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: 803 | Ratings: 3,475
Photo of GregA135
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy yellow/straw color with a fluffy white head
Smelled more like a Saison than a cream ale
Once I tasted I could taste subtle hints of cream and some light amount of hops
Honestly I thought this was a great enjoyable beer! A light, crisp, easy drinking beer.
This would be awesome during the warm weather!

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light golden color when poured. There is a bit of head, that did dissipate fairly quickly. The nose has a slight citrus flavor to it. The beer has a fairly light flavor to it. It has some malt to it. For what it i, it is a good beer, and I do recommend my fellow BA's try it.

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Photo of Umdrunner
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured hazy straw with very nice fluffy white head that laced well. Scent is a bit weak, mostly sweet malt with a little cream. Flavor is very satisfying. Flavor is malt forward with light citrus flavors that rounds out with a nice creamy backbone. Carbonation and mouthfeel are moderate and on point. This is the type of beer that goes perfect with all pub fare!

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3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Let me first say that I've had this beer many times before and each time I have it I'm reminded why just a solid cream ale when done right can be really good. It looks pretty much like an adjunct lager in the glass. With a solid poor I get almost more pillowy white head than I do body. The head doesn't last but a couple minutes at that height and they still down an inch of Rocky foam. The body is pale golden in color. Nose is crackery and includes some soft white fruit notes as well. Almost reminds me of a wheat ale. With first sip you get bready slightly sweet feel to it. So easy to drink yet enough character that it really keeps you drinking. Great at a BBQ or after a long day at work. Real easy to enjoy.

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Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
4.63/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

All you motherfuckers can't appreciate a simple beer like Spotted Cow. Except for the mediocre aroma, this hit all the intended marks, and it tastes great. Creamy, deep, warm, and joyous, it brings you right back to that time when a beer like this one was revolutionary. You should be so lucky to have a beer like Spotted Cow to kick around.

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Photo of gee0001
2.35/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Would I buy it again? No. Lacks flavor. Not very lively on the tongue. Smells kind of musty.
An average beer at best.
Head: thick. Short lived. Some lace. White.
Taste: bland
Smell: musty smell
Not my favorite so I don't want to pe on with negatives.

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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 Beginner2
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pun is unavoidable, but this is New Glarus' cash cow. The big seller that made them grow.
(Sure, they have a nice margin on their world-class fruit beers.)
But to get to be in the Top 20 of craft brewers, you need volume and Spotted Cow was the biggest producer, primarily because it is a pleasant ale...easy to drink.

Would I buy a six pack of this beer?
No. I find it marginally interesting... largely because the style is unattractive with its high carbonation.
But, I do buy two samples every year when I buy New Glarus' sampler pack on our retreats to Wisconsin.
Pleasantly fruity, refreshing and most other good things of a popular beer.
Lesson: beer doesn't have to scream that it is distinct; it just has to be good.

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Photo of sphmiel
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had to try it while in state. Pours golden, creamy head, aromas of bread malt and faint hops. creamy mouthfeel with biscuity malt, balanced grassy hops. Clean finish, an excellent session ale.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.22/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

As with any beer review its in the bottle of the beholder. My bottle was very carbonated with a harsh prickly feel. The flavor seemed washed out but presented some wheat like malt, obvious yeast tones, light pear and a crackery lager taste.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow color with a finger width foamy head. Head retention and lacing are non-existent. Strong funky aroma with a pale maltiness. Pale taste with nice funky farmhouse taste. Light bodied. Low to moderate carbonation.

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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 Kimbo_slice17
5/5  rDev +37%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An absolute staple of WI.
Farmhouse ale with some serious biscuity notes. Hazy/cloudy appearance with a fluffy white head that sticks to your glass.
It's a shame you can't get it anywhere but Wisconsin.

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Photo of Awolter
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great cream ale at a great price point. Crisp, very refreshing and incredibly drinkable. If you're ever in Wisconsin, pick some up! It's well worth the try.

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

Bottled November 2, 2015.

Pours a lively straw color with 1 finger frothy white head that sticks around. Aromas are fruity and yeasty with maybe a hint of lemon. Taste is very yeasty, grainy, hint of corn, and a clean finish. Mouthfeel is light, champagne like carbonation, clean, and extremely refreshing.

Perhaps the best example of a craft conversation beer for the macro crowd. If you like Bud, Miller, or Coors then drink this beer. Its not complex but who gives a crap. One of my top session ales to have on hand. Thank god I have family in Wisconsin.


