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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 pweis909
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of LarrBear
4.85/5  rDev +27.3%
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.

Photo of AgingWarrior
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of bbothen
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of bort11
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
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

Photo of swizzlenuts
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of orcasteve
4.83/5  rDev +26.8%
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

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.

Photo of MTNboy
3.77/5  rDev -1%
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.

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.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of Ragingbull
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of therica
4.52/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A= I poured lightly into a 6-ounce tall glass, almost no head, might be different in a different glass and pour. Gorgeous red-amber, rich but unusual for an IPA, very nice. Huge 2-inch head when I poured the remainder of the bottle.

S= bountiful hops florals galore. Maybe tangerine predominating or something. I'm hyper-ventilating.

T= Amazing, fantastic, superb, one of THE best IPA's I have ever had. Compare to Troeg's HopBack Ale, more local for me and a regular on-stock favorite, but this Big Sky IPA is far better, amazingly enough. Very abundant in hops varieties, citrusy yet not the contemporary pop-fad grapefruit overbalance. PERFECT. Amazing hops florals, bitter yes but not biting. Very pleasant hops-bitters. Maybe some burnt-caramel in there.

M= lots to explore in the aftertaste and swallow.

D= if you're an IPA fan you'll be drinking it when the sun comes up.

Photo of tpd975
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy orange hue with a foamy 2 finger tan head. Good retention and lace noted.

S: Lots of earth and grass. Some grapefruit as well.

T: Earthy, grassy green, citrus hops. Very nice hop character. There is some caramel and biscuit malt to tone things down a bit. Very good though with wonderful balance.

M: Medium in body very crisp and somewhat dry.

D: Very good sessionable IPA

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy orange/amber with thin off-white head. Good lacing.

Smell: Hops, Citrus fruits (notably grapefruit), bread, pine, honey

Taste: Grapefruit and hops with a malty finish. I think I taste some melon in there too (weird eh?). Very balanced for an IPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Hops aren't overpowering; aftertaste is actually quite fruity. EDIT: hops build up as you continue to drink it.

Drinkability: A mild IPA, but definitely an enjoyable one. The citrus flavor is strong, but not at all overdone. The balance of malt and hops gives this IPA a higher drinkability than most.

Photo of andreasmwatt
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Copper Coloring with a very nice head.

Smell - Kind of smells stale that is why I gave it a low rating.

Taste - Good IPA. Not the best but very hopsy. With a distinct taste.

Mouthfeel - Slight bitterness which actually helps this beer.

Drinkability - Fairly smooth. A little after taste but not terrible.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark orange color with a huge dirty white head to it. Nose was hoppy, floral and maybe even citrsuy. Taste follwed the nose. Veru well hopped, must have been hopped with Cascade or Centeinnel hops. Mouthfeel is good. A very malty IPA. The malts, sem like English malts, are not West Coast typical but the Hops have NW written all over it. this makes it a unique IPA to me. Not very bitter for an IPA. Good overall.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark amber/light brown, with a medium tan head, good retention.

S: Light hints of caramel, a bit of smoke, and pine.

T: A very malty IPA which surprised me as coming from a Western brewer. Large amounts of good tasting brown malt followed by hops consisting of bitter melon and pine, white grapefruit pith in there as well.

M: Light on the tongue for an IPA, resiny, not overcarbonated, long lasting aftertaste.

D: A beer I wasn't to keen on at first, but as I finished the glass I started to really like it. An interesting IPA from Montana, recommended.

Photo of bcm119
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a small white lacing. Sweetish, grainy malt aroma with nice herbal, grassy hops. Spicy with some mild esters. Starts off with an herbal/citrus dose of hops, slightly astringent, and then a husky graininess mid-palate. Malt is coarse and a bit musty, but it cleans up in time for a decently long, grassy/hoppy finish. Not the tightest IPA, and the malt profile is just too musty for me, but I like the spicy, dry grass hop flavors. Reminiscent of the Butte Creek and Bison organic IPAs. I'd take Big Sky's tasty pale ale over this any day.

Photo of Tucquan
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this in a bottle in Sauk Centre, MN

The beer pours a rich, orange-brown color. The head is white-orange.

