1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Big Sky IPA - Big Sky Brewing Company

Big Sky IPABig Sky IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

854 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 854
Reviews: 437
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%


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:
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 added by: beernut7 on 08-18-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Sky IPA Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 854 | Reviews: 437 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

2.4/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured aggressively into a giant snifter, the lacing is decent, and the color is really red for an ipa, red red red. A lightly hopped IPA that you could easily call just an American Pale Ale, and malt is very prominent, with some light citrus notes, and a light alcohol whisper sliding down, but maybe thats because my stomach is empty right now. My pour may have been too aggressive because the carbination is pretty light,and this is really smooth. drinkability is high but i don't want any more, thats ok i only bought one bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 02:01:01 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

2.45/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On Tap at Bryant Lake Bowl:

Definitely misses the style, a dark copper/brown bodied beer. The smell is malty, very malty, almost too malty and sweet. Hops fight for air. Taste is pretty off vs. the style. Carmel malt is as big if not bigger than the hops presence. The carmel cloys, too sweet. A grating beer, not my favorite at all.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2006 07:37:15 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

2.68/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light amber, with a very decent head of off-white foam. Very good lacing from the head, and the retention is pretty good. Perhaps lacks a little body, but otherwise a very good looking IPA.

Some pleasant hoppy aromas, with a rather unfortunate diacetyl butterscotch character on the nose. A little fruit, but not a lot. It's not a huge nose, and unfrotunately, the butterscotch tends to dominate, leaving it a little unpleasant.

Some butterscotch on the palate too, but it is cleaned up by the light hoppy bitterness. Not entirely though, unfortunately, and there's an unpleasant sickly character which sticks around. What clean bitterness is there is also pretty gritty, leaving an alternate harsh twang and sickly sweetness. There is a fair bit wrong about this beer, and unfortunately, the negatives outweight the positives.

This beer ends up showcasing how not to do an IPA. I was very disappointed with this brew, and it just went to show that it's not easy to make a great IPA.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 03:23:00 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Cresant
Cresant

Kentucky

2.7/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 0z. brown bottle into a Sierra Nevada Hops glass. No date on the bottle or on the Mixed 12 Pack box. Looks to be the summer seasonal release. The body was bright copper/orange color with a tiny amount of haze. The head was khaki colored, moderate and broken, leaving minimal lace.

Smell was sweet malty syrup. Bread dough. Not much else.

Taste was of malt more than hops, however, it does fnish with some dull hops bitterness. Maybe this one would be better if it were fresher.

Mouthfeel was medium in body. Moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 16:53:11 | More by Cresant
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.88/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an imperial pint glass in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given beers from this style are usually brewed without balance in mind in my experience. No best before date on the bottle, but I consumed it the day I bought the variety pack it was part of to minimize the potential of hop decay.

A: Pours a three finger head of no cream, bad thickness, and good retention. Colour is a clear light copper.

Sm: As expected, the only detectable note is hops. I'd guess cascade. A moderately strong aroma.

T: A hoppy flavour profile with too much bitterness plaguing the third act. Some light malts try to aid the balance but fail. An imbalanced IPA that is nevertheless somewhat pleasant to drink. It's built with an emphasis on hops without regard for balance; this may please fans of the style but I don't find it appealing.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the floral notes of the body.

Dr: Drinkable but lacking balance. The cost is okay. It hides its ABV well, but the quality just isn't there to justify another purchase.

I suspect it would pair really well with a spicy food. Maybe chicken wings?

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 03:57:38 | More by kojevergas
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

2.95/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled: unk

Pours a nice amber with a sheet of solid light yellow foam and excellent clarity. Smells english malt dominant with some herbal and floral hops. Maybe a hint of grapefruit. Flavor is fruity and bitter with a good overture of malts and apprehensively applied spiciness. Medium bodied with hi carb and semi dry finish. Average beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 05:28:35 | More by harrymel
Photo of Wegomlegging
Wegomlegging

Virginia

3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Average appearance, average smell for an IPA, average IPA taste, average moutfeel, average beer. So as not to anger the Beer Advocate gods for being to brief, I'll elaborate a bit. I do, however, stand by my comments on the fact that this beer is everthing that is "average." It poured with a decent head, slightly cloudy yellow, with a nice floral IPA smell that was not too overpowering. The taste was a nice shot of hoppiness without overpowering you, and I can imagine this would be the perfect beer for the IPA rookie to get introduced to the style. Great with a giant Montana-sized porterhouse, experienced in the state of the goat-a-lope (pictured on the label), a.k.a. speed goat, a.k.a. antelope or something....

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 03:42:50 | More by Wegomlegging
Photo of revolution
revolution

Wisconsin

3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish-amber with finger width head and nice lace. Looks tasty.

Smell the fruitiness and malt.

Quickly taste the malt and mild sweetness/fruitiness on the tongue then wham--get the bitter hop taste at the swallow.

