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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.
very good

919 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 919
Reviews: 438
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.04%
Wants: 28
Gots: 39 | 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
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Ratings: 919 | Reviews: 438 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com

Poured a light golden copper yellow colour with a slight haze. White head poured loose and frothy and faded quickly to light bubbly coating with thicker edging... lightl carbonation... some faint lacing...

Aroma - Lots of juicy grapefruit, pear and apple fruitiness... floral honey, biscuit maltiness, some caramel, light marzipan, sea salt, metallic notes, talcum powder traces, pine, grassy and earthy notes...

Taste... Good sweet biscuit malts followed by grapefruit and pear fruitiness, some citrusy hops, grassy notes, caramel, definite floral honey, some faint pine, clove traces...

Feel - Sharp initially then smooths out... light / medium bodied... A supremely drinkable brew at 6.2%

Overall - An excellent and supremely well balanced IPA... recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 08:03:55 | More by mdagnew
Photo of philbertk


4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Sky I.P.A. India Pale Ale--2007 12 oz. Bottle. 6.20% ABV. 65 IBU’s? (4.25 / 5.0) Mild lace head. Clear dark bright amber color. Rich floral malty hop front. Creamy malty mild toasted caramel fruit ester biscuit body. Tangy malt hop spice fresh bitter long creamy end. Malty Amber IPA. Sampled 6/9/2007.

Big Sky Brewing Company--Big Sky I.P.A. India Pale Ale--2011 12 oz. Bottle. 6.20% ABV. 65 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Half inch foamy mild lace off white head. Clear bright rich amber orange red color. Very big floral citrus grapefruit Cascade hop front. Tangy slightly toasted mild seet fruit mild hop resin caramel citrus dry amber ale body. Clean crisp tasty hop spice end. Nice medium IPA. Burpy Hops with nice malt balance to richness. Sampled 4/16/2011. Purchased 6- Pack for $8.75 at PCC--Fremont, Seattle on 4/16/2011.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2011 04:16:06 | More by philbertk
Photo of tenaciousp65


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: very rich look a nice amber mix of maple syrup and butterscotch. 1-1.5" head with good lace-served in a beer mug
S: nice spring smells with a touch of citrus
T: Taste starts off with a nice malt flavor and then the hops kick in and give it the bite of an IPA
M: Sweet sticky aftertaste
O: This IPA does a great job of not being too overpowering and is a good quality beer. Teh flavor isn't as bold and full as some of the other IPA's but this beer can be easier to drink at times.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 03:48:10 | More by tenaciousp65
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean orange-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, mellow orange citrus and hints of pine hops. In the taste, a gingerbread like maltiness and pine hops stand out. A small hop bite and a medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry pine hop in the aftertaste. Quite malty, yet light bodied, mellow and decent.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 13:48:45 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of BeerLover99


3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: deep woody amber, light tan body, 1 finger head, wonderful lacing

S: nice pine, citrus aroma!

T: sweet citrus, pine hops, nice bitter sticky finish

M: med body, mild oily taste

O: Very nice American IPA! Glad my wife, graciously grabbed a Big Sky variety pack; this is nice. Not world class, but you could do much worse and could have more than a few.

CHECK IT OUT, you will be surprised!

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2011 17:21:26 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not bad looking, kinda orange in color, somewhat cloudy, decent head and nice lacing.

Smells like an orange/grapefruit piney hop bomb.

Taste doesn't disappoint, nor does it deviate too much from the smell. Slick, rich, oily hops dominate, with plenty of citrus, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and some nice pine forest. There's a balancing background of maltiness that lends itself nicely to an already tasty treat. Reminds me of hopslam, although not as strong.

Feel is medium bodied and slick with hop oil, lingering bitterness and grapefruit, decently carbonated.

Excellent stuff, my favorite from the brewery so far!!

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2011 01:11:45 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of chugalug06


3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber with a decent foamy head. Color is rich mahogany, with very good clarity. Darker than your average IPA

S - Very Smooth hopped, very little citrus smell.

T - Creamy and delicious, however there's a small bite at the end of the tongue. Mildly acidic and alcoholic

M - Decent. The flavor is rich so it's hard to distinguish all the different flavors being extruded. Carbonation is good, but it could be a little less

D - Very solid, I could begin to look for this brew more often.

A very solid intermediate IPA, by no means is it offensive. Another quality, nice brew from Big Sky Brewing... I wish they would step out a little with their brews.


Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 02:54:51 | More by chugalug06
Photo of Andreji


3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I reckon it's been a while since i've had the lucky chance of having a true american IPA. and this beer- again, courtesy of aschwab- was a reintroduction into the ever coveted genre that makes me ache for more at times, and for less at others.

Big sky took me back there. And as much as I hate being a trigger-happy (or keyboard-happy, given the circumstances) "love-em-all" type of reviewer, I struggle to find wrongdoings here.

First off, the pour. american pint glass, very appropriate. Not to blow my own horn, but the pour was perfect, too. Fit perfectly. the mushy, dirty white head, almost beige, two fingers, thick but active and in disarray. Below a crystal clear, amber-hued light looking (read: looking) beer. Slightly fizzy throughout. Visually alone i went back to the many (or so few, rather) IPAs i've loved and hated. Alas, the struggle renewed in me.

The smell and the incidental taste of the head (yes, i stuck my nose right into it and had to lick it off) was much more....herbal than I'd anticipated. It wasn't a rough hop feel. It's no sweetness either. It's rather like charged with parsley maybe, or basil. mostly the latter. fresh. no sweetness whatsoever. this is dominating it as a whole. no alcohol, either. this thing's an IBU experience, not an ABV one- apparently.

Taste-wise, it's a bit more run-of-the-mill. Even as it has a slight tangy spin on the base of the tongue, the clear and habitual sequence of barely superficial malt sweetness overriden by a stark bitterness is in every sip here. Not that i dislike it- heck, i've grown to love it (and must, when possible start re-trying those i disqualified early on), but one can see how the tasty yet repeated numbing and injurious intake of the hops can affect its overall mouthfeel, since I myself would dare say more than one or two of these at a time would saturate my rather (and now conveniently) moderate palate.

Overall, the beer is good, and very representative of its kind. Oh, and ckeck montana in my 'states' list, please. Hopefully I will land more Big Sky brews in the future, since it seems I'm not headed that far up (and west) anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2011 00:02:10 | More by Andreji
Photo of obrike


3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

What a nice surprise. Bought a sixer at Specs in Round Rock for 6.99.

A nice, ruby-amber color...nice head, recedes rather quickly, but leaves a constant light foam ring as you drink.

Enjoyed the smell...gotta lot of resiny pine, some spice. looking forward to tasting.

Well, well...tasty. Piney up front...citrus and a bit of spicy sweetness and caramel malt in the background. Good!

Dry, a bit oily, light to moderate carbonation. Once again, good!

A nice surprise as i picked this up on a whim. I would say this is an easy drinking IPA, maybe even one to recommend as a gateway into IPA and craft beer drinkers.

Great job Big Sky!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 23:49:32 | More by obrike
Photo of cokes


4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Generally clear, toasted honey hued with a big rise of bone-colored foam that deflates over time but leaves gobs of lace.
A full nose, both of hops and of malt. Apple butter-smeared toast, pomegranate, toffee, golden raisins, apricots, pine tar, pipe resin, tree bark, spearmint, and lime peels.
Caramel lolls through the mouth, coating the teeth, the ebbing down the esophagus. Fruity tones arrive, with pears, apples, and apricots. Toastiness follows them in. Hops brighten afterward, bringing a mojito of lime and mint, peppery herbal, danker notes of resin and pine sap, burnt wood, and the lingering, lightening bitterness of pink grapefruit
I like hop bombs as much as the next person, but this one capivates me with its squid vs. whale persona. Calling something "balanced" usually denotes a general blandness and lack of pizzazz. Not here. There is a rustic, old school charm with some new school tricks.
I've walked past this on the shelf for years. Idiot me.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2011 07:05:47 | More by cokes
Photo of timmick


4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A: One finger off-white, frothy head that left nice sticky lace on the sides of the glass. The color is a clear, dark reddish amber or copper that is very attractive in a glass.

S: Loved the smell of this. Started out with a sweet grapefruit that gave way to pineapple and caramel. The grapefruit and pineapple kept me breathing in the aroma with every drink. Caramel and toffee seemed to come on stronger as the beer warmed.

T: Sweet caramel and pineapple gave way to hoppy grapefruit rind and pine as the drink works its way back over the tongue. Crisp and clean with a nice balanced aftertaste.

M: Silky, with a light to medium feel. Good carbonation balance for a nice finish.

