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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

190 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 190
Hads: 644
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.25%
Wants: 185
Gots: 167 | FT: 14
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: 644
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.41/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 06/05/2009. Bottle at PPRBSG09. This beer pours a murky brown with a small head. The aroma is of diacetyl and sweet malt. The flavor is of roasted malt and sweet caramel malt. Ok for a scotch ale (although admittedly it is not my favorite style). (258 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a murky and opaque brownish red, some orange, very thick tan head forms, very tight bubbles, settles to a thick layer and ring, tons of lacing on the glass, this looks pretty good. Smell is great, very rich, toffee, caramelized brown sugar, sherry, earthy, some floral, cherries and berries, very fruity and sugary, wood, very nice. Taste is great too, brown sugar and toffee sweetness up front, caramelized raisins, bread, toast, very fruity, touch of iron, figs, very earthy and woody, alcohol but well hidden, very rich and intense sweet finish. Mouthfeel is full bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth but goes down real smooth. A great scotch ale, Cigar City is putting out some killer beers. Thanks Russ! (776 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
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! (1,515 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another gem from CCB. To say I get excited when a new offering comes in from them would be the understatement of the year. This one was grabbed out of the fridge and served in a tall pilsner glass. Consumed on 06/28/2009.



The pour was very big. Deep, dark hazelnut brown in color with a huge tan head of at least three inches covering up the top of it. Very big look to it overall with great retention and tons of side glass lacing going up and down the glass. Rich aroma of caramel, hints of nuts and brown sugar and a very nice herbal or woodsy like quality to it. Smooth, sublime carbonation here. Really full bodied for the style led to a wonderful coating like quality across the tongue. As I reach in for a taste I get all kinds of flavor here. Earthy grains, hints of bready malts, a nice touch of rich caramel and almost a tobacco like flavor. Very interesting. Mellow ABV with a slight warming, but nothing distracting at all. In fact this was quite drinkable to say the least.



Overall this was beyond solid and a real treat. I am a huge fan of the style and this was no exception at all. I would go here again any day of the week. Really excellent and they just keep going with the great releases. (1,215 characters)

Photo of ahatcher78
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (725 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick, nicely amber tinged, full amber color. The beer is a dark amber color that has a concentrated redness to it. When held up to the light the beer shows a nicely concentrated, red, ruby color. The beer has an interesting note to it up front, it is quite sweet with an almost cinnamon like character to it sweetness; almost reminds me of a deeply caramelized, cinnamon sweetened red-hot. There is a touch of toasted grain underneath the sweet aroma. Perhaps this is a bit too cold (though it is at 50ºF / 10ºC), a quick stint in the microwave has me noticing a bit more caramel character rather than straight sweetness, some berry like fruit character as well as more toasted malt character. Actually the sticky sweetness has now all but disappeared. The aroma started out a bit on the simplistic side, but it does get a bit better if you really let it warm up, though it still doesn't quite have the complexity that I was hoping for.

This is sweet tasting with a thick, chewy body that easily tames the sweetness, which definitely is not cloying. The beer finishes with a touch of warming alcohol as well as a chewy, whole grain toastiness, and a deeply caramelized malt character. A bit of caramelized, marshmallow character is in the middle and the finish has a hint of roast grain that adds just a hint of bite to balance a smidge of the sweetness. This does have some salty smokiness to it as well, which is quite subtle and I would guess is not from any actual peat smoked malt. This has a touch of fruitiness to it with mostly a raisin-like note that likely is contributed by the malt character. While the sweetness is not too much in this warmed up beer, it does still have a candy like note to it with all of the caramelized specialty malt character floating around in this beer.

In hopes of cutting the sweetness I have taken to eating an overly sweetened brownie, this does tame the beers sweetness, but actually brings a touch of tartness out in the beer. It does accentuate a touch more of the light roast character, a slight bit more smokiness, as well as bringing out more of the toasted malt character.

