Big Sky IPA | Big Sky Brewing Company

very good
473 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: 473 | Ratings: 1,161
Photo of clint1019
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Deep Amber in color with a thick cream colored head.

Smell-Has a strong floral aroma and a slight caramelly sweetness

Taste-Has a malty/caramelly sweetness balance by a nice hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Medium Bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall-I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. I did not expect a beer from a brewing in Montana would taste this good. Definately one of the better IPA's I've tasted.

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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 Wegomlegging
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Average appearance, average smell for an IPA, average IPA taste, average moutfeel, average beer. So as not to anger the Beer Advocate gods for being to brief, I'll elaborate a bit. I do, however, stand by my comments on the fact that this beer is everthing that is "average." It poured with a decent head, slightly cloudy yellow, with a nice floral IPA smell that was not too overpowering. The taste was a nice shot of hoppiness without overpowering you, and I can imagine this would be the perfect beer for the IPA rookie to get introduced to the style. Great with a giant Montana-sized porterhouse, experienced in the state of the goat-a-lope (pictured on the label), a.k.a. speed goat, a.k.a. antelope or something....

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Photo of ohoove
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Rusty copper color with a frothy off white cap and exceptional sticky lacing.
Heavy pine and grapefruit with a touch of cat urine.
Mouthfeel was slightly creamy and slick, coated the palate nicely.
Taste mimmicked the smell minus the cat urine. Bitter on the end that lingered but not overly done.
All in all I was pleased with this selection, which was shipped to me by a friend in CO, would return to this again if it was available in the area.

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

A- Poured into a glass it was a clear dark amber color with a 2 finger head and some lacing but not alot.
S- Fragrant with the aroma of hops, and citrus fruits mostly grapefruit and hints of malt and pine.
T- This was a beer that tasted alot like it smelled. The bitterness of the hops was somewhat tempered by the sweeter citrus flavors with piney-earthy afternotes.
M- Fairly bitter and throughout and dry at the finish. The carbonation was moderate, but the dryness is a bit offputting. The feeling I get is not of satisfaction or freshment, which of course means, I have to keep drinking (not always a bad thing).
D- Overall, a fairly good effort. I can say, though, that this was much better than their Moose Drool.

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Photo of stangski83
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good IPA from a lesser-known brewery. I really like the offerings from Big Sky and wish that I had better access for them locally. These aren't earth shattering entries, but they are certainly quality examples in each craft style that I have sampled from this brewery. Big Sky gets it. Give them a solid chance if the six or 12 pack hits your won't regret it for a solid, economical choice in the craft market.

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Photo of irrgalaxy
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

A: Dark amber color, with significant amounts of red for an IPA. Significant head with fairly large bubbles.

S: Crisp, hoppy aroma.

T: Smooth taste, not overly hoppy as the aroma would have you believe. Nice finish on the middle of the tongue.

M: Regular.

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Photo of BeerCheese
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear dark amber with HUGE fluffy tan head. Beautiful beer. Really no detectable aroma for me, which was a surprise. My sniffer must be broken! Typical bitter IPA taste which I liked, but with very little malt balance. Could have used a LITTLE malt flavor, but it just didn't come through the hops. Nice alcohol warmth going down. Not a bad flavor, just could have been better. Anyone who doesn't like a bitter beer won't like anything about this one. Light carbonation with medium/heavy body. Average drinkability.

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

A nice little surprise from Montana! The appearance is a tad darker than most IPAs - it pours a rich, bright amber with a white head. The aroma is solid - very piney and sticky, with some orange rind in the mix. The taste is kind of a hybrid between your typical west coast and east coast IPA. You start with a chewy, malt backbone followed by pine cones, resin, and grapefruit from the hops. A nice, crisp, clean finish begging for another sip. The carbonation is spot on. This IPA was a pleasure to try.

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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 Night
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear orange-copper with gold flecks and an off-white bubbly head that dies down relatively quickly, leaving medium lacing. Cool aroma of pineapple, lemon, and rich grassy hops. Body is light to medium with a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. Flavor is strongly bitter and medicinal with syrupy, grassy hops accented by pepper and a hint of citrus. A touch of bread malts in the finish. Aftertaste is sudsy, lightly bitter.

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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 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 gubbt
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark amber color, definately on the dark side for IPAs, with a medium creamy head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell is sweet caramel mixed with underlying piney hops.

This one is much sweeter than other IPAs I've had (mostly west coast). It might be because my palate has been obliterated with Bigfoot recently, but the hops are not too perceptible. I guess a little piney hops. Mostly I'm picking up a strong caramel malt character, much like a Sam Adams Boston Lager. This is definately the most malty IPA I've had. I think this one could almost be classifed as a hoppy amber ale.

