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Snow Cap - Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

Not Rated.
Snow CapSnow Cap

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

781 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 781
Reviews: 499
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.53%
Wants: 16
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pyramid Breweries, Inc. visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.00% ABV

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.

(Beer added by: Jason on 11-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 781 | Reviews: 499 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alexgash
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cola brown with a touch of red and a creamy tan head. Smells of sweet bready malts, vanilla, and cinnamon. Taste starts with rich, toasted, sweet malts, light caramel, and vanilla. Finsh is roasty bitter with lingering sweet vanilla and I can taste the alcohol. The best Pyramid brew in my opinion.

alexgash, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a real mahogany color. One-finger head dies abruptly leaving no lace.
Aroma is dominated by brown sugar and caramel and some tarter fruits
Flavor is sweet malt, hint of wood, faint charcoal and earth with some flowery hop notes.
Mouthfeel is very smooth upfront then slides into a spicy but bitter finish. Intersting sweet aftertaste.
Drinkability is pretty high, much better that I remembered.

CRJMellor, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of beertaster13
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pyramid Snow Cap is by far the best that pyramid offers. The apperance is of mahogany brown with a darker tannish head. The head slows down to a thin layer as you drink. Lacing will drift as you drink as well. Smell is of little malts and very fruity, some hops come into play towards the end. Taste is a little bitter but not in a bad way. Fruit and hops blast in the end and a great malty end. Feels full and flavorful in the mouth. On a cold day a very warming beverage. Ah got to love winter.

beertaster13, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of zacharius
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown with amber tints with an off white head sitting on top. Smell is frutty with a hint of skunkness. Taste is of sweet syurpy with a bitterness almost balanced but too sweet. Mouthfeel is ok but the beer could use finer bubbles. Drinkability is good especially when you consider the ABV.

zacharius, Feb 23, 2004
Photo of pezoids
2.15/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This poured a very deep and dark ruby/burgundy color with a thin white head that left literally no lace behind. The aroma is straight up cherry Robotussin. Yuck! It doesn’t get much better in the taste. Too sticky and syrupy sweet. Intense fruity bite without much of a malt presence. This beer is unbalanced and not that drinkable. It’s full of fruit flavor, but is bitter, acidic and tannic. I really tried but couldn’t find much I liked about this beer. No thanks.

pezoids, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
2.7/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a completely non-descript brown. Decent smell, but I don't think it had the guts to back it up. Hints of an abbey dubbel? That was definitely out-of-place. Too much spice bite for me to keep going; it left me with flavors of raw chemicals. I was enjoying the pizza more than the beer tonight.

I can see how some would like it, but I can't see anyone hogging a full six pack to themselves. Funny, that seems to be the norm for my experience with Pyramid.

watermelonman, Feb 14, 2004
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - a nice amber brown, "mahogany" per the label. Okay... Nice, one finger head, light tan in color. Reduces to a solid covering and holds there well.

Aroma - fruity presence is easy to pick up on, maltiness a bit less so, but not challenging. Sort of like fruitcake.

Taste - big taste! A very malty and hoppy blast right up front. The malt side has some fruity sweetness to help, though it is a bit muted. No match for the hops, however. Slightly metallic, but mostly bitter grapefruit rind. Minimal hop fruit/floral feel and quite prevalent. If you drink and swallow without holding it in your mouth, the balance is better. Finish is substantially bitter, but for some reason seems shallow and undeveloped. A pretty good beer and the malt/hops effect right off the bat is fairly unique, but the aftertaste leaves a final impression that I really don't care for.

Mouthfeel - heavy beer, thick feeling, par for the style. Good carbonation level. Residue is somewhat metallic and dry.

Drinkability - Not really a session beer. Not really even all that great due to the aftertaste, but a good enough all-arounder. The 6-pack will easily be quaffed in its entirety and enjoyed forthwith.

brewdlyhooked13, Feb 12, 2004
Photo of Chaz
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tan head of moderate duration with plenty of clingy lace around the side of the glass. Dark amber/chestnut in color, with adequate carbonation. Nose evinces a notable tangy/sourness alongside abundant fruity esters, a hint of rich malt, and another hint of alcohol. Bitter/crisp, bursting with fruit, and tingly carbonation, all at first sip. Mouthfeel is full and smooth but lively, aromatics are good, and hints of pale biscuity malt are not altogether eclipsed by the alcohol. A wonderful lingering bitterness is accentuated by hop spiciness here, a noted change from the buttery quality of years past. Although generous (7%) the alcohol is on-par for the style, and while this offering from Pyramid has been reliably consistent over the years, until now (2003 Edition / East Kent Goldings) emphasis on Hop variety wasn’t incorporated into the label. This is a batch to cellar well into the new year.

Chaz, Feb 10, 2004
Photo of stodbrew
2.45/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Very nice appearance. Deep red color. Short lasting head.

Aroma had some hops and alcohol. Smelled autolyzed.

