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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.

243 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 243
Hads: 491
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 17.4%
Wants: 10
Gots: 31 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

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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firstprev| 176-200 | 201-225 | 226-250  | next → last
Reviews: 243 | Hads: 491
Photo of Thrasher
4.09/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish brown color, with a fluffy white head. More of a floral smell than anything else I am getting.Tastes of caramel sweetness and a little hops finish. Also has that little floral hint in the flavor. Pretty tasty, maybe not enough intriguing factors to be considered 'great'.

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Photo of Brent
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle did not give any guidance as to the style, and all the way through the beer, I kept wondering "what are they trying to accomplish here?" Not a bad beer, but it seemed to lack direction. Lightly sweet overall, with some bitterness at the front which quickly mellowed. I couldn't decide if this winter seasonal was an amber ale, or a very, very mellow old ale style. Nice, but not much "oomph" for a winter seasonal.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Super nice color which seems dark chestnut brown, ahh but hold it to the light and it becomes a lovely glowing amber agate with a deep reddish tone, gorgeous color. Head is tannish and thin, leaves very minimal lace. Aroma is all malts, sweet, dulled citrusy-like, fresh, touching on some caramel and nutty bagel dough. Taste has a smooth and easy malt profile, very drinkable, lightly sweet, some caramel, lightly chewy, bready light, some notions of dulled citrus melon, nutty dryness and dried hops come in late with some light dryness and calm bitterness. Solid medium body feel with a smooth, lightly creamy start and center, a bit chewy, finish goes to lighter drying of hops and nuts with a touch of bittering bite. A nice drinker this one! Quite subtle with a good amount of easy hefty malts. Its like taking Capital's Autumnal Fire and blending it with their Amber.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium brown color, medium head. A medium bodied brown/amber ale, spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. Slightly sweet malts, slight orange taste. Good flavor. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Nice warming beer.

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Photo of Reidrover
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes in a 12 oz brown long neck with a picture of what looks like a sled dog on the label.
Very nice looking dark brown coloured beer, with a 1 inch creamy off white head..dissapates but leaves excellent lacing down the glass.
Very strong aroma of roasted malts and an almost wine like alcohol scent..detect some spiciness.
Nice strong chocolate malt taste, then mid tongue it gets spicy almost peppery shows some slight hops at the end..and a good alcohol warming in the throat.
Very nice on the tongue not dry at all.great long lasting aftertaste.
I was surprised how much I liked this ale even in the early summer..pretty drinkable in my books.

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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!

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Photo of JeffreyG
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is another great brew from Big Sky. The Powder Hound had a really inviting look with a dark, almost garnet like, color and a two finger head that had nice retention and lace. The taste is nicely balanced with a slight empahsis on the malt giving it a toasty flavor. Mouthfeel is full but not overpowering. A very drinkable brew.

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Photo of beernut7
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark auburn with a thin head. The heavy aroma of toffee and sweet malt reminds me of some of my favortie British ales. A distinct bitterness is the first thing to hit the palate followed quickly by heavy deep chocolate and toffee flavor. Fairly smooth body supports the well-rounded taste. Very much like Sam Smith's Winter brew with a bit more solid bitter. Very taste and worth the shipping.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.36/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color with an off-white head. Aromas are caramel malts, bready, spicy and a bit fruity. The flavor is spicy, bready and malty. Light-medium in body, with a spicy, medium bitterness in the dry finish. The alcoholic warmth is also present in the finish. Overall, a decent winter brew.

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Photo of BeerAngel
3.07/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark amber/copper with a small off-white head. The aroma reveals a light malt and wet dog aroma (?). Must be the hound ;-). The taste is a toasty bread taste with mild hops and finishes with an alcohol taste…fortunately no hound this time. This is a light bodied brew that is decent at best. It is not highly complex and not extremely appealing. Thanks nonetheless to budgood1 for sending me this brew! Cheers!

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light mahagony in color with a tan head. Malt aroma. Roasted malt flavor up front that is well balanced by hops. Finishes pretty well and has good drinkability. Overall a solid beer with a flavor I enjoyed.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour a deep brown color, the head light chocolate, the lace in average sheets.. Nose is malt, slightly sweet, the start is sweet, the top flimsy. The beer finished with a potent hop spicy bite, medial carbonation, and a tad dry. Not a great beer, but quite quaffable, although I think it could or should have more body for a "Winter Warmer".

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Photo of budgood1
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

clear dark bronze in color, poured a medium head that stuck around and left a good deal of lace. muted malt aroma with some spicy hops. tastes very good. a nice blend of roasted caramel and chocolate malts with a bit of spices and finishing hop bite. a little thin in mouthfeel but very drinkable and warming. i'm a fan of this style/flavor of winter brew. it needs some backbone, but the malt flavor is great. recommended.

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Photo of Bighuge
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first year I tried this one. Beautiful mohagony color. Great malt taste. Very good. This beer tastes as if it was aged in oak. Nice warming winter brew.

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Powder Hound Winter Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.