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Snow Cap - Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

Not Rated.
Snow CapSnow Cap

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

786 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 786
Reviews: 499
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.53%
Wants: 16
Gots: 21 | 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: 786 | Reviews: 499 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of proc
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a darkish, amber, almost brown with a very generous head. The aroma is that of malt and is slightly sweet. The taste is very good. You have a wonderful, almost rich, malty taste when you first taste the beer. This gives way to a nice kick of hops on the swallow. Balanced would be a good word, with malt going first and hops at the end.

A nice winter offering.

proc, Dec 06, 2003
Photo of jtw5877
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A welcome addition to the shelves of my local beer store. Pours a deep mohogany hue with a fluffy tan head. Smells malty with a little bit of hops and spice. Tastes very nice. Smooth maltiness with a slight spiciness and a little bit of hops in the finish. A very solid holiday brew.

jtw5877, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – No kidding, this was one of the most beautiful heads that I have ever seen. I controlled it at the pour, but it foamed up a good inch. The head was tan and substantial, pitting like molten lava. The lacing didn’t cover the glass; it left more of a complicated lattice design. This was gorgeous.

Oh, and the body was dark ruby brown, too thin to give the rating a perfect 5.0.

Smell – Musty, liquor-soaked malt, almost like whiskey with a woody character, complimented with man-made sugars and dark, ripened fruits. This smells like a mesh of browned bananas, overripe apricots, raisins, dark Bing cherries, and tons of raw sugar.

Taste – It’s a bit light at the tongue, wimping out from the nose, but good nevertheless. The big sweets and alcohol-soaked malts are there as well. Just about everything from the aroma makes it to the taste, but just lighter.

Mouthfeel – I thought that this was the ale’s weak point. The body is thin, not even medium, with a watery consistency.

Drinkability – This was a unique experience for such a mainstream brewery. It’s the first prolific ale that has even come close to the style, IMO.

Update: For 2004 they hopped this baby up with some stiff pine resin. It smells and tastes a whole lot hoppier. The mouthfeel though is still too light for the big flavors they’re packing into this beer.

RoyalT, Nov 08, 2003
Photo of Fabric8r
4.22/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The taste that reminds me of the Holidaze. I love it when this comes out each year. Correct me if I am wrong though, but this year's offering is not as hoppy as other years'. Just a wonderful winter ale for sipping by the fire watching TV. I find I can only drink one or two though, starts to taste pugnant after that. But that first sip and others are really enjoyable. Deep dark color with a hint of ruby color to it. Malty and slightly bitter aftertaste. Slight flowery nose with a good head that seems to hold on real well.

Fabric8r, Nov 04, 2003
Photo of Reidrover
4.08/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ok the winter beers continue to flood the stores washing away any lingering Oktoberfests ( like Christmas decorations winter beers seem to appear earlier every year..I am not complaining!).
Beautiful looking dark garnet beer with a nice tan head..that goes fast to leave nice laceing.
A very malty smelling brew though the EKG hops do poke through.
Taste is malty sweet and smooth with a nice bitter "kick" at the very end..lovely warmth in the throat down to the belly!.
Very very good smooth feeling beer on the palte.
A most drinkable winter brew..Pyramids best beer!

Reidrover, Oct 18, 2003
Photo of rkhaze
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Praise Jesus and pass the pint glass, the winter seasonals are showing up! Suppose I should have waited for it to cool down a bit, but what the hell. Got this on tap at the Pyramid Brewpub in Walnut Creek. Poured a beautiful reddish-amber color with a quickly dissapating head that left a thin white collar all the way down with minimal to no lacing.
Smelled of sweet roasted malts and had a nice hoppy aroma. The taste was rich roasted malts balanced by a spicy hop aftertaste with a lingering bittersweet tanginess.
Found it medium bodied for the style considering the rich taste. The alcohol (7.1%) was well hidden.
Definitely worth a try, a winter classic.

rkhaze, Oct 06, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, large white foamy head. Roasted malts, generously hopped with fuggles hops, slightly spicy. Rich full mouthfeel. Very malty, very hoppy, but still has a smooth taste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is malty and slightly bitter.

beerguy101, Sep 16, 2003
Photo of jcalabre
2.4/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I originally sampled this beer on 29 December 2001. I am writing this review from my notes.
I found this beer to be a bit 'watered' down tasting an not very pleasant. I was pretty disappointed. I may try it again in the future since my experience was nothing like a lot of other people's

jcalabre, Aug 31, 2003
Photo of BobLuvBeer
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light to medium head. Excellent combination of citrus and spice in the flavor. A very gentle overall taste, with just enough of a bite to comfort you on a cool evening. This is a very good, gonna have one beer and relax beer. A beer to be enjoyed sifted. Finishes with a coffee aftertaste.

BobLuvBeer, Jun 28, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
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!

NeroFiddled, Apr 04, 2003
Photo of PhantomVodoo
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.

PhantomVodoo, Mar 30, 2003
Photo of hyuga
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.

hyuga, Mar 10, 2003
Photo of TXHops
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.

TXHops, Jan 21, 2003
Photo of zerk
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.

zerk, Jan 06, 2003
Photo of maxpower
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.

maxpower, Jan 03, 2003
Photo of sinistersteve
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.

sinistersteve, Jan 02, 2003
Photo of bditty187
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.

bditty187, Jan 01, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
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!

feloniousmonk, Dec 30, 2002
Photo of mjohn27603
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.

mjohn27603, Dec 26, 2002
Photo of goindownsouth
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!

goindownsouth, Dec 17, 2002
Snow Cap from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 786 ratings.