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Spotted Cow | New Glarus Brewing Company

784 Reviews
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Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 784 | Ratings: 3,338
Photo of BeerRun13
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly pale golden color. Firm creamy white head is fed by one of the most spectacular bubble shows I've ever seen.
Lightly malty, subdued aroma.
Malty a touch of tart fruitiness. Corn is a major playa' in this one.
Light, smooth, and slightly creamy. Easy on the palate.
This ones okay. Par at best.

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Photo of happygnome
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: cloudy yellowish color inch or so of head that disapears fast, no lace no carbonation
s: sweet, creamy
t: almost like a sweet flavor not sure i did enjoy though kinda get a corn flavor in the finish
m: medium to full bodied surprising given light color

overall I really enjoyed this beer a deffinate session type beer would be very nice on a hot summer day

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a decent beer. I've actually been told that this is a lager, but after reading the bottle and noting that it categorized as a cream ale on this site, I was surprised to see that it is not a lager at all. For what it's worth, it still seems very lager-ish, but I can see the ale characteristics in it, notably the fruity esters. I think the corn and the light appearance are the source of misconception.

Anyways, the beer pours to a slightly cloudy yellow color. Could stand to have better clarity, but I suppose the protein from the corn and the bottle conditioned yeast are responsible for that. The head starts off moderately thick, but falls quickly back to a very thin, almost non-existent collar. Leaves no lace in its wake. Carbonation does not appear to be too active either, further distancing itself from the appearance of a light lager.

The smell is alright. Most notably the corn sticks out from the rest of the grist. Also has a sweet pale malt backbone with a hint of herbal hops. It is not unpleasant, but I am just not accustomed to smelling corn in a micro.

The taste really isn't half as bad as I was expecting from the nose. In fact, it's actually quite good for what it is. And for what it's worth, it is easily the best cream ale I've tried. Very light and quaffable. Not much in the way of a specialty malt bill, as one would expect. A light pale malt sweetness followed by a light corny finish. Not nearly as corny as in the nose. Also has a fairly light and crisp herbal hops finish. Also a light fruity ester lingers on in the aftertaste. Not bad.

The high protein levels in the corn and flaked barley give this a nice creamy feel. While the carbonation may not seem active to the eye, it sure does pack a wallop on the palate. Sure, it may not be the most complex and interesting beer I've ever drank, but it's very easy to consume and doesn't offend. For what it is, it's a well crafted brew, and I appreciate the fact that they use all local ingredients. Kudos for that. Yet again, thanks to my fellow John's Grocery asshole: Joe.

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Photo of Beerman420
4.8/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My Favorite beer of all time. The citrusy flavor is the key to this beers unique presence in the beer world. Very drinkable but not watered down like many "drinkable" beers.
A - Orange color, thick head from tap.
S - Attractive, so much better than any AB beer.
T - Mmmm....my favorite part. Thick rich flavor with a hint of citrus.
M - Very good
D - My 2nd favorite part. I have never regretted partying with this prime choice.
Try if you can, it will be worth it!

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Photo of ManicD
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From sampler 12 pack. Poured into a pint glass.

Pale orange/yellow cloudy appearance.

A white foam disappeared almost immediately & left no lacing.

Orange citrus aroma.

Very light flavors of sweet corn & strawberry bubble gum, orange/lemon with grassy hops. A bit sweet. Medium-light carbonation.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.86/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Appearance - Cloudy yellow. Foamy short white head. A few bubbles.

Smell - Faint. Some maltiness, maybe adjunct. Not very distinct.

Taste - Semi-sweet malt dominates. Some corn. Finishes with just a touch of bitter hops. Appears well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Very light, watery. Crisp. Similar to an american lager.

Drinkability - Nothing wrong with this beer, just not a very exciting style. Excellent replacement for macro-lager, but not much more. This beer has become quite popular in Wisconsin and I for one am glad to see a small brewer who does make some very high quality beers reach a large market.

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Photo of cebean
5/5  rDev +37%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a really great beer. I tried it at an Outback Restaurant when I asked for whatever local Microbrew they had on tap. Much to my suprise, I found this to be one of the best beers I've ever had. Very versitile in taste, in that it can easily go with a good meal or just by itself, summer or winter. It is too bad that you can only buy it in Wisconsin... So if you happen to be traveling through the Cheesehead State, make a specific point to buy a case or two of this really good beer.

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

Pours cloudy yellow gold - bottle conditioned, oh yeah! Aroma of some faint citrus hops, malt, whiff of corn/DMS.

