Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Spotted Cow | New Glarus Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
83
good
796 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Spotted CowSpotted Cow
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
newglarusbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
796
Ratings:
3,437
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
29.04%
 
 
Wants:
268
Gots:
956
For Trade:
26
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 796 | Ratings: 3,437
Photo of cincybeernut
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On a week long trip to Wisconsin some family members insisted I have some spotted cow. It apparently has quite a following up here. Not a bad beer, quite smooth and easy to drink. Appealing color and smell. I would not classify this as a cream ale, at least no cream ale I'm familiar with.

Over all spotted cow is a good beer. I would not go out of my way to seek out spotted cow however if I saw it at the store (in my local area) I'd pick some up. I could sit around on my deck and drink spotted cow all day.

If you see it, TRY IT!

 535 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 1/27/15

A: Medium gold with some slight orange and straw tones, some honey around the edges - pours with a medium sized, white head, fades to a wispy cap, leave some streaks and spots of lacing

S: Lightly sweet, lightly grassy, with a mix of grains - pale malts, cereal malts, corn, and some lightly sweet bread - lager yeast and some light New Glarus yeast funk character - lightly grassy - light fruits, particularly apple

T: Grainy, lightly sweet, super balanced - great example of the style - pale malts, light grains, cereal grains, touch of corn, light bread - light, grainy sweetness - New Glarus yeast with a touch of funk and light fruit esters, apples, under-ripe bananas - lightly grassy and a touch earthy - dry finish

M: Really on the border between light and medium bodied, smooth with a crisp finish, medium carbonation, highly drinkable

O: You know you're in Wisconsin when...

This is the last New Glarus beer I will be reviewing for a while, and I saved this for last because it's such an icon. I heard rumors, but I didn't believe it until I saw it myself last fall: when you are driving on a major highway in Wisconsin, you see ads for restaurants, but instead of seeing pictures of a BMC product, you see a bottle of Spotted Cow. Among other factors, this has such a following because it's brilliantly mellow and stupidly easy to drink while still remaining interesting. It's not the best cream ale out there, but it is really worth trying.

 1,476 characters

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.

 176 characters

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!

 1,087 characters

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, high carbonation, straw gold in color, clear

Smell: straw, light funkiness and maybe a touch of apple

Taste: grass, straw, adjunct, and sugar

Mouthfeel: super light body, sweet with a touch of funk, medium-high carbonation

Overall: A nice summer beer, almost adjunct lager in style. This one is smooth and ejoyable but not overly complex. A nice warmer weather beer.

 441 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Brilliant straw color, 1” foam collar, dissipates quickly, some light lace.
S: a little apple – a touch of esters, some other fruit but not real strong, very faint esters but the apple is fairly strong – also some corn.
T: Sweet, light, some malt, no hop, a touch of sour, sweet lingers, refreshing, crisp, no corn, moderate malt, delicate beer with a touch of DMS.
F: medium light body, thirst quenching, medium high carbonation, creamy.
O: pleasant lawnmower beer – drinkable, a little more malt and hop would have been nice

 542 characters

Photo of higherbrow
4/5  rDev +9.6%

For a Wisconsite, Spotted Cow is the default craft beer. It is easy pleasing, and very accessible, with a very clean flavor. While this is rarely any beer enthusiast's favorite beer, as most beer enthusiasts lean towards a more robust style, this is my favorite beer to provide to a broad audience of beer enthusiasts, beer drinkers, and beer novices alike.

 357 characters

Photo of wdberkley
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an awesome grass cutter beer. Light, refreshing, and pretty damn tasty! New Glarus makes many great beers, and this is a very good example of a cream ale.

 164 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into SA perfect pint. Thanks again, Jay!

A: Pours a very lightly cloudy lemon color with a crazy frothy bone white head that really frothed up with the pour. After it settled and I was able to fill my glass a thick foam sat atop the liquid until the final sip.
S: Light notes of spicy hops, flaked barley, dry grains and clean malts. Yeast adds another layer of peppery spice as well. Light, spicy, and crisp.
T: Follows the nose with crisp and creamy flavors of cracked grains, pale malts, herbal and spicy hops and dry yeast. Slightly fruity. Very flavorful for being so light. Finish is peppery and the aftertaste is slightly sweet.
M: Super creamy moutfeel from all that ample carbonation, drying and refreshing, with a medium body.
O: Not a bad brew. Clean, crisp, light and refreshing. Thanks again, jbck109.

