Big Sky IPA - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Sky IPABig Sky IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

458 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 458
Hads: 1,104
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 18.86%
Wants: 32
Gots: 116 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-18-2002

In Montana, many classic memories are made right after someone says, “Hold my beer and watch this.” These bold, assertive moments deserve a bold, assertive beer – Big Sky IPA. A distinct hop presence and malty backbone will leave you refreshed and ready for your moment of glory. Hang on tight and enjoy the ride.

65 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 458 | Hads: 1,104
Reviews by whatthehull:
Photo of whatthehull
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wine/snifter/tulip

A - Swampy golden orange with a hint of earthy brown, one finger tan head and very sticky lacing

S - super rad hop funk right off the nose, bright over ripened pineapple, tons of sugar, fresh malts, grainy, very dense loaf of bread, common flowers, very yeasty and a nice pine sap like note

T - Huge sweet malt with a crazy citrus/pine/pineapple/floral hop. Kind of punches you in the face with all of that at once. nice booze note, dense, a slight mary jane, biscuity and very frsh tasting

M - Full bodied, well balanced, not much complexity but just the right amount, medium plus acidity (but very refreshing) and a very nice long sweet, to hop to sweet malt finish.

D/O - This is a beast of a malt backbone IPA. All the hops and malts you want. Drinks like a snack. Haha. Not quite a meal, but a snack for sure. Very refreshing, great taste and easy to drink. This should suit any ale lovers guidelines of taste

Final thoughts - Very reasonable $8 sixer and a nice 6.2% abv, I could drink this all day!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of alcstradamus
4.67/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A--Pours a copper color with two full fingers of head that would have overflowed my pint glass had I not stopped 3/4 of the way through the pour. It recedes slowly and leaves some lacing.

S--Wow what a smell. This is as potent as any west coast DIPA. Floral, pine, and citrus hops engulf the nose. Oranges, banana peels, dandelions, grapes. Very high quality nose, one of the best IPA's I've smelled

T--Flavorful and balanced. I thought there would be more bitterness based on the nose but this is fairly subdued. There is a bready/caramel maltiness that evens things out very well and makes for a very enjoyable taste. The hops mostly floral/pine in the taste, but there is also a citrus sting.

M--Very oily, glides down the throat and coats the roof of the mouth on the journey. A stickiness remains after the swallow that almost glues my tongue to my mouth. Carbonation levels are moderate.

D--Could put down a sixer if I had to, but 3 or 4 would be enough. This is very easy drinking due to the subdued bitterness and leaves you wanting more because of how it coats your mouth

This will definitely become one of my go-to IPA's. It is solid in every category and I am very surprised it is not rated higher than it is. It is on par with any other than I have tried including Two Hearted and Stone IPA. Great beer.

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Photo of shakeheap
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Passing through Missoula there was the billboard on the side of the interstate. Brewery next exit. Free samples. How'm I gonna pass that up?

Oh, man. They were all pretty good here at Big Sky. The IPA... outstanding. Excellent. My current favorite beer.

Passing back through in the other direction I drank my brewery limit (only IPA this time) and bought a cool bottle opener that says "Big Sky Brewing Company: We make water fun!" Indeed. I'd be needing it for the half-rack I bought fresh out of the brewery fridge and carried back to the roof of the hotel in Seattle.

Night before leaving I sat up there between the Needler and the Sound watching the ferrys run back and forth and thinking it would be the last time I'd have this beer for a long time... if ever. Big Sky doesn't have distribution in Texas. Good News! They do in Oklahoma and since I visit often... oh yeah!

To my tastebuds this the perfectly balanced hoppy/citrusy IPA. My session beer.

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Photo of aaron12
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this is my favorite ipa. to me it's perfect. i have waited to review this beer because of that reason, i wanted to make sure it was true. i first tried big sky ipa about two years ago. each time i come back to it, it blows me away. the perfect blend of hops and malt. others have said this is a "classic" tasting ipa. meaning tastes a lot like the first american ipas of the late 80's early 90's. well, i don't know about that cause i wasn't drinking ipas back then, but i don't feel that this is a "safe" ipa in any way. it's not easy to make such a great tasting ipa at 6.2, and i've had many other old school american ipas but they still don't hit the same spot. this has become my standard for which to base other ipas. thank you big sky, i'm here to stay.

