Spotted Cow | New Glarus Brewing Company

BA SCORE
83
good
806 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:
806
Ratings:
3,491
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
13.97%
 
 
Wants:
276
Gots:
995
For Trade:
26
User Reviews
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Reviews: 806 | Ratings: 3,491
Photo of sfoley333
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Poured a hazy light golden color with a thin white head that fades quickly. Smell is ligth with corn and sweet malt. Taste is light malt flavor with a sweetness. Mouth feel is light body with a mild carbonation. This is a session beer for sure but not very complex.

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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.

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

Received this beer from LJArsenal. Thanks!

Poured a very clear gold color with lively carbonation and a half inch thick head. Little head retention and lacing.

Aroma of sweet corn and brown sugar; couldn't detect any hop aroma.

Flavor identical to the aroma with an added earthy hop kick making the beer marginally bitter at the end.

Medium bodied but the carbonation makes it feel much lighter. Flavor kind of fleeting from the palate after each drink.

Damn good drinkability actually, pleasantly surprised. Good for drinking a few rounds. Nothing spectacular, but I would try it again.

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Photo of xmorgan
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this on draft, bottle and growler. It is a a very light, fruity and delightful session beer.

It is not as watery as a light lager, as it lingers in the mouth enough to establish a wetting or re-hydration effect that a beer of this body is meant to refresh and not overwhelm the senses.

After drinking aggressively hopped beers for a few days, I first sampled this beer and was underwhelmed. As a buddy from Wisconsin urged me to retry it, I was pleasantly surprised. The light fruitiness and mouthfeel are very nice and this illustrates the variability of the palate in beer tastes and overload.

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

Pours a rich cloudy gold, small creamy head. Aromas of fruit (citrus), grains, and a little yeast. Taste is a nice mild malt flavor with some sweetness of corn at the end of a sip. A little fruit note (grape) lingers in the mouth, but it does not out do the flavor of the grains. The only downside is the sweetness might turn slightly sour at the end of the sip. Still, very crisp and clean flavors. Crisp mouthfeel and fairly light body makes a very drinkable beer.

A great "go-to" beer, good "gateway" for macro-drinkers, and its one of my favorites for hot summer days. It strikes a balance of light body and well rounded flavor. Refreshing and pretty tasty.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 jasadewi
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Strong cloudy yellow color with small, quickly fading head.
S: Smells of barley malt and a general sweet smell.
T: A good amount of bluntly sweet malt tastes, that leaves almost no finish or aftertaste. Fairly sweet, with maybe a very slight note of lemon.
M: Very creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.
O: I was served this as THE Wisconsin beer to try at a wedding in Milwaukee. It was pretty decent, and my first real Cream Ale. It was a fine creamy, sweet beer. Yet, it didn't take me away, nor did I fully enjoy the texture. I prefer the other New Glarus brew I got try, but this is decent. It has a surprisingly similarity to some Witbiers.

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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 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 beerguy04
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a-grainy yellow with a light white head
s- a corny and hoppy smell with traces of other fruity aromas
t- i'd have to say a lot like how it tastes a hoppy taste with a slight fruity aftertaste
m and d- nice and creamy. goes down real good.

overall i'd say its not the best NG beer however, its nice to have over a macro brew when at the bar. and since its a lighter micro brew its a good first beer for those looking at other alternatives to macros.

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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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Spotted Cow from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 3,491 ratings.
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