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Snow Day Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Snow Day Winter AleSnow Day Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

363 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 363
Hads: 1,408
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 5.35%
Wants: 32
Gots: 79 | 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:
Beer added by: NStLincoln on 10-14-2011

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 363 | Hads: 1,408
Photo of gatornation
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from 12 oz bottle with BB 02/19/12

A- pours a dark mahogany color with a slight khaki head with some nice sticky lacing

S- malts and earthy smells with some citrus hops

T was roasted malts some earth funk,citrus hops,toffee and caramel but all was light but present

M- was light with carbonation and taste with the above mentioned smells and taste

O- a drinkable winter warmer but a couple will do it for me, many better and tasty WW out there (449 characters)

Photo of bsp77
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Dark brown with just a hint of red. Nice foamy head with strong lacing rings.

Smell: Roasted and caramel malts, with orange, pine and spice floating on top. Fairly pungent. Smells like a Black Ale/IPA.

Taste: Tastes like one as well. Smoke and bitter chocolate co-mingle with orange and grapefruit. Finish is more pine-like and spicy. Seems like this should be a burst of flavor, but is a little subdued, maybe due to the wheat.

Feel: Moderate carbonation with a nice dry finish. Unfortunately, the beer is a little too thin.

Overall: Obviously Winter Warmer is not really the appropriate description. This is a nice Black IPA / American Black Ale that could use a titch more flavor and body. Otherwise, quite enjoyable and better than 2 Below. (821 characters)

Photo of ianjsullivan
2.59/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass. Bottle lists the ABV and a DBD.

A: Reddish brown (caramel) and clear with pretty steady carbonation. Has a large rocky brown-tinged head that sits like milkshake foam on top and leaves good lacing.

S: The bottle mentions lots of hops, and it shows. The nose is ruled by pine, grapefruit, bubble gum, orange, and spice. The wheat does not show. While it smells good, it does not match the style.

T: Tastes like a black IPA: some smoke, some burnt roast, but mostly bitter grapefruit and piney bubblegum.

M: Medium and a little light on the finish.

O: Ah winter seasonal beers are here again; it is time to spend a lot of my money. I have never had this before, and I decided to pick up a bottle. Sadly, this was not the best "winter" beer to begin with. If I were to grade this beer simply by how it tastes, it would be an average to decent black IPA. However, I am supposed to review it to the style it claims to be, and, in that, this beer has failed. While the appearance has a nice head and deeper color, the aroma is consumed by hops. The flavor of the beer tastes like a black IPA, not a winter warmer. The mouthfeel is not heavy enough, and the warmth from the alcohol is not really there. The flavor profile is missing the malt, fruit, and sweetness of a winter warmer. It is not a bad tasting beer, but if you are looking for a winter warmer, look somewhere else. (1,414 characters)

Photo of mattsdenney
2.81/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into NB globe glass.

A: Pours a clear dark brown color with one finger thick head. Nice lacing and retention. Good so far.

S: Moderately strong hops, hints of grains, not much else happening.

T: Just because the name contains the word "Snow" that does not mean it's a Winter Warmer...first reviewer whiffed on that one. Anyways, grainy hops, some malts to balance, stringent flavor lingers. Charred toastiness,m label says dark caramel but having trouble picking that up. No spices to speak of, not really warming either.

M: Light, highly carbonated and bubbly. Not really sure what style they're going for here.

O: Mix between a Pale Ale, Lager, Dark Wheat? Does anyone else find it annoying that a "Seasonal" has no correlation to the season it's sold in? Not bad overall but probably won't purchase again. (840 characters)

Photo of tfratzke
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark opaque brown. Team head with good lacing. Smells of bread dough and a hint of chocolate. Good carbonation on the palate. Taste is where it loses me. Shoe leather, leaves, earthy. Some strange herbs that I’m not sure how to describe. Not very hoppy for a black IPA. (279 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's "winter seasonal" time already? :groan:

Blackish pint, creamy tan foam that leaves a set of concentric rings of lace in the glass.

Piney hop aroma, slightly sweet maltiness, with a little bit of roast in the background. Strikes me as a black IPA sort of, after the hops and roastiness settle in together.

Pine and bitter citrus peel, spruce, fir, or other coniferous descriptor. Flash of bittersweet cocoa, dark roast in the background to compliment. Smooth and fairly light bodied, medium level of carbonation. Spices? Nope. Hops? Yes, definitely. Dry hoppy aftertaste lingers around nicely. A pint or two would be no problem. (636 characters)

Photo of DaveBlack
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown beer, about the color of molasses and just shy of being totally opaque. The head is light tan, about a a finger's width, thick and chewy looking and leaves a lot of lacing.

S: Very sweet malts, a lot of caramel, but also a LOT of hops. To my nose, hops are actually the dominant aroma, which is... unexpected.

T: I a little surprised at how much I like this beer. The taste is that of caramel, with some chocolate malts. The darkly roasted malts are balanced with a good amount of hops, which gives it a nice brightness.

M: moderately high body, with a lot of carbonation. Doesn't come across as very thick at all.

O: A nice winter offering from New Belgium. The heavy dose of hops is rather refreshing for a winter brew. It doesn't come off as especially heavy or sweet, but still fits in well as a cold-weather beer. (837 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour, decent 'clarity' for a dark brown beer, no undesireable floaties, decent size off white head. Aroma was sturdy malt, but nothing beyond that.

Decent hop presence, good chewiness, bringing what you want in a winter warmer, alcohol in check. Good bitterness. Similar to the old 2 below beer. Pretty straightforward, simple, cheap and available. Some of these to have on hand should be a must in the winter. You might turn some peeps on to more adventurous stuff, or it might just be right up their alley.

Would recommend. (539 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an almost black/dark brown with one finger fizzy offwhite head that died slow w/ lace patches in top of a slightly floral hop aroma with muted spices and malts. I think I would consider this more of alright IPA than a winter warmer as that balance of sweet and roasted malts and spices is usurped by a earthy hop presence. This beer goes down smooth and easy and has some balance and finishes with a somewhat spicy edge, but overall the hops are too strong for my liking for this style. (493 characters)

Photo of DCon
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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! (1,502 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (854 characters)

Photo of wahhmaster
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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. (634 characters)

Photo of mattboyer182
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (405 characters)

Photo of JayS2629
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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. (411 characters)

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (1,160 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
4.36/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (432 characters)

Photo of delmarnate
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (257 characters)

Photo of larryi86
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (526 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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). (1,221 characters)

Photo of Bookseeb
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (418 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (595 characters)

Photo of mobius387
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 (486 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (584 characters)

Photo of zander4dawin
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (261 characters)

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (667 characters)

Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 363 ratings.