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Snowbound | Left Hand Brewing Company

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SnowboundSnowbound
BA SCORE
3.68/5
Good
162 Ratings
SnowboundSnowbound
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
lefthandbrewing.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
144
Ratings:
162
pDev:
14.13%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
0
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 |  Reviews: 144
Reviews by cdizinno:
Photo of cdizinno
2.41/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Tasted on 6/19/09 at Flying Saucer in Columbia, SC.

A: Dark brown with minimal lacing.

S: Spicy scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc...all the winter spices rolled into one.

T&M: Overpowering sweetness of malty and brown sugar. High degree of syrup flavor which overpowers anything else. Although the spices are nice, the sweetness is too overpowering.

It ranks just about average or below compared to other winter ales.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

Real American craft brewers have the courage to brew big seasonals, especially for the wintertime. Snowbound is a hefty 8.6% ABV and brewed with honey, orange zest, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.

Dark leather-brown color, clarity is fine. Nice fluffy head with a sticky crown of lace. Flamboyant spicy aroma with the strengths in this order: ginger, honey, clove, cinnamon, orange zest and cardamom. A perfect level of spicing, being that we could pick every one out within the thick-toasted malt nose. Full, crisp body. Sturdy malt backbone throws smatterings of toasted grain, caramel, brown bread and a hint of carob. Spicing hits firm but never overwhelming; ginger, cinnamon and clove upfront with hints of orange zest and honey in the back. The alcohol is sneaky and starts to warm the palate and throat after a few sips. Sweet and spiced ending which point to semisweet.

This is a spiced ale done right, nothing light and dainty about this beer at all. Its just the way we like our Winter Warmers, with some character and girth.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep bloody red body. Good clarity. Thin beige head. Lacing is sporadic and patchy. A dusty, grainy malt aroma. Like the grain room at the local homebrew shop. Also hints of orange, honey and spices. The flavor is quite pleasing. Not the sweet honeyishly cloying beer I was dreading. The beer is sweet, but more malty than honeyish. And it's countered with a slight hop spiciness and some real spices as well. Cinnamon is the most notable, but also some light liquorice-like cardamon notes. And the orange zest is apparant too. Even given all that is thrown into this (honey, orange zest, ginger, cinnamon and cardamon), it isn't a busy mess on the palate. It's all integrated nicely and delicately. And 8.6%? Wow. It's not noticeable in the slightest. A nice accomplishment here overall and an enjoyable send off to winter!

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Photo of Chaz
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly brilliant gold-tinged copper in color, topped with a pale tan head. Seems almost still in the glass (carbonation was adjusted after tapping. . .) and it's a bigger, viscous brew to begin with, but that's never stopped me before. Pungent nose, brimming with orange peel and citric hops, light fruity esters, insistent spices, and light fusel characteristics. Ripe plum, pineapple, raisin, rum, and some banana peel. Lighter cinnamon and clove and . . .honey, almost mead-like. Boozy, but up-front about it. Altogether the nose might scare some away, and if it does the brew itself will probably be overwhelming. At 7.6% it feels (and drinks) heavier, and very definitely reminds me of Lefthand's xXxmas Ale. It also reminds me (favorably) of the Lakefront Holiday Spice, which has very similar characteristics and drinkability - it must be the honey!

On the palate it's fairly full-bodied and viscous, sweet with notes of treacle and molasses, yet tempered by the spicing and hops. The tongue is given a good coating, and a bit more carbonation would likely suit other drinkers' palates better, but I'm happy to tango with this somewhat uncompromising brew in any form. As it warms it seems to grow exponentially, both in its aromatics and its warming capabilities -- definitely one to drink on the warmer side, as much of its character will be lost when served too cold. Not too much in the way of hop bitterness, but it finishes drier than you'd think. A sipper and a rare treat.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While not exactly "snowbound", I was sent home from work today because of snow, which makes Left Hand's "Snow Bound" winter ale the perfect beer to enjoy.

