Snow Day Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Snow Day Winter AleSnow Day Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,405 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,405
Reviews: 365
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 33
Gots: 74 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: NStLincoln on 10-14-2011

Pleasantly hoppy, Snow Day carries the subtle chocolate and caramel flavors of a new brewing malt known as Midnight Wheat. The Styrian Golding, Centennial and Cascade hops bring the backbone of hoppy bitterness to complement the roasty undertones. This beer is the deep garnet of a roasted walnut and presents a creamy tan head, floating artfully atop. Snow Day is bold and hoppy, drinkable and strong.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,405 | Reviews: 365
Reviews by mikechance:
Photo of mikechance
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A --- Dark and rusty

S --- Hoppy and smokey malts

T --- Lots of roasted flavors, pepper, earthy

M --- Light carbination and a light/medium body

O --- Very good! It can replace a porter/stodt on nights when you want to enjoy some hoppiness.

I was bummed they decided to postpone brewing of 2 Below for a few years but this is very good. I will definately enjoy this again and again this holiday season! I can't wait to try it on tap.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass a deep dark chocolate brown with a one finger clingy light beige colored head that really stuck like glue as it settled very slowly into a frothy mass.Chocolate malts and piney hops in the nose,a nice mix.A little "fizzy" in the mouth,outside of that little sharpness it was ok,light to medium feel.Quite dry on the palate with unsweetened chocolate and some earthy notes,the piney hops come into the finish along with a tinge of sourness wich I dont really know where it came from,that light sour bite kept the taste score down a little for me.Its not your typical winter ale wich is good and it has a nice hop bite,its missing a biggermore smooth feel,and the sour shot I got I didnt care for,in saying that its a pretty good beer.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #60 (Jan 2012):

LOOK: Dark brown, good lacing

SMELL: Brown malt, dates, caramel, bready, carob, faint alcohol, herbal hop, taffy, clean

TASTE: Very smooth, toasted grain, chicory, carob, toast, herbal, floral, modest hop bitterness, raisins, yeast, spice, mint, dry finish

Nothing like dedicating a beer to getting 3 feet of snow: Fort Collins 2003, 37 inches. Here's to being snowed in and hopefully having enough beer to survive! Snow Day pulls it off with its inviting Winter Warmer toastiness and a slight warmth from the alcohol.

Photo of Beaver13
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours brown with a medium creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is roasted chocolate malts, with some fruit and resiny, piney hops.

The flavor is roasted malts with fruity, resiny, piney hops and a roast bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice, slightly mellow, black IPA.

Photo of Guden
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep brown. Not quite black but it doesn't claim to be, American brown color, with a thin head.

S- Very light, this beer is 6 months past the best by date so... I wasn't expecting much here. Definitely some vague piney hops but very light.

T- Citrus hops up front with some pine and a nice balancing malt with some light roast. Finish is a wash of hop bitterness to take away the sweet malt.

M- Medium low with enough body to balance all the flavors, a bit low in carbonation (again, an old bottle might be to blame).

O- This beer surprised me. A past its prime winter seasonal seemed worth a try, didn't realize it was a hoppy black ale. Even with the age the hops are still refreshing and the overall impression comes through. Looking forward to trying it fresh next winter.

Photo of Mora2000
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle served at Onion Creek in Houston.

The beer pours a deep brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma has quite a bit of pine in it, as well as some nice roasted malt notes.

The flavor is similar to the aroma. I get a lot of roasted malt and chocolate notes, as well as some pine from the hops. The bitterness is low to medium.

Medium, creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of bsp77
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Dark brown with just a hint of red. Nice foamy head with strong lacing rings.

Smell: Roasted and caramel malts, with orange, pine and spice floating on top. Fairly pungent. Smells like a Black Ale/IPA.

Taste: Tastes like one as well. Smoke and bitter chocolate co-mingle with orange and grapefruit. Finish is more pine-like and spicy. Seems like this should be a burst of flavor, but is a little subdued, maybe due to the wheat.

