Spotted Cow | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-02-2002

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Reviews: 806 | Ratings: 3,490
Photo of sidetracked
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy pale gold with a white head. Yeast sediment is visible throughout the glass.

Smells of grainy malts and fruity esters. Somewhat bland.

Taste is malty upfront, giving way to the slightly sweet fruity esters. There's a slight floral hop presence at the finish giving off a pepper or spiced flavor, but no real bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light and creamy with a crisp finish and good carbonation.

Drinkability is great--light and refreshing with good flavor.

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Photo of Josievan
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Soft pillowy head adorns a pale straw-colored body. The beer is as cloudy as a hefeweizen.

Smell: Light grains, likely wheat.

Taste: Cereal type of wheatiness. A little sweetness from the corn. Overall, not a lot of flavor. A little bland.

Mouthfeel: Amazingly smooth and creamy. Cream ale indeed! Body is suprisingly thick.

Drinkability: Whenever I drink this, I want to drink lots of it. Naturally then, it would make a great session beer.

Notes: At first, I considered Spotted Cow to be inferior to New Glarus's amazing line-up of light wheat beers (Dancing Man, Crack'd Wheat, and I'd also put Stone Soup in this category). However, this beer grows on me the more times I drink it. It's kind of an anomoly among beers in that it's taste is it's weakest characteristic. On the other hand, the mouthfeel and drinkability are suberb! You can't ask for much more from a brewery's flagship beer. I still see it as inferior to the likes of Dancing Man and Crack'd Wheat, but only slightly, which mainly attests to how excellent those seasonal beers are. Spotted Cow may be the weakest of the New Glarus line-up, but I still love it! I guess that means New Glarus is a great brewery!

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Photo of EddieTheTrooper
3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In my opinion, this beer is the only excusable reason to venture up to Wisconsin. Creamy, sweet, and malty, smooth and well-balanced, the spotted cow is the crown jewel of New Glarus' catalogue (though I do like Stone Soup too). I just with this were more readily available in the Chicagoland area.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle (gifted by neighbor) into a nonic pint.

A- 1-1/2 finger, marshmallow- like head tops a clean, golden-straw body with light carbonation. The head drops to a light film. Nice rings left on the glass.

S- Slightly sweet. Husky grains, light lemon. Starts out faint, but really opens up with a little time.

T- Clean and refreshing. More lemon than the aroma initially let on. Grainy and sweet corn malts. A little gummy. Slightly grassy in the finish.

M- Medium-light body. Dry. Clean and crisp.

O- It's been a decade or more since my last one. I'm happy to get my hands on another. It doesn't do anything to stand out, though I don't think it's supposed to. A refreshing beer as we got back from the pool. A real crowd pleaser. I'd love to get a case for a cookout.

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Photo of scanny79
3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a mug.

Appearance: It was a nice tan color with a white head to it.

Smell: The smell isn't an overpowering thing to me. It had some corn and wheat aroma to it, but not harsh on the nose by any means.

Taste: The flavors of everything mesh together really well in this one. It definetly goes down easy with a faint taste following it.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is good, but nothing spectacular. There is definetly the carbonation there, and it has a really nice light feeling to it.

Overall: Spotted Cow is definetly not the best beer I have tried, but it is definetly worth the drink and I always do remember to pick up a 12 pack whenever I am in WI. It has a lighter feel to it and tastes really good. The redrinkability is definetly there with this one. Perfect on those hot days when one isn't enough.

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Photo of pkalix
3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Miller Lite on steroids.
nice carbonation, slight haze.
relative funkiness to the brewer's interpretation of how he could improve upon the Big 3 (2-1/2?).
overall, kind of nice. looks super cool. smells okay, taste is funky but appreciated.....

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Photo of brewQ
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Within its style, this is a wonderful beer.
NOTE- I had it on tap, which I think is much better than the bottle.

Color is bright and clear gold.
Poured with a 1.5 inch fluffly white head.
A sweetness and roundness of flavor that well exceeds the macro versions such as Little Kings and Genny screamers.

Really a nicely balanced brew- and I am not one to wax about basic pilsners. Clean finish and excellent drinkability.

