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Snowstorm 2008 | August Schell Brewing Company

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Snowstorm 2008Snowstorm 2008
59 Ratings
Snowstorm 2008Snowstorm 2008

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Beer Style: Weihnachtsbier

Flavor/Color Profile: Snow Storm 2008 was designed with the cold days of winter in mind. Reddish-brown in color with a complex maltiness yielding hints of spicy rye, sourdough and chocolate. Brewed with nine different malts, including copious amounts of Munich and a touch of Rye.

Added by morimech on 10-24-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 59 |  Reviews: 54
Photo of KarlHungus
4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a clear deep mahogany color. The head is one inch in height, rocky, and recedes slowly into thick, chunky lacing. The aroma is of toffee, caramel, graham crackers, hints of ginger, and tons of sweet malt. It isn't an overpowering nose, but it is very nuanced. The taste is of spicy rye, roasted malts, caramel, toffee, hints of chocolate. The taste is quite a bit more robust than the aroma, but is equally nuanced. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a great beer, and truly worth the name Snowstorm. There is some much going on here that every sip seems to reveal something new and different. I really hope this becomes a regular in the Schell lineup.

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Photo of ZAP
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been waiting to review this one for awhile now as I've had about a case and a half of it and love it but was struggling with how to describe it. It's time to try and put to words what this beer is all about.

This is a great example of a medium weight winter beer that really works...it is loaded with flavor and character and is extremely well made.

It's a described as a 'bock" of sorts...personally I think it defies a "style"..it has some bock characteristics but also some schwartzbier notes and also some sweet stout flavors. It actually reminds me a little of a rye stout I had from Bell's many years ago.

Spicy rye notes are evident on the aroma and taste...also some pumpernickel....This also has a sweet chocolate cookie like element that adds a great dimension....malted milk balls as well....but the nice thing with the chocolate is it is sweet but not cloying at all....the perfect touch of sweetness....really the spicy/sweet contrasts blend into a dynamite beer.

Body is medium....creamy mouthfeel...looks like a doppelbock in the glass...

The brewery calls this a Weihnachtsbier....Based on a web search:" "Weihnachten" is German for Christmas, and Weihnachtsbier is the Bavarian seasonal specialty, a strong brew for when the days get shorter and the temperature plummets.

Schell's hit a bulls eye on this one....what a great treat for the holidays....

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Photo of budgood1
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this years snowstorm pours out a generally clear beautiful auburn colour with an inch thick tannish head that shows no signs of dying sown anytime soon. this leaves plentiful lacing on the glass as it's consumed. bright malty flavours of ripe fruit, malted milk balls, and some herbal hop notes. the taste is a conglomeration of malted milk, some spicy rye notes, a touch of alcohol spice and sullen red ripe fruits. there is a perfectly placed hop spice in the background...adding a touch of bitterness for good measure. this is really a layered and complex concoction for a bock beer. it's really rich in nature, but not too sweet. the body is full and fulfilling with a incredibly smooth and velvety mouthfeel that finishes a touch crisp and dry for such a malty brew. drinkability is off the charts! i could sip this one all night!

this "weihnachtsbier" is fantastic! it's the epitome of what a well crafted x-mas/winter lager could/should be. the schell brewery hit a grand slam home run with this one. they went away from their german/lager/bock beer heritage for a short time, but came back big time with this one.

they could keep the snowstorm tradition going with a different variety every year, but produce this as their "Christmas Bock" and i would buy it every year.

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Photo of alexgash
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle.

Drank most of an entire 12 pack of this Weihnachtsbier over Thanksgiving. Pours a clear, dark ruby, with coppery edges. Solid finger of dense, creamy, light khaki head. Good lacing. Nose of wine-y fruits, plums, caramel, maple syrup, cookie dough, all with a spicy vegetal edge.

