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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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of dizztracted
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of jjanega08
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A= pours a nice black color with a little amber shining through the edges just enough to let me know its not a complete black out. The head pours up two fingers and then falls to half a finger and sticks around at about there throughout the drink. No lacing on my glass though :/
S= there's a really nice sweet toffee smell to it. Loads of toffee actually with a ton of rich sweet caramel. Smells like dessert actually. I later start to notice a little smokeyness as my nose adapts.
T= again with the super sweet toffee flavor. Tons of caramel as well. Like a nice rich sweet dessert. After a moment I do notice on the label that this beer was lagered which would explain the mouthfeel a little more and when I read it I thought it would make the flavor suffer but this beer is so smooth and clean with such awesome flavors it all works out. Really great. The smokeyness I smelled never really shows up which is a little sad but its so gread.
M= this is where I do think it suffers a little. The lager yeast might make it a little too light and crisp for such a great flavor. I wish the taste would hang out just a little longer in my mouth for me to enjoy.
D= great beer. Wow this is really good. A hit outta the ballpark with this one. Awesome job Schells. I'll be buying a ton of this. So sweet and smooth at the same time. If the mouthfeel was a little different it would be one of my favorite beer right now.

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Photo of hardy008
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first beer of 2010. Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights and a tan foamy head with decent retention. Smells of roasted malts with chocolate and coffee and some dark fruit. The flavor matches the aroma. Mildly sweet with dark fruit at the finish. Medium bodied, smooth and creamy. Nicely drinkable with proper carbonation. It's nice to have a Baltic Porter this good without the abv being so high.

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Photo of CRichardsMN
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark Brown, weak dirty brown head that falls quickly to a creamy ring. Leaves a small amount of spotty lacing.

Very smooth, nutty and roasted. Nice hints of sweet caramel.

Again, incredibly smooth nutty roasted malts. Slightly sweet with a small bit of bitterness. Very nicely balanced.

Smooth and creamy with light carbonation, almost flat. Medium heavy body and clean.

Smooth, balanced and clean. Interesting and full of flavor. Very good.

I hope they make this a regular offering, it's really that good!

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying this during a massive snowstorm. We are supposed to get 18 inches of snow with wind and ice. It's a good thing I stocked up for the holidays yesterday.

A: Dark brown with ruby and mahagony hues. Strong, everlasting, 1/2 inch off-white head with moderate carbonation.

S: Chocolate, hints of coffee and toffee aromas. Herbal and earthy hops.

T: Flavorful, yet subtle. Lots of light chocolate flavors. Some toffee and caramel. A hint of coffee here and there. The hops finish with a nice herbal component. The flavors are quite enjoyable and well balanced. I even get a hint of fruitiness, which is nice. The flavors go very well with the cold weather outside. The only downside is a that the alcohol is a bit subdued for the style.

M: Medium bodied and smooth. Finishes a bit velvety. Nice.

D: A very nice winter beer. Lots of flavors, but not too overpowering. Sessionable. Maybe they will keep this around a bit longer. We need more Baltic Porters.

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Photo of mynie
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a little cold for a porter, but it's not like you can blame me for chilling it since it doesn't list its style on the bottle.

Pours dark. Real, real dark. Glugs out. Medium head that dies quickly, but the opacity makes up for it.

Smells cold... I let it warm up, and it smells thick, bready, bittersweet and inviting.

Tastes like a Baltic motherfucking Porter. Goodness me. Dark fruit starts things out, lightly vinous, plums and raisins and apricots. This moves into a smaller, dyer middle that's more standard for a porter this size, and it ends on a cross between the very light alcohol burn of an RIS and linger dry sweetness of a good American porter. Holy hell. That's an awful lot of good for a beer this size.

Absolutely did not expect so much flavor out of this little fellow, especially since sixers only cost 6 bucks. If you can still find it, grab it.

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Photo of mjryan
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once upon a time in Copenhagen Denmark I got smashed at the Carlsberg Brewery. The server just kept on giving me free beer. It was awesome. Just the other day I drank a bottle of Schells Snowstorm 09 and the first thing I thought of was that fine day in Denmark. Baltic Porter, sort of an East European/Scandinavian interpreation of a Russian Imperial Stout. That would be an imperial stout brewed with a lager yeast strain. Thats my undestanding of the style anyway. Much like the porter I had at Carlsberg, Schells baltic porter is very dark, with roasty malt aromas. Flavour is less roasty with a bit of caramel sweetness and some chocolate that finishes slightly sweet and charred. Not much discernable hop character, which is how I remember that Carlsberg beer as well. Very smooth on the finsih. Outstanding!

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

Almost black with some ruby and mahogany hues, a sudsy light brown head that keeps well as a cap. Sweet, malty, cocoa-ish aroma with notes of vanilla and a slight nuttiness. Roasty charred grain. More charred grain at first sip, along with anise. Dark fruits fold in as it finishes, and flavors similar to dried and candied pineapple and mango, possibly from the hops making an appearance. Dark chocolate sweetness and the anise are there throughout, with the fruity notes more apparent in the finish. The texture is rather smooth and creamy, not quite silky like a cream stout, but never harsh. A bit sticky on the lips.

