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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: 752 | 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 brewdub17
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden colored body with hues of light amber. A thin and quickly disappearing head sits atop the cloudy body.

Smell: The fresh smells from the light use of hops come forward and are complimented well with the dry malty scent.

Taste: A dry malty flavor that is noticeable when smelt comes out strong and is carried throughout. The fresh citrus notes from the hops compliment the dry flavor. A slight amount of sweetness is intertwined amongst all of the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Again, the freshness and dryness make a crisp, clean mouthfeel.

Drinkability: The beer feels pretty "light" and not too flavor intensive. Though I may not want to spend more money for one, they still go down easy.

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Photo of irrgalaxy
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Clear, very light golden color. Lots of head, rather thin.

S: Lots of grains

T: Carrots, hops, bit of a sharp finish.

M: Light, but finishes well.

O: Very good for a cream ale, but I don't think it's my favorite style. Not many strong flavors to distinguish this from similar kinds, although the balance (as usual from NG) is excellent.

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Photo of BeerCheese
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Took from the fridge and poured right into my glass. Poured slightly cloudy yellow with small white head comprised of big bubbles. Head dissipated quickly. Aroma was barely detectable. More CO2 bite in the aroma than anything else. Taste like any average ale. Not bad. Not great, but very drinkable.

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3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: New Glarus’ flagship beer pours a cloudy hay-gold with just under two fingers of pure white head that eventually settles to a nice looking white crust on the surface of the beer. The carbonation is minimal, as is lacing. There really isn’t much to say about the beer; it is quite plain and unremarkable.

Smell: The smell is unique, if also plain. Most of the nose is dominated by a creamy and sweet corn-tinged scent mixed with a healthy dose of wheat and moderate suggestions of malt and barley. Yeast is also present here, though not very strongly.

Taste: Initially the corn and sweet malts are very strong, but as they fade into the background, the deeper malt character and yeast force their way to the front. The aftertaste is a bit fruity (bananas and pineapples?), but not so sweet as to ruin the spicy bite that the yeast gives it. Again, the beer is unique, and taste is definitely where it excels, but it is not overly impressive in the grand beer scheme.

Mouthfeel: This one is best served cold to make it as refreshing as possible. It exceeds in the drinkability category and is thus a great session beer, especially considering its relatively low ABV. As mentioned in taste, the yeastiness gives it a great bite and makes up for the lacking carbonation. Not a lot else going on here.

Overall: Drinking the beer that New Glarus is known for turned out to be somewhat disappointing, but that shouldn’t discourage prospective drinkers from trying it, and those who have also been disappointed or felt indifferent should give the other great New Glarus brews a shot. Also worth noting is that the Cow really varies, sometimes from bottle to bottle, batch to batch, and certainly from tap to tap; some glasses are really delicious and deserving of a 4-4.5, but most are somewhere between 2-3.5, sadly. If drunk on the porch on a hot summer day, this otherwise mediocre beverage gains roughly .5-it is that refreshing. 13/20

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Photo of MickeyBeer
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a beer that I have had dozens of times, but decided to finally write a review on it.

A- Pours a slightly cloudy, golden color. Head was rather minimal, leaving only about a half a finger of white head that dissipates rather quickly. No real lacing to speak of.

S- Smell is sweet and malty with a little bit of a wheat aroma. Doesn't exactly hit you in the nose, but some nice aromas are present.

T- This beer has a good deal of flavor, but in many ways is hard to describe. It has an almost fruity flavor similar to that of a cider. Also has a spiced presence to it. Hops are not very prominent in the flavor, and mostly the sweetness of the beer comes forward.

M- This beer is smooth and drinkable. Makes for a great summer session drinking beer in my opinion.

O- A unique brew that is widely available in Wisconsin. It is tasty and reasonably priced. Not the most complex beer that I have ever had, but I will certainly continue to purchase it.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Hazy amber color. At least 1 inch of head that slowly disappeared leaving some lacing.

