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Snowstorm 2003 | August Schell Brewing Company

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Very Good
18 Ratings

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bighuge on 11-12-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by TastyTaste:
Photo of TastyTaste
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a stange brown-purple color. Nice amount of head that lingers quite a while. Has a taste that is hard to place. Very smooth flavor in the mouth, which is very crisp on the way down. Snowstorm implies that this will be big on alcohol, which this is not. It is too thin and too weak to keep a fell warm during those cold months. Good, anyways.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of ADR
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its interesting that a brewery that leans on German-style beers (primarily Lagers) does Ales most holiday seasons...

Clear and slightly reddish brown appearance. Head rises to about 1/4 inch but laces in minimal incomplete rings. Aroma is mildly malty but subdued, mostly a husky hazelnut kind of thing. Nice carbonation, not too much or too little -- mouthfeel is agreeable and pleasant. Main flavor is lightly but very dryly nutty with far-away chocolate style maltiness, combined with more than obvious hopping for Schell. Pretty consistant profile from beginning to end. The beer is certainly quaffable, but it would be cool for Schell to build a beer even bigger than the previous Snowstorm, a Scotch Ale...

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear, auburn body rests gently beneath a creamy head of off-white foam that holds well and leaves some minor lacing about the glass. The nose is limited but expresses some toasty malt. It's advertised as an American style nut brown ale, which might suggest a few more hops, but they're just not there. The body is medium bordering on light, and its fine and moderate carbonation leaves it just lightly crisp and then smooth across the palate. Dryish, toasty malt dominates the flavor with a slight chocolate and nutty edge in the background; and some mild yeasty fruitiness lends a bit of character. It's well-balanced by a firm bitterness, but the hops never show. It finishes short and dry. A very drinkable beer, but one that's limited in character.

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Photo of jackndan
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Schell’s Winter Seasonal: a nut brown ale. Pours a tannish brown, very clear, little carbonation after a robust pour. The head is very nice, off white, almost tan, with nice heft and stickiness even after a few minutes.

The aroma is weak, a bare wisp of toffee, but only after a strong pull.

You who read my reviews religiously know one thing; I’m not a big fan of brown ale.


On the other hand this is a damn fine brown ale, in fact it is what a brown ale ought to taste like. Very well balanced caramel malts, with a cleaning bite of hops, leaving a slight molasses after taste that is not at all cloying. This is extremely flavorful brew, but it escapes the over the top burnt malts that I’ve seen in other brown ales. I can say without hesitation that this is the best brown ale I’ve ever had. Fine and recommended.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber, opaque, thin, delicate head. Large malty aroma, some caramel and chocolate on the nose as well. This season's offering, a brown, has a large roasted malt body, bready/biscuit flavorings notes up front. Distinct flavorings emerge - caramel, nuts and some chocolate. A medium bodied brew, great character, very well rounded. Finishes dry with a tender hop bitterness, much to the label's wording. This year's offering does not disappoint, in fact, could be a year round brown; look forward to next year's sampling!

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown ale - an interesting choice for a winter seasonal, when most brewers go for a spiced or strong ale. The winter seasonal designation can lead to some preconceptions about what a beer should be, so I'm going to put that aside and rate this based simply on the style, and, as such, the beer was quite good. The bottle makes reference to English brown ale with American hops. That sums the beer up pretty well. Nice nutty maltyness, with a good kick of hops. Falls somewhere between an English nut brown ale and an American robust brown ale. Nice depth of flavor to the malt, nutty with some faint unsweetened cocoa powder. The hops follow the malt in tight formation, pepping things up a bit. This beer screams "session ale." Thanks to Tavernjef for the sample.

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

The beer as it spills from the bottle a pellucid mahogany with a planetary sized head that is creamy in texture and a winsome light tan in color as it evanesces, the lace forms a sealing sheet to encircle the glass. Cotton candy sweet nose with caramel and vanilla tones, quite a treat for the old schnozzle with the start is ambrosial, mega malts and the top moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish is pleasantly carbonated, the hops forceful in their spiciness, quite dry and long lasting aftertaste, quite a nice beer for a cold Arizona Winter evening.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Couple of complaints to start. First the distributor to my local store brought it there 3 days later than elsewhere. Damn them. Second, why a brown ale?
Having said that, this is really a tastey beer, even for those not particularly fond of this style (like me).
Aroma is the one weaker element, with the standard Schell's flat, dull aroma with hints of malt and nutty quality, but not overpowering in any way.
This is a very good looking beer. Dark amber with brown and orange hues. Clear. Pours with a big strong and sturdy head, that stays firm for quite awhile, finally tapering off, but leaving a lacing as a reminder of the pleasure that has been.
Pleasing malt taste that is very well balanced with a hop bittering. The hops present themselves at the start and grow increasingly stronger throught the middle to the finish, yet never overpowering the malt until the final long dry bitter finish. Really a satisfying drink.
Barely medium in feel, yet has a fullness quality, in part from the carbonation which is steady and firm (like the head). Smooth and soft.
Overall a very good drink. I got a feeling that the freshness of my samples helps as it "feels" fresh. For a style that isn't my favorite, this is a highely drinkable beer.
I noted that the labels and 6-pack holder have changed. I actually like the color scheme and design of this better (even though the old man had an appeal). The description dropped the "hearty" adjective, probably to help our anticipation. What if they did a stong beer, like imperial, golden ale or barleywine? Certainly would cost more, I would think.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: a 12 ounce long neck tall thin brown bottle. The front label is a very cold looking ice blue and white looking affair that has the words August Schell in scripted font writing with the words Snow Storm in dark blue beneath. The neck label is of similar appearance. The simplistic reverse label explains that this is the 2003 version, and that this years offering is quote; An American-style Nut Brown Ale. A dry, malty flavor with a hint of nut compliments a mild hop bitterness and English hop aroma.

