Snow Day Winter Ale | New Belgium Brewing

384 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: 384 | Ratings: 1,502
Photo of PossumMunsen31
2.1/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Very bizarre first smell. Can't really even describe it. Under a half=inch head. Hard to distinguish which hop actually smells/tastes okay. Very strange mixture. It does taste better than it originally smells I will give it that. Otherwise, happy I purchased this with a mixer pack and will not get any more.

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Photo of OverToad
2.35/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I really like New Belgium and love Fat Tire, Somersault and even liked 2 below. Can't wait to even try Dig.

I knew when I poured it in the glass with it being pitch black it was not for me but I had high hops.

This is in now way a Winter Warmer. It's way too hoppy and I like hoppy beers. Big disappointment by all aspects for me. I have the remaining 5 beers I can't drink.

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Photo of scratch69
2.44/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured a bottle into a mug.

Appearance- Very dark almost black with a fingers worth of lingering head. Nice amount of lacing.

Smell- Strong aroma of piney hops.

Taste- Bitter hops which overpower any other flavors that might be present.

Mouthfeel- Crisp, medium bodied, and a slightly dry finish.

Overall- This is not what I expect from a winter ale, the hop presence is overpowering. I did not enjoy this beer.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.55/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a clear brown color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of caramel, and grapefruit with a hint of pine resin. There is a very significant hoppiness to the aroma. The taste has a similar hoppiness, but with a more pronounced maltiness. There are toffee and caramel notes underneath the grapefruity hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a watery texture, and annoyingly high carbonation. Overall, this is a beer that I will pass on next time. The hop and malt really clash with each other in a negative way.

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Photo of marshrat63
2.56/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The head was less than impressive, only 1/4 inch in pint glass. (I did pour a second and forced a larger head that quickly faded.) Despite the weak head, very impressive lacing.

Deep dark chocolate appearance with minimal malty aroma with a hint of spice that didn't make it to the palate. Very flat.

Overall not something I will buy again, though I am a fan of New Belgium Brewing.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
2.59/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass. Bottle lists the ABV and a DBD.

A: Reddish brown (caramel) and clear with pretty steady carbonation. Has a large rocky brown-tinged head that sits like milkshake foam on top and leaves good lacing.

S: The bottle mentions lots of hops, and it shows. The nose is ruled by pine, grapefruit, bubble gum, orange, and spice. The wheat does not show. While it smells good, it does not match the style.

T: Tastes like a black IPA: some smoke, some burnt roast, but mostly bitter grapefruit and piney bubblegum.

M: Medium and a little light on the finish.

O: Ah winter seasonal beers are here again; it is time to spend a lot of my money. I have never had this before, and I decided to pick up a bottle. Sadly, this was not the best "winter" beer to begin with. If I were to grade this beer simply by how it tastes, it would be an average to decent black IPA. However, I am supposed to review it to the style it claims to be, and, in that, this beer has failed. While the appearance has a nice head and deeper color, the aroma is consumed by hops. The flavor of the beer tastes like a black IPA, not a winter warmer. The mouthfeel is not heavy enough, and the warmth from the alcohol is not really there. The flavor profile is missing the malt, fruit, and sweetness of a winter warmer. It is not a bad tasting beer, but if you are looking for a winter warmer, look somewhere else.

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Photo of DAllspaw
2.63/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into new Belgium globe.

Very similar to their black ale in appearance. Smell is a bit of cinnamon, some toffee and a bit if steeped tea, certainly unexpected

Taste is piney hops followed buy some dark malt and coffee flavors. A bit of dark chocolate as well. However, still get an overwhelming taste of tea with high tannins.

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Photo of stakem
2.72/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with a bottle of this. Poured into a tulip shaped pint glass, this brew appears brown in color with some amber hints of clarity around the edges. An initial surge of tan head forms with more than 3 fingers worth of froth that slowly fades leaving an entire web-like pattern of lace on the glass. The cap maintains a fluffy pillow of lace and uneven craters across the top.

The smell includes some minty to herbal hops that come across with a character that is reminiscent of stale menthol cigarettes. It has a cooling aspect to the nose mixed with some mineral inclusion. Faint notes of stale coffee round out the back end mixed with some burnt character not too far off from plastic or some strange concoction of medicine.

The taste of this brew includes a fairly forward flavor of herbal hops that integrate with dark roasty grain character and produces a bit of bitterness. Overall it blends into a flavor that is somewhat medicinal and not too much unlike the artificial flavor of black licorice candy (but without the sweetness.) More sips yield a bit of dark fruity character from the hops that blends into a burnt flavor somewhat like old coffee and faint musty chocolate.

I am not the biggest fan of the black/cascadian/american black ales or whatever you want to call them. But I approach them with an open mind. The aroma of this brew fails in all departments whether you consider it a winter ale/warmer or a black ale. The nose is quite unpleasant and unfitting of any style of beer. The taste is somewhat fitting for the black ale style but doesnt fully come together for me. This brew is medium to light bodied, favoring a bit to the medium side and it has a moderate level of carbonation. The alcohol is fairly well integrated but overall this is not something I would enjoy having more than a sample of. Heath, I appreciate of the opportunity to try this but it just wasnt for me.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
2.79/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A- 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Poured dark brown with a thick 1.5 finger, light tan head. Looks very similar to a cola, almost as though I poured a soda pop. Good retention with fantastic lacing.

