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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,799 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,799
Reviews: 714
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.94%
Wants: 187
Gots: 418 | FT: 11
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: 2,799 | Reviews: 714 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of etn3000
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had Spotted Cow maybe 9 times in the course of 4 years. Every time I have one, for at least a week after that I am craving another one. I don't know what it is about the beer. It has a very cloudy orangish color, and it goes down very smooth, and it's flavor is excellent. Very crisp. I would recommend this beer to anyone. It's one of my favorites.

Photo of tehawful
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was able to get a bottle of this through a friend of a friend, as I have not seen it locally. The label mentions that they have given a nod to Wisconsin farmers with a little hint of corn...which makes up a large portion of the aroma. Floral hops, spice and sweet grain hints are also noticeable. Spotted Cow pours a hazy golden straw color, due to brewers decision to keep the yeast in the bottle.

There is a pale malt taste upfront with just a bit of grain. Nothing too bold upfront, but it picks up quickly with a pleasantly sweet corn characteristic that seems to compliment the style. Though it starts slow, its a pretty enjoyable experience overall. Spotted Cow also finishes cleanly which makes it a very drinkable ale. I would definitely pick this up from time to time if it was available.

Photo of DKight
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Photo of snaotheus
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle shipped from the west coast to the east coast

Pours a mostly clear golden color, almost no head, medium amount visible carbonation. Smells malty, very bready and yeasty, with a fair amount of citrus and banana.

Taste is a bit of a letdown after that smell...first thing that comes to mind is flat, sour apple juice, but that's not really a fair description. It is a sort of confusing sweet-and-sour taste with a little banana and a lagery finish.

Mouthfeel is light but flat. Not a great beer, not a bad beer.

Photo of mariposafan
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Slightly murky golden color with a nice one finger of tight, creamy head. Some lacing.

The aroma is sweet and grainy. A touch of corn but nothing like it was on tap.

The taste is again nicer than it was on tap. Slightly sweet with a touch of corn and some maltiness. A little waterier than ideal but none of the sourness that I got from the tap version and much more flavor.

The mouthfeel is about as I remember it - a little thin but creamy and with nice carbonation.

This is much more drinkable! The amount of flavor just changes the whole experience. This would go down very easily time after time, though I don't think I'd grab it instead of New Glarus' own Back 40 or Stone Soup if they were available.

Photo of jwinship83
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle brought back from wisconsin by a coworker. drank from my samual adams perfect pint glass. no freshness information can be found on the bottle.

A- this one pours out a lightly hazy golden straw colored body. the head on top is bright white, huge, and fluffy. it takes a few minutes to fall, and leaves behind a small wall of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice are the lightly sweet pale malts. its also faintly yeasty and there are some very light floral hop notes at the end. im pretty sure i can pick up the scent of corn in here, but that might just be because of the bottle. either way, this beer lacks the strong and off-putting corn odor that american adjunct lagers have.

T- very delicate tasting. sweet pale malts up front. the yeast presence i could smell comes through stronger in the taste. i can taste the corn, im sure of it. its still lightly done and doesnt bring with it the distinct metallic taste. floral hops at the end come through faintly.

M- light bodied and highly carbonated. little to no aftertaste left behind.

D- easy to finish this one, and at a strength that most consider sessionable. this is a nice alternative to the big three.

Photo of CenCalMario
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Low alcohol much as expected with a cream ale. Color and appearance are desireable. Head was nice and full, good carbonation. I found the aroma to be lacking, almost had to try to "find" it in the nose, very subtle and light. Taste lacked character and was average, was expecting a bit more.

Overall this beer rates as a beer worth trying but not worth buying.

Photo of dpnelson1978
2.83/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$1.49 / ea.

A: Hazy straw body topped with one finger of loose white head that quickly dissipates leaving light foamy lace and a thin bubbly cover.

S: Fruit aromas with a hint of sweet corn and light flowery hops. Pretty straight forward and not unlike many batches I've made at home. Really not that impressive.

T: Sweet corn with hints of fruit and a light hop bitterness. Pretty much exactly how it smells. Light bitter aftertaste. Nothing special.

M: Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Light carbonic bite and a underlying smoothness. Solid.

D: Easily approachable and very simple overall. The flavor is ok, the mouthfeel is satisfactory, and the alcohol content is low. Easy sessioning beer, but for the style it is a bit disappointing.

O: I really expected more from this offering considering the execution of Wisconsin Belgian Red, and Raspberry Tart. The market share this beer holds in Wisconsin is surprising.

Photo of mcmahon41
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

Photo of cpolking
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a honey golden and slightly cloudy. The aroma is of tart fruit and green apple. It tastes fruity, slightly sweet, round and soft on the mouth, with a hint of grain in the back. It tastes like a golden honey ale although this has no honey.

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

A big thanks to my brother-in-law who sent me this after talking about it over the phone. Cheers friend!

Appearance - Pours a hazy yellow into my SA Perfect Pint. About a finger of white head is achieved with a moderate pour. The head dissipates rather quickly, leaving fine lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Grain, citrus, bready malts, slight hops.

Taste - Similar to the nose but a bit more fruity. Very balanced. As the beer warms up you get more grain/corn in the flavor/aroma.

Mouthfeel - Medium to thin bodied, moderate carbonation, crisp clean finish.

Drinkability - I can put back a six pack of these like it was nothing. Totally a summer beer or beer to pair with BBQ foods during summer or pizza. Glad I was able to try this and can't wait to have some this summer when I'm back in the hot, humid, Midwest!

