As Missoula, Montana’s Big Sky Brewing is the purveyor of Moose Drool, one of my favorite browns from last year, I had big expectations for their winter offering. As a “winter warmer,” their Powder Hound Winter Ale is pretty subtle—which is a good thing at this point. I was getting tired of all the beers in my fridge tasting like repossessed gingerbread house.
The Hound forms a nice, tenacious eggshell-colored head and throws a warm caramel-malty nose. There is a small hint of nutmeg, the misunderstood crown prince of the winter spices, but all in all what we have here is a really decent British-style brown ale. The hops don’t really come into play until a late, final note on the back of the tongue.
I’ve yet to do a side-by-side tasting with Moose Drool, but really, with the days getting noticeably longer, our attention turns to beers of a hoppier nature … maybe next year.