Taste starts off with light peppery hop bitterness spread over rye bread and grain. Fruit notes follow, with figs, and jammy plums. Dark chocolate and cocoa bittersweetness settle in. Delicious! Cookie dough in the finish mixes with rye and hop spice. Medium-bodied with a creamy feel. By far the best Snowstorm I've had! Please make this year round!

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz brown bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Clear brown color with amber tones. Short lived head and virtually no lacing. Minimal carbonation.

S - Caramel and malts. Also a cocoa and coffee scent present. Alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering.

T - Rich and malty, with caramel flavor that is very tasty. Once again, alcohol is present but not overpowering.

M - Smooth and light. The little amount of carbonation there is show itself here. Good balance.

D - Very drinkable brew. I would be willing to drink this all night (despite its 6% ABV). Very enjoyable and I look forward to next years, but for the time being I will be enjoying this throughout the holiday season.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear mahogany. Beautiful cream colored head that has a whipped density and leaves blankets of lace as I drink. Very nice aroma of thick malts, a little roast, some chocolate and nougat. The flavor is a real treat. Nice clean and rich malt tones. A little bready yeastiness. Slight roastiness. A little caramel. This is a great tasting bock. The body and carbonation are spot on. This almost comes across as a bock/schwarzbier hybrid. Reminds me of the Sprecher Winter Brew back in the day when it kicked some ass. This is good. I'd like to place it head to head against New Glarus Uff Da bock and see how it stands, though I think the minor differences would distinguish the beers.

I brought 2 new six packs home tonight. This and Bell's Christmas Ale. I was excited for both. Well, I started with this and a few beers later, I have yet to hit up the Bell's...which is a rarity for me when I have a new one sitting there. Definitely one of their best Snowstorm releases and could be their best. (But I keep reminiscing about that plum recipe of 1997-1998.)

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Photo of cokes
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, clear, crimson-bronze with a thick, sticky, beige dome.
Caramelly, Munich malt aroma, with notions of raisins, figs, rye spiciness, cocoa, and maple-syruped pancakes.
Just a touch drier in the mouth. Toasted nuts and grain are first noticed, with an ephemeral rye peppery-breadiness. As it gathers towards chocolate graham crackers (or, I guess, S'Mores). It deepens and sweetens from here, with maple syrup, dates, figs, loads of caramel and nougat, raisins, sassafras, anise, then is briskly lagered clean with just a balancing kiss of herbal, grassy hops.
Medium in feel, taut and brawny in structure. The carbonation level is moderate and steady with its small, trickling bead.
This is thoroughly impressive and easily the best "regular" bock I've had in a looong time.

Hey Schell's, boot the Caramel Bock and produce this full time. Shit, keep the old name if you want, as this has tenfold the caramel flavor anyway. Please??!!?? Bocks don't get much better than this.

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Photo of DocTheDJ
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had heard a few good things about this beer so I thought that I would give it a try out of a 12 variety/trial pack from Schell.

Poured into a lg mouth 16oz pilsner from the bottle. (at a nice warmish temp)

Look: Big Wow! on the pour had to slow down the pour in this type of glass. Plenty of tan lite foamy creamy looking head (2 inches strong). Settles to a very well retained head that stays till nearly the last drink. Lacing is very nice all the way through.

Smell: 1st wiff and man I can't wait for a drink now! Smells of a nice rich (slighty roasted)malt, carmely or candied brown sugar?, a nice spicey (rye?) scent and a small bit dark/red fruity acidicness, hint of chocolaty goodness to.

Taste: What can I say the smell gave some indication but the taste was exceptional! Bitterness matches the sweetness perfect in my mouth and all of it's goodness is still present in the aftertaste. Balanced to perfection in my opinion and no other beer I've had so far have I loved the taste as much. Words realy can't put this one to justice in my opinion.

Mouthfeel- Lighter than I thought it would be but much smoother than I thought it would be as well. Carbonation is a great match and even has a little bit of a sting.

