The First Snow Ale - RJ Rockers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The First Snow AleThe First Snow Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

179 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 179
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 14.13%
Wants: 7
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
RJ Rockers Brewing Company visit their website
South Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 10-12-2005

This hearty American pale ale contains a rich blend of spices that warms the soul on a cold winter's night. Chill the mug, stoke the fire, and savor this quality seasonal brew. Available only during the Winter season.
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 179 | Reviews: 77
Reviews by Bernoulli:
Photo of Bernoulli
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a beer... or a cider (amber). Minuscule head. Smells like a cider without the apple.

Tastes like a winter beer (a hint of the pumpkin pie spices like nutmeg and all spice, nothing like a fall or a pumpkin, and they dominate any cinnamon flavor that might be there... that we didn't really taste). Spice up front and then the ale-i-ness following it up. Not overpowering... and even better as the glass goes on.

Very full mouth feel... maltiness and spice.

Some winter beers you have one and then it's off to sleep... this one, you'd happily have a second.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle, no freshness date.

Hazed amber with a healthy looking off white lace. Toasted grain and spicing in nose. Smooth and semi-slick medium body. First sip the taste buds get pushed around by the spicing and hop bitterness. After that settles more of an orange rind and dry toasted malt take over. A little fruity with a faint warming alcohol ester in the back. Maltiness mingles with the nutty yeast which both linger with some fading spiciness in the semi-dry finish.

Good balance for this spiced Winter Warmer, a little rough around the edges but I dig that. I find with spiced beers if they are too clean the spicing immediately takes over, not the case here. Give this one a go.

Photo of LordofTime25
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got from casemw!

The beer is a clear golden when poured into the glass with a one finger head that lasts most of the drink and leaves a nice lacing!

Smells of cinnamon, clove, citrus, and maybe a caramel tone to the beer.

This beer has a sweetness of I believe caramel malt and a slight bitterness, but not much. Nice though.

Beer has a medium body with a nice semi dry finish!

I could drink many of these!

Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A--Light amber/medium orange body with a single finger of fizzy white head which dies quickly and leaves no lacing. I have a feeling that's the glass's fault, though, not the beer's.

S--Apple pie--clove and cinnamon, with a hint of ginger. No malt or hops come through.

T--More of the same, with a bit of basic pale malt biscuit backing in the middle of the profile. Mostly it's the same spices as the nose, in the same proportion: clove and cinnamon, followed by finger. Hop bitterness but no hop flavor really. Kind of blah.

M&D--Mouthfeel's fine. Again, like a pale ale: somewhat chewy but light. Lively carbonation that's welcome. Drinkability? Meh. You've seen this before. Reminiscent for me of Smutty's Pumpkin Ale, without the pumpkin and without the great hop finish, or Hooker's Nor' Easter, except less clean and smooth.

Son of a Peach was better, but I'm interested in this brewery.

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark orangish amber with a thin lacing of off white head that has little retention

S - pie spice, bread, nutmeg, cinnamon

T - nutmeg, cinnamon, bread, pie crust, all spice

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a decent brew. If there was a hint of pumpkin here it would make an excellent beer. There pie spices and crust-like bready notes are pretty damn good. I really liked this beer for it's drinkability and it's spice character. A few of these will definitely warm you up in the late autumn.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First Snow pours a hazy amber body with golden highlights beneath a short-lived head of creamy white.

Cinnamon is apparent in the nose, but there are other spices there as well, and a bit of caramel-laced malt too.

The flavor is just as spicy as the aroma, and it's easily on par with a pumpkin ale (cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice, ...?). The spicing is a little bit different though, and it's a bit softer. I taste ginger in the finish, although I'm not sure if that's where it's coming from, it could be a combination of spices; perhaps some citrus zest as well. The malt is pretty basic, appearing bready with some medium caramel notes. It supports the spicing really well, but doesn't stand out on its own. Some mild grassy hops are also present, making themselves known across the middle, and then within the background during the finish. Surprisingly, the spices fade rather quickly given the strength that they show up front.

Overall, it's a pretty nice spiced ale that displays good balance. It could be a bit more rounded, but at the same time I kind of enjoy the slap of spice upfront, and then a soft finish. In fact, that's probably actually better than having everything a little bit more integrated throughout.

