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 Raime
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly transparent black with a huge frothy, slight mocha head. Left beautiful lacing.

S - Smells tropical. Mango up front followed by pineapple, pine and grapefruit. Smells like a well crafted IPA to me.

t - Lots of pine and grapefruit followed by a small amount of mango and pineapple, along with some slightly roasted malt. Only complaint is that the taste remains a bit thin and watery which really throws it off.

M - Thin, Watery body with low carbonation.

O - Overall, This was probably the only good beer that I drank last night. If New Belgium could fix the odd off-putting watery flavor and up the body, This would be a real winner in a lot of people's eyes.

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Photo of nickapalooza86
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Super dark brown, clear, finger and a half of tan head.

smell is piney hops, chocolate, caramel and a little coffee

taste is bitter coffee, caramel, chocolate, piney and floral hops.

mouthfeel is the biggest flaw in this beer, really thin, really sharp, doestbwork for the style imo.

a decent black ale but I will stick with others I enjoy more.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, reddish, almost chestnut, brown with solid light penetration and a head that seriously lasts forever. I'm still working on it after an hour and there is still a thickish film of tan sitting on half a glass. Lacing is scattered at best, sparse is a more apt description.
Smell is roast malt, toast, cocoa and a wee whiff of hop. Balance is good.
Taste is right on the same line as the smell with a roasty, almost toasty malt note, bittersweet chocolate/cocoa and some grassy hops note to balance it all out.
Not particularly smooth but not a rough beer to drink by any means. Drying throughout. Watery feel with a soft effervescence. You could easily partake of several of these without incident but it isn't compelling with this weak body.

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Photo of chinchill
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle served in a Corsendonk glass.

Appearance: Pours with a very dark but clear brown body, and a large, foamy tan head. A moderate amount of sticky lacing gets left behind.

Plenty of weedy/herbal hops with some fruity notes. Aroma of a black IPA.

Taste:More pine and floral in tasting, but still lots of citrus and weedy/herbal notes. Only mildly bitter. Lingering, mainly hoppy, aftertaste. Flavor of a hybrid English/American black PA.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: a pleasantly hoppy black PA. More drinkable than it might be if it were actually an IPA.

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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 Philousa
3.29/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance is opaque black, cola colored against the light. Head is decent in size with small bubbles, grey in color. It really looks like a well carbed Old Ale. Lacing is good. Aroma has slight Belgian malt sweetness with floral, somewhat grassy hops, and some baker's chocolate. The chocolate comes through in flavor right away, slightly bitter, followed by earthy barkish metal. The bitter hoppiness is earthy as well. I'm guessing English hops such as fuggles are used for bitterness. Feel tends slightly toward watery and finishes dry. I would never put this in the same category as Sublimely Self Righteous or other Black IPAs, but its definitely not a winter warmer, considering its formidable use of hops. This reminded me a bit of 1554 but a bit brighter. I'd have one again. Which is good considering I got a variety 12 pack with three more left.

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Photo of Big_Twofifty
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours frothy foam into the glass with about 2 inches of a light tan head that remains on the sides of the glass with drinking. The body of the beer is a deep semi-translucent amber when held to the light, but without light is a more of a deep brown.

Smell: Rich roasted nutty aroma and I am able to detect the hops. Lastly, I almost believe I can smell spruce trees in the forest when I indulge in another smell of this beer.

Taste: First sip has a burst of hoppy bitterness, but then with subsequent tastes is milder, but still is boldly at the forefront of the flavor. I also detect notes of the aforementioned spruce, but maybe a better description would be simply of an evergreen tree as the signature smell of spruce is not as evident in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Light mouthfeel with medium carbonation and lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Overall: This is a very drinkable beer, with some good winter flavors, being mainly the evergreen aroma and taste. I enjoy this beer when outside in the winter or sitting next to a fire with the Christmas tree providing the ambiance to go with the taste.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Er not sure I would really call this a Black IPA but ok. Pours a mostly black color with shades around the edges. Mostly clear with a soft light tan head.

