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: 797 | Ratings: 3,464
Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
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 +6%
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 -17.8%
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 +4.9%
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 +8.2%
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 +19.2%
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 -9.6%
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 +26%
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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Photo of mwagner1018
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pale amber/reddish color, slightly foggy (showing its unfiltered characteristic), very quickly diminishing thin head from tap.
S- Very nice subtle, refreshing, sweet and tangy.
T- Instant great satisfying, flavor, reminded me of several tasty Belgians that I have had many times in the past....fruity, light spice, bold, yet airy.
M- Full, yet light and nicely carbonated but not overpowering...good refreshing style.
D- Very drinkable, perfectly fit the nice mild/cool spring evening while I was enjoying this one!

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Photo of logansboat15
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Highly regarded among both my older and younger friends, Spotted Cow by New Glarus Brewing is Brewmaster Dan Carey's most popular beer. It is as close to an everyman's macrobrew as you can get, yet this fine brew has a tad more character. Pours a clear light amber with nice head and a lingering white lace. Smell is fresh and lightly hoppy and sweet. Taste is crisp, lightly refreshing and as Michael Jackson likes to say, moreish. Very light mouthfeel, but there is slightly more there than the watered down swill that is consumed by the clueless. Very drinkable and satisfying.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very interesting.
Pours a cloudy yellow with a half finger head that melts away to nothing.

Aroma is almost non-descript althought some sweet malt and corn comes through.

The taste is almost belguim with a sourness to it reminiscent of wild yeasts. Moderately sweet pale malts initially then sour yeast and very little hops to speak of.

This could be a very refreshing summer brew.
Thanks nflmvp for another new NG beer to try.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - a lemony, hazy pour. Two to three fingers of creamy white foam fall back pretty quickly but make for a nice start.

Aroma - a fruity, sweet lemony smell, almost like candy, that maintains well after the beer settles. One dimensional but worthy of props.

Taste - sweetened grain, some light fruitiness/floral stuff, but not much development beyond that. Considering it's a cream ale, I think it is an overachiever even with its lighter flavor. Some basic corn/grain presence, little if any hop element. It's a step above the macros but not much more beyond that.

Mouthfeel - a good smoothness makes this disappear quickly. Muted carbonation and medium body are a good fit.

Drinkability - all things considered, despite the average taste, this beer has a lot going for it elsewhere. Thanks to jj21 for this sample, toasted in honor of the birth of Monkeyknife's 3rd child. And another toast in the hope that he gets four or more consecutive hours of sleep sometime between now and the end of May.

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Photo of BeerCheese
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Took from the fridge and poured right into my glass. Poured slightly cloudy yellow with small white head comprised of big bubbles. Head dissipated quickly. Aroma was barely detectable. More CO2 bite in the aroma than anything else. Taste like any average ale. Not bad. Not great, but very drinkable.

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Photo of BeerRun13
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly pale golden color. Firm creamy white head is fed by one of the most spectacular bubble shows I've ever seen.
Lightly malty, subdued aroma.
Malty a touch of tart fruitiness. Corn is a major playa' in this one.
Light, smooth, and slightly creamy. Easy on the palate.
This ones okay. Par at best.

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Photo of happygnome
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: cloudy yellowish color inch or so of head that disapears fast, no lace no carbonation
s: sweet, creamy
t: almost like a sweet flavor not sure i did enjoy though kinda get a corn flavor in the finish
m: medium to full bodied surprising given light color

overall I really enjoyed this beer a deffinate session type beer would be very nice on a hot summer day

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a decent beer. I've actually been told that this is a lager, but after reading the bottle and noting that it categorized as a cream ale on this site, I was surprised to see that it is not a lager at all. For what it's worth, it still seems very lager-ish, but I can see the ale characteristics in it, notably the fruity esters. I think the corn and the light appearance are the source of misconception.

Anyways, the beer pours to a slightly cloudy yellow color. Could stand to have better clarity, but I suppose the protein from the corn and the bottle conditioned yeast are responsible for that. The head starts off moderately thick, but falls quickly back to a very thin, almost non-existent collar. Leaves no lace in its wake. Carbonation does not appear to be too active either, further distancing itself from the appearance of a light lager.

