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Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,018 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2018
Reviews: 677
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: 2,018 | Reviews: 677 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SkunkWorks

New York

3/5  rDev -18.9%
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.


Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2011 03:29:04 | More by SkunkWorks
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the Milwaukee airport. Hazy, dull yellow with a large white custard head. Craggy lace aplenty despite so-so retention.

Aroma is light grains and a nifty spice of some sort. Upon further review I found that nifty spice to be corn. I'll buy corn. Taste is similarly led by light grains and corn chip with some lemon zest. Doughy drying in back gives this beer a saison-like refreshing quality albeit less dry and more lawn mower.

For what it's worth, one of the best cream ale I've had. That said I'm not a cream ale fan.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2011 01:45:25 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of richkrull


4.78/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer. It has a great taste, a great name and it's brewed in Wisconsin. Just doesn't get much better than that.

Spotted Cow has a nice cloudy golden color with a bit of a citrus smell/taste. It's a really easy to drink beer, even in large volume.

I highly recommend this beer to everyone.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2011 21:34:24 | More by richkrull
Photo of BeerLover99


3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: straw yellow hazing body, very little head.

S: sweet slight malt, hint of citrus and hops...very faint.

T: slight sweet, malt, and hops. goes down smooth.

M: decent carbonation, light-to-med body, slight bitter aftertaste.

D: Great summer beer and session beer. Not the best offering at New Glarus, but I have started many new beer drinkers with this solid brew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2010 21:30:05 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of Thorpe429


3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours yellow with a slight white head. The nose is pretty plain with some really light malt and some slight fruits. Very mild hops. The taste is just a tad bit of lightly-sweetened malt and really not much else. Body is light and somewhat creamy with good carbonation. Drinks quite well and I can see how it sells so much.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2010 02:49:07 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of NorthwoodsPro


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I chose this beer after tasting 3 different on-tap brews at Piggy's restaurant in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It was so refreshing and went well with a Norwegian salmon dinner. The next night, at a different restaurant, had it with a chicken dinner.

Excellent straw color with a crisp and clean finish.

Not much of a head. But I definitely want more of this beer!

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2010 07:50:49 | More by NorthwoodsPro
Photo of TMoney2591


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

Served in a shaker pint glass at Twelve Pines.

When in northern Wisconsin, drink as the locals do. Enter: New Glarus. This offering pours a clear pale straw topped by about a half-finger of white micro-foam. The nose comprises green apple, peach, mandarin orange, corn, and a slight yeasty character. The taste holds notes of red apple, orange zest, lemonade, hard water, and corn syrup. Honestly, I didn't see so much fruit being involved here. The body is light, with an active carbonation and a crisp, dry finish. Overall, a nice li'l brew, nothing all too special, but definitely a highly drinkable bit o' Wisconsin-y goodness.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2010 05:12:30 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Vdubb86


3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass

Got this on tap at Twelve Pines in Eagle River, WI
This was part of Northwoods Man Weekend.

This brew pours a nice light golden color with a little head, but not much at all. The smell is a bit corn syrupy, but after that is through there is a nice orange zest with the malts as well as what we best described as an apricot aroma to finish off the nose. The taste is much richer than the color would let you on to believe. There is no bitterness and the beer is epically smooth. A rather solid and highly drinkable beer to enjoy in Wisconsin.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2010 03:06:14 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of samie85


3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Uncle Mike's Hwy. Pub in Kenosha; reviewed from notes, originally 6/6/10.

A-Pours a golden color with a white head. Leaves some light lacing.

S-Corn and grain with some very light citrus hops.

T-Follows the nose with corn and grain, finishes dry and a little bitter.

M-Thin bodied with med. carbonation, pretty smooth and coats the mouth.

D-This is a pretty decent beer, and miles better than Totally Naked, but it's ultimately one of New Glarus's weaker offerings. It's really easy drinking and I understand why they make it... it sells really well and allows them to make their better beers.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2010 15:25:54 | More by samie85
Photo of scottchesterhall


4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On the pour, it seemed a little dark for a farmhouse ale, but nice lacing and pleasant appearance.

