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Big Sound Scotch Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Big Sound Scotch AleBig Sound Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

564 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 564
Reviews: 181
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 178
Gots: 142 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
Big Sound Scotch Ale is dedicated to our good buddy Gino, the most Punk Rock Bagpiper you will ever meet, and the rest of the men and women of the Tampa Bay Pipes and Drums. Brown in color, Big Sound has huge notes of dark sweet toffee with underlying mild notes of coffee in the aroma. The flavor starts with a slight note of cherry and then opens into a goliath of malt character with notes of dark sweet toffee, coffee and mild notes of toasted bread in the finish. Big Sound Scotch Ale pairs well with Haggis, Highland Games, Huge Heads, Enormous pillows and of course Bagpipe Music.

40 IBU

(Beer added by: cjgator3 on 12-05-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 564 | Reviews: 181 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dolfan54fl
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

dolfan54fl, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of comfortablynirm
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

comfortablynirm, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

GrindFatherBob, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of jdprmd
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

jdprmd, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of Zachtheporter
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1pt 9.4 fl oz bottle into a Big Eddy snifter.

A- Pours a deep dark brown that almost looks black from a distance. Upon pouring there is a bubbly fizzy 1 finger tan head. Upon dissipating the dead leaves behind a thick collar and a layer of lace on top of the beer.

S- The aroma to this Wee Heavy is fairly pungent for the style. I was able to smell it from even a foot or so away. Overall the scent is very sweet with a slight smokiness and peatiness. There are strong notes of caramel and brown sugar, as well as slight notes of coffee, wood, vanilla and aged tobacco. There is also a slight chocolateyness to it that reminds me somewhat of tootsie rolls.

T- The taste is big, sweet and malty just like the label says. Just like in the smell, there are strong notes of caramel as well as a slight smokiness. some notes of tobacco and coffee take a backseat to the tremendous amount of malty sweetness. The taste helps to somewhat mask the alcohol content, however it is still present .

M- the mouthfeel is very reminiscent to a well made RIS in certain aspects. It's heavy of course with a smooth and velvety feel to it, as well as a low carbonation. Somewhat creamy.

O- This is a straight up malt bomb! A Great quality Wee Heavy and one of my new favorites! Definitely a sipper. I could see this going great with a nice cigar! (and not just because its made by a brewery called Cigar City!). Drinking a bottle of this to myself was awesome, yet foolish. I can't wait to get my hands on more of this in the future.

Zachtheporter, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a murky dark brown with tan highlights, nice dirty white cap leaving behind tan bubbles and light lacing

S: Smoke, peat, candy, caramel a little booze sting on the nostrils with rich toffee and chocolate

T: Upfront is a rather bold peat backed with caramel apple, light candy, toffee and chcocolate appear almost instantly as well. The finishing taste brings cocoa, toffee and caramel with a light booze sting, sticky and sweet. holy crap this is how I like Wee Heavys!

M: Big body, well carbonated, sweet and sticky, full of flavor and very robust

O: If every Wee Heavy tasted and felt like this I might change my name to Wee-Man

barleywinefiend, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of maximum12
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My abject thanks to moose3285 for sending me my first full bottle of Cigar City. After swigging a sample of Capricho Oscuro in Florida in February, the wife & I have been itching to try a full bomber of CC. This is the one!

Pours black with red highlights, if that's possible. Smells of sweet scotch ale, if that's a smell. It's good. My wife has attached the glass to her upper lip for aromatherapy purposes.

And action. Damn. I'm having a hard time using English to describe this, perhaps if I knew French, Latin, or poetry, it would suffice. Dark, scotch-infused malts are dominant, & bring a full, rich feel to the brew, although rich isn't a strong enough word. There's other more subtle notes, but who cares? That top-level of taste is downright fantastic.

I'd say this is a sipper - maybe a fast sipper, since the glass is vanishing rather quickly. No apparent alcohol. Smooth. No temper at all.

Top-notch brew. I was wondering if this brewery could live up to a four-month memory of a couple of mouthfuls of their beer, & it has, easily. Mike, I hope you like Minnesota beer, because you might be getting a lot of it in the future, my friend!

maximum12, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by starrdogg, next to bourbon and rum barrel big sound. Thanks a lot Matt, very cool lineup.

A: Nice brown color with crimson highlights, it has a decent head with just a ring forming with a tan color.

S: Has a very rich and quite perfect to style scotch ale smell. A light smoked peat aroma yet still kind of sweet in a confectionary way. Super malty and has the toasted malt 'grapenuts' smell.

