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Beer of the Week: Big Sky India Pale Ale

BY DAN VERHILLE | SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 6:30 AM

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Name: Big Sky India Pale Ale

Product Of: Big Sky Brewing Co., Missoula, Mont.

Serving Style: Chilled bottle

Size: 12 fluid ounces

The Big Sky IPA is an India Pale Ale with a traditional taste at a moderate 6.2 percent alcohol. The moderately bodied beer is a great six pack to split among friends, and at a reasonable price, it’s hard to turn down. While Big Sky doesn’t contain as much alcohol as other IPAs, its diverse flavor offering is sure to surprise.

Appearance: A light copper and mahogany mixed body supports a large, frothy head that thickly laces the glass. The color is darker than most IPAs, and the head dissipates delightfully slowly. 3.5/5

Smell: Citrus and pine smells hit the nose first, with clearly distinguishable notes of caramel, grain, and hops. Overall, they combine into a sharp but pleasant aroma polished off with just a hint of spice. 2.75/5

Taste: This IPA hits the edges of your palate particularly hard. The citrus and hops flavors are the first things detected by the taste buds, although malts factor in shortly after. Big Sky is particularly mouth-coating; it stubbornly leaves behind a crisp herbal and caramel seal that is drastically different than the initial taste of a sip. This variety allows the beer to break expectations, drink after drink. 4.25/5

Overall: Big Sky is a great beer to drink over the course of the night with fish and conversation. It’s diverse enough to keep your palate’s attention all night but calm enough to keep your stomach happy if you decide to have a couple. A Big Sky IPA is a great balance between flavor and price for any drinker willing to try a British-style beer with an American flavor. 10.5/15


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