Snow Cap | Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

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Snow CapSnow Cap
875 Ratings
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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Ratings: 875 |  Reviews: 511
Reviews by jeremyd365:
Photo of jeremyd365
2.9/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a thick, dark brown with a slight slight brown head. Smells like a warmer! Cinnamon and nutmeg for sure. Good mouthfeel--solid body and carbonation, the hints of spiciness already on the palatte. The taste ain't bad.. definite spiciness and finishes with a slight bite. I think the aftertaste is kind of alcohol-y. A decently drinkable brew.

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More User Reviews:
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 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 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 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 oberon
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany with no head to speak of,aroma is on the sweetish side with some light nuttines.Taste is also on the sweeter side with some dried fruit flavors the hops become present for me after a few sips with the alcohol flavors really coming thru.For an old ale for one its pretty hoppy and two is very easy to drink for the alcohol content,I like this style and this one is pretty darn good.

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Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – No kidding, this was one of the most beautiful heads that I have ever seen. I controlled it at the pour, but it foamed up a good inch. The head was tan and substantial, pitting like molten lava. The lacing didn’t cover the glass; it left more of a complicated lattice design. This was gorgeous.

Oh, and the body was dark ruby brown, too thin to give the rating a perfect 5.0.

Smell – Musty, liquor-soaked malt, almost like whiskey with a woody character, complimented with man-made sugars and dark, ripened fruits. This smells like a mesh of browned bananas, overripe apricots, raisins, dark Bing cherries, and tons of raw sugar.

Taste – It’s a bit light at the tongue, wimping out from the nose, but good nevertheless. The big sweets and alcohol-soaked malts are there as well. Just about everything from the aroma makes it to the taste, but just lighter.

Mouthfeel – I thought that this was the ale’s weak point. The body is thin, not even medium, with a watery consistency.

Drinkability – This was a unique experience for such a mainstream brewery. It’s the first prolific ale that has even come close to the style, IMO.

Update: For 2004 they hopped this baby up with some stiff pine resin. It smells and tastes a whole lot hoppier. The mouthfeel though is still too light for the big flavors they’re packing into this beer.

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Photo of MadScientist
3.96/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is brown with a rich red hue and good clarity. The head is a long lasting, tan collection of mostly compact bubbles with some medium sized bubble too.

S: Moderate caramel malt aroma and light citrus hops with pine. There is a light touch of cocoa and a soft alcohol aroma. There are moderate prunes and a light bit orange esters and a faint bit of spice that add complexity.

T: A rich malt with moderate sweetness and flavors of caramel and cocoa. There is a moderately-light hops bitterness with a moderate citrus hops flavor. There is a light fruitiness of red cherries and oranges with a light yeast spice. The balance is even and the finish is moderate with a quick to finish hops bitterness and malt sweetness for an aftertaste.

M: A creamy, medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation and a light warmth.

O: A complex, warming beer great for taking the edge of a cold day. This would pair well with rich, hearty meal like beef stew or a standing rib roast. Since this beer does have spices in it I'd be inclined to call it an Old Ale.

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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 chOAKbarrell
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The other two beers I've had from Pyramid lately have been wretched, so I wish myself luck on this one...

Well, we're off to a good start. Deep mahogany body, smallish tan head with some lacing.

Spicy nose that seems to smell like a winter warmer should. Alcohol present, underneath the spices.

Mmm, quite tasty. Very nutty and full bodied. I dont pick up any real hop standouts. Its mostly the spices and malt.

Good rounded mouthfeel. If it were a little thicker I might describe it as "chewy."

I'd say this is better than most winter warmers I've had, but not as good as a few others. Above average.

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Photo of Dschamp
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MutualAid
3.89/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours soda-brown with a fizzy white head; quickly dissipates.

S - Rich aromas of chocolate, dates, and stone fruit with no appreciable hop bouquet.

T - Rich malty sweetness balanced with a spicy hop flavor and bitterness right up front, a bit of a Dubbel-like sweetness in the middle and a piney hop note in the finish.

M - There is a great balance in this beer; Laozi would be pleased. Medium, slightly fizzy body with a lingering yet clean finish.

D - With its clean finish, unoffensive mouthfeel and moderate body I could put away enough of these beers in one session to make tomorrow very unpleasant.

