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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,015 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,015
Reviews: 449
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 31
Gots: 63 | 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: 1,015 | Reviews: 449 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mactrail
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Handsome amber color in the tall Stella glass. Decent but not noteworthy head. Plenty of spritz on the tongue.

Restrained bitterness but an abundance of hop flavors. Pleasant flowery nose. Medium body but rich mouthful. Very drinkable brew that avoids the flavor extremes, but is a perfectly acceptable IPA. Some earthiness in the aftertaste along with the bitter hoppiness.

Quite drinkable with the sudsy mouthfeel, but a little thin and sharp overall. From the 12 oz can bought at Bine and Vine in San Diego.

Photo of jwc215
4.18/5  rDev +10%
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!

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 Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an imperial pint glass in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given beers from this style are usually brewed without balance in mind in my experience. No best before date on the bottle, but I consumed it the day I bought the variety pack it was part of to minimize the potential of hop decay.

A: Pours a three finger head of no cream, bad thickness, and good retention. Colour is a clear light copper.

Sm: As expected, the only detectable note is hops. I'd guess cascade. A moderately strong aroma.

T: A hoppy flavour profile with too much bitterness plaguing the third act. Some light malts try to aid the balance but fail. An imbalanced IPA that is nevertheless somewhat pleasant to drink. It's built with an emphasis on hops without regard for balance; this may please fans of the style but I don't find it appealing.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the floral notes of the body.

Dr: Drinkable but lacking balance. The cost is okay. It hides its ABV well, but the quality just isn't there to justify another purchase.

I suspect it would pair really well with a spicy food. Maybe chicken wings?

Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

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

09/04/05- On tap at a wine and spirits store in Jackson Hole, WY.

Presentation- Had a few samples into 4oz samplers. The store had a fill your own growler department with about 8 different beers on tap. Very very cool.

Appearance- Fairly deep copper color, nice solid and creamy head and very nice lacing.

Smell- Big hit of pine hops. Not really any fruity scents, but nice pine tree scents.

Taste- Nice and well rounded IPA. Subdued, but nice hoppy flavor. Evens out well with a bit of toasted malt. Fairly bitter.

Mouthfeel- Just a touch on the lighter watery side. Still goes down well though.

Drinkability- Kind of like Russian River's standby IPA. Not too in your face, but just enough to keep your attention and make you want another.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Gavage
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: light orange with 2" head that lasts. Some mild lacing develops.

Smell: grapefruit, caramel, and some soft bitterness is easily detectable by the nose.

Taste: nice caramel base. Grapefruit and milder orange citrus, soft pine, and a touch of honey. Bitterness is strong but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: crisp throughout with some dryness at the finish. Short aftertaste as the bitterness lingers a bit. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: nice session IPA that you can find yourself drinking a bit quicker than normal. Great on tap.

Photo of stakem
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into a tulip shaped pint glass. Thanks are owed to SDDanC for this extra in our recent trade. Thanks man! The brew appears a clear amber orange with lighter orange coloring around the edges. A finger of yellowish tan froth sits across the top and fades to a thin film supported by rising bubbles of carbonation. As the cap fades, it leaves a full wall of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma presents a decent array of enjoyable hop qualities smelling of fruit like orange zest/rinds before getting a bit herbal with hints of minerals. There is a bit of a cheesy hop quality bringing things all together before the mild onset of toasty grain. Overall though, not a bad smelling brew.

The taste is bitter and rindy like pulp/zest of the previously mentioned oranges or grapefruit. A hint of caramel to toasty grain character is present providing a very mild sweetness for the hops to play off. some herbs, minerals and sulfur to cheesy quality is also present across the back. It leaves a lasting resinous cling inside the mouth after each sip.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Overall, not a bad brew. I am appreciative of the chance to try this as I otherwise would not of had the opportunity. If you like your ipas super resinous and bitter with an herbal touch, this one is for you. The alcohol is pretty well integrated for it's listed percentage.

Photo of woodychandler
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pleasant find in furtherance of the CANQuest during my annual visit to Binny's (South Side Loop) in Chicago on my way home from the Great Taste of the Midwest. I had heard that it was being CANned, but this was the first that I had actually see it in a CAN.

From the CAN: "We make water fun."; "Hold my beer and watch this."

I had a nice Crack & Glug which resulted in two-plus fingers of dense, tawny head with excellent retention. Color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a definite pine hop presence and my mouth was watering at the prospect. Mouthfeel was medium and the bite of the hops on the tongue was immediate and welcomed by this self-avowed hophead. It tasted of pine and wintergreen and I was beginning to consider its potential as mouthwash or breath freshener. Finish was dry, although not arid, gasping dry. I really liked this and would certainly consider its inclusion in my cooler on an outing.,

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by 5/3/2012. Pours crystal clear orange amber color with a nice 2 finger dense light khaki head with fantastic retention that reduces to a thick cap that lingers. Some decent lacing on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange, pine, floral, caramel, biscuit, and herbal spiciness. Nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, pine, orange, caramel, honey, biscuit, and herbal spices. Good amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pine, caramel, and biscuit on the finish for a bit. Great malt and hop balance, showcasing a great citrus flavor throughout. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Very smooth drinking; with basically no alcohol warming presence. Overall, some seriously excellent stuff here. Great balanced flavor profile, and very smooth drinking. Recommended.

