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: 3,462
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 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.

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

Pours a slightly hazy light golden with a frothy one inch white head that slowly dissipates, leaving thick lacing.

Corn, grain, floral hops, and cracker-like malt form the aroma. There's a hint of diacetyl, and banana esters surface as it warms.

There's a lightly sour note that underlies the flavor profile, which finishes with a crackery dryness. Floral hops are light and hit mid palate. The malt flavor is slightly sweet.

Body is on the light side with carbonation that's fairly high. It's a touch spritzy.

Decent brew, for the style. Carbonation may be a bit high, but fairly drinkable.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange color with a low white ring for a head and low carbonation. Tart yeasty Belgiany aroma ... a bit horse-ish. Flavor is similar to the smell. Light-medium bodied (leans light) and refreshing with a crisp Saaz-ish hoppy finish.

A beer I'd put more into the Saison/French Ale category ... nice and refreshing.

Per label: Farmhouse Ale. Flaked Barley, WI malts, and a hint of Corn.

Tasted: 12/31/03
(M. Shusterman)

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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

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

A- Hazy, cloudy straw-yellow body, one finger white head with average retention time, no lacing.

S- Grainy malt, lemon, citrus. Very simple and straight-forward.

F- Straight-forward grainy sweetness, a bit of caramel and a bit of toffee, reasonably sweet. The corn seems to impart a sweeter flavour. Mild lemon & citrus is subtle but present and balances things out. Overall it's straight-forward, not particularly complex and mild in general.

M- Thinner-medium body, well carbonated. Very easy to drink.

O- Easy drinker, just enough flavour and balance that you can easily drink a bunch of it and not feel bad about it. Good staple to have in the household.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" white head over the slightly cloudy, light golden brew. Head,fades to an uneven layer of bubbles, and lacing is minimal. Aroma is light pale malt with a tinge of citrus. Taste starts with smooth pale malts, and closes somewhat crisply with a bit of citrus character. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good, but without easy access of this one, it falls into the "why bother" category for me.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.46/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An offering from New Glarus Brewing Co. that I have had on many occasion while living in Madison. Finally decided to review it.

A - The Spotted Cow has a faint hazy yellow gold color, mainly due to the yeast left in the bottle. It also poured a very white fluffy head, about an inch that dissipated at an average pace.

S - On the nose I get light fruits, a little citrus from the hops, barley malt, yeast, and the unmistakable hint of corn.

T - On the palate I got exactly what I smelled on the nose, and that hint of corn on the finish adds a distinct sweetness, but not too much.

M - Medium-bodied on the palate, carbonated very well while conditioned in the bottle.

O - A fantastic offering from New Glarus. Each time I have a Spotted Cow, I understand more and more why this beer is their staple. It i a fantastic Wisconsin farmhouse ale with an unmistakable character. I do like it much more on tap than in the bottle, but it doesn't detract from this great brew. Great from start to finish.

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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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up from the House of 1,000 beers for 3 bucks. Black market score!

A - Quite an epic head over an inch of creamy foam that sticks around for a while. Color is a bright semi hazy yellow. Mostly clear.
S - Very timid smell not very sweet or hoppy. Just mild grains, hops, and some corn skunk.
T - Taste is much better has a mild bit of vanilla like a creme soda. Grains are also balanced and sweet and hops are there and enjoyable. I like it.
M - Not very soda like which is nice. Taste like beer with a light to medium body for easy drinking.

Overall a great introduction to the brewery if they can make this tasty year round offerings I may want to step it up and trade for more rare offerings.

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

Pours a lightly hazed golden yellow, long lasting cap of bubbles, some sheets of lacing. Scent brings shortbread like sweetness with faint watery fruit and creamed corn. Taste follows suit, not overly complex but full flavored for the style. Lighter side of medium, slightly slick and bubbly. One of the top beers in style due to its solid flavor profile. Good BMC alternative.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Somewhat clear, but just a little haze. Not much of a head after the pour, and no foam or film. Powdered creamer, pale malts, a little toast, and some really wet grass in the nose. More wet grass in the taste with some dank non-dairy creamer taste mixed with pilsner malt. Watery palate with some herbal hops, but overall sessionably sweet malt. Very drinkable, but ten times better on tap and fresh.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap, served in a pint

Appears a pale golden color with a milky body. A frothy off white cap bubbled up and receded rather slowly.

Toasted grains and undercooked white bread hit me off the bat with some tropical fruits quickly in tow.

Very dry and crisp. Light bodied with a residual sweetness. Flavor profile is similar to the smell. Toasted grains and doughy yeast with a juicy fruit sweetness.

Very easy to drink, low abv. Easily sessionable, however I am not a huge fan of the flavor profile.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another New Glarus beer I've been curious to try, sent my way by Ian. Thanks, man!

Mildly hazy (the label suggests the addition of the yeast to the glass), this beer is light orange with a thin white head. Retention is solid, but there isn't much lace, though.

The nose is actually quite raw and complex with a blend of a bread and sweetness. The corn is noticeable on the nose, making me think of an improved BMC. Hop aroma is low in the mix, there's just a little lemony, earthy character.

The palate is rather simple, opening with a little sweetness and little else. I'm really having a hard time picking out flavors here, there really isn't much. While not offensive (like I find BMC to be), there's nothing particularly interesting - no delicate nuance, no hop character (bitterness is low, as is flavor) and all-round, just a little boring. Drying and a little watery on the finish with a light, grainy bitterness, this is OK. Light in body with a crisp carbonation, this is rather refreshing, but not really something I'd seek out a lot of.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft, served in the actual New Glarus Spotted Cow glassware. Yellow, crystal clear. Mild biscuit malt flavor, no hop flavor. Nice clean easy drinking blonde ale.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazed light golden. Moderate amounts of carbonation surface throughout the body of the beer. Bubbly dirty white collar leaves sporadic amounts of lace. Aroma is sweet, grainy, and yes, I can even detect a little of that corn sweetness. Not much though. A little musty too. Decent aroma overall. Pretty even keeled flavor. Not too sweet, but it does have some grain sweetness. Body is pretty full. Medium-full I'd say. Some thirst-quenching qualities. Decent beer. But New Glarus has so much more to offer.

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Photo of Viggo
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from mixed pack grabbed in Hudson, WI.

Pours a lightly hazed golden yellow, thin white head forms and immediately fizzes away to nothing, no ring, no lace, nothing, doesn't look good in that respect. Smell is alright, lightly malty, some corn syrup and caramel, toast, a bit bready, touch of fruit and floral, not much going on. Taste is similar, bit of malt sweetness up front, corn syrup, caramel, very clean, some floral, nice biscuit, light fruits in the finish, but very plain. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Doesn't look very good, smells okay and tastes okay, but really lacks in almost very area. Drinkability is alright but still not too exciting.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle courtesy of jrallen34. Served in my SA Sensory Pint. Poured a hazy golden yellow with a half inch, loose, bright white head that eventually settles into broken skim with some swaths of lacing. Nose is virtually non-existent - pretty much adjuncts here. Very light taste - a little fruity, some cereal grains; pretty tasty. Mouthfeel is light-bodied with a pleasant and consistent background carbonation; finish is fairly clean. This is a really drinkable beer - simple flavor profile that is light and sessionable without being dominated by the taste of corn. I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Definitely a good gateway beer for macro drinkers.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A strangely cloudy yellow beer. Makes good head and retains though. Interesting funkiness to the beer, maybe its the rural Wisconsin thing, but it smells farmish.

Taste, unique as well, went from mild and easy to drink to having a recognizable presence of lemon and bitterness that migrated into minimal sweetness. At no time does it get challenging to drink but is appreciable for what it is. A suitable entry level beer.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, poured hazy golden-yellow. A creamy white head topped the ale and dissipated relatively quickly leaving minimal lacing on the glass. A certain freshness fills the nose with bready yeast, hints of grass, slight sweet malts, fruit and lemon. Tastes were refreshing and fruity - apple and pear notes, wheaty, lemon pith, corn, cereal, yeast, and a bit of white pepper on the finish. Mouth-feel is super creamy and smooth with a light-to-medium body, and pleasant carbonation. Overall, very refreshing and sessionable ale. One of the best cream ales you can buy - if in Wisconsin.

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Photo of maximum12
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anybody else have the 'problem' of people giving them beer? My wife & I have a well-known love of beer, & friends, family, & people we barely know end up bringing us random beers from vacation, dead friend's attics, etc. Sometimes this is a great thing, but mostly it's well-intentioned but useless. But, hey, thanks to a buddy for this bottle. He's from Wisconsin, so he doesn't know any better!

Spotted Cow, beer of choice in questionable 'sconnie bars. Pale, pale yellow, with a nice, camera friendly ring of white. Smell Nothing more, nothing less.

I have to say, this is a bit better when one is in enemy territory watching the Vikes rough up the Packers than it is sitting home in front of a computer monitor. Honestly, way too heavy on the cereal for me, with bursts of grassiness almost reminiscent of a decent hefe. Not much to it. It is creamy,

Decent enough beer, & one to look for in dark places far in the north woods of Wisconsin when the banjos start playing.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I drank this from its cool ass bottle, love the home town look.

SC pours a a pale gold with a white head, cloudy a bit, light carbonation, and no real lacing.

It smells hoppy with notes of citrus.

The taste is great, light and summery, mild hops, great balance. A total session summer beer.

Mouthfeel is pour but you can crush this all night all summer long

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Hazy golden color. White bubbly head. No retention or lacing.

Smell - First and foremost lemon but there are some bread, yeast and spice notes.

Taste - Like the smell but it's all nicely balanced and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel - Thin mouthfeel and light carbonation.

Drinkability - This is an easy to drink perfect summer beer.

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Photo of champ103
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a semi hazy golden/orange color. At first a two finger white head forms, but recedes in a second. Not much lace to speak of.
S: Sweet malt up front with light cereal aromas. A surprisingly substantial grassy and floral hop aroma that is really well balanced with the malt.
T: Again, a nice caramel malty sweetness and cereal flavors. Well balanced with the floral and grassy hops that linger on for a bit.
M/D: A medium body that is very creamy and smooth. Crisp and dry. Very easy and smooth to drink. I have made this a session several times.

This is a great no frills kind of beer. An easy to drink session with lots of flavor. Something I always enjoy when I get a chance to have it, and something I would recommend.

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

12oz bottle, courtesy of RuchKrull (thanks Rich!). I don't know why but I expected this to be a brown ale, maybe a milk stout. I guess it's the cow name. No, this is pale golden colored, hazy, with a wet looking layer of foam. It smells mainly of malts, grainy and not too far from a lager aroma. Biscuit and toast in the flavor, a little sweet, no bitterness, very approachable flavor. Approachable but maybe a tad dull. Gentle mouthfeel, creamy, goes down easily. This would be a great summer beer on the deck.

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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 3,462 ratings.
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