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Photo of AmyfaceNYC
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer is apparently only available in Wisconsin and seems to be beloved in the Great Lakes states. I really enjoyed it. It had a smooth, simple taste of farmhouse grains--easy drinking, not too fancy. I didn't really pick up any of the fruitiness the label mentioned. It was full-bodied with a well-balanced flavor. Somehow exactly how I would want a beer from a brewery in a tiny town in Wisconsin to taste.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange color with a low white ring for a head and low carbonation. Tart yeasty Belgiany aroma ... a bit horse-ish. Flavor is similar to the smell. Light-medium bodied (leans light) and refreshing with a crisp Saaz-ish hoppy finish.

A beer I'd put more into the Saison/French Ale category ... nice and refreshing.

Per label: Farmhouse Ale. Flaked Barley, WI malts, and a hint of Corn.

Tasted: 12/31/03
(M. Shusterman)

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy straw colored brew which is fitting since it is basically a total "farm" ingrediant beer. This one is made with corn and without trying it, that may seem a little odd. This is by far one of the most refreshing beer that tastes good anytime of day or year. There are not too many beers that top this as far as an introductory beer to those who are BA deprived. Wonderful ale that is a staple in my neck of the country.
I have however noticed this beer starting to slip in quality. Maybe my BA senses are just coming through, but this is no doubt a good session beer, but its individuallity cannot hold itself in the light of greatness.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer from Penguin3200. Thanks Bill!

12oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

L - hazed yellow color with a white head that thinned out to a ring.

S - a bit of grainy sweetness, on par for the style.

T - again the grainy sweetness comes into play but there is a light bittering on the finish.

F - medium bodied with a crisp feel.

O - a good example of the style.

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Photo of cagocubs
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally got my hands on a bunch of New Glarus on a recent trip to Wisconsin. NG's first test passed with flying colors.

A: Bright yellow/straw yellow with a fluffy 1 finger white head. Unfiltered with good carbonation streaming to the top.

S: Sweeter malts, grain, maybe some sticky fruit.

T: Really balanced. Has a nice malt and earthy corn taste, but it also carries a decent juicy hop with it. The aftertaste is far from adjunct as you get a nice sweet aftertaste.

M: Real smooth and creamy. Good mouth coating and carbonation.

O: I would have never picked this up if I knew it was of the cream ale variety, but man I would've been missing out. A real easy beer to drink with a nice balanced taste.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to oach for sending this bottle!
Appears a hazy light honey color. Off white head falls to small layer. Smells of grain, crisp hops, light citrus, light malt a bit of honey.
Tastes pretty much follows the nose. Body is medium, with nice carbonation. Drinks smooth.
Overall an easy drinker and good for the style.

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

Pours cloudy yellow gold - bottle conditioned, oh yeah! Aroma of some faint citrus hops, malt, whiff of corn/DMS.

Nice take on the style - starts with a slightly grainy-sweet flavor, with faint citric hops and yeastiness, mild underlying bitterness - not a tremendous amount going on, but what's there is solidly quaffable. Creamy, slightly spritzy mouthfeel. Found the glass empty far quicker than I thought I would.

Would beat the snot out of Corona in the cooler in the summer.

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

Spotted Cow pours a cloudy pale yellow with 1/2" of head that quickly dissipates. Smell is predominantly of yeast and corn. Taste is much of the same, the corn is noticeable as well as the unfiltered yeast, pretty well balanced. Full bodied, light on the tongue, perhaps a little undercarbonated. Very drinkable, great session beer. This beer does no special tricks, it is what it is and what it is, is a great beer to spend an afternoon with.

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

This is a very good beer out of Wisconson. It is a great beer for a Saturday or Sunday full of buddies and football. I actually had this when my dad had tried it at a restaraunt when he was teaching a seminar at the University of Wisconson and thought I would like it and brought it back for me. Unfortunately I only get it once a year, but it is definately something I look forward to.