Worth trying, but I disagree with the label that suggests you "chill the mug" (or glass) before drinking - this was best after it warmed a touch and the malt was able to balance the spices a little bit more.

Photo of Damian74Shensky
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.
A- Pours a coppery amber color. 2 finger white head, little retention. Little lacing.

S- Light toasted malts aroma mixed with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove

T- Toasted malts , cinnamon, caramel malt, clove and nutmeg.

M- Carbonation is good, Spices is what comes out of this beer.

O- Not a bad beer will have again.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a Dogfish Head shaker. Poured golden yellow with a one and a half finger bone white head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt, cinnamon, corriander, cloves, and candy cane. Yes, candy cane... The flavor was of malt, cloves, corriander, cinnamon, and a slight banana note. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was quite a nice brew. Given that it was a winter brew and I had it in the early fall really says something about this one. I am still in shock even after the next day that I got candy cane on the nose... This is definitely a nice and smooth drinking beer with no harsh flavors anywhere in sight. I will definitely be drinking more of this in the coming winter months for sure. This is a definite must try on tap.

Photo of scootny
3.64/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A holiday nose that features health spicing makes me draw back and admire the amber color and lovely head on this one. Nose showcases the spices while allowing a solid malt bill to underpin and hold court. Taste is an enjoyable pale ale holiday. Feel and flavor give a winter weightiness. Nice. An above averages take on the style that lends itself to session style rounds of drinking.

Photo of alleykatking
3.32/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks to VinnieVanGogh for the bottle.

A- Pours a coppery amber color. One and a half finger white head shows poor retention. Specks of lace left on the glass as the streaks tended to fall back into the glass.

S- Light toasted malts aroma mixes with nutmeg, cinnamon, and hints of clove in the front of the aroma. Very spice forward. Light darker fruit seem to be in here...nothing else is really in here. Just a lot of spice forwardness to the nose. Alcohol really doesn't show at all.

T- Toasted malts with a hint of darker fruit in the front end. The toasted malts dominate over the darker fruit which lets the cinnamon come out as the first spice. Middle of the beer shows a light caramel malt with clove and nutmeg. The ending of the beer shows the trio of spicing with a light alcohol hint in the ending.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Spicing is mostly all that is left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly light alcohol and spicing. Flavors are spice forward which is kind of what I expected. No off flavors were present in this beer. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer was nothing special but a nice one time beer. The ABV doesn't show at all which I liked. A little spiced forward which I thought could be tones down a little. Overall I would try again but wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again.

Photo of Treyliff
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass, bottled 10/13/14

A- pours a deep golden color with a ruby hue, small fizzy white head quickly reduces to a film floating on top

S- lots of holiday spicing on the aroma with an emphasis on cinnamon & allspice, there’s some fruit aroma reminiscent of fruitcake, slightly sweet from the honey

T- initial honey sweetness up front eventually gives way to spicy flavors of cinnamon & clove, dryi-ish finish with lingers of spices

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and finish

O- a nice winter warmer that has a good blend of spicing

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.96/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint on-tap at Rooster's Beak.

A: The pour is a slightly clouded amber color with a finger of soapy, dirty-white head that holds and laces very well.

S: Orange peel, coriander, caramel, and toast. It smells like an American Pale Wheat Ale with a bready edge.

T: Strong citrus, coriander, biscuit and caramel malt, and faint grassy notes. It tastes like the coming of Spring.

M: The body is medium with lots of creaminess and a very smooth finish.

D: This very good but not what I expected with the name "First Snow Ale" because it is quite light and citrusy for the style.

Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is full of spices, cinnamon coming through strong. Taste is lighter than the smell, some spices, malts, a touch of honey, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, while not spectacular, is a solid beer.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Sonny's in Spartanburg tonight. Poured a pale amber with a decent head. The smell was full of spices and grain, as was the taste. No real hops to it. Very earthy grainy flavor, almost gritty. Had some suprising fruit undertomes to it. Went down very easy and could easily see myself drinking more of these. This was my first offering from RJ Rockers but I will be trying more

Photo of wcudwight
3.86/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Terry's
Murky, dirty-looking pale yellow with a touch of orange mixed in. Very thin head, but it last as long as Strom Thurmand's term as a senator.
The spiciness attacks your olefactory senses with a vengence. Cinnamon, nutmeg and maybe some cloves. Aroma reminds me of some winter warmers I've had.
There is a nice lemon and orange zest in the flavor mixed in with a large does of spiciness. Again cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
Light to medium bodied.
Over all it's flavorful and drinkable. I deducted a half a point in the drinkability because of the spiciness. After a couple I would want to move on to something else.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

