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Powder Hound Winter Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Powder Hound Winter AlePowder Hound Winter Ale

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BA SCORE
82
good

471 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 471
Reviews: 241
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.15%
Wants: 9
Gots: 23 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 471 | Reviews: 241 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thufflife
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of bigpoppa67
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Thirstygoat
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ChaosKittyXJ9
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Gerred
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ltltony
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of truesolution
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Leschber
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of RMTWM
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of schnarr84
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of TheMarkE
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of KAP72
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of ADR
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairly thick pour, initial head is minimal and diminishes quickly. Very dark copper color -- attractive. Aroma is reserved but deep, tending more toward molasses than caramel. Some buttery diacetyl flavor, but dark, a little like mushrooms, wood, and burnt popcorn kernals. Distinct hops assert at the finish. Nice low carbonation but mouthfeel is on the thin side. This brew isn't delicious to my tongue but is somewhat interesting -- I'm still thinking about this one.

Later notes: the malt profile of this beer seems to get stronger every year

Photo of EricCioe
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a medium orange with an eggshell head that left some lace. On the nose there is a good hop presence with some sort of spice behind them, and evidence of a biggish caramel backbone. In the mouth there is an earthiness to go along with the forest-floor-type pine hops, and a long finish. It is a bit oily in the mouth, but decent carbonation breaks it up well enough.

Overall, this is a pretty decent beer, and a somewhat different style of winter brew, a welcome change.

Photo of archyquaffer
3.73/5  rDev +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...

Photo of WJVII
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a moderate brown color with a slight purple tint when held to the light. Semi transparent with a nice thick tan head that is creamy and laces well. This beer has a slight oaky smell with definite malts and an earthiness. The taste is of rich roasted nuts and has a warmth to it. It has a deeper taste that the color would lead one to believe would be evident. The finish is not as smooth as I like, but the flavor makes up for that. This is a decent brew, glad to have tried it.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very nice beer for style. Has the look of winter ale--lood of sticy without thickness. Nicely browned with ruby highlights. A dirty off white head that persists shows body. Smells toasty and maty. Toffee and chocolate malt round out the nose. Tastes malty, toasty, slightly roasty, slightly chocolately, quite nutty, vanella-ey, and a little caramel-ey. Light buttery and candied. Big body per style that dominates with creamyness and carbonation. Finishes cloying and tacky with light tones of bittering that shows grainyness.

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pmcadamis
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This one is a medium brown hue that shows some garnet highlights under the big fluffy tan head. Big sheets of lace coat the glass, and head retention is awesome. Sitting on my desk in the wintry snow sunlight, this looks translucent and luminescent. Good lookin' brew!

S - Nutty brown ale notes, wet firewood, and a hint of brown sugar. Unsalted almonds, chestnuts, and walnuts. Some maple syrup is there, nut only just.

T - Earthy, nutty, and rich. This is really nutty, and it takes he whole "winter spice" aspect of the style to a different place. Unlike other winter brews, this one avoids cinnamon ad nutmeg in favor of chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

M - Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, and quite dry. The dusty dry finish works well with the nutty complexity.

D - Pretty damn good stuff. It won't wow you or knock your socks off, but it is a really solidly built brew.

Photo of MonkeymooTJ
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:

Crystal clear amber/orange with a two finger off white head. An abundance amount of carbonation rises up to the top of the glass

Smell:

Caramel maltiness with a good dose of spicy hops in the mix

Taste:

A caramel malty sweetness is noticeable initially with a follow up of a combination of spicy and citrus hops

Mouthfeel:

This beer gives off a medium to heavy feeling and leaves a slight alcohol burn on the tongue. The carbonation level hits the spot just right

Overall:

I got more of an American Strong ale impression from this beer rather than a amber/red due to the bitterness and alcohol twinge. I did enjoy the balance it provided and would purchase again

Photo of Zraly
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Powder Hound poured amber in color, a very consistent looking beer. However, the head didn't hang around for too long. What was left did cling nicely, though. The smell is rather plain...just the presence of hops. Good, but nothing extra-special.

What did impress me was the overall flavor. There is wonderful nutty, spicy flavor that warms up the mouth and belly quite rightly. In particular, I want to describe the main note as chestnut. There is another flavor that ends up prevailing as the beer warms a tad...that of root veggies. My tasting partner exclaimed "bean sprouts!"...which I started to notice and identify once she mentioned so. Very weird lil' nuances going on in this beer. The sweetness is mild and the hop finish is on the warm side. This works nicely to enhance the nutty aspect of the overall taste.

Besides the quirkiness of this beer, (and the odd flavors that come along with it), I'd say it is actually very drinkable. And although a bit strange, it's a good strange.

