1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,001 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,001
Reviews: 449
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 31
Gots: 58 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Sky IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,001 | Reviews: 449 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Imstillthegman
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Hero27 for this bottle. Thrown in as an extra on a recent trade.

This one pours a clear amber color with nice head of off-white bubbles. Spotty specks of lacing dot the glass.

The aroma is nice and strong. Citrus hops jump from the glass. There is a little bit of caramel in the background, also, but those hops steal the show.

The flavor is exactly the same and that's a great thing. Citrus hops smack you in the mouth followed by a quick burst of soft sweetness before you're smacked again. Lemon zest, orange, grapefruit, maybe some tangerine...they're all there. Yum.

Solid medium body with good carbonation. Bitter aftertaste, but it's not very drying. I saw in another review where this was $7.99 a sixer. Are you kidding me? I would be stocked with this as one of my main go to beers if it was available in my area. Solid IPA for sure. Thanks, Eric!

Imstillthegman, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of ETM
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I decided to try this after having enjoyed a sixer of moose drool.
Great head. Not overcarbonated, but there was plenty to go around.
This beer has a lot more strong hop flavor than all the APAs and most of the IPAs that I buy. It smells strongly of grapefruit rinds and that comes through in the taste. I have decided 3/4 of the way through that it is well balanced, although I thought it was a little too bitter at first. Plenty of enjoyment for the price. ($7.99)
I scored drinkability higher because hops are good for you.

ETM, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of Roeters
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz

Amber color with a nice thick head, some fine lacing

strong citrus hop aroma

great hop flavor that flows all the way through the drinking experience, mild malt flavor in the middle

lighter body, slight oily hoppiness

easy drinker for a hophead, nice in your face hop flavor

Roeters, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of hero27
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle
6.2% abv

Pours a clear amber with a modest head of foam.
Orange/citrus aroma with some light caramel in the background...gorgeous display of fresh Simcoe hops..
Very clean, refreshing hop profile. Ripe orange, tangerine, and apricot flavors..succulent.
Exceptionally enjoyable..straightforward, clean hop profile is a treat to your tastebuds..do yourself a favor & track this one down.

hero27, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of Chelsea1905
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle bought in Huckelberry's in Spokane Washington

The beer comes out very dark and amber for an IPA which is uprising considering how little malt there seems to be in the smell and taste

The smell is very citrus and floral

It has very little malt in the taste, and the hops hit sharply. A nice hoppy IPA, but almost too hoppy as there isn't much else balancing it out

Feels good on the tongue. Not much gas, but not the smoothest

Went down easilt. A great IPA, but lacks a little balance

Chelsea1905, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of Floydster
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle purchased as part of a six pack from the El Segundo Wine & Liquor Shop for nine dollars, poured into a pint glass

A-Golden amber color with orange highlights, 3/4 inch white soapy head that lasted a fair amount of time, good retention, some nice lacing
S-Lots of citrus including tangerine, pineapple, grapefuit, and orange, biscuit malt, some caramel, strawberries, some piney aromas, and toast
T-Starts off with some pine, toasted and biscuit-like malt in the middle, tons of citrus in the finish, the most tangerine I can remember being in an IPA, does not change much as it warms except for citrus coming to the surface but the malt never becomes overpowering, lots of berries and orange flavor by the end, enjoyable and easy to drink
M-Smooth, creamy, dry, and citrusy mouthfeel, average to high level of carbonation, medium bodied, bitterness lingers for a while
D-Could drink a six pack, very light on the stomach, alcohol is hidden, smooth, ABV is low, goes down easy, refreshing

Nice India pale ale from the producers of Moose Drowl, did not expect this one to be great but is satisfied my dad and I last night for sure, nice sessionable brew that is affordable, would pick these up again in the future, recommended

Floydster, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of daledeee
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice head and keeps lace throughout the drinking experience.

Nose is grapefruit and floral.

Taste is grapefruit with malt and citrus oils but not sweet. The biggest taste to this beer is over carbonation. I know that sounds funny but after several of these, the taste is not very distinctive and carbonation is the most prevalent characteristic of this drink.

