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 PaleAlien2
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one starts off pretty good with a beautiful reddish-copper hue and a tan head, but the good times don’t carry over to the initial taste. Flavor is a bit metallic, and other than that it’s all hops, hops, hops. Heavy bitterness lingers a little too long at the end. I don’t think I’d get this again.

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Photo of mdm4584
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this near ASU in Tempe, AZ. Pretty hard to find in Arizona.

Heavy on the hops and alcohol.

Piney overtones.

Anyone the notice the "herb" in the nose?!

Suprising 6.2% ABV with such a pungent smell and striking taste.

One of the better brews coming out of Big Sky. Would definitely buy again.

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Photo of burtonbe
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish copper color. Clear, with a nice, persistent, two finger head.

Dominant grapefruit aroma. Overly fruity. Smells like that fruity V8 juice drink. Not bad, but a little odd.

Great taste. Fruity hoppiness. Not too intense. Light citrus for the style. Good bitterness. I like.

Nothing special on the mouthfeel. Adequate, solid, no complaints.

Pretty drinkable beer for the style. Not over-the-top. It tastes like they spent some time refining this one.

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice clear copper color from the 12 ounce bottle with a modest white creamy head that fades away leaving the lace to coat the glass in a thin sheet. Nose has a citrus like crispness, chock full of spicy hop aroma, sweet malt, and a bit of fruit, start has a pleasant malt profile, sweet at the front and a bit of hop bitterness at the back, top is medium in feel. Finish continues the hop spiciness; somewhat sweet dry aftertaste ends the beer, a nice drinking IPA.

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Photo of morimech
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a clear copper with a nice 1/2 inch head that sticks around for awhile. Tiny bubbles continously being released. Leaves some nice sticky lacing.

The smell is of floral hops and grass with a hint of pine. A very pleasant IPA aroma.

The taste is dominated by hops which you would expect. Piney and dry is the way I would describe the taste. It is medium bodied and perfectly carbonated. Very satisfying and a very good IPA and I would very much like another.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper colored brew, medium cream colored head. Floral hop nose, caramel malt. Caramel malt front dominated by a nice floral hop backround. Grapefruit tones. Very tasty hops run the show with this brew. Thin to medium mouth. Not a bad choice if you're looking for a nice hop treat.

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Photo of tobyandgina
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

color was an orangey-amber - very nice

nice thick, frothy head that did not diminish

smell was good - a little grassy with a definite hint of hops

it went down nicely. not too thick. good mouthfeel(what you'd expect from an IPA). tasted a little fruity, hoppy and grassy - reminiscent of something organic maybe?

definitely a well done IPA from our friends in Montana.


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

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is clear, dark copper in color. Pour produces a nice off white 1/2 inch head. Good staying power with some good lacing.

Smell: BIG in hops. Piney, yet a bit floral with a hint of citrus. This seems to cover most of the hop scents I would think you could get. Not much malt related, but then again I don't really look for much in the scenty malt department in an IPA.

Taste: Piney, resiny, with a big bitter finish. There is some decent malt backing through the middle but this seems big in hops to me which is good.

Mouthfeel: Prickly in the mouth, medium body with just the right amount of carbonation so that this is not flat or too fuzzy. A touch dry on the finish.

Drinkability: Got three bottles as part of a mixed 12 pack that I purchased. I am not a big enough of an IPA fan that I would make this a regular purchase, but if I was looking for a good IPA, I would gladly grab this again.

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

This brew pours a hazy amber-orange color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of grapefruit, with hints of citrus and pine. The taste is of like the aroma, but a little more intense. The aftertaste is nice and bitter, but not overly so. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a good IPA, and I would certainly drink this one again.

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Photo of bkett01
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber shade into my pint glass covered with a spotty rather thin head. Smelly faintly of piney hops without much else detectable.

Tastes somewhat bitter with an interesting sweet malty finish. Nothing is dominant in the taste, but this does lead to a very agreeable and drinkable single IPA. It's leaving minor lacing on the glass as it goes, and it's going very easily. Possibly a good session beer...

