The March 31st Snowstorm

I was able to find a sixer of Snowstorm lurking in the back of the liquor grocer’s cooler and decided to pick it up. No wonder it was sitting alone on the shelf. I poured it down the middle of the glass and got nary a bit of head out of it. After settling for 15 seconds, there was no carbonation whatsoever. The taste was flat to boot. In fact, it tasted like I was drinking it out of a soiled pair of Sorels.

I had last year’s Snowstorm and remember being quite impressed by it. Well, no two snowflakes are alike. This much is true. I could pick up the raisin aroma after it warmed up a bit, but the overall flavor was as bland as a fratboy’s musical tastes. I kinda wish I had left that sixer sitting on the shelf. And so it goes.

Fly by night, away from here

Fly by night, away from hereChange my life againFly by night goodbye my dearMy ship isn’t coming and I just can’t pretend

-rush

good beer.  My first beer from Flat Earth and i gotta say i’m impressed.  Tastes on the lighter range of porters i’m used to, is that an English porter trait? I like the aroma, big beer quantity, and great aftertaste. Pour me another.  

snow strom thurmond

I’m not a changed man after drinking this.  That said, I was pleased to have Snow Storm around when the alternative was a case of Miller Lite my relatives were lusting over.  Drinkable, and pleasingly so, but definitely not the boldest of winter brews.  Sweet, but not too much, with a clean finish.  A pretty noncomittal, Minnesota Nice ale. 

blizzard of ’07

Thoroughly enjoyed this beer on tap. I found the beer a bit different the next time I had it, in the bottle, but overall found it enjoyable.

Just picked up another 6 pack to sample and review. Definitely will be picking this beer up again, hopefully Big Top has them for $3 a six pack again towards the spring like last year.

Beer starts with a prominent carbonated crisp, followed by a quick sweat note, then a slight spice I associate with belgium yeast, then as the beer goes down the gullet I am left with a lingering sweat note. Now on to bottle two, oh ya, it smells good too!

Snow Storm

I had the 2007 Snow Storm when it was first released and was not impressed, I may not even have had a full bottle. I bought a 6-pack for the recent occasion though and have been surprised at how much more I enjoy the beer after drinking more than 6 ounces.Maybe it was the time of year. It was still warm(er) and maybe I wasn’t ready to let go of the summer beers. Now, I enjoy the spices and slight heffe taste. It’s bold enough to say “here I am!!” but I could also appreciate as a session beer. On a Saturday evening, I could add a six pack to my repertoire. Yes, I think I’ll get another 6-pack before the season is over. Glad I gave it another shot!

Schell SnowStorm – A late entry

My life slowed to a crawl for the first time in weeks. This gave me the opportunity to go steal one of these out of neighbor’s garage.

The best part of this beer is that it was free. The bad thing is that now my palatte has been burned in with this flavor so I’m rendered useless as a tasting machine for the night. That aside:

I like the dark malt, but it doesn’t mix well with the lack of a hops aftertaste. If they had switched hops to something stronger or increased the amount I think this would have been amazing.

An OK start

I’m a fan of many types of Schell’s beer and I enjoyed the Snowstorm.  I don’t recall the taste of previous years’ brews so I can’t compare (if there is a difference).  I didn’t quite taste the fruity flavor that other people were mentioning.  I could maybe attribute that to a January head cold.  Not being able to fully taste beer sucks.  Anyway, it wasn’t great, but it was good. 

Points for trying

German brewery / makes Belgian abbey dubbel / not half bad, at that. There you go, haiku #1…don’t worry,  they’ll get better.(wait…is “belgian” two syllables or three?)I reviewed this from a bottle back in November, for beeradvocate.com, gave it a 4.05 (out of 5). But for this site, I feel I should do it fresh and stay in the game, so I stopped in at McKenzie’s last night to taste it on tap. A 20 oz pint for $4.25 during happy hour.Didn’t like it as much this time. Poured a clear, deep garnet hue, with small head, very sweet nose, flavors of dark fruit and light spice, turning dry and peppery.Mix of the same continues in the taste, berries match cocoa powder, rounding out dry and balanced, with easy drinkability.However, the body is too light, and there’s just not enough meat on this dog’s bones to really do justice to the style. I love dubbels, consider them my favorite style of beer, and would rank Ommegang, Westmalle, & St. Bernardus  as the top for me. This version falls among the lower tiers, sorry to say. I’d like this darker, as well, and without the syrupy sweetness that pops in from time to time.  Still, props to this old, tradition-bound brewery for giving it a go! Who knows what’s up next from them? 

