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Summer Honey Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summer Honey AleSummer Honey Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

274 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 274
Reviews: 156
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 16.37%
Wants: 4
Gots: 15 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-16-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 274 | Reviews: 156 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Goliath
3.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden color with a large inch and a half slightly off white head. Good retention.

The aroma is ok. A slight hop presence giving a touch of citrus is followed by a sweet bit of honey. How appropriate.

The taste is ok. A light hop presence gives a bit of citrus and is quickly followed by a hefty malt backbone lending notes of bread and grain. A slight sweetness takes the edge off.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderately high carbonation giving it a nice tingle.

Drinkability is moderate. The beer is easily sessionable at only 4.7% ABV, however it's a bit dull and uninspiring which doesn't exactly compel the drinker to have another, or finish the current one for that matter. It's ok, but subpar in my book.

Goliath, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of benteach
3.75/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

benteach, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of Tone
4.1/5  rDev +22%
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.

Tone, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of schellsbeer
3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Of the three Big Sky beers that I have had tonight, this is my favorite.

Very nice looking with a clean yellow straw orange color. I was somewhat impressed. Nice head.

Smell was sweet with some honey there but could have used more.

Taste was good at best but better than the other 2 that I had tonight. At least this was refreshing and I could enjoy this again.

Mouthfeel was again average for me. Thin. Yeah...you get the idea.

Drinkability is high considering it is only 4.7% ABV. This is one thing that I do appreciate about Big Sky. They make beers that tend to be lower in ABV than many other macro craft breweries....if you know what I mean. I know that macro and craft don't usually go in the same sentence but Big Sky is becoming a popular brewery.

One thing that I have noticed about Big Sky is as they get more known, the quality seems to be going down....many of their beers take on a watery feel. This should be the case when I spend $15 on a 12 pack...and this is on a good day.

schellsbeer, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of tronester
3.28/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear golden with a big white head. Smell is faintly of grain, not much here. Taste is light and grainy, super clean grain bill, and a good bitterness from the hops rounds it out. Not much hop flavor. Mouthfeel is somewhat watery and thin, high carbonation. Quite drinkable though, a simple, 'no-frills' beer that would be nice to drink every once in awhile. Though this really doesn't seem like an American Pale Ale (I would say its an American Blonde Ale) its worth a shot.

tronester, May 02, 2009
Photo of wnh
3.9/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

wnh, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of Ragingbull
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very pale in color and very clear appearance. The color of light honey perhaps. Traditional beer smells of grain and malt in the mainstream/macrobrew sort of way. Frothy head with a smooth and thick attack and mouthfeel. The flavor is rich in that "macro" sort of way. The finish is clean. This beer I think would have very wide mainstream appeal and would be handy to have in the cooler for a party. It makes me think of honey brown only a superior version of it. Perhaps the name clouds my judgment though.

Ragingbull, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of yemenmocha
4.1/5  rDev +22%
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.

yemenmocha, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of climax
3.95/5  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

climax, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of cadenwhitaker
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed the smell of this beer as I picked up quite a bit of honey and cane sugar.

The taste on the other hand was... not bad. Just a bit to "yeasty" I guess, almost like a grain belt. However, I think it needs that because there isn't much else in there. A decent enough summer beer. I'll have to remember this for the hot days because this beer is probably quite good out of a bottle.

cadenwhitaker, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of hopdog
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Poured a lighter golden color with a larger sized white head. Aromas of grain, lighter honey, and some spices. Tastes of honey (stronger than the aromas) and spices. I found the body to be on the thinner body.

Notes from and tasted on 9/11/06

hopdog, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of yesyouam
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big Sky Summer Honey is a crystal-clear, lively light golden ale with an off-white head that mostly dissipates and leaves good lacing. The first aroma that strikes me is... pizza dough?, followed by honey and cane syrup and a hint of spruce. That yeast is too loud, otherwise it's excellent. It is medium bodied and soft, lively on the tongue, and it leaves the mouth raw and oily. It's hella bitter. The flavor balance is excellent-- a bit top-heavy. The yeast is in balance here and has a great Western US flavor. The blue spruce aftertaste reminds me of big country. It's fruity and bready-- a rowdy western session ale!
(rated Aug 9, 2007)

yesyouam, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Golden color with decent clarity. Thin white head fades to a small collar pretty quickly.

Smells of faint malt, honey and honeydew melon. Very light nose. Smells fresh, but a bit unexciting.

Tastes of light fruits, such as cantaloupe, strawberries and (again) honeydew melon....maybe some clover. Lightly lager-esque sulfur flavor and tartness. I don't really taste an abundance of honey flavor or sweetness.

