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Big Sky IPA - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Sky IPABig Sky IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

986 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 986
Reviews: 448
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 31
Gots: 55 | 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:
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Sky IPA Alström Bros
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Ratings: 986 | Reviews: 448 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +5%

t0rin0, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -6%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

spycow, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

zestar, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Thorpe429, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

nmann08, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +5%

Texasfan549, May 11, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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

brentk56, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 06, 2006
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

ygtbsm94, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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

mikesgroove, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

jaydoc, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +5%

kylehay2004, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

oberon, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

TMoney2591, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz Yankee pint at the Iron Horse restaurant in Missoula.

This beer appears a clear, medium copper amber hue, with one fat finger of cushy, frothy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves some layered active storm cloud lace around the glass in its generally short wake.

It smells of big grapefruit and bitter orange fruit esters, semi-sweet bready caramel malt, nougat, a bit of yeast, and more leafy, floral hops. The taste follows almost identically - sassy, though more muddled citrusy hops, hints of bitter pine resin, and more pleasantly rounded bready caramel and toffee malt sweetness.

The carbonation is quite low in overall strength, but still peppy in its frothiness, the body a stocky medium weight, and well smooth in the face of those swirling hop bastards, and even a touch creamy. It finishes a bit off-dry, the caramel malt seemingly waiting for the parking attendant to come 'round, with a citrusy and woody hop essence carrying on without the band.

A nicely balanced west coast-ish IPA, with some slightly unusual, yet tasty and minor variants on the good ol' bitter citrus/sweet caramel theme. Glad I got this in, before our entrees plopped down on the table, ever so welcome in their arrival, and yet I think I shall order another of this.

biboergosum, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

zeff80, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

NeroFiddled, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

StonedTrippin, Sep 16, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of russpowell
4.68/5  rDev +22.8%
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.

russpowell, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

feloniousmonk, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of drabmuh
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

drabmuh, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of mactrail
3.43/5  rDev -10%
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.

mactrail, Feb 08, 2013
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Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 986 ratings.