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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 Zorro


3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled through Monsone and Brews N Tunes 3 BIF.

Mildly chill hazed gold colored ale with a small white head.

The smell quite sweet and fruity and reminds me a bit of malt liquor. Not much hop aroma here but there is a vanilla and candy aroma.

This starts out a bit sweet with a slight vanilla aftertaste. Very mild flavor and not near as sweet as it smells.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Inoffensive but kind of boring too. A mild ale for those who want a very mild ale, personally I need more flavor.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2008 03:08:27 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch


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

Thanks to ThomasHardy for this brew.

Pours a slightly cloudy golden pale yellow color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy white head, some islands and sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, sweet, yeasty, cloves, and a light touch of spices. The taste is sweet, malty, and yeasty. Medium body. Drinkable, a good session brew for a hot day, recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2007 21:05:09 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ppoitras


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

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" white head over the slightly cloudy, light golden brew. Head,fades to an uneven layer of bubbles, and lacing is minimal. Aroma is light pale malt with a tinge of citrus. Taste starts with smooth pale malts, and closes somewhat crisply with a bit of citrus character. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good, but without easy access of this one, it falls into the "why bother" category for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2005 20:54:45 | More by ppoitras
Photo of Kegatron


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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy gold, with a 1/2 finger of eggshell white head. Retains around the edges, with a light spotty cascade of lacing. The aroma has a light smelling tasty corn bread type character going on it with it from a combo of oats and citrus. Some floral hops float along the back. This isn't overly complex but still pleasant.

The taste is sweet toasted oats, with a bit of citrus, and that same corny taste coming out towards the backend. Solid tingle of hop bitterness gives this some good balance, added firmness to the profile, and a dry feel in the finish. The mouthfeel lighter-medium bodied, with a bit more presence than I thought it would have, relative to a sharpness in the carbonation that I did not expect. There is a bit of a thicker underbelly to the feel (where the sweetness dwells) that is holding the drinkibility of this back some for me.

Light but refreshing for the most part, this was a decent Cream Ale. I was glad that I was actually able to pick a bit of corn out in this (especially in the aroma) as I really enjoy the flavors it puts off when mixed with the maltier components of these.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2009 17:10:13 | More by Kegatron
Photo of weeare138


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

Thanks to GV for this one! Shared w/ sckressler.

Appears nice and cloudy pale yellow as the last remnants of yeast pound into the glass. Pretty decent carbonation and a small white head.
Smells zesty with a hint of corn. Looks and smells almost like a wheat beer.
Tastes pretty good. Not a whole lot of hop definition going on in this one but I wasn't expecting that. Not really too sweet, or malty. Seems right for what they were aiming for. Definitely grabbed my attention with the lemony light taste that seemed just right after the sip. I could surely put back a sixer of these in the summer.

Finger licking good!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2005 13:28:15 | More by weeare138
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from mixed pack grabbed in Hudson, WI.

Pours a lightly hazed golden yellow, thin white head forms and immediately fizzes away to nothing, no ring, no lace, nothing, doesn't look good in that respect. Smell is alright, lightly malty, some corn syrup and caramel, toast, a bit bready, touch of fruit and floral, not much going on. Taste is similar, bit of malt sweetness up front, corn syrup, caramel, very clean, some floral, nice biscuit, light fruits in the finish, but very plain. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Doesn't look very good, smells okay and tastes okay, but really lacks in almost very area. Drinkability is alright but still not too exciting.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2009 03:26:43 | More by Viggo
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A strangely cloudy yellow beer. Makes good head and retains though. Interesting funkiness to the beer, maybe its the rural Wisconsin thing, but it smells farmish.

Taste, unique as well, went from mild and easy to drink to having a recognizable presence of lemon and bitterness that migrated into minimal sweetness. At no time does it get challenging to drink but is appreciable for what it is. A suitable entry level beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2010 19:12:34 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Bighuge


3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazed light golden. Moderate amounts of carbonation surface throughout the body of the beer. Bubbly dirty white collar leaves sporadic amounts of lace. Aroma is sweet, grainy, and yes, I can even detect a little of that corn sweetness. Not much though. A little musty too. Decent aroma overall. Pretty even keeled flavor. Not too sweet, but it does have some grain sweetness. Body is pretty full. Medium-full I'd say. Some thirst-quenching qualities. Decent beer. But New Glarus has so much more to offer.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2009 04:33:03 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Gusler


3/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2003 13:50:19 | More by Gusler
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz from the basement cooler.. brought home from coworkers who were in Minnesota earlier this year.. this is my last one.

Poured into my New Belgium goblet.. very pretty light gold.. good lacing and a 1" head.

