Big Sky IPA | Big Sky Brewing Company

very good
474 Reviews
Big Sky IPABig Sky IPA

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by beernut7 on 08-18-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 474 | Ratings: 1,169
Photo of MinerBob
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Again I don't like IPA'S but I think Big Sky has figured it out. Pours a tea color with little head. Pine smell with a soft hop taste more mellow than most IPA'S. Smooth in the mouth and swallow but still a light hoppy aftertaste.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've seen some big time color variation in this, from amber/auburn to golden/yellow. Rose colored glasses or some shit. Hits the average marks for its 1/2" white head, retention and lacing.

Aroma gave off some mild pine notes. Not a huge amount. Taste was good, more pine, bitterness, good vegetal quality to the hopping. Plenty malty in the form of heavy toast, roast and caramel.

Its a worthy beer when fresh. Not gonna knock socks off, but no frills when under $2 a bottle.

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Photo of beergoot
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, amber body; clouds of carbonation rising; thick, sculpted head. Piney aroma with a dull sweetness buried in there. Fair malt body and okay hop bitterness present. Medium body; dry finish.

No freshness date noticed on the bottle. I'm thinking this may be an older bottle as the aroma and flavor just seemed low-key throughout while many reviewers seem to be pretty impressed overall with their experiences. As it is, this sample isn't bad yet doesn't rise to much beyond mediocre. With suggestions that this review my be missing out on something, I certainly plan on revisiting this beer on down the road. Sometimes first impressions just ain't right…

Late note: saw the bottle date: 010716 – so, I'll re-review with a fresher sample later on...

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Photo of DoctorZombies
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale auburn pour with thin white head; cap disappeared quickly and left a ring of little to no lace; good clarity. Citrus and a little grass hop nose. Lemon rind and fresh bitter hops with lite caramel malt base. An ok IPA.

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really pleased by this one. A good, solid pine style IPA that doesn't overdo it, which is unfortunately very common with this style. Crisp finish, too.

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Photo of TheBrosy
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance: Pours golden with a thick white head that slowly dissappates. Very clear.

Smell: A nice balance for an IPA. Not too hoppy, nice blend of fruit smell from the yeast and a orange from the hops.

Taste: Very smooth. Perhaps a little less bitterness than expected for an IPA. Hints of caramel can be tasted.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with nice high carbonation.

A very well done west coast IPA. Flavors are nice and crisp. Perhaps a bit short on bitterness.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: medium orange hue with a light haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a thin layer of frothy ivory foam with a moderate retention.

Smell: grainy, toasty, somewhat nutty and somewhat biscuity malt with an earthy hop character. There's also an interesting dash of mint to the hops. Not too bad.

Taste: much like the aroma, there's a toasty, biscuity malt here that is more prominent than the hop character. Hops are mild in flavor with an earthy character, but lend a relatively strong bitterness. Reminds me more of an English IPA, but still it's a decent beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a decent creaminess.

Overall: not a bad IPA, although not a fantastic one, either.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nonic pint.

Pours a shade lighter than honey, with a 2 finger head that's fluffy and leaves generous lace behind.

Smells of onion and grapefruit rinds, a touch of cracker and overbaked malts.

Flavors are eh. Nothing really stands out at all. Some garbage honey sweetness, a bit of mineral water, and a pathetic stab of pine at the end that utilizes a sticky finish so it sticks with you. The first half is really just sweet mineral water, and it tries to save face towards the end with pine.

Feel is refreshing and carbonated, and leaves a sticky coating on the palate after the finish.

Overall, the Big Sky IPA is not one I'd feel inclined to drink again. It's very average, in fact boring really...and doesn't stand out or even make itself sessionable to step down a grade to a regular pale ale.

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Photo of HoppyBastard
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, "best by" date 4-20-16.

APPEARANCE: pours a clear, copper color with less than one-finger off-white head that quickly dissipated until a thin, broken layer of small bubbles remained, medium carbonation, there is moderate lacing on the glass.

SMELL: initially sweet caramel and bread then a metallic pine note and some grapefruit citrus.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, initially sweet caramel then a very bitter hop blast that is metallic pine with some grapefruit, the bitterness really lingers.

PALATE: medium body and carbonation.