Feel: Moderate carbonation with a nice dry finish. Unfortunately, the beer is a little too thin.

Overall: Obviously Winter Warmer is not really the appropriate description. This is a nice Black IPA / American Black Ale that could use a titch more flavor and body. Otherwise, quite enjoyable and better than 2 Below.

Photo of deebo
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle with BB date of 26 Feb 2012
A-Poured into a pint glass with 2 fingers of creamy tan head that hangs on stubbornly to the glass. Is clear with a deep brown color with some red tint.
S-Fresh hops (tropical, lemon, and pine like volatiles) are the dominant aromas. A sweet toasted malt backnote is also definitely there.
T-Hoppy character is upfront and lingers a bit into a bitter finish. Fair sweet malt backbone but is overshadowed by hops.
M-A bit oily and resiny from hops but doesn't linger too much. Moderate carbonation and a somewhat thinner body than I would have expected.
D-This one would be tough for me to drink more than a couple.
O-An interesting beer-I'd consider it to be more of a black IPA than a winter warmer. To me the hops dominant and gives an unbalanced taste. I like the nice fresh hop aroma and taste but I tend to prefer a beer more on the malty/sweet side vs. hoppy.

Photo of NilocRellim
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The ale poured out from the bottle and had a blackish ruby color to it. It also had a faint, citrus hop nose to it, but only slightly. It tasted like a red ale to me, and was hopped but not bitter or overwhelming in any way. No significant after taste or lingering flavours.

Would I buy this beer again? Probably.

Photo of tfratzke
2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark opaque brown. Team head with good lacing. Smells of bread dough and a hint of chocolate. Good carbonation on the palate. Taste is where it loses me. Shoe leather, leaves, earthy. Some strange herbs that I’m not sure how to describe. Not very hoppy for a black IPA.

Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark blackish brown with a tint of amber orange at the bottom of the glass. Lots of rising bubbles and a huge six finger off white foam head with good retention. Lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Very hoppy upfront. A good aroma of citrus hops with hints of grapefruit and orange. Lots of pine resin. Also a very noticeable presence of dark roasted malts with some caramel and toffee. Pretty much what you expect from a black ale.

Taste: Like the nose leads, big hoppy kick up front with lots of citrus grapefruit and orange with a good amount of pine resin throughout. Midway comes the dark roasted malts providing a taste of burnt toast with hints of chocolate, coffee, and nuts.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Feels somewhat prickly and creamy. Finishes dry.

Overall: A very solid black ale. Hops are vibrant and the dark malts provide some nice toasty flavor.

Photo of bravejoejoe
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First had this beer on draft, and at first it almost reminded me of arrogant bastard, but i had several beers before hand and I think that skewed my thought. It seems to have the same biscuit backbone that fat tire has, although this is a bit more hoppy and way more darker. I do get a malt nose also. Overall I really dig this beer, and am sure I will but several more six pack to get me through some of the long cold snow days here in Montana.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour, decent 'clarity' for a dark brown beer, no undesireable floaties, decent size off white head. Aroma was sturdy malt, but nothing beyond that.

Decent hop presence, good chewiness, bringing what you want in a winter warmer, alcohol in check. Good bitterness. Similar to the old 2 below beer. Pretty straightforward, simple, cheap and available. Some of these to have on hand should be a must in the winter. You might turn some peeps on to more adventurous stuff, or it might just be right up their alley.

Would recommend.

Photo of chinchill
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle served in a Corsendonk glass.

Appearance: Pours with a very dark but clear brown body, and a large, foamy tan head. A moderate amount of sticky lacing gets left behind.

Plenty of weedy/herbal hops with some fruity notes. Aroma of a black IPA.

Taste:More pine and floral in tasting, but still lots of citrus and weedy/herbal notes. Only mildly bitter. Lingering, mainly hoppy, aftertaste. Flavor of a hybrid English/American black PA.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: a pleasantly hoppy black PA. More drinkable than it might be if it were actually an IPA.

Photo of frankiepop
3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

We should mention that I give high marks to this beer for the cooool title! Snow Day is wonderful special day out of school that we were lucky enough to experience many a times in the upper midwest when I was a kid.

