Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you 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.

Spotted Cow - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

768 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 768
Hads: 3,265
Avg: 3.65
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 251
Gots: 809 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

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: 768 | Hads: 3,265
Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light golden haze with a white head that settles into some faint lacing. The aroma is a light fruit-like sweetness with a hint of white bread. The smell is not strong, very subtle and inviting.

The subtleness continues in the flavor, fruit, corn and bread all make brief appearances. Hops are non-existent. Body is light with good carbonation. A very refreshing drink.

I haven't had a lot of cream ales but this is the most interesting one I have ever tasted. There's a nice subtle complexity to it that I find interesting, I wish more brewers would try this overlooked style. I'm drinking this after an evening jog and I'm definitely enjoying it. It would also make a great crossover beer due to its lack of any aggressive flavors.

 736 characters

Photo of vishneda
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a mug.

Pours out looking like a very thin beer. The color is a light pale yellow with moderate cloudiness. There is a thick foam head about a half finger thick which quickly fades. No lacing.

The aroma up front is like juicy fruit, even out of the bottle. A very sugary smell. A small hint of herbal hops and maybe a little sourness from the yeast, but this is very light. Pretty pedestrian on the overall scent.

The flavor is not as sweet as the aroma would lead you to believe. Now it does have sweetness, and there really isn't an awful lot of bitterness to balance that out. However, there's just not a great deal of flavor going on here. There is some substance to the overall blend; juicy fruit flavors with hints of yeast and corn and maybe a touch of grassy herbs. However, the overall impression I got was that it was a watery beer.

I'll give it this -- Spotted Cow is drinkable. I can imagine it as a great lawnmower beer. The watery profile and light body help it go down easy, and the mild carbonation makes it feel pretty smooth. If the brewery set out to make an easy going beer with broad appeal I believe it hit the mark with this beer.

 1,182 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 sauron681
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium hazy-yellowish color. A nice light creamy head that starts nice, but thins rather quickly. Faint lacing that really sticks around the whole glass. Aroma of citrus with a buttered croissant smell. Very inviting and intriguing. Medium mouthfeel that is refreshing also. Possibly a little lemon zest as well. For a cream ale this is towards the top of the list.

 373 characters

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.

 593 characters

Photo of ryanocerus
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was given this beer by a friend to try, so I am not certain as to its age. Clear golden color with minimal carbonation and some white sediment in the glass. The smell was fruity/sweet, with slight hops undertones. The taste was a bit more fruity, with malt playing more of a role. Without much carbonation, the beer flows quite smoothly. It is a refreshing beer and highly drinkable, especially on a hot summer day.

 422 characters

Photo of murrayswine
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What can I say about the number one beer in Wisconsin right now.... Well, It's my go to when all else isnt available, and all I have left is BMCs.
Pours a very light gold/yellow with a minimal head.
The nose is light and nutty with a little hop, and some butter.
The taste is loose and light. Tastes like good bread, but as a beer, it's a session horse, no more, no less.
Not bad if you wanna drink A LOT.

 410 characters

Photo of zerofear13
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad brew. 12 oz. bottle brought to me by a friend from Wisconsin. I've never tried a cream ale before and was a bit taken back. As my friends and I joked, "There are real bits of cow in Spotted Cow." Smells of biscuit and cream, and tastes pretty milky. The mouthfeel is pretty velvety, but it was a bit sweet so drinkability was brought down. Overall, I enjoyed the flavor and thought it fit the category well, but I'm not a huge fan of cream, so I can't rate it too high.

 479 characters

Photo of dakid618
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass. Pours straw colored golden with a finger of white soapy head. Smell is banana clove-like similar to a hefe but not overpowering like a lot of hefeweizens are. The taste is like a light beer should be. Like a good tasting macro beer. Medium bodied mouthfeel much thicker than I thought it would be. Extremely drinkable. If I lived in Wisconsin this would be my go to beer for all mass consuming events(golf, beer pong, etc). My first beer from New Glarus and I'm not disappointed.

 515 characters

Photo of mjyoung
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy off-yellow piss color (and I mean piss in the best sense of the word). A shallow but dense head caps the beer nicely.

S: Light and airy, but without much that gives it character.

T: A nice subtle background of malt but without much in the foreground. It tastes like a REALLY good macro-lager. I can't decide if that's a compliment or not. This beer is good, but having never had anything comparable I can't judge it against much. It's got a great finish though

M: Delicious. Light, airy, but not watery and the carb is great. Probably my favorite part of the beer.

O: I have nothing to compare it to, but I like it a lot. Very easy-drinking.

 664 characters

Photo of cradke
4.31/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: hazy straw yellow. thick fluffy head.

S: Floral. yeast and grain. light with honey and a distinct smell of daisys.

T: sweet grains. small hop profile. pleasant. esters and floral. clean aftertaste

M: light and pleasant. (a theme it seems) great carbonation. the taste profile spreads wonderfully over the palate.

O: a wonderfully pleasant beer. not mind blowing but great everytime.

