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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 aubuc1
aubuc1

Florida

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a steady, but somewhat thin creamy tan head.

Big huge sweet bready malt with a roasty finish. Oozes malt.

Taste is bold up front of dry roast, then more sweet malt. More complex than most scotch ales.

Mouthfeel is very creamy but it is a little boozy and/or astringent.

It took me a while to find this for some reason, and this really is an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2010 00:02:32 | More by aubuc1
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

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

inflatablechair brought this to a tasting a couple weeks ago... Thanks Sam!!

1" lite tan head... very deep brown.. pretty clear brew...

Nice traditional Wee Heavy aromas punctuated with crusty dark bready malts.. some fruity aromas that should probably not be there..

Flavor is pretty nice expected maltiness... the lite roastiness is there.. so is a bit of minor caramel.. earthy tobacco .. but there is also some odd fruity esters that make me think of dark cherries.. the fruitiness is pretty mild, but a bit out of place...

good body and a mild carbonation...

I wish I had taken better notes on this one.... I still say it was pretty good... Thanks Sam!!!

4/4/4/4.5/4

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2010 07:22:05 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this in a trade with fogdog. Thanks Kevin!

Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Appearance: A small, foamy, cream-colored crown sits atop a translucent mahogany body. Body is opaque through the center, but glows orange-caramel around the edges. Looks a bit oily when swirled. Lacing doesn't show any staying power.

Smell: Molasses, plum, bread crust, brown malt, coffee, maple syrup, and a touch of alcohol. Flowery esters cap off each whiff. Quite mellow for having so many sweet components. Well balanced and very pleasant.

Taste: Brown malt, wholegrain wheat bread, tobacco, and flowery hops/esters. Scotch appears at the end of each sip and melds well with the dry finish. I also get toffee and even some dark chocolate. Really nicely put together. Not too hot of harsh. I dig.

Mouthfeel: Malty, full, and very gently carbonated. Slightly warm and certainly dry, but very mellow for the style. Scotch, floral esters, and tobacco/leather comprise an aftertaste that's long-lasting and enjoyable. Well done!

Drinkability: I'm not a big scotch ale fan, but this was nice. Far from harsh, Big Sound is complex and harmonious - and oh so smooth. A beautiful example of the style. I'd recommend this to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2010 04:09:06 | More by ThreeWiseMen
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dstc

Florida

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark with a huge, frothy, light brown head. Head falls very slow. Big sticky lace.

Bold malt aroma with hints of dark fruit and coffee.

Big malt taste. Cherries and plums with a nice sweetness. Coffee flavor is mild, ends a bit metallic and with a roasted flavor. Very bold.

Full and chewy in the mouth and smooth.

Awesome brew. So bold, flavorful and chewy. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2010 11:35:44 | More by dstc
Photo of babaracas
babaracas

Florida

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

Pours a dark red-brown with a dense two finger tan head, settles to a half inch leaving sticky thick clumps of lace. Smell: lots of caramel, dark bread, some cherry, a little peat, faint green grassy/leafy hops. Taste: mildly roasty and a little smoky, lots of sweet caramel, a little chocolate, some earthy bitterness in the background. Medium-full bodied and creamy, with a sticky finish. The least interesting beer I've tried from CCB, but still quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 02:36:58 | More by babaracas
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2010 04:18:59 | More by Gmann
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blivingston1985

North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a Top 3 scotch ale for me.

Pour- Nice dark amber/caramel color to the liquid. Thick creamy oatmeal colored head forms on top and maintains a 1/8" foam for most of the glass until it's just a nice lace. Beautiful.

Smell- Mossy peat, earth. A little funky, like a good scotch should.

Taste/Mouthfeel- Very earthy like the smell. Good caramel and a nice hoppiness that blends into the creamy goodness. Great mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2010 15:20:49 | More by blivingston1985
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep brown burgundy color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of rich sweet malt with some deep notes of caramel and toffee is enjoyable though very close to the overly sweet territory. Taste is also an enjoyable mix between some rich sweet malt with deep notes toffee and caramelized sugar. Body is quite full with OK carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I usually like some peat malt in my scotch ale but not sure it would have benefited this one since there is so much residual sugar.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2010 02:42:08 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Patrick999
Patrick999

Florida

3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 16:50:41 | More by Patrick999
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brownbeer

Missouri

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

Poured from a 32oz CC growler thanks to Mike B. Thanks again.

The deepest of mahogany color with a light brown head.

The nose is mostly of raisin and licorice. Ends up being sort of a dark dark dried fruit extravaganza.

Up front, molasses, plump, sweet raisin, licorice, and fig. A dried fruit trail mix, if you will. In time, the layers just keep unfolding. Carob, sour cherry on the back end, and just an array of exotic flavors that have developed throught the experience. Another rich, full-bodied, yet approachable beer from Cigar City. Awesome.

I think if I had only sampled this in a lineup there is no way I would have thought it was this good. Sitting down with a glass of it and focusing on only it, was amazing. Just nudging out Old Chub, this is my favorite, at least American, Scotch Ale.

Serving type: growler

04-09-2010 03:27:54 | More by brownbeer
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

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

From 3/27 notes.

a - Pours a nut brown color with no head and little carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sticky sweet dark fruits, raisins being most prominent. Also some caramel or toffee and toasted malts.

t - Taste is of dark fruits again, as well as those caramel malts.

m - Full bodied and low carbonation.

d - I really liked this beer. Thought it smelled wonderful and had a nice caramel taste. Would love to try it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 02:10:18 | More by mdfb79
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ktrillionaire

Florida

4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - A hazy mahogany with spotty bubbles that make an insane ghostly residue in place of lace.

S - The smell is of a campfire freshly extinguished; the peat melds with cherry, chocolate and toffee to produce a flavor not unlike the chewing tobacco, Levi Garrett. Or perhaps smoked figs, if such a thing exists.

T - The flavor is better on cask; it is still sweet and smoky, but perhaps smokier and definitely more subtle. The balance is even greater, the melding of the flavors is at such a high level. The sweetness has dropped out a bit, which is a welcome development, and indeed all of the flavors have been toned down by the cask. The resulting beer is immensely enjoyable, with a natural and rustic quality to it. No pretense; this is 'real ale'.

M - The feel is smooth and lightly carbonated; the low pressure of the cask works wonders for this brew.

D - I am not a 'homer', CCB is really that good.

Serving type: cask

03-26-2010 21:18:00 | More by ktrillionaire
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urwithdave

Florida

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a gallon growler into my ccb snifter. Reviewing from notes from 032010.

A- Pours dark brown/mahogany in color. A solid creamy tan 1 inch head sticks around for awhile before fading to a 1/4' for the duration. Leaves some lacing.

S- roasted malts, some coffee, and molasses

T- Big caramel, malts, a bit of chocolate and it finishes out with a hint of coffee. No alcohol detected at all.

M- Pretty creamy with a nice carbonation level. No burn present from alcohol at all.

D- It's a little to sweet for me. With that being said, I still had 6 snifters of it. The high abv is masked incredibly and it knocked me out like an old school uppercut from Mike Tyson.

Serving type: growler

03-24-2010 07:12:26 | More by urwithdave
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DosBeerigos

Florida

2.73/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

C. Cloudy almost like mud
H. Brown
N. Very little odor at all

Ok this beer on cask was good, but it didn't come across with the same flavors. Actually it sorta tasted similar to how it looked, muddy. Personal opinion stick to the mature carbonated version of this mean scotch ale

Serving type: cask

03-15-2010 00:45:50 | More by DosBeerigos
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Bagpipers developed this sound that evokes the wide-open, lonely landscape of the Scottish Highlands."

--Jamie Laval

Dark candy apple red with terra cotta trim. A gentle escape of CO2 on crown cracking led to a high-altitude pour... which led to three fingers of golden brown sugar colored cream that looks like it has no interest in melting. An acceptable amount of lace sticks as well.

The aroma is more burly brown ale than most beer of this style. One doesn't often smell pumpernickel toast and coffee in a Scotch ale. If there's enough malt, but this could be pretty special stuff.

Big Sound delivers big flavor. This is one of those offerings that is delicious from the first mouthful and could easily reach exceptional by the tenth or twelfth. If the flavor profile gains a little depth and breadth with warming, we're there.

Flavors include English toffee, brown bread drizzled with chocolate and molasses, chicory coffee and earthy tobacco leaves. A modest amount of peat-smoked malt would have put this brew into the stratosphere. As was expected, the Sound is even Bigger now that the middle of the bomber has been breached. In addition, the sweet-bitter balance is nigh on perfect.

The mouthfeel is slightly lighter than it should be for the ABV. On the other hand, it too comes into its own as the ounces pass, developing a lushness that couldn't have been predicted after the first sip. Scores are being increased all over the damn place.

Big Sound Scotch Ale is dedicated to Gino the punk rock bagpiper and to Tampa Bay Pipes And Drums. This is my first Cigar City beer and it's a corker. If you have the opportunity, tune in to Big Sound and enjoy a wonderful wee heavy from the Sunshine State. Thank you to whoever sent me this tasty treat.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 16:10:32 | More by BuckeyeNation
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

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

Appearance: Pours out an opaque, dark brown body accented with some amber highlights and topped with a half-inch of beige head.

Smell: The aroma is plushly malty, rooted around a concentrated toasty breadiness coated with sweet-scented caramel. This is supported with notes of chocolate, roasty coffee, and a fruitiness that grows even bolder when the beer is given a moment to warm up a bit.

Taste: Deep robust maltiness with a fair amount of soothing sweetness. Tastes of caramelized sugars, toasted bread crusts and, whaddya know, even some chocolate-coated grains and coffee are present, as is a vibrant dried dark fruitiness. Undercurrent of earthiness throughout. Very low, subtle hop bitterness. A bit more breadiness and a touch more roast in the lightly warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I certainly enjoyed this one. Sure, it's a bit deeper and darker than your usual Scotch Ale, but who gives a crap as long as it makes for a tasty, enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2010 00:32:30 | More by ChainGangGuy
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Shaw

Florida

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost black: Just a hint of amber shows through when put to the light.

The aroma is quite complex, with caramel, fruit and nut notes combining with a hint of solvent alcohol plus other things I can't identify.

Wow, what a taste! It's rich and roasted with dried fruit notes, big malt flavors and a bit of alcohol. Very complex, but restrained at the same time.

The body is creamy, thick and slick.

Overall this is an excellent beer and instantly becomes one of my favorites from Cigar City.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 06:12:06 | More by Shaw
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TKEbeerman

Florida

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

Poured from the bottle right to the tulip

A: Upon cracking open this brew Big Sound let out a rising head that conveniently ran directly into my tulip ;). Bellow a thick mahogany tinted head sits a very dark, extremely dark, almost black, brew with an amber and mahogany tint.

S: Fruity backed by an eloquent malt background. I sense some dark cherry and other sweet fruits along with some sweet sticky caramel.

T: Chewy, complex malty, fruity flavors. Big Sound tastes very organic and rich. Caramel pokes its head out and teases the pallet. A very slightly bitter finish is a pleasant surprise. My beef is that it's a little too sweet. Hmm...maybe some age? How long who knows, but I'm gonna put one in the Florida cellar soon.

M: Despite the impressive head the mouth feel is very lightly carbonated. Medium body. Nothing to impressive, but I'm certainly not disappointed.

D: Like I said, Big Sound needs some time in the garage practicing it's bag pipe punk rock skills, promoting it's demo tapes, and tone down it's sweetness. I like this one a lot. Don't love it yet, but hey I'm gonna give CCB a call and ask what some age will do to this brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 01:05:15 | More by TKEbeerman
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AltBock

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with a big glossy wrap around label. The main picture on the label is a lonesome bagpipe sitting on a club stage with the drums and amps in the background. This is not your run of the mill Scottish bagpipes, this is a punk rock set of bagpipes. It has stickers from all of your punk rock bands like the "Remanes," "NOPX," and "Black" with a flag underneath it. I understand perfectly. They didn't want to get sued by the real bands. To the right is the mandatory US information and to the left is a nice long paragraph that talks about the story behind the name, the beer itself, and all the Scottish things this beer pairs with. Great looking label, but what's missing is a vintage year, best before date, or batch number. Something that says, "I was brewed on this date."

Appearance: I didn't feel like pouring this beer into any special glass, so I poured it into my DFH pint glass. This is one of those beers that appears to be one thing from a distance, but up close it's something totally new. This beer from a distance appeared to be a solid coal black color, but when held into the light, I found out that it was a dark mahogany brown with milk chocolate highlights along the sides. The head of foam on this beer was just as nice as the color of the beer. The head of foam was in between 3/4 to 1 inch in height and light tan in color. This head of foam had excellent slow retention that left behind a tiny skim of tan foam and so many spots and streaks of lace around the glass that it looked like there was also a skim of foam along the sides of the glass as well. This was one of the best appearances I've seen from a Scotch Ale so far.

Smell: The aroma of this Scotch Ale was as smoky as it was roasted. There wasn't one aroma that jumped out at me. That's OK because it means that there wasn't one single aroma hogging the aroma all to itself. Every aroma in the beer had the same amount of time to shine. The aroma started off with the smoky/roasted malts and then it immediately went into the black cherry, chocolate, tobacco, sweet toffee, and then the aroma rounds off with some roasted coffee beans. This was another aroma you need to take your time with because not ever aroma that I mentioned will come out at the same time. They come out when they want to come out.

Taste: The aroma was BOTH roasted and smoky while the taste was geared more toward the roasted aspect with the smokyness was more toward the back. Also like the aroma, there wasn't one flavor hogging up the entire taste for itself. The taste kicked off with the chocolate and the roasted malts. Directly after the malts is where you can find the sweet toffee, black cherry, and roasted coffee beans. It's hard to describe this beer's final taste in words. I'll give it my best shot. It tasted like every flavor that I mentioned combined powers and then this super taste mixed itself with some tobacco and alcohol. It was a little weird, but nothing shocking. This was a very good Scotch Ale taste. I would have liked to see more smokyness, but it's still a good tasting beer without it.

Mouthfeel: This was a medium bodied Scotch Ale with a moderate level of carbonation to keep this beer alive and with a roasted and lightly smoky aftertaste. It the taste made in the initial taste then it was also in the aftertaste. That means you can taste again the roasted coffee beans, black cherry, sweet toffee, and chocolate. This repeat taste stuck around on your tongue for about 30 seconds before it left for good.

Drinkability: I should mention first that I would like to thank my good BA friend Meatyard for giving me the opportunity to try this Florida brew. This is one of the better Scotch Ales I tried so far. I enjoyed how every flavor and taste had equally the same amount of time in their respective areas. If their Scotch Ale is this good, then I would love to try their other beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 21:51:46 | More by AltBock
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Sebletitje for this brew.

750ml Bottle

Poured into a chalice a nice deep dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy/creamy tan head, with some stick lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slight bourbon, and some caramel. The taste is malty, sweet, slight bourbon note, slight tartness, and caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this one surprised me very tasty, recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 00:56:59 | More by Wasatch
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

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

(Served in a snifter) Thanks to Gunnerman for this gem.
A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a slight hint of red glow. There is light tan head that is thick and creamy turning rocky with sheets of foam sticking to the glass and then sliding back into the beer. There are some a few tiny bubbles stuck to the glass.
S- This beer has a soft caramel hint with a tart note and a soft dry caramel biscuit quality. There is a rye bread aroma with a roasted cocao nibs arom finishing with a soft fusel hint in the finish.
T- This beer has a big chocolaty roasted flavor with a slight vinous quality to the black malt finish. There is a strong but pleasant chalk flavor to the dark malt.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and only a soft alcohol heat hint.
D- This beer has a big complex dark roasted chocolate malt flavor but it still stays smooth and almost silky.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 14:28:15 | More by rhoadsrage
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DIM

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 17:39:37 | More by DIM
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RomaniIteDomum

Florida

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared at one of the Tampa BA gatherings. I still need to find a few bottles of this for myself.

Pours a nice red with a great lingering head. Great looking beer.

Very sweet smell with all the wonderful characteristics of the style. Great balance in the nose.

Great schotchy taste with nice finish. Good sweet notes in the beer. Drinks like candy.

This might be one of the smoothest beers I've had. It is liquid velvet. Wow.

This is an all-day everyday beer. Great for sessions or with food. Like I said, I must find some bottles.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 18:04:57 | More by RomaniIteDomum
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portia99

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle received from BeerLovinGrl. As always, thanks Chrissy for setting me up with these great Cigar City brews! Poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a slightly murky dark brown. A thin, off white head that lingers for a while forms and then gives way to a nice collar and a mono-layer of bubbles on the surface.

S - Fruity, malty sweet, alcohol, toasted almonds, the slightest touch of smokiness.

T - Slightly smoky, coffee, toasted almonds, caramel. Not really bitter, or hoppy in flavor - no hop flavor - no citrus, fruitiness, earthiness. Not really bitter either...just enough hops to offset the malt character and sweetness.

M - Thin to medium body. Light to medium carbonation. Pretty creamy in feel. Malty sweetness pervades the mouth. Very good scotch ale.

D - Drinkability is on the lower side. Very smooth, but 8.5% is going to catch up with me. Sweet and malty, very good scotch ale. Typically prefer my beers hoppier, but for a Scotch ale, this is pretty nice.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 02:20:51 | More by portia99
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Time for the Big Sound - I've been waiting for this one!

Just pouring it I can see within the stream of liquid that it's got a crimson cast to it. It's a bit hazy though. It's a deep chestnut with a dark amber glow along the base of the glass. The tan head is massive, and frothy, and it just doesn't want to die down. It's got lots of big bubbles mixed into it and it almost looks like swiss cheese. It does settle though, and becomes more like a creamy cap of baby swiss. The lacing is really nice though, and it leaves rings and curtains as it goes.

The nose is less bombastic, and it's gently sweet with a softly caramelish and gently fruity, berry and jam-like, edge.

That follows into the flavor, and I was surprised at how restrained it is. I was expecting more sugary malt, but this is actually right on par for the style. So many American brewers take it a notch beyond this and go over-board, but this is in check. It reminds me of Belhaven 80 -/-, although it's been so long since I've had one that I'm not even sure about that. I know it's not as roasty as the 90 -/- though, but it's technically stronger. More importantly, it's balanced. And balance is the key to Scottish and Scotch ale. It's malt, and then malt backed by low-level hops, and then more malt, and then more hops - and then a subtly lingering malty and just slightly hoppy and bitter finish. And the stunningly smooth and creamy mouthfeel on this one only makes that all the better!

So, moving to drinkability, at 8.5% this is an amazingly smooth and consumable beer. There's just enough caramel and sweetness to the malt, and just enough hop and bitterness to balance it - and the alcohol is very well cloaked! I'd imagine one could simply enjoy this until they passed out!

Nicely done! And well worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 01:00:43 | More by NeroFiddled
Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 506 ratings.