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Snow Melt Winter Ale - East End Brewing Company

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Snow Melt Winter Ale
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BA SCORE
89
very good

129 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 8
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
East End Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WVbeergeek on 11-03-2006

SNOW MELT WINTER WARMER DEBUT:
The first day of Winter is December 21st, but we can start melting the frost sooner than that - time for the first East End Winter Warmer - or should I say AMERICAN Winter Warmer. SNOW MELT is a Mahogany-red ale with a unique malt character, and a bright pine-ey hop flavor, unusual for a beer of this style, but seasonally appropriate none the less.Clocking in at 7% and guaranteed to clear the fog from your glasses, this one's debuting at Growler Hours next week (Dec 14th), and you can keep an eye out for it around town shortly after that.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 56
Reviews by hollywood_15063:
More User Reviews:
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a growler brought to me by the WVbeergeek,poured into my Samuel Smith nonic glass.

Mirky,reddish-browm color,head was off-white towards tan,very thick,creamy,dense. Very good retention leaving rings of lace down the sides of the glass.

Good strong aromas of hops and malts nicely blending into a very inviting aroma. Very citrusy and piney with a stout-like malt nose thats carmelly/roasty/chocolaty. A hint of smokiness with a woody,earthy quality. Had a hard time pulling the glass away from my nose long enough to get a taste.

Glad i finally pulled this beer from my nose to finally taste this beer. Delicious, even better than anticipated. Great balance here,lots of citrus and pines tastes,very complex malt character,a burnt carmelly,roasty.chocolate,black coffee taste.Woody,a nice earthness to this beer. A sugary sweetness mid-taste,finishes with a pleasingly clean,sharp hoppy citrus rind bite. Leaves a great citrusy flavor lingering on the palate. Not a spicy winter brew, maybe a hint if any.
One of the best tasting winter beers i've had,

A robust beer,medium body feel light,because of all the great creaminess. Drinkability ? Was going to have a beer or two from the growler ended up drinking the whole growler. How's that for drinkability?
East End Brewing is putting out some great beers,this is another great beer,if you can get some of these beers you should give them a try !!!

Thanks Scott from East End and my best beer buddy WVbeergeek for this great beer.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Awesome winter beer my favorite this season...appears a cloudy ruby amber body with a large caramel tan head leaves even lacing with each sip. Aroma has strong citrus and piney herbal hops upfront with caramel, cocoa, mild coffee malt tones that mesh well with the strong bitterness and mild alcohol notes. Flavors bring out the hop burps in all of us, definitely some light or even absent typical christmas spicing this beer wallops the hop profile with pine bitterness in a good way. Malts are great mainly caramel toffee tones with some mild chocolate and coffee from all of the specialty grains used in this brew. Mouthfeel is definitely medium to fuller bodied even smooth carbonation glides down the palate a hint of oily feeling on the tongue really tickles the palate. Drinkability is great one kick ass Christmas present from Scott Smith and the East End crew. I heard a guy call this homebrew crap they other day I wanted to knock him off his stool. Keep up the large outflow and keep running out of beer Scott it's a good thing.

Photo of glid02
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler from the brewery via pghlee, thanks for picking this one up!

Pours a slightly hazy brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malt with hints of hops and earthy spices.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malts up front, but now hints of roasted malts enter into the equation. Hardly any hop flavors, instead the malts give way to mild amounts of earthy spices.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem downing the growler with a few friends around.

Overall this winter warmer is light on the spices, but it still manages to distinguish itself as a winter warmer. A tasty beer.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The winter season calls for a bold beer, and East End has offered one up in their Snow Melt Winter Ale!

Its clear dark-mahogany body allows little more than a shimmer of ruby through, and its short head of creamy foam is a dark tan in color. It drops shortly, probably due at least in part to its 7% abv, and leaves thin fingers and tiny spots of lace about the glass.

The nose is clean, and offers some piney and gently citrusy hops atop a bed of darkly caramelish, coffee-ish, and cocoa-accented maltiness.

It's medium bodied in the mouth with a moderate carbonation.

Dark chocolate, and piney hops appear in the flavor, becoming more piney and resinous at first, and then cocoa-ish. The fruitiness becomes apparent on subsequent sips. There's some scorched brown sugar in there as well, and the suggestion of black coffee in the background. It's solidly bitter and finishes dry, piney, and almost minty due to the alcohol, with a light dusting of cocoa in the background.

It's strong and full flavored but not particularly rich, and not really complex. Bitter, piney, and warming.... yes!

Photo of Kegatron
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask at the Sharp Edge Creek House.

