Summer Honey Ale | Big Sky Brewing Company

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326 Ratings
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Summer Honey AleSummer Honey Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States
bigskybrew.com

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
When the days get longer and the air gets warmer, we get outside quite a bit. And we build a big thirst. Summer Honey helps us shake off the winter and slakes our thirst for a refreshing brew. Summer Honey is a full-flavored summer seasonal ale. Brewed with a unique, balanced blend of spices, Northwest Hops, and Montana honey. Summer Honey is brewed during the early days of spring and released around the first of May each year. Light colored, light bodied, and very drinkable, Summer Honey sacrifices nothing to create a flavorful beer that can be enjoyed during the height of the Summer.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-16-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
326
Reviews:
164
Avg:
3.39
pDev:
15.63%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
33
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 326 |  Reviews: 164
Photo of Chaz
3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a shaker. Medium pour yields a one-fingered off white head of medium duration and fairly good lacing. Very clear golden in color, with moderate carbonation. Nose is subtle honey and lightly sweet, pale malts. Slightly vegetal, and no apparent hops. Honey is apparent on the first sip, but is fleeting, a bit more than the minimun impression is left before the semi-sweet malts round out the palate, and a dryer, biscuity malt takes over. Nice and dry in the finish. Somewhat fruity and aromatic, with clover honey (just a guess) and apple blossoms. Aftertaste leaves an impression of peach, which is actually quite nice. The hops are there also, but very, very attenuated. Body is lighter and mothfeel is a little on the thin side, and the carbonation is reasonably easy-going, too. This is a nice, well-executed fruit-vegetable beer, and I'd say so especially if we were to consider it more of an amalgam of Golden Ale and Fruit Vegetable beer rather than an APA. For whatever reason this bottle is striking me as tastier and livelier than the last draght I had of the Summer Honey, so either the recipe has changed or it's less impressive on draught? Improves a bit asit warms, but no doubt goes down quite well on the cold side for some folks . . . is there a touch of wheat malt in this one? At any rate, it's much better than I remember it from the many times I've sampled it over the previous five or six years. A solid summer quaffer from a solid craft brewery.

 1,478 characters

Photo of Offa
3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very pleasant, somewhat kolsch-like golden ale with a definite honeyish character.

Golden and bubbly, it has a large white head shrinking steadily.

Aroma is honey and grain, simple but pleasant, straightforward about what it is.

The taste is light, crisp, slightly sweet with honey, grain, and a biscuity-grain aftertaste. Very pleasant, smooth, light and crisp, it is highly drinkable, pleasant, and does the job well.

 435 characters

Photo of wnh
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, bright, light orange-tinted yellow with a couple fingers' worth of slightly thick, slightly creamy head that diminishes to a slightly creamy film across the surface. Lively, with moderate amounts of carbonation.

Not much to detect in the nose. Bright and somewhat citrus, with what I believe is honey in the background, though my brain could be tricking my nose into believing it's smelling honey since this is a "honey" ale. Somewhat sweet, caramel, bready backbone.

Flavor is crisp and bright. Bready, though not particularly wheaty. This isn't exploding with flavor, but it's plenty flavorful for what I want in this type of beer.

Crisp, clean mouthfeel, with a short finish. Thirst-quenching. Plenty drinkable. A good summer beer.

 794 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed: 10/14/11

Appearance: A mostly clear, pale golden color - honestly looks a lot like Trout Slayer, which I had earlier tonight - small white head, minimal lacing

Smell: Pale, light malts with some quite obvious honey - very honey-forward - maybe this was added post-fermentation? - a little spicy, a little floral, but really not that exciting

Taste: Interesting - the honey is really prominent - sweet, but not excessively so - some spice, some light fruit - malts are very light, kind of like barely-cooked biscuits, kind of tastes like some wheat is involved here - a touch of citrus to balance things out - certainly not bitter, but there are some hops in here

Mouthfeel: Light medium body, kind of coats the tongue in a dry way, medium carbonation

Overall: Surprisingly good

At first I was a bit confused by the honey, but it grew on me very quickly. This is really one of the best uses of honey I've encountered in quite some time. I'm note sure if it's what I want in a summer beer, but it works quite well right now as I'm drinking it in October.

 1,068 characters

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Nice sunny golden color. Very little head or lacing.

S: Very clean malt. Slight lemon/honey.

T: Tasty. Very malty with a honey edge. Crisp, clean. An instant summer go to.

M: Full. Medium carbonation.

D: Will surely enjoy this one again this summer. Not overtly sweet (nor bitter). Good.

 326 characters

Photo of battlekow
3.82/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer on a 90-degree day on a trip to the grocery store, figuring it would be refreshing. Upon arriving home, I discovered that I had been locked out of the house. Fearing for the beer's life, I managed to get a window open and crawl in. It was worth it, this beer is pretty good.

It's pale gold with a big, creamy head. Good lacing. Looks like the kind of beer I want to drink after mowing the lawn. Doesn't smell too much, a little bit of spiciness, but tastes great. The scent is representative of the flavor, a very easy-drinking beer with a bit of spice. Excellent and refreshing on this particular day.

 619 characters

Photo of Clockwork420
3.82/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into glass.
Under $14 a 12 pack.

A - Gold straw color. No head at all, after pour. Super light white layer. Less than a mm thick.

S - Clean fresh, grassy. Smells sweetly like flowery. Smells kind of like dirt in a good way. Earthy.

T - Citrus, and sweet. Lemon hints. Light malt and balanced hops. Tangy bite on end. Refreshing.

M - Great carbonation. Thin and easy to drink. Perfect viscosity.

D - Fairly high.

This is the ideal Summer blend for a beer. I can see myself drinking this mowing the lawn or sitting on the porch with this one. The only lacking area is the Appearance, but its understandable and fits the style perfectly. Could pass as a massive brew product by looks alone. Taste is not in the same category. Light years away.

