Big Sky Shake A Day IPA

Reviewed by on April 28, 2016 in Spring Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Big Sky Brewing Company

  • Origin: Missoula, MT, US

  • Rated On: April 28, 2016

  • Best Before: bottled March 24, 2016

  • ABV: 7.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American IPA

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

At first glance, I wondered what it is about this particular IPA that makes it ‘seasonal”?  It turns out that Big Sky just wanted to make a different IPA from their main one, and turned to Australian, as well as PacNW hops to create a sidestep offering, available from March to May, aka ‘Spring’, in the mountains.

This 12oz bottle pours a clear, bright medium golden yellow colour, with one finger of weakly puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves some craggy coral reef lace around the glass as things swiftly sink away.

It smells of musty blood orange and red grapefruit flesh, a touch of dank pine forest floor, Pez candies, grainy and crackery pale malt, a twinge of biscuity caramel sweetness, and some earthy yeastiness that has seen better days. The taste is bready and crackery caramel malt, a further cereal graininess, peppy mixed domestic and tropical citrus fruit, gritty and chalky Hallowe’en candy, and a testy piney, leafy, and herbal green hoppiness. The bubbles are fairly understated in their meek and almost AWOL seeming frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and generally smooth, but for that strangely persistent, I have to say yeasty pithiness. It finishes off-dry, lots of mixed and matched fruitiness lingering on and on, along with the apparently bored malt.

Overall, a somewhat interesting, and certainly quaffable IPA, whose hop schedule obviously runs the gamut from local to more far-flung varietals. I suppose the seasonality in question here is indeed Spring, as this does seem nice and fresh, yet with a 15-proof booze factor to protect against those chilly reminders of the winter gone.

Brady White

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