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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

1,038 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,038
Reviews: 454
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 30
Gots: 76 | 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: 1,038 | Reviews: 454 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of raznug
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
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%
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 -4.2%
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 -2.1%
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 +8.1%
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 +0.5%
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 +1.8%
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 -9.2%
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%
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 +13.6%
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 +20.2%
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 -21.3%
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 -2.6%
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%
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%
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.

Photo of dbossman
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark orangish-brown hue with a steady, 1-inch head and okay lacing

S: Great citrus and floral hop aromas: lots of grapefruit, lemon, and pine shine throughout; there does seem to be a sweet malt undertone but this is pretty hop forward

T: Wonderful balance of grainy sweetness and hop bitterness; the citrus and pine play well off the sweet bready malts; more balanced than I expected

F: Great oily, sticky mouth feel; just about perfect for an American IPA

O: This is a very nice IPA; a great not-over-the-top go-to IPA; it is cool to see an IPA west of the Mississippi be a bit more on the balanced side

Photo of MonkeymooTJ
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


A pleasant mix between copper and bronze with a twinge of orange as you get to the top of the glass


Citrusy hops with a strong sweet caramel maltiness to it


Mild bitterness. Orange peel flavor with a grapefruit note. Sweet malty aftertaste that was a bit surprising for an Ipa


Pretty light overall. Moderate carbonation level gives it a decent bite as it hits the throat


Different than any other IPA ive tasted. It is pretty well balanced and actually borders on the sweet side. Still there is a good bitterness that even hop heads can enjoy. Seems to be something for everyone in this brew.

Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden orange color with a tight white head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and pine hops.

Tastes of a good wave of hops and a solid malt backbone. Hops have notes of citrus, pine, and tropical fruit. Plenty of bitterness. Malt is supportive and offers a caramel sweetness in counterpoint.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, better than I was expecting and will definitely pick up again.

Photo of Azurescens
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no bottled on or freshness date poured into Maudite stemmed glass, reviewed on 4/28/11

A: Pours a clear copper color with big light tan head that leaves plenty of lacing around glass.

S: I'm really liking the nose on this IPA, smells sweet with lots of citrus hops, a hint of orange and even lychee fruit.

T: Not over-the-top bitter like so many IPAs tend to be, this is on the fringe of being a clear, hop forward pale ale but is still definitely an IPA. Good not overpowering hop bitterness with juicy citrus hop resins on top of a bready caramel malt backbone. Leaves a mild lingering hop taste on my tongue.

M: Tingling carbonation on a medium-light body that finishes pretty dry.

O: Easy drinking sessionable IPA from big sky, good brew but nothing spectacular.

Photo of mdagnew
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of philbertk
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of tenaciousp65
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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!

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.97/5  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!!

Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,038 ratings.