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

633 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 633
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 185
Gots: 171 | FT: 18
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 633 | Reviews: 191
Photo of russpowell
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle hauled with TLC from FL via NC over a 2 week period, a lot of icecubes gave themselves up to keep this tasty...

I tried the version aged on Cherry or was it cedar at CCB, not bad, but my taste buds were gone by then...

Pours an effervescent chestnut with 3+ fingers of fluffy tan head, tiny bubble cling to the bottom of the glass... Crazy head retention lacing

S: Toffee & slight herbal hop scents

T: Caramel & toffee, plus peatyness up front, some herbal hops lurk in the background. Dryness dominates as this warms along with woody hops & an oaky character, plus more peaty notes & some dates & dark cherry as well. Finishes dry, with caramel sweetness, fruitty & smokey

MF: Chewy as all get out, with fairly firm carbonation up front, mellows out when warm

Drinks pretty easy for the abv until the dryness settles in. Still like it better than the version I had the brewery. Not a perfect wee heavy, but tasty enough, I wish could get it on a routine basis

Photo of billab914
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured It poured a very dark and opaque brown color with a thin and frothy tan head to it.

The aroma has a pretty big malty profile to it with both caramel and dark fruits playing a big role. I get some notes of cherry and raisin coming out and mixing with some sweeter brown sugar and fig notes. Excellent aroma overall.

The taste shows even more of a dark fruit presence to it. I get some of the fig and raisin flavors coming out with just a hint of cherry. Some bitterness in the finish helps the malty flavors from becoming overly sweet.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Overall i thought it was an excellent beer. The malty dark fruit flavors were great and they did a nice job balancing out all the malty sweetness as well. Very enjoyable beer overall

Photo of WeisGuy
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle from Tampa Whole Foods

a - pours a deep brown with burgundy highlights, three finger mocha head, good retention and lacing

s - toffee and caramel dominate with a good deal of smokiness and wood also mixed in, lighter hoppy and oatmeal aromas

t - as with the nose, caramel and toffee are the predominant flavors, light orange flavors on the midpalate, finish has some smokiness mixed in with the sweet caramel and toffee and orange notes, alcohol is not very noticeable, very smooth flavors and, most importantly, not cloyingly sweet like several examples of this style that I've tried

m - medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation, fairly sweet on the finish, definite alcohol warming effect

d - very drinkable for the style that I don't typically care much for, I would have no problem polishing off the bottle with little help, flavors are complex enough to keep it interesting and the sweetness is restrained enough to keep the palate fresh

Probably the best example to this style that I've tried. Another winner from CCB.

Photo of orock25
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of Jwale73
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great bottle shared by jdiddy. Pours a deep mahogany with a rocky, one inch, cream-colored head. Nose reveals raisins, brown sugar and a vinous quality. Taste is chocolatey, earthy and pruney. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a slightly assertive carbonation. This is a really exceptional Wee Heavy. Definitely one of my favorites for the style, if not my favorite.

Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to hopdog for sharing this preview of what will soon be available in the SE PA market...
Appears a semi-transparent toned mahogany with a small, beige head that leaves spotty bits of lacing around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, light smoke, raisins, molasses, and earthy minerals.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with dark fruit, smoke, and cocoa standing out amongst the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and drinkable.

Photo of garbercury
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generous extra from BeerLovinGrl, thanks Chrissy!

A--Lacing is substantial and the retention is sticky to the glass. Deep reddish brown, classic to the Scotch Ale...

S--Cherries, and other sweet fruits come out in the nose. Cotton candy smell? Enjoyable and aromatic.

T--Sweet, with some nutty flavor, this adds to the malty characteristics of this brew. Somewhat medicinal, good but not great...

M--Maybe a touch over carbonated but certainly could be classified as good...

D--Pretty solid Scotch Ale, not a big expert on the style, and not quite as good as Old Chub, but certainly recommended...

Photo of ChugginOil
4.12/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of nickd717
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a BeerAdvocate tasting hosted by mfielden - thanks, Mark!

