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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

906 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 906
Reviews: 438
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.04%
Wants: 27
Gots: 36 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Sky IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 906 | Reviews: 438 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

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

I have seen many Big Sky brews on the shelf, but this is the first that I have tried. The beer pours a dark amber color with a decent cap of foam that left decent lacing down the glass.

A wallop of floral hops and grapefruit in the nose. Sweet malt wiggles through the hops to add to the aroma. More of the same on the palate with a larger emphasis on the hops than the malt. Finishes bitter and leaves a residue no the palate. Malt sweetness also remains on the palate providing ample balance.

An oiliness from the hops is quite noticeable in the mouthfeel, not a bad thing.

I did enjoy this beer. It is hoppy, but balanced, drinkable and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 00:07:05 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of natelocc787


4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good IPA, kind of surprised me because I haven't been impressed with any of their other offerings. Dark IPA, lengthy sheets of lace and a very resiny, bitter, spruce and grapefruit nose. The taste is a mild letdown from what the nose implied, more spruce, grapefruit and orange peel notes backed up with caramel malt that is noticeable but beat back by the bitterness. The score could almost be bumped up in the taste category, really enjoyable but could use some complexity. Still good, mouthfeel like a dark Stone IPA and very drinkable. Would be happy buying a whole sixer of this beer. The cream of Big Sky's crop IMO.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 21:06:10 | More by natelocc787
Photo of DousedInStout


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

A nice little surprise from Montana! The appearance is a tad darker than most IPAs - it pours a rich, bright amber with a white head. The aroma is solid - very piney and sticky, with some orange rind in the mix. The taste is kind of a hybrid between your typical west coast and east coast IPA. You start with a chewy, malt backbone followed by pine cones, resin, and grapefruit from the hops. A nice, crisp, clean finish begging for another sip. The carbonation is spot on. This IPA was a pleasure to try.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 07:28:56 | More by DousedInStout
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose is citric and floral with significant pine - overall a gloriously magnificent hoppiness. Soft malt is toasty, nutty. Smells delightful.

Pours clear honey cola with very large & lasting rocky head. Looks wonderful - it almost could not look any better.

Flavor follows nose, with moderate bitterness. Hop flavor less pronounced than aroma, but still displays bright citric, piney, and floral oils. Good bit of tartness. Big malt body, mildly flavored: toasty bread and soft nut. Very little thrashy leafiness I typically find in strong IPAs, but there's still a bit of that earthy/leafy hop kick to prove they used real hops and not hop oils. Mildly sweet. Finishes with good hop bite. Tastes good. Feels good. Very good drinkability.

Most impressive! This is a seriously tasty and to-style IPA. I've found Big Sky to have good-but-boring beers to-date, and IPA has definitely tipped their average into the significantly less than boring direction. I look forward to trying the next Big Sky offering I come across. Kudos!

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 02:18:37 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of tapman


3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice dark rust/ medium orange color typical for the style with a dense, light brown head comprised of tiny bubbles and some slightly bigger ones. The head dissappears rather quickly and while this isn't neccessarily that important for the style, I like to get a little foam with my first sip, or at least enough foam to release a long burst of aroma. Perhaps a protein deficiency in the beer?

Aroma is buttery, but toffee butter, not diacetyl butter. A lot fo crystal malt for my taste. Hops are floral and slightly spicy with a bread back. A little alcohol is apparent as well.

Toffee/medium crystal malt for most of the taste with some spicy American hops for flavor. The bitterness at the end is clean, though a little sticky. Bittering is great.

A little chewy, but I like my IPAs really chewy, so that's not something that big sky could have panned for, is it? Still the carbonation isn't too epfervescent yet enough for a nice texture.

Despite my low score review I would not use it as a reference. I don't like the toffee type IPAs. I prefer my malt bill a bit cleaner and a little more pale with more of a stand-out hop character. However, I understand that this is a different style of IPA that many people love. I'm a young guy and I look forward to giving this another try when my taste buds mature a little more. If you like a super balanced IPA, go for this one, but if you are like me and like them a little unbalanced (American style baby!) then stick with your bells two hearted.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 02:14:12 | More by tapman
Photo of BigBigPickle


3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. into pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy, dark amber - very pretty - with minimal head (too cold into pint glass?). Great lacing on glass.

S: Yeast before hops. Orange peel.

T: Hop bitter up front - very orangey. Astringent, bitter - reminds me of cleanliness. My last batch of IPA was cooked at too high a temperature and it tastes a lot like this.

M: Too astringent. Bittering hops too big, not balanced with flavoring.

D: Just okay. But not horrible.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2010 17:45:23 | More by BigBigPickle
Photo of Wheelinb


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice copper color and 1 finger of head. This has what I consider a typical hop aroma - citrus and grassiness. Big flavors at first, but not overwhelmingly so. A bit of a spiciness but no after taste. Very easy to drink this beer. I really like their Moose Drool and this IPA is pretty solid as well.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 21:28:12 | More by Wheelinb
Photo of tr4nc3d


4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12fl oz bottle poured into my mug

Pours a dark copper like color with a two inch slightly tan head. Head is rather dense with great retention. Soapy scattered lacing is left clinging to the sides of my glass.

