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Summer Honey Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summer Honey AleSummer Honey Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

160 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 160
Hads: 300
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 16.72%
Wants: 6
Gots: 23 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 160 | Hads: 300
Photo of Adamthome1
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, no best by date but it's late in year probably been shelved for 6 months or so....

heavy smell, almost like hard water, also get the citrus in the nose

smooth at first and goes down easy, taste of honey and quite a bit more than expected fruity accents from the hops. Carbonation feels just right

Aftertaste is dominated by, you guessed it, honey...also a nutmeg flavor coming through, was not expecting that, nice balance, and a nice and sweet aftertaste.

One of the easiest drinking honey beer's I've had, could actually probably stomach more than just one at a time like most honey's. Thumbs up on this one. (629 characters)

Photo of KoG
3.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow, almost the color of honey. Produced a good head that didn't last long and left a slight lace.

Smell is honey and a bit of wheat and sweet malts. A good smell even without the slight hint of hop.

Taste is creamy and a touch sweet fading into a nice hop bitterness that goes down smooth.

A nice summer seasonal that is quite drinkable. Seemed a bit more like a cream ale than an APA to me. (409 characters)

Photo of DogFood11
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this puppy out at BevMo because it was from montana and I dont think I've had a beer from there yet...good a reason as any is suppose. Plus with the weather we are having a good summer honey ale sounds great.

I wasn't dissapointed....It is what its trying to be....a bit spicey yet sweet almost to the point of annoying but like george castanza's dad it pulls up short....nice, refreshing carbonation levels. I did this six pack in tonight and would like another, in my book thats some super drinkability. Far from a big beer, this is lawnmower material and it does what you think it will, refresh without boring you. (627 characters)

Photo of climax
3.94/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

color was a pale amber-yellow, a bit murky. i had to pour it pretty aggressively to get a finger of head which faded quickly

smelled of wheat/grain, perfumy honey and melon, graham crackers when i buried my nose in it. hints of citrus and coriander. pretty complex nose actually

taste was bright and smooth, graham crackers, a bit of a hop presence at first and a definite wheat finish

nice crispness from the carbonation but not over done, pretty medium bodied, coats nicely with a chalky finish

not sure this beer is really a pale ale, not hoppy enough, would fit more in the pale wheat category....but i got a IPA in the sampler pack as well so i can't complain. nonetheless it's refreshing and quaffable. i could sit down and drink this all day and not be offended (772 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +15%
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. (1,051 characters)

Photo of lester619
3.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden yellow with a creamy head that settles to a half inch film. Sweet and floral smelling. Some black pepper, and faint baking spices like cloves and cinamon come out. Very clean and crisp flavor. Sweetness with a little peppery kick to start. Finishes bone dry with a just with a little bitterness and a touch more spice. This stuff works for what it's for. Very refreshing hot weather all day drinking kind of beer. (434 characters)

Photo of Mdog
3.91/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold with lots of carbonation.

Smell: Smells grassy to me.

Taste: Starts sweet then has some breadiness with maybe a little coriander, then finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing.

Drinkability: If I want a night off from hops or something easy on a hot night, this is a good one.

A nice summer beer, not too heavy but complicated enough to be interesting. Recommended. (402 characters)

Photo of Fabric8r
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big Sky Brewing has done a great job with this light summer ale. Perfect for a hot day with both sweet tones and hop flavors. Color is just like honey. Not much head, even though it is over corbonated, which is why I gave it lower score on mouthfeel. The carbonation burn detracts from the flavor. So, I just swirl it a bit until the carbonation is released some. A bit pricey for a lighter beer, so I wait for it on sale. (422 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 9/3/2014. Pours slightly hazy bright golden color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, orange zest, pear, wheat, cracker, biscuit, honey, coriander, herbal, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, spice, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, orange zest, pear, wheat, cracker, biscuit, honey, coriander, herbal, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, orange, pear, wheat, cracker, biscuit, honey, coriander, herbal, grass, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and balance of pale malt, earthy hops, spice, and yeast ester flavors; with a goood malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with no warming present after the finish as expected for 5%. Overall this is a very nice blonde ale style. All around good balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, spice, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,439 characters)

Photo of Chaz
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a shaker. Medium pour yields a one-fingered off white head of medium duration and fairly good lacing. Very clear golden in color, with moderate carbonation. Nose is subtle honey and lightly sweet, pale malts. Slightly vegetal, and no apparent hops. Honey is apparent on the first sip, but is fleeting, a bit more than the minimun impression is left before the semi-sweet malts round out the palate, and a dryer, biscuity malt takes over. Nice and dry in the finish. Somewhat fruity and aromatic, with clover honey (just a guess) and apple blossoms. Aftertaste leaves an impression of peach, which is actually quite nice. The hops are there also, but very, very attenuated. Body is lighter and mothfeel is a little on the thin side, and the carbonation is reasonably easy-going, too. This is a nice, well-executed fruit-vegetable beer, and I'd say so especially if we were to consider it more of an amalgam of Golden Ale and Fruit Vegetable beer rather than an APA. For whatever reason this bottle is striking me as tastier and livelier than the last draght I had of the Summer Honey, so either the recipe has changed or it's less impressive on draught? Improves a bit asit warms, but no doubt goes down quite well on the cold side for some folks . . . is there a touch of wheat malt in this one? At any rate, it's much better than I remember it from the many times I've sampled it over the previous five or six years. A solid summer quaffer from a solid craft brewery. (1,478 characters)