A drinkable beer but there are several others that I like better.

daledeee, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of disastermouse
4.83/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Browner than most, a truly substantial-looking A-IPA.
S- Wow! Cleansing 'arugula' smell.
T- There seems to be more complexity to this A-IPA than most I've tried. In truth, there's very little malt in this one, but it is detectible underneath the hop-bomb. It tastes 'fresher' than most hop-bomb A-IPAs I've tried. I'm not really sure how to qualify that. It seems like most IPAs I've tried have a 'staler' hops taste.
MF- Once again, very substantial for an IPA. Bitter astringent qualities followed up by a 'clean' feel. Hard to describe.
D- You can't pound them down all night (well, maybe YOU can), but you can certainly line up a few as long as you've got a ride home.

This has become my favorite IPA. I honestly didn't really understand the hype about IPAs until this beer. It just seems so well put together that the hop 'bite' tastes right.

Just an exceptional brew all around.

disastermouse, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nicely contructed head that retains fairly well while leaving sheets of lace around the pint glass

Smell: Biscuity and musty, with piney undertones

Taste: After an initial taste of the biscuit, a huge piney blast overtakes everything else, and is joined by some very tart, almost lemony, grapefruit flavors at mid-palate; after the swallow, the herbacious, oily tartness is overwhelming, although after a while it blows itself over and the initial biscuity flavor returns

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Really a very nice session IPA

brentk56, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of deereless
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Coppery red, creamy head - 4.25, S: The trademark grapefruit & citrus, nicely balanced with some bready malts - 4.25, T: The flavor doesn't follow the nose, hop heavy with pungent & bitter flavors - 3.50, M: 3.75, D: Another beer using a standard hop bill that relies on pure hops to fit the profile of an IPA - 3.50

deereless, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of sulldaddy
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Im drinking a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. Ther beer pours a clear amber hue with some garnet tints. A creamy to almost spongey eggshell white head of 5 cm foams up even with a gentle pour. Fades slowly creating craters and leaving sticky lattice all the way around.
Aroma is pine and citus with a light mixing of caramel malt coming through.
First sip reveals a silky smooth body and very fine carbonation that fades to caskness while swirling in my mouth.
Flavor is caramel malt briefly and rolls to some impressive but not overwhelming bitterness. I get some pine sap resiny flavors, mixing with a little bit of general plant notes and a fairly astringent finish that lingers a bit on my palate.
A pretty nice IPA that isnt over the top and is fairly drinkable even with its hip bite. the brief sweet malt up front makes me want to take in more beer after every sip.

sulldaddy, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of AylwinForbes
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We originally drank this at source on Dulcie and Aylwin's Big Beer Adventure in draft form and were shocked at how good it was. Having dragged a couple of sixers back across America, we were delighted to discover it in the local Binny's. For me it compares favourably with the renowned Surly Furious: it has that big piney hop nose and full citrus palate that is delightful to chew on. Appearance is medium coloured yellowish amber, slightly hazy, decent head when poured which dissipates slowly. Great effort from the wilds of Montana.

AylwinForbes, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6 of this from the corner bodega the other day. It's a nice golden orange colour with a big froty head of hoppy white foam. Aromas are hoppy with a nice pacnw blend, as well as a great candied british malt smell as well. Taste is hoppy up front, with a lovely English biscuit like malt flavor. Reminds me of pillsbury grands for some reason or another. Mouthfeel si medium bodied, and drinkability is good. a solid IPA all the way around

francisweizen, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of pweis909
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had hoppier IPAs, but this one is more in line with my favs for the style.

It pours a darkish amber with a tight tawny foam that persisted but did not get in the way of enjoy this beer. Nor, I might add, did the floating hop bits (were they hop bits?) that were prevalent. Since I am a homebrewer, when I see sediments in beer, I'm more inclined to look favorably upon them.

Hops in the smell and taste, but not with a strong whack in the teeth that makes a beer unapproachable. More of the flavor and aroma type, spicy, not too bitter. Malty backbone compliments the spice.

Sadly, I only had one bottle, and it was gone too quickly. Looking forward to seeing this one again.

pweis909, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of LarrBear
4.88/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am very impressed with every offering I've tried from the Big Sky brewery, and Big Sky IPA is my favorite of the bunch. The burst of hops and citrus scents upon opening the bottle promises good things to come and it doesn't disappoint. The strong hops bitterness lingers pleasantly on the middle-back of the tongue, but does not overpower hints of grapefruit, oranges, and perhaps apricot. This brew pours a dark amber with an orange haze, topped off with a lot of tan foam.

LarrBear, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of AgingWarrior
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to CamuMahubah for this excellent drink.