Some citrus notes are detected with grapefruit. Grass and pine can be detected with a pretty dominant malt smell considering its an IPA.

Slight citrus flavor shows upfront with the likes of grapefruit, this leads to a little more sweeter taste that is followed by the malts. Toffee and biscuit like flavors show up in the end. Light to medium bitterness.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty easy drinking IPA and I would recommend it to try.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 02:50:40 | More by tr4nc3d
Photo of Kromes


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

A: Clear copper with a dense off-white colored head. Lacing down the glass.

S: A very nice floral, citrus, herbal hop aroma with some toasted malt aromas.

T: The hop flavors really stand out here. There are some pine, grapefruit, and grass flavors with a good bitter bite. The malt shows through also. A nice malt flavor to this beer.

M: A good full mouthfeel with a peppery spice.

D: A nice drinkable above average IPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2009 00:11:16 | More by Kromes
Photo of ibbjamin


4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Paid $1.33 for a 12oz bottle from Festival Foods in Manitowoc, WI. Poured into a pint glass to review.

Yields a large, creme colored head - should have poured more slowly. Crystal clear transparency with a dark amber color. Minimal rising carbonation. Excellent retention and lacing.

Green leaf and caramel malts intertwine in this mild, well balanced IPA. Smells fresh, clean and earthy.

Rich, earthy and mild taste. Superb balance with biscuity malts and herbal/piney hops. I'm liking this one quite a bit, especially for it being as malty and earthy as it is. Quite unique.

Medium body with light carbonation. An almost watery mouth, yet there is a medium finish and texture as well. It goes down very quickly.

I was suspecting much more average here - this beer is unique and highly drinkable. Hats off to Big Sky.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 03:59:17 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

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

Nice and very drinkable draft IPA

Presentation: 16 oz draft offering. Menu offers a fair one liner description and brewery location. Served in pilsner-like glass.

A - Amber body with a 1/4" head, good retention and lacing.

S - Resin/pine character with citrus/grapefruit notes.

T - Flavor follow with a hoppy profile that is not shy at all but does not assert itself too much either. Grapefruit, and pine.

M - Medium body and carbonation with a nice crisp bitter finish.

D - Nicely drinkable, almost balanced leaning on its hoppy side, which works rather well.

Notes: I'll be happy to revisit on tap, and sure enough when I come across a bottle. Nice IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2009 00:37:53 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of PhxHorn


4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a beautiful orange copper color with 3/4" off-white head. It left thick lacing all the way down, a serious-looking beer. Smells moderately of hops. Taste is a moderate grapefruit hop flavor, with some orangy citrus flavor in there as well. Not a real intense flavor, but good enough. Mouthfeel was a tad thin, but it's drinkable as hell. I kiled it in about ten minutes. Damn straight!

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 02:25:30 | More by PhxHorn
Photo of roblowther


3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cheers to my buddy Lauer for bringing this one back from a business trip. Clear burnished copper with a thin off-white head that laces well. Smells floral with a hint of vanilla. Tastes of hops, very crisp. Aftertase is metallic. Finishes tart, slightly apple-like, with a stonger pine ovetone. Mouthfeel is soft with nice carbonation. Drinkability is good. It gets better as the beer gets lower in the glass. Maybe my tastebuds just needed to warm up to it. I like it!

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 19:53:35 | More by roblowther
Photo of Vancer


3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A deep amber, almost cola brown pour greeted me, thick and rich ivory head leaving lace rings in the Bitburger pilsner glass.

Citrus orange aroma, just some subtle hints of pine. So far, I really likey. More resinous wood chips in the quaff that I care for, and some infamous floral petals. A bit unbalanced, seems more English IPA than American.

Big Sky usually produces tasty treats, but this is one I'll shy away from next year.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 02:32:52 | More by Vancer
Photo of BeerMePlze


4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This IPA has Great aromas of grapefruit and citrus. Hopbomb on the front end but then finishes very nicely...and IPA that I can actually drink a few of in a sitting. 6.2% ABV, so it only takes a few anyway!

Not too heavy on the mouth, a great overall beer!

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 16:58:57 | More by BeerMePlze
Photo of BeerAdvocate


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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

A departure from the many English beers Big Sky brews, a healthy dose of Simcoe hops are used to bitter and flavors this beer. We dig the how the animal theme is genuine and not corny as hell, "Antilocapra americana" blazing this label.

