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
91
outstanding

584 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 584
Reviews: 182
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 178
Gots: 145 | 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: 584 | Reviews: 182 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a murky and opaque brownish red, some orange, very thick tan head forms, very tight bubbles, settles to a thick layer and ring, tons of lacing on the glass, this looks pretty good. Smell is great, very rich, toffee, caramelized brown sugar, sherry, earthy, some floral, cherries and berries, very fruity and sugary, wood, very nice. Taste is great too, brown sugar and toffee sweetness up front, caramelized raisins, bread, toast, very fruity, touch of iron, figs, very earthy and woody, alcohol but well hidden, very rich and intense sweet finish. Mouthfeel is full bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth but goes down real smooth. A great scotch ale, Cigar City is putting out some killer beers. Thanks Russ!

Photo of stakem
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken on 6/5/10.

Firkin made available during Philly beer week. Served in a small snifter approximately 6oz pour. It appears a cloudy brown color with a creamy offwhite head that laces in a solid wall about the glass. Sweet caramel malt filled nose has a slight citrus hop bite before the rest of the malt aromas fills the nose with other dark fruity suggestions and a bit of vanilla. The taste is quite appealing, this is a very solid example of scotch ale. Malt flavors all over the place with a kick of alcohol and hop bitterness. The malt is represented with flavors of chocolate, vanilla, caramel and some suggestions of dark skinned fruit. Feel with this beer is full with a mild level of carbonation. There is a lingering flavor of chocolate and alcohol that mingles with some hops left in the mouth. Overall an awesome brew.

Photo of joepais
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Thanks Grant for the treat. Pored this one into a large snifter sitting by a camp fire. I must say it may have influenced my score some by adding to the experience I even lit up a Liga Privada no.9 for my second glass which paired prefect in my book. The brew had a tan colored head on top of a dark brown body, and the head lasted leaving great lacing on the side of the glass.

Big roasted malt aromas' come from this brew, so you get some coffee espresso notes. Now It might have been the campfire but I did get a slight hint of smoke LOL. It had a medium to light body. I wished for a tad more probably my only knock on the brew.

The flavor was great, it had a healthy amount of sweet caramel malts to me with the right amount of roasted bitters to keep this brew well balanced. Again I did get some smokiness to it as well, but like I said the atmosphere enhanced this one.

A great scotch ale well worth the effort to obtain. The drinkability was off the charts for me. I would love another bottle (hint)

Photo of cjgator3
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

A- Capped 750ml bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head that forms into a ring of lace around the glass.

S- The aroma is nothing short of a big malt bomb with a lot of sweet malts with notes caramel and toffee with a touch of hops.

T- The taste is fantastic! A lot of sweet malt, caramel and coffee flavors dominate the palate. There is also just a hint of peat as well, with a touch of hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is a fantastic sipping beer. Overall, this is another fantastic beer from CCB. The beer keeps getting better and better as it warms up in the glass. I can't wait to taste what the next beer released by Cigar City!

Photo of prototypic
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big Sound pours a dark, nut brown color. Light cutting through gives it a golden brown look. A caramel colored head covers the top and stands about two and a half fingers tall. It's very slow to recede. Lacing was certainly sticky, but light.

The nose is impressive. It's chock full of malts...brown, caramel, and a little chocolate. There's a bit of a sweet smell to it. But, a light cocoa/chocolate presence is also noted. Roasted coffee is relatively prominent. That's welcome in my book. It blends well with the wealth of malt present. Alcohol is blended well and isn't very noticeable. Smells good to this guy.

The flavor is excellent. Probably even a little better than the nose. This stuff hits on all cylinders! It kicks off with a sweet, caramel/toffee flavor. The brown/caramel/chocolate malt base is very strong. Light chocolate and cocoa flavors aren't as strong as the caramel, but they're duly noted. Coffee is probably the x-factor here. It adds quality depth and strong character to the overall flavor. Alcohol is masked well and goes largely unnoticed. It finishes sweet with a touch of java. Very impressive.

Big Sound has a medium body. It's very smooth due to light carbonation. More body would probably add something here, but I can't complain too much. Drinkability is very high. This is a quality Scotch Ale that's simply delicious. It might be a little hefty, but it's going down like a dream.

This is my first beer from Cigar City Brewing. I must say, it's a big time winner in just about every respect. Big Sound is a fantastic Scotch Ale. Its greatest attribute is the coffee flavor. It really ramps up the flavor a lot. It doesn't have any big weak points. More body would probably improve the feel a little. Otherwise - spot on! Go find a bottle.