It pours an almost black body with ruby and dark chestnut highlights beneath a creamy head of light tan. I can see it's been filtered as I pour it, and in the highlights. The head retention is good, but not great, and the lacing follows that although it's a little better - at least at the outset.

The nose is sweetish, malty, chocolatey, and lightly spicy. In a certain way it reminds me of carrot cake, and also ginger cookies. I'm finding dark, moist cake with cinnamon and ginger. And All-spice as well. Honey? It's listed on the label. Yes, I do think I get some honey. I'm not sure if that's the power of suggestion or not. ...yes, honey, like honey grahams. And cardamom, which makes me think of Indian foods. It's subtle, but clearly there. And I also get some almond, which is kind of weird, but OK, perhaps it's a combination of sweetish malts and clove or something. And, orange as well. But I should also note that these spices are not over-done! Way too many spiced beers are over-done, and this one is not. It's at the pinnacle, let me tell you, for sure, but it's not quite over the top. Some piney hops are there as well, and to some extent, and I'm not sure how, they help to anchor the aroma.

The mouth feel is full and supple with a medium-full body and a soft carbonation that leaves it almost creamy.

The flavor expresses light chocolate and spice, with cardamom, pine and cinnamon appearing first. It's almost like a pumpkin beer in some ways, and then the piney hops sway you back to thinking of a crisp mountain top. The honey noted on the label does appear in the finish, and there, it's surprisingly not over-loaded with spice - how all of that spice doesn't lead to a complete highway pile-up I don't know, but Kudos for that! Along the way the malt is both chocolatey and cocoaish, and softly grainy and gently caramelish. And the hops are spicy and grassy and lightly piney - a perfect accompaniment - anything citrusy would have thrown this way off-course!!

Overall, given the complexity of the flavors, and the balance that they exhibit, I'd say that this is one remarkably drinkable ale. On the other hand, I have no idea how old this bottle is - it may be a year or more, which would have softened it, so I'd say try it. Put one in the cellar and wait until February or March when the snow builds up.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appears a dark mahogany Christmas spiced ale to share with your friends during the winter months, this one also has some honey additions. Minimal khaki tan head forms even after a vigorous pour. Lacing left behind is fine and even, I can't really complain.

Aroma has more spices with some ginger accents with cinnamon and cardamom some sugar malt with minimal hop presence. I highly discourage leaving out hop components in craft beers the majority of your audience looks forward to hops even with a nice winter warmer. My local makes Snow Melt which is excellent, spiced with nice hops that follow.

Flavor however is too dominant with bark and cinnamon spice flavors, there's just not enough balance to create a happy camper. So heavy in spices and honey it becomes an unpleasant experience nearly burnt caramelized sugars represent the feeling the over comes me. Like real maple syrup soaked with alcohol and tree bark flavors.

Mouthfeel is cloying with spice and honey, I can't believe they didn't sample before bottling I loved every other Left Hand brew I've tried recently including Polestar Pilsner, Left Hand Ofest, and Warrior IPA. This one has an over carbonation that I can't get over, along with the over spiced character dominating this party.

Drinkability is pretty much shite I could never imagine finishing a bottle of this on my own and asking where's the next beer. If you're actually able to make it through a bottle you should earn a badge of courage not a shot at your next sample it's rough all the way through.

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Photo of Gusler
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer upon its pour form the 22-ounce bottle resides in the glass a somewhat hazy brown with nice highlights of ruby red, the light tan creamy head makes a nice two finger cap to the body, as it slowly fades, the resultant lace provides a tight seal upon the glass. Nose is sweet malt, many spices, fruity, crisp and pleasing, caramel also present, and a treat for the olfactory and ocular senses. Front has a spicy sweetness, touch of bittersweet chocolate, personable malt presence, top is medium in feel. Determined acidity at the finish, hops pleasantly spicy, spices continue their sweetness to the dry end, a bit of a tummy warmer, this winter warmer.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

St. Bernardus goblet, on tap on Acadia Cafe'.

