Snow Wizard Oak Aged Brown Ale | Saugatuck Brewing Company

very good
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Snow Wizard Oak Aged Brown AleSnow Wizard Oak Aged Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Saugatuck Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
An Oak Aged Imperial Brown Ale with tons of oaky, woody flavors. The base brown malt profile provides a huge caramel, coffee and chocolate body with minimal hop bitterness match perfectly with the complex flavor profile of the oak chips.

25 IBU

Added by Zaphog on 11-20-2015

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Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 57
Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in Puducah, KY.

Having had this twice now, I can verify how impressed with this beer I am.

Earlier this evening, I had Dogfish Head's Indian Brown (7.2%) and although it was good, it did not have the mouthfeel or overall complexity of this beer.

This has a great appearance, a complex aroma, a great mouthfeel and taste. I'm glad I have four more.

First impression: Overall, I was impressed with this beer.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brown is way better than you might expect. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and depth of this brew.

It is not a flashy looking beer, just deep brown with little head. Clear but dark. The aroma is a mild barrel aged smell on top of a nice balanced malt and hops smell from a brown ale.

The taste is a nice, not too sweet but balanced malty effect. Very little bitter pokes through, but it is there. Again, nice balance. This is a very drinkable, more interesting than the norm brown ale. Highly recommended.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I bought a bottle of this off the single shelf at Binnys. It poured a rich mahogany with thin off white head that is not leaving any lace. The scent had nice oak and hints of bourbon. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with bread base and oak barrel hints. The Mouthfeel was medium in body with smooth carbonation. Overall it's a solid beer and worth a try.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I recently did a horizontal run-through of six or seven Saugatuck beers as a part of the Bottle Backlog Purge here at Chez Woody so when this one hit our market, I snatched one up for consumption & review.

From the bottle: "Illustrated by @CrocodileIsOutLate".

I Pop!ped the Snow Wizard right in his cap. This did nothing to endear me to him, so I grabbed him by the neck and upended him to begin a steady pour of his contents. This created a pseudo-cascade resulting in the formation of two fingers of fizzy, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head that was falling faster than a snowflake in a hailstorm. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27, although closer to 22) with NE-quality clarity and Deep Amber highlights, but the Snow Wizard looked a little pale after the way that I had treated him. Nose was very oaky, okay? Sorry, I could not resist. It was oaky, though, with dark chocolate and black coffee underlying the oakiness. Mouthfeel was medium, but very silky and smooth in the mouth. The carbonation was light and not at all prickly, allowing me to kind of roll the beer on my tongue. The taste was less coffee and more towards dark chocolate, but the oak chips imparted a coconut-like flavor that added up to a liquid Mounds bar! I'll be frank - I am not big on sweets, but my late Pops loved dark chocolate and I can get behind that, I like both Mounds & Peppermint Patties, both of which are enrobed in dark chocolate. Milk chocolate just gives me the willies and leaves me as cold as the Snow Wizard. Warming, it began to take on a caramel flavor, but not so much as to be sweet, just noticeable. The finish was a pleasant mélange of rich, dark flavors and the oak was like the icing on the cake. I have yet to dislike a Saugatuck beer!

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Photo of BB1313
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottled on 11/7/16. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours an auburn with ruby hues; nice light khaki head that fades leaving solid retention and okay lacing. The aromas have lots of black cherry notes. Lots of spruce in the mix as well. Lots of malts. Subtle hints of caramel. Some flower pedals giving this one some earthy floral notes. The flavors are clean. More black cherry and spruce. There's some caramel along with some mild toffee and cocoa in the mix. More flower notes. Strong malt backbone. The oak characteristics are pretty subtle. It's slightly sweet, but I'd lean more towards bittersweet. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's pretty smooth and easy to drink.

This is a solid brown ale. It's kind of unique for the style. The oak characteristics don't shine, but still add some depth. This might not be my new favorite Saugatuck brew, but it's still enjoyable.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another 3 dollar single from the house of 1,000.
A - Very dark reddish tones see through with a 1/4 inch of foam that settles rather quickly.
S - Sweet brown sugar, tones of oak and mild brown malts. Smell is nice.
T - Oak leaves for a rather bitter finish but body is mostly nice with some sweet malts and brown malts. Bitterness is kind of distracting though.
M - Rather smooth medium bodied beer

Overall not sure if its the earthy hops or bitter oak but its very distracting especially for a malty beer. Tone that down and you will have winner.

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Photo of Suds
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From a 12 ounce bottle, this brew has a deep brown color....reddish highlights, and a wonderful, thick, soapy tan head. The aroma is a pleasant mix of toasted grain, malt, light roast notes, and distant campfire. Some earthy hops as well. Very smooth, full, almost silky body. Enjoyable but not exceptional.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Saugatuck's Snow Wizard for $1.59 at The Lager Mill. This one sounds interesting, so lets see how it goes. 2016 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, it goes well with the name and it's eye catching. It poured a dark brown color which took on more of a slightly lighter brown color when held to the light with just a fingers worth of bubbly light tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left hardly any lacing behind. This is a nice looking beer, but I wish it had some lacing.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the oak barrels being the first to show up and they impart a nice and noticeable oak, vanilla and a nice toasted coconut like aroma that goes into the malts which impart a little bit of chocolate like aroma with lots of caramel and caramel malt like aromas with some sweet malts also. This beer has a very nice aroma, the oak barrels work nicely with the Brown Ale base.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the barrel still being the first to show up and it imparts all the same aspects that it did in the aroma with the toasted coconut showing up the most. Up next comes the malts which impart all the same malty aspects that they did int he aroma with that caramel flavor still showing up the most. Towards the end there's a little bit of a watery flavor with hardly any bitterness with not much sweetness taking it's place and in the aftertaste there's some caramel and toasted coconut flavors. This is a good tasting beer, I really like that toasted coconut aspect, but I wish it wasn't a little watery on the finish.

