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Spotted Cow | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Spotted CowSpotted Cow
3,599 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: 3,599 |  Reviews: 821
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle a cloudy, light yellow with about half an inch of white foam. Smells of hay, sweet corn, and the lightest touch of grassy hops. Taste's of mild bitter hops, hints of citrus and then comes a nice maltiness. I was expecting this beer to be rather light in the mouth, but it wasn't. It was smooth and creamy, very nice. I would really like to revisit this beer on a warm late spring day.

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Photo of beveritt
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. The label depicts a cow jumping over Wisconsin and mentions the use of flaked barley, malts, and corn. Described as "fruity and satisfying".

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, honey-colored yellow with no head whatsoever. Several streams of bubbles coming up.

Smell: Strong bubblegum and fruit smell.

Taste: Smooth and creamy, without the overpowering "cheap" flavor you often get with corn used as an adjunct. Almost no discernible bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Average to above average carbonation level, as expected from the style. Good body.

Drinkability: Not one I thought I would like, based on the characteristics of the style, but this is, as usual, another quality beer from New Glarus.

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Photo of TechMyst
2.2/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at Diamond Dave's. Smelled like a lager actually, very faint aroma anyway. Hazy green-yellow color. Actually tasted like a lager also. I could not detect fruit-y-ness, vanilla, or 'fun'. There was some corn hints. It is a beer with a full character, not a character I care for, but it had a full character for what it was. no lacing.

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Photo of dherling
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out an orange-gold color and very cloudy with lots of tiny bubbles feeding a stark white head that rapidly diminishes. The nose is very sublte, a touch of sourness plays with lemon and hay. The taste has sweet corn, wheat and lemon twist, with a small amount of bitter hops. The mouthfeel was smooth, low carbonation, with a quick slightly bitter finish.

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Photo of orfeu
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received as part of a mixed sixer trade with the mighty nflmvp -- big thanks, Steve! I really like the brewers' claim on the label that this is a "Wisconsin farmhouse ale". Seems as appropriate an appellation as any for a Cream Ale brewed with corn and flaked barley. Pours a hazy golden color with an active, short-lived, snow white head. Nothing too complex in the aroma: soured bready grains with a bit of grassy hop scent on top of a slightly sweet-smelling caramel malt quality. Sort of like an uninspired Pale Ale. Earthy bready flavors become apparent at first sip, rounding out into a sweetish malt taste punctuated with mildly spicy and grassy hops. Candy corn and vanilla sweetness arrives at the finish, highlighting the sort of sticky mouthfeel of this beer. Medium body seems a little thick for the flavor profile, thereby setting back the drinkability. Certainly not a bad beer, and I get the sense that it pays many of the bills so that we can enjoy such world class offerings as the Wisconsin Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart. Nothing I'd seek out again, but certainly happy for the opportunity to have tried it.

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Photo of hanco005
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, marked 2146 and 6:57, poured into a pint glass

A—pours a light yellowish, orange and slightly hazy, a thick cloud like bright white head is produced, fades away after a few minutes, lacing is moderate

S—sweet candy, apples, citrus, some grainy aroma, fragrance is pretty mild overall

T—different, sweet, a little of the apple and citrus I smelled, as well as the grains, almost has some cider/wine cooler flavor in it.

M—crisp, light bodied, mild carbonation

D—it’s good, but different to my palette, I think this would be a good transition beer.

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Photo of terrabyte
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy yellow color, with minimal head.

Smells grassy with a bit of lemon and orange sweetness. sweet with some lemon. The grainy maltiness isn't quite like a wheat beer, but something different (It does have some corn)

A floral and light fruity sweetness dominates this beer. Not much hops, just a grainy maltiness from wheat and corn. The aftertaste isn't bitter, but has a citrus tanginess.

A very light feel, with above average carbonation giving it a crisp swallow. A bit thin.

This is an extremely popular beer here. When I first discovered it years ago, I was truly in love. It was different, it was local, it turned me on to other crafted brews. I introduced it to friends and family, and they were also blown away by it. Now I'm kind of sick of it. It's too sweet for my liking, and what was once new and exciting for this naive beer drinker, is too simple for me now. However, this will forever be the ambassador of crafted brew in my mind.

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Photo of Newglarusguy
5/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This ale is by far one of the very best I've had to date. It's pours a silky cloudy color of caramelish yellow, it's smell hints of grains and corn and a bit of a fruit side to it. It goes down very easy and it's taste is by far the best for ale's that arn't 10$ or cheaper for a six pack. I strongly recommend this one to anyone who's in the greater WI area and wants to try a exceptional beer!

