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Spotted Cow | New Glarus Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
83
good
796 Reviews
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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:
955
For Trade:
26
User Reviews
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Reviews: 796 | Ratings: 3,437
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.

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Photo of fitrock2112
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured Spotted Cow into a Belgian Tulip.

A - Pours a clear golden with one finger of creamy puffy head.

S - Some candied qualities, mixed with light fruit and malt. Just a little faint in this department.

T - Smooth creamy fruity beer here. Some lemon peel, light malt. Wish there was more flavor, but not bad.

M - Light mouthfeel, medium carbonation. Yeah, you can drink a few of these.

O - A nice change of pace beer. Smooth creamy, just not a lot going on. I like it for what it is. Cheers!

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Photo of nickynick
3.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Spotted Cow poured a cloudy gold/pale amber with a nice 2 finger sized white head and good lacing. Smell was faint of yeast. Taste was slightly sweet with hints of citrus. Mouthfell was ok, a little thin. Drinkability was very good, easy drinking. Session beer for sure. Overall this is an easy drinking ale, not overly complex, but offers some good flavors. Would buy again.

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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 Chugmonkey
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

More like a heavy lager than a light cream ale. Kind of yeasty with some fruityness. Kind of like a Wit without the spiciness. A nice mellow beer, nothing to get excited about here. Yet I'll jump on it on tap vs. big macro swill. Popularity has soared - is on tap all over WI.

Drinkability is great, especially on a hot day you can really knock them back. Great crowd pleaser to ease people into the craft scene.

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

Perhaps my favorite brew. Been drinking it for years, and it's every bit as good now as it was then. Pours a lovely cloudy gold, and smells slightly sweet. Has a "thick" flavor (and feel), perhaps hops, perhaps corn or a fine mixture of the two. Slight fruity follow. Goes down extremely easily...very, very smooth. Have yet to find a better brew. Works any day of the year, and with any food/snack. Truly the elixir of the gods.

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
4.19/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thick fluffy head sitting on a light gold body. Scent of sweet hay and grassy hops. Taste is sweet and fruity; apple, pear and grape with undertones of masa and corn husk. Close to no hop flavors detectable, and very appropriate for style. Thin bodied and fully carbonated, light yet completely satisfying. Definitely a session beer for all seasons, lucky to get my hands on some all the way here in Southern California. God bless bottle trading!

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Photo of Bartleby91
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Definitely the staple beer of New Glarus but a bit overrated. Nice hazy orange and yellow appearance. Aromas of corn, malt sweetness, and some fruitiness as well. Tastes are pretty similar with a lingering malt sweetness. Lighter mouthfeel with a lingering sweetness on the palate. Overall a solid drinkable brew but not as good as some other stuff from NG in my opinion.

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Photo of Thanby
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful pour, golden honey color with cloudy yeast, two fingers of foamy white head, retention and a little lacing. Smells of wonderful sweet wheat, honey, orange, and a little of the trademark banana in every wheat ale. Obviously North American yeast, hardly any Belgian nose that you typically find in wheat ales, but then again New Glarus has always been good at breaking traditions. First taste is smooth wheat and mild yeast, not quite as sweet as it smells but certainly not dry either. The citrus and honey come out after a moment, and linger just a little bit after the finish. Somewhere between light and medium body, wonderfully smooth, full and balanced flavor, and just all-round delicious. This has to be my favorite wheat ale so far.

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Photo of Bitter_Echo
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this on trade and have this sometimes when I visit WI. Pours a slightly cloudy light lemon drop yellow, not very fussy or foamy either. Nose is clean and subtle, like the beer I drank in college 25 years ago. Nose has some floral notes, and malt and grain and some breadiness. Taste is lemony, and citrus and grains in good balance but as expected, not really that hop forward (I'm missing more bitterness volume...next up must be an IPA), but satisfying nevertheless. Mouth-feel is refreshing, alcohol is light, carbonation is more muted, finer and not at all scrubbing. Overall a very good brew and respectful of the style, but I'd reach for their moon-man if I were in a buying mood.

