The Snow Day Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado pours out mahogany brown in color with some light getting through showing off chestnut hues. The head is large, at least two fingers tall, frothy, cream colored and slowly reduces down to a thin film with a large collar. On the nose, quite malty with aromas of caramel, dark bread, chocolate and a light grassy, herbal hop. In the mouth, smooth and slightly warming. Flavors are more malt driven than I remember from last year. I'm not sure if the recipe changed but I distinctly remember this being more hoppy in the 2011 batch. Toffee, light roasted grain, raisin, chocolate and a mild pine hop bite. Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Thick sheets of lacing on the glass. Slightly grainy mouthfeel. The finish was quite long with the dark fruit and roasted grain lasting the longest.
A very good winter ale but what set Snow Day Winter Ale apart last year was its robust, hoppy character which does not seem to be present this year. Nonetheless, still a solid craft beer that is probably more in tune with winter warmer guidelines. Can we have the hoppiness back for the 2013 batch? Recommended.
12 ounce bottle, 6.2% ABV, Best by 10FEB13
Beer 342 of 366 for 2012