The aroma is balanced with a light astringent malt aroma with more of a fruity nose up front. Some orange and grapefruit but more like a zest than hop. A light herbal almost floral aroma with some rose peddles and a kiss of sweet caramel.

The flavor follows suit. More of a fruity, zesty note with a herbal backing. More astringent malts come out with a light toasty and big toffee notes. Some butter-esk flavors as well. More earthy like, not exactly dirt but something esk there.

The body is moderate but well carbonated. Not overly but does enhance the astringent characters. Overall more of a different style of beer, but as a black IPA it doesnt quite fit.

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Photo of bump8628
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, creamy khaki head - beautiful looking beer. Big hop-derived spiciness on the nose transitioning to a more malt-centric body. Roasted nuts, cola, carob, toffee, weak diner coffee, sourdough. Hop bitterness is balanced evenly. Pithy citrus with a punch of earthy spice describes the hop flavor. A nice beer to throw back on a late winter afternoon (with snow in the forecast). I was expecting something more akin to a Black IPA/CDA, instead this is more like a well-hopped American Brown.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a mug at cellar temperature.

L – Deep brown color with a 3-finger creamy, frothy cream-colored head. Really nice retention, but only some lacing.

S – Chocolate, toasted, and nutty malts as well as citrus and earthy hops. This really does have a grainy wheat aroma to it, too.

T – Chocolate and toasted malts with some bitter roasted barley characteristics, as well. Toward the finish, some earthy, pine, and subtly citrusy bitter hops come into play.

F – Light-to-medium-bodied with good carbonation, a smooth and crisp mouthfeel, and a slightly bitter finish.

O – This is a decent black ale. It’s pretty tasty but the flavors seem a bit weak (as in neither strongly malty or hoppy) and not very well-blended. The malty and the hoppy parts just seem sort of separated. Nevertheless, this is an easy drinker and a nice, different winter beer.

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Photo of kristenspaintings
3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks very dark, toasty amber highlights, creamy tan head. The 2-finger head has a a very appealing yeasty, bubbly, creamy look.

Tastes like double-dark roasted coffee. The initial taste is not a very strong one, but very oaty/nutty and toasted. The mouthfeel is VERY dry.

Our overall impression is that it's very pungent and overcooked.

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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 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 dhannes
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a chilled glass at a local restaurant. Waited until the glass and beer had warmed up a bit...about 5 minutes worth.

A=Rich, reddish brown...not worthy of an "American Black Ale" but appealing nonetheless. Head disappeared quickly.

S=Brown sugar, cloves, molasses.

T=More like a red ale--creamy malt with prunes, cherries, and nutmeg.

M=Less body than anticipated, and less than many reds. Low carbonation, but pleasant to drink.

O=An enjoyable beer that I might try again...I would never have guessed that this was supposed to be similar to an IPA, as the hops were relatively minimal. More similar to a red ale than a black ale.

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Photo of Mavigo
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Being that it is winter, the consumption of this beer is a must. Served in a nonic pint.

A: Pours a very dark, basically black, brown color with a short off white head with small amounts of lacing.

S: Smells like malt sugars, brown sugars, barley, and dabs of spices

T: Rich flavor to it, wheat, barley, sugars, herbal and spicey tones, fairly sweet

M: Has medium carbonation with a fairly rich and robust texture to it

O: Overall, another good beer from New Belgium, a great package of flavors with a relatively decent price.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle -

A: Dark brown with a good amount of head and lacing.

S: Roast, citrus, coffee, orange, resin, herbal, smooth malt, hint of wheat, hint of char.

T: Herbal, roast, char, citrus, orange again, resiny, with a hint of dark chocolate and caramel. Touch of spice as well to boot.

MF: Creamy body, with a medium (but lighter) mouthfeel and adequate carbonation.

O: Pleasant and a good shot at a hoppy winter brown/black IPA.

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Photo of philmore213
4.26/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Has somewhat of a burnt taste to begin, but after a few more sips the flavour does set it i get the pine taste a hint of bitter, do not taste any cocoa flavor. Nice head, poured into tall glass traps a lot of smell in and makes taste stand out. Very easy to drink, was not used to the taste to start, but does grow on you very well.

