Spotted Cow | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Spotted CowSpotted Cow
Very Good
3,639 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,639 |  Reviews: 827
Photo of tapman
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first in a sampler pack of New Glarus.

Golden with a creamy white head. Appears to be see-through, but is actually quite dense up close and is indeed opaque and, though not quite hazy is not see-through.

Smells bready like a mild sourdough loaf yet has a creamy, plain yogurt-like aroma that I've only sensed once before in Unibroue's Don de Dieu. A concord grape tartness bites at the nose.

Taste resembles a bland creme soda, interesting though not too exciting. Tangy hoppiness with a very light, pale maltiness.

Mouthfeel is better than average due to its creaminess and I'm guessing lactase for smoothness. Carbonation and thin body leave a very dry aftertaste eclipsing that of wine.

From the draught I bet this is amazingly good beer to drink when its on sale for $3 a pint.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was up at Lake Delavan for a wedding when I happened by a crappy looking little gas station on Geneva Road that had an outstanding selection of beer (at least for a tiny little gas station)! I picked up some New Glarus stuff. When in Rome..., right?

A - A hazy honey-gold brew looks like nectar from the honeycomb, and is topped with a one finger head that leaves a good deal of lace on the glass. If the glass is left alone, the head recedes to a collar but even gentle agitation results in a fat finger of foam! This looks refreshing...actually, it sort of looks like a witbier.

S - Light honey notes on top of saltine cracker malts. Hold on....I can't smell it anymore because I just let the nastiest fart. Ohweee! Ok I think all of the ass-blast is gone. Smells a bit Belgian in it's sweet yeastiness, and there is a bit of lemony twang. Corriander also? Almost smells like a wit, but much more sweet and honeyed.

T - Sweet confectioner's candy and honey at first, and then tart citric flavors next. Really crakery, sugary, and sweet. This has a very light hint of wheaty twang behind a powdered sugar sweetness. Big yeast flavors too. Pineapple juice from the can....Dole's.

M - A bit dull to be honest. The syrupy sugar levels and lack of hop bitterness, alcohol warmth, or sparkling carbonation results in a less than stellar mouthfeel. It's sort of heavy and dumb. Not vibrant like a beer like this should be. It's moderately carbonated but feels like it needs more tingly bubbles.

D - This isn't all bad, but it is a very awkward beer. It's sort of wit-like but it's too syrupy sweet and heavy. It needs to make up it's mind and be a vibrant summer quencher or a yeasty Belgian brew. It's not really either, but it did hit the spot on a hot summers day so it's not terrible.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Always a joy to pop the top on a New Glarus beer. This one poured into the glass a light yellow color, with a thin head.

Aroma is light and fruity, with some honey notes sneaking in there. Perhaps a little banana and bubblegum. For a very laid-back aroma, there's still plenty going on here.

Flavor brings in light lemon and other fruity sweetness, a hint of honey, fresh bread, just a small trace of corn (which was indeed used in this beer), a nice hops kiss...subdued and subtle, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is appropriately creamy and stays that way, with an ever so slight stickiness.

Cream ales are a complete unknown to me. Judging from this one I'd call them extremely drinkable, only mildly exciting but great for the summer, and generally porch-sittin' mellow. I only have more respect for New Glarus thanks to this beer and their Totally Naked offering, because what they're doing is neither pandering to extreme gonzo-beer fiends or trying to garner mainstream appeal. They just do it for the love of the craft, and that's why even their least remarkable beers come out winners.

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Photo of grub
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the last bottle from a trade i did with nflmvp a few months ago. thanks steve for the hookup on a great linup of wisconsin's finest.

12oz bottle.

pours slightly hazy pale yellow with a small dense white head. drops fast with no lace.

aroma is nice. light fruity character. hint of corn, but not unpleasant. fresh hoppy character that makes me think of a kolsch. big bready malt.

taste is good. hint of grape-like fruit. touch of sweetness. light cracker malt. bit of bread. low bitterness level. bit of yeast. hint of lemon.

mouthfeel is good. nice light carbonation level. medium-light body. silky smooth.

drinkability is excellent. a fairly straightforward beer, but well balanced and very enjoyable.

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Photo of Atron67
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- poured a foggy wheat light yello with a pretty frothy head, although it didnt last long

S- smells like wheat, slightly sweer but pretty malty, can smell the yeast and some light spices

T- has a really nice strong flacor as you would expect from above, malty creamy body with wheat and spice flavors

M- has a solid body but not as creamy as i would expect,

D- a solid beer easily drank multiple times during the night

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Photo of diverdownrick
4.6/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great anytime of the year beer. Like all New Glaurus Brewery beers, it has a strong flavor, taste, and body...those cheeseheads know their beer! It has a smooth after taste that sits well in the mouth and is easy to down in summer or winter. I was also impressed that it tastes equally fresh in bottle as it does on tap...that is great aspect of this brewery.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New Glarus Spotted Cow pours a finger of foam over a slightly cloudy
yellow brew. Carbonation is steady, and the nose is ale yeast and barley
malt. The flavor is crisp, slightly sweet barley malt with notes of citrus and
corn, with the smallest hint of herbal hop and grain in the finish. It's smooth,
crisp, and quenching- all you really want out of a cream ale. Good stuff!

