Snowstorm 2009 | August Schell Brewing Company

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Snowstorm 2009Snowstorm 2009
Very Good
69 Ratings
Snowstorm 2009Snowstorm 2009

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Buebie on 10-26-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 60
Reviews by biteme398:
Photo of biteme398
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a mug.
The head is small and fades quickly while the body is an almost impenetrable black with shades of amber around the edges. Smell is of fruit and some darker malts. Taste has a solid backbone of hops that everything else is built around. Also in the taste is some chocolate, fruitiness and some maltiness that rounds out the profile. Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy and carbonation is fairly low. A very solid beer overall.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of blackearth
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black body with ruby red corners. Thin off-white head that quickly fades. Aroma of toasted peat malts. Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Flavor is a blast of roasted malts - dried plums, coffee, hint of vanilla. A great dark malty brew.

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Photo of bsp77
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Flat Earth Pint glass.

Appearance: Exceedingly dark black-like ruby with a creamy tan head.

Smell: Mild roasted malts, dark chocolate, spicy hops and caramel.

Taste: Very chocolaty with a nice roasted malt character. Secondary notes of caramel, brown sugar and a very light spicy bitterness at the end. The beer sweetens just slightly as it warms.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, with a very smooth clean and almost creamy lager body.

Drinkability: Overall, a highly drinkable roasted lager. While my limited Baltic Porter experience tells me that this beer should be bigger in terms of both body and abv (this is only 5.8%), it is hard to complain when the results are so good.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bargain bin at Bocktown treating me nicely this and a Smuttynose Winter. I see a dark nearly opaque colar with brown higlights to it. Lage mocha tan head forming thick lucious foam action above the rim of my glass. Aromatics come coreect with dark roasted cocoa and coffe accents a nice warming presence about it. Flavor has chocolate, cocoa, raisins, a touch of sugar and cream coated tones with some mild coffee finished tree bark accents. This is a wild winter Baltic porter lagered for sure to style, it's slight fruity but nice and roasty with a touch of light alcohol the only presence not felt that should be is the booze tones going around. Mouthfeel is creamy bodied moderate body and carbonation crazy sensation in a good way. I would like more of this in the future maybe not a back to back brew but this stuff is tasting good right now.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours a jet black dense body with a faint red glow and a thin ring of tan head that last for a few sips. There is a tiny carbonation that slowly glides up the sides of the glass.
S-This beer has a dark roasted malt aroma that is followed by a cold but not stale coffee aroma.
T- The smooth roasted dark flavor has an inky quality with a raisin finish. There is a very slight tartness to the slightly sweet finish and a faint cola note that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a slippery texture and no alcohol heat noticed.
D- The nice roasted flavor are good but a bit muted with not much depth behind them. This is a nice dark winter beer good for quafting a pint or two.

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Photo of cokes
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generally opague black with glints of auburn poking out when the glass is held up. The pale khaki head is a whipped cream blanket on top, slowly diminishes and leaves all sorts of lace.
Big time caramel and chocolate-covered raisin nose. Fruit deepens over time with more prune emphasis, along with a background woodiness.
Dripping lush caramel as it rolls onto the tongue. There is a backing from anise and carob, eventually forming a full-fledged cocoa impression. Fruitiness gathers in the middle, in a stew of black cherries, figs, golden raisins, and prunes. A dash of coffee ground bitterness precede the woody hop bitterness, as this then lingers afterward with liquorice.
Medium bodied with a low, steady CO2. There is a muscularity here despite being on the low end of the Baltic Porter strength scale. The heavy sweet tones are predominant but balance is maintained. Don't be prejudiced by a perceived "smallness" here as I was prior to tasting it. The homework has been done on this.
Love the old school labels too.

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Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Three Squares in Maple Grove. I'm impressed that Schell's took on the style and didn't just try to make a strong porter like some other American-brewed Baltic's I've tried. This has the sweet light candy, or wine-like, chocolate note under the roasted malts. My only complaint is that the middle sweetness turns to more of an old-shoe note (like oxidation) that builds as the beer warms, but it's very light. Otherwise, this is tasty and to-style take on the Baltic porter.

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Photo of dbossman
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown with a finger head that dissipates to a fingernail; good lacing

S: Sweet roasted malts and chocolates; subtle toffee, coffee, and caramel; there is also something slightly smoky in the aroma

T: Sweet and malty; nice chocolate characters; there is also a nice bitterness on the back end; the toffee and caramel that I subtly caught in the aroma are also subtly in the taste

F: Pretty even mouth coat; a bit over carbonated

D: Easy going delicious porter; it's rich and sweet but not too much

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Photo of mikey711
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very deep brown with only a tiny amount of head and no lacing.

S: Biscuits and caramel, very mellow and not too aromatic

T: I was surprised in a very good way. Nice balance of chocolate, biscuits and caramel.

