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Big Sky IPA - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Sky IPABig Sky IPA

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

963 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 963
Reviews: 445
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 31
Gots: 49 | 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
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Ratings: 963 | Reviews: 445 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Padron4KM
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. No date code on the bottle.

Dark golden, with a thick creamy head that leaves lots of sticky lace behind.

Citrus and pine nose. Touch of malty sweetness down deep.

Flavor is sweet orange,with some grapefruit. a touch of caramel to balance it out.

Not a very complex brew, but it is still quality.

Padron4KM, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big Sky has produced an excellent, very drinkable IPA! It pours a beautiful, hazy, glowing orange body with a crimson cast and golden highlights. The frothy ivory head holds well, and leaves walls of very thin, tiny bubbles in its wake. Bright, juicy grapefruit greets you in the nose over a gently caramelish and biscuity malt base. In the mouth it's smooth with a delicate caress from the fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation. Medium bordering on medium-light in body. The flavor offers more grapefruit, a touch of pine, and some pineapple before the maltiness appears. It's lightly sweet, caramelish, and biscuity. The bitterness is solid, but not aggressive, and it finishes dry with a quick note of citrus seed, and some lingering piney hops. Inviting. Accessible. Refreshing. Drinkable.

NeroFiddled, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of woemad
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.29. No freshness date, just a cryptic " 317 06 4" stamped on it's neck. BTW, the label says this is 6.2%.

Poured a clear copper color with a somewhat modest sized yet sudsy off-white head that never completely dropped. Lots of lace.

The smell of this is very piney with a grapefruit-like citrus scent in teh background. I get the feeling this is going to be fairly assertive in its hoppiness.

This definitely turned out to be a hoppy beer. Bittering hops lord over their more citrusy cousins. What little malt backbone this beer hs is cowering in the corner while pleading for it's life. If you like a brash hop blast, this beer will be to your liking. Definitely more flavor than I was expecting.

The mouthfeel is about right for the style. It's oily and coats the insides of the mouth rather well.

Not a bad IPA, and - truth be told - better than I was expecting. Most Big Sky beers have seemed relatively mediocre to me. While my IPA of choice at my local beer store is usually Laughing Dog, I might occaisionally stray to this one.

woemad, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good clarity to the pour,a clear copper with a thinner but sticky slight off white head that turns into a soapy-like froth.Nice hop profile in the nose quite piney spiked with grapefruit rind a nicley developed carmael sweetish malt base shows itself well as well,wow this is a mans IPA here big resin and pine with deeply rooted grapefruit rind in there and definently bitter whoo!A earthy drier malt bas struggles to stay with the hops finally just completely giving way about mid glass.If you like aggressive hopped bitter American IPA's this is it for you personally I loved its brashness.

oberon, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glowing pumpkin when backlit with bright morning sunshine. Not only is the color fabulous, but the beer has that 'hop dust' haziness that I love to see in an IPA. The crown is even more spectacular. It's pastel orange in color and is a huge mass of bubbles that is sticking like glue to the upper reaches of the glass. This is one of the best lace displays that I've seen in quite some time.

The nose is Simcoe heaven. It's bursting with a tropical, funky, citric fruity, pine-soaked resionous that is right up my IPA alley. Best of all (well, second best anyway), there's no caramel malt to muck things up. I haven't tasted it yet, but how the hell is it that this beer doesn't get more love? Limited distribution probably.

Outstanding beer! While the nose was somewhat short of a sensory overload, the flavor fills every nook and cranny of my tongue and looks for more taste buds to impress. Each mouthful is a veritable explosion of pure, hoppy pleasure and should be required drinking for all lovers of Simcoe hops.

The malt backbone is on the big side for the style without tempting me to pull out the DIPA comparisons. There may be a wee bit of caramel maltiness, but I could just as easily be imagining it. The focus here (as it should be in all IPAs and DIPAs) is on humulus lupulus. It's balanced more than it is a bitter bomb.

Given all that pale malt, it's no surprise that the body/mouthfeel is on the big, lush, plush side. I might even call it lightly sticky. The best part is that it keeps that luscious flavor on the palate long enough for me to wring the maximum amount of enjoyment out of each and every mouthful.

