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Big Sound Scotch Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Big Sound Scotch AleBig Sound Scotch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

506 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 506
Reviews: 177
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11%


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: 506 | Reviews: 177 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of MacQ32
MacQ32

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a super deep dark brown with a finger of dark tan head, very dense, strong retention, solid lacing.

S - candied sugar and dark fruits, fig/dates. Not very sweet. Molasses and minimally sweet maple syrup.

T - super light. Dark fruits again, figs mostly light sugars at the finish aftertaste can be quite boozy as it warms. Cool its fairly light and refreshing.

M - much too light for me. Relatively drinkable for sure, medium/low carb quite smooth. Mouth feel is really awesome but at the same time not what I want from this beer at all.

O - mixed feelings on this one, I like it. But not for a scotch ale

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 23:33:07 | More by MacQ32
Photo of jbaker67
jbaker67

Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a big khaki colored head of foam. The aroma has rich toffee and dark fruit notes. Some chocolate notes are there as well. The taste is more of that dark fruit and chocolate sweetness. Some sherry notes, perhaps. Big, chewy mouthfeel and body. Lower end of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 11:38:46 | More by jbaker67
Photo of IPAdams
IPAdams

Illinois

3.64/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours a very dark brown with a small tan head that recedes quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smell- First smell is raisins along with some background notes of toffee and burnt caramel. The raisin/prune smell is very dominant.

Taste- Similar to the smell I get a strong prune taste. I get some dark chocolate and a little burnt caramel on the back end. Almost no bitterness, fairly sweet and tart.

Mouthfeel- Body is medium, good carbonation for the style. Leaves a slick feeling after swallowing.

Overall- Not a bad beer, but the strong prune taste and smell made me not enjoy it as much. A very different take on a scotch ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2014 02:59:49 | More by IPAdams
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has a black profile but it holds a top of Brown that seems to ease into the darkness. The head has a lot of stiffness and survived well.

The aroma was of fresh brewed tea, less leaf and more of the finished product. There is some raisin or dark fruit in the nose with tobacco and a grain malt.

The grain flavors are more to the front and seem to take over. As a fan of strong malts and grain I found this to be very enjoyable. This ended with a raisin sweetness that kept the dried fruit intact.

The feel is very lively, very light and super easy to drink.

Very good beer with a lot of personality.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 19:30:37 | More by KYGunner
Photo of Segelstrom
Segelstrom

Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured to a nice smooth head to a dARK BRN head

s - not a hoppy smell - good notes of heavy sweet malt

t - a nice full body taste. a little on the sweet side but to be expected wit- h abv numbers

m - smooth

o - a great tasting beer - worth getting again.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 01:13:45 | More by Segelstrom
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewery dated 9/11/13. Pours a deep dark brown with a khaki yellow brown head. Verrry slight ruby on the edges but mostly opaque. Aroma of sweet molasses, chocolate, roast, smoke, toffee, biscuits, and more chocolate. Flavor is a nice roasty smokey chocolate with a lingering peaty flavor on the palate. Sweet molasses takes over the palate after chocolate subsides up front. Rich and creamy but with offsetting light carbonation and not stout heavy. Good scotch ale ad can see how this would take on the bourbon barrels well. Will have to find the BA version this season.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2013 00:00:00 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of drgoose23
drgoose23

Florida

4.69/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bought this bad boy last year at the brewery and loved it so much that I had a friend that visited Tampa a couple weeks after to bring me another one because it loved it so much. Can't wait until the new one comes out because I will be hoarding them for a year just like I'm doing with the bottle my buddy brought me. IF you can get your hands on this do yourself a FAVOR.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 16:18:28 | More by drgoose23
Photo of WillCarrera
WillCarrera

Ohio

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, opened at Mikkeller & Friends in Copenhagen, poured into a mini pokal glass. Thanks Emily!

A- Pours dark brown, thick and viscous looking, produces a tiny head that quickly disappears.

S- Sweet, malty aroma of caramel, dark fruit, molasses, and bread.

T- Quite sweet and sugary, loads of caramel, molasses, caramelized dark fruits, some boozy rum flavors and breadiness.

M- Full-bodied, thick and rich, moderate booze warmth.

O- A solid scotch ale, but overall a bit more sweet than I would have liked, it's a beer worth trying but I would recommend splitting this with a few friends.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 07:05:28 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 8/20/2012. Pours moderately cloudy very dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, molasses, raisin, cherry, apple, toast, pear, toffee, clove, light roast, peat smoke, dark bread, and toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and big complexity of dark/toasted malt notes with fruitiness and moderate peat. Taste of big caramel, molasses, raisin, cherry, apple, toast, toffee, pear, clove, light roast, dark bread, light peat, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, molasses, light and dark fruit, toast, toffee, clove, dark bread, light roast, light peat, and earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance with big complexity of malt and fruity flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a slick, creamy, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent scotch ale! Very nice balance and big complexity of malt/fruity flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 04:14:36 | More by superspak
Photo of Zachtheporter
Zachtheporter

Wisconsin

4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 00:01:57 | More by Zachtheporter
Photo of Rogorama
Rogorama

Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the better scotch ales I've tried. Opened a 2012 bottle on DLD. The malts really take over in this one, with a slight hint of cherries. The coffee didn't really come out as much as I had hoped, but it was still a very nice beer overall. Looking forward to trying the barrel aged versions!