Dark brown, nearly black, not quite, but close, slim head.

Cocoa, carob, nuts & toffee in the nose. ...raisins, anise, nicely spiced.

and more spice in the flavor, too, nutmeg roaring in...cinnamon.
Rich, dark malt, coffee and cocoa underneath all the spice. Medium bodied. Sip again, and the spice roars back at you.
Fully flavored, long, spicy, malty finish.
Very warming, comforting...tasty as heck.

I love a rich, spicy dark ale for winter time. Spice never quits, nor does taste. good one.

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Photo of Gavage
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a hazy bronze color with a very short 1/2" head that breaks apart immediately. No lacing develops.

Smell: loads of spices like nutmeg, ginger cinnamon, and allspice. Some sugary sweetness comes through too.

Taste: nice malt profile with some prunes and raisin sweetness. Spices picked up by the nose are easy to detect, almost a bit too strong here. Mild alcohol and some yeast tones are detectable. Bitterness is moderate and provides some nice balancing of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smooth at the finish. Long spicy aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: decent winter beer to enjoy on a cold night, but the spices do tend to wear thin by the time the bottle empties.

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Photo of sabrills70
2.94/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Pours a fairly dark amber with minimal head and lacing. Heavy pine and cinnamon smells. Too heavily spiced for me. Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove but has a neat bitterness and an unusual aftertaste I can't quite put my finger on. High carbonation and decent alcohol warming effect. A quality made beer but just too heavily spiced for my taste.

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opens to a murky swamp water fog streaming out of the top of the bottle. You get a 2 finger tan head setting atop this super dark brown body with ruby red notes shining thru when held to light. Nose is very spicey with notes of clove, cinnamon, and ginger. Everything a winter ale should smell like. Deep and zesty malt enters the mouth. Rich and complex spiceyness rush the senses. This is unique, and yet another enjoyable winter style with extreme spice notes. Alchol does seam strongly present on the mouthfeel. A perfect winter warmer. Sampled 01-13-07.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has an excellent cinnamon and nutmeg scent along with a roasted and crystal malt aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a solid malt base of roasted and crystal malts. It's a bit sweet and not at all warming. The spices are quite aggressive, but in a good way. It's sweet up front, yet dry and toastey in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a good winter warmer. It's deceptively high in alcohol, yet flavorful and spicey; a fine winter seasonal.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean dark brown beer with ruby highlights. Has a small creamy tan head. The aroma has a honey sweetness with hints of cinnamon and dried fruit. On the taste the honey and spices swirl around your tongue. On the finish the dried fruit notes hug the back of the roof of your mouth. As the finish starts to dry out the alcohol punches in and you're left with a nice warming feeling.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The scene of a cozy ski lodge on the label of this bomber set the mood for a spiced winter ale tasting. The beer poured out clear boron, and displayed a one finger thick fizzy head. It was a lighter looking than the typical spiced ale, but was quite spicy smelling with assertive spruce, ginger, and cinnamon aromas. Taste was festive, as spices detected via the nose were present in abundant quantities to form an initial spice cake-like crust, on the tongue, which subsequently dissolved into gingerbread like malty body. The texture was airy and soft, and the finish continued with the spices, and ended on a lingering nutmeg note. Some might consider the spicing overdone, as there was not a hefty body to go along with it, but I found it to be pleasantly bold. Worth a try, if you enjoy winter spices.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I thought this beer was decent, but not outstanding. While it has a significant amount of alcohol, I thought the alcohol's presence in the flavor was a bit overstated. Nontheless, I thought it to be pretty good.

This beer poured a brilliant copper color with plentiful amounts of fairly sticky head. It had a very pumpkin-beer-like aroma with lots of nutmeg smell, although it also had a chlorophenol odor of metallic tapwater. Flavor was very much like a number of pumpkin beers I've had, but with some bourbon notes and a very pronounced alcohol presence which may have resulted from not a lot of malt character to conceal the alcohol esters. Mouthfeel was dry in nature, but not remarkable.

