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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

747 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 747
Hads: 3,159
Avg: 3.65
pDev: 28.77%
Wants: 243
Gots: 726 | FT: 18
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
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Reviews: 747 | Hads: 3,159
Photo of elmore
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, but have had this from the tap multiple times in the past.

Pours a light straw color. Just a shade darker than a lager macrobrew. Creamy 2 finger head with good retention. Medium lacing. Smell is subdued - yeast ,some bready malts, very little hops. Smells similar to a good lager. Smooth, well balanced taste. A great session beer. No hints of alcohol. Light and effervescent dances off of the tongue. Not an overly exciting or extreme beer. A very solid tasty refreshing beer made with quality ingredients and a staple here in the dairy state.

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Photo of DerekQXQX
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Pfister Hotel. The hotel itself was pretty good. It was for sure haunted but this beer was not. Am I a ghost. Maybe. A ghost that enjoyed this beer. Wooo it was very balanced. The jazz that accompanied it was too. Good use of hops, barley, trombone and drums.

Good job!

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Photo of xmorgan
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this on draft, bottle and growler. It is a a very light, fruity and delightful session beer.

It is not as watery as a light lager, as it lingers in the mouth enough to establish a wetting or re-hydration effect that a beer of this body is meant to refresh and not overwhelm the senses.

After drinking aggressively hopped beers for a few days, I first sampled this beer and was underwhelmed. As a buddy from Wisconsin urged me to retry it, I was pleasantly surprised. The light fruitiness and mouthfeel are very nice and this illustrates the variability of the palate in beer tastes and overload.

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Photo of Copernicandream
2.43/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A - Pale yellow with adequate foamy head.

S- Not much...

T- I literally picked up the bottle and looked to make sure this was beer. This is an incredibly bland ale. Almost devoid of flavor with a dry finish. Very subtle malts.

M- Light with low carbonation, just slightly thicker than a lager.

O- This beer is like a cow among the herd. One of many, nothing makes this better or standout from any of the other cows. Surprised to see the high ratings, maybe more representative of the rest of the brewery's line? Really falls short in terms of taste and substance for me.

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Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
4.14/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into my Samuel Smith's pint glass. Pours a clear straw color with a decent amount of carbonation visible. There is a foamy white head that dissipates into a cap and leaves a good amount of lacing. Had aromas of sweet, grainy cereals and strawberries. Taste is grainy and sweet with a bit of earthy bitterness making an appearance. Very light and drinkable with a decent amount of carbonation. There is a lightly sweet aftertaste that lingers for a short while.

Overall: I'll admit that I haven't had many cream ales, but this is the best that I can remember. This is an awesome, drinkable beer. If I lived in Wisconsin, I would get a pitcher of this every time I went to a bar.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass

A: a cloudy golden with a white one finger head that dissipates fast. Light lacing.

S: Picking up grains, corn and barley. Also some light hoppiness.

T: Citrus featuring lemons. A corny graininess. Light, refreshing ,with a dry finish.

M: light to medium with low carbonation.

O: Didn't really blow me away. A nice lawn mowing beer. Smooth but kinda boring. Sort of like a cow standing out in a field.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.01/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a creamy white two finger head with good retention and lacing. Mild aroma of biscuit malt, grains, hints of citrus. Flavor is very pleasant semi-sweet bready malt, slight grassy hops, lightly buttery wheat, faint citrus. Finishes with mellow sweet malt and wheat. Unexpectedly moderate creamy body with a great mouth feel. I see why locals are so happy about this ale. This is the beer that I think the mass producers *think* they are brewing, simple, mellow and pleasantly drinkable. When I'm this satisfied with a style that I'm not that excited about, the brewers have really excelled. Easily the best cream ale I've ever had. Nicely done. Thanks to Vikki for bringing this back from Wisconsin.

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
4.19/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thick fluffy head sitting on a light gold body. Scent of sweet hay and grassy hops. Taste is sweet and fruity; apple, pear and grape with undertones of masa and corn husk. Close to no hop flavors detectable, and very appropriate for style. Thin bodied and fully carbonated, light yet completely satisfying. Definitely a session beer for all seasons, lucky to get my hands on some all the way here in Southern California. God bless bottle trading!

