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Snowstorm 2008 - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Snowstorm 2008Snowstorm 2008

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

57 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 57
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 9.34%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Bock |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Beer Style: Weihnachtsbier

Flavor/Color Profile: Snow Storm 2008 was designed with the cold days of winter in mind. Reddish-brown in color with a complex maltiness yielding hints of spicy rye, sourdough and chocolate. Brewed with nine different malts, including copious amounts of Munich and a touch of Rye.

(Beer added by: morimech on 10-24-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from my friend Michelle who was visiting her folks in Minny. Served in a pilsener glass. I think this is my first bock review, so I'm not totally sure what to expect from the style.

A - This is one nice looking brew. Three fingers of slow-dissolving light tan foam that leaves rings of lacing behind. The brew itself is a cherry wood stain color with a hint of orange. Lots of bubbles cascade upwards.

S - Malt, bready yeast (almost sourdough-y), a hint of chocolate and rye. The malt character exudes a toffee and caramel sweetness. It's got some good strength as well, as I can smell it a few inches from the glass.

T - There's quite a bit more rye in the taste - there's an omnipresent bitter sour quality as a result that lingers into the aftertaste. I get some toffee sweetness at the tip and sides of my tongue, along with an bread flavor throughout. Nice balance.

M - Medium body, not overly carbonated (which was a surprise from how it looked), smooth, creamy. There's a little bit of residual stickiness that complements the caramel flavors.

D - I don't think this is my favorite style of brew, but it goes down easy and the ABV is relatively low. If my apartment was colder I might be more interested in this brew, but my landlord keeps the heat at an ungodly level (thus fueling my love affair with IPAs).

Recommended for anyone who wants a winter beer without the usual nutmeg and cinnamon flavors.

MasterSki, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of DocTheDJ
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had heard a few good things about this beer so I thought that I would give it a try out of a 12 variety/trial pack from Schell.

Poured into a lg mouth 16oz pilsner from the bottle. (at a nice warmish temp)

Look: Big Wow! on the pour had to slow down the pour in this type of glass. Plenty of tan lite foamy creamy looking head (2 inches strong). Settles to a very well retained head that stays till nearly the last drink. Lacing is very nice all the way through.

Smell: 1st wiff and man I can't wait for a drink now! Smells of a nice rich (slighty roasted)malt, carmely or candied brown sugar?, a nice spicey (rye?) scent and a small bit dark/red fruity acidicness, hint of chocolaty goodness to.

Taste: What can I say the smell gave some indication but the taste was exceptional! Bitterness matches the sweetness perfect in my mouth and all of it's goodness is still present in the aftertaste. Balanced to perfection in my opinion and no other beer I've had so far have I loved the taste as much. Words realy can't put this one to justice in my opinion.

Mouthfeel- Lighter than I thought it would be but much smoother than I thought it would be as well. Carbonation is a great match and even has a little bit of a sting.

Overall: Went for the 2nd Snowstorm beer in this trial pack right after the 1st. Highly drinkable because it's not to heavy! If I'ld had a six-er I'ld have drank em' ALL. I think this could be a great seller for my Native Minnesota Brewer, Schell. Solid "A"

DocTheDJ, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of Pauly2X
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Solid ruby mahogany hue with a solid half finger head.

S- Clean carmel malts with a light astringent note.

T- Caramel maltyness with a light nutty character upfront. More complexity comes through toward the middle with a very slight chocolatey note and some spicyness. A light touch of hops comes through in the smooth finish.

M- Pretty good here. Medium-full bodied, slightly fizzy.

D- Went down well enough.

Not a bad bock by any means. If you're a malthead, I'd check it out.

Pauly2X, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to justn for including this one in a recent trade!

Pours a deep amber color with a nice creamy inch of head. The cold weather didn't seem to have too much affect on the delivery of this mighty fine looking beer.

Smells of sweet fresh bread, sugar/syrup, hints of raisins and dark fruit.

Taste is malty goodness. Lots of sweetness up front with some resiny tastes following. There is a certain bitterness, almost like that of sour cherry, that adds a little bit to the aftertaste to this very malty and warming bock.

Great tasting beer that is very easy drinking. Love it. Thanks again justn for a great taste of Minnesota winter.

indiapaleale, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of scoobybrew
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

A - amber color with a thick head that settles into a well retained lacing

S - malty, complexly so

T - somewhat sweet malt flavor, intriguing grain bill though, there's a lot going on here; slight hop finish so that it's not cloying

M - medium/full body, moderate carbonation

D - This is an interesting bock (and beer). It really defies most standard classification. It's well done and very interesting.

scoobybrew, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of Mdog
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear brown-amber, good head and lacing.

