Snowstorm 2009 | August Schell Brewing Company

Snowstorm 2009Snowstorm 2009
Liked This Beer
3.92 w/ 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.

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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 60
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.

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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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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

August Schell Snowstorm, poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. A dark brownish amber in color with a bit of lace.

Aroma comes off quite light just a whiff of chocolate malt.

Flavor consists of roasted malt and a lingering minerally bitterness. Light syrupy chocolate on the palate. A bit of clean alcohol is noted.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with chewey malt.

Drinkability is fine, an average example of a baltic porter that delivers the basics but doesn't surprise.

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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 gford217
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of buebie poured into a tulip.

This one pours super dark brown, I'm almost tempted to say black, but not quite. It's got a small but very thick head that remains a cap for much longer than I expected and left very good lacing.

The aroma is highly roasted with black malts and some bakers chocolate coming through. There is some underlying molasses sweetness and licorice as well.

The taste has an initial sweetness from the caramelized sugars and dark chocolate, and the taste seems to be sweeter than the aroma in general. There are some roasted coffee hints in the background but it's not as prevalent as I was expecting.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and extremely smooth. It's probably a little lighter than the best Baltic porters out there, but its very good, especially given the lighter ABV. Very drinkable.

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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 billab914
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mnjeff for this one. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours nearly black with a modest tan head that settled to a thin covering.

Aroma has some roasted malts with some chocolate, but also a somewhat sweet fruitiness. Taste has a roasted chocolate flavor that is offset by some sweet fruity flavors. Also has a slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, I enjoyed this one a lot. It was nicely balanced in that the roasted bitter flavors and the sweetness went well together to make a very drinkable and enjoyable beer. Something I could easily have more of.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 budgood1
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out an opaque brown colour with barely seen ruby highlights. frothy, bubbly tannish head...slow to recede and sticking nicely to the edges of the glass as i sip. there is a nice smoky nose accentuated by some dark roasted malts and ripe red fruit notes. the taste is a nicely balanced combination of maltiness...some chocolate and toffee mixing in with some malted milk balls, a hint of sourness, and a creamed coffee note. a touch of floral hopping rounds thing out nicely. tastes good but not really in the true baltic porter tradition. it has a medium but firm body. mouthfeel is creamy and smooth albeit just a touch thinner than i had hoped. i find the drinkability just tastes good, smells good and looks good.

a well constructed porter with a great deal of character. very approachable. i can honestly say that when i heard of the style for this years snowstorm offering i was eager with anticipation. i'm a bit let down after sampling but certainly not disappointed.

definitely recommended. another quality snowstorm rendition by schell.

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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 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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Snowstorm 2009 from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 76.8% out of 100 with 69 ratings
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