Pours a dark brown with garnet highlights around the bottom of the glass. Head is tan and naturally big and froathy and left huge lacing. The aroma spicy with some chocolate sweetness and a coffee ground bitterness.

The taste is mellow yet roasty mix of chocolate and molassas sweetness with a combo of burnt coffee and hop bitterness thrown in for good measure. The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin.

Now I've had Snow Melt before but this was the first time on cask and I have to say that this no where lives up to the draft version. Everything from the smell to the taste to the mouthfeel feels muted and repressed. Still decent but I'm sticking with this on draft next time.

Photo of Kolsch
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap recently at ZoSo's Bar in Greensburg. Exceptional beer from East End Brewing. I prefer this more than their Big Hop.

Mahogany in color with little head retention. Smell was malty pleasant with some Hop overtones. Alcohol was well hidden and did not stop me from drinking several of these. I would like to see this brewed year round as I think this is one of East End's better seasonal offerings.

EDIT: Re

Photo of akorsak
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 1 L swingtop growler from Al's. It is snowing outside, so a winter warmer seems appropriate.

A: The ale is a dark mahogany brown, full enough to be opaque. A voluminous head, over two fingers on first pour left thick splotches of lace behind. The reddish brown nature of the mahogany lends to the cloudiness.

S: Chocolate, toffee and spices are strong, standing out immediately. Ample hoppiness, citrusy, pairs nicely, creating a Black IPA-like effect.

T: Dark malts, toffee and chocolate along with burnt toast start things off. The rich flavor is met by an equally strong. The pine flavor is rich and bitter, moving the ale towards Black IPA territory. The combination of dark malts and bold hops works, even my wife likes the ale (and ksak is no hophead). The bitterness lasts, as does the well-roasted breadiness. A winter warmer that gets the job done without a heavy spice profile.

M: The mouthfeel is a rousing combination of malts and hops, a warming pair that builds to a crescendo. A great flavor lingers long after each sip is gone.

D: The ale packs more of a punch than beers much stronger than it. A strong flavor, great finish and sharp hoppiness are all I need tonight.

Photo of wingman14
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a light tan head that faded quickly. This one has a very unique smell that I had a hard time pin pointing. A heavy emphasis on the spices, some pine notes, along with some sweet, maybe caramel in there. It had some malt smell, but was also pretty hoppy. The taste was sweet at first and dominated by the spices, then the hops and a strong bitterness came to finish this off. As it warmed it got much hoppier in smell and taste and I thought tasted better. The bitter bite hits harder with it being colder. The mouthfeel was medium body, very bold, a good deal of carbonation coupled with the bitterness was stronger than what I usually look for. This was a good beer, but not something I could palette for more than a few pints. But this is definitely worth checking out, another good beer from East End. Cheers!

Photo of coachdonovan
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a growler filled at the shop in the strip district on 12/22. As I sit on the North Side, poured into a Burgh-appropriate Jerome Bettis Grille shaker glass. Sandy head, about 3/4 inch, settles with good lacing. This beer is dark, but not so dark that you can't tell it's cloudy. Let's call it cinnamon brown with maybe a hint of orange; no red color to speak of.

Aroma is hop-forward, but not in a way that I'd mistake for an IPA. Piney, but there is a little sweetness in there. I don't pick up any winter warmer spices (which I'm not complaining about). The bitterness is carried through in the taste from hops as well as burnt coffee, but here I get some subtle caramel notes too.

Carbonation is high, even from the growler, and while there isn't a lot of spice, there's plenty of zing. It doesn't warm me up, but that doesn't mean I can't drink it all night long. This is a delightfully different take on the style.

Photo of Axic10
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a growler of this while I was in Pittsburgh for work and enjoyed it in my hotel room.

Appearance: Amber with a finger of khaki head.

Smell: Malty aroma, roasted toffee and sweet caramel.

Taste: Sweet spices and some nice roasted and bready malt flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with nice carbonation.

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this beer. East End is really an underrated brewery and with beers like this, I'm glad I can get their beers on a semi-regular basis.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep Mahogany in color indeed! Very little light escaping from the glass. A inch of head due from growler pour.

S - Smells kind of like a porter with roasted coffee and a bit of hops but a nice sweet malt smell. No real spices on the nose.

T - Comes off very creamy. Tastes of bitter chocolate and hops with a nice balances of some winter all spice and a sprinkle of cinnamon. The hop presence is very mild delivering a sweet malt which I love in my winter warmer. Very complex.

M - Light to medium. Hard to believe this is over 6 percent ABV.

