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

121 Ratings
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Ratings: 121
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11%
Wants: 9
Gots: 11 | 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:
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 added by: WVbeergeek on 11-03-2006)
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Ratings: 121 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MDDMD
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev -5%
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 wingman14
3.8/5  rDev -5%
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 jsbrendle
3.8/5  rDev -5%
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 gford217
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler provided by pghlee and glid02 shared at the Brick Store.

This one pours a hazy caramel brown that looks a good bit like iced tea when held up to light. The head is small, very short-lived and leaves no lacing.

The aroma is mostly caramel malts but with some coffee and a hint of hops. There is also an understated tobacco and smoke presence as it warms.

The taste has the sweet malts with some chocolate and coffee bitterness which last through the finish along with a distinct woody character. The tobacco comes through in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is actually a bit heavier than I was expecting and is very smooth with less than moderate carbonation.

This is an interesting winter warmer with more bitterness than I was expecting. It also drinks a bit heavier than the ABV.

Photo of misternebbie
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Rifugium
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
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 Darkmagus82
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Pours a mahogany color with a medium off white head. The head faded to give a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell – Roasted malts with little aromas a chocolate and coffee. There is a very nice spiciness in the aroma and a light piney hop aroma present as well.

Taste – A nice roasty malt flavor is at the base of this beer and is present throughout the whole taste profile. With the malt flavor, the flavor starts out a little on the sweeter side with the spices detected in the nose mixing with a caramel and toffee sweetness. As the taste advances so too does a little bit of hoppy bitterness. The bitterness comes mainly from a pine hop flavor but also from a small amount from the coffee and cocoa.

Mouthfeel – The body is slightly above average and the carbonation is slightly below normal. The body allows the complex taste profile to really coat the mouth with the lower carbonation level letting all those flavors really soak in.

Overall – A nice roasty holiday brew. The spice and roasty malt mixed with the light pine hop all combine quite nicely.

Photo of AdamBear
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A-dark brown with a thin cream colored head

S-faint scent of smoky malts and peppercorn. Really faint.

T-comes in with a flavor of hops, black peppercorn, dark malts, and some cocoa? It's an odd mix. After-taste is heavier on a chalky cocoa taste with some peppercorn. It's pretty good.

M-heavy chalky mouthfeel. I like it.

O-really unique winter warmer. I like it. I can always expect something good from East End. I really wish I had more access to their beers. This has a great mouthfeel to it, and the flavor profile seems to shift with every sip I take.

Photo of DrJay
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky chocolate brown served biker style (right to the top of the glass, no foam). Surprisingly, there was still a little lacing from bubbles that formed while I was drinking the pint. Cool aroma - piney, coffee, and chocolate - seems appropriate for a winter release. Nice flavour too, with bittersweet chocolate and caramel forming a malty base, light roasty notes complemented by piney hops, and lingering coffee. Medium/full bodied with lowish carbonation. Overall, quite a tasty beer.

Photo of thecheapies
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Snow Melt!

Very dark brown. Humble little lip of head. Looks a little thick.

Rich and roasty coffee notes with some sweet peatiness and a laydown of subtle earthy hops.

Rustic flavors of coffee, pecan, near-harsh roast, and an afterthought of pine. Almost meaty with malts. Tingling rings with light spiciness. Excellent.

Medium body seems almost right-on. Carbonation shows up in the finish as a spicy bite.

Tasty warmer with great headiness. Awesome local holiday brew.

Photo of glid02
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
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 sulldaddy
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
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 dexterk1
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of coachdonovan
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
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 ef88
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler from the brewery in Homewood.

A: Pours black with a nice foamy 2 1/2-finger head. Consistent lacing that hangs out for a while. Pretty.

S: Lots of coffee and dark chocolate.

T: Dark chocolate, coffee, and a nice malty backbone.

M: Kind of chewy and it leaves a nice coating.

O: I've had one winter warmer (Harpoon's Winter Warmer) before this one and hated it, so if I'm going by the rules of reviewing, it's by far the best of the style I've had. Looking forward to trying another example of the style sometime.

Photo of reitzbrewing
4/5  rDev 0%

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4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of DCHritz
4/5  rDev 0%

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4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Griggsy
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of FlakyBiscuit
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of nkeckhar
4/5  rDev 0%

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4/5  rDev 0%

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Snow Melt Winter Ale from East End Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.