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Photo of mbatley
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris and Marcie for this one!

Pour true to the labeling with a cloudy, yellowy tint. Small head that lasted for only a little bit. Nice aroma of faint lemon, hops and a slight sweetness on the back end--faint but there.

Taste was good but I kept wanting more from it. Good flavors but only three/quarters of what I wanted. Glad it was a gift because I wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of supercolter
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An obvious choice to have when only BMCers are available to drink with. Appearance is ok with a small head and that unfiltered look.
Smell and taste are quite similar, they both resemble cream (obviously) and sweet malt with a touch of spice.
Mouthfeel is not as creamy as expected.
Drinkabilty is increased by the lack of creamy body.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to sembo for this brew.
Revist: 12 Apr 17
12 oz. Bottle

Been almost 10 years between.

Pours a pretty nice slight haze golden dark yellow color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, grassy/wheaty, slight hop, kinda citrusy, banana, clove. The taste is malty, slightly hoppy, citrusy, grass/wheat, with some banana/clove notes. Medium body. Overall, a pretty tasty brew. Thanks Eric!

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.

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

Got in a trade with jeffkrenner - thanks! Poured from a 12oz bottle with no dating system into my pint glass. It was a hazy paleish yellow with bits of yeast floating around in it. It had a very small head that was gone in a blink of an eye. No lacing. The aroma was malty with lemon overtones. At first, it had a wet grass smell like a lawnmower beer but it faded. Good aroma for a summer beer. The taste was pretty good. It won't knock you on your ass with flavor but it does go down smooth. Would make a great session beer or a trainer beer for you macro friends. Overall, a good solid session beer that is worth trying if you can easily get your hands on it. (4, RR-NAH, T, Y)

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Photo of Atricapilla
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer reminds me of the Bavarian "Kellerbier" I drank so much of in Germany. It is a hazy golden color with a bit of carbonation and a decent head that diminished, but did not entirely disappear. It had an aroma of corn and barley with a slight yeastiness/mustiness to it. It is fairly light beer, with a slight sweet corn flavor and goes down fairly easy. It's also the best beer I've used for parboiling brats before grilling them.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i was anxious to try this as i was at a crap bar on some lake in wisconsin and knew there was only bmc there. when i saw the spotted cow sign, i thought it was a tease, but they actually served this at this fucking shithole bar. this one did not live up to my excitement over finding a new glarus brew for the first time, however. this was a light gold in color and just a tad hazy. nose was very subtle, some sweet, doughy malts and a hint of buttery corn and straw. taste is a light malt sweetness and just a touch of hops. this one is balanced more by the creamy carbonation. light and lively mouthfeel. drinkable, especially when your only other options are bmc and jaegerbombs.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.79/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Monger: Poured a bright golden color ale with a big pure white head with good retention. Aroma of corn with light diacetyl is not extremely pleasant. Taste is dominated by too much corn with a light buttery note which is again unpleasant. Body is pretty full for the style with some great carbonation. This is probably the worst beer that I had from this otherwise fine brewery.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Hazy golden color. White bubbly head. No retention or lacing.

Smell - First and foremost lemon but there are some bread, yeast and spice notes.

Taste - Like the smell but it's all nicely balanced and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel - Thin mouthfeel and light carbonation.

Drinkability - This is an easy to drink perfect summer beer.

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Photo of Derek
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
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 msubulldog25
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz. bottle from Wasatch, poured on 6/23. Is it a 'cream ale'? A 'farmhouse ale'? The label lists flaked barley, WI malts and the use of corn as ingredients. Yeast in the bottle, too...interesting...

A: Slightly clouded golden-honey color. Capped with a tight, creamy head, slightly off-white. Snap-crackle-pop - this head has some energy, but not much stamina as it fades rather quickly to a thin film. Very little visible carbonation and little lace.

S: Fruity, yeasty, malty and sweet - definitely a farmhouse-style. Hops are lemon, grass/hay. Sugary and a little bubblegum.

T: Definite grain upfront, toasted very lightly and with a definite corn sweetness. Just enough bitterness to cut into and balance some of the sweeter aspects. Lemons and some tangerine citrus, even pineapple (?) all offset the maltiness. I liked the balance, though it's definitely sweeter/maltier than I'd estimated.

M: Soft and smooth - creamy. Lighter mouthfeel makes it fairly clean & refreshing. Lacks some crispness/refinement but is pleasing in the mouth with a light-medium body and soft carbonation.

