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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.

1,354 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,354
Reviews: 363
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 29
Gots: 52 | 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: 1,354 | Reviews: 363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DCon


3.88/5  rDev +6.3%

Bought a 6-pack of this never seen brew w/ friend from Broad Ripple, IN @ Dynamic Liquors in Lincoln Park (Chicago), IL for $8.99. Poured from the Normal Red lined New Belgium 12oz Bottle w/ a new kind of picture w/ "SNOW DAY" labeled underneath a snow covered glass cabin into a 16oz Pint Glass. Has BEST BEFORE: 19FEB12 on the side.

Aroma- Huge hops that last in the aroma forever! Roasted malts are found but hops are extreme in here and really dig it. Not sure about Winter Warmers/Winter Ales most of the time but this was perfect this time around!

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that has AWESOME retention. Head stays the entire time and remains a dark off-white color. The beer has a deep brown color with no visible clarity. Leaves tons of thick lacing afterwards. Ties many other brews in the best appearance contest!

Flavor- There is a ton of roastiness but not like the type that is found in porters, coffee stouts, or many coffee like attributed brews. Very interesting but light all the way on the taste. Light bitterness and a surprisingly dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, A bit watery, and finishes with malt and sweetness on the palate.

Overall Impression- Will definitely be enjoying more of this all Fall/Winter! Would suggest you get yourself a single bottle or 6-pack of this too. Not sure about the Taste and Mouthfeel yet but could definitely be changing this review the next time I get this beer. My first winter warmer this season. Enjoy!

11-02-2011 06:26:30 | More by DCon
Photo of champ103


3.53/5  rDev -3.3%

On tap at the Richmond Arms in Houston, TX.

A: Pours a dark brown with ruby/red highlights. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. Some nice rings of lace are left behind.
S: At first grassy hops are up front. As this warms more malt comes out, which I would expect. Toasted malt, caramel, light sugar.
T: Up front a quick snap of grainy, sugary sweetness. After that some hops come into play that lingers for a while. As this warms up much more malt come through. Bread, biscuit, toast, and even some chocolate.
M/D: A medium body with crisp carbonation. After the initial sweetness, this is very dry. Easy enough to drink. I can enjoy several without a problem.

The first Winter release for me this year. Like most New Belgium products, easy to drink and simple. Maybe not something I will reach for all the time, but certainly enjoyable.

11-02-2011 01:41:21 | More by champ103
Photo of wahhmaster


2.98/5  rDev -18.4%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown color with ruby edges. Has a large, frothy head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Has a deep, malty smell with a backing spiciness. It has a significant caramel aroma as well.

Taste: Hits you with a mild hoppiness up front. Finishes with a strong, caramel maltiness backed by a significant spiciness (cinammon mostly). Has a noticeable alcoholic character too.

Mouthfeel: A little thin for a winter warmer but with a nice carbonation.

Overall: Another decent beer from New Belgium. Not their best offering but good nonetheless.

11-01-2011 23:53:18 | More by wahhmaster
Photo of mattboyer182


3.65/5  rDev 0%

A - Dark brown, hard to see through. A thin brown head. Not a lot of lacing.

S - A significant floral hop smell. Don't get a lot out of this. Maybe a slight sweetness.

T - Taste is very hoppy. Not bitter hops but fresh hops. It starts out a lot lighter though sweet and then turns into a lsting hop taste.

M - Light bodies and heavy carbonation.

O - Good tasting but not a great example of the style.

11-01-2011 03:08:41 | More by mattboyer182
Photo of JayS2629


2.98/5  rDev -18.4%

Looks nice. Dark brown/almost black with some tan head that falls fast but leaves nice lacy rings.

The aroma is of cocoa and grapefruit, orange and floral notes.

The flavor falls with weak watery wheat and faint caramel trying to back up some strong citrus and pine notes. Not good balance on that. Hops overpower and it says nothing of winter to me.

The mouthfeel is thin and too fizzy.

I want my 2 below.

10-31-2011 03:09:10 | More by JayS2629
Photo of brewerburgundy


3.98/5  rDev +9%

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip, best before 3/4/12.

This seems a beer that derservingly falls into the catchall Winter Warmer category, and it starts off by showing some off the beaten path colors. The head is in normal light tan ranges, but has a greyish cast. That's the best I can conjure to describe it, while the body is an inviting dark red brown that is more unusual than I just made it sound. Think eggplant and redwood with a quality sticky head.

