Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select 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: 3,209
Avg: 3.65
pDev: 28.77%
Wants: 243
Gots: 751 | 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: 3,209
Photo of Florida9
2.94/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Cloudy pale yellow in color. Pours with a small fizzy head that dissipates quickly. Little retention and no lacing.

S: Lemon. Citrus. A little yeasty funk.

T & M : Twangy grain-flavored liquid with a sweet, sticky, almost cloying mouthfeel. Cereal, corn and light lemon notes. Lighter bodied with heavier carbonation.

D: Ugh. I've tried this beer over and over again. For some reason people in Chicago love this beer and I don't know why. It's as if it is a craft version of an Adjunct Lager. It's sticky when it should be refreshing. It's sweet with nothing to support the sweetness. Maybe for macro beer people, this beer offers something a typical macro doesn't. What that is, I don't know. But for such a light bodied, light flavored beer, I can't believe how difficult this beer is to drink.

 805 characters

Photo of Ottertude
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This cream ale poured a hazy golden yellow into my pint glass. A this white head quickly faded only leaving a little lacing on my glass.

The smell was faintly of corn and fruit, perhaps an apple. The taste was of corn, malt and a hint of fruit. At least this went down pretty clean and didn't leave a nasty after taste. Yes, I know this is faint praise but this is all this ale deserves. It was just ok.

It was lager thin and did go down easily enough after an evening of yardwork. I can see having 1 or 2 of these and then switching to something else. New Glarus has better offerings than this.

 597 characters

Photo of lester619
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy, golden color. A few shades darker than miller lite. Big, bubbly white head, a lot of carbonation. Not overly impressive. Smell is somewhat citrus with earthy, yeasty undertones. I've had a quite a few of theese from the bottle, this is the first one on tap. Not much differance. People go ape shit for this stuff around here. I'm not sure why. The taste up front is the same as the smell. Fruity citrus and pear with the yeasty finish. Mouthfeel is very watery and unsatisfying. I find myself waiting for a nice bitter finish to pull this beer together that never comes. Overall this ok drinkable beer. Why people love it so much I don't know. O-VER-RA-TED!

 674 characters

Photo of zebulon
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I have had it from a bottle and on tap several times.

Light yellow clear but with some slight clouding.
From the bottle a fast build up of foam which disappears quickly. On tap much less foam which also disappears fast.

Weak aroma, sweetness like honey and malt. No hops.

Light cereal taste, caramel but not sweet, dry but without the bite of hops.

From the bottle lots of fizziness, almost like pop. As the carbonation dies then the lightness is the dominant characteristic. This could be a good beer to intro a Miller fan to craft brewing. Nothing to offend here.

Can drink this all day, but it is uninteresting. Its lightness is its strength, but also its weakness.

 675 characters

Photo of chickenflea
2.96/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried this in on tap in the airport on my way out of Wisconsin. I had heard it was good, so I anticipated a treat.

Poured a light straw color with a medium white head. Medium cloudiness. Looked like a wheat beer without the massive head.

Not much aroma, but what there was smelled of light crackers, wetted grains, and wheat-like malt. Herbal and grassy hops play lightly in the background. Lightly sulfury.

Flavors of corn, raw barley, and grain husk round out in a lager-like way. A bit more rich, the beer has a briney, yeasty taste that keeps the grassy hops in check. Finishes with that unmistakable corn taste.

Creamy, the beer holds onto its weight until the very last second when the subtle hop bitterness ushers in a mild crisp and dry finish.

It was OK, but I wouldn't call it a great beer by any stretch. It was refreshing, but I finished it unsatisfied. It drank more like a lager than an ale.

 910 characters

Photo of primu
2.96/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at 40F~ from glass bottle into small mug

A: Straw-colored. A finger of white, bubbly head with modest retention and some lacing.

S: Mild, pleasantly yeasty smell. Some notes of grass.

T: Mild, almost watery flavor. Tastes of grains, with subtle notes of citrus and grass. Tasty, but left me wishing for more.

M: Very light mouth feel, gentle carbonation.

O: Completely inoffensive "cold beer after mowing the lawn on a hot day" brew. Bland and a bit watery but with no bad notes, it's a good alternative to domestic American Lagers. I'd happily drink it if offered to me, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it.

 627 characters

Photo of willjschmidt
2.97/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy yellowish gold with a very thin and quickly receding white head.

