The First Snow Ale | RJ Rockers Brewing Company

79 Reviews
The First Snow AleThe First Snow Ale

Brewed by:
RJ Rockers Brewing Company
South Carolina, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
This hearty American pale ale contains a rich blend of spices that warms the soul on a cold winter's night. Chill the mug, stoke the fire, and savor this quality seasonal brew. Available only during the Winter season.

Added by SaCkErZ9 on 10-12-2005

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 198
Photo of Dragginballs76
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours - light copper color no lacing slight off white head.

Smell - Little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg also some caramel and allspice.

Taste - kind of watered down nutmeg and Cinnamon mostly.

Feel - light bodied well carbonated.

Overall - Not a great beer would not have it again.

 283 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a becker glass

This beer pours amber with golden highlights. Suspended yeast is clearly visible. It is topped with two inches of beige head that leaves a little lacing.

It has a fruity aroma. I get some cinnamon and nutmeg.

The taste is a nice combination of malt and spices.

Medium mouthfeel

I wasn't expecting much, but this was a pretty tasty winter warmer.

 393 characters

Photo of hopflyer
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on date section of label is blank.

Pours a bit murky orange, very little head. Minimal lacing.

Nutmeg and cinnamon upon initial smell. Custard, vanilla?

Taste is fairly prominent spiciness with the nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. The light honey flavor sweetness also there along with brown sugar and a bit of caramel. I can also pick up some vanilla and rice pudding like flavors. Maybe its the nutmeg tricking me since any rice pudding I've ever had was made with nutmeg. As it warms, cinnamon becomes even more prominent.

Medium body and medium carbonation.

Wasn't sure I would like a spiced beer and can't remember any I've had before. This actually surprised me in that I enjoyed it. Can't imaging drinking this anytime other than the winter months though.

 779 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.16/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Super fluffy, rocky head, on hazy orange/gold body. Mild sweet, spicy aroma, gingerbread, fruitcake, etc. Taste is more of the same with a lean towards the sweet side. Slippery mouthfeel. Getting too close to spring to enjoy this style.

 236 characters

Photo of gmoneyproductions
3.04/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a 5 oz sample glass
came in a craft beer of the month type gift
bottle date appears to be 10.8.15 but was hard to read
pours golden orange with a small white head that faded quickly
smell is hoppy spicy sweet and cinnamon
taste much the same as the nose honey orange spice and sweet
feel effervescent and somewhat crisp
overall too sweet for me i drained poured a bit
i liked the nose but not the taste

 428 characters

Photo of Jadjunk
3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

"This hearty American Pale Ale contains a rich blend of spices that warms the soul on a cold winter's night, Chill the mug, stoke the fire, and savor this quality seasonal brew." Brewed in the style of a Winter Warmer. Available as a fall/winter seasonal in 12 oz. 6 packs and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 56 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Gusher alert! Pours an explosive fizzy foam head of an eggnog white complexion over a copper amber body with ample, lively carbonation and high clarity. Retention is very good and lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) Malt notes of pale and soft biscuit caramel with a modest sweetness and light body, amplified with spiced notes of clove, ginger and allspice, delicate cinnamon, perfumey hints of cardamom. Yeast notes generate a delicate roasted fruitiness with hints of cider fruits, cherry and cranberry essence. It's a peculiar amalgam of aromas but it manages to work fairly well. Potency is moderate-high. 3.75

(Taste) Pale malts with a light biscuit body and moderate sweetness meets fruity notes of cherry and cranberry, almost a roasted pumpkin squash adding thickness and depth to the body. Drinks clean and moderately-bodied, light to no hop profile and bitterness, with the majority of bittering agents in the dryness of potent spices including nutmeg, clove and dry cinnamon. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) The texture is silky, lightly chewy and moderately dry. Carbonation is medium, generating a moderate frothiness and a medium crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly fruity tart and spicy bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is low and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) I can best characterize First Snow as the transitional step from Pumpkin ales to delicate early winter warmers. I get a peculiar flavor of fermented pumpkin alongside cherry and cranberry that doesn't get mentioned on the label, but an ample and effective, yet appropriate spicing places this beer comfortably in the late fall to early winter seasonal slot, even though Georgia's first snows don't commonly happen until mid-February. I enjoyed this beer and didn't find that the spices overpowered the malt profile but complimented them appropriately. A tasty winter beer and worth a try at the right price. 3.5

RJ Rockers Brewing Company's
The First Snow Ale

 2,387 characters

Photo of Treyliff
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass, bottled 10/13/14

A- pours a deep golden color with a ruby hue, small fizzy white head quickly reduces to a film floating on top

S- lots of holiday spicing on the aroma with an emphasis on cinnamon & allspice, there’s some fruit aroma reminiscent of fruitcake, slightly sweet from the honey

T- initial honey sweetness up front eventually gives way to spicy flavors of cinnamon & clove, dryi-ish finish with lingers of spices

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and finish

O- a nice winter warmer that has a good blend of spicing

 598 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
2.77/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Aroma of malt, spice, citrus, faint hops. Taste spicey cinnamon, nutmeg, bready malt. Harsh bitter hop and spice in the flavor. Couple dots and bits of lace. Medium body. Soft, kind of smooth carbonation of moderate strength. Ok!

