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Snow Day Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Snow Day Winter AleSnow Day Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,299 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1299
Reviews: 363
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 14.21%

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: NStLincoln on 10-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,299 | Reviews: 363 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Justin23060


4.72/5  rDev +29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Super dark with only a little ruby on the edges. Small beige head didn't last but clung and laced.

S - Perfect marriage and balance of hops with both an English and a Pacific West feel. Kinda like a piney brown.

T - Malt sweetness really carries the strong hop. The thing that really makes this work is the use of Goldings to match and balance the pine. A pleasant roasty, slightly smokey, malt is hiding just below the hop. Ends right in the middle of sweet and bitter.

M - Just about perfect. Mild sharpness gives way to a creamy finish. Nice linger.

O - I probably wouldn't have bought this had I known it was an American Black... but this has made me reverse my opinion of the style.

Up until tonight, I thought the concept of an American Black was weird and awkward. Too much one way or the other and you get "just awkward" My few bad experiences with this style reinforced that opinion. I honestly think this is what the style was meant to be. New Belgium has achieved the tricky balance that this style requires. I will definitely be getting this again in two years (N.B. rotates their seasonals every other year)

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 07:15:09 | More by Justin23060
Photo of artk321go


4.64/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Love this beer!! Really sad that soon it won't be available. Nice spicy hops in the nose. Hops up front in the flavor as well, that give way to the dark malts. What is that "Midnight Wheat"? Need to find another beer with that to help nail down the flavor. The body is not heavy, good mouth feel. Looks like a "Coke" with much smaller bubbles. Nice Lace. For me, it's a perfect balance. Just the right amount of assertive hops, and a good combination, the Centennial/Cascade and Styrian Goldings and dark malts. Finish is dry and crispy. I think I would drink this in the summer too. Never reviewed a beer before. Hope I don't sound noobish.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 21:28:51 | More by artk321go
Photo of burnerfinger


4.53/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this on the last day off from the holiday season:
poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet:

A: pours the color of cola - nice show on the pour and a full 3 fingers of head, super lacing and a rocky top to the head - deepest hint of rose when held to a light.

S: AHHH yes - woderful hoppiness comes thru like a champ - not overwhelming like an IPA but great nonetheless

T: reminds me of the smell of raw hops as I make homebrew - a bit of chocolate caramel in the background but just a bit

M: nice body - good carbonation and well hidden ABV

D: very nice indeed! highly recommended.
note: I dont find any 2 below this year, I pray this is not the replacment!?

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 02:57:25 | More by burnerfinger
Photo of Rodekill


4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my idea of a winter ale/winter warmer. Nicely balanced malt and hops in the nose and on the palate. Decent lacing on the side of the glass along with a gorgeous deep ruby color. The hops predominate without muscling the malt character aside. It's in the ballpark of Sierra Nevada Celebration and Rogue Santa's Little Helper. Good stuff!

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 02:18:59 | More by Rodekill
Photo of MrOH


4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very, very dark brown with some red making its way through. Finger of khaki head. Nice lacing.

American hops throughout the aroma. Grapefruit, pine, dank, lots of juicy fruit, can't wait to take a sip.

The nose, to a lesser degree, plus some slight caramel, a little roast, a touch of smoke. A little bit more orange than grapefruit. Bitterness is very restrained. Quite nice.

Medium-light, medium-low carbonation, suits the ale quite well.

This might be my new favorite Black IPA. Really makes me want to get some midnight wheat to try out at home.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 06:34:48 | More by MrOH
Photo of Luigi

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a large foamy almost creamy slightly tan head that goes above the rim of the glass and stays in place. The retention is near perfect with wonderful lacing around the glass until the end. Deep brown almost black with garnet highlights when held to a light.

The aroma blend of strong citrus and pine hops at first. Then, a sweet and pleasant semi sweetness from the roasted caramel malts.

The first flavor to hit the tongue is a blend of the bitter hops and the roasted malt. Hints of grapefruit, pine, semisweet chocolate, and lightly toasted bread.