It's an ok quencher, but not overly exciting or flavorful. I'll stick to the Moose Drool.

twiggamortis420, Oct 29, 2008
Photo of pweis909
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I really do like several Big Sky beers, and this is not one of them. The beer really does have a honey color, aroma, and taste. White foam dissipated fasr. Very subtle honey in the aroma and tase department, and there is nothing else going on other than it is balanced.

pweis909, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of coldmeat23
2.55/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

GLASS: Pint Glass
TEMP: Chilled to approx 40 degrees

Pale golden straw color. Very pale. Minimal head. Minimal retention. Spotty lacing (at best). Looks weak.

Smells of wheat and floral hoppiness. Black pepper and orange peel.

Weak. Tastes like carbonated water, served in a glass that once had beer in it. I will say that it is crisp and clean tasting. There is some citrus and spice flavor in here, along with a touch of sweetness. The problem is that they are buried so deep that you can hardly taste them.

A little bit better (more) body than the traditional summer brew. Smooth and drinkable.

I don't like this one. I don't find it drinkable. For me to drink this one again, my other choice(s) will have to be quite horrid.

coldmeat23, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of the bottle this Montana brew was a wet-straw gold color with a white head one finger thick. Faded after a few minutes to a thin skim and then a tiny ring. Moderate lacing. Aromas are mostly wheat and some hops with pale malt behind it. Flavors are almost all wheat, crisp but the honey is very hard to find. Slightly sour. 'Wet' finish of grains sticks to the tongue. Decent mouthfeel and fizzy carbonation. OK, but not much more than that.

thekevlarkid, Sep 15, 2008
Photo of emerge077
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

emerge077, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of Redrover
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle included in the sampler pack. Poured into a pint glass, the beer is a bright gold with a fairly dense white head.

The aroma is of grains, perfumey hops and a bit of honey.

The taste is slightly grainy with some sweetness that may be from the honey that lurks in the background. The hops add a bit of balance, but this one falls on the sweet but not cloying side of the taste spectrum. I like the bit of sourness that emerges late in the aftertaste.

The mouth is decent with unlooked for heft. I suppose this is an easy enough drinker and would be a nice cross-over beer

Redrover, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of SargeC
3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold colored brew with a minor white head.

Smell: Small touch of hops. Malt with a hint of honey sweetness.

Taste: Crisp and clean start, honey flavor shows up very passively in the finish. Minor spice profile throughout.

Mouthfeel: Light body. The brew is denser than expected.

Drinkablity: Easy drinking and tasty brew.

SargeC, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of DefenCorps
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received as an extra in trade with cjsell. Thanks! This beer (and brewery) is new to me. Into my Stone pint glass

A: Straw yellow with a dense, 1-finger white head. This is almost perfectly clear to boot.

S: Mild citrus note with an orange peel astringency. Spicy with some coriander and black pepper. Some floral sweetness is present

T/M: Starts off mildly sweet yet hoppy with some citrus, spice and honey-like sweetness present. Exceedingly light in body, slightly strange on finish with a spicy character that just doesn't work for me. The carbonation is at an adequate level but the flavor leaves a lot to be desired.

D:At 4.7%, I have no complaints drinking it - apart from the very disappointing flavor profile

DefenCorps, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of scruffwhor
2.85/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear straw with a quick head and no lacing or foam. Good bubbles though. The aroma is a delicate mix of pale malts adn light spices. hen somesoft honey and musty hops. The tase immediately mkes me think of an American pale wheat ale. Musty German hops with some light honey bread sweetness and even lighter spice notes. The palate is sweet but a little musty, but the finish has a nice honey and spice combo. Tastes more like an American wheat ale than an APA.

scruffwhor, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of therica
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= light golden-yellow with a glisten typical of honey; very light head, hardly any lacing that lasts long.

S= nice and inviting, malts with a bit of sweet-grassy scent.

T= mild on carbonation but sufficient; mild hops bitters, malts, honey.

M= very nice, with a slight hops-bitter residual, slight grassy taste with some mild honey-sweetness, less than I expected from the name "Honey Ale" though.

D= very drinkable, great for sessions or parties, probably just fine even in the non-summer seasons, and obviously FAR better than any macro of any sort.

therica, Jul 12, 2008
Photo of DoubleJ
3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a mix-pack from Cost Plus World Market, on to the beer:

Pale filtered straw colored in the body, head is white and fuzzy with modest retention. The aroma is mild, hop and tea leaf notes with touches of sweetness (could that be the honey?). As it enters the mouth, I immediately become refreshed off its easy and light flavor. Almost citrusy tasting. Bready notes break up the monotone flavor. I can't seem to find the honey character; okay it's there, but it's very light. This is a simple and refreshing beer.

DoubleJ, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of HoppyMcStout
2.03/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I have to admit that I didn't pour this into a glass and so I gave the appearance a "3.0" as a default. I don't think the appearance could have saved this one though. It tasted very watery to me, like a light macro beer but with some honey flavor added. I know that a summer ale is supposed to be light, but this one was dismal...

HoppyMcStout, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

JohnGalt1, Jun 25, 2008
Summer Honey Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.