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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

445 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 445
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 8
Gots: 16 | 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: 445 | Reviews: 238 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of leedorham
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

leedorham, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of jharris0624
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

jharris0624, Nov 17, 2012
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.

TheMarkE, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of DruC4
4/5  rDev +10.5%

DruC4, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of loren01
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color into pint glass. Nice brownish/white head, light carbonation, slight lacing down the pint glass. Smells very nutty with some roasted grains as well. There is also a scent that I can't quite put my finger on, possibly like a cream/buttery smell. Taste is sweet at first with a nice bitter hoppy aftertaste. The aftertaste was very much unexpected, I didn't really smell any hop scents at all. This beer goes down very easliy, has a great mouthfeel to it. A very solid winter beer by Big Sky.

loren01, Oct 22, 2005
Photo of Ispeakforthetrees
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Ispeakforthetrees, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of crob3888
4/5  rDev +10.5%

crob3888, Aug 30, 2013
Photo of shadow1961
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big Sky Brewing Co's Powder Hound Winter Ale pours a big fluffy tan
head over a cloudy red brew. It has steady carbonation and a bready,
malty nose. The flavor is malt and herbal hops, with a grassy hop finish.
The mouthfeel is crisp, dry, and a little tart. It's actually pretty appetizing,
but the alcohol by volume of 6.2% is a tad high for a session brew, but
just about right for a winter warmer. Well worth a try.

shadow1961, May 02, 2007
Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Wetpaperbag, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of watermelonman
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a nice deep amber color with a medium head that shrank but never disappeared. It left a few big lines of lace.

Malts and spices come through strong in the smell. The taste starts with malts and finishes with a combination of spice and cherry that come together well. The mouthfeel is medium and the drinkability is good.

watermelonman, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of zhanson88
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Iron Horse Brewpub in Missoula.

Appearance: Powder Hound comes out a clear pale gold color with a finger of very fine head. Retention is great and lacing stays abundant. This looks fantastic on draft.

Smell: I get some biscuity and caramel malts, then a lot of citrus and estery notes, with light hops on the end. Interesting.

Taste: Caramel malts form the base of this beer, then I get citrus and a ton of esters. A medium amount of hops on the back end.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Pretty light on body with quite a bit of carbonation. Not overly impressive. Overall, this is a beer that seems fairly unique to me for the style and is very easy to drink.

zhanson88, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of TicoCali
4/5  rDev +10.5%

TicoCali, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of SargeC
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copper-brown color with a golden-tan head.

Smell: Pine accented hops with a thick, malty undercurrent.

Taste: Initial toasted malt flavor finishes with a tart, minor hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Semi-oily with a waxy finish.

Drinkability: Decent brew. Accessible flavor and alcohol content. Decent example of the style, but not a standout.

SargeC, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of zenwatts
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

zenwatts, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of Thrasher
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A sweet malty beer good for keeping out the winter chill. Darkish red-amber with small dwindling head and some lace. Malts are very nice, warming, leathery and a touch smoky. Lots of biscuit sweetness and a sweet currant fruitiness that slowly becomes apparant. Lots of Irish red ale malt character too. Hops are not very substantial but they do the job with a definite herbal character. A long, lingering sweetness entices you to take another sip. I was surprised how good this beer was. It at first seemed like an average malty winter brew but as it asserted itself I was more and more impressed with its complexity. This beer would go well with foods, maybe smoky meats, but I also wonder how it would do alongside a sweet caramelized dessert. It tastes a little like the burnt top of a creme brulee.

Thrasher, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of EricCioe
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

EricCioe, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of frank4sail
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Caramel malt nose that smells rich. Brownish rust color with some hazyness. 1/2 inch tan head that is quite rich and creamy. Medium smooth mouth with a slightly watery feel to the finish. The taste is quite bitter with hints of grapefruit and gin. The bitterness is not balenced enough on the malt side of the brew. The taste lacks sweetness and the feel lacks body. Interesting in it's bitterness but not a beer with much drinkability.
Cheers to budgood for the sample!

frank4sail, May 22, 2003
Photo of Zraly
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Zraly, Dec 14, 2002
Photo of mjurney
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

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!!

mjurney, Oct 26, 2014
Photo of capnamerica
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

capnamerica, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of GossageBrewery
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
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!

GossageBrewery, Apr 20, 2013
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.

climax, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of happygnome
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a clear brown color with red hues noticeable produces a half inch of head that does dissapears fairlt quickly leacing a decent amount of lacing in the glass
s: deffinatly dominted by the malts, but im not surprised, cherry aroma detectable, bready malts though dominate aroma
f: sweet malts that are nicely toasted, cherry flavor is detectable, cherry flavor still noticeable, could use more hop bitterness
m: light to medium bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation

overall, this isnt that bad of a brew but it could use more hops

happygnome, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of tubeyes
2.25/5  rDev -37.8%

tubeyes, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of cmwilliq
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

cmwilliq, Jan 23, 2014
Powder Hound Winter Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 445 ratings.