T: Taste is very rich like a layered cake with espresso and a semi-sweet BBQ smoke notes. Super tasty, some lighter sweet malts too. I'd say that the scotch is more like a highland park sort of honey-peat as opposed to a super smoky islay. Great, really quite tasty.

M: Very nice, smooth and satisfying. Slick over the palate.

Overall this is very nice, and certainly worth a try if you like scotch ale! This and Robert the Bruce would probably be my two examples of the style to present to a new beer enthusiast.

Dreadnaught33, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of mwilbur
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a very dark, muddy brown with 1/4 inch dark tan head that fairly quickly recedes. Appears thick and heavy. Nice.
S: Caramel malt, cured meat, dark dried fruit (e.g. fig), and a hint of smoke and salt.
T: Chewy and soft caramel malt, molasses, fresh dark dried fruit (e.g. dark cherries), mildly roasted coffee, dark and dense grain bread, and a hint of nuts. Nice complexity!
M: Soft, chewy, dense, fresh. Full body. Lingers and matures nicely on the palate as well! Phenomenal here.
D: Extremely drinkable. Wonderful complexity...excellent for style. ABV is perfect and well hidden. Seek it out!

mwilbur, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of jbone78
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hello,
Went to the brewery a few weeks ago and picked up some of their brews at the nearby store.

A- I think I had a bad pour, I'm excited! Poured dark red, nearly brown. But, I can't comment on the head because I ruined that.
S- I don't think I can smell. I don't pick up much scents sometimes. I do smell the roasted malty character, but that's about it.
T- Very nice complex flavor! Roasted Malts, sugars,great, nuts, alcohol all blend well.
I like!
M- Even with the very malty taste, which is common with Scotch Ales, you don't have a huge sticky after taste. Very smooth, balanced, clean!

-Bye

jbone78, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of aepb1
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- deep dark brown body with a creamy tan head

S- dark sweet cherries and some molasses

T- caramel, toffee, dark fruits, molasses, big flavor and that's wonderful!

M- full-bodied and creamy with a lower level of carbonation

O- a great scotch ale. Very nice to sip on a cold florida evening!

aepb1, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of philbe311
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a frikin at Capone's...

A - An intensely murky and hazy medium brown color... A thin creamy light tan colored head...

S - The nose was surprisingly subdued... Some toasted malty goodness... Nutty... A certain outdoorsy aroma... A slight note of butterscotch...

T - Sweet caramel... Toffee... Brown sugar... Touches of cherry... A hint of nuttiness...

M - Arguably the smoothest beer that has ever cross my lips... On the fuller side of medium bodied... Creamy and rich... Delectable... Just the slightest carbonation...

D - Quaffable and easy going sip after sip... If I could have a firkin of this one hands at all time I would, but unfortunately I'll likely have to settle for this lone memory and what a good memory it was...

philbe311, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a big Scottish treat for me tonight: Cigar City’s Big Sound. Now, while Scotch ales aren’t my favorite style, I’ve really started to like CCB. Thanks again, Stankonia, for an awesome LIF.

A: Pours very dark, a thick red-brown, with a viscous-looking body – one of those beers where the head takes a while to materialize. Eventually, that medium-tan cream appears, and it’s just as thick: almost two full fingers high at the start. Soon, though, it changes texture to become more light bubbles than anything, deflating at a medium rate; finally, it rests at a silky half-finger of beige cream. Not a lot of lacing, but with a good enough presence to be attractive.

S: Ah, surprisingly skunky! It has a nose that’s quite a bit like their Guava Grove saison: light lemon zest and guava, with a really light scent of sweet cherry syrup. Not cloying, but extra sweet; it’s like the smell of a cherry slushie. Good, but that’s all the malts really have to offer. Plus, the boozy Scotch aromas that are normal for this style are actually quite light, as they can’t really do a lot from behind the fruits. An odd, one-dimensional, but entertaining nose.

T: Wonderfully smooth; the flavors are rich, yet insanely drinkable. First off are those great fruits: peach cobbler, pear, cinnamon apple, and a sweet vinous character. They’re some of the best sugars I’ve had in a beer in a while. Roasted malts, empowered by this profile, lay quietly over the palate with a mild smokiness and caramel. They bring in woody alcohol, maple spice, and dark fruits, the characteristic Wee Heavy flavors, but with all the support of the skunky yeasts. It finishes with a hint of chocolate and a chewy wheat graininess. So much different that the other Scotch ales I’ve tried, but so damn tasty.

M: So smooth, a viscosity that’s just as drinkable as the flavors in the palate – I’ve finished a 750 mL bottle in no time. Be careful, because this 8.5% beast goes down like water; there’s really only a hint of astringency from the rindy fruits of the palate.

