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: 803 | Ratings: 3,475
Photo of harrymel
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Everybody from WI that hears I like craft beer is all, "you gotta try spotted cow! It's the best!"

Here we go.

Pours light straw with slight diaphany, a central dome of white foam. Smells of white grapes, hay, some corn and powdered milk. Flavor of beer, milk and some rice, the aftertaste is slightly sweet and the beer would go well with vanilla bean ice cream in the summertime. Thin with moderate carb and a semi dry, crisp finish. An okay beer.

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Photo of JackieTH
2.94/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy yellow-gold with a half inch of off-white foam that recedes in an average way leaving some clinging lace. Smell is virtually absent. I think it has some macro lager notes maybe corn and just a hint of malt but that's a stretch. Taste is not far from a macro lager either saved from the category by some hint of fruit possibly lemon that is detectable amidst notes of corn and barley and a light yeast nuttiness. Mouthfeel is decent, a bit creamy and holds together and let's you know this is a craft beer. Overall this one isn't great but it's drinkable and refreshing enough.

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Photo of Boto
2.94/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle: The pour was a bit of a suprise: it is a bit of a hazy, light golden color, with a large white head. The head dies down quickly, but it does look like a Belgian Wit. There is a bit of a wheat nose to the beer. Also, I get some spiciness and citrus, albeit faint. It has most of the taste characteristics of a Wit, but it is a thin and watery version of one. OK, but it should be more potent. Just average.

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Photo of Florida9
2.94/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Cloudy pale yellow in color. Pours with a small fizzy head that dissipates quickly. Little retention and no lacing.

S: Lemon. Citrus. A little yeasty funk.

T & M : Twangy grain-flavored liquid with a sweet, sticky, almost cloying mouthfeel. Cereal, corn and light lemon notes. Lighter bodied with heavier carbonation.

D: Ugh. I've tried this beer over and over again. For some reason people in Chicago love this beer and I don't know why. It's as if it is a craft version of an Adjunct Lager. It's sticky when it should be refreshing. It's sweet with nothing to support the sweetness. Maybe for macro beer people, this beer offers something a typical macro doesn't. What that is, I don't know. But for such a light bodied, light flavored beer, I can't believe how difficult this beer is to drink.

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Photo of TH28
2.94/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Aroma: Not picking up much of an aroma here, maybe a little biscuit. Smell a bit of sulphur. Appearance: Cloudy from the yeast. Thin, white head did not last long Taste: sweet and slightly citrus/fruity taste. No bitterness here. Tastes like a sweetened premium lager. Mouthfeel: Medium, creamy body. Low carbonation, almost flat. Overall: New Glarus makes some great beers, but this one doesn’t do much for me. Not much aroma or flavor here. Tastes like an extra sweet and creamy Lager

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Photo of Ottertude
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This cream ale poured a hazy golden yellow into my pint glass. A this white head quickly faded only leaving a little lacing on my glass.

The smell was faintly of corn and fruit, perhaps an apple. The taste was of corn, malt and a hint of fruit. At least this went down pretty clean and didn't leave a nasty after taste. Yes, I know this is faint praise but this is all this ale deserves. It was just ok.

It was lager thin and did go down easily enough after an evening of yardwork. I can see having 1 or 2 of these and then switching to something else. New Glarus has better offerings than this.

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Photo of zebulon
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I have had it from a bottle and on tap several times.

Light yellow clear but with some slight clouding.
From the bottle a fast build up of foam which disappears quickly. On tap much less foam which also disappears fast.

Weak aroma, sweetness like honey and malt. No hops.

Light cereal taste, caramel but not sweet, dry but without the bite of hops.

From the bottle lots of fizziness, almost like pop. As the carbonation dies then the lightness is the dominant characteristic. This could be a good beer to intro a Miller fan to craft brewing. Nothing to offend here.

Can drink this all day, but it is uninteresting. Its lightness is its strength, but also its weakness.

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Photo of chickenflea
2.96/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried this in on tap in the airport on my way out of Wisconsin. I had heard it was good, so I anticipated a treat.

Poured a light straw color with a medium white head. Medium cloudiness. Looked like a wheat beer without the massive head.

Not much aroma, but what there was smelled of light crackers, wetted grains, and wheat-like malt. Herbal and grassy hops play lightly in the background. Lightly sulfury.

