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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.

1,296 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1296
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: 1,296 | Reviews: 363 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Calypso


3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep, clear reddish brown. One finger of off-white head that leaves nice lacing.
S - Pepper and leather, with a hint of hops. Very distinctive.
T - Dark malts, coffee, tobacco, again with a hint of hops.
M - Wet, medium-high carbonation, light body.
O - An interesting beer. Complex but well-balanced. Not for the faint of heart, but I think it's a rewarding beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2013 17:30:16 | More by Calypso
Photo of dhannes


3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a chilled glass at a local restaurant. Waited until the glass and beer had warmed up a bit...about 5 minutes worth.

A=Rich, reddish brown...not worthy of an "American Black Ale" but appealing nonetheless. Head disappeared quickly.

S=Brown sugar, cloves, molasses.

T=More like a red ale--creamy malt with prunes, cherries, and nutmeg.

M=Less body than anticipated, and less than many reds. Low carbonation, but pleasant to drink.

O=An enjoyable beer that I might try again...I would never have guessed that this was supposed to be similar to an IPA, as the hops were relatively minimal. More similar to a red ale than a black ale.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2013 02:51:37 | More by dhannes
Photo of vette2006c5r


4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snowday pours a black color with a nice frothy head. There was smokey malty aroma. The taste had a mellow smokey malty backbone, with hints of hops near the end of each sip. Good full flavor, and great to drink on a winters night. Overall a solid, and enjoyable good quality beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2013 03:38:34 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of schoolboy


4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We had several bottles of this earlier this week, but today they had some on tap at the bar at Beaver Creek. In the bottle, the beer was somewhat weak, but on tap it worked well. The beer even looked better.

Just about every aspect worked better than the bottle, and the tap version is recommended, unlike the bottle.

It still was not an over the top American style, but it was a lot closer, and the balance was very nice. I could have had a few, but they were a little pricey.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2012 02:02:46 | More by schoolboy
Photo of sam_bliss


3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pint glass.

A- Deep dark brown with a hint of red. Surprisingly close to translucent for such a dark-colored brew. Small white head that doesn't last long. Perhaps a bad pour by the bartender?

S- Smells of caramel and evergreen. A waft of wild stalky grasses permeates.

T- Tastes like hoppy coffee. Caramel and a bit of burnt toast round out the experience. It's a bit sweeter than the nose implied.

M- Malty but not too thick in the mouth. This ale goes down clean and leaves some dark chocolate bitterness.

This is dark and almost porter-like. If you're a porter lover, this is a quality winter ale. I like it, but wish it were a bit more robust either in the sweet malts or the piney hops.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2012 05:26:42 | More by sam_bliss
Photo of beertunes


3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
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 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 CBlack85

South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beef 'O' Brady's in Fort Mill, served in a pint glass.

The beer is a deep, deep brown color that borders on black with lots of ruby highlights. There is about two fingers worth of tightly packed light tan head. The head lingers for quite some time, leaving behind an impressive amount of lacing.

The scent is very balanced between citrusy and piney hops, and a rather distinct malt sweetness of chocolate, caramel, dark wheat, and just the slightest bit of roast. Interesting

The taste seems to pop on the tongue, very clean and inviting, despite the fact that there is alot going on here. The first thing I get is a generous dose of citrusy and fruity hops, followed by a moderately sweet maltiness that consists of dark wheat, roasted malts, chocolate, maybe a bit of toffee, and just a hint of dark fruits... The malt profile is reminiscent of a dunkel. The beer finishes dry with just a bit of bitterness. Medium bodied and well carbonated this beer is really quite easy to drink.