Full bodied but easy to drink on a cold evening. Why rush it with a great beer anyways. Plenty strong and very tasty to get you warmed up from the weather. I will look for this ale every fall.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 03:31:27 | More by Luigi
Photo of lawlerj


4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

A - pours a deep translucent amber brown. Yields a two to three finger froth slightly off white head with a strong pour. Speckled lacing as the beer goes down.

S - roasty, smoky maltiness combined with very prominence crisp hop bitterness. The darkness of the base combined with the strong hop presence is quite enticing.

T - pretty much follows the nose - a nice smoky, roasty backbone combined with a surprisingly strong hop presence. Not really much in the way of spice that you find in other winter seasonal offerings, but that's not to say that it's lacking at all. There is some, just not a ton. I would say that the hops are the real star here, and I'm loving it.

M - medium bodied, well carbonated. Not much else to say - just very balanced and pairs with the flavor very, very well.

O - what can I say? I really enjoyed this beer. Of the few winter seasonals I've had so far, this is far and away my favorite. I do have to say that I enjoy this more than I recall enjoying the Two Below (not that it was bad at all). I didn't realized how hoppy this brew was going to be when I purchased it; if I had known, I might have shied away, but I'm glad I didn't. I nice hoppy beer hit the spot on a cool late fall day.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 21:39:50 | More by lawlerj
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a very dark red with amber hues at the bottom of the glass and a big fluffy white head.

Smell very nice hoppy and malty with a bit of yeast.

This tastes like bread, malts, a little bitter, burnt coffee beans and toffee.

This feels smooth in the mouth with a slight carbonation.

This is a big heavy beer and just tastes great.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 16:28:11 | More by Dave1999
Photo of MattyG85


4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 05:45:20 | More by MattyG85
Photo of DrewsBrews450

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Frist love the picture on the bottle, it just sets up wat the beer is all about. The beer is black/dark brown with ruby light through the bottem and a nice foam white maybe off white head. The smell is of hops and coco maybe fruit of some kind, smells really good. The taste is even better u get the hops for sure but not crazy u get a little roasted choclate really kind of simple but the beer just taste so good. The mouthfeel is maybe the only weak point of the beer it has a thin body with a medium body on the swallow, but im not gonna fault this beer at all for a small thing to me like mouthfeel. Overall all this beer is great I would deff say try this if u like hops but like somthing a little darker for the winter. Every beer i have had from there winter folly pack has been awsome go get one.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 00:28:27 | More by DrewsBrews450
Photo of dbell23


4.4/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into my New Belgium tulip glass.
Pours a very dark brown with a dark beige two finger head. Nice lacing.
Smell is slightly hoppy sweet.
Taste is slightly hoppy with a nice chocolate finish.
Mouthfeel is very smooth with good carbonation.
Overall a very good winter beer.

Serving type: growler

12-03-2011 22:37:22 | More by dbell23
Photo of secondtooth


4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark caramel/amber, with a fearsome 3-finger head. Lace just about as extensive and impressive. Wow. Spectacular presentation.'

Aroma is fresh pine, floral, and citrus. Hoppy happiness.

Taste is complex, beginning with a mild roasty malt, followed by a subtle citrus/pine bite in the middle. The finish brought a slightly bitter hops character, though by no means a hop bomb. Balanced well, this enjoyable ale really impressed me.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 18:34:24 | More by secondtooth
Photo of WMEugene


4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an extremely dark brown (almost black) with a nice head that settles into a thin layer and noticeable lacing.

S - I can really smell the hops on this one. Pine and citrus notes abound and there is a smell of roasted malt in the background. A very nice and very strong smell.

T - Very hop forward with piny flavors dominating. There's a little bit of malt in the background.

M - Has a slick and oily feel to it (due to the hops I'm sure). Medium bodied with light carbonation. Nice aftertaste and nothing is too out of balance.