Flavors of corn, raw barley, and grain husk round out in a lager-like way. A bit more rich, the beer has a briney, yeasty taste that keeps the grassy hops in check. Finishes with that unmistakable corn taste.

Creamy, the beer holds onto its weight until the very last second when the subtle hop bitterness ushers in a mild crisp and dry finish.

It was OK, but I wouldn't call it a great beer by any stretch. It was refreshing, but I finished it unsatisfied. It drank more like a lager than an ale.

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Photo of primu
2.96/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at 40F~ from glass bottle into small mug

A: Straw-colored. A finger of white, bubbly head with modest retention and some lacing.

S: Mild, pleasantly yeasty smell. Some notes of grass.

T: Mild, almost watery flavor. Tastes of grains, with subtle notes of citrus and grass. Tasty, but left me wishing for more.

M: Very light mouth feel, gentle carbonation.

O: Completely inoffensive "cold beer after mowing the lawn on a hot day" brew. Bland and a bit watery but with no bad notes, it's a good alternative to domestic American Lagers. I'd happily drink it if offered to me, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it.

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Photo of willjschmidt
2.97/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy yellowish gold with a very thin and quickly receding white head.

S: Some sweet grains, maybe some corn.

T: Quite a bit of grains and some light sweet malts. There is also a lot of lemon tartness and sweetness to it which is probably the best part about it. It tastes like a slightly sweeter version of a BMC lager.

M: Light bodied, quite a bit of carbonation.

D: It's drinkable, I'll give it that. It's very tame, light, and not a whole lot different than drinking water. I guess it would be a decent option on a hot summer day. Besides that, skip it.

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Photo of Vixie
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a yellow color, with just a hint of orange. Forms a bit of a white head which slow dissipates into lacing.

Smell is sweet, quite a bit of citrus in there. Slightly flowery, reminds me a touch of a fresh mown lawn.

Tastes very fruity, seems to be like a carbonated orange juice. Has quite a bit of carbonation, and to me finishes a bit watery.

This was quite thin, not much going on outside of the carbonation.

While certainly not a bad beer, nothing really of note here. A good summer beer, one you'd want after working outside on a hot day and want to cool down with a beer that refreshes, but isn't too heavy.

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Photo of iSip
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

New Glarus Spotted Cow: This was the beer of choice while visiting the folks back in Wisconsin.

This brew has a champagne color with a slight clowdy look to it. The head is well developed and has some mass to it, but does fade. Aroma is rather thin. Very little carbonation to be had.

The flavor is clean with a finish of champagne. Will pare well with food, but not a beer that stands alone. Worth a try....

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Photo of aforbes10
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
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 adamette
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle that my friend Wally gave me. Thank you so much Wally. I would not likely have had the chance to enjoy this beer if you had not given it to me. Poured into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. No observed "best by" date.

A Straw yellow, translucent body under a meringue like white head that dissipated to a single layer on the top of the beer after about 2 minutes. 3.0

S First impressions of the smell was of an SNPA but then I realized that SNPA has more smell to it. There is some light malt but the smell is very distant. 2.5

T Taste is just like the smell suggests, a very light cream ale. There is mostly a water taste with a bit of sweet malt and a bit of hops. 3.0

M Some carbonation makes it dance across my tongue but otherwise this is a very light beer. That is not really a quality that impresses me but it is true to the style. 2.0

D Well very good but unfortunately the drinkability is good in a way that Bud Light's drinkability is good. It is good but I would probably not attempt to test that theory again. 4.0

Notes: I really wanted to like this beer. I love the whole "Spotted Cow" image and it being from Wisconsin and all but this beer was boring.

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Photo of udubdawg
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours clear, quite yellow, but only a small fizzy head forms and retention is brief at best.
Nose is stronger than some competitors, but distressingly high in sweet corn, even stronger than the pale malt aroma. I'm thinking I get a faint flowery hop aroma. No alcohol, DMS, fruitiness, or off aromas.
Flavor is underwhelming. Sweet corn is again even with pale malt. Not a lot of depth. After the swallow the beer's memory disappears from my palate, as there is no aftertaste, drying, residual bitterness, graininess, etc.
Body is medium for the style, carbonation perhaps a bit low. It's clean, without any noticeable flaws, and if it was hot (and it is) I could (and did) finish the bottle with little effort. I'll have it again, but don't have any desire to do so right now.