O: I have never, ever had a Wee Heavy like this, and I doubt I’ll ever have another. This beer is one-of-a-kind, demonstrating such impressive craftsmanship from Cigar City; even in the nose, the light fruits caught me off guard with their unique power. The flavor profile was just delicious, as well, topped off by an amazingly drinkable body. This one’s for the record books: a Wee Heavy that shovels its alcohol down with complex flavor and mind-blowing drinkability.

BarryMFBurton, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of jmdrpi
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL capped bottle, no date to be found.

appears deep dark brown, almost black. nice thick 1/2" head, that leaves lacing. good head retention too.

aroma is sweet and a bit boozy. tastes of toffee, hazelnut, brown sugar. rich flavors. mouthfeel is incredibly smooth.

one again, Cigar City impresses.

jmdrpi, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Suck a bottle of this no the cruise to give a break from the standard crap served on teh boat. The color is deep dark teak color with a creamy light tan head. Head dissipates to a thin broken film in just a few minutes but leaves some impressive lace.
Smell is rich and sweet with roasted malt, soy, caramel and candied sugar. Nicely balanced.
Taste is very similar with notes of roasted malt, soy, sweetness, dark fruits and dark chocolate with a hop note way in back.
Smooth, rich, creamy and full-bodied, this is a good brew. Only downside would be that it is a bit too sweet, even for me. Light effervescence and a light coating of the palate but no real warming like I expected. A good beer for sipping, as in dessert. Had some smoke/peat presence, too.

WoodBrew, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of zep9865
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at a beer tasting courtesy of aasher. Pours a dark muddy brown with 2 fingers of tan foam head. Lacing is minimal

s-alcohol is most definitely detectable on the nose of this beer with molasses, burnt wood, and raisins. Chocolate is there as well.

t-the molasses and raisins in the smell are very representative in the taste. Sweet, but not overly malty.

m-carbonation on this beer is perfect; enough, but not too much. The different flavors that my palate experience are remarkable.

o-sucks that I'm really at a loss for words for this beer. It is very very good.

zep9865, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of mntlover
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark deep brown with red hints when held to the light. Sports a big tan head that falls slow with tons of sheet lace. Very nice looking.

Aroma is big, big malts caramel, hints of peat, some light coffee notes underneath. Some dark fruit notes sprinkled with more sweetness also chocolate hints.

Taste is smooth from the beginning lots of sweet malts caramel, toffee peat hints sprinkled with more sugary sweetness. Nice fruit notes figs, plums and cherries mingle through out. Finish is smooth favorable malts.

Mouthfeel is big and really smooth, very enjoyable.

Overall very nice big smooth malty sweet goodness. Love to have a few of these set back for cooler weather.

mntlover, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

moose3285 sent me a bottle of this a while back. Thanks, Mike!

The pour is deep crimson with great clarity and pleasing reddish highlights. There's a dense, mocha-colored head with excellent retention that leaves some lacework.
The nose is just outstanding. Big notes of vanilla, toffee, butterscotch, a moderate nuttiness, some chocolate. Mildly fruity as well, I get some rich plum character. Quite a fabulous nose, really. A touch of alcohol comes through in the back as well.

The palate opens rich and robust with a solid grainy character with some robust caramel, toasty, nutty malts. Toasty, mildly bready, there's a pronounced brown sugar character that marries very well with the rest of the palate. A touch of cocoa as well? This beer also has the intense malt character (not really sweet, but particularly strong, noticeable, rich brown sugar notes) that I remember BA Old Stock/ Angel's Share having, and that's high praise.As with the nose, there's some fruitiness, a general dark fruit character, more prune-like? Sweetish on the finish, this beer is medium-full in body with a moderate carbonation. The finish is excellent as well, with a pleasant fruitiness as well as toffee and a light alcohol character. All told, this is more along the lines of an old ale than a dyed in the wool wee heavy, but still, an excellent beer. I think I can unequivocally say that this is the best Cigar City Beer I've had. Thanks a TON, Mike! I must now seek out the BA version!

DefenCorps, May 21, 2010
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at the Brick Store Pub awhile ago- reviewing from notes. Poured a deep brown, almost black, with a big creamy head and the typical cask carbonation. The smell is a little light, but very malty and a bit redolent of chocolate. The taste has big malt flavors, but fairly dry overall. Meaty, almost bacony and and maybe with a touch of hay. Very interesting and quite good. Very smooth in the mouth with a drying tannic finish which is very welcome. Overall, delicious!