I poured Snow into Belgian chalice. Actually, a glass made by Ommegang another American brewer doin the Belgian thang. This is a very dark slightly reddish ale that seems less Belgian and more English and almost a porter or stout like feel. Not much smoke on the opening.

The scent of chocolate is very apparent at first blush. The drinkability is good. It's just a little fizzy. The taste is sweet and chocolaty. This ale reminds of Young's Double Chocolate Stout. I think it's very good. However, the beer lacks the complexity and all the cloudy unfiltered hops and malt floating around. Still Snow Day is a treat.

I'm sorry but for snow day I would prefer a little more heaviness with dark fruits, yeasts and spices. Smooth nice creamy beer though. A little thin. I complain but I think New Belgium makes a good beer. But I usually think they could step it up a notch and take more risks. They seem to maybe filter their brews down to something more akin to what Americans drink than Belgians. I rather my snow beer be a little over the top.

I would drink this while listening to some electronic music. Some mellow post rock experimental stuff like Bill Laswell, Radiohead, Mogwai or one of my favorites the cd Init Ding by Microstoria! Mostly relaxin' for a snow day!

Photo of thatruth
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a bodacious creamy off-white finger and a half head, with lacing that never really breaks off on its own, when it does its hella frothy, akin to hot cocoa. pours a root beer, black coffee type color into a mellow deep brown that light has trouble getting through.

smells like cedar and pine trees. hella hoppy, hella malty.

tastes warm. sort of spicy, but with an herbal balance. plethora-like on-bringing settles into a malty tongue lingering feel. piney hops fil the nose, overtake the palette.

nice, warm winter ale. little on the piney side, but that's just my opinion; good stuff overall.

**bottled on date: MAR 25 12

Photo of Beer21
4.32/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Snow Day has the appearance of a dark cola with minimal head. The beer is dark and clear.

Smell - There is a sweet malty aroma with a rich aroma of hops.

Taste - Again, this beer is quite hoppy in a great way. There are tones of caramel and biscuit with a generous bitterness related to the hops.

Mouthfeel - This is a light beer for it's degree of "darkness." There is average carbonation and the beer is somewhat watery.

Overall - Excellent beer with generous hops. Perfect cold weather beer!

Photo of ianjsullivan
2.59/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass. Bottle lists the ABV and a DBD.

A: Reddish brown (caramel) and clear with pretty steady carbonation. Has a large rocky brown-tinged head that sits like milkshake foam on top and leaves good lacing.

S: The bottle mentions lots of hops, and it shows. The nose is ruled by pine, grapefruit, bubble gum, orange, and spice. The wheat does not show. While it smells good, it does not match the style.

T: Tastes like a black IPA: some smoke, some burnt roast, but mostly bitter grapefruit and piney bubblegum.

M: Medium and a little light on the finish.

O: Ah winter seasonal beers are here again; it is time to spend a lot of my money. I have never had this before, and I decided to pick up a bottle. Sadly, this was not the best "winter" beer to begin with. If I were to grade this beer simply by how it tastes, it would be an average to decent black IPA. However, I am supposed to review it to the style it claims to be, and, in that, this beer has failed. While the appearance has a nice head and deeper color, the aroma is consumed by hops. The flavor of the beer tastes like a black IPA, not a winter warmer. The mouthfeel is not heavy enough, and the warmth from the alcohol is not really there. The flavor profile is missing the malt, fruit, and sweetness of a winter warmer. It is not a bad tasting beer, but if you are looking for a winter warmer, look somewhere else.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a clear dense black glowing body when held to the light and has a lumpy light tan head that sticks to the glass with each sip. There is a few random microbubbles popping out of the murky body and trailing up the glass.

S- The green woody pine aroma of fresh hop pellets has a hint of chalky roasted black malt but it is mellow in the finish.

T- The full green pine hops have a nice earthy depth to them with some hints of roasted malt soon being overpowered by a green pungent hop finish that lingers for a moment.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a creamy texture to it with no alcohol heat and a gentle fizz in the finish.