OVERALL: this reminds me of an English bitter more than an American IPA, I must admit I do not appreciate the metallic note and my score reflects this, this is not a terrible beer but not what I prefer from the style so I will not seek this one out again.

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Photo of Raime
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Sky IPA.

As always with any review night I need my expected hop fix. Big Sky hasn't overly impressed me as of yet but they sure have disappointed me nor given me a reason to stop trying their beers so there is always room to earn a new lifer. Not sure what to expect here but I am hoping for the best.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle hard poured into a pint glass. This brew pours a deeper shade of amber that manages to keep its crystal clear clarity with a two finger, slightly off white head that dies down to a mountain range amongst the top of the swill. Heh how fitting for a beer from Montana. Carbonation is on about moderate. Some stick remains but it isn't much.

Smell - Restrained bitter grapefruit piths start of the nose on a high note along side some obvious melon with a moderate dosage of malt to round things out. Almost smells session like with more of a balance and juicy aspect that should ensure it gets a good bit of balance in the taste profile. Not too big of a nose, but welcoming.

Taste - Woahhhhh lord Satan in the promised land of unheilig hell is this guy bitter. Super fresh tropical fruit juices here but the flavor isn't overwhelming with any one over the other but the bitterness is über high. Malt is there in the back ground to present a nice balancing act. Sweetness also joins the fray but it is neither cloyingly so nor overpowering and surely wouldn't prevent you from drinking more than one of these. All fruity and bitter from where I'm sitting Captain.

Feel - The feel is rather full though the body itself stays quite light but it depends on how big a drink you take to let sit around and collect welfare. Bitterness actually tones down a bit and it is highly creamy likely due to the well retained cap amongst the top of the swill. Swallows exceptionally bitter with no surprise given the flavor profile.

Overall - A very solid ipa with a nice flavor that fans of higher IBU brews will enjoy thoroughly. Admittedly didn't expect the bitter for the lower alcohol content but for me it was a nice surprise. I could easily throw down a sixer of this and this is probably my favorite big sky brew thus far. As always try it for yourself and come to your own conclusion!.

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Photo of CCStix
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This was on sale so I picked up a sixer. The nose is of caramel malts and a kiss of lemon and orange. The appearance is golden amber and slightly opaque. The head was about 2 fingers upon initial pour with minimal lacing. The taste is outstanding. This one borders more on the side of an English IPA to me, but over all a very pleasant flavor of roasty caramel malts and a moderate bitterness that is well balanced and lingers on the back of the tongue just briefly. The mouth feel is slightly thin and over-carbed for me - but I still enjoyed this beer a lot. Overall, this is a high quality brew. I needed a break from hop-bomb West Coast IPAs and this was just what the doctor ordered. Highly sessionable. I would absolutely buy this again anytime I am in the mood for a more malt forward IPA.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from SS to pint glass.

Sweet Fruity Aroma. Nice Caramel Red Brown Color. Nice flavor, with a bitter finish, but not unpleasant. Medium carbonation.


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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a dark copper color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated very quickly.
The lacing was stringy and thin.
The smell had a big caramel maltiness leading into some toast and toffee and then escaping into some floral and grassy hops.
The taste was malty sweet with the floral tones trying to make an effort to balance, but they gently slide back into the background. There's a lingering sweet malty aftertaste leading into a sticky finish.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium on the body with a decent sessionable feel to it. Carbonation runs nice on my tongue allowing the sticky caramel malts to cling to my tongue a bit more than a normal AIPA.
Overall, for me, I don't mind it, but as a said American styled IPA, I'd have to beg to differ. Maybe if it was labeled an English IPA on here, it would do the beer its due service.

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Photo of SHDoyle
2.87/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Description: Amber, almost red color with just a think white head. As for aroma, well, it's not what I expected. Initially I found some pine but that gave way to a somewhat fruity scent. It wasn't exactly sweet though, more on the lemon, acidic end of the spectrum and had almost an ammonia-like smell. To be perfectly kind of smelled like pee. I thought my nose was off or I was imagining things, so without telling my wife what I smelled, I asked her to take a whiff. Her independent conclusion?: "Um, it kind of smells like pee". It wasn't overwhelming but it was definitely there. Fortunately it didn't taste like pee, not that I know what pee tastes like. It was more bitter than sweet and I didn't pick up any pine or fruit. On the maltier side for an IPA and left an aftertaste that lingered.