Smell is clean.. low pale malts and an aroma that I can't put a finger on.

"Tastes like beer." Lingering maltiness with a very minimal sourness.. A slight corn flavor that is not offensive just present. Descent body and effervescent carbonation.. really pretty drinkable.

Spotted cow reminds me of a big-boned PBR... Nothing to Mooo about, but if it was available in Boise, I would probably still pick up a few every summer just to have around when I wanted something quaffable when working in the yard.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2008 08:25:49 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of smakawhat


3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Hazy dull lemon body, with thin faint rising carbonation. Head makes a real fluffy three fingers with lots of staying power. Kind of a creamy top. Looks like a foamy adjunct lager, with a hazy appearance.

Nose smells like corn, and some sweet like malts hiding in the back. The corn sense seems to dominate quite a bit, but some refreshing grist like quality manages to keep me interested and exploring. Unfortunately that lager like adjunct feeling permeates to much, it's a bit off putting.

Palate hits with a noticeably wet body. Light malts come forward, but a real thin flavor squeeks out. Controlled sweetness, a minor afterfinish of just a hint of bread. Some slight seltzery quality also but carbonation is fairly low.

Overall it's fairly easy drinking, but this really doesn't appeal to me at all. Tastes like a slightly better "adjunct" but not by much, don't feel inclined to try another either.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 23:39:06 | More by smakawhat
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

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

Thanks to bebop01 for this one.

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Pours a 2 finger white head. Fizzles down. No lace. Color is a slightly hazy pale yellow.

Aroma: Cloves and bananas. It is like a dulled down hefeweizen. The bananas become more present as the beer warms.

Taste: I can definitely taste the cream. Kind of reminds me of an Italian Cream soda for some reason. Cloves are way more present here. No banana taste. Very bland.

Mouthfeel: Crisp. Overcarbonated. Medium bodied. Leaves a dry unwanting aftertaste.

Overall, this is not a very complex beer. Just doesn't seem to by my style. I won't be having any more of this. Not one of NG best offerings.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2009 23:28:47 | More by mothman
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy straw, white head, very little retention, some lace.

S: Fruit-bread (with candied tropical fruit).

T: Tropical fruit (mango, pineapple), slight spicy-grass hop flavour, hint of breadyness in the background. Very fruity. Certainly different.

M: Light to moderate body is smooth; moderate carbonation.

D: Very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2007 03:02:20 | More by Derek
Photo of Tone


3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, pale yellow color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of yeast cleanliness, sweet malt, and banana. Fits the style of a Cream Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly thick with a low carbonation level. Tastes of wheat/corn, sweet malt, toffee, slight yeast cleanliness, and some banana. Overall, a smooth, good blend, and easy drinkability. I did not get a great deal of cream flavor, but the addition of corn is not off-putting by any means.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 03:27:10 | More by Tone
Photo of beertunes


3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to levifunk for this one. Poured into 10oz glass. poured a semi-hazy yellow with about 1 finger of white head that had low retention and lacing.

The aroma was on the subdued side, with mostly sweetness coming through. There was a bit of graininess and a touch of hops at the back of scent. Those descriptors also cover the taste, with the addition of a bit of a sharp tanginess at the back of the tongue.

The body was typical for the style, perhaps a touch on the thin side. Drinkability was pretty good, I could see having this as regular "lawnmower" beer. Overall, a decent brew that's worth a shot if you can get it.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2010 23:28:01 | More by beertunes
Photo of Dogbrick


3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a lightly hazy pale golden color with a very thin white head. No real lacing. Aroma of hops, fruit and grain. Light-bodied and crisp, with some corn taste. There are also hops and malt flavors. The finish is clean and lightly fruity. Not a bad Cream Ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2005 18:25:53 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy pale yellow with a white head. In the aroma, light banana and a sparkling like aroma. In the taste, sugary and a light dry banana. A small bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a light dry banana like aftertaste. Quite carbonated, light flavor, but more of a wheat compared to a cream ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 16:32:29 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of tavernjef


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

Color is a brighter yellow of partial cloudyness, thin, loose, white crown that faded fast and leaves minimal whispy spots of lace.
Smell is light, clean, and soft malts of sweetness, with a dulling floralness of hops dotted through each wiff. Taste is clean and creamy sweetness of softly done malts, kinda frothy grainyness, like intensely whipped cream malts or something, quite a appetizing feel, but it doesn't last I'm afraid, but the creamyness stays til the end where it cleans up with a touch of floral hops and goes dry; nice and easy, clean and creamy little drinker.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2003 10:47:28 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Bitterbill


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

I got this bottle in a trade with russpowell. Thanks Russ!

This pours a hazy yellow/pale gold with a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell is both sweet and hoppy. The malt shows up mostly as bread. I like this nose.