Smell was mild, slight fruit on the nose, but not a lot there.

Taste was nice, well-balanced. Some wheat, nice solid malt, with gentle fruit and very understated balancing hops.

Mouthfeel was nice: pretty viscous and full.

Very drinkable beer...easy to have a few of these and they seemed to get better over time.

Nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2010 04:19:02 | More by scottchesterhall
Photo of Luk13

Quebec (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from jprime. Nice floral aroma (lavender), yeast, banana and lemon peel. Nice sharp hoppy bitterness, citrus and slightly malty finish, a little shy. Full and creamy palate for the style. Very enjoyable starter. This is one hell of an extra, way above my expectations.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

03-09-2010 00:11:30 | More by Luk13
Photo of Gtreid


3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at BW3 in Milwaukee. Poured into a shaker pint.

A: Cloudy, straw yellow color. There was about one and a half fingers of slightly off white head that receded to a thin rim and left no lace.

A: Not much going on here. I get a touch of lemon and definitely some pale malt. But the nose is rather subdued.

T: Pale malt, adjuncts, and lemon. There might be a touch of wheat in this brew as well. Just a touch of bitterness in the finish from the low amount of hops.

M: Thin, but good amount of carbonation. Very crisp finish.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is quite high, I could have a few of these. Overall, it is what it is with this brew. This is a good example of a cream ale, the style just doesn't lend it's self to a complex flavor profile. I won't go out of my way to get this beer, but I won't pass it up either. Skal.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2009 14:23:30 | More by Gtreid
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap, served in a pint

Appears a pale golden color with a milky body. A frothy off white cap bubbled up and receded rather slowly.

Toasted grains and undercooked white bread hit me off the bat with some tropical fruits quickly in tow.

Very dry and crisp. Light bodied with a residual sweetness. Flavor profile is similar to the smell. Toasted grains and doughy yeast with a juicy fruit sweetness.

Very easy to drink, low abv. Easily sessionable, however I am not a huge fan of the flavor profile.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2009 20:29:10 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of lester619


2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2009 16:17:54 | More by lester619
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at an Egg Harbor mexican lunch spot. Served in a stanard shaker pint glass.

Pours pale yellow, cloudy, with light foam. Minimal smell - lightly malty and fruity. Taste is much less sweet than the bottled version, but still a little honey. The bottle has a malty corn background I didn't notice in the tap version. Very creamy and smooth.

Well carbonated in the mouthfeel. This too is a tasty brew - very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2009 23:37:13 | More by KTCamm
Photo of RJUGA03


3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Foggy school bus yellow with a tiny bit of head...rather outer perimeter lacing.

S-The usual with slight citrus notes.

T-Good slightly like a Hefe beginning and malty finish.

M-Smooth without overpowering carbonation.

D- It is a good beer with a high drinkability because many part time beer drinkers express the greatness of this one. I've had this one in a bottle and on-tap at The Brat Stop and The Burlington in (Logan Squre) Chicago.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2009 07:32:57 | More by RJUGA03
Photo of ChopperSmith


3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap at the 2nd Steet Bistro in Ashland, WI into a standard pint glass.

Appearance - Slightly hazy golden color. Minimal head that didn't last long and left only a little lacing behind.

Smell - Sweet wheaty aroma. Slight hop scent. Very subtle nose.

Taste: Creamy, sweet and a little hops. Sort of like a watered down Hefe-Weizen without the phenols of the good Hefe yeasts. Very light. A little slice of lemon actually adds a nice addition to the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Crisply carbonated. Slightly creamy, but thin.

A decent wheat beer or "cream ale", and they go down easy. Tastes like a slightly watered down Hefe-Weizen. Not bad for the style.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2009 01:37:50 | More by ChopperSmith
Photo of MadTown1000


3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This one's significantly better on tap than in a bottle, and if you're in just about any bar or restaurant in Wisconsin, they'll have it on tap. Very cloudy, close-to-opaque medium amber that looks a lot like a wheat beer. Grainy flavor with just a bit of hoppiness to it. It's quite heavy and not a beer I'd want to spend a whole evening with. That said, if the choice is between this and an MGD (which it often is in the Madison area), this is the one to get in a heartbeat. Not one of New Glarus's finest, but a decent standby.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2009 02:46:18 | More by MadTown1000
Photo of BamaBeerBuff

North Carolina

3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at the Ramada Plaza hotel in Fond Du Lac, WI.

