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Big Sky IPA - Big Sky Brewing Company

Big Sky IPABig Sky IPA

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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
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Ratings: 854 | Reviews: 437 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by 9/13/12.

Pours a clear copper with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some grassy and herbal hop aromas. Taste is very much the same with pine and herbal hops up front and the malt coming through on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good IPA that has lots of earthy hop aromas and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2012 02:32:36 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

Glowing pumpkin when backlit with bright morning sunshine. Not only is the color fabulous, but the beer has that 'hop dust' haziness that I love to see in an IPA. The crown is even more spectacular. It's pastel orange in color and is a huge mass of bubbles that is sticking like glue to the upper reaches of the glass. This is one of the best lace displays that I've seen in quite some time.

The nose is Simcoe heaven. It's bursting with a tropical, funky, citric fruity, pine-soaked resionous that is right up my IPA alley. Best of all (well, second best anyway), there's no caramel malt to muck things up. I haven't tasted it yet, but how the hell is it that this beer doesn't get more love? Limited distribution probably.

Outstanding beer! While the nose was somewhat short of a sensory overload, the flavor fills every nook and cranny of my tongue and looks for more taste buds to impress. Each mouthful is a veritable explosion of pure, hoppy pleasure and should be required drinking for all lovers of Simcoe hops.

The malt backbone is on the big side for the style without tempting me to pull out the DIPA comparisons. There may be a wee bit of caramel maltiness, but I could just as easily be imagining it. The focus here (as it should be in all IPAs and DIPAs) is on humulus lupulus. It's balanced more than it is a bitter bomb.

Given all that pale malt, it's no surprise that the body/mouthfeel is on the big, lush, plush side. I might even call it lightly sticky. The best part is that it keeps that luscious flavor on the palate long enough for me to wring the maximum amount of enjoyment out of each and every mouthful.

I like this brewery. I should have had some inkling of how good their IPA would be since Scape Goat Pale Ale is 'bolder and hoppier than most APAs', to quote my review. As good as that beer is, though, it can't hold a candle to the hop-infused splendor of this beauty. Montanans have reason to be proud. I would definitely drink more than my fair share if I lived in Big Sky Country.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2006 15:20:56 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

amber color with a touch of gold highlights was well carbonated. Nice head of white pops up quickly and leaves a good bit of side glass lacing as it works its way down. Light pine and orange peel are mixed in with a very bready, biscuit like aroma, though it could have been a bit stronger. Smooth, bit heavier body here, but well carbonated took a bit away from the crispness of it and the bready flavor really seemed to take control of it mid way through. Light dry finish

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 03:10:53 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nicely contructed head that retains fairly well while leaving sheets of lace around the pint glass

Smell: Biscuity and musty, with piney undertones

Taste: After an initial taste of the biscuit, a huge piney blast overtakes everything else, and is joined by some very tart, almost lemony, grapefruit flavors at mid-palate; after the swallow, the herbacious, oily tartness is overwhelming, although after a while it blows itself over and the initial biscuity flavor returns

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Really a very nice session IPA

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2008 19:16:24 | More by brentk56
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In tap at the brewery in August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a pale apricot orange color win a white head. Some clingy lacing. Nose brings rich citrus and a bit of floral aspects. Taste is a bit bready with some pale malt. Slight bitterness and some orange and citrus. Feel is light to medium with good carbonation. Drinks quite well. One of my favorites from them.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2010 12:17:52 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy, amber body with a short-lived, skimpy white head.

Smell: Piney, citrus hop scent with some pale malts floating around in there.

Taste: Pale malts, though no real sweetness. Instead, we jump right into the pine, citrus hop flavors with a medium bitterness. Lightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent, well-balanced IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2008 22:14:57 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2006 22:48:33 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

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

Served in a GameWorks shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing his Montana Mixer!

