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:
320
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: 320
Photo of hopdog
3.33/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Poured a lighter golden color with a larger sized white head. Aromas of grain, lighter honey, and some spices. Tastes of honey (stronger than the aromas) and spices. I found the body to be on the thinner body.

Notes from and tasted on 9/11/06

 258 characters

Photo of yesyouam
3.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big Sky Summer Honey is a crystal-clear, lively light golden ale with an off-white head that mostly dissipates and leaves good lacing. The first aroma that strikes me is... pizza dough?, followed by honey and cane syrup and a hint of spruce. That yeast is too loud, otherwise it's excellent. It is medium bodied and soft, lively on the tongue, and it leaves the mouth raw and oily. It's hella bitter. The flavor balance is excellent-- a bit top-heavy. The yeast is in balance here and has a great Western US flavor. The blue spruce aftertaste reminds me of big country. It's fruity and bready-- a rowdy western session ale!
(rated Aug 9, 2007)

 643 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Golden color with decent clarity. Thin white head fades to a small collar pretty quickly.

Smells of faint malt, honey and honeydew melon. Very light nose. Smells fresh, but a bit unexciting.

Tastes of light fruits, such as cantaloupe, strawberries and (again) honeydew melon....maybe some clover. Lightly lager-esque sulfur flavor and tartness. I don't really taste an abundance of honey flavor or sweetness.

It's an ok quencher, but not overly exciting or flavorful. I'll stick to the Moose Drool.

 501 characters

Photo of pweis909
3.42/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I really do like several Big Sky beers, and this is not one of them. The beer really does have a honey color, aroma, and taste. White foam dissipated fasr. Very subtle honey in the aroma and tase department, and there is nothing else going on other than it is balanced.

 269 characters

Photo of coldmeat23
2.57/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

GLASS: Pint Glass
TEMP: Chilled to approx 40 degrees

Pale golden straw color. Very pale. Minimal head. Minimal retention. Spotty lacing (at best). Looks weak.

Smells of wheat and floral hoppiness. Black pepper and orange peel.

Weak. Tastes like carbonated water, served in a glass that once had beer in it. I will say that it is crisp and clean tasting. There is some citrus and spice flavor in here, along with a touch of sweetness. The problem is that they are buried so deep that you can hardly taste them.

A little bit better (more) body than the traditional summer brew. Smooth and drinkable.

I don't like this one. I don't find it drinkable. For me to drink this one again, my other choice(s) will have to be quite horrid.

 733 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of the bottle this Montana brew was a wet-straw gold color with a white head one finger thick. Faded after a few minutes to a thin skim and then a tiny ring. Moderate lacing. Aromas are mostly wheat and some hops with pale malt behind it. Flavors are almost all wheat, crisp but the honey is very hard to find. Slightly sour. 'Wet' finish of grains sticks to the tongue. Decent mouthfeel and fizzy carbonation. OK, but not much more than that.

 447 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was chilled to around 55┬║ and poured in a Lake Louie pint glass.

Golden yellow, a feeble head of foam that collapses quickly. Nucleation trails from the bottom of the glass. It doesn't really leave any lace, but a few random spots decorate the glass.

Plain pale malt aroma, graham cracker.

Papery pale malt flavor, mild graham sweetness. Not really getting any floral or honey flavor. Average is about all I can say. Moderate fizz, drinks fine. A no-brainer for a dog day.

 484 characters

Photo of Redrover
3.55/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle included in the sampler pack. Poured into a pint glass, the beer is a bright gold with a fairly dense white head.

The aroma is of grains, perfumey hops and a bit of honey.

The taste is slightly grainy with some sweetness that may be from the honey that lurks in the background. The hops add a bit of balance, but this one falls on the sweet but not cloying side of the taste spectrum. I like the bit of sourness that emerges late in the aftertaste.

The mouth is decent with unlooked for heft. I suppose this is an easy enough drinker and would be a nice cross-over beer

 593 characters

Photo of SargeC
3.57/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold colored brew with a minor white head.

Smell: Small touch of hops. Malt with a hint of honey sweetness.

