Thumbprint Spotted Cow Grand Cru
New Glarus Brewing Company

Thumbprint Spotted Cow Grand CruThumbprint Spotted Cow Grand Cru
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Style:
Belgian Saison
Ranked #367
ABV:
8.5%
Score:
90
Ranked #7,116
Avg:
4.03 | pDev: 7.44%
Reviews:
41
Ratings:
141
From:
New Glarus Brewing Company
 
Wisconsin, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  5
Gots
  31
SCORE
90
Outstanding
Thumbprint Spotted Cow Grand CruThumbprint Spotted Cow Grand Cru
Notes: This boss Cow rules with 8.5% ABV and an Original Gravity of 18 degrees Plato. Fine Wisconsin and Czech malts step out with hand chosen Willamette and Yakima Valley hops joined up with French and German varieties. Fresh coriander and sweet orange peel kick up Dan’s special Farmhouse Ale. Bottle fermented and hazy as an early meadow morning, expect Spotted Cow Grand Cru to be an assertively quaffable Imperial edition of Wisconsin’s favorite local brew.
Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 141 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mschrei
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A good saison, but not great. Very clear gold with healthy foam and lacing. Has more of a lager smell than any sort of saison funk. Taste has some nice saison qualities. Alcohol is really well disguised. Very crisp, light body, refreshing.

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mschrei from Illinois, May 02, 2020
Photo of envizz1
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I like Spotted Cow but this is far different. Like an authentic Belgian. I get citrus and, to me, that lovely banana flavor of many Tripels. Holds its head nicely. Great mouthfeel even if you sip slowly. Looks good - nice color and my bottle had relatively little cloudiness. In fact, I had to look twice after I read other reviews. I’m up for more!

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envizz1 from Pennsylvania, Jan 10, 2020
Photo of GrumpyGas
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a goblet shows a cloudy, gold, straw-yellow body floating a voluminous 2in head of tight white bubbles and leaving the glass awash with spotted lacing.

Aroma is funky, flowery, and spicy. Cardamom, clove, and cinnamon combine beautifully with the musty funk.

Spotted cow commands the palate at first quickly followed by a flowery, yeasty confirmation that this is so much more than spotted. Accentuated by active carbonation and strong booze, the transformation is complete.

Overall, GC smells like a sipper, but the flavor demands a full swig.

Pair with a fine aged cheddar.

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GrumpyGas from Illinois, Nov 24, 2019
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle
Smokestack snifter

Deep gold with a tall cap of 3 fingers leaving spotty lacing on the sides.

Aroma of rich phenolics and yeast farts, bringing heavy floral notes, lemon wedge, tangerine, oak, potpourri, mustiness, green apple, and bubble gum.

Flavor brings stiff woodiness up front, followed by fleeting fruity notes of blueberry and tangerine, cracker, some perfume, floral notes/potpourri, dry grass, honey, more grass, and mustiness.

Feel is effervescent which fits the style but borders Brut territory and I'd dial it down a touch. Noticeable alcohol heat, some woody dryness at the back end.

Overall one of the tests I like to give with Saisons is their staying power, i.e. how long does it stay with your palate before leaving. This one has some good hang time and keeps the dry grass and floral notes going. This beer does kick ass, though it's not something I could see myself picking up a ton of.

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The-Adjunct-Hippie from South Dakota, Nov 08, 2019
Photo of luron
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Well balanced, light but substantial, somewhat understated saison-like ale
I get yeast, pear and apple flavors and smell! A dry sweetness that is very satisfying! A very good brew that grows on you!!

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luron from Iowa, Oct 29, 2019
Photo of 5toutman75
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I like the color and bubbles that stick around after the pour. I’m getting over a cold, so my nose might be off but I don’t get much out of the smell. It smells like a saison but nothing sticks out. You can taste the carbonation as it goes down as I usually do with saisons and I like it. Overall though, nothing stands out super well here though. It’s enjoyable but a 4 pack is plenty for me and I’ll continue to buy more of the fruited sours from NG.

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5toutman75 from Illinois, Oct 12, 2019
Photo of dcotom
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a stemmed goblet. Starting with a center pour yielded quite a bit of foam. Ever-so-slightly hazy amber color, with a full three fingers of white head that left some nice spotty lacing. Aromas and flavors of light bready malt, with notes of orange peel and coriander spice and a floral overtone. There is some nice yeast funk that complements the citrus and spice on the aroma. The alcohol becomes quite prominent as the beer nears room temperature. The finish is mostly dry, with a bit of astringence and a touch of lingering tartness. This would make a nice table beer, despite the high ABV. Proceed with caution!

