Snow Day Winter Ale
New Belgium Brewing Company

Snow Day Winter AleSnow Day Winter Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Black Ale
Ranked #504
ABV:
6.2%
Score:
84
Ranked #37,380
Avg:
3.7 | pDev: 13.78%
Reviews:
397
Ratings:
1,548
From:
New Belgium Brewing Company
 
Colorado, United States
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  45
Gots
  169
SCORE
84
Good
Snow Day Winter AleSnow Day Winter Ale
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 397 | Ratings: 1,548 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dpao
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smell is simple but mostly nice floral scents, not getting the chocolate aroma that others are. Pours well too. Flavor is somewhat soapy, and the floral notes are not distracting or overly compelling. Feels good on the tongue.

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dpao from California, Jan 12, 2020
Photo of Parmesan
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L:. Pours a dark brown Amber red with a medium tan head and a few fingers of lacing.

S:. Roasted chocolate and caramel, tree sap, piney hops, quite strong piney hops.

T:. Roasted chocolate and caramel, piney and tree sap hops, quite a strong bitterness, definitely feels like a black IPA.

F:. Carbonation feels a bit low for this, medium body.

O:. This is a solid black IPA.

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Parmesan from Colorado, Dec 25, 2019
Photo of wmscottsimpsonjr
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark red brown with one finger off white head. Hops up front on the nose, spice and citrus with herb and grass. Caramel, hint of chocolate. Flavor follows. Works pretty well.

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Photo of outskiing
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A great winter ale that's hop forward, but only slightly bitter with a great malt task and a warming sensation as it goes down. It's not highly alchoholic, but I still consider it a great winter warmer.

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Photo of jmc65267
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Got it in a variety pack so this is my first time having it but I really liked it. Good flavor and nice coloring. I’d have it again if given the opportunity.

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jmc65267 from Georgia, Nov 07, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From old, undated notes; had this on draft.

Murky brown color; light passes through.

Strong off-white head; thick lacing.

Hops, chocolate & coffee in the nose; nice!

Medium thick mouthfeel, very creamy.

Tastes like a hopped up ice coffee, and that ain't bad.

Skirts pickle juice flavor but remains tasty.

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Sep 29, 2019
Photo of Fourier_Loko
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass at fridge temp.
Look - Dark caramel with a subtle haze, creamy head with some larger bubbles in the center.
Smell - Scented strongly of chocolate with a bit of hoppy floral scent.
Taste - At first I didn't seem to get much of those darker, rounded out notes from the malt. The main flavors were coming from the hops. However as the beer warmed up, the malt opened up a bit to reveal a more balanced flavor. It is more hoppy on the finish than I expected.
Feel - This beer has a nice mouthfeel overall, medium weight with pleasant but not overpowering carbonation. The first few sips have the creaminess from the head which I enjoyed.
Overall - This is an okay brew, it offers a bit different experience than your typical ale. It's a nice beer to stay indoors with on a harsh winter day, as the name suggests. Probably wouldn't buy again but I didn't hate it.

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Fourier_Loko from Pennsylvania, Feb 17, 2019
Photo of ajm5108
2.86/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

The malt / hop combo on this one just doesn’t click - the malt is dark & chewy but also musty / stale, and the bitterness of the hops clash with that and it ends up a bit acrid

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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania, Jan 07, 2019
Photo of woodychandler
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I found this one during a recent visit to 551 West (King Street) & their bottle shop. It is always interesting to go in there since a former student of mine works there & she is eager to point out new beers that have recently been put on display.

From the Bottle: "With 3 feet of powder closing the roads, a brewery is not a bad place to get snowed in. Given the unanticipated hall pass of a snow day, our brewers decided to experiment. Hmm ... what about this dark caramel roasted Midnight Wheat braced with a serious load of Goldings, Centennial and Cascade hops. Shovel it in. What a deliciously unexpected way to spend a SNOW DAY!

Mine is not a snow day, but instead an in-service day so I have no assignments. 8=( I began by Pop!ping the cap & giving it a C-Line pour. This resulted in just under two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head with good retention, leaving nice lacing in its wake as it slowly fell. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity & mahogany highlights. Nose smelled like chocolate-enrobed caramel, but I was not getting much in the way of hops on the nose. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but on the approach. The taste remained an admixture of roast, including dark coffee & baker's chocolate, plus the aforementioned caramel. But where were the hops? They were barely perceptible, buried under the darkly-roasted wheat malt. 8=( Finish was somewhere between semi-sweet & semi-dry, but it suffered overall from the imperceptibility of the hops. YMMV.

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woodychandler from Pennsylvania, Jan 02, 2019
Photo of grawp57
4.44/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely deep brown/amber color with a solid, long-lasting tan head. Pleasant aroma dominated by caramel. Superb taste, blended to arouse the palate, but not overwhelm with any one flavor. light on the tongue for a 6.2 ABV. First time I tried it and it has become an instant favorite!

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grawp57 from Pennsylvania, Dec 22, 2018
Photo of mothmanscott
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From notes 2/2/12: Pours a clear dark brown with a ruby tint along the edges when held to the light. Nice tall, 2+ inch, light tan, foamy, lasting head which leaves a decent layer of lace behind. Aroma is roast and dark bread in a hoppy pine and grass background. Taste is subdued caramel and chocolate notes but not sweet, unique dark malt with pine, citrus grass and earth. It is hoppy throughout the sip but intensifies from middle through finish into aftertaste where it climaxes.

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Photo of Navin-Johnson
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copy and paste, it's 100% correct.

"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."

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Photo of Trevorbee
4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark with a nice tan head that sticks around for the entire glass. That may be because the beer didn’t last that long. Aroma makes the high amount of hops obvious. Tastes mildly malty with a medium to high amount of hops bitterness. The mouthfeel seems lacking considering the boldness of the brew. Overall a good beer that I wouldn’t mind drinking anytime.

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Trevorbee from Kansas, Nov 02, 2018
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a pretty nice dark brown color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy/foamy white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, citrus. The taste is hoppy, malty, citrusy. Medium body. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

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Wasatch from Colorado, Apr 04, 2017
Photo of JordanlikesAles
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
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 +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Glad that I Had this almost 4 years later so I could edit this review and re-rated it slightly.

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; and some protein even swirled as late as mid-bottle.
A toasty malt dominates the aroma; but there are dark fruits in there. Seems like a good yeast strain from New Belgium sets their black ale apart from many others. Taste is balanced with modest hops (despite the label saying they piled them in.) The carbonation is relatively low, which suits me.

Overall, I like New Belgium. Their beers make small innovations on the style and they gave their employees a cut in one of the largest and most successful craft brewers. They sold in 2019 to a major alcohol brand manager. I hope the employees reinvested in their future.

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Beginner2 from Illinois, Apr 24, 2016
Photo of NolaHopHead
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
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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NolaHopHead from Louisiana, Feb 12, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
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 +2.2%
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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SD-Alefan from South Dakota, Jan 01, 2016
Photo of ChrisCage
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
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 complicated....in 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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ChrisCage from Alberta (Canada), Dec 30, 2015
Photo of Libeertarian
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
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 -7.6%
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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Furlinator from California, Dec 26, 2015
Photo of stlfatguy
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
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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stlfatguy from Missouri, Dec 16, 2015
Photo of creepinjeeper
4.33/5  rDev +17%
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 +1.9%
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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Tsar_Riga from Indiana, Dec 13, 2015
Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 1548 ratings