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Photo of vkv822
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz : tulip
Best Before March 10, 2013

Near black body with deep red highlights when held to light. Thick, creamy, craggy off white head with good retention.

Citric and piney hops transition to caramel malt notes.

Citric and pine hops again, with a really pleasant malty, cocoa backing. Very smooth transition in flavors.

Medium body, low foamy carbonation.

A very well done ABA. While there are definitely more bold, flavorful examples of the style, this has a complex, really enjoyable flavor profile while still being easy drinking.

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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 NilocRellim
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The ale poured out from the bottle and had a blackish ruby color to it. It also had a faint, citrus hop nose to it, but only slightly. It tasted like a red ale to me, and was hopped but not bitter or overwhelming in any way. No significant after taste or lingering flavours.

Would I buy this beer again? Probably.

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Photo of RickS95
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Totally not my style of beer, but it's quite attractive with its extremely dark brown, almost black pour. Some lightness sneaks out around the edges, but that's it. The head is immense. Off-white, reminds me of A&W Root Beer up top. Lasts forever and leaves great lacing when it finally dies.

I like roasted smells and I like citrus smells. I don't usually like them together, but I have to say both sides play fairly nicely in this case. There's kind of a nutty scent I can't quite put my finger on.

Things start to come apart in the mouth as the contrasting styles don't get along as well. There's a splash of caramel, then a hit of roasted coffee flavor, then it ends with a skosh of citrus. Just kind of weird.

It just leaves my palate confused. It's sweet, bitter, acidic, in that order. There's a loose, kind of watered-down feel mid-sip. Too much happening and not in a complex way.

Overall, it's not awful, and it's closer to good than it is to bad. I think black ales are an acquired taste and feel and all I can say is I'm working on it.

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Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This bottle had a best before feb 24 2013.

Poured out clear black, with a slight brownish off white frothy pillowy head. Smells toasted with a sweat caramel aroma with some hops in the background. Taste follows the nose with more hops present (citrus flavored) but they still follow the nice toasted flavor. It drinks crisp with a medium soft pillowy mouth feel. This is nice and refreshing on a cold winters day. Its a little different then the norm and makes me think twice every time I take a sip. Lovely if you want to try something different, so if your in the mood try one, cheers!

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Photo of Braz
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First thing I noticed was the aroma. Sweet and citrusy, not sure what this finishing hop is but I like the fragrance alot. Dark clear garnet color, fluffy tan head that sustains. Woodsy, pine, bitter aftertaste. Decent hop punch. Slight citrus background. Sort of a dry sweetness too. Smooth, low carbonation. Not what I was expecting, taste or style wise. Quite good and an interesting change of pace for a winter seasonal.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. I have had this beer a few times and really enjoyed it, but never gave it a review. Pours a ruby-tinted dark brownish black with good clarity. Small sheet of lace atop. The nose is full of fruity aromatics and freshly-ground up hops. Zing! That'll do. Fresh, potent, if not sinus-clearing.

Good clean feel with ample carbonation. Easy to sip, easier to gulp. The hoppy quality carries over to the flavor, but it doesn't take over as a nice dry graham cracker sweetness forces its way through. Bitterness isn't cutting at all, as the singe left on the palate, fleets away quickly, ready to be bombarded again.

A good beer. I wasn't even sure of what this style was, but that's okay. I approached this one with no misconceptions or prejudices. I'd gladly have this again.

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Photo of mick303
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a frothy three finger tan head, colour is a nearly black tan brown. Shows excellent retention and great lacing.

Smell has a rich, toffee maltiness, hazelnut, with a strong oily herbal and pine hop character, light spice notes, with a bit of a slight smoky aspect.

Taste has roasted coffee, dark malts, cooked apples. More nuttiness and roast spice character. Plenty of hoppy bitterness, along the bitter coffee earthy lines. Finish is dry, a bit fruity, clinging around awhile.

Mouthfeel has a moderate body with a fairly high carbonation, good bite and quite refreshing. Alcohol is not noticable.

Quite tasty, nice complexity, could be bigger in body and flavour but a really nice drinkable winter ale. A bit on the bitter side.

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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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