Montana is, as we all know, a state in the Mountain West. Its population is low, there are no large cities, and it derives a good deal of revenue from tourism. But there is more to Montana than outdoor scenery- the state is also known for its craft brewing business and Missoula’s Big Sky Brewery is one that has enjoyed a good deal of national success. One of its many fine products is Big Sky IPA, a hoppy yet smooth brew.
Style: American IPA
Alcohol Content: 6.2 percent by volume
Big Sky IPA is amber/orange in color and its well- filtered processing results in a clear, see- through body. The nose on this beer is caramel- like, spicy, and citrusy with some floral notes. A standard pour is all that is necessary to produce a noticeable head of foam and it leaves a generous amount of lacing as you drink.
Moving to the taste, Big Sky IPA has a flavor that emphasizes the spicy, citrus hops common to many IPA, with flavors of grapefruit, pine, orange peel, and even a touch of pineapple. A nice caramel- malt backbone holds everything together and provides some balance to the taste, even though it still leans toward the bitter side with 65 IBU.
Big Sky IPA is a tasty American style IPA, with a medium body and a slightly oily mouthfeel, Most people have likely not heard of this brewery, but Big Sky is making a name for itself and is aggressively distributing its products to more and more areas of the United States. Just recently, it showed up on the store shelves here in Houston, Texas, and having not seen it here before, I was instantly attracted and grabbed a six pack to go.
Big Sky IPA is a memorable brew and one quality that will appeal to many is its lack of hop attitude. Now, I am fully aware that there are many hopheads out there who crave the bitter sensation that only a bold IPA can bring, but a milder IPA like Big Sky IPA does have its usefulness. It offers easy drinkability and is much smoother than most. Its malt contributions arrest the bitterness before they have a chance to become extreme and this makes it a good IPA for those who are not yet accustomed to the style or who have tried IPA in the past and have been scared away due to the extreme, hair- raising bitter flavor.
Big Sky IPA is, overall, a tasty IPA and one of the few examples of its style that is smooth enough to qualify as an everyday drinking type of beer. It isn’t easy to find, but if you happen to be within Big Sky Brewing Company’s distribution area, I recommend giving this beer a try.
Rating: 7 Cheers out of 10