Today we’re going to a family event, but that’s all we have on tap. Tomorrow is WAY more exciting, as my brother in-law is taking me to the Patriots game. HELL YEAH! Rewind back to today though. Silvio is out west trying out some Montana-based brews. He reviews a couple of Big Sky brews, which is cool because I got to try Big Sky while I was at CANFEST last weekend. I may have even tried the IPA, although I don’t recall. Silvio…
This week I’ve been in Missoula, Montana for a work trip. Many people consider Montana the “last best place” and I’d definitely agree – it’s beautiful here and I’m loving the mountains and clean air. More relevant to this blog, however, is the abundance of great Montana craft beers.
On my first night in town I ventured out to a brew pub near my hotel, the Iron Horse, so named for its location across the street from Missoula’s train depot. I was impressed by their beer menu, which featured 12 local microbrews along with a ton of macro brews.
I tried Big Sky’s IPA first, and loved my decision. This brew had a nice hoppy aroma and clear dark color. The front taste is quite hoppy, but very mellow and not super bitter. In the middle, I got lots of strong floral notes and a little bitterness. I didn’t get any real citrus or malts, but the aftertaste really sticks around, and the brew leaves lots of lacing on the glass.
I decided to double down on Big Sky by trying their Powder Hound Winter Seasonal next. My waitress described it as hoppier than the IPA, with a higher alcohol content, both of which were of course fine by me! The aroma was fruity, with some hops, but I couldn’t place it exactly. The hops didn’t taste much stronger on this one, but they were a lot creamier, and without the bitter middle of the IPA.
From the glass, I didn’t see a lot of difference between this and the Big Sky. When my waitress asked what I thought of the Powder Hound, I told her didn’t see a lot of difference, and she said she thought only true beer connoisseurs taste the difference because while the bar staff thought they were almost the same, the Big Sky brewers tell them they think it’s worlds apart from the IPA. Guess I’m not a true beer connoisseur, then.
At a subsequent work reception, I spied some bottles of Powder Hound, and of course had to try one. Interestingly, it tasted better out of the bottle, and I picked up lots of pine notes and the hops tasted a lot stronger. Regardless, both Big Sky’s IPA and Powder Hound are great hoppy microbrews and I’d definitely recommend trying either one if you ever come across them.