Snow Day Winter Ale | New Belgium Brewing

BA SCORE
84
good
1,502 Ratings
Snow Day Winter AleSnow Day Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States
newbelgium.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,502
Reviews:
384
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
13.98%
 
 
Wants:
42
Gots:
152
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,502 |  Reviews: 384
Photo of kenzak
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle in Plymouth, Indiana. Forget the name of the place. Served in a pint glass.

Pours near black with a decent head and retention and a bit of lacing. The nose carries some good American hops along with a bit of roast. Flavor is roast with a bit of resin and bitterness. Medium body with good carbonation and a semi-dry, roasty finish. Pretty good take on the style, but nothing too fantastic.

 397 characters

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

A - pours a thick black with a finger of thick tan colored head that laces like mad and retains well

S - not as much hop as I would have expected for the advertisement... Also notes of coffee and chocolate

T - starts with the citrusy and spicy hops and then has a hint of coffee and dark chocolate, then quickly finishes earlier than I would like

M - nicely carbed, could use a little more body

O - not a bad winter ale, but not my favorite

 444 characters

Photo of Daveychu
4/5  rDev +7.5%

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.

 751 characters

Photo of Domingo
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown, that looks nearly black in poor lighting. Amber highlights and a pretty amazing head. Top notch visually!
Smells like European hops...the goldings I'm guessing. I'm also getting a little bit of roasted malt, but it's mild. In general, the nose is a little muted.
Where the nose falls flat, the flavor picks up. Roasted semi-sweet malts hit the front of the palate and the middle is a mix of earthy goldings and citrus cascades. Swallowing leads me down the path of several other so-so NB hoppy beers, but it never crosses the threshold of that solvent flavor they tend to have. In fact, right as I start to expect that earthy/pine mix to get rough, I start to get some more traditional winter warmer malt notes. As it warms, it actually gets a little sweeter. I don't change my mind about beers mid-sip often, but I did here. It's a little like a black IPA and winter warmer blended. Plus, the conflicting hops work better than expected.
Mouthfeel isn't as solid as I would've liked based upon the look of it, but it isn't bad. Just a tiny bit thin.
Not too bad and certainly one I'll take over the older 2 Below. The wheat spin doesn't really add much, although I've had wheat-based stouts before that didn't really add much nuance either. Still, it certainly doesn't hurt. Perhaps that's what's holding those "conflicting" hops together?
Pretty good.

 1,365 characters

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

Much thanks to my Dad for sending my this brew, much appreciated. Today was the first snow I have seen so far this year, so I feel it is appropriate to try this guy out.

A: Deep brown body, Chestnut in color when held to the light, a thick foamy tan head is on the top.

S: Nice pine smell with a touch of citrus. Very clean and fresh smelling. Some slight fruit, and bready notes.

T: Piney hops, a touch of grapefruit, and a very gentle fruitiness. Some nice gentle roasted malt notes, and a very clean finish.

M: Fairly thin feeling, the carbonation is medium high, but for some reason it feels right.

O: I think the name certainly describes this beer. It tastes like snowfall in a pine forest. The clean finish makes it feel crisp, and easy drinking. Quite enjoyable, although I could perceive others as describing it as watered down.

 846 characters

Photo of Rschis16
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby red or brown in color. Decent one and a half finger bubbly cream-white head on top that dissapates at a medium pace down to a thin sheet with some lacing. The aroma is pleasant as some citrus and pine hops float up in front of roasty caramel and dark malts. Not overly aromatic, but enough.

The first sip is surprisingly hoppy and fairly bitter in the middle. There is a very nice roasty character to this one that comes through the malts, which are deep and complex. At first they hit with an almost coffee like expression, followed by sweeter caramel and then finishing with a bittersweet chocolate taste. All the while, piney hops contribute a balancing bitterness that helps with the roasty feeling that the darker malts give off. It has a really nice balance between the malts and hops that I wasn't expecting from this type of beer, almost as hoppy as an IPA. But this is more than a black IPA as the roasty malts take the taste to a different level, making for a unique and tasty beer. There is a bit more than just a kiss from the alcohol, but not distracting, only lending more to the complexity of flavors. The mouthfeel is creamy at first, followed by a dry finish, and it does a great job complementing the flavors, even if it is just a tad watery in the middle.

