Sunday, March 20, 2011

Snowshoe Ale

Thanks to Justen Parris for giving me this beer along with several others following our tasting. I got to trying it following an evening 15 miler along the Davenport/Bettendorf bike path and the fantastic dinner Jen prepared for me when I got home.

Appearance: Dark bronzed red with visible carbonation and a subtle glow to it. Generally it is clear, but the darkness of the malt color is inhibitory. Poor head, though still maintains a film across the top of white foam bubbles.
Aroma: Very malty and peat like. Smells like a scotch-like ale. Some dark fruity undertones, though in this case from the malt as well as some toffee and tartness. Perhaps there is some smoked element to the beer as well. Some spice and even cinnamon finish the scent.
Taste: The malt backbone boasts a tremendous sweetness compared to many of the winter beer I've encountered. The peat and smoked malt maintain themselves on into the flavor in the form of a subtle earthiness. Again there is a toasted/toffee malt present along with dark bread crust in the foretaste followed up by floral and dark fruit sweetness and then finished by a well melded spice finish while still incorporating the earthy flavors. Finally there is a prolonged woody bitterness into the aftertaste, that still remains appealing.
Mouthfeel: Big body but smooth and still relatively drinkable and refreshing (in my dehydrated case). The carbonation is small but still enough to buzz the tip of the tongue and finished with a toasted tannin dryness.
Overall Impression: Extremely complex and well balanced. Normally spicing is a bold attempt, and usually overdone. This beer finishes well and flavorful. A fantastic drinkable winter ale I certainly see myself getting again. Please come to Illinois, New Glarus...



  1. I love the New Glarus beers! My dad and I stock up every time we head north to visit friends in Port Washington, WI. Their signature is the Spotted Cow, which is an easy drink, but I much prefer their Back 40. Delicious! Have you tried that one yet?

  2. I have not. I'm slowly getting acquainted with their beer. I'm especially interested in getting my hands on their stout. However I will certainly keep an eye out for their "Back 40"