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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,377 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,377
Reviews: 363
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 27
Gots: 56 | 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: 1,377 | Reviews: 363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

People keep reviewing this as a Winter Warmer when the site clearly states this is a Black IPA...? Whatever...

Roasted malts and piney hops dominate the nose here... Earthy and floral... Not as pungent as some but still rather nice... the Midnight Wheat used here gives this an interesting dynamic for sure... it works for this...

Lots of hoppiness present in the flavors with the toasted malts taking a backseat... Piney and resinous....the malts used bring this cocoa and bittersweet chocolate thing to the beer and I'm liking this quite a bit... I could see this being a new favorite seasonal...

I liked this one quite a bit... hops are present but the malt is so unique it almost feels like a porter... this beer is way too easy to drink...

Tilley4, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of redluvr
4/5  rDev +9.6%

redluvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of dfh
4/5  rDev +9.6%

dfh, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of gtermi
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is a very dark brown, with a nice white head

S: I am getting a lot of hops and some sweet malt

T: The beer has a good amount of hops and a nice sweet finish. I am getting a slight roasted taste too.

M: The beer has a nice crispness and very easy to drink. Leaves your mouth a little dry.

O: This is one of the better winter beers I have ever had. I enjoy the easiness of drinking this beer and how smooth it goes down. Cant beat that for how cheap it is.

gtermi, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of quaybr
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, a dark brown with an amber tint. Light tan head that dissipates after a few sips. Pretty lacing left for an inch, none thereafter.

Smells of strong floral and citrusy hops with roasted and caramel malts present.

Caramel pushes through - a bit too much - with roasted, as well, making up an unbalanced malt backbone. Hop profile is bold and it works for me. A bit confused by the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is weak and thin, with a slight oily residue. Doesn't carry across the tongue well.

Not a fan of this. It seems like they were going for a sweet Black IPA, but the flavor and feel are a bit off. To a friend with a limited beer budget, I would suggest they pass this up.

quaybr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Gehrig
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany body with bright ruby trim, topped with a thick, durable finger of off white foam. Nice lacing and duration, nice-looking beer. Caramel and some chocolate malt on the nose, with some of the advertised Centennial and Chinook hops in tow, though the malt is more prominent in the smell.

The aroma simply does not convey how hopped the taste is. The Centennial and Chinook hops are even more prominent in the taste than the chocolate and caramel malt, delivering a strong taste and chewy, gritty texture. This is delicious and balanced.

I would even make the case that Snow Day could have a bit bolder malt flavor. This to me could use a good dose of coffee and more chocolate. Snow Day is quite good beer. More malt would put this in the range of Avery's Old Jubilation, which has more than enough malt to spare.

However, this is nonetheless quite good and well worth enjoying. New Belgium has done a fine job of rounding out its base into new, often terrific flavors--Ranger IPA, Abbey, Trippel, 2 Below, and now Snow Day.

Gehrig, Nov 14, 2011
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.

Halcyondays, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of depechemode1983
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out extremely dark brown, bordering black. The head is tan with very high retention. Lacing is is outstanding.

S - There seems to be a good balance between citrus hops and toasted malts. Leaning towards citrus but you still get a decent amount of toasted grains and floral undertones.

T - The taste is opposite. Toasted malts are dominant with citrus undertones. Coffee is also mildly present.

M - Smooth with low carbonation. Seems a bit oily to me as well. Could stand a little more carbonation.

O - The mouthfeel could use a little work. Other than that with is a very good beer. You get a good amount of citrus and floral hops and some awesome toasted malts as well. Just an all around good beer. Nothing mind blowing but everything is present an well accounted for.

depechemode1983, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of homebrew311
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: appears clear brown, short tan head, minimal retention

S: nose features rich caramel and piney earthy hops, notes of chocolate in there as well as mildly roasted malts

T: front is full of rich malts followed by firm bitter hop profile, finish is earthy... Robust flavors

Mf: light body, medium carbonation

O: I prefer 2 below to this, it has a lot of flavor but not the best balance or drinkability

homebrew311, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of Rayek
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass, Snow Day emerges a deep chestnut brown with a rocky pine tinged cap. The head slowly falls to a patchy quilt and leaves good lace.

Pine and citrus hops, plus a slight caraway bite do most of the work. A fair amount of burnt toast is to be found as well. Bitterness is fairly strong and overshadows the grains a bit. It lingers through the beer's finish. The medium body is slightly grainy and touch too tingly for my tastes.

Snow Day is a nice beer overall. It doesn't strike me as a Winter Warmer all that much, but I'm glad I grabbed a sixer.

Rayek, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a reddish brown color with good carbonation and a dirty white cap

S: Piney, citrus and some spice but not overly powerful

T: Some toasted malt, pine and citrus. A snoozer

M: Light to medium body, thin on the mouthfeel, taste falls off

O: When the housewife in front of me at the market grabbed a sixer of this I should have known better.

barleywinefiend, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of demuzik
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'll start of by saying this one is unique, especially coming from New Belgium.

At first sight, I was thrown off since the brew pours a dark, almost opaque brown with only a hint of redness to be detected... not the "mostly red" ale I've seen ads about.

Next, the aroma is quite a shock - good, very good, but you expect "hops" to be in the title somewhere for something to have this much hop aroma. The aroma is very balanced, giving you whiffs of most US hop features: piney, floral, and fruity.

The flavor continues to be unique... my closest pigeon-holing on this one would be to call it a mild Black IPA; the initial hop flavor dominates, the malt is there but mostly subtle, but nothing overpowers, the flavors quickly leave the palate making this somewhat of a session beer; pulling you into the next sip.