A: Straw yellow color with an small, creamy head that fades quickly and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Faint sweet malts, kind of grainy, a slight hop aroma.

T&M: Smooth flavor. Sweet grainy malts, a snap of earthy hops mid palate. Clean finish. A decent cream ale, but could have more flavor. Body is light with a nice tingling carbonation.

D: Definitely an easy drinker. More flavor would help things along, but one could do much worse than Spotted Cow if choosing a hot-weather session ale.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2009 04:48:44 | More by BamaBeerBuff
Photo of AdmiralDiaz


3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this one before in a bottle and wasn't too impressed. At Applebees for a birthday party this looked like the best thing available. Pours a golden body with a small white head with okay retention and no lacing. Smells sweet with lots of cereal grain along with fruitiness. Taste is about the same as the smell, the hops add a small amount of bitterness but grain and fruitiness are still the dominant flavors. Strong carbonation that doesn't show in the appearance, almost too bubbly for me, got distracted from the taste. Pretty drinkable though, however not being a huge fan of the flavor I wouldn't drink a ton.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2009 20:40:33 | More by AdmiralDiaz
Photo of Thanby


4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful pour, golden honey color with cloudy yeast, two fingers of foamy white head, retention and a little lacing. Smells of wonderful sweet wheat, honey, orange, and a little of the trademark banana in every wheat ale. Obviously North American yeast, hardly any Belgian nose that you typically find in wheat ales, but then again New Glarus has always been good at breaking traditions. First taste is smooth wheat and mild yeast, not quite as sweet as it smells but certainly not dry either. The citrus and honey come out after a moment, and linger just a little bit after the finish. Somewhere between light and medium body, wonderfully smooth, full and balanced flavor, and just all-round delicious. This has to be my favorite wheat ale so far.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2009 03:41:57 | More by Thanby
Photo of Wisconsin


4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy and pours a nice head that sticks around for awhile

S - Nothing really stood out to smell wise

T - Smooth and hoppy, along with a bit of carbonation

M - Smooth, malty and some hops

D - I could drink this all day. In fact, I have in Madison before some football games.

Overall, if this beer is available on tap at a local bar take this any day over the Millers and Buds of the world. Just because this is New Glarus' most recognized beer doesn't mean they threw a bunch of crap in it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2008 20:19:35 | More by Wisconsin
Photo of scottg


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

Served in a pint glass at the Tundra Lodge in Green Bay, WI.

Pours a straw yellow color with a one finger white head that dissipates quickly with no lacing. Light malt, grass and sweet fruit aromas. Toasted malt flavor mixes with lemon hops with a slight biscuit flavor. Medium body, medium carbonation, mouth cleansing with a nice hop finish, easy drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2008 21:05:37 | More by scottg
Photo of MDekker


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

Had this on tap at a bar in Madison, Wisconsin, while watching everyone else drink Bud and Miller.

It looks like a wheat beer - pale gold in color, hazy, with a disappointing white head. The aroma is mostly lemony with notes of the wheat malt too. The taste is similar - dominant wheat and lemon flavors, some spices I can't name, and banana, which I noticed more as time went on. Pretty good. The mouthfeel was nothing special - a little watery, perhaps. It went down easy though. Overall, it's a good summer brew.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2008 02:06:13 | More by MDekker
Photo of Chugmonkey


3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

More like a heavy lager than a light cream ale. Kind of yeasty with some fruityness. Kind of like a Wit without the spiciness. A nice mellow beer, nothing to get excited about here. Yet I'll jump on it on tap vs. big macro swill. Popularity has soared - is on tap all over WI.

Drinkability is great, especially on a hot day you can really knock them back. Great crowd pleaser to ease people into the craft scene.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2008 17:55:34 | More by Chugmonkey
Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,018 ratings.