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Snow Day Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Snow Day Winter AleSnow Day Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,346 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,346
Reviews: 363
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 28
Gots: 50 | 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:
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: 1,346 | Reviews: 363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dpayne


3.25/5  rDev -11%

05-23-2013 01:06:18 | More by Dpayne
Photo of velosuds


3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass. Best by 11MAR12. Paid $8.59 at local grocer.

A-pours a dark, ruby red hue with a two+ finger head that recedes into decent lacing. A little light colored for a black ale.

S-Aroma is disappointingly light. Hops are not evident. Just a little bit of lite roasted barley.

T-Roasted, almost smoky character more reminiscent of a porter but the taste is closer to a brown ale than a black ale. Brewery must be hopping according to the AB paradigm. Not nearly enough hop flavor.

M-Medium dry body is smooth but a little thin.

O-Overall this is like most winter days in Oregon: dreary. The worst of style I have had, made worse by the presence of wheat malt.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 02:12:56 | More by velosuds
Photo of antique


3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a mug.

Pours a moderate brown with red hues and a fairly large, tan head that lingers for a good while. Heavy lacing lines the drinking glass.

Smells like hops, straight up, with maybe a little caramel or chocolate poking through. Not quite as pungent as lots of IPAs, but it's close.

Given the smell, you'd rightly expect it to taste hoppy, and it surely does. Much like the smell again, there are hints of chocolate and lingering caramel in the aftertaste. It's pleasantly carbonated--but not overmuch--and the alcohol is fairly well-hidden but does poke through.

For such a widely available winter seasonal, it stands out and does the job, but to my tastes, the hops kind of overpower the darker flavors I want in a wintery beer, and generally there's a conflict between the hops and some of the more subtle flavors--it's not the most balanced beer I've ever had.

But it's solid, and given its decent ABV, more than likely a fine, warming beer on those snowy days. I doubt I'd ever turn one down.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 16:03:10 | More by antique
Photo of Dmart1223


3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Definitely expected more from this beer, but it isn't bad.

This pitch-black beer retains a mocha head forever. I have a cold, but a friend and I couldn't find many pronounced flavors on the nose – maybe some malts.

Snow Day is heavy in the mouth, but not as heavy as I thought it would be. There's very little carbonation. Centennial and Cascade hops are definitely present, but muted.

The best quality of this beer is it fills you up, but the complexity promised from the bottle's label left me wanting more. Not a bad beer; I'd drink it if it was offered to me. But this isn't a beer I'd anticipate every winter.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 23:36:05 | More by Dmart1223
Photo of Oxymoron


3.14/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Er not sure I would really call this a Black IPA but ok. Pours a mostly black color with shades around the edges. Mostly clear with a soft light tan head.

The aroma is balanced with a light astringent malt aroma with more of a fruity nose up front. Some orange and grapefruit but more like a zest than hop. A light herbal almost floral aroma with some rose peddles and a kiss of sweet caramel.

The flavor follows suit. More of a fruity, zesty note with a herbal backing. More astringent malts come out with a light toasty and big toffee notes. Some butter-esk flavors as well. More earthy like, not exactly dirt but something esk there.

The body is moderate but well carbonated. Not overly but does enhance the astringent characters. Overall more of a different style of beer, but as a black IPA it doesnt quite fit.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 04:51:39 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of blackcompg


3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - Poured 2 fingers of light tan head, body is a deep translucent garnet when held to the light, otherwise looks nearly brown mahogany in a glass, keeps nearly a finger of cap throughout the session, nice foamy lacing left at the end of the session.

Smell - Slight grapefruit and pine, roasted malt, light coffee and toffee

Taste - combined flavors of roasted malts, grapefruit rind, light burnt toffee, slight floral hops, touch of anise, finishes bitter grapefruit rind and pith, touch of pine, black licorice, and maybe a coffee ground or two.

Mouthfeel - Lighter side of medium, pretty thin actually, carb is higher side of medium with lots of edges, almost feels sharp at the back of the tongue - and this somewhat affects/detracts from its drinkability.

