Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

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BA SCORE
82
good

729 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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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 cgstarry
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have been a brewer for years and love farmhouse style ales. That is exactly what this beer is to me.

I first had it in Wisconsin on business and have made a few trips back across the border to stock up since!

Color is a cloudy medium straw thanks to all the healthy yeast in the drink. Head starts out dense and creamy but quickly dissipates. Not much lacing noticed.

Flavor is light but complex. Starts out like a nice medium bodied ale, then some hop bitterness, then it finishes sweet with hints of fruity bubble gum-like esters dancing on the middle of my tongue.

It has a hidden strength that catches up with you. The beer is so drinkable it's pretty easy to have that extra one or two! And that's a good thing! (726 characters)

Photo of jayrod20
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spotted Cow pours a cloudy pale yellow with 1/2" of head that quickly dissipates. Smell is predominantly of yeast and corn. Taste is much of the same, the corn is noticeable as well as the unfiltered yeast, pretty well balanced. Full bodied, light on the tongue, perhaps a little under carbonated. Very drinkable, great session beer. This beer does no special tricks, it is what it is and what it is, is a great beer to spend an afternoon with. (444 characters)

Photo of tmitch75
3.66/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vigorous pour provides two-finger creamy white head that drops to a thin dusting of white bubbles. Cloudy pale yellow color, a little like a hefe.

Creamy wheaty smell with a little corn. A slight floral hop aroma is there too.

Tastes creamy too with a lot of wheat. I can't really detect any hops.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. This is a very easy-drinking beer that is better than the sum of its parts. It's a shame this stuff is only available in WI (although I do like their thought process).

Tasted on 4/5/08. (516 characters)

Photo of KBomb
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich cloudy gold, small creamy head. Aromas of fruit (citrus), grains, and a little yeast. Taste is a nice mild malt flavor with some sweetness of corn at the end of a sip. A little fruit note (grape) lingers in the mouth, but it does not out do the flavor of the grains. The only downside is the sweetness might turn slightly sour at the end of the sip. Still, very crisp and clean flavors. Crisp mouthfeel and fairly light body makes a very drinkable beer.

A great "go-to" beer, good "gateway" for macro-drinkers, and its one of my favorites for hot summer days. It strikes a balance of light body and well rounded flavor. Refreshing and pretty tasty. (663 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy light honey color with a rocky head that hangs around and leaves some lace

Smell: Vegetal; the touch of corn pays its dividend

Taste: Bready, almost like shortbread in its sweetness, with just a little grainy flavor in the middle; the finish returns to the sweeter side; I will say this - it tastes as "creamy" as any cream ale I have ever tasted

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Sure, it's easy to drink and it is one of those crossover beers that develops regional popularity and lets a few more people experience craft brewing techniques

Thanks, knapers03, for the opporunity (647 characters)

Photo of botham
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured intoa mug. pours a golden yellow color with three fingers of loose white head that dissipates quickly.

aroma is light, with notes of pale malts and a touch of fruity yeast. a slight floral character stays in the background, while a grainy base sits below the yeast.

taste is lightly fruity, with a creamy character and a grainy base. sweet overall, with a finish of grain and residual yeast.

mouthfeel is light bodied with a creamy texture and a smooth finish.

drinkability is good. this is not a strong or rich brew, and it does well at showing the cream character while still showcasing malts and yeast. an easy drinking summer brew. cheers! (667 characters)

Photo of Greggy
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Pours a light yellow color with a nice 2 finger head that recedes rather quickly into a transparent thin lace. Light clinging lace.

S- Some light toasty grains with a very nice hop balance. A light hint of lemon is also there.

T- A very light malt/hop structure that is in great balance. Some light toasted grains, like the nose is apparent and also the same lemon in the nose.

M- Medium carbonation that has a great body.

D- Drinkability scores excellent here as it is very light, lower alcohol and easily drinkable. I can see this being a great crossover beer for BMC drinkers and a great session brew for beer geeks. (628 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Keeping it simple, keeping it real, this beer pours a yellow body with a small white head.

Smell: Aroma of pale malts, yeast, flowers. Why, there's even a few kernels of white corn in the nose.

Taste: Lightly sweet pale maltiness with a touch of corn. One drop of honey. A few flower petals. Very mild hop bitterness. Hint of yeast. Finishes watery and abrupt, but let's use the word "clean" instead, shall we.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A very easy drinking beer that's probably better suited to summertime temperatures in excess of ninety degrees. It's not often you see a cow-themed beer that doesn't turn out to be just another milk stout. (691 characters)

Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured (in oversized Riedel snifter) a hazy golden tangerine w/1-finger head that faded quickly. I thought it was leaving some tracing but that faded quickly too.

S-Slightly sweet malt, sweet corn, slight fruit.

T-Creamy grain, vegetation, and corn w/hints of malt, slightly sweet w/bright but faint fruit tones. Finishes clean w/some weak hops.

M-Clean and crisp with carbonation that borders on the edge of too weak, but just squeaks by.

D-An easy to drink brew. This is not my favorite offering from New Glarus, but it's worth sharing with friends that come visit, regardless of the level of discrimination in beer taste. (632 characters)

Photo of bboven
2.74/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Butterscotch yellow cloudy body with absolutely no head or lacing. This beer should be very clear and have at least a minimal head, but it looks very flat and unattractive in the glass.

Base malt and green apple, a defect from yeast fermenting at too high of a temperature, is very apparent. It can be there to some degree, but not this much.

Again, very fruity with the green apple dominating. The hops are lost and the malt is barely there because of the off-flavors.

Moderately carbonated, but a little more CO2 would help lift some of the sweetness up.

It's not bad tasting, but it's got a big defect in it. You usually only see this in lagers, but cream ale is so light to begin with that every little thing will be accentuated. I can't really recommend it unless you like fruit beers. In that case, you might like this one. (833 characters)

Photo of Mdog
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pale yellow with a slight haze, good sized head and lacing.

Smell: Dry yeast, some fruit notes.

Taste: Light fruitiness-grape, apple. A little grain and a slightly dry finish.

Drinkability: Goes down really quick, easy to have several in a sitting.

Spotted Cow is probably New Glarus' most popular beer, it's a good intro to craft beers. A little more flavorful than the macros but not too intense to scare people. Easy drinking and tasty. (455 characters)

Photo of wheatyweiss
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint

Appearance is a light straw with a good amount of cloud. No sediment noted in the glass or bottle. Head is a fluffy three finger that dissipates quickly and leaves a small lace.

Smell is weak malt, a little wheat and slight hops.

Taste is creamy and wheaty, like a weak hefeweiss. Not any banana or bubblegum, but I get the fruity sweetness of the weiss. Not much in the hop department, but I don't see a reason to complain on this style. Wheaty, malty, bready, soda crackers and fruity esters. I like.

Mouthfeel is full and crisp. Does not coat the tongue with an oil slick but feels good in the mouth, lots of natural carbonation.

Drinkability is awesome. Not too heavy but full of flavor.

Over all a good really tasty beer. If you like this beer you should REALLY try a full on Hefe Weissen. (828 characters)

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy yellow in appearance. Not much head and less than stellar retention.

Adjunct and pale malt smell; very faint. Slight cooked vegetable smell.

Adjuncts aren't overpowering or gross. Some pale malts with adjuncts Very unexciting and plain. A lawnmower beer at best.

Mouthfeel is nice and crisp. A refreshing mouthfeel.

A below average cream ale. Thanks to Deuane for the sample. I have been wanting to try this one for a while. (435 characters)

Photo of Pauly2X
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very pale slightly yellow half finger head faded fast.

S- Very delicate yet strong lemony aroma.

T- Great yeast character elevates the otherwise bland hop/malt balance to something very enjoyable.

M- Very smooth yet light.

D- Summertime, oh yeah!

A fantastic lawnmower beer or gateway beer. It's still tasty enough for the seasoned beer geek too. (354 characters)

Photo of willjschmidt
2.97/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy yellowish gold with a very thin and quickly receding white head.

S: Some sweet grains, maybe some corn.

T: Quite a bit of grains and some light sweet malts. There is also a lot of lemon tartness and sweetness to it which is probably the best part about it. It tastes like a slightly sweeter version of a BMC lager.

M: Light bodied, quite a bit of carbonation.

D: It's drinkable, I'll give it that. It's very tame, light, and not a whole lot different than drinking water. I guess it would be a decent option on a hot summer day. Besides that, skip it. (620 characters)

Photo of sfoley333
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Poured a hazy light golden color with a thin white head that fades quickly. Smell is ligth with corn and sweet malt. Taste is light malt flavor with a sweetness. Mouth feel is light body with a mild carbonation. This is a session beer for sure but not very complex. (306 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz from the basement cooler.. brought home from coworkers who were in Minnesota earlier this year.. this is my last one.

Poured into my New Belgium goblet.. very pretty light gold.. good lacing and a 1" head.

Smell is clean.. low pale malts and an aroma that I can't put a finger on.

"Tastes like beer." Lingering maltiness with a very minimal sourness.. A slight corn flavor that is not offensive just present. Descent body and effervescent carbonation.. really pretty drinkable.

Spotted cow reminds me of a big-boned PBR... Nothing to Mooo about, but if it was available in Boise, I would probably still pick up a few every summer just to have around when I wanted something quaffable when working in the yard. (718 characters)

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy straw color with a thin white head that quickly disappeared.

Aroma is of citrus and other light fruits. Taste is fruity and refreshing. Pear seems to doiminate. Not much else going on here, it's pretty light and mild.

Light to medium bodied, and interesting. I could hit this one pretty hard any time of year. A good session beer and recommended to anyone trying to get out of the BMC rut. (405 characters)

Photo of dmamiano
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For some reason am surprised to see this labeled as a cream ale.
Poured a very light straw color with a pretty big haze and nice white head. Lacing is good.
Taste is of sweet malts and fairly minimal in the hop dept. Very yeasty almost reminded me of some type of Belgian yeast strain. (285 characters)

Photo of rudylaw
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This light, easily-drinkable beer was purchased on a recent trip to Woodman's. This is my second NG beer and I have to say, I hope they start shipping to IL soon.

It tastes like cream soda on a hot day. I could easily finish off six of these over the course of the night. It goes down very, very smooth.

While not mind-blowing by any means, this is a solid chugger. Recommended. (382 characters)

Photo of ibashmuck
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perhaps my favorite brew. Been drinking it for years, and it's every bit as good now as it was then. Pours a lovely cloudy gold, and smells slightly sweet. Has a "thick" flavor (and feel), perhaps hops, perhaps corn or a fine mixture of the two. Slight fruity follow. Goes down extremely easily...very, very smooth. Have yet to find a better brew. Works any day of the year, and with any food/snack. Truly the elixir of the gods. (429 characters)

Photo of mnstorm99
3.36/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy light orange, with a small white head that leaves quickly.
Not much aroma going on here except a faint fruity malt smell on the nose. small but nice.
Taste is of malt, light carmel flavor with a touch of fruits (apricot?). Not much hops in here, but that is fine for the style. And a touch of corn comes through.
Nice, full body, probably helped by the wheat. This beer is an excellent summer session beer that we try to keep around as much as possible (my wife loves this stuff). (493 characters)

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Pours a nearly clear staw and golden color with a one inch bubbly bubbly pure white head. Not much carbonation to be seen for an arguably carbonated style. Little to no lacing.

S: Not really that impressive or mind blowing, subdued semi sweet malt with more of a pronouned corn scent.

T/MF: Light hop bitterness hits the tongue at first with a sort of appley grassy lemon taste which then is taken over by a sweeter and maltier presence. Each is equally represented with the hops maybe getting the best of the deal, Light to medium bodied this beer finishes with a slight hop twinge.

D: I can't really speak for cream ales but this beer is not bad but not good either, it has nice parts to it but as a whole leaves me wanting more from it, pretty refreshing in a sense but I wouldn't go out of my way to get my hands on this beer. (894 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 Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy pale yellow with a modest creamy head.

Aroma is grainy citrus, bubblegum, and mild yeasty spice.

Taste is similar to the nose. Grainy pale malt, lemon zest, honey and light fruit. Definitely sweet. Finish is tart and holds some peppery spice and a slight hop crispness.

Mouthfeel is light bodied. smooth.

Overall a decent session brew. Nothing outstanding, but all the flavors are pleasant. Label says that it is a 'farmhouse ale' but this isn't a saison. It's similar to a wheat beer but that doesn't fit either. (528 characters)

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