R.J. Rockers The First Snow Ale has a thick, off-white, spongy head, a somewhat hazy, orange-gold appearance, lots of bubble streams, and moderate lacing left behind. The aroma is very much like a spiced candle- wax, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin?, and white bread. Taste is the same, with an overriding spiciness, which seems to be white pepper, but it's hard to say, really. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and R.J. Rockers The First Snow Ale finishes semi-dry, refreshing, and spicy. Overall, this is interesting and good.


Photo of Proteus93
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The second of three leftover brews from their tasting at Beer Run.

A: Fairly blonde, a fizzly head with notes of creaminess.... retention is okay, but nothing much for lacing going on.

S + T: Both the flavour and the aroma are very much like gingerbread. A sweet ginger and nutmeg. The nose has a little more of the warm scent. Flavour is notable, but rather mild... from the little experience I've had with the brewery, that seems to be their M.O.

M + D: A little light... I'd like some more body, but it's not too bad at all. Drinks smooth and easy. A nice seasonal offering, and something I'd be interested in trying again.

Photo of scottyshades
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice medium golden color that produces a little slightly off-white head that dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing along the pint glass.

S: Very very spicy! Nutmeg, gingerbread, cinnamon, and a few other spices

T: Spicy again...cinnamon, ginger, gingerbread, nutmeg. A little too carbonated for my taste though, but still delicious.

MD/D: Although the abv is 6%, I still think this would be a good session beer over dinner in the winter or on a cold day. Nice and warming, the alcohol is hidden, yet warms you when the beer warms.

Another solid production from RJ Rockers

Photo of metter98
3.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very hazy golden yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense and creamy off white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of yeast and spices in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of spices (cinnamon and nutmeg stand out in particular) and pale malts along with some hints of honey.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite easy to drink compared to others in the styles. Although it doesn’t have enough alcohol to produce warming sensations in your mouth, the body is strong enough to keep you warm on a chilly fall night.

Photo of tvv375ia
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got a six pack of these while pciking up some other beer and my local store a few weeks ago, evidentally they wanted to clear out some old inventory but I wont complain

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-cloudy apricot colored with about a 2 finger head

S-light spice and a int of orange

T-spices come through but are not overpowering like some others

M-good medium body

O-no complaints about this one, especially for free

Photo of Runrjw
4.42/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Good beer for winter . Has cinnamon flavor

Photo of showbob
4.87/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My favorite winter ale! The First Snow Ale is an American-style pale ale, moderately hopped. It also happens to have 15 pounds of honey and almost every spice in the cabinet thrown in: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, orange peel and allspice. Nice! With the 6% alcohol makes it even better!

Photo of patre_tim
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper cloudy with lots of carbonation, a huge gusher that forms a 10 finger light yellow beige head.

S: Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, some lemon zest, tart lemon. Very much like a seasonal October through Christmas pumpkin pie and festive mix beer.

T: Tart lemon juice and lemon rind, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. A sort of yeasty plastic like taste I often get if hefe weizens.

M: Medium light acidic feel with medium fermented fruit like carbonation.

O: Got this one at World Market in Asheville, NC, drank in Pensacola, FL July 25th, 2014. Quite well done, its gusher and lemony taste are distinctive for the style. Definite spices on this one.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.89/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Holly crap did I let this one age! Purchased from my second order at Halftime beverage about 2 months ago.

A - My guess fresh it would have been a nice clear yellow but about 8 months in I got sediment yeast floaties and a minimal amount of head but nice lacing.

S - My god does that smell good. Rich spicy cinnamon, nutmeg, and coriander along side of pale malts and mild hops.

T - Taste is a nice balance of spice with chalky yeast and mild bite in the finish from the hops. Mostly sweet and enjoyable.

M - Light to medium good for a pale winter warmer.

Overall a very interesting spin on your typical dark thick bodied winter warmer. Would love to try this again fresh to see if the spices are more pronounced in the flavor.

Photo of maxwellyourtheman
1.59/5  rDev -56%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Tastes like bad cough medicine.

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The First Snow Ale from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.