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Snow Cap - Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

Not Rated.
Snow CapSnow Cap

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

772 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 772
Reviews: 499
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 15
Gots: 17 | 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)
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Ratings: 772 | Reviews: 499 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2002. A deep mahogany body with reddish highlights is capped by a short but creamy light-tan head. It's retention is limited, and it drops shortly to a thin collar and leaves only minimal spotty lacing. The nose is not very welcoming, but not exactly off-putting. It clearly displays some higher alcohols with notes of acetone/solvent and acetaldehyde. I can only believe that the fermentation was hot and fast! Beyond that there's not much: some mild maltiness, light woody/earthy character, and maybe fading spices. Fortunately, a third strike is avoided as the higher alcohols are somewhat masked in a flavor that's malty and deeply toasted with a light spiciness and a firm, resiny hop flavor. The bitterness is well entrenched and also helps to cover up its "heat". Surprisingly, it finishes quite dry but with a spot of sweet caramelized malt. Some hop bitterness lingers, but the heat of the alcohol also starts to build at the back of the throat. Disappointing. I hope I didn't wait too long to try this. However, it has a good reputation and I'll give it another shot next year!

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2003 16:04:40 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of PhantomVodoo
PhantomVodoo

Ohio

4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought the 2001 was great, but the 2002 I would only call good.

2002 pours a dark brown, mahogany color with minimal tan head.
Aroma of heavily roasted malt, spice, and alcohol.

Taste follows the aroma. Heavily roasted malt, spice, and a nice hop bite that balances this one out. Alcohol seems more evident than I recall in the 2001.

Good body and mouthfeel.
Drinkability is good, but it's not as smooth as I recall the 2001 being.

Overall, a good beer that seems like it could use a little refinement.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2003 20:07:56 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of hyuga
hyuga

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brownish-red brew with an off-white head. Head retention isn't great. Aroma is very malty, with intense caramel sweetness and toasted character. The taste is reminiscent of a doppelbock, but with lots of hops added. Sweet caramel and a little toasted malt at the front, followed by the unexpected rush of oily and leafy hop bitterness. Finish is a bit mellow, but still hoppy. Nice leafy aftertaste. Overall, this is a pretty good effort. I like the uniqueness of it.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2003 15:32:53 | More by hyuga
Photo of TXHops
TXHops

Texas

3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Original Gravity: 1.071
FG: 1.018
Calories/12 oz: 231
Real Extract: 6.73 P
Alcohol By Volume: 7.00%
Apparent Attenuation: 73.89
Malts: 2-Row Barley, Caramel, Chocolate Malt
Hops: Willamette, East Kent Goldings

Snow Cap pours a deep, deep ruby red, almost mahogany color with a medium-sized, relatively fast dissipating, almost white head. After 2 minutes, Snow Cap looks like flat coke—no head at all. The sour-apple aroma suggests over-ripened, almost rotten apples, of the sort left to sweeten and soften after being picked. There’s a lot more there than that though—I pick up cinnamon, dark brown sugar and some sort of wood, which I can’t quite put my finger on… The beer has the same sort of flavors, though it's hardly sour. The hops create a stiff bittering presence as counterpoint the apply maltiness, while still managing to have some citric, resiny, Pacific Northwest qualities. The full mouth feel is a little syrupy at times, and the finish is immensely long—like apples that have started to turn bad, and then been masked with cinnamon and sugar. All that is wrapped around a very prickly frame of intense carbonation. The long finish tastes intensely burnt, but hardly roasty—like over-caramelized sugar or perhaps molasses.

This beer ferments to an ABV of 7%, but still manages to taste like lots of the malt was left as sugar in the final product—perhaps even more than the 26% residual sugar... Perhaps the best way to describe Snow Cap's character is "green". Personally, it tastes to me like this beer could have been aged a bit more in the brewery, or even bottle conditioned to balance some of the flavors that seem to be competing with one and other instead of working together. The finish leaves a real warming presence from the alcohol, which isn’t very high, considering. It’s interesting really, as the final sensation that I’m left with is of having drunk a bit of mediocre scotch—that hot, peaty, malty, soggy flavor seems intent on living in my mouth until the toothbrush forcibly removes it.

