Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Snow Day Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Snow Day Winter AleSnow Day Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

368 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 368
Hads: 1,429
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 27.76%
Wants: 32
Gots: 94 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Snow Day Winter Ale Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 368 | Hads: 1,429
Photo of Catracho5
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

Snow Day pours a dark cola like brown with a tan head, not much retention, some lacing and carbonation, looks little thin. On the nose, some spicy hoppy aromas, chocolate, light coffee, decent amount of hops coming through making this one of the more interesting aromas of New Belgium's beers. Flavor wise there are hints of chocolate and lightly roasted malts, a hint of hoppy moderate bitterness in the middle, finishes dry with a light chocolate and roasty aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light bodied with a decent amount of carbonation and a light dry finish. Overall I find Snow Day Winter Ale very drinkable with a subtle amount of balance and complexity, enjoyed it. Picked it up in a variety pack, if offered would probably accept but I probably would not seek it out again.

 814 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Freshness date of 31 Jan 16:

Pours very dark brown to black with a dark garnet tint. A thick off-white head settles and lasts. Lacing sticks as it progresses.

The smell is of dark chocolate, caramel, earthy hop spicing.

The taste is of chocolate, dark bread, caramel, bread, mild roast, with earthy/herbal hop spice in the balanced finish. Neither too sweet nor too dry.

Very smooth, it hits full-bodied. Alcohol covered well, with just a hint of warmth.

An enjoyable, well-balanced, delicious brew. Great choice for a snow day (like today). (or any day, really!)

 568 characters

Photo of Tracywithbeer24
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured from bottle into pint glass

appearance- very attractive dark brown, almost black. ok 1/4in tan head. nice lacing on the glass.

smell- smells good but isn't that strong, doesn't add much to the experience but I do have a very poor sense of smell.

taste- chocolaty with some roasted caramel. very yummy. perfect for the now cold weather in Minnesota.

mouthfeel- Good carbonation without too much astringency feeling. crisp and refreshing.

overall- very good taste profile, would definitely drink again! perfect beer for a "Snow Day"

 542 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep cola brown color with mahogany highlights shinning trough and a one finger tan colored head. The head has a great level of retention, very slowly fading over time to leave a great level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is potent of a nice roasted malt aroma with some light chocolate and caramel. Along with these aromas comes a decent showing of an herbal and pine hop along with some leather aromas.

Taste – The taste begins with a toasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel. These later flavors are light upfront, with them fading more and more as the taste moves forward. The roast increases even more toward the middle of the taste with it then maintaining its strength to the end. Near the very end, some roasted coffee bitterness comes to the tongue, and with the drying out of most of the sweet flavors and a bit of an earthy taste coming to the tongue, one is left with a roasty and slightly dry and bitter taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner to average side for a beer of its darkness and abv., with a carbonation level that is average to slightly higher. For the more bitter and roast flavors of the brew the feel is great as it makes for a more refreshing and surprisingly more crisp dark brew.

Overall- I rather enjoyed this one. A rather nice black IPA with a great level of approachability and easy drinking feel. A rather nice drinker!!

 1,546 characters

Photo of jjamadorphd
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

New Belgium's seasonal from 2007 is making a return in 2015 - not the best I've had from them, but it's still pretty good.

What impresses me the most is the appearance of the beer, black in color with a thick, white head. The head's got good staying power with great lacing down the glass. I wasn't overly happy with the smell - mostly the ordinary hops scent and a mouthfeel that had hints of wateriness to it, which is surprising for New Belgium. It was a decent tasting beer, nothing outstanding, but not particularly bad, so overall I gave it a decent rating. Nice brew, I'm glad I have a few more to partake, but still nothing I will go out of my way next time to go get.

 681 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark malt and dark sugar aromas mingle with a little dried fruit and some herbal hop in the background. This smooth beer has dark bread crust to biscuit flavors emerging from dark malt and dark sugar flavors. The hop flavors tend to the herbal and spicy rather than bitter, balancing the malt well and joining in a delightful, lingering aftertaste. The beer has very good lacing.