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dcotom from Iowa, Sep 29, 2019
Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this at my old friend Luchyn's. I drank it from the bottle so assumed it gets a 4.0 for appearance. The scent has some sweet floral notes. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a solid beer.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy, cloudy orange with a finger of white head. Head retention is fair. Aroma is strong lemongrass, lilac, dry pear, and green apple with biscuit, earth, and toast malts. Lovely, earthy aroma. Smells like a crisp mountain spring wind breezing through an open field of flowers. Aroma is lemongrass, lilac, dry pear, green apple, clove, and plum with a balance of biscuit and earthy malts. Flavor profile is less earthy and light with a slightly darker taste. Mouth feel is lightly fizzy, with a medium-thick consistency that forms a smooth, velvety texture. Overall, this beer packs presence, but not via dark or heavy notes, rather it does well to establish both light and dark notes within a velvety, balanced feeling. Aroma is more light than the flavor profile and doesn't quite prepare the palate for what is to come. Thankfully, the flavor profile eases the palate into a pleasant display of powerful flavor.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 12oz bottle.

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Harrison8 from Missouri, May 04, 2018
Photo of larryarms847
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours sunny light yellow and slightly hazy just like it's base beer counterpart.

Banana, clove, lemon, and orange.

Very Belgian style in character with banana, clove, and spicy phenol yeast notes, with a fair amount of bright lemon and citrus fruit.

Light-medium bodied, low-medium carbonation, smooth, soft.

Overall, I was really not sure what to expect from this beer but wow! Very well done!

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larryarms847 from Illinois, Apr 15, 2018
Photo of Lingenbrau
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Spotted Cow Grand Cru. Wow. Thank you Joe...

Its amber kissed golden body is beautiful. Not perfectly clear, but I can see my fingers on the back of the glass. A fine single file stream of bubbles moves up the center of the glass to spread and support an egg shell white head that starts fluffy, rocky even, before it lazily sets back into a comfortable cream around the coast of the glass, with a decent surface coverage. As the level diminshes, so does the spotty remnants of lacing.

Its subtle, simple, yet intoxicating aroma starts with flakey biscuit crusts. A puff of soapy yeast comes in next before the orange peel does in fact lend a perfect yet minimal fresh citrus impression. Then it finishes off just right, with subdued sun dried flowers, and an herbal and peppery spice.

And then it takes an unexpected and wonderful twist. Orange marmalade spread evenly on a French baguette, toasted for only seconds, then topped sparingly with fresh white pepper and coriander. The soapy presence in the aroma didn't make it to the party, but the spicy flowery finish spoke on it's behalf. As it warms, drizzles of caramel add another fine layer of depth.

The texture is unique. A bubbly blast, almost champagne like at first, paves the path for a quick sweetness, then comes a long, dry, and slightly earthy bitter finish. It fits, perhaps, right in between the realms of a classic Saison and a Belgian Blonde. One thing is for sure, it's dangerously drinkable considering it's elevated abv, which goes completely unnoticed.

I've never had Spotted Cow. And now I'm eager to try it. This is delicious, and kind of an 'unconventional' farmhouse ale, which is kind of an oxymoron considering the wide range of their criteria. It actually reminds me of a few Biere de Garde's that I've had, which happens to be a preferred style for me. It lacks the funk that I normally associate with farmhouse ales, and... I'm rambling... I like this a lot.

Cheers, and thanks again Joe!

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Photo of beergoot
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Partially cloudy, honey-amber body; thick, dense, creamy head; sticky rings of lacing down the glass. Sweet, fruity aroma interspersed with some toasted grain scent. Low-key honey-like malt flavor; orange; bold bitterness towards the last half of the taste. Heavy body; smooth and creamy on the palate; coats the tongue nicely; mostly dry finish.

The taste and smell are a bit mild, but perhaps that makes this beer more approachable. The true standout is the mouthfeel: soft, creamy, and quite appealing. Overall, a very good ale.

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beergoot from Colorado, Mar 01, 2018
Photo of Frothy354
4.93/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Spectacular balanced ale with citrus notes, great head, and smooth mouth texture. Hops are more intense than the standard Spotted Cow. If you appreciate this style, I think you will be amazed by the complexity. Different flavors (spice) really pop at different temperatures.