S: Some sweet grains, maybe some corn.

T: Quite a bit of grains and some light sweet malts. There is also a lot of lemon tartness and sweetness to it which is probably the best part about it. It tastes like a slightly sweeter version of a BMC lager.

M: Light bodied, quite a bit of carbonation.

D: It's drinkable, I'll give it that. It's very tame, light, and not a whole lot different than drinking water. I guess it would be a decent option on a hot summer day. Besides that, skip it.

 620 characters

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

Pours a yellow color, with just a hint of orange. Forms a bit of a white head which slow dissipates into lacing.

Smell is sweet, quite a bit of citrus in there. Slightly flowery, reminds me a touch of a fresh mown lawn.

Tastes very fruity, seems to be like a carbonated orange juice. Has quite a bit of carbonation, and to me finishes a bit watery.

This was quite thin, not much going on outside of the carbonation.

While certainly not a bad beer, nothing really of note here. A good summer beer, one you'd want after working outside on a hot day and want to cool down with a beer that refreshes, but isn't too heavy.

 621 characters

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....

 410 characters

Photo of aforbes10
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My wife and I stopped in New Glarus during their annual polkafest (which was extremely enjoyable) and the brewery had a couple of their beers on tap to try (and i course i hit up both). Spotted Cow poured (into a plastic cup) yellow to gold with an off-white head. Odor was kind of corny and vaguely malty, but overall not very strong at all. Taste was a thin mix of alcohol, corn juice, malt and extremely faint hops. Mostly it seems to just be a mildly refreshing, corn-based (which i verified with the guy manning the tap) hot weather beer. Nothing special IMO, but my wife thought it was darn good.

 602 characters

Photo of adamette
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle that my friend Wally gave me. Thank you so much Wally. I would not likely have had the chance to enjoy this beer if you had not given it to me. Poured into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. No observed "best by" date.

A Straw yellow, translucent body under a meringue like white head that dissipated to a single layer on the top of the beer after about 2 minutes. 3.0

S First impressions of the smell was of an SNPA but then I realized that SNPA has more smell to it. There is some light malt but the smell is very distant. 2.5

T Taste is just like the smell suggests, a very light cream ale. There is mostly a water taste with a bit of sweet malt and a bit of hops. 3.0

M Some carbonation makes it dance across my tongue but otherwise this is a very light beer. That is not really a quality that impresses me but it is true to the style. 2.0

D Well very good but unfortunately the drinkability is good in a way that Bud Light's drinkability is good. It is good but I would probably not attempt to test that theory again. 4.0

Notes: I really wanted to like this beer. I love the whole "Spotted Cow" image and it being from Wisconsin and all but this beer was boring.

 1,223 characters

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

pours clear, quite yellow, but only a small fizzy head forms and retention is brief at best.
Nose is stronger than some competitors, but distressingly high in sweet corn, even stronger than the pale malt aroma. I'm thinking I get a faint flowery hop aroma. No alcohol, DMS, fruitiness, or off aromas.
Flavor is underwhelming. Sweet corn is again even with pale malt. Not a lot of depth. After the swallow the beer's memory disappears from my palate, as there is no aftertaste, drying, residual bitterness, graininess, etc.
Body is medium for the style, carbonation perhaps a bit low. It's clean, without any noticeable flaws, and if it was hot (and it is) I could (and did) finish the bottle with little effort. I'll have it again, but don't have any desire to do so right now.

 779 characters

Photo of CenCalMario
2.99/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Low alcohol much as expected with a cream ale. Color and appearance are desireable. Head was nice and full, good carbonation. I found the aroma to be lacking, almost had to try to "find" it in the nose, very subtle and light. Taste lacked character and was average, was expecting a bit more.

Overall this beer rates as a beer worth trying but not worth buying.

 362 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
2.99/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Spotted Cow is a beer I have always wanted to try, as I love all things New Glarus. I assumed I would get as an extra in a trade or just end up passing through Wisconsin and trying it. Instead, I surprisingly found it in my buddy's fridge in Boston.

Spotted cow has a lightly hazed, yellow body with a creamy white head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

The nose is very grainy and sweet; it smells quite a bit like a macro. Well, I would call it a “classy” macro, but it smells similar than a macro and better than a macro at the same time.

The taste follows the nose pretty closely. A big punch of sweetness is backed up by a grainy malt body. Pretty straightforward and simple.