Thanks to LeonTrotsky for sending this one over and I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange bodied beer with a tinge of red to it. Nice doily-like lacing up the sides and a soft filmy head. Citrusy hop odor, toasty malts behind it. hints of alcohol. Taste is tart, slightly astringent citrus. bitter, tart, but well balanced on the malt backbone. very tasty, a good drinking IPA.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barclay's on College in Oakland. Poured a dark amber with a decent head and great lacing. The smell is citrusy hops and a light graininess against a slightly malty background. The taste is solid. Grapefruity hops, light wax flavor, apricot, and honeysuckle. Slightly sweet, but balanced. Good mouthfeel- decent body, but slightly on the watery side as far as mouthfeel goes, not flavor. Quite good. I could see that this would be heavenly after a day of hiking in Yellowstone.

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Photo of surlyseth
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber to deep orange. Medium puffy, foamy head.
Moderate citrus nose, and to me, definitely pineapple or maybe even peach!
Great flavor. Still peachy, not overly-hoppy like some IPAs. A bit watery and dry in the finish but still quite drinkable.
Overall, a very nice beer. It might be a while 'til I throw this one back in the mix, but definitely worth a try.

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Photo of WaveRebel51
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd consider this a good beer and an IPA that would be a good starter for someone who has never sampled the style before. Deep-red amber color and lacing that sticks to the glass. The aroma and the taste go hand-in-hand -- floral, spicy and hoppy, but not overwhelming. The taste hides the higher alcohol content very well and made this one very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of revolution
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish-amber with finger width head and nice lace. Looks tasty.

Smell the fruitiness and malt.

Quickly taste the malt and mild sweetness/fruitiness on the tongue then wham--get the bitter hop taste at the swallow.

Initial feel is smooth, then get the astringent kick. The bitterness is nice, but the beer just seems a bit off balance.

A decent IPA. The more I drink, though, the less I enjoy this one.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber orange color, a little murky, with a white head of two fingers plus. Foam doesn't last a long time, but the lacing is great, leaving sticky globules all around the glass.

Prevalent citric fruity hop aroma with solid caramel malt backbone. The taste brings more of the same, excellently balanced between prominent and dominant hopping, while the malt behind is adequate to keep things in check and add sweetness to the flavor.

Very solid American IPA, in a crowded field this one doesn't stand out but is certainly better than the average.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been disappointed by some other Big Sky beers: my view of this brewery is that they've chosen to grow through distributing everywhere rather than through the quality of their beers. This beer is making me rethink that assessment - it is quite good, and after my look with new )to me at least) IPAs these days, it is a pleasant surprise. This beer has a pleasant sweet-hop aroma, and a taste that is pleasantly sweet and nicely grassy. Definitely recommended.

Appearance is a dark copper red, with billowy white head remisicent of a Belgian strong ale. Aroma was my first clue that this was really going to be a pretty good was a very substantial hop sweetness. Flavor was good...very bitter yet nicely grassy at the same time. Mouthfeel was fairly dry and astringent...not sticky like some other sweet IPAs.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from a 6 pack at LaBodega in Riverside, CA., May 2007. Approximately $8.99 for the sixer. Review from the third of the series.

Pours a nice clear orange-amber, with slight carbonation, and a nice off-white yellowy head that sticks around a little while, but not forever.

Aroma is really nice. Very nice. Sharp IPA bitterness dancing with grapefruit-sour orange citrus. Good fro a warm day. Almost the hop intensity of a DIPA, but without the rich malt lushness.

Flavor takes the aromas and intensifies them another level or so. And in doing so, takes it a little further than I like. Intense hops, sharp hops, weedy/grassy/oily hops, but minimal anything else to balance it. Where's the fruitiness? Where's some malt character to keep this from going over the top? OK, I just read that, and maybe I'm being a tad critical. I actually enjoy the flavor. But not balanced enough- not enough notes!

Good stuff, I'll gladly finish the sixer, but I like more balance in my IPAs.

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Photo of shadow1961
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big Sky IPA pours out a fluffy head over a clear amber
brew. Carbonation is pretty active and those big fat bubbles
carry a bright nose of malt and grapefruit-y hop. This is even
better smelling than 2-Hearted, my personal favorite. The
flavor is more malt and more of that bright citrus hop. The
aftertaste is, again, grapefruit and a little grass hop way in
the back. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, and there's nice lacing
all the way down the glass. A really spectacular IPA.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper with a one finger head that fades slowly to a soapy cap. The lacing that's left behind is a bit spotty, but sticks pretty well.