Initial feel is smooth, then get the astringent kick. The bitterness is nice, but the beer just seems a bit off balance.

A decent IPA. The more I drink, though, the less I enjoy this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2007 14:44:27 | More by revolution
Photo of burtonbe
burtonbe

Nebraska

3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish copper color. Clear, with a nice, persistent, two finger head.

Dominant grapefruit aroma. Overly fruity. Smells like that fruity V8 juice drink. Not bad, but a little odd.

Great taste. Fruity hoppiness. Not too intense. Light citrus for the style. Good bitterness. I like.

Nothing special on the mouthfeel. Adequate, solid, no complaints.

Pretty drinkable beer for the style. Not over-the-top. It tastes like they spent some time refining this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2007 02:02:57 | More by burtonbe
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Clear light amber color with a creamy tan head. Aroma is floral and slightly tropical hops with a caramel underpinning. Flavor is similar, big doses of caramel and crystal maltiness with a lighter citric hoppiness. Tends toward soapiness with warmth. Medium astringency, modest bitterness, watery finish, medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Okay at best.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 01:51:48 | More by illidurit
Photo of semibaked
semibaked

Kentucky

3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clear copper color with a fluffy tan head on top that creates intricate lacing.

S - Bright hoppy smell accented by pineapple and mango juices.

T - Big hops right up front but the bitterness is a little to bitter for me, it does have some tropical fruits but very little.

M - Slick and Watery.

D - Just too much of the bitterness to be very drinkable for me, there are a lot better IPA's than this, glad I got to try it though.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 00:24:02 | More by semibaked
Photo of depechemode1983
depechemode1983

Texas

3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours out a hazy copper/bronze color. The head is 2 1/2 fingers and off-white. Its dense through the middle but has a foamy looking crown. Retention is excellent and lacing is superb.

S - Has a strong bitter piney smell up front but balances out nicely through the middle with sweet malts and tropical fruits. Mainly pineapple and ruby red grapefruit.

T - A little light on flavor. Mostly you get bitter pine and grapefruit rind. A little mono toned on the taste. Not too bad though.

M - Almost medium bodied. Carbonation is nice. Kinda bubbly. No complaints.

O - Just slightly about average. Very simple and straight forward.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 21:52:59 | More by depechemode1983
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

3.08/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep copper appearance with thin foam that dissolves quickly. Decent streaming carbonation. Spicy hops dominate the aroma with some nutty malt in the background.

The taste is dry, overtly tangy with hop flavor that seems to remain at the front of the tongue and never progresses on to give a "full" flavor. Not bitter enough for an American IPA. The mouthfeel lis light, though not watery. The carbonation arrives as tiny, sharp bubbles.

I didn't care for this IPA at all. You could drink one, but with the abundance of this style available it would be too easy to find a better replacement...

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2007 02:59:39 | More by bennetj17
Photo of trbergman
trbergman

Illinois

3.08/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a cervoise.

A - Amber-orange with two fingers of light tan head.

S - Sweet caramel and toffee malt aroma, citrus and floral hops.

T - Some initial sweetness, with bready and caramel malt flavors, followed by grapefruit and orange rind and aggressive hop bitterness. While definitely bitter enough, it is at the same time a bit too sweet and seems to lack much in flavoring and aroma hops.

M - Medium body, good level of carbonation.

D - I'm finding it hard to finish one bottle, let alone more. This beer could be a lot better if they cut back on the crystal malt and shifted some of the hop additions toward the last 5-10 minutes.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 02:53:00 | More by trbergman
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, medium amber color with a reddish tint. The head consists of one finger of custard-colored foam. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Fairly dark and syrupy, with toffee, pine foliage, apple cider, and orange citrus.

T: Begins off-dry, acidic, vinous early. Crystal malt stands out but hop flavors are muted, tasting of weak pine. Earthy tea emerges in the middle. The finish has an abundance of fruity esters and significant astringency, but is only mildly bitter.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly sticky on the palate, with low carbonation.

D: Despite relatively low abv for the style, some unappealing qualities limit drinkability. This beer struggles with flavor appeal, being at times off-putting and at best unremarkable. Still, it does not seem entirely out of style if compared to English-style IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 18:24:13 | More by beagle75
Photo of mulder1010
mulder1010

Australia

3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip

A-- darker clear shade of orange amber color on pouring. One finger quick fading dirty white head. Much better looking on swirling. Though fades pretty fast. Good ring of lacing on the side of the glass once head faded.

S-- Carmel biscuit nose first, followed by orange, grapefruit, and some lemon peel. Much more about the malts than the hops in this. Gives a good, balanced smell.

T-- Lots of carmel biscuit. Pungent orange taste with backing of lemon and lime. Not a lot of up front bitterness. Pretty balanced really.

M-- Medium body and medium light carbonation. Carmel, orange and lemon really dominate the mid and back palate. Not overly bitter or hoppy. Just balanced. One negative, slightly sweet and syrupy.

