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Summer Honey Ale - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summer Honey AleSummer Honey Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

160 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 160
Hads: 306
Avg: 3.38
pDev: 21.89%
Wants: 6
Gots: 25 | 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: 306
Photo of archyquaffer
3.71/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of wnh
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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Photo of lurpy1
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Split a bottle with my lovely wife last night. It's uber-tropical here, so seems like a good night for a beer that runs towards the light side.

Unfortunately, this one is too tilted towards the light. Mouthfeel, while not unpleasant, is clearly thin. The taste is pleasant, honey, breakfast spices, apples, but there's just not enough there there. Hop characteristic is completely lacking, although it shows up in the aftertaste . My wife summed up well after we were done: "Find me something else, I don't even feel like I drank a beer."

It does go down very well on a hot, hot night. Probably a good gateway beer from Macro beers to craft brew. Other than that, I look for something with a little more action.

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Photo of pants678
2.13/5  rDev -37%
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.

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Photo of alexanf
2.79/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of terrabyte
3.12/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours into a nice yellow color with a small white head.

The aroma is sweet, with a rice or wheat malt.

The flavor is quite light. Nothing bold going on. However, there is still some subtle complexities going on. It says honey, so let's assume it's sweetness comes from honey. It's followed by some spices such as coriander. It finishes without much bitterness.

Dry crisp mouth. Last inch of my glass could be shaken up with carbonation, however, it wasn't a distraction while drinking.

There are too many amazing Big Sky beers I'd rather be having. Yes, this is better than any other refreshing lawnmowever macro beer due to its honey spiced flavor. But I just want to move on from this beer.

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Photo of youradhere
4.55/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great summer brew, not too heavy but still does the trick when camping with friends. Cool and crisp, a slight hop bite greets you followed by a mellow honey twang, almost unnoticable. Not much on hop aroma, possibly Mt. Hood or even Cascade if I had to venture a guess. A definate and constant summer must for me and my friends as we all enjoy this one to start the night off before moving to the cheap stuff.

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Photo of RootedFool
4/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

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Photo of wedgie9
2.06/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Tasted from 12oz bottle. Pours pale golden with a thin and quickly receding white head. Light nose of wheat and some honey. Simple flavors of wheat and honey with some spices on the back of the palate. Body is light, and carbonation is very lively with a rather short spiced finish. Overall, I am not crazy about this beer.

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Photo of jeffboo
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A lighht golden brew with white head. Aromas of honey and light grassy hops and bready yeast but nothing special. It has a light refreshing body holding bready malt and yeast flavors with a good malt backbone. It finishes with a toasted malt and lightly honey flavors, a nice summer beer.

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Photo of AmberMan22
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.24/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of HoppyMcStout
2.06/5  rDev -39.1%
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...

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Photo of Tolnik
3.02/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured this pale wheat colored beer into a pint glass. The foam that was created off the pour was that of a 1/2 inch. Then reduced down to wisps of lacing. The wheat and floweral tones of the beer off the aroma is tantalizing. The taste isn't that great that follows the aroma. It has a bittering taste of the wheat that doesn't create a great pallet. The after taste is likewise but doesn't linger for that long.

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Photo of schellsbeer
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of imasloth
4.12/5  rDev +21.9%
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).

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Photo of PirateUlf73
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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

Pours a clear golden color with a decent two finger white head. Aromas of toasted biscuit malt and honey. Kind of reminds me a bit of honey nut Cheerios, but not in a bad way. Also picking up a bit of lemon on the end. Flavor pretty much follows suit. I remember having this beer a few years ago and not being a huge fan, but it's actually tasting pretty good to me today.

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Photo of lester619
3.92/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of Clockwork420
3.82/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of cadenwhitaker
3.69/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.01/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- This beer pours a clear yellow with a little head retention.

Smell - Very sweet aroma with heavy honey, mildly syrupy. The smell is quite promising before tasting this beer.

Taste - Very thinly flavored on the front end, but as the beer lingers honey and grapefruit notes carry this subtle beer into a flowery sweet finish.

Mouthfeel- Light, very carbonated, but not particularly smooth feeling. The thinness makes this summer brew particularly appropriate on a hot day, though.

Drinkability - Overall a decent beer with very little complexity. I'll admit I expected more from the makers of Moose Drool, but alas, it's just okay.

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Photo of Adamthome1
4/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

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Photo of EnJeiBee
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - After a vigorous pour a white 1-finger pillow of head formed over a noticeably bubbly transparent golden brew

S - Sweet malt dominates with a hint of honey and spice in the background

T - Clean malty flavor with a small hit of spices. The honey really doesn't show itself until the finish.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation and a very clean finish

O - This is definitely a summer session beer in my mind. There isn't anything remarkable about it, but that's OK. I think it would appeal to the BMC drinkers that you might want to try giving a little push in the craft direction.

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