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split this 750 during another good night of beers with Joe. Pours a dark brown color with a brownish-yellow head. Retention and lacing are just okay.

The nose is pretty intense. Caramelized brown sugar is at the forefront, with a medium amount of chocolate, some vanilla, and nutiness. A little bit of booze comes through when it warms, just barley keeping the aroma from a higher score.

The flavor is very concentrated and sweet, with the same flavors as described in the nose, with a bit more emphasis on creamy nuttiness. When Joe mentioned it tasted like a creamy, sugary chocolate wafer bar, I couldn't think of anything else. That description fit too well for me not to steal it in this review.

The mouthfeel is on the heavy side for the style, with mid to high carbonation and a lingering, sweet finish. This beer really impressed me, especially since I haven't been a fan of the style to this point. I might have to seek out some more examples, but I'm afraid I'll be disappointed after this one.

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Sebletitje for this brew.

750ml Bottle

Poured into a chalice a nice deep dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy/creamy tan head, with some stick lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slight bourbon, and some caramel. The taste is malty, sweet, slight bourbon note, slight tartness, and caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this one surprised me very tasty, recommended.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From moose3285 I see two people down Mike has set up another BA with this great beer Thanks!

Pours a dark brown with a light caramel head

Smell of strong caramelized sugars, nuts, some vanilla, toffee and sweet nuttiness.

Taste of strong thick caramel with toffee, lots of pecan pie, that slightly buttery butterscotch flavor from a longer roasted scotch ale. Thicker than most for the style, but also a higher ABV as well. clearly the higher abv has made it thicker but the mouthfeel is extremely thick for a 8.5 beer. Not quite the norm for the style, but I approve and tended to really enjoy this one.

So arguably close to a barleywine old ale that it might as well be considered in the same category. The yeast is clearly a scotch ale yeast and is very tasty. Another great beer by Cigar City Brewing.

Photo of FleeVT
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown bomber with a little piece about the brew, no dates anywhere on the bottle.

Pours a deep mahogany with tan pillowy head. Carbonation bubble are big. The nose is sweet with roasted malts. Lots of toffee, hints of dark berries, and maybe a touch of molasses. A mild alcohol undertone but it is inviting. A nice full mouth with perfect texture, not too much carbonation. More sweetness on the tongue, with berries and toffee coming through again. It warms the throat, then leaves you with lip licking sweetness that is fantastic. This is a hell of a beer and a best in class for the style. I would pair it with dessert, or some gamey meat.

Photo of dstc
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark with a huge, frothy, light brown head. Head falls very slow. Big sticky lace.

Bold malt aroma with hints of dark fruit and coffee.

Big malt taste. Cherries and plums with a nice sweetness. Coffee flavor is mild, ends a bit metallic and with a roasted flavor. Very bold.

Full and chewy in the mouth and smooth.

Awesome brew. So bold, flavorful and chewy. Very nice.

Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After an honest down-the-middle pour, Big Sound produced a thick pillow of light mocha foam over a baker's chocolate brown brew that glows ruby-red at the edges when held up to the light. A very good looking beer.

Salt water taffy, brown sugar and a bit of candied fruit on the nose, but not as much of a powerhouse smell as some in the style.

The mouthfeel is appropriately medium-full without too much carbonation.

The taste is pleasantly surprising after the relatively weak smell. Starts wonderfully sweet, with brown sugar, milk chocolate, and a slight cherry fruit taste taking the lead. A satisfying bready malt (almost like toasted dark wheat bread) comes in at the end and melds very nicely with some alcohol warmth. Seems like this beer has enough backbone to take some barrel aging. Definitely could stand up to BBQ or a nice steak. Overall, this is among my favorite Scotch ales.

Photo of Netdigger2
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a 16oz Duvel tulip.

Pours hazy brown, about an inch of tan head and good lacing. Tons of yeast dregs in this bottle, probably 2-3oz in the bottom.

Smell has a bit of a caramel and scotch playing against each other, no real hop on the nose, but you can almost make out maple syrup or brown sugar.

Taste is maple syrup, scotch, light aroma hops, brown sugar and crystal malt.

Mouthfeel is good with strong carbonation, full body.

Overall, great brew, wish it were available here.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Time for the Big Sound - I've been waiting for this one!

