Brewery and Country of Origin: New Glarus Brewing Company of 2400 State Highway 69, New Glarus, Wisconsin, 53574, USA

Date Reviewed: 2-28-13

Though this isn't a review about a milk stout, we're going to go on a little about the subject. As you may know, fans of the Green Bay Packers are sometimes referred to as "Cheeseheads" as a reference to Wisconsin's large cheese, milk, and cattle industries. In fact, roughly 25% of America's cheese originates from Wisconsin. The Badger State also is second in the country in terms of milk production, only behind California, and has been nicknamed "America's Dairyland." The dairy cow (Holstein) is a very important symbol in Wisconsin's history and economy, and is pictured on the WI state quarter along with a wheel of cheese. Aside from being the primary source for milk production (which is sometimes used to make cream, butter, and cheese obviously), Holstein cows are known for their trademark black and white spotted appearance. These blotchy spots are like human fingerprints in that they are unique to each cow and don't change in their lifetime. It is estimated that there are 1.3 billion cattle in the world today, of which, 100 million are in The United States, and 282 million are in India. According to Hindu religion, cows must be treated as though they were one's own mother because of the milk that they provide. In most Indian states, the slaughter of cows, calves, oxen, and bulls is illegal, and the serving of beef is strictly prohibited. In neighboring Nepal, while someone can be sentenced to three months in prison for killing another person, that same person could serve a year for injuring a cow (and life in prison for killing a cow). But this is America. We don't revere our cattle, we treat them like cattle. We raise them for the sole purpose of eating them or milking them... and then slaughtering them. And if you didn't already know, the ethical, safety, environmental, sanitary, and religious aspects of the American beef and milk industry are hotly contested on a daily basis. Of course, we're not PETA activists because meat is simply too good. We'll even tell you that there are certain heavier or full bodied beers we recommend with beef and steak, but if you're not really into that, perhaps this light beer should be more your thing. And this is a cream ale, so you're still buying into old Wisconsin tradition... unless you're just straight up vegan. Then you're probably on the wrong part of this website.
Date Sampled: 2-08-13 At: 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, MA, 02134, USA
Beer Style: Cream Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 4.80%
Serving Type: 12 oz Bottle, 14 oz Sam Adams Glass
Rating: 2.31


This beer pours somewhat choppy with an average level of carbonation action, producing a thin foam head with a low retention, and a medium high density. There is some chunky/flaky sediment present, but the beer still shines fairly bright golden in the light. The beer shows a full amount of lacing.


Spotted Cow has some light malt in the aroma with a fair bit of balancing hops. Nothing terribly fresh here, with some grainy notes and a hint of clove detectable, this is sadly, an unappealing aroma. Overall, this is a weak aroma with some slightly floral notes. No alcohol or fruit is present.


This is a light bodied beer with a crisp, whispy or airy feel. This, combined with a light weight and a low viscosity, give this beer the attributes of an actual light beer, which makes it very easy to drink. The finish is somewhat dry, and pretty refreshing considering.


The flavor is mostly grainy with a bitter hoppy tail. Overall, this beer has a light, restrained, crisp, and somewhat weak flavor with light malt and a small amount of fruity notes. There is no alcohol in the flavor, and the aftertaste is mostly hoppy with an average amount of lingering. The finish is dry.

Our Take

Is there a better way to celebrate Wisconsin's traditional industries of brewing and dairy than by smashing them together in one ale? Well, perhaps making a better one, for starters. Though we're a huge fan of cheese and ice cream, we sadly can't give this beer our approval. A meager flavor, weak aroma, and weak presence overall puts this beer in the simple, casual drinking tier. There is nothing super special about it, unless you're looking for something that's pretty refreshing and extremely easy to drink. The flavor did have a bit of nice pale malt detectable, as well as a somewhat balanced and hoppy finish, but overall, the flavor was seriously lacking, and the absence of at least a modest aroma didn't help. Of course, if we were to make a recommendation regarding this beer, we'll tell you to only give it a try if it's hot outside (which in Boston, it isn't), or if you're really into light beers which don't go well with beef or veal. That said, there are plenty of reasons not to try this beer, and we can guess that you'd prefer to listen to those instead.