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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

2,022 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2022
Reviews: 678
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 14.05%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,022 | Reviews: 678 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-Tap in Milwaukee. This one is light golden with a small head of white that dies quickly, leaving no real lacing. Aromas are pretty basic, cream ale aroms. A bit of malt, a tinge of adjunct sweetness, and some background hops. Taste is similar with no real standout flavors and mouthfeel is in the medium range. Nothing complex, just a simple good DD.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2005 17:20:54 | More by francisweizen
Photo of SkeeterHawk
SkeeterHawk

Texas

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer pours a slightly cloudy straw color with about a half-inch head at first pour. This head fell pretty quickly leaving nothing but a stagnant yellow liquid in the glass. The head fits the style, but the cloudiness suggests a beer that was brewed with wheat. They mention the cloudiness on the bottle being attributed to the yeast sediment, but I poured it off of that.

Aroma: There is a really raw bready aroma to this beer. There is a little hops noticeable, but it plays a supporting role to the malt. Some sweet corn is also a subtle component in the aroma.

Taste: Pretty flavorful for a cream ale. The bready malt notes are the key player in the flavor. They idle throughout the profile to finally leave the palate with a "wet" feeling to finish. I don't get a lot of corn or DMS in this beer. The beer is pretty well attenuated, but is not as crisp as some other examples of this style. I like this fact, as it makes the beer more refreshing.

Opinion: I am not the best reviewer of Cream Ales, as this isn't one of my favorite styles. I believe that this beer is one of the tastier examples of this style that I have tried. Most other examples get caught up in trying to supplement with the corn, so you end up with a beer that tastes like runoff from a bowl of grits...that isn't the case with this beer. It is a good one to give a shot.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2005 00:33:03 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of Golden2wenty1
Golden2wenty1

Wisconsin

3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a picher at the Silver Dollar here in Madison. Spotted Cow is pretty much an institution here in SW Wisconsin, the kinda beer that you bring out when relatives or Busch Light drinkers are around to seem cultured. I remembered it being better than what I had last night, probably because I haven't tried it since becoming a BA and enjoying so many great beers.

Pours a golden straw color with minimal to no head. In the bottle it's much more cloudy and interesting to look at. Smells surprisingly macro and adjuncty - mostly wheat and corn. Taste is disappointingly the same, lots of corn and with a hint of cooked vegetables. Really not impressed by this stuff anymore. Maybe I've just been ruined by all the delicious complex dark beers I've been enjoying of late, but the ol' Cow just doesn't do it for me anymore. It's not BAD, but not something I would pick up a sixer of on my way to a party anymore.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2005 16:40:19 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of jimbotrost
jimbotrost

Michigan

3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased for $3.50 a 12 ounce bottle at Grant's Old Stage Station in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. Pours a hazy slightly cloudy gold. Some yeast aroma in the nose. Bottle conditioned ? Slightly fruity flavor but otherwise light and uneventful. Finish is somewhat chewy, aftertaste goes away very quickly.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2005 22:58:11 | More by jimbotrost
Photo of battlekow
battlekow

Wisconsin

3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer many times before, as it's by the the most popular micro, and one of the most popular beers period, in Madison. It was hard to objectively rate the appearance, since I know from experience that this beer is very inoffensive. However, if I had never had this before, and someone set a glass of it in front of me, I wouldn't exactly be chomping at the bit to drink it. It's a very cloudy light orange color that looks more like something from GNC than a beer. Doesn't really smell like much at all; tastes a little fruity and feels nice and creamy in my mouth, but that's it. In retrospect, I can see why this beer is so popular with my college friends in Madison--it's even better than a macro lager at tasting like nothing, and it has absolutely no bitterness. It tastes right off the bat like I've been drinking beer all night and can no longer taste anything.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2005 21:23:00 | More by battlekow
Photo of longarm
longarm

Maryland

3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fizzy thin head. Straw colored and slightly hazy.

Slight adjuncts, possibly corn, in the aroma, but this isn't overwhelming. Hints of pineapple as well. No detectable aroma hops unless that's the pineapple.