 830 characters

Photo of Lemke10
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Wedges in Janesville, Wisconsin in Early 2012. It was a 12oz glass for $3.

This fan favorite from Wisconsin pours a golden amber color with a pillowy white head. Has a very grassy, grainy scent. Taste is smooth and mellow as you take in the wheat flavors. Taste is clean and refreshing. Go anywhere in southern Wisconsin and I’m sure you’ll be able to find it.

 386 characters

Photo of beernut7
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This golden bottle conditioned ale is quite a nice surprise. The golden cloudy color due to suspended yeast gives off a cask-conditioned hop aroma. Initially ester flavor touches the palate followed by a small smokey lager-like musky flavor. The finish is light and sweet. A nice refreshing ale.

 299 characters

Photo of 312HopBomb
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a light straw hue with modest head and some spot lacing.

Nose consists of light apple. Light malt.

Taste is clean and not too sweet. Nice fruit burst that lasts..

Refreshing and effervescent, light and crisp and slightly creamy with perfect carbonation.

A refreshing summer ale.

 288 characters

Photo of Northsider
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this in bottle.

My father was really pushing this one on me so I finally tried it. Actually, this is really decent beer for the summer. Light and crisp. Low bitterness. It's borderline Macro Adjunct but it walks the line finely and does it well.

 250 characters

Photo of jsulko
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into tulip glass

Slightly cloudy yellow color with small white head that does noit linger long

Hints of corn and sweetness in the smell.

Light bodied beer tase does not linger.

Creamy taste. Given the corn used in the recipie and the cream ale style it might not be for everyone but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

 326 characters

Photo of BrewerB
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to greenvilleguitar for the hookup on this beer!

A - Poured into my Old Rasputin nonic pint glass, this brew is a medium golden color with great clarity. Formed a two finger white head that thinned down but retained well. Little lacing left on the glass.

S - Moderate cracker-like graininess with hints of pilsner malt and a touch of corn. Light floral hoppiness. Modest ester profile.

T - Hints of corn along with an upfront ester character. A touch of grape with saltine crackers in the background. Slightly perfumy.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth.

D - An excellent warm-weather brew, light and refreshing but with enough complexity and flavor to entice you in for another sip.

 715 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.01/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought back by my ex-pat Wisconsin-Michigan buddy who went back "home" to spend a week "fishin' at da cabbin" with his Packer-lovin' family (thanks Jeff!).

Pours kind of slightly cloudy pale yellow, not much to look at. A small head went to nothing in no time- and I do mean nothing. OK, I count 10 bubbles on the side of the glass. Unimpressive.

Aroma, kind of sweet, and yes, milky. A faint beery-hoppiness that is very subtle, and somewhat pleasant. More than anything, the aroma reminds me of a warm, buttered English Muffin. That is pretty cool.

Flavor is malty, sweet, with a nice hop balance. This a nice round, but not full, mouthfeel, and has very very high drinkability, very refreshing. This is not a sipper, this is for gulping down a bunch. Good stuff. Too bad it just isn't nicer to look at! The real problem, though is my girlfriend stealing this from me while I'm trying to review it!

 910 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.01/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a creamy white two finger head with good retention and lacing. Mild aroma of biscuit malt, grains, hints of citrus. Flavor is very pleasant semi-sweet bready malt, slight grassy hops, lightly buttery wheat, faint citrus. Finishes with mellow sweet malt and wheat. Unexpectedly moderate creamy body with a great mouth feel. I see why locals are so happy about this ale. This is the beer that I think the mass producers *think* they are brewing, simple, mellow and pleasantly drinkable. When I'm this satisfied with a style that I'm not that excited about, the brewers have really excelled. Easily the best cream ale I've ever had. Nicely done. Thanks to Vikki for bringing this back from Wisconsin.

