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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

427 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 427
Reviews: 235
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 6
Gots: 12 | 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: 427 | Reviews: 235 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TX-Badger
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

TX-Badger, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of Gman639
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Gman639, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
7.2% ABV, numbers on neck.

A - Clear golden amber in color, Big Sky Powder Hound has very little carbonation floating though it resulting in a somewhat poorly sustained sand-colored head. Thick lace covers the glass like frost on a cold morning's car window.

S - Powder Hound's aroma mimics the painted label with fresh pine and a crispness of the cold, the open outdoors. Herbal hops poke through like a distant whiff of tea with caramel drizzled hard roll maltiness following.

T - Shifting back and fourth, the flavor can't seem to make up it's mind on whether malt or hops should dominate, starting with a bready and beefy malt flavor. Caramel and warm dough are overtaken by a a flurry of hops ranging in flavors from pine and sticky sap to earthy herbal notes and candied, dried pineapple on the finish.

M - Though the flavor doesn't quite present itself as deliberate at first, the balance and feel sure does, plowing forwards with a smooth medium malty body and dry, decidedly bitter finish that lingers around for a few moments.

O - Powder Hound has a beautifully painted label that evokes strong outdoors-y feelings of winter in the northwoods for me but that's about where the "Winter" character of this beer stops. It seems to me more of a higher octane amber with a nice little hop push and solid malt body, suitable for tailgating during those cold winter games.

BeerFMAndy, Dec 14, 2012
Photo of bkrbdan
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

bkrbdan, Dec 14, 2012
Photo of twelveinches
4/5  rDev +10.5%

twelveinches, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of jcparish88
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

jcparish88, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a clear, bright orange amber with a pillowy white, 2 finger head. Fantastic retention. Lacing coats the glass from top to bottom. Great stick. Very impressive.

Smell - Healthy dose of caramel malt hits the nostrils, complemented nicely by a slightly floral, slightly citric hop aroma. Wonderful smelling brew.

Taste - Strong caramel malt backbone from start to finish, starts with the caramel before a noticeable citric hop character takes command by mid-taste, riding out through the finish. Slightly spicy. Hits briefly on cocoa. Leaves behind a caramel, slightly toasted biscuit and a slight orange pith hop aftertaste. Good, but nothing special.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, with active carbonation. Creamy, smooth and entirely drinkable.

Overall - Too bad the flavor doesn't quite match up with the rest of the qualities this beer presents, otherwise this thing could be a monster of a winter release. It's just missing one thing that would really set it off. Maybe if it popped a bit more on toasted notes? A pinch more chocolate malt, maybe? In any event, it's a pretty darn good beer.

TheSixthRing, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of StoutHunter
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Big Sky's Powder Hound Winter Ale last week for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I haven't seen this beer around before, so I decided to take a chance on it, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I know it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice and I think it's pretty well done. It poured a light amber color that was slightly golden and it took on some amber hues when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of slightly off white head that that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left a nice ring of lacing. This was a nice looking beer but the color and head were just a little on the weak side.

S- The aroma starts off with some very sweet caramel malts that imparted a very sweet, grainy, caramel, and a slight brown sugar like aroma. After that comes the hops which seem to be floral and citrusy with the citrus fruit aspect seeming to stick out the most imparting a sweet mango, orange and grapefruit aroma. The aroma is nice, I like the caramel and citrus fruit aromas but it has a little to much sweetness to it.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with the malts that have a higher amount of medium sweetness to it and imparts a grainy, bready, and caramel like flavor. After that comes a light amount of spices that aren't that noticeable and are followed by a good amount of citrus and floral hops with the citrus still seeming to stick out the most and they impart some nice light citrus hops flavors with no one fruit overpowering each other. On the finish there's a slightly lighter amount of medium bitterness with a pretty grainy and slightly sweet aftertaste. This was a nice tasting beer that seemed to be pretty balanced and very true to style.

M- Smooth, clean, crisp, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation that was just a little prickly. This beer had a nice mouthfeel that was very true to style.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and an above average example of the style, it had all the things that I look for in a good Amber Ale and the balance was pretty nice. This beer had very good drinkability, it was very smooth, crisp, a little refreshing, and it had a decent amount of flavor to hold my attention, I could drink a few of these without a problem, it's a pretty easy drinking Red Ale and I like that. What I liked the most about this beer was the drinkability, it was very good and better then most Amber Ales and it also hid it's alcohol very nicely. What I liked the least about this beer was how sweet it smelled, it had me preparing for the worse but luckily all that sweetness didn't make it to the taste. I would buy this beer again to keep around in the fridge since I think it's a good example of the style and it's always nice to have a quality easy drinking Amber Ale on hand, I recommend this beer to just about anyone, fans of the style should really appreciate it. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer and I thought it was very solid and a good example of the style. the last couple Big Sky beers I had weren't too impressive so it's nice to get one that I enjoy. My only problem with this beer is that I think it's miss marketed, I don't really think of this as Winter Ale, it has that nice Amber Ale flavor that is perfect for the summer and fall and I think this beer would do much better if marketed as a year round Amber Ale instead of a Winter Ale, but that's just my opinion. Either was this was pretty solid and I'm happy I tried it.

StoutHunter, Dec 05, 2012
Photo of Kahlerbock
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Kahlerbock, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the BevMo Holiday Beerfest held at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

UCLABrewN84, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of kew
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

kew, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of braker649er
2.95/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was a pretty good beer. But after it poured out from the bottle with a decent head, it lost all head quickly. I also had trouble placing the Amarillo hops, which I generally love. Still, there were overall good flavors involved. I liked it enough to try another bottle to see if that holds carbonation more.

braker649er, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of HoistinBrews
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

HoistinBrews, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of jharris0624
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

jharris0624, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of JJFordick
3/5  rDev -17.1%

JJFordick, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of Ispeakforthetrees
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

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

TheFlern, Nov 07, 2012
Photo of jereb33
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

jereb33, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of thinwhiteduke
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

thinwhiteduke, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of harpus
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

harpus, Oct 18, 2012
Photo of Shasty
5/5  rDev +38.1%

Shasty, Jul 27, 2012
Photo of RMTWM
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

RMTWM, Jul 19, 2012
Photo of ssjkyle
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

ssjkyle, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of Bsmiff
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Bsmiff, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of WastingFreetime
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from tasting notes.

Poured out a darker amber with decent clarity, two fingers of foamy head that stayed around for a minute and a half, with medium levels of lacing left behind. Smells like an even blend of citrus peel, chocolate malt, and a garnish of vanilla on top. Tastes has a gentle toasted nut and vanilla character combined with a citrus / earthy hopping garnish. Noticeably absent is any kind of 'holiday spicing', for better or for worse. Feels thicker in flavor than the body actually is, gently carbonated and creamy in texture.

WastingFreetime, Jun 16, 2012
Powder Hound Winter Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 427 ratings.