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Snow Cap | Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

505 Reviews
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Snow CapSnow Cap

Brewed by:
Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
Washington, United States | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Deep mahogany in color, our full-bodied winter warmer is brewed in the spirit of British winter ales. Crafted with a flurry of roasted chocolate and caramel malts, and generously hopped, it delivers a smooth finish that makes this beer the perfect cold weather companion.

Added by Jason on 11-11-2001

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Reviews: 505 | Ratings: 856
Photo of riversider76
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with a one finger tan head. Good retention, and very nice lace. Aroma is of dark fruits, and bready malts. Body is a bit on the thin side with a good amount of carbonation. Taste is fruit, with hints of citrus hops. Brown sugar and caramel malts are there as well. Warmed me up a bit!

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Photo of MadScientist
3.96/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is brown with a rich red hue and good clarity. The head is a long lasting, tan collection of mostly compact bubbles with some medium sized bubble too.

S: Moderate caramel malt aroma and light citrus hops with pine. There is a light touch of cocoa and a soft alcohol aroma. There are moderate prunes and a light bit orange esters and a faint bit of spice that add complexity.

T: A rich malt with moderate sweetness and flavors of caramel and cocoa. There is a moderately-light hops bitterness with a moderate citrus hops flavor. There is a light fruitiness of red cherries and oranges with a light yeast spice. The balance is even and the finish is moderate with a quick to finish hops bitterness and malt sweetness for an aftertaste.

M: A creamy, medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation and a light warmth.

O: A complex, warming beer great for taking the edge of a cold day. This would pair well with rich, hearty meal like beef stew or a standing rib roast. Since this beer does have spices in it I'd be inclined to call it an Old Ale.

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Photo of olfolxholme
3.02/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3


12 oz bottle into Delirium Tremens snifter

A - Nice clarity, I can see the tiny bubbles forming from the nucleation point through this dark amber beer. The color makes me think of caramel syrup for some reason. Decent 1 finger of foam, dissipates to a thin layer. Some lacing. An inviting beer.

S - Pronounced yeast and bread aromas. Almost like rising dough. Hints of mint and toasted malt.

T - Somewhat husky toasted malt flavor takes center stage. Tastes a lot like crisp toast. Yeast and mint are in the background. Some other flavors in the mix that I can't pinpoint except to say that it tastes like it's mass produced? Wish I could explain that better.

M - First sip was astringent, but overall the mouthfeel is not bad. Not luxurious by any means, though.

O - This is a decent winter warmer that I won't avoid. It's pretty easy to drink, but it's not particularly memorable. I served my beer right out of the cellar at 50 degrees. This beer might be better served cold, but ideally that wouldn't be the case, right? Probably worth trying.

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Photo of bondjedi
3.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Heavy beer, good for lazy weekends in the winter. Has a chocolatey note, gets you numb rather than buzzed. Finishing a bottle of this is like reading a well-written but dense book - ultimately satisfying and enriching, but it takes a lot of effort and an investment of time.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
2.74/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A few weeks ago, we went to The Phoenix Ale Brewery in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. We had a Groupon and got to try all of their beers. We even got to try one that he was working on that wasn’t quite finished yet. That was the best flavor of them all! We also had some HUGE pretzels and good conversation with the brewmaster. Reason why I mention them is the brewmaster came from Pyramid. We were talking and he mentioned Pyramid Breweries. Sure enough he used to work there and wanted to do something different. He ended up in Phoenix. Fine by me!

The Snow Cap is the only beer on the list from this brewing company, and I snagged a bottle before they were gone at our Total Wine & More. We did this one in the winter beer class, too. I don’t remember it… so I am looking forward to breaking the experience down here. Let’s try the Pyramid Snow Cap. (Snow makes me cold!)

In the Glass: It looks like a barleywine in the glass. It has a nice white head, and produces an acceptable lace. I can’t get over the label on the bottle, though. There are pyramids… that are snow capped. I mean, I get it. But that is not the meaning behind this beer. Speaking of the label, upon further research on Google (images, mostly) it appears the label has changed over the year. This is a bottle purchased in 2012, so this is the latest label.