Mouthfeel is a touch creamy with a lot of carbonation.

Spotted Cow is about what I expected: a step up from the macros, but similar enough to please macro drinkers.

 855 characters

Photo of gibgink
3/5  rDev -17.8%

From label, "Cask conditioned ale has been the popular choice among brews since long before prohibition. We continue this pioneer spirit with our Wisconsin farmhouse ale. Brewed with flaked barley and the finest Wisconsin malts. We even give a nod to our farmers with a little hint of corn. Naturally cloudy we allow the yeast to remain in the bottle to enhance fullness of flavors, which cannot be duplicated otherwise. Expect this ale to be fun, fruity and satisfying. You know you're in Wisconsin when you see the Spotted Cow. "

This beer tasted no different than a standard AAL in my opinion. Did not smell or taste any fruitiness, creaminess, or corn for that matter.

 675 characters

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

From a 12 oz bottle into a pint. Color is delightful, a nice yellow-golden hue. First time drinking anything from New Glarus Brewing Co. Overall impression this a great summer beer, very crisp and refreshing.

Smell: wheat and breads.

Taste: bread and a bit earthy.

Mouthfeel: Thin body with very little carbonation.

 319 characters

Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

 390 characters

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass
This beer is every place in Wisco. Everyone except me seems to like this beer. I don't get it. To me there just isn't anything I like about how this beer tastes. I'd rather have a Bud. Looks like a macro smells like one too. Taste to me is just off somehow, grainy. Feel is carbonated and to me is a little harsh. Not drinkable to me I do have one every now and then just to make sure I still don't care for this beer. Have had on tap also.

 478 characters

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

Thanks to nflmvp for the opportunity to try this one. Poured this undated, 12 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass and received a hazy golden yellow body with a bright white head. The head faded quickly but lazy, random bubbles percolated upward.

Smell was vegetal. Cooked corn and a slight sourness.

Taste was pleasantly sweet and sour. There was a light bitterness that lingered. Creamy yet refreshing. Seemed to be true to the style.

Mouthfeel was medium to thin in the body, medium to light in carbonation.

 518 characters

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

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-looks like your typical cloudy microbrew.

S-tastes like beer

T-tastes like your typical major brand beer but a bit more flavorful and less watered down

M-a more full bodied major brand beer

O-Very easy drinking beer, flavored enough to enjoy while on the couch but nothing special. I must admit, I was expecting more from New Glarus, especially after hearing from friends how popular New Glarus is in WI.

 451 characters

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.

 410 characters

Photo of UnionMade
3/5  rDev -17.8%

If this weren't in a New Glarus bottle, I'd assume it was a local brew like Grain Belt. A little darker in color, with way better head retention. The lightness and malt favor of the corn is readily apparent, and drinks as such. I kinda hate to say it, given how awesome New Glarus is, but I got a lot of High Life/PBR similarities from this one. Appearance is awesome, but falls short on flavor.

 399 characters

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

Review from notes.

Had on tap while on a layover in Wisconsin. Had on tap and served in a pint glass. This is my first cream ale so take this review with a grain of salt.

Look: looks pale straw colored, a bit of sediment but no haze, a thin eggshell head forms and leaves an incredibly small amount of lacing.

Smell: smells malty, with a bit of honey, a bit of caramel, but nothing in the way of hops and its certainly not complex.

Taste: tastes like a step up from an American Adjunct Lager, truthfully. A bit of maltiness but otherwise, nothing really here.

Feel: thin, carbonated thoroughly, a bit crisp without much bitterness.

Drink: obviously, this is meant to be sessionable and it lives up to that aim. I had quite a few of these and it could be a good substitute for BMC if you are out getting your drink on.

Overall, not really impressed. Perhaps its the style and this seems like a good representative of the style but there's not much flavor here. This is my first New Glarus beer and given the hype around the brewery, I was excited when I saw it on tap and disappointed when I got this in my pint glass. I dunno if this is just not a great beer by them or what, but this doesn't give me much hope for New Glarus.


 1,244 characters

Photo of BurdockBoy
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass. Not going to say a lot on this, except a little disappointed. Normally I love this brewery's beers, but this was just a little too bland and over carbonated for me. If you're used to more complex brews, please don't judge these guys on this one.

 288 characters

Photo of granger10
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

 867 characters

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