Snowbound Winter Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 146 | Display Reviews Only:
1.5/5 rDev -59.1%
Poured from 22 oz bomber into Imperial Pint Glass
Decanted @ 48 degrees
A - Dark clear mahogany that pours with a nice 1 inch tan colored head. Lacing is fairly minimal.
S - Wow, incredibly strong licorice and nutmeg/cinnamon scent that at first entices, then repulses. Gets more repugnant as it warms. Overspiced with little room for malt and/or hop expression.
T - Much like the smell only slightly more tolerable. Still, the overspiced nature of this brew leaves no room for your taste buds to experience the expected malty flavor.
M - Smooth with a slight bite and mild carbonation.
D - Undrinkable at best. A sure drain pour, this leaves me wondering what might have happened to my bottle.
04-30-2007 06:39:17 | More by gmcfarre
2/5 rDev -45.5%
This was certainly not a very impressive offering. Appearance was nice; dark red colour with finger to finger and a half of sand coloured foam. Smell was almost sickeningly sweet with a very "artificial" smell. Seemed almost chemical-like and honestly, reminded me of a urinal cake. Taste was pretty similar to the smell. Very sweet with flavours that illustrate what they were trying to accomplish, but failed at. I'll continue to sip on this to give it a fair shake and see if things improve, but I have a feeling this might be a drain pour before I finish this one. Sorry, this just isn't for me.
11-18-2007 21:48:27 | More by SilentSabre
2.25/5 rDev -38.7%
good idea gone wrong...
good idea : a good looking dark winter ale sweetened with honey complemented by spices.
Gone wrong : the spices come first! The flavor is so strong I feel like I should be picking pieces of cinnamon, clove, and coriander out of my teeth. To make matters worse, the honey is too sweet. This beer tastes like holiday scented potpourri... A pretty big let down from Left Hand...
09-22-2009 02:05:55 | More by Cheers
2.35/5 rDev -36%
Tasted on 6/19/09 at Flying Saucer in Columbia, SC.
A: Dark brown with minimal lacing.
S: Spicy scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc...all the winter spices rolled into one.
T&M: Overpowering sweetness of malty and brown sugar. High degree of syrup flavor which overpowers anything else. Although the spices are nice, the sweetness is too overpowering.
It ranks just about average or below compared to other winter ales.
06-21-2009 21:03:14 | More by cdizinno
2.38/5 rDev -35.1%
The appearance and the aroma of this beer is a bit deceiving. It pours a very dark brown color with a thick sandy brown head. The aroma consists of caramel, brown sugar and roasted malt notes. All of this is very pleasing and leaves one with high expectations. However, the taste is extremely sweet and a little twangy. There is a lot of chocolate and caramel with a lingering roasted malt aftertaste. It is the sweetness that is dissagreable. The high alcohol content lends itself to sweetness but there is nothing to balance this out. Moreover, the mouthfeel consists of an over-carbonated consistency, almost like mineral water. To say the least, I was very dissapointed with this offering from Left Hand Brewing Co.
01-22-2009 15:19:45 | More by Lambstrong
2.42/5 rDev -34.1%
This beer is a clear, amber-garnet brown. Topped by a half-inch, beige head that fades to a film leaving pin-prick spots of lace. Malty and spicy on the nose: ginger, honey, caramel and dark fruit.
Honey sweetness upfront, moving quickly into a very spicy center. Cinnamon, clove and ginger are very strong, and overpower everything else. There's a light bitterness in the finish. Full-bodied, highly carbonated.
The use of spices in this beer is really heavy handed. They're overpowering and too strong to be pleasant.
01-15-2009 21:45:45 | More by EPICAC
2.48/5 rDev -32.4%
Spending my day off catching up on some old reviews. The stack is pretty massive, just now getting around to Winter beers.
Free sample from my LH rep. Wish I could remember his name, but this was at least 6 months ago and I haven't seen the guy since.