D: Nice, balanced, IPA. This could almost be a session beer for me and I'm sure to have a few more.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2011 19:23:36 | More by timmick
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from notes
A - poured a clear copper with tall white head retaining at a half finger
S - oily and herbal, piney, and grainy
T - strong resiny herbal and piney hops, toated grains and a little spicy
M - medium carbonation, thin and finishing bitter and slightly dry
D - a hop profile i haven't tasted often, does down fairly easy

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 20:47:14 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of AustinBeerLvr


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have seen this brew around here in Austin both on tap and in the bottle, so I figured I would finally give it a try.

A:This brew pours a nice candy apple, beautiful bright red hue. Good sticky lacing down the glass with a decent amount of head.

S: First thing I got in the nose was actually some semi-sweet caramel before the pine and grapefruit notes from the hops kicked in. Some apple like fruit esters make their way through as well.

T&M: Starts off with a good hit of sweet caramel that lays the base for a nice kick from some piney, herbal, pineapple, citrus, and grapefruit flavors from the hops. A firm bitterness hits the back of the tongue but never overpowers the caramel sweetness that rides through all the way until the end. Pringly bitterness and carbonation tickle the throat a bit in the finish. A bit of alcohol is also detected in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium, bordering on light for the style, but by no means watery with a good level of carbonation.

D&Notes: Coming at 6.2%ABV, this could almost classify as just a slightly bigger APA in today's craft beer world of strong IPAs. Overall, I dig this brew for the most part. It's certainly not my favorite, as it may finish a tad too sweet for my tastes, but it's very balanced, and it leaves you wanting to take another sip. As an IPA brewed on the very lower end of the ABV scale, this would be a good session brew for the hop lover.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 08:30:07 | More by AustinBeerLvr
Photo of LBBeer


4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A--very nice copper color with distinct lacing

S--Big malt note, not a lot of hops

T--Nice malt profile, that couples well with some serious bittering hops. Just the right anmount of body.

M--Creamy for a hoppy brew, very nice though, great balance

D--Soft carbonation, but not too light. Very sessionable IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2011 08:20:21 | More by LBBeer
Photo of Scotchboy


3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark orange color with just hints of gold and light red. Only a little hazy and effervescent.

Smell is hops, and an initally its an impressive amount. For a traditional IPA it seems a little more pungent that I was expecting, and the hops carry an earthy/acidic note that complements the bready malt characteristics well.

On to taste: the hops aren't bright & West Coast as much as they are piney and astringent (Simcoe). There is some hop oil presence as well. Caramel and bready notes emerge on the middle of the tongue. Definitely less bitter than some (if not most) IPA's.

Medium body, and good (not great) drinkability, but this beer is pleasant and balanced.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 19:02:39 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of pi5porter


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- nice clear amber color. the head was a nice clean white that lace on to the glass.

S- It had a slight hoppy smell but i dont have a good nose either.

T- it has a nice clean hoppy taste, but with a hop finish.

M- medium mouthfeel.

D- i could drink this all day.

Overall this is a classic American IPA, very good

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2011 23:10:09 | More by pi5porter
Photo of andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark copper colour, finger of beige head, some retention and nice sticky lacing.

S - Sweet pine and citrus hops with delicious caramel and toffe undertones.

T - Reminiscent of a DIPA on the hop presence, nice and sweet with bitterness that is well balanced. Caramel and toffee lingers alongside the bitter citrus notes. Hop presence is slightly herbal.

M - Medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes nice and wet.

D - A solid go-to option for a hop lover. Nice hop presence with a tasty caramel/toffee malt balance. Quite enjoyed this one and definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 05:28:53 | More by andrenaline
Photo of logmacschlog15


3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle to Dogfish snifter.

Appearance: Pours a little over a finger of creamy, light-beige head that disappears after a minute or so leaving behind some very well developed lacing. The beer is a dark, burnished copper with tints of red and lots of lively carbonation.

Smell: At first, sweet citrus aromas in the nose followed by subtle scents of pine. The juicy hop aromas are balanced well with a surprisingly bold caramel sweetness. This smells terrific!

Taste: An earthy, piney hop flavor hits the tongue immediately and is followed by a very strong bitterness. There is a mellow, caramel sweetness, especially as the beer warms, but you really have to search for it. It is interesting that the hops in the aroma and taste almost flip-flop, with the citrus dominating the aroma while piney characteristics dominate the taste. There is a slight tinge of alcohol as well. Once the bulk of the bitterness subsides there is a very pleasant earthy/herbal aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with some very smooth carbonation. There is also a very nice warmth from the alcohol.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable brew for those who like their IPAs relatively bitter.The bitterness of the hops take precedent over the more fruity/citrus characteristics that hops can add to a brew. All-in-all I could definitely have a few more of these.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 02:23:57 | More by logmacschlog15
Photo of gpogo


3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear amber body with decent carbonation. 1 centimeter tan head that seems to retain well.