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Frothy354 from Minnesota, Feb 18, 2018
Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper color and is topped by an inch of foam; good retention and squiggly lacing hangs around

Smell: There's that vegetal smell from base beer but this one is amped up, with Wit tones of banana, coriander and orange peel and a spicy Belgian yeast aspect

Taste: The sweet doughy character of a cream all persists from start to finish, with the spicy yeast as well as the banana, coriander and orange peel all making an impression; everything comes together in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Part cream ale, part Wit and part Belgian pale; all interesting

Thanks, Virby44, for the opportunity

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brentk56 from North Carolina, Jan 03, 2018
Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a murky golden color. The head is 1 finger, white, frothy, and retention was moderate. No lacing to speak of.
The nose has got a tart aroma to it. Tart berries.
Taste - has a lot going on. Some tartness, on the backside. A bit of sweetness up front.
Feel is fairly in the middle. Some carbonation feel going down.
An interesting take on their standard Spotted Cow. Interesting experiment. I think it works.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Big frothy white head that settles slowly. Body is a clear amber caramel color.

S: sweet doughy malts, a little toffee, and a little caramel.

T: Nice sweetness, honey, sweet dough, a little caramel, light grainy flavor.

M: medium to a lighter bodied with good carbonation pretty clean beer.

O: This is an excellent beer it’s like a sweeter lager not quite like a doppelbock but very well balanced.

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Photo of joe1510
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle
$10.99 4-Pack
Roy's Market - New Glarus, WI

Spotted Cow Grand Cru is a good looking beer. It has that rustic orange look, like dusk. It's just cloudy enough to make seeing through the glass a task. Tiny carbonation bubbles seem to shoot up from every inch of the glass to bolster the off white, creamy, microbubbled head. The foam leaves behind chunky drink lines with each sip.

Sweet orange peel gets things moving. White pepper and a handful of straw pop up in the middle before being met with coriander. Both doughy and soda bread show themselves with a very faint cup o' fruit sweetness. The orange peel finishes things off along with a complimentary wildflower component and Bazooka Joe. It's inviting and really opens up as it warms.

The flavor follows the nose pretty closely but it's actually more well rounded, where as the nose seemed to have certain shift points. Sweet orange peel and that well integrated, yet soft, cup o' fruit start it off. There's more soda bread than dough in the flavor profile but both are present. A quick flash of clean booze seems to open up a bit of the spice; white pepper and coriander. Wildflower floats on the periphery. It's a good beer with a lot of layers.

There's a good effervescence to the moderate weight body that adds a pace that makes it feel lighter. A supremely clean alcohol presence is barely noticeable but works to further dry out an already dry beer. It's snappy and pops with vibrancy. Easy to drink considering the abv.

Spotted Cow Grand Cru is yet another good beer from New Glarus. It's not necessarily my style but it's well put together with layer up layer of depth. It's bright and fruity and spicy but with no edges and clean segues. It's dry enough to keep you coming back. Seems a good holiday beer to me for some unspecified reason or another.

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joe1510 from Illinois, Nov 23, 2017
Photo of superspak
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 2/18/2018. Pours slightly hazy medium golden yellow color with a 1 finger dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big lemon, peach, pear, red apple, white grape, orange peel, coriander, peppercorn, clove, light banana/bubblegum, wheat, cracker, biscuit, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, spices, earthy hops, and bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, peach, pear, red apple, white grape, orange peel, coriander, peppercorn, clove, light banana/bubblegum, wheat, cracker, biscuit, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Moderate peppery yeast spiciness, light-moderate herbal/grassy/citrus peel bitterness, and light wheat tang on the finish. Lingering notes of lemon, peach, pear, red apple, white grape, orange peel, coriander, peppercorn, clove, light banana/bubblegum, wheat, cracker, biscuit, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, spices, earthy hops, and bready malt flavors; with an awesome malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero astringent flavors after the finish. Moderately crisp/clean finishing. Moderate increasing dryness from bitter/spiciness and carbonation. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth and moderately bready/grainy/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Zero warming alcohol for 8.5%. Overall this is an outstanding saison! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, spices, earthy hops, and bready malt flavors; very smooth, crisp, clean, and refreshing to drink for the ABV. Perfectly balanced between all flavors, with very well rounded Belgian yeast complexity. A highly enjoyable offering, and spot on style example.