Man Up!

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This brew pours a clear straw color. The head is two-fingers in heigth and recedes rather quickly into sparce lacing. The aroma is of yeast, and corn. The taste is not unlike the aroma, very corny. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and is somewhat silky. Overall, this beer isn't bad, but I don't see why so many people think it is so great.

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Photo of joe1510
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle

Spotted Cow poured a hazy pale straw yelllow. Quarter inch white bubbly head that faded quickly to absolutely nothing. There was not one bit of head on this beer 30 seconds after the pour.

Smell is appetizing but weak. Smell is a little lemon up front followed by doughiness with spicy yeast.

Taste is pretty similiar to the smell with a lemon, bready/doughy and spiciness from the yeast. Tastes pretty good. Refreshing.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and theres hardly any carbonation at all.

Spotted Cow has good drinkability. It's a good thirst quencher. You could drink a lot of them nice and cold to cool down, but that's about it.


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Photo of indy169
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh, the Spotted Cow. This is the trendiest beer in Wisconsin next to Pabst Blue Ribbon. That said, the question begs, is it worth the hype?
I have enjoyed Spotted Cow for years, never really seeking it out as much as having it featured at various celebrations; parties, weddings, etc.
Out of the bottle Spotted Cow is hazy yet energetic. Malty, without too much effort. Hoppy? Not really. This is tasty and well made. It is understandable that this is popular among the bar poseurs. Different without taking too many risks. Unique, neat label (very Wisconsin), and overall great branding.
The beer is good, drinkable, and oh so cool.

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Photo of Zraly
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This bottle of ale was brought back to me from WI by a very kind friend.

Pours a cloudy, hazy pale yellow. Zero head, but a light film trails along.

Overall, this is a fruity and light ale. It's sweet and well-carbonated. The fizzy, spritzy nature makes for good summertime refreshment. There is a soft bubble-gum note and a lemony zing in the finish.

A nice one to slurp down after mowing the lawn, tending the plants outside, etc.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - pours a deep gold with a small head and little to no retention, little lacing, hazy

s - malty, spicy and fruity at the same time, not much by way of hops evident

t - pretty sweet and creamy, some fruit and malt as well, pretty much no hops or bitterness evident

m - fairly light bodied, medium carbonation

d - very drinkable though somewhat uninteresting

When in Madison, this is my standby beer. Not a great beer and probably my least favorite New Glarus brew, but a wonderful alternative to BMC.

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Photo of olacub
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice cloudy pour, small head that dissipates fast.

S: Grass, ripe oranges and a slight nuttiness that pokes through.

T: Light, but with a generous dose of citrus and bready malt. Very refreshing on an August afternoon.

M: Smooth and creamy.

D: Very drinkable. I could finish many of these sitting by the lake on a hot Summer day.

I know this beer gets ripped by some, but for what it is, I think it's very well made.

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Photo of Fuller
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another Wisconsin beer shipped to me by thefatkid13 :thumbup:

poured a hazy yellow with almost no head even with an aggressive pour. A slight ring of foam does stay on top of the brew most of the way throughout drinking though. Smells great for a hot day - light and fruity with a touch of grain. Hop bitterness is nonexistant, taste is of a hint of citrus and grain with a noticeable dry finish. Definitely see why its a cream ale in the mouthfeel area. Goes down smooth and creamy.

Nothing about this beer screams out "hey, look at me!", but that's part of what makes it so damn drinkable.

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Photo of mynie
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Try this one again, now that my pallete has aged.

A lifesaver at Miller Park.

Pours dark dark gold with a decent head, in spite of the best efforts of the young pourer to remove all vestiges of head.

Smells like dark malt, cream, and cinnamon. An excellent, crisp combination.

The smell doesn't entirely come through in the taste, as the cinnamon and malt are both subdued by the beer's intense creaminess. It feels nice, yes--it feels great, actually--but it drowns out the beer's flavor.

A great example of a mediocre style.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is described as a farmhouse ale on the label. Im not sure how this description applies, being that it wasnt brewed in a farmhouse and shares none of the characteristics of Belgium farmhouse ales.

It pours a light gold color with slight haze. The creamy bone white head dissapears too quickly and leaves meager lacing behind. The aroma is crisply malty with some herbal notes and a bit of sweet citrus. The taste is light and balanced. The malt profile is spicy and not very bready or biscuity. I can taste the corn, sort of a cream corn feel. Some light floral hops dance in the background. The finish is off dry and light, with a spicy feel. The mouthfeel is thin to medium with prickly carbonation.

