Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

757 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 757
Hads: 3,211
Avg: 3.65
pDev: 28.77%
Wants: 243
Gots: 754 | FT: 20
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 757 | Hads: 3,211
Photo of OakedCanuck
2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into tulip

A - Straw yellow, 1 finger fluffy white head, chill haze, slippery lacing

S - Grainy malts, wheat, some lemon and caramel

T - Confusing, tastes like a musty adjunct lager. Mostly just a grainy wheaty body with no supporting cast. Some sweet malts are barely distinguished in the background. There is a funkiness to it.

M - Decently crisp and light, but a little too effervescent.

O - This is classified as a cream ale and I really don't see how this even comes close to resembling one. Confusing. If anything, this seems to be closer to a farmhouse or even some variation of lager.

 609 characters

Photo of bboven
2.74/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Butterscotch yellow cloudy body with absolutely no head or lacing. This beer should be very clear and have at least a minimal head, but it looks very flat and unattractive in the glass.

Base malt and green apple, a defect from yeast fermenting at too high of a temperature, is very apparent. It can be there to some degree, but not this much.

Again, very fruity with the green apple dominating. The hops are lost and the malt is barely there because of the off-flavors.

Moderately carbonated, but a little more CO2 would help lift some of the sweetness up.

It's not bad tasting, but it's got a big defect in it. You usually only see this in lagers, but cream ale is so light to begin with that every little thing will be accentuated. I can't really recommend it unless you like fruit beers. In that case, you might like this one.

 833 characters

Photo of HugePlume
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle.

A- Pours a bright bubbly corn-yellow color. This was first cause for alarm of this hyped-up beer that I grew more and more dissappointed and leery of.

S- Smells like sweet mash, bread and musty hops.

T- This isn't good beer. More musty sweet mash. Finish is dry, which imparts a crude bitterness.

M- Mouthfeel is decent, carbonation good for a lighter brew, body is spot on but cant overcome the flavor shortfalls.

O- Don't believe the hype, this is not good. Go for the other new glarus brews, this is intended to appeal to Budweiser and Miller light drinkers. Overrated!

 590 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.79/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Monger: Poured a bright golden color ale with a big pure white head with good retention. Aroma of corn with light diacetyl is not extremely pleasant. Taste is dominated by too much corn with a light buttery note which is again unpleasant. Body is pretty full for the style with some great carbonation. This is probably the worst beer that I had from this otherwise fine brewery.

 397 characters

Photo of Jredner
2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mild grain and light alcohol in the aroma. Hazy yellow color. No head. Cool and refreshing with very little taste. Mild malty sweetness in the aftertaste. It is actually pretty dang thirst quenching though extremely un-flavorful. Not bad tasting just not much of anything tasting. It makes you take big gulping sips.

 316 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A--Pale golden yellow with a finger of quickly receding head

S--Fresh, light malty scent with a splash of hops in the background

T--A little too tasteless to be enjoyable on its own, but I suppose this is meant more for refreshment. Nothing foul about it, which is good. But nothing noteworthy either.

M--Light bodied but not too watery

D--Very sessionable but I'm not sure why you would want to since this there really isn't much here.

 440 characters

Photo of sleuthdog
2.81/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap poured into pint glass

A: When this was brought to my table there was almost no evidence of a head but I did see a very slight white ring. The color is of a nice light golden hue. The lacing is minimal to none.

S: I have nothing to say here. I smelled absolutely nothing! I couldn't believe it so I jammed my nose way down in the glass numerous times but came up empty each and every time! It was served ice cold so maybe this is the reason?

T: Bready, and somewhat sweet and malty. There is a definite corn taste to this one and slight hop presence on the back end. Very smooth and mellow taste.

M: Carbonation is present but not much and this adds to the creamy mouthfeel. This is very smooth and creamy.

O: A good interpretation of the style and very easy to drink. I could easily drink a few of these or more in a sitting. Not one that will have you thinking about it too much in terms of trying to pick out taste and aromas, but nothing wrong with it either. Just a nice easy drinking cream ale.

 1,012 characters

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
2.82/5  rDev -22.7%
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.

 522 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
2.82/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is average in every sense. Pale cloudy gold color, thin almost non-existant white head. Smell is very mild malt, touch of spice. Taste is rather bland, grainy tasting. Cream ale style says highly carbonated, which this one isn't. It just sits on the palate, no moutfeel at all. Maybe it's the styles i've been drinking lately but this beer holds no draw for me. I'll pass on this one in the future.

 408 characters

Photo of dpnelson1978
2.83/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$1.49 / ea.

A: Hazy straw body topped with one finger of loose white head that quickly dissipates leaving light foamy lace and a thin bubbly cover.

S: Fruit aromas with a hint of sweet corn and light flowery hops. Pretty straight forward and not unlike many batches I've made at home. Really not that impressive.

T: Sweet corn with hints of fruit and a light hop bitterness. Pretty much exactly how it smells. Light bitter aftertaste. Nothing special.

M: Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Light carbonic bite and a underlying smoothness. Solid.

D: Easily approachable and very simple overall. The flavor is ok, the mouthfeel is satisfactory, and the alcohol content is low. Easy sessioning beer, but for the style it is a bit disappointing.

O: I really expected more from this offering considering the execution of Wisconsin Belgian Red, and Raspberry Tart. The market share this beer holds in Wisconsin is surprising.

 975 characters

Photo of ballewblake
2.83/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle into my Duvel tulip.

Almost no head after a few seconds. Even the ring around the glass is weak. Hazy golden body, nose is mild to boring, not much of anything coming through. First taste was mint. Weird. Heavily carbonated, full body, not a whole lot of flavors coming out, not much to really pin down here. Maybe some wheat malts?