M: Very smooth and decent amount of body. No booziness.

D: I could probably put two bottles of this back but wouldnt want much more than that

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks mnjeff!

pour is deep cola with a quick light creamy head.

fig, roasted malts, sweet, a touch of charcoal

light and sweet up front with a light roasted malt flavor. a bit of dark cherry and light molasses.

fairly full but quite light and easy to drink

it has the attributes of a baltic porter, only on the lighter end. does not quite remind me of a "baltic" porter but def an english porter. very easy and very flavorful. well done.

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Photo of DerekP
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured my bottle into a 16 oz mug.

The following is taken from my review @ -

I'm reminded of the phrase, "Don't judge a book by its cover." My first consideration of this beer speaks volumes in relation to that phrase.

When I first looked at the label, I thought, "Hey, this looks like a typical, domestic, run of the mill lager." Wow, was I off! Out pours a dark porter and a delicious looking beer (I completely failed to read the label around the neck, "Baltic Porter"). Unfortunately, for not doing my homework, namely not knowing that it was a porter, I poured the beer into my mug wrong, but managed to shake up a decent looking head and I'm continuing to swirl as I sip. Personally, I'd say the pour for a porter should be somewhere in between a lager and a stout, so kind of down the middle, but a little down the side(Beer snobs are thinking "This guy doesn't know what he's talking about").

I'm earning a very thin layer of head with my swirl, but its there and the retention is pretty good. The taste offers a dark, burnt coffee flavor, with enough sweetness to form a contrast, culminating into a balance that is quite remarkable. The color of the beer is damn near pitch black, but I'll save the 100% category for the stout I run into that deserves it. The lacing is thin, but the head itself is darker than that of Breckenridge's Christmas Ale, similar to the foam of a fancy coffee. The body of the brew is generally medium-heavy, but just a tad bit heavier than Breckenridge's Christmas Ale. The bitterness of the brew is very close to that of Breckenridge's Christmas Ale as well (if only a little drier), so you could definitely pair the two as I have done.

This is a very drinkable beer, but I'm guessing 5-6 of these in a night and you'd be set. If you see it, definitely give it a try. The ABV is 5.8%, and its only brewed once a year. In fact, this brewery sends out a different style of brew with the name Snowstorm every holiday season. I like that idea. Here's to August Schell Brewing Company: Cheers, and drink well!

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Photo of morimech
3.19/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first time reviewing this beer was lost in the latest server crash. I have drank most of a 12 pack since then and my impression has not improved much.

Pours a dark brown with some red highlights. Has a large tan head that has good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Has a weak aroma. I detect mostly smoke with the Schell's lager aroma. Smoke is the flavor that runs through the complete experience of this beer. A hint of chocolate is detected as well. I think the thing this beer is missing the most is some sort of acidity and sourness. This tastes like an English Stout with the roasted and smokey malt. I wonder if Schells used the same malt as they use in their English Stout. The body is a bit thin for the style. Carbonation is low so it maintains a nice texture. This Baltic Porter is done in the style of Eastern European porters by using a lager yeast. Still a nice drinking beer but lacks that little extra to match the flavor of the greats of the style.

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Photo of kartoffelsalat
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

The appearance is very dark with a 1/2" head which had decent retention and the lacing on the glass was significant.

Smells of black patent malt are strong and perhaps a hint of smoke was picked up too. No hops are detectable in the smell.

Tastes like a well balanced porter with a bit of booziness finish, which I enjoyed. The front was sweet but balanced by the dark roasted malt.

Mouthfeel, yea I felt it. smooth and goes down easy. for a 5+% beer, this one could be sessioned by a winter campfire.

I would recommend this beer to anyone who likes porters, and hopefully next year's snowstorm will impress again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thick dark brown, looked black to be honest but if you held it up to the light some very nice ruby tinted notes came out. Nice tan colored head settled back pretty quickly and left a thin veil of lace across the top throughout the rest of the session. Decent amount of side glass lace as well could be observed.

The aroma wasa little light, and full of alcohol, but hell its almost 10% right? Decent roasted malt nose with hints of licorice, and maybe raisin, something with a touch of fruit tartness in there. Hint of chocolate way in the back as well. The flavor was dominated by the alcohol, though it was not overbearing at all, rather just coming through very full. Lots of roasted malts, hints of dark earthy tones and a hint of bitter chcolate. Almost a smokey feel to it. Nice medium bodied ale, alot lighter then I thougt it would be, but still very nice.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 02-23-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Thick dark coffee color, 1 finger of foam present and since it is so dark that I couldn't tell how much carbonation is showing through. It looks though at the head of the brew that there is quite a bit present

S - Heavy malt aroma, chocolate and coffee bean notes mixed with a little licorice and hops

T - Medium bodied even though I could smell some heavy hitting chocolate and coffee notes. Can however really taste the licorice,

M/D - Pretty tasty porter from Schell. Medium bodied with a good amount of chocolate and coffee flavor with the licorice lurking about. Not a brew I can drink a lot of in one sitting but glad I tried it and recommend grabbing some before it is gone

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Photo of dizztracted
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of dstc
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a big, foamy tan head. Head falls slow but stays. Nice lace.

