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

56 Reviews
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Reviews: 56
Hads: 129
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 4.71%
Wants: 8
Gots: 16 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 129
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
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. (1,039 characters)

Photo of CrossansWright
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first offering that I have had from East End and I must say I was quite pleased. A mere $3 on draft at The Library in Pittsburgh during happy hour. The beer itself was almost black and let very little light through. Minimal head with little lacing. I picked up primarily dark, roasty notes in the nose. Flavor was similar. The dark malt really stood out, but it was followed by a subdued bitterness. Some of this was hops for sure, but there was a sort of coffee bitterness as well. Mouthfeel was outstanding. It coated the tongue and lingered awhile before going down smooth, a great full-bodied feeling. A lot of firsts on this one, its peaked my interest in the style as well as the brewery. (706 characters)

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (1,509 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
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! (1,704 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

East End Snow Melt has a dark brown body that is black and opaque at its center. At least two fingers of light brown head are present, and the retention and lacing are both good.

Rich, dark malts are the first thing I notice, with notes of coffee and roast, followed by a good pine aroma from the hops. Well-balanced and nice-smelling.

Snow Melt manages to be fantastically hoppy and malty at the same time. The malt is first up, with loads of roasted and toasted malt, a lot of coffee flavor, some toffee and a hint chocolate. The malts are smooth and rich, and only supply a little bit of sweetness. At the tail end of the malt flavors there is even a hint of tobacco. This malt profile alone, without any hop flavor, would make a great beer. After the malt flavors, however, Snow Melt, also packs a pretty solid hop profile. Flavors of resinous pine along with bitterness hide in the back end of this beer, and there is perhaps a hint of citrus too. The finish and aftertaste are a mix of both malt and hops, with the finish being pretty dry.

Pretty big body with a carbonation that gives it a creamy feel.

I don't know if this year's batch of snow melt is better than usual, or if it's me, but I've had it a few times and I love it. Great drinkability and pleasing whether you're in the mood for hops or malt. (1,317 characters)

Photo of LordWhite
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (365 characters)

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
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. (1,028 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a fudge brown color with ruby highlights; the inch of foam on top of the liquid leaves a nice smattering of lace

Smell: Spice cake and toffee, with piney undertones; hops dominant

Taste: Spice cake and toffee, up front, with nutmeg and clove elements building; by mid-palate, the piney hops dominate and provide a nice balance to the resurgent spices in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very nice take on the Winter Warmer style; like the way there are a load of hops in the recipe to provide balance (575 characters)

Photo of Pappy121
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We went in to the East End Brewery for a sixth of Black Strap as a gift to a good friend but after sampling Snow Melt we switched our purchase. I am now a very big fan of this brew, possibly my favorite East End beer.

This malty beverage is smooth with hints of carmel and chocolate. It's dark pour reminds you of a good porter or stout but tops it off with a bubbly head.

I suggest getting a taste of this when you can and hopefully you can write a more detailed review. (477 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Growler

Appearance - Dark tan, black with insane 4 inch thick creamy head

Smell - Hops, malts, barley, brown sugar, some spices.

Taste - A nice mix of sugar with the bitter hops and spices. I really enjoy the hop kick it has. Also love the plum and malt taste. The malts make it not that far off from a smoked porter. Very smooth and tasty.

Mouthfeel - It has a load of flavor. Theres sweetness, theres bitterness, mouth gets a decent workout. I would stick with dark beers after this.

Drinkabilty - This is my favorite east end beer. I really wish it was year round. Can drink this with a steak, or a piece of chocolate cake. Fantastic, cant wait for more (677 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not usually a big fan of this style; or just a fan at all. But this is good. Really great level of spices to it. Appropriate level of sweetness. Pretty smooth. Carbonation nips at the tongue a bit more than I like, but it just keeps things lively. Overall, this is really really good. Been quite some time since I've tried something from East End that I hadn't yet tried. This is a good one to get back into the mix with. (425 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (1,192 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.23/5  rDev +5%
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! (999 characters)

Photo of brewsadedotcom
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a growler at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the strip

A: Poured into my Bogota Beer Company pint glass. Half inch of foam, good head retention. Deep chestnut brown color

