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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.

1,349 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,349
Reviews: 363
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 29
Gots: 51 | 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: 1,349 | Reviews: 363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best before 3/4/12.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson brown with a 2 inch foamy beige head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, chocolate, herbal/citrus zest hops, and some subtle spice aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, earthy spices, and herbal and citrus zest hops. A mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good Winter warmer but it seems like it could be integrated a bit better with the different flavors.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 04:23:29 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Thorpe429


3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle in Plymouth, Indiana. Forget the name of the place. Served in a pint glass.

Pours near black with a decent head and retention and a bit of lacing. The nose carries some good American hops along with a bit of roast. Flavor is roast with a bit of resin and bitterness. Medium body with good carbonation and a semi-dry, roasty finish. Pretty good take on the style, but nothing too fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2011 00:47:13 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +9.6%

01-14-2012 17:24:27 | More by nmann08
Photo of kjkinsey


4/5  rDev +9.6%

12-05-2011 22:49:32 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.69 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. Best Before: Feb 19, 2012.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body, but it's clear, yielding a bit of ruby at the edges when held aloft towards the light. Medium-sized, off-white head with a few flecks of lace on the descent.

Smell: Light notes of pale malts, with chocolate and roast, but those remain light notes as well, not particular effusive, only giving you a quick sense before the slow-moving, but slightly more potent scents of lemon and pine take over.

Taste: Pale malts, then some roast, but a very gentle roastiness, with only small hints of unsweetened cocoa and tangy wheat. Low sweetness. The opening malts quickly die down, then, the taste proceeds to turn hoppy, with a flavor of citrus mainly, but also some light floral aspects and some lowly resinous elements. Medium bitterness. A bit of sweetness answers back on the back half. Drying finish with light hints of the roast and resin riding into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Gee, it looks like everyone's having trouble categorizing this one. I'm seeing suggestions of Black IPA, Dunkel, Winter Warmer, and even Dark Wheat. Me, I'd lean more towards Black IPA, though, even in that category, it's not as hard-hitting as others in that grouping, but it'd be one of the more easy-drinking.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 18:34:45 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Texasfan549


4/5  rDev +9.6%

12-14-2011 10:23:56 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of jaydoc


3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

12-21-2013 20:44:58 | More by jaydoc
Photo of kylehay2004


4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single finger head with tons of lace on a clear, very deep amber body. The aroma is very hoppy, surprisingly so, witha light roasted malt background. Strong musty and earthy hop flavor. Roasted malt and light coffee notes as well. Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. One of the hopper and darker winter ales I have had. Almost light a light thin black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 02:16:21 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of spycow


3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

03-09-2013 22:14:11 | More by spycow
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 21:11:52 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


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

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

During my tenure at Purdue, we got one snow day, despite ridiculous (and possibly record-breaking) snowfall; my one year at Georgetown, on the other hand, saw nearly two weeks of snow days, thanks to Snowmageddon. None of this is relevant, just thought it interesting... Anyway, this beer pours a clear dark ruby-brown topped by a finger of glowing off-grey foam. The nose comprises light mandarin orange flesh, light vinyl, very light roasted malts, pine sap, and light lemon rind. The taste holds brings in more of the same, though the vinyl is gone, replaced by a touch more roast than before. The orange is more prominent, but doesn't stand too far out from the darkness behind it. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a pretty dern solid CDA (still can't bring myself to use the term "Black Ale"), one that drinks very easily and stands up there amongst the top tier examples of the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 03:27:27 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80


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

A - Poured out a dark, dark burgundy color with a two-finger head of bubbly tan foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled piney and roasty with a nice citrus presence.

T - It tasted very roasty with strong piney bitterness. There were lots of tropical fruit notes.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a really good brew. It really tasted more like a Black IPA than a Winter Warmer.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 02:13:33 | More by zeff80
Photo of emerge077


4/5  rDev +9.6%
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 RblWthACoz


4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black ales are the new winter ales?? Hey, you know, I can deal with that. Love the nose on this one. Flavor is bringing the black ale characteristics, but in what I would genuinely have to classify as a mass produced kind of way. But that doesn't really matter. This is something you could drink and enjoy en masse or just to try it. I wouldn't mind a few more of these.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 04:42:16 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
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 Jason


4/5  rDev +9.6%

12-05-2011 02:57:03 | More by Jason
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Snow Day, huh? this is not the year for that. Our snowfall has been small and short-lived. Mildest winter on record, I believe. Or, I'm assuming. At least the winter beers are still strong.

Deeply dark, nearly black, tall tanned head, long lasting…looks great.

Fruit forward aromatics, bitter citrus, grapefruit and pine. Plenty of hops in here, with caramel malt tones below.

Hoppy snap hits the palate first, spanks the tongue just a bit, then fades back, leaving lush malt. Bitter hops and toasty malt mix it up. Medium bodied. Nicely toasty, loads of caramel and toffee to keep up with the hops.

This one's being called an American Black Ale, or Black IPA, because a winter ale shouldn't be so hoppy, apparently.
Me, I just like it. This 6-pack went down with no problem. I'll probably do some more before it's gone. But, it won't make me miss the snow.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 08:24:10 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Kegatron


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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark ruby in the glass, topped with 3 billowy fingers of off-white head. This retains with a ½ finger of creamy froth, which just slathers the sides of the glass with sticky swathes of lace. The aroma smells fresh, floral, and citric, with a touch of extra herbal character thrown in. Light coffee and cocoa character rides along the back but those fresh hops really sit front and center here and are displayed quite well. This is nice.

