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 Zraly
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights. Nice off-white head and a whiff of pine and citrus predominates upfront.

Nice malty note upfront with lots of citrus and fruit. I get a little chocolate as well, perhaps a hint of chocolate covered orange. A bit of hop juice in the finish with a touch of hemp seed. Clean and relatively light-bodied considering it is a "winter warmer" -- I question the classification a bit, but nonetheless this is a nice beer.

Not the classic winter warmer but a nice beer on a cool night. The 6.2% alcohol is actually well-hidden because I could drink several of these.

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark burgundy color with a two-finger head of bubbly tan foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled piney and roasty with a nice citrus presence.

T - It tasted very roasty with strong piney bitterness. There were lots of tropical fruit notes.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a really good brew. It really tasted more like a Black IPA than a Winter Warmer.

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Photo of fsvan
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into pint glass.

A- Dark caramel, almost brown. A finger of thin, lacing off white head.

S- Semi-sweet caramel malt. I little spiciness. A good amount of pine hops from the style.

T- Caramel malt, esp. on the back end. Fairly hoppy, with a big bitter finish.

M- A little on the heavy side of medium.

O- Eh, an OK beer. I wasn't a huge fan of the ESB winter seasonal either, but like it, this is OK, but nothing too special

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Photo of Dmart1223
3.14/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Definitely expected more from this beer, but it isn't bad.

This pitch-black beer retains a mocha head forever. I have a cold, but a friend and I couldn't find many pronounced flavors on the nose – maybe some malts.

Snow Day is heavy in the mouth, but not as heavy as I thought it would be. There's very little carbonation. Centennial and Cascade hops are definitely present, but muted.

The best quality of this beer is it fills you up, but the complexity promised from the bottle's label left me wanting more. Not a bad beer; I'd drink it if it was offered to me. But this isn't a beer I'd anticipate every winter.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another good looking beer from New Belgium. solid cap over a dark brown body, shows some light through the edges but is mostly opaque.
the aroma is complex, partly composed of orange zest notes over black strap molasses and licorice.
Flavors are dark and warm, spices and citrus, licorice and brown sugar and caramel. An interesting beer, i could bu a pack of this for sure.
Mouthfeel isn't rich or full, but it isnt turning anything about this off.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer looks great, the head is a light-mocha color that leaves awesome lacing! The beer is dark, almost black, but highlights of ruby shine through when held to light.

S: Very grassy and floral on the nose. I can tell this is a bitter, and hoppy beer. Fresh also comes to mind, like a freshly mowed lawn and pruned hedges. Smells great!

T: Upfront the hops are paramount. Its not incredibly bitter, but it leans more towards bitter than sweet. The hop flavor is that of freshly mowed grass, just like the aroma. It's fairly complex, and I look forward to learning more about my new best friend.

M: Moderatly-high carbonation levels in a more-or-less full-bodied beer.

D: Drinks rather smoothly and nicely. Defiantly one of my favorite winter seasonals now.

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Photo of TucsonTom
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A solid India Brown.

A: Wonderfully clear garnet, with a good head and lacing.

S: The Centennial and Cascade hops lead when cold; the Midnight Wheat malt sneaks in as it warms.

T: Like the smell, the dark malt gets better as the beer warms up. Great flavor combinations.

M: Perfect.

I'd love to see two bomber releases jump from Snow Day. First, an imperial black IPA with both the hops and ABV dialed up. Second, a traditional brown focused on that new Midnight Wheat, perhaps unfiltered, with low alpha-acid hops.

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Photo of iSip
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Belgium Snow Day Winter ale: At a work social function there was a good selection of bottled beer for the sampling. I chose a New Belgium Snow Day, looking forward to something new. And it was an entirely different experience. I did not expect the nearly black color and thin off white head. This beer has the look of a black ale, rather than that of a winter warmer. Great aromas come off of this brew, lots of malty sweet smell and a big dose of coffee. Was it the look that made me smell the coffee? A roasty malt flavor greets you on the first sip, and there is some subtle bitterness to the finish. The Snow Day has a big body to it. Very good special or dessert beer, you will not down a six of these in an evening.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown w/ a soapy one finger cocoa head. Excellent lacing on the sides of my snifter glass. Very dark- impossible to see anything when held to the light. Nose is mainly piney hops, wheat, and slight bit of malt. Very crisp and refreshing smelling brew. The taste is interesting.. It's very crisp- and the hops are definitely out front. Malt makes it's way into the picture in the aftertaste- but not much of it there. This beer almost makes me pucker the way eating a lemon does. It's not bad... just not as balanced as I'd like. Feel is carbonated/fizzy and light for what I'd expect. Very dry as well. Overall, this is an interesting brew- but not my favorite from this brewery. There are better Winter beers out there. Cheers.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

