1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Snow Day Winter Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,349 | Reviews: 363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ponbon63


4/5  rDev +9.6%

12-22-2011 21:41:05 | More by ponbon63
Photo of isualum12


4/5  rDev +9.6%

12-22-2011 20:44:11 | More by isualum12
Photo of snaotheus


3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass

Pours dark amber with little head or carbonation. Smell is winter spices and tea.

Taste follows along with the smell -- winter spices and tea. Some clove, maybe a little hint of hops. A little caramelly.

Mouthfeel is dry and smooth. Overall, not too bad.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 03:36:34 | More by snaotheus
Photo of DAllspaw


2.63/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into new Belgium globe.

Very similar to their black ale in appearance. Smell is a bit of cinnamon, some toffee and a bit if steeped tea, certainly unexpected

Taste is piney hops followed buy some dark malt and coffee flavors. A bit of dark chocolate as well. However, still get an overwhelming taste of tea with high tannins.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 01:57:31 | More by DAllspaw
Photo of PossumMunsen31


2.15/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Very bizarre first smell. Can't really even describe it. Under a half=inch head. Hard to distinguish which hop actually smells/tastes okay. Very strange mixture. It does taste better than it originally smells I will give it that. Otherwise, happy I purchased this with a mixer pack and will not get any more.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 20:56:20 | More by PossumMunsen31
Photo of mattafett


3/5  rDev -17.8%

12-21-2011 04:22:19 | More by mattafett
Photo of Bung


3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
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 AJN136


4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

12-20-2011 21:25:43 | More by AJN136
Photo of KomodoDragon


4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark mahogany brown brew with a light tan with terrific lacing.

S - Lots of scents here. Earthy hop, burnt cinnamon, coffee

T - Caramel malt with a kick of sweet spices - warm finish. Recognizable bitter finish as you might come to expect from the New Belgium family.

M - Heavy carbonation - full flavor.

Have been testing the New Belgium line-up now that it is available in VA. The dense flavors makes this one to sip and enjoy over the holidays. A black ale for snow day? Ironic - yes, but boy this is good.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 04:41:47 | More by KomodoDragon
Photo of peacebone116


3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12-oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Dark brown/black with little head, but excellent lacing that clings to the sides of the glass and forms trails throughout enjoyment.

N: Subtle chocolate and a hint of hoppy pine.

T/M: Although this beer has a somewhat watery body, the flavors are well rounded and complete. Roasty notes of chocolate meld quite well with a citrus pine to make a complete and simple beer.

Overall, this is a nice beer. It does not stack up all that well compared to others in its style, however; there are several other beers in this category that I find to be much more complex and rich. Although I like this beer, I think it could be much more rich and a little bit less watery.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 00:46:45 | More by peacebone116
Photo of Waynersnitzel


4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

12-19-2011 23:24:35 | More by Waynersnitzel
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 PIF


3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

12-19-2011 18:24:11 | More by PIF
Photo of Dunkelhund


3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

12-19-2011 17:51:36 | More by Dunkelhund
Photo of mdbailey00


4/5  rDev +9.6%

12-19-2011 14:09:24 | More by mdbailey00
Photo of MrJolly


4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

12-18-2011 21:34:02 | More by MrJolly
Photo of Quaffwise


4/5  rDev +9.6%

12-18-2011 04:45:50 | More by Quaffwise
Photo of KuehneBe


4/5  rDev +9.6%

12-18-2011 03:51:33 | More by KuehneBe
Photo of richkrull


4/5  rDev +9.6%

12-18-2011 01:10:01 | More by richkrull
Photo of goldbot

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark, chocolate brown with thick, off-white to tan colored head. Minimal lacing. The aroma is smooth, mild roasted malts offering hints of caramel and chocolate, mixing with a bit of grapefruit and planty, pine-y hops. A smooth flavor of chocolate roast malts with sweet caramel and a touch of grapefruit bitterness. Ends with a hint of some darker roast malts, leaving a nice aftertaste of dark chocolate and bread. Medium body with a chewy and silky mouthfeel. This one hits pretty well above its weight with complexity and a good punch of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 23:15:53 | More by goldbot
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.
Serve at 37°F, Globe glass pictured, 6.2% ABV, Best before 04MAR12

A - Kenny G wailing Christmas music through the Apple TV, a tree lighting the living room, and the wife wrapping presents. Reviewing this now seemed all too perfect! Snow Day pours as black as a winter afternoon (crazy short days!) and is topped by a tan head that glistens like freshly dumped powder. Great retention keeps the foam around for a while before coating the glass in some insane lace. Picture perfect.

S - Snow Day opens with a classic large hop nose from New Belgium. It marries a few hop varieties to achieve pine needle, green grass clippings, earth, and a touch of citrus. Light malt roast comes through but the aroma is almost wholly dominated by hops.

T - Oh, how the tables have turned! Snow Day must have been heavily dry hopped because the flavor is a blast of roasted malt; coffee and cocoa come to mind. Pine needle and citrus finish out in a well-balanced manner.

M - Crisp as the cold winter air and nicely carbonated, Snow Day finishes out clean with a light bitterness that lingers on the tongue.

O - Screw the hot chocolate, give me some Snow Day! Winter Warmer it's not, this American Black Ale features great hop and roasted malt balance with a clean hop finish that begs for another sip...and a day off with 5 more bottles in the fridge!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 23:08:19 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pours a rich, dark brown color with a fluffy, but long-lasting tan head. Nice lacing. A pretty brew, that is for sure.

Nose is lots of citrusy hops up front, but starts to show some sweet chocolate maltiness and some nutty yeast.

Taste is bigger on the flavoring hops than the bittering, and they seem to meld nicely into a moderate malty middle and is finished off by a clean snap of roasty wheat and zesty hop bite. I really like this one, It first I was sad to see that was replacing (I think) 2-Below...which I looked forward to every winter. But Snow Day is as fine a replacement as I could ask for. Im on my second sixer already.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 18:57:47 | More by twiggamortis420
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 bbkd3b


3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

You know, 2 Below happened to be one of my more satisfying brews to get a hold of during the winter. Imagine my shock when I happened upon this beer. It's, quite literally, of a different color.

That color happens to be a heavy, dark brown... Red tones shine through on occasion, but even the head is pretty tan. Its tough to get a real look at it, though - it starts off decent enough before fading out of existence. Sure, there's some lace that'll cling to the pint glass, but nothing worth writing home about. I have to get in pretty close before I catch a scent of any thing. The colder it is, the more pronounced the hops are. Sprucy aroma slowly mixes into the combination of roasted malts - a hint of marble rye and a bit of chocolate. Not bad, albeit a bit light.

Its hard to define this beer's character - it feels light on the tongue. At first, those hops really pop on to the taste buds. It's not until the beer fizzles its way to the back of my tongue that a surprisingly robust taste of roasted coffee shows up. Nice and balanced, but its also fairly two dimensional.

Not necessarily a bad brew for those cold winter nights, but definitely not the first one I'd turn to. With a creamier body and a heavier flavor, this would be a really good one. For shame.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 05:09:57 | More by bbkd3b
Photo of THECPJ


4/5  rDev +9.6%

12-16-2011 03:32:50 | More by THECPJ
Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 1,349 ratings.