I like this brewery. I should have had some inkling of how good their IPA would be since Scape Goat Pale Ale is 'bolder and hoppier than most APAs', to quote my review. As good as that beer is, though, it can't hold a candle to the hop-infused splendor of this beauty. Montanans have reason to be proud. I would definitely drink more than my fair share if I lived in Big Sky Country.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 06, 2006
Photo of EvilKeith
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

IPA is the second beer from Big Sky I have tried. The other was Moose Drool. I thoroughly enjoyed both. I found both to be well crafted and excellent examples of their styles. Big Sky is a brewery whose beers should be sought after.

Big Sky IPA poured into the glass deep copper in color with good clarity. The head was a firm froth and pale tan in color. The lace was nicely thick and sticky.
The smell was sweet caramel malts, hints of brown sugar, a citrus fruitiness and pine needles from the hops.
The taste began with big biscuity malt and a bit of fruity sweetness. This was followed immediately by an assertive green hoppy bitterness. The finish was dry with a lingering bitterness and the tangy bite of citrus rind.
The body was medium with a moderately active carbonation which added up to a creamy, but slick mouthfeel.

As far as I know Big Sky is not distributed in Indiana. I picked these up in Wisconsin. On my next trip to Wisconsin I will have to track down more from Big Sky.

EvilKeith, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of supercolter
4.8/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was a really good beer.
Appearance was good, didn't quite have as much head or lacing as some of the other IPA's I've had though.
Smell is very good. Floral hops grab at your nose. Yum the sweet and bitter combined is something to behold.
Taste is similar to the smell, but almost palpable. It is like drinking gin as thick as sap, Fantastic.
Mouthfeel is very good as well being medium to high medium in body.
Pour me some more.

supercolter, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of Mark
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lightish amber was topped by a thick white head, retention and lacing were nice. Wonderful hop aroma, very fresh and piney, inviting to say the least. Excellent balnce in this beer. Good malt base that is not overpowered by the fresh piney taste profile. I like this beer. Good Ipa, quite enjoyable.

Mark, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of aaronh
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper colored body topped by a large, frothy head. The head slowly fades, but it never dissapears. Lacing is thick yet intricate. Aroma has a clean hoppy floral note backed by some bready malt and caramel. Flavor is very bitter up front, dominated by resionous pine flavors. A touch of grapefruit rind creeps in just efore the alcohol sweetness kicks in. A bit of caramel shows up shortly before the bitterness reasserts itself and decides to linger around well after you swallow. Mouthfeel is solid and slightly chewy. Finshes with just a touch of dryness. Drinkability is good. This is a nice solid IPA.

aaronh, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of Beaver13
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a copper orange with a huge fluffy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is big on piney, slightly fruity hops with some sweet caramel malt in the background. Yum!

The flavor is sweet sugary melon initially, followed by a big piney hop bitterness with a long lasting bitter finish. As it warms, the flavor dulls some. The mouthfeel is kind of soft, but smooth and pleasant.

Overall, this was a huge surprise. This is an excellent IPA. I got this in a mixer sixer, but will definitely be getting more of this. This could be one of my new go-to beers, alongside Titan, Hercules and Dale's Pale Ale.

Beaver13, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of budgood1
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out a dark amber colour with a fairly sized off white head. wisps of lace. aroma strikes me such as similar to celebration...resiny, piney, grapefruit tinged hops with a sweet malt to balance. taste is a handful of those woody, resiny hops....more piney than citrusy...although there is a definite lemony citrus undertone to the hop profile. not too bitter, just flavourful in a delicate sort of way. a touch of alcohol rounds things out. straitforward sweetness from the malt profile comes across as sort of a butter/toffee mix. not too inspired but adequate to provide some balance. mouthfeel is of dancing hops; the body a bit underwhelming. finishes with that good old hop puckering bitterness that make an IPA a treat to eat. quite drinkable if you just want to enjoy an IPA or two and get your hop fix.

worth revisiting.

budgood1, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of RJLarse
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a couple of bottles of Big Sky IPA at an upscale grocery store to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a copper color and is slightly hazy. A foamy three-finger cream colored head forms and is very resilient. The head produces a lot of lacing.

