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Big Sound Scotch Ale - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Big Sound Scotch AleBig Sound Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

191 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 191
Hads: 650
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 19.07%
Wants: 186
Gots: 163 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cjgator3 on 12-05-2008

Big Sound Scotch Ale is dedicated to our good buddy Gino, the most Punk Rock Bagpiper you will ever meet, and the rest of the men and women of the Tampa Bay Pipes and Drums. Brown in color, Big Sound has huge notes of dark sweet toffee with underlying mild notes of coffee in the aroma. The flavor starts with a slight note of cherry and then opens into a goliath of malt character with notes of dark sweet toffee, coffee and mild notes of toasted bread in the finish. Big Sound Scotch Ale pairs well with Haggis, Highland Games, Huge Heads, Enormous pillows and of course Bagpipe Music.

40 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 191 | Hads: 650
Photo of robwestcott
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured aggressively from the bottle a thick, dark reddish brown to a dogfish head signature glass with a frothy, finger and a half mocha colored head that leaves a nice bit of lace as it slowly recedes.

aroma of malt, and dark fruits, fig, plums, and raisins, followed by an almost cloying sweet caramel sugar and vanilla extract.

a very sweet tasting beer, again, dark fruits are forward, figs and plums in particular followed by vanilla. very malty, and if there's a hops presence, i cannot place it.

medium carbonation, smooth and sweet to the tongue.

drinkable enough, i'll be emptying the 750ml bottle tonight.

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Photo of Patrick999
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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

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

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Beerlando for the bottle.

Pours a deep and enticing ruby brown color with a light tan head that retains ok, but not for extended amounts of time and leaves ok lacing.

Nose is alot of peat malt and sugar. Minimal hop presence and a touch of smoke.

Taste is a nice malty mix. Some peat and smoke, but all in all not terribly strong. Some chocolatey caramely notes through the middle with a touch of prune.

Mouthfeel is pretty solid. Nice and viscous, could be even a touch thinner and it would be appropriate.

Drinkability is ok, but not amazing. The abv is about what i expected, and the viscosity doesn't help that alot, but its not bad or anything.

Overall a decent scotch ale and a good representation of the style, but not anything i would buy alot of. It's not bad, its just not terribly exciting. The barrel aged version however, is significantly better. The wood did alot for this beer. A good scotch ale.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Turkey leftovers!

Absolutely super dark walnut black body, making some sudsy light tan head. Makes three fingers but settles very quickly to a small collar ring. Light creamy puck on top manages to stick around while drinking. Probably the darkest Scotch Ale I've seen.

Nose is very small, mild classic malts and toffee, kind of fruity smelling sort of a grape sensation. Strangely subtle and nothing very noticeable.

Palate fills with a nice malty chocolate and raisin. Low/medium carbonation with a nice creamy palate feel. A yeast density aftertaste to this mixing in with whoopers candy. Warmth brings some mild char roasting and mild faint prickly hop also.

Overall pretty decent and a worthy drink, but I think I prefer other Wee Heavy beers compared to this one.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a super deep dark brown with a finger of dark tan head, very dense, strong retention, solid lacing.

S - candied sugar and dark fruits, fig/dates. Not very sweet. Molasses and minimally sweet maple syrup.

T - super light. Dark fruits again, figs mostly light sugars at the finish aftertaste can be quite boozy as it warms. Cool its fairly light and refreshing.

M - much too light for me. Relatively drinkable for sure, medium/low carb quite smooth. Mouth feel is really awesome but at the same time not what I want from this beer at all.

O - mixed feelings on this one, I like it. But not for a scotch ale

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Photo of jbaker67
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a big khaki colored head of foam. The aroma has rich toffee and dark fruit notes. Some chocolate notes are there as well. The taste is more of that dark fruit and chocolate sweetness. Some sherry notes, perhaps. Big, chewy mouthfeel and body. Lower end of carbonation.

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Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Neat chocolate tasting beer, chocolate taste through and through. Chocolate colour, very lacey with almost no head. Very good drinkabiliy, sweetish, slightly above average mouthfeel, with understaetd carbonation. Slight scotch flavours.
On tap at the brewery.This was much better than in the bottle, of which I partook a half year later.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bottled shared by BigErn.
Pours a dark ruby brown in color. Only a minimal head forms on the pour, and quickly recedes to a ring of froth. Smell is huge malts. There's a nice roasty note with a strong peaty finish.
Flavor is huge, robust malts. A very strong peat flavor in the finish. Very enjoyable. Medium mouthfeel with light carbonation. Very smooth and easy drinking. Solid beer. My first offering from Cigar City and it's a solid start, can't wait to try some of their other stuff.

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

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

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Photo of Lothore
3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep brownish hue with a small, coffee head which dissipates rather quickly.

S- Smell is very big, lots of caramel, hints of roasted malt, coffee and brown sugar.

T- Taste starts off with sweet, smooth caramel and leads into a bit of an acidic coffee flavor that ends very balanced.

M- Thick with carbonation on the high side of medium.

D- This seems like a hybrid of a scotch ale and an imperial stout to me. While scotch ales aren't my favorite, this one got my attention and I enjoyed it.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like slightly flat coca cola in the glass, though a little darker. A head appears then disappears just as fast. Faint if none existant aroma of none discript malty-ness. The flavor delivers a lot where other areas of this beer fall short. Very malty with some caramel and a hint of roast coffee. Pete-y to a degree with brown sugar. It is full and malty but dry, not sweet at all. Big full mouthfeel, a little oily, a little lacking in carbonation. Despite the beer's lack of appearance and aroma it really delivers well. If this was available in my market I'd drink it frequently in the cooler months.

