Snow Day Winter Ale | New Belgium Brewing

1,502 Ratings
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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Ratings: 1,502 |  Reviews: 384
Photo of ButtomsUp
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

 595 characters

Photo of Star80
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out an impressive dark mahogany color with a tan head. There was something on the bottle about, midnight wheat malts. I have to say it looks pretty cool. Anyway, big bold hoppy smell, with a hint of sweet toasty malts. Also getting some big coriander like smells, I believe from some of the those hops. Almost a peppery, coriander-like smell, but not in a white ale sort of of way. It's weird. I have smelled it in other hoppy beers, is it the Goldings? Anyway, the taste is actually pretty toasty at first, some faint dark chocolate taste, followed up with a citric hop twang, and some of those spicey, coriander style hops. I mean, maybe it is their strain of yeast, they do call themselves New Belgium Brewing. The mouthfeel is fairly carbonated and not extremely smooth. I have had other beers I would put in the American Black Ale category but this one reminds me more of a dark, hoppy wheat beer. Overall a nice brew and I will try to grab another six pack this season.

 981 characters

Photo of Packman4IL
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of rob99er
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of ohtheguilt
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of scruffwhor
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drak garnet in color with a two finger head that recedes to a nice layer of foam. The bubbling that I ould see was pretty good.

Lightly roasted, heavily toasted malts. There's a few Holiday spice notes in the nose as well. But they are fleeting from here to there. Smells English, malty overall.

Very simple heavy toast, light roast malts of rye bread, chocolate powder, and light smoked chili peppers. The water and hops add some hard water notes.

Flavorful and interesting session Winter Ale.

 499 characters

Photo of tommyd313
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of mecmd
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of phishsihq
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

We could really use two of these right now....Well one beer and one day off work...

New Belgium Brewing Company seems to be with us on this, with the newest release in a cycling seasonal line up, Snow Day. This brew pours a very deep, dark brown, with flashes of ruby, all contained under a thin, small-bubbled head which provides a good lacing throughout. Always adventurous, New Belgium incorporates a new brewing malt, Midnight Wheat, which leads to some caramel and chocolate in the nose, as well as less than subtle hop tones. A medium to light body is rounded out with average carbonation. A roasty-toasty flavor meets the pallet, with the chocolate again appearing before hops come in to steal the show and linger in the finish. At a less than modest 6.2%, this American Black Ale is tasty as a winter warmer, and even better on a cold snowy day.

 854 characters

Photo of JKaddy
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of EinWeizenbitte
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of keithwalk
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of VaterRoss
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tumbler. Best-by date of 29, April 2012.

Pours a dark brown, some red comes out when held up to light. Beige head, lacing. The smell is of citrus hops and a lightly roasted coffee with perhaps a bit of yeast smell mixing with hops. First off in the taste I get the citrusy hops (light and a bit spicy) followed by the weak coffee taste of the roasted malt. My SO even described the beer as slightly "watery." Not particularly sweet or bitter and pleasantly malty. Hop bitterness at the end. Tingly mouthfeel and very light weight for the coloration.

Very enjoyable. A "light" and hoppy dark beer that is pretty well balanced, excellent for drinking a few in the winter. I'm usually not too crazy about extremely roasty beers so this was perfect for me.

 778 characters

Photo of JFrankParnell
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Photo of alli4051
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint.

Pours a dark brown that looks almost black when not held up to the light. Head is off white, thick, and leaves lots of lacing. Nose is deceptively full of hops. Taste is grassy and citrusy hops up front with a prevalent roasty and chocolaty backbone. Mouthfeel is lighter than one would think but fits the style. Ironically I was in the mood for something hoppy but decided to go with a seasonal since there's a limited window, I was pleasantly surprised to find I had gotten the best of both worlds.

 541 characters

Photo of mborden
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Stoffel
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Musineer
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of DerekP
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A gift from a friend, Snow Day pours a very dark brown and mahogany-shaded bottom. A glorious beige head up top; both fluffy and sticky.

