25 Beers of Christmas: Day Fifteen – New Glarus Spotted Cow & Farewell George Whitman

Have you had a Little Kings? Do you feel like you have an enormous hand when you do drink one, and could possibly be a giant? That’s about the end of my list of positives for that beer, and Little Kings (and an unfortunate Thomas Creek Vanilla Cream Ale) are the only cream ales I have had. It’s so sad, I know, so I’m hoping to change things around. I’m not sure if I mentioned in my last New Glarus post, but I received a sampler pack as a wonderful present, and I’m diligently making my way through it-and look at that! A cream ale!

All in all…this New Glarus Spotted Cow is a stunning honeybell orange color with a small but soft head, and a sweet aroma. I have to say that I was really excited to try this, and pleased to report that I like it. Additionally, I was nervous about how it would feel, but the mouthfeel is not too much like cream soda (I’m 99.99% sure that’s the first time using the word mouthfeel) – I actually think that this felt very similar to the Wee Mac as it leaves a bit of a fatty/oily sense with its aftertaste. This isn’t a bad thing, though. Taste-wise, it is reminiscent of a Hoegaarden & Upland Wheat lovechild. It has the blonde airiness of the Hoegaarden, but the wheat sweetness of an Upland Wheat. I’m not overjoyed about this, but I’m happy that New Glarus has redeemed my faith in my ability to enjoy a cream ale. Huzzah!

Recommend to a friend? Hmmm. Perhaps if you are like me and have only tried disappointing cream ales before. Otherwise, I would recommend moving on to something else.

How much snow are you willing to scrape off your car for this? (3) Ten minutes

Safe for lightweights? 4.8% ABV Yeyeah.

Plus one? I would most likely choose to try something else after this, but with how low in ABV and with the nice feel, I don’t rule out having a second completely.

I’ll take a minute here to touch on something that has nothing to do with beer and nothing to do with baking. George Whitman, the founder of Shakespeare & Co., a bookstore that meant the most to me in a wonderful way, passed away yesterday – the Times has a beautiful obit here about him and about the essence & philosophy of the bookstore.

When my family moved to Paris originally it took me months and months to adjust. Moving to another country during high school never goes over well with a teenager, and I was hardly thrilled. Shakespeare & Co. was a safe spot, a solid connection back to America and the English language through books. As winter turned into spring, as I bought more books, walked all over the surrounding neighborhood, I fell in love with the city. Then I loved Shakespeare & Co. because of how much I was part of the city when I was there – on the squishy beds, couches, in between nooks created by haphazard bookshelves. It was rare to read alone. It was common to enter one of the tiny rooms, nod & flash a friendly smile at the people already deep into their stories, and simply sit together quietly. And I just can’t stop thinking about how the breeze felt brushing up against my arm in April – with the windows wide open over the river. With just the stairs creaking, muffled voices from the 1st floor, the pages swishing. I read Hemingway’s words “you belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil,” for the first time there. I breathe a sigh of relief to know those words will permanently be with me, and that the beautiful spirit of Shakespeare and Co. is still cherished by so many that he touched.

Shakespeare & Co. helped show me that there are few things in life more magical than being an American in Paris.

    • thebakeandbrew said:

      I have not! So thank you!

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