Big Sky Kriek | Big Sky Brewing Company

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Big Sky KriekBig Sky Kriek
57 Ratings
Big Sky KriekBig Sky Kriek

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
15 IBU

Added by JohnGalt1 on 11-16-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of bpfrush
1/5  rDev -58%

Photo of KHM
1/5  rDev -58%

Photo of Wisconsinality
1/5  rDev -58%

Photo of pmoney
1/5  rDev -58%

Photo of Arbitrator
1/5  rDev -58%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Randomly purchased and shared at a long-ago Beer Revolution tasting by... largadeer? I dunno mang. I'm not sure if "thank you" or "fuck you" is more appropriate here.

A: The best part was when it was opened; despite a table full of beer geeks, each holding a glass, a good portion gushed out. Everyone was too inebriated to think about, y'know, catching the beer in their glass. The beer pours a hazy reddish-pink capped with pink-tinged head.

S: Balsamic vinegar, ripe cherries, and enough vegetables to stir-fry with. The hell?

T: I can see where this attempted to be a "kriek," in that it included cherries and some acetic sourness, but it also attempted to be some sort of "salad," bringing off flavors of kale and cabbage.

M: The gushing resulted in a nearly flat beer, as the carbonation came out of solution. Too much acetic acid. Just unpleasant on the whole.

O: I couldn't find a redeeming quality. Someone paid for it; it's fair to give this all 1s. Don't buy it.

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Photo of harrymel
1.03/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bottled 2010.

A: turbid. Dark red. No foam. No lace. Only redeeming quality is the color.
S: flintstones vitamins. And some cherries. Smells rough. Really poorly constructed with chemical and wood character.
T: okay, cherry, alcohol, vitamin, repugnant. I will drainpoor.
M: medium on thick. Medium carb. Dry finish
O: this beer should never be produced.

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Photo of dubinsky
1.15/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I really have no desire to review this crappy beer but want to make sure that no one else has the same experience I had. This beer is undrinkable. it pours a murky brown color, smells rotten and tastes awful. Enough said. I can't imagine they released a beer that was so bad knowingly. Something must of happened in the bottle. stay clear of this one.

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Photo of HopHead84
1.16/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1


Bottle shared by Jason at Kill the Cellar Day, thanks!

A: Muddy reddish brown. Looks pretty ugly.

S: Seaweed and brackish swamp water with notes of cooked carrots. Smells like a freshly carved pumpkin.

T: Vegetal to the max. Lightly tart with metallic notes. Pumpkin, celery, cooked carrots, peas, and corn. God.

M: Medium body with upper low carbonation.

Overall: Amazingly bad. What a useful beer note on this one: 15 IBU. I was really wondering how many IBUs this had while I was drinking it.

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Photo of SageO
1.25/5  rDev -47.5%

Photo of corby112
1.4/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

2010 vintage, Bottle 3453/3600

Pours a dark ruby red color with a half finger off-white head that immediately disappears without any lacing.

Syrupy medicinal aroma with subtle oak and vinous fruit. The barrel character is faint and the nose is dominated by sweet cherry juice. Light spice presence but not much else going on expect cherry cough syrup.

Medium bodied with more carbonation than the appearance suggests. Metallic with strong zesty spicy, herbal/medicinal cough syrup, artificial cherry juice and burning hot alcohol in the finish. The barrel presence is non existent without a trace of oak or red wine. All peppery spice, cough syrup, artificial cherry flavoring and hot booze. Really harsh and very difficult to drink. I could only a few ounces before dumping it.

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Photo of Bobbydigi
1.5/5  rDev -37%

Photo of womencantsail
1.64/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This beer is terrible. Reddish color with a nice murkiness and a small head. Aroma is just bad. A bit of bile along with onions to start things off. A mild fruit/cherry character followed by a heavy dose of celery. Tastes like pruno/cheap wine with a little bit of cherry. A very strong vegetable character which is far from pleasing. Bah.

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Photo of sweemzander
1.68/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

750mL corked & caged bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a murky blood red color. Some white bubbles formed.

(S)- A spicy cherry & dry oak profile. Hints at a sweaty sock coming through.

(T)- Again, a very spicy/zesty cherry oak. Again, a bit funky, but in a bad sewer water thing.

(M)- A decent carbonation level. Quite disjointed and not sure what it wants to be. It even feels a bit hot ABV + booze.

(O)- Not sure of what to give this since it is just a bit too odd and disjointed to be something really cohesive and complete, let alone giving it the name "Kriek." Not even close.

 591 characters

Photo of MDF1IBetty
1.75/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Cyclone8
1.75/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of beertunes
1.75/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of ehammond1
1.78/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5


Sour Fest 2012
Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Hazy dark brown and ruby in color with low carbonation. This looks oily and doesn't leave much mess down the glass.

Heavy vegetable aroma, with some earth and mud, along with what I guess is cherry, but I don't think I would have called it that unknowingly. There's some distinct gourd and dirt characters, as well.

The flavor is no better than the aroma, and in truth, it's hardly drinkable. Vegetable forward flavors with some metal and earth, along with a strange acid note. Why in the world is this 10%? There's good amounts of booze notes in here also.

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

San Diego's tap water is exponentially more drinkable than this vile concoction.

 731 characters

Photo of cnbrown313
1.89/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Picked up a 750ml bottle for $12.99.

A - Pours a reddish brown color with very little carbonation. Looks almost like a warm apple cider in a glass, but nothing out of the ordinary for the style.

S - Yikes... the smell is quite offensive! It smells like either something got infected or went wrong in the bottle. It has a strongly acidic smell.