Overall: medium bodied with strong but not overpowering flavors makes it quite drinkable. I love the candied fruit flavors. A fine, balanced winter warmer.

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

A-Dark brown/ruby colored...nice tan creamy head..

S-Chocolate, caramel, molasses. plums and hints of coffee,

T-Very roasted malt flavor... finishes with an alcohol spiked plum fruitiness/booziness...a real nice rich chocolate layer as well..almost like dark chocolate cake batter, but not overdone...just a layer in the overall flavor...

M-Creamy...medium bodied despite the lower ABV for the style... I've had several Baltic Porters with much more heft and body than this but this has a decent body to it...medium to full I'd call it...very creamy

D-Interesting version of a baltic porter...comes with a little German style doppelbock influence which is not surprising because few US breweries do German style as well as Schells. Does not quite measure up to some of the well known Baltic Porters in flavor intensity or size....but I find this quite enjoyable for what it is. Definitely a nice pick for this years Snowstorm.

I'm hoping some of the Anniversary series draft beers will find their way back in Snowstorm bottles in the future.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Always an exiting moment in the year of beer for me. Label is a little less descriptive than it has been in the past. No bother, just curious.
Aroma is caramel with the familiar lager yeast aroma of this brewery (although I suppose it could be the water, but I'll refer to that familiar quality as yeast until I learn better of it). Roast qualities are in the background, yet present. Very slight hints of darker roast (coffee, especially). No discernible hops to my senses.
Poured with a very dark head of about a finger size (after a fairly aggressive pour). Very dark in glass with a deep garnet in the light. Clear with plenty o' bubble action.
First impression - dry, roast, lager, Schell's yeast and reasonably full body. Subsequent drinks show richness, coffee, intermittent mild hop flavor. Slight sweetness up front (touch of caramel). Really coats the tongue with roast flavors and a mild bitterness that extends to a long gratifying finish.
This is as full a beer as I've had from Schell's. Nice body and very well done on carbonation. Smoothness isn't quite to a dopplebock level (not implying it should be), just a tad thinner and fluffier, and nice.
Big enough to want to take time to enjoy the nuance and the changes in flavor as temperatures adjust. Yet, not so big as to not want another (and maybe even another). There is plenty going on, but it's not big and obvious. As with many of the Snowstorm selections temperature makes a difference. Too cold prevents complete appreciation. Well done and thanks to the good folks at Schell's for making these godforsaken MN winters more bearable again. mmm beer.

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Photo of bamadog
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I received this bottle in a trade a while back, I think from MPLS, but I can't be sure. Review is from notes taken on 9/26/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is darkest brown, near black and starts with a 1/2 finger of creamy tan head that fades to nothing other than a thin, cloudy wisp and thin ring around the surface; body is nearly opaque and only has a couple of dark cola-like highlights; only a few spots of lacing and transparent oily residue.

Smell: Really a fantastic and big, robust smell -- dark and syrupy chocolate covered cherries; some charred woodiness and some semblance of a sweet vanilla; bit of a smokey/mulchy/peaty scent.

Taste: Really matches the smell to a "T" -- the beer really does remind me of bitting into a chocolate covered cherry with the nice dark chocolate and sticky syrup that comes with them; mild roasty and burnt maltiness lies behind the initial burst of flavors and offers just enough bitter balance; just a touch of alcohol and smokey peat as it continues to warm.

Mouthfeel: Body is a little thinner than I would like, but still I would consider it to be of medium weight; carbonation is solid and still comes across fairly soft in the mouth; a thin semi-dry coating is left on the roof of the mouth and the belly is left a little warm.

Drinkability: Not bad -- I really love the smell and the flavors are super solid; I do wish it was a little bit thicker and the ABV may catch up after a bit (even though it's only 5.8%, it feels like more for some reason), but I really consider this a treat to have tried this beer.

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Photo of Chaz
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown in color, with red-amber highlights. Head is a medium dark tan in color, and a touch of lace rings the glass nicely as the head subsides.

Roast malts and richer dark malts are prominent in the nose. Cocoa and lighter coffee notes, along with a very, very subtle hop spice are very inviting here.

Sweet and smooth on the first sip, I'm picking up big notes of cocoa and bitter chocolate, along with lingering roast barley malt and a touch of smokiness. Some spicy hop kicking around toward the end. There's a note of 'Cola' in here, which makes for a a good point-counterpoint along with the spice from the hop. Nuttiness, like a filbert or Brazil nut -- oily. Very mild bitterness, just enough to accentuate the sweetness of the malts.

Smooth and somewhat slick, this one coats the palate. Medium-bodied. A very drinkable beer, I can also see how some folks would get a few of these down without realizing its subtle strength (just pushing 6% according to bergbrew).

Afterthought -- My experience with the style has been limited to the very rare brewpub example as well as the bottled renditions available by way of export, but altogether I'd say there's a good amount of variety within the style. This limited offering from August Schell should please both those who are new to Baltic Porters and old salts.

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

This beer pours a brown color. The head is two inches of tan foam that recedes slowly into lacing that sticks around until the beer is gone. The aroma is of roasted malt, toffee, graham cracker, a hint of baker's chocolate, and a significant amount of Schell's house lager yeast character. The taste is much the same as the aroma, but with everything being a little more pronounced. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a really nice beer. It might be a little small for the style, but its depth and complexity more than compensate for that. I plan on drinking a lot of this this winter.

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Photo of alexgash
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Dark cola brown body. Clean. Small, light sandy brown head. Minimal lacing. Some roasted malts on the nose, but even bigger notes of peat, dark chocolate syrup, cola, dates, and licorice.

Toasted, nutty malts up front quickly transition to sweetish, peaty, figgy flavors. Singed caramel, earthy tobacco, and semi-sweet chocolate lead the way to the finish. Lingering peat malt, mild herbal hop bitterness, and a touch of flavored coffee. Tasty! Medium-bodied with a nice creamy feel. A lighter, very sessionable Baltic porter, that I will miss when the six pack is gone!

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Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blackened mahogany with a deep slim glow. Very slippery and short stacked cap of tan foam laps up quickly then fades to some spotty lacing and a broken collar.

Aroma of deep dark breadyness and darker sweetened maltyness that carries some molasses, cocoa, fig, plum, and vanilla.

Taste has much more chocolate noting to it. Quite tootsie rollish and moderately creammy and smoothed over in a soft, delicate purge of dark fruity malt with raisin, fig, plum, and noted molasses and light vanilla. There's a puff of cocoa and cinnamon in the finishing area as it softens with alluring dryness of flourless tort.

Feel is a solid medium and carbonated just right with a well maintained smooth creamyness. Coats the palate well with chocolate maltyness and other forms of dark fruity malt as it lightens into a bit of airy dryness in the finish with some dark cookie spice.

Schell's Snow Snow is usually one of the better offerings they put out and this years' rendition of a Baltic Porter is a dandy. Not quite up to par with the Eastern European standards of the style, more stouty, but remarkable done well with that nice German touch of craftability that Schell's always puts into their beers.

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Photo of Tiklmelmo
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nearly black with translucent mahogany around the edges when held to the light. Not a lot of head to it, even though it was poured fairly vigorously. But, a noticable amount of bubbles.

S - Tobacco smoke, charred wood, and maybe some licorice? Lot of roasty flavors in the aroma. Some hazelnut as well.

T - Dark roasted malt, tastes of chicory, with a nice nutty hazelnut flavor. Some fruity cherries, but no sweetness of note.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Not quite thin, but by no means thick. But, for 5.8% it's a pretty big beer.

D - I was surprised to see a Baltic Porter with only 5.8%, so this is a bit more drinkable than I'd expected.

Not quite was I was expecting based on the genre, but I'm not disappointed. Considering there's 27" of snow on the ground outside, I think it's a good pick!

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Photo of pdoran10
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

nice appearance as i pour into my tulip glass. two fingers of white head. not much staying power with only a hint of lacing.

smell is a nice crips mocha with a touch of hop bite.

taste follows the smell closely. delicious dark chocolate, some roasted malt. finishes with a nice hop bitterness. very impressive taste.

mouthfeel is thin for a baltic porter with moderate carbonation.

a nice tasty big porter. body is thin but im not minding that much.

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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 jera1350
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-thick, deep and dark brown color with a thin tan head that quickly shrinks down.

Rich roasted malt with some caramel and a hint of hickory smoke.

Much like the nose. Great roasted malt character with some toast and a nice sweetness not unlike caramel and toffee. Maybe just a hint of coffee. Some chocolatey malt as well.

Nice full bodied and creamy mouthfeel. Moderately thick and smooth. Semi-dry finishing.

Not sure what the ABV is here, but I could easily put a few of these down. Schell's has really done a nice job with the Snowstorm Series and this one does not disappoint.

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Photo of katan
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a dark brown to black. Against the light I can see just a hair of amber highlights. Mocha colored film formed, not much head. Well retained. Carbonation is light.

S - Roasted and chocolate malts. I would say the roasted, caramel, and toffee notes are most prevalent with a light chocolate backdrop. Some alcohol phenolic notes.

T - Starts off with a light malt flavor, chocolate, some vanilla notes. Some yeast astringency. Gets a fairly bitter backbone midstream, with only a hair of english hopping coming through. Some alcohol detected. Finishes with a smooth bittersweet chocolate note, which then turns to a "aged coffee" acidic bite.

M - Moderate body - not as creamy as some of the other baltics I've had. Carbonation is a strong component of the body. Does leave behind a clinging sweetness.

D - Moderate drinkability - exceptionally low ABV for a baltic, which probably drags it out of BJCP style. Somewhat filling at times. Overall very easy to drink for a BP.

Certainly worth trying.

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