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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,023 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2023
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: 2,023 | Reviews: 678 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of brewQ


3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Within its style, this is a wonderful beer.
NOTE- I had it on tap, which I think is much better than the bottle.

Color is bright and clear gold.
Poured with a 1.5 inch fluffly white head.
A sweetness and roundness of flavor that well exceeds the macro versions such as Little Kings and Genny screamers.

Really a nicely balanced brew- and I am not one to wax about basic pilsners. Clean finish and excellent drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2004 21:30:02 | More by brewQ
Photo of jahred


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

Thanks to incongruity for volunteering thos beer, which pours a cloudy, yellow-brown color with lots of floating yeast bits and a yeasty sludge remaining on the bottom of the glass. A frothy white head disappears rather quickly.

The scent is light - sweet wheat and veggies. The tasty is slightly more fruity, with corn notes and a creamy, fruity aftertaste. Not a bad beer - it went down easy, but still not something I want to drink often.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2004 03:32:50 | More by jahred
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya


3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy straw colored brew which is fitting since it is basically a total "farm" ingrediant beer. This one is made with corn and without trying it, that may seem a little odd. This is by far one of the most refreshing beer that tastes good anytime of day or year. There are not too many beers that top this as far as an introductory beer to those who are BA deprived. Wonderful ale that is a staple in my neck of the country.
I have however noticed this beer starting to slip in quality. Maybe my BA senses are just coming through, but this is no doubt a good session beer, but its individuallity cannot hold itself in the light of greatness.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2004 00:38:46 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of Boto


2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle: The pour was a bit of a suprise: it is a bit of a hazy, light golden color, with a large white head. The head dies down quickly, but it does look like a Belgian Wit. There is a bit of a wheat nose to the beer. Also, I get some spiciness and citrus, albeit faint. It has most of the taste characteristics of a Wit, but it is a thin and watery version of one. OK, but it should be more potent. Just average.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2004 03:29:37 | More by Boto
Photo of GreenWBush


2.55/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Graciously brought from Wisconsin by a non-BA friend.

12 oz. bottle.

This beer pours out a frightengly canary-neon yellow, with a tiny bit of yeast haze. The head is quite creamy, but only leaves a light notch of lacing. My friend took a whiff and proclaimed it smelled like "Grandma's bedsheets", then noted that if presented to him without identification, he wouldn't know if it was piss or pop. Hmm.

The only discernable odor on the nose is corn. I choose to use odor because if I wasn't rating every beer I got my hands on, I wouldn't have even tried it. I can't get over how bad this smells; I look for some malts, some sweetness, even a touch of hops - to no avail.

Actually, this one doesn't taste too bad at all. It sort of seems like a strange love-child between macro-swill and Guinness. It is quite nice on the mouthfeel, almost enough to disguise the heavy-handed corn influence. If you put this on Nitro, Macro lovers could do some serious damage. Still, just not enough going on here to interest me in another.

I've had worse. Maybe this beer is just an attempt at ramping-up swill drinkers. I'll try others by the brewery. I could also understand having a place in your heart for this - if I grew up on it, it might be a good fall back.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2004 17:50:24 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of RBorsato


3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange color with a low white ring for a head and low carbonation. Tart yeasty Belgiany aroma ... a bit horse-ish. Flavor is similar to the smell. Light-medium bodied (leans light) and refreshing with a crisp Saaz-ish hoppy finish.

A beer I'd put more into the Saison/French Ale category ... nice and refreshing.

Per label: Farmhouse Ale. Flaked Barley, WI malts, and a hint of Corn.

Tasted: 12/31/03
(M. Shusterman)

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2004 20:43:02 | More by RBorsato
Photo of ngandhi


3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When first introduced to good beer, I thought this was a bad hefe or a typical American wheat. Months later, I feel unsatisfied when I drink Spotted Cow. I once thought it was as good as beer could be. Today, dozens of bottles later, as I finally sit with one to write a review, I learn that it's a "cream ale," a style I was unfamiliar with.

On first impression, this has all the components of a very weak traditional amber ale. The malt focus is well beyond the hops with a light breadiness from the yeast. On the nose, I smell some light/medium caramel malts and a touch of adjunct -- a bunch of honey in the background. The finish, however, is inordinately crisp (mellower as it warms). A very mild hop bittering reminds me of pilsener beer as does the prickly carbonation.

Lo and behold, the BJCP specs for a "cream ale": "Low hop bittering. Low maltiness; however, grainy sweetness from corn may be present. . . . Adaptation of American light lager. Fermented like an ale, followed by cold condition or a blending of ale and lager beers" (BJCP Style Guide, http://bjcp.org/styleguide03.html).

