Spotted Cow | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Spotted CowSpotted Cow

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

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: 793 | Ratings: 3,402
Photo of Wisconsin
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy and pours a nice head that sticks around for awhile

S - Nothing really stood out to smell wise

T - Smooth and hoppy, along with a bit of carbonation

M - Smooth, malty and some hops

D - I could drink this all day. In fact, I have in Madison before some football games.

Overall, if this beer is available on tap at a local bar take this any day over the Millers and Buds of the world. Just because this is New Glarus' most recognized beer doesn't mean they threw a bunch of crap in it.

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Photo of ajmoody76
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

buddy gave me a twelve ounce bottle. cloudy straw color. not much of a white head. looks ok.

light malts on the nose. some fruitiness. no off odors.

sweet and fruity. a little hop crispness. dry aftertaste.

not much carbonation. light to mid body. decent beer. i am new to cream ales. would like to try again.

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Photo of Rennpferd
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It poured slightly hazy and golden in color. It had a two finger head that shrank down to a lacing. There was a high level of carbonation.

It had an adjunct like scent. There was a lite scent of hops.

It was slightly astringent. The adjuncts that were used to lighten this beer came through and overpowered any malt that may have been used to brew it. There was a slight hop bitterness. It had a medium body that was smooth and creamy.

It is a really drinkable ale. It is very neutral yet not a watered down excuse for beer. I recommend this beer if you are buying for a large group and unsure of their tastes.

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Photo of mwilbur
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into cervoise.
A: Pours a clear golden yellow with slight fizz...very similar to apple juice in color.
S: Honey, faint hops, not much honestly.
T: Cream, honey, faint hops and malt.
M: Smooth and creamy.
D: Quite drinkable. A nice beer, but fairly bland. I swear this tasted better the last time I had this. Perhaps I'll come back to this review and amend in the future if future quaffs are different. Thanks to my wife for bringing this one back from Madison for me.

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

It's pale cloudy gold and has a finger of fluffy white head.

Smell is pretty faint -- sweet bread, straw, milk.

It starts with minimal flavor, but then the grassy biscuits and creamy pastures come through. Um, seriously, cookies and milk come to mind, but it's light and drinkable and there's enough hop presence to give it some backbone. I like this beer.

It is genuinely creamy in the mouth, but I wouldn't call it highly carbonated. It's silky.

Drinkability is pretty good.

I had this on draft in Wisconsin and was a little let down, because I'd heard good things about Spotted Cow. The bottle restores my faith. Cream ale still isn't one of my favorite styles, but this is a good one for sure.

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

Thanks to wagenvolks for the freebie. Pours a crisp clear straw yellow with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is a a noticeable amount of sweet malts. The taste is a smooth malt kick that comes through stronger in the finish, but still overall a little on the bland side. The beer is certainly crisp and refreshing as it should be for the style. This one is certainly drinkable, but I'd take a Lagunitas Sirius over this one any day.

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Photo of kenito799
3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint mug.

Softly hazy golden beer with a creamy white head, some spots of lacing.

This brew has not a lot of semll other than fresh. Flavor is very mild, soft, malty and grainy, just barely balanced with hops. The mouthfeel is indeed creamy and the beer is quite drinkable. On the boring side but well made.

Edit, re-review: had a bottle at the Milwaukee airport 10/09, and I was struck by just how creamy and perfect the mouthfeel on this brew is. The fresh subtle flavor fits perfectly. I have upgraded my scoring accordingly.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
2.71/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy, pale gold color with active carbonation and a frothy, one-finger head that fades quickly.

S: Sweet grain and yeast. Traces of malt. A faint hint of citrus.

T: Harsh and grainy taste profile that's somewhat reminiscent of Rolling Rock. Must be the "hint of corn." Notes of vegetal matter, biscuit and lemon citrus. Finish is bitter and astringently dry.

M: Medium-bodied and well-carbonated.

D: Honestly, I've never understood why this beer is so popular in Wisconsin. Never been a fan. After mulitple sessions, it's time to put this cow out to pasture.

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Photo of kwakwhore
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear light yellow pour. Smallish head.
Clean aroma with a light hop scent.
Taste is nothing over the top, just very easy on the palate with light maltiness and a ghost of hops in the finish.
Very refreshing beer to drink, this would be a fantastic summer beer.
I could see a drinking this all day.
This is a welcome change of pace from my usual hop centered beer drinking. If you are looking for an unpretentious, easy to drink beer, this one fits the bill.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 9-28-08

Pours a cloudy pale yellow, with a quickly fading head and zero lacing.

