foamy, light, whispy, smooth, white head. Fairly good retention leaving

S - Plenty of corn, vegetable, and bready aroma. A slight fruitiness as well. Not great but provides a slight intrigue.

T - Not as corny sweet as you would expect, although it is pretty strong. Some honey, malty sweetness and a background of fruitiness (apple and pear mostly). A very subtle tartness with that fruit flavor.

M - Light to medium body with good carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

D - Quite refreshing and easy to drink. Not amazing, but is a very nice cream ale that is not too strong on sweet, corn, vegetable flavors.

Notes: I enjoyed the beer overall. Sweet but not too strong with a nice subtle fruitiness. Pretty tasty and I could see having this stocked for summer (if I lived in Wisconsin). I wasn't blown away, but it was solid and refreshing.

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

Thanks to zimmerbloke. Into bell's tulip.

Light golden yellow and a mild white head. 2 fingers settle quickly and there's some mild sticky lacing.

S- Fruit in syrup, pineapple. Mellow, though.

T- Sweet crisp malt, a bit of lemon and some apple sweetness. Very light and tasty. Simple, hard to describe.. but good. A very very faint dash of clove.

M- Crisp, clean, refreshing, finishes well. Good times.

O- A perfect session beer. Oh, how I wish I could get it on the regular. Fantastic stuff.


Photo of JayAre46
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - My freakin review vanished and i really don't feel like doing this again ughhhh...A - hazy straw color, 1 finger of soapy head that showed decent retention to my surprise. not bad

A - sweet fruity aromas, wheat is present but subtle very simple smell no hops, maybe toasty aromas

T - follows the nose but this time i belched and noticed a sweet corn flavor come up but never got it initially DMS, grassy presence and some grain aspects. The sweetness im not the biggest fan of there is not much of any hops to be found or bitterness. For some reason this beer reminds me of back in the day when i used to play beerpong (fucking tragedy) i hate that game. this beer is just simple and has zero depth

M - light bodied, if you gulp down enough you can experience a crisp feel to it, moderate carbonation. Just not a lot going on anywhere with this beer...

O - c'mon guys, really. Its not horrible, i just feel this was not "hand-crafted" at all. worse things have happened, but this beer seems pointless and empty to me, no depth or complexity or maybe its just so complex and the significant representations of what they brewed lay in the depths of darkness that my simple palate cannot dare to retrieve...i just had an AH-HA moment, or not

Photo of scanny79
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a mug.

Appearance: It was a nice tan color with a white head to it.

Smell: The smell isn't an overpowering thing to me. It had some corn and wheat aroma to it, but not harsh on the nose by any means.

Taste: The flavors of everything mesh together really well in this one. It definetly goes down easy with a faint taste following it.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is good, but nothing spectacular. There is definetly the carbonation there, and it has a really nice light feeling to it.

Overall: Spotted Cow is definetly not the best beer I have tried, but it is definetly worth the drink and I always do remember to pick up a 12 pack whenever I am in WI. It has a lighter feel to it and tastes really good. The redrinkability is definetly there with this one. Perfect on those hot days when one isn't enough.

Photo of ngeunit1
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear and only slightly cloudy golden-yellow color with a big finger of frothy white head. The head fades down pretty quickly to a thin ring leaving behind a few touches of lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of some wheat and some bread malts. There is just a touch of grass and corn mixed in as well.

T - Starts off with some light malts and bready flavors. Bit of fruit and grass flavors and just a touch tart. Through the middle some more grains come out The finish is a mix of bready malts and some corn and grain flavors. Little bit of lingering sweetness.

M - Light bodied with moderate carbonation. A bit creamy. Overall really crisp and light. Finish is really clean.

D - Super drinkable. Flavors are a bit bland, but it is lively enough and not empty. Finish is really crisp and refreshing.

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.

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,851 ratings.