Hop levels are high, with Cascade very floral and zesty and it must be the Styrian Goldings that are Spruce-like. There is an elusive fruity quality to the hopping too and a rich bread pudding maltiness.

The hops are still running things. While the malt is pretty robust with dark caramel and spicy wheat the Meyer lemon zest and spruce buzz above it with lupuline goodness.

While not undercarbonated by any means, the whole is creamy and rather IPA-like.

It's a pretty little beer this, and my favorite New Belgium seasonal so far. It does occupy a place between an IPA or strong APA and a Black IPA. The hops please so many of us and it fits the season with some comforting, interesting malt notes.

10-31-2011 00:37:13 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of secondtooth


4.38/5  rDev +20%

Dark caramel/amber, with a fearsome 3-finger head. Lace just about as extensive and impressive. Wow. Spectacular presentation.'

Aroma is fresh pine, floral, and citrus. Hoppy happiness.

Taste is complex, beginning with a mild roasty malt, followed by a subtle citrus/pine bite in the middle. The finish brought a slightly bitter hops character, though by no means a hop bomb. Balanced well, this enjoyable ale really impressed me.

10-30-2011 18:34:24 | More by secondtooth
Photo of delmarnate


3.63/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours nice amber color. Nice crisp mouthfeel like an APA. The body is lacking for a winter warmer. Good value beer though. Above average with a nice hoppy zing. Another beer worth buying from New Belgium, just wish it had a little more oomph and body to it.

10-30-2011 05:15:58 | More by delmarnate
Photo of larryi86


3.35/5  rDev -8.2%

12 oz bottle best before March 4, 2012 poured into a snifter

A- A very dark brown/black with a one finger off white head.

S- Toasted malts, spices, earthy/piney hops, nice, but could be stronger.

T- Very close to the nose, but a little more muted. I feel that the spices kind of take over, wish it was maltier.

M- Smooth, nice medium body.

O- Not bad, but I have had better, the feel of the beer is the best part. I might pick it up again, but I drinking it reminds me of Fat Tire with how underwhelmed I am by this beer.

10-30-2011 01:21:01 | More by larryi86
Photo of smakawhat


3.38/5  rDev -7.4%

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. What the heck?! It's snowing in DC before Halloween?!?!?! Couldn't be a better time to crack one of these I guess!

A real unique colored cap for the head, with a very creamy appearance giving off a color that looks like faint white cocoa butter. Tiny creamy bubbles, and sitting on a dark red body. Some tiny spotted lacing occasionally.

Nose is very light, and not that noticeable. Slight spicy malt sense and some light cream. Not much really going on here.

Taste is very hop forward. This I wasn't expecting. In fact it's very hop dominant with a pine sensation and lingering astringent bitter. Nothing too powerful but nothing too unique. Kind of a mild cream texture with an IPA like sense of carbonation. Some mild candy like black licorice as well on the finish.

Overall though, this is not what I look for in this style at all, where is the warming malt body on this? Sounds like they went for hop heads, not what I want in a winter warmer, I need my spices, sweetness, and my malt, not a hop blast. I am going to pass on this one. (EDIT, someone had updated the notes on this from Winter Warmer to Black Ale since I wrote this review, which makes more sense now).

10-29-2011 18:48:22 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Bookseeb


3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Appearance is a dark brown color with a healthy retaining head leaving nice lace. Smell has a big hit of fresh hops with malt in the background. Taste again has that big hit of hops that pulls thoughout leaving the malt in the background making it more of a winter IPA. Mouthfeel is a little light for the style, but has good carbonation. Not bad, needs to be more balanced with malt to bring out more flavor and body.

10-29-2011 01:48:44 | More by Bookseeb
Photo of Zorro


3.83/5  rDev +4.9%

Clear brown colored beer with a tall dark brown colored head.

Smell is malty and a little spicy, mostly raw ginger. Little bit of cinnamon and burned sugar with some caramel. Faint carrot and sandalwood.

Starts out semisweet and silky. Cocoa powder and fainter cinnamon stick. Moderate level of bitterness, tastes like they used a Oatmeal Stout as the basic recipe for this beer. Slight coffee flavor but mostly this is moderately bitter and smooth.

Mouthfeel is smooth as silk, really lovely.

Overall mild and not overly spiced. Drink this and expect an Oatmeal Stout and you will be happy.