D - Well funny story actually my local place is the only location I know that carries this and I wanted a growler fill for 9 bucks. After about 1 1/2 beers the line kicks and he charges me 1.50 for the pour and sends me on my way. I ended up getting two pours out of that for buck fifty. If I did see it again on tap and the price was right I would get a fill but as of now I guess I have to wait till next year. Overall a damn fine winter warmer!

Photo of Phatz
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It was a real pleasure to meet BA jcdiflorio this weekend. Much thanks to John for bringing a treat from western PA. Thanks for sharing the growler of Snow Melt Winter Ale. I am a huge fan of roasted porters. This beer was refreshingly more like a perfect porter than an overly spiced winter warmer. Delightfully malty rich tasty and drinkable. Here's the breakdown:

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color that is only partly translucent and a big ivory head little lace.

Smell: This is a very sniffable beer. Roasty, chocolaty bittersweetness, toasted malts, black licorice, anise, and pine and coffee fill the nose with a surprising blend of delightfully scents.

Taste: Like the nose the taste is roasty and dark. There maybe a hint of cinnamon in with those dark roasted chocolate flavors but this one does not get too spiced. That is a plus in this case. It has all the roasty chocolate malts that I love in a Porter. Some dry bitter coffee and nice balance of hops with a distinct milky chocolate and caramel flavor that move eloquently through the mouth and leave a lasting impression all the way through the delightful aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: This is a bold creamy solid medium body beer that slides across the palate very easily and is very well rounded with flavors and texture to enjoy.

Drinkability: This is an exceptionally drinkable beer. I could have finished the growler by my self if I didn't have so many great friends =).
Thanks to John for bringing this across the state.
Thanks Scott for making so many great beers. I LOVE Gratitude 05, but I also really enjoy the unique approach you took with this Snow Melt. Keep up the good work.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler at the brewery during their "2-for-1 clearance." Granted, this means that the beer is not at its freshest, but still had every bit of character.

Poured a dark brown, nearly black, almost no light coming through but some dark amber highlights near the bottom. Two fingers of tan head, big bubbles, solid lacing with each sip.

Smell is rich, malty, with some roast notes in it. Coffee, chocolate, some subtle piney hop smells. The taste delivers on all counts, with a stronger hop bite at the end, rounding out into that crayon-like flavor I get from coffee-tasting dark beers. Though this is not categorized as a stout, the closest comparison I can think of is Wake 'n' Bake from Terrapin, the first time I noticed the crayon. I'll repeat, not unpleasant, but unexpected.

Mouthfeel is good, not as thick as a stout, but not watery. The bubbles dance around on the tongue a little. A drinkable winter ale, could easily spend an evening with this one. One of the best offerings from East End, in my opinion.

Photo of foureyedgeek
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler filled this evening at the Map Room into an East End Brewing pint glass, naturally.

Color is a very dark but very clear brown-red, with a big, more than two finger head of tan foamy foam. Fine lacing sticks for the duration, outside the sipping area.

Smell is of sweet malts, a little caramel, piney hops and citrus. Is this spiced with orange peel? Not very spiced, a different take on a winter beer.

Taste brings more of that sweet caramel/toffee malt flavor to light,along with that lovely EE hop bitterness. Definitely not a ton of spicing in the taste either. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is quite full and creamy, without being thick. The alcohol, while not huge is lightly warming while still well masked by the flavors.

Drinkability is great, if I had gotten this home sooner, I'd have finished the growler by myself in one long evening, but the remaining pints will make for a very 'warm' afternoon tomorrow, perhaps watching the Steelers close their season with as much dignity as they can.

I get a thrill out of trying everything new East End has to offer and they (ok Scott, he) has yet to disappoint.

Next day update: I'm noticing a little more roastiness today, its not coffee-like, more akin to a nutty or bready flavor. Just saying.

Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at the brewery

Interesting to see a winter warmer still available in late May. Dark mahogany brown pour, pretty hazy, topped with a foamy white head; decent retention and lacing. Aroma of spiced cake and caramel, noticeable hop scents. Taste of dark toasted malts, cinnamon and spice, but not at all heavy or overblown, dark sugar, finishing off with a bit of piney hops for a slightly bitter aftertaste. Pretty well-balanced, medium body, a nice drink overall.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled this beer courtesy of my brother. Pouring the growler into a pint glass the beer pours a dark mahogany with light ruby highlights on the edges, not much light passing through.
Aroma is malty with caramel and brown sugar and a little booze. no hops on the nose.
First sip reveals an average body and fine tingly carbonation. Flavor is as the nose advertises with big malt caramel and brown sugar hits with just a touch of molassess for good measure. Again no hop presence that I can detect. I do get a little peppery booze warmth. Overall the beer is a bit of a sipper, which is surprising for the 7% abv. A nice drinking brew but not a session beer IMO.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.62/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber/ copper color, with a tan head. In the aroma, fruity hints, roasty malts and a small alcohol smell. In the taste, bitter chocolate and a dry fruitiness as well. A smooth mouthfeel and a dry chocolate flavor in the aftertaste. Almost porter like, nice flavors and good for the winter.

Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On cask at the Piper pub the other day.

The beer pours fairly dark, reddish brown color with surprisingly good head retention and lacing. The nose is attraactive as well, as I pick up considerable sweet malt, toffee, tea, light smoke and hint of ginger. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this easy drinking, moderately sweet beer. Mouthfeel if medium bodied, with a soft, slightly creamy finish. I really think the cask conditioning works well with this beer. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, and so drinkability is pretty high.

Really enjoyed this well made beer from East End.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Served on tap into a pint glass. Dark brown in color with slight off white head and spotty lacing.

S. Roasted malts, mineral water.

T. A thick roasted malt feel with some earthy hops. A definate coffee taste is noted. Pretty noteworthy and exceptional.

M. A bit harsh yet somewhat smooth and medium to full bodied.

D. This is a good winter warmer. A sipper for sure. I will have again.

Photo of Deuane
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep dark reddish brown with a creamy dark tan head. Head reduces to a thin cap and leaves decent lace.

S-Spicy pine and citrus hops up front with a nice caramel sweetness supporting. Light coffee, cocoa and tobacco in the background.

T-Rich dark roast with bitter dark chocolate, pine and light citrus hops. A myriad of other flavours swirl in background with coffee, cocoa, tobacco, brown sugar and gingerbread.

M-Medium bodied with full flavoured lingering notes.

D-A strong and full flavored holiday brew that has a lot going on in well done harmony. Nothing seems to fight and the flavours meld very nicely. A quality winter warmer.

Photo of jsbrendle
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint off of a hand pump at Zeno's. Appearance is a pleasing dark with a little bit of foam that doesn't linger. The smell is clean with just a hint of cereal/sweet. The flavor is also pleasant with an emphasis on the darker malt notes, perhaps a bit of semi-sweet chocolate and butterscotch/caramel & nicely balanced by the hops bitterness. The overall impression is off something less than the indicated alcohol because of all the flavors going on. Body is pleasant but not overwhelming, appropriate to a "winter warmer" sort of beer. Nice beer for the season, but not something I could drink back to back I don't think (so slight ding on the drinkability scale).

Photo of LordWhite
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A delicious winter warmer. A not too thick dark ale with a nice hoppy center with an xtra alcohol kick to warm you up when it is snowing in late March. And in the burgh...it is snowing in late March.

With it's lighter viscosity than a Guinness or other heavy porters and stouts,it can be an enjoyable brew for even those that steer away from the standard dark ale.

Photo of Alkey
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from my growler a dark brown with a bit of a red tint and a tan head that left some spots of lace around the glass. The smell is intriguing I'm not sure what all of it is but there is some pine and spice in there. Taste has some chocolate notes pine flavors and something else I don't know how to describe other than it a big factor in the aroma also. The feel is in between light/medium and is also very easy to drink.

Photo of thain709
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Served with a darker shade of brown body that showed some nice ruby highlights...a one finger creamy and off white head stood...nice retention...lacing down the glass

S - Sweet, roasted malts gave off that roasted characteristics along with some caramel...a hint of bright, piney hops in the background

T - The beer starts off sweet with caramel and toffee flavors...chocolate and the roasted part of the beer come in towards the middle...there is a nice malt presence in this beer...the finish is bright and surprisingly bitter from the piney hops

M - Medium bodied...adequet carbonation with a proper bitterness

D - This was a very pleasant winter warmer...it was surly not true to stlye but who cares...a solid malt bill with a surprsing hop finish...you can't go wrong with hops in the winter

Photo of beer256
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My cousin lives with in walking distance of the East End brewery, so we decided to walk over there an get some beer. After trying a few i decided on the Snow melt winter Ale.We grabbed a Growler an took it home and i thought it beer was great.the ABV is 7% an is well hidden,the beer wasn't to hoppy and it wasn't to bitter either.the taste was smooth and the beer had great lacing.The appearance of the beer was dark like a stout or porter.but on the EastEnd brewery website its supposed to be amber.without asking the owner I assumed the beer is unfiltered.this is a great beer, my cousin and i felt pretty good after 64oz of it too.

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Snow Melt Winter Ale from East End Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.