Snow Cap | Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

868 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 868 |  Reviews: 510
Photo of ggaughan
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a mixed case of winter beers I got over the Christmas holiday. This beer poured a deep brown color with a medium thickness tan head. The nose was a bit strong with a malty sweet touch and some spice notes. The taste also had an abv presence which made for a nice warming quality in the mouth. The malty sweet body also made for a very smooth and full body.

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Photo of gmfessen
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a deep mahogany with head that has a creamy off-white color that leaves dottings of lacing. Smell is sweet, slightly of alcohol and turpentine; heavy on the spice. Taste is sweet, spices and banana with a slightly bitter, alcoholic, dry finish. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with creamy carbonation. This beer is only moderatly drinkable due to the heavy spice taste.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second pyramid beer. This one pours a deep mahogany amberish color. A very agressive pour produce a slight, momentary head, but the lacing is nice. Smells good, like a winter warmer should. Sweet. Sugary caramel, but not too complex. Taste is again not tough too decipher. Malty backbone, no hops to speak of and a nice sugary sweet warmth from the 7% abv. Fill the mouth nicely. I would surmise that there are much better winter warmers out there, but this is not bad. I wouldn't turn it down if offered.

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Photo of budgood1
3.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out a very dark mahogany colour with auburn highlights. a thin tannish head appears and dies quickly to an extremely thin lace. candyish aroma..some fruit, chocolate, spice and alcohol. all very laid back. flavours of dark roasted malts, molasses, anise, some light spice and very light hops. some yeastiness and a definite alcohol note in the flavour profile...not spicy...just a dash of "hot". a fleeting hop bitterness rides to the finish. the body of this beer is ok...the mouthfeel seems watery for some reason, but it's a bigger beer than it seems. drinkability seems good...i could drink more than one if had more, but the warming sensations in my belly lead me to believe that too many would lead to trouble.

this is a nice beer worthy of the "winter warmer" category. if i could get this in my area, i would make it part of my winter beer rotation.

thanks to my brother for getting me a single for x-mas.

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Photo of dherling
3.24/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a dark dark brown, looks like coke a cola, with a tiny little non existent spattering of a (I hate to call it) head. The nose offers some woodnyess, malt, alcohol, and sherry. The taste is rather tame, rounded out malt and biscuit notes, with a bit of alcohol, and a slightly spicy/woody/astringent border on the palate. The mouthfell is slick and mildly carbonated. Fairly drinkable beer, good for a winter warmer near the fireplace.

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Photo of bodybyadam
3.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my second review on Snow Cap but I’m reviewing an aged brew. This was a 2003 for the 2006 Winter Fest at Hales. Tasted in a 5oz sampler. Some of my notes are comparative and this was due to the comparison with the 2006 that I sampled shortly beforehand.
A: This had poured a small head quickly dissipating and a darker brown than the younger.

S: The nose carried some much sweeter notes of caramel, where the 06 had a more toasty malt and slight caramel aroma.

T: Sweet yet strong scotch taste and mild ETOH noted that warmed me at first sip. My first impression is this is an entirely different winter warmer. As I continue I taste the caramel come out again and a fizzy finish.

M: This is a thin to medium-bodied beer and flows well over the tongue.

D: The young Snow Cap is a good beer, but the vintage one is one that I will not forget. Yes I already packed away a bottle just to see how the bottle aging will do. Vintage brews must be taken advantage of while you can. Don’t miss out.

Elbows Up,

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Photo of spuddiesel
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Botttle poured into a dimple stein

A brownish hue with ruby red highlights that battle through even more when held up to the light

S spicy clovelike aroma

T malty up front then spicy warmness in back

M medium bododied, warm to the tounge

D slightly above average drinkabilty, good for a winter warmer

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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 JohnnyM2002
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a mug right out of the trade-package!! Thanks JohnGalt1 !!

A - Poured a clear, dark cherry color with a thin milk-chocolate head.

S - Roasted malty flavors pound my nose at first, but then are joined by black cherries and hops. Powerful aroma.