The smell is lively, fruity and hoppy. Beautiful citrusy hops; sweeter than they are bitter. Caramel malts sit just below the hops, inviting me in.

There is a stout-like roastiness to the taste immediately up front. Hop bitterness in the middle. Clean on the back end, making the taste multidimensional and the beer altogether very approachable. Odd wet malts. This beer would seem watery if not for the roasted malts and unabashed bitterness and note: peppery hop flavor. Let it warm up a bit and the malt end breathes.

Glad I tried this. I'll gladly do so again.

Notes: While I enjoyed this beer, I'm a bit ambivalent about my overall impression. It's kind of watery, but I found myself quaffing this with continued interest. It's bitter, but malty flavors seem almost non-existent. It's certainly worth a try. Who knows? You might find yourself wondering, and drinking, and wondering some more...

 1,040 characters

Photo of stckhndlr
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark winter ale with ruby highlights topped by a two finger head and outstanding lacing.

S- Spicy hops dominate this one. Some dark roasted caramel malt notes and some chocolate.

T- Some chocolate caramel and the piney hops just blend all together in this beer. Bitter on the finish but not overpowering.

M- Medium body but smooth. It's a solid medium body.

O- Good winter ale. This one is a perfect beer for a hophead or for someone that is building up their hop palate. Great balance of flavors and very enjoyable.

 525 characters

Photo of qwertyiop
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of tvv375ia
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-deep garnet to almost black with a 2 finger head that faded to a nice cap leaving lots of lacing on its way down

S-whe I first poured it there were lots of hops present but those faded leaving some dark chocolate cocoa hints

T-a little bit of hops but more of the chocolate come throught here and then the hops present themselves on the finish again

M-medium body with decent carbonation

O-nice flavors come through with a smell that changes over time leading to a little complexity in this that I didn't expect

 558 characters

Photo of antique
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a mug.

Pours a moderate brown with red hues and a fairly large, tan head that lingers for a good while. Heavy lacing lines the drinking glass.

Smells like hops, straight up, with maybe a little caramel or chocolate poking through. Not quite as pungent as lots of IPAs, but it's close.

Given the smell, you'd rightly expect it to taste hoppy, and it surely does. Much like the smell again, there are hints of chocolate and lingering caramel in the aftertaste. It's pleasantly carbonated--but not overmuch--and the alcohol is fairly well-hidden but does poke through.

For such a widely available winter seasonal, it stands out and does the job, but to my tastes, the hops kind of overpower the darker flavors I want in a wintery beer, and generally there's a conflict between the hops and some of the more subtle flavors--it's not the most balanced beer I've ever had.

But it's solid, and given its decent ABV, more than likely a fine, warming beer on those snowy days. I doubt I'd ever turn one down.

 1,016 characters

Photo of Phelps
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle with a best before date of March 4, 2012. Poured into a tall schooner pint.

Dark ruby, fairly clear and capped with two full fingers of marshmallow fluff-textured bubbles the color of beach sand. The head recedes slowly, decorating the glass with thick tracts of lace.

The hop load — Styrian Goldings, Centennial and Cascade — is nice and prominent in the nose. It’s at once spicy, citrusy and piney. Midnight Wheat malt adds notes of milk chocolate, caramel and toasted bread.

The flavor’s a little more muddled. Fairly big bitterness, citrusy orange peel and earth from the hops jumble with tangy red grapes and a bit of charred toast. The fruity note is bigger here and emerges even more as the brew warms. Weak finish.

Creamy medium body with moderate, prickly carbonation. Bitterness is pretty big, but alcohol isn’t anywhere to be found.

Having grown up in Las Vegas and Phoenix, I’ve never experienced a snow day, but this’ll do just fine. A bold, hoppy dark ale that’s almost roasty enough to be a black IPA.

 1,046 characters

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