Powder Hound Winter Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Powder Hound Winter AlePowder Hound Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

243 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 243
Hads: 485
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 9
Gots: 27 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-13-2002

Two words describe winter in our neck of the woods... cold, dark, and snowy. Just the way we like it! At 7.2% ABV, Powder Hound Winter Ale gives just the right amount of warmth, balanced by its rich taste and generous dose of Hallertau, Palisade, and Amarillo hops. After a cold day of getting it done or just relaxing, the avalanche of flavor will have you saying these four words - "I'll have another Powder Hound"!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 243 | Hads: 485
Photo of sporklift87
3.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Golden and light amber. Half finger off-white head with low retention and spotty lacing. Lightly spicy aroma, some maltiness, some floral notes. Not very aromatic in general. Tastes of coriander and moderate bitterness accompanied by a malty finish. Smooth mouth feel with some carbonation. Somewhat acidic feel on front of tongue. Leaves a mildly drying sensation, with very slight chewy character. Overall, good winter style ale that is not overwhelming to palate and easy drinking. Nothing to write home about, but enjoyable nonetheless. (540 characters)

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spicy, malty nose. Pours brilliant copper tinted amber with a 1” finely bubbled, lacy white foam cap. The palate is creamy, fruity, with some bread, citrus and light melon. Light sweetness on entry that dries out by the finish with light traces of astringency. It has a medium body and carbonation. The carbonation is natural and not harsh. Easy to drink. (357 characters)

Photo of Boca-X
3.84/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer looks light...yellow with a hint of golden honey. It looks weak and I think it is really what's holding it back in the ratings...it has a nice spicy brown ale profile with a slightly sweet honey punch up front. Cloves, cinnamon mix with the warmth of the alcohol with a somewhat dry bitter finish. Could use a little more carbonation but over all not bad...

Pretty nice winter warmer and think it rates slightly higher than the current 82 it's receiving on BA...cheers! (484 characters)

Photo of V1per41
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Clear light color with no head.

Smell wasn't very potent but smell and taste was very good. Went down very smooth especially for this abv. (176 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%

Pours a finger of head on a clear straw body.
The aroma is a clean grain smell.
The taste has a malty sweet beginning, a mild lemon bitter middle and finishes with a mild caramel sweetness. Nice profile.
The texture is crisp.
Nice. (231 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep amber color with a one finger head of thick foam. The head fades very fast leaving only a trace of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma of the brew is heaviest of a caramel and slightly doughy smell. Along with these aromas are some light darker fruit aromas of raisin and plum. With a little bit of a spice and alcohol that are there as well create a very inviting aroma overall.

Taste – The taste starts with a sweeter caramel and fruit flavor with a slightly doughy and bready flavor. Some more darker fruit flavors of raisin and plum come to the tongue as the flavor advances. Some light alcohol, grassy, and light herbal flavors come to the tongue as well more toward the end of the taste and with the combination of sweeter and malty flavors, one is left with a nice and robust sweet but balanced flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the rather thick and creamy side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. For the sweeter and slightly boozy flavors of the brew the feel is very nice making for a nice robust brew.

Overall – A rather tasty and nice brew overall. Good flavor with a lighter alcohol hit and a good sweeter and maltier taste. (1,304 characters)

Photo of mjurney
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Appearance:
Dark gold color, clear. Lots of carbonation rising. Thick bright white head.

Aroma:
Herbal, a little citrus, sweet pale malts.

Taste/Finish/Body:
Sweet pale malts, bready, toffee, biscuit. Fruit character, pears and apples. Spicy-herbal, a little citrus from the hops. Finish is sharp and dry. Body is medium, crisp, a little warmth, smooth.

Overall:
Doesn't taste like an Amber Ale, more like an English-style Pale Ale. It's an excellent beer!! (466 characters)

Photo of JohnIrving
2.43/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Poured a nice slightly-lighter-than amber color from the can in to a nonic pint glass. 1 finger of dense off white head. Earthy hop aroma. Taste matches the nose with a warm alcohol finish. Flavor is influenced by the yeast, it gives a slight warm doughy element. This is classified differently on different sites. Big Sky says it's a style they came up with. But really, it's just a high abv pale ale that uses very earthy hops. Not bad, not something I'll have again. (469 characters)

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

Sampling right now on 4/29/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees in my beer cooler. Poured into a vintage "Schlitz" pilsner glass.