10-29-2011 01:24:11 | More by Zorro
Photo of mobius387


3.53/5  rDev -3.3%

poured into a snifter glass

appearance: pours a dark black with a 1" white "snowy" head

aroma: great blend of hops and malts. hops slightly stronger. hints of caramel

palate: fairly bitter taste, medium body, flavor sits on the tongue.

taste: fairly mild. nothing special about the taste. has an earthy body to it

overall: a good beer, but i prefer 2 below to this beer. although its a nice medium bodied dark beer from new belgium. tastes are underwhelming, but the smell is great

10-29-2011 00:45:38 | More by mobius387
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +7.7%

Very dark reddish-brown with a thick, creamy off-white head that leaves behind plentiful lace as it recedes. Spicy, herbal, oily hop greenness over pine, berries, and a whiff of dark coffee. Piney hops upfront...pale fruit and a bit of char. Lightly sweet through the middle before succumbing to the dark bitterness. There's more of a perception of roastiness than an outright malty flavor element. If I had to categorize, I'd call this more of an Amber, though a dark and hoppy one at that. Regardless, I enjoyed this one, even though there's nothing particularly "wintery" about it.

10-28-2011 23:25:20 | More by wedge
Photo of zander4dawin


3.48/5  rDev -4.7%

Pours cola brown with a fluffy light tan head. Get some serious hop notes on the nose. Roasted malts come through with an assertive hop kick on the finish. Similar to Arrogant Bastard but far less aggressive. Flavorful but not overwhelming. Better than 2 below.

10-28-2011 16:30:39 | More by zander4dawin
Photo of Viciousknishs


3.95/5  rDev +8.2%

A- pours a deep brown with a finger of light tan head. Ok head retention.

S- very toasty crusty bread malt with a spicy wheat character. Aggressive hop aromas of tree bark and pine that goes really well with the malt. A hint of burnt caramel on the finish.

T- crusty bready malt flavors blend with a toasted spicy wheat note. slightly roasty. Wonderfull pine and woody hop tones play of the spiciness and linger on the palate. Finish is dry with a leafy green hop bitterness.

MF- full round mouthfeel with a medium body and average carbonation.

D- very drinkable. I would not complain of I had a sixer of this on a blustery snow day.

Overall a great little brew.

10-28-2011 01:19:47 | More by Viciousknishs
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.6%

Pours a very deep brown with 1/4" of loose head that quickly fades to a thin lacing. The nose has an immense aroma of piny hops. The taste is caramelly, roasty, and has a very welcomed, intense pinycitrusy, mildly floral hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated, and smooth.

This is an unexpected winter warmer. It's far hoppier than I had anticipated. The label boasts "dark caramel Midnight Wheat" as the malt base. It gives a surprisingly solid malt base that meshes well with the immense hops.

10-27-2011 23:16:21 | More by tdm168
Photo of EagleTalon


3/5  rDev -17.8%

Pours to a thick, rocky buff head and very good lacing. Mahogany color and brilliant clarity. Aroma is of spicy and piney hops and hints of caramel and citrus. Flavor is a funky mixture of spicy hops, dill, pine straw, black malt, and harsh bitterness. Mouthfeel is light-medium. Overall, I was impressed by the distinctive aroma and the inviting appearance. The flavor was just weird to me and it felt too dry and chalky. I'll try it again later and re-review just in case my palate was off, which does happen depending on what I ate or how much gum I chewed during the day. It has got to be better than this.

10-27-2011 02:59:59 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of Rodekill


4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

This is my idea of a winter ale/winter warmer. Nicely balanced malt and hops in the nose and on the palate. Decent lacing on the side of the glass along with a gorgeous deep ruby color. The hops predominate without muscling the malt character aside. It's in the ballpark of Sierra Nevada Celebration and Rogue Santa's Little Helper. Good stuff!

10-27-2011 02:18:59 | More by Rodekill
Photo of exitleft


3.85/5  rDev +5.5%

Pour into mini pint and got a very nice billowy head. Eventually went down to nice overall lacing. Black with amber highlights in color, kind of cola like.

Spicy hop notes, which I enjoy, but I was looking for more malty aromas.

Good balance of spicy hops and dark roast coffee flavors.

I was hoping for more richness, but I enjoyed the spritely zing on the tongue and the roof of my mouth.

This would be a daytime snow day beer for me, especially if I was having beef fajitas.

10-26-2011 03:42:46 | More by exitleft
Photo of Bitterbill


4.08/5  rDev +11.8%

12oz bottle, I wish I could read the best before date; it didn't print very well on the label. All I can for sure make out is it's best before ...2012.

1It's a very dark brown beer in the pour, I can see some reddish hues there. Lots of billowy slightly off white foam and the usual NB standard of excellence when it comes to the lacing.