Smell; tone of resiny piney hops, with some very nice citrus fruits backing up the pine. There's also some caramel floating around in there, but this is one is definitely all about the hops. It smells great.

Taste; as with the aroma the hops are prevalent. Very piney, with a ton of grapefruit and a little bit of oranges. A very solid caramel maltiness helps to offset the hops just enough, adding a little sweetness to the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, and the hops resins just fills the mouth adding a bit of a creamy feeling. The drinkability is really good, as I would have no problem drinking more than one.

I wasn't all that thrilled about Big Sky making it to Nebraska, but after having this IPA, I'm glad they did. A big surprise for me, and a beer that just may become a regular in the beer fridge.

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Photo of ChrisCastillo
4.84/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cracked one open on a blissful Saturday (may 19) night here in Seattle, WA

Appearance: Big Sky IPA pours into the glass a deep, dark, maroon copper, quickly building a creamy dense head, almost marsh-mallow like.

Smell: sticky and pungent hops grab your nose right away . hops are very piney, with notes of resinous fir needles. Aroma makes me feel like im a dense forest of pine trees on a hot summers day. Notes of tropical fruit and citrusy overtones fade into the background as well. This one is about the hops, no doubt

Taste: Thickly glides onto the tounge, bitterness right upfront, not too cloying with the bitterness, just right. toasty malts come into play next, with some hints of roasted caramel malts. Aftertaste dances with sticky hops, those pine and fruity flavors present

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, thicker than most american IPA's. The robust mouthfeel almost makes me think im drinking an imperial IPA.

Drinkability: A well brewed IPA deserves to be well drank. This brew is candy for hopheads, and deserves to be sipped rather than guzzled. But by all means this beer is easily guzzible.

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Photo of demcorhip
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to trevorwideman for this tasty surprise.

A coppery amber ale, almost chestnut in hue. A one finger light tan coloured head formed on the pour. This mildly and finely carbonated ale was decently laced with some clingy lacings.

Good and solid aromas of ruby red grapefruit and tropical fruit (papaya, pineapple) greet my nose with a mild assault. Toasted malts with hints of biscuit and caramel also present.

Solid malt backbone of toasted and biscuity malts. Biscuit more pronounced in the taste versus the nose, the slight caramel character was still evident. The hops quickly rise to assert themselves in the middle and the finish of the taste, but lose most of the tropical character evident in the nose in the taste, with assertive flavours of grapefruit and an almost piney bitterness.

A solid light to medium bodied IPA. Refreshing with its dry finish and mildly astringent nature from hopping or perhaps a touch of lignans extracted from the malts. Good malt and hop balance, tilted towards the hops as dictated by the style. Slight creaminess helped soothe the bitter hop tingle.

A good easily drinkable IPA, and a good example of the style. Recommend trying if one is a fan of the style. Im glad this was sent to me, im sure i've seen it, but never bought it before, but this is something i will buy in the future, it will make a nice brew to have a few of this summer,

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Photo of bgraney
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Transparent amber with reddish hues, lot of bubbles, 1-finger sudsy head.
Big grapefruit hit in the aroma. Hard to pick up anything behind the hops.
Very intense grapefruit flavor. It's good but it lacks balance.
The hops envelope the mouth, it's all citrus in the aftertaste.
A little too one dimensional for multiple glasses in my view.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours slightly hazy dark copper color. Average head but retains well.

Very aromatic. Reminds me of fancy orange sherbert at nice Italian restaurants as a kid. Very fresh, clean citrusy taste.

Palate is less in your face than most American IPA's. Quite balanced in fact - the malt holds up but still allows for the hops to have center stage. Again citrusy, towards orange and maybe a tad of creaminess too. Perhaps a dessert IPA?

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Photo of loren01
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light orange color, good sized frothy white head. Good lacing down the glass
S: Smells citrusy, piney, slight sweet caramel smell
T: Strong bite to the hoppy flavor, slight bitter aftertaste.
M: Mild carbonation, medium bodied.
D: Awesome IPA, I must say I am very surprised by this one Big Sky's best yet in my book

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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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