T - Not as potent as it smelled, but still enjoyable. Detected a strong licorice flavor to compliment the roasted maltiness. The small amount of hops was a pleasant surprise. Good combination for a winter brew.

M - More on the heavy side, but a creamy finish. A little more carbonation than I expected from a winter warmer.

D - The only thing I really noticed missing was any wintery spice. I guess I've grown accustomed to some spices in my winter brews. But beside that, an enjoyable selection.

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Photo of treedoctor5002
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2006 Edition- Pours a deep mohogany color with a small head. Smell is full of cinnamon and other spices, very nice. Taste is well rounded with plenty of hops to balance it out. Alcohol is pronounced well as it warms up a bit. Mouthfeel is rather thin and average. Overall this is a great winter warmer and one that I will return to again each winter.

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

Pyramid- Snow Cap

Appearance- Dark brownish black with little head.
Smell- Licorice, molasses, and malt.
Taste- Bitter dry black licorice with a molasses malt flavor.
Mouthfeel- Dry up front with a slight bitterness. The flavor tones down and finishes sweet.

Overall- Another decent Winter Warmer this past season. This was just a notch below the Anchor X-mas!

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

2006, stubby bottle.

Poured a nice, dark mahogany with a slightly dark head of the same hue that faded quickly. Disappointingly clear compared to Pyramid's flagships. No real lace except a few flecks near the beginning.

Smells wonderfully sweet and mildly hoppy, even fairly cold. Roasty malt, brown sugar, oak leaves, and gentelest booze.

Taste is a bit hoppier than the smell, with the malt failing to live up to it's sweet allure. Neither rich nor tart, and carbonation doesn't hold all that well. Perhaps grassy or black peppery. Despite feeling a little bland, it does hide it's alcohol like a champ.

Mouthfeel is thin at first but tacky and dry at the finish. As long as you keep drinking, it's bearable. Drinkability is okay for this alcohol content, and the nice smell lures you back, for what it's worth.

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Photo of
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle.

Clear, dark mahogany/cherry in color. Modest, light tan head.

Sweet - dark fruits and a faint taste of bubblegum. Blackstrap molasses and cinnamon. A bit of pine.

Taste was still sweet, but balanced by the spices and the hops (more pine). Biscuity in the middle. Peppery/spicy finish.

Medium + body. Medium carbonation. Quite drying.

Pretty good, but not for sessions. Would probably pair very well with heavier meats and cheeses. A bit malty for my preference, but I wouldn't hesitate to have another.

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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 daliandragon
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a thin cap of head and moderate lacing. Nose is not very strong at all but shows faint coffee tones along with malt and a touch of alcohol. Well balanced taste with a hoppy, medium bitter finish. Not too much for spice or ornament but this gets the job done. Mouthfeel sustains the taste well and holds the alcohol to the backround.

Overall, a bit darker and biitterer than I expect from my winter warmers but it's still a decent beer with original flavor and a solid kick..

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Photo of rem5
2.62/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

This beer was served in a pint glass at barcade in brooklyn for the winter beer night.

A - Dark, almost opaque. No head.

S - Some light hop character. But for a winter warmer i wasnt getting the spicyness i was expecting.

T - Tasteless, very disappointing. I was hoping for cinnemon or cloves but nothing was apparent.

M - Smooth and very light. Almost like a dunkelweisen

D - Very drinkable, just nothing spectacular. I wouldnt order it again. Maybe if I was closer to the brewery I would have it again, but since im in ny i cant imagine it was all that fresh either.

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Photo of tobyandgina
4.14/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Great Hoppy Goodness - but not too hoppy!

I really enjoyed this one.

Upon pour, head is decent, a little thin.

Light aroma of hops and caramel.

Taste is a little sweet with a nice kick of hops - but, like I said: not too hoppy. Finishes off nicely.

A great Winter Warmer. Good job Pyramid.

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Photo of isaac
3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz stubby bottle to pint glass.

A - coffee-colored body with a beige, 1.5-fingered head that sinks into medium sized bubbles and thick lacing down the glass.

S - sweet, floral malts, with hints of spices (clove?). also, notes of candied cherries and the ever-present booze.

T - starts with some nice, burned malt qualities and the aforementioned floral characteristics, but then somewhat suddenly, the taste becomes very savory and a bit spicy - like hops-infused soy sauce. very odd finish that feels somewhat drying, but in a way reminiscent of putting bitter cocoa powder on the tongue. the alcohol is also quite noticeable, not in taste, but in heat.

M - the high carbonation of this beer really detracted from what the label calls "deliciously smooth." Syrupy in the finish, but burns the tongue and cheeks.

D - not an awful beer at all, but, still, it seems like it needs something more, perhaps citrus hops, or more complexity from the malts. right now, i feel like im drinking a highly carbonated salad dressing rather than the beer i so desired. still, though, i will finish the glass without a problem as this beer does not merit a trip down the drain. though, i will confess, i feel like i'm about to break a sweat.

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Photo of Grundle20
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby hued chestnut brown in to a pint glass. There is a minimal tan head that doesn't lace the glass.

Sweet candy malts and a very boozy presence make up the scent of this beer. It smells big but lets see if it delivers...

Taste and Mouthfeel:
This beer tries to trick you in the initial taste, it leads you to believe that it's going to be something rich and malty but after a couple of seconds you are left realizing that it really tastes a lot like thin boozy dark lager. I guess this isn't necesarilly a bad thing but I find the alcohol astringency and the lack of body given the malt character to be less than desireable. It finishes kind of grassy or hay like and leaves you with a similar aftertaste.

I guess it serves it's purpose, this beer would certainly keep your blood from freezing on a cold day but I don't see this as being a regular rotation drinking beer, it's just a little too strong and not so clean of a taste.

Bottom Line:
It's just one of those beer where you kind of shrug and finish it. Nothing stellar but it's something else to try so I'll mark this one down as a "why not" beer.

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Photo of malty
3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Fresh 2006 edition.

Pours a dark iced tea/cola color with ruby edges and a loose 1" beige head.

Scents of dark fruits, coffee and a little cocoa.

Bitey hops rush the tongue with roasted malt infused alcohol flavor at first. After this quick barrage of big flavors, an anise and cinnamon component are detected. The hops keep jabbing my tongue at a brisk pace. A fusel alcohol flavor keeps rearing its head as I try to decipher more flavors. There's some allspice going on in here also.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a dry prickly hop finish.

Drinkability is a little tough. I'm having a little trouble with just this 12 oz. serving.

Overall a very flavorful but severely unbalanced ale. I'd swear this baby tastes like 10% abv (or more) with it's alcohol flavor and warmth. The hops are very nice, I just wish they had something else to bounce-off of besides the strong alcohol flavor.

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Photo of Dizzy
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with reddish highlights, patchy head with some lacing. Smell is malts, coffee and some fruit. Roasted flavors dominate with some sweetness. Medium bodied. Overall, not very impressive, I expected a lot more complexity. I wouldn't buy this again.

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Photo of beeragent
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a nice dark brown, almost black. No head or lacing. The aroma is hard to detect, but what is there, is mostly from the spices. The flavor is very interesting. Not exactly the flavor you would expect from such a dark beer. Just like a pale ale, but with holiday spices like cinnamon and nutmeg added. A very interesting combination, and a tasty one at that. This will definitely be added to my list of beers to get, during the holiday season. Although I could only drink one or two at a time, this makes for a great beer to enjoy on a cold dark evening.

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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 BeerSox
3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into mug.

Very deep red, approaching opaque brown. A tan head sits on top, slowly settling to a thin bubbly cap. Stringy lacing along the glass.

Spicy aromas on top of a dark roasty malt base, some molasses, and a hint of alcohol.

Bitter malts with a hint of nutty flavor, along with a leafy bitterness from the hops. Spicy in the middle, with no sweet tones that are usually found in this style. Medium bodied and fizzy. Sort of a metallic lingering finish.

I was expecting something a little better. This one just seemed bitter with no balance. I probably won't be revisiting this one.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.12/5  rDev +16.7%
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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Snow Cap from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
3.53 out of 5 based on 868 ratings.
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