The real secret about snowstorm…

I can never decide whether I look forward to this beer because it’s supposedly different every year, or because it always tastes the same to me and I only get it “for a limited time”.

Question: When was the last time you tasted two different versions of Snowstorm right next to each other? I haven’t, but I think i’m starting to think its B.S.

Special Secret: Snowstorm tastes the same no matter what “secret selection of fine malts and hops” those pesky brau-meisters use . Oh yeah, and it’s enjoyable.

Way better than I expected.

Schell’s Snow Storm reminds me of a milkshake stout, but lighter, less creamy, and less sweet. Still a little sweet, though. I generally like my beer dark, heavy, and sweet. This is tasty enough but also light enough that I could drink a lot of this. With every sip I waited for a sour aftertaste, but I never got it. This ain’t no sippin’ beer.

I’m glad I didn’t read the label first, because while I like the beer, it’s not nearly as tasty as the label makes it sound – “complex malt flavor, with hints of raisins, dark fruit and rum.” What the heck is “dark fruit”?

A new winter tradition

Poured into a goblet from the festive bottle.

I have no qualms comparing this dubbel to those of Belgium. To me, it had the same balance of Belgian sweetness and port-like ripe complexity. Perhaps all it is lacking is the ‘refinement’ of the traditional dubbels but that could just be the ‘youth’ of this ale. This has been a nice companion for the past several weeks of holiday celebrations. I had fun at our party the other night giving an older fellow Chimay Bleue, then this Snowstorm to see what, if any differences he could detect. I’d love to see what these would do after a year in the cellar but I think I may end up drinking it all.

I can’t give this a 5 as I’d reserve that for something with a bit more heritage. Schell of course has plenty of heritage but not with respect to brewing Belgian beers. Very good!

Decent Winter Beer

Admittedly I had a 12 pack in the refrigerator from Christmas.  My wife really enjoys the snow storm.  I am a bit more critical when it comes to beer but this one is one of my favorite Minnesota brews for the late fall when I am “thinking snow.”  This beer was a pleasant surprise that we found in a sample pack of Schell’s a few years back and it keeps finding it’ way into our house in the late fall.  I appreciate the balance of a light coffee flavor that turns into a dark yet crisp and refreshing beer after the first few drinks.  I am sure that Snow Storm will end up in our house for many years to come.

MMMM tasty goodness

After one of our first big snowstorms of the year, Rett and I jumped through snowbanks to make it to happy hour in one of our favorite Northeast bars.  I chose the Schell Snowstorm and it seemed to go perfect with the blizzardy weather conditions outside.  I proceeded to buy a case of Snowstorm because I loved it so much, but discovered that there really can be too much of a good thing.  Conclusion: Great for when you just want one, too many more and it loses its fun.

I’m not sure “fruity” should mean syrup

I was really looking forward to a nice winter ale with this one. Something that was thick and fulls you up a bit and feels great drinking on a cold day. I honestly felt like there was more high fructose corn syrup in this then then a can of mountain dew. It was thick but tasted like syrup so much it was hard to finish all the way. Perhaps it’s a special style of beer that certain people like which they were aiming to please, but I guess I’m just not one of those people. I’ve never enjoyed honey beers all that much and it’s hard to drink more then a couple of them, but this was like the Super Squishy of all beers.

Well…I’ll pass.

I like to judge books by the cover and beer by the label. Obviously this isn’t a good idea in either case. Schell Snowstorm has a very pretty label, but the contents are boring. After drinking half the bottle I had no desire to finish it.  I typically like beers with a fruity taste, but it just wasn’t there. I won’t lose hope. Let’s see what Schell can come up with next year.