S: Pleasant coffee aroma

T: Nice balance of roasted malt and coffee with a subtle hop finish

M: Moderate carbonation. Warming. Hop bitterness lingers

O: I really enjoyed this beer. When i think of a winter beer i usually think of something that is overspiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. This beer goes against those notions. (507 characters)

Photo of mikereaser
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a murky brown with a slight off white foam that disappeared quickly

S - earthy roasted maltiness

T - maltiness dominates with a nice hop bite that was way unexpected

M/D - Totally not what i was expecting. I was waiting for spiciness and alcohol, but was surprised with a nice malt and hoppy flavor. Definitely a nice surprise and the growler went by way too fast. (377 characters)

Photo of nukem5
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favs at the East End Brewery!

A: An awesome brown/ruby colored beverage which clings to side of glass for dear life.Tan cap which dissapates quick but with a swirl of the glass its back just as quick as it left.

S: Malty nose with a nice hoppy backside, smells a bit of chocolates and carmel sweet but not cloying with gentle coffee wiff in there as well.

T: Sweet dark malts with a rich mixture of Coffee chocolate and carmel buzz around the tongue with splashes of spruce and floral of hops.

M: Full bodied and rich almost chewy, could make this a dessert for any meal or just sitting around the fireside.

D: Very drinkable and so good to the last drop from the growler, can't wait for a refill on this hopefully soon! (735 characters)

Photo of psinderson
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: A deep amber color, a bit cloudy with a thin off-white head.

Smell: There is a definite piney aroma as stated with a bit of a caramel background.

Taste: Nice and smooth with a slight alcoholic middle and cocoa-like finish. Some hop bitterness evident, but this mostly caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: A good medium body with good carbonation.

Drinkability: This brew hides its alcohol well and is smooth enough to be dangerous. (477 characters)

Photo of LeftyBWS
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fresh growler, filled at the brewery earlier this afternoon, into a shaker pint glass.
A: Fantastic mahogany-amber color, with a fluffy, creamy inch-thick layer of tannish head. Fingers of slippery lacing down the glass, more pronounced as the beer warms.
S: Nutty and lightly spicey. Notes of cinnamon, earthy malts, and perhaps some nutmeg?
T: Closely resembles the smell; slightly malty and very smooth at first, then it lets the light spices roam the mouth in the mid taste and linger thru the finish. Small but noticeable hop presence towards the finish, kinda piney if anything.
M: Smooth and creamy all the way through. Very satsifying and leaves me wanting more.
D: Great. Not too heavy, especially for a style that's usually quite spicy and heavy, and one this high in alcohol. (800 characters)

Photo of Omnium
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Growler > Pint Glass

A - Ruby dark brown with tow fingers of a tan head, medium lacing.
S - Big roasty malts caramel and toffee, toasted grain and hazelnut, piney hops, dark choclate
T - Lovely rich roasted flavor, pine and grassy hop bite, cinnamon, a little bit of a coffee roast, bit toffee flavor too.
M - Rich, a little abrasive but decent.
O - Best winter warmer you could have, seriously. (399 characters)

Photo of foureyedgeek
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (1,285 characters)

Photo of Axic10
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (490 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (392 characters)

Photo of soulfly1492
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Very hoppy upfront, but also a lot of darker malts. Grapefruit, caramel, worty and roasty malts. Expecting the taste of resinous hops to stick around for a while on this one.

Appearance: Deep amber, very little head. Minimal retention.

Taste: Bold hops and malt. Crisp grapefruit, then some English malt, and lots of caramel. Smooth throughout, surprisingly. Mild aftertaste. Mild phenols.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, just slightly drying. Mild carbonation, a bit chalky. Warming.

Overall: Pretty impressive for an strong ale from the Burgh. A nice change of pace to Stone and some of the other major craft brewers. (622 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Capone's - Arrived in a shaker "pint" glass a very dark amber - red color with a finger of off white head. Smells of sweet caramel malts, and bracing herbal hops. Tastes initially of piney hops with bitter citrus notes such as lemon. This is followed by notes of cocoa powder, caramel, coffee, and more hops. Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Another great beer from East End. Scott, you are now 3 for 3 with me. Recommended. (452 characters)

Photo of Kolsch
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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 (418 characters)

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Snow Melt Winter Ale from East End Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.