That sky ain't so big... The brew underneath pours a mostly clear straight amber topped by a half-finger of white foam. The nose comprises pine, piny grapefruit, and caramel; standard IPA fare. The taste holds notes of slightly watered-down pine and ruby red grapefruit and some slightly smoky toffee. The body is a kinda hefty light, with a light carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a very nice IPA, very standard, but tasty enough and very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 22:48:35 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big Sky has produced an excellent, very drinkable IPA! It pours a beautiful, hazy, glowing orange body with a crimson cast and golden highlights. The frothy ivory head holds well, and leaves walls of very thin, tiny bubbles in its wake. Bright, juicy grapefruit greets you in the nose over a gently caramelish and biscuity malt base. In the mouth it's smooth with a delicate caress from the fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation. Medium bordering on medium-light in body. The flavor offers more grapefruit, a touch of pine, and some pineapple before the maltiness appears. It's lightly sweet, caramelish, and biscuity. The bitterness is solid, but not aggressive, and it finishes dry with a quick note of citrus seed, and some lingering piney hops. Inviting. Accessible. Refreshing. Drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2007 19:40:32 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer appears a clear medium copper amber, with a thin off-white head, which leaves some random lace around the glass in its wake. It smells of caramel nougat, and grapefruit-dominated citrus hops. The taste is follows almost identically - sweet creamy caramel, and tangy varied citrus hops. The carbonation is quite low, the body smooth and creamy, and it finishes dry, with a woody hop essence.

A nicely balanced IPA, with some slightly unusual, yet tasty variants on the good ol' citrus/caramel theme.

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2010 06:34:34 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, burnished peach coloration, with a slight, slimmish white head.

Pop! Big, brassy hop aroma, invades the nose and spreads delight therein. Dark fruit suggestions, with a citric twist. Spankingly fresh and alert. Nice, nice, nice.

Hop bite continues when the brew blasts past the lips and boards the palate. Crisp, slightly tart, bracingly bitter, but flush with flavor. Hoppy attack returns with each sip and gulp. Just what I look for in an IPA.

Full bodied, fierce hop attack, unrelenting flavor...long, fruity, bitter finish...hey I like this! And I like it better from this bottle than I did on tap, oddly enough...or maybe I should go to the neighborhood bar and try, try again.

In any case, this is an IPA not to be passed up by the hophead in your life, be it you, your priest, your best friend's big brother, or your wife's mother's older daughter.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 02:45:52 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from KenGage, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark golden brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of piney hops, sweet citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a good burst of hops bitterness followed by sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. The malt character is a little bit thin for the style but brings some substance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, not the best IPA out there but it's a pretty good beer to drink for a while.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2009 16:39:59 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.68/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours caramel to orange with a giantic 4 fingers+ of white rocky head. Great lacing & head retention

S: A riot of pine & grapefruit! A hint of malt sweetness in the background

T: Huge grapefruitty hops followed by malt sweetness. Pineyness & some fruittyness follows. Finishes dry & grapefruitty. Just needs a touch more malt to be perfect IMO

MF: Medium with great carbonation & balance

This drinks too easy. A hop head's delight to be sure! Reeks of fresh hops. really enjoyed this. Easily one of the best IPAs I've had.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2006 04:03:31 | More by russpowell
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic pint glass. Beer is amber and slightly hazy. Lots of lacing with moderate carbonation.

Aroma is sweet with minor piny aroma.

Beer is medium bodied and has a moderate bitterness. It's kind of sweet. A little dry in the finish, it's an ok ipa. There is a mild pine flavor in the forward to midpalate. I would have it again but there are much better beers out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 21:36:25 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 00:37:01 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

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

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with ruby highlights. It had a pillowy, tan, two-finger head of foam that left streaky, trails of lace.

S - Great aroma of pine, spruce and grapefruit. Some burnt toast malt smells, too.

T - It tasted of burnt toast caramel malt, grapefruit, orange peel and pine. The hops provided a bitter bite at the back of the tongue.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied, yet easy-drinking ale.

D - This is a very good IPA. I have yet to be disappointed with anything from Big Sky, so I am not surprised with the quality.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2009 01:24:06 | More by zeff80
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

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

Pours copper with an off-white head. The head is well retained and leaves rings of lacing down the side of the glass.

