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Summer Honey Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summer Honey AleSummer Honey Ale

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BA SCORE
78
okay

160 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 160
Hads: 299
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: 299
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance- The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a light white head. The head fades rather quickly leaving just a thin layer of foamy white lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell-The aroma of the beer is grainy with a little bit of a honey smell mixed within. Along with these smells comes some light aromas of a cracker and slightly herbal and floral smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather crackery and slightly doughy taste mixed with a little bit of a honey. The honey gets stronger and stronger as the taste advances, with it becoming of moderate strength by the end, but never too overpowering. Along with honey increasing more graininess comes to the tongue and with little bit of a floral and herbal flavor coming to the tongue, one is left with a rather crisp and slightly grainy taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel-The body of the beer is rather light in terms of its thickness and chewiness with a carbonation level that is on the average side. For the crisp flavors and the mix of honey and grain it creates a rather refreshing feel overall.

Overall- Not a fantastic beer, but by no means offensive. Worth a try and a moderately decent warm summer day beer. (1,232 characters)

Photo of Libeertarian
3.24/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Perfectly clear straw golden color with quickly dissipating, small bubbled, fluffy white head. Mostly grain and bread on the nose, honey detectable. Taste and aftertaste both incredibly bready. Cornbread, to be exact, probably due to the honey, which is otherwise not very distinct on the palate (even in a Dos Equis or a Rolling Rock it is stronger). Mildly bitter from hops throughout, though strongest relative to other flavors on the finish, which is still fairly clean. About like a Pale Lager in that regard. Light-bodied with medium carbonation, and low ABV, making for a very sessionable brew. Will probably buy a few singles again next time it is brewed. (663 characters)

Photo of JessicaRuth
4.71/5  rDev +38.1%
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. (198 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 The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.96/5  rDev -13.2%

Appearance (3.75) : pours a beautiful hazy golden lemon appearance with an off white billowy, dense 1 finger head that pretty much stays put. The foam alone is pretty impressive.

Smell (3.75) : Lemon, flowers, citrus peel, sweet field corn. Spiced ale. Like a spring day.

Taste (2.75) : lemon peel, a faint touch of honey, some bitter hops, some esters. Dish soap...? Some quiet yeast and hops left over on the finish. Overall not impressive, the soapy taste destroys it like a dragon-zombie infested-ice age apocalypse.

Mouthfeel (3.25) : buttery, smooth, light. Medium bodied but drinks like a light bodied brew. Ends with honey notes and a slight dryness.

Overall (2.96) : A bit sickly and disgusting, although still relatively crafty. I keep wanting to say its like High Life with some bad honey lemon added to it. I expected more honey sweetness. Instead I got an adjunct lager taste honey hops and soap. Maybe I set my soaps, er...hopes too high. With that being said I'm sure it pairs with certain foods in a good way. As for the remainder, down the drain it goes. It served its purpose. (1,100 characters)

Photo of Foyle
2.5/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: pours a thick eggshell sudsy head that recedes fairly quickly. Moderate lacing. Color is a cloudy gold with some sediment in suspension.
Aroma: there is a smell of something akin to soap, along with white yeast rolls, and a hint of hop spice
Mouthfeel: light, thin, and watery with a somewhat dry finish.
Flavor: lightly roasted sweet malts, honey, lemon, and a slight soapy flavor in the middle and finish.
Overall: this a decent, light, refreshing summer beer. Not outstanding, but good nonetheless. (517 characters)

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.37/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampling right now on 3/20/14, though it has been since 2012 since I tried one. Bottled chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a pretty golden color with a thin white head. Lots of lacing is seen which each sip which settles back down the sides of the glass. The aroma is of pale malts with some honey sweetness. The taste is about the same with a hint of white pepper with the right amount of honey. Goes down very easy with no harsh after taste. Perfect carbonation. This is a great blonde ale that isn't over done. (565 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.04/5  rDev +18.5%
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. (335 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with a two finger white head that dissipates slowly to a thin cap and heavy ring around the edges. Aroma of light bready malt, grassy hops and a hint of sourness. Flavor is biscuit malt, light honey and grassy hops, finishing with grassy hop bitterness. Light flavored and otherwise unremarkable, but redeemed somewhat by the light honey in the background. (423 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Surprisingly tangy and flavorful light brew. Attractive golden color in the glass with a foamy cap that needs to be renewed with another pour, but it's nicely sudsy in the mouth. This wouldn't be mistaken for anything but a Blonde, but it has some flavor. The honey is just perceptible, but adds a pleasant background flavor.

There is a slight brisk hoppy taste with a slight bitter aftertaste. A hint of resin and something herbal. Not much to get excited about, but a decent representative of the style. A little honey and flowers in the nose. From the 12 oz bottle bought at AJ's Fine Foods in Phoenix. (607 characters)

Photo of GossageBrewery
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this American Blonde Ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear yellow color, produced a nice white head, decent retention and a nice amount of lacing left on the glass. The aroma consisted of pale malt, white pepper and a touch of honey.Medium bodied, easy to drink there was a foundation of pale malt, sweet honey and fruitiness. Dry finish. Overall, decent summer brew but there is nothing that makes this beer stand out. (446 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 Murrhey
2.7/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a weizen glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Half-finger white head, virtually no retention. Pale golden color with high clarity. No real lacing. Not very appealing.

S- Light malts, grass and soap. Maybe some honey if I stretch for it, but otherwise very bland.

