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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 mwilbur
mwilbur

Minnesota

4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 05:03:13 | More by mwilbur
Photo of CampusCrew
CampusCrew

Florida

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 16:31:30 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of hoptualBrew
hoptualBrew

Florida

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle after a long fucking day @ work.

Poured into my Funky Buddha snifter a deep dark brown, nearly black with a tight sexy tall head atop the malt bomb.

Malts - holy shit! Roasted malts, caramel malts, dark chocolate, toffee, and nuts just fill the nose & send me away to beer heaven for a split second.

Wow, malt bomb like I thought. So insanely good, could drink this all day & night. Nutty caramel flavors have a strong presence throughout, but a lot of roastiness & chocolates hit the tongue too. This is a perfectly balanced sweet & malty wee heavy, perhaps the best one of its style I have had to date.

Loved this beer, one of my favorites to date. Will be picking this up again for $10.99 @ Total Wine and More.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 01:53:54 | More by hoptualBrew
Photo of hopsbreath
hopsbreath

Oregon

2.93/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to zimmerbloke for this one. I got this bottle from him late last year and had no intention of holding onto it for a while. I ended up popping it in July and the notes are just now making it to BA. Split with TulipSnifter in a couple snifters.

A: Presents a rusty brown in the glass with a couple fingers of strawberry blonde head that dissipates quite quickly. A wisp ring maintains itself for a good hour or so. No lacing, but it is pretty leggy. 4/5

S: Lots of big ripe stone fruits and toffee. Warming peaty alcohol is bigger than what I expect given the 8.5% ABV suggested on the bottle. Very good and most pleasing. 4.5/5

T: Again heavy on the peat, big sugary sweetness, cacao dusted toast points, raisins galore, and spice. The sweetness is all over the place and really needs some toning down. 2.5/5

M: Thick and spritzy with a gummy finish. Not good. 2/5

O: Not a bad effort although unorthodox. More peat and earth with less sweet would have helped out a bunch. A higher attenuation wouldn't have hurt either. 2.5/5

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 07:02:31 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Mocha colored one-inch head on top of a cola=brown beer. Good head retention and lacing!

S- Dark caramel malts with a touch of cola.

T- Low hops, per usual for the style. Dark malts with some chocolate and toffee notes. Well hidden ABV.

M- Creamy/syrupy. Well carbonated but with very, very small bubbles.

D/O- A good example for the style overall but for the money I believe there are better options. Worth a try though if you are a huge Scotch Ale fan like me.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 04:41:27 | More by Duff27
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Currently the #7 ranked Scotch Ale on BA.

I got this bottle at the Total Wine right up the street from Cigar City.

A: Sitting there idle, it looked like a liquid piece of shit. Again, shit brown, with a nice 1/8 finger beige head that stuck around.

S: Malt bomb for sure: Melted caramel, maybe a tinge of butterscotch, but not much.

T: I got the cherry and toffee somewhat, but got raisons and dates overall. Damn good for this style. Smooth finish IMO. Neither dry nor wet.

M: Thick and somewhat sugary, but not too. No booze overall, and a good bit of lacing... but most of it fell back into the snifter.

O: Pretty good, but I'll still give Alesmith Wee Heavy the honors in this category.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 03:47:44 | More by Chaney
Photo of Netdigger2
Netdigger2

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 17:16:58 | More by Netdigger2
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 04:20:32 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured a deep dark brown with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, maple syrup, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, maple syrup, caramel, wood, and subtle tart. It had a medium feel with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I really wasn't that impressed with this one if I am honest. Glad that the alcohol presence wasn't here though as it would have made it unbearable for me with these flavors. Nothing too memorable here at all. Worth trying if you get the chance but that is about it.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 19:08:59 | More by thagr81us
Photo of ChugginOil
ChugginOil

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Sound

Very dark brown in color. Almost black. 2 fingers of a greyish tan head. Oily lacing leaves spotty bubble lacing.

The nose smells of burnt malts, tobacco, and leather. There is also a great deal of sweet caramel malt going on.

The taste is much the same. Sweet malts dominate and are very smooth. Some tobacco and leather are noticed passed the sweetness. A nice robust flavor.

The mouthfeel is smooth and full-bodied all around. The sweetness leaves a stickiness on my palate.

Overall, a great example of the style and holds many robust and enjoyable flavors.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 19:40:40 | More by ChugginOil
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 01:17:50 | More by mntlover
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

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

750 ml, thanks to mntlover. Pours a thick dark brown body with a large beige head. Lots of sticky lacing and good retention.

Lovely aroma of brown sugar, caramel, and molasses accented by ripe sweet red cherries.

Medium full bodied with a creamy moderate carbonation.

Taste mirrors the aroma but has some added chocolate hints. Love the ripe red cherry presence but wish it had some smoky peated malt character in keeping with the style. Alcohol is very cleverly concealed. Finishes with a flourish of malty toffee.