Photo of Offa
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very pleasant, somewhat kolsch-like golden ale with a definite honeyish character.

Golden and bubbly, it has a large white head shrinking steadily.

Aroma is honey and grain, simple but pleasant, straightforward about what it is.

The taste is light, crisp, slightly sweet with honey, grain, and a biscuity-grain aftertaste. Very pleasant, smooth, light and crisp, it is highly drinkable, pleasant, and does the job well. (435 characters)

Photo of wnh
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, bright, light orange-tinted yellow with a couple fingers' worth of slightly thick, slightly creamy head that diminishes to a slightly creamy film across the surface. Lively, with moderate amounts of carbonation.

Not much to detect in the nose. Bright and somewhat citrus, with what I believe is honey in the background, though my brain could be tricking my nose into believing it's smelling honey since this is a "honey" ale. Somewhat sweet, caramel, bready backbone.

Flavor is crisp and bright. Bready, though not particularly wheaty. This isn't exploding with flavor, but it's plenty flavorful for what I want in this type of beer.

Crisp, clean mouthfeel, with a short finish. Thirst-quenching. Plenty drinkable. A good summer beer. (794 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed: 10/14/11

Appearance: A mostly clear, pale golden color - honestly looks a lot like Trout Slayer, which I had earlier tonight - small white head, minimal lacing

Smell: Pale, light malts with some quite obvious honey - very honey-forward - maybe this was added post-fermentation? - a little spicy, a little floral, but really not that exciting

Taste: Interesting - the honey is really prominent - sweet, but not excessively so - some spice, some light fruit - malts are very light, kind of like barely-cooked biscuits, kind of tastes like some wheat is involved here - a touch of citrus to balance things out - certainly not bitter, but there are some hops in here

Mouthfeel: Light medium body, kind of coats the tongue in a dry way, medium carbonation

Overall: Surprisingly good

At first I was a bit confused by the honey, but it grew on me very quickly. This is really one of the best uses of honey I've encountered in quite some time. I'm note sure if it's what I want in a summer beer, but it works quite well right now as I'm drinking it in October. (1,068 characters)

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Nice sunny golden color. Very little head or lacing.

S: Very clean malt. Slight lemon/honey.

T: Tasty. Very malty with a honey edge. Crisp, clean. An instant summer go to.

M: Full. Medium carbonation.

D: Will surely enjoy this one again this summer. Not overtly sweet (nor bitter). Good. (326 characters)

Photo of battlekow
3.82/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer on a 90-degree day on a trip to the grocery store, figuring it would be refreshing. Upon arriving home, I discovered that I had been locked out of the house. Fearing for the beer's life, I managed to get a window open and crawl in. It was worth it, this beer is pretty good.

It's pale gold with a big, creamy head. Good lacing. Looks like the kind of beer I want to drink after mowing the lawn. Doesn't smell too much, a little bit of spiciness, but tastes great. The scent is representative of the flavor, a very easy-drinking beer with a bit of spice. Excellent and refreshing on this particular day. (619 characters)

Photo of Clockwork420
3.82/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into glass.
Under $14 a 12 pack.

A - Gold straw color. No head at all, after pour. Super light white layer. Less than a mm thick.

S - Clean fresh, grassy. Smells sweetly like flowery. Smells kind of like dirt in a good way. Earthy.

T - Citrus, and sweet. Lemon hints. Light malt and balanced hops. Tangy bite on end. Refreshing.

M - Great carbonation. Thin and easy to drink. Perfect viscosity.

D - Fairly high.

This is the ideal Summer blend for a beer. I can see myself drinking this mowing the lawn or sitting on the porch with this one. The only lacking area is the Appearance, but its understandable and fits the style perfectly. Could pass as a massive brew product by looks alone. Taste is not in the same category. Light years away.

Good beer. (769 characters)

Photo of Nerudamann
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look - murky light golden or straw color, almost like a pale hefe. Good 2 or 2 - 1/2 inches of head. Good carbonation.

Smell - very wheaty smelling, fairly hoppy. Not smelling much of the honey flavor, but there is a slight sweetness, maybe even a hint of pumpkin spice?