Besides its miserable head retention, Spotted Cow is precisely what a cream ale ought to be.

The malty nose marries very well with a lightly adjuncted honey sweetness -- like a microbrewed PBR. The faintest of bubblegum and banana finish. Autumnal golden body. Easy drinking and, perhaps, the best introduction for macro drinkers to the wonderful world of beer.

Relax, relax.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2003 21:12:23 | More by ngandhi
Photo of feloniousmonk


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

Someonce once urged me to try one, and declared it "the best". So now I have, but that claim speaks more about them then it does aobut this.
Appearance: a clear pale yella hue, with a slight, soon vanishing white head.
Nose is mee, softly citric, a tiny bit sour.
Smooth on the palate, though not entirely without flavor. Practically no hops no speak of, just adequate enough malt, vestigal fruit notes whisper briefly.
Finish is brief, non-descript. Body is light to the point of invisibility. A very fragile, meek little beer.
Would be a decent choice for a "lawnmower" brew, maybe, when complexity and challenge are not in the order.
Not a bad beer, but not much, either.
Thanks to cokes for helping me try it out!

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2003 22:06:36 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of DrunkMcDermott


3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is described on the label as a "farmhouse ale," and indeed it seems more like a French than a cream ale. Nice looking head dissipates quickly, leaving a hazy, strawlike body. I get nice effervescence and a grapefruitty, almost sour taste. They get some props for not only admitting to using corn, but giving a reason: "We even give a nod to our farmers with a little hint of corn." Corn seems to be the source of the sweetness more than the malt. Hop finish is there, but not distracting. A very pleasant experience.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2003 14:14:07 | More by DrunkMcDermott
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first impression was that this beer is a wheat - the nose hints of wheat, it has a light, cloudy amber color and it tastes like a wheat. Not as intense as a true wheat, carbonation is light, starts as a mix of malt and hops and finishes fairly smooth and sweet. Moderate head that leaves little lace. The brewer has barley and corn in it so I don't know where the wheat overtones come from.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2003 22:32:41 | More by jdhilt
Photo of granger10


3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this one at a pub last weekend while I was in Milwaukee. It came to me with a hazy orangish-yellow color and had no head to speak of. That kind of scared me. As I drank it I noticed that this one seemed rather light in body. I gave a sip to one of my buddies who hardly ever drinks beer, and it's Michelob Light when he does, and he said it was light. My other buddy had a Sam Adams. I tried his and realized that the Sam Adams was much thicker and tastier than the Spotted Cow. The Spotted Cow had an estery aroma to it. Taste was predominately wheat malts but I did notice corn adjuncts in the flavor. No hops to speak of which might have been nice. The finish is quite good with a bready yeasty kick in it. For what it's worth this beer did go down really easy and I could easily drink another one and more after that. It wasn't bad, but not really my style.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2003 11:22:19 | More by granger10
Photo of ADR


3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slighly hazy but not really cloudy medium yellow illuminated appearance. A couple of small chunks. Nice sheet laces. Yeasty and estery aromas, just suggestive, fresh, and not overwhelming. Malting is straightforward, a creamy sweetness with an underlying stuffy fruitiness, tending toward apricot. Hops are minimal at best, the mouthfeel carries on and finishes the flavor profile with more of the same, into the aftertaste. I'd classify as light to medium bodied, overall. Pleasant, popular -- but pretty sweet and unremarkable. I'd give session status to this widely consumed product.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2003 08:45:26 | More by ADR
Photo of tavernjef


3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is a brighter yellow of partial cloudyness, thin, loose, white crown that faded fast and leaves minimal whispy spots of lace.
Smell is light, clean, and soft malts of sweetness, with a dulling floralness of hops dotted through each wiff. Taste is clean and creamy sweetness of softly done malts, kinda frothy grainyness, like intensely whipped cream malts or something, quite a appetizing feel, but it doesn't last I'm afraid, but the creamyness stays til the end where it cleans up with a touch of floral hops and goes dry; nice and easy, clean and creamy little drinker.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2003 10:47:28 | More by tavernjef
Photo of brakspear


4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A simple ale that is both an original craft beer and easy-drinking beerfor the masses. This is a great cross-over beer.

The beer pours a hazy orange-gold with decent head formation. The aroma is sweet and malty with a slight fruitness in the background, pleasant and unassuming. The taste is likewise sweet and malty, with a floral hop balance. Overall a very enjoyable ale that is also a very good session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2003 16:44:52 | More by brakspear
Photo of LarryKemp


4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This unfiltered beer looked much more cloudy in the 12 ounce brown twistoff bottle than it did once I poured it into my glass. The beer poured a slightly cloudy bright yellow. The head was fluffy white and not long lasting but it left a little lace on the side of the glass. The aroma of malt jumps out of the glass and fills your nose. What a joy. It makes the anticipation much greater. The taste lives up to the aroma. A sweet maltiness grabs your tongue and lingers in your mouth. The mouthfeel is medium light and has a slight creaminess. This is a great beer for pleasure and for a session. Too bad my friend only brought me one. DAMN!!!!