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

Thanks to incongruity for volunteering thos beer, which pours a cloudy, yellow-brown color with lots of floating yeast bits and a yeasty sludge remaining on the bottom of the glass. A frothy white head disappears rather quickly.

The scent is light - sweet wheat and veggies. The tasty is slightly more fruity, with corn notes and a creamy, fruity aftertaste. Not a bad beer - it went down easy, but still not something I want to drink often.

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

Thanks Holmgren!!

Poured from a 12oz bottle; no freshness date...

Appearance: Pours a deep but bright yellow with a moderate white head that dissipates fairly quick.

Smell: Saison-like fruit esters come forward, malts, and citrus.

Taste: Grains, corn, minor malt, and serious fruity farmhouse traits.

Mouthfeel: Real light body here with almost no carbonation from this cask condition brew.

Overall: Delicious and highly drinkable!

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

Look: pours with a nice head and beautiful color; some variation on cloudiness but that is part of its charm. Smells like home. Taste: great mailtiness and slightly sweet without being cloying . absolutely love this beer and will grab it as a go to.

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Photo of unklesyd
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a huge fan of the cream ale style. There isn't a whole lot there, if you take my meaning. Thus, I didn't have high expectations for this one.

However, this is a good beer for a warm day swinging on a hammock.

The most notable characteristic of this beer is its soft mouthfeel and its soft taste leant by the flaked barley. Extremely low bitterness. This was actually the first cream ale I've ever had that actually tastes "creamy".

It speaks well of a brewery when they can do well even with a style of such "subtle" substance.

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Photo of THANAT0PSIS
3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: New Glarus’ flagship beer pours a cloudy hay-gold with just under two fingers of pure white head that eventually settles to a nice looking white crust on the surface of the beer. The carbonation is minimal, as is lacing. There really isn’t much to say about the beer; it is quite plain and unremarkable.

Smell: The smell is unique, if also plain. Most of the nose is dominated by a creamy and sweet corn-tinged scent mixed with a healthy dose of wheat and moderate suggestions of malt and barley. Yeast is also present here, though not very strongly.

Taste: Initially the corn and sweet malts are very strong, but as they fade into the background, the deeper malt character and yeast force their way to the front. The aftertaste is a bit fruity (bananas and pineapples?), but not so sweet as to ruin the spicy bite that the yeast gives it. Again, the beer is unique, and taste is definitely where it excels, but it is not overly impressive in the grand beer scheme.

Mouthfeel: This one is best served cold to make it as refreshing as possible. It exceeds in the drinkability category and is thus a great session beer, especially considering its relatively low ABV. As mentioned in taste, the yeastiness gives it a great bite and makes up for the lacking carbonation. Not a lot else going on here.

Overall: Drinking the beer that New Glarus is known for turned out to be somewhat disappointing, but that shouldn’t discourage prospective drinkers from trying it, and those who have also been disappointed or felt indifferent should give the other great New Glarus brews a shot. Also worth noting is that the Cow really varies, sometimes from bottle to bottle, batch to batch, and certainly from tap to tap; some glasses are really delicious and deserving of a 4-4.5, but most are somewhere between 2-3.5, sadly. If drunk on the porch on a hot summer day, this otherwise mediocre beverage gains roughly .5-it is that refreshing. 13/20

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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!

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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.

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Photo of jayrod20
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spotted Cow pours a cloudy pale yellow with 1/2" of head that quickly dissipates. Smell is predominantly of yeast and corn. Taste is much of the same, the corn is noticeable as well as the unfiltered yeast, pretty well balanced. Full bodied, light on the tongue, perhaps a little under carbonated. Very drinkable, great session beer. This beer does no special tricks, it is what it is and what it is, is a great beer to spend an afternoon with.

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

I went to college in WI, and this stuff was *extremely* popular.