 379 characters

Photo of Calypso
3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

 368 characters

Photo of jimmah120
4.11/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, consumed last season. review from notes

dark brown/amber with a frothy tan head. smell is earthy, woody, pine and funk, with tinges of chocolate, hazelnut, nad dark fruit. a crispy medium feel gives way to roasted grain, pine hop, and savory malt. nutty, with some holiday spice, but not too sweet. decent showing of hops.

one of my favorite holiday ales. loses the overwhelming spice of others, and instead it's hoppy and toasty.

 445 characters

Photo of TeamMathis
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black. Nice lace.
Smell: Immediately hoppy with grapefruit and pine, then roasted coffee and chocolate.
Taste: A hoppy, roasted blend.

The hoppy smell explodes onto the scene, and then is followed by a roasted character of coffee and chocolate; in the very least a roasted something. The hops are bright and add that great citrus and bitterness to the mix. I really like this style. I would get this again.

 419 characters

Photo of gmfessen
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, Snow Day is a very deep brown-red color with a thick, light mocha colored, pillowy head. The nose is a mixture of citrusy, spicy hops and a toasty malty profile. Flavor is what you might expect based on the smell; west coast hops - grapefruit and pine resin - melded with a roasty, toasty, slightly nutty, biscuity malt taste. Mouthfeel is medium in body with an inactive, slightly creamy carbonation. Overall, definitely a beer I could curl up with on a cold winter's night, or anytime for that matter - good one by NB

 561 characters

Photo of SometimesIfart
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly transparent black with a huge frothy, slight mocha head. Left beautiful lacing.

S - Smells tropical. Mango up front followed by pineapple, pine and grapefruit. Smells like a well crafted IPA to me.

t - Lots of pine and grapefruit followed by a small amount of mango and pineapple, along with some slightly roasted malt. Only complaint is that the taste remains a bit thin and watery which really throws it off.

M - Thin, Watery body with low carbonation.

O - Overall, This was probably the only good beer that I drank last night. If New Belgium could fix the odd off-putting watery flavor and up the body, This would be a real winner in a lot of people's eyes.

 685 characters

Photo of nickapalooza86
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Super dark brown, clear, finger and a half of tan head.

smell is piney hops, chocolate, caramel and a little coffee

taste is bitter coffee, caramel, chocolate, piney and floral hops.

mouthfeel is the biggest flaw in this beer, really thin, really sharp, doestbwork for the style imo.

a decent black ale but I will stick with others I enjoy more.

 349 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, reddish, almost chestnut, brown with solid light penetration and a head that seriously lasts forever. I'm still working on it after an hour and there is still a thickish film of tan sitting on half a glass. Lacing is scattered at best, sparse is a more apt description.
Smell is roast malt, toast, cocoa and a wee whiff of hop. Balance is good.
Taste is right on the same line as the smell with a roasty, almost toasty malt note, bittersweet chocolate/cocoa and some grassy hops note to balance it all out.
Not particularly smooth but not a rough beer to drink by any means. Drying throughout. Watery feel with a soft effervescence. You could easily partake of several of these without incident but it isn't compelling with this weak body.

 754 characters

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.

 605 characters

Photo of artk321go
4.63/5  rDev +24.8%
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.

 641 characters

Photo of Philousa
3.29/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance is opaque black, cola colored against the light. Head is decent in size with small bubbles, grey in color. It really looks like a well carbed Old Ale. Lacing is good. Aroma has slight Belgian malt sweetness with floral, somewhat grassy hops, and some baker's chocolate. The chocolate comes through in flavor right away, slightly bitter, followed by earthy barkish metal. The bitter hoppiness is earthy as well. I'm guessing English hops such as fuggles are used for bitterness. Feel tends slightly toward watery and finishes dry. I would never put this in the same category as Sublimely Self Righteous or other Black IPAs, but its definitely not a winter warmer, considering its formidable use of hops. This reminded me a bit of 1554 but a bit brighter. I'd have one again. Which is good considering I got a variety 12 pack with three more left.