Smell: Sweet, bready, a little brown sugar?

Taste: Moderate sweetness, a little more rye bread starts coming through in later sips.

Drinkability: Really hits the spot for some reason, very drinkable.

Picked up a 12pack to give this year's Snowstorm a try. Very nice beer, nice balance and not too heavy. Plus now I can say I've had a Weihnachtsbier!

Mdog, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of JWD
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Phidelt for this extra included with our trade.

A- great dark redish amber in color, i was suprised how dark it actually was when poured into a glass. medium sized tan head that disapates rather quickly.

S- sweet caramel, breadiness, this is not my favorite style but this is smelling pretty good.

T- WoW, more of the same with the sweet up front followed by a fairly dry finish, this is good it is not overly sweet.

D+M - I am enjoying this beer right now, very refreshing with superior drinkability ( i have been beating myself up lately with huge beers so this is a nice change) I would definently enjoy this on a regular basis if availability would allow.

JWD, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Buebie poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with a big two-finger creamy head that has great staying power and leaves thick sheets of lacing. It's a really solid looking beer.

The aroma is dominated by caramel with a slightly roasted character and a biscuity malt backbone. Definitely some rye and a hint of chocolate as well.

The taste is mild and smooth with caramel malts leading the way and some bready malts in the background. The rye is not as present as the aroma but chocolate is there in the finish.

Again, this is seriously smooth with good carbonation and goes down so easy. It's easy to feel the presence of the rye on the palate.

This is a very drinkable winter ale that is a nice change of pace compared to some of the over-the-top beers I've tasted recently. Simple, smooth and very drinkable.

gford217, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of budgood1
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this years snowstorm pours out a generally clear beautiful auburn colour with an inch thick tannish head that shows no signs of dying sown anytime soon. this leaves plentiful lacing on the glass as it's consumed. bright malty flavours of ripe fruit, malted milk balls, and some herbal hop notes. the taste is a conglomeration of malted milk, some spicy rye notes, a touch of alcohol spice and sullen red ripe fruits. there is a perfectly placed hop spice in the background...adding a touch of bitterness for good measure. this is really a layered and complex concoction for a bock beer. it's really rich in nature, but not too sweet. the body is full and fulfilling with a incredibly smooth and velvety mouthfeel that finishes a touch crisp and dry for such a malty brew. drinkability is off the charts! i could sip this one all night!

this "weihnachtsbier" is fantastic! it's the epitome of what a well crafted x-mas/winter lager could/should be. the schell brewery hit a grand slam home run with this one. they went away from their german/lager/bock beer heritage for a short time, but came back big time with this one.

they could keep the snowstorm tradition going with a different variety every year, but produce this as their "Christmas Bock" and i would buy it every year.

budgood1, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of Fatduck
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with an oily fast fleeing head. Smells like caramel malt and butter. Taste good, a little bitterness some good malt flavor, nothing special at all. A little big over carbonated but its a great drinker. I was finished with the 6pack before I knew it.

Fatduck, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of ZAP
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been waiting to review this one for awhile now as I've had about a case and a half of it and love it but was struggling with how to describe it. It's time to try and put to words what this beer is all about.

This is a great example of a medium weight winter beer that really works...it is loaded with flavor and character and is extremely well made.

It's a described as a 'bock" of sorts...personally I think it defies a "style"..it has some bock characteristics but also some schwartzbier notes and also some sweet stout flavors. It actually reminds me a little of a rye stout I had from Bell's many years ago.

Spicy rye notes are evident on the aroma and taste...also some pumpernickel....This also has a sweet chocolate cookie like element that adds a great dimension....malted milk balls as well....but the nice thing with the chocolate is it is sweet but not cloying at all....the perfect touch of sweetness....really the spicy/sweet contrasts blend into a dynamite beer.

Body is medium....creamy mouthfeel...looks like a doppelbock in the glass...

The brewery calls this a Weihnachtsbier....Based on a web search:" "Weihnachten" is German for Christmas, and Weihnachtsbier is the Bavarian seasonal specialty, a strong brew for when the days get shorter and the temperature plummets.

Schell's hit a bulls eye on this one....what a great treat for the holidays....

