Snow Day Winter Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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: 1,500
Photo of Justin23060
4.7/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Super dark with only a little ruby on the edges. Small beige head didn't last but clung and laced.

S - Perfect marriage and balance of hops with both an English and a Pacific West feel. Kinda like a piney brown.

T - Malt sweetness really carries the strong hop. The thing that really makes this work is the use of Goldings to match and balance the pine. A pleasant roasty, slightly smokey, malt is hiding just below the hop. Ends right in the middle of sweet and bitter.

M - Just about perfect. Mild sharpness gives way to a creamy finish. Nice linger.

O - I probably wouldn't have bought this had I known it was an American Black... but this has made me reverse my opinion of the style.

Up until tonight, I thought the concept of an American Black was weird and awkward. Too much one way or the other and you get "just awkward" My few bad experiences with this style reinforced that opinion. I honestly think this is what the style was meant to be. New Belgium has achieved the tricky balance that this style requires. I will definitely be getting this again in two years (N.B. rotates their seasonals every other year)

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Photo of artk321go
4.63/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Love this beer!! Really sad that soon it won't be available. Nice spicy hops in the nose. Hops up front in the flavor as well, that give way to the dark malts. What is that "Midnight Wheat"? Need to find another beer with that to help nail down the flavor. The body is not heavy, good mouth feel. Looks like a "Coke" with much smaller bubbles. Nice Lace. For me, it's a perfect balance. Just the right amount of assertive hops, and a good combination, the Centennial/Cascade and Styrian Goldings and dark malts. Finish is dry and crispy. I think I would drink this in the summer too. Never reviewed a beer before. Hope I don't sound noobish.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.53/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this on the last day off from the holiday season:
poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet:

A: pours the color of cola - nice show on the pour and a full 3 fingers of head, super lacing and a rocky top to the head - deepest hint of rose when held to a light.

S: AHHH yes - woderful hoppiness comes thru like a champ - not overwhelming like an IPA but great nonetheless

T: reminds me of the smell of raw hops as I make homebrew - a bit of chocolate caramel in the background but just a bit

M: nice body - good carbonation and well hidden ABV

D: very nice indeed! highly recommended.
note: I dont find any 2 below this year, I pray this is not the replacment!?

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Photo of Rodekill
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my idea of a winter ale/winter warmer. Nicely balanced malt and hops in the nose and on the palate. Decent lacing on the side of the glass along with a gorgeous deep ruby color. The hops predominate without muscling the malt character aside. It's in the ballpark of Sierra Nevada Celebration and Rogue Santa's Little Helper. Good stuff!

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Photo of MrOH
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very, very dark brown with some red making its way through. Finger of khaki head. Nice lacing.

American hops throughout the aroma. Grapefruit, pine, dank, lots of juicy fruit, can't wait to take a sip.

The nose, to a lesser degree, plus some slight caramel, a little roast, a touch of smoke. A little bit more orange than grapefruit. Bitterness is very restrained. Quite nice.

Medium-light, medium-low carbonation, suits the ale quite well.

This might be my new favorite Black IPA. Really makes me want to get some midnight wheat to try out at home.

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Photo of Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a large foamy almost creamy slightly tan head that goes above the rim of the glass and stays in place. The retention is near perfect with wonderful lacing around the glass until the end. Deep brown almost black with garnet highlights when held to a light.

The aroma blend of strong citrus and pine hops at first. Then, a sweet and pleasant semi sweetness from the roasted caramel malts.

The first flavor to hit the tongue is a blend of the bitter hops and the roasted malt. Hints of grapefruit, pine, semisweet chocolate, and lightly toasted bread.

Full bodied but easy to drink on a cold evening. Why rush it with a great beer anyways. Plenty strong and very tasty to get you warmed up from the weather. I will look for this ale every fall.

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Photo of Dave1999
4.48/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a very dark red with amber hues at the bottom of the glass and a big fluffy white head.

Smell very nice hoppy and malty with a bit of yeast.

This tastes like bread, malts, a little bitter, burnt coffee beans and toffee.

This feels smooth in the mouth with a slight carbonation.

This is a big heavy beer and just tastes great.

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Photo of lawlerj
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

A - pours a deep translucent amber brown. Yields a two to three finger froth slightly off white head with a strong pour. Speckled lacing as the beer goes down.

S - roasty, smoky maltiness combined with very prominence crisp hop bitterness. The darkness of the base combined with the strong hop presence is quite enticing.

T - pretty much follows the nose - a nice smoky, roasty backbone combined with a surprisingly strong hop presence. Not really much in the way of spice that you find in other winter seasonal offerings, but that's not to say that it's lacking at all. There is some, just not a ton. I would say that the hops are the real star here, and I'm loving it.