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Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pour a clear light golden yellow with about half a finger of creamy white head. Head retains for awhile but leaves little lacing.

S: Aromas of sweet bready malts, grains, creamed corn, and some subtle fruit notes. Also has a very faint grassy hop presence.

T: Flavors of subtly sweet malts, cracker, grains, corn, and some subtle fruitiness, most notably banana and apple. Finishes creamy with a subtle earthy hop crispness.

M: Light bodied, with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy smooth feel with a crisp finish. Pretty nice but lacks depth.

O: A pleasant easy drinking brew. I'm not typically a fan of the style but I enjoyed this one. Would make for a great all day session type of beer. This is probably the Cream ale I've enjoyed the most out of any I've had so if your a fan of the style I would find someone is Wisconsin to hook you up. Overall a nice brew.

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Photo of Moose90
3.19/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A — Pours a clear and bright pale yellow color into the glass, there is a bit of a creamy white head on top of the beer, but it doesn't leave much lacing behind it.

S — Smell is dominated by cereal grains and malts, and well, not much else, just a lot of sweaty light malts and grains, little bit of a grassy hop note.

T — Lots of light malt, light grain, barley, wheat, malt, not much else, little bit of a mild hop balance. Semi-sweet and creamy.

M — Light and easy going, could have a bunch of these.

O — OK overall, just very easy going, mild, and unassuming.

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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 hardysf
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

easy drinker. Corn flavor. Would be confused for a macro in a blind taste test. I was excited to try a new glarus beer, but this was a let down. Upon review, this isnt one of their well liked beers though. Im guessing the analogy is Goose Island 312 beer.

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Photo of Evilyak
3.44/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow with a thin head.

Smell is neutral and a bit sweet, corny.

Taste is the same. Nothing remarkable here.

Very clean mouth. Very carbonated.

I'm pretty indifferent on this one. Easy to quaff but not my first choice of style.

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Photo of wdberkley
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an awesome grass cutter beer. Light, refreshing, and pretty damn tasty! New Glarus makes many great beers, and this is a very good example of a cream ale.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.29/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

When one reads the bottle, it says "made with a Wisconsin farmhouse yeast." Though I don't live in Wisconsin and have had this before through trades and as a prior homebrewer, this is a nice cream ale and not a saison. Anyone who has ever had this can tell you that the "Wisconsin farmhouse yeast" is due to the fact that this style was produced during Prohibition in farmhouses so they wouldn't get in trouble with the law.
After further ado, here's the rest why this is a cream ale.
Cream ales should be poured into pint glasses and that is what I did.
The appearance was a light straw golden yellow color with a thin white little head. A nice transparency allows a carbonation to be seen rising into the head.
The smell, let's just say, it's a Budweiser that is clean, clear-cut with a light playful sweet corn malt.
The taste was mainly sweet subjugating my taste buds with a clean sweet aftertaste and finish.
The mouthfeel was light on the body with a crisp sweet sessionable feel surrounding my tongue.
Overall, its a wonderful cream ale and often hard for some American brewers to re-create though some Irish ones are getting it right. New Glarus is the American company on their tales as far as this style goes.

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Photo of Jmurphy919
4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very smooth and easy to drink. This is one of those beers that you can drink all day long and never get sick of. Being from Illinois people rave about this beer since they can't get it in Illinois. What they don't realize is that NG makes a ton of other amazing beers that are just as good, if not better than Spotted Cow.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

usually stop for a pint of this when I'm trekking through the cheese state, but this time it is from a single into a willi becher. pours a beautiful slightly hazy soft gold with a 2 finger pillowy white head that subsides fairly quickly and leaves spotty lacing. smells slightly fruity (apples, bananas), some hay, and some crackery malts and graininess. Taste follows, but it isn't quite as nice...there are some kind of sourdough-like dimensions here that are kind of interesting, but don't entirely work for me. The mouthful is soft, carbonation is medium, body is substantial. It is what it is...very well made (expected from NG), at certain times it really hits the spot, but when push comes to shove, this is good for the style but not great (though it is a style that doesn't seem great that often).

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Photo of 98green
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Made a trip up from Chicago road trip to grab some New Glarus. I'm not too familiar with the cream ale style, but for my palate this is a nice upscale version of a BMC macro. Smell is slightly sweet and either adjuncts or esters. Taste is similar, with some corn reminders. Some interesting yeast flavor to with a light floral flavor. Feel is pleasant. Probably not worth a special trip just for this one, but you gotta try the local favorite when you get the chance

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 3,475 ratings.
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