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours yellow with a slight white head. The nose is pretty plain with some really light malt and some slight fruits. Very mild hops. The taste is just a tad bit of lightly-sweetened malt and really not much else. Body is light and somewhat creamy with good carbonation. Drinks quite well and I can see how it sells so much.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Pours a 1 finger foamy white head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear corn yellow. Lacing is patchy with little cling.

S: Nose is subtle but exceedingly sweet. Lemon, lychee, and cane sugar. Very style appropriate but not really much of anything going on here. Also not the most aromatic.

T: Opens displaying a big malt backbone. Spicy notes from the beginning to middle. Lemon. Beer sours just a tad towards the end and fades sweet and with hints of corn.

M: Light bodied, highly carbonated, lively and quite abrasive going down. Slightly watery in the mouth. Finish is clean and aftertaste is slightly oily but doesn't linger.

D: I can't remember the last beer I was this indifferent to. Very plain with an appropriate mouthfeel but there's nothing exciting or out of the ordinary about this one. Just a peg above the macros. Nothing to complain about but there's no real reason to come back to this one.

Photo of confer
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pale yellow and cloudy. Head fluffs up and then fade to a layer of froth.S- Smells like a trippel candy-like.T- The taste is also sweet. Again it reminds me of a toned down trippel.MD- The feel is very creamy and smooth. This beer is unbelievably easy drinking. Wisconsinites are very lucky people.
Thanks to Bill for sharing this bottle.

Photo of nickd717
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle via trade as an extra thanks to oach.

Pours a mostly clear golden-yellow color with a one-finger white head.

Aroma is a lot like a pale lager, with corn and grain along with pale malt.

Flavor is slightly sweet with pale malt and quite a bit of corn. Some nice fruity notes differentiate it from crappy BMC beers and the like.

Clean and crisp on the palate with a smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel that works really well.

Highly drinkable. This isn't by any means an amazing beer, but it does what it sets out to and matches up well against other cream ales. This is your quintessential lawnmower beer, a good choice for a hot day when you might otherwise consider resorting to BMC.

Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazed orange yellow with a thick white head and great lacing. Smells of oranges, vanilla, yeast bread, biscuit and grain. Tastes of orange, corn, yeast bread, and very dry aftertaste. Mouthfeel is just right for this beer. Drinkability is quite good. Almost sessionable. Great beer.

Photo of NorthwoodsPro
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
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!

Photo of plumcrazyfx
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Went over to 'Sconnie for a beer run and came back with this. Pours a nice cloudy straw color. Not much of a smell - light malty character. This tastes too close to mass produced beers - mostly malty flavor with a bit of corn bite and light hops. If I want craft, I want something more intense. This would be a good craft to throw at a mass beer drinker to get them into craft. I'd much rather have this than a Bud or something - so don't get me wrong - it's not bad just nothing really exciting. Maybe it's just the nature of Cream Ales but this just is lacking much in terms of depth. It does have a nice creamy body that I though was the best part of the beer.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a nice pale straw color with a slight white head that is thin. Quite typical beer colors.

S - Straight forward grain aromas with some slight grassy character. Bready notes as well.

T - Flavors are tons of malt grain and slight bready toast. Much like a typical American lager. Nice grain. Such an easy beer to drink. Very nice.

M & D - Crisp and clean flavors. Overall very drinkable and good offering.

Photo of Lukafer
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy gold with a finger of white head.  Smells are slight yeast, maybe some fruit and some apple.  Tastes are yeasty goodness at the front, followed by some fruit.  Drinkability is very high, mouthfeel is kinda thin, but still either the best or one of the best cream ales I've had.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A strangely cloudy yellow beer. Makes good head and retains though. Interesting funkiness to the beer, maybe its the rural Wisconsin thing, but it smells farmish.

Taste, unique as well, went from mild and easy to drink to having a recognizable presence of lemon and bitterness that migrated into minimal sweetness. At no time does it get challenging to drink but is appreciable for what it is. A suitable entry level beer.

Photo of brewdub17
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden colored body with hues of light amber. A thin and quickly disappearing head sits atop the cloudy body.

Smell: The fresh smells from the light use of hops come forward and are complimented well with the dry malty scent.

Taste: A dry malty flavor that is noticeable when smelt comes out strong and is carried throughout. The fresh citrus notes from the hops compliment the dry flavor. A slight amount of sweetness is intertwined amongst all of the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Again, the freshness and dryness make a crisp, clean mouthfeel.

Drinkability: The beer feels pretty "light" and not too flavor intensive. Though I may not want to spend more money for one, they still go down easy.

Photo of Rhettbuck
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Light amber color to the beer, it had been stored on lay-a-way for a while before I got a hold of it, so it might not be the best example. Nice Lacing, but it dissipated quickly

S- Has a sweet tinge to it, typical of an ale

T- tastes like a normal ale, but a little lackluster compared to others, still better than a generic ale you might find, however this brewery produces better beers

M- Lots of carbonation.

D- This beer is definitely designed to be consumed in large quantities, which is a good thing, its not too filling and the taste stays crisp.

Photo of kbeals
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

JimboHD2005 sent me this one a LONG time ago, finally reviewing from notes.

A- Hazy yellow appearance in my pint glass. A finger of sticky white head leaves behind decent lacing. Good head retention.

S- Essences of citrus and grain come through. Not really much else. Warming up makes the grain stick out more and more, corn plays a role as well.

T- Good amounts of citrusy goodness. Corn and grain once again comes through as it warms up. Pretty good overall.

M- Light bodied with plenty of carbonation.

D- Very drinkable. Light body, low ABV and pretty good flavors makes this one an easy quaffer. It would seem to make a good summer beer. Thanks again for this one Jim!

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 2,799 ratings.