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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

253 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 253
Hads: 510
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 17.68%
Wants: 10
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States | website

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer | 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: 253 | Hads: 510
Photo of SometimesIfart
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Big Sky Powder Hound.

Been finding a lot of singles 0 Big Sky lately. Had a long fourteen hour day at work and now some annoying siblings just left the house with their Bastard children. I don't remember inviting anybody over. Time for some beer.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle hard poured into a pint glass. This brew pours a darker shade of copper with a finger and a half of ultra dense white head that sits amongst the top of the swill and eventually lays down to a thick cloud formation amongst the top of the glass. Carbonation appears to be on about moderate with this guy. Pretty solid appearance thus far, we'll see how the stick forms. Minimal stick amongst a finished glass.

Smell - Loaded with melon and lacking anything that could be misunderstood as earthy ( thankfully ). For being a winter warmer, I'm not really getting many of the characteristics that the style is know for but it does smell rather inviting. Maybe this is just how they do things out Central? Who knows.

Taste - Follows the nose quite a bit but finally adds some spice levels. Big melon like flavors explode all over your tongue which are met in the middle by some spices that are rather indiscriminate and tough to pin point. Not necessarily a 'traditional 'winter warmer but the category is pretty broad. Tasty actually, without being a bitterness or palate bomb.

Feel - The body is moderately full with a juicy wetness that Sita upon the tongue nicely. Spices come through a bit more here with a touch of fresh pear. Carbonation is on about moderate. Creamy level is high all around the mouth thanks to the well retained head and the brew swallows easily with a medium bitterness.

Overall -Not a traditional winter warmer but again, it is a pretty broad style and can have many different incarnations. I thought this was pretty good and would have no problem tossing back a sixer or two of these things. Probably my favorite brew so far outta Big Sky. Go into this beer with an open mind and I think you'll like it.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appears a lucid, crystalline amber-orange. Head is a light and delicate shade of yellow, very fluffy, and retains well. Wonderful ringlets of lace. Winter Warmer? If you say so. Cracker notes, but hop aromas of grass, resin, and pine to the fore. Was surprised, expecting more roastiness, sweetness, and or spice. Now on to the tasting. Definitely a Winter Warmer. Was expecting it to be a glorified Pale Ale. What with its caramel and cornmeal backbone, its hops of pine, citrus fruit, and rind, and its peppercorn back-breath, it is evidentially based on the Pale Ale style (in my experience most Warmers take after Reds and Browns, although Pales are not entirely unheard of), but there is a spiciness to it possibly not derived from hops. Certainly the high ABV is responsible for a portion of it, but are there mulling spices added in as well? Medium-bodied, watery, sloshy, and spritzy. Oh yeah, and warming. Could go for one (or two) of these in any season, really.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Equal parts brown and red ale in the appearance. Full inch of off white head. Aroma was red malts.

Decent hopping paired with red and brown malts. Hides alcohol well. Already coming across like a red ale winter warmer. Actually pretty enjoyable that way. Enough hopping, malt variety to keep it interesting and hearty. Best of both worlds, one of their better beers.

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Photo of stevoj
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Smooth and crisp malt with a slight hops snap. Clear amber with a small, but lasting foamy head. Hops linger on the palate. Some elements of caramel and gingerbread, although body is not heavy. A bit richer, but not a winter warmer.

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Photo of alarmclock314
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, best by date of 2/5/16. Pours clear straw yellow with a large white head; unusual color for the style. Smells mostly of hops with some lightly roasted malt. The taste follows closely with hops, malt, lemon peel, and subtle spice; medium-low intensity. Some subtle sweetness and bitterness. Medium carbonation and below average malt body. Overall, it's pretty hop-forward for the style and could use more malt and spice, but it's still a satisfying beer. IPA lovers getting into other styles should give this a try.

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Photo of DrainBamage
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a cooper color and a nice lace of head. Smells are of malt and spice. The malts make it go down smooth and then there is some hoppiness in the aftertaste. Overall a pretty good Winter Warmer and you can definitely sense the alcohol.

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Photo of MNAle
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

281151 020516 stamped; consumed on 1/05 and 1/06/16. Golden color, clear, well carbonated. 1/2 inch off-white creamy head that recedes fairly quickly, leaving some lacing. Nice hop aroma, faintly spicy, hint of citrus. Mild initial taste with a well established malt backbone with subtle hop flavor. Appropriate mouth feel for the style, tending toward slightly thicker than expected. Very well balanced, with a moderate level of bittering in the finish. This is not a hop-forward ale, but neither is it an overly malty ale. Well balanced, no booziness even at 7.2% ABV, but don't expect a big, WOW flavor profile. Easy drinking, pleasamt and enjoyable for a winter evening.

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Photo of Metal_N_Brew
4.58/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

App- Copper in color. Good head and lacing.

Smell- Nice traditional winter warmer scent, with a tad of pitted/dark fruit as well.

Taste- Follows the nose, with more emphasis on a combination of malt and pitted fruit. Very refreshing for the cold.

Mouthfeel- Pretty balanced overall. Not really smooth but certainly not rough.

Overall- Very good Winter Warmer from the guys at Big Sky. This is the second brew I've tried from them and I'm getting more curious about their stuff.

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Photo of EagleTalon
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours to a rocky head that lasts and laces. Light copper. Aroma is spicy hops and pale sugary malt. Flavor is more of the same but you would not know it has over 7% alcohol. Mouthfeel is light-medium. Not a bad brew, just not particularly exciting and not what i think of as a winter warmer.

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Photo of Mr_Bojangles
1.81/5  rDev -50%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Look: clear, sandy gold.1 finger head that dissipates. Minimal lacing. Smell: spice, some sourness with resiny hop aroma. Taste: frail malt body with dry hop character. A little bit of sour funk and odd spice I cannot place. Body: medium with thin effervescent mouthfeel. Finishes with earthy malt and hop bitterness. Overall: had this beer last year and remembered it was very good. This beer is either a bad batch or expired. Big sky needs to have dates on their beer! This was cheap tasting and none of the components worked well together.

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Photo of beergoot
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber hued; slowly rising carbonation; 1-2 finger thick, lasting white head. Aroma reveals a roasted grain and nutty quality. Rich, malty flavor; caramel and brown sugar notes; sweetness counterbalanced with a nice hop bitterness. Medium-heavy in body; smooth and creamy; nice balance of sweetness and dryness with the finish.

This is a fine beer for the fall and winter seasons with its warm, gentle roasted qualities and mild residual sugar sweetness and mouthfeel. Nice balance and depth throughout the drinking experience.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of Boca-X
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

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Photo of V1per41
4.2/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.61/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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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!!

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Photo of JohnIrving
2.43/5  rDev -32.9%
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.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of Foyle
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of MartzMimic
3.33/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of whynot44
3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of Johnny_Muir
4.2/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of Eisen
2.89/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

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Photo of bmwats
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Powder Hound Winter Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 253 ratings.