Snow Day Winter Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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383 Reviews
Snow Day Winter AleSnow Day Winter Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pleasantly hoppy, Snow Day carries the subtle chocolate and caramel flavors of a new brewing malt known as Midnight Wheat. The Styrian Golding, Centennial and Cascade hops bring the backbone of hoppy bitterness to complement the roasty undertones. This beer is the deep garnet of a roasted walnut and presents a creamy tan head, floating artfully atop. Snow Day is bold and hoppy, drinkable and strong.

Added by NStLincoln on 10-14-2011

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Reviews: 383 | Ratings: 1,498
Photo of JordanlikesAles
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark pour with a little citrus, floral & fruit aroma. Very good initial hoppy bite and overall balanced hop proflie thats hard to describe exactly. Really is good for a snow day but I could see myself drinking this in almost any season, good beer and great brewery.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Despite being May, it was 39 in Chicago; so it was good I saved this Winter Ale past its "Best Buy" date.
As tasted before, I think this is a good take on the style... all around subtle.
It is very dark with good head retention and some sticky lace.
Aroma gives me mostly fruits and malts; seems like a good yeast strain from New Belgium.
Taste is balanced with modest hops (despite the label saying they piled them in.)
And the carbonation is relatively low, which suits me.
Overall, I like these guys. Their beers make small innovations on the style and they give their employees a cut in one of the largest and most successful craft brewers.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Dark brown with finger tan head, fades slowly with coating lace. Citrus aroma with roasty malt. Similar taste with roasted chocolate and some char, plenty of hops, citrusy n floral in the finish. Thin smooth mouthfeel. Overall good brew.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown, lots of clarity despite how dark it is, 1/2" white to off white head. Aroma was of dark malts, sweetness more than roast.

Hops are there, brown and chocolate malts, slight sweetness, thicker than most winter warmers, this had the edge in viscosity. Chewy. Bitter. This was like an imperial fat tire.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours nearly black with a slight tan head.
Aroma is primarily chocolate and light citrus.
The citrus hits my tongue first followed by a bit of chocolate. The swallow finished with dark chocolate bitterness and a slight warming spice and pine.
Moutfeel is thin and well carbonated.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Love the artwork on the bottle! This Black Ale pours a roasted walnut color and has simply excellent lacing! Carbonation appears to be mild and creamy and the head is modest, that being around a half finger in thickness and settling into a soapy looking ring.

S- Its a good way! Almost burnt caramel sweetness from the malt, with tinges of deliciously dark cocoa nibs, mild french press coffee, bold toffee nuts and some citrus hop bitterness to round everything out on the finish....impressive!

T- This is different than the aromas let on.....much more of the cocoa semi sweetness balanced with some astringently bitter coffee tones to be precise! There is perhaps some tart berries in the background....just a hint of fruitiness, and some dry grains throughout. The finish is pleasant and refreshing with plenty of cleansing hop bitterness to keep the palate wanting more!

M/O- This is a rather creamy, with mellow carbonation and is an excellent accompaniment to an 85% dark chocolate...everything pulls from each other in a rather mild tug of war....super nice! This hides the alcohol well and is a nicely balanced black ale that is complex and has a wide range of characteristics....I like it and recommend!

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very dark brown, nearly black. Semi-clear as can only be seen by faint cola and deep ruby hues when exposed to bright light source. Fine and creamy, film-forming, light brown head of excellent retention. Smells like fresh cauliflower at first, fairly clean hops, but intensifies to more resin and pine, with balancing factor of sweet and roasty malts, and perhaps some booze. Minute tobacco smoke notes. To the taste, more cauliflower, for lack of a better term that's more descriptive than "vegetal" or "earthy" or "leafy." Likely a combination of malt and hop qualities. And then, of all things, uncooked pasta, something I tend only to expect from beers like Session IPAs and the occasional Blonde. Followed by metallic suggestions and orange rind, although this is easily lost in the balance. Other than that we have lightly roasty/smokey flavors, only mild sweetness, peppercorn retro-olfaction, with a piney, metallic, nearly soapy finish that allows this brew to be (almost) as interesting as those American Black Ales which have been more creatively hopped, and more zealously worted and fermented, not to discredit this brew. Medium-bodied, a little light and thin for the style, I think. Carbonation seems soda-like at first but soon makes for velvety suds. Dry, fairly astringent.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a one inch khaki head that leaves thick strings of lace. The smell is very hop forward. The taste follows with bitter pine followed by a malt finish. This comes across more like a black IPA than any other Winter ale I've had.

