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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.
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 129
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 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 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 Darkmagus82
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (1,115 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 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 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 thecheapies
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (476 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 thain709
4.03/5  rDev 0%
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 (804 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (564 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 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 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 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 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 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 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)

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