Big Sound Scotch Ale - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 530 | Reviews: 178 | Display Reviews Only:
3.53/5 rDev -13.7%
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.
06-26-2011 20:43:13 | More by Avagadro
3.53/5 rDev -13.7%
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.
07-24-2011 22:59:03 | More by jcreegan
3.55/5 rDev -13.2%
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.
07-19-2011 03:30:46 | More by jsanford
3.58/5 rDev -12.5%
A: Pours a dark muddy brown with a massive (and I do mean massive) coffee-brown head. The head persists, leaving all kinds of lacing.
S: Figs, cherries, brown sugar, toffee, with a deeply-roasted, almost charred, chocolate/coffee note.
T: Creamy chocolate and whipped prune together. Sweet from start to finish. Only in the long aftertaste does this gain some hop bitterness. Very nice, but lacks somewhat in complexity.
M: Rich and smooth with creamy carbonation. The alcohol is extremely well integrated.
O: I know this is down from my earlier firkin review of this same beer, but I've had Traquair House Ale in the meantime, and it's changed how I view the style. With increased ABV comes required complexity.
01-26-2012 00:40:50 | More by speter
3.58/5 rDev -12.5%
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick, nicely amber tinged, full amber color. The beer is a dark amber color that has a concentrated redness to it. When held up to the light the beer shows a nicely concentrated, red, ruby color. The beer has an interesting note to it up front, it is quite sweet with an almost cinnamon like character to it sweetness; almost reminds me of a deeply caramelized, cinnamon sweetened red-hot. There is a touch of toasted grain underneath the sweet aroma. Perhaps this is a bit too cold (though it is at 50ºF / 10ºC), a quick stint in the microwave has me noticing a bit more caramel character rather than straight sweetness, some berry like fruit character as well as more toasted malt character. Actually the sticky sweetness has now all but disappeared. The aroma started out a bit on the simplistic side, but it does get a bit better if you really let it warm up, though it still doesn't quite have the complexity that I was hoping for.
This is sweet tasting with a thick, chewy body that easily tames the sweetness, which definitely is not cloying. The beer finishes with a touch of warming alcohol as well as a chewy, whole grain toastiness, and a deeply caramelized malt character. A bit of caramelized, marshmallow character is in the middle and the finish has a hint of roast grain that adds just a hint of bite to balance a smidge of the sweetness. This does have some salty smokiness to it as well, which is quite subtle and I would guess is not from any actual peat smoked malt. This has a touch of fruitiness to it with mostly a raisin-like note that likely is contributed by the malt character. While the sweetness is not too much in this warmed up beer, it does still have a candy like note to it with all of the caramelized specialty malt character floating around in this beer.
In hopes of cutting the sweetness I have taken to eating an overly sweetened brownie, this does tame the beers sweetness, but actually brings a touch of tartness out in the beer. It does accentuate a touch more of the light roast character, a slight bit more smokiness, as well as bringing out more of the toasted malt character.
Not a bad beer, I must admit that I got a bit too caught up in excitement around this brewery, my expectations of grandeur where probably a bit too much, but I was expecting a lot more from this beer. It doesn't quite have the complexity and balance that I really want to see in a great example of the style. Really my biggest complaint here is that the beer has a bit too much sweetness; it does need some sweetness, but if it was a touch drier it would really allow a lot more complex malt character to come through. A touch more age might round this out a bit though; six months to a year might see this beer peaking.
06-20-2009 15:24:45 | More by Gueuzedude
3.64/5 rDev -11%
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.
02-10-2014 02:59:49 | More by IPAdams
3.65/5 rDev -10.8%
Consumed 2.3 oz of this brew for reviewing purposes. Heated in an oven for five minutes at 400 degrees, then I dropped it into a vat of liquid helium. BRRR!! When it got back to room temperature, I was ready to try it.
Pours a dark, deep brown with a bubbling, long lasting tan head. Quite a bit of foam on these cigar city brews.
Smells like a bit of roasted malt, sweet caramel, and maybe ... some nuttiness? Earthiness? Not sure.
Taste is mostly sweet, with a strange astringent coffee bittering agent that lingers on the aftertaste, mostly rich roasted grainy caramel malt, and that nuttiness from the aroma becomes more prevalent. Maybe a hint of vanilla ... can't be sure. There's also a strange kind of butteriness to it. Somewhat unusual wee heavy that almost reminds me more of an uber-malted brown ale.
Made it through the big bottle, but not that drinkable, all things considered.
08-01-2009 10:48:11 | More by Overlord
3.68/5 rDev -10%
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.
04-26-2012 05:43:44 | More by angrybabboon
3.68/5 rDev -10%
Pours a hazy brown with some red highlights, nice sticky khaki lacing. Scent is of brown sugar, toffee, cherry, nuts, earth and booze. Taste is very sweet and boozy, almost cloying. Working past the harshness, tastes of toffee, earth and some dark fruit. Full bodied, creamy due to the cask pour. A nice ale that is a touch too harsh in the sweetness and boozyness.
06-05-2010 23:15:47 | More by rfgetz
3.7/5 rDev -9.5%
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.
01-31-2013 00:12:14 | More by bcostner1
3.73/5 rDev -8.8%
Out of a 750ml capped bottle. Pours a very dark brown color with a huge frothy tan head that slowly dissipated leaving nice chunks of lacing. The aroma is malty & musty, good wet bark scents with hints of copper, caramel and brown sugar. The taste is quite sweet, big brown sugar and honey sweetness. This is somewhat offset by an earthy woody flavor. Throughout the profile there is pockets of dark fruit flavors, raisins and fig. The brew has a chewy feel with fizzy carbonation, any of the earthy characteristics are drown out by the almost cloying sweetness; finishes a sticky and syrupy. An over-reaching scotch ale. It seems to go too big on sweetness when it doesn't need it. The brew has good earthy characteristics but these are crushed by the over the top sweetness.
04-24-2010 04:18:59 | More by Gmann
3.73/5 rDev -8.8%
From the 750ml capped bottle. Poured into a snifter. As others have noted, this is a really dark Scotch ale. Some red highlights if held to a lamp. Persistent thick head.
Excellent aroma. I get ripe sweet cherries, cedar, lavender, sweet tea.
Wow, this is tasty, but it's awfully sweet and thick. I can tell it's going to be a chore to finish the bottle. In the future, I won't open one of these unless I have several people to share with. I get a lot of the sweet cherries drenched in maple syrup. Tastes cinnamon bun-like. It's really sweet. Good, but I think the sweetness detracts from the complexity that would otherwise develop. I can definitely see why people rate this highly; it just runs a little contra to my personal preferences.
It's the epitome of a beer you share out big time. I'd have a hard time even finishing a 12 oz bottle.
04-18-2010 16:50:41 | More by Patrick999
Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 530 ratings.