Sidelined by a cold- better late than never

Due to a nasty cold this weekend, I decided to delay my review. My taster is still a little off so I will do my best. I like the color- burnt sienna is what I will call it. The smell is not so great but again it could be due to my impaired olfactory system. Upon first taste it seems a little bitter and leaves a funny feeling on my tongue. I think I’ll stick with my regimen of orange and cranberry juices.  

I hadthis beer several weeks ago when I went to listen to Author Doug Hoverson’s talk on this history of brewing in Minnesota. I don’t disliking it as much as I do at this moment-maybe I was glad to be drinking a local beer while learning about the rich brewing history in Minnesota. So, check out “Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota”.  Perhaps this beer tastes better when thinking about something else while drinking it?

2007 Snowstorm: Sweetness

I have a love-hate relationship with yeasty beers and this year’s Snowstorm inspired an expected ambivalence. On one hand, Schell’s has delivered a beer that is complex and sweet, that starts like raisins and ends like apples. It’s tasty and fizzy and a nice alternative to my usual hoppy microbrew ales. On the other hand, this Snowstorm is heavy and filling. I never want to drink more than two in a sitting.

Dubbel delivers on promise.

I read that it is supposed to be a belgian dubbel in style I really think it delivers on that promise.  If you know what a dubbel is, you expect big malt flavors, a thickish mouth-feel and then fruity estery flavors from the yeast.  So I was expecting a sweet, fruity strong beer that coated my mouth and got it.  I like this beer, maybe I am forgiving, since no one else around here makes a dubbel, I have not compared it to my favorite in the style: St. Bernardus Pater 6.   This one probably will not impress macro-lager drinkers, or the hop heads, but on a cold day, a strong malty brew like this is nice. 

Meh.

The Schell Snowstorm first struck me as horrible. I slowly warmed up to it as I continued drinking it. It reminded me a little of Breckinridge Brewery’s Avalanche…….but not as good. I like the idea that Schell changes it’s Snowstorm annually and look forward to next year’s batch.

Snowstorm: A mix of many flavors

The sip starts with a medium dash of spice, followed by a a fair share of citrus, and finishes with a light hint of rum. It’s a bit fruity-sweet (I use that word very loosely here – we’re not talking kool-aid). While drinking it, I had a few thoughts of crackling fires, toasted nuts, and gingerbread cookies. I was pleasantly surprised by this beer.

A little from column A, a little from column B

This beer (although only half-way gone at the time being) baffles me. It starts out tasting like a dark winter ale, but ends with a light finish that leaves me forgetting the initial flavor. So far, I’m diggin’ it . . . I get to enjoy the taste of a darker beer but without the heavy feeling of guilt at the end of each swallow. Raisins? Definitely. But only when I smell it. Dark fruit and rum? Not sure. Guess I have a lot to learn about developing my beer palette. 

A fresh, local dubbel…

If you’re familiar with Schell’s Snowstorm, you may know that the style changes yearly… last year’s Snowstorm was a London stout (which, incidentally, will be re-appearing as their latest year-round beer, Schell’s Stout) and the year before they offered up an altbier.

This year’s Snowstorm pours into the glass with a nice ruby/mahogany color and a slight, creamy head. The aroma reminds me of dark fruit, brown sugar and caramel. More of the same flavors come through in the taste and the Belgian yeast really comes through as well.

Belgian beers are a bit of an acquired taste and I think Schell’s did a good job of making a tasty dubbel that is also palatable for folks whose most adventurous experiences with a darker beer beers are Newcastle, Moose Drool and Guinness. The yeast character is more subtle than other dubbels and it lacks some of the stronger dark candy sugar elements of other dubbels, but it’s still a really tasty, easy-drinking beer. Kudos to the oldest family-run brewery in the state for another gem.

It’s the first beer you need a chaser for.

