Snow Cap | Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

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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 Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice malty mixture, its also in the aroma of a darkish and big off-white head drink with cola and spice.Very drinkable this one, one of the best I have had from the brewery.Some sugar,anise, fruit like apricot,mild ginger, a tad above average mouthfeel.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 3/27/12.

Pours a clear dark copper with a huge 3 inch foamy beige head that settles to a small cap. Random streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, dark fruits, and some spice aromas. There is also a distinct apple cider aroma I am getting. Taste is of bready malt, caramel, subdued fruit, and some herbal hop flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good Winter warmer but nothing too exciting.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

very generic type winter seasonal. pours a redish hue of brown with a very small head that disappears almost instantly. smells a bit spiced like mulled wine, same aromotics. the flavor is definitely more balanced with piney hops and a residual sweetness. beer is full bodied and has low to moderate carbonation. overall i found this to be a pretty average winter warmer, has all the critical components but does nothing to excite me in any rousing way.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A good winter warmer that reminds me of a mini-Arogant Bastard. Though it has the alcohol, the malts and hops are not as bold or as melded. The beer has good spices and herbs to accent the hops. It carries a dark malt, cherry, and nutty flavor. Alcoholic from sniff to finish. Hopped well for a dry finish while remaining malty. Good stuff, I'll have another.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.61/5  rDev +2.3%
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 brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a modest head that leaves a dancing pattern of lacy squiggles before declining to a ringlet

Smell: Dried dark fruits and licorice accompanied by an odd, sweaty smell

Taste: Starts out with a spice cake base that moves in a harsh, bitter direction mid-palate; after the swallow, a burst of licorice joins the fray; the finish has some residual pine but contains a strong anise flavor

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with modest carbonation

Drinkability: I was prepared to be underwhelmed but this is a decent Winter Warmer; not in the top drawer, I'm afraid

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Photo of LXIXME
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A smallish off white head falls into a decent lacing above a clear burnt reddish colored beer.

Light spices, malts, and some light dark fruits in the aroma.

The light spices and dark fruits mix well with light caramel malts and light hops.

This medium bodied beer has a lightly dryish aftertaste that brings along with it some of the light malt and lighter spices from the taste.

A decent enough tasting beer, middle of the road or slightly better I guess.

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Photo of zeff80
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark burgandy color with a small, tan, short-lived head. It left no lacing.

S - It smelled of malt, spices and cinamon. Also, there was a hint of caramel in the nose.

T - It tasted of bitter hops/spices. There was also a good dose of toasted malt flavors.

M - It was relatively crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - Not a bad winter warmer, but certainly not the best. It wasn't spicy enough.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a bit of caramel. The nose is caramel and toffee with some slight malt. There is a bit of spicing in there as well. The taste is again slight malt and brings a bit of spicing, but doesn't go over the top Decent body and while this doesn't bring too much spice like many of the style, it ends up being quite tame and plain.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
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 oberon
3.92/5  rDev +11%
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 NeroFiddled
3.21/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2002. A deep mahogany body with reddish highlights is capped by a short but creamy light-tan head. It's retention is limited, and it drops shortly to a thin collar and leaves only minimal spotty lacing. The nose is not very welcoming, but not exactly off-putting. It clearly displays some higher alcohols with notes of acetone/solvent and acetaldehyde. I can only believe that the fermentation was hot and fast! Beyond that there's not much: some mild maltiness, light woody/earthy character, and maybe fading spices. Fortunately, a third strike is avoided as the higher alcohols are somewhat masked in a flavor that's malty and deeply toasted with a light spiciness and a firm, resiny hop flavor. The bitterness is well entrenched and also helps to cover up its "heat". Surprisingly, it finishes quite dry but with a spot of sweet caramelized malt. Some hop bitterness lingers, but the heat of the alcohol also starts to build at the back of the throat. Disappointing. I hope I didn't wait too long to try this. However, it has a good reputation and I'll give it another shot next year!

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Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz in pint glass

A - lovely very dark but clear mahogany; tan head is thick and long-lasting but not generous.

T - More malty than hoppy. Nicely spiced: both level (readily detectable yet not over the top) and flavor combination. Somewhat weak flavor is a bit disappointing given the very inviting aroma.

M - medium/full body. smooth. Medium carbonation.

D - interesting, unique and no significant flaws make for a great sipper.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark amber with a thin tan head. Retains around the edges but doesn't leave much lacing. The aroma is roasted sweetness, cherries, spices, lights hops and a waft of alcohol.

The taste is thick sweet malts, dark fruits, a winter spice element, and a touch of piney hoppiness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fairly beefy carbonation and a touch of warmth to it.

This was a decent enough Winter Warmer with a thick body, pleasant warming characteristics, and was still fairly quaffable for a 7% beer. Unfortunately, nothing really sets it apart from much better winter beers out there.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, nuts, some hops and a touch of spice.

T: The taste starts with a hearty malt character that is followed by sweet flavors of fruit and caramel. Then a decent hops presence for the style comes in and creates a decent balance. There are some background flavors of nuts and chocolate. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Pyramid, Seattle, WA

Poured a deep mahogany with a modest white head that lingered as a thin layer of dense bubbles. Mostly malts and licorice in the nose. Roasty malts, licorice, anise in the taste with a touch of pine and nutmeg; a bit medicinal at times, but not intolerably so. Medium mouthfeel, and fairly drinkable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.78/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear crimson-walnut with cherry highlights through the side of the glass and orange ones through the bottom. The beer is capped by a three finger head of semi-stiff beige foam that falls at a snail's pace, leaving thin, patchy sheets of lace behind.

