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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 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
Photo of jsisko01
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a clear red-orange color with a very small head that dissipates instantly. Has decent lacing.

Smell - Sweet, fruity, coriander, and citrus.

Taste - Very bitter with caramel and has a toasty malt to it. Coriander and maybe some clove.. and has an alcohol bite to it. Doesn't really fit the description of a winter ale, but it does warm you up lol.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall - Like I said before, it's really just a spicy amber ale. Not bad though.

jsisko01, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of jaidenjb
4/5  rDev +10.5%

jaidenjb, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of brotherloco
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle x2. Best by 01/25/12. Served in a tapered 22oz glass.

Pours clear copperish gold with a big two+ finger head of beige foam that never completely goes away. A small amount of cascading bubbles. Medium amount of thick lacing clings to the glass.

Aroma of bready and caramel malt with a nice does of perfumy floral hops. Some spicy alcohol notes.

Flavor is lightly sweet caramel malt, with some toasted notes emerging in the middle of the flavor. Floral hoppiness takes charge in the finish with bright and bitter notes. There is a noticeable amount of spicy alcohol in the finish, but it is well integrated. Adds a bit of winter kick to this amber ale.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. A touch prickly, but it supports the flavor.

Another no-nonsense winter ale. Just a decently crafted strong version of a traditional style. And I really love the folk art label, it reminds me very much of the paintings my grandmother used to make.

brotherloco, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of nukem5
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a great dark rich amber with solid foam cap which clings to walls of glass.

S: Aromas of light floral hops and sweet malty goodness.

T: Taste is a full throttle blast of sweet caramel malts with a light hop finish.

M: Medium body with smooth character all it's own.

O: Overall good beer with a bit of a boozey bite to help fight off winter cold blahs and bring in the holidays.

nukem5, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of Unchi
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Unchi, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of quaybr
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, the look of this beer is the best part. It's a pretty one. Sits a very clear amber beneath a frothy, sizable head.

Smells of english malts, some toffee, some caramel. A slight citrus hop accompanies.

Things get a little funky with the flavor. The malts taste off, slightly indistinguishable; the taste is tangy and lingers unpleasantly. Reminds me of an extract homebrew that suffered from scorched extract. Not quite sure, but it's not good. Bitter hops wash down a bit distastefully.

Mouthfeel is ok. Doesn't wash down too clean, leaves a residue.

Overall, I'm a little disappointed. I like that they're going for something other than a spicy winter ale, though.

quaybr, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of bump8628
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hard to classify is Powder Hound Winter Ale. American Amber, English Strong, Winter Warmer - I don't know, I'm just going to call it ale. Eclectic blend of hops including Hallertau, Palisade, and Amarillo - certainly some of my favorites. Seems to be Hallertau-heavy and more of the other two would be appreciated. Lots of wild herbs, fresh oregano, black pepper, and dandelion greens. Some orange marmalade too. Copper colored with a fine head of foam and moderate carbonation. Nice dryness, but a slather of caramel on wheat toast pretty much balances the hops evenly.

Yeah, this is pretty good beer. After one glass I'm still not sure exactly what to think. Would I want this on tap at the house? Sure, but I'm not sure I would pick up another six pack with all the other winter selections out there. Several would go down easy whilst standing around the smoker on a snowy afternoon, but I wouldn't count on it to get me through a January night in Montana.

bump8628, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of Gatch
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear, light amber in color with an off-white head that bubbles up quickly and fades just as quickly. Doesn't retain much of a head but lace sticks to the glass all the way down.

S - Toffee, roasted malt, caramelized sugar, a bit of citrus. Big fan of the nose on this beer.

T - Sweet, roasted malt with a bitter finish from the hops. Nice balance. Caramelized sugar. Thoroughly impressed with this flavor profile. Alcohol is barely there.

M - Smooth, clean, low carbonation. Medium-full body. Very drinkable. Fairly high ABV for this style but the booze barely shows. Awesome example of the style and perfect balance of malt to hops for the season.

Gatch, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of HaysAmerica
4/5  rDev +10.5%

HaysAmerica, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of Vashtar
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice head! It's fairly light and really clear.

The smell has some metallic and pine hints, with an overall caramel scent.

The taste is... metallic, HOPPY and nice. I'm not sure this is really a "winter ale."

The mouthfeel is fluff! Totally like that fake snow stuff that they use in diapers.

Vashtar, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of tony223366
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Caramel/gold color. Great head, really fluffy and 2+ fingers after a vigorous pour. Nice lacing so far. Good clarity, although that's not necessarily what I want in a winter beer.

S: What first strikes me is a large amount of piney hops. Moreso than there probably should be. The malt aroma is subdued and I'd say slightly metallic. What does come through seems to smell mostly of caramel.

T: I get much more of a citrusy hop with some hints of a pine. The malts are unsubstantial, mostly caramel malts. I think this beer is lacking balance a bit. I think I want it to be a little rounder with the malts.

M: The mouthfeel is nice and smooth with great carbonation. Tongue Tingling.

O: Man, I don't want it to appear that I don't like this beer because it's good. But to style as a winter amber/red? This is more of a hoppy red. Wouldn't have it be my winter seasonal if I was Big Sky. That being said (and I'm a hop-head) I do enjoy it.

tony223366, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a little on the brown side as opposed to red or amber, but those are the three colors mixed together I'd say that produces the final visual product. Good clarity, looks professional, 1" head. Aroma was more in line with a red ale.

Decent hopping, red ale malt flavor, peatyness is there. Alcohol stays off the tongue, good job for something over 7%, wouldn't know it from the taste. Light body absorbs bitterness, this one is similar to a winter warmer but equal parts red ale. Stays lively on the palate compared to a winter warmer.

Really a better beer for fall or spring than winter. Unless you need a break from big ass beers.

Beerandraiderfan, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of TheSarge
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours decent for a finger thick white head, and has a cleanly filtered copper colored body.

The aroma is piny and orangish along with a hint of toffee.

Taste wise it's well balanced between caramel from the hops and lemony/piny flavors of the hops.

Feels medium to full in body. Good carbonation as well as wetting to the palate. For a higher ABV brew, there is little to no alcohol burn, which is always a plus in my book.

TheSarge, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of harrymel
2.53/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottled Unk, vintage 2011

A: copper with two fingers of off-white billowed foam falls to a sheet of the same and leaves behind cobweb lace. Excellent clarity.
S: Earthy hops, tea and some metallic malts.
T: Malt. Sweet malt and some metallic off flavors. Quite sweet.
M: Medium bodied with low carb and a semi dry finish.
O: Meh, okay, sessionable. Would drink if already drunk. Really unobtrusive.

harrymel, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer is a hazy light orangish copper color. A light white head sits on top for a second then dissipates to a thin film of white bubbles. Some sticky lacing.

The beer smells of slight citrus notes with a sweet metled caramel candy piece to top it off.

The taste is sweet, malty, and very much in the caramel/toffee mindset. This gives way to a strong spicy bitter hop finish adding balance.

The mouthfeel is a tad sticky and full.

Overall, I rated this 2.63 the last time I had it, but I think it's really good this time.

JuicesFlowing, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of Ryan1423
5/5  rDev +38.1%

Ryan1423, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of KC9LDB
5/5  rDev +38.1%

KC9LDB, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev +10.5%

barnzy78, Nov 22, 2011
Powder Hound Winter Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 427 ratings.