Summer Honey Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summer Honey AleSummer Honey Ale

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BA SCORE
77
okay

293 Ratings
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Ratings: 293
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 16.42%
Wants: 5
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-16-2002

When the days get longer and the air gets warmer, we get outside quite a bit. And we build a big thirst. Summer Honey helps us shake off the winter and slakes our thirst for a refreshing brew. Summer Honey is a full-flavored summer seasonal ale. Brewed with a unique, balanced blend of spices, Northwest Hops, and Montana honey. Summer Honey is brewed during the early days of spring and released around the first of May each year. Light colored, light bodied, and very drinkable, Summer Honey sacrifices nothing to create a flavorful beer that can be enjoyed during the height of the Summer.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 293 | Reviews: 162
Reviews by SurlyDuff:
Photo of SurlyDuff
2.78/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on-tap at the BendBrewfest, as well as their Moose Drool Ale.

Pours a light golden, straw/yellow to be more exact. Very dense head, especially after a pretty vigorous pour by the barkeep.
Aroma is a bit mild. If fact, pretty unremarkable. Some spices, coriander.

Not finding much honey in the taste. Bit of a citrus zest, peach/apricot and maybe some apple flavors there.

Sweeter finish, with some floral notes.

Drinkability isn't quite there. I try to be optimistic when trying (and rating) styles that I don't have a strong affinity for. Big Sky does justice in the fact that its a decent summer ale, light and refreshing. Just seems that some more honey and a moderate increase in hopping couldv'e kicked this one up a few notches.

More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
3.1/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- gold with a white head.

S- Grainy aroma, corn, musty honey, somewhat floral.

T- A mild honey sweetness, juicy fruit, caramel

M- Smooth and malty, goes down pretty easily.

D- Not bad on a hot day but there are quite a few others I would reach for instead. Not worth seeking out.

Photo of Beaver13
3.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear yellow with a smallish white head that quickly goes to a thin film.

The aroma is sweet clove honey and some spices.

The flavor is sweet bready malts and a bit of honey with some subdued spicing. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, a decent slightly plain summer beer.

Photo of Mora2000
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very clear yellow color with a white head. The aroma is honey and wheat. The flavor is more of the same with lots of wheat and honey flavors. For a pale ale, there is hardly any hop character. Medium mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation. A nice easy drinking beer, but that is about it.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.9/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark gold color, 1" head, looks like an ale. Aroma was plain, honey not discernible, nor are the hops beyond the faintest flourish hint.

Taste is also rather muted, hops and honey are not relevant, sweetness is more reminiscent of corn than honey. Faintly bready. Light caramel. No development through the bottle, even as it warms. Girlfriend/intro beer.

Photo of ADR
3.06/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear yellow ochre color with a substandard head that's a trace after 20 seconds. Bright aroma, trace of honey. Off tastes (!), tap water with spicy impressions. Stays medium-bodied to the swallow, but has some unsettling qualities in the esophagus. There's a little mid-mouth interest in this brew, but it doesn't redeem the wandering finish of sweet/sour/weird to my tongue. Big Sky Brewing is a real puzzler to me, high variation in quality in their brews.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a mug)

A- This beer has a golden light copper body with a crystal clear body and a soapy foam head. There was a very gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- The slight sweet honey notes came with a pale malt note that was dry and fresh. There was a light sulfur note in the finish.

T- The taste of fresh pale malt had a slight honey sweetness that followed. There was a bitter hop finish that had a soft grassy quality to it.

M- This beer had a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight fizz texture at the finish.

D- The sweetness of the honey was nice and the bitterness of the hops offered a nice balance. Most beers that add honey have some odd fermented honey flavors but this one wasn't bad.

Photo of LXIXME
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear rich golden color below a small white head, that quickly recedes into a thin lasting lacing.
The aroma is a light sour lemon and honey with a slight bready maltness to it.
The taste is also a light sour lemony with honey in it. There is still a slight bread like maltiness in the taste and even into the aftertaste which really doesn't dry out much.
This beer has a light body and mouth feel from the first sip to the last swig. If you are into drinking lighter beers aka Bud, Coors, etc. this is right in your ballpark but a step up without getting all heavy on you.

Photo of watermelonman
4.02/5  rDev +20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a light and clear yellow and gold with a small head. The head quickly faded and left no lace.