A) orange, hazy, thin fizzy white head, multitude of bubbles quickly streaming up to the top. for a minute i got lost in this perpetual motion and felt like it was a lava lamp.

S) mild smell, kind of wheat-y, fruity

T) mild - sweet apple, corn, malts. Tiny bit of hops to balance it out.

Fairly crisp, soft, and smooth. This is a good summer beer, easy to drink and enjoy. Nothing extreme or over the top about it. Just a nice easy-drinking ale that feels and tastes a bit more like a lager.

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Photo of bbb099
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pale golden color, slightly hazy. Not too much head but decent amount of lacing.

S - Sweet and creamy malt with tiny amount of grains.

T - Light and sweet. Hints of corn and milk.

M - Good amount of carbonation. Light bodied.

O - Could use a little more head retention and slightly watery, but it's a great light lager and highly drinkable.

 348 characters

Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light golden haze with a white head that settles into some faint lacing. The aroma is a light fruit-like sweetness with a hint of white bread. The smell is not strong, very subtle and inviting.

The subtleness continues in the flavor, fruit, corn and bread all make brief appearances. Hops are non-existent. Body is light with good carbonation. A very refreshing drink.

I haven't had a lot of cream ales but this is the most interesting one I have ever tasted. There's a nice subtle complexity to it that I find interesting, I wish more brewers would try this overlooked style. I'm drinking this after an evening jog and I'm definitely enjoying it. It would also make a great crossover beer due to its lack of any aggressive flavors.

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Photo of vishneda
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a mug.

Pours out looking like a very thin beer. The color is a light pale yellow with moderate cloudiness. There is a thick foam head about a half finger thick which quickly fades. No lacing.

The aroma up front is like juicy fruit, even out of the bottle. A very sugary smell. A small hint of herbal hops and maybe a little sourness from the yeast, but this is very light. Pretty pedestrian on the overall scent.

The flavor is not as sweet as the aroma would lead you to believe. Now it does have sweetness, and there really isn't an awful lot of bitterness to balance that out. However, there's just not a great deal of flavor going on here. There is some substance to the overall blend; juicy fruit flavors with hints of yeast and corn and maybe a touch of grassy herbs. However, the overall impression I got was that it was a watery beer.

I'll give it this -- Spotted Cow is drinkable. I can imagine it as a great lawnmower beer. The watery profile and light body help it go down easy, and the mild carbonation makes it feel pretty smooth. If the brewery set out to make an easy going beer with broad appeal I believe it hit the mark with this beer.

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Photo of BasementBer
2.86/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I heard so much about this beer and it possibly got my hopes up for it.

A: light straw yellow. Plenty of carbonation, bone white head with medium to heavy lacing.

S: Corn. Grainy but very much a note of corn in the aroma - as it expresses on the bottle. The rare instance the brewer is in favor and admits to it.

T: To tart for my licking. Less cream than tart and dry nose to finish.

M: The tartness stuck around a bit too much for me. For a hop fan this countertaste is a bit off putting.

D: I dont think ill go back to it, but if others are enjoying then by all means.

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Photo of sauron681
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium hazy-yellowish color. A nice light creamy head that starts nice, but thins rather quickly. Faint lacing that really sticks around the whole glass. Aroma of citrus with a buttered croissant smell. Very inviting and intriguing. Medium mouthfeel that is refreshing also. Possibly a little lemon zest as well. For a cream ale this is towards the top of the list.

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Photo of elmore
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, but have had this from the tap multiple times in the past.

Pours a light straw color. Just a shade darker than a lager macrobrew. Creamy 2 finger head with good retention. Medium lacing. Smell is subdued - yeast ,some bready malts, very little hops. Smells similar to a good lager. Smooth, well balanced taste. A great session beer. No hints of alcohol. Light and effervescent dances off of the tongue. Not an overly exciting or extreme beer. A very solid tasty refreshing beer made with quality ingredients and a staple here in the dairy state.

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