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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

462 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 462
Hads: 1,115
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 18.91%
Wants: 32
Gots: 118 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Sky IPA Alström Bros
Reviews: 462 | Hads: 1,115
Photo of surlyseth
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber to deep orange. Medium puffy, foamy head.
Moderate citrus nose, and to me, definitely pineapple or maybe even peach!
Great flavor. Still peachy, not overly-hoppy like some IPAs. A bit watery and dry in the finish but still quite drinkable.
Overall, a very nice beer. It might be a while 'til I throw this one back in the mix, but definitely worth a try.

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Photo of WaveRebel51
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd consider this a good beer and an IPA that would be a good starter for someone who has never sampled the style before. Deep-red amber color and lacing that sticks to the glass. The aroma and the taste go hand-in-hand -- floral, spicy and hoppy, but not overwhelming. The taste hides the higher alcohol content very well and made this one very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of revolution
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish-amber with finger width head and nice lace. Looks tasty.

Smell the fruitiness and malt.

Quickly taste the malt and mild sweetness/fruitiness on the tongue then wham--get the bitter hop taste at the swallow.

Initial feel is smooth, then get the astringent kick. The bitterness is nice, but the beer just seems a bit off balance.

A decent IPA. The more I drink, though, the less I enjoy this one.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber orange color, a little murky, with a white head of two fingers plus. Foam doesn't last a long time, but the lacing is great, leaving sticky globules all around the glass.

Prevalent citric fruity hop aroma with solid caramel malt backbone. The taste brings more of the same, excellently balanced between prominent and dominant hopping, while the malt behind is adequate to keep things in check and add sweetness to the flavor.

Very solid American IPA, in a crowded field this one doesn't stand out but is certainly better than the average.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been disappointed by some other Big Sky beers: my view of this brewery is that they've chosen to grow through distributing everywhere rather than through the quality of their beers. This beer is making me rethink that assessment - it is quite good, and after my look with new )to me at least) IPAs these days, it is a pleasant surprise. This beer has a pleasant sweet-hop aroma, and a taste that is pleasantly sweet and nicely grassy. Definitely recommended.

Appearance is a dark copper red, with billowy white head remisicent of a Belgian strong ale. Aroma was my first clue that this was really going to be a pretty good beer...it was a very substantial hop sweetness. Flavor was good...very bitter yet nicely grassy at the same time. Mouthfeel was fairly dry and astringent...not sticky like some other sweet IPAs.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from a 6 pack at LaBodega in Riverside, CA., May 2007. Approximately $8.99 for the sixer. Review from the third of the series.

Pours a nice clear orange-amber, with slight carbonation, and a nice off-white yellowy head that sticks around a little while, but not forever.

Aroma is really nice. Very nice. Sharp IPA bitterness dancing with grapefruit-sour orange citrus. Good fro a warm day. Almost the hop intensity of a DIPA, but without the rich malt lushness.

Flavor takes the aromas and intensifies them another level or so. And in doing so, takes it a little further than I like. Intense hops, sharp hops, weedy/grassy/oily hops, but minimal anything else to balance it. Where's the fruitiness? Where's some malt character to keep this from going over the top? OK, I just read that, and maybe I'm being a tad critical. I actually enjoy the flavor. But not balanced enough- not enough notes!

Good stuff, I'll gladly finish the sixer, but I like more balance in my IPAs.

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Photo of shadow1961
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big Sky IPA pours out a fluffy head over a clear amber
brew. Carbonation is pretty active and those big fat bubbles
carry a bright nose of malt and grapefruit-y hop. This is even
better smelling than 2-Hearted, my personal favorite. The
flavor is more malt and more of that bright citrus hop. The
aftertaste is, again, grapefruit and a little grass hop way in
the back. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, and there's nice lacing
all the way down the glass. A really spectacular IPA.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper with a one finger head that fades slowly to a soapy cap. The lacing that's left behind is a bit spotty, but sticks pretty well.

Smell; tone of resiny piney hops, with some very nice citrus fruits backing up the pine. There's also some caramel floating around in there, but this is one is definitely all about the hops. It smells great.

Taste; as with the aroma the hops are prevalent. Very piney, with a ton of grapefruit and a little bit of oranges. A very solid caramel maltiness helps to offset the hops just enough, adding a little sweetness to the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, and the hops resins just fills the mouth adding a bit of a creamy feeling. The drinkability is really good, as I would have no problem drinking more than one.

I wasn't all that thrilled about Big Sky making it to Nebraska, but after having this IPA, I'm glad they did. A big surprise for me, and a beer that just may become a regular in the beer fridge.

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Photo of ChrisCastillo
4.84/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cracked one open on a blissful Saturday (may 19) night here in Seattle, WA

Appearance: Big Sky IPA pours into the glass a deep, dark, maroon copper, quickly building a creamy dense head, almost marsh-mallow like.

Smell: sticky and pungent hops grab your nose right away . hops are very piney, with notes of resinous fir needles. Aroma makes me feel like im a dense forest of pine trees on a hot summers day. Notes of tropical fruit and citrusy overtones fade into the background as well. This one is about the hops, no doubt

Taste: Thickly glides onto the tounge, bitterness right upfront, not too cloying with the bitterness, just right. toasty malts come into play next, with some hints of roasted caramel malts. Aftertaste dances with sticky hops, those pine and fruity flavors present

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, thicker than most american IPA's. The robust mouthfeel almost makes me think im drinking an imperial IPA.

Drinkability: A well brewed IPA deserves to be well drank. This brew is candy for hopheads, and deserves to be sipped rather than guzzled. But by all means this beer is easily guzzible.

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Photo of demcorhip
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to trevorwideman for this tasty surprise.

A coppery amber ale, almost chestnut in hue. A one finger light tan coloured head formed on the pour. This mildly and finely carbonated ale was decently laced with some clingy lacings.

Good and solid aromas of ruby red grapefruit and tropical fruit (papaya, pineapple) greet my nose with a mild assault. Toasted malts with hints of biscuit and caramel also present.

Solid malt backbone of toasted and biscuity malts. Biscuit more pronounced in the taste versus the nose, the slight caramel character was still evident. The hops quickly rise to assert themselves in the middle and the finish of the taste, but lose most of the tropical character evident in the nose in the taste, with assertive flavours of grapefruit and an almost piney bitterness.

A solid light to medium bodied IPA. Refreshing with its dry finish and mildly astringent nature from hopping or perhaps a touch of lignans extracted from the malts. Good malt and hop balance, tilted towards the hops as dictated by the style. Slight creaminess helped soothe the bitter hop tingle.

A good easily drinkable IPA, and a good example of the style. Recommend trying if one is a fan of the style. Im glad this was sent to me, im sure i've seen it, but never bought it before, but this is something i will buy in the future, it will make a nice brew to have a few of this summer,

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Photo of bgraney
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Transparent amber with reddish hues, lot of bubbles, 1-finger sudsy head.
Big grapefruit hit in the aroma. Hard to pick up anything behind the hops.
Very intense grapefruit flavor. It's good but it lacks balance.
The hops envelope the mouth, it's all citrus in the aftertaste.
A little too one dimensional for multiple glasses in my view.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours slightly hazy dark copper color. Average head but retains well.

Very aromatic. Reminds me of fancy orange sherbert at nice Italian restaurants as a kid. Very fresh, clean citrusy taste.

Palate is less in your face than most American IPA's. Quite balanced in fact - the malt holds up but still allows for the hops to have center stage. Again citrusy, towards orange and maybe a tad of creaminess too. Perhaps a dessert IPA?

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Photo of loren01
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light orange color, good sized frothy white head. Good lacing down the glass
S: Smells citrusy, piney, slight sweet caramel smell
T: Strong bite to the hoppy flavor, slight bitter aftertaste.
M: Mild carbonation, medium bodied.
D: Awesome IPA, I must say I am very surprised by this one Big Sky's best yet in my book

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Photo of akorsak
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 900th review.

A 12 oz bottle from Liquid Solutions.

A: The IPA is a caramel color, orange with some browner highlights. There is no sign of any sediment and the head has left some decent lacing throughout the glass.

S: The nose is surprisingly bold, having a big citrus hop presence that has a pineapple sweetness to it.

T: The hop flavor is quite assertive in the beer. The first sip reveals a high concentration of hops, citrusy with some apricot and pineapple sweetness. The strength of the hops really conjure up a DIPA, so kudos to Big Sky for packing this much flavor into a plain ol' IPA.

M: The hops zing the tastebuds immediately, overwhelming them with hoppy goodness.

D: I am very impressed with this ale and can easily see myself sitting down with a six pack and the Sunday papers on a sunny weekend day. Well done Big Sky!

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Photo of pootz
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: thanks Trev

Poured a rich looking deep amber-orange ale in the glass with a puffy, stickey meringue cap that stacks and lasts...laces the glass well.

Glorious Pac-NW nose: Grapefruit, pine and sweet malts.

Medium body... juicy mouth feel...fruity-resiny character...well balanced.

Big malts in the front are then flooded with juicy citrus and cedar cascade hop tastes..well balanced fruity tastes ride on a substantial caramelized malt spine...finishes with moderate bittereing and caramel tastes..delicious!

Incredible balance in a big hopped APA...totally hides its alcohol and so is warming and smooth.