The smell is fairly strong, floral and fruity. There are a lot of citrus aromas.

The taste is fairly strong, citrus (grapefruit) flavors dominate, with a nice malt backbone.

The mouth feel is crisp smooth and clean, with a nice buttery feel.

This is a very drinkable beer. It’s not as bitter as a lot of IPAs and has a more pronounced malt presence. It may not be the most hopped up example of the style, but it’s a very nice easy drinking beer.

RJLarse, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of garymuchow
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice and moderately instense citrus, floral and grassy hops. Cleanness in background.
Very clear and a bright reddish copper. Full head of cream to yellowish color with good stamina. Well laced. Very good looking.
Hop qualities dominate in both flavor and bitterness. Much the same characteristics (floral, grassy, citrus) with a greater piney notes. Just a note of nuetral to sweet malt up front, with a nuetral foudation to help balance a pretty darn bitter beer. The bitterness and the dryness last a very long time. As warms there is just the slightest touch of caramelly malt.
Medium feel with a relatively soft carbonation that falls on the flatter side. Despite the somewhat low alcohol I feel a warmth. Good smoothness.
I can see where for some the hops and bitterness are beyond the pale, but for me this hits all the right notes. Really an enjoyable beer.

garymuchow, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of SwillinBrew
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I decided to try this when i started seeing Big Sky at my local Bevmo.

It poured a strong copper color with some brassy tints on the edge and nice finger of light parchment colored head. Nice bubbles fizzing their way to the top. What a nice punchy wall of citrus, bold citrus and a little citrus blossoms on the aroma. Quite decadent and i love it.

On the taste, there is that bold hop flavor with the citrus, a bit resiny but with enough malt to carry it. Not as strong as you'd think due to the aroma, but pleasing and quite tastefull.

Nicely carbonated, medium to light bodied and refreshing on the tongue. Cleans the palate with it's crispness. A good solid represenation of the style.

SwillinBrew, Oct 05, 2006
Photo of brewcrew76
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy orange with a 2 finger tan head. Creamy tan lacing clings to the glass.

S - Very earthy green hops with a bit of citrus and grapefruit. Not bad but not exactly the hop characteristics I like.

T - Green, earthy hops dominate. A bit of citrus and grapefruit with a bit of a caramel malt backbone. The dirty earthy hop taste is the main characteristic.

M - On the light side of medium with a good deal of carbonation.

D - Not a bad IPA but a little too earthy, green for my tastes.

brewcrew76, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rocky tan head sits sturdily on top of a shiney copper colored body. Lace is coat like with rings mixed in. Crystal clear with intermitent carbonation slowly rolling to the surface.

Hops are up front, mostly I get Citrus and a touch of ripe grapefruit. There is an earthy quality to this brew that I can't put a finger on but its welcomed and a nice addition. A late spiced aftertaste. Clean and Crisp. Excellent.

Notes: This is a rare combination of Big Hops without being overbearing. For me this is a benchmark type IPA. I don't see this all to often but it hits the shelves at Bevmo's now and again.

DogFood11, Sep 22, 2006
Photo of RootedFool
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a shiny, translucent amber into my Celebration Ale pint glass, with a sturdy, fluffy head, off-white in color. Smell: immediate crinkle of hop citrus notes that turn gradually peppery with a melon (watermelon) rind sweetness holding up the background. Taste: toasted grainy flavors encompass the hop bitterness, rapier-like in its narrow sharpness. The middle is less interesting, as it almost seems to deflate into a mere echo of that promising first jolt; there is no real progression. The finish is an almost puckering residue of hop bitterness at the back of my palate with hints of alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is slightly thin and plenty carbonated.

Drinkable but not a first class American IPA.

RootedFool, Sep 20, 2006
Photo of rowew
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck - typical Big Sky label with a roughly drawn animal (antelope this time). Date code of 207 06. This one is new to the Colorado market.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with a nice head. Very thick lacing long after the head fades.