This is a decent cream ale, light on all front but not offensive. Its spicy for a cream ale, but not in a traditional spicy hop way.

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Photo of Generik420
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on a pub crawl in Milwaukee last weekend and was very impressed. In fact, one bar was supposed to serve us Stella Artois, but had ran out and substituted with Spotted Cow and I was actually happy to miss out on the Stella.

Appearance: Pale and clear. Clean white head that didn't last long.

Smell: Sweet aroma and not hoppy. Very pleasant.

Taste/mouthfeel: This beer is on the sweeter side, and that may be a turn off to some. Very light on the hops. There is a bit of a twang to the backend of this, almost a hint of citrus. It is a little thin regarding mouthfeel.

This beer is a fantastic choice for a session beer or as a pallete cleanser between high hop beers. Great for summer as well. Wish I could get it where I live.

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Photo of palliko
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a typical pale fizzy beer, not much foam. Aroma is citrusy, tart but mild. Initial taste has minimal hops and malt, some fruit, in the middle, but the finish is crisp and clean. No great shakes, but a decent beer for a hot afternoon. This was a gift shipped from Wisconsin to Colorado, and I am grateful for a chance to taste the products from another state.

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Photo of Koolbreeze2
2.65/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Cloudy-like an unfiltered beer should be.

Smell: Nice smell. I liked the smell better than anything.

Taste: Not my cup of beer. Right up there with Bud. Just did not work for me. Had my 38 yr. old stepson try half a bottle. He is on my side per taste.

Mouthfeel: Nothing special.

Drinkability: Not for me but on a hot day outside I could drink a few and probably feel refreshed (somewhat).

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Photo of dfried
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

You have to take this beer for what it is, a very good mircobrewery's beer that they can sell a lot of to people who usually only drink American Macro's. Atleast it's not a crappy pilsner.

It is a slightly hazy yellow-golden color, with a head that foams up well, but dies quickly. The smell has a slight hoppy aroma, and is a bit spicy, but mainly a bit grainy. The flavor is initially a tangy, almost wheaty zest that is fairly sweet. They do use some corn in brewing this, but it's not so much an adjunct as it is a salute to Wisconson farmers, but it does affect the flavor and add to the general grain backdrop of the beer. The finish almost had an spicy apricot flavor to is, which is what impressed me the most about this beer, except the drinkabiliy. This is a very sessionable beer (fitting for my initial disclaimer, see above.)

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Photo of murrayswine
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What can I say about the number one beer in Wisconsin right now.... Well, It's my go to when all else isnt available, and all I have left is BMCs.
Pours a very light gold/yellow with a minimal head.
The nose is light and nutty with a little hop, and some butter.
The taste is loose and light. Tastes like good bread, but as a beer, it's a session horse, no more, no less.
Not bad if you wanna drink A LOT.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle with no freshness date. The color is a cloudy yellow-orange. There is a good amount of carbonation, giving it a sparkly, fizzy mouthfeel. Because it was poured slowly, there was no head and therefore, no lacing to speak of.

The aroma is faint, but, I detect some butter and tangy orange along with peaches and other fruits.

The taste is lemony with a light body. The hops are very light and there is little malt.

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Photo of aforbes10
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My wife and I stopped in New Glarus during their annual polkafest (which was extremely enjoyable) and the brewery had a couple of their beers on tap to try (and i course i hit up both). Spotted Cow poured (into a plastic cup) yellow to gold with an off-white head. Odor was kind of corny and vaguely malty, but overall not very strong at all. Taste was a thin mix of alcohol, corn juice, malt and extremely faint hops. Mostly it seems to just be a mildly refreshing, corn-based (which i verified with the guy manning the tap) hot weather beer. Nothing special IMO, but my wife thought it was darn good.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.06/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Looks like a hefe. Apricot yellow and very cloudy with scores of tiny bubbles making their way to the top. Chalk white head rapidly diminishes.

S: Very sublte. Touch of sourness on top of hay, lemon...sort of like a cream ale.

T: Organic tasting. Notes of cream, sweet corn, wheat and lemon twist. Small bitter aftertaste lingers long after the swallow

M: Very nice and smooth due to the low carbonation. Very quaffable

D: It is what it is. And for what it is, its not bad. Not anything I would ever hunt down but ok.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 3,599 ratings
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