Very tasty. Two things I can say for Cigar City after trying two of their offerings(thanks to mntlover again): they can really brew high quality malt driven styles and they know how to disguise some serious alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 15:00:04 | More by merlin48
Photo of jcreegan
jcreegan

Florida

3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 into a snifter glass.

A- dark color. Darker the expected, almost porter like. 2 finger golden head quickly dissapeared and left no lacing.

S- very sweet. Hints of coffee, Carmel, and cherry. You can also smell the alcohol.

T- sweet and roasty. Hints of cherry, coffee, and malts. You can definitely taste the alcohol. A little bit of bitterness at the end of each sip.

M- light carbonation. Very smooth. A little syrupy.

O- too sweet to me. An ok beer but Not sure I would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 22:59:03 | More by jcreegan
Photo of orock25
orock25

Florida

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wife picked up a Bottle of this for my Bday knowing that Cigar City is my favorite brewery.

Appearance - Dark color, much darker than I was expecting. Thick creamy head that fades quickly is the only thing that tells me this isn't a stout. I can't wait to dig in!

Smell - Really sweat nose. Picking up maybe some caramel mixed with a small amount of coffee malts. Didn't notice the cherry until I read the bottle, but it's definitely there.

Taste -Coffee, caramel, toffee, and again cherry. The great thing here is that even with those flavors it's still refreshing. Which is important to me with any brew.

Mouthfeel - Perfect amount of carbonation as shown with a remaining thin layer of head. It sits very south and silky which is again surprising giving how refreshing it is.

Overall -From what I know about scotch ales, I think this is great. I haven't tried many in this style, but much like other beers Cigar City brews, this one might get me more interested in the style.
Cheers again CCB.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 23:35:28 | More by orock25
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Cigar City Snifter.

A - Pours a dark cola brown with ruby highlights and a big creamy head of khaki that has great retention and leaves spotty lacing as it recedes.
S - Nice aromas of caramel, chocolate, dark berries, and coffee with just a faint touch of smoke.
T - Follows the nose nicely with flavors of chocolate, caramel, and coffee with a bit of dark cherry, orange peel, and smoke. Bit of a metallic twang to this, I'm thinking the bottle may be past it's prime, but it's still a decent beer.
M - Smooth and creamy, slightly sticky, with a medium-full mouth-feel and moderately prickly carbonation.
O - Solid example of the style, the high ABV is masterfully hidden.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 03:30:46 | More by jsanford
Photo of Jefe73
Jefe73

Florida

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the CCB Tasting Room

A - Pours dark brown with ruby highlights. Lacing is consistent throughout the glass with good head retention.

S - There's a lot going on in the nose. Sweet fruit (cherries, raisins and figs) sweet malt, cotton candy?

T - Sweet malt, rum raisins, toffee and molasses are all represented here. A little roasted coffee, malted milk and toffee on the finish, along with some hoppy notes. Complex, but nicely balanced.

M - Medium body with a creamy feel on the palate. Good level of carbonation. Everything seems to be blended quite nicely.

O - Quite drinkable for something coming in at 8.5%. I haven't had a lot of this style, but this one really made me stand up and take notice. More please!

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2011 17:58:25 | More by Jefe73
Photo of GallowsThief
GallowsThief

Florida

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bomber into my Duvel tulip.

A – Deep, dark coca cola brown pour with about two fingers of light foamy brown head. Nice lacing left down the glass.

S – Chocolate, caramel and cocoa.

T – Chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits and a distinct milk taste. Also has a strong taste of cocoa powder. Sweet but not overly though it may turn off those who do not like sweet brews. The ABV is expertly hidden here, no trace at all. Finishes with a caramel and toffee taste. Nice.

M – Has a nice creamy, slick mouthfeel with decent carbonation.

O – Really nice offering from the boys at CC. Solid brew all around. For me this was a great sipper with an almost dessert like quality.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 23:33:24 | More by GallowsThief
Photo of DoctorB2B
DoctorB2B

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: ruby and quite clear, thick pink creamy two-finger head to boot.

Smell: Smells of sweet ripened dark fruits, a bit of smoke as well.

Taste: With a scotch ale, I expected some peat, and it wasn't there with this one ... I was just a little sad about that. However, I got from the taste what I got from the nose, sweet and slightly boozy dark fruits.

Overall: Got this is a trade with Dolfan84, glad I got to try it. Sure I'd like to have a more of the traditional wee heavy.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 03:27:47 | More by DoctorB2B
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this beer is the #7 Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy, served in a Bruery tulip.

Beer is dark brown almost black but clear with a decent head of small bubbles, lacing on the glass, some carbonation but low.

Aroma is sweet mildly peety and a little caramel. Smells good.