Overall, this is a very nice beer. I am not quite sure what style this would fit into the best as it kind of takes on characteristics of several styles; whatever you classify it as I find it to be quite nice and supremely drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2012 14:00:11 | More by CBlack85
Photo of mntlover


3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
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 brewmasterrr


4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Snow day has to be one of the most amazing winter ales. This beer can be described as a black IPA. It has a dark characteristics similar to a stout but nowhere near the thickness. The head to this brew is a nice off white color. it floats lightly on top and makes for an amazing lacing.Due to the lacin you can see every sip you take on the side of the glass. The beer brings forth tastes of coffee, with an IPA hoppy slap to the face at the end. delicious... and the winter flavors are almost perfectly balanced with the hops in the after taste.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2012 20:07:45 | More by brewmasterrr
Photo of stealth


3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ the Railhouse in Lake City, MN.

Fruity, citrusy, aroma. Definitely had that hops bitter bite to it, but pretty mild overall. Average mouth feel. I just had Widmer's BRRR a week before this and I thought of Snow Day as a milder 'not quite as good BRRR'.

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2012 09:33:55 | More by stealth
Photo of cfergusn


3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick head, dark red, slight bitter taste with a hoppy after taste. Find it has a piney smell, a little burn, but over all desert winter beer. Half way thru my beer, the head was still present. After taste is bitter in the mouth, smooth yet dry. Its a cold night here so it went well with dinner. The caramel hint has a unique catch while sitting back.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2011 04:24:30 | More by cfergusn
Photo of Bung

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft. Not quite black, nice frothy layer. Retained and laced ok.

Aroma, hops piney resin, less citrus. Only a little roast or malt really.

Taste, mostly ipa. Resiny pine and citrus. Smaller dose of roast, cocoa and Christmas/wheat spiciness. Actually these lesser flavors open up a bit as it warms.

Heavy side of light, this drinks easy. Nothing offensive or amazing, like many a New Belgium brew. So not terribly interesting and a bit thin, but worth trying. Glad I tried on draft.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2011 01:41:11 | More by Bung
Photo of drpimento


3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served with a nice, light tan, thick, foamy, slightly frothy head that slowly settled out and lots o lace. Color is a clear garnet. Aroma is hop, malt, roast. Flavor is similar to nose plus toffee, bare sweetness, and some carbonic tang. Body is good, ditto carbonation. Finish is decent, a little short, balanced. Easy to have another.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2011 04:51:54 | More by drpimento
Photo of blakelive784


3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in an oversized wine glass, reviewed live,

A - presents an incredibly dark ruby color with a half fingers head. Retention isn't good, but then again there wasn't much room for the head to begin with.

S - toasted malt and caramel build the foundation. It's ploy, with some piney and citrus notes that are held in check by chocolate. Nice

T - a citrus open masks a toffee and toast build. Theops linger all the way to the finish were they leave you with a piney aftertaste. Not as balanced as the nose predicted.

M - coarse on the open but finishes smooth and creamy. One of the best features.

D - another decent offering from nb, but that's all it is.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2011 01:23:15 | More by blakelive784
Photo of csiewert


3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a thick black with a finger of thick tan colored head that laces like mad and retains well

S - not as much hop as I would have expected for the advertisement... Also notes of coffee and chocolate

T - starts with the citrusy and spicy hops and then has a hint of coffee and dark chocolate, then quickly finishes earlier than I would like

M - nicely carbed, could use a little more body

O - not a bad winter ale, but not my favorite

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2011 23:29:24 | More by csiewert
Photo of mynie


4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at like every single place I went to in Waterloo, Iowa while I was visiting.

Pours reddish brown. Much more closely resembles a traditional winter warmer than it does an American black. Blacks may be pretty malleable, stylistically, but I thought their one mandatory trait was, well, blackness...

Smells spicy and chocolately with a surprising little chirp of piney hops near the back end. Tastes very much the same: sharp and crisp and lightly fruity, like an APA, but spicy and malty like a lower-ABV warmer, but then the whole thing is doused with some piney hops which do a great job of evoking wintertime.