T - At first the taste isn't too bad, although it never tastes like a Kriek should. At first it tastes a little bit like wood and cherry, but that is followed by a rotten, acidic taste. The aftertaste is like a combination of rotten onions and dirty dishwater. I couldn't make it thorough one glass of this.

M - The mouthfeel was medium, and normal for the style. But it was also lacking most of the carbonation.

O - Avoid, if at all possible...

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Photo of BowserBrewing
1.95/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Presentation- I bought a bottle to try at my local bottle shop because I love a good sour.

Appearance- Light brown in color with a white head that dissipated quickly, the head that was there had lots of yeast coating it.

Smell- Extreme vinegar, I really couldn't even smell any cherry. It reminded me of a sour brown.

Taste- The flavor was more like a sour brown as well except more of a vinegar flavor. I didn't pick up any cherry.

Mouthfeel- The mouthfeel reminded me of when you eat way to many salt and vinegar chips and your tongue starts to hurt.

Drinkability- Drinkablility was difficult. Like I said I am a fan of sours and lambic but this missed the mark with both.

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Photo of pryopen
1.98/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750 mL corked and caged bottle (0033/3600)
2010 vintage, poured into tulip

A: deep red; with slight, off white head that dissipates quickly; quick swirl leaves a slick coating on walls of glass

S: tart cherries, mild oak, spices, vinegar

T: same as nose up front; then things fall apart, cloying, acidic sweetness and pepper, then cough syrup, then vegetal aftertaste

M: medium carb, slick, hot (EtOH)

O: starts well with cherry and oak balance, but jumps off a cliff quickly; reminds me of a hombrewed cherry wine my sister-in-law made; sad day because I love Big Sky

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Photo of mattafett
2/5  rDev -16%

Photo of zhanson88
2.03/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle 2836/3600. Vintage 2010.

Appearance: Pours a murky ruby color with about a half inch of off white head. Very little retention, and no lacing at all. Not bad looking, but not really that appealing either.

Smell: Very oaky, lots of vanilla, and lots of cherry scents. The cherry smells sickly sweet, and the overall scent is not appealing.

Taste: Strong, sweet cherry flavors initially. Oak and vanilla follows. There's a lot of alcohol heat on the back end - I can tell this beer is 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Medium bodied with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is heavy for the style with not enough carbonation. It adds to the cloying nature of this beer. Overall, I was not a fan of this offering. Way too sweet. I couldn't finish much of it.

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Photo of mothman
2.08/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

2010 0788 thanks to Kevin!

Pours a fizzy head that fades instantly. Color is a bright rasperry ruby.

Arona: lots of malts and caramel. Tons of spices. Cherries are not tart or fresh. They are mushy and old. Cherry pie.

Taste: no where near a kriek. Strong ale meets Belgian. Spices and malts with cherries. Alcohol and malts. Awful.

Mouthfeel: dry and spiced. Big bodied with a low amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, this was a big let down. Not really for me. No kriek like at all.

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Photo of redblacks75
2.1/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

2010 bottle poured to a Duvel tulip

A: A syrupy, ruddy-amber body with very little light penetration to it. No head retention, or lacing.

S: Cherry, Oak, and a musty, earthy smell.

T: Tart cherries, & Oak. There is more going on, but, those are dominant.

M: Medium bodied, a dry-tangy finish. There is a noticeable heat to it.

O: I'm glad I got to try this. It is a unique concoction, and I've not really had anything like this. Whether or not it really is a Kriek, that's besides the point to me. They have pulled off something that I cannot say that it is like anything else I have had.

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Photo of Phelps
2.11/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I was thrown off when checking reviews for this beer. Big Sky makes some delicious beers -- Moose Drool is an available, drinkable brown ale; Ivan the Terrible is one of my favorite bourbon-aged stouts. The brewery's never let me down before, yet people almost unanimously despise this Kriek. Are they wrong in this case?

It turns out: no. No, they are not.

Big Sky's Kriek is, according to the brewery, a "unique creation that defies its own style." The beer begins life as a Belgian golden ale brewed with organic cherries from a nearby orchard. Brewers then move the concoction into French oak wine barrels, where it's aged with more cherries for a minimum of three months. One would expect a brew with these credentials to be pretty tasty, but alas; 'tis not to be.

As soon as the bottle opens, a stampede of bubbles charges to the top, almost causing the brew to overflow. The bubbles have no retention, however, and fizzle away quickly. This is reflected in the pour -- above a hazy vermilion liquid, the pinkish-tan head fizzles out within seconds.

There are certain words you don't want to see in a beer review. Vegetal is one, describing a flavor or aroma akin to cooked vegetables. Big Sky Kriek's nose has this in spades -- cooked carrots are in full force, and seaweed can also be picked up. Other fragrance contributors can be compared to sickly-sweet caramel, oak, balsamic vinegar and tart cherries left too long in the sun. Sound appetizing to you? Me neither.

Another oh-no-no word: solvent. This one describes beers that taste like paint thinner or rubbing alcohol, and the Kriek is again riddled with it. Its ten percent alcohol content -- big for any beer, and just OUTRAGEOUS for a kriek -- rules the flavor with boozy heat. Creamed corn and apple cider blend with tart cherries, oak, butter, caramel and toast. Altogether it has all the culinary allure of a Flintstones vitamin.

It's a rare brew that so offends my taste buds I won't finish the bottle. But consider them offended. As I poured out what remained, I think I even heard the drain say, "Blech."

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Big Sky Kriek from Big Sky Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.38 out of 5 with 57 ratings