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Photo of CenCalMario
2.99/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Low alcohol much as expected with a cream ale. Color and appearance are desireable. Head was nice and full, good carbonation. I found the aroma to be lacking, almost had to try to "find" it in the nose, very subtle and light. Taste lacked character and was average, was expecting a bit more.

Overall this beer rates as a beer worth trying but not worth buying.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.99/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Spotted Cow is a beer I have always wanted to try, as I love all things New Glarus. I assumed I would get as an extra in a trade or just end up passing through Wisconsin and trying it. Instead, I surprisingly found it in my buddy's fridge in Boston.

Spotted cow has a lightly hazed, yellow body with a creamy white head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

The nose is very grainy and sweet; it smells quite a bit like a macro. Well, I would call it a “classy” macro, but it smells similar than a macro and better than a macro at the same time.

The taste follows the nose pretty closely. A big punch of sweetness is backed up by a grainy malt body. Pretty straightforward and simple.

Mouthfeel is a touch creamy with a lot of carbonation.

Spotted Cow is about what I expected: a step up from the macros, but similar enough to please macro drinkers.

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Photo of gibgink
3/5  rDev -17.8%

From label, "Cask conditioned ale has been the popular choice among brews since long before prohibition. We continue this pioneer spirit with our Wisconsin farmhouse ale. Brewed with flaked barley and the finest Wisconsin malts. We even give a nod to our farmers with a little hint of corn. Naturally cloudy we allow the yeast to remain in the bottle to enhance fullness of flavors, which cannot be duplicated otherwise. Expect this ale to be fun, fruity and satisfying. You know you're in Wisconsin when you see the Spotted Cow. "

This beer tasted no different than a standard AAL in my opinion. Did not smell or taste any fruitiness, creaminess, or corn for that matter.

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Photo of beerbears
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 12 oz bottle into a pint. Color is delightful, a nice yellow-golden hue. First time drinking anything from New Glarus Brewing Co. Overall impression this a great summer beer, very crisp and refreshing.

Smell: wheat and breads.

Taste: bread and a bit earthy.

Mouthfeel: Thin body with very little carbonation.

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Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A slightly hazy light lemon yellow color as it sets in the glass; head is modest in size, frothy in texture and as it evanesces, leaves behind a silky sheet of lace. Sweet malt dominates the nose, fresh and clean to the senses with the start sweet and loaded with malt. Top is medium in mouth feel, finish has a light carbonation and the hops apropos to the style, nicely dry and drinkable.

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Photo of dbtoe
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass
This beer is every place in Wisco. Everyone except me seems to like this beer. I don't get it. To me there just isn't anything I like about how this beer tastes. I'd rather have a Bud. Looks like a macro smells like one too. Taste to me is just off somehow, grainy. Feel is carbonated and to me is a little harsh. Not drinkable to me I do have one every now and then just to make sure I still don't care for this beer. Have had on tap also.

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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 Corbet
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-looks like your typical cloudy microbrew.

S-tastes like beer

T-tastes like your typical major brand beer but a bit more flavorful and less watered down

M-a more full bodied major brand beer

O-Very easy drinking beer, flavored enough to enjoy while on the couch but nothing special. I must admit, I was expecting more from New Glarus, especially after hearing from friends how popular New Glarus is in WI.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Here comes the New Glarus flagship beer. Clarity isn't huge on this one, its obscured, yellow 1/2" white head. Smells like rural farms without the feces. That sounds bad. You know, its grain and fresh air kind of vibe.

Taste evolves throughout the drink, smooth at times, then it takes on a mild lemon note and bitterness not from hops and often not seen with cream ales.

Its almost my least favorite New Glarus ale, but obviously quite a few people love it. Its everywhere.

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Photo of ryho
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer on tap at Tornado Steakhouse in Madison, Wisconsin. In my opinion this beer tastes like what you would get if you tried to make Bud light with all very high quality ingredients. It was good, but very bland. There isn't anything you can complain about in it. It's even very drinkable, and I could probably drink this all night if it was available. But I really like a bit more flavor in my beer.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 3,475 ratings.
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