Snowstorm 2009 | August Schell Brewing Company

very good
60 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 69
Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes: pours a dark brown color with tan colored head. Roasted malt, caramel, coffee, and a chocolate sweetness on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with roast and cocoa, with some sweetness.

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Photo of Duff27
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown/black with a small tan head that leaves a collar. Minimal lacing left.

Slight roastiness with oxidation written all over it.

Chocolate notes although oxidation is setting in. Licorice. Very spot on for the style I'd say. Would guess at a 7%abv.

Very smooth mouthfeel with just enough carbonation.

I guess it didn't realize this was so skimpy on the ABV when I set it aside for 2.5 years. Regardless it still was drinkable and enjoyable, though I can't say how much longer you're going to want to keep a full one around.

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

Bottle w/ best-by date: 5/01/10

A: Slightly transparent black. Nice, 1.5 finger light tan head after pour, settled to a thin lace throughout.

S: Subtle (probably amped fresh) roasted malt, caramel.

T: Chocolate, caramel, and a slightly roasted. Tasty!

M: Not super thick, but not thin... I'd say a little creamy - it feels nice going down!

D: I would love to put a few of these back in the cold winter months!

I may have to get a few more of these to put back this upcoming holiday season - I didn't try this last winter, but I will say it tastes great 4 months after the best by date!

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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 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 Tballz420
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium size khaki head, good amount of lace. Even without holding directly to the light, some slight brown hues come through the jet black body. Creamy chocolate malt nose. Chocolate malt taste, but thats fairly subdued somehow. Dark fruit along with a spicy alcohol actually come through before the main malt flavor. Creamy soft feel, fairly wet as well. Interesting for sure, worth a taste

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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 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.

 848 characters

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

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a pale tan color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of roasted malt, acidity, slight hop, slight sweet malt, and a hint of yeast. Fits the style of a Baltic Porter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. There is also a nice amount of acidity. Tastes of roasted malt, acidity, sweet malt, slight alcohol, and a hint of hop. Overall, a good mouth feel, body, blend, and aroma.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark walnut with generous highlights of cherry and orange. Backlighting with an overcast sky reveals a lack of opacity. A vigorous pour generated nearly three fingers of caramel nougat colored foam that is responsible for the good score all by its lonesome. Scattered scraps of sudsy lace neither help nor hurt.

The nose opens up with warming, which it desperately needed to do. This winter release smells more like a standard American or English porter than a Baltic porter. There's a little chocolate and coffee... and not much else.

Snowstorm 2009 is decent beer, something that is true for most of August Schell's lineup. It's unfortunate that they decided to call it a Baltic porter (at only 5.8%, no less) because that tends to change expectations and to raise the bar a bit. The fact that it doesn't smell, taste or drink like the stated style cannot be ignored.

The somewhat skimpy malt backbone delivers bittersweet chocolate, cold coffee and dark caramel. No molasses, no brown sugar and no anise. There is a fair amount of contrasting hoppiness (even as Spring approaches), which allows the drinkability score to be bumped. The hops taste generic, like Magnum or Willamette or something along those lines.

The mouthfeel doesn't come close to being big enough for the stated style... although I've given up thinking of the beer in those terms. It's barely medium for an American porter and is satisfactorily bubbled.

Schell's Snowstorm 2009 is a pretty good drinker for fans of the brewery, but that's as far as it goes. Some beers in this series end up as regular (or at least seasonal) releases. Although it's enjoyable enough, I won't be on tenterhooks waiting to find out what ASBC decides.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 kzoobrew
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Mothman for this extra, Cheers Ben!

Deep Mahogany body, when held directly to the light the color appears to be a rather deep cherry. Body falls just short of opaque is direct light. Malted milk colored head stand just over one finger works its way back leaving a very slight cap perched atop. Thin sheet of lacing lines the perimeter of the nonic.

Dark malt and chocolate spearhead the aroma. Subtle fruity smells settle in, think dark fruit such as plum, fig or raisin. Molasses quality melds together the previously mentioned aromas. The more I smell the more I notice a light vanilla fragrance. A breadiness maybe slightly nutty malt aroma develops more as the brew warms.

Sweet caramel and chocolate flavors roll across the tongue. Mid-palate emerges more of the dark fruit flavors in combination with molasses. Raisin and plum with maybe the slightest dry dark cherry flavor gleaming through. Dry gritty coffee and spice flavor lingers on the tongue. Light earthy bitterness on the back end.

Medium body with a rather creamy texture. Mid level carbonation is certainly appropriate. The finish is dryer than anticipated while leaving the dry spice flavor lingering.

Solid beer from a brewery I am totally unfamiliar with. This would certainly be a good first impression. The beer was good all the way around but falls short of great. Very pleasant and easy to drink. Could easily enjoy multiples in a sitting.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very dark reddish brown, with only a hint of head and no lacing. Smell is sweet with cherries and a little smoke, maybe some maple.

Taste is too sweet, some citrus in addition to the cherry. Very little bitterness to balance out the sweetness, although there is some sour.

Mouthfeel is flat and filmy. Drinkability isn't terrible.

 379 characters

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

Appearance: Dark brown, good head.

Smell: Roasted smell, slight sweetness detected.

Taste: Roasted flavor, slight mocha-like sweetness, creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Light enough to have several.

This year's Snowstorm is another winner. Not an overpowering or huge beer like some Baltic Porters, this is a more mild flavored beer that you can have several of in a sitting.

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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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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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Snowstorm 2009 from August Schell Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 69 ratings.
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