Smell: Lots of hops - piney and floral, with a thick sticky aroma.

Taste: Nice - balance of thick oily hop flavor with enough malt backbone to keep it from overpowering. Nice amount of bitterness.

Overall impression: Definitely a bit heavy on the hops - just like I like it. Still balanced enough to enjoy several.

rowew, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of mac56
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep amber. Thick cream-colored head, significant lace.

Aroma: Citrus and floral.

Taste: Citrusy, piney hops dominate over a smooth, subtly malty base. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Just right.

Drinkability: Ohhh yeahhh.

I continue to be impressed with Big Sky's brews. If it weren't for this IPA, their Kolsch, "Moose Drool", and "Scape Goat", there'd be precious little I'd buy at our local small town muni. If you see this beer, try it. You won't be sorry.

mac56, Sep 02, 2006
Photo of jwc215
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with an off-white head. The head is well retained and leaves rings of lacing down the side of the glass.

The smell is of floral hops - notes of pine and oranges.

The taste is of hops - pine, orange and grapefruit balanced by caramel malt to give it body and a smooth, creamy texture. The hops take the center stage throughout.

It's creamy and smooth while maintaining the bitterness that should accompany this style. The body holds up well and the flavors linger.

A delicious offering, and a solid example of an American IPA. Wish this were available in my area. Thanks to bitterbill for two of this enjoyable brew!

jwc215, Sep 01, 2006
Photo of ZAP
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*I reviewed this on tap from a bar but those can be skewed sometimes due to the surrondings so I thought I would also add a review from a bottle. (To be fair I am not reading my first review)

Nice deep copper color....great aroma of fresh citrus...oranges...sweet grapefruit...tangerines...also a little leafy cannibus..

The taste is good too but not quite as strong as the aroma...again big on the citrus..guesiing simcoe hops are used which are favorites of mine...more of a fresh hoppiness than a flat out bitter IPA. although this does close with a nice hit of pine, bong resin and tobacco...,malt is not noticable but this doesn't feel unbalanced at all...a little thin bodied...call it the light side of medium...

Pretty impressive brew from Big Sky...a very enjoyable every day IPA....perhaps just a rung below the big dogs in this style but not that far away really

ZAP, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of Bighuge
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper. Dirty white bubbly head. Lace is quite full. Great aroma of resin, pine, pink grapefruit pulp and pot. Really great aroma. The palate is hit with some greasy hop resin right off the bat. The pink grapefruit pulp is evident on the buds too. Bitter that way, though the overall bitterness is not too obtrusive. Malts only seem to add balance and add little to the flavor profile. Body is about medium at best. Appropriately carbonated. Slight sting of EtOH. Overall, this is a good IPA. Just not uper echelon.

Bighuge, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of russpowell
4.68/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours caramel to orange with a giantic 4 fingers+ of white rocky head. Great lacing & head retention

S: A riot of pine & grapefruit! A hint of malt sweetness in the background

T: Huge grapefruitty hops followed by malt sweetness. Pineyness & some fruittyness follows. Finishes dry & grapefruitty. Just needs a touch more malt to be perfect IMO

MF: Medium with great carbonation & balance

This drinks too easy. A hop head's delight to be sure! Reeks of fresh hops. really enjoyed this. Easily one of the best IPAs I've had.

russpowell, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of flexabull
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesing IPA. Very dark red/amber color. The smell is very fruity... citrus? Almost a fruit punch like smell to me... kind of odd, but kind of pleasant too.

The taste was also pretty fruity, but has a decent hop bite to it as well. The mouthfeel was good on this beer, I picked up the different flavors as it traveled around my palate.

Pretty good stuff.

flexabull, Aug 18, 2006
Photo of orsulacp
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at the Montana Ale Works in Bozeman, it was the featured brew. The nose was big with floral and grapefruit smells not much malt. It had a cloudy orange tinted copper color with a small white head. The taste was very good, grapefruit and piney hops, very earthy with a good bready malt background. Not too bitter, not too fruity just right. It had a medium light mouthfeel. Good solid west coast IPA.

orsulacp, Aug 16, 2006
Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 963 ratings.