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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 Mavigo


3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got this at Via in Milwaukee. Served in a pint.

A: is a clear light golden color with a short white head that dissipates quickly leaving little. lacing.

S:smells light, grassy, wheat, spices, malts

T: light, sweet, wheat, citrus, grass, spices, hint of hops

M: light body with good amounts of carbonation

O: overall this was my first cream ale and it was pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 01:15:36 | More by Mavigo
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Ah, the famous Spotted Cow.
Poured into becker pint glass; bright clear yellow with lively carbonation and a bright white fizzy thick head that doesn't leave much lacing. Smell is slightly vinous, light lager yeast and corn with a bit of grassy crisp hops. Taste is light and crisp, light grain and corn with a pinch of crisp hops to dry out the finish, which is lightly sweet and a bit sticky, but mostly clean. Mouthfeel is crisp, clean and carbonated.
While I'd prefer a steam beer or a kolsch when it comes to lighter, lager-influenced ales, this is a good beer. It'd be a great beer for introducing a BMC drinker to craft. It's nothing special, but I can see why it has such a fervent local following, spanning all spectrums of beer drinkers.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 22:50:14 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of Franziskaner


3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Golden colored ale with a pretty minimal head. Very good clarity on this beer. The aroma is pretty straight forward with the smell of light malt and corn. Very smooth mouthfeel. Just a quick splash of light malt and corn flavor. Aftertaste is non existent and watery. This is not my thing, but it isn't bad.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2013 03:12:09 | More by Franziskaner
Photo of thinkinflicka


4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First New Glarus poured into a pint glass

Pours a hazey yellow with a thin white head

Smeel is sight citrus, grassy with a tiny bit of funk

Taste is biscut malt, slighty floral with bit of fruit, clean and crisp with just a tiny farm house style funk to make it great.

Perfect mouthfeel for the style light and crisp.

This is the perfect hot summer day beer, i could drink a bath tub full of this. Its not quite a farmhouse not quite a cream ale, kind of a perfect mix of the two. This is a great beer that appeals to the masses i cant think of any one not likeing it.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2013 22:24:55 | More by thinkinflicka
Photo of JWearda


3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served: in a New Glarus glass straight from the tap at New Glarus Brewing!

Appearance: Slightly hazy yellow color with a sudsy white cap. Carbonation cascades throughout the body.

Scent: yeasty with a touch of orange. A dash of sweet corn and some cloves. A nod towards "Belgian-like" in it's smell?

Taste: lots of colors for the palate: mild notes of citrus, orange peel, yeast, and a touch of grain. None of them overpower each other and everything seems to blend together very nicely.

Finish: the flavor is sweet-n-yeasty, zipping quickly to a short and quite fruity finish, snipped off by a sharp zip of carbonation.

Overall: this is a delight to have and will make it a regular for its smooth, easy, satisfying taste. Finely crafted and not an over the top beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2013 18:54:14 | More by JWearda
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The #9 ranked Cream Ale here on BA with only an 84% rating. Obviously, the love for this style is lacking.

Served in a Delirium Tremens glass.

A: Poured a very murky, tangerine-orange color, with a wispy off-white head that didn't add up to much.

S: Sweet bread, wheat, corn, and a bit of vanilla extract. I actually dug the nose.

T: Not too sweet and certainly nothing wrong with this one. Straight down the middle, easy drinker with a sour-dough disposition overall.

M: The drinkability on this suck is unhinged. So friggin smooth an gulpable with perfect carbonation bill. Not a dry drop in this puppy.

O: Been to Cheese Land a couple of times and remember this one being on tap just about everywhere I went. Obviously NG's best-seller. I can see why.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2013 00:19:49 | More by Chaney
Photo of MickeyBeer


3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a beer that I have had dozens of times, but decided to finally write a review on it.

A- Pours a slightly cloudy, golden color. Head was rather minimal, leaving only about a half a finger of white head that dissipates rather quickly. No real lacing to speak of.

S- Smell is sweet and malty with a little bit of a wheat aroma. Doesn't exactly hit you in the nose, but some nice aromas are present.

T- This beer has a good deal of flavor, but in many ways is hard to describe. It has an almost fruity flavor similar to that of a cider. Also has a spiced presence to it. Hops are not very prominent in the flavor, and mostly the sweetness of the beer comes forward.

M- This beer is smooth and drinkable. Makes for a great summer session drinking beer in my opinion.

O- A unique brew that is widely available in Wisconsin. It is tasty and reasonably priced. Not the most complex beer that I have ever had, but I will certainly continue to purchase it.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2013 23:37:10 | More by MickeyBeer
Photo of Alextricity


3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had at a Milwaukee Brewers game last Friday when I was in town. $6.25 for a 12oz bottle. My first from New Glarus. This wouldn't have been my first choice, but it was all they had from them.

This is a Cream Ale? I don't know what style I would have guessed this to be, but it doesn't taste like any Cream Ales I've had... then again, I haven't had a craft Cream Ale, I don't think. Uh. That probably makes a difference. This has that "beer" color -- sunset orange. There's about two or three fingers worth of a creamy looking head. Lacing is above average. Nice start... gotta love a good looking beer. The smell is initially what made me wonder what the damn style was. Mild grassy/earthy hops and Play-Doh/dough just about hit the aroma on the head for me, although seeing others mention banana and clove isn't a surprise... I can see that. Taking a sip, I get the same thing. How does a beer that has a pretty big "dough" profile taste good? Leave it to New Glarus. While I'm not a huge fan of this, it's memorable. I'm pretty confident that I won't taste another beer quite like this. A respectable beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2013 05:11:32 | More by Alextricity
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 BobZ


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

Thanks to yamar68 for this one.

12oz Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Bright amber/yellow with a nice head that builds to about 2" and hangs around. Good lacing.

Smell: Nice citrus with maybe some banana ans clove.

Taste: Refreshing, very refreshing, citrus as in lemon/orange with some clove just like the nose. Some bready malt as the backbone, all-in-all a tasty and solid brew.

Mouthfeel: Highly drinkable, very crisp and clean on the palate.

Overall: Very sessionable beer, great for warm days.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 15:45:52 | More by BobZ
Photo of BMMillsy


3.19/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from a friend. Pours clear light golden with a head that recedes quickly and fizzy. Aroma of corn and Bud Light. Taste is a very light and drinkable effervescent sweet honey corn and hay flavor, much like a light lager but without any dirtiness on the finish. Clean and crisp with big carbonation and very light mouthfeel. Good for summertime out on the lake.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 02:30:35 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of Cubieblu


3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass out of a bottle

A – Pours out a golden orange color with a thick head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving only a trace on top of the beer and a ring around the rim. Light lacing.

S – Light malt sweetness with a hint of fruit, maybe orange. Very light smelling beer.

T – Sweet malt with some sweet corn. Nice light hop bitterness with a very clean finish.

MF – light bodied with medium carbonation.

D – Very drinkable. This is my go to beer when doing yard work or sitting by the pool on a hot day. Very sessionable beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 01:08:26 | More by Cubieblu
Photo of hochief


4.24/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Spotted cow is a staple in my diet. a good full flavored beer with a sweet malt that just melts in your mouth. Poured into a pint glass this beer has a small amount of head with good looking lace, color is a nice light gold while being quite cloudy. I highly recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 18:20:25 | More by hochief
Photo of gtp537


3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A very well done beer. I can see why it is an institution in Wisconsin. The beer pours a bit hazy, with a good amount of carbonation. The flavors linger on the tongue after a sip for only a moment. Overall, quite refreshing. This beer will drink well on a hot summer's day.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 01:14:22 | More by gtp537
Photo of Fcolle2


3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light golden In color with a 1.5 finger white head that retains nicely

Nose is malt forward with some straw and bready malt notes. Some farmhouse musky funk is also detectable alongside a fruity tang

Some of the bready malt pulls through in the taste along side a very faint tartness. Not much hops but the little bit that are there balance it nicely.

Light crisp mouthfeel makes this pretty drinkable. Moderate carbonation adds some nice body

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 01:57:42 | More by Fcolle2
Photo of cfrances33


4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Three Floyds pint.

Pour: Completely clear, pale orange with two fingers of puffy, soapy white head. Decent lacing. Lots of effervescence throughout the glass.

Smell: Some bright citrus and heavy breadiness. A touch of clove and banana. Lightly floral and grassy, and some yeast.

Taste: Follows the nose with a light citrus and heavy doughiness. Lots of yeast, and some more banana and clove. Finishes doughy and refreshing with citrus.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally drinkable, and highly carbonated. Light, and slightly watery, but good given the style.

Overall: A tasty, easy drinking beer. Good for what it is, but not exceptionally impressive in any category

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2013 19:12:05 | More by cfrances33
Photo of cradke


4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: hazy straw yellow. thick fluffy head.

S: Floral. yeast and grain. light with honey and a distinct smell of daisys.

T: sweet grains. small hop profile. pleasant. esters and floral. clean aftertaste

M: light and pleasant. (a theme it seems) great carbonation. the taste profile spreads wonderfully over the palate.

O: a wonderfully pleasant beer. not mind blowing but great everytime.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2013 04:21:05 | More by cradke
Photo of MikeAAL


3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Yellow, straw, cloudy body. A white head that dissapates quickly.

Smells a lot like a pilsener. Hoppy and a hint of citrus.

It tastes sweet. Very malty and hoppy. I can also taste corn.

Mouthfeel is light with medium carbonation. Has a dry finish.

Overall, it's good. It's a beer I could drink a lot of.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2013 21:57:23 | More by MikeAAL
Photo of KFBR392


2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very slight cloudy haze. Average carbonation throughout drinking. Thin head on the pour which dissipated quickly. Pretty regular looking overall, nothing too interesting here.

Smell: On the front is some very slight nutty aroma, very light touches make you think faintly of a farmhouse ale (which is actually the style indicated on the bottle). Some wild yeast but not a lot. Not much depth at all.

Taste: Not bad here but again nothing really jumps out and distinguishes itself. The front is a slight yeast tingle which rolls into a pleasant tropical fruit, banana, and leafy greens taste in the body. Light yeast funk and sweet fruits left on the palette after drinking.

Mouthfeel: An easy drinker for sure, light airy feel on the palette throughout drinking.

Overall: The folk lore surrounding this beer far surpasses its actual enjoyability. I can certainly understand though why it is so popular, almost entirely with those unfamiliar with the craft scene. It drinks much like the big beer products but has much more flavor which any palette could take on. New Glarus makes so many other products which are by far superior to this brew, but this is the one I hear the most about. Overall, is this an average brew that is superior to any big beer products in enjoyability.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 03:00:08 | More by KFBR392
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
Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,018 ratings.