Flavor relatively mild with slight bitterness on the finish. A little fruity and cloying, lemon-essence in there too.

Initially sweet it finishes relatively clean. Easy session ale and especially good in Summer. I've had it on tap as well and remember it to be better on draught than bottled.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2005 01:21:29 | More by longarm
Photo of beveragecaptain
beveragecaptain

New Jersey

2.55/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer has a hazy yellow color with no head at all. The aroma is slightly malty, but not at all interesting. The flavor is sweet, with no bitterness. There is some fruityness, like lemon and pineapple. Not at all creamy. Low carbonation. If there were some bubbles, at least it would have been easier to drink. I did not like this beer very much. It's available at almost every bar in Madison. Who drinks this?

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2005 23:06:03 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden yellow pour with a small bubbly white head that quickly falls to leave a ring around the glass. Sweet grains and corn waft up into my nose along with a light citric undertone. Some herbal spiciness is evident as well as some yeast. Nothing grabs my attention here.

First sip brings a crisp pale maltiness that exhibits sweet grain and corn flavors. As the brew makes its way down there's a light citric fruitiness along with just a touch of herbal hoppiness and hints of yeast. Nothing mindblowing..but a solid cream ale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat creamy with a nice smoothness after each sip. An easy drinking cream ale that would go nice on a hot day. Worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 02:31:52 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" white head over the slightly cloudy, light golden brew. Head,fades to an uneven layer of bubbles, and lacing is minimal. Aroma is light pale malt with a tinge of citrus. Taste starts with smooth pale malts, and closes somewhat crisply with a bit of citrus character. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good, but without easy access of this one, it falls into the "why bother" category for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2005 20:54:45 | More by ppoitras
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very hazy, light gold color, with a sizable white foam head on top. Smell is corn and light floral hoppiness. Taste does have a little too much corn in it for my liking, but it almost fits in with the creamy and subtley hoppy flavors of this beer. I am having this beer at cellar or warmer temp. A lot better than I remember my first sample. A pretty good and interesting beer, try it for a very diffrent experience with corn in beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2005 01:09:00 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to GV for this one! Shared w/ sckressler.

Appears nice and cloudy pale yellow as the last remnants of yeast pound into the glass. Pretty decent carbonation and a small white head.
Smells zesty with a hint of corn. Looks and smells almost like a wheat beer.
Tastes pretty good. Not a whole lot of hop definition going on in this one but I wasn't expecting that. Not really too sweet, or malty. Seems right for what they were aiming for. Definitely grabbed my attention with the lemony light taste that seemed just right after the sip. I could surely put back a sixer of these in the summer.

Finger licking good!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2005 13:28:15 | More by weeare138
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dogbrick for giving me a chance to try this beer.

Presentation: Bottle states that it gives a nod to Wisconsin farmers by adding a hint of corn...I am afraid. Otherwise a standard 12 oz. twist off bottle poured into my Cubbies pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy yellow color with a sudsy white cap. Carbonation cascades through the body. I remain afraid as the appearance is quite macro-like.

Smell: Yeasty funk with a touch of orange or coriander. A touch of sweet corn and some cloves. Kind of leaning towards "Belgian-like" in it's smell. Now I am encouraged.

Taste: Mild notes of citrus, coriander, orange peel, yeast, and a touch of biscuits and grain. Nothing overpowering and it seems to blend together very nicely.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and prickly due to the carbonation and hints of clove and coriander.

Drinkability: This is a quaffer's delight! It went down great after my workout. Certainly wouldn't make this a regular but it is smooth, easy drinking. A finely crafted and not "over the top" beer.

