Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

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

3,031 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,031
Reviews: 760
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 228
Gots: 616 | 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: 3,031 | Reviews: 760
Photo of rudylaw
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of ibashmuck
5/5  rDev +34%
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.

Photo of mnstorm99
3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
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).

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of Chaz
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Photo of Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Photo of seaoflament
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Photo of twbrewer
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of athensbeermaster
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Photo of Tballz420
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pale straw-gold body, somewhat hazy. Medium white head tops it off. Sweet malt nose, hints of citrus. Sweet malt dominates the flavor, hints of hops, touch of citrus. Could use a bit more malt to bring out the flavor. Medium bodied, somewhat creamy. Not horrible but not my favorite.

Photo of emerge077
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Burlington. Ask for the "house beer" with the antler handpull.

Pale yellow tone, small thin head of foam. This settles to a ring soon enough. Slightly hazy due to the yeast content. Slight corn in the aroma, mixed with pale malt. Taste is light with malt and mild citrus, vaguely bready. Mild overall, not unpleasant. Slightly fuller feel than your average lager, not really "creamy" though. Easy to put back a couple pints. Having these drafts, it felt like being in a speakeasy...

Photo of sauron681
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium hazy-yellowish color. A nice light creamy head that starts nice, but thins rather quickly. Faint lacing that really sticks around the whole glass. Aroma of citrus with a buttered croissant smell. Very inviting and intriguing. Medium mouthfeel that is refreshing also. Possibly a little lemon zest as well. For a cream ale this is towards the top of the list.

Photo of Homerbag
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This has become one of my favorites. Think its part Wisconsin pride, part taste, and just good times drinking it. I took a mild hiatus from beer (yes I am a sinner) and this brought me back. I like the detail that this brewery puts into beer. They are not trying to be the biggest, just the best.This always has a place in my fridge.

A re-review from having this on tap while out to eat a nicer establishment. Maybe my tounge is getting better or maybe the formula changed, but this is not as good as it used to be. The corn was over bearing, the taste did not blend well with my food. On it's own it is still a good beer, but with simple food that should blend with it, it is a no go

Photo of morimech
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow with a bright white head that quickly dissipates to just a faint ring. Leaves slight lacing. It smells like sour corn and yeast. The taste is rather dull but I get bread and sweet citrus with a hint of cloves. It has a creamy texture and is medium bodied. Very drinkable on a hot day and a good alternative to a witbier.

This concludes my New Glarus sampling. Although they were all solid beers, nothing really stood out except the bock.

Photo of Strix
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden color. Smells light and sweet. Tastes light, with a sweet finish, almost like bubblegum. Mouthfeel is smooth, but a bit light. This was pleasant enough, but a bit watery. Could have just been the batch on tap, I only had one glass. Not bad by any means, but I wasn't blown away.

Photo of zerofear13
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad brew. 12 oz. bottle brought to me by a friend from Wisconsin. I've never tried a cream ale before and was a bit taken back. As my friends and I joked, "There are real bits of cow in Spotted Cow." Smells of biscuit and cream, and tastes pretty milky. The mouthfeel is pretty velvety, but it was a bit sweet so drinkability was brought down. Overall, I enjoyed the flavor and thought it fit the category well, but I'm not a huge fan of cream, so I can't rate it too high.

Photo of svraines
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Straw colored with good head that holds up well. Nothing much to note about the smell, can tell that you are in for a little sweetness. A summer thirst quencher, sweet and sour with no after taste to distract you. Sweetness is reminiscent of sweet corn. Just enough body to feel like you are drinking something decent. Goes down fast by the pitcher. Packs more of a punch than I expect and I always forget. Makes riding bike home from the Memorial Union terrace fun after work on Friday.

Photo of tapman
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first in a sampler pack of New Glarus.

Golden with a creamy white head. Appears to be see-through, but is actually quite dense up close and is indeed opaque and, though not quite hazy is not see-through.