ZAP, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of shadow1961
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The '08 Snowstorm pours a big stiff beige head over a clear, deep amber brew. Carbonation is active and steady, the nose is toasty malts, with hints of molasses and bitter chocolate. The flavor is, again toasty barley malts, rye spiciness, mocha and coffee hints, and a bit of herbal hop off the back. Mouthfeel is pretty full for a lager, tending dry with a nice sharp spiciness. Holiday beers tend to be a little sweet and insipid- this one has a nice crisp edge to it!

shadow1961, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of zeff80
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a somewhat cloudy, burgundy color with a thick, foamy, off-white head. It left some nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel and biscuity roasted malt.

T - It tasted very sweet. Nice roasted malt flavors. A slight floral taste, but the sweetness overpowered it.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This was a pretty good bock. By no means the best but very drinkable.

zeff80, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of Mistofminn
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz brown bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Clear brown color with amber tones. Short lived head and virtually no lacing. Minimal carbonation.

S - Caramel and malts. Also a cocoa and coffee scent present. Alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering.

T - Rich and malty, with caramel flavor that is very tasty. Once again, alcohol is present but not overpowering.

M - Smooth and light. The little amount of carbonation there is show itself here. Good balance.

D - Very drinkable brew. I would be willing to drink this all night (despite its 6% ABV). Very enjoyable and I look forward to next years, but for the time being I will be enjoying this throughout the holiday season.

Mistofminn, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew in a trade with josephhaugen, Thanks Joe!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear brown color with a beige head that left some trails of lacing.

S - caramel sweet and malty aroma.

T - very good tasting brew, it's rich and malty flavor is delicious.

F - medium bodied, smooth and creamy feel.

D - real easy drinking, great tasting brew.

JoeyBeerBelly, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of hodgsongreg
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a drought of several months since enjoying the 2007 Snowstorm, I grabbed a case of what I hoped would be a rush of good memories. What I drank was like a revisiting a memory that had changed, not become more complex, like a fisherman tale, but different. The color is similar, the roasted nuttiness is still there, but the biggest taste difference is from last year is that there is a little more alcohol presence and a little less oat. It still drinks smoothly and is relaxing more than it is refreshing. I really enjoy this beer and look forward to finishing the winter of 08/09 with an ample supply of this tasty drink.

hodgsongreg, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of ETM
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Not sure what to expect. A dark auburn pour with medium sized bubbles. Moderatel to small head. Initial taste is quite "beery". Once the foam has settled and I have adjusted to it I notice an interesting malt profile with a rye note on the finish and a moderate carbonation on the tongue. The beer finishes less sweet that one normal gets with a bock and rye is present with the aftertaste as well which is a nice change. The drinkability of this beer is huge because it lets you savor the flavors without drowning them out with hops or with excessive residual sweetness.

ETM, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of mothman
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Weihnachtsbier

Color is a very light ruby/brown. Pours a slightly tan head that doesn't last to long. Not very much lacing observed.

The aroma is of solid malts. You can definately tell that it is a rye beer from the smell. There is also a hint of dark chocolate and licorice lingering around.

The taste is mainly malts. Carmel is present as well as some spices. Dark chocolate is also present.

Mouthfeel is very creamy. The beer is cold, but it's as if it warms your mouth, very interesting.

Overall, this was an interesting beer and one I am glad I got to try. I haven't tasted anything like this and I would recommend it.

mothman, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of alexgash
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle.

Drank most of an entire 12 pack of this Weihnachtsbier over Thanksgiving. Pours a clear, dark ruby, with coppery edges. Solid finger of dense, creamy, light khaki head. Good lacing. Nose of wine-y fruits, plums, caramel, maple syrup, cookie dough, all with a spicy vegetal edge.

Taste starts off with light peppery hop bitterness spread over rye bread and grain. Fruit notes follow, with figs, and jammy plums. Dark chocolate and cocoa bittersweetness settle in. Delicious! Cookie dough in the finish mixes with rye and hop spice. Medium-bodied with a creamy feel. By far the best Snowstorm I've had! Please make this year round!

alexgash, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of cokes
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, clear, crimson-bronze with a thick, sticky, beige dome.
Caramelly, Munich malt aroma, with notions of raisins, figs, rye spiciness, cocoa, and maple-syruped pancakes.
Just a touch drier in the mouth. Toasted nuts and grain are first noticed, with an ephemeral rye peppery-breadiness. As it gathers towards chocolate graham crackers (or, I guess, S'Mores). It deepens and sweetens from here, with maple syrup, dates, figs, loads of caramel and nougat, raisins, sassafras, anise, then is briskly lagered clean with just a balancing kiss of herbal, grassy hops.
Medium in feel, taut and brawny in structure. The carbonation level is moderate and steady with its small, trickling bead.
This is thoroughly impressive and easily the best "regular" bock I've had in a looong time.