O- The great fresh NW coast hops are big and dark but this beer is still very sessionable, even at over 6 %.

Photo of LXIXME
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

When poured from an inch or so above the glass you get a big light brown head that settles into a pretty decent lacing above clear dark red amber colored medium bodied beer.

A light citrus hops with some dark chocolate malt aroma.

The taste is more of the dark chocolate malt with less of the citrus hops coming through than in the aroma.

A dry aftertaste with hints of citrus and dark malts.

An almost rich body and taste without a lot of definition which leaves to the conclusion that its very drinkable but why, if I'm going to drink a full bodied heavy beer I would like to have some richer tastes.

Photo of CamuMahubah
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

That's awesome! A beer that looks like a Porter tastes like an IPA and professes to be a Winter Warmer...

Identity crisis...well they are fun...this is a nice experiment. So pleasantly surprised by the hops. I love hops like this in the cold. It's cold where I live and this beer does taste like a beer I would drink in the middle of Winter.

A bud says this tastes like the old 2 below and I don't think so...gonna have to compare notes...

So glad this beer is what it is...a nice warm surprise for me...this should be called a Winter IPA...It's a nice twist of styles...

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with caramel edging where light can penetrate. Head is a light tan, 2 fingers thick, good retention and a solid, sticky lace.

Smell - Citrus hops hit you first, then a sweet, caramel malt.

Taste - Bright, citrus hops intertwined with roasty malts; coffee and sweet caramel. Hops begin and end with the aftertaste. Malt comes through primarily in the middle and into the start of the finish.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body. Creamy. Decent carbonation.

Overall - A strange winter ale, with hops being the primary focus. The hop/malt combination is an odd one, almost polar opposites in a way, with bright citrus hoppiness intermixed with roasty malt flavorings. It's interesting, to say the least, even if it doesn't necessarily makes it case into 'great beer' territory.

Photo of GilGarp
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before 4/22/2012. 12 oz bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Dark brown in color and good clarity seen on the pour. Thick white head with good retention.

Aroma is slightly roasty, slightly hoppy, but not all that strong.

Flavor is good and well balanced. Chocolate and toasted malts, citrusy American hops, clean yeast.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Overall a solid black IPA but not exceptional.

Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vigorously poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. Best before February 24th, 2013.

Dark yet clear burnt umber body with brighter orange/brown highlights; the active fist of dark beige foam establishes a dense merengue-like tower before collapsing like a souffle. Excellent retention and thick, soapy, lasting lacing.

The Styrian Goldings add a distinctive, pleasant, and pungent kick of woodsy spiciness to bouquet of citrus and pine brought forward by the C-hops. An inviting and pervasive aroma that draws you right in.

Potent orange and forest floor elements from the hops are first on the palate - as you try to teast apart the further complexities provided by the hops, the wheat malt begins to sing (albeit back-up) leading you into the gentle earthy finish. Moderately bitter throughout with a hint of tartness and spice in the aftertaste suggestive of leaf litter and more vaguely, clove spiked orange-peel. The malt is very smooth and subtle, but at the risk of being bland.

Creamy, medium-light bodied, soft yet well carbonated mouth-feel. No astringency or heat present.

After earlier disappointments with some of New Belgium's seasonal ales, I wasn't expecting much out of this beer - but it is actually well crafted and a solid version of the style, though the roastiness I've come to expect is almost completely sacrificed to make way for the more subtle notes from the hops (which are show-cased very well I'll admit). Maybe more of an Autumn than a Winter ale, but tasty none-the-less.

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep brown with 1/4" of loose head that quickly fades to a thin lacing. The nose has an immense aroma of piny hops. The taste is caramelly, roasty, and has a very welcomed, intense pinycitrusy, mildly floral hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated, and smooth.

This is an unexpected winter warmer. It's far hoppier than I had anticipated. The label boasts "dark caramel Midnight Wheat" as the malt base. It gives a surprisingly solid malt base that meshes well with the immense hops.

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Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 1,405 ratings.