O - The Snow Day Winter Ale may be my favorite beer from New Belgium. Not to repeat others, but it's really a Black IPA, not a Winter Warmer. It's tasty and very hop forward. While it is very dark, the malts manage to stay in the background and provide a nice counter to the hop forwardness of the beer. Highly recommended and I hope the Snow Day becomes an annual tradition.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 00:04:11 | More by WMEugene
Photo of KevinBrewer


4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark chestnut with ruby red hues, topped by a frothy light tan head that dissipates to a healthy cap, leaving sheets of lacing behind.

N- An explosion of dank, resinous hops with tons of bitter grapefruit in the mix. Some spiciness and deep herbal tones with brighter citrus and grassiness in the background, but the nose is dominated by grapefruit pith. Also slightly minty. Subtle hints of biscuity malt way underneath.

T- Nice complex hoppiness with notable contributions of grass, herbs, spices, grapefruit, pine resin, and bright fruity citrus reminiscent of coriander. Moderate bitterness of grass and grapefruit rind. Just a hint of malt sweetness comes through under the pile of hops. Roasted malt pokes it head out in the long bitter finish. Grass, grapefruit rind, herbs, spices, and subtle roast linger into the aftertaste.

M- Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation and a dry, bitter finish.

O- Very impressive. Tastes like chewing on fresh hops. Props to New Belgium for a nice holiday surprise.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 06:57:28 | More by KevinBrewer
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from brewerburgundy courtesy of Secret Santa ‘11, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains piney hops, citrus, roasted malts and some chocolate.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character and mildly sweet flavors of chocolate and citrus. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in and created a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry but slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid ABA to drink for a whole evening.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 00:12:03 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of pb9613


4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This beer pours a reddish black color with a dark tan head. The head retention is amazing throughout the drinking experience.

Smell – The beer has a heavy malt smell with the caramel and dark roast coming through. There is a hint of citrus and pine from the hops.

Taste – This beer has the distinctive New Belgium taste that is awesome. The malts really come through with the hops as a high note.

Mouthfeel – A dry beer with a medium body. Carbonation is excellent. Even though it has a higher than average alcohol content, there is no burn.

Overall – A solid beer. The dark coloring fools you into thinking about the normal chocolate/coffee note normally associated with a beer this dark. Due to the midnight wheat, these flavors are down played while the caramel notes come through. The hops are present but not overpowering. This is defiantly not a dark IPA which is a good thing.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2012 01:54:45 | More by pb9613
Photo of jjboesen


4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I guess this can be confused with their 1554 Enlightenment; however, there are subtle differences. The Snow Day is a more of a dark ruby hue to it; there is a thin head and a moderate lacing about.

There is a very cloying nose of caramel and brown sugar while the palate is tickled with minor hints of pine.

The body is crispy and surprisingly lighter than one would imagine. Definitely a sessional beer - moderate alcohol makes this possible, naturally.

While this did not strike me as the usual "holiday" beer, it was a pleasant one and good enought to drink year round. Maybe the mountain air of Ft. Collins has something to do with it. Or not...

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2012 00:57:50 | More by jjboesen
Photo of ZenAgnostic


4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a duvel tulip.

Appearance - Black body with a tan head. Plenty of head and retention and stick.

Smell- Grass and charred wood in the nose.

Taste- Very grassy body and aftertaste. Dark, butter chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Astringent. Somewhat thin mouthfinish, but a light creaminess in the front. Sharp.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 18:22:26 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of RJLarse


4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a six-pack of Snow Day in a grocery store. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark mahogany color, translucent, with garnet red hues when light shines through the glass. A creamy bubbly beige head caps the beer.

Smell is a strong hoppy spice scent. A hint of roasted grain aroma.

Taste is a roasted grain and coffee flavor, with some caramel sweetness along side and a nice caramel and bitters finish. Nice blend of flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a bitter sweet aftertaste.

