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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

757 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 757
Hads: 3,210
Avg: 3.65
pDev: 28.77%
Wants: 243
Gots: 751 | FT: 20
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: 757 | Hads: 3,210
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.65/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of bboven
2.74/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

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Photo of Mdog
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.06/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

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Photo of Pauly2X
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of willjschmidt
2.97/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

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Photo of sfoley333
3.25/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.25/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of rudylaw
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of ibashmuck
5/5  rDev +37%
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.

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Photo of mnstorm99
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
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).

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of Chaz
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired in a trade with Initiative.

Pours a pale and hazy yellow, similar to pineapple juice, with a quickly fading layer of foam.

The aroma is of subtle citrus peel, sweet corn, pale malt and a bit of grass. It smells really crisp too.

Upfront sweetness and corn flavors, with a bit of sweet orange and grapefruit in the finish. Slight hop presence with a little mint. A slight fruitiness in the finish/aftertaste. Very clean and crisp tasting.

Mouthfeel is average to slightly above average, for the style I say it is spot on, not too light but enough body to make this feel like a well crafted beer. I’m not too fond of lagers, and this one obviously has lager qualities but blending it with an ale gives it a nice body that I feel combines two great aspects from both types of beers: refreshing taste, and a malt body to back it up. I wouldn’t mind drinking this again.

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Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light golden haze with a white head that settles into some faint lacing. The aroma is a light fruit-like sweetness with a hint of white bread. The smell is not strong, very subtle and inviting.

The subtleness continues in the flavor, fruit, corn and bread all make brief appearances. Hops are non-existent. Body is light with good carbonation. A very refreshing drink.

I haven't had a lot of cream ales but this is the most interesting one I have ever tasted. There's a nice subtle complexity to it that I find interesting, I wish more brewers would try this overlooked style. I'm drinking this after an evening jog and I'm definitely enjoying it. It would also make a great crossover beer due to its lack of any aggressive flavors.

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Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce brown bottle, without freshness dating. Pours cloudy, apricot amber, light tan head, with a musty nose. Mildly fruity creation, notes of some Belgian type yeast and some peppery spice. This is a crisp, dry offering with a hoppy finish. Worthy, everyday, easy drinking ale.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the pleasure of getting a whole bunch of brews from New Glarus recently so I have been working my way down the line and this was the next one up. I am not normally a fan of cream ales, but I figured what the heck and decided to give this one a shot. It poured a very nice cloudy and very light yellow, almost a white color. A large three finger head of fizzy white lace formed on top and then it faded quickly leaving behind just minimal lace on the top, but adequate side glass lace. Lots of visible carbonation was apparent. The aroma was very light, and somewhat sweet. Not really too much to pick up, maybe some light malts and a touch of bread but that was it, the style is not really know to be very full. The taste was very light, and refreshing. A touch of yeast or light fruit graced the opening of a very carbonated and light bodied ale. This was more refreshing then anything and it served that purpose well. A somewhat muted taste, maybe a touch of sugar and almost a cola like flavor in the back. Overall this was not bad. As I mentioned I am not really a fan of the style, but this was the best I have had from it, with maybe the exception of the Terrapin Golden Ale. This was pretty good though, and I could see it used while mowing the lawn in July kind of thing. Not bad and give it a try if you get a chance.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy straw color with no visible head after an aggressive pour and left virtually no lacing on the glass. There really isn't much of a scent to this beer. I pick up on some slight citrus scent and almost a slight corn, but a very weak malt scent. The taste is very crisp and clean. No real hop flavoring to speak of, but I can pick up on the grain and lemony sweetness going down. The mouthfeel is actually quite nice and smooth and very easy drinking. It is refreshing and quite drinkable. The drinkability is good on this, and I think this would be a good cookout and "just mowed the lawn" type of beer.

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Photo of twbrewer
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a hazy yellow color very little head that disappears fast leaving nothing.

S-Mild fruit smell but more sourdough/yeast.

T-Similar to the smell,fruit and yeast with a tart or sour finish.it reminds me more of a Belgian beer,which I love!

M-Light bodied low carbonation.Smooth on the palate but I wouldn't say creamey.

D-Very drinkable beer.Love the taste and smell,Belgian/France inspired?I might have to stock this one in the fridge.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This very cloudy ale poured a nice champane like head. The color was a tangerine and cream hue. Fresh baked baked bread on the nose. The taste had a good yeasty quality that fades into a tropical
fruit mid-palate. A small hint of floral herbs that ends with a dry orange rhine finish. This beer went well with some soft cheese and a mix fruit plate of apricots, peaches, and apples.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 757 ratings.