New Belgium Snow Day Winter Ale is dark, handsome, sweet, and thin.

During the pour, it was the color of root beer; however, once it settled in the glass, it was black with a tall off-white head. The strong head of light-colored foam and the contrast in color it createdmade this a very handsome beer. The flavor was sweet, with caramel, brown sugar, and the slightest finish of juicy citric hops. There wasn't much feel; it was thin, slippery, and more refreshing than expected from a Winter Warmer.

Snow Day isn't a classic Winter Warmer. It's not heavy or rich enough, but it sure is enjoyable: tasty and juicy. More suited to after a cold-weather activity, or during a spicy meal, than as an after dinner or late evening sipper.

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

I poured into a small glass and was surprised by the dark color. When held up to the light, it had a dark ruby red note to the blackness. The head was thin with creme color and light lacing. The aromas was nice and hoppy, not quite as hoppy as New Belgium's Hoptober ale but still strong. A nice subtle caramel malt note crept in behind the hops. The taste started off as citrus and pine from the hops and faded to the caramel of the roasted malt in the after taste. The feel was full of carbonation and tickled the palate. Overall this was a better balanced beer than Hoptober. The roasted wheat malt made more of a nice compliment to the hops. While the use of only three hops, versus five in Hoptober, didn't over whelm the malt. New Belgium did good on this beer.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 12oz. Pilsner Glass

Appearance - Pitch Black color with a dark brown tinge at the bottom. Leaves behind a solid 3 finger head and it also leaves behind alot of lacing. It looks alot like a stout!

Smell - Despite it's dark appearance, this actually smells an awful lot like an IPA. It's got a fairly strong (but not overwhelming) piney hops smell, along with that citrus flavor to it. There's also a small hint of burnt caramel and malts.

Taste - The first thing noticed was the mild but sharp piney hops, along with a noticeable burnt malt/caramel & citrus/grapefruit flavor. There's also a very slight mocha coffee taste thrown in.

Mouthfeel - There's a small amount of carbonation, which makes this easy to drink; The body is also more on the more heavier side. All this combined allows the beer to have more of a sharper flavor

Overall - This is my first Winter Warmer brew and I loved it. For me, it's a rather odd brew; It looks like a traditional stout beer, but it's actually got the flavor like an IPA with some characteristics of a stout beer, namely the burnt caramel and malt flavor. New Belgium is known for making solid beers and this is no exception, pick this up if it's available in your area!

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

My neighbor brought over a Snow Day from New Belgium. It was quite tasty. The beer poured a deep rich clear brown into my pint glass. The off-white head was big at the start and about a 1/2 finger at the end and laced throughout the drink. The smell included hops and roast....with a bit of sweet caramel. The first few sips of the beer the malt, roast, caramel, and slight coffee grounds were present. As I continued to drink the beer the centinnial hops on the front and casscade on the back began to take over. The mouthfeel was great....medium body and decent carbonation. Overall a great beer.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cola brown with generous creamy/silky smooth head. Very appetizing appearance. Nose has a toasted pine quality, with some holiday spice candy in the background. Palate offers a rather assertive and playful mixture of caramel with the fruity hops, with yet again more toasty pine. High, tingly carbonation is noted. Finishes with a toasted to maybe burnt sugary pine as well.

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Photo of bnes09
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black in color while allowing a little light through. Solid off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Fresh and assertive hop aroma. Enough said?

Robust hop flavor, mostly pine and herbal notes. Underlying malt flavor provides mild roasted flavors of almonds and coffee. Mostly hoppy in flavor and dry in finish.

