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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.

368 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 368
Hads: 1,431
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 27.76%
Wants: 32
Gots: 95 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Snow Day Winter Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 368 | Hads: 1,431
Photo of babayaga
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a long tulip.

Appearance- Head is tan, craggy and laces well. Stays covered on the way down. Body is ruby brown and clear.

Aroma- Big pine, toastiness, light sweet malt.

Flavor- The play of roasty and bitter hops flavors is really enjoyable. tobacco.

Mouthfeel- Light mouthfeel, soft carbonation.

A snow day on a day where I'm literally staying home because of a blizzard. I find the beer very enjoyable, the lightness and bitter flavors make it a great, "sessionable" beer. Will definitely have more often.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Black in the glass, one finger tan head, some lacing, clear ruby around the edges

S-Lots of malt, caramel and roasted, balanced with lots of spices, nutmeg and earthy notes.

T-Not quite balanced, but sweet to start, earthy malty tones to start. Ends with slight bitterness. Rye spiceness.

M-Medium bodied, chewy, some carbonation.

O-A decent winter beer, the only real detraction is the lack of balance.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, dark yellow brown almost black with a foamy grey head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: pungent citrus hops over almost burnt bread, coal

T: a smoky character comes out immediately followed by bitter hops, little sweetness, flavors of burning hardwood smoke, beechwood, tons of bittering hops

M: medium bodied leaving a nice smoky aftertaste, proper carbonation

O: kind of a unique brew, smoke flavor well balanced by hop profile, worth trying if you are into those tastes

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Photo of schoolboy
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We had several bottles of this earlier this week, but today they had some on tap at the bar at Beaver Creek. In the bottle, the beer was somewhat weak, but on tap it worked well. The beer even looked better.

Just about every aspect worked better than the bottle, and the tap version is recommended, unlike the bottle.

It still was not an over the top American style, but it was a lot closer, and the balance was very nice. I could have had a few, but they were a little pricey.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle with best by date of 03Mar13 poured into a Duvel tulip.

A- A semi-aggressive pour results in a 1-1/2 finger tan head. Dark brown body reminds me of coca-cola. When held to light, it gets maroon, clean, with moderate carbonation. Retention is decent and rings are awesome.

S- It's really hoppy at the crack of the cap. Pretty organic. Chocolate and roasted malts really open up with time.

T- Initial grainy malts are cereal-like. Hops are subdued compared to aroma. Roasted malts with light chocolate. Hints of almost citric hops, especially at finish. Interesting combination.

M- Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Slight impression of a grainy feel.

O- not bad at all. Not quite as expected. At purchase I thought it would be more of a traditional winter warmer. After research I was expecting something a little hoppier. Maybe it suffered from travel/shelf time? Solid beer, just doesn't set itself apart from the recent glut of top tier black ales.

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Photo of n2185
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky brown with two fingers of khaki head that fades into a frothy ring with decent lacing.

S: Slight roasted malt aromas up front with sweet chocolate and nutty notes following. Citrus rind and earthy pine hop aromas bring up the finish.

T: Roasted malts are a bit more present here with bitter chocolate and some charred notes. Earthy pine hop flavors bring up the finish with a light bitterness.

M: Body is on the heavier side of medium with moderate carbonation, which goes well with the hoppy characters.

O: A good beer overall and one of the better winter seasonals out there. It seems more like a hoppy brown ale than black ale, though. A nice beer to pick up in cheap 12-packs for the winter.

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Photo of AmitC
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it at a tasting. Pours dark colored to light black . Slight tan colored head. Not enough lacing.

A very good nose, that is extremely hoppy. Hops smell like some wild weeds in the forest. Very distinct smell. Some roasted malts.

Nice taste as well. Hops leave their presence but not overtly bitter. Good malt presence as well. Some winter black ale typical taste is also observed.

Mouth feel: Light to Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and no astringency.

Good brew overall. Try once.

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Photo of minterro
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a sixer at meijers after trying it at Crunchys during their New Belgium tap take over.

A&S: mid black colored beer semi translucent. Spiderwebing like lacing from a tan head that stays in a thin layer throughout. I would say the smell is probably the best thing about this beer, nice piney and sweet maltiness to it.

T&M: Kinda on the bland side in comparison to some of the other times I've tried this one (the other two bottle and at crunchys). Kinda bland upfront but the finish is more on the piney and bitter, but not all that dry. Pretty lively carbonation, medium to low body.

overall: Its pretty good, nothing that I would say go out and find, but one of New Belgium's better beers.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Although just purchased in Pineville SC tonight, just noticed the best before date on the bottle and I am reviewing this past its prime, so will update if I ever find a more recent bottle. The hops promised in the description have mellowed to the point that the aroma is almost absent, and the caramelized malts are predominant in the taste. Pours a beautiful dark but clear amber brown with decent head and nicely creamy mouthfeel. Bittering hops are still present and leave a satisfying finish that is not overpowering, but flavourful.