A- Lots of citrusy hops especially grapefruit aromas. Slightly earthy smell.

T- Initially a sweet malty flavor that immediately gets bombarded by hops. Finishes with a caramel malt flavor.

M- Medium-light body with high carbonation.

D- Not bad. I'd drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 05:18:24 | More by gpogo
Photo of JMad


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

The beer was bright copper with a tall, pillowy, sand colored head that left lots of lacing. I could smell lots of piney hops, some sugar, maybe caramel and grapefruit. You taste mostly pine resin at first, there is just a slight sweetness, some biscuit flavor and a citrus rind aftertaste. The beer is medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation and it leaves the mouth dry. This is a solid IPA, it's nice and mellow so it's easy to drink,

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 23:09:04 | More by JMad
Photo of Fenris244


3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle, the cap said less cowbell, I got a laugh from that.

Darker amber in color, I poured it a little light and still got a thick 1 finger creamy looking head, decent retention.

Lemon and pine aromas, the lemon aroma has a strong sweet note to it, other citrus aromas are present.

Very grapefruit like flavor up front and something else I can only describe as floral, good hop character, lemon peel flavor and a bit of malt sweetness on the finish.

Light in body, smooth and pretty crisp in flavor, the smoothness of this ipa increases it's drinkability and as far as an ipa goes this is a pretty solid representation of the style

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 23:59:50 | More by Fenris244
Photo of BarrytheBear


3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A walk down memory lane. Used to drink this while traversing the bars of Missoula in my younger and drunker years.

12 oz bottle pours copper with a massive 3 finger fluff and leaves plenty of sticky cling.

Smells of grapefruit rind, gumballs, and a biscuity breadiness. Two of the bottle I poured this week came across more vibrant, so I'll rate as such.

Taste follows nose with hops always lurking just below a healthy biscuit malt presence and some fruity esters. Bitterness is mostly kept in check and falls more on the back end than the front.

Not as healthy and robust as many IPA's , but for the price and drinkabilty, I'll reach for this more often. Easy and accessible; I'd have no problems with consuming multiple bottles with pleasure.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 02:40:06 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of Flightoficarus


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice, clear amber/copper hue, with a small, off-white head, with moderate lacing.

S - Smell is of caramel-drizzled, piney hops, orange, lemon, and grapefruit.

T - Taste is of biscuity, caramel and honey drizzled malts, with plenty of citrus flavors of lemon and grapefruit, with just a hint of hop bitterness, and a nice, clean, crisp finish.

M - Medium bodied, but light enough to session too. Moderate carbonation. Crisp.

D - Full flavor, but easy drinkability makes for a winner here.

Overall - A very solid, sessionable IPA. And pretty approachable for the non hop-heads as well.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 07:31:07 | More by Flightoficarus
Photo of HOPPYKC


3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this beer into a pint glass. No bottled on or BB date.

Pours a nice copper color with little to no head at all. Thick and a little hard to see through. No fully transparent but not opaque either.

The smell is a little sweet with hops and citrus present at the very beginning. I get a lot of an orange and lemon smell with a little malt.

This hits hard with the hops and citrus right up front and towards the middle i get the malt and bready flavor and hit again hard with hops in the end.

I like how this isn't too think but just think enough to let you know that there is something better then just a washed out brew here.

Overall this is most likely one of the most drinkable beers that i get. One, because it is available easily available at my local stores and because its just damn good.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 22:11:01 | More by HOPPYKC
Photo of beertunes


3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear, coppery amber color with about a half inch of off-white head that had decent retention and lacing.

I found the aroma to be a pleasant surprise. I'm generally less than impressed with Big Sky's beers, but this had a strong, bold citrus hop scent, with a hint of pine and a bit of malt in the background. The flavors follow along nicely, solid hops and nice hops, playing together very well.

The body was fairly typical, perhaps a touch fuller than most. Drinkability was very good, I could drink a couple of these. Overall, this is a pleasant surprise of a brew, it's my bad that I've skipped over it for so long. Give it a shot.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 01:38:10 | More by beertunes
Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 919 ratings.