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Big Sky IPA - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Sky IPABig Sky IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,023 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,023
Reviews: 450
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 31
Gots: 69 | 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:
Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-18-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,023 | Reviews: 450 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lstokes
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep hazy orange. Smells and tastes tropical and grapefruit and pine--oh hell, lots and lots of hops with a big stingingly crisp mouthfeel. Some malt backbone but really this is about the Simcoe hops. A nice aggressive American IPA which is priced wonderfully here in Chicago... will be buying again!

Photo of richalexander78
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Heard this one was pretty good. It was! Fantastic aroma of hops and citrus. Both are very well balanced and combine to have a nice soft bitter finish without a funky after tast. I would really like to try this fresh on draft. Well done inexpensive ipa.

Photo of mattcrill
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Light floral and citrus-like hop aromas up front. Mild background caramel sweetness. Clean fermentation character.

Appearance: Deep amber pour that is nearly clear. Small, sticky white head with good retention.

Flavor: More citrus punch up front followed by some gentle background caramel sweetness that is punched out by more hop resiny bitterness. Balance is firmly bitter. Finish is clean. Aftertaste lingers with hop resin bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with high carbonation. No alcohol heat.

Overall impression: A big citrusy American IPA. I love the orange and lemon zest flavors as well as hints of malt here and there to keep it interesting. It's wonderfully dry which makes for easy quaffing. Well done.

Photo of clint1019
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Deep Amber in color with a thick cream colored head.

Smell-Has a strong floral aroma and a slight caramelly sweetness

Taste-Has a malty/caramelly sweetness balance by a nice hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Medium Bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall-I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. I did not expect a beer from a brewing in Montana would taste this good. Definately one of the better IPA's I've tasted.

Photo of coldriver
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was a gateway beer for me - the first IPA that I really liked and my absolute favorite beer a few years back. The thing that really caught my attention was the wonderful piney-tangerine aroma which of course I now recognize as dry hopping. Decent head and lacing. This is still a favorite wonderfully balanced IPA that I still turn to for the incredible nose-hit experience.

Photo of GossageBrewery
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this beer from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This AIPA poured a nice white head and it had excellent head retention. Lacing was above average. The beer poured a dark copper color. The aroma was filled with malt, orange citrus and hop aroma. The taste of the AIPA had a nice sweet malt flavor, notes of citrus and oily hops. Medium in body, very smooth. Slightly dry finish. Very nice hop flavor, not overly aggressive- easy to drink. Very good beer.

Photo of cbo2122
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nicely tempered IPA. It presented nicely in the glass and retained a decent amount of head. It's smell was brilliant, and complemented the taste well. Not the best IPA I've had but it was a pleasant pint, that had good body and a full taste. The mouthfeel was good, and the ending notes were not harsh but hoppy and sweet. This is a solid drinkable IPA with a bit of bold flavoring, but nothing too overpowering. I wish I had another one right now.

Photo of chocosushi
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love revisiting again and again.

6 oz pour -> Anchor Steam Pint

A ~ Copper colored with a 1/3" of creamy head with good lacing and completely solid retention that goes very sticky near the bottom/end of the glass.

S ~ Resinous American Hops & Toffee. Whisper of mango. Not alot compared to the taste following.

T ~ Pine Resin & Caramel Malt dominate. Orange peels, canned pineapple rings, & vegetal/organic flavors come through. Tastes different everytime, but this time was very unique. Fresher perhaps. Lots of random earthy flavors throughout.

M ~ Very easy to drink with slight stickiness. Cream-like, almost churn-able carb with a bitter finish.

D ~ My go-to session IPA for under $9 after tax.
Intensely sessionable, and addictively so.


Photo of Gatch
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

Photo of samie85
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a copper color with two fingers of dense, white head that leaves thick lacing behind.

S-Gives off a honey-like aroma with tropical fruits including orange, mango and pineapple.

T-Sweet caramel with pineapple juice, mango and orange with a slight bitterness.

M-Nice and smooth with low carbonation and a medium body.