Pours a pretty amber in color with a small off-white head that lasts a while. A good amount of lacing is seen and stays around. The aroma is of hops, citrus and chocolate malt. The taste which has a lot going on with roasted malts, caramel, citrus and some spice. A slightly dry and bitter finish but drinkable. (443 characters)

Photo of Foyle
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a 1" off white head that slowly recedes with some lacing. Amber color with plenty of streaming carbonation.
Aroma: rich aroma of yeast rolls, pungent earthy hops, some caramel and raisins.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied and a bit sticky with a pleasant finish.
Flavor: complex combination of bread dough, sweet caramel and toffee, fruity raisin, significant bitter earthy hops and with a slight astringent alcohol burn in the finish.
Overall: a pleasant sipper on a cold winter day and appropriate to the style. (527 characters)

Photo of MartzMimic
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours from the bottle a clear amber with a big foamy head. Nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is of biscuits and caramel. Both come through predominately in the taste, along with a bit of coffee. Hops give it a touch of bitterness and warmth. Medium mouth. This is a really nice beer for a cold winter evening. (307 characters)

Photo of whynot44
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Almost clear gold/amber color with a modest white head that retreats to just a skin but does manage a bit of lacing.

The aroma is brazil nuts, toffee, caramel and cardboard with a grassy note,a bit odd but not terrible.

he taste is caramel malt, crackers, pine nuts, with a bit of citrus hops. The finish is fairly dry with a lingering grassy, somewhat spicy note.

Medium bodied, smooth and very drinkable.

Overall not a bad brew, especially for a cold fall or winter day. (478 characters)

Photo of Johnny_Muir
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into pint glass. One of my top Montana beers, and a stiff one at 7.2% abv. Darn near fully clear in appearance. Very refreshing, almost a fall ale more than winter. Its got warmth but its not fireplace heavy. Good and bitter, almost pale ale ish. Love it. (262 characters)

Photo of Eisen
2.89/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured light amber with white head that fades into thin lacing. Doesn't smell or taste like much. Alcohol dominates the flavor, and there is relatively not that much alcohol. I've drank this beer since high school and it has either gone down in quality or failed to keep up. (274 characters)

Photo of bmwats
3.54/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark golden hue. Moderate amounts of rising effervescence. Pours a 1 finger, bubbly, white head. Some slight yet persistent lacing.

S: Yeast, sourdough, and pine nuts. A little orange.

T: Hops and yeast. Some lightly sweet and acidic lemon and orange citrus.

M: Crisp yet syrupy. The elevated alcohol is apparent. Biting finish with almost a synthetic sweetness that lingers on the palate.

D: Elevated alcohol will slow your progression a bit, but pretty much sessionable.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Dark hue, continual effervescence, slight head and lacing. Nose is Yeasty with some pine hop. Yeasty, hoppy, and a little sweet. Overall, this is a good quaff. (718 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle to Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Chill-hazed gold with white head and lace.

S: Grapefruit and a robust malt backbone, caramel and nutty aromas, slightly toasted, orange and orange peel, hint of spice, bready, toffee.

T: Toasted grain and bread, with caramel and toffee as the Amber-side of this beer takes over. There is a slight hop bite with citrus and orange and grapefruit peel. Hint of something like allspice as well, but I could be wrong...

MF: Medium bodied, no real alcohol presence, there is a bit of spice/hop bite on the finish.

O: Decent overall, a pleasant amber ale with a nice underlying hop presence. (631 characters)

Photo of brewbattles
3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

We did a blind taste test between this and 4 other Winter Seasonals to objectively determine which one was best. They beers were: Deschutes Jubelale, Anderson Valley Boont Winter Solstice, Big Sky Powder Hound, Alaskan Winter Ale, and Redhook Winterhook. Check it out:

http://youtu.be/TJowachG1no (297 characters)

Photo of Spikester
3.59/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with a modest white head, Not much on the lacings. Smell is malty and bready yeast.
Taste is earthy bitter hops fair amount of caramel malts. Hops are floral grapefruit and earthy,
Mouthfeel is medium with average carbonation. It has a medium dry bitter finish.
Overall an unusual amber. Almost an Impy Amber if such a style exists. Needs more spiice and malts for a winter warmer. Otherwise a tasty brew. (418 characters)

Photo of archyquaffer
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a longneck into a shaker pint. A moderate pour produces about an inch of billowy head, which reduces quickly but settles into a sticky lace. The beer is a fairly pale but hazy golden color. It's quite attractive, but it does not look like an amber/red, as this site characterizes it.

