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.

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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of mothman
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Schells pint glass.

Pours hardly any light tan head. Fizzles down instantly. Leaves some very thin splattered lace. Color is a dark chocolate, caramel hued, brown.

Aroma: For some odd reason this reminds me a touch of 2008 snowstorm (if I remember correctly). A lot of smoked/roasted malts, caramel, dark fruits (dried cherry).

Taste: Very dry tasting first off. A ton of smokey/roasted malts. Caramel, chocolate and cherry again. For some reason, this really isn't what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: Very dry, light crispness. For the style, the body is really thin and the carbonation is very low. Leaves a sticky dry aftertaste (very roasty).

Overall, it's not a bad beer, just not what I was expecting. Definitely has Schells German style written all over it though. It is drinkable, but I'll stick to one during a sitting.

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

Very dark shade of ruby. Nearly opaque. Creamy, sticky brown foam laces the bottle nicely as I drink. Pretty nice aroma of roasted cashews, vanilla and dark malts. This beer packs a fair amount of flavor even if the a/v seems a little shallow for a Baltic. Chocolate roasted tones stand out. And smooth caramel with some accents of nuts and a little anise. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Pretty creamy mouthfeel. Solid beer.

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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 CHSLBrew
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Dark, dark brown beer, but not quite black. Light brown head rises nicely off the pour and sustained ok to a thin layer.

S-semi-sweet chocolate malt, slight roast. Toasty toffee.

T-Lots of chocolate, toffee sweetness off the first sip, which fades into a subtle bitterness. Lingering choco-bitterness at the end mixes with a slight hoppiness and dark fruit appearing here and there.

M-Moderate-high carbonation, give a bit of a bite and is evidently a bit too much. The body feels quite on, though, presenting a heavier-moderate feel.

D-Tasty, but not a spectacular brew. It's very easy to drink, and each sip is enjoyable, yet it's just not quite perfect.

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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 Overlord
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to a generous trader.

Pours a dark, cola-esque brown. Tiny tan head. Smells like cocoa, some toasted sugars and malt, and maybe a bit of bitter coffee. Mmm...smells good.

Taste is strangely lager-esque. Almost like a doppelbock, with the sweet malt/sugar backing, a touch of chocolate (the coffee vanishes), and an interesting lingering roasty mouthfeel.

A nice, supple, balanced beer I wouldn't go out of my way to find, but if it was reasonable priced would buy all the time. If there's a downside, it's the watery mouthfeel.

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

Appearance is a monochromatic dark brown but lacks what I would call a head. Smells really good with a lot of roasted malts and some sweetness. Chocolate and smoky and roasty flavors and medium in mouthfeel. Full of flavor and I could get this again once. It will be a great holiday beer.

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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 drpimento
2.8/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Somewhat interesting effort, but not up to snuff as far the actual Baltic regional brews. Poured with a small to medium tan head and a bit of lace. Color is an almost opaque brown with cherry highlights. Aroma is standard porter. Flavor is simple standard porter. Body is a bit thin, but good carbonation. Not so strong for a traditional Baltic Porter. Ok, finish.

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

Bought a 6 pack of this to tailgate with before the Gophers victory over Michigan State.

Poured into a pint glass (yes I got some strange looks tailgating with a real glass rather than plastic). Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights when held into the sun. Nice creamy tan head with decent retention and leaves a little bit of lacing.

The nose is lightly roasted malts, with a smokey character. Pretty good, but slightly watered down. Just not as impressive as I would have hoped of something from this style. It's still very good, just not what I had hoped.

The taste starts out very bland and muted, and only after the swallow do you pick up any of the flavors. Lightly roasted malts, chocolate and a light smokiness, not overly sweet with a dry finish and a bitter aftertaste from the roasted malts (not from any hops because there aren't any hops here). I think even in a blind taste testing I could pick this out as Schell's. I'm not really sure why, but it just has that Schell's quality. Maybe it's the yeast they use? I know this uses a lager yeast, which is a different story in and of itself, but something about this just screams Schell's to me. It's still good though.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium, with a smooth feel due to a low carbonation. Nice lingering roasted bitter aftertaste. Drinkability is good, I enjoyed having a bunch of these before the game.

I just realized my score for last years Snowstorm was higher than this. This strikes me as strange, because I actually like this better. It must be my perceptions of each beer within their own styles that account for the difference in scores. I did like this, and for the price tag, this just might have a permanent spot in my fridge this winter.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Buebie
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up tonight, excited to be the first to review it. I hope I can do it justice.

Picked up a 6 pack of bottles for around $8, poured one from the bottle into my Sam Adams Turbulator.
Off the pour, a 1.5'' light brown head of froth forms up sitting for a while before falling to leave a thin coating of lace and rings down the glass. A collar of retention is left as well. Color is black, but some mild red hues at the narrower point of the glass.

Aroma is smokey almost with dark chocolate roasty grain aroma, a touch of black licorice, toffee, and also mild malted milk balls. As it warmed coffee could be picked up and some nuttieness to it also. If there are hops in there, the charred aroma drowns it out.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin, some hidden creaminess behind the carbonation keeping both in check somewhat.
Loads of malt in here, reminding me a bit of an Oktoberfest with more stout flavors and removing the Oktoberfest spice kick, if that makes sense.
Charred smokey flavors present, but also not dominating, allowing malt and carmelised sugar flavors to come through. Some bitters into the finish resembling hops with just a little earthy spice.
Also present is unsweetened bakers chocolate, more malted milk balls and toffee.

A delicious brew for the cold months ahead. Not to slight the brewery, because I do enjoy there beers very much butt...
This seems to resemble a dry/ chocolate stout a bit more then a Baltic porter. Mouthfeel could use some oomph in creaminess and the charred burnt character is a little bit overbearing drying the beer out for me.
I still enjoyed it, but a few changes would make me love it more.
Thanks for trying something you haven't done before!

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