1. The BeerAdvocate Store is back! Pre-order your stuff now. Items begin shipping Dec 15. Christmas deadline = Dec 18 @ 5pm EST.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Big Sky IPA - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Sky IPABig Sky IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,014 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,014
Reviews: 449
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 31
Gots: 62 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Sky IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,014 | Reviews: 449 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of allengarvin
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
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
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
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
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
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
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
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
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
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
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
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
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
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
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
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
4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
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
2.7/5  rDev -28.9%
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
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness/bottling info to be had. Pour rich, dark almond amber, lighter kahki head, that leaves a slight collar and light scattered bit of lace. Fruity and fragrant hops in the nose. Big and bold ale, plenty of malt coating the underbelly, sweet and smooth. The hops are equally smooth and lighly grapefruit infused as well as grainy and biting. Respectable hop crunch, quite drying and satisfying. Well done Big Sky. Big beer and hop lover, go get some

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

Thanks go out to wasatch for this one.

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Label depicts a gazelle (?) standing on a hillside.

Appearance: Pours with 1 finger of light tan head. This settles to a thin but complete coating of foam,leaving behind very nice lacing. The beer itself is honey orange and fairly cloudy. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Piny hops with undertones of citrus. Hop bitterness int he finish melds well with caramel malt.

Taste: Semi-spicy hops upfront, mainly pine. Good backbone of biscuity malt with hints of caramel. Mild to medium bitterness in the finish. Bitterness lingers very well.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: A hoppy yet well balanced IPA. Another fine example of all the good craft beer out there to choose from.

Photo of abrand
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle from big sky sampler poured into the pint glass

pours warm amber color with a lingering 2 finger head that lines the pint glass. The head dissolves rapidly with a minimal cream textured that lingers throughout the drink. Smells of sweet toffee and rich caramel. Also hints of ipa hoppiness. Taste is similar to the nose with subtle hints of hops and citrus. Very mild smooth finish. Mouth is medium to light bodied. Not an overpowering beer in any of the aspects but I think it is definitely sessionable with an overall really good taste.

Photo of portia99
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle (best by date of 8/5/09) poured into a Portsmouth goblet. Received in trade with Busch03 - Thanks!!

A - Pours a nice, deep, crystal clear copper with a cream colored, 1 finger head. Head dies down to a thin skim coat of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring around the edges of the glass. Nice lacing forms on the sides of the glass.

S - Some sweet, caramelly malt blended with somewhat subdued, but present citrusy hops. Slight biscuity aromas show too.

T - Fruity and caramel sweetness up front, a rounded bitterness in the middle, finishing up fruity again with a sharp and slightly harsh bitterness lingering into the aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Bitterness lingers well after the swallow and tingles the back of the tongue a bit.

D - Bitterness is slightly harsh on this one. I am a big hop lover...Not sure what kind of hops they are using, but not my favorite at the moment. This harshness limits drinkability for me.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Best by date of 6/4/09 so just out of date but should still be good. It was a hazy orange amber color with some lazy carb steams and great lacing. Had a large beige head that slowly settled into a 1/8" foam.

The aroma was very pleasing but really started to fade away as it warmed up. Some fade is expected but this really dropped off so a 4 instead of 4.5. Floral, pine, grapefruit and caramel malt. The taste was good but again seemed slightly muted compared to others so again a small hit on the score. These 2 might have been hurt by being out of date so will try to get again. Good start then the hop build to a nice middle hop bite. It's an easy drinker and could a short session beer. Get some good hops without shredding.

Overall, a good solid AIPA and another good one from Big Sky. Recommend. Not available here or it would be in the occasional hop rotation.


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

12oz bottle bought @ Joe's Place. Poured into pint glass. Poured a cloudy orange color with a great off white head with great lacing. smelled very floral, perfume, light fruits. Taste bitter, citrus hops, resinous. Medium body. Great tasting well balanced IPA

Photo of JEdmund
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty orange glow, opaque, decent tan fluffy head

Smells of caramel and mango, apricots, and pineapple...very nice

Taste & Mouthfeel
Flavor reminds me of Great Divide's Hercules, though lighter overall. Medium full body and a smooth texture. Fruity and sweet with an bitter undercurrent from start to finish. Aftertaste lingers a little too long with a slightly unpleasant flavor.

Overall I'm impressed. It's a big IPA, packing in a lot of flavor and aroma--well-crafted for sure. I'll definitely pick this up again, though I'm not sure it breaks into my top 10 IPAs list.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top bottle with nice Montana-esque label with best by date clearly marked; this one is about a week past its date

Appearance: Rich burnt orange beer with lots of tiny sediment in suspension, quite lively carbonation, and a big ivory whipped cream cap with good retention and great lace

Smell: Big woodsy hops, hints of pine, citrus and earth...no one hop aroma (fruit/earth/pine) really stands out...this one kind of goes back and forth from sniff to sniff. There's just a little bit of toasty malt in the background as well.

Taste: BIG pine and citrus hops up front, this has lost nothing though slightly past its date. Bitterness is firm and medium to medium-high. There's just enough malt to stand up to the hop profile, but this one is all about the hops. Pleasantly sharp and refreshing hoppy IPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied...not at all fizzy as I was fearing from the CO2 levels

Drinkability: Medium-high

Conclusion: All around a solid American IPA...lots of flavor with a medium abv, which is nice. Not anything earth-shattering, but quite a good representation of the style and quite tasty...definitely up there with Goose Island's IPA

Photo of benteach
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is fine, clear, good head retention.

Smell and taste is woody, much like pine. The taste lingers on the tongue for quite a while after drinking. Bitter, but good, the bite is a little on the heavy side. Definitely could not drink this all night. Tastes clean and crisp.

I enjoyed the new beer and would definitely try it again.

Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,014 ratings.