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
-
no score

(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 FosterJM
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful deep brownish red just a shade or two darker than root beer. A thick frothy tan head crowns the beer and quickly recedes leaving decent lacing. Smells of sweet dark fruits and sweet roasted malts comprise the aroma. First sip is all raisins like picking out all those plump fat sugar coated sweetened raisins from a box of Raisin Bran and chewing them all at once. Plenty of malt and toffee too. A welcomed splash of bitterness brings up the finish. Nicely carbonated makes for a very good mouthfeel. Very nice indeed.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A tremendous beer offered up by Cigar City- this, my first beer from the brewery. If all of them are equally as solid, then they are welcome in my glass. any time.

The beer starts with a dark brown hue and deep mohogany highlights comming through the edges. a billowing tan head forms above the beer and never reliquishes. Lots of lacing as the beer fades. This is how a Scottish Ale is supposed to look.

Serious malty aromas lead the way. Toffee, molassas, and syrupy barly flavors give a deep bready, melanoidin flavor witout too much residual sweetness. Phenolics of plastic and smoke give a complexity to the malts in the absence of hop aroma, though the plastics are as much a deterant as a benifit. Fruity throughout with plumbs, dates, figs, cherries, grapes, and raisons.

Flavors transfer the malt and fruity notes in a most bold sort of way. Rich flavors of malts are backlit with lighter chocolates, coffee, and nuttiness. Boozy rum flavors, combined with the fruits, give an almost caugh-syrup taste that proves too bold in flavor and feel. There is a lot going on in the taste.

There is a lot of body in this beer as well. Heavy toasted breads give a deeply creamy and malty texture without getting too sweet or sticky. Alchols become quite abrupt again with a hot and rough abrasion on the throat. A long, sweet linger of rum, cherries, and sunkist barley malts reappear in the aftertaste.

A great example of the style. Even the detractors are allowed in these lower levels. Thanks BigMcLargeHuge!

Photo of gford217
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle courtesy of Gillard, poured into a snifter.

Pours a very dark mahogany brown in the glass that shows a dark, clear copper when held up to light. There's a solid creamy tan head that recedes fairly slowly and leaves almost no lacing.

The aroma is pretty subtle and straight-forward for the style with a big slightly-smoked caramel malt backbone with some dark fruit mixed in. Hints of molasses and chocolate are in there is well.

The taste is a more vibrant version of the nose with the sweetness still dominating but with a more pronounced smoked peat flavor, especially in the finish which is slightly dry and has more coffee bitterness than I was expecting. The dark fruits, chocolate and vanilla all contribute to the sweetness.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and medium to full bodied with good carbonation.

This is a solid effort from Cigar City and a very good Scotch ale. I wouldn't put it near the top of the list of their beers, but it's a drinkable and sweeter version of the style.

Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of Danny1217
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, little tan head that quickly fades and leaves a thin layer at the top.
Smells of grapes, toffee, roasted malts, brown sugar, leather, and oak. A little bit of booze on the nose too. Best way I can describe it is that it smells like a red wine, but in beer form.
Tastes of spice, toffee, caramel, raisins. A bit of a roasty flavor. Nice alcohol warmth, but isn't overpowering. Nice full body, medium carbonation.

A nicely complex Scotch ale. Cigar City never disappoints.

Photo of WillCarrera
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, opened at Mikkeller & Friends in Copenhagen, poured into a mini pokal glass. Thanks Emily!

A- Pours dark brown, thick and viscous looking, produces a tiny head that quickly disappears.

S- Sweet, malty aroma of caramel, dark fruit, molasses, and bread.

T- Quite sweet and sugary, loads of caramel, molasses, caramelized dark fruits, some boozy rum flavors and breadiness.

M- Full-bodied, thick and rich, moderate booze warmth.