Smell is grass and bread.

The flavors include grass, grain, citrus and hop bitterness with an underpinning of apricot-like fruit.

Carbonation is medium with a light-medium mouthfeel. It certainly warms on the way down due to the highish ABV.

It's pretty good for an IPA but not something I would routinely seek out. I preferred the Big Sky Pale Ale.

Photo of CaptainIPA
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P: Presented in a 12 oz., brown bottle with prong-horned antelope goodness on label. Underside of cap reads: Freebird!
Gotta love that.

A: Pours a rusty copper color with a thin head that dissipates quickly. Active carbonation and generous lacing.

S: Hoppy, floral nose with notes of citrus and herbal mint.

T: Citrus hops followed by a wave of sweet malt. Finishes dry with an overriding bitterness that tends to overstay its welcome.

M: Thin and chewy mouthfeel.

D: Not all that inspiring. One's enough.

Photo of joe1510
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle

Received this in a recent trade with russpowell, thanks again Russ! Big Sky IPA leaves the bottle a surprisingly clear polished copper with a few streams of carbonation crawling up the sides of the glass. A fingers worth of off-white head grew on the pour and took its time fading slowly to a skimming with a respectable ring. Solid drink lines are left behind after each drink. Big Sky is a good looking IPA.

Aroma is big in the malt department. As a matter of fact this is a malt driven IPA, I'm more a fan of the hoppier versions but this one smells very inviting. Caramel and a bit of toffee take center stage. There's faint showing of a tea leaf like hoppiness and some slightly sweetened orange toward the backend. I'm enjoying the nose on this, let's see how the flavor goes.

The tea leaf hoppiness is more pronounced but a squeeze of orange finishes things off nicely. Caramel and a dry biscuity type maltiness make up the majority of the flavor. While there isn't a great deal of hoppiness present there is a bit of a buzzsaw in there. A slight bitterness runs right down the middle of the tongue. Again, while malt driven IPAs usually aren't my favorite, this is one I enjoy.

The body has enough heft to place it in the moderate category but there's a pleasant lightness. The carbonation doesn't look like much but pushes the beer through at a healthy pace which brings out the hops more then if the carbonation was a little more mild.

This is an easy drinking IPA. Not the hop attack that you will find in others but very enjoyable none-the-less.

Their IPA is another solid beer from Big Sky. I could see myself picking this up occasionally if it was distributed in my area. I'm more a fan of the hop bomb IPAs but this certainly has its place and is well made.

Photo of maximum12
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased as part of a Big Sky 12 pack mixer. Grabbed this for two reasons: one, I've never had anything from Big Sky & two, having non-beer lovers over & I couldn't have them raiding my stash of Surly & Bell's now, could I? My preciooooussseeesss.

Pours a translucent golden color, nice looking, smell is straight-up hops.

Nice taste to it. There's not a lot of perceptible depth, but a nice malt backing & the hops are a little quieter than expected from the nose on it.

Surprised at the 6.2% ABV, this looks & feels like a very competent session beer. Easy down, I envision sitting out on the deck drinking this on a warm evening. If it would just quit f*cking snowing, maybe that could even happen.

Photo of Pauly2X
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Solid half finger head with decent staying power, top a golden amber body.

S- Strong citrusy hops with hints of sweet malt.

T- Most of the hop flavor and bitterness comes at you up front. A light touch of sweet malt comes in the middle to give balance. Everything comes to together to lightly fade off into the finish.

M- Good carbonation, but a little watery in the finish.

D- By far one of the more sessionable IPAs.

Not your typical "hop bomb" by any means, but it will still "strach the itch". Try it if you haven't already.

Photo of BeerCheese
3.37/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear dark amber with HUGE fluffy tan head. Beautiful beer. Really no detectable aroma for me, which was a surprise. My sniffer must be broken! Typical bitter IPA taste which I liked, but with very little malt balance. Could have used a LITTLE malt flavor, but it just didn't come through the hops. Nice alcohol warmth going down. Not a bad flavor, just could have been better. Anyone who doesn't like a bitter beer won't like anything about this one. Light carbonation with medium/heavy body. Average drinkability.

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