The smell is very much like an American IPA. Loads of hoppy goodness, there's Styrian Goldings, Centennial, and Cascade in this brew and my nose likes what's going on.

The taste is also very hoppy with some light notes of caramel malt to just take the edge off the bitterness a bit. I can taste *some* roasted malt character, as mentioned on the label, but the hops are ruling it. A very nice Winter Warmer and how's this? The first bit of snow here for the season and the Snow Day just showed up. :^)

Upper end of light/lower end of medium bodied, the carbonation is medium and fits the beer well. Very nice mouthfeel. It's pretty easy to drink as well. I like this newbie from New Belgium.

10-25-2011 22:58:21 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of UnionMade

New York

4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Deep, deep brown, almost black, pouring with a finger's worth of ivory foam on a soft pour. Great head retention, keeping a thin coating atop the beer all the way down. The head laces in beautiful, delicate sheets with each sip.
Smells surprisingly hoppy. If I were blindfolded, I would guess this is some kind of IPA with a heavy dose of crystal malt. The malt is almost too delicate for the hop profile, completely pinned under the heavy hop dosage. I enjoy such a thing, so I find it a good thing.
The flavor opens up completely hop forward. There's minimal sweetness up front to ease into the hops. The malt comes off as super soft and gentle, just a bit of cocoa and coffee. Not quite enough to compete with the heavy handed hops, it's perpetually smashed behind the door like Dad in that Twisted Sister video. On the first sip, the hops come across as intense and fresh, almost too much, but settle into a deliciously bitter floral and citrus taste. A bit of bittersweet malt in the back, intensifying the overall bitterness. My only complaint is that the body is a wee bit thinner than I'd like, but the resulting dry finish works well with the hop flavor. This is hardcore bitter beer for sure. Nothing about this is easygoing, aside from the malt meekly folding beneath the serious hoppage. An unexpected find at the liquor store, and possibly my new favorite from these folks.
My new favorite session beer. I'd categorize this as more of an IPA/Dark Wheat hybrid. The only tie it has to the winter warmer style is that it's a winter seasonal.

10-25-2011 02:07:50 | More by UnionMade
Photo of JoeAmerican77


3.93/5  rDev +7.7%

Dark brown booze covered in a smattering of dirty snow head...
Citric hops nail the nose with a cascade or Centennial sort of flair, lemons and yeast. Malty on the tongue, some pine flavors that match the surrounding conifers well. Lots of caramel, some roasted grains and spice make it nice. Medium bodied little thing with the classic NB medium heavy carbonation.

NB has really been surprising me lately. I was starting to put them behind in the "interesting beers" race, yet everything I've tried recently is nice and impressive.

10-24-2011 23:13:03 | More by JoeAmerican77
Photo of lawlerj


4.47/5  rDev +22.5%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

A - pours a deep translucent amber brown. Yields a two to three finger froth slightly off white head with a strong pour. Speckled lacing as the beer goes down.

S - roasty, smoky maltiness combined with very prominence crisp hop bitterness. The darkness of the base combined with the strong hop presence is quite enticing.

T - pretty much follows the nose - a nice smoky, roasty backbone combined with a surprisingly strong hop presence. Not really much in the way of spice that you find in other winter seasonal offerings, but that's not to say that it's lacking at all. There is some, just not a ton. I would say that the hops are the real star here, and I'm loving it.

M - medium bodied, well carbonated. Not much else to say - just very balanced and pairs with the flavor very, very well.

O - what can I say? I really enjoyed this beer. Of the few winter seasonals I've had so far, this is far and away my favorite. I do have to say that I enjoy this more than I recall enjoying the Two Below (not that it was bad at all). I didn't realized how hoppy this brew was going to be when I purchased it; if I had known, I might have shied away, but I'm glad I didn't. I nice hoppy beer hit the spot on a cool late fall day.

10-22-2011 21:39:50 | More by lawlerj
Photo of chugalug06


3.85/5  rDev +5.5%

A - Surprise! Nice lacing! Head is think foamy tan color. Brew is dark amber with lots of brown.

S - Big Centennial hops! Some mild smoke along with some big roasty notes.

T - WOW! Very silky and smooth! Some nice bitterness along with some nice tingling on the tongue. Not spicy at all.

M - Perfectly bitter, while overly carbonated. Thin, malty, goodness.

O - A very good brew from NB, hopefully they're able to continue down this path! This is definitely not a winter warmer... Recommended.

10-22-2011 04:03:26 | More by chugalug06
Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 1,354 ratings.