O-- Good, easy to drink IPA. A little more obvious Malt backbone than other IPA's but a very solid IPA. Not all that bitter but that is ok. has enough to carry the beer. The sweetness is the biggest issue to the beer but not a bad IPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2011 14:18:07 | More by mulder1010
Photo of Bosoxfan20
Bosoxfan20

Missouri

3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- Clear copper with a foamy, tan head of about 2 fingers. Great soapy lacing. A hearty looking IPA here.

S- Nothing that really blows me away on the nose. Delicate aroma of pine cones and biscuits. I expect more bold aroma of the style.

T- Big earthy pine hops combine with a caramelized sugar malt base. Some metallic notes that seem a little off, but not too distracting. High acidity leads to a bitter finish.

M- Chewy and creamy. Mid body. Fair drinkability.

O- A traditional IPA that makes no bones about its straight forward style. A comforting brew that won't blow you away, but also won't leave you overly disappointed with your selection.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 20:52:04 | More by Bosoxfan20
Photo of skrib09
skrib09

Missouri

3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

brew poured clear and copper in color with a hop-fueled tan head up top. good lacing, as you would expect from an ipa.

big floral and hop notes on the nose. plenty of pine and fresh citrus. a bit of spice in the floral tones.

subdued hop flavor with a little astringency. some malt backbone.

a touch grainy on the palate but overall good mouthfeel. average drinkability here.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2009 21:23:57 | More by skrib09
Photo of Gatch
Gatch

Massachusetts

3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper/amber in color with a fluffy, bubbly, off-white head. Dissipates quickly.

S & T - Some malt and hops. Nothing remarkable. Typical IPA characteristics.

M - Feels like an IPA should. Nice carbonation and a bit of a bite at the end. Good finish.

Solid IPA that I can imagine tastes exponentially better on draft and in the state of Montana.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2011 02:29:42 | More by Gatch
Photo of PaleAlien2
PaleAlien2

Nebraska

3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one starts off pretty good with a beautiful reddish-copper hue and a tan head, but the good times don’t carry over to the initial taste. Flavor is a bit metallic, and other than that it’s all hops, hops, hops. Heavy bitterness lingers a little too long at the end. I don’t think I’d get this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 15:08:57 | More by PaleAlien2
Photo of popery
popery

California

3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours fairly dark for the style. It's a shade of reddish gold with a good white head. Aroma is fairly hoppy but not altogether pleasing. Citrus, pine, grass and an herbaceous woodiness are all present from the hops. The woody note is my main source of complaint. It's even stronger in the taste than the aroma, lending the flavor of fresh bark or a thick stem - uninteresting and blandly bitter. Otherwise, the flavor is fairly dry with some yeastiness. Malt flavors are mild, just a boring background bread flavor. Feel is a bit effervescent but finishes thin.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2010 06:01:20 | More by popery
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: poured and amber copper with a 2 finger bubbly tan head with hardly any lacing sticking to the glass.

S: some great piney notes up front with a mild malt character and slight hints of caramel. There seems to be a good amount of booze as well.

T: Lots of bitter hopness and like the nose there is like almost no malt flavor what so ever. I kinda like it.

M: medium body with light carbonation. Not enough bubbles on the tongue on this one.

D: doesn't seem to give it justice for an IPA, but there is some good hoppy bitterness with absolutely no malts. If thats sounds good to you then this is your kind of beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2010 03:10:29 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of Mistofminn
Mistofminn

Minnesota

3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a suprisingly dark murky brown. Actually looks kind of muddy orange. A nice, light tan head is produced, with a creamy texture and leaving some nice lacing.

The nose is much more maltier than I was expecting, not a good sign for a fresh(ish) IPA. This bottle is a little over two months old and already the hops are nearly gone, which doesn't bode well for the hop presense to begin with. Sweet and malty, with only the faintest grassy hops.

The taste is much of the same. Sweet malts with only the faintest hint of grassy hops. Almost has a weak barleywine-like maltiness to it, surprisingly strong.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, with a sweet finish. Drinkability is ok.

Overall, not my favorite IPA. There are tons that I'd rather have over this, but in a pinch I suppose I would have it again. Nothing against Big Sky, but this is kind of what I expected out of them.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 01:40:29 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another beer from woodychandler, this box seems bottomless. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a brown/orangeish color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of piney hops, a touch of citrus. Taste is also dominated by piney hops, considerable bitterness, a touch of malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall I found this to be a mediocre beer.

Serving type: can

09-13-2012 18:24:46 | More by tone77
Photo of pmccallum86
pmccallum86

Minnesota

3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish golden color with a light bubbly head.

Smell is mostly of malt with a slight hop aroma coming through as well.

Taste is light bitter hops with light sweet malts in the back, some bitterness from the hops comes though. It is decent, but not great.

Mouthfeel is light and creamy with medium carbonation. Nothing sticks out here, very average.

Average IPA, not good but not bad either.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 07:49:35 | More by pmccallum86
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 854 ratings.