Overall: Went for the 2nd Snowstorm beer in this trial pack right after the 1st. Highly drinkable because it's not to heavy! If I'ld had a six-er I'ld have drank em' ALL. I think this could be a great seller for my Native Minnesota Brewer, Schell. Solid "A"

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Photo of KeefD
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber brown color with an enormous head that sticks around for quite some time, settling into a nice cap leaving behind some lovely sheets of lacing. Nice aroma of caramel malts, hints of chocolate and dark fruits and slight rye twang. Smells inviting on this cold winter day while there's snow falling outside my window. This brew is malty as hell. Plenty sweet, lots of caramel flavors, a bit of maple syrup, hints of chocolate, again with a slight rye twang, light spiciness, and a decent hop finish. It's complex and malty, just the way I like them in the winter time. It's unlike any other Bock I've experienced, but this is Schell's once a year experimental brew, and they didn't let down. Thick and creamy on the tongue, goes down ultra smooth. Highly drinkable, as the ABV doesn't seem or feel too high. I will certainly be revisiting this beer over the winter months and hope this one makes it's way into Schell's regular lineup, just as past Snowstorms have. I'll even take this as a seasonal, as it's much tastier and more complex than their Caramel Bock. YUM!

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Photo of beerkittycat
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is clear with reddish-brown hues and a minimal off-white head. Aroma is subtle but complex with notes of brown sugar, bread dough, and ginger snaps along with familiar flowery noble hops. Taste has much the same as aroma but it's hard to pin down exactly the style. It tastes somewhere between a bock and an Octoberfest. Very smooth, slightly restrained carbonation, and a drier finish than you would expect for a bock makes this beer extremely drinkable. It's got all the malt you would want in a winter beer with the drinkability of a German lager. Brilliant! More please!!!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew in a trade with josephhaugen, Thanks Joe!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear brown color with a beige head that left some trails of lacing.

S - caramel sweet and malty aroma.

T - very good tasting brew, it's rich and malty flavor is delicious.

F - medium bodied, smooth and creamy feel.

D - real easy drinking, great tasting brew.

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Photo of schellsbeer
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just opened my first bottle of Schell's Snowstorm 2008. Can't wait to try it. I think I am a little excited. YEAH.

Alright here it goes...

A - Pours a dark golden color. The color reminds me of Buckwheat Honey. Very thin head but after a few minutes still is present.

S - Smells sweet. Very clean. Very fresh. Was this beer just made? Yes, I think it was. And now for the critical part...the taste. Here goes...

T - Hello Beer, meet mouth. Very good flavor that stays on the tastebuds long after it has made its way to the stomach. The back of the mouth and tongue taste this the longest. VERY FRESH!!! Slight hint of rye and bitter hops. I really think that Schells has outdone themselves on this one. MUCH better than last years Snowstorm 2007. Good carbonination. Not filling. Wow...as I keep drinking, the back of the tongue keeps asking for more. Excuse me while I listen to my mouth. A beer drinker can't keep the tastebuds waiting. Even the burps taste!!! I love you Snowstorm 2008.

M - Like a good beer should feel. Crisp, Refreshing, Awesome.

D - This is one beer that I could drink several of. Very good Bock. One of the best if not the best Bock Schell's has ever produced. Exceptional taste.

Overall, I will be purchasing several more 12 pks of this wonderful brew. Right up there with their Stout and Schmaltz's Alt. Excellent. Thank you Schells.

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Photo of Duffman
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful reddish brown with a thin dissipating creamy head. Smells like freshly baked bread. Malty, grainy, fresh, with some nice hop aroma for good measure. Can really smell the sourdough that's in the beer and it makes for a fine aroma. Elegantly sweet, but not too much so. As the beer finishes the sourdough and rye make themselves heard, and their presence provides for a welcome contrast. A warming beer with a very inviting, complex, and flavour profile. A unique take on a bock that has made for a highly enjoyable and approachable flavor. Body is quite creamy, with a clinging, almost sudsy feel to it. Very drinkable for a bock, and I could enjoy this one with a variety of food, or simply on its lovely own. I've long been impressed by snowstorms past and this one may be the best I've had. It's a real pleasure to see such successful breweing experimentation from the folks at Schell's and this beer proves once again why snowstorm should rightly be one of the most anticipated of winter brews.