Taste - Very good balance between malty and hoppy. Slightly more hoppy flavored though, with a very "earthy" vibe to it..maybe not as pungeant as some of the noble ones...very "American" tasting if that makes any sense. Still can't taste much of a honey flavor..almost more of a smokey flavor to the taste.

Mouthfeel - Fairly well balanced, but more watery than creamy in texture.

Drinkability - very tasty brew! No lingering aftertaste and very clean in general. Easy one to come back to, and a great summer brew! (790 characters)

Photo of whynot44
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden color with a modest white head that does manage just a bit of lacing.

The aroma is bread dough, hints of honey and light floral hops.

The taste is dry bready malt, honey, hints of pepper and cinnamon, with a dry lightly hopped lingering aftertaste, crisp and refreshing, a very nice hot weather cooler.

Light/medium body, very drinkable. (356 characters)

Photo of AmberMan22
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a wonderful, true honey color -- aptly named. Slightly hazy...it really is like looking at honey.

Smell is largely of hoppy spiciness, some honey, hop bitterness, fairly one dimesional.

Tastes of fresh honeycomb, maybe cascade hops (I'm still learning, so this is largely a guess) but the hops have a peppery background. Actually a decent amount of malt to back this guy up. Nice job again Big Sky.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thick for a beer of this color. Even the feeling of honey seems to enhance it's heft. The carbonation is too strong my my taste however.

Overall, this seems like a bit of a misfit, despite being a pretty good beer. I just don't know what season it fits in, because the mouthfeel seems too heavy for a spring/summer beer, but the flavor is in that range. (788 characters)

Photo of jmalex
3.74/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tim for this one. I don't think I've ever had anything from Montana before.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Sam Adams glass a clear pale yellow with a loose-bubbled white head on top. It shrinks down to a full cap with great staying power.

SMELL: Quite sweet with indications of wheat and lemony citrus. But it's really overtaken by the spices in this beer. Coriander for sure, but there could be more.

TASTE: Light and lemony and assuredly wheat-based. The spices aren't as formidable but still add a subtle complexity to the beer. Hops are much more apparent giving the beer a great balance. This really has a nice flavor and is quite unique.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium light body with an average carbonation. It does seem a bit slick though and lacks any crispness.

DRINKABILITY: It's a fine choice for a session and is well suited for summer weather. An ABV under 5% is a nice feature too. Unfortunately for me it's the coldest day since spring here today, so it's not quite well suited for drinking on this day.

A fine choice and good to drink if it's available to you. Not worth going out for your way for though. (1,119 characters)

Photo of benteach
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a thick head, that lasted a while, with good lacing. Yellow color, very clear.

You smell the honey, but it is not overpowering. I am not a huge fan of honey, so I enjoyed this. Taste was very clear, crisp, and again, not too much on the honey side. Slight hop taste and something else between the smell and the taste that I cannot figure out. Floral I guess, it is hard to pinpoint.

Drinks well, I have enjoyed all of the Big Sky beers so far. This one is a nice departure from the typical APA. (503 characters)

Photo of freed
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We pulled a couple of these to try out, and frankly, I'm glad we did. This could be an excellent gateway beer, and I imagine I'll try and have some around for family.

The beer is dull yellow, has a mild amount of head, and gives off just a little aroma. The scent is mostly malt, but there is also some of the sweetness to the smell from the honey.

The taste is very pleasant, mild, and smooth. The honey aids in its smoothness, but doesn't dominate the taste. There isn't any noticeable hop flavors or bitterness, and the mild maltienss is rather nice.

I recommend this for the people in your lives who don't understand why you like beer so much. It may help them. (674 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
3.71/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (539 characters)

Photo of archyquaffer
3.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 12 ounce longneck bottle into a Shaker pint glass. The label states "Ale brewed with honey and spices". A medium pour produces about an inch of snowy-white, creamy froth that sticks to the sides of the glass. The beer is a pale honey-golden in color. Moderately carbonated.

Not much on the nose, but mine is not very sensitive. A faint aroma of floral hops and pale malt. The honey taste is very apparent in the burps, which is really the way I smell beer. The honey is also apparent in the taste, which I like. (Why put honey in there if you can't taste it?). The spices are also very detectable but not overbearing by any means. I'm thinking maybe I'm tasting a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. Maybe just a kiss of hops on the palate and tongue, but basically very clean, with a pretty nice malty and mead-like aftertaste.

I love a lighter beer for the warmer weather that has some taste to it other than corn mash. This one fits the bill nicely, and I will definitely seek this out again. (1,004 characters)

Photo of browna71
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Golden Straw, thin layer of cream colored head
S- Bready, sweet, honey
T- Pleasant toasted malt body, notes of herbal spiciness, honey comes though on the finish
M- Appropriate for style, good carbonation
O- Good beer, nothing over the top crazy, but a great beer for a hot summer day. Could drink several of these (317 characters)

Summer Honey Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.