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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

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 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 IronCitySteve
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep dark brown with some slight red hues. Provides a big thick ligh brown foam head with some spotty lacing.

S: A nice amount of dark chocolate, light roasted coffee, some spices and a hint of Levi Garrett chewing tobacco. Ok, maybe just tobacco, but reminds me sniffing the pouch of a freshly opened bag of chew.

T: Slightly sweet at first with some nice chocolate and coffee followed up with some nice bitter pine.

M: Leaves a nice sweet and slightly bitter taste on the palate. Nicely carbonated.

D: These is easily becoming one of my favorite winter warmers. Not overly sweet and just enough bitterness. Another great offering from East End! (662 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 Deuane
4.07/5  rDev +1%
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. (645 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 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 glid02
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (758 characters)

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks glid02 and pghlee for sharing this growler.

Pours black with a ton of red highlights. Smells of coffee and lightly roasted malts. First sip is sweet then bitter with coffee and a musty attic flavor in the forefront. That mustiness is not welcomed and makes the beer seem "Off". Lightly bodied with average carbonation. (326 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (796 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Via growler pour on 2/18/09.

A - Poured a deep muddy brown body with burgundy highlights and a milky, bubbly light tan head that receded to leave only modest lacing behind.

S - Extremely earthy nose with a pronounced coffee character, as well as traces of wood, tree bark, tobacco and smoke.

T - Like the aroma, the flavor is quite earthy and surprisingly bitter for a Winter Warmer (even more so that I remember from my cask review). Grainy and gritty earthy bitterness segues into a smokey character mid-way through, followed by slight chocolate notes and more aggressive bitterness in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with a pretty watery texture overall, although carbonation is quite bristly. Finish is pretty dry, extremely bitter and somewhat astringent, especially for this style.

D - Not much has changed in my opinion, really. This is very unusual for a Winter Warmer. If you like earthy, woody, bitter brews, then this one should be right up your alley. (970 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (661 characters)

Photo of sonicdescent
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the sharp edge brassiere in canonsburg pa.

Pours a murky brown with small tan head and a nice lacing. Looks thick.

Smells of earth malt and a tiny bit of hop.

Tastes malty, warm, with a tiny bite of hops.

Mouth is velvety greatness, minimum carbonation and whiskey thick. A high point.

Drinkability is mixed but above average, I would absolutely order again but couldn't do more than one in a session. (422 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 PittBeerGirl
3.51/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Body is a nice dark brown hue. When held up to the night one can see mahogany hues shining through. Translucent/nearly opaque body. Served with a nice 2 finger or so light tan foamy head that has great retention. Lacing all the way down the glass.

S- Big malty nose. Lots of big roasted toasted malt comes through and a hint of dark chocolate.

T-The flavor is consistent all the way through. Upfront is some chocolate and malty flavors. Very similar to a heavy Scottish ale. The background is all roasted malt. A good bit of roasted malt bitterness comes through for the finish.

M- Nice low to medium carbonation and a fairly thick, nice, smooth body.

D- This is a big winter beer. Great accompaniment to the darkness of winter here in Pittsburgh. It could be a bit more complex and the roasted flavors are the highlight of the beer-which get to be just a bit cloying for me after awhile. Still definitely worth a try especially if you are a fan of big, dark, seasonals. Reminds me of a roasted Scottish Ale. (1,014 characters)

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a growler picked up at the brewery. Dark brown color with a spotty light tan head. Smells dark and wet, like a malt swamp if that makes any sense. The taste is rich with a hint of coffee at the end, at first the taste is a little bitter, but the smooth as silk finish makes up for that. It did have a thicker mouthfeel to it then what I am used to, maybe that is just part of the style, for me it didn't work. This is a sipper for sure. Overall, it left me a little underwhelmed. Maybe it's because we had the IPA growler first, which was a superior effort. Regardless, this wasn't bad, I would just seek something else out if/when I visit East End again. (667 characters)

Photo of JamesS
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Barley and Hops.

Pours a very nice dark amber, much darker than usual winter warmers, with some nice head and good lacing. Nice scent, earthy and deep, fairly malty, not as spicy as a usual ww. Nice taste, deep like its aroma, nice chocolate/coffee tones with a bit of pine. Goes down well, very smooth. A great beer, just a very different ww.

(On tap at Barley and Hops Bottle Shop, Bethel Park (Pittsburgh), PA) (425 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 Ricochet
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Malt a little wine, toasted malt, like a porter, not much else

A: Ruby, brown to black, little head and no lace

M: Creamy, bitter porter like aftertaste, good hops burn

T: Hands down, the best winter warmer I've had. Complex winey flavor explodes with malt, big malt, almost Bock territory. The sour is slight, leaving a bitter nugget of aftertaste. Alcohol is strong too, but it doesn't take up from the smoky, tar like porter tastes. Complex, hard to figure out, GREAT STUFF

D: Well, I've only had this three times and each time, it doesn't dissapoint. I'll have this whenever I'm in Pitt. Tasty and tasty. (615 characters)

Photo of jsbrendle
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
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). (676 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
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. (726 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
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. (302 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 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 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)

Photo of beerphan
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

growler filled @The Map Room -> pint
Winter 06-07

Pours a dark mahogony with golden edges in the light. A small brown head leaves little lace and quickly becomes a small gathering of soap suds on top of the brew.

Nose: Caramel, a nutty scent, some alcohol, chalky cocoa, mild hops.

Roasty caramelish flavor with hints of chocolate, hazelnut, alcohol, and cocoa powder. Seems to be some nutmeg or some other spice i can't quite put my finger one, but mild with the spice for sure, whatever it may be. Mild balancing bitterness accomponies a nice roasty finish.

Medium bodied and semi-creamy mouthfeel.

Real drinkable, a good brew for a nice winter session. (675 characters)

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