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: 867
Photo of bobpisgod
1.67/5  rDev -52.7%
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.

 412 characters

Photo of MaltyGoodness
1.75/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz. bottle

Pours a dark mahogany brown with a small tan head that fades. Mild spotty lacing on the glass.

Aroma is a very toasted nuttiness with light cocoa tones, some spices, and a slight bitter smell.

Well, it's all downhill from here. There is indeed some toasted nuttiness, spice, and cocoa tones, but everything is overshadowed by an unnecessary bitterness. The bitterness is there from start to finish (and lingers well after) and is completely misplaced and borderline offensive.

Medium body, light carbonation.

Wow, what a stinker. I don't know what they were thinking with this one, but it's a complete mess. I had to dump it in the yard as even my drain didn't want to drink it..

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Photo of Nixon
1.77/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Looks like I'm the lone dissenter here but here goes.

Their literature says something about being in the tradition of English beers. Really? I've had beers in pubs all over England and in bottles here in the states and I've never had anything resembling this stuff.

This is a 100% modern American style beer. It's a supersize me beer. A Costco, Walmart, 2 half-pound patties with double cheese kind of beer. Nobody's gonna be staking any 'mountain spring water' claim on this one.

I think it was made with pretty much an entire silo of carmelized malts plus a large bale of the most sharply bitter hops available. It's fully loaded with each of these components. When I take a swig I get one of those booze body's code for "please stop".

But ingest it I did. I managed to get 2 of them down and sorry but Pyramid's Snow Cap Ale just doesn't do it for me.

To me beers like this are the same as if you put 4 or 5 extra scoops of coffee into the filter for brewing or made a 'double syrup' Pepsi. They're more challenging than enjoyable.

The best things in life are made from components that are in balance. This is just way too much for my taste.

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Photo of nsabo
1.86/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

If this was a pale ale (one of my least favorite styles), I’d be impressed with how malty it is. But this tries to claim winter warmer, and it’s too hoppy for that side of the tracks. Bubblegum and cloves nose. Tastes like generic iced tea with a slice of lemon and some nutmeg. Caramel malts come in for a second before being drowned out by the hops. Tastes like something that 21 year olds are serving in plastic cups and tossing ping pong balls into after they tapped it last Wednesday. It’s not awful, it’s just boring.
Winter Warmers are one of my favorite styles because of their taste and cellarability. This tastes so uneventful I doubt any cellaring could even do anything. I’ve always naively associated Pyramid with being a micro on the edge of macro that pumps out mediocre beer; this only confirms that perception.
I recently tried Maritime’s Jolly Roger, also from Seattle. It costs about $2 more and tastes $8 better (hey, that’s how much Snowcap costs!). Panhandle that $2 if you have to, there’s no good reason you anyone should set their winter warmer bar this low, and there’s other better, just as local winter warmers out there.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
1.95/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Well I dont know what to say about this one. I bought a six pack of this on sale at Total Wine. Best by date is 4/15/13, so I thought I was safe with that. However, the first three of these are infected or way overcarbonated, or both. Just a carbonated, foamy mess. If one or two bottles were like this, there may be an explanation. But with three bottles infected, I have to write this off as a bad beer, not infected. Sour and overcarbonated. Some caramel flavors but all in all, a disaster. Stay away from this one.

 518 characters

Photo of madtappers
2.01/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Great packaging, not so great beer....but for $2, you can live with it.

Pours a very dark dark amber color with no aroma to speak of. Very malty first taste, with again no hop, pine or citrus taste or after tase to speak of. Finish with a very heavy alchol taste as many winter warmers do.

This beer is not for all or myslef for that matter, prefer something with some kind of hops to it, which this beer had noe of.

 418 characters

Photo of webbcreative
2.08/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Daaark brown, with 3 finger frothy off white head. Get big hops up front, sweetness in the middle, then the hop bite at the end. This is on the very verge of being too bitter for me. would prefer the sweetness be a little more than it is. actually pretty suprised by how bittern this one is, considering how dark the beer was, just visually it looked like a bigger beer. For me, this is not even close to being near the top for its style.

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Photo of pezoids
2.18/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This poured a very deep and dark ruby/burgundy color with a thin white head that left literally no lace behind. The aroma is straight up cherry Robotussin. Yuck! It doesn’t get much better in the taste. Too sticky and syrupy sweet. Intense fruity bite without much of a malt presence. This beer is unbalanced and not that drinkable. It’s full of fruit flavor, but is bitter, acidic and tannic. I really tried but couldn’t find much I liked about this beer. No thanks.

