Big Sky IPA - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Sky IPABig Sky IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,067 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,067
Reviews: 464
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 33
Gots: 94 | 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: 1,067 | Reviews: 464
Photo of spinrsx
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of jrallen34
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into an Orval glass...Pours a light clear copper with a light off white head that only rises about a finger, gone quickly...Light aroma shows off a touch of malt and light hops, good in general, would be great if a touch stronger...The taste is pretty good, mostly light hops from start to finish, a pretty easy to drink slightly above average ipa. Light pine in there too but take a couple points off because there is a slight medicinal bitter finish...Feel is fine, easy to drink.

A decent drink after work, nothing special, but not bad.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.31/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. 6.2% ABV, No date.

A - I would not change a thing about how this beer looks. Beautifully clear golden orange amber color with a huge pillowy light beige crown of head. Fantastic retention finally ends up in a pile minutes later but leaves adherent lace all over the glass in clumpy rings.

S - Citrusy hops burst from the glass with style in this beer. A great aroma of American hops showcases pine needle, grapefruit citrus that smells freshly squeezed, and a well-blended floral aromatic quality. Solid malty sweetness backs up the hops well.

T - While being well-balanced between the submissive sweet caramel malts and pungent hops, the hops just seem to stand out so well. Not overpowering, rather, distinctive, the hops feature dry and herbal floral flavors that have pine and citrus undertones to them. Grapefruit is present but not over-the-top like a lot of AIPAs these days. Very nicely balanced.

M - Spectacular blend of very dry floral hops with sweet caramel malts. A good medium body but crisp and refreshing, lively carbonated finish that has an average bitter finish. Not tongue-shredding.

D - This IPA is just a solid AIPA I could have a few of no problem. Not something I'd session all night, but in a world of highly hop-saturated IPAs and DIPAs, this is a fantastic AIPA I'd welcome into my glass at any time.

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

A clear copper color with just a thin cover of white and decent lacing streaking throughout. The aroma is a decided flowery grapefruit hops with some lemon highlights, almost a resemblance to sweet turnips at times. The flavor is a nice blend of grapefruit and carmel with the accent on the hops, but not overdone at all. It has fine carbonation, fairly tangy but there is also a malty creaminess to it. A nice feel and a decent tasting IPA that is easy drinking. Recommended.

Photo of barnzy78
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed this in 2009, deserved a re-review...I enjoyed this one much more than previously.

12oz bottle, pours amber/copper with a tall foamy beige head. Nice clarity, excellent head retention and lacing. Aromas are malty caramel with grapefruit citrus, and faint pine. Tastes are malty up-front with a nice caramel backbone followed by bold piny hops that have some grapefruit notes. Well balanced with a strong malt presence that holds up to the resinous hop profile. Mouth is medium bodied, smooth, and creamy with ample carbonation. Overall, I've had this one a few times now, and each time I seem to like it more and more. Even though it's not the best IPA out there, it has a good price-point for a 6er; I might actually buy this one again.

Photo of champ103
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nearly clear orange/reddish color. A two finger off white head forms with good retention. Some sticky lace is left down the glass.
S: Pine, grapefruit, and bitterness in the nose. Some floral and grassy hops as well. Not a lot of sweetness for balance.
T: Follows the nose. Pine, grapefruit, and bitterness. No sweetness really. A typical IPA, but not bad.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A nice crisp snap on the tongue. Not hard to drink, but the bitterness makes this a one and done for me.

Fairly typical for the style, but not bad. Worth a try, and any hop head will enjoy this.

Photo of ZAP
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
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

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean orange-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, mellow orange citrus and hints of pine hops. In the taste, a gingerbread like maltiness and pine hops stand out. A small hop bite and a medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry pine hop in the aftertaste. Quite malty, yet light bodied, mellow and decent.

Photo of tavernjef
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Happy Gnome: Gorgeous dark copper color. Clear body and glimmering. Thin and quick cap of dusty white foam slips away soon after the pour. Lacing is in a few globby strings and bigger spots.

Aroma is clean, crisp, and rounded in a wonderful fruity sweetness thats deep and rich mixing well with a hoppy grapefruit pith thats been bruned or scorched into a dry pine bittering sour tone. Quite nice. A bit resinous and greasy too.

