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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 ef88
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (537 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)

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 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 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 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 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 Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -5%
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. (480 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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)

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