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: 1,167
Photo of larryarms847
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light golden orange with a airy layer of carbonation.

Light citrus zest and toasted malt.

Biscuity and toasty malt sweetness with a faint amount of bitter citrus.

Light-medium bodied, low-medium carbonation, leans sweet.

Overall, not the usual IPA, leans on the sweet end of the spectrum but well put together.

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Photo of RonKoch
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's 5:00 on a hot day in which I worked reasonably hard, so I brought home this from the HyVee Wines and Spirits. It is very refreshing and drinkable for a moment like this. Evergreen and apple in the aroma. Vine fresh hops in the taste. Bitterness is real and strong, but not so oppressive like in some newcomer IPAs which make me think the brewer is only out to make me pucker. The very prominent hops do not completely hide the sweet malt backbone. Good head retention and pretty lacing on my standard pint glass.

Overall, I'll be happy to go back to this IPA in the near future.

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Photo of yeastlovehoppiness_greg
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was a pretty darn good beer. It had a nice dark amber color for an IPA. It is also not as hoppy for an IPA. The tastre is pretty bitter. Not in a bad way but its a nice change from your average hop overload. The beer has a pretty sharp feel on the tongue. id recomend to anyone to try it.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep cooper with a tall thick head of off white foam, good retention and lacing.

Nice citrus aroma - orange, lemon - followed by pungent earthy hop notes with some slight pine. All this backed by a nice floral bouquet.

Sweet orange and bitter lemon dance around a malt breadiness. The flavor is kept hopping by bitter earthy, pine notes. The flavor explodes across the palate like the sun stretching across the wide western sky. A solid IPA.

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Photo of Averwo
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful unfiltered dark orange.
Smell is nice and citrusy. Nothing really stands out like grapefruit or anything like that. Just general IPA goodness.
Taste is wonderful. Rich citrus hops. Full of bitterness. Tons of pine and grapefruit. Aftertaste is nice and hoppy.
Medium bodied mouth feel.
Definitely a first class IPA.

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

Appearance: Nice copper shade, good foam and lacing.

Smell: Citrus and malt, just like an IPA should smell.

Taste: Citrus and floral hops, caramel and grassy malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, crisp, typical bitter aftertaste.

The Verdict: Good brew. A solid IPA with plenty of malt character balancing out the hops. So far, I'm impressed with this Montana brewer.

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Photo of chinchill
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Undated 12 oz bottle purchased last week near brewery.
Pour is orange-amber with a thick, creamy, tan head. Earthy and piney hops dominate the aroma and the flavor. A bit of citrus in th taste too. Medium body with medium+ carbonation. Fairly smooth.
O: too earthy and piney for my taste.

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Photo of carolinared
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass, nice head and color. Enjoyed the great piney aroma and complex taste with pine and citrus touches. This is my preferred IPA style vs others that just focus on the hoppy bitterness. Still looking for a few "go to" IPA's to drink on regular basis, have generally been disappointed by some of the well known brands since to me they are pretty much the same (bitter). This one has a nice balance of aroma, hoppy flavors and bitterness.

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Photo of Sark
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- a finger and a half of eggshell velvet head, golden copper colored with low carbonation

Smell- citrus hops with light pale malt sweetness

Taste- pale malts up front, mid tongue grapefruit and hop bitters on the finish

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, moderately slow fade

Overall- a solid IPA out of Big Sky, easy drinking and not overly filling.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured this one rather roughly into my pint glass. Came up with a little over a finger of sandy colored head over a rosy copper body. Lacing clings rather well to the sides.

This one smells rather sugary. Heavy malts, a bit of juicy tropical fruit.

This beer is very malt forward. Sweet malt, very sugary is the first punch, the number two punch comes right as you are swallowing. Big tropical and pine hop flavor smacks you bitterly in the tongue. The aftertaste is all piney and bitter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Lightly syrupy.

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Photo of AndyP612
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle aggressively poured into Uptown Bar Pint glass.

A- Amber to dark brown. Very inviting fairly clear.

S- Hops forward with a lean towards citrus. More Hops... Cirtus.

T- Tons of fruit right off that bat to dissipate into a hoppy overtones Fruit, Grapefruit. To balance out the hop tip with malty sweetness finish.

M- Still has carbonation toward the second half of the pint. Delicious. Very carbonated leaping off the tongue. Dry finish. Still inviting.

O- The carbonation bites the cheeks yet it continues to invite you to drink more. The grapefruit presence sustains its attendance. Very dry finish is noteworthy. Feels like a west cost IPA in that I continue want more but only in a six pack increment. A very interesting feeling I feel but the feeling I get is sheer enjoyment. Cheers.

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

Good burnt orange color with a creamy goldish head. Too much sediment though to be appealing.

Citrusy (orange) but with an oddly placed mocha influence.

Interesting floral sensation but the malts were to forward and the aftertaste was not pleasant.

Mouthfeel fine except the finish - did not really matter at this point.

