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Powder Hound Winter Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Powder Hound Winter AlePowder Hound Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

453 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 453
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 9
Gots: 17 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 453 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of TexIndy
4.45/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Best by date of 3/29/11 on the neck. It was a clear, medium amber color with some carb streams. It had a thick white head that slowly settled into a thick collar and thin cover of foam. Good lacing with plenty sticking.

The aroma was excellent with spicy and citric hops along with caramel malt. Really like the aroma on this one. Kept going back from sniff after sniff. The taste was also great and followed the aroma with the spicy and citric hops leading the way. Mini session beer on taste. The mouthfeel was medium with good carbonation and pleasing aftertaste.

Overall, I'd been avoiding this one as I thought it was a winter warmer style but it's not. Glad I finally tried it as it greatly surprised me with it's rich aroma and flavor. Highly recommend. Avail here in TX. Rotation - it's an Oct-Jan seasonal. Worth a 6 pack spread out over that time for sure. [R; Y]

Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.43/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A nice dark red ale with a fat off white head. The aroma of citrusy hops and crystal malts. The flavor is a bit maltier than the aroma and the hops come on strong towards the end. I was going to rank this beer a bit lower, but as I sit and sip this brew it is making it's personality known and I am growing fond of it. It is not as strong as most winter brews, but it is definitely drinkable.

Photo of GClarkage
4.43/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11/08/04- Sampled at the Big Sky Brewery on tap.

*taken from notes in August 2004

Appearance- Pours a dark amber-chestnut color with a small head and slight lacing.

Smell- Sweet smelling carmel and malt with maybe some citrus also. Lemon?

Taste- Yummy, malty and slightly nutty sweet taste. Definitely some citrus in the background also.

Mouthfeel- Excellent carbonation. Goes down soooo easy. Smooth and creamy.

Drinkability- Extreme drinkability. Had this for the first time a couple of years ago and it was the beer I most crave from Montana. Awesome beer!

Photo of xhuskr
4.4/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice sessionable Winter Ale. Not quite what I consider a Winter Warmer nor a Strong Ale, but very mild and enjoyable. Malt flavor is balanced with a nice hop presence, but not anything like the hoppy brews I lean towards. I've had this 3 times this week as it's a nice every day brew to have with food. It compliments bbq and give you a warm feeling without the big alcohol kick.

Photo of WesWes
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a beautiful ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale, crystal, victory, and bisquit malts. It is quite toastey and breadlike. The taste is excellent. It has a sweet, yet dry and toastey flavor with a bitter breadlike finish. There are hops in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good beer. It has awesome aroma and taste; a great seasonal brew and a great drinker.

Photo of pjwilson
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

notes: i've always thought this brewery made some good beers...so i jumped at this one when i saw it on sale. The abv is 6.2 on the bottle. This is a winter warmer if anything, as it reminds me more of jubelale than your average red beer. on with the review.
appearance: lots of carbination settles down to a nice thin layer that lasts along time. ok so i guess this beer is pretty red. Reddish brown.
smell: chocolate malts in this one kids. some mild hoppiness(noble no doubt) nothing crazy but nice
taste: this is a nice tasty beer. I'm so hapy it's not too sweet (i've been getting killed with too sweet beers lately) It's quite dry actually. Great balance between the chocolate, the hops and the base malt. The first taste is that chocolate, followed with a nice mild bitterness...(bet my dollar that it's williamete hops in this one) Just great balance. If counted as a winter warmer this is one of my favorites....likin' this more than jubelale at least.
mouthfeel: it's good, nice and light, but still filling...perhaps a hair watery but that just helps with the drinkability i think.
drinkability: great, walking the line between a sipper and a session. I would go so far as to call this a great session ale, but it is 6.2 percent after all. Great beer. I haven't been let down by this brewery yet, and they seem to get low marks. Give this one a shot. It's probably the most drinkable winter warmer i've had. (much more drinkable that jubelale, winter solitice, anchor's)

Photo of madtappers
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Very drinkable winter seasonal. This beer has the right amount of hops and malt to balance out the taste. Seems to be more of a traditional ale than a winter warmer.

Great beer to session, and share with some friends.

Big Sky always has had good beers and this "winter" seasonal proves it.

Photo of matjack85
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Binny's store in Plainfield, IL for $1.69. I love the labels from this brewery. Not sure what style category this beer falls under though as the label says it's a winter ale, yet I see the Beer Advocate braintrust has listed it as an American Amber/Red Ale. After trying it, all I can say is that it has traits of both styles.

The beer poured a hazy orange/amber color with a nice 1½-finger creamy looking white head that lasted several minutes befire settling down. There was also plenty of lacing left on the glass with each sip.

Light but pleasant smell of sweet malt combined with various hop varieties.

Nice use of the three hop varieties to give the beer a little complexity. Definitely hop dominated, but not overly bitter. Citrus and pine hops are balanced with just enough sweet malt and peppery spices to make this a really good tasting beer.

Light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. At 7.2%abv I expected a little warming alcohol taste, but there really wasn't any. The alcohol is barely noticeable.

I enjoyed this as just a good tasting beer, but not sure it qualifies as a winter warmer. Lots of flavor, but on the light side rather than full bodied, and while it is spicy, I don't usually associate pepper as a winter spice. Whatever it is, it tastes good and is easy to drink.

Photo of climax
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I didn't quite know which style Big Sky was aiming at here. I was assuming a darker winter warmer, but after I poured it and took a whiff, it seemed more of a high output Pale Ale. The color was a lighter than anticipated amber, with pretty good clarity. The head was a couple fingers of lumpy tan foam.

The nose is well-balanced, rich on both ends of the spectrum. There's no shortage of juicy hop aromas. They break through with citrus and pine. The malt side of things is sweet, caramel and toffee with a slight dark roasted edge to it. Buttery flavor, nuts, and an herbal earthy presence add to the complexity.

The flavor is quick to impress. It starts as a hop heavy pale ale, with spice and citrus. Lingering pine resin bitterness carries through, but its the malt complexity that impresses me. I began to think it's nothing more than balance (sweet caramel), but then I got strong hints of roasted chocolate followed by ripe fruit and a kiss of alcohol. Truly a joy to break down.

Don't let the color fool you, this one has plenty of gusto. The body is pretty thick with a nice stickiness. Carbonation is crisp from start to finish, and the lingering dry bitterness keeps me sipping. The 7% ABV is evident, but totally acceptable. It adds the extra warmth that elevates this beer to the next level. The style it falls into could be highly controversial, but forget where it fits, and enjoy.

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4.28/5  rDev +18.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

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4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

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4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

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Powder Hound Winter Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 453 ratings.