The smell brings strong honey flavor with some light flower scents. In the taste, pale malts start things off while honey takes over part way through and lasts through the finish. The mouthfeel is fairly light while drinkability is very high.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.71/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale honey color (sorry...that honestly is the shade of yellow I see) with a half finger white head that melts slowly to fine sticky lacing.
Aroma is floral and honey with almost a lager yeast smell to it.
Taste is initially pale malt lightly sweetened with a floral honey but then quickly turns to citrus hops. Actually a very nice evolution or balancing of flavors.
Aftertaste is sort of a floral or clover honey-lemon peel mixture and a nice quenching dryness.
This is a good summer beer...maybe excellent...very refreshing.

Photo of biboergosum
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16oz Yankee pint at the Iron Horse restaurant in Missoula, with me dear ma.

This beer appears a clear, medium golden yellow hue, with one finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and soapy dirty white head, which leaves a bunch of chunky bleeding stormcloud lace around the glass as it gradually melts away.

It smells of semi-sweet field honey, grainy pale malt, a hint of spicy black pepper, and earthy, leafy, and mildly floral hops. The taste is crisply grainy pale malt, a touch of caramel sweetness, some lessened generic honey notes, mild muddled dessert spices, and pretty much little to no persisting and/or discernible hops.

The carbonation is moderate in its plainly frothy manner, the body a decent and typical medium weight for the broad style, and generally smooth, nothing else really carrying a torch here. It finishes off-dry, as some reborn earthy hops round out the lingering and purposeful honeyed graininess.

Nothing overly special, sure, but enjoyable enough when the season and occasion call for it. A good beer to go with intensely spicy hot wings, as was the pairing in my case - y'know, when in Rome, and all that.

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light honey Color with alot of visible carbonation Short white head  

Pale malt. Not much going on at all. Very disappointing. Smells like a euro pale lager. 

Tastes like a euro pale lager but thankfully a little better with the extra touch of honey and spice notes. 

Mouth. Very lite and refreshing Good carbonation.

Overall this beer was pretty boring. There are many summer honey style beers I prefer over this one. I wouldn't get this again.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big Sky delivers a beautifully floral, gently sweet, and lightly citrusy golden beer in their Summer Honey Ale. It pours a deep golden body with an orange cast beneath a frothy head of bright white that steadily dwindles to a cottony surface covering and thick collar. Rings of spotty and cragged lace are left behind. In the nose it's lemony over some malty and honeyish sweetness. The body is medium with a decidedly dextrinous edge, and it's crisp on the palate with a lightly bristling carbonation. The flavor is loaded with honey flavor and wheatish malt. Floral hop flavors and a bit of lemon zest help to round it out. It finishes surprisingly short and dry given the amount of flavor packed into each sip, and it lingers for a few moments with a combination of wheatish malt and floral hops as well as a very light touch of pine. Quite a nice summer ale! This one's perfect for a wide variety of events, and I could easily imagine enjoying this at a ball game, boating, a backyard BBQ, fishing trip, or cool evening on the porch. Worth trying.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hump day...timed to wet the whistle with alil' Summer Honey from Big Sky. The appearance is good, crisp clear and golden with good carbonation that forms a thin white head. The nose is strong with honey, grain, and some spice. The taste is decent, good honey start polished off by a little spice/pepper taste. The mouthfeel is good and it is a fine beer to have on a summer day!

Photo of PirateUlf73
3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Nice light to medium-gold color with a nice white head.

S: Sweet malt and honey character. Honey is quite strong on second evaluation.

T: Somewhat spicy, but the honey dominates the taste. A bread-like sweetness with little in the way of hop bitterness. Quite sweet and savory.

M: Fairly light-bodied (as it had damned well better be!) with a somewhat even mouthfeel. Finishes pretty clean, with a honey-sweet aftertaste.

D: Light and sweet, but perhaps a bit too sweet for a hot summer day (for my taste anyway).

A good effort from Big Sky, but I found it to be a tad too sweet for my taste. The honey is quite dominant and thus not very well-balanced. May do well to lure some away from mead.

Photo of BeerAmbassador
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with a decent two finger white head. Aromas of toasted biscuit malt and honey. Kind of reminds me a bit of honey nut Cheerios, but not in a bad way. Also picking up a bit of lemon on the end. Flavor pretty much follows suit. I remember having this beer a few years ago and not being a huge fan, but it's actually tasting pretty good to me today.