Like the nose, bright feeling bitter citrus sits up front but then spread a slightly dank herbal presence out into the mouth, mingling with the acidity of the roasted malts along the back. A combination of cocoa and caramel sweetness comes in off the sides, surrounding and balancing out the bulk of the bitterness here but still allows the robustness of those hop flavors to still shine. The finish is dry feeling with some lingering bitter rind that hangs in the mouth a bit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with mostly a slick firm creaminess to the tongue but there is still enough sharpness to help those hops pop a bit in the mouth. The underlying oiliness from the hops here is ultimately what really keeps this smooth feeling.

I enjoyed this. I would have liked to have ultimately felt a bit more of a malt presence in the aroma (despite how much I liked those hops in the nose) but this was well balanced flavor-wise and the easygoing body just added to my overall enjoyment of this. I’m not sure that I would automatically associate Black Ales with a wintertime seasonal, but it had enough of a dark roasty presence to keep this in line with cold temperature drinking.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 15:33:47 | More by Kegatron
Photo of drabmuh


3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle served in a New Belgium globe glass, why not. Beer is black with a thin off white head, nice retention, some carbonation. Looks good.

Aroma is surprisingly hoppy, mostly because I had no idea what to expect from this beer. I like it, it has a nice mild roast to it and some malt as well.

Beer is medium in body and the flavor disappoints mildly. It is a fine beer but not my favorite. The hops are piny and earthy with an odd finish. Oh well it is fine but not my thing.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 18:11:31 | More by drabmuh
Photo of SocalKicks


3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

03-07-2012 04:14:24 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of Mora2000


3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 04:17:48 | More by Mora2000
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.43/5  rDev -6%
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 mactrail


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

Handsome dark chestnut color in the glass, but tastes like a Pale Ale. Nice cap of foam, lots of carbonation in the mouth. A nutty flavor is quite pleasant along with a variety of dark malts. Hops are very bold, but plenty of aromatics to go along with the bitterness. Everything is quite well balanced. Aroma is full of flowery hops and gives a long spicy nose. Rather sharp after a few sips, and almost hot with the spicy hops. Head is really long lasting.

Makes me think of Sierra Nevada Celebration, only the NB is better with the less intense hops that give you a chance to enjoy the rich dark flavors. One of their better efforts if you like the hoppiness.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 03:52:15 | More by mactrail
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled November 2011
This is quite a bit darker than I was expecting; a steady, vigorous pour into my New Belgium Globe glass produces a fat-two-finger thick, lightly browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated brown / amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, burnt ruby hue when held up directly to the light. The aroma smells of tangelo zest, lychee, bright ruby red grapefruit, lighter aromatic notes of pine and a touch of herbal notes sum up most of the bright hop components. The malt plays a prominent role in the nose too, though it is secondary to the hops, but notes of toasted, slightly roasted brown bread crust, maybe a hint of pale coffee, spicy brown grain notes, toasted caramelized malt notes, ample brown bread chewy malt aromas and some sweet tea like crystal malt notes. I really like how the malt notes mix with the hop character, even though I wasn’t really expecting the beer to be quite so roast influenced.

The beer has a spicy, bitter, herbal hop note to it; these hop notes are more noticeable in the flavor, as compared to the hoppy fruit notes, mainly because this beer is fairly dry. The body is actually fairly light too, this is definitely a beer meant for quaffing. The spiciness is played up by a solid roasted note in the finish as well as a lingering toasted grain character. The fruity notes from the hops contribute notes of tangelo zest, some light lychee and a bright Curacao orange zest, though these are quite a bit reduced due to the dryness of this beer; still there is enough touches of malt sweetness to allow some of the hop fruit notes to come through. Much of the perceived dryness in this beer is accentuated by the roasted, slightly burnt grain notes. This beer has quite a bit of bite to the finish; both an ample hop bitterness and some spice and burnt bite from the roast malt.

This beer is a bit stronger than I expected, because it drinks so light and quaffable. It reminds me of a little, black IPA, so really a black Pale Ale , though really it reminds me of a hoppy Porter; it sort of reminds me of Avery New World Porter, though this isn’t quite as roasted as that beer. The burnt note that this beer has seems quite distinct compared to what is usually found in a roasted beer and it has me wondering if the distinctness is because this beer’s roast character comes from the roasted Midnight wheat. Not a bad beer, I think I prefer 2° Below Winter Ale quite a bit more than this one though; Snow day has the roast and hop character clashing enough in the finish to add a touch of harshness (and this is accentuated a bit by some warmth from the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 03:26:52 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Halcyondays


3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium globe,

A: Pours a dark brown with a medium off-white head, good retention and lace.

S: Piney hops, melon rind, citrusy.

T: Solid malt character with some pine, grapefruit, hint of toast on the back end. Good flavours, more of a Black IPA than a winter warmer really.

M: Medium-bodied, frothy, smooth and clean.

O: A solid beer, I like it a bit better than 2 Below. Why they suggest to serve this at 37F is beyond me, take my advice don't. A new enjoyable winter seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 03:45:00 | More by Halcyondays
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Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 1,349 ratings.