This is basically a solid APA mixed with a solid warmer. Great seasonal session.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2011 16:36:24 | More by mynie
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

like everything new belgium does, this is a bit more hoppy than its counterparts. pours a deep dark mahogany brown/red with almost no head (bottle might be different). smells woody, boozy, hoppy, smokey. a sort of tart wine like vibe in the begining turns into a pleasant chocolate hops fusion with a nice winter warmer type sweet slow strong finish. the mouth feel is bizarre, not being very carbonated but kind of heavy makes it a weird one to drink a lot of (again, at least on tap). overall it isnt my favority new belgium offering, but as usual i appreciate their take on the style.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2011 23:18:53 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark-chocolate brown with a fairly thick and persistent light tan head that leaves some good lacing. Malty aroma has sweet chocolate and subtle spicy notes, just a hint of molasses. Flavor has a malty core with woody, semi-sweet chocolate, caramel and molasses notes. Smooth texture is just a teensy thin but still good, and quite tingly. Finish is woody and malty with a hint of caramel.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2011 03:44:23 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of barleywinefiend


2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a reddish brown color with good carbonation and a dirty white cap

S: Piney, citrus and some spice but not overly powerful

T: Some toasted malt, pine and citrus. A snoozer

M: Light to medium body, thin on the mouthfeel, taste falls off

O: When the housewife in front of me at the market grabbed a sixer of this I should have known better.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2011 16:55:21 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of bnes09


3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black in color while allowing a little light through. Solid off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Fresh and assertive hop aroma. Enough said?

Robust hop flavor, mostly pine and herbal notes. Underlying malt flavor provides mild roasted flavors of almonds and coffee. Mostly hoppy in flavor and dry in finish.

Light to medium body. Highly carbonated but this is appropriate. Smooth. Drying. Satisfying.

I like this. Good character and refreshing. I would classify it as a black ipa but it works well as a winter warmer also. If you like hops, you will probably like this.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2011 06:57:41 | More by bnes09
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with fairly good head retention and decent lacing. The nose is attractive, as I pick up some roasted malt, some baked apple and light spices. There's a bit more going on with the flavor profile, as this moderately sweet beer has some light vanilla and some decent hoppy bitterneess in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a fairly long, malty, roasty finish. Drinkability is not bad, with the alcohol well integrated into the flavor profile.

While nothing extraordinairy, this is a fairly tasty, easy to appreciate effort from New Belgium.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2011 19:24:22 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of emerge077


4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's "winter seasonal" time already? :groan:

Blackish pint, creamy tan foam that leaves a set of concentric rings of lace in the glass.

Piney hop aroma, slightly sweet maltiness, with a little bit of roast in the background. Strikes me as a black IPA sort of, after the hops and roastiness settle in together.

Pine and bitter citrus peel, spruce, fir, or other coniferous descriptor. Flash of bittersweet cocoa, dark roast in the background to compliment. Smooth and fairly light bodied, medium level of carbonation. Spices? Nope. Hops? Yes, definitely. Dry hoppy aftertaste lingers around nicely. A pint or two would be no problem.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2011 00:06:06 | More by emerge077
Photo of champ103


3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Richmond Arms in Houston, TX.

A: Pours a dark brown with ruby/red highlights. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. Some nice rings of lace are left behind.
S: At first grassy hops are up front. As this warms more malt comes out, which I would expect. Toasted malt, caramel, light sugar.
T: Up front a quick snap of grainy, sugary sweetness. After that some hops come into play that lingers for a while. As this warms up much more malt come through. Bread, biscuit, toast, and even some chocolate.
M/D: A medium body with crisp carbonation. After the initial sweetness, this is very dry. Easy enough to drink. I can enjoy several without a problem.

The first Winter release for me this year. Like most New Belgium products, easy to drink and simple. Maybe not something I will reach for all the time, but certainly enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2011 01:41:21 | More by champ103
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a porter. Dark with hints of red and brown.

Smells of hops. full dried cones of piney hops.

Taste is balanced. Hops are there; it reminds
me of a low grade pale ale hops. Watery malt that makes it very drinkable. The hops are a welcome addition to what could be a bad beer.

The hops dominate the aftertaste, but it's ok. It's not annoying; I rather like it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2011 23:25:54 | More by VncentLIFE
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Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 1,296 ratings.