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Photo of stlfatguy
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Got it in a NB mixed winter 12 pack. I guess I didn't realize this winter brew was a Black Ale. Got a surprise when I poured it into the glass and the color was dark cola/black. Smell was roasted malt. From the color and smell, I was expecting a taste similar to a nice, heavy winter porter. I was surprised by some sweetness, caramel, and faint fruit in addition to the roasted malts. I was really surprised by the definite hoppy finish which balanced things out very nicely. This beer is true to the style, and something I'll enjoy again.

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Photo of creepinjeeper
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle from the NB Winter Folly pack
Look - Cola in color, blackish, reddish, brown. Tight head, as opposed to fluffy. Once it settles, it stays. Nice big blotchy lacing.
Smell - Roasted malts, some citrus and pine, hint of caramelized sugar.
Taste - Bitter roasted grains, hoppy bitterness as well, amazingly balanced. Dry and bitter finish.
Feel - Smooth, medium not watery but not as thick as the color would lead you to believe.
Overall - I do love the Black IPA style. This one does not disappoint. I find myself comparing them to Dubhe, an Imperial Black IPA and favorite of mine. When you strip away the comparison, this one stands wonderfully on it's own. Well worth getting the Winter Folly box for.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark body, largely opaque, with an off-white head, fairly persistent, lacing.

S - Pine. Citrus and pith.

T - A hoppy spike, a malty core, and a bitter close.

M - Not heavy, with mild bitter drying.

O - A good black ale. Nice.

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Photo of frothy_80
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with red highlights. Finger width of an off white head with tight knit bubbles. Head dissipated quickly, however, it did last the entire glass. Citrus, mainly grapefruit, dominate the nose with subtle notes of roasted burnt sugar in background. The roasted grains shine a little more in the taste with chocolate and scorched caramel. An earthy spice presence from the hops balances nicely with the roasted grains. Despite having a fuller body this beer is crisp with a decent amount of bitterness on the finish. A well balanced Black IPA with nothing being over the top. I enjoyed this offering more than I had anticipated and glad I have a couple more in the fridge.

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Photo of jmasher85
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A bit smokey, nicely roasted grains, with a hint of bitterness in the finish and a clean, easy texture. Not the most complex or exciting winter offering, but a nice, dark ale for when you don't want to drink anything fancy or boozy.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.43/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Snow Day Winter Ale brewed by New Belgium Brewing, with an ABV of 6.20% This brew pours out a deep brown color with a nice off white head. This brew has the look of cola, not saying that is a bad thing. The smell of Snow Day Winter Ale, is rich with hops, and rosted grains and malts. The hops are the first thing you pick up on in the smell of this brew. Then you pick up on the rosted grins and malts, in the smell. Now for the taste, it is bold with flavors. There is a nice amout of hops and rosted grains and malts in this brew. Snow Day Winter Ale, has a nice really nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. I like how smooth this brew is, you really can't pick up on the 6.20% ABV in this brew. This is a fine drinking brew. The mouthfeel of Snow Day is rich Bold , clean, and refreshing. Overall I'm giving Snow Day Winter Ale a 4.25 out of 5. I would buy this brew again. New Belgium Brewing, did a nice job with one.

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Photo of Nctide
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Best before 31jan16. Appearance is dark with red highlights. Aroma is dominated by floral hops with slight vanilla sweetness. The taste starts with a roasted malt presence and some hop bitterness on the finish. There isn't much flavor coming through. Overall this beer just doesn't do much for me.

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Photo of Catracho5
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

Snow Day pours a dark cola like brown with a tan head, not much retention, some lacing and carbonation, looks little thin. On the nose, some spicy hoppy aromas, chocolate, light coffee, decent amount of hops coming through making this one of the more interesting aromas of New Belgium's beers. Flavor wise there are hints of chocolate and lightly roasted malts, a hint of hoppy moderate bitterness in the middle, finishes dry with a light chocolate and roasty aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light bodied with a decent amount of carbonation and a light dry finish. Overall I find Snow Day Winter Ale very drinkable with a subtle amount of balance and complexity, enjoyed it. Picked it up in a variety pack, if offered would probably accept but I probably would not seek it out again.

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Photo of jwc215
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Freshness date of 31 Jan 16:

Pours very dark brown to black with a dark garnet tint. A thick off-white head settles and lasts. Lacing sticks as it progresses.

The smell is of dark chocolate, caramel, earthy hop spicing.

The taste is of chocolate, dark bread, caramel, bread, mild roast, with earthy/herbal hop spice in the balanced finish. Neither too sweet nor too dry.

