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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 793 | Ratings: 3,415
Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of superspak
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 7/10/2015. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy bright golden yellow color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon, cracker, corn, white bread, pear, apple, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and restrained fruity yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, cracker, corn, white bread, pear, apple, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, cracker, corn, white bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and restrained fruity yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness. Very clean flavors after the finish with the restrained yeast fruitiness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly creamy/bready/grainy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.8%. Overall this is a fantastic cream ale style. All around awesome balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and restrained fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brightly foggy lemon-gold with ethereal swirls of liquid smoke. The soft, yet dense, head of bone white foam displays a rumpled, hummocked surface interspersed with divots as the larger bubbles burst. A small amount of wispy white lace finds its way to the glass.

Spotted Cow smells distressingly like a macro lager with sweetish grain as the focal point. It must be that 'little hint of corn' as noted proudly on the label. The nose isn't offensive, not even a little, but neither does it thrill me or make me excited about tipping the glass up. Let's hope the flavor picks up the ball and takes off running.

The flavor has indeed picked up the ball... and sets off at a slow limp. This is interesting beer to say the least. It tastes like a much more flavorful, sweeter version of a BMC lager in ale form. I've had a few other cream ales and none of them tasted like this; not that I can recall at least. It is nicely malted in a untoasted pale malt kind of way.

Again, sweet grain is dominant and is coupled with a mild fruitiness, although I may be reaching on the fruit. There's very little hop presence, either in terms of flavor or bitterness, just as the style demands. The finish is short and sweet and the mouthfeel is characterized by under-the-radar carbonation. Might this be a malt liquor in low-ABV disguise?

Spotted Cow is a rather unique brew. I imagine that New Glarus sells a lot of it, but as we all know, there's no correlation between popularity and quality (except, in many instances, an inverse correlation). I don't hate The Cow, but I don't really like it either. Thanks all the same to Skidz for the bottle.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Keeping it simple, keeping it real, this beer pours a yellow body with a small white head.

Smell: Aroma of pale malts, yeast, flowers. Why, there's even a few kernels of white corn in the nose.

Taste: Lightly sweet pale maltiness with a touch of corn. One drop of honey. A few flower petals. Very mild hop bitterness. Hint of yeast. Finishes watery and abrupt, but let's use the word "clean" instead, shall we.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A very easy drinking beer that's probably better suited to summertime temperatures in excess of ninety degrees. It's not often you see a cow-themed beer that doesn't turn out to be just another milk stout.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from ughsmash so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, grain and a touch of hops.

T: The taste likewise starts out bready with flavors of grain, light malts and a bit of corn. Then some malt sweetness comes in. The hops presence is very mild yet complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: A little tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, good representation of style, decent beer to pound down several of over a long period of time.

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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 TMoney2591
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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

Thanks to forgetfu for sending me this one!

A: Poured a hazy golden yellow with a one finger head. Decent head retention leaving behind some spotty lacing. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

S: Has a light grassy aroma. A little bit of wheat and some bready malt.

T: Some light fruits, grassy again, a little grainy with some wheat. Very crisp.

M: Pretty light, nice crispness. Could drink this easily in the summer months.

O: It was fine, nothing spectacular, but I could knock a few of these back on a hot day, no problem. A good alternative to BMC drinkers I would think.

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Photo of billab914
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Poured a slightly cloudy light golden color with a fizzy half inch white head on top. The head stuck around pretty well but didn't leave much lacing on the glass.

The aroma has some sweet graininess along with some fruity, banana yeast flavors. The taste displays a lot of the banana fruitiness from the yeast along with a moderate sweet malty and grainyness to it. The yeast give it a flavor similar to a lot of hefeweizens.

Mouthfeel is light with high carbonation. It's very drinkable for sure, it's light and has a pretty good flavor. It's a pretty good beer but the yeast gives it a little too fruity flavor for a true cream ale for me. Overall however, it's a very good tasting beer. It's both light and refreshing and I would gladly drink this frequently.

I can't however say it's a great representation if the style due to the fruitiness, but who cares. If someone wanted to really get a feel for the cream ale style I'd suggest they go elsewhere, but if someone wanted a light easy drinking refreshing beer I'd gladly recommend this one.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12/18/11 notes.

a - Pours a pale yellow color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, grains, spices, light fruit. Not bad, but a bit bland in the nose.

t - Tastes of bready malts, cream, light toasted malts, grain, light fruit and floral notes. Cream is definitely here in the taste and much better than the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Super smooth and creamy, and very very easy to drink. Best part of the beer.

o - Overall an interesting beer. The nose is a bit bland, but than the taste is very bready and creamy, which is pretty nice. The mouthfeel is near perfect, and it would be very easy to have a few of these. Something I'd like to try again sometime.

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Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. The brew appears a clear pale yellow color with a white cap leaving spotty lace.

The smell is quite muted but very faint citrus emerges along with some bready grain across the back.