O- A solid scotch ale, but overall a bit more sweet than I would have liked, it's a beer worth trying but I would recommend splitting this with a few friends.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the Cigar City Brewing tasting room in Tampa. Served in a pint glass, the beer is an opaque, black sludge looking brew with a ruby-red highlight showing around the edges, and a slight film of head. Sweet malt and boozey aromas. The body is round and smooth...holy shit! The flavor is the boozey characters of a smooth, smokey scotch, and the sweetness of melted brown sugar. Great bodied. The booze and sweet consumes the aftertaste. Great sipper. Light, lingering finish.

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Good scotch ale appearance. It had cloudy/murky dark brown tones with a small, off-white head of thick foam. Nice retention and some lacing.

S - It smelled of peat and moss with a smoky aroma, too.

T - Good flavor blend of smoke, earthy hops and sweet caramel malt.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied beer that was somewhat chewy.

D - This is a very nice scotch ale/wee heavy. Glad I got to try this one.

Photo of beergod1
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy Dark Brown with a thin lasting beige head. Aroma is lots of sweet caramel, toasted malts, brown sugar, dark fruity esters, and light roast. Flavor is also Dark fruit, big malts, and earthy hops and sweet licorice on the finish . Mouth feel is Medium/Full, with a smooth finish. Great tasting brew, but almost no resemblance to a scotch ale. Tastes similar to their Warmer Winter....

Photo of Hojaminbag
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one came to me in a recent trade with Mikesgroove. Thank you for yet another nice beer Mike.

Big Sound smells promising, as it obviously focuses on malt, which I like in my scotch ales. Bread, molasses, toffee, a hint of hops and some booze.

I like this one. Lots of malt without a ton of sweetness. Molasses and toffee are there, but they are quickly overtaken by some toasted malt and a bit biscuit that dry the taste out. Just a little bit of dry, powdery, cocoa taste. At the core is a little bit of dark fruit in the form of raisins. The finish has a slight amount of hop bitterness, and a blast of warmth from the alcohol.

Almost chewy feeling with some warmth in the finish.

I'm starting to dig Cigar City stuff more as I try more of their beers. This one is a very nice Scotch Ale.

Photo of AdamBear
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark chocolate brown with a light tan head that fades

S-smells like a chocolate candle with some bitterness to it. has a decent strength

T-comes in with a good decent taste of milk chocolate and some very slight bitterness. it ends with a good amount of toffee but its not too sweet at first. the milk chocolate and toffee make up a good after-taste.

M-good creamy carbonation with a semi dry finish

O-it gets sweeter as you drink it. its a good example of the style, but I think the 750 mL is best shared. i wouldn't want this all to myself. its a good taste, but not something i want a lot of. not something i'll be searching for again.

Photo of seaoflament
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one in a trade with smellsofstout, thanks for the opportunity! This beer was shared at the Stone Sour Fest 09.

Poured a reddish brown color with a decent ¼ inch of foam.

The aroma was of caramel, toast, toffee, earthy hops, sweet raisins, a touch of spice like cinnamon.

Similar to the aroma with some toasted malts, toffee, some bitterness and dryness in the finish. Caramel, dates, and nutty malts in the back. Malty and sweet with a good balance. Low to moderate carbonation. Not a big fan of this style but this one was decent.

Photo of wspscott
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle in Duvel tulip
no date, but I got this last summer, it has been refrigerated since then.

A: Pours almost completely black, when held up to a bright, there are obvious ruby highlights. The initial pour yielded a fluffy 2-finger head that quickly dropped to a half-finger head and a lot of lace.
S: Dark caramel, a little bit of butter (diacetyl), some fruitiness.
T: Very similar to the nose, obvious caramel and butter, the fruit is much more pronounced. I can't decide if the fruitiness is yeast or malt driven. No hint of alcohol.
M: Very rich and mouth-coating, but not cloying. A relatively high level of carbonation for the style, but not at all unpleasant, helps the mouthfeel from being too much.
D: A great sippin beer that has a ton to think about. I think I could finish the whole bottle tonight and think about a second one.

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.

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

It was an interesting beer. I would love to try it again.

Photo of AltBock
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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 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.

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