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Blue Ridge Snowball’s Chance - Wild Goose Brewery, LLC

Not Rated.
Blue Ridge SnowballÂ’s ChanceBlue Ridge SnowballÂ’s Chance

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

42 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.34%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wild Goose Brewery, LLC visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-26-2002)
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by DarthMalt:
Photo of DarthMalt


4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm gonna grab a tap handle for this puppy one day. It's a big freakin' snowman!

I had shortness of breath about finding this one this year, after I heard rumors about Frederick Brewing Co. going Chapter 11 last year. But, thank Ninkasi, it's still around!

Great dark-red ruby color, with a packed head that looks like light brown sugar. Smell should be heavenly to ale afficianados--super grapefruit punch with a good yeasty smell underneath. It screams ale, basically.

Head hangs on tight for the trip down south, while yeast profile barely keeps its blanketing ooze in check.

A lot of beers talk shit about their "select" malt varieties, but Snowball's six really peel out into several distinct flavors of malt--each cup a new experience. The Columbia and Mt. Hood hops present a master stroke in the art of bitterness and flavoring.

Alcohol appearance is nil, even at 6.0%.

Best of all? No hokey spices!!!!!!

This is one of those beers that takes three or four to decide whether or not you really like it. :)

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2002 19:55:35 | More by DarthMalt
More User Reviews:
Photo of bzach


2.5/5  rDev -31.5%

10-12-2012 10:15:20 | More by bzach
Photo of ROGUE16


3/5  rDev -17.8%

12-07-2011 12:33:49 | More by ROGUE16
Photo of cichief


3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

A- Poured a deep ruby-brown, with a thin, light brown head.

S- Sweet smelling, malty.

T- Again, sweet, with a malted barley overtone, slight coffee flavor, with dry finish.

M- Bubbly, with a thin to medium body.

D- At 6% ABV its not too heavy, a decent drink in colder weather.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2007 01:46:17 | More by cichief
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a ruby caramel mahogany brown hue with an off white tan head leaves even coats of moderate tan lacing with each sip. Aroma is nice with mild cocoa powser roasted malt profile herbal hop finish just a touch with a nice overall pleasant mild smell to it. Flavor has a touch of hop bitterness with chocolate cocoa powder and mild coffee and is complemented with a herbal pine hop finish very easy going in flavor though. Mouthfeel is lighter to medium bodied with a smooth mild creaminess about it even carbonation does stay on the palate for a bit. Drinkability nice christmas session not over spiced like some others I had this past holiday season, oh yeah these are past notes that I stumbled on.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2007 19:25:14 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of DuqTroops


4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was sent to me by my friend who is the "asst brewmaster" at wild goose brewery. He mentioned it was a limited release and might not be available anymore.

Great winter warmer. deep red in color, smooth drinkability, malty, but not too strong. Comparable to Sam Smith's brew.

Very good beer. If you can get your hand on it, try it.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2007 02:11:47 | More by DuqTroops
Photo of battlekow


4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. I got it in a trade awhile ago and it's been begging me to put it out of its misery for awhile; I'm glad I finally obliged. It's a pretty simple beverage, though mine is at least a year old now so it's undoubtedly mellowed. Thick and malty, not unlike a baby old ale. Extremely biscuity finish is evocative: early morning memories of Bisquick boxes and sausage (maybe I should pair it with a rauchbier). The dry finish contrasts well with the gooey sweetness upfront. Almost raisiny but not quite. A great beer to relax with while your girlfriend does her endless French homework.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2007 03:48:45 | More by battlekow
Photo of JohnnyM2002


3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a red wine glass at 50 degrees. Drank on a cold night..

A - Pours a medium brown with ruby red highlights and a tan 1-inch head that melted away to a small ring after a minute.

S - Caramel malt pops up from the glass with some lingering spice.

T - An earthy/biscuity backbone for the malty tone. Reminds me of a very mild oatmeal stout with some added spice. A wee bit of spiced hops in the aftertaste.

M - Medium, creamier body with higher-than-expected carbonation. No detection of alcohol as the creamy flavors finish smooth.

D - I hadn't had any Blue Ridge in quite some time, but this was a nice reintroduction. I'd suggest picking one up if making a winter mixed case...makes for a good cold-weather-session beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2007 01:47:37 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of Higravity


4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh dear god. It is good to be back in MD for the holidays. This beer is my favorite seasonal from Wild Goose and I will take a case which I will sorely miss in Michigan. Big brown ruby with a light fluff head and such a smell. It is delicous rich toasty taste with a raisiny twang and chocolate hints that are greeted well by the noble hops. Great full body that lends itself to easy drinking. Track this stuff down it is worth it.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2006 19:42:34 | More by Higravity
Photo of MaltyGoodness


3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a medium chestnut brown with ruby highlights. Has a creamy tan head that thins, mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is a lightly toasted caramel malt with a distinct nuttiness. Some light cocoa and mild herbal hop aromas are also present.