Its got enough hoppiness for hopheads to be satisfied, as well as enough complexity in the malt bill to satisfy stout and porter drinkers. I really enjoyed sipping on this one, and welcome it to any snow days we might have in the future. Good beer.

 1,537 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, best before 11 Mar 12. This pours a dark brown color with a nice foamy tan head which leaves a lacing. The smells are of hops, floral and pine mostly ipa like. The feel is medium and the taste is full of a bitter hop bite which coats the mouth and leaves a bitterness on the way down, it also has a nice roasted malt yet almost sweet taste in the middle, good stuff one of the better new Belgium beers.

 448 characters

Photo of Cubsfan1087
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Ejayz
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of codfeast
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle to pint.

A: very dark almost black, small tan head quickly faded to a ring, minimal lacing.

S: Like an IPA lots of hops(citrus and pine)

T: Hops right from the start, followed by a slight roasted flavor. then back to the hops for a bitter finish.

M: Smooth and Creamy, with some oily hops finish. Medium body and carbination.

O: Big hops profile could have used a bit more balanced. Still it tastes good and is easy to drink.

 437 characters

Photo of UnderPressure
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really really dark, almost black color. Great head.

Fantastic aroma. Strong floral hops. Great stuff.

Wow. I really didn't expect so much grain in the flavor. Not a lot of hop flavor like I expected. More like a porter. Not very bitter. Clean finish.

Medium heavy bodied mouthfeel. carries this beer well.

It's funny to have a beer where the aroma and flavor are so different. You get hops in your face in the aroma. And heavy on the crisp malty side in the flavor.

 469 characters

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

Thanks to my buddy Scott for supplying me with a great assortment of New Belgium beers. I've definitely been enjoying them!

Poured this brew from a beautiful 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Like many of the New Belgium beers, the label artwork could be blown up into a painting and hung on your wall.

The beer pours a dark brown, that can only barely be seen through when held up to the light. A tan two finger head slowly reduces to a 1/16" lid, with plenty of sticky lacing down the sides.

Smell is full and appetizing, with loads of roasted, smoky caramel malt merging with plenty of citric hops. Think creamy oranges meet pine-infused molasses.

Taste is full, starting with the sweet, smoky roasted malt before giving way to the dry, mildly bitter hops. The citrus is so airy that it is almost floral , though it is certainly not delicate.

Medium bodied, with a cool, clear crispness to its finish, almost like the feel of cold winter air hitting your lungs as you step out the front door in the morning.

A very enjoyable brew, and an excellent winter brew, this beer again shows that New Belgium just can't make a bad beer. Roasted, hoppy and crisp, this beer personifies a cozy winter day by the fire. Enjoy!

 1,220 characters

Photo of daysinthewake
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of akinsja
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of mountaineer99
2/5  rDev -46.2%

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.

 553 characters

Photo of willhare
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

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

So, although this is one of three winter beers with label pictures of snowbound cabins, it doesn't turn out to be a traditional winter beer. Apparently, this is the Black IPA under a different guise. Okay, this is also a black ale that is surprisingly non-black, more of a dark chestnut, or mahogany. Head starts well but fades unimpressively. Nose is pine and citrus.

Taste is a melange of creamy and toasted malt notes along with the standard IPA package of hop flavors. Mouthfeel could afford to be a little stiffer, considering the touches of alcohol flavor in a beer just over six percent. Pleasant, balanced aftertaste, with a late touch of molasses or licorice.

For what it is, this is fine. To me, its not really a winter beer. Worth trying.

 753 characters

Photo of 13esd
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Photo of syndelee
1/5  rDev -73.1%

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

On tap at like every single place I went to in Waterloo, Iowa while I was visiting.

Pours reddish brown. Much more closely resembles a traditional winter warmer than it does an American black. Blacks may be pretty malleable, stylistically, but I thought their one mandatory trait was, well, blackness...

Smells spicy and chocolately with a surprising little chirp of piney hops near the back end. Tastes very much the same: sharp and crisp and lightly fruity, like an APA, but spicy and malty like a lower-ABV warmer, but then the whole thing is doused with some piney hops which do a great job of evoking wintertime.

This is basically a solid APA mixed with a solid warmer. Great seasonal session.

 702 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe