Big Sound Scotch Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Big Sound Scotch AleBig Sound Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

189 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 189
Hads: 639
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.49%
Wants: 185
Gots: 170 | 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: 189 | Hads: 639
Photo of mynie
3.7/5  rDev -10%
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. (498 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (305 characters)

Photo of warnerry
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (649 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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. (776 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1195th Review on BA
Bottle to Bruery Tulip
750ml

Thanks to GuruDel for sharing

App- Murky light colored brown with some off notes of amber and some creme in there. Not really a head to speak of, more of a couple fast popping bubbles.

Smell- A traditional scotch ale smell. Had a nice blend in the nose. The sweetness of the the malts and toffee, a bit bitter and it did have some coffee. Even the cherry on the nose was unexpected.

Taste- I liked it. Had a bit of everything and still held the style together well. The malts and sweet worked and even though it had a slight sour note to it, it worked well. Not overly boozy as some of the style are. A nice sipping beer.

Mouth- A lighter medium body and a medium full carbonation. A little creamy and it left some good malty toffee sweet notes.

Drink- Nice beer. I believe this one was aged about 1-1/2 years. Nice bottle for a birthday in prompteau tasting. (914 characters)

Photo of Holland
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours dark brown with light brown highlights and a big tan head.

S: smells largely of pear(!), apple, peat, smoke, and roasted malt.

T: very fruity for a scotch ale. This has tons of pear and apple up front, then some roasted malt, smokey wood, and peat.

M: well carbonated with a medium body. I don't like that it seems too carbonated.

O: very good beer, good drinkability, but it's a bit expensive at $10 or so for the bomber. (438 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (902 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark amber almost black hue. The head was a full one finger of mocha goodness. Okay retention with a nice smattering of lace.

S: Mmmmm this is what malt goodness smells like. This one oozes caramel, toffee, molasses, and dark brown sugar. Hints of chocolate hide beneath this malt mountain along with a touch of dark fruit.

T: Wow I hate to feel like a homer everytime I crack a CCB, but to be honest there are very few if anyone doing what they do. This beer is packed with flavor. The sweet malt goodness is off the scale. Tons of brown sugar and gooey caramel. Touches of molasses and nuts. There is a nice dose of chocolate with notes of dark fruits. A bit or earth and a dash of deep roasted malt round things out. This is an Imperial Scotch Ale that is in a class that only includes AleSmith Wee Heavy.

M: Rather full in body for the style. Smooth, Rich, Bold, Awesome!

D: Great I consumed an entire 750ml and pondered opening another. Alas I will save it for another day. I checks in at over 9% ABV this year so this is one that can hang around for awhile.

Wayne and Joe does it again. I bow to your greatness :) (1,140 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.41/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 06/05/2009. Bottle at PPRBSG09. This beer pours a murky brown with a small head. The aroma is of diacetyl and sweet malt. The flavor is of roasted malt and sweet caramel malt. Ok for a scotch ale (although admittedly it is not my favorite style). (258 characters)

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. (588 characters)

Photo of hopdog
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle acquired in trade with daknole (thanks!).

Poured a deeper amberish/brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of earthiness, toffee, roast, and some dark fruits. Tastes of lighter earthiness, dark fruits, chocolate, and smoke. (252 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%

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. (406 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (336 characters)

Photo of prototypic
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (1,779 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (1,082 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.22/5  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. (743 characters)

Photo of koopa
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on firkin at Capones 6.5.10 during the CCB Philly Beer Week event they had.

Appearance: Pours a brown dominant shade of mahogany with a nice 2 finger dirty khaki crown that exhibits some retention and good lace.

Smell: Lightly roasted scotch malt, hint of honey, slight chocolate covered raisins note.

Taste: Same as nose.

Mouthfeel: Nice creamy head, thick side of medium bodied and better than the standard tap version in my opinion.

Drinkability: Not bad considering the abv. (498 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.12/5  rDev -24.1%
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. (1,471 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of cyrusthepup, thanks again!

Pours a deep and dark amber color with a nice off white head.

Aromas are really grainy, vegetal, oaky, nutty, and slightly sweet.

Taste is grainy, a bit sweet, with some nice oaky, nuttiness, and some chocolate notes. Finish is warm, slightly boozy, with light earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is nice, full, smooth, yet not heavy,

Overall this is a very solid scotch ale. It would be really good if the nose was a bit nicer. But with that said, this is still really tasty, (524 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
3.82/5  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 (619 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Loterbol tulip. Special thanks to neubernie for the hook-up!

A: Pours a very dark chestnut/mahogany color. Sitting on top is three fingers of creamy dark-khaki colored foam that sports great retention. Carbonation was moderately active and a lot of sticky lace was left behind.

S: Big nose full of toffee and caramel awash in raisins, chocolate, figs, roasted nuts, and milk chocolate covered cherries with a slight hint of coffee and alcohol. I was hoping for more in the way of some smoke or peat or smoky peat.

T: See above. A bit more smoked malt flavor comes out in the taste (compared to the smell) as it warms. Lovely Heath Bar flavor along with rum soaked dark fruit.

M: Very rich and savory. Sweetness could've easily gone overboard but is kept in check by some slightly prickly alcohol and quietly astringent hops.

D: Drinks extremely well considering the relative lack of smokiness. There's a bit of dryness and spicy prickle...just enough to keep the sweetness at bay. Plus, I struggled to really detect any sort of obtrusive alcohol presence. Nice. (1,100 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.07/5  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. (697 characters)

Photo of jsanford
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
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. (701 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (607 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.57/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a dark mahogany chestnut color. It poured with a thick, creamy, and long lived light tan colored head. Pretty sticky too.

s: Massive maltiness, very deep. This changed fairly dramatically as it warmed as well. At various stages on the way to room temperature I detected lots fruit in the form of raisins, cherries, and plums. All were on the sweet side in a very enticing way. I also got toffee, chocolate, and just a trace of floral warmth. Big and beautiful.

t: Plenty going on here as well. Moderately sweet throughout, I tasted raisins, a little chocolate, and toffee. The finish dries out with some floral cherries.

m: Full bodied, but I wish it had been a bit more so. The carbonation was gently foamy and long lasting.

d: Big thanks to tpd975 for this via my Nobody wants to see a beer geek naked BIF. This was only the second non-Austarlian beer I've had in a month, so its possible my enthusiasm is a bit inflated. Whatever the reason, I'm quite saddened by my rapidly emptying glass. Great stuff from CC, thanks again Greg! (1,049 characters)

Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.