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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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

592 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 592
Reviews: 182
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 176
Gots: 145 | FT: 13
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: 592 | Reviews: 182 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of seangibbs60
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of dolfan54fl
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of comfortablynirm
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of jdprmd
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of blivingston1985
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This thing pours a murky, muddy water brown that looks strangely inviting. A tan colored superfine head makes an appearance off the initial pour, and quickly disappears immediately afterwords.
Huge amounts of toffee an sugar combined with a just right alcohol presence make up a bountiful nose. Light spice, toffee, vanilla, and a nice breadiness envelope my mouth, and are further enjoyed as this beer warms and the flavors become highly enhanced. I do love the malt level here, and have to say this is one of the best scotch ales ive had. I do notice a huge amount of variation in the ones ive had, and this one just hits all cylinders for me. Everything is balanced perfectly amd the flavors just rock.

Photo of tharper178
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of steve8robin
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This week appears to be Cigar City lineup week. I've gotten to try quite a few thanks to a gem of a beer store! 750ml...

A: A beautiful deep dark porter-esqu color with some transparency through it. A thick tan head quickly follows which fades slowly. Perfect!

S: I can smell this brew from the table! I get some great blends of raisin, sweet malts, walnut, and scotch all upfront. Followed comes some very nice toffee and hints of caramel with some sweet dry hop hidden well in the backend. This smells awesome! Very good!

T: I get some raisin and sweet sugars upfront blended with a nice creaminess quickly followed. I almost get a delayed chocolate and plum taste in the middle with an awesome blended scotch on the backend. So good!

M: Medium body with a great carbonation feel. A creamy wet finish. Very good.

D: Does not even taste like alcohol. Some scotch characteristics in the taste, but no alcohol burn. Very good!

All in all, a standing ovation here. Cigar City has done it again. Hunahpu blew me away, and now the second to blow me away from CC is Big Sound. I'd recommend trying this if you like well blended sweet flavorful beers. Great job CC!

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of hmf05
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a three finger fizzy tan head. I see tons and tons of bubbles rising to the top which is surprising to me. Didn't expect to see so much carbonation. The smells is sour cherries, toffee, caramel, and some smoke. Smells nice. The tase is out of this world. I get sweet cherries up front, followed by toffee and caramel. The smoke is there in the finish, but to call this "smokey" would be an overstatement. Mouthfeel is creamy and well carbonated. Overall, very surprised in how much I am enjoying this. While the brew is sweet, it is not cloying like syrup. The ABV is well hidden as well. Just another solid brew from Cigar City. My only complaint is that I would have preferred a more defined smokiness, but that is just nitpicking. This is an incredible beer.

***Update:

As the brew warms, I am getting more and more smoke on the nose and in the taste. Truly an exceptional beer. At first, this didn't really meet the Scotch Ale style, but the traditional style comes out more and more as the beer warms. This is a beer that should be drunk at no colder than 50 degrees. I originally scored this as an "A," but this is an A+ beer. One of the best beers that has passed through these lips.

Photo of JayS2629
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a two finger mocha head that fades fast but leaves great lacing.

The aroma is of molasis, oak, maple and cocoa with a hint of vanilla and hazelnuts. Sweet notes of toffee and a touch of smoke and booze.

The flavor is just as complex. Rich and malty backbone of brown sugar, vanilla, oak, smoke, maple, cocoa, and hazelnuts. Deep toffee dominates with earthy hops in the back. All of this is with a touch of bourbon completes things.

Rich and decandent. Very balanced and tasty.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.57/5  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.

Photo of DIM
4.57/5  rDev +12%
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!

Photo of adam42381
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown with beautiful ruby red highlights and a 3 finger frothy medium tan colored head featuring tiny carbonation bubbles. Excellent creamy lacing coating the glass.

Smell: Tons of malt and cocoa with a touch of dried fruits. Smells a lot like Hershey's Whoppers.

Taste: Very sweet mix of flavors up front including cocoa and sweet malt with a touch of caramel up front followed by a light amount of hops in the middle and ending with lightly toasted malt at the finish. Aftertaste is mildly bittersweet and quite appealing. Very well-balanced beer that keeps the alcohol completely hidden.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and creamy with a fairly high amount of prickly carbonation that gives it just about the perfect feel for me. Really coats the palate.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. The alcohol will sneak up on you since you really don't even notice that it's there.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. Cigar City has really knocked it out of the park with this one. I've liked just about every Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy that I've tried and this one does nothing to change that. I would highly suggest trying this beer if you get the chance.

Photo of atlaShrugged
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle from St Pete Total Wine

a - deep brown, good head retention, lacing

s - toffee and caramel

t - caramel and toffee, enough alcohol to make you take pause but not enough to overpower the other flavors

m - medium to full bodied, mild carbonation

d - This kept me coming back for more trying to wrap my head around it. It seems CCB was trying pretty hard to make good beer. Luckily, they succeeded. Insert any other A rating here.

Photo of aahynick
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

about 40 degree F into a pint glass
A- garnet to black with a long lasting giant head

S- chocolate and peat

T- I just O'd. Rich chocolate, peak smoke and malt

M- like a $15 milkshake, so creamy, sooo nice

D- this could easily become my favorite. The stuff is pricy but DAMN!.

Photo of aasher
4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was given as an extra by Avagadro in a recent trade. Thanks Aaron! It was poured into a Bell's tulip. It pours a dark, dark brown in color with a one finger velvety smooth beige colored head. It was a very, very smooth pour and was medium to full in body. It smells of slightly sweet dark malts, cream, with a light hazelnut aspect. It's really intriguing. The flavors are phenomenal and complex. It tastes of light cocoa powder, cream, light vanilla, light toffee, and light cherries. Everything is so well integrated that it's the perfect blend, overly flavorful, and not too sweet. This beer is exceptionally smooth and perfect on the palate. The aftertaste too is phenomenal. Overall this is hands down the best scotch ale I've had to date. What a beer! Seek out this beer if you're a fan of the style.

Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 592 ratings.