A thick and unsatisfying beer that makes your tongue thick  with their ‘creativeness.’ Malty and gunky.  The bottle is tacky, but if you look at it long enough you start to feel like you’re in Bedford Falls running down the street hollerin’ Merry Christmas! I wish I lived in one of those windows, or was the owner of the horse and buggy. If I was that buggy driver I’d LOVE this beer. But I’m not.

shell’s snowstorm

tasty beer.  i liked drinking it on a coldish january day while watching football and eating chips & salsa.  it really worked with the food!  but maybe i just liked the food, actually, because i don’t see myself ordering this beer at the bar.  (i tried  to order it at two bars in uptown and they didn’t have it and i had to resort to a liquor store.  lame!)

My two word review: Shit Storm

My longer review: I always lean toward the underdog (Kucinich ’08!) and want to see them come out on top, so it’s with much disappointment that I come down against Schell’s Snow Storm. I couldn’t wait to finish this and I nearly didn’t, but I always finish my beer (with the exception of that craptacular Fat Tire pint I tried because everyone raves about it for some reason).

A few things just from the back of the label: “inspired by the Monastic beers of Belgium” – This is like saying Lichtenstein was inspired by the Old Masters because the results are pretty far off. Have we been to the same Belgium? Second, what’s a “subtle overtone”? Can an overtone really be subtle? Maybe like a hushed crescendo. 

I will say this – the 6 malts did stand out, unpleasantly so as did the spice factor. If I had to compare the taste to something I’d say it’s like a Blue Moon with a rancid orange squeezed in. Very nasty. This is one case where my taste buds trump my indy spirit because if this were offered to me for free next to a Budweiser I had to pay for, I’d take the Bud and, dammit, I hate Bud. And paying.

It was just okay.

I’m an open-minded girl. I’ll give a beer a chance, even if I don’t initially think we’ll make a promising connection. My first interaction with Schell Snowstorm…not so much. I was bored, it was nervous and bumbling. Then, after a few more sips, I started to appreciate it for what it was…a cloying beer that leaves a certain taste in your mouth and a slight buzz in your ears.

I don’t know if we’ll hook up again. There weren’t enough sparks to keep it in my list of beers I want to drink on the regular. Maybe if I’m really bored or something, and it’s, you know…available.

A Good SnowStorm!

Pretty good! I’ve always had mixed results with Schell’s beer, but I like this one.  I guess the thing I like the best is that it is a somewhat interesting beer, not boring. Of course I’ve had a lot better (and more interesting), but I’ve also paid a lot more for most of those than I did with this beer! The more I drink it the more I like it!

Snowstorm 2007

First, I must say I am looking forward to the year long research and communication project known as Brew52.  Week 1, already has me tasting a brew I would normally walk right past.  So, let the tasting begin.

Like many others, I had no idea that Snowstorm was a dubbel this year.  I cracked open a bottle and poured it into a tulip, which reminded me I need to buy some new goblets for dubbels, trips, and quads.  A pleasant harvest cream head appeared, but quickly faded to lace.   A surprisingly mild aroma had to be coaxed out of my glass.  Snowstorm proved to be dry and drinkable; this dubbel would be a great starting point for someone to pair with a favorite cheese or simple meal.  The sweet fruit that does appear is balanced by hints of bitter root vegetables.  Halfway through the glass, the head can be invigorated by a gentle swirl of the glass.

This was a nice little treat and I am already looking forward to next weeks selection.

gross

I didn’t like this beer. I’m not a big fan of the fruity taste and after reading the label, I could taste the raisins they mentioned. I’m always biased towards hoppy pale ales so maybe I’m a bad reviewer for this beer, but I won’t be picking up a 6 pack of the Snowstorm this season, maybe I’ll have better luck next year.

Better with age

As usual, I was excited for this year’s Snowstorm–I loved last years Sweet Stout.  I brewed my first Dubbel this fall, and have gotten pretty heavily into the Belgians in the past year, and so was intrigued by what Dave had to offer. My first impression when I had it a month ago was that maybe my homebrew version had a slight edge, while recognizing that it’s much easier to produce 5 gallons than 500 gallons. Over xmas I had another bottle, and I must say it’s improved.  I put a couple away for next year, when I expect it will be off the charts.