S- Distinct New Belgium smell with the Goldings hops. Not a huge aroma. Earthy, herbal with some faint chocolate notes.

T- Sweet up front. Not overly complex. A hoppy winter warmer. Lots of toasted bread flavor...some similar flavors to a rye. Dry finish. A resounding bitterness lingers. I kept waiting for the crisp finish the label speaks of, but it never came.

M- Medium body with decent carbonation. Quite dry

O- Not bad, but this winter warmer didn't leaving me with many warm feelings. Certainly not my favorite from New Belgium. Highlight was the appearance. But for me, it seemed to go down hill from there.

$10.99 for 6 pk

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Photo of tfratzke
2.8/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark opaque brown. Team head with good lacing. Smells of bread dough and a hint of chocolate. Good carbonation on the palate. Taste is where it loses me. Shoe leather, leaves, earthy. Some strange herbs that I’m not sure how to describe. Not very hoppy for a black IPA.

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Photo of mattsdenney
2.81/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into NB globe glass.

A: Pours a clear dark brown color with one finger thick head. Nice lacing and retention. Good so far.

S: Moderately strong hops, hints of grains, not much else happening.

T: Just because the name contains the word "Snow" that does not mean it's a Winter Warmer...first reviewer whiffed on that one. Anyways, grainy hops, some malts to balance, stringent flavor lingers. Charred toastiness,m label says dark caramel but having trouble picking that up. No spices to speak of, not really warming either.

M: Light, highly carbonated and bubbly. Not really sure what style they're going for here.

O: Mix between a Pale Ale, Lager, Dark Wheat? Does anyone else find it annoying that a "Seasonal" has no correlation to the season it's sold in? Not bad overall but probably won't purchase again.

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Photo of eye2
2.91/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown with very dark red highlights when the light hits it. Pours a finger and a half of foam. Half a finger left with 6oz remaining.

S: Roasted grains with some bitters. Not very spicy.

T: Characteristic New Belgium taste. More of a bite here than say Fat Tire. Alcohol can be tasted.

MF: A blast. Excellent carbonation. A little on the light side for a Winter brew.

Overall: Not bad. Not Great. Probably a one six-pack a year affair.

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Photo of RandyV
2.93/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Surprisingly dark in color with minimal head but decent lacing. Smells are pretty non-descript, some flowery hops and bready malt, but very mellow.

The taste is just as mellow, chocolate malt and some floral hop bitterness, with to me a slight medicinal quality. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, and it finishes ddry.

I like New Belgium, but this is a miss for me. It lacks in complexity and really doesn't have much of an identity at all. One and done.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.98/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 12/5/11

Best before 11 March 2012

Medium, flat brown color with dark tobacco highlights; maybe a shimmer of rust. Ample two finger head is slow to dissipate and leaves crackled rings of lace. Thin, consistent retention. Lace forms a bubbly wall.

Deep roasted grain aromas, caramel and toasted bread are with hop accents of pine needles, grass and subtle citrus zest. Modest spice notions. At times I get suggestions of unsweetened cocoa. Sip one finds prominent roast: roasted, bitter coffee and a tangy note that I reckon could be attributable to the wheat mentioned on the bottle. The hops seem less prominent than in the nose and come across as mostly earthy and a subdued piney aspect. I'm kind of surprised at how dry this beer is. Medium body (though at times it seems on the thin side) with a underpinning of grittiness. Moderate carbonation. Finishes a bit on the earthy/dirty order.

This isn't a bad beer, but I would not have guessed it's a winter warmer. Seems more like a wimpy black ale. Nice enough to try, but I wouldn't be inclined to buy it again.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.98/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a reddish brown color with good carbonation and a dirty white cap

S: Piney, citrus and some spice but not overly powerful

T: Some toasted malt, pine and citrus. A snoozer

M: Light to medium body, thin on the mouthfeel, taste falls off

O: When the housewife in front of me at the market grabbed a sixer of this I should have known better.

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Photo of wahhmaster
2.98/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown color with ruby edges. Has a large, frothy head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Has a deep, malty smell with a backing spiciness. It has a significant caramel aroma as well.

Taste: Hits you with a mild hoppiness up front. Finishes with a strong, caramel maltiness backed by a significant spiciness (cinammon mostly). Has a noticeable alcoholic character too.

Mouthfeel: A little thin for a winter warmer but with a nice carbonation.

Overall: Another decent beer from New Belgium. Not their best offering but good nonetheless.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this American Black Ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This ale poured a dark black color, produced an off white head, decent retention and left behind above average lacing. The aroma of this ale consisted of malted grain, caramel, and spicy hops. Medium in body, a foundation of toasted grain, floral hops, raisin and spices. Smooth mouthfeel, finishes dry. Nice session beer- Wouldnt mind having it around on a Snow Day.