Subdued piney and citrus hops on the nose, with perhaps a little funk, and some biscuity malt in the aroma-flavor. I also detect undertones of caramel, and a little bit of non-specific fruitiness that, with the hop bitterness, is somewhat reminiscent of mild ruby grapefruit or cranberry but without the pucker. Warming alcohol as the beer progresses.

This beer strikes me as more of a pale ale than a red (perhaps an "Imperial" pale?). It's very drinkable and quite good, and makes a good session brew if you don't mind a little buzz... (835 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

light and sweet and awfully german for the style. not a winter warmer in my book, too light on the malt, an almost golden brew, not much head to speak of, but an impressive aroma of german hops and honey sweetness. the flavor matches well. its balanced but easily malt forward, not spiced like so many are, but warming in an alcoholic sense, and for the fact that this is not particularly drinkable, and improves with temperature. unfolds if you will, like origami, really works for what it is, but it is not a conventional winter warmer. about what I would expect from big sky, quintessentially Montana. big and bold, unique but conservatively decent. a good match with February, less so with November, but it was cold tonight and it did it well enough for me. (761 characters)

Photo of UpToMeBeer
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a pleasant surprise. It got buried in the back of my fridge somehow over the winter. Unburied it last night. It seemed almost like an IPA with the floral hops and hints of orange, lemon and tangerine. There's a caramel-sweet edge to it. It goes down really easily. Ironically, fit my hot summer night really well. Maybe next time I'll get to try it on a cold winter night. Well-made brew! (402 characters)

Photo of TheMarkE
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Golden caramel with moderate foam and moderate lacing.

Smell: Caramel, pine, floral hops.

Taste: Sweet caramel, earthy hops, grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, creamy, with a nice bitter hop aftertaste.

The Verdict: I like it. Instead of the typical winter warmer, this is more like Sierra Nevada's Celebration. Not nearly as good, but similar. Good balance of hops and malt, good flavor. (407 characters)

Photo of GossageBrewery
3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this amber ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, poured a clear amber color, produced a nice off white head, decent retention and it left a good amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of caramel and lemongrass. Medium in body, this ale had a foundation of malted grain, sweet caramel and some citric lemon hops. Somewhat bitter- Dry finish. Overall, not very flavorful- its decent for a session beer but for a "Winter Ale" i was expecting a bit more umph! (479 characters)

Photo of spicelab
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. BB 14 March 2013, but you can thank shonk importers Beermasons for that.

Lovely looking beer, bright and clear orange with just the right sized head, barely off-white, that falls slowly to a nice raised ring.

Decent amounts of candied hops served up by a lightly caramelised malt backbone. Thanks to the age hops are quite subdued, but still get some nice tangerine notes.
Some alluring barky, nutmeg notes and other brown spices which I can't nail, and plenty of strawberry.

Flavours follow the nose and introduce an earthy pine bitterness, which although subdued has me questioning whether I've interpreted the bottle dating correctly.

Medium and slightly syrupy, with silky carbonation paving the way for a modest bitter finish.

Yet another solidly crafted and enjoyable offering from the most consistent brewery I know. (842 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Winter Ales for me can be very hit and miss so glad this is an American Amber without the spices so should be interesting and pours a clear amber hue with a two finger creamy head and lacing here and there,the smell is very malty with hints of caramel,toffee,dried fruit,a hint of raisins and fruity hops in the background,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and has tastes of toffee,candy,marzipan the slightest hit of piney resinous hops followed by a nice citrus bitterness and overall i like this as a winter ale and as the old saying goes less is best definately applies in this case,a very drinkable amber. (633 characters)

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Powder Hound Winter Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.