 229 characters

Photo of scootny
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A holiday nose that features health spicing makes me draw back and admire the amber color and lovely head on this one. Nose showcases the spices while allowing a solid malt bill to underpin and hold court. Taste is an enjoyable pale ale holiday. Feel and flavor give a winter weightiness. Nice. An above averages take on the style that lends itself to session style rounds of drinking.

 386 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy medium orange with a small half finger white head. Poor lacing and not really any head retention.

Aroma is heavily spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and apples. Almost cider-like.

The flavor is quite heavy with the spice as well, a bit too much i'm afraid, but it isn't completely awful. Loads of cinnamon and allspice with more of that spiced cider quality. Somewhat of a chalky mouthfeel with a mild bitterness to wrap things up.

Overall, a pretty standard winter warmer that could use a bit of cleaning up. It is totally drinkable, though, even if it is a bit rough around the edges.

 630 characters

Photo of seedyone
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

02/06/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Very nice spiced pale ale. If you like Southern Tier Pumpking or McKenzie's Seasonal Reserve cider, you'll probably like this. The spices are not as upfront but it all works out to a very pleasant experience.

 246 characters

Photo of patre_tim
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper cloudy with lots of carbonation, a huge gusher that forms a 10 finger light yellow beige head.

S: Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, some lemon zest, tart lemon. Very much like a seasonal October through Christmas pumpkin pie and festive mix beer.

T: Tart lemon juice and lemon rind, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. A sort of yeasty plastic like taste I often get if hefe weizens.

M: Medium light acidic feel with medium fermented fruit like carbonation.

O: Got this one at World Market in Asheville, NC, drank in Pensacola, FL July 25th, 2014. Quite well done, its gusher and lemony taste are distinctive for the style. Definite spices on this one.

 653 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I feel guilty for having amassed as much beer as I have in the last year or so, but I am now determined to get caught up. I do not mind drinking "seasonal" beers out of season, however, as I am not always a fan of some seasonals, especially Hefeweizens.

From the bottle: "This hearty American Pale Ale contians a rich blend of spices that warms the soul on a cold winter's night. Chill the mug, stoke the fire, and savor this quality seasonal brew."; "Malt beverage brewed with honey and spices"; "Seasonal Beer"; "Frothy (the Snowman)"; Drink smart"; "Handcrafted every [as rebus clues:] bottle[,] drop[,] time[.]; "Know Your Beer [-] Ale brewed with honey & spices"; "As the chill of winter breezes in, this face-warming brew is sure to lift your spirits. Infused with honey and a flurry of spices, it's the perfect libation for a day of hibernation. Say hello to our frothy friend and settle in. It's time to toast the snow, man."

As soon as I popped the cap, I began to get foam coming up through the neck. This precipitated the pour, but negated anything more than gentility. I was getting loads of foam as the result and it quickly became obvious that this one was going to be time-consuming. Pour, wait. Pour, wait. No problem, since the French Vanilla-colored head looked like the top of an ice cream cone, plus I can always open something else in the interim. The density and retention of the head was almost worth the price of admission in and of itself. The nose was quite strong, especially of cinnamon, but also perhaps nutmeg and the honey lent a dull, not cloying, sweetness. Color was a slightly hazy golden-yellow (SRM = > 7, < 9). The lacing that began to form in the interim was beautifully sticky. The taste was a bit sharp for my liking, as if they might have used too heavy a hand in the addition of the spices. Cinnamon was quite evident, to the point of being overwhelming. Finish was dry, very spicy and really more than I would want at any time of year.

 1,981 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear medium amber pour with a slight red hue. Nose is of clove mostly, with hints of nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon. Almost a light medium body with good carbonation. Nice balanced blend of spice flavor with nutmeg and cinnamon on the forefront, cardamom in the middle and with clove dominating the end. Clean finish with a bitter clove aftertaste. A bit of sweetness would improve the balance and contrast the spice. Still, this one is outstanding.

 449 characters

Photo of Bernoulli
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a beer... or a cider (amber). Minuscule head. Smells like a cider without the apple.