Thanks again to Dogbrick and I look forward to other's from New Glarus

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2005 22:31:09 | More by mattcrill
Photo of redmosquito
redmosquito

Michigan

3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice golden straw color with almost no head, even after a slight shake in an attempt to rouse carbonation. The aroma is malty, bready and creamy, then yeasty, fruit and spice. The flavor is sweet malt, wheatlike in nature, and the yeast has some really nice character. I don’t think I would classify this as a cream ale. The beer is very bitter at all which may result from the additional sweetness provided by the undercarbonation. Overall this is a good easy drinking summer beer, that I would like to re-rate when I have one that is fully carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2005 17:43:12 | More by redmosquito
Photo of Dithyramb
Dithyramb

Maryland

3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Milky, pale straw appearance with no head. Very slight hints of lacing on the side and no carbonation within the brew itself. Appeared pretty limp for a bottle conditioned brew.
Lemon and farm funk aroma.
From the description on the bottle and the smell, I thought originally that this would be a saison. Flavor didn't match. After looking it up, it does seem to fit very well with the classic cream ale. Basically, no hops in there to speak of, with a sedate malt profile. Flavors of citrus, wet paper, and dry popcorn.

Mouthfeel was light, with no harshness, but not smooth and creamy either. It should have possibly been sampled during the hot summer months. This would probably work better as a lawnmower brew.

Drinkability gets an average. I wouldn't knock people over to try it, but I wouldn't shun it either.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2005 13:56:31 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of CRJMellor
CRJMellor

Arkansas

3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy golden, almost looks like a shandy. Small dull white head appears then poof . . it's gone.
Aroma is sweet and sugary, with some corn, pale malt, grassy hints and definite lemony notes.
Flavor is dominated by a citrus sugary taste that increases as it progresses through the palate. Light grass notes also shine through.
Mouthfeel is medium to light with lots of carbonation to glide the sweetness through. Very flowery hop with no discernible bitterness.
Drinkable but almost seems like a wheat better suited for a hot summer day rather than a cold winter night.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2005 03:04:01 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

2.85/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to kmpitz2 for sharing this one. I like the name. This one poured a clean yellow color then took on a lot of cloudiness because my dumb ass didn't realize it was bottle conditioned. Oh well, I don't mind some yeasties. Small head that dies off quickly and leaves no lacing on the glass. The aroma was very subtle, but had a slight grassy and grainy character. Not what I was hoping for. The flavor wasn't what I was hoping for either. There is very little, if any, of the cream character I'm used to from other brands of cream ales. It has a slightly tart citrus thing going on (lemon?) and that same grainy feel from the aroma. Not so much my thing here.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2005 16:11:58 | More by clvand0
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've had this before, but its been over a year. It pours a slightly hazy yellow color with a small ring of head. The nose is somewhat lemony, a little grainey. The flavor is pretty weak, with a slight zesty lemon and honey in there, but the flavors are really just weak. The feel is smooth and creamy, ith a slight carb. Not a bad beer by any means, but far inferior to anything else I have had from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2005 00:48:54 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of spottedcowman
spottedcowman

Illinois

4.83/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer, as you can see by my username is my all time favorite. I live about 80 mi. south of the Wisconsin line, and go to Woodman's right across the line on 94 at least once a month to get a couple of sixers. Introduced to it originally on tap, and was hooked immediately. The taste and drinkability are one of a kind, even with the hint of corn, it seems to actually accentuate the taste, which is unlike all of the other corn-fed macrobrews out there. The cloudiness and small amount of yeast make it appealing to the eyes, as well. I guess if it is any consolation, its a good thing that I have to drive to get it, otherwise I would be broke and drunk all of the time with this brew around. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2005 00:25:08 | More by spottedcowman
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a lightly hazy pale golden color with a very thin white head. No real lacing. Aroma of hops, fruit and grain. Light-bodied and crisp, with some corn taste. There are also hops and malt flavors. The finish is clean and lightly fruity. Not a bad Cream Ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2005 18:25:53 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brightly foggy lemon-gold with ethereal swirls of liquid smoke. The soft, yet dense, head of bone white foam displays a rumpled, hummocked surface interspersed with divots as the larger bubbles burst. A small amount of wispy white lace finds its way to the glass.

Spotted Cow smells distressingly like a macro lager with sweetish grain as the focal point. It must be that 'little hint of corn' as noted proudly on the label. The nose isn't offensive, not even a little, but neither does it thrill me or make me excited about tipping the glass up. Let's hope the flavor picks up the ball and takes off running.

