Summer Honey Ale | Big Sky Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
78
okay
164 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Summer Honey AleSummer Honey Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States | website

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
Reviews:
164
Ratings:
318
Avg:
3.38
pDev:
21.89%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
29
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 164 | Ratings: 318
Photo of archyquaffer
3.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 12 ounce longneck bottle into a Shaker pint glass. The label states "Ale brewed with honey and spices". A medium pour produces about an inch of snowy-white, creamy froth that sticks to the sides of the glass. The beer is a pale honey-golden in color. Moderately carbonated.

Not much on the nose, but mine is not very sensitive. A faint aroma of floral hops and pale malt. The honey taste is very apparent in the burps, which is really the way I smell beer. The honey is also apparent in the taste, which I like. (Why put honey in there if you can't taste it?). The spices are also very detectable but not overbearing by any means. I'm thinking maybe I'm tasting a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. Maybe just a kiss of hops on the palate and tongue, but basically very clean, with a pretty nice malty and mead-like aftertaste.

I love a lighter beer for the warmer weather that has some taste to it other than corn mash. This one fits the bill nicely, and I will definitely seek this out again.

 1,004 characters

Photo of jsisko01
4.36/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark honey color with a thin white head that fades into a nice, thick lacing.

Smell - Has a slight bitter funk to it, along with feint hints of honey and wheat.

Taste - Very sweet with pale malts, caramel, honey, corn, wheat, and buttery biscuits. I honestly don't taste any spices at all.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall - I usually don't favor honey beers but this stuff tastes great. It's very drinkable and I hope to find it again some day.

 493 characters

Photo of Ragingbull
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very pale in color and very clear appearance. The color of light honey perhaps. Traditional beer smells of grain and malt in the mainstream/macrobrew sort of way. Frothy head with a smooth and thick attack and mouthfeel. The flavor is rich in that "macro" sort of way. The finish is clean. This beer I think would have very wide mainstream appeal and would be handy to have in the cooler for a party. It makes me think of honey brown only a superior version of it. Perhaps the name clouds my judgment though.

 508 characters

Photo of KoG
3.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow, almost the color of honey. Produced a good head that didn't last long and left a slight lace.

Smell is honey and a bit of wheat and sweet malts. A good smell even without the slight hint of hop.

Taste is creamy and a touch sweet fading into a nice hop bitterness that goes down smooth.

A nice summer seasonal that is quite drinkable. Seemed a bit more like a cream ale than an APA to me.

 409 characters

Photo of battlekow
3.82/5  rDev +13%
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 abrand
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into the Ommegang tulip. I believe this is the last summer brew in my DBF so thought it would be wise to drink her up. This was purchased earlier this summer as a Big Sky sampler. label shows a big grizzly and displays that it contains real honey and spices.

Appearance is a golden orange and minimal head after an aggressive pour. Minimal lacing but lots of carbonation. Not much hits the nose, but the aroma is sweet malts and maybe a little bit of honey. Taste is similar to the nose with it seeming very watered down. Little hints of sweet honey and a rather dry, bland finish. Mouthfeel is very thin and drinkability is rather low. Not a very exciting beer in any way.

 697 characters

Photo of wnh
3.88/5  rDev +14.8%
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 lurpy1
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Split a bottle with my lovely wife last night. It's uber-tropical here, so seems like a good night for a beer that runs towards the light side.

Unfortunately, this one is too tilted towards the light. Mouthfeel, while not unpleasant, is clearly thin. The taste is pleasant, honey, breakfast spices, apples, but there's just not enough there there. Hop characteristic is completely lacking, although it shows up in the aftertaste . My wife summed up well after we were done: "Find me something else, I don't even feel like I drank a beer."

It does go down very well on a hot, hot night. Probably a good gateway beer from Macro beers to craft brew. Other than that, I look for something with a little more action.

 713 characters

Photo of alexanf
2.79/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a honey laced gold.

S- Pale malts with light hints of spice and honey.

T- Flavorful honey, with a slight hint of fruit. Also has traces of wheat and light earthy spices.

M- Smooth, lightly carbonated. Finishes quickly and leaves a slight touch of honey lingering.

O- Overall, this has been my least favorite offering from Big Sky Brewing.

 351 characters

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
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 terrabyte
3.12/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours into a nice yellow color with a small white head.

The aroma is sweet, with a rice or wheat malt.

The flavor is quite light. Nothing bold going on. However, there is still some subtle complexities going on. It says honey, so let's assume it's sweetness comes from honey. It's followed by some spices such as coriander. It finishes without much bitterness.

Dry crisp mouth. Last inch of my glass could be shaken up with carbonation, however, it wasn't a distraction while drinking.

There are too many amazing Big Sky beers I'd rather be having. Yes, this is better than any other refreshing lawnmowever macro beer due to its honey spiced flavor. But I just want to move on from this beer.

 706 characters

Photo of youradhere
4.55/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great summer brew, not too heavy but still does the trick when camping with friends. Cool and crisp, a slight hop bite greets you followed by a mellow honey twang, almost unnoticable. Not much on hop aroma, possibly Mt. Hood or even Cascade if I had to venture a guess. A definate and constant summer must for me and my friends as we all enjoy this one to start the night off before moving to the cheap stuff.