Dark brown body. The aroma is all spice: nutmeg and coriander, not a good start. On the palate malt and hops take a back seat to spices. Nutmeg forcefully controls this beer. No balance, just the baking spices that have unfortunately come to define too many Winter offerings. The body was smooth and creamy, but this spice bomb was a drain pour for me. Maybe its just my personal preferences, but this seemed completely out of balance and was not enjoyable.
06-29-2009 23:00:54 | More by BradLikesBrew
2.55/5 rDev -30.5%
Pours a dark, cola-like color. Minimal head which recedes nearly immediately.
Smell is definitely the highlight here...some cinnamon, licorice, and mint. Ginger is also definitely present. Appealing.
Flavor is...not my favorite. BIG blast of ginger that never goes away. I also get a bit of the licorice flavor up front, and some minty sweetness that lingers. Somewhat hot, as the alcohol is pretty present, and overall it just doesn't work.
Mouthfeel is solid, perhaps a bit watery. I can't imagine anyone drinking more than one of these.
Overall, it was a disappointment. The spice was certainly to be expected in a warmer, but this one just doesn't come together.
01-05-2008 03:35:41 | More by SaintsFan
2.6/5 rDev -29.2%
Dark auburn with a large white head. Some lace and ok retention. Yankee Candle-esque bottle art.
Aroma is of xmas spice, cloves, licorice, honey: Left Hand went through the whole kitchen with this one.
Taste is still faily alcoholic despite this being in my cellar for almost a year. Again, choking xmas spices dominate with a dehydrating finish. There's some nice caramel malt fortified with molasses underneath there somewhere.
09-22-2009 10:40:53 | More by donkeyrunner
2.68/5 rDev -27%
Appearance: small head, leather brown, clear, small carbonation
Smell: strong whiff of holiday spices like: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg..and some honey
Taste: holiday spices like: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, honey, and alcohol
Mouthfeel: smooth, slightly bitter, medium heavy body
Drinkability: I really love what Left hand does, but I was not a fan of this offering. This to me is a very spicy although average winter warmer. The bomber size along with the high ABV makes this a one and done. I will not be getting this again.
04-07-2009 13:46:41 | More by tigg924
2.68/5 rDev -27%
A growler bought from Left Hand brewery
A-- A dark reddish brown color. Got a very large head (3 fingers) on the pour that stayed very nicely and left a good lacing on my pint glass.
S-- Every Christmas spice you can think of is in this. Do get an alcohol smell in it as well.
T-- Lots of spice in this puppy. Nutmeg, cinimmon, clove, candied sugar, orange, and on and on and on.
M-- Spices then the alcohol in the mouthfeel. it is OK at start but gets tiresome.
D-- for a $5 dollar growler I am not complaining but it is a tiresome beer. Too much going on and early on too spice driven. Once it gets air the spices calm down a bit. Good effort but one 750 is enough.
10-08-2009 08:05:31 | More by mulder1010
2.7/5 rDev -26.4%
A: Dark brown with a dark red hue. Thinly bubbled head which is a light brown color.
S: As mentioned before there is a lot of spice going on here. Mainly characterized by strong nutmeg and clove. There are undertones of nutty malt with a bit of caramel sweetness. Very holidayish.
T: Cannot say that this beer really 'wowed' me. The taste is dominated by spice (mainly nutmeg, cloves, and a bit of corriander). There is a definite presence of alcohol here. In my opinion the spice is a little too powerful.
M: Medium carbonation with a slightly oily finish.
D: This beer had too much spice to be drank in large quanities. It was worth a try and I might buy it again if the price was right.
12-11-2009 03:27:47 | More by Soilworker
2.75/5 rDev -25.1%
Reviewed from notes.
Poured into a snifter. Pours a very dark reddish-brown color with a very short head. The nose brings loads and loads of spicing with some cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, light ginger, and a bit of pepper. Just too much and this carries over into the taste, where it really just is quite a bit too much. The feel is spicy and I'm not a fan. Not easy to go through much of this.
