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The First Snow Ale - RJ Rockers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The First Snow AleThe First Snow Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

149 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 149
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 6
Gots: 6 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 10-12-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 149 | Reviews: 68 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Shilt
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Shilt, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of Suds
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a golden liquid, slightly hazy, with notable yeast 'floaties'. Slim white head. It's not an brilliantly attractive beer...average. The aroma is nice: spice is the first thing that's noticeable. Cinnamon. There's a little nutmeg, pale malt, and earthy hops. It's a Christmas smell for a winter brew; appropriate. The taste is middle-of-the-road. There's a decent balance...semi-sweet. The spice is notable in the taste, and gives a peppery sensation on the tongue. Hops have a mid-taste bite that give a counterbalance to the malt. Not bad. Firm in body, but not quite as hefty as the beer needed. All in all, this is drinkable and good, but not very interesting, and really rather ordinary for the season.

Suds, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of avalon07
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a hazy texture. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A big, enticing aroma of malt and a lot of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.).

T: Tasted of malt, light hops, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The taste doesn't quite live up to expectations built by the aroma. A little on the thin side.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: While this beer is drinkable, it is wildly uneven. It has some good qualities and some mediocre ones.

avalon07, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of suesporch
4/5  rDev +11.4%

suesporch, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of AshleyMiller
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to Msquared2 for this extra. poured into a snifter.

a - pours a golden orange with a fluffy generous thumb-width head that resides quickly leaving some patchy lacing on the glass

s - smells of xmas spices and some orange. i get a little cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon(?)

t - tastes almost like a belgian yeast with plenty of holiday spices, the honey adds a nice sweetness to go along with the spices

m - plenty of carbonation, on the lighter side of medium-bodiness

o - not too shabby, really quenched my thirst and was a nice beer to drink while watching national lampoon's christmas vacation

AshleyMiller, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -16.4%

jophish17, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of matty
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy orange beer with a rapidlt fading head .Aroma is spices(smeels like those spice wafer cookies).Taste is the same holiday spices that you would find in an egg nog.Overall an average beer nothing less nothing more.I doubt I would recommend or purchase again.

matty, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of 57md
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy yellowish orange in appearance with a finger of head that has little retention. The nose is clearly x-mas spices and the taste is quite spicy as well - cinnamon takes the lead here. There is a pleasantly dry finish, but it is a bit thin. An interesting brew, but maybe overall too light for a winter beer.

57md, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed alongside Summit Winter Ale.

A: Hazy, light orange-amber with two-finger, off-white, rocky head that lasted a while. Great lacing.

S: Toast and spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Nice.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate hop bitterness. Light toasted malt and spice. Spice overpowers malt a bit.

M: Light bodied with soft carbonation. Slightly dry. Kind of warm.

O: Looks and smells great, but I thought the malt should pop more in the flavor and the body was a bit too light for a winter warmer. I liked the Summit Winter Ale better.

SolipsismalCat, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of smallz0307
4/5  rDev +11.4%

smallz0307, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of drpimento
2.55/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Best part was the smell. Poured with a small to medium sized, fine, off white that settled down to a ring after a bit and no lace. Color is a hazy pumpkin pie amber (which is a nice coincidence the same spices used to brew with) with some bubble trails. Aroma is mainly those spices, beer, and later a little funk. Flavor is likewise, but without much malt to balance, which also proly leads to my view that the body is a bit light too although good carbonation. Finish is like flavor and of average length for a spice beer. I'm not finishing mine. Wish I had some cheese or something to neutralize my mouth.

drpimento, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of alleykatking
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

alleykatking, May 19, 2011
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

- from the notes
12 ounce bottles.
A - hazy amber full of fine particulates topped with a thin head.
S - lots of malt and spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves.
T - warm spices not overly done and nicely balanced with the malts.
M - could use a little more carbonation to round out the medium body.
D - not a session beer but you could have more than one before the flavor wears you down.

Beer4Baltimore, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of brewemstrong
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Solid copper color with a one finger white head that dissapeared quickly. No apparent sediment.

S: Incredibly spiced but not as malty. Cinnamon sticks and nutmeg, light hop scent. Plum or fig?

T: For as potent as it appeared to be, this has a light-medium body. It is not overly spiced, hopped or sugary.

M: Medium carbonation but not too heavy for this ale. No bite or sugar after the swallow. If anything, it finishes a bit dry.

O: A good taste for the season, but I doubt I will search for it again.

brewemstrong, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of jsprain1
4.6/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Slightly hazy oranged tan with a cream colored head. Retains head well. Some lacing.
S- Smells very much of spice. Cinnamon, some clove. Actually a bit like a pumpkin ale.
T- In terms purely of taste, this may be the best Winter Warmer I've had. A bit of pumpkin, there some cinnamon, clove, allspice, nutmeg, and then there is just a nice citrus flow to it. Well balanced. Splendid.
M- Creamy, full bodied, just a touch undercarbed is the only complaint I have.
D- Top to bottom, this may be the Winter Warmer I've had to date. A really splendid beer.

jsprain1, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

bucklemyshoe, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of argock
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into an overssized wine glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.60.