Aroma is actually a bit thin. Roasted malts is all there is but it's mild.

Nice roasted malt taste. Bit of sweetness and a hint chocolate.

Medium bodied to full and mildly carbonated.

Not a bad beer. Nothing spectacular but worth trying.

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Photo of AmberMan22
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap over the winter break, one of my first beers back in the states.

I didn't know this was a baltic porter at the time, not to mention I didn't know what the style entailed even after seeing this first piece of information.
After looking over some intel, I drew my conclusions.

Pours a deep deep brown. A pretty looking brown head crowns the beer, but settles to almost nothing quite quickly.

Smell and Taste are a bit disappointing, I would've hoped this beer would be slightly more complex. Instead, this is not only a weakling by ABV standards (rather suited to the range of a normal porter) but only incorporates very basic flavors.
Dark, roasted chocolate malts, with a nice snap of hop flavor. I mean, this beer passes for a delicious (regular) porter, but as this is one of my favorite categories, I was hoping for a real zinger out of Snowstorm.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Flat. Had a less than 1 finger head despite a solid vigorous pour. Otherwise nice. Dark brown, not quite, but almost black. Looks very clean. No sediment.

S: Very strong of roasted, cooked sugars. Yum. A smooth maltiness all around, but not much else. No hops. I like that it's strong, but not offensively so. I would like a little more...nuance though. As the beer warms, the roasted chocolate notes increase.

T: Very similar to the smell, but more chocolate and even a little licorice. I like that it's very clean and lager-like (I realize it is in fact, a lager). Again, no hops. Does a great job of being dry and malty without being too burnt or coffee like. The smooth roast only gets more intense as the beer warms.

M: Dry, both in taste and in feel. Pretty light for a Baltic Porter, but good. Though, maybe it would be nicer to be a bit heartier for the winter. Again, a nice clean lager that doesn't leave much of an aftertaste, maybe a little of the roast.

D: Pretty good. I could have several, especially with a nice roast or something hearty. But it wouldn't overpower much either.

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Photo of iRun2Beer
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to morimech for this!

031110 on neck - I assume that's the freshness date...

Pours very dark brown with ruby/garnet hues. A thin tan creamy head stays. Dotted lacing, then strands of lacing as it progresses, stick.

The smell is of roasted coffee, chocolate, licorice and earthy notes.

The taste is of mildly roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, anise/licorice and caramel. An earthy undertone keeps it from being too sweet. It has a clean lager smoothness and finish. The body is medium-to-full.

It has a well-hidden, modest abv for the style. Sweetish, but balanced. This is a nice interpretation of a traditional Baltic Porter! Very enjoyable!

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Photo of Doyle
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of MPLS
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Interesting to think that the style of the Winterstorm brew changes every year. Althought there was no formal review I remember being impressed by last year's version of this beer. It made for a very affordable 12-pack. I am giving this one a try in a single 12 oz bottle.

A: Poured into my Uptown Tattoo Surly exclusive pint glass, I mean neon green Surly logo. The color is a dark non-descript dark ruby with 1 cm head that held little retention. Lacing is spotty, certainly not sticking to glass like Spiderman.

S: Coffee, very tame smoke, nuts, and call me crazy but a hint of bubble gum and bananas. This is rather mellow to the noise, nothing huge and I had to get the nostrils in pretty deep.

T: A nutty roasted coffee like beer with short lived vanilla+banana aftertaste. A small trace of chocolate can be find too. I feel like this beer could be more robust and flavorful for the style. I find the aftertaste of this beer not to my liking and a little skewed for the style. Pleasant tasting, but I'll be generous and say it's average.

M: Alright mouthfeel, thin is in according to this baltic porters body, but rather silky at the same time.

D: I enjoyed last years offering more compared to this years...or at least my memory is telling me this. It remains and affordable brew, but I'd pick others over it. This beer just doesn't entice my buds for it's style, but I was never disgusted with it. The alcohol was masked well and I'd choose a local brew like this on tap over other offerings in the right situation.

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Photo of Eric908
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Cubsfan1087
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was very interesting. It was a very dark draft, with almost no head. The taste was the most interesting thing. After a drink, there is little taste. A second later you are hit with a very distinct after taste, but it is good and not very bitter. I don't think I've ever had a beer like that before, one that almost has a delayed taste. It's hard to describe. I recommend trying this beer if you get the chance.

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Snowstorm 2009 from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 69 ratings