Daily beer project

Beer #23: Powder Hound Winter Ale

Posted in American Craft Beer by dailybeerproject on February 5, 2010

When I told my wife what I planned on drinking tonight, she asked “what’s a winter ale?”

To which I responded, “I don’t know.”

So I looked on Beer Advocate. It doesn’t list winter ale among its beer styles.

So I looked at the source of all light and knowledge, wikipedia. I searched “winter ale” and was redirected to “pale ale.”

So I guess winter ale is the same thing as pale ale. Which makes sense, because it tastes just like pale ale. Except perhaps winter ale has a bit more alcohol than typical pale ales–the two I’ve tried have been on the high end. In fact, Powder Hound tastes quite a bit like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and at 6.2% abv, right down to the bitterness. To be sure, they each have their subtleties. For instance, Powder Hound has just a hint of chocolate flavor initially, which quickly subsides to a floral, hoppy flavor consistent with Sierra Nevada and most of the other pale ales I’ve tried so far. Both are quality beers that I wish I could like.

Summary thoughts: as much as Alex/Watcher laments me not liking the same beers he does (Sierra Nevada, Spaten Optimator), I’m really not all that worked up about the fact that anything with much more than 4% abv is too bitter for my taste. There are plenty of good beers with lower alcohol content, and around here at least, that means I’ll like pretty much everything I try on tap. And truth be told, liking beer available on tap is more important to me than liking bottled beer. If beer is being served on tap, that’s what I want to want to drink. If beer is being served in bottles, chances are good that either one of the beers or something else readily available will be something I like.

Kokanee is up for tomorrow, then I’m into my final six pack, which has to finish with Budweiser. I’m thinking about alternating macrobrews with exotic ales next week, for instance including PBR and Heineken in addition to the Budweiser, but also trying Dorval (which I already purchased) and maybe one or two other Belgians. Chimay has been recommended, but it ain’t cheap, and I’m really worried I won’t like it, so I’m going to try Duval before dropping the dough for that one. Any other suggestions?

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