Photo of russpowell
3.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden/honey with efferevesence & a 3 fingers white head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Slight lemon zest & peppery notes

T: Lemon, honey & slight floral hop notes. Grainy notes follow Finishes lemony & sweet, off style to me, would work better as a wheat ale

MF:Light & spritzy. Okay balance, skews too sweet

Drinks okay. I prefer the crystal ale as a summer time libation. One of the better honey beers I've had, still a bit too sweet

Photo of imasloth
4.12/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very small white head immediately gone. Lots of small carbonation in slightly hazy honey-coloured beer.

S- Honey, sweet, light malt, kind of lager-y.

T- Grassy, floral, slight bitterness, light honey.

M- Light to medium body. Little bitter feel.

O- Very good. Certainly adds something in taste to the concept of a summer beer (innovative).

Photo of JessicaRuth
4.71/5  rDev +40.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Perfect a addition to a hot summer day. Nothing better than floating the river, soaking in the sunshine while sipping on a quality blonde ale with a slight hint of Montana honey. Staple of Missoula.

Photo of emerge077
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was chilled to around 55º and poured in a Lake Louie pint glass.

Golden yellow, a feeble head of foam that collapses quickly. Nucleation trails from the bottom of the glass. It doesn't really leave any lace, but a few random spots decorate the glass.

Plain pale malt aroma, graham cracker.

Papery pale malt flavor, mild graham sweetness. Not really getting any floral or honey flavor. Average is about all I can say. Moderate fizz, drinks fine. A no-brainer for a dog day.

Photo of Padron4KM
2.63/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Freshness code stamped on neck.

Clear golden with a soapy white head and patchy lace.

Aroma is honey and cereal.

Flavor is honey, grain, and lemon.

finish is short and slightly sweet.

Today was a hot one, over 90, and yes this was refreshing, but there are many other summer beers that are better.

Photo of Tolnik
3.02/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured this pale wheat colored beer into a pint glass. The foam that was created off the pour was that of a 1/2 inch. Then reduced down to wisps of lacing. The wheat and floweral tones of the beer off the aroma is tantalizing. The taste isn't that great that follows the aroma. It has a bittering taste of the wheat that doesn't create a great pallet. The after taste is likewise but doesn't linger for that long.

Photo of TexIndy
2.76/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Best by date of 8/17/11 lasered on the neck. It was a clear, golden honey color with plenty of carb streams. It had an average sized, fizzy head that quickly settled into a good carb and wisps. Good lacing with lots sticking.

The aroma was pale and biscuity malt with a little bit of honey and low hops. Bit of a disappointment. Needed more honey and more hops. No spices that I could tell but label claims it. Taste was average with biscuity malt leading the way and again a, too small, touch of honey. Not much hops. Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Overall, an average beer and a below average APA that I won't remember soon as I crack the next beer. Really like some other Big Sky offerings but this one is a miss for me. Avail here in TX. Too many other offerings out there to make the rotation. [N;N]

Photo of u2carew
2.34/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz. longneck.
A) Pours with a finger thick head. Clear body, gold in color. Thin, tight lacing.
S) Not very aromatic. With a name like "summer honey" I anticipated at least a honey aroma. Of the faint aromatics there's a noticeable grain and a subtle floral aroma.
T) Weak taste. Gritty grain taste. Subtle malt sweetness. Resembles more of pilsener than a APA (maybe that's a error?)
M) Fizzy. Crisp. Light bodied.
D) Meh... not very impressed. I wouldn't drink another one.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz from the Coop today for about $1.50.. enjoyed from my New Belgium snifter while listening to Fatboy Slim Live on Brighton Beach.

1" head drops leaving only a collar of lace... brew is crystal clear dark straw.

Aroma is pale malts and little else.. grassy hops may be there and some possible honey essence.

Flavor has more of a honey kick to it.. mixes well with the pale malts.. some background yeastiness.... herbal hoppiness .. there has to be a bunch of wheat in there.. very very drinkable.. body is light/medium with great carbonation..

Good beer and I am probably downplaying it, but overall, I want a little bit more out of my summer seasonals.. but still very nice.... I am actually very surprised that I've never reviewed this one before despite my dozens of times enjoying it.

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Summer Honey Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 293 ratings.