S: Malts and biscuit with a hint of light fruit - bananas, pears.

T: Light malts. Light citrus as well. Tastes very good but this beer will not overwhelm any taste bud.

M: Light and creamy. Light carbonation as well. Very drinkable.

O: A very well tasting and mild beer. If you are looking for something strong this isn't it. Nice and light.

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Photo of Fuller
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another Wisconsin beer shipped to me by thefatkid13 :thumbup:

poured a hazy yellow with almost no head even with an aggressive pour. A slight ring of foam does stay on top of the brew most of the way throughout drinking though. Smells great for a hot day - light and fruity with a touch of grain. Hop bitterness is nonexistant, taste is of a hint of citrus and grain with a noticeable dry finish. Definitely see why its a cream ale in the mouthfeel area. Goes down smooth and creamy.

Nothing about this beer screams out "hey, look at me!", but that's part of what makes it so damn drinkable.

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Photo of kingothewoods
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a little on the yellowish side with not much head and not much carbonation. Very sweet smells which are the malts - kinda like homemade bread. Slightly smooth and easy to drink with the aftertaste of a little hint of hops in there. This is a beer I would call a summer brew that you have at a neighbor's barbecue party.

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Photo of bjohn84
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pale yellow with a slight haze. The little head that was present dissipates quickly

S - Fresh straw and yeast. Sweet bread coming through a bit

T - Clean and bready with sweet malts. Corn. mellow hop along with banana comes in on back side.

M - Extremely drinkable with a slightly higher creaminess and mouthfeel than expected. Great sharp carbonation of tiny bubbles throughout

O - Great refreshing beer. I really enjoy the carbonation balance and just enough flavor to keep it interesting with the low ABV

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Photo of leakyfaucet12
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle given to me by my brother, drank after my first long day at work

a- golden color with a good lasting head looks a little light.

S-bread, wheat, classic beer smell

t- full and flavorful, but tastes like a light beer

m- Classic carbonaion and some thickness

d-very high with this one. I would enjoy this beer for my drinkable get drunk beer

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Photo of snaxcat
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly cloudy pale straw color.
Smells of banana, bready malt, pineapple.
Tastes of straw, bread, banana, sweet fruits. Decent hop bitterness not overpowering.
Smooth, light, refreshing.

Overall: a solid, go to, easy drinking summer beer.

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Photo of littlekidlover
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah, the true pride of Wisconsin. Poured this straw colored cloudy beer into my pint glass with a bit of fluffy head. There was not much to the nose, mostly Meyer lemon if anything. This beer is the king of subtlety. You can taste that belgiumy/ wiess bier bananna and yeast. There is some subtle spiciness. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. I could probably drink 40 or 50 of these things. This is not a beer that will slam you taste buds with a one two punch, but for a pleasing warm weather sipper that your mom will like, you can't go wrong.

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Photo of TriGuy20
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip style wine glass.

A: Golden yellow (A little hazy) with moderate white head and a decent amount of lace clings to side of glass.

S: Toasted grain/ Malt/ Lemon/ Wheat/ Vanilla notes

T: The grain hits you up front with a little butter cream which is followed by some nice lemon flavors on the mid palate and a wheat and lemon zest finish.

MF: This beer feels solid on the palate; I would like it to be a little more velvety.

D: This would be a fine beer to session with; however, some might find the butter cream taste to get a little cloying after a while.

Well done New Glarus, a fine brew to enjoy with friends.

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

To my friends, the Schmit family, I am eternally grateful for bringing me back the New Glarus sampler.

A: Pours a golden honey color with a thin creamy head that dissipates quickly. No lacing. Obvious carbonation trails going up with sediment going down.

S: Apple fruit tones with a bit of maltiness and yeast.

T: The malt and hop flavors are light as is the fruitiness.

M: Creamy smooth (duh - it's a cream ale). Medium to light body.