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: A nice golden hue that is a good amount transparent, leaves a tiny head at the top and a good amount of lacing as you drink this one.

S: Not to much on the nose, slight hints of citrus and corn/breadyness, a slight sweetness on the nose as well.

T: The taste is not bad at all its the after taste thats the problem, a good amount of citrus on the tongue and some sweetness as well.

M: Light bodied and not a great amount of carbonation, weird at first sip.

O: Not a bad beer from Wisconsin, I enjoyed it especially the whole six pack.

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Photo of Murphious
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A very nice brew. Very similar to a heffe but with simpler ingredients(?). Pours with a weak head (1/4in) and leaves a little lacing on the glass as drank. Has very pleasant citrus/tangy flavor for such a weak foam and feels wonderful at first sip.
Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Wisconsin_Max
4.37/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is perhaps the best, most enjoyable beer produced in the great state of Wisconsin. It's smooth, light flavor is an ideal beer to share among friends year round. It is arguably the most beloved beer in the state. As it is only available within state borders, I recommend you stock up next time you are driving through.

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Photo of iSip
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

New Glarus Spotted Cow: This was the beer of choice while visiting the folks back in Wisconsin.

This brew has a champagne color with a slight clowdy look to it. The head is well developed and has some mass to it, but does fade. Aroma is rather thin. Very little carbonation to be had.

The flavor is clean with a finish of champagne. Will pare well with food, but not a beer that stands alone. Worth a try....

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Photo of Jho3325
4.16/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a fantastic everyday beer. It pours light with a relatively thin head. It has a nice aroma which agrees with the fresh taste. Simply put this beer tastes like beer. It has a great finish and is the perfect beer to sit around with your friends any time of year. I always stock up with spotted cow when I am in Wisconsin.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours golden yellow with a small white head. Smells of sweet grain and corn, not like an adjunct but with a nice grain profile. Tastes of nice grain with just enough corn for sweetness. Beer is crisp and clear light bodied and perfectly carbonated. Overall a pretty good beer.

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Photo of ryho
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer on tap at Tornado Steakhouse in Madison, Wisconsin. In my opinion this beer tastes like what you would get if you tried to make Bud light with all very high quality ingredients. It was good, but very bland. There isn't anything you can complain about in it. It's even very drinkable, and I could probably drink this all night if it was available. But I really like a bit more flavor in my beer.

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Photo of sixbluntsdeep
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: A nice golden/yellow pour. A decent head, nothing special. Carbonation looks good. The head sticks around for awhile, and leaves a nice lace on the glass (once again, nothing special).

S: You can definitely pick up the citrus. Hints of the malt/corn. There isn't a huge aroma, but what you get definitely makes you want to take a sip.

T: Here's where we get to the downside of the beer. The taste in your mouth is quality. The citrus and malt make their way through, and the slight hops is a good balance. The aftertaste? Well, lets just say it makes you want to take another drink.

MF: Left a bit to be desired. The carbonation that I saw after pouring was absent after the first couple of sips. Thicker than I would expect by the pour, but still extremely light overall.

O: Split it down the middle. 3.5/5.

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Photo of StoutItOutLoud
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It is a nice 75 degrees in September in Chicago. Time for this fib to crack a bottle from the north.

A: yellow straw color. large creamy white head fades quickly, leaving little dimples of lacing here and there on the edge.

S: there is corn and a light tart lactic note. the ale yeast brings some lemon to the party. this is similar to a pilsner, but slightly more sour.

T: malt, buttered creamed corn. this is fairly ho-hum, but typical to style

M: dry finish, well carbonated, quick drinker

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Photo of jwc215
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazed golden with a thin white head that fades to a wispy thin cover. Broken rings of lacing stick.

The smell is of a mild banana-like fruitiness with grain. Soft, but pleasant enough.

