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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

420 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 420
Reviews: 235
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 6
Gots: 9 | 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: 420 | Reviews: 235 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Agold
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Agold, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by 02/15/2012. A bit of a gusher upon opening. Pours crystal clear golden amber color with a nice 2 finger dense off white head with great retention that reduces to a thick cap that lingers. Some decent lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of caramel, orange, pine, herbal, bread, pine, toasted malt, and light spiciness. Some nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of orange, grapefruit, pine, caramel, herbal, toasted malt, bread, and spiciness. Decent amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of bread, caramel, herbal spiciness, and citrus on the finish for a bit. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and slightly creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Very drinkable and smooth for 7.2%. Overall this is a very nice and drinkable amber ale. Nice hoppy and spicy flavor, with good malt balance.

superspak, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of n2185
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear orange with two fingers of off-white head that recedes into a thin layer with good lacing.

S: Lots of caramel malts and sweet orange citrus on the nose. There are some bready aromas mixed in as well.

T: Caramel malts dominate alone with sweet bread flavors. There are some lightly sweet citrus notes mixed in as well along with a slightly bitter finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer is a little watery feeling.

O: A decent beer, though nothing special. I'd like a bit more hop presence in the nose and flavor.

n2185, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of whartontallboy
3/5  rDev -17.1%

whartontallboy, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of KajII
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

The pour was a hazy medium orange with an average sized (1-2 finger) white creamy head that diminished into a puddle of residue which in turn created streaking sheets of lacing.

The aroma was of a mild bread malt, pine hops and a sweet doughy yeast with notes of caramel, toffee, coriander, a bit of clove and just a touch of alcohol.

The taste was malty and mildly sweet with notes of caramel and toffee early on and then progressed into a nice bitter hoppy flavor that had notes of some dark fruit and spices with a hint of alcohol at the end. The flavor lingered for a nice long time and left a nice spicy malty flavor on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and a tad watery in texture with a medium carbonation.

Overall a nice bold Winter Ale that had just the right amount of spices and a great hoppy finish.

KajII, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of south33
1.5/5  rDev -58.6%

south33, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of zenwatts
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

zenwatts, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of EROCK75
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

EROCK75, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of MonkeymooTJ
3.73/5  rDev +3%
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

MonkeymooTJ, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of gwguest
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

gwguest, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

imperialking, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of WillRadar
4/5  rDev +10.5%

WillRadar, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of Tone
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 5/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight citrus hops, hint of floral hops, and a hint of earthy malt. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of pale malt, floral hops, slight citrus hops, hint of earthy malt, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, good appearance, body, complexity, and blend.

Tone, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of Huffaroma
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

Huffaroma, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear golden amber with billowing head and slight lacing.

Smell: Citrus, toast and an undeniable similarity to Great Lakes Christmas Ale, which I associate with cinnamon and honey, but I don't think that is in here, so not sure where that aroma is coming from.

Taste: Light malts of biscuit, toast and mead, with a nice layer of spicy English hops on top, which has a tinge of citrus and pine. Still getting some very light winter spices.

Feel: Medium body with moderate carbonation and a nice dry finish.

Overall: Nice ale overall that does not seem to fit any known style. Kind of an English Strong Ale, kind of an Amber Ale, kind of a Spiced Winter Warmer (despite the lack of spices). This seriously confuses the hell out of me, but if I put my beer reviewing hat away, it is clear that I really enjoy it.

bsp77, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of Pegasus
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lovely copper-colored body sports a large, dense off-white cloud top head, which retains superbly. Thin lacing coats the glass walls. The carbonation is slight, a few bubbles drift lazily to the surface.

Aroma: Lots of crisp pine tar hops vie with toasted and caramel malts. The hops win out easily.

Taste: Opens with lots of toasted malt, like toasted rustic dark bread. A moment behind the malt are rather prominent grapefruit hops, these soon dominate the taste. Beneath the hops, there appears a bitter cocoa note, which offers some balance. Finishes with a long, lingering slightly oily grapefruit rind flavor. The alcohol is handled quite gracefully, at 7.2% ABV, it was quite subtle.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: : Well-done. For my own taste, I would like to have seen more emphasis on the malt, rather than the hops. Nonetheless, this is a quite well-crafted example.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a pry-off crown, served in a standard Pilsener glass.

Pegasus, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of ChuckStingray
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%

ChuckStingray, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of ponbon63
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: poured into pint glass. Coppery, decent half-inch head.

S: Strong hope smell, fairly sweet and citrusy smelling hops for a red ale. Refreshing, fresh smell.

T: Slightly thin and alcoholic tasting, but a decent sweet hoppy flavor. Normally I wouldn't prefer more bitterness in a beer, but I feel that the alcohol would have been tamed by more flavor in this beer.

M: Too thin for the amount of alcohol. Feels like a lager with not enough body to handle the flavor and alcohol.

O: I feel this brew is worth trying for sure. It goes down easy and has a medium hop intensity. Overall I feel it was a decent winter beer, but was lacking in certain areas to make it a great beer. I would recommend trying this beer, but I wouldn't expect it to become anyone's favorite.

ponbon63, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of captainbearcat
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

captainbearcat, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of frenchblood21
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jegross for this one!

Bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance- Beautiful! One inch light tan head that slowly disappears. The beer is a light copper color.

Smell- Smells like a typical winter warmer. Toasted grains and toffee.

Taste- Carmel and butter are what stands out to me. Malty and very hoppy.

Mouthfeel- Feels a bit thin. The flavor is nice and it coats the whole mouth.

Overall- I got this beer as an extra, so I am thrilled about it. Its really good and I recommend trying it.

frenchblood21, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of longbongsilver
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

New night, new winter ale. Why not?

Fills mug a crystal-clear copper, thick biscuity white head of a couple inches sticks around a bit. First scent reminds me of honey & a bit of cinnamon, followed by some surprisingly naked barley considering the clarity. Something that reminds me of green apple rounds out the back.

On swig the hop characteristics show up in the form of mostly an understated bitterness, nothing real floral or fruity going on here. The smell telegraphs the taste rather well, though for the strength it's more subtle than I expected. Carbonation is very laid back but still noticeable, goes down like a cream ale actually.

It's a more simple than you'd think high-gravity chugger. Sometimes it's what a brewer doesn't do that factors in more than what they did, and they didn't broadcast strength in particular here. Wouldn't fight anybody over it, but it works.

longbongsilver, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of sneekee22
4/5  rDev +10.5%

sneekee22, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of Phelps
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a shaker pint at Flanny's.

Light, shiny copper with amazing clarity. A half-finger of fuzzy, off-white head quickly becomes a thin top layer that never leaves completely.

The nose: orange peel, apricot, grass, sweet biscuits, touches of caramel and honey. A nice, sweet amber.

Same deal in the flavor. I get subtle grass, apricot and just a hint of orange zest. A bit of caramel comes through as well in clean, straightforward sweetness. It's not complicated, but it's good.

Body is a smooth medium-light, with soft massaging carbonation and just a touch of fizz. Finishes clean and a little drying. Mild bitterness. I don’t get a hint of the 7.2 ABV.

If Powder Hound were a snowfall, it would be about four inches. Not too deep, but enough to enjoy. A well-balanced, drinkable amber.

Phelps, Dec 15, 2011
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 fattire513
4/5  rDev +10.5%

fattire513, Dec 12, 2011
Powder Hound Winter Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 420 ratings.