Definitely a beer I would purchase again if I can find a fresh(er) bottle!

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

A: Black with a tan, half finger head that turns into big bubbles. Decent lacing.

S: A hoppy onslaught.

T: Grapefruit, caramel, ginger with light chocolate and coffee background. Smooth, creamy.

M: Light to medium. Not much carbonation.

O: A pleasant seasonal brew. The ginger adds some holiday spice.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-black with a sticky light tan head

S-smells like aged hempy hops. some cocoa in the background. very faint. not a bad scent.

T-comes in with a good amount of dark roasted grains. has a certain rawness to it that i like. not a belgian rawness, but just an aged aspect to the grains...its a good thing. its not a strong taste. there's an underlying grassyness. i like it. matching after-taste.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a fairly dry finish

O-for an black ale...its just okay. admittedly its not a style i love, but i still appreciate a good one when i experience it. the flavors here are all just pretty faint. there are no off flavors though. its at least one of the more drinkable black ales i've had. its just seems to lack really with the dark flavors or the hops. its boring.

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Photo of Bitter_Echo
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black ale trying to be an IPA, I'm not sure. And darker than black, which doesn't actually give any idea of snow, and but looks like beer, so that's ok. Smells dark, malty, sweet, and slightly floral, although not nose forward, that's for sure. Taste is malt sweet and light but clear hops and caramel and some chocolate and late coffee. Mouthfeel is busy and foamy and creamy and really quite good here. I don't drink much in the dark beer category, but this isn't too bad all considering. Although, at the end, I always want a clear, very bitter ale to follow.

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Photo of fields336
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A; a dark brown ale with highlights of ruby when held up to the light. a thick pillowy mocha colored head sits atop, and hangs around. leaves a nice thick sticky web of lacing around the edges of the glass.

S: a light toasted and roasted scent a light hoppiness along with some caramel malt wafts from the glass

T: chocolate, light roasted coffee, toffee, caramel, vanilla, and a hint of citrusy and herbal hops. A nice melange of flavors

M: medium bodied, and well carbonated

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color when poured was a very dark amber with a reddish hue, on the verge of dark brown. There was very little foam, but, a lot of lace of the side of the glass. The smell had the aroma of mild piney hops and not much else. The taste and flavor was of piney hops and nothing else that I could taste. This ale just reminded me of another, mild, IPA. Not impressed with this ale. Just a palate full hops and bitterness.

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Photo of Doga
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A:Black, steady lace.

S:Roasted malts, earthy and spicy hops.

T:Roasted black wheat malt, hints of roasted coffee, plenty of floral and spicy hop notes, American hop influence. British hops mainly show up on the smell.

F:Instant finish of malt taste, lingering coffee like dry hop bitterness.

O:Smells rich and bold. Taste is good but plain. A blend with other malts would be better for the body and a balanced taste and finish.

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Photo of rawfish
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to a NB globe. Very dark brown, nearly opaque with an edge of dark garnet highlights. Creamy texture on the head, mocha brown, two fingers high with impressive retention. Light stick onto the glass, clumpy lace.

Cascade brings bright pine and grapefruit to the forefront while the malt provides a solid backbone of char, coffee and bitter cocoa. Very pleasant.

Burnt malt with a bit of bready tones and chocolate. Overall very shallow. Hops are less prevalent than the nose would suggest with less of a bright grapefruit flavor and more a balanced pine. Slight bitter smack on the finish that dries leaving some lemony acidity that could either bee the wheat or the malt. Rather tiring towards the end of the bottle.

Smooth and a bit thin for a winter warmer and too flat for a black ipa. Not sure how to call this. At least the alcohol is well hidden.

It's flat SNPA with roasted malt, sounds good but it's just not a winter beer. Bright hops, dark malt and wheat provide a twist to lighten it up and there's not enough bitterness to judge it as a black ipa. This is New Belgium stepping out of it's comfort zone, daring but this seasonal missed the mark.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a semi-opaque very dark brown in color with moderate to significant garnet red highlights and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall creamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light notes of roasted malts with some notes of pine hops.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of roasted malts with some lighter notes of pine hops and just a touch of lemon citrus. There are light amounts of bitterness that lingers for a short amount of time in the finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: For the style, it feels like there is too light an amount of hop flavors. Enjoyable but nothing really stands out with this beer.

