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Snow Day Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Snow Day Winter AleSnow Day Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

363 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 363
Hads: 1,411
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 27.76%
Wants: 32
Gots: 81 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 363 | Hads: 1,411
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.86/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The winter seasonal from New Belgium and I absolutely love this beer. Bought a 12 pack for about $13.99. Pours a jet black with a slightly reddish tinge to it, nice fluffy white head. Taste is medium bodied, malts hit you upfront, some caramel and smokiness, followed by a nick smack of hops on the finish. Pretty complex flavors but it goes together well. I was really impressed by this beer and makes for a great winter beer, highly recommended.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.36/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of superspak
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by 02/26/2012. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a huge 2-3 finger dense light khaki head with incredible retention that reduces to a thick cap eventually. Some nice thick lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, biscuit, grapefruit, pine, and spiciness. Damn nice balanced aromas here; definitely hoppy, but they have a nice roasted malt backbone as well. Taste of big orange rind, grapefruit, pine, caramel, roasted malt, biscuit, and light chocolate. Fair amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of orange, pine, caramel, and spices on the finish for a bit. Super hoppy in the taste, making the roasted malts a bit invisible. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and smooth mouthfeel that drinks easily at 6.2%. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming on the finish present. Overall this is a damn nice black IPA. I was hoping for more roasted malt presence in the taste. I would have this again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a semi-opaque very dark brown in color with moderate to significant garnet red highlights and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall creamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light notes of roasted malts with some notes of pine hops.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of roasted malts with some lighter notes of pine hops and just a touch of lemon citrus. There are light amounts of bitterness that lingers for a short amount of time in the finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: For the style, it feels like there is too light an amount of hop flavors. Enjoyable but nothing really stands out with this beer.

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Photo of stakem
2.72/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with a bottle of this. Poured into a tulip shaped pint glass, this brew appears brown in color with some amber hints of clarity around the edges. An initial surge of tan head forms with more than 3 fingers worth of froth that slowly fades leaving an entire web-like pattern of lace on the glass. The cap maintains a fluffy pillow of lace and uneven craters across the top.

The smell includes some minty to herbal hops that come across with a character that is reminiscent of stale menthol cigarettes. It has a cooling aspect to the nose mixed with some mineral inclusion. Faint notes of stale coffee round out the back end mixed with some burnt character not too far off from plastic or some strange concoction of medicine.

The taste of this brew includes a fairly forward flavor of herbal hops that integrate with dark roasty grain character and produces a bit of bitterness. Overall it blends into a flavor that is somewhat medicinal and not too much unlike the artificial flavor of black licorice candy (but without the sweetness.) More sips yield a bit of dark fruity character from the hops that blends into a burnt flavor somewhat like old coffee and faint musty chocolate.

I am not the biggest fan of the black/cascadian/american black ales or whatever you want to call them. But I approach them with an open mind. The aroma of this brew fails in all departments whether you consider it a winter ale/warmer or a black ale. The nose is quite unpleasant and unfitting of any style of beer. The taste is somewhat fitting for the black ale style but doesnt fully come together for me. This brew is medium to light bodied, favoring a bit to the medium side and it has a moderate level of carbonation. The alcohol is fairly well integrated but overall this is not something I would enjoy having more than a sample of. Heath, I appreciate of the opportunity to try this but it just wasnt for me.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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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Photo of Mora2000
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of billab914
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Ithaca glass. It poured a dark brown in color with a foamy, light tan colored head filling the top inch of the glass. Nice head retention and lacing. Great looking beer.

The aroma shows a good amount of piny, herbal hoppiness to it with a little bit of a zesty citrus as well. I get some sweet, malty, caramel and lightly roasty notes coming out of it as well. Pretty appealing aroma overall.

The taste is where the malty, caramel notes really start to come out. I get a little bit of a roasty flavor to it up front while some sweeter, caramel, brown sugar flavors come out in the finish. The hoppiness shows a some of the zesty, citrus qualities mixing with a moderate herbal bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a pretty decent beer. The hoppiness mixed pretty well with the toasty, sweet caramel malts. A pretty drinkable and flavorful beer of the season.

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Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 363 ratings.