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Photo of beerdavis
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a translucent deep brownish-red with a pillow of light brown head with huge bubbles. Thin lacing sticking all over my glass.

S- Malts and caramely goodness. Smells sweet.

T- Tastes full, caramel, cocoa, toasted malts, raisins. Very balanced.

M- Nice carbonation, just the right amount for my taste. Feels full on my palate.

D- Very drinkable. Very balanced and refreshing beer.

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

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Photo of hardy008
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Copper reddish brown beer. Nice foamy head which leaves a nice lace on the glass.

Smell - Malty with some caramel.

Taste - Malt with some rye and chocolate. Quite interesting.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - Quite drinkable. I could easily have a few of these.

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Photo of Buebie
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the 2008 release.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a brandy snifter.
Deep mahogony in color with a copper hue. Big 3 finger creamy white head. Leaves thick sticky lace draping my glass. Retention is good with thick custers of assorted sized bubbles.

Aroma is a burnt caramel with huge malt backing. Roasted grains, wisps of dark candy sugar and a hint of rye, mixed with cocoa nibs in a nutty chocolate aroma.

Thick creamy mouthfeel with a light dose of carbonation. More burnt caramel, alcahol warming, dark candy sugar and bits of toasted spiced rye.
Some bittersweet chocolate grain like flavor. Toasted grainy buttered bread, rye pumpernuckle flavors.
Finishes clean and crisp with a lingering rye flavor and sweet toasted breadyness.

Good brew, much different then last year. I really love the hell outta this. Going to have to start a verticle celleraing and pick up another case for years to come.

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Photo of KI9A
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've heard alot about this beer, so I was very excited to see this as a part of the sampler pack! Not too easy to get this locally.

A: Dark/hazy brown, lingering head, lingering lace.

S: Bready/malty as hell. Chocolate malts.

T: Chocolate malt, bread, a slight bit of prune/fig/dark fruits. Slight metallic taste at the back. Yeah, this is nice.

M: Metallic aftertaste ( well, slight metallic), keeps this from being higher. The semi-sweet chocolate hangs around a bit.

D: Well, if I had a 6er of these guys, I would/could EASILY kill it. While snowstorm might be a catchy name, it detracts from the "pure" bock nature of this beer. Dammit, I like this beer!!

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Photo of gford217
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Buebie poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with a big two-finger creamy head that has great staying power and leaves thick sheets of lacing. It's a really solid looking beer.

The aroma is dominated by caramel with a slightly roasted character and a biscuity malt backbone. Definitely some rye and a hint of chocolate as well.

The taste is mild and smooth with caramel malts leading the way and some bready malts in the background. The rye is not as present as the aroma but chocolate is there in the finish.

Again, this is seriously smooth with good carbonation and goes down so easy. It's easy to feel the presence of the rye on the palate.

This is a very drinkable winter ale that is a nice change of pace compared to some of the over-the-top beers I've tasted recently. Simple, smooth and very drinkable.

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Photo of russpowell
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours chestnut with a finger of tan head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Brown bread & toffee & a touch of boozeyness, once warm

T: Brown bread & caramel with dryness up front, plus a touch of herbal hops. More brown bread & caramel as this warms, along with slight grainyness and toasty malt. Finishes dry, toasty & with nice caramel notes

MF: Medium bodied with fairly soft carbonation, slight stickyness as well

Drinks really easy, not a perfect bock, but one I'd happily put in rotation if given the chance