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Photo of Duff27
3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Mocha colored one-inch head on top of a cola=brown beer. Good head retention and lacing!

S- Dark caramel malts with a touch of cola.

T- Low hops, per usual for the style. Dark malts with some chocolate and toffee notes. Well hidden ABV.

M- Creamy/syrupy. Well carbonated but with very, very small bubbles.

D/O- A good example for the style overall but for the money I believe there are better options. Worth a try though if you are a huge Scotch Ale fan like me.

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Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle had in my cellar for about 9 months, let's see if it was worth the wait.

Aromas are really Belgian forward which I did not expect; lots of dark fruit with some raisin, dark caramel malts, slight nuttiness and mild peat all upfront. Some very nice toffee and hints of caramel with some earthiness, maybe from the hops but I cannot be certain.

The taste begins with some raisin and sweet brown sugar upfront blended with a nice creaminess quickly followed. I almost get a delayed chocolate and plum taste in the middle. As it warms the beer becomes exponentially sweeter and borderlines cloying.

The mouthfeel is medium to fll bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is sweet and sticky from all the sweet malts, wish there was a tad bit more hops ornsome kind of bitterness to balance the sweetness.

Overall this is a very good scotch ale but lacks the balance I crave in this style. Too much sweet dark fruits and not enough dark roasted malts or hops to balance; that is literally the first time I have ever written that which says something. A good beer but would be better served in a smaller bottle because 22 oz is just too much because of the sweetness in my opinion.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mhksuccess for sharing this one at my tasting.

Bottled 8/20/12.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Taste is much the same with a malty flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that with some solid aromas and flavors.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Given to me by Special K! Thanks.

A: deep copper/dark brown color, near opaque, poured with head that quickly dissipated
S: medium to full nose, figs, sweet, leather
T: roasted malt, balanced with hops but more malt, on the sweeter side, deep depth of character in malt, true to type
M: very mellow, rounded mouthfeel, incredibly drinkable, some burnt malt/toffee undertones

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Photo of warnerry
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes on 09/29/2011.

poured into a tulip glass and shared with several friends.

Appearance: Dark brown bodied beer with mahogany reddish hues. A light to medium brown head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Sweet and fruity. Malty with hints of smoke. Lots of dark fruits.

Taste: It starts off with huge toffee and caramel notes. Blending into dark fruits and a hint of smoke. Also has an earthy peat character to this beer. Massive malty & sweet profile on this beer that showcases the yeast which shows up in the form of the fruity notes.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with medium levles of carbonation. Sticky beer with a nice clean finish. Its surprisingly drinkable and nt at all boozey.

Overall: Still liked this beer, but not true to the Scotch/Wee Heavy style. Too much fruit not enough smoke.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrives a deep dark teak color with a creamy light tan head. Head dissipates to a thin broken film in just a few minutes but leaves some impressive lace.
Smell is rich and sweet with roasted malt, soy, caramel and candied sugar. Nicely balanced.
Taste is very similar with notes of roasted malt, soy, sweetness, dark fruits and dark chocolate with a hop note way in back.
Smooth, rich, creamy and full-bodied, this is a good brew. Only downside would be that it is a bit too sweet, even for me. Light effervescence and a light coating of the palate but no real warming like I expected. A good beer for sipping, as in dessert. Would like some smoke/peat presence, too.

An addendum: I dropped the taste score one half point because the sweetness expanded as it warmed.

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Photo of flexabull
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
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,

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-dark brown with reddish hues and quite hazy. the head is a tan color with good retention and thick lace

S-metalic notes blended with an underlying chocolate. toffee after the metalic notes with light dark fruit sweetness. the metalic notes start to fade as it warms and I swirl it

T-lots of chocolate with that metalic note in the mix. a good bit of toffee, notes of scotch. light notes of dark fruits in the back, cherries with a touch of plum. again, the metalic flavors seem to fade in time.

M-extremely smooth and creamy on the palate, good full body and chewy. low carbonation but doesn't fall off.

D-this is pretty tasty as it warms up and the metalic notes fade. nice flavors and everything seems to compliment each other well.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lightly chilled 25.4 oz. bomber into an imperial shaker. Bottling date 8.20.12

Look- Clear deep brown with two fingers of dense, creamy off-white foam. Good retention, excellent lacing.

Smell- Rich, nougaty, malty without being overly sweet. Perhaps some maple, but overall a very straightforward nutty-cocoa malt aroma.

Taste- Just what I was looking for. Brown bread, molasses, toffee, mild herbal bittering. Not picking up on any smokiness, but this one's so well balanced that I can't really fault it too much. Lingering biscuit and brown sugar, never gets too sweet or syrupy.Tasty!

Mouthfeel- Smooth, creamy, full feel but fairly dry. Clean finish. Mellow, comforting feel, dangerously drinkable for the ABV.

Overall- This is the sort of beer I miss in Texas. If only I could get something similar in the area.... Consider yourself lucky if this is a shelf beer where you live.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

750mL capped brown glass champagne bottle. No date.

Pours a deep, but clear, mahogany with creamy tan head that stands up tall. Nose is a little smoky with lots of molasses and dark caramel, plus some earthy-forest-floor type aromas. Palate is big and sweet, but bitter and finessed at the same time. Lots of toasted/roasted barley. Smoky again from the malt and malt bitterness is present too...black malt? Balance is achieved in some strange way though. As the beer warms the malt bill starts to remind me of the JW Lees Harvest ales. A little bitter, a little smoky and pretty caramel-sweet.

Notes: This is perhaps the most complex and pleasant Scotch ales I've ever had. Drinkability suffers only because it's SO big! A real must!

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