11-14-2010 02:23:22 | More by Thorpe429
2.8/5 rDev -23.7%
Pours a nice copper color, maybe a bit deep for a winter warmer. Decent head at first pour, it goes away quickly and has no lacing. Very sweet and malty scent, but nothing specific. Taste leans more to the dopplebock rather than a winter warmer. Sweet with a caramel flavor, I get little spiciness out of it. Goes down fine, although the high ABV affects its smoothness.
11-05-2007 00:27:47 | More by JamesS
2.9/5 rDev -21%
22oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Pours a fairly dark amber with minimal head and lacing. Heavy pine and cinnamon smells. Too heavily spiced for me. Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove but has a neat bitterness and an unusual aftertaste I can't quite put my finger on. High carbonation and decent alcohol warming effect. A quality made beer but just too heavily spiced for my taste.
12-17-2006 01:38:38 | More by sabrills70
2.93/5 rDev -20.2%
A- Deep amber color with less than a finger of head that fades to a ring in a minute.
S- Some sweet malt and some slight hops and alcohol, but overshadowed by an intense spicy aroma- pepper, pumpkin, nutmeg...
T- Doesn't really taste like beer. Has a bunch of crazy spice flavors... egg nog, pumpkin pie, pepper, cinnamon, and some faint malt and hop notes just to keep it a beer and not a winter spiced nog.
M- Smooth and thick, almost syrupy... medium/low carbonation and some slight warming alcohol.
D- I can finish the bottle. I think I can, I think I can...
04-02-2007 01:00:10 | More by khiasmus
2.95/5 rDev -19.6%
Poured from 22 oz bottle into pint glass.
A: Pours a dark amber with minimal head that quickly dissipates.
S: Tons of spice...perhaps too much here. Cinnamon first, then clove, next citrus (orange) and honey.
T: Wow...the taste follows the aroma. Loads of spices...and in my opinion too much. Ginger hits first, then cinnamon, clove, and honey. Hints of citrus and malt.
M: Light-medium body and ordinary.
D: With all this spice, one is forced to sip. A decent brew, but there are better winter beers out there.
04-02-2008 00:26:47 | More by mwilbur
2.98/5 rDev -18.8%
poured very dark with little or no head, and what head there was dissipated quite quickly. first drink was thin, at best, but there was a slight carbonation dancing on the tongue though the carbonation is quite thin with this beer. the taste was very spicy, ginger on the front, chocolate cranberries on the rear. no hoppy kick that i love, and too thin a mouthfeel led to the lower scores here. could not taste the alcohol, which helps with the drinkability. spicy, and a good taste overall, but not for me.
02-11-2007 01:54:11 | More by uncle8gil
3/5 rDev -18.3%
Poured a dark brown into the tulip glass, left skimpy lacing. Spicy nose of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc...all the winter spices rolled into this drink. Light mouthfeel, although the spices make the tongue tingle and wakes up to the flavours. In comparing this to other Winter beers, it ranks just about average, I'm not big on the heavy spicing. Once the beer became room temp the spices were more prevalent!
06-07-2009 00:01:55 | More by thequeen711
3.08/5 rDev -16.1%
Pours medium to dark brown with slight rubyish hues. Plenty of clarity. A thin head immediately becomes a very thin cover/patch before virtually disappearing.
The smell is of ginger, nutmeg, honey, cocoa powder with a hint of cinnamon and cherries. Alcohol is certainly noticeable - in a raw way. I mentioned ginger first - with good reason - it dominates...too much.
The taste is very spicy and sweet - ginger is in the forefront with alcohol just behind it. Other spices, along with some honey come through. Too me, it's a bit too spicy and sweet in an imbalanced way. Cocoa is in the back with mint and alcohol in the finish.
Medium to full bodied, the carbonation is mild, but has an effervescent feel.
A spicy - overly - slow sipper. The ginger dominates too much and the minty spices don't allow the malts (and hops) to come through enough. Interesting, but I would go to winter warmers in which the spices are less flamboyant (esp. the ginger), and alcohol less raw, before this one.