The smell is of floral hops - notes of pine and oranges.

The taste is of hops - pine, orange and grapefruit balanced by caramel malt to give it body and a smooth, creamy texture. The hops take the center stage throughout.

It's creamy and smooth while maintaining the bitterness that should accompany this style. The body holds up well and the flavors linger.

A delicious offering, and a solid example of an American IPA. Wish this were available in my area. Thanks to bitterbill for two of this enjoyable brew!

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2006 20:38:09 | More by jwc215
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: light orange with 2" head that lasts. Some mild lacing develops.

Smell: grapefruit, caramel, and some soft bitterness is easily detectable by the nose.

Taste: nice caramel base. Grapefruit and milder orange citrus, soft pine, and a touch of honey. Bitterness is strong but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: crisp throughout with some dryness at the finish. Short aftertaste as the bitterness lingers a bit. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: nice session IPA that you can find yourself drinking a bit quicker than normal. Great on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2007 23:12:42 | More by Gavage
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark amber/light brown, with a medium tan head, good retention.

S: Light hints of caramel, a bit of smoke, and pine.

T: A very malty IPA which surprised me as coming from a Western brewer. Large amounts of good tasting brown malt followed by hops consisting of bitter melon and pine, white grapefruit pith in there as well.

M: Light on the tongue for an IPA, resiny, not overcarbonated, long lasting aftertaste.

D: A beer I wasn't to keen on at first, but as I finished the glass I started to really like it. An interesting IPA from Montana, recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2008 02:39:22 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

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 barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark orange color with a huge dirty white head to it. Nose was hoppy, floral and maybe even citrsuy. Taste follwed the nose. Veru well hopped, must have been hopped with Cascade or Centeinnel hops. Mouthfeel is good. A very malty IPA. The malts, sem like English malts, are not West Coast typical but the Hops have NW written all over it. this makes it a unique IPA to me. Not very bitter for an IPA. Good overall.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2008 03:37:26 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a good ipa i suppose, maybe more english in style than american, but a very drinkable version either way. it smells grassy and lemony at the same time, a definite blend of hops in this one. american and english malts add some seriosu body to this, which is an interesting mix with the less intense hops. the hops flavor is much less intense, and therefore more drinkable than a lot of big american india pale ales. its got some sweetness in the finish, not crisp and dry, but not drawn out either. it just sort of entices me to keep sipping. a 6pack of this is no problem in an afternoon, especially with the grill going out back and football on tv. the feel is interesting, plenty of body for the style, and average carbonation. its a good not great ipa, but it is distinct from its peers in a lot of ways, a hybrid really between english and american styles. props to big sky for this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2012 22:24:48 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my friend Alek for sharing his 6-pack. This reminded me of a Simcoe-heavy pale ale, and I'm pretty sure those are the leading hops here. It's that smooth and fruit juice-like flavor with a perfumed earthy notes. There's a bit of honey malt and a balanced, but not too thick, body, making for a tasty IPA you can drink a few bottles of. If you're into the Simcoe character, check this out.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 05:33:01 | More by tempest
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 akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 900th review.

A 12 oz bottle from Liquid Solutions.

A: The IPA is a caramel color, orange with some browner highlights. There is no sign of any sediment and the head has left some decent lacing throughout the glass.

S: The nose is surprisingly bold, having a big citrus hop presence that has a pineapple sweetness to it.

T: The hop flavor is quite assertive in the beer. The first sip reveals a high concentration of hops, citrusy with some apricot and pineapple sweetness. The strength of the hops really conjure up a DIPA, so kudos to Big Sky for packing this much flavor into a plain ol' IPA.

M: The hops zing the tastebuds immediately, overwhelming them with hoppy goodness.

D: I am very impressed with this ale and can easily see myself sitting down with a six pack and the Sunday papers on a sunny weekend day. Well done Big Sky!

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2007 19:02:39 | More by akorsak
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Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 854 ratings.