Good beer.

 769 characters

Photo of Nerudamann
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look - murky light golden or straw color, almost like a pale hefe. Good 2 or 2 - 1/2 inches of head. Good carbonation.

Smell - very wheaty smelling, fairly hoppy. Not smelling much of the honey flavor, but there is a slight sweetness, maybe even a hint of pumpkin spice?

Taste - Very good balance between malty and hoppy. Slightly more hoppy flavored though, with a very "earthy" vibe to it..maybe not as pungeant as some of the noble ones...very "American" tasting if that makes any sense. Still can't taste much of a honey flavor..almost more of a smokey flavor to the taste.

Mouthfeel - Fairly well balanced, but more watery than creamy in texture.

Drinkability - very tasty brew! No lingering aftertaste and very clean in general. Easy one to come back to, and a great summer brew!

 790 characters

Photo of whynot44
3.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden color with a modest white head that does manage just a bit of lacing.

The aroma is bread dough, hints of honey and light floral hops.

The taste is dry bready malt, honey, hints of pepper and cinnamon, with a dry lightly hopped lingering aftertaste, crisp and refreshing, a very nice hot weather cooler.

Light/medium body, very drinkable.

 356 characters

Photo of AmberMan22
3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a wonderful, true honey color -- aptly named. Slightly hazy...it really is like looking at honey.

Smell is largely of hoppy spiciness, some honey, hop bitterness, fairly one dimesional.

Tastes of fresh honeycomb, maybe cascade hops (I'm still learning, so this is largely a guess) but the hops have a peppery background. Actually a decent amount of malt to back this guy up. Nice job again Big Sky.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thick for a beer of this color. Even the feeling of honey seems to enhance it's heft. The carbonation is too strong my my taste however.

Overall, this seems like a bit of a misfit, despite being a pretty good beer. I just don't know what season it fits in, because the mouthfeel seems too heavy for a spring/summer beer, but the flavor is in that range.

 788 characters

Photo of rossracing
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Schwegler
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CWhite
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Flathead_Monster
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of BrewBros
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of kp29
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of Pat
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of leroybrown10
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

its bogus that this is rated so poorly here, although i have never had it in a bottle, it was fantastic from the can, rich full flavored for a blonde ale, nice honey flavor, real authentic but not sweet at all, super drinkable but with a bit of body for what it is, well carbonated, fluffy feeling, and overall one of the better seasonal beers i have had from these guys. the honey is great, very little residual sugar but a ton of character from it, floral and waxy and nice. maybe some wheat in here, where else would all this body come from in such an otherwise light brew? i could drink fifteen of these, but it also worked well as a marinade for some chicken with a little green onion, soy, black pepper, and lemon juice. summery and nice. maybe the bottles let too much light in or something, or those drinking it didnt have it fresh or whatever, but from the can, fresh and ice cold, this was a great summer beer, i think more interesting and better made for the real beer drinkers than is common in summer seasonals from larger craft breweries. nicely done in my opinion.

 1,079 characters

Photo of Kamui_2004
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of bscalt
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of jmalex
3.74/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tim for this one. I don't think I've ever had anything from Montana before.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Sam Adams glass a clear pale yellow with a loose-bubbled white head on top. It shrinks down to a full cap with great staying power.

SMELL: Quite sweet with indications of wheat and lemony citrus. But it's really overtaken by the spices in this beer. Coriander for sure, but there could be more.

TASTE: Light and lemony and assuredly wheat-based. The spices aren't as formidable but still add a subtle complexity to the beer. Hops are much more apparent giving the beer a great balance. This really has a nice flavor and is quite unique.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium light body with an average carbonation. It does seem a bit slick though and lacks any crispness.

DRINKABILITY: It's a fine choice for a session and is well suited for summer weather. An ABV under 5% is a nice feature too. Unfortunately for me it's the coldest day since spring here today, so it's not quite well suited for drinking on this day.

A fine choice and good to drink if it's available to you. Not worth going out for your way for though.

 1,119 characters

Photo of benteach
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a thick head, that lasted a while, with good lacing. Yellow color, very clear.

You smell the honey, but it is not overpowering. I am not a huge fan of honey, so I enjoyed this. Taste was very clear, crisp, and again, not too much on the honey side. Slight hop taste and something else between the smell and the taste that I cannot figure out. Floral I guess, it is hard to pinpoint.

Drinks well, I have enjoyed all of the Big Sky beers so far. This one is a nice departure from the typical APA.

 503 characters

Photo of freed
3.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We pulled a couple of these to try out, and frankly, I'm glad we did. This could be an excellent gateway beer, and I imagine I'll try and have some around for family.

The beer is dull yellow, has a mild amount of head, and gives off just a little aroma. The scent is mostly malt, but there is also some of the sweetness to the smell from the honey.

The taste is very pleasant, mild, and smooth. The honey aids in its smoothness, but doesn't dominate the taste. There isn't any noticeable hop flavors or bitterness, and the mild maltienss is rather nice.

I recommend this for the people in your lives who don't understand why you like beer so much. It may help them.

 674 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
3.71/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale honey color (sorry...that honestly is the shade of yellow I see) with a half finger white head that melts slowly to fine sticky lacing.
Aroma is floral and honey with almost a lager yeast smell to it.
Taste is initially pale malt lightly sweetened with a floral honey but then quickly turns to citrus hops. Actually a very nice evolution or balancing of flavors.
Aftertaste is sort of a floral or clover honey-lemon peel mixture and a nice quenching dryness.
This is a good summer beer...maybe excellent...very refreshing.

 539 characters

Summer Honey Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.39 out of 5 based on 326 ratings.
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