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 Jeffreysan
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a dark, cloudy, mahogany color with three fingers of oatmeal-colored head that sloooooowly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Tons of spice up front, such as clove, licorice, dark molasses and black pepper, followed by some toasted malt and a lot of Belgian yeast funkiness. There are some notes of dried stone fruit as well, such as prunes and raisins.

Taste: Good toasted malt up front, immediately followed by some Belgian yeast, lots of stone fruit such as plums, raisins, figs, finished by some brown sugar-like sweetness. Not much in the way of hops, though.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very effervescent. With an ABV of 7.0%, there is just a touch of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a very interesting beer. Much more Belgian than English than I was expecting. Great notes of fruit and spice.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce stubby into a shaker pint. A moderate pour creates a one inch, creamy looking head that sticks to the sides of the glass. The beer is a ruddy, medium dark brown and looks pretty clear.

Very malty on the nose with subdued floral notes. The taste is also malt-forward, hinting strongly of molasses, gingerbread, dark bread, nuts, chocolate, and dark fruit. A tad bit of citrus is noticeable from the hops, along with a little orange peel bitterness on the finish. The aftertaste is maybe a bit astringent, a touch like unroasted acorns. However, pleasant bready flavors accentuate the burps, and an overall malt richness and smoothness balances the flavor out rather well. A long lasting creamy mouthfeel is apparent.

I got a screaming deal on this beer, since we're a little past season (although Spring really hasn't gotten here yet). The beer doesn't taste like its past its prime- I would think it would have a long shelf life. I paid $4.99 a sixer and made sure I grabbed two. Purchased at Hennessey Market in Butte, Montana.

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Photo of Foyle
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into nonic glass.
Appearance: Pours a frothy off white head that recedes very slowly with lots of lacing. Color is reddish brown with some streaming carbonation evident.
Aroma: malt dominates, very bready with some caramel and chocolate, also some earthy hops. Mouthfeel: medium bodied, oily texture with a somewhat dry finish.
Flavor: bready malt, raisin, plums, caramel, a bit of dark chocolate melds with earthy and citrus hops.
Overall: very pleasant winter warmer. Enjoyed this sipper.

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Photo of FLima
3.59/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown ruby color with a thin beige head with short retention.
Aroma with notes of papaya, caramel malt, black fruits, apples and a light roasted background.
Quite unique flavor combination with notes of papaya, caramels, black and red fruits, some citrus, earthy hops, minerals, figs and a mild cocoa. It has an English touch that I can’t quite say what is the predominant source, hop or yeast. A bit tangy. But definitely hoped at American standards. Quite dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 7.0% abv is well hidden.
Interesting beer, not a heavy winter ale but with good complexity. Not extraordinary, but worth trying if you dig English beers with different twists.

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Photo of TheBullsHorn
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

British roots run deep with this beer. Biscuit, crystal malts, hints of vanilla, anise, and a moderate bitterness that comes off quite earthy. Overall it is a smooth, nutty, and somewhat musty winter warmer that unfortunately comes off a little thin.

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Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev +13.3%
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 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 BrewAskew
4.09/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A new winter favorite of mine. I tried it this past winter during a snowstorm. The 7.0% abv gives the brew a warmth that is much appreciated after dealing with the ice and snow. The bitter, earthy flavor slows the drinker down a bit--that's a good thing because the flavor is too complex for quaffing. I sip on this beer much like one would a good wine or mead. Snow Cap satisfies maltheads and hopheads alike. Dedicated B/M/C drinkers should steer clear of this.

And that was what a review of mine looked like in 2002.
Pours to a generous buff head and dark brown and clear color. Rich malty nose with molasses, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla and a hint of British hops. Flavor is rich and malty with roasty, nutty flavors and malt sweetness with a balance of hop bitterness. Long, warming finish. Just what you need on a cold night.

Eleven years later, still a winter favorite of mine.

