Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Spotted Cow | New Glarus Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
793 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 793 | Ratings: 3,415
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.

 529 characters

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.

 547 characters

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.

 377 characters

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!

 724 characters

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.

 958 characters

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.

 361 characters

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.

 372 characters

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.

 281 characters

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.

 436 characters

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.

 270 characters

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.

 292 characters

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.

 493 characters

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.

 497 characters

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.

 588 characters

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.

 327 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.01/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a creamy white two finger head with good retention and lacing. Mild aroma of biscuit malt, grains, hints of citrus. Flavor is very pleasant semi-sweet bready malt, slight grassy hops, lightly buttery wheat, faint citrus. Finishes with mellow sweet malt and wheat. Unexpectedly moderate creamy body with a great mouth feel. I see why locals are so happy about this ale. This is the beer that I think the mass producers *think* they are brewing, simple, mellow and pleasantly drinkable. When I'm this satisfied with a style that I'm not that excited about, the brewers have really excelled. Easily the best cream ale I've ever had. Nicely done. Thanks to Vikki for bringing this back from Wisconsin.

 783 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

 354 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, cream, crackers. Taste is malts, grains, hints of cream, smooth and refreshing. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an easy drinking beer on a warm night.

 261 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

 718 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

I approached this beer with an open mind, knowing this is more or less their mass market breadwinner; Yuengling Lager seems like a decent reference point for my expectations (though obviously not the same style). Pours a clear, pale golden color, thick with smoky swirls of sediment and a generous fluffy bone white head. As the head fades it leaves very little lacing and settles as a thin ring with light webs of lacing. Aroma is very mild and non-descript. Mild sweetness and grain dominate what little presence the nose has; really this smells like any other non-offensive macro lager. Flavor is an interesting sweet and mildly fruity take on a typical lager. Sweet grains and malt dominate with a smooth, dry finish with non-existent hops or bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium full, creamy and thick in the finish with mild carbonation. Overall this beer is remarkably unremarkable, other than the intense creamy finish.

 957 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

 494 characters

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.

 338 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

 625 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first impression was that this beer is a wheat - the nose hints of wheat, it has a light, cloudy amber color and it tastes like a wheat. Not as intense as a true wheat, carbonation is light, starts as a mix of malt and hops and finishes fairly smooth and sweet. Moderate head that leaves little lace. The brewer has barley and corn in it so I don't know where the wheat overtones come from.

 393 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear golden yellow hue with a nice one finger white head that faded to leave creamy side lacing and a nice quarter inch blanket.

S - Aromas of light, sweet malts, lightly earthy hops, grains. Its actually pretty straight forward.

T - Taste is nice and sweet, good malts and grain base. Creaminess, faint corn flavour which is good, really really light fruity/floral/earthy hops going on. Very pleasant taste and well executed.

M - Mouthfeel is brightly carbonated, lightly creamy, super easy drinking.

O - Overall this was a solid representation of a cream ale. Only knock would be how lack luster the nose is.

 707 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!