Snow Cap | Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

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Snow CapSnow Cap
Snow CapSnow Cap

Brewed by:
Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
Washington, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Deep mahogany in color, our full-bodied winter warmer is brewed in the spirit of British winter ales. Crafted with a flurry of roasted chocolate and caramel malts, and generously hopped, it delivers a smooth finish that makes this beer the perfect cold weather companion.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 511 | Ratings: 875
Photo of iguanodon
3.41/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

[Original rating 2012-11-03] Pours clear dark red with a tall tan head. Aroma is malty, cherry. Taste is pretty much hthe same with a little sweetness, some spicy hops in the finish. Palate is a little thin for the style.

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Photo of jwc215
3.86/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle:

Pours slightly hazed mahogany with a lasting tan head that leaves lacing.

The smell is of caramel/toffee, with some chocolate and a subtle earthy spicing.

The taste is of caramel, some nuts. Some bread and dark fruit (raisins) grow as it approaches the finish. Warming alcohol in the malty, but balanced, finish.

It is on the fuller side of medium. Long. warming finish lasts on the palate.

A very nice example of a classic English winter warmer.

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Photo of bobpisgod
1.67/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Absolute garbage.

It sounds promising.
It looks promising.
It even smells somewhat reasonable.

But as soon as you taste it, you discover the horrible truth: It tastes like 12-hour-old "dark roast" gas station coffee that had a few extra scoops added, before someone spiked it with vodka.

Mouth feel is not good.
Bitterness is ridiculous.
Finish is worse than the first taste.

This is an abomination.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.17/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle to goblet.
LOOK: Brown color, big Brown head.
Aroma Is spice, brown sugar.
Taste is spicy,warm,malty.
Thick feel.
Not Bad. Go Hawks."

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.46/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark appearance, substantially brown, 3/4" tan head. Aroma drops some c hops, roast. Mild chocolate malt.

Taste is a sticky brown that imparts plenty of roasted malt without a heavy viscous body, hopping gives it around a 50 ibu mouthfeel I'm guessing. The chocolate malt keeps a slow burn throughout. Equal parts winter warmer and porter.

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Photo of pianoguy
4.17/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing a beer that you have drank a lot is not as easy as it seems. (I think Bill Clinton was president when I had my first Snow Cap. A long time a dark beer fan, This beer turned me on to the winter warmer style) I will endeavor to keep nostalgia out of this review...

12 oz bottle. No bottling info

Pours solid brown body that when held up to the light takes on a more clear reddish mahogany. Good retention and lacing.

Smell of milk chocolate and roasted malt, Fairly prominent.

Taste is like hot cocoa on a cold day. Lots of chocolate malts and just a hint of hops to balance it out. Nice !

Feel is full and creamy. IMO this is what a winter warmer should feel like on the tongue. Perfect !

Overall... what can I say ? This beer kicks ass. The seasonality makes it something to look forward to each year and unlike other Seattle winter warmers, Snow Cap is consistent. They don't change it up very year. We drank Snow cap while watching superbowls 48 and 49. Being a Seahawk fan it had the sweet taste of victory in 2014 1nd the bitter taste of defeat in 2015...

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Photo of gandres
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle to wine glass
Appearance: dark amber reddish brown, minimal head, some lacing
Aroma: toasted grains
Taste: Bitter, Sweet, nice initial taste and follow through
Mouth feel: sticky
Overall: very good beer, ok to repeat, but not something to look forward to.
Drank: 2/22/2016

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Photo of Libeertarian
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appears a mostly clear, dark brown — burnt copper in the light. Capped with chunky, bubbly, tan head of medium to high retention. Aroma is roasty, meaty, and sweet: a little booze, a little caramel, also perhaps some dark fruits. As it's sat for a while, smells like fresh-baked banana bread — yum! Very coffee porter-like flavor, both roasty, and mildly acidic/tart. Booze and dark fruits also shine forth. Nice herbal, rindy hop finish, but quite well balanced with malt character. Full-bodied, fairly low level of prickly carbonation. Swallows like bites of food! Not as dry of a finish as one might expect from the flavors. I almost gave this a 4 across the board, but the mouthfeel on this one is in a class of its own. Or at least, it would be, if it was a little bit more warming.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours rilliant mahagony crowned by a quickly receding 1” foam white foam collar that leaves sketchy lace. S: spice, caramel, malty, suspicion of chocolate, fruit. T: Its drier than it smells, starting full and soft with caramel, malt, chocolate and some fruit followed by a moderate bitter hop accent. F: Medium body, medium full carbonation, soft on the palate. O: Decent, easy to drink winter warmer.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a 12 oz bottle in a pint glass, this winter warmer pours a brilliantly clear brownish red with a firm never ending tan head that settles into a fine foam layer and a thick ring with great lacing. Nose of caramel, raisins, light cocoa, moderate alcohol, and juicy and herbal hops. Flavors are sweet caramel and light chocolate mingling with a light yellow raisin flavor to the back and sides, hops dominate the back as well searing in the hops flavors. Finishes sweet and moderately bitter. Solid for the style with great carbonation and easy drinkability.