Mouthfeel is average, a bit creamy with moderate carbonation.

This one is very drinkable because the hops aren't out of control. Maybe a bit sweet if you are a pure hop head, but very solid none the less.

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Photo of akokandy
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 12oz brown bottle poured into a pint glass. The beer is a transparent red-orange with a 2-finger white head after a hard pour. The head dwindles down to a fine layer after a couple minutes, but this lasts till the end. Leaves a nice lacing pattern on the glass.

S- Citrusy hops with lemon and orange notes. Hops dominate.

T- There is no sweetness at all to this beer. Lots of hop bitterness and the grapefruit hop sour-bitterness characteristic of American hops. The beer isn't very well-balanced, but does what it's trying to do quite well.

M- Low carbonation and medium-full body. Very nice.

D- Moderate alcohol and good, consistent flavor make this a pretty good session beer. $7.99 a six-pack doesn't break the bank either.

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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 rednrag
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Store was out of my go-to IPA, Torpedo. This was the only other IPA they had, and I was in the mood, and had never had it, so...

Smells a little too malty for me, maybe I'm just wanting more hops.

Taste is not bad. Could be a little less malty, and a bit more hoppy.

Not a bad beer, but priced more than my beloved Torpedo, and not as good.

But nice try, Montana.

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Photo of DrMalt
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A--Pours a light copper color with a full off white head that leaves some lacing.

S--Excellent aroma - floral, pine, and citrus.

T--A very flavorful beer with plenty of bitterness & what appears to be Cascade hop dominance. Well balanced with some bready/caramel maltiness.

M--probably the only flaw to this beer is a somehwat thin mouthfeel. Didn't have that chewy, full-bodied characteristic.

D--A very sessionable IPA. Strength of this brew is its drinkability.

Strong showing in IPA tasting of 6 others.

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Photo of GregoryVII
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an inch of head, light brown to brown in color. Lovely taste of Simcoe hops, pine zest and citrus highly prominent. Not overdone, but largely one note. Not a big beer, without much malt background. The body is light and verges on watery. The beer is an ease to drink. It seized on the hop as its star and featured it well, but there is nothing distinct here.

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Photo of Duxx
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden brown with a hint of orange or rust. There is a good 1 inch bright white head that leaves thick meringue like foam on the glass. I really like the look of this beer.

Aroma is a little bit one dimensional a fairly mild piney hop aroma with just a hint of sweet malt.

Taste is mild for an IPA. Seems to have a strong malt base with a enough hops to be a west coast pale ale but enough hops for an IPA??

Mouthfeel is somewhat thick. Very smooth even creamy on the palate.

I really like pale ales and this is probably one of the best pales I have tried. I haven't quite developed a strong love for really hoppy IPA's so this is an easy drinker for me but is it up to IPA style?? Probably needs more hops for you big beer IPA fans.

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Photo of storksonm
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint Glass

This fine Ipa was everything that I hoped it would be poured a decent head and had a great copper color to it. What a citrus bite it had though a nice hoppy smell that is all that it should be. I found this ipa to be nice and refreshing and had a nice hoppy aftertaste that made it great. If anything I would change about it that would be the mouthfeel was a bit dry and not as smooth as maybe it could be but none the less this is a nice beer and I will probably be purchasing it in the near future.

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

A - yellow orange - thick head at first then a thin head

S - a little fruity with some hops

T - Some sweetness and fruit on front with pine and then nice bitterness at the end - nice amount of hops -

M - great balance of smoothness and carbonation

O -- tasty - refreshing -- feel a bit of the alcohol good sweet/bitter balance more on the sweet side at the beginning but the bitter balances it out and takes it over which is nice

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Photo of timmick
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A: One finger off-white, frothy head that left nice sticky lace on the sides of the glass. The color is a clear, dark reddish amber or copper that is very attractive in a glass.

S: Loved the smell of this. Started out with a sweet grapefruit that gave way to pineapple and caramel. The grapefruit and pineapple kept me breathing in the aroma with every drink. Caramel and toffee seemed to come on stronger as the beer warmed.

T: Sweet caramel and pineapple gave way to hoppy grapefruit rind and pine as the drink works its way back over the tongue. Crisp and clean with a nice balanced aftertaste.

M: Silky, with a light to medium feel. Good carbonation balance for a nice finish.

D: Nice, balanced, IPA. This could almost be a session beer for me and I'm sure to have a few more.

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Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,161 ratings.
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