Taste: Crisp and clean start, honey flavor shows up very passively in the finish. Minor spice profile throughout.

Mouthfeel: Light body. The brew is denser than expected.

Drinkablity: Easy drinking and tasty brew.

 341 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received as an extra in trade with cjsell. Thanks! This beer (and brewery) is new to me. Into my Stone pint glass

A: Straw yellow with a dense, 1-finger white head. This is almost perfectly clear to boot.

S: Mild citrus note with an orange peel astringency. Spicy with some coriander and black pepper. Some floral sweetness is present

T/M: Starts off mildly sweet yet hoppy with some citrus, spice and honey-like sweetness present. Exceedingly light in body, slightly strange on finish with a spicy character that just doesn't work for me. The carbonation is at an adequate level but the flavor leaves a lot to be desired.

D:At 4.7%, I have no complaints drinking it - apart from the very disappointing flavor profile

 733 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
2.8/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear straw with a quick head and no lacing or foam. Good bubbles though. The aroma is a delicate mix of pale malts adn light spices. hen somesoft honey and musty hops. The tase immediately mkes me think of an American pale wheat ale. Musty German hops with some light honey bread sweetness and even lighter spice notes. The palate is sweet but a little musty, but the finish has a nice honey and spice combo. Tastes more like an American wheat ale than an APA.

 469 characters

Photo of therica
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= light golden-yellow with a glisten typical of honey; very light head, hardly any lacing that lasts long.

S= nice and inviting, malts with a bit of sweet-grassy scent.

T= mild on carbonation but sufficient; mild hops bitters, malts, honey.

M= very nice, with a slight hops-bitter residual, slight grassy taste with some mild honey-sweetness, less than I expected from the name "Honey Ale" though.

D= very drinkable, great for sessions or parties, probably just fine even in the non-summer seasons, and obviously FAR better than any macro of any sort.

 556 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a mix-pack from Cost Plus World Market, on to the beer:

Pale filtered straw colored in the body, head is white and fuzzy with modest retention. The aroma is mild, hop and tea leaf notes with touches of sweetness (could that be the honey?). As it enters the mouth, I immediately become refreshed off its easy and light flavor. Almost citrusy tasting. Bready notes break up the monotone flavor. I can't seem to find the honey character; okay it's there, but it's very light. This is a simple and refreshing beer.

 519 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 JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz from the Coop today for about $1.50.. enjoyed from my New Belgium snifter while listening to Fatboy Slim Live on Brighton Beach.

1" head drops leaving only a collar of lace... brew is crystal clear dark straw.

Aroma is pale malts and little else.. grassy hops may be there and some possible honey essence.

Flavor has more of a honey kick to it.. mixes well with the pale malts.. some background yeastiness.... herbal hoppiness .. there has to be a bunch of wheat in there.. very very drinkable.. body is light/medium with great carbonation..

Good beer and I am probably downplaying it, but overall, I want a little bit more out of my summer seasonals.. but still very nice.... I am actually very surprised that I've never reviewed this one before despite my dozens of times enjoying it.

 798 characters

Photo of andreasmwatt
4.3/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Amber colored ale with very light head.

Smell - Very sweet smelling.

Taste - If you like Blue Moon from Coors you will love this beer. Great with an orange as well.

Mouthfeel - Very nice zing, GREAT BEER!!

Drinkablility - Goes doen easy, enjoy anytime I don't care what the name says.

 302 characters

Photo of budgood1
4.02/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a slightly hazed light golden colour, with a fair sized head and some minimal lacing. grass and honey aroma, leaning towards clover and certainly perfumy. nice nose. light flavours of some grainy and coarse maltininess, sweetened a bit by some honey notes and balanced nicely by a small shot of some northwest hops. there is a definite underlying spiciness that adds a delicate layer of herbal goodness. tastes quite nice and is very satisfying. the mouthfeel is rounded and ample for a lower ABV summer themed ale, and the overall body is light and airy, making for easy quaffability. drinkability rates high for the quenching characteristics this summer ale imparts.

a nice beer. this should be a revisited every summer. recommended.

