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

190 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 190
Hads: 640
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.25%
Wants: 185
Gots: 169 | 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: 190 | Hads: 640
Photo of aubuc1
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (442 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  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. (432 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is caramel and toffee malt with some smoke and chocolate. I also get some woody and oak notes even though the beer is not barrel aged as far as I know. The flavor is heavy on the milk chocolate with some light smoke and toffee. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. One of the better Scotch Ales I have tried. (417 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 shand
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big Sound pours out a deep brown color with a decent head that quickly drops to a ring. The aroma is intensely malty with just a bit of smoke. The taste is awesome, this is a huge and rich Scotch ale that provides a massive amount of malt flavors. There's a bit of sweetness over the slightest amount of peaty smoke. There's a solid amount of booze on the finish as well. The mouthfeel, like most big Cigar City beers, is exceptional. It's got a pretty large body, yet is very smooth. The drinkabiliy is very good. Overall, Big Sound is a solid Scotch ale. There's a little less peat presence than I'd like, but it's otherwise nice and complex. (644 characters)

Photo of Jefe73
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the CCB Tasting Room

A - Pours dark brown with ruby highlights. Lacing is consistent throughout the glass with good head retention.

S - There's a lot going on in the nose. Sweet fruit (cherries, raisins and figs) sweet malt, cotton candy?

T - Sweet malt, rum raisins, toffee and molasses are all represented here. A little roasted coffee, malted milk and toffee on the finish, along with some hoppy notes. Complex, but nicely balanced.

M - Medium body with a creamy feel on the palate. Good level of carbonation. Everything seems to be blended quite nicely.

O - Quite drinkable for something coming in at 8.5%. I haven't had a lot of this style, but this one really made me stand up and take notice. More please! (736 characters)

Photo of bhalter8
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, ruby red with a tan, one finger head. Decent retention on the head, but not much lacing left around the glass. A nice sweet malt aroma, but not too strong. There is a cornucopia of caramel, brown sugar, and a little chocolate. In short, it smells very sweet! The taste is much more strong than the aroma would indicate. Although, one thing the aroma hinted to is there, sweet, very sweet flavor. There is the same mix of caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate, but it is far more pronounced. I continue to be impressed, and amazed, by the strong flavor CCB packs in to every brew. It might not always be exactly to style, but it is delicious. A rather thick mouthfeel and fair amount of alcohol make this one a bit of a slower drinker. There is also a bit of a bitterness bite at the back-end that slowed me down. Overall, another great offering from CCB. (871 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this beer is the #7 Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy, served in a Bruery tulip.

Beer is dark brown almost black but clear with a decent head of small bubbles, lacing on the glass, some carbonation but low.

Aroma is sweet mildly peety and a little caramel. Smells good.

Beer is medium in body, nice and heavy on the palate, sweetness up front with a nice almost liquor like finish. Very enjoyable, a very good beer, I can tell why it is rated so high. I'd have it again. (490 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by durwoodx. Thanks Darrell.

The beer appears a hazy brown hue with a small beige head. The aroma offers some candied fruit, malt, alcohol. Nice flavor. Slightly sweet, well balanced, mildly tannic. Really delicious. The flavor improves on the aroma. Delicious tannic quality. Medium bodied with ample carbonation. A solid beer from a great brewery. Recommended. (377 characters)

Photo of gonzo46and2
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown that's slightly cloudy. Very small hints of red or amber. Had a big tan head .

Smell is very malty with brown sugar, dates, figs, raisins, caramel and maybe a bit of cafe con leche.

Taste is sweet overall with a touch of balancing hops. Lots of fruity sugar malt.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. Totally satisfying. Very big beer that delivers on mouthfeel. Overall it's sweet.

Drinkability is super high. This would be my go-to wee heavy if it was always available. (498 characters)

Photo of FanofHefe
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber (no dating on the bottle of label) which pours a deep brown/black body, with very little light penetration. Very small tan head with a very small amount of lacing.

Mostly light aroma of roasted malt with dark fruit notes.

The flavor is excellent and stands up ahead of the aroma. Very tasty blend of the dark fruit flavors with the solid dark malt flavors. A very light taste of citrus hops adds to an overall tasty blend.

A thick texture in the mouthfeel and very enjoyable and drinkable brew. I like this very much and would highly recommend it. (557 characters)

Photo of One2Remeber
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a snifter

A: Yellow/Lite mocha head, creamy but fizzes away quickly. Body is a very dark brown, murky.

S: Raisin, molasses, sweet like honey.

T: Smooth caramel sweetness, lightly burnt. Candy sugar explosion. Hint of chocolate with dominant figs/bread taste lingers.

M: Bitter up front. Smooth on the back, flows nice and easy. Very clean mouthfeel.

O: Not too familiar with Scottish ales but I would highly recommend this one. Not boozy at all for strength all and the flavors are kept in check. Smooth, drinkable with potent flavors. (561 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah. The famed Cigar City. I've been pining to try these guys since their formation. Big thanks to Kiefdog for hooking me up with this big bottle. Thanks, Kevin!

Poured into my pint glass a very thick dark brown with slight ruby tints on the edges. There was a decent amount of tan head on there, but this left little to no lacing. Disappointing there. Smells of fresh bread, big toffee, caramel, and booze.