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Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good clarity to the pour,a clear copper with a thinner but sticky slight off white head that turns into a soapy-like froth.Nice hop profile in the nose quite piney spiked with grapefruit rind a nicley developed carmael sweetish malt base shows itself well as well,wow this is a mans IPA here big resin and pine with deeply rooted grapefruit rind in there and definently bitter whoo!A earthy drier malt bas struggles to stay with the hops finally just completely giving way about mid glass.If you like aggressive hopped bitter American IPA's this is it for you personally I loved its brashness.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Autumn orange without much head on this one.

S- Doughy biscuit malt, citrusy(grapefruit), leafy hops.

T- Fresh, fruity hops. Bright with flowery notes.
Tastes better than it smells. There is some diacytl. Crisp clean finish, bitterness fades quickly.

M- Light to medium body with a crisp carbonation.

D- Good beer, especially considering the price range. A solid "take to a party" IPA.

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Photo of SkiBum22
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

A departure from the many English beers Big Sky brews, a healthy dose of Simcoe hops are used to bitter and flavors this beer. We dig the how the animal theme is genuine and not corny as hell, "Antilocapra americana" blazing this label.

Massive white head that slowly settles with an neat-looking plateau in the middle, ample lacing and retention is seen. Very clear deep copper color. Fresh orange zest from the hop aroma, maltiness goes a little nutty and the yeast gives a hint of fruitiness in the nose. Smoothness is packed deep, and the creamy medium body holds firm. It's a back and forth from hops to malt starting off with a sweet bready tone to a slick, oily herbal flavor. Then there's a light caramel note to a semi-prickly bitterness, biscuity grain to a bit of citric rind. Finishes off with more lingering oily hop flavor and runs a little dry.

This is a perfect snapshot of what American IPAs were back in the 1990s. Easy drinking and balanced but still with a very pronounced hop flavor, it's not a trait you see as often, and it's great to experience it again.

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Photo of chip26
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of Beaver13
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a copper orange with a huge fluffy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is big on piney, slightly fruity hops with some sweet caramel malt in the background. Yum!

The flavor is sweet sugary melon initially, followed by a big piney hop bitterness with a long lasting bitter finish. As it warms, the flavor dulls some. The mouthfeel is kind of soft, but smooth and pleasant.

Overall, this was a huge surprise. This is an excellent IPA. I got this in a mixer sixer, but will definitely be getting more of this. This could be one of my new go-to beers, alongside Titan, Hercules and Dale's Pale Ale.

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Photo of Magister_Beav
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of megamass
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness/bottling info to be had. Pour rich, dark almond amber, lighter kahki head, that leaves a slight collar and light scattered bit of lace. Fruity and fragrant hops in the nose. Big and bold ale, plenty of malt coating the underbelly, sweet and smooth. The hops are equally smooth and lighly grapefruit infused as well as grainy and biting. Respectable hop crunch, quite drying and satisfying. Well done Big Sky. Big beer and hop lover, go get some

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Photo of aquazr1
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with a minimal white head. Smell is hoppy, with some citrus as well as pine. There is also a little bit of caramel malt in the smell. The flavor is predominantly hops, with grapefruit being the easiest flavor to pick out. There is also some more malt in the flavor. Overall, a fairly well balanced IPA and one that I really enjoy. I picked this up in Arizona but now that we are getting Big Sky in Texas, I think I will be drinking a lot of this beer.

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Photo of chadjulius
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It's golden-brown in color, malty, hoppy to the smell, which are strong in the taste as well. The taste lingers too, but not in a bad way, its just a strong, dominating taste and "mouthfeel." A litter bitter tasting.

While it is a nice tasting beer, I think it would be good to have in moderation, as in follow this IPA up with a different beer. I should add that there seems to be a hint of metallic smell to it.

Oh, and it's 6.2% Alc/Vol

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Photo of bsp77
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pint glass.

Appearance: Clear orange-amber with a frothy white head and very nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet toasted malts and citrus hops. Some pine as well.

Taste: Much more hoppy and bitter than the smell indicates. Pine and citrus hops with a ever-so-slightly sweet toasted malt counterbalance. Finishes very bitter, which lasts and lasts.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, very dry finish.

Drinkability: Excellent IPA all around. Nice sipper but hard to have too many.

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Photo of Happy_Camper
1/5  rDev -74.2%

Photo of iparules
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of rhinonau
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of mrw1zard
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Resiny piney hops dominate the nose with grain aromas in the background.
A tea colored pour with a slight haze supports a 3" off white head with a slight yellow tint. The head persists and leaves thick lace.
An initial malty palate hints at fruit in the middle and then give way to a pleasant, citrusy, lingering bitterness.
Medium body and carbonation.

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Photo of juicebox
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of JMSiefer
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

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Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 458 ratings.