Snow Cap | Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

510 Reviews
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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.

Added by Jason on 11-11-2001

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Reviews: 510 | Ratings: 868
Photo of charlesw
4.85/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let's start with drinkability, shall we? If I didn't have another 11 hours to kill in this airport, well, hmm. Or, uh. Crap. This review sucks :) Let's see. I'd like to be awake until my flight leaves so I'm going to leave it at 2 pints. But, dang, this sh|t is good. Sure, sure, I used to say that Lobster was the stuff, the thang. Well, it is, in one context. And in this context... Dude... It's deep and dark in the color but holy bananas is this stuff good! Rich, thick, chewy, malty... Ridiculously well balanced with the micro quantity of chocolate, healthy caramel... Just a huge malty mouth and darned proud of it.

This stuff... This is like the Old Ale I make. And, golly, I like the Old Ale I make. And this stuff. I'd drink it every day and then some. And be happy to. And how. Oh yeah. And again and again and again.

Now... It tastes like it's in the 250+ calorie range so I guess... I'd have to add another 10 minutes to my lunch-time workout, then, wouldn't I? Oh! The trauma!

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.6/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice warm creamy head atop dark coppery tan pour quickly dissappates to a very small lacing. Aromas of brown sugar and carmel. Nice mouthful of tiny carbonation and comfortable alcohol warming going down.
Tastes of very light hops....nice malt...slight bitter chocolate.
Pleasant chocolate with brown sugar aftertaste. No bitterness.

Overall, pleasant warming holiday brew. Nicest thing from Pyramid.
Wish it was available year round. Even with the high alcohol content, I can drink these all night and love each and every one.
I've been enjoying these all year but now it is September. The last one I had was probably July and it was enjoyable. Tonight I opened the last one in the fridge and it was undrinkable for me. So just as a point of reference, 6 months maximum for cellaring IMHO.

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Photo of cbros
4.57/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was first intrigued by this beer for its ABV. But after taking my first sip I was hooked. It's combination of taste and yes potency go hand in hand. You can have a high ABV beer that tastes like motor oil or rubbing alcohol. Or you can drink this. A beer that tastes good and makes you feel better. I suggest this beer anytime you are at a Seattle Seahawks footbal game.(my first experience with it) There is nothing better than a Snow Cap in one hand and a basket full of garlic fries in your lap. The combination of the bitter sharp garlic mixed with the smooth taste of Snow Cap is a doable mixture.
In late Nov this beer really warms the stomach and makes any football game more enjoyable.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.47/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer; one of my favorite winter warmers so far

A- Dark brown opaque body with copper-red translucent edges. Decent head

S- Alcohol, roasted chocolate&caramel malts. Some raison/fig smells

T- The hops play a big role in the flavor of this beer. The bitterness balances the sweet roasted chocolate and caramel malt flavors and keep the beer very drinkable

M- Medium body and low carbonation

D- Easy to drink for such a high ABV%

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.42/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very good beer. If this is what Winter / Seasonal beers are coming to, I like it. This is a nice change of pace from the normal, spicey and fruity winter-type brews I am used to trying. This brew has a very respectable head that lingers, but is quite light. The aroma has some hint of spice, but again, very subtle. This is a drinkable seasonal. Enough said. Prost!

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.38/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz stubby to a pint glass, the liquid is dark and has good carbonation. The head is big thick and mocha brown, it leaves good lace.

The smell is dark and roasty with a hint of spice.

The taste follows, dark roasted malt, Hmmmm Hmmmm Good. Just a hint of spice flavor in the finish.

The mouthfeel is smooth and gentle, lots of body but not sticky or over carbonated, just about right.

The drinkability is just great this is a very nice brew. I'll be looking for it again. Prosit, MK

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Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice little brown head. Very dark brew. Very warming. Dry, cedary finish. There's toffee and mellow caramel notes. Hints of mocha also. Very nicely balanced brew. Strong too. Has been a staple in my winter beer selection for about 5 years now.

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Photo of shapudding
4.37/5  rDev +23.8%
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 MadeInOregon
4.36/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Smooth and easy drinkin to the last drop.

Pouring this one was fun. About 3/4 through pouring the 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass a huge, fluffy head began to erupt from the bottom of the glass leaving about and inch and a half at the top of this deep copper/bronze brew. Other than the delayed head explosion, what caught my eye was how dark this one was; it looked almost black until held up to light. Pretty dark for a winter warmer, I think.

The smell after being poured was fairly mild and had a sweet and hoppy nature. Nothing special, but not bad.

Taste-wise, I love winter warmers and this was no exception; Snow Cap is delicious. The first sip started with chocolate and caramel and slowly evolved to mildly bitter hops and yeast. This beer has a great flavor. After a few more sips the roasted barley began to become more detecable in the intial chocolatey taste and the bitterness in the final hop flavor increased.