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 lacqueredmouse
2.68/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light amber, with a very decent head of off-white foam. Very good lacing from the head, and the retention is pretty good. Perhaps lacks a little body, but otherwise a very good looking IPA.

Some pleasant hoppy aromas, with a rather unfortunate diacetyl butterscotch character on the nose. A little fruit, but not a lot. It's not a huge nose, and unfrotunately, the butterscotch tends to dominate, leaving it a little unpleasant.

Some butterscotch on the palate too, but it is cleaned up by the light hoppy bitterness. Not entirely though, unfortunately, and there's an unpleasant sickly character which sticks around. What clean bitterness is there is also pretty gritty, leaving an alternate harsh twang and sickly sweetness. There is a fair bit wrong about this beer, and unfortunately, the negatives outweight the positives.

This beer ends up showcasing how not to do an IPA. I was very disappointed with this brew, and it just went to show that it's not easy to make a great IPA.

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

On tap at Barclay's on College in Oakland. Poured a dark amber with a decent head and great lacing. The smell is citrusy hops and a light graininess against a slightly malty background. The taste is solid. Grapefruity hops, light wax flavor, apricot, and honeysuckle. Slightly sweet, but balanced. Good mouthfeel- decent body, but slightly on the watery side as far as mouthfeel goes, not flavor. Quite good. I could see that this would be heavenly after a day of hiking in Yellowstone.

Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Color is a golden orange hue. 1 finger head. A little retention leaving some splattered lace.

Aroma is very hoppy. Mainly floral hops. There are some grapefruit ntes, honey, and bready malts. This is what an IPA should smell like.

Taste was not as bitter and flavorful as I was expecting, based on the smell. The floral hops and honey are present as well as some citrus fruits.

Mouthfeel is a slight bitterness but overall, pretty smooth. Ends with a clean hoppy aftertaste. Seems well carbonated.

Overall, I was a lot more impressed by the smell of this beer as compared to the taste. However, it was a great representation of the style. I would easily drink this beer again,

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my friend Alek for sharing his 6-pack. This reminded me of a Simcoe-heavy pale ale, and I'm pretty sure those are the leading hops here. It's that smooth and fruit juice-like flavor with a perfumed earthy notes. There's a bit of honey malt and a balanced, but not too thick, body, making for a tasty IPA you can drink a few bottles of. If you're into the Simcoe character, check this out.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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 ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to THECPJ for this one!

A: Pours a clear ruby/copper color with a chunky, two finger, offwhite head which sticks around a while. Nice chunky lacing down the sides.

S: A subtly citrus aroma, heavier on the malt side. The hops present as some grapefruit and orange. There is a sweetness from the malt, a little bit of caramel as well.

T: A nice citrus flavor up front, more grapefruit. This is followed by some caramel malts, heavier on the malts than expected. Slightly bitter with a a little bit of a metallic taste.

M/D: Medium bodied, felt that it was lacking in carbonation slightly. Overall, it was good, the metallic taste brought it down as did the mouthfeel. Taste was good though, a solid drinkable IPA.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm ready to go. This is from a 12 ounce can, and on to the beer:

With its orangish red color, this could qualify as a red ale as much as an IPA. The head is saopy and thick on formation, retaining itself well and leaving fluffy of lace around the glass. The nose has a mild (for an IPA) hoppiness. Some pine, some grapefruit, some toffee crisp, and a hint of tropical fruit. Not a full force nose, though it is appetizing.

The first taste is a bite iof resin. There's a slight phenolic note which tries to bob its head over the beer, however it gets beaten back down before it causes serious damage. Sweet citrus and fresh pine gets their kicks in. The malt base keeps the hops in check. A modest bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. As for the texture, it's medium bodied with a gentle crispness.

Big Sky delivers good, honest beer, and their IPA is no different.

Photo of akorsak
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
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!

Photo of Zorro
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very clear aged bronze colored IPA with good tan colored head that is almost khaki in color. Quite dark for an AIPA and one that I could honestly describe as red in color.

Smell is strongly full of C type hops. Strong citrus, pine, eucalyptus and willow tree scents here. A little sweetness and menthol in this but really this is just balls to the wall hops.

The taste starts off sweet and woody with a quite bitter aftertaste. Taste profile is sweet up from and then C hops and a sharp bitter aftertaste. Hops really dominate here, bitterness gets a little annoying though after awhile.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability would be a bit higher except for a persistent astringent bitter aftertaste. This is one of those aftertastes that you don't acclimate to so you can taste the subtleties beyond it. This would work with very hot food where you need something strong to cut thru the fire and reset your taste buds.

Photo of BillRoth
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,015 ratings.