Mouthfeel is decent with a medium amount of carbonation. Slightly slick, but not bad. This is the maltiest malt-bomb ever! Huge brown sugar, molasses, caramel, toffee, pumpernickel all over this beer! Finishes slightly chalky and drying. This is a very good Scotch Ale. Probably the best I've had. Highly recommend. (725 characters)

Photo of SilentSabre
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750mL bottle shared among 3 people (myself and 2 others).

Poured up a very dark reddish brown, nearly black, with a finger and a half of sandy, light brown foam. The colour of the body and the look of the foamy cap look quite nice.

The smell on this is terrific. Huge malt in the nose with a noticeable bit of fruit, particularly cherries. Not that artificial cherry candy smell, but the same 'realistic' cherry smell one gets from Bell's Cherry Stout. Very nice, indeed!

Big malt flavour, as expected, with a bit of dark fruit such as cooked raisins; reminds me a bit of tawny port, though not that extreme. Very tasty.

Quite viscous; flirting with being oily, but in a good way. Very low carbonation.

All things considered, I feel this is quite drinkable, though I also feel carving this up with two friends was the way to go. The 8,5%abv is very, very well concealed, but given the weight in the mouth, I don't know if I'd want all 750mL on my stomach at once...
A hell of a Scotch Ale, though..very well crafted, for sure!! (1,035 characters)

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.15/5  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. (1,156 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Darren - thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy chestnut brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted malts with good amounts of toffee, lighter amounts of tobacco, and lighter still amounts of spicy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors with hints of toastiness kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are crisp toffee flavors with hints of leafy hops and tobacco. A very mild amount of spicy hops enters into things right before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have a few more with no problems.

Overall this beer follows the trend set forth in many other of CCB's beer with hints of tobacco which I'm a huge fan of. Not an exceptional beer but not far from it either, worth a shot. (955 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the final brew from my most recent trade with BeerLovinGirl. Many thanks to her.

This one is a deep, dark brown that shines red in the light. A tan head sticks around at a couple fingers and leaves some patchy lacing behind.
The aroma is earthy, a little smoky, and malty with notes of dark fruits. There's also an RIS-like molasses, licorice and bitter chocolate note.
The taste follows suit, with more strength in the big smoked malt. It really has the characteristics of a big RIS. Underneath is a gentle fruit note, with some astringent coffee and the subtle note of a toffee-like caramelized sugar. The finish is dry with some toasty grains.
The mouthfeel on this one is pretty full, with light carbonation and a balance of smooth and crisp.
This is a big, bold, tasty brew and a nice one from Cigar City. (819 characters)

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.15/5  rDev +1%
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. (535 characters)

Photo of core42
4.15/5  rDev +1%
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 (199 characters)

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jeff for sharing his March Madness Winnings. From notes, 5.21.

Pours a deep mahogany-brown color with some tight, 1 finger creamy light beige foam. Fades somewhat quickly to a good film with abstract clinging lace in my tulip.

Aroma has some darker notes than I had expected, rich, brown sugar, caramel but also some darker chocolate and toasted bread notes. Some roasted nuts, it smells pretty good. Taste isn't super sweet but has some characteristics and flavors that lean toward sweet. Big toffee and toasty notes, some caramelized brown sugar and a charred malt note that wavers toward the tiniest hint of smoke. Dark fruits, namely a dull-ish raisiny note. Rasinets? Though there is some bitter chocolate here too, leading to a very distinct, semi-sweet chocolate wafer cookie finish.

Maybe a little too carbonated right out of the bottle, but otherwise this is perfect mouthfeel. Nice and viscous, bubbles still felt on the tongue though. Good substance to it, but never felt too heavy or overbearing. I really like the 8.5% abv point as well. Alcohol was well hidden, but the robustness of the flavors still makes this somewhat of a sipper. I think I might have tried a sip of the BA version before, but now I really would like to revisit it. (1,266 characters)

Photo of DoctorB2B
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: ruby and quite clear, thick pink creamy two-finger head to boot.

Smell: Smells of sweet ripened dark fruits, a bit of smoke as well.

Taste: With a scotch ale, I expected some peat, and it wasn't there with this one ... I was just a little sad about that. However, I got from the taste what I got from the nose, sweet and slightly boozy dark fruits.

Overall: Got this is a trade with Dolfan84, glad I got to try it. Sure I'd like to have a more of the traditional wee heavy. (490 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3 finger frothy head which rapidly dissipates with little lacing. Body is viscous appearing, black with only a little light passing through. Aroma is wide ranging with syrup, dark fruits, caramel and smokey notes intermixed. This one initially is very sweet and it hard to overcome. This one is very smooth. Sweet dark fruits, a little creamy with slight smokey hues and a maple like finish. Body is thick and light carbonation. Overall this one was way too sweet for my tastes to give this my top rating. (505 characters)

Photo of cbak999
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -pours a dark, almost completely opaque brown. A small tan head sit atop the beer.

S - Sweet malt. Caramel and molasses notes also come through.

T - super sweet right off the bat. Makes my mouth pucker up a bit. A hop after taste prevails once you get past the molasses, malt, and raisin flavors.

D - This is a sipper. It took me a good hour to drink half of the 750mL bottle. The 8.5% is nicely hidden, but due to the pure sweetness, I can't consider it highly drinkable all the time. (491 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  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. (1,026 characters)

Photo of babaracas
4.15/5  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. (465 characters)

Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.