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Big Sky IPA - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Sky IPABig Sky IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

457 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 457
Hads: 1,096
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 32
Gots: 110 | 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: 457 | Hads: 1,096
Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (758 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
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., (943 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (541 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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 (475 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (871 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (398 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev -1%
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. (486 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (918 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.69/5  rDev -31.4%
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. (1,000 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (423 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (318 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.35/5  rDev +11%
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! (856 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz purchased at the 16th st Albertsons for about $1.40... poured into my shaker pint... still listing to James Zabiela Alive V.1.

Big eggshell head sitting on top of a polished copper brew.. crystal clear.. but oh my smell the hops from here.

Big badass hop aroma... citrus pine... you name the American hop ... It is probably here and it is standing at attention. I would guess there are quite a bit of Simcoe and Chinook in here... I typically don't care for Chinook hops.. too metallic/aggressive.. but with the citrus hop bomb it works really well. Just enough caramel malts to back up the hops.

The malty sweetness battle with the hop bitterness but are overtaken early in the palate... flows smoothly into the hop flavors.. again grapefruit and pine... and more Chinook... toward the end a nice toasty malt finish blends perfectly with the citrus zest... good medium body with adequate carbonation to mix the flavors perfectly.

I would put this beer up against lesser DIPA's... and frequently this one would pull a substantial lead on the hop profile and balance alone. Big Sky makes some fantastic brews... Stop at the brewery if you get a chance and try some of their much more rare beers that are only available in Missoula... and if you get lucky, there will be some nice bottled offerings you can take home. (1,324 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its a cooler weekend here in Oswegoland and just finished cutting the soggy grass...we had a deluge recently. The carrot at the end of the stick was some Big Sky IPA from a mixed pack. The appearance is good, a ruby amber with finger think foamy white head. The smell is a balance between pine and floral tones with hints of citrus/grapefruit. The taste is starts with a pine and flowery tingles, then a bitter grapefruit finish. The beer does not come off the pallete clean...likes to linger....which would make tought o session. (530 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber/copper color. 5/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of strong hops and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation. The bitterness is noticeable and there is some dryness associated. Tastes of strong hops up front (slightly sweet, but not too sweet), some earth malt, and slight biscuit flavor. Overall, a perfect blend of flavors - I recommend this brew. (483 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear, coppery amber color with about a half inch of off-white head that had decent retention and lacing.

I found the aroma to be a pleasant surprise. I'm generally less than impressed with Big Sky's beers, but this had a strong, bold citrus hop scent, with a hint of pine and a bit of malt in the background. The flavors follow along nicely, solid hops and nice hops, playing together very well.

The body was fairly typical, perhaps a touch fuller than most. Drinkability was very good, I could drink a couple of these. Overall, this is a pleasant surprise of a brew, it's my bad that I've skipped over it for so long. Give it a shot. (677 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
3.19/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: poured and amber copper with a 2 finger bubbly tan head with hardly any lacing sticking to the glass.

S: some great piney notes up front with a mild malt character and slight hints of caramel. There seems to be a good amount of booze as well.

T: Lots of bitter hopness and like the nose there is like almost no malt flavor what so ever. I kinda like it.

M: medium body with light carbonation. Not enough bubbles on the tongue on this one.

D: doesn't seem to give it justice for an IPA, but there is some good hoppy bitterness with absolutely no malts. If thats sounds good to you then this is your kind of beer. (619 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another beer from woodychandler, this box seems bottomless. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a brown/orangeish color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of piney hops, a touch of citrus. Taste is also dominated by piney hops, considerable bitterness, a touch of malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall I found this to be a mediocre beer. (341 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle a dark reddish gold with a large head of foam that shrinks down to about a half inch but stays for the entire session.

The smell is a pungent mix of pine and citrus that I haven't noticed in any other American IPA that I've tried. Interesting.

The taste is very piney up front with notes of grapefruit and then, some sweet caramel malt moves in trying to create some balance and after a few sips, there *is* some balance there but the hops are still in the drivers seat. ;^) Btw, there's no best by date anywhere on the label or bottle but there's no doubt in my mind that this is a fresh product and...a darned good one.

Bottom line: This is a very nice American IPA that just recently showed up in Casper and I'm going to enjoy it often. I say, if you see it, give it a try. (810 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bright, clear copper/amber color. Pored a 2 finger light tan head that dissipated slowly to an even slim. Sticky lacing in wide rings.

S: Floral hops, citrus rind and grapefruit. Slightly sweet caramel malt.

T: Malt is more prominent than in the smell. Resiny floral hops in the middle. Bitter builds in the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied; good malty heft. Balanced carbonation. Smooth and coating.

D: Very drinkable for the style; abv well disguised. More balanced (not a bad thing) than many IPA's - definitely improves the drinkability. (548 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A darker ipa than expected, brown to amber. Average carbonation, head, lacing, aroma, a bit pinier.

The pine doesn't come out so much on the tongue, a decent amount of bitterness, but the hop flavor and zing comes out moreso than just plain pucker. Big malt background. Roast. Has that frequent wood to grittiness/graininess downbottle. Loses hop feel to something more bland. But hey, balanced.

Decent price, nothing special. (430 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (558 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle - from Total wine summerlin las vegas NV for 1.59$

Appearance - Clear dark copper colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruit, pineapple

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the taste is made up of sweet caramel and malts mixed with hops. It also has a grapefruit flavour mixed with some apricot and pineapple. It ends with a fairly bitter hoppy and yet sugary sweet aftertaste.

Overall - An above average IPA that has some flavours typically found in a DIPA. It still seems like it's missing a little something that I can't put my finger on. I'd drink it again and would suggest that it's worth trying if you see it on the shelves. (846 characters)

Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 457 ratings.