Subtle or just confused - the beer I mean. Did not seem like it should be in the IPA category. May score it higher as a pale ale.

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Photo of zac16125
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass
random numbers on the bottle but nothing that makes sense

A: crystal clear, dark amber, 2 fingers wifth of light tan head. Leaves tons of lacing.

S: lots of citrus, lemon and orange peal, mint

T: Piney bitterness, citrus rind, solid malt backbone. Pretty simple, but tasty.

M/D: carbonation on the heavy side, medium body, drinkability is good.

O: Nothing special, but an enjoyable, above average IPA. Id drink this again.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a clean amber pour with a finger of fluffy white head. smells biscuity with some grassy hops and caramel. the flavor has lots of piney and soap like bitterness from the hops, lots of caramel and nutty flavor from the grain bill even out the flavor. medium body with a decent amount of carbonation.

a pretty good ipa, not bad at all for a year round. a little generous on the abv as well, which isn't noticeable at all. really diggin the overall malt profile of this one.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce can. “122812” is printed on the bottom, and I can only assume that is the canning date.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is orange-tinted amber. Two fingers of buttery, eggshell-colored head left a bubbly lacing, a thickish ring around the edge, and trails of foam along the glass.

Smell: Customary West Coast citrus intermingled with a malt balance. Though nothing intense, it is still mild and somewhat invigorating. Orange, lemon zest, pine, and tropical fruit (maybe mango and pineapple). Pale malts and caramel provide a balance.

Taste: The first sip offers a nice, floral bite, which more or less maintains its strength throughout the pint. The flavor is much more floral and earthy than the aroma. Orange, lemon, pine, and tropical fruit are still present, but relegated to a supporting role. The balance shifts to the hops; the malts are present only as a foundation.

Drinkability: This is good stuff. The flavor leaves me wanting a little more citrus complexity, but this delivers on bitterness.

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Photo of BoFoSho
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I wouldn't call myself an IPA kind of guy, but I somewhat enjoyed this brew. This is reddish-amber in color with a healthy head. Not very hoppy at all. Definitely classify this one as mild, and somewhat disappointing in that aspect. Overall a decent beer that the whole family will kinda like.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm ready to go. This is from a 12 ounce can, and on to the beer:

With its orangish red color, this could qualify as a red ale as much as an IPA. The head is saopy and thick on formation, retaining itself well and leaving fluffy of lace around the glass. The nose has a mild (for an IPA) hoppiness. Some pine, some grapefruit, some toffee crisp, and a hint of tropical fruit. Not a full force nose, though it is appetizing.

The first taste is a bite iof resin. There's a slight phenolic note which tries to bob its head over the beer, however it gets beaten back down before it causes serious damage. Sweet citrus and fresh pine gets their kicks in. The malt base keeps the hops in check. A modest bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. As for the texture, it's medium bodied with a gentle crispness.

Big Sky delivers good, honest beer, and their IPA is no different.

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Photo of mtboozeaddict41
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into Montana Griz pint glass, yeah

A:Caramel and honey color with a strong frothy white head a finger high. A darker color than used to in most IPAs.

S:Citrus notes dominate the aroma. Hoppy grapefruit leaves little room for malt character. The malt that is apparent is sweet and pretty bland.

T:Huge hop profile is noted. Citrus fruits again is basically all that can be found. Finishes dry(highly expected) with comforting fruity aftertaste

M: Nice carbonation pairs well with the fruit and hops. Definitely medium bodied leaning towards a healthy full body. little bit of a greasy texture noticed on mouth.

O: To me this brew is the perfect beginners IPA with a bold hop character coupled with nice juicy citrus fruit. what its lacking is complexity of malts and spice which i tend to lean towards in an IPA. A good beer none the less

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Photo of spicelab
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can from Ozzie Shonksters...I mean Beermasons.

Sunset orange, near crystal, with a thick and robust cream head that drops very lazily depositing a good lace lattice.

Good amount of oniony tropical hops, offset by a herbal piquancy. Some doughy yeast and a sweet malt backbone lends good candied notes to the hops. Not a great amount of character but as with all BIg Sky beers I've had, extremely well contained.

Flavours emphasise more of the earthy green herbal character, especially spearmint, but the candied pineapple and mango notes still shine.

Body has moderate hop oils, benign carbonation with a satisfying earthy, mouthwash bitter finish of decent staying power.

Uncomplicated and solid as a rock. In this regard, Big Sky are at the top of the heap.

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Photo of Jellopants356
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark bronze. Smells very good, hops and a slight citrus smell. A thin and spotty cream head with nice visible carbonation. Very full-bodied taste with hints of pine, citrus, and of course lots of hops. Reminiscent of a pale ale body. Perfect mouthfeel. Overall a very good IPA and one of my local favorites. I love to have this beer anytime i'm offered it among other local IPAs because it is so balanced in taste and with an IPA of 6.5%, it packs a punch too!

