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Big Sound Scotch Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Big Sound Scotch AleBig Sound Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

191 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 191
Hads: 649
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 19.07%
Wants: 186
Gots: 163 | FT: 16
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:
Beer added by: cjgator3 on 12-05-2008

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 191 | Hads: 649
Photo of ThickNStout
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from a friend. Bottled 3/19/15. Served in a Cigar City teku.

Pours a deep but transparent burgundy with a finger and a half ecrue head. The bubbles fade to a thin, broken rail without leaving any lace.

Aromas of sweet malts and little else. Caramel, toffee, bread and an almost cocoa note.

Flavors of caramel, bread, vague dark fruit, toffee, very faint smoke, molasses, almost woody earthiness, trace coffee, brown sugar, fruit skins, vague chocolate and some mild alcohol.

Semi creamy medium feel with faily light carbonation. No surprises in the aftertaste- caramel, toffee and brown sugar.

Big Sound is a sweet, no frills malt display. Ultimately it is nice standard scotch ale.

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Photo of core42
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very smooth Scotch ale that smells good and tastes great. Lots of flavor without the lingering peaty aftertaste that some other Scotch ales have. Definitely one of my favorite Scotch ales out there

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Photo of smb
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light, quickly dissipating head, slightly swirly, dark brown/burgundy. Aroma is caramel, toffee, molasses and brown sugar. Awesome. Taste follows through on the brown sugar mainly, with huge bready maltiness sticking around on the palate, along with some booze. Very nice overall.

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Photo of hAle2theWort
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this aging for a few months and wish I had had it sooner. This is yet another incredible creation from the Beer Gods and CCB. Not too heavy, balanced, wonderful finish.

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Photo of danh53
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown ale with one finger head that disappears and leaves little lacing on the glass. Aroma of molasses, coffee, caramelized brown sugar. Dark fruit comes through a little in the taste, especially prunes. Chocolate comes through as it warms.The mouth feel is medium and smooth. Not the biggest fan of scotch ales, but this is one of the best.

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Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Hmmm, not sure where to place this one. Not good nor bad. Solid brew. May be a bit too sweet. Feels like brown sugar or something. But I am enjoying it. Yum

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Photo of mynie
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Regular (not BA) Big Sound. On cask at the brewery.

Pours brown. Smells like chocolate and booze. I had to ask whether or not it was barrel aged, as the alcohol nodes were so pronounced.

Once sipped, the aroma's intensity gives way to a different intensity. Big, burny booze washes up against zippy brown ale malt, and the affect is akin to a beer that starts off as a bock but ends as an almost-too-sweet super boozy brown. At no point is the beer bad, but it never quite ties together.

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Photo of mtvolkens
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark in glass. Almost black until you pick up the glass and see deep red color with a tan head that is not falling. A slight milk chocolate upfront with an immediate alcohol hit. You can feel it as you swallow and it finishes with a sweet cream finish. Very very good scotch ale.

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Photo of barfootbandit
4.93/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this beer from a bomber. This beer was phenomenal and probably one of the best scotch ales I have ever had. Very dark color with aromas of peated scotch-y malts. Scotch-y flavors are present with hints of caramel, toffee, and roasted malt. Scotch-y peated flavors are similar to flavors from Islay whiskey casks. An 8.5% ABV helps the overall taste as well and makes this a hearty beer. Absolutely loved this beer and highly recommend it.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%

A-Black in the glass, clear brown when pouring not much carbonation, one finger head that does last.

S-Earthy, peaty, toffee, caramel, with chocolate and roasted malt.

T-Great balance. Earthy with nice peaty and grassy/dirt flavors to start. The finish is rich chocolate/toffee/caramel.

M-Medium bodied, velvety, not much carbonation.

O-A style that more people need to make. One of the better ones.

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Photo of delta490
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Poured a very deep brown, not sure if it's cloudy or clear because you can't see through it. Almost no head or lacing. Aroma is minimal, but it has a big malty sweet flavor. Notes of caramel, fruit and nice sweetness from the alcohol. No carbonation and little oily on the texture, but not in a bad way. A great big Scottish ale.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a nice big malty scotch ale, a little too sweet for my palate overall, and certainly too sweet to take down too much of. i like its density though, and its grain richness. in some ways its like a dopplebock on the grain front, this may be a little less german, but its dark caramel and dried red fruit complexion is in line with that. earthy up front before the sweet, dark amber to mahogany in color, thick in body but not overly so. carbonation is upbeat for the style, which really helps with the sugar. there is a real molasses character to the front end, and even a mellow hop bitterness there too. it just feels like dessert to me. a glass of this brings cures the itch of both a sweet tooth and an individual in need of a little buzz. you cant taste the booze in it really, but i can definitely feel it after even half a glass. solid beer overall, well made, but not all that different and quite sugary in the finish.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the House of Brews. Served in a short pint.

Appearance - Deep brown. Small off white head and collar.

Smell - Toffee. A little fruity and buttery.

Taste - Sweet caramel. Dark fruits. Mild hop flavor in the middle. Nutty after that and a little boozy.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Kinda sweet. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Good without being special. I'm surprised I've never reviewed this.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

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Photo of MacQ32
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
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

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Photo of jbaker67
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.

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Photo of IPAdams
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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Photo of KYGunner
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.

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Photo of Segelstrom
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of drgoose23
4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

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Photo of WillCarrera
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.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of Zachtheporter
4.5/5  rDev +10%
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.

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Photo of Rogorama
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!

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Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.