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Snowstorm 2009 - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Snowstorm 2009Snowstorm 2009

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

67 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 8.93%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Buebie on 10-26-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drpimento
2.78/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Somewhat interesting effort, but not up to snuff as far the actual Baltic regional brews. Poured with a small to medium tan head and a bit of lace. Color is an almost opaque brown with cherry highlights. Aroma is standard porter. Flavor is simple standard porter. Body is a bit thin, but good carbonation. Not so strong for a traditional Baltic Porter. Ok, finish.

drpimento, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of snaotheus
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very dark reddish brown, with only a hint of head and no lacing. Smell is sweet with cherries and a little smoke, maybe some maple.

Taste is too sweet, some citrus in addition to the cherry. Very little bitterness to balance out the sweetness, although there is some sour.

Mouthfeel is flat and filmy. Drinkability isn't terrible.

snaotheus, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of morimech
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first time reviewing this beer was lost in the latest server crash. I have drank most of a 12 pack since then and my impression has not improved much.

Pours a dark brown with some red highlights. Has a large tan head that has good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Has a weak aroma. I detect mostly smoke with the Schell's lager aroma. Smoke is the flavor that runs through the complete experience of this beer. A hint of chocolate is detected as well. I think the thing this beer is missing the most is some sort of acidity and sourness. This tastes like an English Stout with the roasted and smokey malt. I wonder if Schells used the same malt as they use in their English Stout. The body is a bit thin for the style. Carbonation is low so it maintains a nice texture. This Baltic Porter is done in the style of Eastern European porters by using a lager yeast. Still a nice drinking beer but lacks that little extra to match the flavor of the greats of the style.

morimech, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of MPLS
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Interesting to think that the style of the Winterstorm brew changes every year. Althought there was no formal review I remember being impressed by last year's version of this beer. It made for a very affordable 12-pack. I am giving this one a try in a single 12 oz bottle.

A: Poured into my Uptown Tattoo Surly exclusive pint glass, I mean neon green Surly logo. The color is a dark non-descript dark ruby with 1 cm head that held little retention. Lacing is spotty, certainly not sticking to glass like Spiderman.

S: Coffee, very tame smoke, nuts, and call me crazy but a hint of bubble gum and bananas. This is rather mellow to the noise, nothing huge and I had to get the nostrils in pretty deep.

T: A nutty roasted coffee like beer with short lived vanilla+banana aftertaste. A small trace of chocolate can be find too. I feel like this beer could be more robust and flavorful for the style. I find the aftertaste of this beer not to my liking and a little skewed for the style. Pleasant tasting, but I'll be generous and say it's average.

M: Alright mouthfeel, thin is in according to this baltic porters body, but rather silky at the same time.

D: I enjoyed last years offering more compared to this years...or at least my memory is telling me this. It remains and affordable brew, but I'd pick others over it. This beer just doesn't entice my buds for it's style, but I was never disgusted with it. The alcohol was masked well and I'd choose a local brew like this on tap over other offerings in the right situation.

MPLS, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

August Schell Snowstorm, poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. A dark brownish amber in color with a bit of lace.

Aroma comes off quite light just a whiff of chocolate malt.

Flavor consists of roasted malt and a lingering minerally bitterness. Light syrupy chocolate on the palate. A bit of clean alcohol is noted.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with chewey malt.

Drinkability is fine, an average example of a baltic porter that delivers the basics but doesn't surprise.

Stinkypuss, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of Buebie
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up tonight, excited to be the first to review it. I hope I can do it justice.

Picked up a 6 pack of bottles for around $8, poured one from the bottle into my Sam Adams Turbulator.
Off the pour, a 1.5'' light brown head of froth forms up sitting for a while before falling to leave a thin coating of lace and rings down the glass. A collar of retention is left as well. Color is black, but some mild red hues at the narrower point of the glass.