D: This is very easy to drink. Low alcohol content so you could enjoy more than one easily. Flavors aren't over the top. Nothing harsh about this one. It drinks easy and tastes good.

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Photo of Baraka
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a super cloudy straw color with a mild head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells like peaches, apricot, oranges, ect. Very pleasing aroma. Taste adds a spicy yeast character and some bready malt. Solid carbonation gives it a crisp refreshing feel. While it may not be incredibly complex, it is a very drinkable, very tasty beer that I will definitely have again the next time i find myself in Wisconsin.

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Photo of billyzoom666
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It pours golden yellow with some carbonation and a bit of lacing. It has a very fresh fruit smell. It's sweet with just a hint of grain. Nice! Not much here in the way of taste. It has a bit of grain flavor up front. It's just sort of bland. I've always thought of Spotted Cow as the microbrew for people who only drink Miller Lite. It's a gateway micro I guess, which isn't a bad thing. This is a light beer. It has a little bit of tingle across the tongue when ingested. It has a high drinkability. It's totally a beer to kick back with when you don't want to get bloated.

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Photo of Arno
4.75/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I was on holiday in the US and visited Wisconsin. In the first bar they already tipped me this beer. So ofcourse i had a taste.

And my first tasting impression was wow!

Light yellow, gold like. Bright and refreshing looking.

Sweet malts, fruits, wheat, corn, citrus.

A subtle, almost creamy, balance of fruit, malt, citrus and corn. Very light and easy going, nearly no bitter and yet very refreshing without getting boring at all.

Light, thin and refreshing. Medium carbonation.

Usually beers like these get a bit annoying after a while because they lack depth and are too easy going. But this one, i can drink any day, and all day :) It somehow manages to give all sorts of easy flavors and yet manages to keep it interesting. It's refreshing, easy going and has a nice balance of sweetness and acidity. It's the perfect summer drink.
One of my favorites in the "easy going and fresh" category beers.

Too bad it's pretty much impossible to get this beer over here (Netherlands). Maybe it need to import and distribute it :)

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Photo of rkinsella
3.14/5  rDev -14%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light hazy straw color. Poured into a "beer clean" glass with a proper pour...very little head, and gone in just a couple minutes.
Almost no lacing.

Smell had a little grain, a little malt sweetness, bit of fruit, but very little of anything else.

Taste was slightly better than average. Way on the light side. Subtle sweetness, minimal hops. The part I liked the least was the seltzer water like finish.

Mouthfeel was decent, medium carbonation.

Very drinkable, and on the right day, it could be very refreshing. I've just had much better beers from New Galrus. I'm a little surprised this is their flagship. I really wanted to like it. But just average to me.

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Photo of Bounty628
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With an ABV of 5.10%, Spotted Cow is a very smooth ale that is well rounded in almost all aspects of the beer. The 5.10% ABV allows this beer to be enjoyed without being inundated with a powerful alcohol content.

Spotted Cow pours a golden straw color that maintains a cloudy haze upon the pour. There is a very fine white head when poured that dissipates quickly after hitting the glass. Minimal lacing is present during the tasting.

The smell is very faint with this beer and the nose is perhaps the only real weakness with this offering. Nothing really jumps out of the pint glass with the Spotted Cow; rather, a distant citrus presence is noticed along with a mild nose of hops and malts.

The taste of this cream ale is very pleasant with a smooth and subtle nature to it. Cream ales traditionally are not heavy on flavor and this beer is really no different. There is just the right balance to the taste to ensure that the beer has enough of a flavor to it to keep this beer away from being just a bland mouthful. The taste is a light wheat and citrus/fruit combination that easily glides across the palate. A hint of a biscuit nature works its way into the taste and serves this beer well. Thankfully for there is not a giant hop presence or this cream ale would fall outside of its category.

A very easy mouthfell is at play with Spotted Cow as there is just the right amount of carbonation to help work the beer across the palate. Because of the mild taste of the beer, there is no aftertaste left with after drinking the offering and the beer truly does serve as a very nice session beer.