There isn't a whole lot of power in the nose and even less personality. Perhaps a wee bit of roasted barley, but with somewhat funky underpinnings. Not Belgian yeast funky, just stale, musty funky (the beer is still almost two months away from its 'best by' date). It really isn't as bad as it sounds, it just isn't good. I don't pick up any spices.

The flavor profile consists of a chocolate maltiness backed by a vinous sourness and too much alcohol. It doesn't so much taste like alcohol as feel like alcohol. There's an unpleasant, raw, hot mouthfeel that will make finishing the bottle a chore. Subtract the thermal nastiness and you might get a decent winter warmer.

I get the sense that there are some spices struggling to be noticed, but they have no chance in this beer given what else is vying for the drinker's attention. Medium-full body with a too long finish that accentuates the heat at the expense of whatever flavor might be present.

This is my fourth Pyramid beer and I'm just about ready to give up on all the rest. Not one of them has been good and the reasons seem to vary from beer to beer. Simply put, Snow Cap isn't worth my time or your time or anyone else's time.

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Photo of russpowell
3.91/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut with 1+ finger of tan colored head.

S: Cakey with brown sugar, fruity (apples & figs) & ginger notes up front. Below average head retention & lacing

T: Cakey with honey & leafy hop notes up front. Leafy & herbal hops dominate as this warms, but a little cinnamon creeps in as well. Finishes a bit dry with gingerbread & piney hops at the back of throat

MF: Low carbonation, a little slick with medium body & good balance

Drinks very easy for the abv, this year's offering is better than last's. If you like winter warmers with some hop zip, give this one a go

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Photo of Slatetank
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12oz slightly above fridge temp into a 1/2 pint
A - A ruddy brown w/ garnet hues and rocky beige cap of 1/2 an inch which throws a substantial amount of lace. The clarity is good and the bead is small.

S - Caramel, black currant, cinnamon, and molasses w/ slight pine notes

M - The feel is spiced w/ a dark fruit and rich molassess texture in the malt w/ medium carbonation and a semi sweet finish

T - The cookie-like molassess maltiness and slight ginger tinge w/ notes of cinnamon and the piney hops complement the sweet dark malt well w/ plum and hints of mint as the beer approaches cellar temp

D - A tasty winter warmer w/ plenty of spice, malt and hops to keep it balanced. A nice finish without any overdone sweetness. A nice strength for quaffing, but I wouldn't have expected it to be 7% to be honest - I consider this a good choice for a winter ale.

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Photo of Jason
3.67/5  rDev +4%
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 Gagnonsux
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Snow Cap has a dark, nutty brown color with a small and creamy light brown head. The aroma has a sweet malt smell, toasted, with a bit of spiciness. Touches of dry, hoppy smells are noted in the background. A sip starts with sweet malt flavors, caramel and molasses stand out among a standard sweet malt body. A piney hop taste is also in the mix, but plays second fiddle to the malts. Towards the finish a vague dark fruit flavor pops out alongside a vague alcohol taste. The finish concludes with a caramel sweetness. Overall, Snow Cap has a nice mix of flavors, but the overall experience is a little thin-flavored, especially in the middle of a sip. If Pyramid pumped up the malt flavor a bit this could be an excellent winter beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Killian's imperial pint glass.

Pours a clear dark ruby, with a finger of short-lived shadowy white head that leaves a similarly short-lived bit of lacing behind. The smell is sweet, with darker malts, figs, and a snap of cinnamon firing through near the end of a deep sniff. The taste takes a surprising one-eighty spin toward hoppiness, with heavy pine notes stampeding over the initial sweet maltiness. It all seems very unbalanced and, rather than being a gradual shift, sudden in the flavor change. The moderate body and crsip finish help, but cannot overcome the poor balance and overly active carbonation, which keep the drinkability lower than it otherwise would be.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 Vintage. Kept in The Beerfigerator the entire time. Ah, Christmas in July @ 420!

Poured with a noticible lack of head, just some light wispiness, despite a vigorous pour. The nose was a really sweet malty character and the color was a deep red, bordering on brown, like mahogany. There were lots of big flavors, including chocolate, anise, and spice (maybe cinnamon?) on the tongue. It had a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. The chocolate and anise really stood out on the finish and aftertaste, with a mild hoppiness accompanying. This was a really good drink, even aged and at the height of summer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.96/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Deep ruby almost takes on a deep purple tone with a nice creamy textured tan head nice sized at that, with nice even ringed lacing patterns. Aroma: A bit dull but I can pick out some toasted malts, mild spicing, some finishing hops and of course a kick of alcohol in the nose here. Taste: Soft sweetness starts to roll of the tip of the tongue then suddenly I hit a road block it finishes with a strong overbearing onesided flavor a bit soapy and hoppy but mainly bitterness comes through not any flavoring from the hops. Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body compared to most winter ales this one lacks body and the carbonation seems a bit spritzy. Drinkability: Worth a try because it's winter time and there's so many awesome brews to choose from I don't want to overlook anything, but I could have gone without this one just not that enjoyable for me.

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Photo of jwc215
3.86/5  rDev +9.3%
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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Snow Cap from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
3.53 out of 5 based on 868 ratings.
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