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
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 jmalex
3.74/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of abrand
3.18/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into the Ommegang tulip. I believe this is the last summer brew in my DBF so thought it would be wise to drink her up. This was purchased earlier this summer as a Big Sky sampler. label shows a big grizzly and displays that it contains real honey and spices.

Appearance is a golden orange and minimal head after an aggressive pour. Minimal lacing but lots of carbonation. Not much hits the nose, but the aroma is sweet malts and maybe a little bit of honey. Taste is similar to the nose with it seeming very watered down. Little hints of sweet honey and a rather dry, bland finish. Mouthfeel is very thin and drinkability is rather low. Not a very exciting beer in any way.

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 beertunes
2.4/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Served in Imperial Pint glass. Poured a clear light gold with a thin head that had no retention or lacing.

A bland, although slightly sweet, aroma greets the nose. The flavors are similar, without there being any noticeable features. with a slightly astringent finish.

The body was very thin, you almost don't even notice it's in your mouth. The beer was certainly drinkable, but why bother? Try this if you're looking to add another notch on your gunhandle, but otherwise avoid.

Photo of Jayli
3.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had 8/13/09
This beer pours a clear honey color with a one finger of white head that disappears immediately. Minimal to no lacing on this beer. Nose is of pale malts, honey, and faint wheat tones. Taste is of grainy and pale malts up front then a bit of citrus with a honey sweetness in the finish. Lighter bodied, medium carbonation, really thin feel but finishes with a crispness.

Photo of jwc215
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear yellow with a thin white head that becomes a wide patch. Trailing lace slides down glass with minimal stickage.

The smell is of honey, grain, light pepper/floral spicing.

The taste is of sweet grain and some honey. A mild general spiciness gives some balance to the rather abrupt finish.

It is appropriately light bodied, not too fizzy.

A bit too sweet (and leaning towards bland) on the taste, though stops before becoming too honey-ish. Not one I would seek out, but refreshing enough on a hot day. Easy enough to drink, as there's not much to it, and carbonation is controlled, making it pretty smooth. More of an American Blonde than an APA, to me.

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 Halcyondays
2.99/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a very pale yellow, with a light cap of fizzy white foam, spotty lace.

S: Honey, piney hops.

T: Sweet with honey initially, but goes heavy into an earthy, green hop profile that wasn't my cup of tea, still drinkable though, it's OK. The honey is a very minor part of the beer, don't expect something like Midas Touch.

M: Crisp, light-bodied, nice carbonation, good mouthfeel overall.

D: I've been a fan of Big Sky in the past, I just didn't find this one very good, a pass for me.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm a fan of bears (referencing my 7 years of photographing them) so I decided to pick up a bottle of Bis Sky's summer beer. It's almost like a pilsner with honey flavor. It's a medium gold/amber color that's visually appealing with a small amount of head. The aroma is hoppy. Taste wise it has very mellow malts with the honey almost undetectable. It goes down and finishes very smoothly. It burbs good. It's ok, but it just doesn't stand out any.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, yellow body with a fizzy, white head. If that doesn't say "Summertime Drinking", nothing does!

Smell: Faint pale malt nose with a note of honey, but maybe half a note each of spice and fruitiness.

Taste: Light pale maltiness with a modest honey-based sweetish. Hint of peach fruitiness as well as a touch fo spice. Floral, citrusy hops with a fairly tame, gentle bitterness. The flavor bounces back and forth between the simple, sweet honey and light spice taste until you reach the dry, thin finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Easy drinking, lightly flavorful, though somewhat forgettable. Yep, it's about average for a simple, summertime libation!

Photo of katan
3.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours an extremely clear, light golden color. Lots of bubbling is present from the strong carbonation. Head formation is extremely light.

S - Smells of a sweet pilsner malt - only the lightest hint of honey. No hops to speak of.

T - Starts with the malt pilsner sweetness, which only briefly adds some bitterness. No hopping on the taste. On the aftertaste the honey starts to show just a bit. Sits on the tongue with a bit of a bitter bite.

M - Light in body - light in carbonation, which is against its appearance. Light sugar cling on the tongue.

D - Easily drinkable. ABV is manageable. Not filling.

Not really an APA to me, but an okay offering nonetheless.

Photo of pants678
2.13/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an english pint, it is nearly transparent. The white head goes from single finger to barely lacing in no time. It's golden, not leaning toward orange or yellow. Not particularly impressive.

The smell doesn't hit me immediately as much of anything. Perhaps hints of coriander, but can't define anything more than that. Citrus may be a stretch.

The taste is thicker than the appearance would suggest. The best thing I can say is that it is well mixed. The honey doesn't feel forced or separated, not like a hoppy pinesol. Rather, the honey is subtly combined with the sweet, light texture. I may not have the strongest palate, but it seems a bit empty, not very complex. The sharper hints are not of citrus, but of subtle spice that does not linger.

Flavors here might benefit from a wheat texture, as this one seems too quickly fleeting. There is not much present to hold on to.

It goes down easy, but is heavier than I might like. There is something to this one being cold that gives it a Kolsch feel. I have to admit this might be releiving on a hot day.

Photo of Goliath
3.18/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Photo of benteach
3.73/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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 schellsbeer
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of tronester
3.22/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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 Ragingbull
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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 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 cadenwhitaker
3.69/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of hopdog
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
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

Photo of yesyouam
3.6/5  rDev +7.5%
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)

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