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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 2/25/2014. Pours fairly clear deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, brown sugar, dark bread, chocolate, herbal, light pine, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice aromas with good complexity and solid balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. A light metallic note is present in the aromas as well. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, brown sugar, dark bread, chocolate, herbal, light pine, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, fig, brown sugar, dark bread, chocolate, light pepper/pine, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good complexity and solid balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; with a solid malt/bitterness balance and minimal cloying flavors after the finish. Some light metallic/astringency in the taste, but not overpowering. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly creamy/bready, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice English strong ale. All around good complexity, robustness, and solid balance of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on. I felt this could have been better if it were less hoppy, but was a nicely enjoyable offering otherwise.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a dark, cloudy, mahogany color with three fingers of oatmeal-colored head that sloooooowly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Tons of spice up front, such as clove, licorice, dark molasses and black pepper, followed by some toasted malt and a lot of Belgian yeast funkiness. There are some notes of dried stone fruit as well, such as prunes and raisins.

Taste: Good toasted malt up front, immediately followed by some Belgian yeast, lots of stone fruit such as plums, raisins, figs, finished by some brown sugar-like sweetness. Not much in the way of hops, though.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very effervescent. With an ABV of 7.0%, there is just a touch of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a very interesting beer. Much more Belgian than English than I was expecting. Great notes of fruit and spice.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.84/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce stubby into a shaker pint. A moderate pour creates a one inch, creamy looking head that sticks to the sides of the glass. The beer is a ruddy, medium dark brown and looks pretty clear.

Very malty on the nose with subdued floral notes. The taste is also malt-forward, hinting strongly of molasses, gingerbread, dark bread, nuts, chocolate, and dark fruit. A tad bit of citrus is noticeable from the hops, along with a little orange peel bitterness on the finish. The aftertaste is maybe a bit astringent, a touch like unroasted acorns. However, pleasant bready flavors accentuate the burps, and an overall malt richness and smoothness balances the flavor out rather well. A long lasting creamy mouthfeel is apparent.

I got a screaming deal on this beer, since we're a little past season (although Spring really hasn't gotten here yet). The beer doesn't taste like its past its prime- I would think it would have a long shelf life. I paid $4.99 a sixer and made sure I grabbed two. Purchased at Hennessey Market in Butte, Montana.

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Photo of Foyle
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into nonic glass.
Appearance: Pours a frothy off white head that recedes very slowly with lots of lacing. Color is reddish brown with some streaming carbonation evident.
Aroma: malt dominates, very bready with some caramel and chocolate, also some earthy hops. Mouthfeel: medium bodied, oily texture with a somewhat dry finish.
Flavor: bready malt, raisin, plums, caramel, a bit of dark chocolate melds with earthy and citrus hops.
Overall: very pleasant winter warmer. Enjoyed this sipper.

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Photo of FLima
3.59/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown ruby color with a thin beige head with short retention.
Aroma with notes of papaya, caramel malt, black fruits, apples and a light roasted background.
Quite unique flavor combination with notes of papaya, caramels, black and red fruits, some citrus, earthy hops, minerals, figs and a mild cocoa. It has an English touch that I can’t quite say what is the predominant source, hop or yeast. A bit tangy. But definitely hoped at American standards. Quite dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 7.0% abv is well hidden.
Interesting beer, not a heavy winter ale but with good complexity. Not extraordinary, but worth trying if you dig English beers with different twists.

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Photo of TheBullsHorn
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

British roots run deep with this beer. Biscuit, crystal malts, hints of vanilla, anise, and a moderate bitterness that comes off quite earthy. Overall it is a smooth, nutty, and somewhat musty winter warmer that unfortunately comes off a little thin.

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Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours brown with tall, long lasting, fluffy off-white head. Aroma is of herbal, piney hops, spices, dark fruit, brown sugar, coffee and caramel malt. Body is full and tangy. Taste is similar to aroma. Finish is long and dry. It was a perfect brew to drink after shoveling snow.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.61/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, nice to see another Pyramid seasonal make it across the 49th parallel, one that's not the Oktoberfest.

This beer pours a clear, medium-dark bronzed amber colour, with three fat fingers of puffy, foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves some nice sudsy sea-spray lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of biscuity caramel malt, burnt toast, a hint of bittersweet chocolate, mildly metallic clove and ginger spice, a prune and dried cherry dark fruitiness, and a soft citrus-tinged leafy hoppiness. The taste is gritty bready and crackery caramel malt, an astringent, kind of sour orchard fruitiness, subtle mixed holiday spice, and moderately weak earthy, citrusy, and pine needle hops.

The carbonation is on the down low, what with its wan frothiness, the body a thin middleweight for the style, and a bit too tight from that metallic essence to be deemed all that smooth. It finishes on the dry side, the malt turning tail, while the muddled spice and now evidently flinty alcohol aiding and abetting.

A mildly disappointing winter ale, the spice-malt interplay overlooked for the most part, and that edgy metallic nature hard to deny from mid-game on. Simple, perhaps a little too much so, to the point where I'm starting to think about my search for something else now.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4.09/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A new winter favorite of mine. I tried it this past winter during a snowstorm. The 7.0% abv gives the brew a warmth that is much appreciated after dealing with the ice and snow. The bitter, earthy flavor slows the drinker down a bit--that's a good thing because the flavor is too complex for quaffing. I sip on this beer much like one would a good wine or mead. Snow Cap satisfies maltheads and hopheads alike. Dedicated B/M/C drinkers should steer clear of this.

And that was what a review of mine looked like in 2002.
Pours to a generous buff head and dark brown and clear color. Rich malty nose with molasses, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla and a hint of British hops. Flavor is rich and malty with roasty, nutty flavors and malt sweetness with a balance of hop bitterness. Long, warming finish. Just what you need on a cold night.

Eleven years later, still a winter favorite of mine.

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Photo of zookerman182
3.27/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance is a dark red color with a one finger off white head.
Aroma is roasted malt, not much else goi on.
Flavor is malty and bready and watered down.
Some caramel flavors and toasted malt notes. Some coffee flavor on the back end.
Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, flavor goes quickly.
Not too find of this one but I'm glad I was ale to try it.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a chestnut color with a one finger of foamy tan colored head. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a lighter level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is strongest of a roasted malt smell mixed with a moderate caramel sweetness and a nice chocolate smell. Along with these aromas are some lighter spice smells as well as a bit of an herbal hop smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter roasted flavor consisting of a moderate level of some brown bread flavors as well as a caramel sweetness. Along with these flavors at the start, there is also a nice semi-sweet chocolate flavor present as well. The caramel transitions to a toffee like flavor more toward the middle, taking on a more buttery nature. This toffee flavor is short lived however and later losses its ground as some bitter roasted coffee and some light hop flavors of an herbal nature come to the tongue. At the very end some grapefruit hop tastes come to the tongue, in the end combining with the rest to leave a moderately bitter and roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the averages to slightly thicker side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is a bit on the higher side. Overall the thicker body is rather nice for accentuating the roasted, chocolate, and sweet flavors, although the bitter coffee and grapefruit are almost too strongly sensed due to the thicker feel, making these flavors stand out a little too much for the roasted and sweet malty flavors and the style.

Overall – An OK brew, but the hop, chocolate, coffee, and sweet just never really seem to meld all that well on the tongue. Worth a try, but not the best winter warmer out there.

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Photo of ssteakley
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this since I had been on a tour of the Pyramid Brewery in Seattle and it was on sale in the store where I bought the Bomber. Definetly worth the 2.49 sale price but would not pick it up otherwise. It is a change of pace and interesting but the burnt toast on the end is just not my thing. the initial roasted chocolate and malts start out well, nice smell. Just does not finish to my taste is all.

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Photo of ksimons
3.76/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-mahogany with ruby highlights and a fingers worth of dense looking cream head

S-rich malt, caramel, hints of chocolate, dark fruits and a slight roasted quality to it

T-taste is not as powerful as the smell, malt backbone, caramel, and spices. Has a strange aftertaste that I can't place.

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation

Overall I had high hopes for this after a nice aroma, but the taste just doesn't live up to it.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cannot believed I have not reviewed this one... Picked up at the COOP tonight... Pours a clear dark/darker mahogany.. short lived dark tan head... spotty lacing.

Nose is dark toast and some dark pit fruit... a bit of plum/red grape.. hints of cocoa.

Flavor mirrors the nose with a decent punch of piney hops.. okay.. but underwhelming.

Medium/full body but balanced by a slightly bigger than expected carbonation.... Glad I only bought one.. this used to be a go-to for me every winter, but it seems to have definitely lost it's shine in my eye.


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Photo of Lemke10
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a medium amber brown color with a pretty big foamy head, so this bottle might be a little over fermented. The aroma is a mixture of malts and spices. Lots of spices in the beginning that turn into a bitter finish. A little too much carbonation behind this which is probably because if the age.

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Snow Cap from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 875 ratings