Big Sky Brewing Co.
Available: MT, ID, WA, OR, AK, CA, NV, CO, WY, ND, SD, MN, WI
According to the brewery: “In Montana, many classic memories are made right after someone says ‘Hold my beer and watch this!’ These bold, assertive moments deserve a bold and assertive beer—Big Sky IPA. The distinct hop presence and malty backbone will leave you refreshed and ready for your moment of glory. So hang on tight and enjoy the ride!”
Alcohol (vol.): 6.2
Original Gravity: 15 P
Final gravity: 3.2
Malts used: Pale, Crystal, and a little Chocolate
Hops used: Matt won’t let me share this. Top secret!
Bronze color with a lively head, followed by an intense spicy and peppery aroma underscored by biscuity malt and sultana fruit. Fruity, bitter hops clamber across the tongue, balanced by juicy malt. Tangy fruit, spices and bitter hops dominate the long finish with a solid underpinning of luscious fruit. Superb beer—just enjoyed it with a hunk of Stilton.
A softspoken but busy head introduces this beer. There’s a great nose, telling us that these hops want to please. And there are plenty of ‘em (65 IBU). The beer seems a bit dark for type, but that only enhances the enjoyment, and the wondrous hop character is not aggressive. Yes, it is hoppy, but it is nicely balanced with rich maltiness to counterbalance the great taste of some fine hops. Willamettes? No matter, this is a banner IPA.
I can always tell when my 14 year-old daughter Shannon has listened to my car stereo. She maxes out the treble and bass. It reminds me of this beer. There’s plenty of citrus zest, apricot, and pine-scented high notes. There’s also thumping, head-banging, bitter bottom notes. And while there is some caramel and honey malt notes as a foundation, I find myself looking for more midrange.