A - Pours a ruddy dark brown color with a beige head.

S - Aroma of caramel malt, dark fruits, and a hint of smoke.

T - Sweet and malty with lots of caramel and toffee with a little cherry, scotch whiskey, and smoke/roast. Great Scotch ale.

M - Really smooth and full palate with a somewhat dry finish.

D - Pretty high for the style.

Photo of Segelstrom
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of GbVDave
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of Holland
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of urwithdave
4.08/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearancec: Pours a murky burnt caramel with a solid head that sticks and laces very nicely

Smell: Malty aromatics of toasted brown bread, caramel, tobacco and dark fruit

Taste: Opens with a pumpernickel bread and caramel flavor that adds a bitter tobacco element by mid-palate; after the swallow, boozy rum-soaked fig flavors emerge but a lot of the tobacco lingers into the aftertaste; despite the overall sweetness, there is also a subtle dry woody characteristic that lingers though the finish is filled with fig

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Complex and adventurous for the style, with a bitter undertone not often found in a Wee Heavy; I'm not mad for it as this is not my favorite style but it is well worth sampling

Photo of TotallyHosed
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Heatwave33 for the bottle.

This was poured into a wide goblet mug and produced a creamy tan head. The head reduced down to a thin layer, which impressed me given the width of the glass. The color is a very dark brown that allows no light to enter.

The smell is very nice and what I would expect from a scotch ale. The best way I can describe is is that it makes me think of spiced leather. Another way to describe the nose would be spiced caramel.

The taste follows the nose precisely. There's a bit of spice at the start then caramel flavor follows and lingers. The caramel flavor is slightly sweet, but not near candy sweetness.

The feel is my favorite aspect of this beer. The carbonation is low and the brew is quite creamy. It coats the entire mouth which allows the flavor to rest easy and continue to satisfy.

I enjoyed this scotch ale by Cigar City. It's now one of my favorites of the style.

Photo of Chaney
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of nickfl
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Small head on a dark brown body. The foam settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Caramel and brown sugar with dark, dank molasses. Lots of toffee as well.

T - Plums and dark cherries with complex, dark sugar; mostly molasses. Brown sugar, caramel and a hint of chocolate in the finish.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Very rich and dark, like a lot of Cigar City beers, this one has a much darker and more complex malt profile than one would normally expect. A good beer, though the malt gets to be a bit much towards the end of the glass.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
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

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a deep mahogany hue with a massive stiff tan head.

Smell -- Cocoa, malted milk, cafe mocha, figs, rum raisin, toasted malt, herbal hops. Very aromatic.

Taste -- An abundance of sweet, malty notes: figs, rum-soaked raisins, toffee, molasses, mild roast coffee, dark chocolate, and malted milk. There's a big push of herbal/menthol hop flavor toward the finish that makes for a chocolate-covered Ricola-type flavor.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with ample foamy carbonation. Feels nice, not unlike a nice Quad.

Drinkability -- Very interesting, sort of a Scotch Ale come American Barleywine. I wouldn't call this a quintessential Wee Heavy, but it is quite unique and drinkable. Glad I got my hands on a bottle!

Photo of GallowsThief
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of koopa
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of smb
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of ahatcher78
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A massive thanks to my sister for picking some of this up in Orlando on her way through. Six bottles? thats above and beyond! Serving type bottle poured gingerly into my Slyfox Tulip Pint.

Pours a deep brown with a substantial cream colored head that held on for awhile. Hints of a deep ruby or amber peaking through from time to time. Lacing doesn't really stick around but it's there.

Smells of malt and dark fruit. No...seriously every dark fruit you can imagine seems to be there.

Tastes of malt,a hint of chocolate,and dark fruits. A little sweet. Hey, where's the alcohol? Not to be found. Uh-oh

Mouthfeel good carbonation,and it's a tounge coater.

Drinkability again is good. Not my favorite style, but very good.

Photo of portia99
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 633 ratings.