Aroma is smokey almost with dark chocolate roasty grain aroma, a touch of black licorice, toffee, and also mild malted milk balls. As it warmed coffee could be picked up and some nuttieness to it also. If there are hops in there, the charred aroma drowns it out.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin, some hidden creaminess behind the carbonation keeping both in check somewhat.
Loads of malt in here, reminding me a bit of an Oktoberfest with more stout flavors and removing the Oktoberfest spice kick, if that makes sense.
Charred smokey flavors present, but also not dominating, allowing malt and carmelised sugar flavors to come through. Some bitters into the finish resembling hops with just a little earthy spice.
Also present is unsweetened bakers chocolate, more malted milk balls and toffee.

A delicious brew for the cold months ahead. Not to slight the brewery, because I do enjoy there beers very much butt...
This seems to resemble a dry/ chocolate stout a bit more then a Baltic porter. Mouthfeel could use some oomph in creaminess and the charred burnt character is a little bit overbearing drying the beer out for me.
I still enjoyed it, but a few changes would make me love it more.
Thanks for trying something you haven't done before!

Buebie, Oct 26, 2009
Photo of mothman
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Schells pint glass.

Pours hardly any light tan head. Fizzles down instantly. Leaves some very thin splattered lace. Color is a dark chocolate, caramel hued, brown.

Aroma: For some odd reason this reminds me a touch of 2008 snowstorm (if I remember correctly). A lot of smoked/roasted malts, caramel, dark fruits (dried cherry).

Taste: Very dry tasting first off. A ton of smokey/roasted malts. Caramel, chocolate and cherry again. For some reason, this really isn't what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: Very dry, light crispness. For the style, the body is really thin and the carbonation is very low. Leaves a sticky dry aftertaste (very roasty).

Overall, it's not a bad beer, just not what I was expecting. Definitely has Schells German style written all over it though. It is drinkable, but I'll stick to one during a sitting.

mothman, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of zenwatts
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

zenwatts, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of ponbon63
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

ponbon63, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of Duff27
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown/black with a small tan head that leaves a collar. Minimal lacing left.

Slight roastiness with oxidation written all over it.

Chocolate notes although oxidation is setting in. Licorice. Very spot on for the style I'd say. Would guess at a 7%abv.

Very smooth mouthfeel with just enough carbonation.

I guess it didn't realize this was so skimpy on the ABV when I set it aside for 2.5 years. Regardless it still was drinkable and enjoyable, though I can't say how much longer you're going to want to keep a full one around.

Duff27, May 28, 2012
Photo of budgood1
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out an opaque brown colour with barely seen ruby highlights. frothy, bubbly tannish head...slow to recede and sticking nicely to the edges of the glass as i sip. there is a nice smoky nose accentuated by some dark roasted malts and ripe red fruit notes. the taste is a nicely balanced combination of maltiness...some chocolate and toffee mixing in with some malted milk balls, a hint of sourness, and a creamed coffee note. a touch of floral hopping rounds thing out nicely. tastes good but not really in the true baltic porter tradition. it has a medium but firm body. mouthfeel is creamy and smooth albeit just a touch thinner than i had hoped. i find the drinkability just fine...it tastes good, smells good and looks good.

a well constructed porter with a great deal of character. very approachable. i can honestly say that when i heard of the style for this years snowstorm offering i was eager with anticipation. i'm a bit let down after sampling but certainly not disappointed.

definitely recommended. another quality snowstorm rendition by schell.

budgood1, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of dstc
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a big, foamy tan head. Head falls slow but stays. Nice lace.

Aroma is actually a bit thin. Roasted malts is all there is but it's mild.

Nice roasted malt taste. Bit of sweetness and a hint chocolate.

Medium bodied to full and mildly carbonated.