Poured into my favorite Sam Adams beer glass. Nice coppery color with about a finger of caramel colored head. Decent retention and provided pretty good lacing.

Smell is citrus and hops, nice floral overtone that dances through the nasal passages. When I took the first whiff of this brew I knew I was going to like it.

Nice bitter hops on the tongue, some nice malts for balance, but a nice hoppy finish. I really like the finish on this brew, makes me want to keep drinking it.

Nice smooth mouth feel with medium carbonation.

Very drinkable. This is a very smooth drinking IPA, one that could be a session beer.

AgingWarrior, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of bbothen
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty deep copper/amber color with a bubbly 1 finger soapy like head.

Big citrus hop aroma. Grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple & nice bisquity malt sweetness as well.

Citrus hops, piney hops, with a big caramel malt sweetness to balance things out. The maltiness is bigger than I expected & welcomed to the party. Tasty.

Smooth, creamy, moderatley carbonated, medium bodied, lingering hoppiness.

Godd sessionable standard IPA. Plenty of flavor going on.

bbothen, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of bort11
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Wasatch for this one

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams shaped pint glass. Tall craggy light tan head. Very nice lacing rings stick to the glass. As it recedes, a chunky cap of lace sits on the surface. Color is a slightly hazy copper orange.

Smell is a bold grapefruit citrus punch. Very fresh and juicy. Hints of biscuity malts keep things balanced. Taste is all about the grapefruit. Juicy sweet, but not overbearing. Gives a nice pucker.

Mouthfeel has a clean body, leaving a mild aftertaste. Very enjoyable IPA

bort11, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of swizzlenuts
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is coper coloured with a decent sized head; not much retention though. The nose on the beer is filled with apricots and peaches. It smells fruity and awesome. The beer tastes like a piny version of the nose, with a great bitterness. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it's incredibly drinkable.

I think it's my new session beer, since I can't get Titan IPA :P.

swizzlenuts, Aug 25, 2008
Photo of orcasteve
4.85/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this is a mild yet very sexy ipa, it is clean and crisp and hides its acohoal well, the taste is powerfull floral hops and a nice sweet malt, i wish that this was avalable in new york, thiss would be in the fridge at all times if it were, i am in search of more big time

orcasteve, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of scruffwhor
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again Nick for the mixed sixer of Montana brews. Pours a great amber with light orange highlights. Light head after the pour, bt a strong film and ring of foam "stick around throughout the duration of these twelve ounces. Good bubbling too. The arom is a stinky hop resin that elludes to some old oranges and pine needles. T taste is a resiny hop wth lots of earthy hop pines, flowers, and orange peels. The palate has some thick liquid feel to it. Make think of a light ginger hop syrup. Pretty good session IPA. But you have to be in the right mood.

scruffwhor, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of MTNboy
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark bronze off white almost tan head.

Smell- This beer has a wonderful bouquet wonderful hop floral and fruity smell. A little piney and citrus like.

Taste- Very bitter but very fruity. It has nice citrus melon thing going on

Mouthfeel - Medium.

Drinkability-It is a pretty good IPA.

MTNboy, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew in a trade with Wasatch, Thanks John!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear, reddish/amber color with a beige head that left some sticky lacing.

S - citrus hop aroma, nice!

T - strong citrus hop flavor dominates, some sweet malt, but the hops are at the fore front and finish.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - a most enjoyable brew.

JoeyBeerBelly, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of ckeegan04
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Coppery in color with think khaki colored head. Decent retention and excellent lacing.

S - Very piney hop aroma dominates. There is very little aroma other than that, but the pine is very strong.

T - A light malty sweetness up front quickly smacked down by a piney hop bite. The pine taste carries through the entire drink and lingers on the tongue. A very unique taste for an IPA, but I like it.

M/D - Medium bodied and a little dry on the feel. A very drinkable IPA.

ckeegan04, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of Ragingbull
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper to light brown in color with perhaps a vague red hue. A thick frothy head upon being poured into a pint glass. Pleasant hoppy nose of cascade hops if I am identifying my hops correctly. Fresh clean attack with a smooth flavor. At times the hops presents early and other times towards the finish. Full mouthfeel but a light taste. Clean finish but with some residual hoppiness that amplifies as the mouth dries and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. I would call this beer a B in that I would (and sometimes do) keep some kicking around the fridge.

Ragingbull, Jul 12, 2008
Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,001 ratings.