1. 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.
very good

854 Ratings
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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 854 | Reviews: 437 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ckollias


4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this bottle of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours cloudy orange-amber hue with a fluffy white head that leaves a good trail and wispy lace.

S: Hoppy aroma with a slight biscuit and caramel background.

T: Bitter beginning with some tart hops followed by a slightly sweet caramel middle and
finishes dry and bitter.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent brew – I’ll have another.

Serving type: can

09-03-2013 15:36:25 | More by ckollias
Photo of TheQuietMan22


4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce can. “122812” is printed on the bottom, and I can only assume that is the canning date.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is orange-tinted amber. Two fingers of buttery, eggshell-colored head left a bubbly lacing, a thickish ring around the edge, and trails of foam along the glass.

Smell: Customary West Coast citrus intermingled with a malt balance. Though nothing intense, it is still mild and somewhat invigorating. Orange, lemon zest, pine, and tropical fruit (maybe mango and pineapple). Pale malts and caramel provide a balance.

Taste: The first sip offers a nice, floral bite, which more or less maintains its strength throughout the pint. The flavor is much more floral and earthy than the aroma. Orange, lemon, pine, and tropical fruit are still present, but relegated to a supporting role. The balance shifts to the hops; the malts are present only as a foundation.

Drinkability: This is good stuff. The flavor leaves me wanting a little more citrus complexity, but this delivers on bitterness.

Serving type: can

03-07-2013 20:47:59 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of DoubleJ


3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm ready to go. This is from a 12 ounce can, and on to the beer:

With its orangish red color, this could qualify as a red ale as much as an IPA. The head is saopy and thick on formation, retaining itself well and leaving fluffy of lace around the glass. The nose has a mild (for an IPA) hoppiness. Some pine, some grapefruit, some toffee crisp, and a hint of tropical fruit. Not a full force nose, though it is appetizing.

The first taste is a bite iof resin. There's a slight phenolic note which tries to bob its head over the beer, however it gets beaten back down before it causes serious damage. Sweet citrus and fresh pine gets their kicks in. The malt base keeps the hops in check. A modest bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. As for the texture, it's medium bodied with a gentle crispness.

Big Sky delivers good, honest beer, and their IPA is no different.

Serving type: can

03-06-2013 07:52:13 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of spicelab


3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can from Ozzie Shonksters...I mean Beermasons.

Sunset orange, near crystal, with a thick and robust cream head that drops very lazily depositing a good lace lattice.

Good amount of oniony tropical hops, offset by a herbal piquancy. Some doughy yeast and a sweet malt backbone lends good candied notes to the hops. Not a great amount of character but as with all BIg Sky beers I've had, extremely well contained.

Flavours emphasise more of the earthy green herbal character, especially spearmint, but the candied pineapple and mango notes still shine.

Body has moderate hop oils, benign carbonation with a satisfying earthy, mouthwash bitter finish of decent staying power.

Uncomplicated and solid as a rock. In this regard, Big Sky are at the top of the heap.

Serving type: can

02-23-2013 05:22:02 | More by spicelab
Photo of mactrail


3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Handsome amber color in the tall Stella glass. Decent but not noteworthy head. Plenty of spritz on the tongue.

Restrained bitterness but an abundance of hop flavors. Pleasant flowery nose. Medium body but rich mouthful. Very drinkable brew that avoids the flavor extremes, but is a perfectly acceptable IPA. Some earthiness in the aftertaste along with the bitter hoppiness.

Quite drinkable with the sudsy mouthfeel, but a little thin and sharp overall. From the 12 oz can bought at Bine and Vine in San Diego.

Serving type: can

02-08-2013 05:08:11 | More by mactrail
Photo of stakem


3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into a tulip shaped pint glass. Thanks are owed to SDDanC for this extra in our recent trade. Thanks man! The brew appears a clear amber orange with lighter orange coloring around the edges. A finger of yellowish tan froth sits across the top and fades to a thin film supported by rising bubbles of carbonation. As the cap fades, it leaves a full wall of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma presents a decent array of enjoyable hop qualities smelling of fruit like orange zest/rinds before getting a bit herbal with hints of minerals. There is a bit of a cheesy hop quality bringing things all together before the mild onset of toasty grain. Overall though, not a bad smelling brew.