 391 characters

Photo of Atricapilla
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer reminds me of the Bavarian "Kellerbier" I drank so much of in Germany. It is a hazy golden color with a bit of carbonation and a decent head that diminished, but did not entirely disappear. It had an aroma of corn and barley with a slight yeastiness/mustiness to it. It is fairly light beer, with a slight sweet corn flavor and goes down fairly easy. It's also the best beer I've used for parboiling brats before grilling them.

 437 characters

Photo of Whiteweasel
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a pint glass, poured from a bottle.

Appearance: Beautiful cloudy golden colour. Hazy and bubbly on the sides. Nice head which slowly and audibly fizzles down leaving little lacing.

Smell: Very sweet and yeasty like a belgian beer

Taste: Sweet, yet very hoppy too. Fruity taste, with bannana/clove distinctness. On the paler side. Reminiscent of belgian tripels/pale ales. A tad of a adjuncty taste though.

Mouthfeel: Soooo incredibly smooth. I honestly doubt if I've ever had a smoother beer that I can remember

Drinkability: Great tasting, not too powerful. Satisfying and refreshing. Mild but still delicious and complex enough. A very solid beer

 664 characters

Photo of kylehayworth
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light and crisp golden hue, forms an equally similar head.

S: A little earthy, but very mild...same goes for a touch of hops.

T: A very light kiss of hops, maybe lemon-lime, but mostly a mild malt profile.

M/D: Simple, soft, smooth...easy to drink. This would be a good beer to bring just about anywhere, and wouldn't offend the masses. I felt this description was short, but it is just an easy-going beer...

 422 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 HopHeadKen
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vacationing in Wisconsin, and this was available on-tap at a tavern across from a cheese factory (go figure) in Knowlton.

The pour was hazy yellow with thin lacing.
Smell was sweet and mildly spicy.
Taste follows the smell, sweet and mildly spicy; I cannot detect the hops and there is no lingering hop bitterness or aftertaste.

I am told that this is one of New Glarus' most popular beers; My wife loved it, so we found a 'sixer' to bring home.

It is a good hot weather summer beer.

 497 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 tippebrewcrew2
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2/17/2010

New Glarus
Spotted Cow

L= 4.0 Cloudy Banana color with a small well retaining head.

S= 4.0 The nose whiffs of yeast, banana, and light ester

T= 3.5 The whole taste is light. Fruity, grainy sweetness.

F= 3.0 Light feel but not watery. Finish is slightly dry

D= 3.5 Ok session beer. I didn't particularly like this beer but then again I do not like the style. You could drink a lot of this beer and the abv is pretty low as well

 444 characters

Photo of stouty1
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden yellow with a remainder of yeast floating around. Foamed nicely but it had little retention. Smell was nice witha flowery aroma.

All I can remember about the taste is that it really had a tangy feel to it that stuck on my tongue for a few minutes. Left me with a tingley tongue. Very Nice!

Very nicely done and a good drinking beer. Too bad the small restauraunt I enjoyed it in served it with a small pilsner glass.

 437 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 MadTown1000
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

 530 characters

Photo of Koufax21
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass at the Milwuakee airport.

A - pours a very light yellow with a 1" head. Somewhat hazy in appearance with a small amount of yeast in suspension.

S - smells of corn and maybe a little bit of lemon zest.

T - light citrus, lemon flavor and the mild presence of corn. A little sweeter than I was expecting.

M - well carbonated and light bodied.

O - when I find out what I'm paying for this, I'm sure my thoughts on it would change. But, hey, I'm in an airport. This is a beer that I could session pretty easily. I'm a little confused on this beer though. BA lists it as a cream ale and the bottle says Wisconsin farmhouse ale. I side with BA on this one.

 700 characters

Photo of Crundy
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: kind of a golden straw color, very clear, foamy white head and minimal lacing

S: citrus hops, some malt as well, sweet smell

T: grainy, bready, very mild flavors, virtually no aftertaste to speak of

M: creamy and smooth with somewhat of a bite. The beer has a decent crispness to it. Light medium bodied.

O: Not my favorite of all the New Glarus Beers i've tasted. this one had kind of subdued and boring flavors. It didn't taste bad but it didn't make me want to keep drinking it.

 488 characters

Photo of egrapplesberg
4.27/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2295 on twelve oz bottle. I'm thinking 229 day of the year. July/August. Not too old. Poured into snifter. Cloudy dark yellow with frothy 2 inch head that fades modestly. As I sip healthy spots cling to the glass and slide down leaving some stragglers. Smell is banana and some biscuit. Taste is similar. Drinkability is superb. Idk if it's because I just got off work but I'm loving this beer. Cheers!

 402 characters

Photo of cadenwhitaker
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy yellow with a bright white head. Drink is smooth, grassy, corn, sweet some fruits and spices. I wouldn't say this is very complicated, but there is a certain amount of depth to it.

This is a fantastic gateway beer and is quite drinkable. I don't think an experienced (or even intermediate) BA will find anything new from this beer.

 345 characters

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 768 ratings.