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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
THE BROS
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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 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)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
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! (1,107 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 DrJay
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (489 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 Alkey
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (426 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 wingman14
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
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! (836 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 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 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)

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