M - medium bodied, well carbonated. Not much else to say - just very balanced and pairs with the flavor very, very well.

O - what can I say? I really enjoyed this beer. Of the few winter seasonals I've had so far, this is far and away my favorite. I do have to say that I enjoy this more than I recall enjoying the Two Below (not that it was bad at all). I didn't realized how hoppy this brew was going to be when I purchased it; if I had known, I might have shied away, but I'm glad I didn't. I nice hoppy beer hit the spot on a cool late fall day.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark blackish brown with a tint of amber orange at the bottom of the glass. Lots of rising bubbles and a huge six finger off white foam head with good retention. Lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Very hoppy upfront. A good aroma of citrus hops with hints of grapefruit and orange. Lots of pine resin. Also a very noticeable presence of dark roasted malts with some caramel and toffee. Pretty much what you expect from a black ale.

Taste: Like the nose leads, big hoppy kick up front with lots of citrus grapefruit and orange with a good amount of pine resin throughout. Midway comes the dark roasted malts providing a taste of burnt toast with hints of chocolate, coffee, and nuts.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Feels somewhat prickly and creamy. Finishes dry.

Overall: A very solid black ale. Hops are vibrant and the dark malts provide some nice toasty flavor.

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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 DrewsBrews450
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Frist love the picture on the bottle, it just sets up wat the beer is all about. The beer is black/dark brown with ruby light through the bottem and a nice foam white maybe off white head. The smell is of hops and coco maybe fruit of some kind, smells really good. The taste is even better u get the hops for sure but not crazy u get a little roasted choclate really kind of simple but the beer just taste so good. The mouthfeel is maybe the only weak point of the beer it has a thin body with a medium body on the swallow, but im not gonna fault this beer at all for a small thing to me like mouthfeel. Overall all this beer is great I would deff say try this if u like hops but like somthing a little darker for the winter. Every beer i have had from there winter folly pack has been awsome go get one.

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Photo of dbell23
4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into my New Belgium tulip glass.
Pours a very dark brown with a dark beige two finger head. Nice lacing.
Smell is slightly hoppy sweet.
Taste is slightly hoppy with a nice chocolate finish.
Mouthfeel is very smooth with good carbonation.
Overall a very good winter beer.

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Photo of WMEugene
4.37/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an extremely dark brown (almost black) with a nice head that settles into a thin layer and noticeable lacing.

S - I can really smell the hops on this one. Pine and citrus notes abound and there is a smell of roasted malt in the background. A very nice and very strong smell.

T - Very hop forward with piny flavors dominating. There's a little bit of malt in the background.

M - Has a slick and oily feel to it (due to the hops I'm sure). Medium bodied with light carbonation. Nice aftertaste and nothing is too out of balance.

O - The Snow Day Winter Ale may be my favorite beer from New Belgium. Not to repeat others, but it's really a Black IPA, not a Winter Warmer. It's tasty and very hop forward. While it is very dark, the malts manage to stay in the background and provide a nice counter to the hop forwardness of the beer. Highly recommended and I hope the Snow Day becomes an annual tradition.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.36/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark caramel/amber, with a fearsome 3-finger head. Lace just about as extensive and impressive. Wow. Spectacular presentation.

Aroma is fresh pine, floral, and citrus. Hoppy happiness.

Taste is complex, beginning with a mild roasty malt, followed by a subtle citrus/pine bite in the middle. The finish brought a slightly bitter hops character, though by no means a hop bomb. Balanced well, this enjoyable ale really impressed me.

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Photo of KevinBrewer
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark chestnut with ruby red hues, topped by a frothy light tan head that dissipates to a healthy cap, leaving sheets of lacing behind.

N- An explosion of dank, resinous hops with tons of bitter grapefruit in the mix. Some spiciness and deep herbal tones with brighter citrus and grassiness in the background, but the nose is dominated by grapefruit pith. Also slightly minty. Subtle hints of biscuity malt way underneath.

T- Nice complex hoppiness with notable contributions of grass, herbs, spices, grapefruit, pine resin, and bright fruity citrus reminiscent of coriander. Moderate bitterness of grass and grapefruit rind. Just a hint of malt sweetness comes through under the pile of hops. Roasted malt pokes it head out in the long bitter finish. Grass, grapefruit rind, herbs, spices, and subtle roast linger into the aftertaste.

M- Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation and a dry, bitter finish.

O- Very impressive. Tastes like chewing on fresh hops. Props to New Belgium for a nice holiday surprise.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.34/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a duvel tulip.

Appearance - Black body with a tan head. Plenty of head and retention and stick.