The taste is bitter and rindy like pulp/zest of the previously mentioned oranges or grapefruit. A hint of caramel to toasty grain character is present providing a very mild sweetness for the hops to play off. some herbs, minerals and sulfur to cheesy quality is also present across the back. It leaves a lasting resinous cling inside the mouth after each sip.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Overall, not a bad brew. I am appreciative of the chance to try this as I otherwise would not of had the opportunity. If you like your ipas super resinous and bitter with an herbal touch, this one is for you. The alcohol is pretty well integrated for it's listed percentage.

Serving type: can

12-21-2012 03:10:31 | More by stakem
Photo of Spikester


4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 12 ounce can. Pours a clear orange color with a one finger plus white dense head. Lacings are average.
Smell- Not the usual Cascade hops.
Taste is bold hops with a touch of citrus and a fine malt back.
Mouthfeel is perfect for the style. Carbonation is just right also.
Overall a fine IPA in a can. If the race for the most bitter IPA turns you off try this beer. Perfect for the style IMO.

Serving type: can

12-14-2012 05:26:52 | More by Spikester
Photo of woodychandler


4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pleasant find in furtherance of the CANQuest during my annual visit to Binny's (South Side Loop) in Chicago on my way home from the Great Taste of the Midwest. I had heard that it was being CANned, but this was the first that I had actually see it in a CAN.

From the CAN: "We make water fun."; "Hold my beer and watch this."

I had a nice Crack & Glug which resulted in two-plus fingers of dense, tawny head with excellent retention. Color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a definite pine hop presence and my mouth was watering at the prospect. Mouthfeel was medium and the bite of the hops on the tongue was immediate and welcomed by this self-avowed hophead. It tasted of pine and wintergreen and I was beginning to consider its potential as mouthwash or breath freshener. Finish was dry, although not arid, gasping dry. I really liked this and would certainly consider its inclusion in my cooler on an outing.,

Serving type: can

09-16-2012 21:59:19 | More by woodychandler
Photo of tone77


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 bump8628


4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great beer in a can just showed up in time for summer. IPAs are especially well-suited for this format. As expected, the canned version of this beer is better than the bottled, which is also solid.

Let's get on with it. Pours a bright orange-copper with a healthy head of ecru foam that drops some thick rings around the glass. A bit of a hybrid between the English and American styles. The malt, with its warm biscuit and toffee notes, is all English, while the herbal and piney hop flavors are All-American. Somehow a nice balancing act between the two is found, and instead of being a distraction, this sets it apart from the wealth of other IPAs sitting on shelves. 65 IBUs and 6.2% ABV - right where I like my IPAs.

I'll still go for the west coast hop bombs every time, but Big Sky IPA is a nice changeup and the canned option is nice to have around for a laid back weekend excursion.

Serving type: can

07-06-2012 17:08:12 | More by bump8628
Photo of msquared36


3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber with off white foam that provides decent lacing.

Not a strong aroma, maybe a faint floral hint.

Carmel malt at the front. Fresh, floral malt finish.

Fine carbonation on the tip of the tongue but overall very smooth.

If I'm craving a hoppy IPA this probably wouldn't be my choice. But it's a balanced, drinkable beer. Actually quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 22:42:46 | More by msquared36
Photo of vette2006c5r


4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Sky ours a darker copper color, with a nice large lacing white head. There is a nice hoppy and floral aroma. The taste has a noticeable but subtle malty backbone with some nice floral notes. Not overpowering, good hop bite, nice blend with the sweet malty backbone. Overall its a well balanced, and very enjoyable IPA. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 01:03:58 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of MartzMimic


3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper with a bit of haze. Foamy head that reduces fairly fast. Some pine, malt and floral notes on the nose. Lemon, oranges, pine with a bit of bread. Decent bitterness. Medium mouth, but oily enough that it leaves a lingering aftertaste. Nice complexity without trying too hard. Not the best IPA out there, but if wouldn't mind having one now and again.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 01:50:29 | More by MartzMimic
Photo of whatthehull


4/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2014 04:54:04 | More by whatthehull
Photo of lochef81