Overall - There are some good flavors here, but at times the combination almost gives a cough syrup kind of flavor, including the slight alcohol warmth - sorta nyquil-ish. I like alot of the flavors I've mentioned above but here they don't seem to mesh all that well. Try this one for yourself, it's just not my cup of tea...er uh glass of beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 04:40:59 | More by blackcompg
Photo of MarkBlackout


3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this as a gift -- part of a holiday mixed 12-pack. 2nd one I've tried, just got through reviewing Fat Tire. I thought this tasted somewhat similar at first, at the risk of sounding ignorant. There is SOMETHING similar about these, though. I'm not really tasting the supposedly considerable hops that much in this. Bready smell, toasty taste, a bit of hop bite. Pretty boring, thank god for the slightly elevated abv to provide a bit more flavor and punch. I would hope to have something better than this if I was snowed in, but I wouldn't cry real tears as long as I had enough of them.

edit: Tempted to up the overall score to 3.5, but I wont, due to a lack of 'winter' spices. Not too into spiced brews unless they're tasty belgians or something worth adding an extra dimension to.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 02:20:14 | More by MarkBlackout
Photo of kojevergas


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

12 oz bottle served into a dixie cup in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice cream, pretty good thickness, and and good retention. Colour seems to be a nontransparent brown, but it's difficult to tell out of a dixie cup. (I was at a party).

Sm: Lovely caramelized malt, caramel, and more hops than expected. A mild strength aroma.

T: Bittering hops, biscuity caramel, and lightly toasted malt. Well-balanced and decently built, but boring and simple. Uninspired.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours in a general sense.

Dr: Quite drinkable, but also unremarkable. I'd try it on-draught. It's pleasant, but they'd do well to increase the impact of the toasted malt.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 06:20:28 | More by kojevergas
Photo of mithrascruor


3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color, seemingly clear. Light-tan head is a fluffy 1-finger, and leaves a bit of lacing. Not much retention.

Smell: Hardly any aroma; I suppose there's a mild hint of citrus.

Taste: Mild malts with a bit of citrus-y hops on top. Similar finish and aftertaste. Not much as far as spices go.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth, with quite a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability: Relatively easy to drink, with a moderate ABV.

Fairly disappointing "winter" beer from New Belgium - honestly, much closer to a black IPA, and not a particularly good one at that.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 20:49:14 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of kristenspaintings


3.09/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks very dark, toasty amber highlights, creamy tan head. The 2-finger head has a a very appealing yeasty, bubbly, creamy look.

Tastes like double-dark roasted coffee. The initial taste is not a very strong one, but very oaty/nutty and toasted. The mouthfeel is VERY dry.

Our overall impression is that it's very pungent and overcooked.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 01:45:59 | More by kristenspaintings
Photo of deebo


3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2011 03:52:35 | More by deebo
Photo of mntlover


3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brown with some red hints, almost looks black in a dark room. Head is nice and fluffy light tan falls kind of slow with some spotty lace.

Aroma is light chocolate malt hints mingled with wheat notes with a good citrus and pine aroma from ample hops. Overall aroma is good but not overly intense. Since good is not a choice anymore think my ratings are going to go down, would say its good because its not bad but average in most beer i drink is good.

Taste is like the nose seems like a dunkel with some hints of chocolate malt and a decent dose of some hops. Its an ok beer but not something I would go buy more of. Kind of miss a good old fashion malty winter warmer brew.

Mouthfeel is pretty decent for this brew light medium easy drinking brew, easy to knock a few of these back.

Overall eh not bad but not what I was expecting I guess and the fact good is gone guess I will be rating more stuff average. Which is what this is really an average brew, not something I would choose to be snowed in with give me a big brew for the snow.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2012 03:55:34 | More by mntlover
Photo of samie85


3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a clear cola color with two and a half fingers of light brown head.

S-Smells of slightly vegetal hops; primarily Centennial and the Styrian stand out with some light caramel.

T-The flavor profile on this is chocolate heavy with orange hops notes.

M-Rich and medium-bodied with low carbonation.