Smell is clean, slightly yeasty, with a super subtle hop character. Very unoffensive, for being so light.

Taste is light and slightly fruity, with a very pleasant easy bitterness on the finish. The malt is almost invisible, and is not adjunct in a any way.

Mouthfeel is good, just the perfect amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is astoundingly good, you could pound these all day.

Overall, almost like a lager with a excellent creamy hop edge. A shame we can't get it here in MI.

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Photo of scottg
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass at the Tundra Lodge in Green Bay, WI.

Pours a straw yellow color with a one finger white head that dissipates quickly with no lacing. Light malt, grass and sweet fruit aromas. Toasted malt flavor mixes with lemon hops with a slight biscuit flavor. Medium body, medium carbonation, mouth cleansing with a nice hop finish, easy drinking.

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Photo of TenEighty
4.75/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden with a slight copper hue, somewhat cloudy, nice head with good retention and decent lacing.

S: Malty aroma, with almost an apple smell.

T: Wow, this beer continues to impress me and the taste is nothing short of exceptional. I find that this trait is quite typical of any New Glarus Beer, there is a slight bitterness that makes itself present, and it disappears with the beer, exceptional.

M: This is easily the best cream ale to graze my palate.

D: I could easily have another one of these, I just might now that I think of it.

Yet another example of New Glarus greatness, I would recommend this beer to anyone.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.11/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Clear dark golden yellow color with thick wite head. Slowly recedes leaving a thin white layer of foam. Excellent lacing.

S - Sweet pale malt aroma, biscuity. Also a hint of some spicy hoppiness in the background.

T - Light, almost fruity sweetness up front. A biscuity flavor begins to sneak in before a quick spicy hop bite comes through. Nice hop presence for a cream ale. Finishes clean and sweet.

M/D - Light to medium bodied, very crisp and well carbonated. This would make a great session beer.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank straight from a 12 oz. bottle

Hard to say too much about the appearance... appeared to be a golden ale hue. The beer has a nice but not overpowering aroma, and the taste follows through on that hint. There is a tinge of citrus but it goes down smooth.

A solid choice to spend an afternoon relaxing drinking some beer, but nothing that blows you away.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle; the label shows a Holstein cow and the state of Wisconsin.

Appearance: A decent pour produces a good thick 1-finger head which quickly is reduced to a thin ring, which leaves no lace. The beer itself pours a dark golden hue, and there's a decent amount of fine-grained yeast sediment suspended in this beer.

Smell: The initial aromas are of fairly simple sweet malt. There's not much if anything in the hop aroma department. As the beer begins to warm, the malt notes become more intense, and I'm starting to get something very earthy, almost like baking potatoes, fresh out of the oven.

Taste: At first there's a taste of sweet malt, with just a bit of very light hopping in the background. The malt flavors are not complex, but they're not unpleasant either. Upon exiting the palate, you can definitely pick up on the corn adjunct, and the finish ends slightly dry and fairly crisp, with a slight metallic note.

Mouthfeel: The weight and mouthfeel of this beer is moderate, and appropriate for the style. It's not heavy by any means, but is definitely more substantial than a typical American lager.

Drinkability: High.

Conclusion: This is my first experience with an American Cream Ale, and I wasn't sure what to expect. It's not bad by any means, but there's not that much to it. I think it would do nicely washing down simple fare like burgers and fries, but might be even better for introducing your BMC friends to craft brews, as it's something like a richer, fuller, and more robustly flavored American macro-lager.

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Photo of brdc
2.71/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Small capped bottle, poured into a pint.

Good looking dark yellow brew with an average white head but not a lot of retention. Aroma is faint, and not really that easy to describe, since there is not much there; grains and light alcohol.
Light bodied, easy to drink, but corn and other grains is as much as I can get.
A little better than BMC. Certainly a lot worse than most NGs out there.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a golden yellow color with a one finger white head that sinks down to a very thin coating. Some fine particulates are visible in the light.

Aroma is not overly complex. Grainy with a sweet lemony note. Not very great in the big scheme of beer, but it is quite nice for the style.

Taste is quite similar to what the aroma projects. Sweet malty graininess with a bit of lemon on the finish along with some earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth but it leaves a bit of a coating on the mouth after the swallow that isn't really desirable.

For a Cream Ale this stuff is pretty damn good. I haven't had anything from New Glarus yet that I haven't enjoyed.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

That does it, I'm moving to Wisconsin.