I saw one comment here that said this was "as standard as it gets"..but I think ,far from being standard, this is as good as it gets in defining the Pacific NW APA and if there is anything "standard" about the big juicy APA it’s that this is the standard others should follow.

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz bottle, this poured a nice orange to copper wth a medium white head and average lacing. Nose was mostly of citrus and floral hops. Mouthfeel was medium and flavor and finish was nicely bitter. Overall an average IPA. I would purchase this again.

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Photo of Night
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear orange-copper with gold flecks and an off-white bubbly head that dies down relatively quickly, leaving medium lacing. Cool aroma of pineapple, lemon, and rich grassy hops. Body is light to medium with a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. Flavor is strongly bitter and medicinal with syrupy, grassy hops accented by pepper and a hint of citrus. A touch of bread malts in the finish. Aftertaste is sudsy, lightly bitter.

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Photo of gubbt
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark amber color, definately on the dark side for IPAs, with a medium creamy head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell is sweet caramel mixed with underlying piney hops.

This one is much sweeter than other IPAs I've had (mostly west coast). It might be because my palate has been obliterated with Bigfoot recently, but the hops are not too perceptible. I guess a little piney hops. Mostly I'm picking up a strong caramel malt character, much like a Sam Adams Boston Lager. This is definately the most malty IPA I've had. I think this one could almost be classifed as a hoppy amber ale.

Mouthfeel is average, a bit creamy with moderate carbonation.

This one is very drinkable because the hops aren't out of control. Maybe a bit sweet if you are a pure hop head, but very solid none the less.

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Photo of umustdrink
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Medium hazy orange neon color. Head is offwhite and settles to rocky patches.

S - Piney hops dominate the smell with a sweet and spicy malt background.

T - Taste is pretty much like the smell. Hops are biting and piney and the malts come through with a nice spiciness.

M - Carbonation is slightly elevated and seems to work together well with the hop bite. Also a noticeable oilyness present.

D - Overall, everything is pretty solid. There certainly isn't anything wrong with it but it's not outstanding.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep copper appearance with thin foam that dissolves quickly. Decent streaming carbonation. Spicy hops dominate the aroma with some nutty malt in the background.

The taste is dry, overtly tangy with hop flavor that seems to remain at the front of the tongue and never progresses on to give a "full" flavor. Not bitter enough for an American IPA. The mouthfeel lis light, though not watery. The carbonation arrives as tiny, sharp bubbles.

I didn't care for this IPA at all. You could drink one, but with the abundance of this style available it would be too easy to find a better replacement...

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Photo of trevorwideman
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. I was glad to find this one! My 200th review...

Pours a slightly hazy lovely blood orange colour, a half-inch of head and decent lacing. Carbonation is mild, lazily making its way to the surface. Smell is hop wonderful, with lots of grapefruity goodness, but there's some floral notes, and juicy tropical fruit as well, Mango, Pineapple. Earth tones ground this a little bit, and there's a caramel sweetness poking around underneath all those hops. Delicious.

This is a hop bomb to be sure. Grapefruity, piney, resiny, floral, but mostly a citric herbal bitterness dominates. Malts are detectable, but not in spades, and lend just a light caramel sweetness to the backbone and a bit of body to the experience. That said, I don't miss it all that much as the complex herbal hop goodness gives me more than enough to ponder here. Mouthfeel is a bit buzzy due to all those hops, but the carbonation isn't obnoxious. Body is medium. I could definitely have more than one of these in a session, and hopefully I can try some of this brewery's other offerings sometime.

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Photo of BigJTrucker
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased from Bier Stein, Eugene, OR

Pours a deep copper color. Very little head that settles quickly. Doesn't appear to be overly carbonated. Nice smooth hop aroma, also smells slightly fruity like raisins and grapefruit. Just the right amount of hop bite. No appreciable after taste. Mouthfeel is a bit thin & watery for my tastes. All together, a fairly decent IPA.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks flexabull.

Pours a nice clear golden/amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, some nice sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is hoppy, citrusy, and a nice touch of caramel. The taste is nice with hops, citrus, and slight caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty IPA from Big Sky, recommend.

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Photo of mcallister
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A genuine penny here new and shiny, in other words this is straight copper. Small off white head, no length leaves very thin spotty lace.

Nice mixture of malt and hop in the aroma. Slightly earthy, with pine notes on the hop end. The malt leads toward toffee but is brute in quality. Lacking depth but good aromas nonetheless.

This is a rustic ass IPA. Very dry and earthy with hardly any fruit component, what is there is lemongrass, and a bit of orange. I like the approach! Again toffeed malt with a slight hint of caramel. Hops are very rugid, earthy, with a floral summoning leading into a pine forest.

Mouth is bold and bittering. What an IPA should be.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.