 783 characters

Photo of weatherdog
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle poured into a spotted cow pint glass

It pours a pale gold with a little haze. There is a rather unimpressive head that dies a little too quickly.

The smell is relatively absent. There seems to be some crisp cereal type grains (like 6-row) and a faint corn type smell. It is subtle and unoffensive.

Grainy malt dominated the taste but I also detect just a slight grassy hop flavor. It's full bodied and palatable to even the most inexperienced drinker.

The mouthfeel seems just a little slick and oily. The carbonation is mid range which is lower than I would expect coming from the nose and initial taste. The drinkability is phenomenal as I can and have pounded these as fast as BMC all through out college.

Growing up in Wisconsin I know first hand how popular this beer is among almost every resident of the state. This is the best designed gateway beer from BMC to craft that I have ever tasted. I have never met anyone who didn't like it and for this reason it can be found in pretty much every bar in WI, even the most grungiest of biker bars. This beer is practically a state symbol, and even though it isn't the most exciting of the NG offerings, I applaud it's ability to open up the palettes of Miller Lite swilling residents of Wisconsin one pint at a time.

 1,286 characters

Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16oz Pint Glass. Picked this up while in Wisconsin last weekend after hearing about it through friends

Appearance - Pale Golden Yellow color with a slightly hazy look and some slight carbonation. Head pours around a 1 finger width with an aggressive pour. Lacing is very spotty here.

Smell - Bready-Biscuit/Yeasty scent with a very sweet smell to it. There are some corn notes in here, but in a good way that it makes it even more enjoyable to smell. There's also a pretty solid malty backbone here too.

Taste - Much like the smell, it's combination of yeasts, barley and sweetened malts and corn. Normally I associate corn with being an adjunct ingredient, but here it's openly a part of the beer and it fits very well with the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is light as well as the body. This gives the beer a very creamy feel to it, which adds even more drinkability to what is already an easy drinker.

Overall - It's good enough in flavor without being too complex and it's an easy beer to drink that's perfect for any occasion. Put these two together and you have an excellent beer that manages to strike a balance between drinkability and flavor!

 1,173 characters

Photo of snaxcat
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly cloudy pale straw color.
Smells of banana, bready malt, pineapple.
Tastes of straw, bread, banana, sweet fruits. Decent hop bitterness not overpowering.
Smooth, light, refreshing.

Overall: a solid, go to, easy drinking summer beer.

 253 characters

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.

 500 characters

Photo of RTrain12
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a 3/16" white head that faded away quickly. Lots of carbonation. Yeast sediment is very visable in the glass.

S: Malt and some hops. Not a whole lot of smells goin on here.

T: Smooth cream ale with a crisp clean finish.

M: Thin bodied with light carbonation.

D: Drinkability is very good in this one. Very refreshing and flavorful. This is a well balanced beer!

 402 characters

Photo of GregA135
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy yellow/straw color with a fluffy white head
Smelled more like a Saison than a cream ale
Once I tasted I could taste subtle hints of cream and some light amount of hops
Honestly I thought this was a great enjoyable beer! A light, crisp, easy drinking beer.
This would be awesome during the warm weather!

 316 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This pours a cloudy golden color with a light white foam atop it. No hop aroma to speak of, although I get a light orange peel & coriander whisper. The flavor is light, crisp, and has a pleasant sweet wheat note with a clean finish. The Spotted Cow has a crisp, fruity note on the flavor with a light corn malt sweetness. I imagine this could show the BMC macros a thing or two. In fact, I could drink this all day on a summer day.

 431 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours an off golden color with a very slight head. Smell has a lot of farmhouse characteristics, yeasty and malty with a lot of lemon zest. The taste is extremely crisp and refreshing. Very apparent malt backbone with a good amount of sweetness as well as lemongrass and citrus. This screams farmhouse ale. Light in body, low in carbonation, but very very drinkable.

Overall just a superbly easy to drink session beer. I could down a whole six pack of this in a hurry.

 499 characters

Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 3,437 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe