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Schell's Snowstorm 2012 | August Schell Brewing Company

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Very Good
79 Ratings

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A French style Christmas beer. Expect a light amber beer with red tints that is malt forward with noticeable yeast flavors of white pepper
and citrus from an authentic French ale yeast.
Slight herbal hop note in the background,
with a spicy, citrusy, peppery aroma.

Added by jera1350 on 10-28-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of RaijinQ
4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of bjohn84
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of inbierveritas
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of solargoat
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of pisomojado8
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of hardy008
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber / copper color with a one finger off white head, with good retention and spotty lacing. the aroma has toasted malt, caramel, cloves, and yeast. Smells like it should be somewhat sweet.

Tastes pretty much like I expected. There is Caramel, toasted malt, cloves, yeast, some citrus, and a little pepper. This also has a bit of an herbal flavor to it. Not overly sweet, as there is some balance provided by the citrus hops and herbs.

Medium bodied with average carbonation. There is a bit of an herbal aftertaste. Nicely made, and well worth having again.

 566 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper amber orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Big four finger off white head with good retention. Leaves a lot of lacing sticking to the glass.

Smell: A malty, yeasty, fruity, and spicy aroma. Lively French yeast and toasted malt with hints of banana, clove, and pepper. Bready biscuit, caramel, toffee, and cracker. Hints of apple and dark cherry along with some citrus lemon. Light hints of earthy and herbal hops that linger in the background. Kind of smells like a Belgian ale. A very solid aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints, a spicy, yeast driven and fruity taste. Good mix of malts and French yeast that give a taste of bananas and apple along with some clove and white pepper spicing. Malt notes of bready biscuit, wheat grains, cracker, caramel, and toffee. Also a subtle taste of dark cherry and lemon zest. Mild taste of hops with some earthy herbal hops in the background. A really nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, spicy, and pretty smooth.

Overall: A really solid Belgian like beer. Solid mix of spices and fruity esters. Kind of like Surly's Cynic Ale.

 1,223 characters

Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. There are batch codes on the shoulder of the bottle but no discernable freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a tulip. The color is dark amber. Two fingers of bubbly head dissipated quickly to leave a spotted lacing and bubbly ring around the edge.

Smell: Nice and spicy. It smells like Schell hijacked a batch from Unibroue and bottled it for themselves. Cloves and sharp pepper spice, lemon citrus, a little fruit (mostly banana and apple), and yeast.

Taste: It mostly mirrors the smell. The sharp clove and pepper spice lead and are followed by orange and lemon citrus, a hint of apple, and the yeast.

Drinkability: Whoa! This is from Schell?! The brewers there go all out with each new Snowstorm and I have to give them a deserving round of applause. Well done!

 801 characters

Photo of jera1350
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From Schell's:

"2012 Snowstorm Beer Style: Biére de Noél

A French style Christmas beer. Expect a light amber beer with red tints that is malt forward with noticeable yeast flavors of white pepper
and citrus from an authentic French ale yeast.
Slight herbal hop note in the background,
with a spicy, citrusy, peppery aroma."

A transparent copper/amber color with just a thin layer of dark sandy foam that retains fairly well.

A very fragrant nose with belgian yeast characteristics. Floral, spicy, light clove, earthy sweetness.

A complex and deep flavor here. Medium malty sweetness, caramel, toffee, some nuts. Stronger though are the spices which reminiscent of the holidays. Not strong like say a pumpkin beers spices, but muted and blended to create real complexity. Peppery with a touch of dried orange peel. Some light bitterness and at the end.

Very dry, especially on the finish. Medium bodied with lower, but soft carbonation.

This is a wonderful beer. A great year round beer, but will work wonders for the holiday season. This would be wonderful at both Thanksgiving dinner and the beyond. Turkey and cranberries with this? Oh, yeah. I will be grabbing some more of this one for sure.

 1,225 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From tasting notes. L: Pours brilliant deep amber to chestnut under a thin tan foam collar.
S: The nose is spice, cinnamon, orange, cardamom, over malt, light clove
T: the flavors are the spices over a light malt, some honey, light caramel sweetness that is answered by a light hop touch in the finish. Behind the fruit cake there is a hint of chocolate but very faint. There is some drying astringency in the finish from the spice that helps balance the sweetness.
F: medium full body, medium high carbonation
O: Not as funky French as it could be but is still a good beer.

 578 characters

Photo of dhannes
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of MN_Beerticker
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of tcsparkx
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of AnalogErik
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of ALC82
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ponbon63
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of darky
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tulip Glass

Appearance - Clear Red/Brown color with moderate carbonation. Head pours around 1 finger in width which fades quickly. Doesn't leave behind any lacing though

Smell - Cloves, Caramel, Malts, Hops, and Barley. Not bad at all!

Taste - Cloves, Bananas, Caramel, Hops and Malts. Interestingly enough, this tastes almost exactly like a Hefeweizen. The only difference is that Hefeweizens are typically lighter and cloudier. However there is a slight spiciness to this beer, which adds an interesting kick to the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Moderate body and the carbonation is mild but adds some flavor. Served cold, it's really crispy and fresh!

Overall - My past experiences with the "Biere de Garde" have been rocky at the very best. So it makes me happy to say that this is how it's done right. It tastes great, it goes down well and it's an all around great beer.

 885 characters

Photo of garymuchow
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brownish hue and very clear. Snow white head settles out in a faster course.
Spiciness of the yeast is most forward in both the aroma and taste. Definite pepper quality with the other spiciness more intermingled. A definite sourness in the aroma too (I kinda' like that). Soft malt character is, unfortunately, more background. Too bad, as it is nice.
I've noticed with previous Snowstorms that temperature is very important and this one is not different. The warmer it is the malt flavors show more. Still not enough foreground, but better able to be appreciated. A soft light touch of alcohol. Hints of hopping at times. Some caramel laying on the tongue before a notable drying kicks into the finish. Little streams of the sourness show in the finish- I'm digging those.
Smooth body with ample carbonation that adds a prickliness to the yeast, but doesn't seem to limit the smoothness of the feel.
There is a lot going on here. A complex beer that requires quite a bit of attention to fully appreciate. As a "beer for keeping" I wonder first how much this was aged (just curious) and how this might develop over time. I'm certainly enjoying my second serving more than my first and I got a feeling Snowstorm 2012 will continue to grow on me.
Update: I'm now on my third bottle and it is almost like a completely different beer. None of the spiciness in the aroma, more of a straight malt character, not too sweet or heavy and the yeast character more blended and balanced into the overall experience. What an interesting beer this has been.

 1,544 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Schell's Snowstorm 2012 Biere de Noel Beer, August Schell Brewing Company, New Ulm, MN.

Clear, auburn/crimson hue, small, soon-gone white head.

Aroma: Malty and distinctly lovely. Belgian sweetness and Belgian funk. Flowery, fruity, and utterly delightful.

Taste: On the lips and tongue, a repeat of the nose. Sweetness hits, with a small, almost indiscernible dose of hops, with lush malt carrying the character. Belgian yeast delivers plenty of flavor.

I've never heard of the style "biere de noel", but if they are referring to a Belgian Christmas Ale, which is a rather loose style, this one delivers, though it also feels like a biere de garde. A bit more flavorful, spicier version?

Medium body, long, malty/spicy finish, forever flavorful.

 751 characters

Photo of sgttibbs
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of beersimmons
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of NodakEric
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of sgoro
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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Schell's Snowstorm 2012 from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 79 ratings
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