Pyramid's 2008 warmer has a nice balance of sweet, bitter, and warm and becomes especially creamy as it warms to room temperature. A very enjoyable drinking experience.

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Photo of ramnuts
4.35/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Full disclosure: One of my favorite beers of all times. It has been mighty unimpressive these past few years...waxy, attenuation out of whack, weak, thin, unbalanced. A massive disappointment for the past 4 years, in fact.

I am happy to report that Pyramid nailed it this time. Flavorful, balanced, headily foamed, just genius.

The roast comes through but does not dominate. Drinkable, well laced, carbed to perfection. Nutty, subdued malt, hops at the proper level. Just right.

I salute Pyramid for restoring this beer to its proper place. I was nearly ready to write it off but am glad I tried this version.

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Photo of Bookseeb
4.35/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a dark rich amber with a thin head. Smell of light dark sweet roasted malts. taste is roasty sweet with dark sugar, spice, dark fruits and slight alchohol. Mouthfeel is a solid medium with good carbonation. What I would overall expect from a winter warmer, a good solid winter ale.

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Photo of putnam
4.33/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottles bears a 15th anniversary neck label and recommends drinking by 06/17/2002. Now its November. The label was bleached out from sitting in front of the flourescent lights in the cooler.

It exhibits a good, healthy, deep brown color. There is a sweet, coffee drenched nose with Doppelbock-like malt and spice aromas. Marshmallows and brown sugar appear.

On the palate it is actually pretty well attenuated. Could bottle age be responsible? No doubt there is a super-thick, creamy texture which carries slack flavors of coffee, charred hops, marischino cherries, cinnamon and tree bark.

A medium-length finish leaves a surge of bitter spice flavors that keeps the experience dry and focused.

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Photo of RickS95
4.31/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received this beer from a friend in Oregon and it provided a wonderful drinking experience.

Slow-forming, medium tan head. Cola in color, with hints of winter spices in the nose...cloves and allspice maybe.

Great mouthfeel, probably due to the whisper of chocolate, good lacing. Slightly bitter in the finish before the warming of the 7% alcohol kicks in for the long lasting aftertaste.

I poured this out of a 22-ounce bottle. It's a great-looking, dark winter beer. Snow Cap would make a great beer to cook with or to enjoy with a nice hearty meal. Really a fantastic seasonal beer, really smooth.

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Photo of nms1987
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with beige head.

Nice, rich nose. Showcases malts and hops.

Wonderful body. Plenty malty, but with ample hopping too. Its like mixing the Brooklyn Winter Ale with an IPA. Its a great combination. It is simultaneously hoppy, malty, spicy and rich.

Mouthfeel... Very full bodied beer. Really feels substantial yet smooth.

High drinkability despite the heavy body and somewhat high ABV.
I keep craving more. It is hoppy to the point of pleasing and teasing the palate, making you want another, but not assaulting or insulting your palate

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Photo of BobLuvBeer
4.29/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light to medium head. Excellent combination of citrus and spice in the flavor. A very gentle overall taste, with just enough of a bite to comfort you on a cool evening. This is a very good, gonna have one beer and relax beer. A beer to be enjoyed sifted. Finishes with a coffee aftertaste.

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Photo of BACTAdam
4.28/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- This beer pours very nicely. Dark amber or coppery in color with a thin white foamy head (fitting for the name Snow Cap).

S- I had a hard time getting a strong smell out of this one but I did get waffs of fresh baked goods or dough.

T- What a terrifically complex brew. Proof that all winter warmers aren't quite the same. Not a lot of winter spice flavors but plenty of unique flavors that change throughout. This started with a hoppy bitterness. By mid-glass, I started to pick up on some doughy, sort of fresh baked doughnuts or muffin notes. Odd, I know. There were also some hints of coffee with cream and caramel notes we well. As the beer warmed, I really started to pick up on notes of bitter-sweet, possibly even milk chocolate.

M- Creamy and smooth. Straight from a bottle poured into a pint glass, I may have been fooled into thinking this brew was on nitro if I had my eyes closed. Very impressive.

D- Not an everyday beer or something I'd session but I simply can't wait to have another. Very drinkable.

A true stand-out in a sea of typical winter warmers.

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Photo of ebrauser
4.27/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From bottle to pint glass

Appearance: Dark mahogany. The red hues are apparent when the very dark beer is held up to natural light. Thin head dissipated very quickly.

Aroma: Nutmeg, roasted malt, and european hop spiciness resound in the nose.

Flavor: A warming alcohol beginning leads into a fruity and spicy middle, dominated by figs and raisins though some cherry and citrus can be detected. This full bodied winter beer (the only reason drinkability scored relatively low for me) is sure to be enjoyed in the coming months.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.27/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with some nice graphics on the label of two pyramids. Poured into a slender tulip it forms a nice tan head that leaves some sliding lace behind. Dark brown w/ some ruby red towards the outside of the brew.