Nose: There isn’t much going on here. It has a weak nose that has subtle malt characteristics toward the end. But nothing to write home about. A second whiff had my nose deep in the glass, and those subtle malt hints are all I am getting. For a winter warmer, I expected a better bigger nose.

Flavor: We are drinking this cold, and I keep going back to the style. Most winter beers are big, thick, and provide a powerful flavor. This one doesn’t. This one just sort of sits there and doesn’t do much. When I read “old ale” I think of barleywines and higher ABV beers. Beers that you can and should cellar. This is only 7%, and I wouldn’t suggest cellaring this more than a year. The burp is better than the flavor in the beer.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is decent. We are drinking this cold, so that might have something to do with it. There are also a lot of bubbles here. A lot of unexpected bubbles. It’s not as thick as I expected, either.

Aftertaste: This is the best part of the beer. Those chocolate malts they use are really present in the finish. They just sit on the tongue and leave a nice lasting dark fruit flavor on your palate. It sticks around for a while, too.

There were a LOT of winter beers this year. This isn’t one of my favorite. I typically don’t like Pyramid beers. They have an apricot beer that was just OK. Their summer beer this year was weak. They always just seem to be mediocre at best. If you are like me, and want to try all of the winter beers, go ahead. But this isn’t something I would buy again unless it was on sale.

Snow Cap – The bottle says: “Deep mahogany in color, our full-bodied winter water is brewed in the spirit of British winter ales. Crafted with a flurry of roasted chocolate and caramel malts, and generously hopped, it delivers a smooth finish that makes this beer the perfect cold weather companion.”

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.81/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dark Hazy Brown with quite a bit of carbonation. Head is filmy looking and sticks around for about a minute or so. Finishes clean with no lacing

Smell - Caramel, Figs, Malts, Hops, Butterscotch and Toffee. Very sweet smelling without giving off a boozy scent.

Taste - Caramel, Barley, Hops, Figs, and Malts. Aftertaste is on the bittersweet side.

Mouthfeel - Body is light with a molasses feel to it. Carbonation is rather moderate and adds some depth to the flavor. And drinking this gives me that warming sensation that I expect; Very nice.

Overall - A decent ale. The flavor is not as rich as the smell is, but it's still fairly good or drinkable at the very least.

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Photo of papaglide
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber in color. Very thin head leaves nice lacing around my glass

Slightly herbal nose, some licorice, spiciness notes

Very nice balance in the taste. Very light malt for the color, hop bitterness is evened out by the malty bread like flavor. Carbonation is low which is nice. The finish is a subtle spiciness(anise, nutmeg?) with a small dose of hop bitterness followed by a beautiful alcohol warmth! The subtleness of the spices are what set this ale apart from others that I've tried.

Average mouthfeel for the style.

Overall, this is a nice example of the style that I will be returning to in the future. If you enjoy the Winter Warmer style of ale, check this out you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of bmwats
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Medium brown. Pours a slight, bubbly head. Disappears quickly. Some nice beer ring lacing.

S: Light malt, fresh tea leaves, and a little molasses.

T: A little bitter pecan shell, a little sourdough bread, and just a hint of sweetness.

M: Light, but hearty. Bitterness lingers throughout.

D: Not much resistance.

Atmosphere is okay. Decent hue, underwhelming head, and just a bit of lacing that mostly retreats back in the body of the brew. Nose is nondescript combination of malts with a little fresh tea and a hint of sweetness. Flavor follows suit with a light combination of earthy malt, bitter pecan shells, offset with just the lightest sweet hint. Overall, this is a fair quaff.