Light to medium body. Highly carbonated but this is appropriate. Smooth. Drying. Satisfying.

I like this. Good character and refreshing. I would classify it as a black ipa but it works well as a winter warmer also. If you like hops, you will probably like this.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Peace Tree pint.

A: Pours a dark copper color with 1/2 finger of pale tan head. Strong retention and excellent lace.

S: Nice peach hop aromas with some light caramel undertones.

T: Leads with a peach/grapefruit flavor that stays steady through the sip, fading to light bitterness. Caramel is present underneath but definitely takes a back seat. After a few sips, the finish gets more of a light pine character.

M: Light and creamy, lots of carbonation in the feel.

O: This is a pretty sweat little beer, but I don't think it's a winter warmer. Nothing extreme but hitting all the right notes, and lots of pretty lace. Nice job, New Belgium.

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Photo of billab914
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Ithaca glass. It poured a dark brown in color with a foamy, light tan colored head filling the top inch of the glass. Nice head retention and lacing. Great looking beer.

The aroma shows a good amount of piny, herbal hoppiness to it with a little bit of a zesty citrus as well. I get some sweet, malty, caramel and lightly roasty notes coming out of it as well. Pretty appealing aroma overall.

The taste is where the malty, caramel notes really start to come out. I get a little bit of a roasty flavor to it up front while some sweeter, caramel, brown sugar flavors come out in the finish. The hoppiness shows a some of the zesty, citrus qualities mixing with a moderate herbal bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a pretty decent beer. The hoppiness mixed pretty well with the toasty, sweet caramel malts. A pretty drinkable and flavorful beer of the season.

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Photo of rangerred
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle.

Appearance is dark brown with a slight reddish tint. Decent head with good lacing.

Smell is of piny/citrusy hops with some roasted malt.

Taste is very hop forward with the citrus and pine dominating at first but then giving way to a pleasant roastiness. Finished fairly clean with a lingering hop bitterness.

Overall I don't feel like this is a winter warmer at all and is definitely a black IPA or American black ale or whatever its called. Approaching this beer with that in mind I think it's an average beer for the style.

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Photo of John_M
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with fairly good head retention and decent lacing. The nose is attractive, as I pick up some roasted malt, some baked apple and light spices. There's a bit more going on with the flavor profile, as this moderately sweet beer has some light vanilla and some decent hoppy bitterneess in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a fairly long, malty, roasty finish. Drinkability is not bad, with the alcohol well integrated into the flavor profile.

While nothing extraordinairy, this is a fairly tasty, easy to appreciate effort from New Belgium.

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Photo of zachary80
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium Globe. After having this several times I feel like it should be categorized as an American Black Ale.

Appearance is black, offwhite head leaves lots of lacing but has weak retentionl.

Aroma is primarily hoppy with some malt character

Flavor is choclatey from the mult, somewhat bitter from the hops with a lingering hop flavor that is very nice.

Mouthfeel is good

Overall this is a great change-up from New Belgium.

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Photo of gatornation
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from 12 oz bottle with BB 02/19/12

A- pours a dark mahogany color with a slight khaki head with some nice sticky lacing

S- malts and earthy smells with some citrus hops

T was roasted malts some earth funk,citrus hops,toffee and caramel but all was light but present

M- was light with carbonation and taste with the above mentioned smells and taste

O- a drinkable winter warmer but a couple will do it for me, many better and tasty WW out there

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Photo of bsp77
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Dark brown with just a hint of red. Nice foamy head with strong lacing rings.

Smell: Roasted and caramel malts, with orange, pine and spice floating on top. Fairly pungent. Smells like a Black Ale/IPA.

Taste: Tastes like one as well. Smoke and bitter chocolate co-mingle with orange and grapefruit. Finish is more pine-like and spicy. Seems like this should be a burst of flavor, but is a little subdued, maybe due to the wheat.

Feel: Moderate carbonation with a nice dry finish. Unfortunately, the beer is a little too thin.

Overall: Obviously Winter Warmer is not really the appropriate description. This is a nice Black IPA / American Black Ale that could use a titch more flavor and body. Otherwise, quite enjoyable and better than 2 Below.

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