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Photo of joe1510
2.27/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz. Bottle

Snow Cap poured a very clear dark brown with some red highlights. When held up to the light the body is more red than brown. I started pouring this and got no head so I poured more aggressively and ended up with only a cap that faded to nothing but I tiny patch of head floating around helplessly in the middle.

The smell is very bready which is nice theres also nutmeg and cinnamon. The spices overwhelm the malts instead of complimenting them. As this beer warms more I cant hardly pick up the spices in the nose anymore. The doughyness becomes more pronounced the longer it sits. Not a bad thing but nothing special.

The taste is a lot different than the smell. It tastes like a Miller Genuine Draft. I can't even pick up the spices. It's biting and obnoxious. Leaving a bad, slightly bitter aftertaste. Tastes stale and possibly oxidized. After every sip I've started noticing myself getting a look of disgust and recoiling in horror.

The mouthfeel is bad. Sharp and overcarbonated. It attacks the tongue. The body is light as well. Not what a winter warmer should feel like.

This stuff is an abomination. I am seriously disappointed here. I wasn't expecting greatness but I was expecting a "full-bodied winter warmer" as stated on the label.

This is a terrible example of a winter warmer and isn't even in the same class. I honestly don't understand why Pyramid would even sell something of this quality. These are the kind of things that make me think twice before trying something else from the same brewery.


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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.27/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - This is the color of a rich porter, deep brown with a ruby hue. The head is small and short lived. No lacing.

S - Grassy hops dominate the nose. There is a touch of caramel and burnt malt underneath.

T - A bit of grass and charcoal. Not much else in the foretaste. The after taste is a bland bitterness - a mesh of grassy hops, coffee and char. It is offensive since the flavor has no othe qualities to compliment that aftertaste.

M - Thin, yet frothy, smooth, marginally refreshing.

D - It could be worse. I don't think I will have it again, since I don't care for a winter warmer that is full of a grassy lager flavor.

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Photo of monkeybeer
2.3/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Dark Ruby Brown with quick disappearing tan head that left a little bit on top of the beer sticky lacing.

S- A some what sweet malty spice aroma

T/M - A spicy sweet taste initial very warming which I like. Left a slight hop bitter after taste which for me somewhat detracts from the beer. Mouth fell is very welcoming except for the aftertaste.

D- Not the best winter brew out there a little too bitter at the end ruins the whole beer for me

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Photo of jtierney89
2.3/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark burnt amber with a little bit of haze and rocky off white head. Dark fruits and sugar plums on the nose.

Full body. Has some qualities that remind me of a weizenbock. Sweet dark fruits, a little watery on the tongue. Balance is there but a touch on the sweet side. Concise flavors that blend well together but its nothing wowing. In fact its quite a simple beer. Underlying notes of roasted malts as the beer warms a bit but mostly fruity. Drinkable but wouldn't buy it again just cause there are better options.

 518 characters

Photo of rye726
2.33/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am usually a big fan of winter ales, but this one just didn't do it for me. It pours a clear brown with a middling beige head. The nose has light grains and some spice. The taste is mild and the spices seem to fight the nutty malts. A light body could use a bit more depth.

 275 characters

Photo of captainwerd
2.36/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Weather starting to cool down these days so thought I'd get myself a higher ABV beer to sip on. I've usually found Pyramid beers to be at least decent, but really not a fan of this beer. For a beer you're supposed to sip on there's not much complexity at all to it, and just tastes flat. Haven't had too many other beers of this style, so maybe it's just the style I'm not a fan of. Should have saved my money bought PBR.

 421 characters

Photo of JDV
2.38/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a muddyish ruby brown with a somewhat lasting beige head. Smell is charred malt, and tartness. Taste is similar with charred flavors, tart semi-toasty malt, and a strong alcohol presence. Overall, just too thin, and alcoholic. Needs more body to support the alchol presence to be enjoyable, but that is the style I guess. Drinkable, but not particularly good.

 365 characters

Photo of ColoradoBobs
2.41/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Moderate pour into a chalice yields a smallish off-white head that goes away quickly to mostly nothing over a dark brown nondescript mostly opaque body.

Smell is boozy sweet malt over young bourbon barrel. Cloyingly boozy smell.

Taste follows the smell except for some decent average toasted malt flavors.

Mouthfeel is where this disappoints the most: perhaps the thinnest 7.0% beer I've had.

Drinkability is only just below average. There's not enough going on in this one-dimensional brew to justify drinking more than one.