 409 characters

Photo of RootedFool
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. Honey gold body. Nice, feathery off-white head. Thin lacing. Smell: gritty graininess, thin malt sweetness, slight hop earthiness -- nice. Taste: quick pinch of hop bitterness upfront, followed by a honey-like sweetness, hint of vanilla; dry finish with a nice toasty graininess. Mouthfeel: slick and clean, middling carbonation. Good summer brew.

 405 characters

Photo of wedgie9
2.06/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Tasted from 12oz bottle. Pours pale golden with a thin and quickly receding white head. Light nose of wheat and some honey. Simple flavors of wheat and honey with some spices on the back of the palate. Body is light, and carbonation is very lively with a rather short spiced finish. Overall, I am not crazy about this beer.

 323 characters

Photo of jeffboo
3.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A lighht golden brew with white head. Aromas of honey and light grassy hops and bready yeast but nothing special. It has a light refreshing body holding bready malt and yeast flavors with a good malt backbone. It finishes with a toasted malt and lightly honey flavors, a nice summer beer.

 288 characters

Photo of AmberMan22
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
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 Tolnik
3.02/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured this pale wheat colored beer into a pint glass. The foam that was created off the pour was that of a 1/2 inch. Then reduced down to wisps of lacing. The wheat and floweral tones of the beer off the aroma is tantalizing. The taste isn't that great that follows the aroma. It has a bittering taste of the wheat that doesn't create a great pallet. The after taste is likewise but doesn't linger for that long.

 413 characters

Photo of HoppyMcStout
2.06/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I have to admit that I didn't pour this into a glass and so I gave the appearance a "3.0" as a default. I don't think the appearance could have saved this one though. It tasted very watery to me, like a light macro beer but with some honey flavor added. I know that a summer ale is supposed to be light, but this one was dismal...

 330 characters

Photo of schellsbeer
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Of the three Big Sky beers that I have had tonight, this is my favorite.

Very nice looking with a clean yellow straw orange color. I was somewhat impressed. Nice head.

Smell was sweet with some honey there but could have used more.

Taste was good at best but better than the other 2 that I had tonight. At least this was refreshing and I could enjoy this again.

Mouthfeel was again average for me. Thin. Yeah...you get the idea.

Drinkability is high considering it is only 4.7% ABV. This is one thing that I do appreciate about Big Sky. They make beers that tend to be lower in ABV than many other macro craft breweries....if you know what I mean. I know that macro and craft don't usually go in the same sentence but Big Sky is becoming a popular brewery.

One thing that I have noticed about Big Sky is as they get more known, the quality seems to be going down....many of their beers take on a watery feel. This should be the case when I spend $15 on a 12 pack...and this is on a good day.

 998 characters

Photo of imasloth
4.12/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very small white head immediately gone. Lots of small carbonation in slightly hazy honey-coloured beer.

S- Honey, sweet, light malt, kind of lager-y.

T- Grassy, floral, slight bitterness, light honey.

M- Light to medium body. Little bitter feel.

O- Very good. Certainly adds something in taste to the concept of a summer beer (innovative).

 346 characters

Photo of PirateUlf73
3.23/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Nice light to medium-gold color with a nice white head.

S: Sweet malt and honey character. Honey is quite strong on second evaluation.

T: Somewhat spicy, but the honey dominates the taste. A bread-like sweetness with little in the way of hop bitterness. Quite sweet and savory.

M: Fairly light-bodied (as it had damned well better be!) with a somewhat even mouthfeel. Finishes pretty clean, with a honey-sweet aftertaste.

D: Light and sweet, but perhaps a bit too sweet for a hot summer day (for my taste anyway).

A good effort from Big Sky, but I found it to be a tad too sweet for my taste. The honey is quite dominant and thus not very well-balanced. May do well to lure some away from mead.

 729 characters

Photo of BeerAmbassador
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with a decent two finger white head. Aromas of toasted biscuit malt and honey. Kind of reminds me a bit of honey nut Cheerios, but not in a bad way. Also picking up a bit of lemon on the end. Flavor pretty much follows suit. I remember having this beer a few years ago and not being a huge fan, but it's actually tasting pretty good to me today.

 372 characters

Photo of lester619
3.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden yellow with a creamy head that settles to a half inch film. Sweet and floral smelling. Some black pepper, and faint baking spices like cloves and cinamon come out. Very clean and crisp flavor. Sweetness with a little peppery kick to start. Finishes bone dry with a just with a little bitterness and a touch more spice. This stuff works for what it's for. Very refreshing hot weather all day drinking kind of beer.

 434 characters

Photo of Clockwork420
3.82/5  rDev +13%
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 jrsqc7
3.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Crisp cracker some definite honey flavor here deny it deny you have a palate some hoppy bitterness at the end leaves your mouth all ummm hmmm hmmm but the beginning is much better

 179 characters

Summer Honey Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe