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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

739 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 739
Hads: 3,123
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.5%
Wants: 235
Gots: 696 | FT: 18
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 739 | Hads: 3,123
Photo of gford217
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright, hazy fluorescent yellow with a big puffy white head that lingers quite a while leaving some delicate lacing. Smell is dominated by the light sweet malts and yeast with a hint of hops, mainly lemony. This taste almost like a scaled-down hefe with very light malts and sweet grains. There is a hint of lemony hops in the taste as well. The mouthfeel is fairly light but a little creamy with a crisp finish. This is a fairly sessionable ale that would be a nice summer beer. (487 characters)

Photo of Stoneman78
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On draft in Milwaukee

Appearance is slightly translucent yellow straw hue, thin layer of white foam, watery lacing

Smell is clean and crisp pale and bread malts, light bubblegum sweetness, hints of grassy hops and light fruits

Taste is mostly pale malts and yeast, light hop bitterness creeps in, hints of apples and pears, finishes dry and bubbly

Mouthfeel is light/medium-bodied, watery texture, overly high carbonation

Drinkability is high, this is one smooth and sessionable 'cream ale', nice balance of hops and fruit tones, good body and flavor, the MVP beer of my hotel's bar :P (590 characters)

Photo of MMAJYK
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Bright yellow, golden color. Transparent and little to no head.

S. Wheaty, grassy, and smells of corn with a subtle citrusy aroma of lemons and oranges.

T. Wheat malt is super rich and sweet. Again, corn and fresh cut grass dominate. No hop profile whatsoever. Not my cup o' tea, but not a bad beer. It is too sweet for my liking, but it's true to style.

M. Medium thickness and high carbonation.

D. Seems light enough to session but maybe a tad sweet for an "all-dayer". (482 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
2.73/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Are you saying you spotted a cow or hey there is a spotted cow? Pours a light sunny yellow color with ok clarity. A good head but limited retention which is ok per style. Limited lacing throughout.

The nose is off. There is a more sweet corn nose, which is ok, but no malt presence at all. Some noticeable sour smells which makes me think infection. Some hoppy notes that balance well. Clean as far as yeast notes but some minor vegi/cabbage notes on the back end.

The taste is a bit off as well. The malts come out more with a more 2 row flavor but plays second to more of a corn essence. Would have like more malt but ok. Some grainy and husky notes helps the accent the malt flavors. There is a light bitterness that comes out but a more noticeable floral finishing hop. On the backend there is a metallic almost copper taste that is more perceivable as it warms. Fairly clean yeast finish but some minor fruity notes that is boardline acetaldehyde.

The body is light which is spot on (pun intended). Decent carbonation helps accents the corny and hop notes. Overall this is limited with some noticeable off flavors with a beer that is hard to high them. (1,161 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled through Monsone and Brews N Tunes 3 BIF.

Mildly chill hazed gold colored ale with a small white head.

The smell quite sweet and fruity and reminds me a bit of malt liquor. Not much hop aroma here but there is a vanilla and candy aroma.

This starts out a bit sweet with a slight vanilla aftertaste. Very mild flavor and not near as sweet as it smells.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Inoffensive but kind of boring too. A mild ale for those who want a very mild ale, personally I need more flavor. (494 characters)

Photo of Deuane
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ahh...WI #1 selling brew...let us see why!

A-Hazy, pale yellow with a medium bright white head that left spotty lacing

S-A light fruity aroma with a strong wheat malt profile and a hint of corn. All there but nothing overpowering.

T-Somewhat sweet and sour! A nice biscuity flavour with a twang in the background. Interesting for sure.

M-Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Certainly a "light" feeling beer. Not much to sink your teeth into with this one.

D-Light and quaffable for sure. A definite well deserved substitute for BMC beers! I certainly would not mind putting a few of these back during warmer times...but not as a all year long brew. (663 characters)

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass, the liquid is yellow with good carbonation. The head is tall white and leaves some lace.

The smell is grainy malt, light yeast and fresh mild pears.

The taste follows sweet grainy bready malt, fresh hay and grass.

The mouth feel is light body, good carbonation.

The drinkability is very good, this is by far a very good and easy drinking brew. Try it for lunch on a warm day. Prosit, MK (434 characters)

Photo of jbschafer
2.23/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a slightly hazy light golden color. Looks like a standard American lager in color but a bit more cloudy. Produced very little head that disappeared immediately. Sides of the shaker pint were coated with a medium to small carbonation bead.

Smell "dusty" like hay or new mowed grass/wheat. No hint of hops at all. Also can smell the corn addition.

Tastes a bit dusty like the smell (I wish I had a better adjective for this sensation). Certainly can taste the corn. Has a wheat with a bit of a sour flavor in there that takes it away from a wheat beer flavor.

Fully carbonated. I felt a gassy feeling only half way through the beer.

I know that a lot of folks from the midwest like this beer and swear by New Glarus as a brewery. Having said that, this just doesn't do it for me. (787 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into new Sam Adams glass on 5/13/08. Thanks to Deuane for sharing!

A - Slightly hazy, pale straw/yellow body with whispy white head that fully diminished. Nice even carbonation bubbles.

S - Light fruity aroma reminiscent of white grapes and a dominant wheaty malt aroma with a hint of corn. No noticeable hop aroma.

T - Overall, this is sweet and fruity with a slight white wine aspect. Kind of like a Berliner Weiss but not as sour. Thre is a bit of subdued sourness, however. Malt flavor of wheat stalks and corn.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Slightly chewy mouthfeel, but overall it's a little thin.

D - Definitely light and quaffable. This is an interesting and unique beer that is nice during the summer months. (761 characters)

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

Received this in a trade from thefatkid13 a few months back.

pours a hazy golden with a thin head the quickly drops into a very thin sheet.
the aroma is a little bland, not much to it, just a light hint of malt and some fruit.
the flavor is mellow, malty, some corn, little fruit, not much to this.
this sample could be old so i will try again, but, did not live up to the hype. (379 characters)

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)

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 739 ratings.