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Photo of dexterk1
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium brown color when poured with a decent amount of head. Maybe a hint of red as well.
Odor is somewhat sweet and malty. A hint of molasses or caramel.
Taste is sweet and malty at first with a lot of caramel, toffee, nuttiness and spice. Hops are there more toward the middle end. End leaves you with pleasant sweet flavor similar to beginning. Mouth feel is pretty smooth. I would say medium body and finishes nicely.
Overall, I think it is a good solid winter time beer.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A good finger of light tan head. Semi-clear brown colored body.
Smell is rich caramel, toffee, bread and yeast. Great balance.
Taste is malt sweet beginning to middle, then the medium bitterness takes over with a long finish.
Crisper texture, medium body and moderate carbonation.
Enjoyable with great flavor.

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Photo of mnrider
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Brown Bottle. "Enjoy By" on label. Twist Off.

A: Pours a deep mahogany with two fingers of light brown foamy head.
Pretty good retention but no lacing at all.

S: Sweet toasted malts of caramel and chocolate. Just a hint of hops.

T/M: Full bodied with noticeable carbonation yet goes down smooth.
More of the toasted caramel and chocolate. Warming alcohol is nice
and the hop presence comes through more now. The finish is
bittersweet and pleasant.

O: A solid Winter Warmer. All of the ingredients flow great together.
The higher ABV is nice and not over powering. Well worth a try.


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Photo of PdxBeerGeek
4.07/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark and Malty with a nice finish and hoppy flavor..a truly great winter warmer.. one of my favorite tasting winter beers. its light enough to drink but still has a dark flavor. the complexity of flavor is a true experience and shows that pyramid knows how to brew beer! i love portland microbrews

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Photo of socon67
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Mad Moose BBQ in Binghamton.

A - Pours a light brown with a red hue to it. Some white foam that quickly disappears. Small rings of lacing arounf the glass.

S - Scents of sweet bakery cakes (honey, sugar, molasses) and some baking spices.

T - Sone initial sweetness gives to a warming brun in the finish. Slightly acidic finish is noted. The hop profile I found to be tempered and mildly bitter.

M - Good beer to have with a meal. This is balanced well and with minimal carbonation.

O - There are others in this style I tend to like much more (Old Fezziwig...) but wouldn't mind having this again.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a minimal head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a crimson brown color with great clarity and visions of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Toasted malts, mocha, caramel, toffee, and molasses.

Taste: All of the above with a lot of lingering bitterness. Some spiciness, but lost to the high amount of hops used in this beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, lingering chalky feeling in the back of the mouth, medium carbonation, medium bodied.

Overall: Not bad for a winter warmer, but I would choose others over this one.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, nuts, some hops and a touch of spice.

T: The taste starts with a hearty malt character that is followed by sweet flavors of fruit and caramel. Then a decent hops presence for the style comes in and creates a decent balance. There are some background flavors of nuts and chocolate. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Thin off-white head on top of a mahogany body with high clarity. Surprisingly long retention for how thin the head was. Nice lacing. Fairly appealing looking. On second pour the head was thicker and fluffier.

S- Toffee, hazelnuts, molasses. Typical winter warmer smell with maybe a touch more roasted scents in the body.

T- Bitter tastes, roast flavors. Fairly well developed. I enjoy this beer. Nuttiness, earthy hops and roast malts.

M- Creamy and thick. Warming on the palate with a bitter, dry linger.

My expectations were exceeded. Tasty and highly drinkable. Above average.

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Photo of khooke
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark red/amber, foamy/soapy head, 1 finger after pour into pint glass. lace is soapy/sudsy, doesn't last on side of glass
S: fruity, almost fermenting red grape aroma
T: roasted malts initially, then get a sweet fruity aftertaste. some noticeable alcohol, comes and goes with the fruitiness
M: noticeable carbonation initially in mouth, disperses quickly, not distracting. there's a developing bitterness that become apparent ass the flavors disperse, but not unpleasant

overall: a superbly complex winter beer. I found myself trying to place the fruitiness, but found it hard to pick out any specific flavors. that said, it's interesting and keeps me coming back for more :-)

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Photo of buschbeer
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It is ruddy brown with deep amber highlights. About two inches of tan head perfectly tops of the glass.

