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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 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)

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 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 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 letsgopens
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from the cask at Fatheads in the South Side of Pgh. It shows a dark, woody brown with a thick, frothy layer of dense foam. A thick spattering of lace sticks around. An expected appearance from a cask ale.

Of course a bit subdued compared to the normal tap version as far as the nose is concerned. Mild floral hops, toasty malt and toffee. Caramel and vanilla beans steeped in milk.

Caramel and light toffee melds seamlessly with bright, floral/earthy hops. Lingering bitterness throughout does a good job of balancing the otherwise sweet malty flavors accentuated by the cask conditioning.

Mellow and creamy cask character with some welcomed lingering bitterness on the palate. Semidry and lush with a soft pillowy swallow. Takes really well to the cask but if given the choice I'd probably prefer it on regular tap. Still very enjoyable. (851 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 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 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 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 coachdonovan
3.95/5  rDev -2%
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. (925 characters)

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