D: One I'd drink again. Seems pretty easy to drink and summer-worthy.

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Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
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 BeerTruth
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Monsone for this one!

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a a somewhat murky bright sunshine yellow with a one finger fluffy white head that quickly dies down to a very thin layer. No stickiness, no legs, not much in terms of holding on. Smell is very fresh. Clean lemon and floral odors, very inviting yeasty notes. Soft flavors on the tongue of biscuits, grass, and mild lemon. Aftertaste is almost not even there, but has a weak pale malt flavor. Very pleasing mouthfeel, soft medium body with just enough carbonation for a good balance in the mouth. I could put a lot of these down pretty easily. I gotta trade for some more of this one for sure.

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Photo of Cresant
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to nflmvp for the opportunity to try this one. Poured this undated, 12 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass and received a hazy golden yellow body with a bright white head. The head faded quickly but lazy, random bubbles percolated upward.

Smell was vegetal. Cooked corn and a slight sourness.

Taste was pleasantly sweet and sour. There was a light bitterness that lingered. Creamy yet refreshing. Seemed to be true to the style.

Mouthfeel was medium to thin in the body, medium to light in carbonation.

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Photo of benito
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Spotted Cow pint glass that came with the six pack.

Spotted Cow is pale gold in color with a thin, persistent head and less carbonation than I would have expected or liked from a cream ale. The aromas are muted, as it takes a good swirl and sniff to get some corn aromas (though not the light fruitiness that separates great cream ales from the rest of the crowd). It is well-balanced, with a light, corny flavor and a slightly bitter, finish.

This brew is almost exactly what it purports to be: an easy-drinking 'lawnmower' brew that conjures up a certain nostalgia for the rolling hills of Wisconsin farmland. It will never have the collector's-item/"let's trade" cachet of other New Glarus brews, and it doesn't seek it. This is a brew meant to buy, drink, and enjoy in Wisconsin.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$8.00 / Pitcher
The Final Score Bar & Grill
Stevens Point, WI

Appearance - A hazy orange with 2 inches of head on the pitcher. This is a good looking and very inviting pour.

Smell - Theres a sweetness to the aroma. It's a citrusy sweet scent accompanied by a malty heaviness. The scent almost matches the color.

Taste - This beer doesn't taste as sweet as it smells. That's a good thing. To the taste the malt really comes through while maintaining the citrus just enough.

Mouthfeel - The feel of the beer is smooth with a suble grain of carbonation on the outer edge on each side of my tongue.

~ This is a good summer beer. Great on hot days when ya wanna sit outside on the porch and have a couple. Even better if you're out boating with friends. If the opportunity presents itself, Have a Cow!

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Photo of akorsak
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of nflmvp.

A: The ale is a pale straw yellow, much hazier than I expected (it looks like a saison). The head was not large on pour and remained only as a small white pool of foam.

S: The nose is soft graininess with an evident pale fruit flavor (some dry pear, apple) and a hint of lemongrass.

T: The soft flavors of the nose continue into the taste. The grainy biscuit flavors and softer fruits, including a subtly sweet lemongrass flavor, make for a very easy drink. The finish of the ale brings back the grainy dryness and puts a nice exclamation on the beer.

M: The ale is very restrained, full of strong flavors that never overdo it, tastewise. Another please!

D: This is a real sessioner, light on alcohol without skimping on taste. The beer is going right back on my 'wants' list.

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Photo of
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle.

Cloudy, pale straw yellow body. Modest, just off-white head. Might be called creamy if there was more of it. No legs or lacing.

Aroma is sweet, reminds me just a bit of creamed corn. Some fruit. Very little bittering. Fairly mild, overall.

Taste has good balance, initially sweet, with a nice nip of bitterness at the end. Sweetness is honey and flowers, maybe a taste of orange. Bitterness at finish is hard to pin down. Herbal, perhaps? A little pepper in there also. Faithful to style in that the urge to overhop was resisted.

Light body. Fairly low carbonation, could be turned up a bit. Refreshing and thirst quenching.

OK, not something I am terribly interested in drinking more of. Too sweet for my taste.

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Photo of WJVII
4.6/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer has a fruity smell when opened with a hint of yeast. Poured into a pint glass it has a cloudy golden color from excess yeast left to finish it's work in the bottle. It has a modest white head that once settles leaves a slight lace on the glass with the yeast continuing to leave a cloudiness letting you know you are drinking a Spotted Cow.

This is one of the most drinkable beers from New Glarus. This beer is even enjoyed by the most picky of my beer drinking buddies. It has a light taste on the pallet with a fruity entrance followed by a yeasty finish.

I highly recommend this beer to those who are looking to branch from the mainstream flood of commercial beers. It is a good gateway beer for maturing connoisseurs and is a fan favorite of even the most particular pallets.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 3,639 ratings