Beer is medium in body, nice and heavy on the palate, sweetness up front with a nice almost liquor like finish. Very enjoyable, a very good beer, I can tell why it is rated so high. I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 04:14:41 | More by drabmuh
Photo of adam42381
adam42381

Florida

4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown with beautiful ruby red highlights and a 3 finger frothy medium tan colored head featuring tiny carbonation bubbles. Excellent creamy lacing coating the glass.

Smell: Tons of malt and cocoa with a touch of dried fruits. Smells a lot like Hershey's Whoppers.

Taste: Very sweet mix of flavors up front including cocoa and sweet malt with a touch of caramel up front followed by a light amount of hops in the middle and ending with lightly toasted malt at the finish. Aftertaste is mildly bittersweet and quite appealing. Very well-balanced beer that keeps the alcohol completely hidden.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and creamy with a fairly high amount of prickly carbonation that gives it just about the perfect feel for me. Really coats the palate.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. The alcohol will sneak up on you since you really don't even notice that it's there.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. Cigar City has really knocked it out of the park with this one. I've liked just about every Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy that I've tried and this one does nothing to change that. I would highly suggest trying this beer if you get the chance.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 23:46:33 | More by adam42381
Photo of Nugganooch
Nugganooch

California

3.1/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Making my way through the CCB brews thanks to Alienloquium for the connect! - Cheers Collin.

Love the label! "Big Sound pairs well with Haggis, Highland Games, Huge Heads, Enormous pillows and of course bag pipes"

A: Big Sound pours the darkest Scotch Ale I have ever seen. It is a Coca-Cola dark brown with just the slightest twinge of garnet at the edges. A great big taupe colored head formed with no notable lacing.

S: Aroma is tart fruits, earthy roast malt and some nutty caramel toffeeness. Malty for sure.

T: Drinks sweet with a tart fruitiness akin to dried cherries that tickles the palate somewhat. Syrupy malts, brown sugars, and a caramel chocolatiness. Some chickory root. ABV is rather well masked with a slight warmth to it.

M: Mouthfeel is considerably light given the sugary sweet flavors here with a nice sleek coating to the tongue. A bit chewy overall though.

D: Drinkability is rather low. Drinks like a barleywine that is rather sweet and filling.

An interesting take on the Scotch Ale that doesn't seem like much of a stretch from some of the other dark CCB brews. A complex ale that in the end is a tad too syrupy for my liking. I would have personally enjoyed something perhaps attenuated down a bit more with some better carbonation to it. Love the label for sure tho! Oi! If it's not Scottish, It' crap!

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2011 23:05:20 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrives a 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. Would like some smoke/peat presence, too.

An addendum: I dropped the taste score one half point because the sweetness expanded as it warmed.

Serving type: on-tap

06-26-2011 22:04:51 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Avagadro
Avagadro

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy, chocolatey brown color with no head formation. A very dull looking brew.

S: Very little aroma, but what is there is nice: dark berries, chocolate, and caramel.

T: I'm starting to see a common trend with CCB's malty brews; they're all too sweet. Big sound boasts notes of black raspberries, coconut, and toffee, with dark chocolate on the finish. The flavors here are great, but they are too rich when combined with this brew's low attenuation.

M: Very full body, little carbonation, and nice chewy texture.

O: A decent brew marred by excessive sweetness. I'm starting to not trust CCB's malty beers, because they all contain the same mistake. If sweet brews are your thing, more power to you. I just can't give high marks to a brew like this.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 20:43:13 | More by Avagadro
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

3.08/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle pours a near black color with a modest tan head. Lacing decent.

Nose is malty and fruity, raspberries galore! Surprisingly fruity and the yeast seems ahead of the malt even, a bit of a departure from the norm when it comes to Scotch Ales. No smoke and no peat...hmmmm....

Fruits and sweet toffee malts are ridiculously prominent. Like drinking blackberry malt juice. I could see this appealing to some, but it is the anti-me kind of beer. I look for smoke, peat and rich malts in a Scotch Ale, and this has none of the above. Ugh...sugary, fruity mess of a beer. If I had to guess, it is fermented at way to high of a temp. I find this to be a pretty poor example of a Scotch Ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 02:49:58 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

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

750ml bottle split with my father. Poured into New Belgian snifter. Thanks to the generous BA who sent me this delicious extra.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with a thick, dense, light brown greasy head that receded into a thick film that lasted forever and laid down some good lacing. Great head retention.
S: Sweet, malty and woody smelling with notes of molasses, raisins, red grapes and a touch of alcohol.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of sweet malt, molasses, rum soaked raisins, and chocolate. Flavors and creamy and toasted tasting. The finish is full of vanilla, and the aftertaste has slight notes of tobacco and caramel.
M: Soft, bubbly carbonation with a creamy smooth body that is on the more medium side of full. Alcohol is hidden without a trace.
O: Sweet but not super caramelly or sugary. Went well with my pulled pork sandwich. Thanks again to BA who sent me this months ago.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2011 03:30:56 | More by scottfrie
Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 506 ratings.