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

634 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 634
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: 634 | Reviews: 191
Photo of bcostner1
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Moderate brown hued with red undertones.

S: Pretty underwhelming. A little peat, a little malt, very mild hops.

T: One of the better tasting scotch ales I have had. I will admit, though, that I am very hot and cold with this style. I have to be in the mood for one. It's not one that I necessarily crave or seek out. I'm getting: peat, mild smoke, caramel, some chocolate, toffee, and maybe a little black cherry.

M: Decent. Body is fairly satisfying and abv pretty well hidden. Just nothing about it that really wows me or turns me off one way or the other.

Overall, decent brew. Glad I got to try it. Would like to try the BA version. I bet I would enjoy it more.

Photo of shand
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one was bottled Aug 20, 2012.

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Pours chocolate brown, with no highlights. This one is as opaque as my leather couch. Topped with a very creamy, frothy, milkshake looking cappuccino colored head. Copious amounts of lacing. Wonderful looking for a scotch ale.

Aroma is a bit lacking. None of the smokiness, peatiness, caramel, deep roastiness associated with most of the style. There is some caramel as well as some dark fruitiness. Alcohol esters are definitely noticeable. Slight bit of chalkiness with this one also.

Decent flavors. Again, a bit muted. Not overly sweet, which I like. None of the smokiness or tobacco qualities I like. Super malty with more dark fruit flavors and a bit or raisins shining through. Full bodied and chewy; very sticky.

Overall, a decent beer. Certainly not tops for the style but above average. Price point is nice so I would probably get this one again.

Photo of Lawl3ss
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of Jeffo
3.12/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dad picked this one up for me from the brewery when he was in Florida for Spring Training in 2012. Thanks for swinging by pops!

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, looser looking, fizzy, light tan head with decent retention. Head fades to a splotchy wisp and ring. A perfectly clear bistre brown body with no carbonation evident. Light ring remains but leaves no lacing by the end. Ends a bit flat looking.

SMELL: Dark malts, leather, dark fruits and spicy yeast notes on the nose. Much like a Belgian strong dark ale, with caramel notes and some dark bread as well. Medium strength.

TASTE: Somewhat mild up front, though some leather and dark fruits do make an appearance. Flavor picks up at the swallow with lots of sweet flavors, including grapes, toffee and caramel flavors. Milder but lingering finish of sweet malts, grapes, and a touch of bitter coffee at the end. Quite sweet and a little lack-luster initially.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly light on the palate. Creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes rather sticky for the style. A touch light perhaps, but nothing is off-putting.

OVERALL: This was just alright. I've had piles of wonderful beers from Cigar City, but this one didn't quite do it for me. A little light in body and the flavor lacked up front a bit. Still an enjoyable beer, but I think I expected more from this one. Cheers again for doing the leg-work pops. Love trying stuff from this brewery.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a murky dark brown with tan highlights, nice dirty white cap leaving behind tan bubbles and light lacing

S: Smoke, peat, candy, caramel a little booze sting on the nostrils with rich toffee and chocolate

T: Upfront is a rather bold peat backed with caramel apple, light candy, toffee and chcocolate appear almost instantly as well. The finishing taste brings cocoa, toffee and caramel with a light booze sting, sticky and sweet. holy crap this is how I like Wee Heavys!

M: Big body, well carbonated, sweet and sticky, full of flavor and very robust

O: If every Wee Heavy tasted and felt like this I might change my name to Wee-Man

Photo of macrosmatic
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at CCB tasting room. Poured into a snifter.

A: Opaque, dark brown to black with slight ruddy undertones. Forms a half-finger tan head that quickly fades to foam. Mild amount of visible carbonation.

S: Dark roasty malts, dark fruits, and malty sweetness with a bit of dark cacao.

T: Sweet roasty malts, dark fruit and raisins, a bit of coffee & cacao. This is a bit boozy with a sweet sticky finish.

M: Heavier body, a smooth mouthfeel, and a moderate alcohol presence. Not overly boozy to the point of detraction.

O: This is pretty good, indeed much better than the infected bottle I had. A darn good scotch ale.

Photo of FanofHefe
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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 warnerry
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Bilco for sharing this beer

Review adapted from notes taken 3/31/12

Appearance: Reddish brown, beige head, spotty lacing, retains a nice ring

Smell: Caramel, sugar, a lot of sweetness - toasted bread, bread crust, toasted malts - a hint of fruit, and some booze

Taste: Not a typical Scotch ale, sweet - very caramelized, sweet and malty - toasted malts, bread, dough, molasses, toffee, hints of chocolate and dark fruits

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body, smooth, nicely carbonated

Overall: Good stuff

This was an interesting Scotch ale. Bigger and sweeter than the average, with some interesting flavors. This is worth a try, but it's not mind-blowing.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bilco for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Pours with almost no head. Vestiges of a light tan head cling to the edges of the beer...barely. Amber bordering on dark copper. Very clear.

Smell: Caramel malts and biscuit. Underlying overcooked malt note adds a nice bit of depth to an otherwise basic malt profile. Dusting of citrus, but that's stretching it. Loads of sweetness from the malts. Bread crust and some darker sugars. Some raisin/dark fruit notes buried in there as well. Dough and crust.

Taste: Almost a spot-on-replica of the nose. Big chewy malts. Caramel and hints of molasses over a solid bready, almost doughy, malt presence. Tiniest hint of hops on the back, but it's quickly covered over by the sweetness from the malts. Dark fruit rounds the whole thing out. Raisins.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and almost full. Carbonation is minimal, but it works with the style and the profile.

Overall: A solid take on the style. I'm glad I ended up sharing this bottle with a couple friends as it would be a task to drink a whole bottle alone. Nice flavor, but it's not gripping.

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 One2Remeber
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of WoodBrew
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Suck a bottle of this no the cruise to give a break from the standard crap served on teh boat. The color is 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. Had some smoke/peat presence, too.

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 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 tjkinate
2.56/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My first from Cigar City. I just hope my upcoming 200th review of Hunapuh is better.

A: 2 fingered head that had decent retention settling to a thin khaki color. Deep brown bodied brew.

S: Smells like booze more than beer. A malty backbone pokes through here and there, but nothing I would call complex.

T: Caramel, sugar, and booze. Tasted like a flat day old pepsi.

M: Under carbonated

O: Not at all what I had hoped.

Photo of speter
3.59/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark muddy brown with a massive (and I do mean massive) coffee-brown head. The head persists, leaving all kinds of lacing.

S: Figs, cherries, brown sugar, toffee, with a deeply-roasted, almost charred, chocolate/coffee note.

T: Creamy chocolate and whipped prune together. Sweet from start to finish. Only in the long aftertaste does this gain some hop bitterness. Very nice, but lacks somewhat in complexity.

M: Rich and smooth with creamy carbonation. The alcohol is extremely well integrated.

O: I know this is down from my earlier firkin review of this same beer, but I've had Traquair House Ale in the meantime, and it's changed how I view the style. With increased ABV comes required complexity.

Photo of wisrarebeer
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
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

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 634 ratings.