Powder Hound Winter Ale | Big Sky Brewing Company

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Powder Hound Winter AlePowder Hound Winter Ale
538 Ratings
Powder Hound Winter AlePowder Hound Winter Ale

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

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"!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-13-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 538 |  Reviews: 261
Photo of Superheatnsubcool
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 98green
2.57/5  rDev -29%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap. What the? Shouldn't this thing be dark with Christmas spices and whatnot? Not in this one. Looks like an IPA to me. Orange and crystal clear. Smell is light barnyard and Belgian yeast. Taste is more of that, some hop bitterness. Feel is really light on carbonation and a warming alcohol burn. So I guess warmer maybe happened. Overall if this was called Belgian IPA I'm on board for an average review. As a warmer, I gotta pass for sure.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Clear orange-copper body, off-white head leaving good lace, plenty of streams of bubbles. The nose is quite piercing with lots of citrus fruit zest, slight biscuit malt. Taste continues this IPA-esque course; juicy, slightly concentrate-like orange and grapefruit, with mild light malty sweetness, mild hop bitterness. Body is slightly syrupy, lightly carbonated.
Huh? Winter warmer? This was a tasty brew, but nothing close to the style I was expecting. As far as IPA/hop-centric beers go, this was good, but too artificially sweet, and not much variety.

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Photo of Raime
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 aknalley
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of TFMyriad
3.21/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

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 SamuelMiller
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

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 very 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 KnappStout
2.68/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of BrewAskew
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 DrAnnaNemis
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Photo of ckornmannn
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

On nitro tap: amber color, transparent. Mostly hops on the nose. Taste is more malt forward, reminiscent of an alt beer.

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

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 B_B
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Tlloyd417
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mancavebeercouch
3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bakkerman1
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Powder Hound Winter Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 538 ratings