Flavors are solid with good depth and roundedness, crisp, clean, and bold. Short and sweet in the front, kinda dark and apple-y, sweet, toasty, and firm. Middle, well, there isn't really a middle as it skips right to the finish with bright and crisp hoppyness of pine and juicy citrus tones. Clean, milding, and smooth bitterness ensues into the finish with a bit of grapefruityness sliding around in a dark and resinous center. It's quite good actually, and possibly deserving of a better number then what I'm giving it, but there was something about it that seemed unperplexing and medium about its flavors. I do, however, like its darker, thicker, tone.Hmmm....tough to call, could be better but how, I'm unsure. Complexity? Caramel?

Feel is somewhat thicker then most other IPA's; given its clean and crisp nature. Somehow, and whatever the reason why, it tends to carry a bit more darker heavyness for its underbelly then others that don't use the caramel brigade of malts. This was pale but rounded, semi toasted, clean and bitter, but sweet and dark. A nice aspect to the beer and its flavors. Mellows out some as it warms and the bitterness tends to seep in and out from time to time. It's darker nature and simple yet supple and giving bitterness does slow down the drinking of the brew. It's got a uniquely heavy crispness and, almost, greasy fashion. More of a "winter" IPA then for warmer months, but damn good none the less.

Photo of drpimento
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice beer. Poured at a good temperature with a large, foamy, lite tan, billowy head that settled after a while and some lace. Color is a clear medium amber with some bubble trails. Aroma is hop up front, some malt to balance. Flavor's like nose, all qualities are bolder and and add tang, slightest hint of sweet, ditto caramel. Body/carbonation good. Finish is like flavor, not too complex, yet goes vey well with spicy food.

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a golden amber color a two finger of white colored foam. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer has a big smell of a bready and citrus nature with the citrus being mainly of a grapefruit hop smell, but containing some aromas a sweet orange. Along with the grapefruit hop comes aromas of pine and a bit of an earthy smell as well.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready and very citrusy flavor with the presence of a bit of orange sweetness mixed with a grapefruit hop. Other fruity flavors of a tropical fruit nature (tangerine, mango, pineapple) are present from the start as well with these fading as the flavor advances on more toward the end of the taste. The bready flavors take on some more biscuit like notes as the taste advances with the hop really ramping it up toward the middle to the end. While initially only a grapefruit hop being present, hop flavors of pine and a floral nature, as well as an increase in the grapefruit come to fruition more at the end of the taste. With all these changes and a bit of the tropical flavors really coming back strong at the end, one is left with a decently hopped and smooth flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the rather high side. Both actually fit the beers flavor profile quite well with the higher carbonation really enhancing the crispness of the brew all while the medium body did the same, but upheld the nice blend of hop flavors.

Overall – This was a rather easy drinking and quite enjoyable IPA overall. Rather tasty.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours amber with a fading head.
Nose shows sweet syrupy malt and some soft piny hops.
Malty flavours, quite clean. Some piny hops. Not particularly complex. An assertive bitterness in the finish.

Photo of maximum12
3.26/5  rDev -14.2%
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 barczar
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliantly clear copper color with a solid inch and a half cream head that dissipates slowly, leaving spotty lacing.

Aroma is dominated by dank resin, cannabis, and pine, with a hint of grapefruit pith. Bready malt and more citrus emerge, with notes of caramel and toast.

Initial sip is somewhat lacking in a mid palate flavor. Muted citrus, orange and grapefruit pith underlie the flavor profile, which shifts immediately to a bitter, piney, dry finish. Citrus hops emerge more in subsequent sips, but the malt is almost nonexistent.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation, and a slightly astringent finish.

Overall, the bittering hops were a bit dominant, and they drowned out almost all malt flavor. Wish the flavor had followed the aroma more closely. Sacrilege, but it's finish is too bitter for my taste.

Photo of illidurit
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Clear light amber color with a creamy tan head. Aroma is floral and slightly tropical hops with a caramel underpinning. Flavor is similar, big doses of caramel and crystal maltiness with a lighter citric hoppiness. Tends toward soapiness with warmth. Medium astringency, modest bitterness, watery finish, medium mouthfeel and carbonation. Okay at best.