D-Not a bad representation of the style; I think I just don't love this style.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 02:29:49 | More by samie85
Photo of Braseltonage


3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint

A- Deep translucent brown with substantial red tint. Poured with 1-1/2 fingers of khaki head. Dissipated quickly but decent lacing remains.

S- Roasted aromas dominate. Specifically fresh ground coffee. A little bready. Maybe a little herbal hop note. Very pleasant wintry smell.

T/M- Surprised on initial sip by a little dose of hops up front. Felt that the midnight wheat had dominated the aromatics. But it certainly shows up right behind the hops. Very coffee like finish. Some astringency, not bad but not fantastic either. Almost needs more body to pull off what it seems like they are trying to do. The hops and roast need more backbone to me. 
It's worth a try and I see the potential for good stuff out if the roasted wheat, but probably not going to be a winter staple for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 05:28:03 | More by Braseltonage
Photo of WastingFreetime


3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a very deep dark brown with a fluffy light tan two finger head that collapses quite rapidly yet leaves some nice craggy chunks of lacing behind in the glass. Smells of musty damp earthen basement floor at first, but as it warms up the aroma also gets a mild roasted tone that builds up from underneath in tandem with some nicely restrained pine hopping odor. Taste is a steady wave of pine bittering hops tag teamed with a malt bill that comes across as a blend of porter and caramel malts, but leaning a bit further into caramel territory than I personally prefer in my black ales. I am not able to detect any coffee or baking chocolate in this malt bill at all...just straightforward roasted grain being itself. I would have liked to have tasted some more complexity....

Texture is nicely smooth and creamy but also feels slightly under-carbonated. Not a bad black ale, but I still prefer Black Top over this one any day. Why? Because this brew doesn't really come across as memorable or distinctive... It's just not complex enough to impress, nor is it simple enough to sell the minimalism approach... so I end up with mediocrity.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 21:37:10 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of Arithmeticus


3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured chilled in straight-edge ale glass

A: very dark ale; thin but frothy head; good, silky lacing
S: all hoppy; sweet and inviting
T: very dark roasted malt; strong hops profile; bitter, charred; overly dominated by roast

It's pretty good, but I won't get a new 6-pack

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 14:09:06 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of vickersspitfire


3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out a dark coffee color with dark amber hues and topped off with a thick off white head
that’s thick and bubbly. There lots of lacing and the head sticks around through the life of the beer.
The aroma is a bit on the mild side, nothing is too present, some mild citrus, some roasted coffee smells come through but not much else. it has a light -to-medium body and is quite bitter through-out
No coffee flavors, but I can pick up some roasted malt flavors.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 05:26:24 | More by vickersspitfire
Photo of beertunes


3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in 12oz tulip. Poured a barely translucent dark brown with 1/2 inch of dark tan head that had good retention and lacing.

The aroma was mostly malts, with just a bit of roast, and some gentle hops. Until I looked at the style here, I never would have guessed this as a CDA, I thought it was more of a Winter Warmer. On the tongue, the malts dominated as well, with the roast being much more prevalent. There was a bit of a hop tang on the finish, but not so much across the majority of the tastebuds.

The body was good, for a Winter warmer, far too full for a CDA. Drinkability was OK, I didn't mind the beer while I was having it, but it was forgotten as soon as it was finished. Overall, an OK beer, but not really one worth seeking out.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2012 22:29:59 | More by beertunes
Photo of Bike2work

3/5  rDev -17.8%

04-20-2012 19:41:27 | More by Bike2work
Photo of tlacott1


3/5  rDev -17.8%

03-05-2013 01:43:02 | More by tlacott1
Photo of Shawner


3/5  rDev -17.8%

12-08-2013 21:54:35 | More by Shawner
Photo of Merles


3/5  rDev -17.8%

12-14-2011 02:05:38 | More by Merles
Photo of Beezee


3/5  rDev -17.8%

03-01-2012 03:52:38 | More by Beezee
Photo of TP_43


3/5  rDev -17.8%

06-13-2014 14:14:01 | More by TP_43
Photo of TylerHagler


3/5  rDev -17.8%

05-29-2014 14:38:41 | More by TylerHagler
Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 1,346 ratings.