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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.

1,389 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,389
Reviews: 363
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 34
Gots: 59 | 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
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Ratings: 1,389 | Reviews: 363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EasyReader
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of mcphish22
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of harrymel
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by: 23FEB12

A: black with a finger off toasted cream head which falls quickly to a sheet of the same. sheet lace.
S: Spicy hops and toasted malts. Smells like an ABA. Some hints of burnt raisins. Me like.
T: Sharply bitter with a spicy tone over a nice toasted, dark malt profile. Good stuff.
M: medium bodied with slightly hi carb and a little to wet for my preference in this one.
O: This is the first beer in quite some time I've purchased and consumed over and over. I like it.

Photo of Tamarack22
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of mikechance
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A --- Dark and rusty

S --- Hoppy and smokey malts

T --- Lots of roasted flavors, pepper, earthy

M --- Light carbination and a light/medium body

O --- Very good! It can replace a porter/stodt on nights when you want to enjoy some hoppiness.

I was bummed they decided to postpone brewing of 2 Below for a few years but this is very good. I will definately enjoy this again and again this holiday season! I can't wait to try it on tap.

Photo of rjknyy
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.43/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of scratch69
2.4/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured a bottle into a mug.

Appearance- Very dark almost black with a fingers worth of lingering head. Nice amount of lacing.

Smell- Strong aroma of piney hops.

Taste- Bitter hops which overpower any other flavors that might be present.

Mouthfeel- Crisp, medium bodied, and a slightly dry finish.

Overall- This is not what I expect from a winter ale, the hop presence is overpowering. I did not enjoy this beer.

Photo of icehawk
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of callmeishmALE
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark-chocolate brown with a fairly thick and persistent light tan head that leaves some good lacing. Malty aroma has sweet chocolate and subtle spicy notes, just a hint of molasses. Flavor has a malty core with woody, semi-sweet chocolate, caramel and molasses notes. Smooth texture is just a teensy thin but still good, and quite tingly. Finish is woody and malty with a hint of caramel.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is very deep brown that is close to, but not quite, black; light passes through to give it ruby tones. Three fingers of creamy, rocky, tan head dissipated very slowly to leave a ton of foam trails on the glass and a thick ring around the edge.

Smell: New Belgium suggests a super cold serving temperature, which is surprising. At that temp there is really nothing more noticeable than grapefruit citrus and candy and toasted caramel. (I even get a nose full of cold air.) I let the beer warm a little and got a nice whiff of chocolate. It is a very pleasant and enticing mélange.

Taste: Mostly hoppy, but not intensely so. Lots of grapefruit citrus up front. As my taste buds adjusted, the sweet caramel and cocoa emerge, but both are still overshadowed by the hop citrus. Each sip leaves a lasting, almost metallic, bitterness.

Drinkability: It is a nice brew, but I think it is a little overhopped for the holiday season. I prefer my holiday spice to be holiday spice.

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...

Photo of redluvr
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of dfh
4/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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).

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.

Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 1,389 ratings.