D-Very smooth and drinkable, however, I wish there was a bit more bitterness to this one. It's a little too easy drinking and sweet, but not cloyingly so.

Photo of raznug
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very slightly hazy orangeish copper with a half inch of tight white head. The head on this beer just doesn’t go away I am over half down with the beer and half the head is still hanging around.
Smell: There is a nice hop presents in the aroma with a little bit of malt in the background.
Taste: The malt that was in the aroma is not in the taste the way I expect an IPA to be. There is a nice bitterness to the beer that is spot on, just the right amount you would expect from a single IPA not over powering just darn tasty.
Mouthfeel: This IPA has that consistency that makes the bitterness stick around nice and thick but not too heavy.

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Very nice clear amber with subtle orange and red tones. Small off-white head, good lace.

S: Piney, resinous hops accompanied by a fruity ester presence. Woody.

T: Woodiness continues in the flavor, with an ample supply of resinous hops (Cascade, Columbus?). Reminds me of my very first homebrewed IPA.

M: Smooth. Low carbonation, a little oiliness. Nice. Not as dry as I would have expected.

D: Good all around. Not stellar for the category, but very good.

Photo of tito42
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to a tulip glass. Best by 09/15/2011 stamped on bottle.

A: Rich copper with a thick, foamy off-white head. Nice lacing and nicely carbonated.

S: Strong grapefruit with citrus and floral hops.

T: Very balanced. Stout malt backbone with plenty of hops bitterness as well. Definite caramel notes throughout with citrus and floral hints as well. A bit too much caramel sweetness for my taste.

M: Nice malt creaminess up front and nice bitterness and bite on the back end, but a tad watery in the middle.

O: A nice, well-balanced entry into the AIPA field. Not my favorite in the style or of this brewery, but not a bad beer.

Photo of dc55110
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice light copper, with a 3/4 finger of light foamy head, which quickly dissipates leaving a small amount of lacing.

Very nice piney aroma, not much else there, the slightest floral hints.

The nose foreshadows the flavors completely. This is all about pine. Taste "bigger" than the 6.2% listed on the bottle, there is a slight boozyness to it.

Clean and crisp, this isn't a tongue destroyer.

A nice "everyday" IPA out of Big Sky.

Photo of WoodBrew
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its a cooler weekend here in Oswegoland and just finished cutting the soggy grass...we had a deluge recently. The carrot at the end of the stick was some Big Sky IPA from a mixed pack. The appearance is good, a ruby amber with finger think foamy white head. The smell is a balance between pine and floral tones with hints of citrus/grapefruit. The taste is starts with a pine and flowery tingles, then a bitter grapefruit finish. The beer does not come off the pallete clean...likes to linger....which would make tought o session.

Photo of Dope
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours out a nice clear brown with quite a foamy off-white head. Decent lacing.

S: Nothing overpowering but not nearly as subtle as some other IPAs I've smelled. Mid-range. Some nice pine, earth and a bit of malt.

T: Good pine hop, really shows up on the back end versus up front. Long lasting bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: Medium body, carbonation is good, pretty standard.

O: Nothing world shattering but overall a very nice IPA. Not a super hop bomb and not an upfront west-coast style IPA. Just plain good, not too hoppy, not too malty, not too bitter IPA.

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Dark mahogany complexion, brilliant half inch silky head and killer lacing found up and down.

S: Earthy hop presence and some sweet malt played in the back. Nothing spectacular but IS there nonetheless.

T: Good hop in the front kind of warms you up with a little heat. Followed up by some sweet maltiness to round things off. Good complexity between the two, done well.

M: Medium in general, little sticky, abv blends well.

O: Nice IPA indeed. Would consume more if applicable, comes recommended.

Photo of JayAre46
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - long neck bottle with a four legged creature on the front and montana mountains in the back im not gonna lie that this is far from my favorite label, anyway transparent amber color with a 1 1/2 finger of head that is showing some loose retention.

S - light cirtus aroma, light hop presnce with a decent toasty pecan dry malt background. grapefruit stands out, not the most complex i have let my senses grace.