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Photo of zookerman182
3.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance is a dark red color with a one finger off white head.
Aroma is roasted malt, not much else goi on.
Flavor is malty and bready and watered down.
Some caramel flavors and toasted malt notes. Some coffee flavor on the back end.
Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, flavor goes quickly.
Not too find of this one but I'm glad I was ale to try it.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a chestnut color with a one finger of foamy tan colored head. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a lighter level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is strongest of a roasted malt smell mixed with a moderate caramel sweetness and a nice chocolate smell. Along with these aromas are some lighter spice smells as well as a bit of an herbal hop smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter roasted flavor consisting of a moderate level of some brown bread flavors as well as a caramel sweetness. Along with these flavors at the start, there is also a nice semi-sweet chocolate flavor present as well. The caramel transitions to a toffee like flavor more toward the middle, taking on a more buttery nature. This toffee flavor is short lived however and later losses its ground as some bitter roasted coffee and some light hop flavors of an herbal nature come to the tongue. At the very end some grapefruit hop tastes come to the tongue, in the end combining with the rest to leave a moderately bitter and roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the averages to slightly thicker side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is a bit on the higher side. Overall the thicker body is rather nice for accentuating the roasted, chocolate, and sweet flavors, although the bitter coffee and grapefruit are almost too strongly sensed due to the thicker feel, making these flavors stand out a little too much for the roasted and sweet malty flavors and the style.

Overall – An OK brew, but the hop, chocolate, coffee, and sweet just never really seem to meld all that well on the tongue. Worth a try, but not the best winter warmer out there.

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Photo of ssteakley
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this since I had been on a tour of the Pyramid Brewery in Seattle and it was on sale in the store where I bought the Bomber. Definetly worth the 2.49 sale price but would not pick it up otherwise. It is a change of pace and interesting but the burnt toast on the end is just not my thing. the initial roasted chocolate and malts start out well, nice smell. Just does not finish to my taste is all.

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Photo of ksimons
3.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-mahogany with ruby highlights and a fingers worth of dense looking cream head

S-rich malt, caramel, hints of chocolate, dark fruits and a slight roasted quality to it

T-taste is not as powerful as the smell, malt backbone, caramel, and spices. Has a strange aftertaste that I can't place.

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation

Overall I had high hopes for this after a nice aroma, but the taste just doesn't live up to it.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cannot believed I have not reviewed this one... Picked up at the COOP tonight... Pours a clear dark/darker mahogany.. short lived dark tan head... spotty lacing.

Nose is dark toast and some dark pit fruit... a bit of plum/red grape.. hints of cocoa.

Flavor mirrors the nose with a decent punch of piney hops.. okay.. but underwhelming.

Medium/full body but balanced by a slightly bigger than expected carbonation.... Glad I only bought one.. this used to be a go-to for me every winter, but it seems to have definitely lost it's shine in my eye.


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Photo of Lemke10
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a medium amber brown color with a pretty big foamy head, so this bottle might be a little over fermented. The aroma is a mixture of malts and spices. Lots of spices in the beginning that turn into a bitter finish. A little too much carbonation behind this which is probably because if the age.

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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 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.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass.

A- deep dark red, mahogany in color with a 1-plus finger head that leaves behind plenty of lacing.

S- Dry roasted malts. Some breadiness and raisin dark fruitiness.

T- Roasted malt, chocolate, and nutty.

M- Lots of body and carbonation. Semi-sweet finish, not overpowering. Robust.

O- Solid winter warmer. I must've liked it, three seperate takes before the review.

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Photo of Brabander
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Mind you...this was a 2004 bottle we drank in 2013! The first impression was not very good but after that this beer got better and better!

I drank this bottle when I was in Austria last week. Drank it with an American Facebook friend who was there @ the same time.

Poured out of the bottle into a wine glass, did not have the appropiate glassware with me. No head anymore and no carbonation. We thought this beer was gone bad. The opposit was going on. What a surprisingly good beer for it's age !

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Poured this Winter Warmer from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a dark mahogany color, produced a thin off white head, poor retention and it left an average amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of roasted malt, milk chocolate and alcohol. Medium in body, smooth, a foundation of toasted malt, chocolate, sweet caramel, raisins and dry alcohol which gives way to herbal hop bitterness. Nice session beer, overall avg. for the style.

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Photo of sam_bliss
4.06/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

Billed by the bottle as deep mahogany, I would call it very very deep red-mahagony; it's almost black. A nice big latte head leaves really good lacing. Sweet malt, spices, and alcohol dominate the strong aroma, which is touched with caramel and toffee. A very candied-toasty flavor kicks of the mouth sensations. Smoky rich chocolate fills the palate. Spicy herbal hops only serve to liven up the syrupy, big-bodied, smoked-malt core of this winter ale. The carbonation is mild yet nice, however a persistent sticky veneer loiters, adhering to the roof and sides of the mouth. This beer is best enjoyed with a water bottle close at hand, otherwise you will be taking sips not to enjoy the brew but to wash away the thick resin left behind by the last swig.

