Thumbprint Spotted Cow Grand Cru
New Glarus Brewing Company

Thumbprint Spotted Cow Grand CruThumbprint Spotted Cow Grand Cru
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Belgian Saison
Ranked #415
Ranked #7,688
4.01 | pDev: 7.23%
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Very Good
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: 38 | Ratings: 132 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by deebo:
Photo of deebo
3.36/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Liked the first of the 4 pack bought over Thanksgiving. Time for a review.
A-Poured into a pint glass this beer is lively. 3 fingers of big bubbled brilliant white foam atop a clear light golden brew.
S-Has the spotted cow corny adjunct aroma but also a lot more of a saison like character minus pepper. Lots of floral and phenolic notes. Definitely some sweet orange prominent as well.
T-Not a ton of flavor in here. Light malt with a corniness to it. Some floral hop character. A bit of bitterness in the finish.
M-A bit thin in body with fairly high carbonation. Vapory alcohol finish with some warming.
O-Not as delicious as I remember. Like the aroma best. The taste is a bit boring, the mouthfeel is light and the alcohol comes out a bit more than I'd like in the mouth.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Lingenbrau
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
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 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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Photo of Ri0
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into a New Glarus Pils glass. Color is clear and golden, like your favorite apple juice. There is a 2 finger foamy white head on a very gentle pour and gobs of lacing that coat my glass. Aroma is very pleasant with a nice honey bread with a kiss of orange rind and coriander. It is a lager with a nice fruity, citrusiness to it. Flavor is clean with a nice malt presence that builds up into the fruitiness found in the nose. Sweet bread and honey with nice orange rind, coriander, and a touch of hops. Feel is crisp, light and refreshing, with ample carbonation. I'm not one to go out and buy Spotted Cow, but it is an easy drinking beer. This beer is simply delightful and another of Dan's masterful brews.

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Photo of Detlef90
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one complex beer. So much is going on here that I feel it is almost impossible to sum it up after drinking two of them in one night. All I can say is that the more I drank it the better it got. Give this one time. New Glarus is a master brewery. They know what they're doing.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours a minimally hazy light copper orange body, three finger white head. Seems to be a bit overly effervescent despite a very careful pour. Takes an appropriate amount of time to settle down to a thick frothy collar, bits of lacing. Smell is of coriander, bread, touch of honey, light fruity esters. Flavour is a bit interesting, not sure I'm really appreciating the palate as much as I do the nose. It does have a nice fruity esteriness, sort of like sweet banana, with spices and a distinct breadiness. However, it is a bit boozy and somehow the rest of the beer isn't able to cover up the booziness very well. Mild-moderate fruity bitterness on the backend. Mouthfeel is medium-lighter bodied, good carbonation, slightly dry fruitiness on the finish. An interesting take on a classic with a nice aroma to it, but certainly not as drinkable.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
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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Photo of BEERchitect
3.42/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Perhaps the beer that put Wisconsin on the map, the Spotted Cow is the flagship of New Glarus. But not resting entirely on those laurels, the brewers join the sour train by introducing the cleanly malted ale to bacteria fermentae for added complexity, intrigue and charm.

Pale straw and hazy, the creamy pour releases a pillowy white froth as floral hops and fresh kilned grains swirl about the nose. Hints of cidery fruit follow while the creamy-sweet taste of cream corn, fresh baked bread and a hint of honey greets the front of the tongue.

As the beer washes the palate, its strong grain-centric flavor carries the taste of cornbread, sweet grains and honeysuckle. As the modest hops trend from floral to bitter, their spicy bitterness balances the residual grain sweetness and its firm, creamy body. All the while, its cidery and winy acidiy breaks up the sweetness and trails with an earthen sourness.

Grain and acid align on the finish for a brisk taste of lime, apple and grape. Crisp and drinkable, the sourness however allows for the cream corn character to permeate the finish and aftertaste. Along with a musty charm of attic woods, the beer's rusticity is both its blessing and its curse.

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Photo of emerge077
3.57/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for this one Jayme!

Pale golden orange, sturdy head of foam with delicate lacing around the edges.
Aromas of Belgian yeast, estery with banana and clove notes, coriander, spiced shortbread.
Belgian yeast forward, bubblegum, pale malt, coriander, not sweet at all.
Vague dried florals in the aftertaste, finishes with lingering bitter astringency.
Medium bodied, somewhat creamy with a dry finish. A hint of alcohol surfaces now and then.
Overall it's worth a try but not something i'd return to.

For those throwing various styles around, Grand Cru is typically a strong Belgian Pale Ale, often spiced.
See Allagash, Hoegaarden, Celis, etc. Not a saison, cream ale, etc.
Spotted Cow is a farmhouse/cream ale, though Grand Cru implies something entirely different.

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Photo of gatornation
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal clear golden yellow color with a long staying 1 finger head. smells of Belgian yeast ,white fruit, spice ,clove. taste follows nose with Grainy adjunct mixed with a fruity yeasty saison, notes of banana, white fruit bubblegum and cereal grain, mouth feel is soft and sweet with a bready finish. Its half spotted cow and half saison, 1 bottle was enough for me, recommended to try...

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Photo of Strix
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
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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Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jera1350
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bigstar87
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spycow
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Soneast
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of imperialking
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TheSSG
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a soapy, white head that has great persistence. Bright, citrus aroma with soft yeasty notes behind it. Hazy, straw color. Starts with a nice, citric bitterness - a flash of booze. There is a nice, soft spiciness after that. Then, a slow maltiness emerges. The finish is citrus bitterness and sweet malt.

This is really, really nice. It's as smooth as the normal one, but the taste is quite different.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
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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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.66/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A session cream ale is turned into an imperial saison that is very yeast forward and boozy. Extreme belgian yeast (fruity esters, overripe bananas, and bubblegum) with white pepper dominate the nose. Sweet flavor upfront and surprising bitterness on the backend with lots of spicy and pepper. Also strong presence of perfume in the flavor profile. This beer gives me yet another reason why I don't like spotted cow and actually I think that spotted cow grand cru makes me appreciate spotted cow more than ever.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

Photo of Gotti311
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sweemzander
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thumbprint Spotted Cow Grand Cru from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 132 ratings