Definitely one of the better winter beers I've had and certainly deserving of a higher rating.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.96/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a deep ruby brown with a creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet nutty malts and a little spicing and fruits.

The flavor is roasted nutty malts with some sweetness and fruits and some tarry bitterness in the finish with some alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with sharp carbonation.

Overall, not a very exciting winter beer. The flavors just don't do it for me.

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Photo of babyhobbes
3.31/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured with very little head. It's color is deep mahogany/brown. The smell was mostly of alcohol with slight spice. It feels thin in the mouth and has no spice taste. It tastes okay, but certainly isn't something I'd want more than once. This wasn't what I expected for a winter brew.

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Photo of shapudding
4.37/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 bottle
Beautiful dark burnt caramel color- almost the same color as the bottle! Light brown head that really did not linger around or come back to visit after I tried to swirl it back up.... just some tiny bubbles that ringed the edge. Mouthwateringly scented with portwine and sherry, bit of whiskey... sugery cakes and molasses. Nice..
Tastes of alcohol and burnt toast, malts... Decent amount of carbination in here. Foams up for you in your mouth when you give it a roll over the tongue. Nice tasting one.

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Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Beerswag
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Jason
3.67/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Wispy off-white lace, dark brown with a garnet hue ... good clarity. Toasty sweetness w/ some dark honey, the hops and alcohol add some spice to the nose. Thick medium body that runs pretty smooth. Toasted malt throughout with a slight edge of roasted grain that mimics chicory and carob powder. Spicy warmth from the alcohol is delicate as it is cradling a burnt raisin like fruitiness. Hops come in leafy and herbal with more than enough bitterness to balance. Finishes bittersweet.

Nothing earth-shattering but definitely solid. Malt, hops and alcohol seem to hit all the right targets for the style. Very safe to say this is a good pic for a winter seasonal.

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Photo of Doppelmax
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another I picked up from Huck's. I had this a few years ago on tap in Sacramento at the Pyramid brewpub and though I'd give it a try again.
Nice dark copper but the head dissipated to quickly for me.
Malty/citrus hops aroma quite pleasing.
My kind of beer, malt and hops up front finishing with a distinctive bitter hop finish. Average body with decent carbonation.
Glad I grabbed a 6 of these. Too bad I can't bring any home to NH in my carry on due to the non drinking crowd from you know where.

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Photo of merlin48
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 edition, pours a clear, deep mahogany body with a respectable beige head that hangs around, and leaves some patchy lace. Aroma is malty caramel with a note of chocolate, quickly displaced by herbal hops and vague spices. Mouthfeel is light medium bodied with moderated carbonation. Taste is dry and spicy with herbal hops, bitter yeast note, and nutmeg. Alcohol is hidden. Finishes dry and spicy/yeasty bitter. Some old ale character, unfortunately, was very fleeting in nature. Not an outstanding example of the style, but I've never been a fan of this brewery's offerings.

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Photo of bsp77
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Mahogany brown with off-white head and very light lacing.

Smell: Cherry, caramel, tea and some floral, metallic hops.

Taste: Relatively dry chery and caramel malts dominate, with some light English, spicy and metallic hops providing counterbalance. Ends with a little too much medicinal cherry.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, barely dry finish.

Drinkability: For an English Strong Ale, it is a little weak, as it comes across as more of an Irish Red.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.62/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't know about this one. Aroma is nothing to speak of, because there isn't one. IT looks great, clear amber, no head. The taste is sour. A mix of malt, spice, and sweat. The aftertaste was very sweet, making you forget how sour the actual beer is. I'd go back for more, and then remember, and repeat again. I could not get over it. Get something else.

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

served into a nonic glass from a short neck brown 12oz. bottle twist-off cap.

Beautiful clear mahogany color with a deep reddish hue.A light tan head 1" thick dissapating to a thick coating thru the beer.

A very complex aroma, first wiff of candied apples,very spicy with hints of vanallia/chocolate/ a bit nutty and fruitty.Lots of different aromas, a treat for the nose.

The taste was very malty notes of carmell/chocolate/toffee and nutty.
Spicy,hints of vanallia, A clean,sharp,spicy bittersweet finish.A complex and very pleasing quailty to the taste

A medium body,velvety feel on the palate,a bit cloying.
One of my favorite holiday beers,delicious.mouthwatering,don't want to stop drinking this beer.Give it a try.

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Photo of NOLTERN
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

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