Just pouring it I can see within the stream of liquid that it's got a crimson cast to it. It's a bit hazy though. It's a deep chestnut with a dark amber glow along the base of the glass. The tan head is massive, and frothy, and it just doesn't want to die down. It's got lots of big bubbles mixed into it and it almost looks like swiss cheese. It does settle though, and becomes more like a creamy cap of baby swiss. The lacing is really nice though, and it leaves rings and curtains as it goes.

The nose is less bombastic, and it's gently sweet with a softly caramelish and gently fruity, berry and jam-like, edge.

That follows into the flavor, and I was surprised at how restrained it is. I was expecting more sugary malt, but this is actually right on par for the style. So many American brewers take it a notch beyond this and go over-board, but this is in check. It reminds me of Belhaven 80 -/-, although it's been so long since I've had one that I'm not even sure about that. I know it's not as roasty as the 90 -/- though, but it's technically stronger. More importantly, it's balanced. And balance is the key to Scottish and Scotch ale. It's malt, and then malt backed by low-level hops, and then more malt, and then more hops - and then a subtly lingering malty and just slightly hoppy and bitter finish. And the stunningly smooth and creamy mouthfeel on this one only makes that all the better!

So, moving to drinkability, at 8.5% this is an amazingly smooth and consumable beer. There's just enough caramel and sweetness to the malt, and just enough hop and bitterness to balance it - and the alcohol is very well cloaked! I'd imagine one could simply enjoy this until they passed out!

Nicely done! And well worth trying!

Photo of grub
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle courtesy of a LIF from the very generous tpd975. thanks greg!

750ml bottle. sampled july 4/09.

pours slightly murky deep dark red-brown with a dense cap of brown head. the head drops slowly and leaves plenty of thick lace behind.

aroma is great. rich caramel and toffee. toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. light alcohol. earthy and a touch woody.

taste is good. much like hte aroma, this is all about the malt. rich caramel and toffee. bit of coffee and dark chocolate. lightly toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. hint of smoke. light alcohol. a bit earthy. some dark fruit. low bitterness level, more coffee and chocolate than hops.

mouthfeel is great. medium-large body. medium carbonation level. silky smooth.

drinkability is great. excellent balance, hiding its alcohol almost completely. great complexity and depth. makes me wish i had a few more bottles!

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this brew in a trade with Kiefdog, Thanks Kevin!

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

Dark brown color with a beige head that left some spots of lacing.
Roasted malt aroma.
The taste is full of roasted malt, dark fruits, a hint of chocolate and light bitterness.
Medium/full bodied with a creamy feel.
Oh yeah, but drink it slowly.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at the Kickbacks Cigar City/St Somewhere dinner. I'm reviewing this by memory on this I had this at the Kickbacks Cigar City/St Somewhere dinner. I have had most of CC's regular beers but I have not tried this yet. Finally got to try this malt monster of a scocth ale. It's heavy with with a tad of sweetenss. one of the best I have had in the styly.

Photo of Shaw
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost black: Just a hint of amber shows through when put to the light.

The aroma is quite complex, with caramel, fruit and nut notes combining with a hint of solvent alcohol plus other things I can't identify.

Wow, what a taste! It's rich and roasted with dried fruit notes, big malt flavors and a bit of alcohol. Very complex, but restrained at the same time.

The body is creamy, thick and slick.

Overall this is an excellent beer and instantly becomes one of my favorites from Cigar City.

Photo of ffejherb
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dispensed via firkin at Capone's on 6/5/10 during Cigar City event for Philly Beer Week.

A - Appeared as an extremely murky, cloudy earthy brown liquid with a flimsy beige head that disappeared completely.

S - Rich and malty nose with plenty of caramel, toffee and vanilla as well as a hint of floral notes. After some time, a coffee and roasted malt character develops, adding a bit of depth to the aroma.

T - The initial flavor incorporates much of the same rich, sweet toffee and caramel attributes found in the aroma. Vanilla and traces of sugar candy are also apparent, as well as a hint of coffee. Finishes with a leafy, earthy hop bite and lots of chocolate character in the backend.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth texture, resulting in a fairly silky mouthfeel. Finishes with subtle bitterness and a hint of dryness on the palate.

D - This is a tasty-ass Scotch Ale, although I think I was a bit more floored when I had this from the bottle. Of course, that was my first-ever Cigar City brew, so my memory may be a bit skewed. All in all, this is an outstanding beer.

Photo of J2L
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of williamjbauer
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of dsauter
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of weonfire
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 584 ratings.