The taste is mostly bready malt with light lemon citrus bringing a touch of bitterness and I can taste a touch of spice and yeast. Interesting.

The mouthfeel is just below medium and the carbonation is also medium.

Drinkability? It sure is easy enough to drink so I think it's a good one to session on. Btw, head retention is very good and there's lots of nice lacing.

Bottom line: A good brew here. 'nuff said.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2008 17:01:38 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of BeerFMAndy


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

12 oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
4.8% ABV, 0162 printed on the neck.

A - Spotted Cow pours a shimmering golden yellow color that's got minor floating particles through it; hazy due to it's unfiltered nature. A tall, dense white head is always found on this beer, sticking lace to the glass as you sip away.

S - Spotted Cow exudes an up-front lemony-citrus aroma turned mellow with a cream and honey-sweet follow-up that moves into dry straw and a pale malt graininess. There's a touch of creamed corn in the aroma, but it's fitting considering it's use, a nod to the farming community.

T - Flaked biscuits are drizzled with honey and a drop of heavy cream before the ever-present straw and husk dryness follows through. Lemon citrus peeks out with a quick spurt of white grape flavor on the finish.

M - Spotted Cow miraculously blends smooth creaminess with heavy carbonated for a crisp finish with an overall medium-light body and low, dry citrus dryness to balance the sweetness out. Keeping everything in check and harmonious here is a perfect feat for the style, I must admit.

O - I'll be honest; New Glarus' money-maker, what I consider two steps away from a light beer, is not for me. I appreciate the beer for how well-crafted it is, which reflects in the review, but I appreciate the business behind it much more so; if it allows them to do all the other terrific beers I'm in love with, then so be it! With that said, Spotted Cow appeals to the masses wonderfully with it's fuller-than-light-beer but not-intrusive flavor and creamy, easy drinking body. They call it a Wisconsin Farmhouse Ale which fits with their "drink indigenous" theme (which I'm all for!) but I certainly wouldn't liken Spotted Cow to what people typically understand as a Farmhouse Ale or, Belgian Saison. But hell, it sells outrageously and people come from out-of-state to buy it by the case-load, so what do I know?

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2012 22:41:23 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of DrDemento456


3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 00:13:07 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of ZAP


3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This would be THE perfect keg to have at a summer get-together. It is extremely smooth and easy drinking. It is cloudy bright yellow...it poured charged up but doesn't taste that way. The aroma is average at best and smells a bit like a macro (corn adjunct?)..The taste is pretty creamy and smooth...good but not overbearing maltiness, and very little hop bite on the finish....slides down very nicely...would be a GREAT session beer...I like this...I don't think it's the most complex or greatest tasting beer ever made but it is nice in its own right..

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2002 22:22:10 | More by ZAP
Photo of DefenCorps


3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another New Glarus beer I've been curious to try, sent my way by Ian. Thanks, man!

Mildly hazy (the label suggests the addition of the yeast to the glass), this beer is light orange with a thin white head. Retention is solid, but there isn't much lace, though.

The nose is actually quite raw and complex with a blend of a bread and sweetness. The corn is noticeable on the nose, making me think of an improved BMC. Hop aroma is low in the mix, there's just a little lemony, earthy character.

The palate is rather simple, opening with a little sweetness and little else. I'm really having a hard time picking out flavors here, there really isn't much. While not offensive (like I find BMC to be), there's nothing particularly interesting - no delicate nuance, no hop character (bitterness is low, as is flavor) and all-round, just a little boring. Drying and a little watery on the finish with a light, grainy bitterness, this is OK. Light in body with a crisp carbonation, this is rather refreshing, but not really something I'd seek out a lot of.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 18:11:26 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of gford217


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

Pours a bright, hazy fluorescent yellow with a big puffy white head that lingers quite a while leaving some delicate lacing. Smell is dominated by the light sweet malts and yeast with a hint of hops, mainly lemony. This taste almost like a scaled-down hefe with very light malts and sweet grains. There is a hint of lemony hops in the taste as well. The mouthfeel is fairly light but a little creamy with a crisp finish. This is a fairly sessionable ale that would be a nice summer beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-26-2008 02:45:44 | More by gford217
Photo of scruffwhor


3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Somewhat clear, but just a little haze. Not much of a head after the pour, and no foam or film. Powdered creamer, pale malts, a little toast, and some really wet grass in the nose. More wet grass in the taste with some dank non-dairy creamer taste mixed with pilsner malt. Watery palate with some herbal hops, but overall sessionably sweet malt. Very drinkable, but ten times better on tap and fresh.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 07:02:21 | More by scruffwhor
Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,018 ratings.