Nice take on the style - starts with a slightly grainy-sweet flavor, with faint citric hops and yeastiness, mild underlying bitterness - not a tremendous amount going on, but what's there is solidly quaffable. Creamy, slightly spritzy mouthfeel. Found the glass empty far quicker than I thought I would.

Would beat the snot out of Corona in the cooler in the summer.

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Photo of ggaughan
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a hazy orange color with just a slight off white ring around the edge of the glass, no real sustainable head. There was a slight citrus aroma to the beer. The taste of the beer was mainly of citrus, a touch of hops on the tongue and wheat. Overall Spotted Cow is an easy drinking, smooth beer but is not overly complex.

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Photo of umustdrink
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Light hazy orange color. White head fades to a thick ring. A few small bits of lacing.

S - Sweet, mostly grassy, hints of citrus, bubblegum and pepper.

T - Taste is a sweet wheaty flavor with a light hoppy bite, more hints of pepperyness then a finish of sweet wheat and light bubblegum.

M - Thin to medium consistency with elevated carbonation.

D - Nice easy drinking beer, sessionable.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle a cloudy, light yellow with about half an inch of white foam. Smells of hay, sweet corn, and the lightest touch of grassy hops. Taste's of mild bitter hops, hints of citrus and then comes a nice maltiness. I was expecting this beer to be rather light in the mouth, but it wasn't. It was smooth and creamy, very nice. I would really like to revisit this beer on a warm late spring day.

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Photo of beveritt
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. The label depicts a cow jumping over Wisconsin and mentions the use of flaked barley, malts, and corn. Described as "fruity and satisfying".

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, honey-colored yellow with no head whatsoever. Several streams of bubbles coming up.

Smell: Strong bubblegum and fruit smell.

Taste: Smooth and creamy, without the overpowering "cheap" flavor you often get with corn used as an adjunct. Almost no discernible bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average to above average carbonation level, as expected from the style. Good body.

Drinkability: Not one I thought I would like, based on the characteristics of the style, but this is, as usual, another quality beer from New Glarus.

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Photo of TechMyst
2.2/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at Diamond Dave's. Smelled like a lager actually, very faint aroma anyway. Hazy green-yellow color. Actually tasted like a lager also. I could not detect fruit-y-ness, vanilla, or 'fun'. There was some corn hints. It is a beer with a full character, not a character I care for, but it had a full character for what it was. no lacing.

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Photo of dherling
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out an orange-gold color and very cloudy with lots of tiny bubbles feeding a stark white head that rapidly diminishes. The nose is very sublte, a touch of sourness plays with lemon and hay. The taste has sweet corn, wheat and lemon twist, with a small amount of bitter hops. The mouthfeel was smooth, low carbonation, with a quick slightly bitter finish.

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Photo of orfeu
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received as part of a mixed sixer trade with the mighty nflmvp -- big thanks, Steve! I really like the brewers' claim on the label that this is a "Wisconsin farmhouse ale". Seems as appropriate an appellation as any for a Cream Ale brewed with corn and flaked barley. Pours a hazy golden color with an active, short-lived, snow white head. Nothing too complex in the aroma: soured bready grains with a bit of grassy hop scent on top of a slightly sweet-smelling caramel malt quality. Sort of like an uninspired Pale Ale. Earthy bready flavors become apparent at first sip, rounding out into a sweetish malt taste punctuated with mildly spicy and grassy hops. Candy corn and vanilla sweetness arrives at the finish, highlighting the sort of sticky mouthfeel of this beer. Medium body seems a little thick for the flavor profile, thereby setting back the drinkability. Certainly not a bad beer, and I get the sense that it pays many of the bills so that we can enjoy such world class offerings as the Wisconsin Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart. Nothing I'd seek out again, but certainly happy for the opportunity to have tried it.

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Photo of hanco005
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, marked 2146 and 6:57, poured into a pint glass

A—pours a light yellowish, orange and slightly hazy, a thick cloud like bright white head is produced, fades away after a few minutes, lacing is moderate

S—sweet candy, apples, citrus, some grainy aroma, fragrance is pretty mild overall

T—different, sweet, a little of the apple and citrus I smelled, as well as the grains, almost has some cider/wine cooler flavor in it.

M—crisp, light bodied, mild carbonation

D—it’s good, but different to my palette, I think this would be a good transition beer.

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Photo of terrabyte
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy yellow color, with minimal head.