This beer is a pretty good winter warmer (even if it does taste somewhat young), in a truly literal sense and I was able to almost enjoy my bottle in spite of my obvious pickiness. I think the most intriguing part of the beer was its odd intensity of competing flavors, each crying loudly for individual attention, then giving way to the next flavor, also crying loudly to be heard.
pickiness.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2003 19:55:54 | More by TXHops
Photo of zerk
zerk

California

3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very deep amber with a thick foamy head that eventually settles. Leaves a little bit of lace on the glass. Aroma is malty... with caramel malt, a touch of cherry, spice, and alcohol. Flavor begins and ends with a lot of malt sweetness, with some accompanying spice, a slight astringent flavor, a touch of oak, some finishing bitterness, and a warming alcohol flavor. Has a full body with a syrupy mouthfeel. A bit heavy on the sweet malt for my tastes, but a decent winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2003 20:45:45 | More by zerk
Photo of maxpower
maxpower

Missouri

3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark orange-copper color, huge foamy off white head, leaves a nice lace in the glass, malty caremel aroma, medium bodied with a light and watery mouthfeel. It does finish dry and crisp, not bad, drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2003 18:00:57 | More by maxpower
Photo of sinistersteve
sinistersteve

Oregon

3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Of all the winter ale's I've had this season, this is probably only par. Nothing outstanding, but nothing that would make it undrinkable. Dark in color, full flavored. Not a lot of hop pressence. Decent enough to try once this seasonl, but chances are I'll find something else next time I go down the beer isle.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2003 13:09:19 | More by sinistersteve
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Darkish reddish-brown, translucent around the edges, coppery highlights. Off-white head, fair retention, good lace. The nose was malty sweet with notes of citrusy hops. Alcohol is detectable. Very agreeable hoppiness, real malty body, excellent balance. This “winter warmer” does a commendable job at distinguish itself from the rest of the winter seasonal’s. Worthy of a try.

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2003 07:55:56 | More by bditty187
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crusty tan head, deep dark brown in color. Aroma: full of dark, but sweet, sensations, espresso and dark chocolate first and foremost, also burnt toast and spices. Texture is a trifle grainy at first, but mellows soon. Then, the hop bite jumps into the fray! Slightly syrupy, but big carbonation, this seems different from when I had it in bottles last year. Has the feel of an extra-hoppy brown ale, or a super-charged porter. Very warming, and very satisfying!

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2002 20:17:29 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of mjohn27603
mjohn27603

Michigan

3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color certainly looks nice in the glass, a deep reddish brown tint that you can see straight through. Aroma doesn't leave much impression. Taste is slightly bitter with a high alcohol flavor and some medicinal quality. I don't think this one would taste good warmed up. Slight green wood flavor perhaps from the hops. I bought a single for $1.49. I'm pretty glad I didn't get a whole 6 pack. Bottle is 2002 edition best before 5/9/03. A little age might not be a bad thing for this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2002 18:38:44 | More by mjohn27603
Photo of goindownsouth
goindownsouth

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very good beer. If this is what Winter / Seasonal beers are coming to, I like it. This is a nice change of pace from the normal, spicey and fruity winter-type brews I am used to trying. This brew has a very respectable head that lingers, but is quite light. The aroma has some hint of spice, but again, very subtle. This is a drinkable seasonal. Enough said. Prost!