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 19:54:18 | More by Rogorama
Photo of bcostner1
bcostner1

Tennessee

3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Moderate brown hued with red undertones.

S: Pretty underwhelming. A little peat, a little malt, very mild hops.

T: One of the better tasting scotch ales I have had. I will admit, though, that I am very hot and cold with this style. I have to be in the mood for one. It's not one that I necessarily crave or seek out. I'm getting: peat, mild smoke, caramel, some chocolate, toffee, and maybe a little black cherry.

M: Decent. Body is fairly satisfying and abv pretty well hidden. Just nothing about it that really wows me or turns me off one way or the other.

Overall, decent brew. Glad I got to try it. Would like to try the BA version. I bet I would enjoy it more.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 00:12:14 | More by bcostner1
Photo of shand
shand

Florida

4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big Sound pours out a deep brown color with a decent head that quickly drops to a ring. The aroma is intensely malty with just a bit of smoke. The taste is awesome, this is a huge and rich Scotch ale that provides a massive amount of malt flavors. There's a bit of sweetness over the slightest amount of peaty smoke. There's a solid amount of booze on the finish as well. The mouthfeel, like most big Cigar City beers, is exceptional. It's got a pretty large body, yet is very smooth. The drinkabiliy is very good. Overall, Big Sound is a solid Scotch ale. There's a little less peat presence than I'd like, but it's otherwise nice and complex.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 05:55:17 | More by shand
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mhksuccess for sharing this one at my tasting.

Bottled 8/20/12.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Taste is much the same with a malty flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that with some solid aromas and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 02:29:04 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of pmlondrigan
pmlondrigan

New York

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like slightly flat coca cola in the glass, though a little darker. A head appears then disappears just as fast. Faint if none existant aroma of none discript malty-ness. The flavor delivers a lot where other areas of this beer fall short. Very malty with some caramel and a hint of roast coffee. Pete-y to a degree with brown sugar. It is full and malty but dry, not sweet at all. Big full mouthfeel, a little oily, a little lacking in carbonation. Despite the beer's lack of appearance and aroma it really delivers well. If this was available in my market I'd drink it frequently in the cooler months.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 03:00:25 | More by pmlondrigan
Photo of SaCkErZ9
SaCkErZ9

Florida

3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one was bottled Aug 20, 2012.

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Pours chocolate brown, with no highlights. This one is as opaque as my leather couch. Topped with a very creamy, frothy, milkshake looking cappuccino colored head. Copious amounts of lacing. Wonderful looking for a scotch ale.

Aroma is a bit lacking. None of the smokiness, peatiness, caramel, deep roastiness associated with most of the style. There is some caramel as well as some dark fruitiness. Alcohol esters are definitely noticeable. Slight bit of chalkiness with this one also.

Decent flavors. Again, a bit muted. Not overly sweet, which I like. None of the smokiness or tobacco qualities I like. Super malty with more dark fruit flavors and a bit or raisins shining through. Full bodied and chewy; very sticky.

Overall, a decent beer. Certainly not tops for the style but above average. Price point is nice so I would probably get this one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 20:01:43 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of Lawl3ss
Lawl3ss

Texas

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lightly chilled 25.4 oz. bomber into an imperial shaker. Bottling date 8.20.12

Look- Clear deep brown with two fingers of dense, creamy off-white foam. Good retention, excellent lacing.

Smell- Rich, nougaty, malty without being overly sweet. Perhaps some maple, but overall a very straightforward nutty-cocoa malt aroma.

Taste- Just what I was looking for. Brown bread, molasses, toffee, mild herbal bittering. Not picking up on any smokiness, but this one's so well balanced that I can't really fault it too much. Lingering biscuit and brown sugar, never gets too sweet or syrupy.Tasty!

Mouthfeel- Smooth, creamy, full feel but fairly dry. Clean finish. Mellow, comforting feel, dangerously drinkable for the ABV.

Overall- This is the sort of beer I miss in Texas. If only I could get something similar in the area.... Consider yourself lucky if this is a shelf beer where you live.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 07:23:56 | More by Lawl3ss
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Turkey leftovers!

Absolutely super dark walnut black body, making some sudsy light tan head. Makes three fingers but settles very quickly to a small collar ring. Light creamy puck on top manages to stick around while drinking. Probably the darkest Scotch Ale I've seen.