Tastes like a winter beer (a hint of the pumpkin pie spices like nutmeg and all spice, nothing like a fall or a pumpkin, and they dominate any cinnamon flavor that might be there... that we didn't really taste). Spice up front and then the ale-i-ness following it up. Not overpowering... and even better as the glass goes on.

Very full mouth feel... maltiness and spice.

Some winter beers you have one and then it's off to sleep... this one, you'd happily have a second.

 570 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

R.J. Rockers The First Snow Ale has a thick, off-white, spongy head, a somewhat hazy, orange-gold appearance, lots of bubble streams, and moderate lacing left behind. The aroma is very much like a spiced candle- wax, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin?, and white bread. Taste is the same, with an overriding spiciness, which seems to be white pepper, but it's hard to say, really. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and R.J. Rockers The First Snow Ale finishes semi-dry, refreshing, and spicy. Overall, this is interesting and good.


 525 characters

Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is full of spices, cinnamon coming through strong. Taste is lighter than the smell, some spices, malts, a touch of honey, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, while not spectacular, is a solid beer.

 319 characters

Photo of Sipchue
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As a winter warmer, this falls short of my expectations for the style. Thin head with very little lacing. Smells nice and spicy, reminiscent of red cinnamon heart candy. Just out of the fridge, this tastes like a summertime beer with some cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg thrown into the pot for good measure. The ABV is not evident here. The flavor is tart, like a lemon zest (in the back of the tongue) sprinkled with cinnamon (in the front, sides and middle). Not at all the characteristics of warmers in my memory. As it warms, the flavors and aroma remain the same, but fuller and rounder than before. Five minutes after the last sip, I feel like I sucked on too many lemon balls and my breath is fresh. Interesting? Yes, but just kind of odd.

 744 characters

Photo of Mojo
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle -&gt; World Market tulip.

This beer pours up a medium cloudy amber with a one finger off white head, some retention, and plenty of spotty lacing left behind. Smell is cinnamon, honey, and yeast. Taste is very dry with a kind of spicy finish and a yeasty taste. Mouthfeel is sort of unappealing. Not horrible, but not my type of beer either.

 357 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Murky orange/gold in color, with a decent head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Spicy orange note
Taste-Coriander, orange, honey, faint cinnamon and nutmeg as it warms. Refreshing and easy-drinking for a winter warmer. Would go nicely on a mild South Carolina winter day. Worth a try.

 329 characters

Photo of Damian74
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.
A- Pours a coppery amber color. 2 finger white head, little retention. Little lacing.

S- Light toasted malts aroma mixed with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove

T- Toasted malts , cinnamon, caramel malt, clove and nutmeg.

M- Carbonation is good, Spices is what comes out of this beer.

O- Not a bad beer will have again.

 344 characters

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark orangish amber with a thin lacing of off white head that has little retention

S - pie spice, bread, nutmeg, cinnamon

T - nutmeg, cinnamon, bread, pie crust, all spice

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This is a decent brew. If there was a hint of pumpkin here it would make an excellent beer. There pie spices and crust-like bready notes are pretty damn good. I really liked this beer for it's drinkability and it's spice character. A few of these will definitely warm you up in the late autumn.

 509 characters

Photo of Daktah
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy golden/amber color with noticeable carbonation and a moderate head that left little lacing. First smell is grain mixed with a healthy dose of spices that are more common in fall seasonal/pumpkin beers. Still a nice smell, just more pronounced than I expected. Taste brings more of the same spice, plus a little hop bite and a touch of citrus sweetness. Very balanced and not overly sweet though. The mouthfeel in this one was interesting - overall I'd say medium-bodied, but it had a bit of grittiness to it that added some heft. This beer, like a lot of the RJ Rockers offerings, went done very easily - the combination of carbonation, mouthfeel, and overall balance makes these beers very smooth.

 712 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really well attenuated beer. Quite a tall head on a typicial pour, tall as in at least half the glass. Clear amber and decent carbonation.
Aroma is malty and spices.
Taste is pale malts with caramel sweetness. Spicey flavor similar to pumpkin spice. perhaps some ginger, perhaps some orange peel (that could be suggestive). The spice is more subdued then you would find in a pumpkin beer and balance well with the light malts.
Aside from the really tall head this is a pretty solid beer.

 489 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a huge, overcarbonated head of off white foam on top of a clear, cooler body. The head settles slowly and leaves good lace.

S - A spicy aroma of nutmeg, caramel, and allspice.

T - Sweet toasty malt and caramel up front. Some clove and nutmeg in the middle. Finishes with sweet toast, allspice, and moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Not bad. After seeing the ridiculous level of carbonation I was afraid that it was infected, but it turned out to be clean. The spices are relatively well done, but it isn't anything special.

 586 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The First Snow Ale from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 198 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.