The 12 oz. bottle pours a bright & hazy, goldenrod hue with hints of amber at its core. A thin, quickly receding head dissipates to a wisp of foam and a ring of bubbles around the edge, leaving little in the way of lacing. This beer smells fantastic: sweet floral and citrus hops give way to yeasty notes of creamy mandarin orange, vanilla, and white grape juice. A light, peppery kiss rounds out the aroma, sealing it as one of the better smelling Cream ales I've encountered.

The flavor is well-designed and tasty, without being overly complex. A light lemon meringue note floats effortlessly beside a backing of wheat, cream, and allspice. Very tasty for a Cream ale, and the mouthfeel is even better: light & crisp, with a creamy finish that lingers and brings hints of lemon peel and orange cream-sicle. Perfectly carbonated, too. New Glarus continues to surpass my expectations, delivering (yet again) a phenomal beer from a lack-luster beer style when compared to the vast sea of Double IPA's, Imperial Stouts, and Barleywines. Great Job!

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Photo of bilyboy65
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pilsner glass. No BBD on the bottle.

A: A cloudy golden yellow. Head dissipates fast leaving no trail it existed. Medium amount of carbonation can be seen. No film is left on the glass.

S: Seems to be a yeasty vanilla scent. Some mild hops can also be detected. Given a few swirls it actually seems to smell of cream.

T: Tastes of corn and yeast. No bitterness to it. Tends to be yeasty on the after taste.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation.

D: Flows over the tongue very easily. Leaving a very nice taste behind making it easy to have more.

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Photo of david131
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- slightly hazy, light golden with a few streams of rising carbonation. A very thin, splotchy white head forms.

S- Pretty light and fruity. Not bad, but there is not much there either.

T- Biscuity and fruity. Pretty simple, but damn tasty.

M- Creamy. Damn. Very impressive. The carbonation level is very nice.

D- This would make a wonderful session beer. The flavors are good, but not too in your face.

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Photo of corey0212
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Got this one from Monsone in the Brews n' Books BIF!

Pours a hazed, glowing yellow color, bright white head fades fast into a thin ring around the beer, just a few spots of lacing left behind. Smell is sweet lemon, wheat, slight citrusy hop aroma. Taste is tart lemon rind, hearty wheat taste, and just a faint hint of banana in there too. Crisp and refreshing, the tartness and drying effect are somewhat intense, but I like it. Very tasty....if I lived in Wisconsin, I'd be drinking this all the time.

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

Bottle out of a New Glarus Sampler

A - Very light clear and golden color. Lots of carbonation bubbles. The head was strong and bright white, but dissipated into a film after settling.

S - I smell the citrus and piney notes of a cascade hop. Nice and sweet smelling.

T - Not strong in taste. Very light sweet malty beginning that continues to some hops bitterness. Does finish with a nice creamy note that would seem to fit the style.

M - Starts with the light and watery beginning that goes with the light malt flavors of the initial note. However, interestingly, it goes to a creamy texture when reaching the latter end.

D- Very easy drinking. The drink is light, the flavor is not dominant, and the alcohol is manageable. No wonder its in every pub in WI.

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Photo of MDekker
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at a bar in Madison, Wisconsin, while watching everyone else drink Bud and Miller.

It looks like a wheat beer - pale gold in color, hazy, with a disappointing white head. The aroma is mostly lemony with notes of the wheat malt too. The taste is similar - dominant wheat and lemon flavors, some spices I can't name, and banana, which I noticed more as time went on. Pretty good. The mouthfeel was nothing special - a little watery, perhaps. It went down easy though. Overall, it's a good summer brew.

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Photo of therica
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reminds me a little of a real Koln Kolsch, nice summer drink.

A= light modest head, slightly cloudy pale-yellow hue more common to a Weissen.

S= light scent, some florals, citrus and hints of hops and corn.

T= nice combination, the corn addition is apparent, also nice mild citrus, malt and hints of hops.

M= clean, nice finish and aftertaste.

D= very drinkable, single or session.

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Photo of hiikeeba
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have heard good things about New Glarus, and when a friend returned with a couple of bottles, I was excited.

A - Pours up cloudy yellow with a white head that disspates quickly.

S - A sweet malty beer with a hint of hops.

T & M - Malt sweetness dominates the flavor, with a bit of hop bitterness. Lighlty carbonated, but still full bodied.

D - Extremely drinkable beer.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 3,402 ratings.
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