A very drinkable winter ale. I would have this again, and I hope itis around next winter as well.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 00:22:21 | More by RJLarse
Photo of M_C_Hampton


4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, dark yellow brown almost black with a foamy grey head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: pungent citrus hops over almost burnt bread, coal

T: a smoky character comes out immediately followed by bitter hops, little sweetness, flavors of burning hardwood smoke, beechwood, tons of bittering hops

M: medium bodied leaving a nice smoky aftertaste, proper carbonation

O: kind of a unique brew, smoke flavor well balanced by hop profile, worth trying if you are into those tastes

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 01:06:07 | More by M_C_Hampton
Photo of Beer21


4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 02:07:28 | More by Beer21
Photo of bsu2005


4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Creamy beige colored head. It stayed longer than expected, but disappeared rather quickly.

S-Nice and hoppy with a roasted dry hop smell.

T-Reminds me of an IPA from the first taste, then switches to a smoky malt flavor with a nice finish. Nice malt to hop balance.

M-Slightly creamy with some carbonation. Feels like a mix of a Stout and IPA.

O-Definitely a good winter seasonal and will have to pickup next year. I'd like to try this on tap and compare to the bottle. I wouldn't classify this as a winter warmer, but rather a Black IPA.
This beer was a nice experience and I'm going to seek out different brands that produce the black ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 01:06:43 | More by bsu2005
Photo of babayaga


4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a long tulip.

Appearance- Head is tan, craggy and laces well. Stays covered on the way down. Body is ruby brown and clear.

Aroma- Big pine, toastiness, light sweet malt.

Flavor- The play of roasty and bitter hops flavors is really enjoyable. tobacco.

Mouthfeel- Light mouthfeel, soft carbonation.

A snow day on a day where I'm literally staying home because of a blizzard. I find the beer very enjoyable, the lightness and bitter flavors make it a great, "sessionable" beer. Will definitely have more often.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2012 19:47:36 | More by babayaga
Photo of UnionMade


4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, deep brown, almost black, pouring with a finger's worth of ivory foam on a soft pour. Great head retention, keeping a thin coating atop the beer all the way down. The head laces in beautiful, delicate sheets with each sip.
Smells surprisingly hoppy. If I were blindfolded, I would guess this is some kind of IPA with a heavy dose of crystal malt. The malt is almost too delicate for the hop profile, completely pinned under the heavy hop dosage. I enjoy such a thing, so I find it a good thing.
The flavor opens up completely hop forward. There's minimal sweetness up front to ease into the hops. The malt comes off as super soft and gentle, just a bit of cocoa and coffee. Not quite enough to compete with the heavy handed hops, it's perpetually smashed behind the door like Dad in that Twisted Sister video. On the first sip, the hops come across as intense and fresh, almost too much, but settle into a deliciously bitter floral and citrus taste. A bit of bittersweet malt in the back, intensifying the overall bitterness. My only complaint is that the body is a wee bit thinner than I'd like, but the resulting dry finish works well with the hop flavor. This is hardcore bitter beer for sure. Nothing about this is easygoing, aside from the malt meekly folding beneath the serious hoppage. An unexpected find at the liquor store, and possibly my new favorite from these folks.
My new favorite session beer. I'd categorize this as more of an IPA/Dark Wheat hybrid. The only tie it has to the winter warmer style is that it's a winter seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 02:07:50 | More by UnionMade
Photo of tlazaroff


4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer looks great, the head is a light-mocha color that leaves awesome lacing! The beer is dark, almost black, but highlights of ruby shine through when held to light.

S: Very grassy and floral on the nose. I can tell this is a bitter, and hoppy beer. Fresh also comes to mind, like a freshly mowed lawn and pruned hedges. Smells great!

T: Upfront the hops are paramount. Its not incredibly bitter, but it leans more towards bitter than sweet. The hop flavor is that of freshly mowed grass, just like the aroma. It's fairly complex, and I look forward to learning more about my new best friend.

M: Moderatly-high carbonation levels in a more-or-less full-bodied beer.

D: Drinks rather smoothly and nicely. Defiantly one of my favorite winter seasonals now.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 01:45:22 | More by tlazaroff
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Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 1,299 ratings.