The smell is alright. Most notably the corn sticks out from the rest of the grist. Also has a sweet pale malt backbone with a hint of herbal hops. It is not unpleasant, but I am just not accustomed to smelling corn in a micro.

The taste really isn't half as bad as I was expecting from the nose. In fact, it's actually quite good for what it is. And for what it's worth, it is easily the best cream ale I've tried. Very light and quaffable. Not much in the way of a specialty malt bill, as one would expect. A light pale malt sweetness followed by a light corny finish. Not nearly as corny as in the nose. Also has a fairly light and crisp herbal hops finish. Also a light fruity ester lingers on in the aftertaste. Not bad.

The high protein levels in the corn and flaked barley give this a nice creamy feel. While the carbonation may not seem active to the eye, it sure does pack a wallop on the palate. Sure, it may not be the most complex and interesting beer I've ever drank, but it's very easy to consume and doesn't offend. For what it is, it's a well crafted brew, and I appreciate the fact that they use all local ingredients. Kudos for that. Yet again, thanks to my fellow John's Grocery asshole: Joe.

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Photo of Beerman420
4.8/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My Favorite beer of all time. The citrusy flavor is the key to this beers unique presence in the beer world. Very drinkable but not watered down like many "drinkable" beers.
A - Orange color, thick head from tap.
S - Attractive, so much better than any AB beer.
T - favorite part. Thick rich flavor with a hint of citrus.
M - Very good
D - My 2nd favorite part. I have never regretted partying with this prime choice.
Try if you can, it will be worth it!

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Photo of ManicD
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From sampler 12 pack. Poured into a pint glass.

Pale orange/yellow cloudy appearance.

A white foam disappeared almost immediately & left no lacing.

Orange citrus aroma.

Very light flavors of sweet corn & strawberry bubble gum, orange/lemon with grassy hops. A bit sweet. Medium-light carbonation.

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Photo of scaliasux
2.86/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Appearance - Cloudy yellow. Foamy short white head. A few bubbles.

Smell - Faint. Some maltiness, maybe adjunct. Not very distinct.

Taste - Semi-sweet malt dominates. Some corn. Finishes with just a touch of bitter hops. Appears well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Very light, watery. Crisp. Similar to an american lager.

Drinkability - Nothing wrong with this beer, just not a very exciting style. Excellent replacement for macro-lager, but not much more. This beer has become quite popular in Wisconsin and I for one am glad to see a small brewer who does make some very high quality beers reach a large market.

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

This is a really great beer. I tried it at an Outback Restaurant when I asked for whatever local Microbrew they had on tap. Much to my suprise, I found this to be one of the best beers I've ever had. Very versitile in taste, in that it can easily go with a good meal or just by itself, summer or winter. It is too bad that you can only buy it in Wisconsin... So if you happen to be traveling through the Cheesehead State, make a specific point to buy a case or two of this really good beer.

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Photo of sponberg
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy yellow gold - bottle conditioned, oh yeah! Aroma of some faint citrus hops, malt, whiff of corn/DMS.

Nice take on the style - starts with a slightly grainy-sweet flavor, with faint citric hops and yeastiness, mild underlying bitterness - not a tremendous amount going on, but what's there is solidly quaffable. Creamy, slightly spritzy mouthfeel. Found the glass empty far quicker than I thought I would.

Would beat the snot out of Corona in the cooler in the summer.

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Photo of ggaughan
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a hazy orange color with just a slight off white ring around the edge of the glass, no real sustainable head. There was a slight citrus aroma to the beer. The taste of the beer was mainly of citrus, a touch of hops on the tongue and wheat. Overall Spotted Cow is an easy drinking, smooth beer but is not overly complex.

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

A - Light hazy orange color. White head fades to a thick ring. A few small bits of lacing.

S - Sweet, mostly grassy, hints of citrus, bubblegum and pepper.

T - Taste is a sweet wheaty flavor with a light hoppy bite, more hints of pepperyness then a finish of sweet wheat and light bubblegum.

M - Thin to medium consistency with elevated carbonation.

D - Nice easy drinking beer, sessionable.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.65/5  rDev 0%
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 -13.7%
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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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 3,464 ratings.
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