Sorry, but I'm going against the grain on this one: don't get this if you can avoid it.

 622 characters

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
2.42/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

coffee-brown body with ruby underglow. Head was virtually unpresent and turned to a very thin film. The aroma full of roasted malt and spices. The spices turned strong in the taste and mouthfeel. A cloying amount of cinnamon and ginger make this a little undrinkable. The bad bittering hops do not compliment the selection of malt and spices at all. Not a good beer taste-wise.

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Photo of jcalabre
2.45/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I originally sampled this beer on 29 December 2001. I am writing this review from my notes.
I found this beer to be a bit 'watered' down tasting an not very pleasant. I was pretty disappointed. I may try it again in the future since my experience was nothing like a lot of other people's

 288 characters

Photo of stodbrew
2.51/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Very nice appearance. Deep red color. Short lasting head.

Aroma had some hops and alcohol. Smelled autolyzed.

Flavor was very much autolyzed. Meaty, yeasty, brothy flavor. Some good malt/hop flavors but the autolysis detracted from the malt and hops. Bad bottle?

 268 characters

Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.52/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black color with a thick white head that never goes away and a wealth of lacing. Smells of toasted malts and a full blast of hop aroma. Tastes very one note: like a foray of hop bitterness on top of even more bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is okay.

 279 characters

Photo of Mitchster
2.54/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Brewed with 2-row, Caramel, and Chocolate malts. Hopped with Willamette and East Kent Goldings.

OG=1.071, 7.0% ABV. 2004 Edition.

Pours out to a clear dark mahogany, forming a small light tan head with average retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is moderate to mild. The aroma is not very good...lightly vinous with some Ringwood butter overtones, caramel, and English hops. Swirling produces a pleasant subtle cheesiness. Taste begins with the mild English hops, followed by amber malts, Ringwood butter, and the middle is permeated with leather. Tobacco and harsh fusels in the finish with lingering herbal hops and tobacco in the aftertaste. Mild to moderate bitterness, but part of the harshness is from the hops, not just the fusels.

Not a very good beer. I've never liked any of Pyramids stuff, and this one doesn't do anything to change that opinion. I'll stay away.

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Photo of pmcadamis
2.55/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Russet / dirty brown hazy beer topped with a fluffy yellowish white head that leaves a little bit of lace on the glass.

S - Mildly malty with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a light whiff of wintergreen mint. This smells like someone stirred a mild brown ale with a candy cane!

T - Moderately toffee-ish with that wintergreen flavor comming through in the aftertaste. Its almost like drinking beer after spitting out some double mint gum. This tastes like it might be a decent brown-type ale underneath the annoying mint.

M - Lighter and more mild than expected, this is moderately carbonated and sort of flimsy on the palate. The finish is neutral with a lingering minty freshness in the nasal passages.

D - For the record, I hate mint. I hate brushin my teeth with mint flavored toothpase, and I hate mint flavored gum. The wintergreen notes here are quite mild, but they are enough to turn a mint hater like me away from this beer. I wouldn't be surprised if people like this better than I do.

 1,000 characters

Photo of benmiliron
2.56/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A very nice color, dark red brown. Standard xmas beer spice smell, nice. Taste is a rush of alcohol that's not really masked well by the bitter malts and hops. The spices are notable, but really in the background. I'd skip this and get the Sam Adams winter lager if I were you.

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Photo of tonistruth
2.56/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

on tap @ Freakin Frog in Las Vegas, NV

A- brown w/ reddish hues, 1/2" off white head, good retent, some decent lacing, thin film

S- malty, sweet, molasses, brown sugar

T- brown sugar, molasses, bran, malty, very little bitterness, very sweet

M- medium, simple, low carbonation, smooth

D- not sure what makes this a winter special, too sweet to be enjoyable, much better winter brews out there

 407 characters

Photo of coastiefish
2.58/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5


Clear ruby brown hue. No head

S- Sweet sugary malts, mellow caramel, floral

T - Grainy and a thin malt presence followed with a fairly strong alcoholic finish. After the alcohol clears a bready linger is left on the palette.

M - thin, the alcohol warms all the way down to my gut. sticky residue on my lips.

D- Def some more robust winter warmers out there. Wassail from Full Sail and Jubelale from Deschutes are go to brews. But-- for 2.79 I suppose this one could be found in the fridge on occasion. (I mean, I am a student soooo..)

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Snow Cap from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
3.53 out of 5 based on 867 ratings.
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