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

Had the pleasure of getting a whole bunch of brews from New Glarus recently so I have been working my way down the line and this was the next one up. I am not normally a fan of cream ales, but I figured what the heck and decided to give this one a shot. It poured a very nice cloudy and very light yellow, almost a white color. A large three finger head of fizzy white lace formed on top and then it faded quickly leaving behind just minimal lace on the top, but adequate side glass lace. Lots of visible carbonation was apparent. The aroma was very light, and somewhat sweet. Not really too much to pick up, maybe some light malts and a touch of bread but that was it, the style is not really know to be very full. The taste was very light, and refreshing. A touch of yeast or light fruit graced the opening of a very carbonated and light bodied ale. This was more refreshing then anything and it served that purpose well. A somewhat muted taste, maybe a touch of sugar and almost a cola like flavor in the back. Overall this was not bad. As I mentioned I am not really a fan of the style, but this was the best I have had from it, with maybe the exception of the Terrapin Golden Ale. This was pretty good though, and I could see it used while mowing the lawn in July kind of thing. Not bad and give it a try if you get a chance.

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Photo of jdaelhousen
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour produces a creamy, white head. Thin lacing. Color is cloudy orange. Some sediment noticeable. Few carbonation bubbling throughout. Aroma contains notes of sweet honey, and very mild citris in the trailing nose. Flavor of the contains a sweet center. Wheat malts make up a biscuity first flavor, while the mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied. Citric orange peel and lemon zest come into play towards the finish and linger on the palate into the aftertaste. A hit of carbonation makes it's way into the finish as well. Overall, a very drinkable beer and flavorful with the citris dancing on the palate and the adding of the honey makeup. Would definitely buy this in multiple 6 packs if it was around Massachusetts.

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

JimboHD2005 sent me this one a LONG time ago, finally reviewing from notes.

A- Hazy yellow appearance in my pint glass. A finger of sticky white head leaves behind decent lacing. Good head retention.

S- Essences of citrus and grain come through. Not really much else. Warming up makes the grain stick out more and more, corn plays a role as well.

T- Good amounts of citrusy goodness. Corn and grain once again comes through as it warms up. Pretty good overall.

M- Light bodied with plenty of carbonation.

D- Very drinkable. Light body, low ABV and pretty good flavors makes this one an easy quaffer. It would seem to make a good summer beer. Thanks again for this one Jim!

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Photo of Derek
3.98/5  rDev +9%
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.

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

This beer is getting a lot more popular lately in the central Wisconsin area...and I am gaining a growing appreciation of the New Glarus Brewing Company. A very smooth beer with a decent golden color. Has a light mouthfeel with very good drinkability. If you make it to WI try this one, you will appreciate it.

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Photo of cincybeernut
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On a week long trip to Wisconsin some family members insisted I have some spotted cow. It apparently has quite a following up here. Not a bad beer, quite smooth and easy to drink. Appealing color and smell. I would not classify this as a cream ale, at least no cream ale I'm familiar with.

Over all spotted cow is a good beer. I would not go out of my way to seek out spotted cow however if I saw it at the store (in my local area) I'd pick some up. I could sit around on my deck and drink spotted cow all day.

If you see it, TRY IT!

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 1/27/15

A: Medium gold with some slight orange and straw tones, some honey around the edges - pours with a medium sized, white head, fades to a wispy cap, leave some streaks and spots of lacing

S: Lightly sweet, lightly grassy, with a mix of grains - pale malts, cereal malts, corn, and some lightly sweet bread - lager yeast and some light New Glarus yeast funk character - lightly grassy - light fruits, particularly apple

T: Grainy, lightly sweet, super balanced - great example of the style - pale malts, light grains, cereal grains, touch of corn, light bread - light, grainy sweetness - New Glarus yeast with a touch of funk and light fruit esters, apples, under-ripe bananas - lightly grassy and a touch earthy - dry finish

M: Really on the border between light and medium bodied, smooth with a crisp finish, medium carbonation, highly drinkable

O: You know you're in Wisconsin when...

This is the last New Glarus beer I will be reviewing for a while, and I saved this for last because it's such an icon. I heard rumors, but I didn't believe it until I saw it myself last fall: when you are driving on a major highway in Wisconsin, you see ads for restaurants, but instead of seeing pictures of a BMC product, you see a bottle of Spotted Cow. Among other factors, this has such a following because it's brilliantly mellow and stupidly easy to drink while still remaining interesting. It's not the best cream ale out there, but it is really worth trying.

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Photo of bluehende
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slight smell of bananas. Nicely balanced and creamy (can't believe I wrote that) beer. The finest cream ale I have ever had. I would seek this out for a nice drinkable beer.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 3,490 ratings.
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