Sunday, October 26, 2014

New Glarus Spotted Cow

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1204) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 26, 2014
I’d always heard New Glarus Spotted Cow was supposed to be one of the best cream ales in the country, but I’ve never been able to try it since I live in New York and they don’t distribute here. Thankfully, a friend was traveling through the area and brought me back a bottle. And while I’d say it’s one of the better cream ales I’ve had, it’s not quite the best of the best.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a mug. It was bottled on 8/13/14 and was given to me by a friend (thanks, Jordan!).

Appearance: Bright yellow hue, though slight hazy. Light carbonation visible. Pours to an average sized, bright white, frothy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: Mild nose with hints of lemon and light grain. No lager quality.

Taste: Cream ales tend to be rather lager-like, though the better ones tend to remind me of a kolsch (which is also a lager-like ale style). This has the lighter malt base often found in a lager, but with the more refined palette of an ale. There’s subtle fruit notes of lemon and banana in the front, with a sweet cereal taste lurking in the background throughout. That’s the corn, which also creates for a slight metallic or astringent character on the finish, though it’s clean (unlike so many macro lagers). This is a fine, satisfying palette and probably to-spec as far as style goes. It’s not amazingly delicious, but it’s definitely satisfying.

Drinkability: A beer like this is what you’d want in warmer weather or when you just want something easy to drink. The mouthfeel is thin, but calm, with a smooth, creamy texture and clean aftertaste. At only 5.1% ABV, New Glarus Spotted Cow is maybe a tad higher than it needs to be, but still light enough in body that no one’s going to have trouble putting back a few of these. 
Grade: 8/10

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