Appearance: A dark amber brown body that pours with a light tan head that easily forms into a smooth ¼” collar covering. Nice levels of dissolved carbonation give the head some support when my half pint mug is gently swirled.

Nose: A malty nose with some toasted peat and smoky traits. The back of the beer has a light nutty feel. Very light in strength though.

Taste: A thick malty start that has a toasted essence on the tongue, a light woody feel in the middle with some smoked malt and a nut-sweet finish. Light bitterness at times balances the malts, but it never really establishes itself or even breaks through, but it is there – but malt submissive.

Mouthfeel: The feel in the entrance is thick at times, and wholesome. A nice solid body that is always malty in character. Nice carbonation when the beer is swished in the mouth, which leaves a lingering toasted caramel feel on your teeth. Dry finish.

Drinkability: I found this to have a very appealing and attractive quality, but I like Nut Brown Ales. Not quite a Samuel Smiths, but nevertheless a very good Brown Ale that was enjoyable and easily imbibed.

Overall: A nice offering, and a decent nut brown ale, but after a weekend spent in a snow & ice covered Boston, it would take something a little ‘bigger’ to fend off any ensuing Snow Storm I feel.
A Nutty Cheers to BigHuge for this one.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours to a copper-brown, almost reddish color with a minimal light brown head. The aroma is toasty, malty, and slightly nutty. The malt aroma seems to be an english malt variety. The taste is malty, toasty, and nutty, with a spicy hop flavor. It is a light-medium bodied brew that is easy drinking and refreshing. A Snow Storm beer??? I think NOT, try a Barley Wine.

Sampled 11/15/03

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Photo of chaduvel
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Woody brown in color, light tan head. Nice fresh roasted nutty malt aroma. Taste is similar. Smooth roasted malts with a touch of hazelnut. Similar to a newcastle, but fresher tasting. Quite nice and a solid offering from the home state. I would like to see a more winter/snowstorm flavored beer for the holiday's however.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a clear reddish brown, thin fluffy dark ivory head sits briefly, leaves a thin haze and the lace is in large ink blot patches that eventually turn thinner. Smell is quite mild, lightly roasty with some hazelnut tones and breadish sweet maltyness with a touch of cocoa powder. Taste is more of the same, very mild roasted maltyness that has some sweetness and light bread tones to it, nuttyness comes through in most of the short-lived dryness and becomes more noticeable in the finish with lingering cocoa. Very minimal hop presense which has a grainy-like bittering grab at the midway point. Feel is close to medium, thin at the start which carries through into some lightly building textures and a lightly harsh texture of carbonation which stays consistant throughout. Not something I would consider having around for snow storms...maybe for a few flurries? but not really. I'll stick with FireBrick.

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Photo of budgood1
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours out a clear deep amber colour with scarlet highlights. a fine and tight off white head. ample festive lacing adorns the glass. soft and mellow malted aroma. unassuming caramel and light chocolate malt taste. hops for bittering only and not for flavour. slight metallic schell twang...must be the water in new ulm or something. medium mouthfeel with a slightly spritzy carbonated attitude. finishes more dry than sweet. session brown. easy drinking. that's about it.

i'm of the opinion that schell needs to beef up their snowstorm series. it's minnesota, it's winter; today there is a REAL snowstorm here in F-M, and i want a real winter brew from my area brewery to drink while i look out the window and see it snowing like crazy.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear auburn color. Nice little beige head on top. Good retention. Lace is spotty, but nice. Aromas are nice. Roasted peanut and chocolate blend together nicely. A little smoke and some dry hoppy notes. The taste of this beer is good for a brown ale. It could make quite a session beer. The roasted nut character and slightly bitter hop presence mingle nicely. A little chocolate and cocoa add depth. The body is a little better than medium and the mouthfeel is quite smooth. Not quite what I'd look for if I was snowbound, but it does make for a pretty tasty brown ale.

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Photo of ALC82
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First go around w/ snowstorm, very good

39 characters

Photo of alexgash
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acorn brown body with a light tan head. Smell: subtle toasted, nutty malts. Not very aromatic. Taste: smooth, lightly toasted malts. Nutty and dry, with some light woody, smokiness. Nothing exceptional here, but very drinkable and an admirable ale coming out of a mostly-lager brewery. However, I sure hope next year's snowstorm is a bit more artisinal/experimental/extreme/alluring/etc.

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Photo of maxpower
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish brown color, with a decent off- white head that leaves lots of lacing, light sweet roasty nutty-caramel aroma. Some roasted malty bready flavors, light to medium body, light yet has a rough mouthfeel, somewhat bitter finish, a bit bland

 250 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, coppery, auburn hue, with a generous, fluffy, creamy head.
Aroma: on the mild side, with sly notes of nuts and caramelly, malty and sweet.
Taste: mildness reigns here. No hops, strong, but not obtrusive malt, and very slim on the flavor and body. There's some nice texture and good mouthfeel, rather pleasant. Nothing sticks out, but that must be the plan, anyway. It certainly does a fine job as a brown ale, and in this role it's utterly irrefutable, but the question remains...If I didn't know that this was meant as an English brown, I'd expect a winter warmer, and old ale, or something along those lines. Not sure why they chose this style as a winter brew, perhaps as a test to create a new year-round? But I'd have been happier with something a bit livelier.

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Snowstorm 2003 from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 18 ratings
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