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6 of this from the corner bodega the other day. It's a nice golden orange colour with a big froty head of hoppy white foam. Aromas are hoppy with a nice pacnw blend, as well as a great candied british malt smell as well. Taste is hoppy up front, with a lovely English biscuit like malt flavor. Reminds me of pillsbury grands for some reason or another. Mouthfeel si medium bodied, and drinkability is good. a solid IPA all the way around

Photo of popery
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours fairly dark for the style. It's a shade of reddish gold with a good white head. Aroma is fairly hoppy but not altogether pleasing. Citrus, pine, grass and an herbaceous woodiness are all present from the hops. The woody note is my main source of complaint. It's even stronger in the taste than the aroma, lending the flavor of fresh bark or a thick stem - uninteresting and blandly bitter. Otherwise, the flavor is fairly dry with some yeastiness. Malt flavors are mild, just a boring background bread flavor. Feel is a bit effervescent but finishes thin.

Photo of cokes
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Generally clear, toasted honey hued with a big rise of bone-colored foam that deflates over time but leaves gobs of lace.
A full nose, both of hops and of malt. Apple butter-smeared toast, pomegranate, toffee, golden raisins, apricots, pine tar, pipe resin, tree bark, spearmint, and lime peels.
Caramel lolls through the mouth, coating the teeth, the ebbing down the esophagus. Fruity tones arrive, with pears, apples, and apricots. Toastiness follows them in. Hops brighten afterward, bringing a mojito of lime and mint, peppery herbal, danker notes of resin and pine sap, burnt wood, and the lingering, lightening bitterness of pink grapefruit
I like hop bombs as much as the next person, but this one capivates me with its squid vs. whale persona. Calling something "balanced" usually denotes a general blandness and lack of pizzazz. Not here. There is a rustic, old school charm with some new school tricks.
I've walked past this on the shelf for years. Idiot me.

Photo of KarlHungus
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a hazy amber-orange color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of grapefruit, with hints of citrus and pine. The taste is of like the aroma, but a little more intense. The aftertaste is nice and bitter, but not overly so. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a good IPA, and I would certainly drink this one again.

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

Pours ruby amber with a slow-fading dense tawny head that sticks and sheets. Caramel apple tart and orange Bubblicious nose. Starting out to be a big beer. Big strawberry rhubarb malts, an arresting cotton candy hit in the middle, and tropical fruit punch and orange rind hops with some lemony high notes. Black pepper burn in the resiny finish. Lingering IBUs. Chewy, medium, oily and round.

DIPA in an IPAs clothing. Nice fruity Simcoe backed with plenty of caramel backbone.

Photo of tpd975
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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 morimech
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a clear copper with a nice 1/2 inch head that sticks around for awhile. Tiny bubbles continously being released. Leaves some nice sticky lacing.

The smell is of floral hops and grass with a hint of pine. A very pleasant IPA aroma.

The taste is dominated by hops which you would expect. Piney and dry is the way I would describe the taste. It is medium bodied and perfectly carbonated. Very satisfying and a very good IPA and I would very much like another.

Photo of jera1350
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper color. Very small head that is quickly gone. Fair amount of lacing.

Smell is of hops with a small bit of malt.

Taste is hoppy with malt. This is a very well balanced beer. Not overpowering in any aspect. Just a flavorful beer.

Medium bodied with average carbonation.

Highly drinkable. Not filling nor overpowering in any way. This is a very sessionable beer. For the price, this is a solid go to beer.

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

Pours a translucent deep copper hue which leaves creamy two finger head and heaps of lacing,the smell is a mix of sweet toffee malts and piney hops but mainly sweet with also a mix of citrus,the mouthfeel is just over light bodied and very sessionable with tastes of sweet toffee,piney hops,pineapple,paw-paw and finished with a bittersweet citrus hit and overall im glad ive tried and like most AIPA's we get these days from the USA its definately above average and would buy again cheers.

Photo of hopdog
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Poured a dark amber / copper color with an averaged sized off white head. Lots of lacing left on the glass. Aromas of juicy oranges, some grapefruit, a little floral and some caramel. Tastes of citrus, some pine, and caramel. Medium bitter finish.

Notes from 10/12/06

Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,067 ratings.