Flavor was very much autolyzed. Meaty, yeasty, brothy flavor. Some good malt/hop flavors but the autolysis detracted from the malt and hops. Bad bottle?

stodbrew, Feb 08, 2004
Photo of JackTheRipper
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at D's in Pittsburgh.

Appearance: Pours a deep garnet/brown color with a thin head, little lacing.

Smell: Spicy, raison like smell.

Taste: Heavy malty sweetness with a spicy cinnamon/raison taste.

Mouthfeel: This is a big, chewy beer that lingers. Long hoppy finish. Alcohol is very upfront, seems like more than the stated value.

Drinkability: This is a pretty potent beer for a seasonal, reminds me more of a barleywine than a winter seasonal. Seems a bit too heavy for the style.

JackTheRipper, Feb 03, 2004
Photo of WetCoaster
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very nice. This beer pours a deep ruby/mahogany with a nice off-white head that lasts for a quite a while. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Oddly mild. The malt is there, for sure, with perhaps some spice, but nothing that really stands out, especially given the relative heaviness of this beer.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very well-balanced beer. Starts with a rich, sweet malt that coats the tongue, with a hint of smoke. Finishes with a nicely astringent, spicy hop bite with a hint of alcohol heat. For a 7 percent ABV beer, though, the alcohol is very well concealed. It does add to a very rich, satisfying mouthfeel. Carbonation is a bit sharp, though.

Drinkability: For a "big" beer, this is an extremely well-mannered, easy-to-drink brew. While the Pyramid offerings are not the most popular on this site, it's hard to deny the quality of this one. Well done.

WetCoaster, Feb 01, 2004
Photo of geokills
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the dark color on this brew. I poured this from a bottle I had in a "Brewer's Box" (assortment of Pyramid brews) into a pint glass and was presented with a small tan head that quickly disappated. Carbonation is on par and this beer goes down easy with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Nice and potent, I would not mind drinking this again.

geokills, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of kbub6f
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The head on this beer is biggish and tan. It's a little fizzy, but dies slowly nonetheless. The beer is dark, dark, garnet/brown and there is some sticky, clumpy lacing. That's strange. There's a sourish note in the caramel nose. The front shows lots of fruit. You know, it kind of tastes like Twizzlers (strawberry licorice)! The middle is more tart, a little sour and shows some deep caramel. There's only a touch of the fruity sweetness from the front. Finally, there's a quite bitter finish: some bitter cocoa and alcohol aplenty. It's not bad. It seemed more aggressive last year on tap at the brewpub in Seattle.

kbub6f, Jan 18, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is reminscent of a ton of other mediocre winter brews that I have tried this season. This brew was a murky brown colour with a small head of off-white foam. The aromas were heavily malty, with some spices and booze in there as well. The taste was quite malty with some nice hopping going on as well. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and the drinkability was just OK.

francisweizen, Jan 04, 2004
Photo of beergeek279
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is a dark amber, with a bubbly white head. The smell is a nice mix of hops and malt. The taste is nicely hoppy, and has a very strong and noticable malt body to it. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, could definitely have a few.

I wasn't expecting much from this beer (with Pyramid's reputation), but this is surprisingly good, and better than some other winter "old ales" that I've had this season. Surprisingly, one I'll probably have next year.

beergeek279, Jan 03, 2004
Photo of babyhobbes
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured with very little head. It's color is deep mahogany/brown. The smell was mostly of alcohol with slight spice. It feels thin in the mouth and has no spice taste. It tastes okay, but certainly isn't something I'd want more than once. This wasn't what I expected for a winter brew.

babyhobbes, Jan 02, 2004
Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2003 vintage... a low tan head formed when poured into a pint glass. This brew was a dark nut brown color with an orange-red hue. Smelled strongly of roasted hazelnuts and wet wool! This one had big flavors of stong roastiness and toasted nuts with an assertive hop punch wrapping around it. Well balanced with lingering roastiness and hops. I found it to be quite enjoyable in the absence of imperial porters or stouts in my mug. It had a medium smooth body...good. I found it to be quite drinkable. This one had a lot of oomph and was flavorful enough to keep me interested the whole way through. Good winter brew.

HiroProtagonist, Jan 02, 2004
Photo of Maestro
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a decent winter brew. Very dark brown in color. The nose is somewhat hoppy. There is little to no head but a good bit of lacing. The hop profile is great and combines well with the carbonation. The malt is a little boring. The alcohol is 7% and is hidden quite well. I like this beer but it is a very typical "seasonal ale". Nothing stands out very much.