Not bad; I'd recommend it. The pronounced alcohol flavor made me feel like it was winter outside. Having it be 20 degrees and snowing outside when I was drinking it helped too.

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Photo of EPICAC
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer is a clear, amber-garnet brown. Topped by a half-inch, beige head that fades to a film leaving pin-prick spots of lace. Malty and spicy on the nose: ginger, honey, caramel and dark fruit.

Honey sweetness upfront, moving quickly into a very spicy center. Cinnamon, clove and ginger are very strong, and overpower everything else. There's a light bitterness in the finish. Full-bodied, highly carbonated.

The use of spices in this beer is really heavy handed. They're overpowering and too strong to be pleasant.

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Photo of SilentSabre
1.99/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This was certainly not a very impressive offering. Appearance was nice; dark red colour with finger to finger and a half of sand coloured foam. Smell was almost sickeningly sweet with a very "artificial" smell. Seemed almost chemical-like and honestly, reminded me of a urinal cake. Taste was pretty similar to the smell. Very sweet with flavours that illustrate what they were trying to accomplish, but failed at. I'll continue to sip on this to give it a fair shake and see if things improve, but I have a feeling this might be a drain pour before I finish this one. Sorry, this just isn't for me.

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Photo of rodrot
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a nice crimson red color with a small head that fades after a few minutes. Aroma is very spicy. Notes of cinammon, ginger, allspice and clove in the nose. Smells like Christmas pudding. Taste is equally spicy, but backed with some alcohol and chocolatey malt in the finish. Mouthfeel was medium bodied. Drinkability was pretty good considering the spicy character. I'm not a big fan of spiced/flavored beers, but this one is a good deal for around 4 bucks a bomber.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass clear deep amber brown with a medium off-white, almost tan head, which lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with a strong dark caramel presence and also a strong spice presence. The spice was allspice with a lightly sulphury molasses presence. The aroma was fruity with a strong orange citrus presence and a light spice of ginger, much like a ginger snap.

The flavor was malty with a strong malt presence of dark caramel and dark fruits. Raisins and prunes were notable with a fairly low level of bittering which was remedied by a strong spice presence. The flavor had a strong citrusy and ginger character and cloves coupled with allspice. The flavor was just a bit too sweet and could have used a bit stronger bittering to balance.

The finish was dry with lasting citrusy orange and strong spices long into the aftertaste. The body was medium full and the beer had a fairly low level of carbonation. Alcohol was not really a presence in the beer except for a very light level of warming post consumption. A strongly spiced beer with just a smidge too much sweetness for my tastes which lowered the drinkability.

22 ounce bottle. The website lists:
"A strong spiced ale using all natural ingredients, including crushed cinnamon, chopped ginger, orange zest, cardamom and cloves. The addition of locally harvested clover honey, coupled with the sparing use of hops, creates the illusion of liquid cake. Pairs with the Christmas Goose!"

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Left Hand- Snowbound Winter Ale

A- Dark reddish cola brown with a small fizzy head.
S- Molasses malt with nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla.
T- Nutmeg up front and center with a nice touch of cinnamon. Molasses flavored malt dominates with black licorice finish.
M- Spicey up front with a sweet body. Dry and chewy in the end. 8.6% alc is well hidden.

Overall- Tasty and proper for a dark, cold, and rainy winter afternoon.

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Photo of Foxman
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a muddy, coffee brown with a murky amber belly. Two fingers of khaki head slip away to frothy atolls. Phantoms of lacing ghost the inside of the glass.

As the aroma wafts, sweet toasted malt is buoyed by sticky honey. Nutmeg, allspice, clove, and mint are spruced by spruce in a big way. The alcohol has a brassy air.

Upon sipping, the sugary sweetness of honey and heavy toasted malt float a minted mix of nutmeg, allspice, clove, and a peripheral creamy vanilla element. The varied spiciness mostly and surprisingly masks a draft of alcohol. A return of grain sweetness stands against a mildly crisp and drying spice continuation. The finish is both sweet and savory. It's tasty and seasonable.