01-02-2008 01:19:39 | More by jwc215
3.13/5 rDev -14.7%
Appears a dark mahogany Christmas spiced ale to share with your friends during the winter months, this one also has some honey additions. Minimal khaki tan head forms even after a vigorous pour. Lacing left behind is fine and even, I can't really complain.
Aroma has more spices with some ginger accents with cinnamon and cardamom some sugar malt with minimal hop presence. I highly discourage leaving out hop components in craft beers the majority of your audience looks forward to hops even with a nice winter warmer. My local makes Snow Melt which is excellent, spiced with nice hops that follow.
Flavor however is too dominant with bark and cinnamon spice flavors, there's just not enough balance to create a happy camper. So heavy in spices and honey it becomes an unpleasant experience nearly burnt caramelized sugars represent the feeling the over comes me. Like real maple syrup soaked with alcohol and tree bark flavors.
Mouthfeel is cloying with spice and honey, I can't believe they didn't sample before bottling I loved every other Left Hand brew I've tried recently including Polestar Pilsner, Left Hand Ofest, and Warrior IPA. This one has an over carbonation that I can't get over, along with the over spiced character dominating this party.
Drinkability is pretty much shite I could never imagine finishing a bottle of this on my own and asking where's the next beer. If you're actually able to make it through a bottle you should earn a badge of courage not a shot at your next sample it's rough all the way through.
01-09-2009 16:23:10 | More by WVbeergeek
3.15/5 rDev -14.2%
This beer is a mahogany color with a small white head. The smell is like raisins. The taste is like a christmas fruit cake. There are hints of cinnamon and there is also a sweetness to it. The drinkability is fair. Overall a average beer for the style. This beer reminds me a little of Raison D'Etra from DFH. Fair.
12-04-2006 02:06:15 | More by Enola
3.15/5 rDev -14.2%
I thought this beer was decent, but not outstanding. While it has a significant amount of alcohol, I thought the alcohol's presence in the flavor was a bit overstated. Nontheless, I thought it to be pretty good.
This beer poured a brilliant copper color with plentiful amounts of fairly sticky head. It had a very pumpkin-beer-like aroma with lots of nutmeg smell, although it also had a chlorophenol odor of metallic tapwater. Flavor was very much like a number of pumpkin beers I've had, but with some bourbon notes and a very pronounced alcohol presence which may have resulted from not a lot of malt character to conceal the alcohol esters. Mouthfeel was dry in nature, but not remarkable.
Not bad; I'd recommend it. The pronounced alcohol flavor made me feel like it was winter outside. Having it be 20 degrees and snowing outside when I was drinking it helped too.
12-05-2007 21:02:05 | More by BeerBelcher
3.15/5 rDev -14.2%
on tap @ papago...
dark copper-y brown colored pour with a creamy light tan head. the foam seems pretty determined to stick around and also leaves a bunch of drippy lacing behind.
very sweet smelling with brown sugar, a touch of pale molasses, spicy cardamon like earthiness, orange and other sweet fruits.
the palate is very brown sugar sweet... normally a bad thing but in this case spiciness and alcohol clean it up quite well enough. pumpkin pie spice numbs the tongue after flavors of molasses, malt and raisins pass by. the finish strikes me as soapy since ginger too often doesn't translate well.
medium body is kept from becoming sticky with help from spice overload and alcohol's presence.
too sweet but not bad...6/3.5/6/3/14/3.3
02-17-2009 06:40:29 | More by hellbilly
3.18/5 rDev -13.4%
Pours a dark brown color with a small head and light lacing. Spicy aroma, mostly cinnamon and ginger. Like liquid ginger bread house mixed with alcohol. Taste follows suit. Spicy, plenty of cinnamon, hints of licorice, light ginger flavor and a definite spicy alcohol character. Smooth, but relatively light bodied. Alcohol is not as well hidden as I would like. An OK winter warmer, but nowhere near a favorite. If you like spices, give this one a shot.
12-13-2008 05:34:06 | More by KeefD
Snowbound Winter Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.