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.

1,365 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,365
Reviews: 363
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 27
Gots: 55 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Snow Day Winter Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,365 | Reviews: 363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of forummember
4/5  rDev +9.6%

forummember, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of dbell23
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%

Poured from a growler into my New Belgium tulip glass.
Pours a very dark brown with a dark beige two finger head. Nice lacing.
Smell is slightly hoppy sweet.
Taste is slightly hoppy with a nice chocolate finish.
Mouthfeel is very smooth with good carbonation.
Overall a very good winter beer.

dbell23, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of inbierveritas
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

inbierveritas, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of clydefromiceland
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

clydefromiceland, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of lballstar
3/5  rDev -17.8%

lballstar, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Pjev11
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Pjev11, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of RichH55
4/5  rDev +9.6%

RichH55, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of blakelive784
3.25/5  rDev -11%

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.

blakelive784, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of RoamingGnome
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A) Deep dark brown, red highlights when held up to light. Nice full finger of head. Nice retention, some lacing.

S) A nice layer of aromas, more complex than I anticipated. Dark roasted malt, light coffee, brown suger, pine and some citrus.

T) Roasted malt and caramel, slightly burnt and some coffee,chocolate, mild spices,nice hops presence.

M) Medium to lighter medium body with moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth. The finish is slightly dry with a little citrus peel. Decent aftertaste.

O) A really nice winter offering from New Belgium. I would gladly recommend this beer.

RoamingGnome, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of y2korey
4/5  rDev +9.6%

y2korey, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of jcashthestock
4/5  rDev +9.6%

jcashthestock, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of IllHaveAnother1
4/5  rDev +9.6%

IllHaveAnother1, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Tone
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours a clear brown color. 6/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, slight citrus, hint of spice, slight earthy malt, hint of floral/grass. Fits the style of an American Black Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, earthy malt, floral/grass, hops, and slight citrus. Overall, good appearance and feel. Body and aroma are dominated by the floral/grass aspect.

Tone, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of kenzak
4/5  rDev +9.6%

kenzak, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%

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.

Thorpe429, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of csiewert
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%

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

csiewert, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of Daveychu
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Daveychu, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

Pours a large foamy almost creamy slightly tan head that goes above the rim of the glass and stays in place. The retention is near perfect with wonderful lacing around the glass until the end. Deep brown almost black with garnet highlights when held to a light.

The aroma blend of strong citrus and pine hops at first. Then, a sweet and pleasant semi sweetness from the roasted caramel malts.

The first flavor to hit the tongue is a blend of the bitter hops and the roasted malt. Hints of grapefruit, pine, semisweet chocolate, and lightly toasted bread.

Full bodied but easy to drink on a cold evening. Why rush it with a great beer anyways. Plenty strong and very tasty to get you warmed up from the weather. I will look for this ale every fall.

Luigi, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of Domingo
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%

Dark brown, that looks nearly black in poor lighting. Amber highlights and a pretty amazing head. Top notch visually!
Smells like European hops...the goldings I'm guessing. I'm also getting a little bit of roasted malt, but it's mild. In general, the nose is a little muted.
Where the nose falls flat, the flavor picks up. Roasted semi-sweet malts hit the front of the palate and the middle is a mix of earthy goldings and citrus cascades. Swallowing leads me down the path of several other so-so NB hoppy beers, but it never crosses the threshold of that solvent flavor they tend to have. In fact, right as I start to expect that earthy/pine mix to get rough, I start to get some more traditional winter warmer malt notes. As it warms, it actually gets a little sweeter. I don't change my mind about beers mid-sip often, but I did here. It's a little like a black IPA and winter warmer blended. Plus, the conflicting hops work better than expected.
Mouthfeel isn't as solid as I would've liked based upon the look of it, but it isn't bad. Just a tiny bit thin.
Not too bad and certainly one I'll take over the older 2 Below. The wheat spin doesn't really add much, although I've had wheat-based stouts before that didn't really add much nuance either. Still, it certainly doesn't hurt. Perhaps that's what's holding those "conflicting" hops together?
Pretty good.

Domingo, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Much thanks to my Dad for sending my this brew, much appreciated. Today was the first snow I have seen so far this year, so I feel it is appropriate to try this guy out.

A: Deep brown body, Chestnut in color when held to the light, a thick foamy tan head is on the top.

S: Nice pine smell with a touch of citrus. Very clean and fresh smelling. Some slight fruit, and bready notes.

T: Piney hops, a touch of grapefruit, and a very gentle fruitiness. Some nice gentle roasted malt notes, and a very clean finish.

M: Fairly thin feeling, the carbonation is medium high, but for some reason it feels right.

O: I think the name certainly describes this beer. It tastes like snowfall in a pine forest. The clean finish makes it feel crisp, and easy drinking. Quite enjoyable, although I could perceive others as describing it as watered down.

Beejay, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of chodinheaven
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%

Deep ruby red or brown in color. Decent one and a half finger bubbly cream-white head on top that dissapates at a medium pace down to a thin sheet with some lacing. The aroma is pleasant as some citrus and pine hops float up in front of roasty caramel and dark malts. Not overly aromatic, but enough.

The first sip is surprisingly hoppy and fairly bitter in the middle. There is a very nice roasty character to this one that comes through the malts, which are deep and complex. At first they hit with an almost coffee like expression, followed by sweeter caramel and then finishing with a bittersweet chocolate taste. All the while, piney hops contribute a balancing bitterness that helps with the roasty feeling that the darker malts give off. It has a really nice balance between the malts and hops that I wasn't expecting from this type of beer, almost as hoppy as an IPA. But this is more than a black IPA as the roasty malts take the taste to a different level, making for a unique and tasty beer. There is a bit more than just a kiss from the alcohol, but not distracting, only lending more to the complexity of flavors. The mouthfeel is creamy at first, followed by a dry finish, and it does a great job complementing the flavors, even if it is just a tad watery in the middle.

Its got enough hoppiness for hopheads to be satisfied, as well as enough complexity in the malt bill to satisfy stout and porter drinkers. I really enjoyed sipping on this one, and welcome it to any snow days we might have in the future. Good beer.

chodinheaven, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of DavidST
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, best before 11 Mar 12. This pours a dark brown color with a nice foamy tan head which leaves a lacing. The smells are of hops, floral and pine mostly ipa like. The feel is medium and the taste is full of a bitter hop bite which coats the mouth and leaves a bitterness on the way down, it also has a nice roasted malt yet almost sweet taste in the middle, good stuff one of the better new Belgium beers.

DavidST, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of Cubsfan1087
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Cubsfan1087, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of Ejayz
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Ejayz, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of codfeast
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%

bottle to pint.

A: very dark almost black, small tan head quickly faded to a ring, minimal lacing.

S: Like an IPA lots of hops(citrus and pine)

T: Hops right from the start, followed by a slight roasted flavor. then back to the hops for a bitter finish.

M: Smooth and Creamy, with some oily hops finish. Medium body and carbination.

O: Big hops profile could have used a bit more balanced. Still it tastes good and is easy to drink.

codfeast, Nov 29, 2011
Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 1,365 ratings.