Smells grassy with a bit of lemon and orange sweetness. sweet with some lemon. The grainy maltiness isn't quite like a wheat beer, but something different (It does have some corn)

A floral and light fruity sweetness dominates this beer. Not much hops, just a grainy maltiness from wheat and corn. The aftertaste isn't bitter, but has a citrus tanginess.

A very light feel, with above average carbonation giving it a crisp swallow. A bit thin.

This is an extremely popular beer here. When I first discovered it years ago, I was truly in love. It was different, it was local, it turned me on to other crafted brews. I introduced it to friends and family, and they were also blown away by it. Now I'm kind of sick of it. It's too sweet for my liking, and what was once new and exciting for this naive beer drinker, is too simple for me now. However, this will forever be the ambassador of crafted brew in my mind.

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Photo of Newglarusguy
5/5  rDev +37%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This ale is by far one of the very best I've had to date. It's pours a silky cloudy color of caramelish yellow, it's smell hints of grains and corn and a bit of a fruit side to it. It goes down very easy and it's taste is by far the best for ale's that arn't 10$ or cheaper for a six pack. I strongly recommend this one to anyone who's in the greater WI area and wants to try a exceptional beer!

Man Up!

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This brew pours a clear straw color. The head is two-fingers in heigth and recedes rather quickly into sparce lacing. The aroma is of yeast, and corn. The taste is not unlike the aroma, very corny. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and is somewhat silky. Overall, this beer isn't bad, but I don't see why so many people think it is so great.

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Photo of joe1510
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle

Spotted Cow poured a hazy pale straw yelllow. Quarter inch white bubbly head that faded quickly to absolutely nothing. There was not one bit of head on this beer 30 seconds after the pour.

Smell is appetizing but weak. Smell is a little lemon up front followed by doughiness with spicy yeast.

Taste is pretty similiar to the smell with a lemon, bready/doughy and spiciness from the yeast. Tastes pretty good. Refreshing.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and theres hardly any carbonation at all.

Spotted Cow has good drinkability. It's a good thirst quencher. You could drink a lot of them nice and cold to cool down, but that's about it.


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Photo of indy169
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh, the Spotted Cow. This is the trendiest beer in Wisconsin next to Pabst Blue Ribbon. That said, the question begs, is it worth the hype?
I have enjoyed Spotted Cow for years, never really seeking it out as much as having it featured at various celebrations; parties, weddings, etc.
Out of the bottle Spotted Cow is hazy yet energetic. Malty, without too much effort. Hoppy? Not really. This is tasty and well made. It is understandable that this is popular among the bar poseurs. Different without taking too many risks. Unique, neat label (very Wisconsin), and overall great branding.
The beer is good, drinkable, and oh so cool.

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Photo of Zraly
3.37/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This bottle of ale was brought back to me from WI by a very kind friend.

Pours a cloudy, hazy pale yellow. Zero head, but a light film trails along.

Overall, this is a fruity and light ale. It's sweet and well-carbonated. The fizzy, spritzy nature makes for good summertime refreshment. There is a soft bubble-gum note and a lemony zing in the finish.

A nice one to slurp down after mowing the lawn, tending the plants outside, etc.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - pours a deep gold with a small head and little to no retention, little lacing, hazy

s - malty, spicy and fruity at the same time, not much by way of hops evident

t - pretty sweet and creamy, some fruit and malt as well, pretty much no hops or bitterness evident

m - fairly light bodied, medium carbonation

d - very drinkable though somewhat uninteresting

When in Madison, this is my standby beer. Not a great beer and probably my least favorite New Glarus brew, but a wonderful alternative to BMC.

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Photo of olacub
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice cloudy pour, small head that dissipates fast.

S: Grass, ripe oranges and a slight nuttiness that pokes through.

T: Light, but with a generous dose of citrus and bready malt. Very refreshing on an August afternoon.

M: Smooth and creamy.

D: Very drinkable. I could finish many of these sitting by the lake on a hot Summer day.

I know this beer gets ripped by some, but for what it is, I think it's very well made.

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Photo of Fuller
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another Wisconsin beer shipped to me by thefatkid13 :thumbup:

poured a hazy yellow with almost no head even with an aggressive pour. A slight ring of foam does stay on top of the brew most of the way throughout drinking though. Smells great for a hot day - light and fruity with a touch of grain. Hop bitterness is nonexistant, taste is of a hint of citrus and grain with a noticeable dry finish. Definitely see why its a cream ale in the mouthfeel area. Goes down smooth and creamy.

Nothing about this beer screams out "hey, look at me!", but that's part of what makes it so damn drinkable.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 784 ratings.