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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: 1,411
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 27.76%
Wants: 32
Gots: 81 | 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: 1,411
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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Photo of punky796
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Very, very dark drown, almost Guinnes-dark. Can only see through if you hold it up to light. About a finger and a half of caramel-colored head.

S - Pleasantly hoppy, but not to the degree of, say, an IPA. Kinda bready, with a little bit of caramel scent, too.

T - Not quite as hoppy as the smell might make you think, but a good balance. Malty and peaty with hops on the side, sort of. Coffee taste, too.

M - Relatively heavy with a medium-low amount of carbonation, Goes down pretty smoothly with a good aftertaste. Not bitter.

O - The new midnight wheat ingredient is intriguing. If the rest of New Belgium's stuff is this good, I'm excited.

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

Vigorously poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. Best before February 24th, 2013.

Dark yet clear burnt umber body with brighter orange/brown highlights; the active fist of dark beige foam establishes a dense merengue-like tower before collapsing like a souffle. Excellent retention and thick, soapy, lasting lacing.

The Styrian Goldings add a distinctive, pleasant, and pungent kick of woodsy spiciness to bouquet of citrus and pine brought forward by the C-hops. An inviting and pervasive aroma that draws you right in.

Potent orange and forest floor elements from the hops are first on the palate - as you try to teast apart the further complexities provided by the hops, the wheat malt begins to sing (albeit back-up) leading you into the gentle earthy finish. Moderately bitter throughout with a hint of tartness and spice in the aftertaste suggestive of leaf litter and more vaguely, clove spiked orange-peel. The malt is very smooth and subtle, but at the risk of being bland.

Creamy, medium-light bodied, soft yet well carbonated mouth-feel. No astringency or heat present.

After earlier disappointments with some of New Belgium's seasonal ales, I wasn't expecting much out of this beer - but it is actually well crafted and a solid version of the style, though the roastiness I've come to expect is almost completely sacrificed to make way for the more subtle notes from the hops (which are show-cased very well I'll admit). Maybe more of an Autumn than a Winter ale, but tasty none-the-less.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a one finger tan head that stick around for a while. A subtle amount of lace down the glass.

S: Herbal hop aromas, mint, maple, some baking spice and some dark bread. Interesting smell.

T: A moderate earthy hop bite upfront followed by some rye tasting malts and black pepper. A touch of malt sweetness towards the end with some earthy spice. An interesting beer but probably not something I'd do again.

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

Snow Day is a beer that’s intrigued me ever since I first saw the label. I imagined a winter warmer, but now that I see it’s an American black ale, I’ve even more intrigued; there hasn’t been a beer in this style that’s been totally satisfying yet.

Best-by date is three months after the date of this tasting (“BEST BEFORE 10FEB13”).

A: Deep coffee black-brown body with only a speck of light showing through, contrasted by a light tan head of silky cream. Milky, thin retention with delicate strands of lacing.

S: And here’s the hallmark of every black ale I’ve come across so far: roasted barley, big and peaty. Not my favorite aroma, so I’m glad it’s thoroughly mixed with vanilla icing, buttery maple, and deep fudge tones. And with sweet breads churning around throughout, it has a supremely satisfying pastry character – seriously, it’s like walking into a doughnut shop. Cool hop bite of mint, juniper, and orange zest before it settles out with graham cracker, cinnamon-sugar, and molasses scents. This is one bold, appetizing nose.

T: Not sweet enough to be a dessert beer, not bitter enough to be considered dry; this beer is right in the middle, and it’s great. Fudgy brownie, warm cinnamon butter, and weightless vanilla converge in a foray of pie crust and biscuit. Roasted barley is evident, but not at all a primary flavor. Kicks in with tart hop profile of citrus, mint, juniper, and dry pine, lightening up on the sugars. Honey, molasses, and earthy oatmeal raisin appear before a malty aftertaste, lingering with dense chocolate flavor.

M: Thick and smooth, but not chewy; the big malt presence is palpable. Foamy carbonation.

O: New Belgium just keeps getting better. My first experience with Ranger and Fat Tire fell flat, but it’s been good ever since then – great, even. This is a lovely winter beer, one I couldn’t see myself getting tired of by the end of the six-pack.

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Photo of sam_bliss
3.29/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pint glass.

A- Deep dark brown with a hint of red. Surprisingly close to translucent for such a dark-colored brew. Small white head that doesn't last long. Perhaps a bad pour by the bartender?

S- Smells of caramel and evergreen. A waft of wild stalky grasses permeates.

T- Tastes like hoppy coffee. Caramel and a bit of burnt toast round out the experience. It's a bit sweeter than the nose implied.

M- Malty but not too thick in the mouth. This ale goes down clean and leaves some dark chocolate bitterness.

This is dark and almost porter-like. If you're a porter lover, this is a quality winter ale. I like it, but wish it were a bit more robust either in the sweet malts or the piney hops.

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