Not a bad beer. Nothing spectacular but worth trying.

dstc, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of Cubsfan1087
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was very interesting. It was a very dark draft, with almost no head. The taste was the most interesting thing. After a drink, there is little taste. A second later you are hit with a very distinct after taste, but it is good and not very bitter. I don't think I've ever had a beer like that before, one that almost has a delayed taste. It's hard to describe. I recommend trying this beer if you get the chance.

Cubsfan1087, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of CHSLBrew
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Dark, dark brown beer, but not quite black. Light brown head rises nicely off the pour and sustained ok to a thin layer.

S-semi-sweet chocolate malt, slight roast. Toasty toffee.

T-Lots of chocolate, toffee sweetness off the first sip, which fades into a subtle bitterness. Lingering choco-bitterness at the end mixes with a slight hoppiness and dark fruit appearing here and there.

M-Moderate-high carbonation, give a bit of a bite and is evidently a bit too much. The body feels quite on, though, presenting a heavier-moderate feel.

D-Tasty, but not a spectacular brew. It's very easy to drink, and each sip is enjoyable, yet it's just not quite perfect.

CHSLBrew, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark walnut with generous highlights of cherry and orange. Backlighting with an overcast sky reveals a lack of opacity. A vigorous pour generated nearly three fingers of caramel nougat colored foam that is responsible for the good score all by its lonesome. Scattered scraps of sudsy lace neither help nor hurt.

The nose opens up with warming, which it desperately needed to do. This winter release smells more like a standard American or English porter than a Baltic porter. There's a little chocolate and coffee... and not much else.

Snowstorm 2009 is decent beer, something that is true for most of August Schell's lineup. It's unfortunate that they decided to call it a Baltic porter (at only 5.8%, no less) because that tends to change expectations and to raise the bar a bit. The fact that it doesn't smell, taste or drink like the stated style cannot be ignored.

The somewhat skimpy malt backbone delivers bittersweet chocolate, cold coffee and dark caramel. No molasses, no brown sugar and no anise. There is a fair amount of contrasting hoppiness (even as Spring approaches), which allows the drinkability score to be bumped. The hops taste generic, like Magnum or Willamette or something along those lines.

The mouthfeel doesn't come close to being big enough for the stated style... although I've given up thinking of the beer in those terms. It's barely medium for an American porter and is satisfactorily bubbled.

Schell's Snowstorm 2009 is a pretty good drinker for fans of the brewery, but that's as far as it goes. Some beers in this series end up as regular (or at least seasonal) releases. Although it's enjoyable enough, I won't be on tenterhooks waiting to find out what ASBC decides.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of AmberMan22
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap over the winter break, one of my first beers back in the states.

I didn't know this was a baltic porter at the time, not to mention I didn't know what the style entailed even after seeing this first piece of information.
After looking over some intel, I drew my conclusions.

Pours a deep deep brown. A pretty looking brown head crowns the beer, but settles to almost nothing quite quickly.

Smell and Taste are a bit disappointing, I would've hoped this beer would be slightly more complex. Instead, this is not only a weakling by ABV standards (rather suited to the range of a normal porter) but only incorporates very basic flavors.
Dark, roasted chocolate malts, with a nice snap of hop flavor. I mean, this beer passes for a delicious (regular) porter, but as this is one of my favorite categories, I was hoping for a real zinger out of Snowstorm.

AmberMan22, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of tempest
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Three Squares in Maple Grove. I'm impressed that Schell's took on the style and didn't just try to make a strong porter like some other American-brewed Baltic's I've tried. This has the sweet light candy, or wine-like, chocolate note under the roasted malts. My only complaint is that the middle sweetness turns to more of an old-shoe note (like oxidation) that builds as the beer warms, but it's very light. Otherwise, this is tasty and to-style take on the Baltic porter.

tempest, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of biteme398
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a mug.
The head is small and fades quickly while the body is an almost impenetrable black with shades of amber around the edges. Smell is of fruit and some darker malts. Taste has a solid backbone of hops that everything else is built around. Also in the taste is some chocolate, fruitiness and some maltiness that rounds out the profile. Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy and carbonation is fairly low. A very solid beer overall.

biteme398, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of gford217
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of buebie poured into a tulip.