Maestro, Dec 31, 2003
Photo of benmiliron
2.5/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A very nice color, dark red brown. Standard xmas beer spice smell, nice. Taste is a rush of alcohol that's not really masked well by the bitter malts and hops. The spices are notable, but really in the background. I'd skip this and get the Sam Adams winter lager if I were you.

benmiliron, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany with no head to speak of,aroma is on the sweetish side with some light nuttines.Taste is also on the sweeter side with some dried fruit flavors the hops become present for me after a few sips with the alcohol flavors really coming thru.For an old ale for one its pretty hoppy and two is very easy to drink for the alcohol content,I like this style and this one is pretty darn good.

oberon, Dec 23, 2003
Photo of HardTarget
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Some spices, (cinnamon and all spice?) on a malt base
Appearance: Nice deep amber/brown with a short lived tan head. Traces of lace.
Flavor: Well balanced, starts with a slight malt sweetness, quickly over run with hop infused alcohol. Some of the spices come back in the aftertaste, but very mildly. The alcohol taste is very present.
Mouthfeel: Some alcohol tingle/burn in the aftertaste. A medium body beer.
Overall Impression: A good balance, but unfortunately leaves it in the middle of the road. When you get this good of a balance, it should allow more subtle flavors to step forward. A zesty yeast, complex spices, something. This beer just leaves it there and doesn’t seem to have that POW factor. Humble suggestions to brewer: try a different yeast, up the spices a bit. Humble suggestions to consumer: give this a try, but don’t go too far out of your way to find it.
TheLongBeachBum (see below) does a better job on the review.

HardTarget, Dec 18, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: A 12 fluid ounce brown glass bottle that came into my possession during the recent San Diego Strong Ale Festival from fellow Gentleman BA Sir Richard the Lionheart, also known on his Spanish conquests as xlperro. A colorful looking label shows a pair of snowcap covered Pyramids. The neck label states that this is the 2002 offering, indeed, it has an “Enjoy Before Date of 04/14/03” on the back of the neck label – Ah, What the Heck? The main label lists the beer as 7.0%. Had a Screw Top that I prized off – why do I always miss these buggers??

Appearance: A Chestnut brown body that exhibited a slight haze underneath a medium brown colored soft head that formed a continuous ¼” minimum Collar which stays through the drink. Decent levels of conditioning and some nice light lacing. Good appearance throughout.

Nose: Alcoholic malts with some musty damp wood hints. Not that many spices in this aged offering sadly – have they disappeared I wonder? Some chocolate hints and crushed brown sugar.

Taste: Malty start with a liquorice middle that leaves a light aniseed tingle on the tongue at times. Spicy middle that lies low but is discernable right through to the end. Slight bitterness and some soft spicy hops in the back end. A rounded beer that exhibited good levels of malts with depressed hops and spices interspersed with slivers of sweetish chocolate, but I liked this mature numbed down character somehow.

Mouthfeel: Average, maybe it lost some depth over the last few months, but it still has a fantastically smooth feel on the cheeks whilst leaving a lingering light aniseed feel to the tongue.

Drinkability: Not bad at all, it was a simple first beer of the night, I know it’s a good one when I get to this part of the Review and it has already all been imbibed and I am staring at an empty Glass. Onto the next beer then!

Overall: Highly enjoyable and a nice surprise, I was expecting an aged tired old out-of-date beer but was pleasantly taken aback.

The label says “Drink it while you can because when the snow’s gone so’s the Snow Cap”. I just checked the Beach – damn, sure enough, all the snow has gone - looks like there will be no more Snow Cap for me then. Well unless, BigDog has got anymore that is!

Cheers Sir Richard – this was a nice one.

TheLongBeachBum, Dec 16, 2003
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Out of the tap, the beer was dark ruby brown with a decent amount of head. The aroma was alcohol and maltiness. The flavor was malty with hoppy bitterness and the finish was bitter dry and alcoholic. It's drinkability was average.

It's been been a few years since I have had this beer, and somehow I remember it being better.

Notes from SMA Holiday Beer and Blugrass Festival:
"Snowcap is a proud tribute to the potent winter ales traditional to Great Britain. Deep mahogany in color and full of complex flavors, Snow Cap combines specially roasted barley, malts and aromatic hops for a robust winter brew that is an ideal choice for the holiday season."

GCBrewingCo, Dec 14, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.95/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Deep ruby almost takes on a deep purple tone with a nice creamy textured tan head nice sized at that, with nice even ringed lacing patterns. Aroma: A bit dull but I can pick out some toasted malts, mild spicing, some finishing hops and of course a kick of alcohol in the nose here. Taste: Soft sweetness starts to roll of the tip of the tongue then suddenly I hit a road block it finishes with a strong overbearing onesided flavor a bit soapy and hoppy but mainly bitterness comes through not any flavoring from the hops. Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body compared to most winter ales this one lacks body and the carbonation seems a bit spritzy. Drinkability: Worth a try because it's winter time and there's so many awesome brews to choose from I don't want to overlook anything, but I could have gone without this one just not that enjoyable for me.

WVbeergeek, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of granger10
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had many better strong ales than this one. It poured nice with an opaque darkness and good sized bubbling head. But the actually beer was not the best. It was balanced but the flavors seemed a little dull. Not much depth and alcohol was a little too strong. The spices seemed to be missing, isn't this a winter beer? Improved as it warmed and the flavors melded better together but all in all, not as good as I had hoped.

granger10, Dec 06, 2003
Snow Cap from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 781 ratings.