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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 Kromes
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of ibbjamin
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Photo of Daniellobo
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of PhxHorn
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
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!

Photo of roblowther
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
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!

Photo of Vancer
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

Photo of BeerMePlze
4.7/5  rDev +23.7%
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!

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of JBogan
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Photo of allengarvin
4.33/5  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.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of jjanega08
3.61/5  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.

Photo of david18
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of skrib09
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Photo of Jayli
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of trbergman
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

Photo of bnes09
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent copper color with off white head. Smells of pine and citrus. Taste is very bold and robust with plenty of hop character. Citrus, lemon peel and pine flavors come through full force with a mild soap flavor in the back and in the after-taste. Malts come through to give it just the right amount of sweetness and provide balance the powerful hops. Overall, a solid example of an American IPA, very satisfying! Whenever I experience another hop craving, this beer should do the trick.

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

A- Autumn orange without much head on this one.

S- Doughy biscuit malt, citrusy(grapefruit), leafy hops.

T- Fresh, fruity hops. Bright with flowery notes.
Tastes better than it smells. There is some diacytl. Crisp clean finish, bitterness fades quickly.

M- Light to medium body with a crisp carbonation.

D- Good beer, especially considering the price range. A solid "take to a party" IPA.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

A - Pours a nice hazy but strong dark orange. with a nice inch head that retains well. Leaves lacing as it recedes and leaves nice lace on the glass.

S - Nice spicy hop smell. Grassy and refreshing. There is also some sweet malt smell that mellows the hops out. Well balanced nose.

T - Taste very similar to SN PA. The hop character isn't as present as other IPA's but still very nice. Grapefruit hints and some flowery notes. Refreshing and well balanced with some sweet malt hints that work well together. I tried it with some spicy boneless chicken wings and both went well together.

M - light to medium body with nice balance and good CO2

D - Very refreshing and high for an IPA.

Photo of champ103
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nearly clear orange/reddish color. A two finger off white head forms with good retention. Some sticky lace is left down the glass.
S: Pine, grapefruit, and bitterness in the nose. Some floral and grassy hops as well. Not a lot of sweetness for balance.
T: Follows the nose. Pine, grapefruit, and bitterness. No sweetness really. A typical IPA, but not bad.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A nice crisp snap on the tongue. Not hard to drink, but the bitterness makes this a one and done for me.

Fairly typical for the style, but not bad. Worth a try, and any hop head will enjoy this.

Photo of OlRasputin989
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: a slightly hazy amber brew with a fluffy and thick creamy white head. leaves a good amount of lacing as well. The head stays with you the entire drink. perfect if you enjoy the novelty of a good ol' beerstache!

S: Piney citrus (grapefruit and orange). You almost get a hint of malty sweetness.

T: rich entry. sweet oranges and grapefruit peel, brown sugar. finishes with smoke flavors, pine, biscuit and grapefruit peel.

M: beer is a medium body with a good carbonation. finishes a little bubbly with just enough dryness from the hops.

I've been looking for this one for awhile, and It definitely lived up to expectation. Very drinkable and refreshing and a well rounded hop flavor without the overbearing bitterness!

Photo of LittleDon
4.57/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber with a slight haze. Nice thick head with copious lace. Aroma is citrus and floral. Strong hop profile, grapefruit, but not as pronounced as in the aroma. Medium mouthfeel and big bitter finish. Overall, I was pleased, much hoppier than expected, but not overly so.

Photo of Cresant
2.71/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 0z. brown bottle into a Sierra Nevada Hops glass. No date on the bottle or on the Mixed 12 Pack box. Looks to be the summer seasonal release. The body was bright copper/orange color with a tiny amount of haze. The head was khaki colored, moderate and broken, leaving minimal lace.

Smell was sweet malty syrup. Bread dough. Not much else.

Taste was of malt more than hops, however, it does fnish with some dull hops bitterness. Maybe this one would be better if it were fresher.

Mouthfeel was medium in body. Moderate carbonation.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

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