Quite note what I expected, but still very palatable and actually enjoyable, once I threw my expectations aside (for that hoppy, spicy, red-almost-celebration-type-ale).

demuzik, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of ZAP
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting and refreshing brew from NB.

Typical New Belgium yeastiness that is evident in every single beer I have ever had from them....not complaining...just noting...

Beyond that this has some dark chocolate on the nose along with a fresh feeling hop bill ...some pine....some citrus...the aroma leans a bit to the hops

Taste follows suit...but leans just a bit to the dark cocoa maltiness...

Slight bitterness on the finish....medium bodied...I guess this uses wheat but no strong notes from that are evident...6.2% is a bit surprising...would have guessed closer to 5%

I find it enjoyable and while not one I will seek out...one I would drink again for sure.

ZAP, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of KarlHungus
2.53/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a clear brown color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of caramel, and grapefruit with a hint of pine resin. There is a very significant hoppiness to the aroma. The taste has a similar hoppiness, but with a more pronounced maltiness. There are toffee and caramel notes underneath the grapefruity hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a watery texture, and annoyingly high carbonation. Overall, this is a beer that I will pass on next time. The hop and malt really clash with each other in a negative way.

KarlHungus, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of Keithstone44
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New winter seasonal from GI, poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a finger of off-white head.

S: Nose is wheat, hops, and caramel.

T: Mirrors the smell quite well. Sweet malt, wheat, some floral hop bitterness, and caramel.

M: Medium to full-bodied with excellent carbonation.

O: Solid beer, in my opinion

Keithstone44, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of oberon
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.

oberon, Nov 11, 2011
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.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of Murrhey
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured in a Pilsner glass. (The pint glass was dirty, I missed out).

A- Deep mahogany brown, poured with a two finger thick khaki head. Fluffy and appealing. Can't tell the carbonation from appearance.

S- Very hoppy, reminiscent of New Belgium's IPA. Some brewing spices in it. Fairly complex but I can't pick up the subtle scents.

T- Very little of the hoppiness I smelled, but roast flavors and spices. Is very gentle.

M- Lingers bitter, but very consistent and tasty.

O- Great winter warmer. New Belgium always treats me right, and this hoppy but gentle darker beer doesn't change that.

Murrhey, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of Zraly
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights. Nice off-white head and a whiff of pine and citrus predominates upfront.

Nice malty note upfront with lots of citrus and fruit. I get a little chocolate as well, perhaps a hint of chocolate covered orange. A bit of hop juice in the finish with a touch of hemp seed. Clean and relatively light-bodied considering it is a "winter warmer" -- I question the classification a bit, but nonetheless this is a nice beer.

Not the classic winter warmer but a nice beer on a cool night. The 6.2% alcohol is actually well-hidden because I could drink several of these.

Zraly, Nov 10, 2011
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.

zeff80, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of fsvan
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into pint glass.

A- Dark caramel, almost brown. A finger of thin, lacing off white head.

S- Semi-sweet caramel malt. I little spiciness. A good amount of pine hops from the style.

T- Caramel malt, esp. on the back end. Fairly hoppy, with a big bitter finish.

M- A little on the heavy side of medium.

O- Eh, an OK beer. I wasn't a huge fan of the ESB winter seasonal either, but like it, this is OK, but nothing too special

fsvan, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of Dmart1223
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Definitely expected more from this beer, but it isn't bad.

This pitch-black beer retains a mocha head forever. I have a cold, but a friend and I couldn't find many pronounced flavors on the nose – maybe some malts.

Snow Day is heavy in the mouth, but not as heavy as I thought it would be. There's very little carbonation. Centennial and Cascade hops are definitely present, but muted.

The best quality of this beer is it fills you up, but the complexity promised from the bottle's label left me wanting more. Not a bad beer; I'd drink it if it was offered to me. But this isn't a beer I'd anticipate every winter.

Dmart1223, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of ChadQuest
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another good looking beer from New Belgium. solid cap over a dark brown body, shows some light through the edges but is mostly opaque.
the aroma is complex, partly composed of orange zest notes over black strap molasses and licorice.
Flavors are dark and warm, spices and citrus, licorice and brown sugar and caramel. An interesting beer, i could bu a pack of this for sure.
Mouthfeel isn't rich or full, but it isnt turning anything about this off.

ChadQuest, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of tlazaroff
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer looks great, the head is a light-mocha color that leaves awesome lacing! The beer is dark, almost black, but highlights of ruby shine through when held to light.

S: Very grassy and floral on the nose. I can tell this is a bitter, and hoppy beer. Fresh also comes to mind, like a freshly mowed lawn and pruned hedges. Smells great!

T: Upfront the hops are paramount. Its not incredibly bitter, but it leans more towards bitter than sweet. The hop flavor is that of freshly mowed grass, just like the aroma. It's fairly complex, and I look forward to learning more about my new best friend.

M: Moderatly-high carbonation levels in a more-or-less full-bodied beer.

D: Drinks rather smoothly and nicely. Defiantly one of my favorite winter seasonals now.

tlazaroff, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of TucsonTom
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A solid India Brown.

A: Wonderfully clear garnet, with a good head and lacing.

S: The Centennial and Cascade hops lead when cold; the Midnight Wheat malt sneaks in as it warms.

T: Like the smell, the dark malt gets better as the beer warms up. Great flavor combinations.

M: Perfect.

I'd love to see two bomber releases jump from Snow Day. First, an imperial black IPA with both the hops and ABV dialed up. Second, a traditional brown focused on that new Midnight Wheat, perhaps unfiltered, with low alpha-acid hops.

TucsonTom, Nov 08, 2011
Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 1,377 ratings.