 352 characters

Photo of beerandcycling88
2.84/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into a pint glass

A pours a yellowish color with a decent head.

S the nose is light and floral with a hint of yeast maybe hard to tell.

T the taste is light. it has hints of sweetness and some yeast. But the lightness makes it hard to pin down.

M very light and easy to drink

Overall this isn't a bad beer but there is nothing about it that stands out.

 366 characters

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.

 616 characters

Photo of BasementBer
2.86/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I heard so much about this beer and it possibly got my hopes up for it.

A: light straw yellow. Plenty of carbonation, bone white head with medium to heavy lacing.

S: Corn. Grainy but very much a note of corn in the aroma - as it expresses on the bottle. The rare instance the brewer is in favor and admits to it.

T: To tart for my licking. Less cream than tart and dry nose to finish.

M: The tartness stuck around a bit too much for me. For a hop fan this countertaste is a bit off putting.

D: I dont think ill go back to it, but if others are enjoying then by all means.

 578 characters

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

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks mattafett!

A: Pours a hazy honey-gold body with 2 fingers of off-white head. Retention is great, leaving sudsy lace down the sides as the head recedes. No lace during sips, though.

S: Toasted malt, light floral hops, some yeast, and maize (corn).

T: As the nose suggests: mostly a light-flavored beer dominated by toasted pale malt, a hint of hops. Some yeast, with a white corn aftertaste in the exhalation.

M: Light-bodied, crisp. Watery flavor.

D: A good macro lager substitute, and that's it. I'd have it again but I wouldn't trade for it.

 589 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

So, this is the beer that built Wisconsin? :)

Big ups to seeswo! Thanks for this brother!

Pours a hazed, golden straw color, with a bright white spongy head. Nice retention, and the lacing is nice and web-like.

Slight milky quality to the aroma, light sweetness, bits of malts, and some hops.

Lightly sweet, noticeable hops, though faint, a bit of cream and light maltiness.

Feel is crisp, creamy, light and overall, good.

Overall, a decent brew. I'm glad to have tried it. I'd drink it again. This is the perfect any-time beer. Oddly, I think I liked the Genesee Cream Ale better... maybe it was the can...

 617 characters

Photo of clvand0
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

 662 characters

Photo of xpdrinker
2.9/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass - hazy golden with thin white head, decent lace.

Smells of cream, banana, like a wit with no clove or other spice. Slight citrus, no real hop presence.

Super light bodied, very carbonated. Banana flavors, mildly tart. Very refreshing and crisp. Soda mouthfeel. Faint notes of sweet corn. 

I'd probably like a few of these here in Florida on a hot day. Easily the lightest body out of all the cream ales I've had. Not sure why the bottle says farmhouse but BA categorizes it a cream ale. Definitely a lawnmower beer, but more drinkable than standard yellow swill.

 602 characters

Photo of mikereaser
2.91/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle on 11/16/09

A - Pours a slightly hazy straw yellow with very little foam

S - light grain, sweet malt

T - light malt, corn, grainy

M/D - slightly carbonated, light, crisp feeling, nothing too outstanding, just a nice crisp beer

 258 characters

Photo of deeznuts420
2.92/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

this style isn't my favorite but i was in a place traveling that didn't have hardly any craft beers to choose from. it was also one of the first craft cream ales i had so i'd have to say it was fairly good although it did have a corny taste. but overall i can't complain. it was a decent beer.

 293 characters

Photo of Buebie
2.92/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Thanks to HogwildLiquore for this extra.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.
Color is a bright somwhat hazy unfiltered yellow. 2 finger fizzy white head that quickly fades. Leaving some bubbles and not much of any retention. Lace is spotty and thin.

Grassy hops at the knose, corn, some crystal smelling grains, hay, and sawdust.
Pretty mellow and thin at the nose. Just a touch of alcahol on the nose.

Flavor is lacking on this. Sweet upfront. Some small grassy hops, thin watery mouthfeel, getting just a bit of creamy help from the abundance of carbonation.
No alcahol warming.
Finish is crisp and clean with a dry corn husk linger. Just a touch of dried hay hppieness.

Great for a lawnmower, but not my style. Not much from the flavor department.

 760 characters

Photo of spoons
2.92/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Has a hazy yellow body and a good white head. Leaves a little lacing.

Smells like an adjunct lager. Possibly some grainy corn. Not much of a hop presences to speak of.

The flavor has a nice malty twang to it. Its carried by a smooth mouthfeel but is light in body. A good example of a cream ale. I would drink it again, just not too often as it is a beer style that lacks flavor.

 408 characters

Photo of harrymel
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Everybody from WI that hears I like craft beer is all, "you gotta try spotted cow! It's the best!"

Here we go.

Pours light straw with slight diaphany, a central dome of white foam. Smells of white grapes, hay, some corn and powdered milk. Flavor of beer, milk and some rice, the aftertaste is slightly sweet and the beer would go well with vanilla bean ice cream in the summertime. Thin with moderate carb and a semi dry, crisp finish. An okay beer.

 451 characters

Photo of JackieTH
2.94/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy yellow-gold with a half inch of off-white foam that recedes in an average way leaving some clinging lace. Smell is virtually absent. I think it has some macro lager notes maybe corn and just a hint of malt but that's a stretch. Taste is not far from a macro lager either saved from the category by some hint of fruit possibly lemon that is detectable amidst notes of corn and barley and a light yeast nuttiness. Mouthfeel is decent, a bit creamy and holds together and let's you know this is a craft beer. Overall this one isn't great but it's drinkable and refreshing enough.

 587 characters

Photo of Boto
2.94/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

 419 characters

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 757 ratings.