Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Big Sky IPA | Big Sky Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Big Sky IPABig Sky IPA
BA SCORE
3.79/5
Very Good
1,178 Ratings
Big Sky IPABig Sky IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States
bigskybrew.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#16,530
Reviews:
476
Ratings:
1,178
pDev:
11.87%
Bros Score:
3.8
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
151
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,178 |  Reviews: 476
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of russpowell
4.7/5  rDev +24%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours caramel to orange with a giantic 4 fingers+ of white rocky head. Great lacing & head retention

S: A riot of pine & grapefruit! A hint of malt sweetness in the background

T: Huge grapefruitty hops followed by malt sweetness. Pineyness & some fruittyness follows. Finishes dry & grapefruitty. Just needs a touch more malt to be perfect IMO

MF: Medium with great carbonation & balance

This drinks too easy. A hop head's delight to be sure! Reeks of fresh hops. really enjoyed this. Easily one of the best IPAs I've had.

 534 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pleasant find in furtherance of the CANQuest during my annual visit to Binny's (South Side Loop) in Chicago on my way home from the Great Taste of the Midwest. I had heard that it was being CANned, but this was the first that I had actually see it in a CAN.

From the CAN: "We make water fun."; "Hold my beer and watch this."

I had a nice Crack & Glug which resulted in two-plus fingers of dense, tawny head with excellent retention. Color was a deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a definite pine hop presence and my mouth was watering at the prospect. Mouthfeel was medium and the bite of the hops on the tongue was immediate and welcomed by this self-avowed hophead. It tasted of pine and wintergreen and I was beginning to consider its potential as mouthwash or breath freshener. Finish was dry, although not arid, gasping dry. I really liked this and would certainly consider its inclusion in my cooler on an outing.,

 943 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy, amber body with a short-lived, skimpy white head.

Smell: Piney, citrus hop scent with some pale malts floating around in there.

Taste: Pale malts, though no real sweetness. Instead, we jump right into the pine, citrus hop flavors with a medium bitterness. Lightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent, well-balanced IPA.

 405 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to THECPJ for this one!

A: Pours a clear ruby/copper color with a chunky, two finger, offwhite head which sticks around a while. Nice chunky lacing down the sides.

S: A subtly citrus aroma, heavier on the malt side. The hops present as some grapefruit and orange. There is a sweetness from the malt, a little bit of caramel as well.

T: A nice citrus flavor up front, more grapefruit. This is followed by some caramel malts, heavier on the malts than expected. Slightly bitter with a a little bit of a metallic taste.

M/D: Medium bodied, felt that it was lacking in carbonation slightly. Overall, it was good, the metallic taste brought it down as did the mouthfeel. Taste was good though, a solid drinkable IPA.

 724 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glowing pumpkin when backlit with bright morning sunshine. Not only is the color fabulous, but the beer has that 'hop dust' haziness that I love to see in an IPA. The crown is even more spectacular. It's pastel orange in color and is a huge mass of bubbles that is sticking like glue to the upper reaches of the glass. This is one of the best lace displays that I've seen in quite some time.

The nose is Simcoe heaven. It's bursting with a tropical, funky, citric fruity, pine-soaked resionous that is right up my IPA alley. Best of all (well, second best anyway), there's no caramel malt to muck things up. I haven't tasted it yet, but how the hell is it that this beer doesn't get more love? Limited distribution probably.

Outstanding beer! While the nose was somewhat short of a sensory overload, the flavor fills every nook and cranny of my tongue and looks for more taste buds to impress. Each mouthful is a veritable explosion of pure, hoppy pleasure and should be required drinking for all lovers of Simcoe hops.

The malt backbone is on the big side for the style without tempting me to pull out the DIPA comparisons. There may be a wee bit of caramel maltiness, but I could just as easily be imagining it. The focus here (as it should be in all IPAs and DIPAs) is on humulus lupulus. It's balanced more than it is a bitter bomb.

Given all that pale malt, it's no surprise that the body/mouthfeel is on the big, lush, plush side. I might even call it lightly sticky. The best part is that it keeps that luscious flavor on the palate long enough for me to wring the maximum amount of enjoyment out of each and every mouthful.