Nose is very small, mild classic malts and toffee, kind of fruity smelling sort of a grape sensation. Strangely subtle and nothing very noticeable.

Palate fills with a nice malty chocolate and raisin. Low/medium carbonation with a nice creamy palate feel. A yeast density aftertaste to this mixing in with whoopers candy. Warmth brings some mild char roasting and mild faint prickly hop also.

Overall pretty decent and a worthy drink, but I think I prefer other Wee Heavy beers compared to this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 22:55:03 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

3.1/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dad picked this one up for me from the brewery when he was in Florida for Spring Training in 2012. Thanks for swinging by pops!

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, looser looking, fizzy, light tan head with decent retention. Head fades to a splotchy wisp and ring. A perfectly clear bistre brown body with no carbonation evident. Light ring remains but leaves no lacing by the end. Ends a bit flat looking.

SMELL: Dark malts, leather, dark fruits and spicy yeast notes on the nose. Much like a Belgian strong dark ale, with caramel notes and some dark bread as well. Medium strength.

TASTE: Somewhat mild up front, though some leather and dark fruits do make an appearance. Flavor picks up at the swallow with lots of sweet flavors, including grapes, toffee and caramel flavors. Milder but lingering finish of sweet malts, grapes, and a touch of bitter coffee at the end. Quite sweet and a little lack-luster initially.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly light on the palate. Creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes rather sticky for the style. A touch light perhaps, but nothing is off-putting.

OVERALL: This was just alright. I've had piles of wonderful beers from Cigar City, but this one didn't quite do it for me. A little light in body and the flavor lacked up front a bit. Still an enjoyable beer, but I think I expected more from this one. Cheers again for doing the leg-work pops. Love trying stuff from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2012 18:58:26 | More by Jeffo
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2012 18:42:20 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at CCB tasting room. Poured into a snifter.

A: Opaque, dark brown to black with slight ruddy undertones. Forms a half-finger tan head that quickly fades to foam. Mild amount of visible carbonation.

S: Dark roasty malts, dark fruits, and malty sweetness with a bit of dark cacao.

T: Sweet roasty malts, dark fruit and raisins, a bit of coffee & cacao. This is a bit boozy with a sweet sticky finish.

M: Heavier body, a smooth mouthfeel, and a moderate alcohol presence. Not overly boozy to the point of detraction.

O: This is pretty good, indeed much better than the infected bottle I had. A darn good scotch ale.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2012 16:14:00 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of FanofHefe
FanofHefe

Illinois

4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber (no dating on the bottle of label) which pours a deep brown/black body, with very little light penetration. Very small tan head with a very small amount of lacing.

Mostly light aroma of roasted malt with dark fruit notes.

The flavor is excellent and stands up ahead of the aroma. Very tasty blend of the dark fruit flavors with the solid dark malt flavors. A very light taste of citrus hops adds to an overall tasty blend.

A thick texture in the mouthfeel and very enjoyable and drinkable brew. I like this very much and would highly recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2012 02:21:37 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of Danny1217
Danny1217

Florida

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, little tan head that quickly fades and leaves a thin layer at the top.
Smells of grapes, toffee, roasted malts, brown sugar, leather, and oak. A little bit of booze on the nose too. Best way I can describe it is that it smells like a red wine, but in beer form.
Tastes of spice, toffee, caramel, raisins. A bit of a roasty flavor. Nice alcohol warmth, but isn't overpowering. Nice full body, medium carbonation.

A nicely complex Scotch ale. Cigar City never disappoints.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2012 04:50:43 | More by Danny1217
Photo of warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours deep brown with a touch of red. Two fingers of light brown head with nice retention. Not much lacing.

S - Big caramel malt aroma, with some cola, coffee, a bit of raisin and faint brown sugar. Aroma does have a sweetness to it, but is pretty nice.

T - Caramel and molasses, definitely has some sweetness to it, but seems to work pretty well in this case. Subtle coffee, raisin and faint spice.

M - Medium-full mouthfeel that is sticky sweet. Some drying on the finish, but sweet all the way through.

O - Tasty Scotch ale. It would be nice if the sweetness were dialed back just a bit, but it mostly works here. A good bottle to split.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 23:10:16 | More by warnerry
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Bilco for sharing this beer

Review adapted from notes taken 3/31/12

Appearance: Reddish brown, beige head, spotty lacing, retains a nice ring

Smell: Caramel, sugar, a lot of sweetness - toasted bread, bread crust, toasted malts - a hint of fruit, and some booze

Taste: Not a typical Scotch ale, sweet - very caramelized, sweet and malty - toasted malts, bread, dough, molasses, toffee, hints of chocolate and dark fruits

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body, smooth, nicely carbonated

Overall: Good stuff

This was an interesting Scotch ale. Bigger and sweeter than the average, with some interesting flavors. This is worth a try, but it's not mind-blowing.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2012 05:43:44 | More by angrybabboon
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Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 506 ratings.