Caramel malt upfront leading into a blend of nutty and cocoa flavors. A mild bitterness hits almost at the finish along with a mild herbal hop flavor that lingers a bit.

Medium body, solid carbonation.

A drinkable brew, and a nice overall winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2006 03:20:47 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of mentor


3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A gift from higravity (thanks for the opportunity), reviewed from notes. Pours a finger of brown-tan head over a dark brown liquid. Partly cloudy. Smells dry cocoa with ahint of grassy from hops and a lemony citrus hop character. Tastes dry cocoa and flat grassy hops. A late arrival is a sweeter chocolate like chocolate chip bits. Overall, this beer is dry and grassy. Md body and moderate carbonation. Okay, but nothing really special.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2006 06:27:35 | More by mentor
Photo of rabsten

West Virginia

4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For the review, I've poured it into a pint glass, but I honestly think this beer tastes better right out of the bottle. Pours thick and dark, with a red-tinted caramel brown color. The head is thick and sticky, and laces the glass with every sip.

It smells sweet and malty, with some vanilla/caramel (something candy-esque, anyway) and coffee tones. No hop aroma.

Tastes just like it smells. Malty, with coffee overtones, and a sweet, caramel aftertaste. Not bitter at all.

Very smooth brew. Feels good going down and starts a nice, warm feeling in the belly. It's definately a "warmer."

As metioned above, this beer somehow tastes better from the bottle. I'm not sure why, but it does. Perhaps the brewmaster designed it to be consumed out in the snow, maybe at a place like Wisp. Overall, a pleasant, accessible winter warmer ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2006 23:23:35 | More by rabsten
Photo of GeoffRizzo


4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Plain brown, with bright red highlights. The egg-shell like head is quickly absorbed and dissolves fast. The nose is sweet and colorful—malts, oaks, earthy notes, raisins and just a hint of alcohol. An oily slick mouthfeel, very rich—full bodied. Primarily malt based body, back with a hoppy-bite. Caramel notes throughout; also some chocolate and rich cocoa flavorings round out this rather nicely. The palate and after-affects are burnt caramel malts and toffee. Lacks the ‘bite’ that other winter seasonals offer, yet very easy to drink and pretty flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2006 18:11:30 | More by GeoffRizzo
Photo of jhu1995


2.4/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked this up at World Market as part of a winter brew variety pack. Appearance was a very deep, dark brown, bordering on blackish-brown. Very thin head. Smell was all caramel malt. For having a wide variety of malts in the mix, I was a little disappointed. Thought I would get some roasted flavor. Taste was similar to the flavor with caramel taste dominating. Not much of a hops presence. Does not make you want to reach for another one.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2005 00:11:30 | More by jhu1995
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear brownish burgandy color. 2" fluffy tan colored head. Some mild lacing develops.

Smell: the aroma is of mild roasted malts, bread, and slight nuttiness.

Taste: this brew is malty. The flavor is of caramel, pumpernickel bread, molasses, soft chocolate, mild bitterness, and a hint of alcohol. This is like drinking a hearty meal.

Mouthfeel: medium - heavy in body. The mouthfeel is smooth at the start and finish. The finish is long on the malt and bread qualities.

Drinkability: very drinkable and a nice winter brew. Worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2005 00:32:21 | More by Gavage
Photo of weeare138


3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark brown with a slight red hue and a nice beige head that retains nicely. Beautiful beige lacing rings stick around all sides.
Smell is of a nice array of malt with a mixed up grain bill that is pleasant. Aromas of caramel, wheat, and perhaps a light billing of German and Belgian malts lingering in the background.
Taste is sweet swheat malt mixed with an array of mixed malts. Quite jumbled but interesting enough to drink.
Mouthfeel is smooth but slightly watery along the palate with finish cutting out with mild hop bitterness. Definite wheat presence.
Drinkability...needs to be more full bodied and definitive. The Snow Goose seems to be more of a winner for a warmer and this is leaning towards a porter gone awry. There is just too much going on betwen the yeast, grain bill, different malts, and mild hop finish. I can't put my finger on it. Not bad but not that great either.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2005 22:40:39 | More by weeare138
Photo of tgbljb


3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a very deep color with reddish tints, Head was slightly off-white and adequate. Left minimal lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is minimal with some molasses, bread, malt detected.Taste is superb with massive caramel, nuts, dark fruit (plums) in abundance. Finish is nice and dry and very enjoyable. Beckons for another taste. A Very good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2005 01:04:52 | More by tgbljb
Photo of cubedbee


