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Snow Melt Winter Ale - East End Brewing Company

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Snow Melt Winter Ale
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very good

56 Reviews
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Reviews: 56
Hads: 130
Avg: 4
pDev: 16.25%
Wants: 9
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

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: 130
Photo of Axic10
4.12/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.12/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of soulfly1492
4.12/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.12/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of Kolsch
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
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.


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Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On cask at the Piper pub the other day.

The beer pours fairly dark, reddish brown color with surprisingly good head retention and lacing. The nose is attraactive as well, as I pick up considerable sweet malt, toffee, tea, light smoke and hint of ginger. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this easy drinking, moderately sweet beer. Mouthfeel if medium bodied, with a soft, slightly creamy finish. I really think the cask conditioning works well with this beer. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, and so drinkability is pretty high.

Really enjoyed this well made beer from East End.

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Photo of beer256
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My cousin lives with in walking distance of the East End brewery, so we decided to walk over there an get some beer. After trying a few i decided on the Snow melt winter Ale.We grabbed a Growler an took it home and i thought it beer was great.the ABV is 7% an is well hidden,the beer wasn't to hoppy and it wasn't to bitter either.the taste was smooth and the beer had great lacing.The appearance of the beer was dark like a stout or porter.but on the EastEnd brewery website its supposed to be amber.without asking the owner I assumed the beer is unfiltered.this is a great beer, my cousin and i felt pretty good after 64oz of it too.

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Photo of jasonm
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the growler received fresh from the brewery today, served appropriately in an East End pint glass.

A - Pours a muddy reddish/mahogony brown color with an impressive thick khaki colored head, with lots of gooey lacing.

S - As advertised, this is a fairy unique aroma for the style, dominated by a, green, piney hop scent.

T - Starts off with a quick bitter blast of hops from the aroma that fades into a varied malt backbone with chocolate, coffee, and caramel notes. Finish is bittersweet, powdery, chocolate with some hops thrown in. As it warms, the chocolate becomes more and more pronounced. Id rate the flavor higher but caught slight notes of fusel alcohol in the beginning.

M - Full, creamy, mouthfeel, with a solid amount of carbonation, alcohol fairly well hidden.

D - Another great offering from East End. Ill have no problem finishing off this growler on a cold late fall evening.

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Photo of Deuane
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
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!

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Photo of beerphan
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of thain709
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
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

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Photo of Ricochet
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Alkey
4/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of ef88
3.96/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of coachdonovan
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of glid02
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of DrJay
3.92/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.92/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.88/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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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!

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