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superspak from Michigan, Nov 18, 2017
Photo of SammyJaxxxx
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: This is how a beer should look: thick but effervescent white head sits atop an orangey body
S:, Grassy, unripe apples
T: Bread malts and pear, cherries. Sweetens as it warms
MF:Thick but not heavy. The carbonation keeps it light. A dry finish. No alcohol burn despite it 8. 5%
O: What a fantastic beer. This beer feels big but is not heavy. I enjoyed each Sip more than the one before. When I got to the end of the glass I wanted more. Absolutely love this

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SammyJaxxxx from New Jersey, Nov 13, 2017
Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Hazy orange body, substantial white head, fading quickly to a cap, with lots of lacing.

S - Rich notes of malt and apple, banana and bubble gum, with a trace of spiky spicy hops.

T - Superb flavor, rich banana bread and apple skin, lovely coriander, allspice and clove spice notes, and smart, slightly bitter close.

M - Such a big beer comes off both clean and crisp, with no drying in the close. A beer that floats.

O - Very nice. Quite tasty. Delicious, in fact.

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Tsar_Riga from Indiana, Oct 31, 2017
Photo of TheSixthRing
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured into a 12oz tulip. Slight haze and golden orange in color with a frothy, off-white three-finger width head. Retention for days. Eventually settles to a thick layer of foam floating atop. Lacing is strong, with broken sheeting and small spotting coating the glass.

Smell - Strong fruity aroma. Notes of apple and funky banana. Mild spice. Faint caramel undertone.

Taste - Follows the nose. Banana funk and spice met by estery apple notes and a hint of caramel malt base. Subtle orange character comes through near the end. Balanced finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with moderate, bubbly carbonation. Velvety texture with a smooth finish.

Overall - Really tasty saison. Good flavor. Nice balance. Not my favorite style but I'd drink this one again for sure if given the chance.

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TheSixthRing from California, Oct 28, 2017
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a rad beer, a drastically more complex and intriguing beer than the original, which i always thought was well made but sort of unsatisfying in some ways. this has a wonderful pale malt base, kind of raw, rustic, and simple but not overly refined. there is an instantly obvious maturity to it, not just because my buddy had been holding the bottle a little while in his stash, but because of the bottle conditioning, the yeast just has a ton of character, and it holds my attention to the last drop. a nice herbaceous fresh aspect with the yeast and the hops and the coriander all coming together, it doesnt taste like a wit at all despite the ingredients, and it comes in neat layers of flavor. the body is more substantial than the original and the alcohol is really invisible here for how strong it is. not as well carbonated as it could be, but i love how it lingers long in the finish despite its relative dryness. nice farmy sort of beer, different for a saison type, as grainy as it is yeasty, just a splendid bit of brewing right here. stoked to have enjoyed this one, its not often i get to have beers from new glarus!

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- The beer poured a copper color with a bright white head.

Smell - The nose was a pretty straight farmhouse nose.

Taste - At the Front, I detect boldly creamy and grassy notes. There are notes of dark fruit and a hint of spice. This is thicker and definitely has a stronger alcohol but then the regular version. The spice lingers nicely with the farm funk in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Painting a house would not be tough with this viscosity.

Overall - I am a little surprised by the lack of love for the spear. It is not as sexy as some thumbprints, but it is a nice amped up version of the regular.

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Photo of Strix
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy orange, with a head that doesn't hang around too long.

Smells of yeast, clove, and clean malty lager.

Taste not far off the regular Spotted Cow. If you poured 1/3 hefe, 1/3 decent lager, and 1/3 belgian pale, it's sort of a mix of all those flavors.

Full mouthfeel.

An interesting experiment. though I don't know that Imperial Cream Ales are going to catch on.

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Strix from Wisconsin, Feb 15, 2017
Photo of dirtyfonzie
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: looks like regular Spotted Copper with just a deeper tint of copper. White head, light copper, a little hazy.
S: acidic and tart. Sweet and Belgian yeast.
T: very creamy. Bold Belgian yeast with very active carbonation. Orange and slightly fruity.
M: full and creamy. The carbonation give a thickening mouthfeel as it seems to activate as it hits your tongue.
O: this is what Spotted Cow should taste like! New Glarus knocked this one out of the park!

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dirtyfonzie from Illinois, Feb 07, 2017
Thumbprint Spotted Cow Grand Cru from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 141 ratings