This one pours super dark brown, I'm almost tempted to say black, but not quite. It's got a small but very thick head that remains a cap for much longer than I expected and left very good lacing.

The aroma is highly roasted with black malts and some bakers chocolate coming through. There is some underlying molasses sweetness and licorice as well.

The taste has an initial sweetness from the caramelized sugars and dark chocolate, and the taste seems to be sweeter than the aroma in general. There are some roasted coffee hints in the background but it's not as prevalent as I was expecting.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and extremely smooth. It's probably a little lighter than the best Baltic porters out there, but its very good, especially given the lighter ABV. Very drinkable.

gford217, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of kartoffelsalat
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

The appearance is very dark with a 1/2" head which had decent retention and the lacing on the glass was significant.

Smells of black patent malt are strong and perhaps a hint of smoke was picked up too. No hops are detectable in the smell.

Tastes like a well balanced porter with a bit of booziness finish, which I enjoyed. The front was sweet but balanced by the dark roasted malt.

Mouthfeel, yea I felt it. smooth and goes down easy. for a 5+% beer, this one could be sessioned by a winter campfire.

I would recommend this beer to anyone who likes porters, and hopefully next year's snowstorm will impress again.

kartoffelsalat, Dec 04, 2009
Photo of Tballz420
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium size khaki head, good amount of lace. Even without holding directly to the light, some slight brown hues come through the jet black body. Creamy chocolate malt nose. Chocolate malt taste, but thats fairly subdued somehow. Dark fruit along with a spicy alcohol actually come through before the main malt flavor. Creamy soft feel, fairly wet as well. Interesting for sure, worth a taste

Tballz420, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of Overlord
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to a generous trader.

Pours a dark, cola-esque brown. Tiny tan head. Smells like cocoa, some toasted sugars and malt, and maybe a bit of bitter coffee. Mmm...smells good.

Taste is strangely lager-esque. Almost like a doppelbock, with the sweet malt/sugar backing, a touch of chocolate (the coffee vanishes), and an interesting lingering roasty mouthfeel.

A nice, supple, balanced beer I wouldn't go out of my way to find, but if it was reasonable priced would buy all the time. If there's a downside, it's the watery mouthfeel.

Overlord, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of Mdog
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown, good head.

Smell: Roasted smell, slight sweetness detected.

Taste: Roasted flavor, slight mocha-like sweetness, creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Light enough to have several.

This year's Snowstorm is another winner. Not an overpowering or huge beer like some Baltic Porters, this is a more mild flavored beer that you can have several of in a sitting.

Mdog, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of psychotia
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle w/ best-by date: 5/01/10

A: Slightly transparent black. Nice, 1.5 finger light tan head after pour, settled to a thin lace throughout.

S: Subtle (probably amped fresh) roasted malt, caramel.

T: Chocolate, caramel, and a slightly roasted. Tasty!

M: Not super thick, but not thin... I'd say a little creamy - it feels nice going down!

D: I would love to put a few of these back in the cold winter months!

I may have to get a few more of these to put back this upcoming holiday season - I didn't try this last winter, but I will say it tastes great 4 months after the best by date!

psychotia, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of dbossman
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown with a finger head that dissipates to a fingernail; good lacing

S: Sweet roasted malts and chocolates; subtle toffee, coffee, and caramel; there is also something slightly smoky in the aroma

T: Sweet and malty; nice chocolate characters; there is also a nice bitterness on the back end; the toffee and caramel that I subtly caught in the aroma are also subtly in the taste

F: Pretty even mouth coat; a bit over carbonated

D: Easy going delicious porter; it's rich and sweet but not too much

dbossman, Nov 18, 2009
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Snowstorm 2009 from August Schell Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.