I would classify Pyramid as a second-tier craft brewery, but I am quite partial to this winter concoction. It is smokier than smoked salmon. Perhaps nuts sautéed in brown sugar, topped with roasted spices and smoked cheese, and then added to a mild leafy green salad is the best way to describe the way this ale tickles the taste buds. It is very sweet yet defies the label of dessert beer.

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Photo of riversider76
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with a one finger tan head. Good retention, and very nice lace. Aroma is of dark fruits, and bready malts. Body is a bit on the thin side with a good amount of carbonation. Taste is fruit, with hints of citrus hops. Brown sugar and caramel malts are there as well. Warmed me up a bit!

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Photo of MadScientist
3.96/5  rDev +12.2%
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 olfolxholme
3.02/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3


12 oz bottle into Delirium Tremens snifter

A - Nice clarity, I can see the tiny bubbles forming from the nucleation point through this dark amber beer. The color makes me think of caramel syrup for some reason. Decent 1 finger of foam, dissipates to a thin layer. Some lacing. An inviting beer.

S - Pronounced yeast and bread aromas. Almost like rising dough. Hints of mint and toasted malt.

T - Somewhat husky toasted malt flavor takes center stage. Tastes a lot like crisp toast. Yeast and mint are in the background. Some other flavors in the mix that I can't pinpoint except to say that it tastes like it's mass produced? Wish I could explain that better.

M - First sip was astringent, but overall the mouthfeel is not bad. Not luxurious by any means, though.

O - This is a decent winter warmer that I won't avoid. It's pretty easy to drink, but it's not particularly memorable. I served my beer right out of the cellar at 50 degrees. This beer might be better served cold, but ideally that wouldn't be the case, right? Probably worth trying.

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Photo of bondjedi
3.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Heavy beer, good for lazy weekends in the winter. Has a chocolatey note, gets you numb rather than buzzed. Finishing a bottle of this is like reading a well-written but dense book - ultimately satisfying and enriching, but it takes a lot of effort and an investment of time.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
2.74/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A few weeks ago, we went to The Phoenix Ale Brewery in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. We had a Groupon and got to try all of their beers. We even got to try one that he was working on that wasn’t quite finished yet. That was the best flavor of them all! We also had some HUGE pretzels and good conversation with the brewmaster. Reason why I mention them is the brewmaster came from Pyramid. We were talking and he mentioned Pyramid Breweries. Sure enough he used to work there and wanted to do something different. He ended up in Phoenix. Fine by me!

The Snow Cap is the only beer on the list from this brewing company, and I snagged a bottle before they were gone at our Total Wine & More. We did this one in the winter beer class, too. I don’t remember it… so I am looking forward to breaking the experience down here. Let’s try the Pyramid Snow Cap. (Snow makes me cold!)

In the Glass: It looks like a barleywine in the glass. It has a nice white head, and produces an acceptable lace. I can’t get over the label on the bottle, though. There are pyramids… that are snow capped. I mean, I get it. But that is not the meaning behind this beer. Speaking of the label, upon further research on Google (images, mostly) it appears the label has changed over the year. This is a bottle purchased in 2012, so this is the latest label.

Nose: There isn’t much going on here. It has a weak nose that has subtle malt characteristics toward the end. But nothing to write home about. A second whiff had my nose deep in the glass, and those subtle malt hints are all I am getting. For a winter warmer, I expected a better bigger nose.

Flavor: We are drinking this cold, and I keep going back to the style. Most winter beers are big, thick, and provide a powerful flavor. This one doesn’t. This one just sort of sits there and doesn’t do much. When I read “old ale” I think of barleywines and higher ABV beers. Beers that you can and should cellar. This is only 7%, and I wouldn’t suggest cellaring this more than a year. The burp is better than the flavor in the beer.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is decent. We are drinking this cold, so that might have something to do with it. There are also a lot of bubbles here. A lot of unexpected bubbles. It’s not as thick as I expected, either.

Aftertaste: This is the best part of the beer. Those chocolate malts they use are really present in the finish. They just sit on the tongue and leave a nice lasting dark fruit flavor on your palate. It sticks around for a while, too.

There were a LOT of winter beers this year. This isn’t one of my favorite. I typically don’t like Pyramid beers. They have an apricot beer that was just OK. Their summer beer this year was weak. They always just seem to be mediocre at best. If you are like me, and want to try all of the winter beers, go ahead. But this isn’t something I would buy again unless it was on sale.

Snow Cap – The bottle says: “Deep mahogany in color, our full-bodied winter water 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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Snow Cap from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
3.53 out of 5 based on 868 ratings.
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