Smells bready like a mild sourdough loaf yet has a creamy, plain yogurt-like aroma that I've only sensed once before in Unibroue's Don de Dieu. A concord grape tartness bites at the nose.

Taste resembles a bland creme soda, interesting though not too exciting. Tangy hoppiness with a very light, pale maltiness.

Mouthfeel is better than average due to its creaminess and I'm guessing lactase for smoothness. Carbonation and thin body leave a very dry aftertaste eclipsing that of wine.

From the draught I bet this is amazingly good beer to drink when its on sale for $3 a pint.

Photo of pmcadamis
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was up at Lake Delavan for a wedding when I happened by a crappy looking little gas station on Geneva Road that had an outstanding selection of beer (at least for a tiny little gas station)! I picked up some New Glarus stuff. When in Rome..., right?

A - A hazy honey-gold brew looks like nectar from the honeycomb, and is topped with a one finger head that leaves a good deal of lace on the glass. If the glass is left alone, the head recedes to a collar but even gentle agitation results in a fat finger of foam! This looks refreshing...actually, it sort of looks like a witbier.

S - Light honey notes on top of saltine cracker malts. Hold on....I can't smell it anymore because I just let the nastiest fart. Ohweee! Ok I think all of the ass-blast is gone. Smells a bit Belgian in it's sweet yeastiness, and there is a bit of lemony twang. Corriander also? Almost smells like a wit, but much more sweet and honeyed.

T - Sweet confectioner's candy and honey at first, and then tart citric flavors next. Really crakery, sugary, and sweet. This has a very light hint of wheaty twang behind a powdered sugar sweetness. Big yeast flavors too. Pineapple juice from the can....Dole's.

M - A bit dull to be honest. The syrupy sugar levels and lack of hop bitterness, alcohol warmth, or sparkling carbonation results in a less than stellar mouthfeel. It's sort of heavy and dumb. Not vibrant like a beer like this should be. It's moderately carbonated but feels like it needs more tingly bubbles.

D - This isn't all bad, but it is a very awkward beer. It's sort of wit-like but it's too syrupy sweet and heavy. It needs to make up it's mind and be a vibrant summer quencher or a yeasty Belgian brew. It's not really either, but it did hit the spot on a hot summers day so it's not terrible.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Always a joy to pop the top on a New Glarus beer. This one poured into the glass a light yellow color, with a thin head.

Aroma is light and fruity, with some honey notes sneaking in there. Perhaps a little banana and bubblegum. For a very laid-back aroma, there's still plenty going on here.

Flavor brings in light lemon and other fruity sweetness, a hint of honey, fresh bread, just a small trace of corn (which was indeed used in this beer), a nice hops kiss...subdued and subtle, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is appropriately creamy and stays that way, with an ever so slight stickiness.

Cream ales are a complete unknown to me. Judging from this one I'd call them extremely drinkable, only mildly exciting but great for the summer, and generally porch-sittin' mellow. I only have more respect for New Glarus thanks to this beer and their Totally Naked offering, because what they're doing is neither pandering to extreme gonzo-beer fiends or trying to garner mainstream appeal. They just do it for the love of the craft, and that's why even their least remarkable beers come out winners.

Photo of grub
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the last bottle from a trade i did with nflmvp a few months ago. thanks steve for the hookup on a great linup of wisconsin's finest.

12oz bottle.

pours slightly hazy pale yellow with a small dense white head. drops fast with no lace.

aroma is nice. light fruity character. hint of corn, but not unpleasant. fresh hoppy character that makes me think of a kolsch. big bready malt.

taste is good. hint of grape-like fruit. touch of sweetness. light cracker malt. bit of bread. low bitterness level. bit of yeast. hint of lemon.

mouthfeel is good. nice light carbonation level. medium-light body. silky smooth.

drinkability is excellent. a fairly straightforward beer, but well balanced and very enjoyable.

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 3,031 ratings.