3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This ale pours a very nice hazy deep amber color with a slight white head. The aroma is malty and sweet with some hop notes but nothing remarkable. The flavor follows suit. Mostly malt with a bit of a pine hop bite. This is a good beer but nothing worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 04:50:15 | More by lochef81
Photo of a0lbudman


3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-light amber color with a nice head that leaves a lace
S-I smell hops, but you get a malty aroma also. There is a nobel hops like aroma in it also
T-malt is balanced with a hop kick in the aftertaste that last until the finish
M- medium body and medium carbonation
O- this beer has a bold taste that is differant from other american IPA's

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 03:46:33 | More by a0lbudman
Photo of BierJager89


4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Glowy translucent amber orange with a white head.

S: Lots of fresh orange, some mango, tangerine, garlic in the nose. Simcoe?

T: Malt, orange, garlic, tangerine. Very tasty. Mmmm simcoe? I think it's simcoe.

M: Medium bodied, average carbonation for an IPA

O: A great IPA, I've loved every beer I've had from this brewery, and this is my favorite thus far. Their pale ale is great, too.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 20:51:47 | More by BierJager89
Photo of BastardKing24


4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange with a 1 finger white head that holds lacing ok.

Smells great with orange peel, pine, lemon, bread, and rye.

Taste is subdued for an IPA but its full of nice malt flavors followed by orange, pine, and honey.

Feel is great, light and refreshing, and plenty of carbonation.

Overall a very well done IPA

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 01:13:29 | More by BastardKing24
Photo of Bosoxfan20


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 drpimento


3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice beer. Poured at a good temperature with a large, foamy, lite tan, billowy head that settled after a while and some lace. Color is a clear medium amber with some bubble trails. Aroma is hop up front, some malt to balance. Flavor's like nose, all qualities are bolder and and add tang, slightest hint of sweet, ditto caramel. Body/carbonation good. Finish is like flavor, not too complex, yet goes vey well with spicy food.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 08:12:59 | More by drpimento
Photo of brewbattles


4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We did a blind taste test between this beer and 4 others to determine which was a better IPA. The beers that were competing were: Stone IPA, Big Sky IPA, Bear Republic Racer 5, Lagunitas IPA, and Full Sail IPA. Here is the video:


Serving type: bottle

10-08-2013 12:36:47 | More by brewbattles
Photo of arc3636


3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into Sam Adams glass

A - a bit darker and reddish than expected from an ipa. Full 2 fingers of head

S - floral and orange hops

T - solid bitterness from the hops, but not too heavy. Floral, orange, and grapefruit hops

M - above average, hops flavor seems to continue to grow after I had swallowed

O - solid, balanced ipa

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 23:53:06 | More by arc3636
Photo of RonKoch


4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's 5:00 on a hot day in which I worked reasonably hard, so I brought home this from the HyVee Wines and Spirits. It is very refreshing and drinkable for a moment like this. Evergreen and apple in the aroma. Vine fresh hops in the taste. Bitterness is real and strong, but not so oppressive like in some newcomer IPAs which make me think the brewer is only out to make me pucker. The very prominent hops do not completely hide the sweet malt backbone. Good head retention and pretty lacing on my standard pint glass.

Overall, I'll be happy to go back to this IPA in the near future.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 22:13:53 | More by RonKoch
Photo of yeastlovehoppiness_greg


3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was a pretty darn good beer. It had a nice dark amber color for an IPA. It is also not as hoppy for an IPA. The tastre is pretty bitter. Not in a bad way but its a nice change from your average hop overload. The beer has a pretty sharp feel on the tongue. id recomend to anyone to try it.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 00:10:37 | More by yeastlovehoppiness_greg
Photo of Chickenhawk9932


3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep cooper with a tall thick head of off white foam, good retention and lacing.

Nice citrus aroma - orange, lemon - followed by pungent earthy hop notes with some slight pine. All this backed by a nice floral bouquet.

Sweet orange and bitter lemon dance around a malt breadiness. The flavor is kept hopping by bitter earthy, pine notes. The flavor explodes across the palate like the sun stretching across the wide western sky. A solid IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2013 00:12:52 | More by Chickenhawk9932
« 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.