T- Spicy hops, golden malts. It's alright.

M- Light bodied and aggressive carbonation.

O- Not great. Below average. Avoid. (441 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-clear amber color with a slight but fast diminishing head. Scent is sweet with wheat and hints of honey. Taste is light, refreshing, and smooth. The texture is decent for a summer beer, but could perhaps still be a bit thicker. The taste is sweet with malts and honey. For a summer beer, it’s not to bad but Big Sky does have better made beers on the market. (373 characters)

Photo of bump8628
3.37/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of the many "easy-drinking" summer seasonals that shows up every year. Like most, this doesn't offer much in flavor, but what it has is pleasant. Subtle spicing sets it apart some. Light caramel honey sweetness, interesting herbal spicy twang from the hop/spice combo. Clean and light on the palate. Nice enough, I can't put my finger on any single spice which helps keep it mildly interesting. (398 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice, golden yellow body topped with a thick, creamy white head. Smell comes across kind of 'dirty' and skunky. Some burnt grain notes. Some bright, grassy notes. Tastes include a light bread-like character with a good, subtle bitterness. Some slight caramel notes and buttery tones. The beer feels slightly rich, yet smooth and dry.

A decent little summer beer from "the last best place". Nothing outstanding, but worth a taste or two. (437 characters)

Photo of imasloth
4.12/5  rDev +20.8%
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). (346 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.36/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A- Beautiful golden honey color with bubbles slowly rising from the bottom. A huge foamy white head that takes forever to recede, and sheets of thick sticky lacing coats the glass.

S- Smells malty, with a sweet honey undertone.

T- Big sudsy malty taste, with a gentle coating of honey afterward. Just perfectly balanced.

M- Medium bodied and creamy.

O- Another great beer by Big Sky, my second favorite brewery. This is delicious, and the perfect amount of sweetness makes this a great session beer. (542 characters)

Photo of alexanf
2.79/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a honey laced gold.

S- Pale malts with light hints of spice and honey.

T- Flavorful honey, with a slight hint of fruit. Also has traces of wheat and light earthy spices.

M- Smooth, lightly carbonated. Finishes quickly and leaves a slight touch of honey lingering.

O- Overall, this has been my least favorite offering from Big Sky Brewing. (351 characters)

Photo of jsisko01
4.36/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark honey color with a thin white head that fades into a nice, thick lacing.

Smell - Has a slight bitter funk to it, along with feint hints of honey and wheat.

Taste - Very sweet with pale malts, caramel, honey, corn, wheat, and buttery biscuits. I honestly don't taste any spices at all.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall - I usually don't favor honey beers but this stuff tastes great. It's very drinkable and I hope to find it again some day. (493 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, pours golden with a thin white head that quickly dissipates leaving no lacing on the glass. Aromas are biscuity, sweet, faint honey. Tastes are sweet, malty, honey, biscuit, some spice, and trace herbal hop on the finish. Mouth-feel is thin-to-medium with moderate carbonation. Overall, definitely sessionable, but pretty standard for the style. (358 characters)

Photo of bushbeer75
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle poured into a glass mug

Big Sky Brewing Summer Honey Ale poured a clear honey golden color with a small ¾ finger white head of bubbly foam that was short lived. The aroma was of wheat, and light honey. The flavor is a bit stronger and more diverse than the aroma with the honey up front, some citrus along with a light herbal/spiciness that is hard to identify. For an APA the hoppiness is on the light side which suits me just fine. Make sure you do not drink Summer Honey Ale to cold as the flavor improves as it warms. The mouth feel is to the lighter side and a bit soft – perfect for a summertime brew.

Big Sky Summer Honey Ale is a good choice for a refreshing summertime brew. (707 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.62/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a true imperial pint glass in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I quite fancy honey beers, but this brewery has yet to impress me.

A: Pours a two finger head of slight cream, fair/below average thickness, and okay retention. Colour is a transparent light gold. The abundance of bubbles makes me wonder if it's overcarbonated.

Sm: Mildly full barley, traces of cidery honey notes, and no detectable spices (I was looking for them per the label). A mild strength aroma.

T: A barley foundation with some decent honey notes atop. I detect no spice at all. It's quite simply built so there isn't much to say about it. No layering or depth. It's decently balanced I guess.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but also too obstructively thick. There's hardly any allowance for what few flavours are present. It's by no means creamy. The finish is abruptly dry and a touch coarse.

Dr: Drinkable but forgettable. I might try it again on draught if I'm feeling squirrelly but otherwise I'll just avoid this in the future. This was the fourth and final beer I had from their variety pack; I see no reason to have anything from this brewery in the future unless it comes naturally to me. They seem to be pretty shite. (1,318 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 zoso1967
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Summer Honey Ale pours a light golden color with a pale beige head. The head is nice and light with a frothy texture. It has decent retention and leaves some nice lacing.

The aroma is fairly subtle, but it does have some nice, slightly grainy aromas to it. It also carries a light spice note and some zesty citrus.

The flavor is crisp, pleasant and unassuming with a nice sweetness that mixes well with an earthy spiciness. The citrusy and zesty character also comes through, as well as some floral blossom notes.

The body is quite light and the carbonation is appropriate for style. The finish is dry and slightly grainy, but fairly refreshing.

This is a drinkable and light ale that would definitely be a good one to quaff at a summer party. I found it to be pretty unremarkable, but solid none the less. (810 characters)

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