Suggested food pairing: Meatloaf, meatloaf, double beatloaf

If you like this beer then you should also try: Inversion IPA

Ideal time to drink this beer: At a rodeo, state fair or other event where livestock are present. This will allow the urine bouquet to be masked by other even more offensive animal odors.

Overall: 3.25 (This beer is below average and I would not drink it again) The principal reason I drank this beer in the first place is that I looked at it on the shelf and thought, "Huh? Never had a beer from Montana before." If it weren't for the questionable aroma it would have been better but still not that good. It could certainly have been worse, but it's run of the mill at best.

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Photo of Savan
3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light auburn with cream white head that becomes thing quickly. Smell is thin... hard to pin point (not allot there). For an IPA it has a rather malty complex to it... and a flatter than usual hop profile ( not a good representative of the style but... actually quite tasty ). has subtle pine taste and light (very light) tangerine and other citrus notes.... and.... Butter? Feels refreshing with a medium carbonation and a over all refreshing IPA.

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Photo of jeffsmash
1.09/5  rDev -71.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

Not sure it it's fair for me to rate this IPA but this has to be the worst I've drank by far. Taste like I'm drinking pine juice from a moose bladder. Sorry but no Bueno.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled date of 7/23/15

It is a very dark copper, almost ruby in color. Fairly big foamy, off-white to tan head. Decent amount of lacing.

Smells pretty malty. Semi sweet, with caramel and toasted bread. Some floral hops. I would say mosaic or simcoe.

I would probably still say it is real close to being malt forward, but it has a nice balance of hops. Mainly floral, but I get some pine resin and a touch of citrus too. Mostly a sour grapefruit with a touch of orange sweetness. Crystal malts seem to be the base. Slightly sweet caramel and bready flavors are up front, then fade to the background and allow the other flavors to shine. Kind of sneaky bitter. It creeps up on you.

Solid medium bodied IPA. Very smooth, creamy texture. Nice clean finish.

I can see this one being too malty for many people, but I think it pulls off a very nice balance. I also love the ABV on this one. Perfect for drinking a few while not sacrificing flavor. I would gladly pick up a 6 of this one

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Photo of vladdswrath
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reddish copper with a thin head, somehow leaving a decent lace despite it's small size. Nice aroma, hoppy but not overpowering, just a quick whiff of citrus to let you know it's there. Taste follows the aroma, just a quick blast of the citrus and then a smooth quiet finish. Super mild and very refreshing, this will be going on the short list of session beers I enjoy.

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Photo of pianoguy
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle(s) brought back from a show in Montana

Pours a copper body with a very slightly off white head that dissipated quickly, little lacing

I'm getting pine and a little grapefruit right out of the gate .(scent faded after the pour.) A roasted malt scent follows

Taste pretty much follows the nose but it's more prominent. Pine, with a nice malt backing it up.

Nice average round feel

Overall; The taste beat the smell (which to me seems a little strange) But its a very tasty IPA

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours cloudy copper color with thick off white head. Caramel malt aroma with citrus and pine. Flavor is crysal malt start with some fruit. Finish is bitter grapefruit and pine.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had a bottle at a backyard gathering, this is the first from Big Sky I've snagged. Always thought it's be Moose Drool, since that one's everywhere. I digress. Really refreshing, lots of juicy hop goodness with a nice malt balance. Some floral and grassiness.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasting notes: A dark bronze IPA with a subtle citrus/pine aroma. Mellow, rather subdued, classic Cascade flavor. Mildly tannic, some lemon and light grapefruit notes against a semi-sweet/nutty caramel malt backdrop. Tannins build a little over time. Moderate carbonation and body. Easy going, temperate IPA lacking in bold resinous, rind, tropical or piney flavors. Old school.

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3/30/15 (Bottle) - Copper amber pour with a generous white head and solid carbonation. Fruits, malt and pine aromas prevalent and pleasing. Taste of hops very strong and bitter and enjoyable, Clean smooth feel, enjoyable drinking. Overall very good beer.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden clear with thin white head.
S- slight hop with fruity wheat.
T- good juicy, fruity hop combination. Is that bubblegum at finish? Nice malt.
F- great balance for a busy beer.
O- I could drink a lot of these. Reminicient of Gumballhead, just not quite as good.

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Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,169 ratings.
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