M- Smooth, pretty crisp, slightly prickly, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a lower amount of high carbonation. The mouthfeel is nice, but I wish it was thicker with a little less carbonation.

Overall i thought this was a good beer and I thought it was a pretty nice example of the style, it had some really nice flavors and aromas, but it seemed like the mouthfeel held it back. This beer had nice drinkability,I could drink a couple, but that would be my limit, it would make for a nice fall time beer.. What I like the most about this beer is the oak barrel aspects, they worked well with this beer and I really liked the toasted coconut aspects. What I like the least about this beer is the mouthfeel, it was a little too light and over carbonated. I would buy this beer again if they make it next year and I would recommend giving it a try, but because of the body I don't think it's a must try. All in all liked this beer, but I didn't love it and I think if the body was worked on it would be a very nice beer. It's one of the better Saugatuck beers I've had and it's above average for the style. Nice job guys, this is a good beer.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Rastal Teku from a 12 oz bottle on February 14, 2016. Packaged on 11.05.15. 25 IBUs. Look is dark brown with a two finger tan head and spotty lacing. Smell is spices, brown sugar, caramel, maple syrup, toffee, roasted nuts, burnt oak, dark cocoa, light coffee and toasted bread aromas. Taste is spices, brown sugar, caramel, maple syrup, toffee, roasted nuts, oak barrel, dark chocolate, fresh roasted coffee beans and bread malt flavors. Feel is medium in body with a smooth creamy finish.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/7/2015. Pours clear very dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, maple, toffee, brown bread, nuttiness, toasted oak, chocolate, light coffee/vanilla, herbal, light pepper, and oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, oak, and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, maple, toffee, brown bread, nuttiness, toasted oak, chocolate, light coffee/vanilla, herbal, light pepper, and oak/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal bitterness and oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, maple, toffee, brown bread, nuttiness, toasted oak, chocolate, light coffee/vanilla, herbal, light pepper, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance dark/bready malt, oak, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitter/oak spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from bitterness and oak spice as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent oak aged brown ale! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance dark/bready malt, oak, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. This had very pronounced oak character; but was not overdone, and had good balance against the base brown ale. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of matt_duthie
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really love this stuff. As a big drinker of bourbon-barrel imperial stouts and barely-wines, this has become an incredibly solid "session" beer for me lately. Dark, flavorful, drinkable, and not too terribly strong to have a few.

L: Dark for a brown, sure, but not quite into stout/porter territory. Khaki finger's worth of head, some streaky lacing. Looks Good.

S: Malt and oak, hints of vanilla, sweet and delicious

T: Super balanced. Slightly sweet caramel/maple syrup thing going on in addition to your standard brown ale flavor profile initially, then some really nice clean oakiness, finishing with just a hint of earthy hops to round it out, oak lingering nicely. Good cold. Good room temperature.

F: Not chewy, but not watery either. Consistency and carbonation are pretty spot on for what it is. Creamy even. No complaints whatsoever here either.

O: Badass bottle art to draw your attention, and a seriously good beer inside. At $11/6-pack, I've not had a better oak-aged beer in the same sort of category. For sure recommended. It might not be mind-blowing, but it sure impressed me. I've not until now had a repeat purchase from Saugatuck (nor have I hated one of their beers), but this one I'll keep buying til I don't see it any longer.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased and consumed at Christmas '15. A dark brown pour with light head. The oak aging comes right out in the aroma and taste. "It is exactly what it says it is," from my tasting companion (aka wife). The malts come right out and are balanced by hops. Bottle says 25 IBUs which is about right in the wheelhouse. The oak comes out in the back of the tongue, a woody note. A nice variation on a brown ale.

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Photo of DMarlinJ
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looks too dark for a brown. Hardly any smells, but the flavorsame are there. Subtle oak and roasted notes. Easy to drink, nice light mouthfeel. I wouldn't call it an imperial, too light. Overall it's a bit weak but I like it. It is balanced.

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Photo of MNJR
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber, reddish/brown color, nice tan head, smells nutty with a bit of vanilla and whiskey barrel. Taste is good: vanilla, raisin, molasses, pecan, whiskey, licorice, earth, cellar flavors and a bit boozy for only 7%. That makes me question the "imperial" designation. 7% isn't that high, and this is not loaded with the heft I expect from an "imperial." Really this is a normal brown ale aged in oak, which I assume means whiskey barrels, although that is not part of the description. Well crafted warming brown ale, with a complex balance of very good flavors. Good stuff for sure.

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Snow Wizard Oak Aged Brown Ale from Saugatuck Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 57 ratings.
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