Photo of philbertk
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big Sky Brewing Company Powder Hound Winter Ale 2001 12 oz. Bottle. 5.70% ABV. (3.5 / 5.0) Clear burnt copper amber color. Light head and lace. Roasted malty mild Winter spice floral hop front. Semi sweet thick rich roasted sweet spiced cherry biscuit body. Clean sweet hop Winter spice end. Mild. Sampled 12/17/2001.

2002 12 oz. Bottle. 5.80% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Clear rich bright copper amber color. Mild head. Rich lace. Roasted mild spice nutmeg hop front. Burnt creamy sweet caramel cherry nut crusty earthy body. Spruce hints in roasted balanced mild hop end. Sampled 12/20/2002.

2003 12 oz. Bottle. 5.80% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Rich lacy head. Clear bright copper red color. Malty mild toasted nutmeg hop front. Creamy smooth sweet light toasted biscuit earthy caramel spice fruit body. Balanced mild hop end. Tasty mild Winter ESB. Sampled 1/2/2004.

2004 12 oz. Bottle. 6.20% ABV. 30 IBU's? (4.0 / 5.0) Creamy lacy head. Clear bright dark amber red garnet color. Toasted mild nutmeg hop front. Creamy smooth toasted sweet toffee subdued fruit spice body. Clean smooth mild spice hop end. Mild Winter Ale. Sampled 10/13/2004.

2005 12 oz. Bottle. 6.20% ABV. 45 IBU's? (4.25 / 5.0) Thick light amber lacy head. Clear bright thin dark red color. Tangy cinnamon hop malt spice font. Thick earthy burnt caramel spice medium sweet Winter ESB body. Crusty balanced clean nutmeg hop end. Nicer than I remember. Sampled 10/26/2005.

2006 12 oz. Bottle. 6.20% ABV. 35 IBU's? (4.25 / 5.0) Creamy tan lacy head. Pretty clear bright dark bronze red color. Crisp malty mild nutmeg roasted hop front. Mellow tangy burnt dry sweet toffee fruit nutmeg-malt spice rich body. Clean malt hop spice end. Sampled 9/14/2006.

2007 12 oz. Bottle. 6.20% ABV. 30 IBU's? (4.0 / 5.0) Winter Ale--Malty. 6-Pack $7.49. Dense lacy light tan head. Clear rich deep amber red color. Mild hop malt spice nutmeg hint front. Creamy cloying mild sweet toasted caramel mild fruit spice body. Mild fruit hop spice clean malty end. Tasty Smooth Malty Mild Winter Ale. Sampled 1/13/2008.

2008 12 oz. Bottle. 6.20% ABV. 25 IBU's? (3.5 / 5.0) Winter Ale--Malty. Dense rich lacy tan head. Pretty clear bronze red color. Mild roasted nutmeg spice toasted mild hop front. Dry sweet thin burnt toffee caramel mild sweet malt spice bland body. Dry sweet all spice mild hop citrus hint clean mild end. Bad Buds Bland? Sampled 10/27/2008. 6-Pack $7.49.

2010 12 oz. Bottle. 6.20% ABV. 40 IBU's. (3.5 / 5.0) Winter Ale? Off white thin lace half inch head dissipates quickly. Clear bright thin pretty amber gold color. Delicately toasted mild pine hop front. Earthy crusty mild sweet pale ale caramel malt Winter pine spice hint mild fruit body. Spicy earthy bitter hop end. Crisp, minimal Winter character and slightly odd flavor. Sampled on 10/20/2010 from 6-Pack purchased for $7.99 @ Fred Meyer--Ballard, Seattle on 10/19/2010.

2010 Version 2 12 oz. Bottle. 7.20% ABV. 40 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Winter Ale? Off white lacy dense half inch head. Rich clear bright gold color. Delicate malt spice aromatic winter hop spice front. Crisp tangy rich cloying caramel mild sweet spicy rich pine hint mildly fruity rich malty hoppy body. Clean spicy earthy mildly bitter mild citrus clean bright odd British hop spice end. Sampled on 11/14/2010 from 6-Pack purchased for $7.99 @ PCC--Fremont, Seattle on 11/6/2010.

Photo of henrysunset
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

huge foamy head of tiny tan bubbles. Beer is clear and dark reddish brown, inbetween a brown ale and an amber.

Smell is very nice, malty and slightly sweet, what hops i can sense are sharp and orangey/citrusy.

Taste is somewhat sweet as the smell suggested, not too hoppy, quite mellow infact. Pleasing, althoug quite mellow. Aftertaste is very fine too, a mellow toasty sweetness.

Mouthfeel is also nice, there is a lot of thickness and body here to enjoy.

It's a great winter ale. Would be refreshing, especially with a hearty winter meal.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ruby color, smallish head. Aroma: plum, cherries, some dark fruits. Medium body, lingering pleasant finish, slightly sweet, and very mellow. Normally, I like my winter ales to be on the spicier side, richer and toasted, and stronger. We'll have to wait 'til Anchor Our Special comes in...not a bad beer here, though.

Powder Hound Winter Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 471 ratings.