Medium bodied, at least at first, it sticks for a moment, but drops away much more quickly than expected, emptying too soon.

It brings to mind a skinnier version of Anchor OSA. That's a step in the right direction, but it needs to take a few more and establish its own distinctive identity. The flavor profile needs to round out a bit, getting fuller and more notable. The ABV is husky but mostly incorporated, and it does little to obstruct. I'm hoping they work a bit more on this, maybe tweak it and massage it, because it could grow from good to damned good with a few apt touches.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark bronze, dark orange, dark red. This is an attractive hue for a winter warmer. Atop the beer sits a golden beige colored lid that has a whipped frothiness and is more than capable when it comes to glass decoration. Right on the money so far.

As long as it isn't overdone, I love winter warmers that include the entire spice rack. This one has an intruiguing list of ingredients that smells fantastic: cinnamon, honey, ginger, orange zest, cardamom and cloves. I *think* I can appreciate them all (except honey), but could never have come up with all of them on my own.

Snowbound is tasty stuff... with a few small reservations. The spice load is definitely on the high side and might become wearing over the course of the entire bomber. We'll see. In addition, the beer could use more crystal malt guts. At least that's the member of the malt bill that I would increase. Pale, Munich and chocolate are also present.

As in the nose, the spices are fairly easily identified on the palate since the brewers used so much of each one. Cardamom is especially prominent, but then a little cardamom goes a long way. Alcohol provides a fireside warmth on tongue and in belly, without making a nuisance of itself. Again, very little makes it through the blizzard of spices.

The bottom half of the bottle has been breached and drinkability is just hanging in there. If you're having a selection of beers over the course of the evening, drink this one last. The mouthfeel isn't quite up to snuff given the ABV and the style. More malt please.

Snowbound Winter Ale is a no-holds-barred spiced winter seasonal that won't be every BA's cup of grog. I think it's good stuff that could be even better with a few focused tweaks. Nice job Left Hand.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$4.99 at Brawley's in Charlotte, NC. Seasonal Winter snow covered cabin motif label. 7.6% ABV stating "Fight Cabin Fever." OK.

Pours as a mahogany brown clear hue with a top of brighter than expected ivory head cap that settles to a wafer thin layer.

Nose is a complete 100% gingerbread and spice wafer blast. After thoughts of cinnamon and nutmeg but a blast of scents that scream Christmas.

First swigs: Cookie dough with cocoa and mirrored nose of cinamon and spice wafer. Dry nutmeg full flavor.

Feel is medium bodied with a dryness that derives from the dusty spice.

Last swigs: I coughed nutmeg! Too much hum-drum and not enough "Wow!"

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Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber, purchased at De Cicco's Market in Ardsley, NY. Dark mahogany amber, dark tan head and quite respectable lace left on the glass. Just a hint of winter spice and cola in the nostrils. Full flavor "winter ale", that tastes more like a Belgian strong dark ale. Cola, dark ripe fruit, winter spicing all going on. Hearty and flavorful, with a long robust, rum infused finish. Very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of bark
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The colour is deep red-brown. The high foam sinks slowly with a fizzing sound; it becomes a fine finger thick beige compact head. The liquid is clear.

The smell is spicy and sweet with some wooden notes. I found flavours of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, honey, sandal wood and hints of red wine, yeast and mustard(?).

The taste is very spicy and a bit sweet. Apart from the spices mentioned among the smells, I found some hints of aromatic citric fruits like bergamot (Earl Grey tea) and some sour notes of lemon. There is a fine discreet bitterness and some mild notes of honey. The body is medium. The warming aftertaste is a little dry with a fine mix of holiday flavours and a balancing bitterness. The alcohol? I didn’t notice it at all.

The carbonation is medium strong; small bubbles. The liquid is very smooth and rather thick.

An overall nice and warming experience with lots of Christmas flavours.

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Snowbound from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 162 ratings