Disappointed

I was really excited to try Snowstorm, and to kick of this weekly project, but then I tasted it.  I admit it was lighter tasting than I expected, but that is about all I liked about it.  If you blink you’ll miss the hint of fruit and just be left with the bitter aftertaste.  I’m glad I got the Schell’s sampler pack at Haskells instead of six of these.

It’s a Wintery Mix

My wife just took a taste (she doesn’t love beer. she mostly dislikes beer) and her one word review: “Yuck.” I have a more luke-warm opinion of this beer. It’s slightly sweet, and kinda darkish, and I think it’s not bad. It’s like seeing a nice snowstorm, but then it turns rainy, and in the end, it’s a little gross but a little okay.

It’s better than I expected but worse than I had hoped. I probably wouldn’t buy this beer again.

Tasty

After a long day of sitting around my house doing nothing, this beer hit the spot. 

I generally like Schell’s beers, but I don’t buy them often.  This is the best of their beers I have ever tasted.

It was sweet and smooth.  I was happily surprised by how much body it has.  I wasn’t expecting any, so the amount it had made me happy.  More would have been better.  In a glass, it is gorgeous, just really pretty.  The alcohol content must have been more than a normal beer because my husband got a buzz off of just one, or so he said. 

 Overall, much better than expected.  I would absolutely pick up another six pack.

Good, but not Great.

I am not a big fan of this style of beer and SnowStorm didn’t do much to change my mind.  It was smooth and fruity but I wouldn’t kick it out of the fridge if it had a little hoppier taste.  The color and head were nice and it had a fine smell and aftertaste.   If I finish off the sixer in one sitting my review may go up but my typing ability may suffer.

In conclusion I don’t think this is a bad beer but I won’t be keeping a spot for it in the fridge this winter, hopefully you enjoy it.

Purchased at Richfield Liquors for $6.99 +tax.

mildly surprised

Sometime in autumn, the cold trips a switch in my body and I suddenly want cookies, cake, pie and darker, heavier, sweeter beer. Generally speaking, hoppy pale ales, lawnmower beers and tripels are out. Barley wines, imperial stouts, porters and dubbels are in.

A beer like this Snowstorm is what I want when it’s cold outside. It’s not the best dubbel I’ve ever had, but the flavor is there and the body is almost there. It tastes, looks and feels like a fairly typical dubbel. As it warms up, it’s getting better.

I don’t mind Schell beers, but I don’t often buy them. I would have been really surprised that I like a Schell’s offering as much as I do if I hadn’t read that others were surprised by how good it is.

first impressionable

my favorite schell beer. almost like an after dinner drink. it’s something between a good madeira and a fine scotch. smooth, sweet, rich; this beer may even be good at room temp if you’re in to that kind of thing. i’ve been thinking of what kind of chow would pair nicely with this, and i’ve decided on vanilla custard; a creme brule. i wish it was a little hoppier though. mmmm…

Much Better Than I Thought

Not being a fan of most of Schell’s beers, I was hesitent to try Snow Storm.  Now, to be clear, I really like wheat beers and I find Snow Storm to be reminiscent of some Beligian Whites I’ve tried, which to me have a simliar “feel” to a hefe.   Slightly sweet but with a subtle spicyness, it’s easy to drink.  Surprisingly, I’m a big fan!

Better than I thought, honestly.

Picked up a six pack of August Schell Snow Storm today at East Lake Liquor in Minneapolis. After my 3rd bottle, I’m convinced that it’s pretty good. It’s slightly dark, full, smooth and a tad bit heavy. It’s a “light dark,” to me, if that makes any sense. Nothing about it pokes out at me and what’s surprising about it is that there’s no surprises. It’s a simple dark beer, simply put.

Reminds Me of Summer

I cracked a Snowstorm expecting to have some dark winter stout. I was totally caught off guard when the beer tasted more like the Hefeweizen I brewed in the late summer. I quickly turned the bottle around and read that the Schell Brewmaster tries out a different recipe for Snowstorm each year and that this year it was brewed with a Belgian yeast. What an awesome idea! I couldn’t really taste the raisins or rum that they describe, but it definitely has a light, slightly fruity taste. A little bit of summer was just what I needed on a cold-ass Minnesota day.