The taste is rather bland, but inoffensive - some sweet grain, mild hint of buttered corn and a touch of yeast. There is a mild hop touch in the finish to balance sweetness, but it doesn't add much to the flavor department.

It is smooth and creamy.

This is a basic, easy-drinking cream ale. Nothing special other than having a refreshing quality to it.

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Photo of fitrock2112
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured Spotted Cow into a Belgian Tulip.

A - Pours a clear golden with one finger of creamy puffy head.

S - Some candied qualities, mixed with light fruit and malt. Just a little faint in this department.

T - Smooth creamy fruity beer here. Some lemon peel, light malt. Wish there was more flavor, but not bad.

M - Light mouthfeel, medium carbonation. Yeah, you can drink a few of these.

O - A nice change of pace beer. Smooth creamy, just not a lot going on. I like it for what it is. Cheers!

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up from the House of 1,000 beers for 3 bucks. Black market score!

A - Quite an epic head over an inch of creamy foam that sticks around for a while. Color is a bright semi hazy yellow. Mostly clear.
S - Very timid smell not very sweet or hoppy. Just mild grains, hops, and some corn skunk.
T - Taste is much better has a mild bit of vanilla like a creme soda. Grains are also balanced and sweet and hops are there and enjoyable. I like it.
M - Not very soda like which is nice. Taste like beer with a light to medium body for easy drinking.

Overall a great introduction to the brewery if they can make this tasty year round offerings I may want to step it up and trade for more rare offerings.

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Photo of alphagnome
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden color topped by a thin white head and gobs of carbonation. Minimum lacing and head retention is awful.

Leaves a bit to be desired but hints of honey and slight cloves and citrus. It's earthy and quite welcoming.

Sourdough with some citrus, clove and a bit of corn.

This is a very light-bodied beer that is incredibly smooth and heavily carbonated. It's fantastic and refreshing!

A great beer - It's not complex by any stretch of the imagination, however, it is super easy to drink and insanely refreshing!

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours an off golden color with a very slight head. Smell has a lot of farmhouse characteristics, yeasty and malty with a lot of lemon zest. The taste is extremely crisp and refreshing. Very apparent malt backbone with a good amount of sweetness as well as lemongrass and citrus. This screams farmhouse ale. Light in body, low in carbonation, but very very drinkable.

Overall just a superbly easy to drink session beer. I could down a whole six pack of this in a hurry.

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Photo of BWED
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler.

A- Slightly hazy straw color in the body. White head. Retains well but is very thin throughout the drink. Some lacing.

S- Grainy malt aroma, with some fruit as well (apple, pear).

T- Light grain flavor with some fruit, and a hint of some spices.

M- Light and sweet.

O- This is simple, but so tasty. Very light flavors but they come out so well and work well with each other. The fruitiness is refreshing as well.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another bottle gifted by the in-laws, into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Clear, pale straw body with a good finger of pillowy white head and OK retention.

S: Very clean malt breadiness and sweetness. Faint fruitiness, maybe even the impression of banana? Very little to NO hop presence at all.

T: Clean malt sweetness of bread and grains (not grainy - just grain flavors). Some faint, estery & fruity yeast notes. No hop bitterness really.

In the nose as well as on the palate, there is the faintest suggestion of vanilla or extra light brown sugar, can't quite place it...

MF: Light, creamier body with medium carbonation.

O: A decent cream for sure, easy to drink. Anderson Valley's offering is still my standard for the style but this drinks just fine.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a cloudy golden. The scant head dissipated into a ring of foam fairly quickly.

Aroma: Some sourness with a slight bit of pleasant funkiness along with some fruit and malt. Not a strong aroma profile overall.

Taste: The main flavor component is sweetness. Nonetheless, the beer has a crispness. The bottle says that corn is used in the brewing, and I can imagine some fresh ear-of-corn sweetness in the flavor profile. The hops come out as a floral with slight sweetness. The hops linger along with perhaps a slight breadiness.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a medium body and medium carbonation which seem appropriate for this style.

Overall: This is a very drinkable and refreshing beer.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 747 ratings.