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: 805 | Ratings: 3,489
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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Photo of egrapplesberg
4.27/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2295 on twelve oz bottle. I'm thinking 229 day of the year. July/August. Not too old. Poured into snifter. Cloudy dark yellow with frothy 2 inch head that fades modestly. As I sip healthy spots cling to the glass and slide down leaving some stragglers. Smell is banana and some biscuit. Taste is similar. Drinkability is superb. Idk if it's because I just got off work but I'm loving this beer. Cheers!

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Photo of OmahaKF
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Smell is of cream, King's Hawaiian sweet bread, and White Rabbit milk candy. Taste is sweet bread - basically a creamy lager. Easy drinking, but did not live up to the hype.

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Photo of Extol
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - gold in color. Smell - typical cream ale smell, light straw smell. Taste - mmm. Really good. Smooth and creamy
Sessionable. Overall - this is a very solid cream ale.

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Photo of kbwalters
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured cold into a tulip glass. Bottled on 9/1/15.
Look = 3.75 Pours a cloudy golden straw color with 1 finger of crisp white head that fades to a light ring. Below average retention but solid dense lace left behind.
Aroma = 3.75 Yeasty, spicy, banana and light cracker sweetness.
Taste = 3.5 Light sweetness, biscuity malt, a hint of banana but otherwise bland.
Feel = 4.0 Light bodied with medium carbonation, fizzy but a little creamy too.
Drinkability = 4.25 Pretty easy drinking, probably its best characteristic.
Overall = 3.75 Easy drinking everyday ale, otherwise a little lacking in several categories.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Tiny head, with a lively head consisting of a bunch of small bubbles. The head dissipates quickly, as does most of the initially heavy carbonation. A fizzy yellowy look.

Subtle taste of bananas, with a great feel. Very sweet and incredibly drinkable. This would be on the top of my list of recommendations for a non-beer drinker.

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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 martinfletwood
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very good beer for an ale. I find most "ales" pretty basic, but Spotted Cow is a few steps above basic. With all the diverse flavors out there I find it difficult to drink boring old "ales", but if you're into them, give this one a try. Would drink again, but wouldn't go looking for, but that's just my taste.

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Photo of farrago
4.21/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid finger’s worth of bright white foam, even surface, tiny and tightly woven bubbles, retention is okay at best, the lacing is stronger than expected with thick streaks and good staying power. The liquid is mildly gauzy, golden color that is closely to orange than dilute, loosely arrayed large bubbles are active. The creamy vanilla and cola bean scents present in the nose without dominance, pastry flakes and cereal, cherry to banana fruit scents, the graininess firms up and stiffens the dissolve in the nostrils, overall just smells kind of like “old school” beer. Medium-bodied, not soft but you feel all the round contours and the creaminess is both textural and in flavor. Whipped cream, vanilla and yeast to baking dough, tastes like Dr. Brown’s cream soda. As in the nose, the grain and bread stiffen by the finish and lend punctuation. Retains the cherry, banana, white grape fruitiness. Every now and then you find a metallic, spring water note. The carbonation broadens the palate coverage more than prickles. Even as the sweetness lingers it feels balanced. Comes off as highly sessionable and easy to drink, well done.

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Photo of bluehende
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slight smell of bananas. Nicely balanced and creamy (can't believe I wrote that) beer. The finest cream ale I have ever had. I would seek this out for a nice drinkable beer.

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Photo of prost2hefeweizen
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours little to no head. Body is a light, pale, gold. Faint smell of crisp banana and yeast goes with its taste and a slight hint of fruit. Goes down smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation. Really great beer that as far I know is only sold in Wisconsin. I always find me a 6 pack of these when I'm in the state.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle at 45 degrees into snifter
Aroma of wet grain and corn flakes, lasts entire drink
Head small (1.5 cm, aggressive pour), white, frothy, diminishing to irregular one cm ring and partial layer
Lacing – none
Body light yellow, hazy
Flavor slightly sweet, just a hint of disulfide, grainy; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, slightly syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.25, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 4, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.5

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Photo of Griffin2
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pored from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. Nice lemon colored ale with a solid white head. Another simple beer that I could drink all afternoon. Very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

pours a slightly hazy light golden color. head fades quickly. nose is malty, bready, biscuit. the taste follows similarly. not much hop character. very easy drinking. good beer.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Clear light golden little fizzy head only around the rim. Mild aroma of cracker malt and yeast. Has that familiar Belgian banana fruity taste but the flavor is soft with a crisp middle and a dry semi tart finish. Very clean. Overall good for the style, could have easily had another.

