Volume Eighteen in the ongoing Beer of the Week series is brought to you as always by the fine folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits in Minnetonka, your one-stop shop for all of your imbibing needs.
This week is a another very special edition as we spotlight a selection that's only available within the boundaries of the the Badger State. Last week, I was in Northern Wisconsin for a family reunion of sorts (don't ask). This allowed me the opportunity to sample some Wisconsin brews that aren't widely distributed outside the state.
Beers such as Bergoff's Heartland Hefeweizen, which is a very average American example of the style (rated as an eleven). I quaffed some other Wisconsin craft beers as well during the trip, but alas was not able to properly judge them.
However, I was excited when I noticed that New Glarus Brewing Company had 12-pack samplers available in local stores. I've tasted a few of New Glarus' offerings in the past and, although I found them to be unexceptional, I was anxious to get a chance to rate some of their other styles (especially after I was able to sample their IPA one evening).
So much so that I made a point of hitting a store before I headed home at the end of the week to pick up said 12-pack sampler (three each of four styles). I drove through the Wisconsin countryside with a sense of anticipation (along with the usual sense of relief when I leave the state) knowing that I had four different New Glarus beers to enjoy in the very near future.
Then I arrived home and set about transferring my newly gotten gold to my beer fridge. Let's see, Spotted Cow, Spotted Cow...hmmm, that's a little odd...Spotted Cow, Spott...D'oh! Somehow, instead of grabbing a sampler 12 pack, I picked up a twelver of New Glarus Spotted Cow. Which just happens to be one of their beers that I've had before.
Oh well. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you beer (even if it's not exactly what you wanted), you drink it. And so the Beer of the Week is New Glarus Spotted Cow.
Ordinary brown bottle. That label has an organic country look to it with an old paper feel. Its cow jumping over the state of Wisconsin brings to mind a nursery rhyme. Surprised this hasn't attracted the attention of the Nanny Staters as an example of marketing to kids.
Beer Style: Farmhouse Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 4.8%
COLOR (0-2): Cloudy light gold 2
AROMA (0-2): Light citrus 1
HEAD (0-2): White and full. Good lacing. 2
TASTE (0-5): Simple and light with refreshing flavors of grain and fruit. 3
AFTERTASTE (0-2): Very light. Not much there there. 1
OVERALL (0-6): The first time I rated Spotted Cow some years ago I gave it an eleven. This time around, I really wanted it to rate higher. Toward that end, I tried the beer in a variety of different styles of glass and different times and in different settings to make sure I wasn't missing anything. And after all that effort I had to conclude that I wasn't. Spotted Cow is a decent, very drinkable beer that's well-suited for hot summer days (if we ever had any). But there's just not that much to it. Enjoy it if you happen to be in Wisconsin, but don't go out of your way for it. 3
TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 12