Massive white head that slowly settles with an neat-looking plateau in the middle, ample lacing and retention is seen. Very clear deep copper color. Fresh orange zest from the hop aroma, maltiness goes a little nutty and the yeast gives a hint of fruitiness in the nose. Smoothness is packed deep, and the creamy medium body holds firm. It's a back and forth from hops to malt starting off with a sweet bready tone to a slick, oily herbal flavor. Then there's a light caramel note to a semi-prickly bitterness, biscuity grain to a bit of citric rind. Finishes off with more lingering oily hop flavor and runs a little dry.

This is a perfect snapshot of what American IPAs were back in the 1990s. Easy drinking and balanced but still with a very pronounced hop flavor, it's not a trait you see as often, and it's great to experience it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 19:32:54 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of JBogan


3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Fills the glass with a clear orange/amber body topped by a solid white head. average lacing left in it's wake.

The aroma had a good mixture of piney hops balanced by toasted malt. Pretty inviting.

Taste followed the smell closely. Not an especially complex beer, but well balanced and pleasing.

Medium to thick feel in the mouth, and quite smooth.

This is a nice IPA, although not among the elite. If you're on a budget it's a good choice, but there's much better available.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 04:36:54 | More by JBogan
Photo of allengarvin


4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a moretti glass (a good glass for 12oz beers). It has a bright coppery color with a thick, 3-quarters inch head. Lacing is light. The nose is a tad faint, providing some hops smelling of fresh pine boughs. Excellent balance in the taste, with a moderately high bitterness, a load of citrusy, resinous hop flavor, and a crisp, biscuity malt. It finishes dry with lingering hops. The body is light, and the drinkability high. Very good 'quaffing' beer. I wasn't expecting such a good one from a small regional brewery I'd never heard of before.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 18:42:19 | More by allengarvin
Photo of whoneeds8


3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass golden orange with a very thick froathy head, great lacing. Smells of strong hops. The taste is a little flat in the hops flavor. It might just be the type of hops they used. There is a weird aftertaste on the back end. The mouthfeel is fine. This is a nice IPA, but that's about it.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 23:22:05 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of Mora2000


4.43/5  rDev +16%
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 jjanega08


3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A= pours a nice looking amber color. Completely translucent. The head rises out to a perfect two fingers and has some pretty good retention. As it falls it becomes a nice rocky head and leaves great lacing. Good looking brew.
S= definitally some nice citrus hops in it. A little flowery as well. Also a little pine in it. Deeper you can smell caramel malts for sure.
T= pretty much what I expected. Up front there's a strong hop bite. The bite mellows as it moves across you tongue. Nice bitterness to it with loads of grapefruit peel flavor. As I finishes it get a little weird though because there is an obvious caramel malt finish. Usually hop forward beers are really bitter in the finish but this one is not. More malty finish than your average ipa.
M=super light for an ipa.
D= pretty good. Not a bad ipa at all but living in minnesota I don't see me going for it too often when I got furious, marsala, and some of my other favs. Pretty good though.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2009 02:18:29 | More by jjanega08
Photo of david18

New York

4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I loved this beer. It was one of the better IPA's I've had in a long time. Great hoppy aroma, great clarity of color. Perfect India Pale Ale flavor, all around excellent beer. I would recommend it to anyone who can find it. I had it at the beer bar in NY NY in Las Vegas.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2009 01:59:33 | More by david18
Photo of skrib09


3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

brew poured clear and copper in color with a hop-fueled tan head up top. good lacing, as you would expect from an ipa.

big floral and hop notes on the nose. plenty of pine and fresh citrus. a bit of spice in the floral tones.

subdued hop flavor with a little astringency. some malt backbone.

a touch grainy on the palate but overall good mouthfeel. average drinkability here.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2009 21:23:57 | More by skrib09
Photo of Jayli


3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Acquired from TheManiacalOne so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours a gorgeous crystal clear deep dark copper/burnt orange with a one finger of off white rocky head to it. Head recedes relatively quickly and leaves spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of floral and piney hops through and through. Pine is a bit more prevelant but both have a strong presence.

T: Taste is far more muted than the nose would imply but still well balanced. Taste starts off with a nice piney, and citrusy hops, middle is of caramel malts and a bit of toasted malts, finish has a nice floral hop bite to it.

M: Light body, medium carbonation, somewhat oily but also feels rather watery.

D: Nice beer that goes down easily. This is a sessionable, well balanced IPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 02:24:51 | More by Jayli
Photo of trbergman


3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a cervoise.

A - Amber-orange with two fingers of light tan head.

S - Sweet caramel and toffee malt aroma, citrus and floral hops.

T - Some initial sweetness, with bready and caramel malt flavors, followed by grapefruit and orange rind and aggressive hop bitterness. While definitely bitter enough, it is at the same time a bit too sweet and seems to lack much in flavoring and aroma hops.

M - Medium body, good level of carbonation.

D - I'm finding it hard to finish one bottle, let alone more. This beer could be a lot better if they cut back on the crystal malt and shifted some of the hop additions toward the last 5-10 minutes.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 02:53:00 | More by trbergman
Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 906 ratings.