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Photo of hodgsongreg
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a drought of several months since enjoying the 2007 Snowstorm, I grabbed a case of what I hoped would be a rush of good memories. What I drank was like a revisiting a memory that had changed, not become more complex, like a fisherman tale, but different. The color is similar, the roasted nuttiness is still there, but the biggest taste difference is from last year is that there is a little more alcohol presence and a little less oat. It still drinks smoothly and is relaxing more than it is refreshing. I really enjoy this beer and look forward to finishing the winter of 08/09 with an ample supply of this tasty drink.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starts with an interesting malt complexity to the aroma. Fairly bold, especially for this brewery. Some sweet (maybe even caramelize a bit). Some graininess and kinda' smoky. There is an aroma that is vaguely familiar to me from other Schells beers such as the munich dunkel and the dark, so I wonder if it's the grains or the yeast (or both I suppose).
Excellent looking beer. Brightly clear, with a dark color of brown and garnet. Creamy rather dense head of off-white of one inch and leaves nice lacing especially towards the top of the glass.
Malty richness in the flavor again with a malty drying at the finish which is surrounded by a mild bitterness. Munich malt character is easily noted. A touch of rye spiciness and overall holds some flavor reminiscent of winter ales (such as Summit and Avery), yet completely different too. A tad of alcohol noted as much is impact as flavor.
Fullness from carbonation, but bubbles are soft and fine. Nice moderate lager body.
This isn't a huge beer and will be a disappointment for some, but it is rich with a solid body and complex flavors even at relatively cold temperatures. Drinkability is rather high as I'd easily take another after this initial one. If the Caramel Bock could change to something like this what a merry christmas that would be.

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Photo of morimech
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Weihnachtsbier described as a winter bock on the bottle carrier. Other Weihnachtsbiers on the site are classified in different styles from Kolsch, Marzen, to Dunkel Lagers. This one is "Brewed with nine different malts, including copious amounts of Munich and a touch of Rye."

Pours a reddish brown color with two inches of off-white head that hangs around for a little while and eventually settles to a thin cap. Some sticky lacing is left on the glass surface during consumption. Strong malt aroma, mainly caramel malt. Semi sweet malt flavor with low noble hop flavor. Some alcohol is detected as well. Nice cold weather flavored beer. Medium body with a fizzy carbonation. Not harsh but just a bit overdone. I think the ABV is up around 7-8% so I would not drink more than a couple. Look forward to drink more of this in the upcoming winter months.

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Photo of Greggy
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark copper color with a slightly tan head 2 fingers in height. The head has some great retention and some nice lacing. No sediment is present.

S- A nice bready component comes through, chocolate, some rye notes, and a bit of earthiness. Overall the nose isn't terribly complex.

T- Starts out with a light chocolate, with bready notes, some rye spiciness, and some dark fruit notes (raisin). The finish has some nice spiciness to it and is warming. I also get a nice dark chocolate note in the finish which coats the mouth.

M- The rye spiciness is very appealing to me. I really enjoy the warming it offers.

D- This beer is 6% which is great because it's an excellent winter beer and won't knock me on my ass when I drink a couple of them. Definitely give this one a shot.

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Photo of theghost3
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to sonicdescent for this one. Poured into a mug. Appearance is reddish brown with a 2-finger light beige head. Minimal lacing.

Smell is strong of caramel & chocolate, but there are nice hints of vanilla, wheat, sour herbal hops & yeast. The taste is dominated by the chocolate and caramel. There are some additional flavors of sour rye, whiskey, vanilla, and bread. Mouthfeel is smooth, finish is dry.

This is a very drinkable brew; very filling.

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Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a clear dark orange, some ruby reddish hues, medium sized white head, settles down to a thin collar and a thin layer on top, some lace spots, good retention. Smell is nice, very clean and malty, caramel, toast, biscuit, dark fruits, strawberries and melon, some sweet sugars, really nice. Taste is neat, very biscuity, very heavy toffee, iron, toasty, brown sugar, treacle, some raisin, nice malty sweetness, night fruitiness, but very clean finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, very smooth and drinkable. A very nice bock, really smooth and very well put together. Thanks Russ.

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Snowstorm 2008 from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 59 ratings
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