Summer Honey Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summer Honey AleSummer Honey Ale

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BA SCORE
77
okay

292 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 292
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: 292 | Reviews: 162
Photo of wnh
3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

Photo of Fabric8r
3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Photo of Chaz
3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Photo of Offa
3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Photo of Mdog
3.91/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

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 lester619
3.92/5  rDev +17%
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.

Photo of climax
3.94/5  rDev +17.6%
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

Photo of DogFood11
3.95/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

Photo of KoG
3.97/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

Photo of beernut7
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This light golden summer brew from Big Sky presents with a bold honey malt character and a rather aggressive hop profile
for a beer brewed with honey. This is a quality beer.

Photo of BeerManDan
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I poured this beer into a glass, the color was a light golden yellow with a little foam.

The smell of honey and spices filled the nose with a pleasant aroma. The same can be said with the taste. Honey and spices were very pleasant in the mouth and palate.

The bitterness and sweetness is well balanced in this ale. A different taste that just made it interesting and worth trying.

Photo of RootedFool
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. Honey gold body. Nice, feathery off-white head. Thin lacing. Smell: gritty graininess, thin malt sweetness, slight hop earthiness -- nice. Taste: quick pinch of hop bitterness upfront, followed by a honey-like sweetness, hint of vanilla; dry finish with a nice toasty graininess. Mouthfeel: slick and clean, middling carbonation. Good summer brew.

Photo of alexgash
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a vibrant, sparkling, golden yellow, with a coppery sheen. Tight-packed, persistent guaze-white head. Nice. Soft, tangy malt aromas underscore definite honey and some peppery spices--maybe coriander. Interesting and good. Peppery spices dot biscuity malt flavors up front. Light, honeyish sweetness gives way to an herbal, peppery bitterness. Soft mouthfeel on a medium body. I could swear there's some wheat in here. Nice summer ale that thankfully is not just another American pale wheat ale.

Photo of Adamthome1
4/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

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 budgood1
4.02/5  rDev +20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a slightly hazed light golden colour, with a fair sized head and some minimal lacing. grass and honey aroma, leaning towards clover and certainly perfumy. nice nose. light flavours of some grainy and coarse maltininess, sweetened a bit by some honey notes and balanced nicely by a small shot of some northwest hops. there is a definite underlying spiciness that adds a delicate layer of herbal goodness. tastes quite nice and is very satisfying. the mouthfeel is rounded and ample for a lower ABV summer themed ale, and the overall body is light and airy, making for easy quaffability. drinkability rates high for the quenching characteristics this summer ale imparts.

a nice beer. this should be a revisited every summer. recommended.

Photo of BierJager89
4.04/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque orange with a white head.

S: Coriander, nutmeg, malt and not much else in the nose.

T: Malt, a little floral honey and nutmeg. Maybe some fruity esters.

M: Light bodied and smooth.

O: It may not be interesting or complex, but it's good and it's refreshing. Definitely recommended, especially on a hot summer day.

Photo of woodychandler
4.05/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The CANQuest hits the trifecta with this surprise gem! CAN you believe it - I will have had it on-tap, out of a bottle and now from a CAN?!?

From the CAN: "We make water fun! 'Some Catchy Phrase Goes Here.' Ale brewed with honey and spices." I should also mention that unlike the bottle label, where the bear is upright and rampant, on the CAN he is on all fours, surveying a river vista with mountains in the background.

My pour created a finger of eggshell-white head with good retention. The color was a golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. I got the honey up front on the nose. There was a light spiciness in there, but it seemed more yeast-driven than anything else. Mouthfeel was slightly thin with a honey-sweet taste on the tongue. Finish had a spicy dryness that I would have otherwise attributed to a yeast strain doing its thing. The spices were there, but they did not seem readily identifiable to me. This is definitely a summer beer! Light, smooth, dry on the finish - a definite CANdidate for the cooler (if only it were readily available). Tasty.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pristine honey with lemonade colored trim. The head is rich ivory in color and sponge-like in texture. Persistence is better than average, while lace deposition is worse than average. There's nothing wrong with the appearance, but nothing catches the eye either.

The aroma is lightly sweet, breezy and citrus zesty; perfect for a summer cooler (which is the opposite of a winter warmer). I can't detect either honey or spices, but feel confident that I'll be able to appreciate them on the palate.

I like Summer Honey Ale. The bee juice contributes flavor and an ideal amount of balancing sweetness, in addition to whatever pale malt sweetness is present. Hoppiness is on the tame side for an APA, which allows the beer to achieve an easy, pleasureable sweet-bitter balance. Honey-dipped grapefruit wedges?

Even though I can't identify any specific spices, it tastes like something out of the ordinary is present. The beer tastes more herbal than spicy to me. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that coriander is one of the secret ingredients. The flavor deepens with warming, so if you really want to appreciate the best this summer brew has to offer, don't drink it too cold.

The mouthfeel is summer beer light, along with being soft and feathery. That combination increases drinkability exponentially. I usually have a swallow or two left at this point in my reviews. Not today.

With Summer Honey Ale, Big Sky has demonstrated their brewing dexterity by keeping three balls named 'honey', 'hops' and 'spices' in the air at the same time. They've come up with an excellent summer cooler that I'd love to have access to when the hot weather rolls around.

Photo of Tone
4.1/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear yellow color. One inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of hops, honey, citrus, and pine. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly thick with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops, pine, slight honey, and citrus. There is a slight dryness associated with this brew. Overall, a very drinkable APA with decent body.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.1/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours transparent golden color with thin white head that dissipates to a rim lace after a few minutes. Nose is lemon-lime citrus, with a slight touch of vanilla icing. Clean & fresh.

Palate is light to medium, with some herbal qualities that make me think of Kolsch, and some balancing honey sweet flavors in the middle. Toasty malt is present. Finish is herbal and somewhat dry.

Very refreshing and a great summer alternative to the usual weissbier or kolsch.

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

Fine white head that leaes quickly, honey golden color. Aroma: spicy sweet, arousing, tingly, bright. Taste:utterly delicious. So far, the best honey beer I've had, though I haven't had them all (Dupont Biere de Miele, Young's Waggledance, where ARE you??. ) Bright honey flavor comes shining through. Light body, pleasant finsh, easy-drinking. Not much in the hop department, but that's not what they're going for. An excellent summertime refreshment!

Summer Honey Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 292 ratings.