I like this brewery. I should have had some inkling of how good their IPA would be since Scape Goat Pale Ale is 'bolder and hoppier than most APAs', to quote my review. As good as that beer is, though, it can't hold a candle to the hop-infused splendor of this beauty. Montanans have reason to be proud. I would definitely drink more than my fair share if I lived in Big Sky Country.

 2,020 characters

Photo of BEER88
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jgunther71
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

amber color with a touch of gold highlights was well carbonated. Nice head of white pops up quickly and leaves a good bit of side glass lacing as it works its way down. Light pine and orange peel are mixed in with a very bready, biscuit like aroma, though it could have been a bit stronger. Smooth, bit heavier body here, but well carbonated took a bit away from the crispness of it and the bready flavor really seemed to take control of it mid way through. Light dry finish

 474 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of WoodBrew
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its a cooler weekend here in Oswegoland and just finished cutting the soggy grass...we had a deluge recently. The carrot at the end of the stick was some Big Sky IPA from a mixed pack. The appearance is good, a ruby amber with finger think foamy white head. The smell is a balance between pine and floral tones with hints of citrus/grapefruit. The taste is starts with a pine and flowery tingles, then a bitter grapefruit finish. The beer does not come off the pallete clean...likes to linger....which would make tought o session.

 530 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a GameWorks shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing his Montana Mixer!

That sky ain't so big... The brew underneath pours a mostly clear straight amber topped by a half-finger of white foam. The nose comprises pine, piny grapefruit, and caramel; standard IPA fare. The taste holds notes of slightly watered-down pine and ruby red grapefruit and some slightly smoky toffee. The body is a kinda hefty light, with a light carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a very nice IPA, very standard, but tasty enough and very drinkable.

 547 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of stakem
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

 1,398 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The appearance has a golden orange colored body that gave a one finger white foamy spotty head that lasted for a good half minute before slowly dieing into the body. Some nice speckled yet spotty lacing appeared and slowly slid into the body. No carbonation was seen rising in the beer. The smell has a strong floral and citrusy aroma to it with some slight maltiness trying to come out, but mostly staying subdued. The taste took these flavorings with a slight bitterness. The palate is about a medium with a decent balance between wet and dry on the tongue. This is a fairly sessionable beer. Overall, I’d be happy to buy this again.

 637 characters

Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of VeganUndead
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness/bottling info to be had. Pour rich, dark almond amber, lighter kahki head, that leaves a slight collar and light scattered bit of lace. Fruity and fragrant hops in the nose. Big and bold ale, plenty of malt coating the underbelly, sweet and smooth. The hops are equally smooth and lighly grapefruit infused as well as grainy and biting. Respectable hop crunch, quite drying and satisfying. Well done Big Sky. Big beer and hop lover, go get some

 475 characters

Photo of a77cj7
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Tone
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber/copper color. 5/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of strong hops and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation. The bitterness is noticeable and there is some dryness associated. Tastes of strong hops up front (slightly sweet, but not too sweet), some earth malt, and slight biscuit flavor. Overall, a perfect blend of flavors - I recommend this brew.

 483 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with an off-white head. The head is well retained and leaves rings of lacing down the side of the glass.

The smell is of floral hops - notes of pine and oranges.

The taste is of hops - pine, orange and grapefruit balanced by caramel malt to give it body and a smooth, creamy texture. The hops take the center stage throughout.

It's creamy and smooth while maintaining the bitterness that should accompany this style. The body holds up well and the flavors linger.

A delicious offering, and a solid example of an American IPA. Wish this were available in my area. Thanks to bitterbill for two of this enjoyable brew!

 640 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, burnished peach coloration, with a slight, slimmish white head.

Pop! Big, brassy hop aroma, invades the nose and spreads delight therein. Dark fruit suggestions, with a citric twist. Spankingly fresh and alert. Nice, nice, nice.

Hop bite continues when the brew blasts past the lips and boards the palate. Crisp, slightly tart, bracingly bitter, but flush with flavor. Hoppy attack returns with each sip and gulp. Just what I look for in an IPA.

Full bodied, fierce hop attack, unrelenting flavor...long, fruity, bitter finish...hey I like this! And I like it better from this bottle than I did on tap, oddly enough...or maybe I should go to the neighborhood bar and try, try again.

In any case, this is an IPA not to be passed up by the hophead in your life, be it you, your priest, your best friend's big brother, or your wife's mother's older daughter.

 874 characters

Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 1,178 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.