Smell- Grass and charred wood in the nose.

Taste- Very grassy body and aftertaste. Dark, butter chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Astringent. Somewhat thin mouthfinish, but a light creaminess in the front. Sharp.

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Photo of pb9613
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This beer pours a reddish black color with a dark tan head. The head retention is amazing throughout the drinking experience.

Smell – The beer has a heavy malt smell with the caramel and dark roast coming through. There is a hint of citrus and pine from the hops.

Taste – This beer has the distinctive New Belgium taste that is awesome. The malts really come through with the hops as a high note.

Mouthfeel – A dry beer with a medium body. Carbonation is excellent. Even though it has a higher than average alcohol content, there is no burn.

Overall – A solid beer. The dark coloring fools you into thinking about the normal chocolate/coffee note normally associated with a beer this dark. Due to the midnight wheat, these flavors are down played while the caramel notes come through. The hops are present but not overpowering. This is defiantly not a dark IPA which is a good thing.

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

Acquired from brewerburgundy courtesy of Secret Santa ‘11, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains piney hops, citrus, roasted malts and some chocolate.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character and mildly sweet flavors of chocolate and citrus. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in and created a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry but slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very solid ABA to drink for a whole evening.

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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 Beer21
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Snow Day has the appearance of a dark cola with minimal head. The beer is dark and clear.

Smell - There is a sweet malty aroma with a rich aroma of hops.

Taste - Again, this beer is quite hoppy in a great way. There are tones of caramel and biscuit with a generous bitterness related to the hops.

Mouthfeel - This is a light beer for it's degree of "darkness." There is average carbonation and the beer is somewhat watery.

Overall - Excellent beer with generous hops. Perfect cold weather beer!

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Photo of jjboesen
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I guess this can be confused with their 1554 Enlightenment; however, there are subtle differences. The Snow Day is a more of a dark ruby hue to it; there is a thin head and a moderate lacing about.

There is a very cloying nose of caramel and brown sugar while the palate is tickled with minor hints of pine.

The body is crispy and surprisingly lighter than one would imagine. Definitely a sessional beer - moderate alcohol makes this possible, naturally.

While this did not strike me as the usual "holiday" beer, it was a pleasant one and good enought to drink year round. Maybe the mountain air of Ft. Collins has something to do with it. Or not...

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, dark yellow brown almost black with a foamy grey head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: pungent citrus hops over almost burnt bread, coal

T: a smoky character comes out immediately followed by bitter hops, little sweetness, flavors of burning hardwood smoke, beechwood, tons of bittering hops

M: medium bodied leaving a nice smoky aftertaste, proper carbonation

O: kind of a unique brew, smoke flavor well balanced by hop profile, worth trying if you are into those tastes

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Photo of UnionMade
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, deep brown, almost black, pouring with a finger's worth of ivory foam on a soft pour. Great head retention, keeping a thin coating atop the beer all the way down. The head laces in beautiful, delicate sheets with each sip.
Smells surprisingly hoppy. If I were blindfolded, I would guess this is some kind of IPA with a heavy dose of crystal malt. The malt is almost too delicate for the hop profile, completely pinned under the heavy hop dosage. I enjoy such a thing, so I find it a good thing.
The flavor opens up completely hop forward. There's minimal sweetness up front to ease into the hops. The malt comes off as super soft and gentle, just a bit of cocoa and coffee. Not quite enough to compete with the heavy handed hops, it's perpetually smashed behind the door like Dad in that Twisted Sister video. On the first sip, the hops come across as intense and fresh, almost too much, but settle into a deliciously bitter floral and citrus taste. A bit of bittersweet malt in the back, intensifying the overall bitterness. My only complaint is that the body is a wee bit thinner than I'd like, but the resulting dry finish works well with the hop flavor. This is hardcore bitter beer for sure. Nothing about this is easygoing, aside from the malt meekly folding beneath the serious hoppage. An unexpected find at the liquor store, and possibly my new favorite from these folks.
My new favorite session beer. I'd categorize this as more of an IPA/Dark Wheat hybrid. The only tie it has to the winter warmer style is that it's a winter seasonal.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a six-pack of Snow Day in a grocery store. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark mahogany color, translucent, with garnet red hues when light shines through the glass. A creamy bubbly beige head caps the beer.

Smell is a strong hoppy spice scent. A hint of roasted grain aroma.

Taste is a roasted grain and coffee flavor, with some caramel sweetness along side and a nice caramel and bitters finish. Nice blend of flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a bitter sweet aftertaste.

A very drinkable winter ale. I would have this again, and I hope itis around next winter as well.

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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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Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,500 ratings.
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