S - I get some ripe, sweet cherry, a little cocoa, and some alcohol as it warms.

T - It starts out tasting almost like chocolate covered cherries. Then, surprisingly, comes some hops to leave a mildly bitter finish.

M - Moderate to thin

O - It surprised me with the hop finish. It's a decent beer that I would try again.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.18/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark reddish brown, dark, with touches of foam remaining. Some bubbles. Light smell. Some cherry fruit. Faint chocolate. Taste opens as a wall of hop, some dark chocolate, some raspberry. Bittering really remains and creates a problematic aftertaste. Good flavor in here, but just too bitter to really enjoy.

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Photo of jtierney89
2.3/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark burnt amber with a little bit of haze and rocky off white head. Dark fruits and sugar plums on the nose.

Full body. Has some qualities that remind me of a weizenbock. Sweet dark fruits, a little watery on the tongue. Balance is there but a touch on the sweet side. Concise flavors that blend well together but its nothing wowing. In fact its quite a simple beer. Underlying notes of roasted malts as the beer warms a bit but mostly fruity. Drinkable but wouldn't buy it again just cause there are better options.

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Photo of mastodonj
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- reddish dark amber, mahogany? Nice head and lacing
S-some spice, caramel, smoky
T- full complex
M- excellent, more clean than chewy
Overall, this is very similar to Avery's Old Jubilation. Just a little more subtle
I would definitely choose it as a winter warmer anytime, well worth the time.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Enjoy by 031113.

A: Pours a dark ruby brown with a 1 finger dense off white head. Some real small bubbles visible in the body. Head is gone in a few minutes and leaves a touch of lacing.

S: Light chocolate malt aroma with a hop and dark fruit backing. A little banana from the yeast

T: Pretty tame, chocolate with a hoppy backing. Nothing that makes you go wow, but nothing that tastes off.

M: Average body with mild carbonation. Pretty easy drinking. Maybe a tad sticky.

Overall pretty drinkable that I think most people would enjoy. Outshined by many others in the winter warmer category.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a dark, deep, ruby-brown coloring with a frothy, off-white head that starts tall but quickly rescinds into a filmy coating. Aromas of malt sweetness, both rich and slightly spiced. Subtle old world fruit aromas fill the nostrils, while light nutmeg and cinnamon spicings highlight. Flavors are heavy and rich, with date and fig starting the ride. Chocolate profiles come shortly after, with an overall roasted backbone. The body is kept light by the carbonation levels, keeping all the rich and heavy flavors in check. Rich, slightly dark and cloying finish with a date/fig/raisin aftertaste. Not bad, and not overly boozey for a warmer.

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Photo of Tone
3.51/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 5/4 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, alcohol, strong sweet malt, slight pale malt, slight caramel malt, and a hint of yeast. Fits the style of a Winter Warmer. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with a high carbonation level. Tastes of strong sweet malt, slight caramel malt, hops, hint of roasted malt, slight alcohol, hint of pale malt, and slight yeast. Overall, good blend, aroma, and body. The high carbonation level in this brew was a detriment.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.24/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12-oz. bottle into a pint glass at my house on Oct. 7, 2012 (purchased at BevMo in La Mesa (San Diego, Calif.) as part of a winter variety 12-pack for $15.99 (with card) on Oct. 5, 2012). Dark, mahogany with two fingers of khaki tan head. Below average retention all-around.

Smelled roasty nuts, toffee, caramel and chocolate. Really comes together nicely.

Tasted a bit darker overall than the smell. A lot more bitter as well. Got roasty nuts, dark chocolate, smoky fire, wood, ash, toffee, coffee, coffee beans and caramel.

Full body. Slick texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter finish.

I was a bit disappointed with this beer after liking the Chai Wheat so much. It just didn’t really do anything for me. I’ve had some better winter warmer styles.

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Snow Cap from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 505 ratings.