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Photo of beertunes
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in 12oz tulip. Poured a barely translucent dark brown with 1/2 inch of dark tan head that had good retention and lacing.

The aroma was mostly malts, with just a bit of roast, and some gentle hops. Until I looked at the style here, I never would have guessed this as a CDA, I thought it was more of a Winter Warmer. On the tongue, the malts dominated as well, with the roast being much more prevalent. There was a bit of a hop tang on the finish, but not so much across the majority of the tastebuds.

The body was good, for a Winter warmer, far too full for a CDA. Drinkability was OK, I didn't mind the beer while I was having it, but it was forgotten as soon as it was finished. Overall, an OK beer, but not really one worth seeking out.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.04/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out a dark coffee color with dark amber hues and topped off with a thick off white head
that’s thick and bubbly. There lots of lacing and the head sticks around through the life of the beer.
The aroma is a bit on the mild side, nothing is too present, some mild citrus, some roasted coffee smells come through but not much else. it has a light -to-medium body and is quite bitter through-out
No coffee flavors, but I can pick up some roasted malt flavors.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Looks nice. Dark brown/almost black with some tan head that falls fast but leaves nice lacy rings.

The aroma is of cocoa and grapefruit, orange and floral notes.

The flavor falls with weak watery wheat and faint caramel trying to back up some strong citrus and pine notes. Not good balance on that. Hops overpower and it says nothing of winter to me.

The mouthfeel is thin and too fizzy.

I want my 2 below.

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Photo of mntlover
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brown with some red hints, almost looks black in a dark room. Head is nice and fluffy light tan falls kind of slow with some spotty lace.

Aroma is light chocolate malt hints mingled with wheat notes with a good citrus and pine aroma from ample hops. Overall aroma is good but not overly intense. Since good is not a choice anymore think my ratings are going to go down, would say its good because its not bad but average in most beer i drink is good.

Taste is like the nose seems like a dunkel with some hints of chocolate malt and a decent dose of some hops. Its an ok beer but not something I would go buy more of. Kind of miss a good old fashion malty winter warmer brew.

Mouthfeel is pretty decent for this brew light medium easy drinking brew, easy to knock a few of these back.

Overall eh not bad but not what I was expecting I guess and the fact good is gone guess I will be rating more stuff average. Which is what this is really an average brew, not something I would choose to be snowed in with give me a big brew for the snow.

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Photo of samie85
3.09/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a clear cola color with two and a half fingers of light brown head.

S-Smells of slightly vegetal hops; primarily Centennial and the Styrian stand out with some light caramel.

T-The flavor profile on this is chocolate heavy with orange hops notes.

M-Rich and medium-bodied with low carbonation.

D-Not a bad representation of the style; I think I just don't love this style.

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Photo of deebo
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle with BB date of 26 Feb 2012
A-Poured into a pint glass with 2 fingers of creamy tan head that hangs on stubbornly to the glass. Is clear with a deep brown color with some red tint.
S-Fresh hops (tropical, lemon, and pine like volatiles) are the dominant aromas. A sweet toasted malt backnote is also definitely there.
T-Hoppy character is upfront and lingers a bit into a bitter finish. Fair sweet malt backbone but is overshadowed by hops.
M-A bit oily and resiny from hops but doesn't linger too much. Moderate carbonation and a somewhat thinner body than I would have expected.
D-This one would be tough for me to drink more than a couple.
O-An interesting beer-I'd consider it to be more of a black IPA than a winter warmer. To me the hops dominant and gives an unbalanced taste. I like the nice fresh hop aroma and taste but I tend to prefer a beer more on the malty/sweet side vs. hoppy.

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Photo of BrewAskew
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours to a thick, rocky buff head and very good lacing. Mahogany color and brilliant clarity. Aroma is of spicy and piney hops and hints of caramel and citrus. Flavor is a funky mixture of spicy hops, dill, pine straw, black malt, and harsh bitterness. Mouthfeel is light-medium. Overall, I was impressed by the distinctive aroma and the inviting appearance. The flavor was just weird to me and it felt too dry and chalky. I'll try it again later and re-review just in case my palate was off, which does happen depending on what I ate or how much gum I chewed during the day. It has got to be better than this.

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Photo of Braseltonage
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint

A- Deep translucent brown with substantial red tint. Poured with 1-1/2 fingers of khaki head. Dissipated quickly but decent lacing remains.

S- Roasted aromas dominate. Specifically fresh ground coffee. A little bready. Maybe a little herbal hop note. Very pleasant wintry smell.

T/M- Surprised on initial sip by a little dose of hops up front. Felt that the midnight wheat had dominated the aromatics. But it certainly shows up right behind the hops. Very coffee like finish. Some astringency, not bad but not fantastic either. Almost needs more body to pull off what it seems like they are trying to do. The hops and roast need more backbone to me. 
It's worth a try and I see the potential for good stuff out if the roasted wheat, but probably not going to be a winter staple for me.

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Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,502 ratings.
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