3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Frisco Burritos, comes out in the pint glass a deep dark brown, a finger of beige head that vanishes fast, but some moderate lacing on the glass. Nose is a bready, slightly toasted, malt, brown sugar, and a slight gingerlike spice. Taste is more of the same, a bready sugary malt, like gingerbread cookies, a dollop of molasses just a slight spicey finish, no hops detectable. Definitely on the sweeter side of things, but it never becomes cloying and is actually very drinkable. I definitely preferred the spicier Anchor Christmas Ale also on tap, but this is a decent winter warmer in it's own right.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 22:06:53 | More by cubedbee
Photo of Toocls2h8


4.68/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am really suprised at the relatively low rating for this beer. My brother lives nextdoor to the brewmaster of Frederick Brewing Co. and received a couple 6-packs as an early Christmas gift.

The picture here is pretty much what it looked like when I poured it.

The taste is a warm, moderately hoppy, balanced with some malt with an assertive coffee flavor. This is a very drinkable beer, I drank four of them in an evening and would have kept going if I didnt have to drive home.

Not too hoppy, not too malty, not too alcoholic--just right.

One of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 17:15:50 | More by Toocls2h8
Photo of Dithyramb


3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled as a pint glass at Frisco's in Columbia. Pours a smokey dark brown with sparse tan head. Only a bit of cabonation feeding up, with limited retention and lacing.

Just a very slight roast toasty malt aroma with some sugary background.
Dark roasted malts and sugars are the predominant flavor here, just perfect for the winter. Caramel, molasses, bready, toffee laden goodness. Hops are basically hardly in this party.
Mouthfeel was just right. Usually, when something is so malt driven, it is a bit cloying, but not the case here. Just right mouthfeel, light carbonation, clean finish--very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2005 14:23:14 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of LuckySevens82


4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of Higravity and Secret Bunny '05

Pours a slightly opaque brown with garnet hues on the edges when held up to light. Head is a thin, off white, and not sticking around for long. Collar, however is quite nice.
Smell is cherries, slight coffee. Chocolate dominates as well as spice (cinnamon, nutmeg). Very nice.
Taste is similar to smell. Cherries, however are much more dominant than I would have thought. There is a sort of cordial vibe going on here. Chocolate, caramel, slight coffee notes are also present. Cinnamon is there, but not particularly pronounced. There is also a slight hint of alcohol as this one goes down.
Overall, a very nice winter warmer. My only qualm with this is it is a little thin as far as carbonation is concerned. Apart from the mouthfeel though, I would say that this is a great example of the style, and certainly something I would have again given the chance.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2005 02:24:45 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a creamy, toasted scent that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. It's earthy with a breadlike aroma. The taste is good. It has a rich, earthy flavor that is quite sweet and complex. It goes down easy and finishes smooth and breadlike. I love the malt palate. It has a nutty flavor as well. The mouthfeel is outstanding. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good beer. It is has awesome aroma and taste; a great sessions beer. The label doesn't impress me, but the beer is good.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2005 01:33:25 | More by WesWes
Photo of guinness33

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a nice ruby colour with a mild off white head that leaves a decent though non-spectacular residue on the glass.

the smell is malty with chocolate, nuts and a bit of tart fruitiness present. a tad thin but nice overall.

the flavour is a malty caramel cream predominantly, with some chocolate at the finish mixed in with a bit of fruit flavouring, raspberry perhaps. there's a touch of a hop kick here and there which is nice as well. the mouthfeel is nice, with a bit of a chalky, brown ale feel to it.

this is a pretty good brew overall that mixes up the flavour nicely and provides for a bit of warmth as well. it's a winter brew you should check out at the very least.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2004 03:26:33 | More by guinness33
Photo of maxpower


3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep clear reddish-brown color with a decent off-white head that leaves a good lacing in my glass, fruity and malty aromas. Smooth nutty and caramel flavors, medium bodied with mild carbonation, nice creamy and smooth mouthfeel, finishes kind of sweet, alcohol well hidden until it warms, not as good as I remember, still a nice winter ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2004 20:37:44 | More by maxpower
Photo of sacfly


4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color. Head dies out quickly. Smell is of fresh all grain bread. Nice strong , but not over the top, nutty/toasty flavor. Perfect hop finish. Very good winter seasonal. Was told by the brewer that this years (2004) went back to the original recipe. Good choice, as I was not nearly this impressed last year.

Edit: Had a bottle of the same vintage Feb 9th 2005. It has taken on more of a rosted barley/coffee flavor as opposed to the nutty bread flavor it had fresh. Still very good!

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 14:36:46 | More by sacfly
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Blue Ridge Snowball’s Chance from Wild Goose Brewery, LLC
83 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.