T - kind of a bready malt, orange peel dryness, more grapefruit goood ending bitterness. this one again is rather simple and balanced, not a hop bomb by anymeans but has a good hop presence. I would love this one when i was in 4th grade, it would of been my favorite while capri sun could sit in the back seat.

M - medium body, this is a plus for the brew rather creamy and easy moving slick not too much carbonation or prickle

O - decent beer, i most likely would never buy this again, unless it was for someone else, oh wait i did that already, well glad he enjoyed. Good Ipa for 4th graders.

Photo of FanofHefe
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a pint glass. Clear, dark amber body with a two-finger tan head. Decent retention and spotty lacing.

Not an overpowering IPA aroma by any means, but decent. The hops tend more toward the tropical and floral side on the nose, with just a touch of citrus. A light malt note in the background.

The more bitter grapefruit hop notes come through much stronger in the flavor. Still, a bit of tropical and floral notes accompany. A decent caramel malt balance makes for a solid IPA flavor mix.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of consistency. Overall, a very solid IPA that is very drinkable.

Photo of dcloeren
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crisp clear burnt orange with 2 fingers of eggshell white head. Left copious amount of lacing down my glass

Grapefruit dominates the nose along with floral hops, orange zest and a healthy amount of caramel hop. Very good hop to malt ratio

Taste is very hop forward and follows the scent really well. Grapefruit and orange with a very tasty caramel malt backbone. Delicious

This is a medium bodied beer with a stinging amount of carbonation that compliments this brew very nicely. Has a very drying bitter aftertaste that will leave you with some hop breath for sure

Overall, this is one of the best IPA's I have had in a while. It was refreshing to get such a great hop forward beer without having to go for a DIPA/IIPA.

Thanks to my boy JR for this surprisingly good birthday 6 pack

Photo of richkrull
4.58/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark bronze color with a good amount of beige head and pretty good lacing.

Smell is pretty balanced caramel malt and hops.

Taste is very hoppy, just how I like it. Also some citrus and a bit of spice coming through.

Mouthfeel is light to medium. Very good easy drinking IPA.

Overall a great beer. I'll definitely get this again. I really liked this beer.

Photo of Wegomlegging
3/5  rDev -21.1%
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....

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend of mine brought this back from Montana with him, so a big thanks to him for sharing this with me.

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

A Pours an amber color, that has a 2 finger head that lasts pretty much until you are done and leaves a lot of lacing in the mean time.

S The nose on this one is full of citrus especially grapefruit which seems to be the dominant note. There is also a floral note, and just all around sweetness.

T The taste follows the nose, with lots of citrus and grapefruit present with just a hint of bitterness on the finish.

M Pretty good mouthfeel, it's decently carbonated but not overly so, basically I don't even really notice it for better or worse.

Overall I would say that this is a pretty good IPA just nothing overly special. The hops are not overpowering, but they are present with just the right amount of fruitiness to bitterness. Well worth drinking if you want a good American IPA.

Photo of zbuc919
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really nice IPA, was pleasantly surprised when I picked it up on a whim in a mixer-sixer. I know Moose Drool is their go to brand maker, but this is a very quality American style IPA that has the nice strong citrusy-grapefruit flavor. Pick it up if you're a fan of American style IPAs.

Photo of AmericanGothic
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Peace Tree pint.

A: Pours a clear orange copper with a fairly dark (for an IPA) tan head, one finger and pretty billowy. Good retention and very nice lace.

S: Sweet citrus and peach, really nice-- just like an IPA ought to smell. Also a bit of tea.

T: Muted, more understated than the smell. Leads with pine then transitions to sweet citrus. Good flavor but defintely on the subtle side. Also has occasional flashes of light pepper that are a treat. A little bit of a wet wood flavor in the background. The sweetness of the malt is just enough to give the hops something to play off of-- like a dusting of powdered sugar.

M: Light and creamy, good stuff.

O: This is a very good IPA. I haven't had it for a long while and had forgotten how pleasant it is. I am adding this one to the go-to list, great deal for a reasonable price. Yum.

Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,023 ratings.