The flavor has indeed picked up the ball... and sets off at a slow limp. This is interesting beer to say the least. It tastes like a much more flavorful, sweeter version of a BMC lager in ale form. I've had a few other cream ales and none of them tasted like this; not that I can recall at least. It is nicely malted in a untoasted pale malt kind of way.

Again, sweet grain is dominant and is coupled with a mild fruitiness, although I may be reaching on the fruit. There's very little hop presence, either in terms of flavor or bitterness, just as the style demands. The finish is short and sweet and the mouthfeel is characterized by under-the-radar carbonation. Might this be a malt liquor in low-ABV disguise?

Spotted Cow is a rather unique brew. I imagine that New Glarus sells a lot of it, but as we all know, there's no correlation between popularity and quality (except, in many instances, an inverse correlation). I don't hate The Cow, but I don't really like it either. Thanks all the same to Skidz for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2004 22:15:39 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown longneck with no freshness dating.

The beer pours a hazy darkish yellow. Nice initial head the completely disappears and does not even leave a skimming. No lacing either.

The smell reminds me of a souped-up lager more than an ale. Lots of grainy aroma (corn) and not much else. Still it smells fresh and clean.

The taste is slightly sweet and a bit fruity. Nothing bad, just nothing that leaps out either. The fruit reminds me of plum and bit of mango. Stays sweet as you work through the glass.

Low levels of carbonation, I think they could elevate this a bit and improve the beer. Still a very easy drinking beer that is easy to pair with anything except spicy food.

If I’m going to have a Cream Ale from Southern Wisconsin, I would seek out the offering from City Brewery before this one. However, I will not pass this one up if offered.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2004 22:57:40 | More by Redrover
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh

Pennsylvania

2.83/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy, yeast-induced hazy apple juice in color. Precisely zero head at all. F-L-A-T. Aromas of fruits mixed with some sweet corn. Flavor is rather bland. There's some citric sweetness up front, followed by a soft caramel note, and ends with a sour note. Thin mouthfeel and the strangest thing at the very end: it was as if someone just flipped off the taste switch. Just like that...everything disappears on the palate. Odd. Not very drinkable as it really did nothing for me.

Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2004 01:57:16 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of Magery
Magery

Kentucky

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good beer out of Wisconson. It is a great beer for a Saturday or Sunday full of buddies and football. I actually had this when my dad had tried it at a restaraunt when he was teaching a seminar at the University of Wisconson and thought I would like it and brought it back for me. Unfortunately I only get it once a year, but it is definately something I look forward to.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2004 22:52:20 | More by Magery
Photo of Brian700
Brian700

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a straw yellow. The nose on this beer is respectable in that it is original and somehow seems to tie it right in to Wisconsin with its corn-like and grainy aroma. Imagine a good "drinking all night" beer that was just a little creamier than usual. It is lightly carbonated but that doesn't seem to take anything away from its mouthfeel. Overall I think its a good beer but it's nothing to be disappointed about if they don't sell at your local grocier.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2004 05:52:34 | More by Brian700
Photo of nomad
nomad

Kansas

4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Like the previous review of this beer says, within the style of Cream Ale the Spotted Cow is very good. Drinking Gennessee Cream in college back east, its hard for me to think of a Cream Ale that could be made with care and artistry. Proof that any style is tasty if done well...

Pours a lightly hazy but glowing soft gold, quite alluring in fact, with a billowing head. Soft, fluffy, bilious - truly cloud-like. Looks like a summer thirst quencher.

Smells fairly moderate in general, but compared to most cream ales it does shine with artisanal touches. Scents of mashed corn, wheat, and pale malts swirl together to form a cornucopia of farm smells. This beer does come from Wisconsin, so...

Tastes of all the grainy aspects of corn and wheat with a great pale malt base. Barely sweet, and incredibly soft and easy on the palate without being bland. Little to no hop bite and possesses a small dash of creaminess toward the finish.

This beer goes down like a report on the various grains possible to a Midwestern brewer. A tasty drinker and a good choice for a flagship brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2004 13:40:13 | More by nomad
Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,022 ratings.