 856 characters

Photo of Big_Twofifty
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours frothy foam into the glass with about 2 inches of a light tan head that remains on the sides of the glass with drinking. The body of the beer is a deep semi-translucent amber when held to the light, but without light is a more of a deep brown.

Smell: Rich roasted nutty aroma and I am able to detect the hops. Lastly, I almost believe I can smell spruce trees in the forest when I indulge in another smell of this beer.

Taste: First sip has a burst of hoppy bitterness, but then with subsequent tastes is milder, but still is boldly at the forefront of the flavor. I also detect notes of the aforementioned spruce, but maybe a better description would be simply of an evergreen tree as the signature smell of spruce is not as evident in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Light mouthfeel with medium carbonation and lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Overall: This is a very drinkable beer, with some good winter flavors, being mainly the evergreen aroma and taste. I enjoy this beer when outside in the winter or sitting next to a fire with the Christmas tree providing the ambiance to go with the taste.

 1,176 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
3.16/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

 819 characters

Photo of bump8628
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, creamy khaki head - beautiful looking beer. Big hop-derived spiciness on the nose transitioning to a more malt-centric body. Roasted nuts, cola, carob, toffee, weak diner coffee, sourdough. Hop bitterness is balanced evenly. Pithy citrus with a punch of earthy spice describes the hop flavor. A nice beer to throw back on a late winter afternoon (with snow in the forecast). I was expecting something more akin to a Black IPA/CDA, instead this is more like a well-hopped American Brown.

 498 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a mug at cellar temperature.

L – Deep brown color with a 3-finger creamy, frothy cream-colored head. Really nice retention, but only some lacing.

S – Chocolate, toasted, and nutty malts as well as citrus and earthy hops. This really does have a grainy wheat aroma to it, too.

T – Chocolate and toasted malts with some bitter roasted barley characteristics, as well. Toward the finish, some earthy, pine, and subtly citrusy bitter hops come into play.

F – Light-to-medium-bodied with good carbonation, a smooth and crisp mouthfeel, and a slightly bitter finish.

O – This is a decent black ale. It’s pretty tasty but the flavors seem a bit weak (as in neither strongly malty or hoppy) and not very well-blended. The malty and the hoppy parts just seem sort of separated. Nevertheless, this is an easy drinker and a nice, different winter beer.

 883 characters

Photo of kristenspaintings
3.11/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

 339 characters

Photo of Bosoxfan20
2.79/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A- 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Poured dark brown with a thick 1.5 finger, light tan head. Looks very similar to a cola, almost as though I poured a soda pop. Good retention with fantastic lacing.

S- Distinct New Belgium smell with the Goldings hops. Not a huge aroma. Earthy, herbal with some faint chocolate notes.

T- Sweet up front. Not overly complex. A hoppy winter warmer. Lots of toasted bread flavor...some similar flavors to a rye. Dry finish. A resounding bitterness lingers. I kept waiting for the crisp finish the label speaks of, but it never came.

M- Medium body with decent carbonation. Quite dry

O- Not bad, but this winter warmer didn't leaving me with many warm feelings. Certainly not my favorite from New Belgium. Highlight was the appearance. But for me, it seemed to go down hill from there.

$10.99 for 6 pk

 836 characters

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.34/5  rDev +17%
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.

 315 characters

Photo of dhannes
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

 644 characters

Photo of Mavigo
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Being that it is winter, the consumption of this beer is a must. Served in a nonic pint.

A: Pours a very dark, basically black, brown color with a short off white head with small amounts of lacing.

S: Smells like malt sugars, brown sugars, barley, and dabs of spices

T: Rich flavor to it, wheat, barley, sugars, herbal and spicey tones, fairly sweet

M: Has medium carbonation with a fairly rich and robust texture to it

O: Overall, another good beer from New Belgium, a great package of flavors with a relatively decent price.

 533 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.