 746 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 shadow1961
2.76/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big Sky Brewing's Summer Honey pours a finger of foam over a slightly
cloudy yellow brew. Carbonation is moderate, the nose is light malt and
cooked vegetable. The flavor is tart malt up against some kind of herbal
hop. There's an aftertaste of grain. Mouthfeel is light and crisp. This is
probably my least favorite Big Sky product so far- it's not bad, but there's
something here that's off- probably that boiled vegetable smell. Try some-
I see this is being deeply discounted in a lot of places. If you like it, stock up.

 526 characters

Photo of CU570M
4.27/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

when poured from a 12 oz bottle the first thing i notice is the thick lacy head that after it is gone leaves soap like suds on the edge of the glass. The color was a pale amber yellow. The first thing i could smell was a wild coriander/cilantro and a little bit of citrus. Taste was about the same with a little more veggie taste. Mouthfeel was creamy, but clean. Nice and sudsy. Drinkability is awesome on this one. I really enjoyed this beer. A lot better this time, than the first time i had it.

 498 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.54/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours from the 12 ounce bottle a slightly foggy gold with a portly bright white creamy head that dissipates leaving the lace a firm sheet upon the glass. Nosey is sweet with honey and malt, citrus like in its crispness, start has a pleasant honey taste, nice malt presence, the top light to medium in feel. Finish has a sparkling acidity, the hops underpowered, sweetness continues to the end also, a bit dry, a drinkable beer, maybe a bit to sweet for me, but not a major malfunction.

 494 characters

Photo of SurlyDuff
2.78/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on-tap at the BendBrewfest, as well as their Moose Drool Ale.

Pours a light golden, straw/yellow to be more exact. Very dense head, especially after a pretty vigorous pour by the barkeep.
Aroma is a bit mild. If fact, pretty unremarkable. Some spices, coriander.

Not finding much honey in the taste. Bit of a citrus zest, peach/apricot and maybe some apple flavors there.

Sweeter finish, with some floral notes.

Drinkability isn't quite there. I try to be optimistic when trying (and rating) styles that I don't have a strong affinity for. Big Sky does justice in the fact that its a decent summer ale, light and refreshing. Just seems that some more honey and a moderate increase in hopping couldv'e kicked this one up a few notches.

 755 characters

Photo of BigRedN
3.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from the 12 oz bottle. The beer is clear, golden in color, with a somewhat thin white head (about 1/4 inch). Head fell to nothing and left no lacing.

Smell: Some faint spices and citrus fruit. I smell nothing sweat or honey like.

Taste: A bit spicy. Much like the smell I taste nothing really sweat or honey like. I should not be surprised because it seems that I can rarely pick that out any any beer that says it has honey.

Mouthfeel: Light in body with some decent carbonation. Crisp, with a smooth finish that goes down easy.

Drinkability: Purchased a mix 12 pack to try the Big Sky beers. I should have waited til they had a different seasonal in the pack. I would not purchase this as a stand alone product.

 754 characters

Photo of Floydster
2.87/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle purchased at Liquor Land in Upland

Poured into an old Budwesier mug

A lot more spicy than sweet which is odd for a summer beer

A little citrus zest to it, but it did not stand out

Thick white head

Could not drink many of these because it is heavy for a lighter beer

 286 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
2.31/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass on a scorching Montana day.

The pour leaves an amazingly transparent, straw yellow ale with a thick, cloud-white head. Decent spackles of lacing are left behind as the foam slowly recedes. It's all downhill from here... The aroma is mediocre as best: some coriander & other spices with hints of sweet citrus and lots of wheat.

The taste is disappointing as well. There's a touch of honey, barely detectable, with a bland blend of wheat and bitter spice. Pretty awful stuff, really. Mouthfeel is crisp and astringent with a high level of carbonation, but a bad aftertaste that tries its best at a bitter finish, but ultimately fails. All in all, I wouldn't ever buy this again. Quite the flop of a summer brew from the makers of such a fine-tasting beer as Moose Drool. I hope this is just a case of a bad bottle.

 847 characters

Summer Honey Ale from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.38 out of 5 based on 320 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest┬« Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!