Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

3,037 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,037
Reviews: 761
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 229
Gots: 623 | FT: 15
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: 3,037 | Reviews: 761
Photo of sugrcube18
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Light. Very drinkable

Photo of gibgink
3/5  rDev -19.6%

From label, "Cask conditioned ale has been the popular choice among brews since long before prohibition. We continue this pioneer spirit with our Wisconsin farmhouse ale. Brewed with flaked barley and the finest Wisconsin malts. We even give a nod to our farmers with a little hint of corn. Naturally cloudy we allow the yeast to remain in the bottle to enhance fullness of flavors, which cannot be duplicated otherwise. Expect this ale to be fun, fruity and satisfying. You know you're in Wisconsin when you see the Spotted Cow. "

This beer tasted no different than a standard AAL in my opinion. Did not smell or taste any fruitiness, creaminess, or corn for that matter.

Photo of EvanSalibi
5/5  rDev +34%

This is my favorite cream ale. Centered carbonation. Smooth from start to finish, light fizz. Absolutely enjoyable. A front porch/football tailgate beer

Photo of MNishCT77
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. draft at Pizzeria Piccola,

Photo of BrewUSA
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look 8/10
Smell 15/20
Taste 34/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 17/20

Overall 82/100

Very light and bland, not much stands out. It's really easy to drink and refreshing on a warm night. Can only draw small cream notes, honestly if I didn't know it was, I likely could not tell. I do pull orange notes. Taste more like a wheat. Very light and somewhat forgettable~

Photo of SportsandJorts
5/5  rDev +34%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: pours a darker shade of yellow to a light orange. two plus fingers of a white foamy head with strong retention and leaving behind a big lacing. completely hazy and opaque.

Smell: corn sugar, wheat, slightly creamy. a little grassy. a very light and delicate sweetness.

Taste: opens up with corn sugar and a little bit of wheat. some grassy flavors, but not to the point of mustiness. a subtle fruitiness comes in form time to time and gives off a bit of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: light, sweet, some juiciness. very refreshing.

Overall: this is the perfect cream ale as far as I know. does a really well job of taking all the good flavors of everything and combining them into a nice light and flavorful beer. I can see why this beer is so popular among non-craft beer enthusiasts too.

Photo of rapayn01
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

It is too much like a lager for my tastes, but I did enjoy the creaminess. I picked up the malt with very little hop balance, though the malt was not overpowering by any means. Meh.

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Beer pours brilliant and yellow with a white head. Carbonation level is good. Flavor profile is very clean, almost like a lager more than a farmhouse. Hops are subdued as are the grains. Everything in harmony. Beer is very refreshing, this is more of what I would imagine a farmhouse to have been like back in the day. More refreshing than funky.

Photo of macaddict06
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

A nice, easy going Wisconsin Farmhouse Ale. Very refreshing, nothing flashy.

Photo of Jnashed
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

12oz bottle poured into a Samual smith glass

A) light yellow, clean . Initial frothy head that quickly dissipates.

S) slight fruit and a slight sour smell

T) crisp, slightly fruity . Yeasty with lots of pleasing malt overtones. Like a good piece of sourdough bread. Except lighter and crisper

M) creamy wonderful feel. Moderate carbs. Really nice.

O) solid satisfying beer. If you want a crisp but complex beer on a summers day but are not into Gose or something like that, this is the way to go.

4.25

Photo of sth550
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. $7.50/6 pack at Copp's grocery store.

Appearance: Big, white head when first poured gives way to a thin lacing and a translucent copper color. Looks like a typical American Lager only richer.

Aroma: Malty and a hint of citrus and hops. Very clean and refreshing smell.

Taste: Pretty light for a craft beer but the taste is similar to the smell: Malts, yeast, grain, and some citrus and hops. According to the label there's a touch of corn added to the mix as well, but it's hard to detect. This is probably the best-tasting beer I've had with this light of flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy; after all, it is a cream ale. Light carbonation going down. The creaminess enhances the sweet malty flavors and it finishes clean and refreshing.

Overall: Definitely my go-to beer when in Wisconsin. It tastes great and is very easy to drink while being leaps and bounds above most American Lagers, including New Glarus' own Totally Naked. The relatively low ABV also allows you to have more than one without too much effect.

Photo of higherbrow
4/5  rDev +7.2%

For a Wisconsite, Spotted Cow is the default craft beer. It is easy pleasing, and very accessible, with a very clean flavor. While this is rarely any beer enthusiast's favorite beer, as most beer enthusiasts lean towards a more robust style, this is my favorite beer to provide to a broad audience of beer enthusiasts, beer drinkers, and beer novices alike.

Photo of martyman3
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Discovered this by accident on a road trip to Wis. Glad I did, Love this beer, will drink it any chance I get.

Photo of kkleu357
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%

From notes on 12/5/13

I’ve always thought this was a nice gateway beer. I know many people in Wisconsin who would say this is there first full flavor beer. Overall, I think it is pretty good. Pours like a normal lager. Golden in color. Big white head. The aroma is kind of yeasty and citrus fruits. Fairly bitter tasting. Really has flavor all around the tongue. Would recommend anyone visiting the south west area of Wisconsin to not only visit the New Glarus Brewery, but also the town itself, as it is a charming Swiss like town.

Photo of madstoutmonkee
5/5  rDev +34%

This beer is smooth and creamy, light and delicious. A good anytime beer and classic Wisconsin. It is easy on the palate and has wide appeal.

Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. The brew appears a clear pale yellow color with a white cap leaving spotty lace.

The smell is quite muted but very faint citrus emerges along with some bready grain across the back.

The flavor is somewhat sweet and bready with an alcohol fruity ester to break up the monotone character.

This is light bodied and boasts moderate levels of carbonation. An easy drinking brew and just ok per style. No thrills, forgetable beer but serves a purpose for the flavor challenged drinker.

Photo of Ellery89
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

One of my all-time favorite beers.

Photo of KFBR392
4.41/5  rDev +18.2%

Appearance: Pours with a bold yellow color with some light accents of orange. Half a finger of very rich head on the pour which was regenerated while drinking. Active carbonation is spot on for the style. Rich rings of lacing left behind with each drink.

Smell: Sweet malts with accents of biscuit and dough jump out right away. Touches of orange peel and lime dance ever so lightly on the edges of the aroma. Refreshing barley and grains liven up the back end. Butter, cream, and light toffee pull this beer full circle.

Taste: That flaked barley is really what sets this beer off on the right foot. Creamy, decadent grains pack a rounded flavor on the front of the palate. Light fruity hops greet the drinker mid body then are washed away by continuous waves of sweet malts. Some grassy hops clean off the palate and balanced malt on the back end just keep you coming back for more.

Mouthfeel: Easily one of the most drinkable beers out there. Sweet malts and bright buttery texture are balanced out by some crisp hop notes. Carbonation is everything it should be.

Overall: This used to be a beer I mocked due to its folklore-ish type popularity. But now approaching it with an open mind, it is easy to see why this is such a popular beer by the masses, and should be equally popular with geeks. A perfectly executed cream ale should be highly drinkable with creamy decadent malts and a splash of hops, which is exactly what the cow brings. No longer will I discredit this beer because everyone loves it, which was a ridiculous thing to do in the first place, but instead enjoy it often for its truly wonderful characteristics.

Photo of UnionMade
3/5  rDev -19.6%

If this weren't in a New Glarus bottle, I'd assume it was a local brew like Grain Belt. A little darker in color, with way better head retention. The lightness and malt favor of the corn is readily apparent, and drinks as such. I kinda hate to say it, given how awesome New Glarus is, but I got a lot of High Life/PBR similarities from this one. Appearance is awesome, but falls short on flavor.

Photo of andycraig123
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Light fruity and vey and drinkable. Pours a light orange with a little cloudiness and a thin head.

Photo of adahm16
5/5  rDev +34%

Great beer year round. Flavorful and easy to drink

Photo of Zach136
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed 7/1/14, reviewed from notes.

A - Slight hazy, gold body and a thin white head (4.00)

S - Bready with a hint of earthy/spicy farmhouse esters. (4.00)

T - More peppery-spice ester character. Light toasted malt, little-to-no hop character unless i'm mistaking some of the yeast esters (4.25)

M - Vibrant carbonation and light body makes for an extremely drinkable brew (4.25)

O - A truly well put together beer, I see why it's so popular in Wisconsin. (4.20)

Photo of bubseymour
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

So my newest recruit as an eager young beer nerd into my inner sanctum of beer nerdery had his mother mule this beer back from Wisconsin all the way to Ohio, where he made the beer exchange and then he continued to mule the beer back to Maryland for sampling. I made him a good injun trade for a few Wisconsin brews (some world class beers and future home brews).

So on to the beer review (my first experience of anything New Glarus):

Appearnance is pretty solid. Nice light pale orange that borderlines on yellow but with a hazy, semi-translucent murkiness. Nice 2 finger milky head that holds retention fairly well. Excellent lacing on the glass.

Smell is quite delightful. Sweet and creamy. No noticeable hop presence.

Best way to describe the taste is smooth and "like butter". Slight sweetness and very malty. Carbonation is very light and the finish is very refreshing. Some lingering aftertaste that is a touch off is only way I can describe it.

Mouthfeel is usual something I don't count or consider much but this beer is truly about mouthfeel. Its slides down so easily and smooth and feels like butter on the toungue.

Overall - I truly can understand why this beer is the staple go-to beer in the state of Wisconsin. Its nothing over the top but easily any BMC drinker could switch to this one as well as be appreciated by craft beer nerds as well. I wish every state had a similar, fresh, local go-to beer of this caliber. Makes me want to go on a road trip to Cheese-head country.

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled this evening on 8/6/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner flute glass.

Pours a hazy golden in color with a thin white head that settles down to just along the sides of the glass. A good amount of lacing was seen that stuck to the sides of the glass. The aroma is of sweet bread for the most part with a hint of hops. More going on with the taste of white bread, with some malt and a hint of floral and corn. Perfect carbonation and medium bodied. Easy to drink and goes down easy with no harsh or bitter aftertaste. A good brew!

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

(on tap at Über Tap Room and Cheese Bar - served in a pilsner glass)

A: poured to the very top, so without much foam... the color is a light khaki, liquid a good bit hazy, with what appears to be a some sediment floating about

S: bit of a nutty, toasted oat bouquet... no fruitiness, no hops of note... clean, woodsy note from the yeast

T: oat cookie... not oatmeal cookie, with the raisins and spices and all - just a simple, lightly toasty, slightly doughy malt flavor - kinda like chewing on a basic, cereal-like American 2-row - or maybe even low-sweetened Life cereal... it's good! the flavors are very mellow and clean... I can't be certain, but I might've got some of the corn in the finish - a mild sort of cornmeal... any hop flavor, if present, is merely in the background, providing a spec of balance

M: very light and clean, kind of like an adjunct lager with a mild grainy grittiness... a body bordering on watery... mellow carbonation, no sizzle

O: BA calls this a "cream ale", NG calls this a "Naturally Cloudy Farmhouse Ale" - I can see both points of view - the closest thing I could compare this to would be a zwickelbier, but without the lemony and grassy flavors and rounder, fuller body I often get with those... drink this like your ordinary, everyman lager - I like it for what it is, it stands out

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 3,037 ratings.