Hey Schell's, boot the Caramel Bock and produce this full time. Shit, keep the old name if you want, as this has tenfold the caramel flavor anyway. Please??!!?? Bocks don't get much better than this.

cokes, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of beerkittycat
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is clear with reddish-brown hues and a minimal off-white head. Aroma is subtle but complex with notes of brown sugar, bread dough, and ginger snaps along with familiar flowery noble hops. Taste has much the same as aroma but it's hard to pin down exactly the style. It tastes somewhere between a bock and an Octoberfest. Very smooth, slightly restrained carbonation, and a drier finish than you would expect for a bock makes this beer extremely drinkable. It's got all the malt you would want in a winter beer with the drinkability of a German lager. Brilliant! More please!!!

beerkittycat, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of mjryan
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This may be the perfect winter beer. Nice brown colour with an inviting frothy head. Retention is good with some sticky lace. Smells very appetizing, very brandy like. Flavour is smooth and complex. Very malty, with a slight roasted character. Slightly sweet in the finish. This is a delicious malt bomb. Bravo Schells!

mjryan, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of Buebie
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the 2008 release.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a brandy snifter.
Deep mahogony in color with a copper hue. Big 3 finger creamy white head. Leaves thick sticky lace draping my glass. Retention is good with thick custers of assorted sized bubbles.

Aroma is a burnt caramel with huge malt backing. Roasted grains, wisps of dark candy sugar and a hint of rye, mixed with cocoa nibs in a nutty chocolate aroma.

Thick creamy mouthfeel with a light dose of carbonation. More burnt caramel, alcahol warming, dark candy sugar and bits of toasted spiced rye.
Some bittersweet chocolate grain like flavor. Toasted grainy buttered bread, rye pumpernuckle flavors.
Finishes clean and crisp with a lingering rye flavor and sweet toasted breadyness.

Good brew, much different then last year. I really love the hell outta this. Going to have to start a verticle celleraing and pick up another case for years to come.

Buebie, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of Duffman
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful reddish brown with a thin dissipating creamy head. Smells like freshly baked bread. Malty, grainy, fresh, with some nice hop aroma for good measure. Can really smell the sourdough that's in the beer and it makes for a fine aroma. Elegantly sweet, but not too much so. As the beer finishes the sourdough and rye make themselves heard, and their presence provides for a welcome contrast. A warming beer with a very inviting, complex, and flavour profile. A unique take on a bock that has made for a highly enjoyable and approachable flavor. Body is quite creamy, with a clinging, almost sudsy feel to it. Very drinkable for a bock, and I could enjoy this one with a variety of food, or simply on its lovely own. I've long been impressed by snowstorms past and this one may be the best I've had. It's a real pleasure to see such successful breweing experimentation from the folks at Schell's and this beer proves once again why snowstorm should rightly be one of the most anticipated of winter brews.

Duffman, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of Bighuge
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear mahogany. Beautiful cream colored head that has a whipped density and leaves blankets of lace as I drink. Very nice aroma of thick malts, a little roast, some chocolate and nougat. The flavor is a real treat. Nice clean and rich malt tones. A little bready yeastiness. Slight roastiness. A little caramel. This is a great tasting bock. The body and carbonation are spot on. This almost comes across as a bock/schwarzbier hybrid. Reminds me of the Sprecher Winter Brew back in the day when it kicked some ass. This is good. I'd like to place it head to head against New Glarus Uff Da bock and see how it stands, though I think the minor differences would distinguish the beers.

I brought 2 new six packs home tonight. This and Bell's Christmas Ale. I was excited for both. Well, I started with this and a few beers later, I have yet to hit up the Bell's...which is a rarity for me when I have a new one sitting there. Definitely one of their best Snowstorm releases and could be their best. (But I keep reminiscing about that plum recipe of 1997-1998.)

Bighuge, Nov 08, 2008
Snowstorm 2008 from August Schell Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.