The flavor is somewhat sweet and bready with an alcohol fruity ester to break up the monotone character.

This is light bodied and boasts moderate levels of carbonation. An easy drinking brew and just ok per style. No thrills, forgetable beer but serves a purpose for the flavor challenged drinker.

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Photo of jwc215
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazed golden with a thin white head that fades to a wispy thin cover. Broken rings of lacing stick.

The smell is of a mild banana-like fruitiness with grain. Soft, but pleasant enough.

The taste is rather bland, but inoffensive - some sweet grain, mild hint of buttered corn and a touch of yeast. There is a mild hop touch in the finish to balance sweetness, but it doesn't add much to the flavor department.

It is smooth and creamy.

This is a basic, easy-drinking cream ale. Nothing special other than having a refreshing quality to it.

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Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dunn for bringing this back from his travels.

A - bright yellow with a thin lacing of white head

S - cereal grains

T - lemon, cereal grains, a bit grassy

M - light, smooth, crisp

This is a smooth, easy drinking, light, refreshing offering that is perfect for sipping on a hot day. If I could regularly get my hands on this, it would be a good go to session beer.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Someonce once urged me to try one, and declared it "the best". So now I have, but that claim speaks more about them then it does aobut this.
Appearance: a clear pale yella hue, with a slight, soon vanishing white head.
Nose is mee, softly citric, a tiny bit sour.
Smooth on the palate, though not entirely without flavor. Practically no hops no speak of, just adequate enough malt, vestigal fruit notes whisper briefly.
Finish is brief, non-descript. Body is light to the point of invisibility. A very fragile, meek little beer.
Would be a decent choice for a "lawnmower" brew, maybe, when complexity and challenge are not in the order.
Not a bad beer, but not much, either.
Thanks to cokes for helping me try it out!

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Photo of smakawhat
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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

I am not overly enamoured with the Spotted Cow like others. Pours a slightly hazy pale straw color with a white head that faded quickly. In the aroma included grains with scents of citrus. Taste is grain, malt, and citus undertones with slight yeast character. Mouthfeel is medium body with a medium high carbonation. It ok overall, decent drink for the summer.

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

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, light gold coloring, with a foamy, white head. Nose of toasted grains, with floral hops abundant. Flavors of toasted grains, floral hops highlights, and a buttery tone throughout. The body is light and dry, with subtle hops notes in the aftertaste. The finish is smooth and crisp. Easy drinker, that's for sure.

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Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce brown bottle, without freshness dating. Pours cloudy, apricot amber, light tan head, with a musty nose. Mildly fruity creation, notes of some Belgian type yeast and some peppery spice. This is a crisp, dry offering with a hoppy finish. Worthy, everyday, easy drinking ale.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a DFH snifter. Beer is yellow and hazy with a big white head that falls away quickly leaving some lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Sweet, creamy aroma with a little hops.

Beer is light in body and in flavor. There is a minimal sweetness at the lead off and it caves in to reveal....nothing. There is not a lot of anything going on in this beer. Interesting. The finish is bland and easy. Its like drinking sweetened water.

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

Notes from 7/27/11. On tap in Milwaukee

A - Poured a cloudy yellow colour. Hazy. One finger of white head.

S - Light citrus notes with bready malts.

T - Bready malts with a slight sweetness. Light citrus notes in the background.

M - Light body; light carbonation.

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Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spotted Cow is a nice beer, but I can't really say I'm impressed. It's about the same as Genessee Cream Ale. The flavor is sweet and bland. It's hard to make out the grains or any concrete flavor. You know, on a hot Wisconsin summer day, this would probably hit the spot, but that's about it.

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Photo of Tone
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a clear golden yellow color with a 2" fluffy head that lasts a while. Some spotty lace develops.

Smell: light malt sweetness and bits of grass are tough to pull from the glass.

Taste: mild grainy malt base with some grass, hint of lemon zest, and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout with a relatively clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: this beer is very easy to quaff and has a decent flavor profile. For the style, this one hits the spot.

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Photo of Duff27
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled September 2011

A- Aggressive pours reveals a near two inch white head on an effervescence-filled pale golden body. Good head retention with average lacing.

S- Slight lemon zest...not really a lot going on with the smell.

T- Grainy/cereal characters. Pleasant lemony notes. Nothing offensive for sure.

M- Medium mouthfeel, very full though. Medium carbonation.

D/O- Nothing really sticks out about Spotted Cow and I think that's the point. An easy "every day" beer for the masses that most would agree is a half-step up on your common BMC-types. Gets an A/A+ for drinkability.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to slasher007 for this bottle.

Pours a hazy straw color with a small white head. Aroma is malty sweetness with a little citrus and floral mixed in. The beer has a malty flavor with a slight corn flavor. There is also some hop flavor. This is a very tasty beer with a creamy mouthfeel that is easy to drink. Recommended.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 3,415 ratings.
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