This smells like its going to be a rich son of a bitch. Very focused on a Roasted malt presence and some heavy spices. Taste is similar to the smell although the body is light enough to take down without much trouble. Cinamon, Licorice, and all spice combine very well through the core of this brew and snap in bigtime at the finish. The spices really sharpen this thing right on up the ladder. Some bitterness is helps towards the finish as well. Dry.

Notes: A well crafted winter warmer and really fits the style to a T in my opinion. To me this is could be a standard bearer to judge others against.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.27/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, bought at Hollingshead's Deli in Orange, CA, poured into a brandy snifter,

A: Pours a very dark brown, with a tan head, though I would have liked better retention, but I know this has been aged for about 9 months, so I wasn't expecting much.

S: Delicious, fragrant, with lots of malt and alcohol, with some milk chocolate, and winter spices as well.

T: Big malt flavours upfront, very bold, gives way to sweet milk chocolate, and ends with a soft ethanol note. Beautifully structured, a very satisfying winter warmer taste, even in the summer.

M: Smooth, satisfying, and warming, quite robust.

D: Great for a winter warmer, each sip keeps you wanting more. My favourite brew by far from Pyramid, a great example of a Winter Warmer, one of the best out there.

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Photo of Gouxman
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A full-bodied, dark brown ale loaded with flavors and aromas of roasted malt. The strong malt backbone gives this ale hints of dark fruits, coffee, chocolate, and oak. A slightly sweet warming alcohol sensation is present on the finish along with a light hop bitterness

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Photo of skillerified
4.22/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice brown and red hues fill the glass. A smallish head, half a finger at best, fades quickly to a few bubbles on the surface. Sticky but short lived lacing. Really liking the color here though.

Malty caramel and bread notes dominate up front on the nose. A nicely blended citric note finds it's way at the end. Sweet fruit and some spices round it out. Nicely blended and well balanced all around here.

Bready and spicey are the first things that you notice on the tongue. Hints of toffee here and there. A sort of coffee like astringent bitterness. And the spices (some alcohol) come back on the finish. Again though, the flavors are all nicely mixed together and quite tasty.

I'd call it medium-bodied, but leaning toward the heavy side. Carbonation is a bit heavy giving it a mild prickly feeling on the tongue, but not overwhelming and it adds a nice touch of creaminess.

Really tasty. Everything is well put together and well balanced. Some nice subtle touches here and there. It's most of what I like in a beer. I could put down a couple of these.

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Photo of beerceller99
4.22/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle from 2003. Pours a nice ruby brown color with an off white head that leaves a nice lace behind. Smells of smokey sweet malts and alcohol. The taste is a mix of sweet and smoked malts. Full bodied with a mix of fizz and syrup on the palate. Finishes with light floral hops and alcohol.

This was one of the first winter seasonals from an american craft brewer and it's held it's ground over the last 18 years.
Tasty, inexpensive, and widely available, this is my winter fallback brew.

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Photo of Fabric8r
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The taste that reminds me of the Holidaze. I love it when this comes out each year. Correct me if I am wrong though, but this year's offering is not as hoppy as other years'. Just a wonderful winter ale for sipping by the fire watching TV. I find I can only drink one or two though, starts to taste pugnant after that. But that first sip and others are really enjoyable. Deep dark color with a hint of ruby color to it. Malty and slightly bitter aftertaste. Slight flowery nose with a good head that seems to hold on real well.

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Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep reddish brown ale with a tan head.

Smell is all British ale scents. Clean scent of Kent Golding hops and fruity esters from a British ale yeast. A bit of a sweet malt scent with aromas of crackers, figs and cherry.

Taste is a little sweet at first with a brown sugar, vanilla and then the bitterness from the hops taking over and leaving an Oak after taste. After the initial sensations slightly bitter chocolate and brown sugar fight to be the dominant flavor on your tongue without either really winning. All the complexity in this beer is in the aftertastes. Ginger, cinnamon, rum, cherry, ginger and black pepper all come out in the aftertaste. Hops remain only a bittering agent in this beer with an assertive bitter snap to every sip.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very pleasant beer in the drinkability department. Tasty without killing you with sweetness this is a winter beer that is better suited to adult’s taste buds. Assertive bitter finish is a nice surprise, and I do believe that this is the highest score I have ever given to a beer from this brewery.

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Photo of Derek
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They still had this on tap at the end of July. Lucky me!

It was quite different than their other offerings. It was a little maltier, and didn't have that Pacific-Northwest cascade flavour/aroma.

It seemed to have a relatively high attenuation, as it had a fairly moderate body (for it's alcohol content).

A well crafted brew.

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Snow Cap from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
3.53 out of 5 based on 868 ratings.
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