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Photo of smalenberg
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Plentiful floral hop notes. Though cascade is noted on the label (in addition to other hops), this beer is pleasantly free of the sometimes overpowering grapefruit character that comes with it. The pleasant level of hop bitterness is balanced nicely with the rich-wheaty malt character. The nose is probably my favorite part of this beer and the taste has a tough time keeping up with it.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured chilled in straight-edge ale glass

A: very dark ale; thin but frothy head; good, silky lacing
S: all hoppy; sweet and inviting
T: very dark roasted malt; strong hops profile; bitter, charred; overly dominated by roast

It's pretty good, but I won't get a new 6-pack

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.81/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a six pack of New Belgium's Snow Day Winter Ale last week for $7,99 at Meijers. I'm always down to try a new beer from New Belgium, haven't heard much about this beer so I'm interested to see how it turns out, so lets see how it goes. It had a best before date of Feb. 2013. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks pretty good with a well done snowy cabin scene. It poured a nice medium brown color that took on a nice ruby hue when held to the light with four fingers worth of fluffy darker tan head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left lots of sticky rings of lacing. This is a damn good looking beer, I have no complaints at all, the head and lacing were pretty impressive.

S- The aroma starts off with some pretty sweet malts that impart a pretty big caramel flavor along with some toasted, nutty, and a slight chocolate aroma. After that comes the hops which impart a unique herbal and spicy aroma that is slightly earthy. The aroma is ok, it smells like a brown ale up front and an IPA on the finish, not too shabby.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts of with some medium sweet malts that imparted some nice toasted and caramel flavors along with a slight nutty and chocolate like flavor with a little bit of coffee. After that comes the hops which are much more grassy then they were in the aroma along with a light pine aroma and an even lighter citrus hop aroma. On the finish there's a lighter amount of medium bitterness with a toasted and earthy aftertaste. This beer tasted good, I really like the balance between the malts and the hops in this beer and it wasn't overly bitter.

M- Pretty smooth, creamy, a little dry, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. This beer had a good mouthfeel, the extra carbonation worked well with the slightly thicker body.

Overall I thought that this was good beer and it was pretty good example of the style, it had very good balance all the way through that made this beer not overwhelming at any end of the spectrum. It had decent drinkability, it went down pretty smooth and the flavors held my attention but one is good for me, I don't really have the urge to drink another one in a row. What I liked the most about the beer was the balance it really highlighted the flavor of this beer and it looked very good. What I liked the least about this beer was how similar it was to their Red Hoptober, the malt base tasted pretty much the same. but this one tasted a little less hoppier, but it smells just about the same. I would buy this beer when in the mood for the style, but as far as winter seasonal beers go I would rather have Sierra Nevada Celebration, I do recommend giving it a try though. All in all this beer was pretty solid with it's biggest strength being it's balance, good work guys, you sure know how to make some solid beers.

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Photo of Kromes
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with ruby edges and a thick tan colored head. The head is deformed and looks like a rootbeer float as it hangs on the sides of the glass and leaves sheets of lacing.

Toasted malt and hazlenut with a nice herbal hop aroma. Rather tame in the nose.

Toasted malt up front that is quickly overpowered by a citrus and grassy hop. A little but of nuttiness in the flavor and the finish. The finish is dominated by a citrus and herbal hop bitterness with a touch of roasted malt.

Very light and drinkable feel to it for a darker ale.

A nice beer for a sunny winter day. Easy drinking and good bright and warm flavors.

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Photo of genitempo
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours deep, deep dark amber. Tanned head with sparse but steady lace.

S - Sugary and caramel undertones with hoppy overtones, nothing overly potent on the nose.

T - The taste synchronizes with the scent very well. Roasted sugars with a refreshing amount of hops, not overly bitter, but bitterness is present. However, the cascades/centenniels leave a fresh zest, but a watery washout on the back end.

MF - Encompasses the taste buds very well. A bit of carbonation jolt while the brew navigates.

O - Decent, but I won't be seeking it out next Winter. There are plenty more seasonal releases from New Belgium that will end up in my stock though.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a ruby brown color with tremendous foam that dies down into a crisp layer. Seems like an interesting brew—certainly the appearance is nothing like what I had expected from an (ostensibly) wheat beer.

The aroma has a noticeable roast followed by an almost lactic hint of tartness, like a milk stout.

While the aroma was engaging the taste didn’t match up.

While roasty & smooth with rough edges that have that characteristic wheated sweetness it just didn’t come together. Unfortunately, the flavor collapses as it warms. I went from liking this brew to disliking it to finding it ok. But it’s not one I’d have again.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark, dark brown. Nice creamy yellowish head with decent retention and some lacing.

S - Caramel, malts, raisins, spices.

T - Malty, chocolate, caramel, toasted grains.

O - This is a decent winter warmer selection, but not much bite or any characteristics that actually stand out. Even with all the different flavors, it is seemingly one note. Meh. I'm one and done with this one.

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Photo of Giggy
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark garnet color much like cola. Light tan head with good retention.

S: Sweet hops, pine, and caramel.

T: Dark coffee, nutty, hoppy, pine, and chocolate.

M: Slightly sweet with a dry finish.

O: Full bodied. Much better than other New Belgium beers.

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Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.