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2002 17:13:57 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of Morris729
Morris729

Texas

4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark mahogany in color with a thin tan colored head. Nose is sweet roasted malts and lots of spice. Taste is tart apple cider, bitter chocolate and dark coffee, sweet caramel, and spice. A bit of a dry finish and the 7% alcohol makes this a nice winter warmer. This is one of the better winter brews I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2002 23:29:40 | More by Morris729
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep clear brown, minimal 1/8 inch head that reduces to a skim in 40 seconds. Nice smells, a slight sense of maple. Quickly, the flavor seems deep and slightly coffee-like with a little bit of mature raisins. The brew then turns more neutral with Goldings hops dominating the close. Pleasant, has some alcohol power and seems to be a decent offering from Pyramid. One of the better ones from this brewery and ranks pretty well among seasonals I’ve had this year.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2002 09:31:58 | More by ADR
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very festive - dark ruby chestnut with a big goldings hops nose. Lots of malt backbone to this old ale to stand up to liberal hopping. A little thick on the mouthfeel, with herbal and dark fruit hints wafting about. Well worth including in the holiday ale lineup.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2002 19:09:41 | More by Brent
Photo of putnam
putnam

Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottles bears a 15th anniversary neck label and recommends drinking by 06/17/2002. Now its November. The label was bleached out from sitting in front of the flourescent lights in the cooler.

It exhibits a good, healthy, deep brown color. There is a sweet, coffee drenched nose with Doppelbock-like malt and spice aromas. Marshmallows and brown sugar appear.

On the palate it is actually pretty well attenuated. Could bottle age be responsible? No doubt there is a super-thick, creamy texture which carries slack flavors of coffee, charred hops, marischino cherries, cinnamon and tree bark.

A medium-length finish leaves a surge of bitter spice flavors that keeps the experience dry and focused.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2002 13:33:23 | More by putnam
Photo of BeerManDan
BeerManDan

California

3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear reddish copper color and the foam despated almost immediatley. The aroma was of a malty smell mixed with a hin of pine and alcohol. The taste was of a sort of sweet malt and alcolhol ending with a pleasant bitterness that was not to over powering. But the bitterness does linger on the palate for quit awhile!

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2002 16:24:14 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown color, monumental head, frothy with tons of lace, both light chocolate in color. Malt dominates the nose, lightly floral and perfume like sweetness. Start is mostly malt, the top a medium mouth feel, the finish hop spicy, mild to moderate carbonation, fairly dry aftertaste, a decent drinking beer, well worth a sample.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2002 06:28:28 | More by Gusler
Photo of RBorsato
RBorsato

Virginia

3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2001 (15th Anniv ed.) tasted 10/02:

Bronze/Bright Amber color with good tan lasting head. Strong spicy malt aroma and flavor. Full bodied and strong with alcohol character kicking in as it warms up...

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2002 09:40:25 | More by RBorsato
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice little brown head. Very dark brew. Very warming. Dry, cedary finish. There's toffee and mellow caramel notes. Hints of mocha also. Very nicely balanced brew. Strong too. Has been a staple in my winter beer selection for about 5 years now.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2002 16:35:49 | More by Bighuge
Photo of John
John

New York

4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably Pyramid's best brew. Toasted grain aroma with essence of prune. Semi sweet full body. A nice winter seasonal and good all around changeup from the usual.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2002 11:38:21 | More by John
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

-Nice sweet English old ale style...mahogony in color...faint malt smell...bit of alcohol aroma towards the finish..not oversweet with nice hop balance... toasty grains evident with a bit of a dry finish...nicely balanced beer with a lot of character..

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2001 12:13:00 | More by ZAP
Photo of BKotch
BKotch

Texas

3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite winter seasonal, bar none (even Celebration Ale). Sadly, Snowcap hasn't made it to Houston the last couple of years. A deep red-amber color, a perfect malt/hops balance, and at $5.80 a six-pack, it ties the late lamented Celis White for all-time beer bargain. I'm getting really worked up just writing about it. Bring it back!

2004 update. The above was written when the principal hops in Snowcap was Fuggles. The last few years, the beer has made it back to Houston, but now Pyramid is now using East Kent Golding. Less earthy, a little more piney, it just ain't the same. Bring back the beer I remember!

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2001 21:35:04 | More by BKotch
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Snow Cap from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 772 ratings.