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 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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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 emerge077
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's "winter seasonal" time already? :groan:

Blackish pint, creamy tan foam that leaves a set of concentric rings of lace in the glass.

Piney hop aroma, slightly sweet maltiness, with a little bit of roast in the background. Strikes me as a black IPA sort of, after the hops and roastiness settle in together.

Pine and bitter citrus peel, spruce, fir, or other coniferous descriptor. Flash of bittersweet cocoa, dark roast in the background to compliment. Smooth and fairly light bodied, medium level of carbonation. Spices? Nope. Hops? Yes, definitely. Dry hoppy aftertaste lingers around nicely. A pint or two would be no problem.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown beer, about the color of molasses and just shy of being totally opaque. The head is light tan, about a a finger's width, thick and chewy looking and leaves a lot of lacing.

S: Very sweet malts, a lot of caramel, but also a LOT of hops. To my nose, hops are actually the dominant aroma, which is... unexpected.

T: I a little surprised at how much I like this beer. The taste is that of caramel, with some chocolate malts. The darkly roasted malts are balanced with a good amount of hops, which gives it a nice brightness.

M: moderately high body, with a lot of carbonation. Doesn't come across as very thick at all.

O: A nice winter offering from New Belgium. The heavy dose of hops is rather refreshing for a winter brew. It doesn't come off as especially heavy or sweet, but still fits in well as a cold-weather beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour, decent 'clarity' for a dark brown beer, no undesireable floaties, decent size off white head. Aroma was sturdy malt, but nothing beyond that.

Decent hop presence, good chewiness, bringing what you want in a winter warmer, alcohol in check. Good bitterness. Similar to the old 2 below beer. Pretty straightforward, simple, cheap and available. Some of these to have on hand should be a must in the winter. You might turn some peeps on to more adventurous stuff, or it might just be right up their alley.

Would recommend.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an almost black/dark brown with one finger fizzy offwhite head that died slow w/ lace patches in top of a slightly floral hop aroma with muted spices and malts. I think I would consider this more of alright IPA than a winter warmer as that balance of sweet and roasted malts and spices is usurped by a earthy hop presence. This beer goes down smooth and easy and has some balance and finishes with a somewhat spicy edge, but overall the hops are too strong for my liking for this style.

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Photo of DCon
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 6-pack of this never seen brew w/ friend from Broad Ripple, IN @ Dynamic Liquors in Lincoln Park (Chicago), IL for $8.99. Poured from the Normal Red lined New Belgium 12oz Bottle w/ a new kind of picture w/ "SNOW DAY" labeled underneath a snow covered glass cabin into a 16oz Pint Glass. Has BEST BEFORE: 19FEB12 on the side.

Aroma- Huge hops that last in the aroma forever! Roasted malts are found but hops are extreme in here and really dig it. Not sure about Winter Warmers/Winter Ales most of the time but this was perfect this time around!

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that has AWESOME retention. Head stays the entire time and remains a dark off-white color. The beer has a deep brown color with no visible clarity. Leaves tons of thick lacing afterwards. Ties many other brews in the best appearance contest!

Flavor- There is a ton of roastiness but not like the type that is found in porters, coffee stouts, or many coffee like attributed brews. Very interesting but light all the way on the taste. Light bitterness and a surprisingly dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, A bit watery, and finishes with malt and sweetness on the palate.

Overall Impression- Will definitely be enjoying more of this all Fall/Winter! Would suggest you get yourself a single bottle or 6-pack of this too. Not sure about the Taste and Mouthfeel yet but could definitely be changing this review the next time I get this beer. My first winter warmer this season. Enjoy!

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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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