Very smooth, it hits full-bodied. Alcohol covered well, with just a hint of warmth.

An enjoyable, well-balanced, delicious brew. Great choice for a snow day (like today). (or any day, really!)

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Photo of Tracywithbeer24
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured from bottle into pint glass

appearance- very attractive dark brown, almost black. ok 1/4in tan head. nice lacing on the glass.

smell- smells good but isn't that strong, doesn't add much to the experience but I do have a very poor sense of smell.

taste- chocolaty with some roasted caramel. very yummy. perfect for the now cold weather in Minnesota.

mouthfeel- Good carbonation without too much astringency feeling. crisp and refreshing.

overall- very good taste profile, would definitely drink again! perfect beer for a "Snow Day"

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep cola brown color with mahogany highlights shinning trough and a one finger tan colored head. The head has a great level of retention, very slowly fading over time to leave a great level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is potent of a nice roasted malt aroma with some light chocolate and caramel. Along with these aromas comes a decent showing of an herbal and pine hop along with some leather aromas.

Taste – The taste begins with a toasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel. These later flavors are light upfront, with them fading more and more as the taste moves forward. The roast increases even more toward the middle of the taste with it then maintaining its strength to the end. Near the very end, some roasted coffee bitterness comes to the tongue, and with the drying out of most of the sweet flavors and a bit of an earthy taste coming to the tongue, one is left with a roasty and slightly dry and bitter taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner to average side for a beer of its darkness and abv., with a carbonation level that is average to slightly higher. For the more bitter and roast flavors of the brew the feel is great as it makes for a more refreshing and surprisingly more crisp dark brew.

Overall- I rather enjoyed this one. A rather nice black IPA with a great level of approachability and easy drinking feel. A rather nice drinker!!

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

New Belgium's seasonal from 2007 is making a return in 2015 - not the best I've had from them, but it's still pretty good.

What impresses me the most is the appearance of the beer, black in color with a thick, white head. The head's got good staying power with great lacing down the glass. I wasn't overly happy with the smell - mostly the ordinary hops scent and a mouthfeel that had hints of wateriness to it, which is surprising for New Belgium. It was a decent tasting beer, nothing outstanding, but not particularly bad, so overall I gave it a decent rating. Nice brew, I'm glad I have a few more to partake, but still nothing I will go out of my way next time to go get.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark malt and dark sugar aromas mingle with a little dried fruit and some herbal hop in the background. This smooth beer has dark bread crust to biscuit flavors emerging from dark malt and dark sugar flavors. The hop flavors tend to the herbal and spicy rather than bitter, balancing the malt well and joining in a delightful, lingering aftertaste. The beer has very good lacing.

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Photo of Calypso
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep, clear reddish brown. One finger of off-white head that leaves nice lacing.
S - Pepper and leather, with a hint of hops. Very distinctive.
T - Dark malts, coffee, tobacco, again with a hint of hops.
M - Wet, medium-high carbonation, light body.
O - An interesting beer. Complex but well-balanced. Not for the faint of heart, but I think it's a rewarding beer.

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Photo of jimmah120
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, consumed last season. review from notes

dark brown/amber with a frothy tan head. smell is earthy, woody, pine and funk, with tinges of chocolate, hazelnut, nad dark fruit. a crispy medium feel gives way to roasted grain, pine hop, and savory malt. nutty, with some holiday spice, but not too sweet. decent showing of hops.

one of my favorite holiday ales. loses the overwhelming spice of others, and instead it's hoppy and toasty.

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Photo of TeamMathis
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black. Nice lace.
Smell: Immediately hoppy with grapefruit and pine, then roasted coffee and chocolate.
Taste: A hoppy, roasted blend.

The hoppy smell explodes onto the scene, and then is followed by a roasted character of coffee and chocolate; in the very least a roasted something. The hops are bright and add that great citrus and bitterness to the mix. I really like this style. I would get this again.

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Photo of gmfessen
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, Snow Day is a very deep brown-red color with a thick, light mocha colored, pillowy head. The nose is a mixture of citrusy, spicy hops and a toasty malty profile. Flavor is what you might expect based on the smell; west coast hops - grapefruit and pine resin - melded with a roasty, toasty, slightly nutty, biscuity malt taste. Mouthfeel is medium in body with an inactive, slightly creamy carbonation. Overall, definitely a beer I could curl up with on a cold winter's night, or anytime for that matter - good one by NB

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Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,498 ratings.
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