Georgiabeer, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of Mikemcgrath4
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%

Mikemcgrath4, Oct 10, 2014
Photo of tpd975
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark amber almost black hue. The head was a full one finger of mocha goodness. Okay retention with a nice smattering of lace.

S: Mmmmm this is what malt goodness smells like. This one oozes caramel, toffee, molasses, and dark brown sugar. Hints of chocolate hide beneath this malt mountain along with a touch of dark fruit.

T: Wow I hate to feel like a homer everytime I crack a CCB, but to be honest there are very few if anyone doing what they do. This beer is packed with flavor. The sweet malt goodness is off the scale. Tons of brown sugar and gooey caramel. Touches of molasses and nuts. There is a nice dose of chocolate with notes of dark fruits. A bit or earth and a dash of deep roasted malt round things out. This is an Imperial Scotch Ale that is in a class that only includes AleSmith Wee Heavy.

M: Rather full in body for the style. Smooth, Rich, Bold, Awesome!

D: Great I consumed an entire 750ml and pondered opening another. Alas I will save it for another day. I checks in at over 9% ABV this year so this is one that can hang around for awhile.

Wayne and Joe does it again. I bow to your greatness :)

tpd975, May 18, 2009
Photo of TheFightfan1
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my CC snifter. Color is a deep brown awesome lighter brown colored lacing that clings to the edges and won't let go. A little murky and somewhat a rubyish tint to it.

Nose is mostly of toasted malts, a slight berry,frutitness and maybe a touch of smoke.

Very tasty little number. Toffee up front and center with a nice touch of mocha in the mix. Slightest bit again of smoked cedar. Finishes very clean with a slight hop linger.

Full bodied, silky smooth feel,great carbonation. Neither to watery or to thick. Perfect balance.

Awesome offering from CC.

TheFightfan1, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of Steeeve
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark and viscous looking pour with a thin medium tan head. Looks the part of a porter. Very sweet and fruity aroma. A lot of dried dark fruit notes along with some berries, caramel, toffee, and even subtle hints of chocolate and leather. Flavor is very sweet, but not cloying. Underlying fruit notes are quickly displaced by roasty and coffee flavors. Rich caramel and toffee flavors interplay wonderfully. Definitely improves as it nears room temperature. Palate is thick and full, with a lingering sweetness on the finish. A little off-kilter (pun intended) for the style but extremely well-made and delicious. One of my new favorite scotch ales. Would love to try this in barrel-aged form.

Steeeve, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of saintwarrick
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brownish brew pours with a quick rising tan head. Lots of nutty almond and malty aromas fill the nose, some light brownies also. Taste is very sweet and malty, right on style. Dates and sweet bready malts dominate with some cocoa mixed in and over-sugared coffee; body is thick and sweet while the alcohol is very well hidden. Some bitterness at the end keeps this brew from getting to cloying. Very well-crafted brew as always from CC.

saintwarrick, May 04, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Bagpipers developed this sound that evokes the wide-open, lonely landscape of the Scottish Highlands."

--Jamie Laval

Dark candy apple red with terra cotta trim. A gentle escape of CO2 on crown cracking led to a high-altitude pour... which led to three fingers of golden brown sugar colored cream that looks like it has no interest in melting. An acceptable amount of lace sticks as well.

The aroma is more burly brown ale than most beer of this style. One doesn't often smell pumpernickel toast and coffee in a Scotch ale. If there's enough malt, but this could be pretty special stuff.

Big Sound delivers big flavor. This is one of those offerings that is delicious from the first mouthful and could easily reach exceptional by the tenth or twelfth. If the flavor profile gains a little depth and breadth with warming, we're there.

Flavors include English toffee, brown bread drizzled with chocolate and molasses, chicory coffee and earthy tobacco leaves. A modest amount of peat-smoked malt would have put this brew into the stratosphere. As was expected, the Sound is even Bigger now that the middle of the bomber has been breached. In addition, the sweet-bitter balance is nigh on perfect.

The mouthfeel is slightly lighter than it should be for the ABV. On the other hand, it too comes into its own as the ounces pass, developing a lushness that couldn't have been predicted after the first sip. Scores are being increased all over the damn place.

Big Sound Scotch Ale is dedicated to Gino the punk rock bagpiper and to Tampa Bay Pipes And Drums. This is my first Cigar City beer and it's a corker. If you have the opportunity, tune in to Big Sound and enjoy a wonderful wee heavy from the Sunshine State. Thank you to whoever sent me this tasty treat.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 07, 2010
Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
89 out of 100 based on 564 ratings.