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Photo of Lembeh
4.24/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A great example of a cream ale this. It does a great job of balancing the hops and malt to deliver a easy drinking ale. On the nose and taste you get a lot of barnyard hay, as if you were drinking this on a farm. It really encapsulates the hardworking midwestern ethos well. A winner from Wisconsin.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.21/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Finally got a hold of some of this. Thanks Jake.
This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a nice looking hazy to semi-transparent golden color. A quickly dissipating less than a finger's worth of white foamy head just slides right on out into non-existence. Lacing, what lacing, but I'm not worried, read on please.
The smell takes sweet corn malts and blends into a super light sweet breadiness.
The taste copies the smell and has no aftertaste nor finish.
The mouthfeel was light bodied with a nice sessionable creamy smooth feel about it. Carbonation runs light and smooth.
Overall, as a cream ale this one works. I expected nothing less. When in Wisconsin, one doesn't drink AB products when you have this. I heard it's considered a saison on untappd, because people are idiots on that site. I'm glad Beer Advocate has it correct.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle, no date. Pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy medium gold, leaves a frothy 3 finger cap that lingers. Very nice lacing, ample carbonation.

Aroma: Fruity, yeasty, clean Munich malt, a very clean graininess.

Taste: Sweet, clean, balanced, not much hop presence to speak of, sweet and slightly apple-fruity.

Mouthfeel: Light & fluffy. Pretty clean finishing. HEavier side of light; subtle carbonation given how bubbly it appears.

OVerall: Outrageously drinkable, though a little bland. If I lived in Wisconsin, this would be a regular 6-er; but even if it were available here, I'd probably pick Victory's Summer Action or MadTree's Lift first.

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Photo of Pocker
4.63/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite cream ale by far. New glarus in general makes so many great beers, but this one is so easy to drink regardless of weather or setting. Only bought in Wisconsin, I have to make the 15 minute drive across the border which I don't think twice about doing; even if it's just for this beer. Foggy honey in color, fresh--light hop scent and smooth yet full upon entering the hole in your face. The mozzarella cheese, sausage and mushrooms will go down so easy with this beer.

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

A gift from a good friend coming home from Wisconsin. I never overanalyze flavors in a beer on a review, and I won't this time either. Very nice refreshing brew for the summer, quite tasty.

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Photo of DissentFatsquirrel
5/5  rDev +37%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Why New Glarus Brewery is on the map, a very welcoming beer that is not too strong, and no matter the setting, delivers that farmhouse ale taste we have become accustomed to.

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Photo of Bill4515
4.99/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn good beer. Slight taste of citrus along with hops and malt. Overall, delicious beer. One of my favorites. And only made and sold in Wisconsin :)

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Photo of govlady
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: golden, light, a little bit of head
S: banana, fruity
T: malty, corn, light with a tiny bit of hop to it
F: medium carbonation, creamy, very smooth
O: solid beer. very refreshing. ive had a few after playing 9 holes in the heat of the summer in WI and it really hits the spot.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks, Tony!

A : A hazy honey glow, about 70% opaque. The head is exceptional, making a beautiful paper white crown reaching 3 fingers tall, and then receding to a fat ring leaving hilly lace on the sides.

S : Some light tropical/fruity aromas - banana, pineapple, mandarin orange. Light white bread crust, and a faint yeast aroma. A bit of cereal grain in there, too. The bouquet is pretty faint however.

T : First word? Delicious! Malty, rich, flavorful. Banana, clove, marshmallow, and light grains. Slight hop slap but keeps it minimal. A little white bread crust. It ends with a bit of burnt cinnamon and banana peel.

F : Creamy, creamy, creamy. I love it. It just devours your mouth into the beer. It has a spritzy carbonation that keeps it lively, and ends woody and semi-dry.

O : The best cream ale I've ever had. Not kidding here, guys. Would not change a thing. Love this representation. Do not pass this one up.

Follow up. Golden color with creamy head and a fuzzy lacing. Aromas of honey and biscuit, creamed corn, some vegetal, and general sweet grain aromas. Flavors are grainy, with golden malts, general sweetness, some banana, a hint of clove, and crisp pilsner finish. Feel is carbonated, refreshing, with a semi-chalky finish. I'd buy a 12 pack, or maybe a couple sampler packs with this in it.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 3,489 ratings.
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