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Photo of Newglarusguy
5/5  rDev +37%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This ale is by far one of the very best I've had to date. It's pours a silky cloudy color of caramelish yellow, it's smell hints of grains and corn and a bit of a fruit side to it. It goes down very easy and it's taste is by far the best for ale's that arn't 10$ or cheaper for a six pack. I strongly recommend this one to anyone who's in the greater WI area and wants to try a exceptional beer!

Man Up!

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Photo of seh410
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Blake (kickinthechalice) for this beer!

Appearance: Pours a golden yellowish-orange color - almost like the Stone Soup beer (which I just drank and reviewed) except that it seems less dense and more translucent. The head is fizzy and maybe half a finger's worth... it dissipates quickly but the bubbles keep streaming up from the bottom

Aroma: Smells like malts and wheat, maybe a little fruitiness in the background. Between the pour and the aroma, this is shaping up to be a lot like Stone Soup, which I hope it isn't, because I didn't love that. This is a cream ale though, while Stone Soup is a Belgian Pale... not sure why they appear so similar so far

Taste/Mouthfeel: Feels creamy in the mouth. Thank God, unlike Stone Soup, I'm not getting any strong lingering after taste - that's totally not my thing. Spotted Cow feels very light and thin, which here isn't bad.... To be honest, the flavor isn't very full, so I'm having a difficult time rating it. I guess I mostly taste pale malts with a little hops.

Notes: This beer is light and crisp and the drinkability is high. It's nothing too special though, just a nice drinking beer, maybe best on a hot afternoon.

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Photo of Mario61Aler
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one was a gift from chewytheman.

poured a very bright light amber color with 1 1/2" of head on an aggressive pour, that was almost white.
I splashed about 3" of this into the bottom of a tulip and stuck my nose in the glass to be greated by the wonderful aroma of sweetness.
I sipped this one and smiled and offered a sip to my wife, she sniffed, sipped and smiled too. Yummy is a good discription of this one. A very good example of a cream ale. Soft but tart.
I may have to make a trip to a distribution area to pick this up, overall a good example of the style, that leaves a clean feeling in the mouth. Like Little kings on Steroids! It would be easy to drink this one in multiples.

Thanks Chris! I owe you a couple for this one.

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Photo of Generik420
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on a pub crawl in Milwaukee last weekend and was very impressed. In fact, one bar was supposed to serve us Stella Artois, but had ran out and substituted with Spotted Cow and I was actually happy to miss out on the Stella.

Appearance: Pale and clear. Clean white head that didn't last long.

Smell: Sweet aroma and not hoppy. Very pleasant.

Taste/mouthfeel: This beer is on the sweeter side, and that may be a turn off to some. Very light on the hops. There is a bit of a twang to the backend of this, almost a hint of citrus. It is a little thin regarding mouthfeel.

This beer is a fantastic choice for a session beer or as a pallete cleanser between high hop beers. Great for summer as well. Wish I could get it where I live.

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

A - Sweet, bready malt with hint of corn. Light yeast fruitiness. Very pleasing, inviting aroma.

S - Golden and mostly clear; slight cloudiness from being bottled conditioned. Rocky, white head with fair retention.

T - Bready, toasty malt with a mild hop bitterness. Light corn in background. Mild herbal hop flavor. Sweet malt flavor. Enjoyable, but I'd prefer a little more hop flavor.

M - Medium to light body with a nice dry finish. Very refreshing.

D - A simple yet refreshing beer. An easy drinking beer that is what most of the American style lagers should be.

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Photo of Matthew_Phoenix
4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Spotted Cow is one of a kind. Only found in Wisconsin. I live in Illinois and I go up to Wisconsin every once and a while when I can so that I can get a six pack. Real light and creamy. Almost rich in its taste. A little wet on the finish. All around solid. Get it if you can.

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