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Photo of mactrail
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Handsome amber color in the tall Stella glass. Decent but not noteworthy head. Plenty of spritz on the tongue.

Restrained bitterness but an abundance of hop flavors. Pleasant flowery nose. Medium body but rich mouthful. Very drinkable brew that avoids the flavor extremes, but is a perfectly acceptable IPA. Some earthiness in the aftertaste along with the bitter hoppiness.

Quite drinkable with the sudsy mouthfeel, but a little thin and sharp overall. From the 12 oz can bought at Bine and Vine in San Diego.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A friend brought this back for me from Texas. Thanks Dylan! Best by date of 1/16/13 so this one's just a touch overdue. Poured into a Heady Topper pint. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1.5 finger foamy white head with decent retention. Beer is a clear dark mahogany. Lacing is spotty and thick with good stick. Thin, oily legs. A real nice looking beer.

Nose has big sap resin notes with some brown sugar, caramel, and and amber. Real big malt body and decently aromatic.

Opens sap resin and bark hop bitterness. Some amber, caramel, and coarse brown sugar. Finish feels like I'm biting into a dirty pine cone. Some dry tea leaves too. Aftertaste is bitter and sappy. Average.

Light bodied with moderate to high carbonation. Pretty smooth in the mouth and goes down silky and mellow. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. Nice.

This beer just has a flavor profile that seems very odd. Sap hop bitterness with a big malt body just doesn't work for me here. Body is decent as is the nose but overall pretty pedestrian. I wouldn't revisit this one.

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Photo of stakem
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into a tulip shaped pint glass. Thanks are owed to SDDanC for this extra in our recent trade. Thanks man! The brew appears a clear amber orange with lighter orange coloring around the edges. A finger of yellowish tan froth sits across the top and fades to a thin film supported by rising bubbles of carbonation. As the cap fades, it leaves a full wall of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma presents a decent array of enjoyable hop qualities smelling of fruit like orange zest/rinds before getting a bit herbal with hints of minerals. There is a bit of a cheesy hop quality bringing things all together before the mild onset of toasty grain. Overall though, not a bad smelling brew.

The taste is bitter and rindy like pulp/zest of the previously mentioned oranges or grapefruit. A hint of caramel to toasty grain character is present providing a very mild sweetness for the hops to play off. some herbs, minerals and sulfur to cheesy quality is also present across the back. It leaves a lasting resinous cling inside the mouth after each sip.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Overall, not a bad brew. I am appreciative of the chance to try this as I otherwise would not of had the opportunity. If you like your ipas super resinous and bitter with an herbal touch, this one is for you. The alcohol is pretty well integrated for it's listed percentage.

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

From a 12 ounce can. Pours a clear orange color with a one finger plus white dense head. Lacings are average.
Smell- Not the usual Cascade hops.
Taste is bold hops with a touch of citrus and a fine malt back.
Mouthfeel is perfect for the style. Carbonation is just right also.
Overall a fine IPA in a can. If the race for the most bitter IPA turns you off try this beer. Perfect for the style IMO.

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Photo of KKB
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Very nice appearance. Tones of orange, rouge, ruby, chestnut…in direct light it is a nice yellow-orange. The head looks great too, it’s got a nice beige/off-white head that just looks delicious. You can tell this is going to be hoppy and wonderful.

S – The nose is just totally awesome, which is a very pleasant surprise. It has a load of juicy, citrus, fruity, almost tropical hops in the nose with a slight touch of funk that just smells so resinous and delightful. Also, this just seems like straight hoppy goodness, with a lack of caramel malt which is very refreshing and exactly what I want right now.

T – Oh my gosh, what a delightful surprise! Obviously the nose is great, and the smell is lovely, but the taste seems to outdo both of them. I don’t know why this has received such mediocre reviews, because this beer is truly delicious. Complexly flavored, hopptastic, slightly bitter on the finish, citrusy on the palate with some malt in there as well but it all is SO WELL BALANCED. I can’t even get over it. Now, I’m a man who appreciates a hop-bomb, but this is just so well orchestrated it is almost making me think the hop bombs are somewhat overly ambitious. This beer was crafted so well…wow, each sip is a new profile of flavors. Just so, so good.

M – Luscious and somewhat sticky allowing it to stay on the palate for a little bit longer. Just marvelous. Everything about this is amazing. The mouthfeel is definitely bigger in body and it just compliments the experience so well. Not heavy, both light and big.

O – Just such a pleasure. I keep getting reminded what a novice I am. I have had this in my fridge for a while and I was just judging the shit out of it every time I looked at it: “who do you think you are, Big Sky I.P.A.? You look like some mediocre nonsense.” I am just dumb. The bottle has nothing to do with what’s inside and upon some further research the Big Sky Brewery is supposedly very good. Well, whatever, in any case, this beer is awesome, and I look forward to having much more and trying many more brews from this brewery.

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Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,167 ratings.
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