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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:
956
For Trade:
26
User Reviews
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Reviews: 796 | Ratings: 3,437
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.

 444 characters

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!

 316 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.

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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.

 373 characters

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

I was given this beer by a friend to try, so I am not certain as to its age. Clear golden color with minimal carbonation and some white sediment in the glass. The smell was fruity/sweet, with slight hops undertones. The taste was a bit more fruity, with malt playing more of a role. Without much carbonation, the beer flows quite smoothly. It is a refreshing beer and highly drinkable, especially on a hot summer day.

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Photo of murrayswine
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What can I say about the number one beer in Wisconsin right now.... Well, It's my go to when all else isnt available, and all I have left is BMCs.
Pours a very light gold/yellow with a minimal head.
The nose is light and nutty with a little hop, and some butter.
The taste is loose and light. Tastes like good bread, but as a beer, it's a session horse, no more, no less.
Not bad if you wanna drink A LOT.

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Photo of Riff
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

So this review may be a bit off, poured from tap into 2L glass boot. Good times. Cloudy yellow pour with a small head to it. Bread smell, kind of like cracked peppercorn bread, just a hint of spice to it. Hit first with malt up front and transitioned to a little bitterness from the hops, did not longer terribly long. Feel was good, medium body and a little carbonation. All 2L went down pretty easily during a very memorable and fun evening. Would drink this again.

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Photo of zerofear13
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad brew. 12 oz. bottle brought to me by a friend from Wisconsin. I've never tried a cream ale before and was a bit taken back. As my friends and I joked, "There are real bits of cow in Spotted Cow." Smells of biscuit and cream, and tastes pretty milky. The mouthfeel is pretty velvety, but it was a bit sweet so drinkability was brought down. Overall, I enjoyed the flavor and thought it fit the category well, but I'm not a huge fan of cream, so I can't rate it too high.

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Photo of dakid618
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass. Pours straw colored golden with a finger of white soapy head. Smell is banana clove-like similar to a hefe but not overpowering like a lot of hefeweizens are. The taste is like a light beer should be. Like a good tasting macro beer. Medium bodied mouthfeel much thicker than I thought it would be. Extremely drinkable. If I lived in Wisconsin this would be my go to beer for all mass consuming events(golf, beer pong, etc). My first beer from New Glarus and I'm not disappointed.

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Photo of mjyoung
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy off-yellow piss color (and I mean piss in the best sense of the word). A shallow but dense head caps the beer nicely.

S: Light and airy, but without much that gives it character.

T: A nice subtle background of malt but without much in the foreground. It tastes like a REALLY good macro-lager. I can't decide if that's a compliment or not. This beer is good, but having never had anything comparable I can't judge it against much. It's got a great finish though

M: Delicious. Light, airy, but not watery and the carb is great. Probably my favorite part of the beer.

O: I have nothing to compare it to, but I like it a lot. Very easy-drinking.

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Photo of Whiteweasel
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a pint glass, poured from a bottle.

Appearance: Beautiful cloudy golden colour. Hazy and bubbly on the sides. Nice head which slowly and audibly fizzles down leaving little lacing.

Smell: Very sweet and yeasty like a belgian beer

Taste: Sweet, yet very hoppy too. Fruity taste, with bannana/clove distinctness. On the paler side. Reminiscent of belgian tripels/pale ales. A tad of a adjuncty taste though.

Mouthfeel: Soooo incredibly smooth. I honestly doubt if I've ever had a smoother beer that I can remember

Drinkability: Great tasting, not too powerful. Satisfying and refreshing. Mild but still delicious and complex enough. A very solid beer

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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 cradke
4.31/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: hazy straw yellow. thick fluffy head.

S: Floral. yeast and grain. light with honey and a distinct smell of daisys.

T: sweet grains. small hop profile. pleasant. esters and floral. clean aftertaste

M: light and pleasant. (a theme it seems) great carbonation. the taste profile spreads wonderfully over the palate.

O: a wonderfully pleasant beer. not mind blowing but great everytime.

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

This beer reminds me of the Bavarian "Kellerbier" I drank so much of in Germany. It is a hazy golden color with a bit of carbonation and a decent head that diminished, but did not entirely disappear. It had an aroma of corn and barley with a slight yeastiness/mustiness to it. It is fairly light beer, with a slight sweet corn flavor and goes down fairly easy. It's also the best beer I've used for parboiling brats before grilling them.

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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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