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2003 16:05:11 | More by LarryKemp
Photo of proc


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

Pours out to a cloudy, golden color in the glass with a slight head, with some suspended particles floating in there. It does look appetizing in the glass, almost sunshine-like. Aroma is somewhat yeasty and musty. The taste is quite good. There is alot of malt here which lends itself to a slight sweetness. I detected some lemon in here as well. This is an easy to drink refreshing thirst quencher.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2003 18:00:59 | More by proc
Photo of Gusler


3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A slightly hazy light lemon yellow color as it sets in the glass; head is modest in size, frothy in texture and as it evanesces, leaves behind a silky sheet of lace. Sweet malt dominates the nose, fresh and clean to the senses with the start sweet and loaded with malt. Top is medium in mouth feel, finish has a light carbonation and the hops apropos to the style, nicely dry and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2003 13:50:19 | More by Gusler
Photo of cretemixer


3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy golden hue with a quick fading white head. Leaves no lace, just a "cling-ring" and a small island of foam in the center of my glass. Noticeable corn aroma with an underlying fruitiness. Taste is somewhat malty; corn is noticeable too. No hop bitterness to speak of. Finishes somewhat dry and clean. Very refreshing and an easy drinker. It's too bad I won't be able to get this in Illinois or Indiana anymore. I will miss it.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2003 15:59:40 | More by cretemixer
Photo of Winter


3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite offerings from New Glarus. Spotted Cow is a bottle conditioned farmhouse ale. Pours an unfiltered bright golden color with a white head that disappeared in a matter of seconds. Carbontation seen in the body. Fruity aroma with hints of corn and malt. Thin, yet crisp mouthfeel. Flavors primarily coincide with the aroma-- that being of corn and malt. Finish is sweet with practically no hop bitterness present at all. This is a wonderful all-around, easy drinking beer to be enjoyed anytime.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2003 19:44:47 | More by Winter
Photo of jackndan


4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus Spotted Cow: A wonderful “farm” ale, bottle conditioned, with yeast in the bottle. Appears to be a weiss beer, with a slight yeast/banana aroma. Very light tasting, with understated malts and hops creating a light citrus taste. Very easy to drink, very light and refreshing. This would be a wonderful beer in the summer, and very good all the time. Pick it up if you see it.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2002 20:17:07 | More by jackndan
Photo of ryanocerus


3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was given this beer by a friend to try, so I am not certain as to its age. Clear golden color with minimal carbonation and some white sediment in the glass. The smell was fruity/sweet, with slight hops undertones. The taste was a bit more fruity, with malt playing more of a role. Without much carbonation, the beer flows quite smoothly. It is a refreshing beer and highly drinkable, especially on a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2002 22:23:08 | More by ryanocerus
Photo of Jon


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although not my favorite, this is a solid offering from New Glarus. Its somewhat cloudy, pale color reminds me of a German hefe, but not quite. The smell isn't very appealing. Spotted Cow has a grainy aspect due to the addition of corn in the brewing process, which creates a somewhat prickly mouthfeel. This is a good choice for a hot day.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2002 18:45:16 | More by Jon
Photo of beernut7


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

This golden bottle conditioned ale is quite a nice surprise. The golden cloudy color due to suspended yeast gives off a cask-conditioned hop aroma. Initially ester flavor touches the palate followed by a small smokey lager-like musky flavor. The finish is light and sweet. A nice refreshing ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2002 14:48:26 | More by beernut7
Photo of Wildman


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very light yellow color and formed a very nice white head that left some nice lace as it subsided. A good bit of carbonation. The aroma was lightly of citrus and malt, with a hint of hops. The flavor was of citrus and a slight bit of malt and hops. The finish was light and a touch bitter with some elements of the carbonation coming into play. While not the best representation of this style, it makes a good summer session brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2002 16:59:49 | More by Wildman
Photo of ZAP


3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This would be THE perfect keg to have at a summer get-together. It is extremely smooth and easy drinking. It is cloudy bright yellow...it poured charged up but doesn't taste that way. The aroma is average at best and smells a bit like a macro (corn adjunct?)..The taste is pretty creamy and smooth...good but not overbearing maltiness, and very little hop bite on the finish....slides down very nicely...would be a GREAT session beer...I like this...I don't think it's the most complex or greatest tasting beer ever made but it is nice in its own right..

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2002 22:22:10 | More by ZAP
Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,023 ratings.