A: Pleasing slightly hazy amber with persistent 1-2 fingers of creamy, off-white head which leaves a nice band of lace.

S: Nutmeg and cinnamon with orange are the strongest aroma components. The mid-range malt base is a little flat and cardboardy.

T: The flavor is a subtle mix of a light bodied ale with mild winter spicing and a medium malt presence. The spices are most evident up front and mainly include ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg with orange zest. This equates to citrus-tinged gingerbread cookies. The malt sweetness passes quickly and falls flat like in the flavor leaving a cardboard aftertaste.

M: The mouthfeel blends spice tingle with a light, creamy mouthfeel that is really pleasurable to drink.

D: Usually I don't like spiced beer much and wouldn't have bought this had I read the label closer, but in the end I'm glad I did as this brew kept the spice in check and matched this subtler spice profile with a light bodied ale. A little more attention to the malt bill, and this brew could be a real winter staple.

argock, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of MayLattimore
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich dark amber, with not much head that disappears fast. The is spicy. The taste doesn't quite hit the mark in my mind. A little strange in the mix. Luckily, the body and mouthfeel are good. But, while I was okay with drinking one, I switched after. I'm not quite sure what they were shooting for. But, maybe it's just not for everyone. It seems most of the people are split on this one.

MayLattimore, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into dimpled mug. Pours cloudy amber and short bubbly white head that gathers around the edges on the glass. Aroma is very spicy! Lots of cinnamon, ginger, and clove along with caramel and sweet malts. Taste is gingerbread cookies, caramel, cinnamon toast, and sweet malts. Bit of nuttiness and dried fruit notes coming through as well. Body is medium with moderate carbonation. Finishes with more strong spices - cinnamon and ginger, mostly - caramel, light nutty flavors, and sweet malts. Dried dark fruit as well. Very good winter beer. A sleeper out of the bunch I was evaluating for my winter/christmas beer review.

CuriousMonk, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of Tilley4
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow... Very nice winter brew here... This is like gingerbread cookies in a glass and isn't overly spiced like some others are... One reviewer mentioned candy cane aromas and I'm getting them too... Lots of gingerbread spices with cinnamon and nutmeg and the like... Toasted malts with lots of sweetness... I'm digging this quite a bit...one of the better winter brews I had this year...

Tilley4, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of GehenHerzog
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler filled at Grapevine (Fort Mill, SC) poured into a Catawba Valley pint glass.

A- Medium orange body with a single finger, dense white head which dies quickly and leaves no lacing.

S- Smells of strictly spices.

T- All spices, in all honesty way too much spice in this beer. Other than the spice, the beer is very bland.

M- Light but chewy. Not bad, but not great. Pretty high carbonation.

D- I don't know, the carbonation is really getting to me.

It's not terrible. I would drink it if it was given to me, but I don't think I will be purchasing it again. I was a little disappointed because I do like RJ Rockers.

GehenHerzog, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

thagr81us, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of beer2day
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Honey gold pour with faint carbonation and 1-finger head. Faint retention and lacing.

Honey all over the nose. Corriander backs that up, with a bit of lemon.

Sweet hit and spicy, spicy finish. Honey up front with pepper kicking in at the end. Very sharp finish with lots of spice.

Feel seems about right. Pepper walks all over the feel at the end.

One of these is plenty, even at 6%. That peppery finish brings it down a tad.

beer2day, May 29, 2010
Photo of superdedooperboy
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

Pours a hazy deep golden-amber with a half finger of frothy off-white foam that recedes slowly to a thick crown, leaving some thin legs of lace down the walls of the glass as it empties.

Cinnamon and nutmeg show up in the nose, with what seems like a hint of ginger, clove and a faint whiff of anise, as well as a touch of brown sugar-like sweetness. A little DMS seems to hide in the background -- perhaps a little Pils malt was in the grist? Here's hoping, though it could be a misplaced aroma.

Medium-bodied with a moderate carbonation that seems perhaps a little high. A nice toasty, honeyish sweetness shows up front and carries through well into the middle and back, balanced only, it seems, by the holiday spices thrown into the mix; no real hop profile is noticeable, but things seem nicely in balance nevertheless, if a bit on the sweet side. The finish is a little sweet and a touch grainy; things dry out at the very end, though, with a little spice moving forward and leaving me wanting for a nother draught.

I first sampled this at Columbia's World Beer Festival and have since had it several times. Overall a nice and drinkable Winter Warmer, with quite an appealing spice mix in the aroma; the honeyish notes must indeed stem from the use of honey in the brewing, which is indicated on the label. A nice interpretation for the style; not the best out there, but definitely a go-to choice when it's available.

superdedooperboy, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of showbob
4.88/5  rDev +35.9%
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!

showbob, Mar 11, 2010
The First Snow Ale from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.