Not a bad beer, I must admit that I got a bit too caught up in excitement around this brewery, my expectations of grandeur where probably a bit too much, but I was expecting a lot more from this beer. It doesn't quite have the complexity and balance that I really want to see in a great example of the style. Really my biggest complaint here is that the beer has a bit too much sweetness; it does need some sweetness, but if it was a touch drier it would really allow a lot more complex malt character to come through. A touch more age might round this out a bit though; six months to a year might see this beer peaking. (2,810 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 FtownThrowDown
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (488 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this brew in a trade with Kiefdog, Thanks Kevin!

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

Dark brown color with a beige head that left some spots of lacing.
Roasted malt aroma.
The taste is full of roasted malt, dark fruits, a hint of chocolate and light bitterness.
Medium/full bodied with a creamy feel.
Oh yeah, but drink it slowly. (336 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.49/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My abject thanks to moose3285 for sending me my first full bottle of Cigar City. After swigging a sample of Capricho Oscuro in Florida in February, the wife & I have been itching to try a full bomber of CC. This is the one!

Pours black with red highlights, if that's possible. Smells of sweet scotch ale, if that's a smell. It's good. My wife has attached the glass to her upper lip for aromatherapy purposes.

And action. Damn. I'm having a hard time using English to describe this, perhaps if I knew French, Latin, or poetry, it would suffice. Dark, scotch-infused malts are dominant, & bring a full, rich feel to the brew, although rich isn't a strong enough word. There's other more subtle notes, but who cares? That top-level of taste is downright fantastic.

I'd say this is a sipper - maybe a fast sipper, since the glass is vanishing rather quickly. No apparent alcohol. Smooth. No temper at all.

Top-notch brew. I was wondering if this brewery could live up to a four-month memory of a couple of mouthfuls of their beer, & it has, easily. Mike, I hope you like Minnesota beer, because you might be getting a lot of it in the future, my friend! (1,156 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 Lothore
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

A- Capped 750ml bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head that forms into a ring of lace around the glass.

S- The aroma is nothing short of a big malt bomb with a lot of sweet malts with notes caramel and toffee with a touch of hops.

T- The taste is fantastic! A lot of sweet malt, caramel and coffee flavors dominate the palate. There is also just a hint of peat as well, with a touch of hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is a fantastic sipping beer. Overall, this is another fantastic beer from CCB. The beer keeps getting better and better as it warms up in the glass. I can't wait to taste what the next beer released by Cigar City! (763 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark amber almost black hue. The head was a full one finger of mocha goodness. Okay retention with a nice smattering of lace.

S: Mmmmm this is what malt goodness smells like. This one oozes caramel, toffee, molasses, and dark brown sugar. Hints of chocolate hide beneath this malt mountain along with a touch of dark fruit.

T: Wow I hate to feel like a homer everytime I crack a CCB, but to be honest there are very few if anyone doing what they do. This beer is packed with flavor. The sweet malt goodness is off the scale. Tons of brown sugar and gooey caramel. Touches of molasses and nuts. There is a nice dose of chocolate with notes of dark fruits. A bit or earth and a dash of deep roasted malt round things out. This is an Imperial Scotch Ale that is in a class that only includes AleSmith Wee Heavy.

M: Rather full in body for the style. Smooth, Rich, Bold, Awesome!

D: Great I consumed an entire 750ml and pondered opening another. Alas I will save it for another day. I checks in at over 9% ABV this year so this is one that can hang around for awhile.

Wayne and Joe does it again. I bow to your greatness :) (1,140 characters)

Photo of LuckySevens82
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Redlight Redlight in Orlando.
I should note that this is my 300th review in my many years on BA. I can't think of another beer I would be so happy to spend time talking about.

Pours a deep mahogany with a great strong tan head. Lacing is impressive for a beer of this style.

Smell is roast malts, a bit of peatyness, dark fruits (plums, raisins, etc.). A bit of hops in aroma. Kind of faint smelling overall, but still quite inviting.

Taste is exactly what I want in a scotch ale. Loads of roasted malts, a bit of peat, and a bunch of great fruity flavors. Alcohol is definitely well hidden in this one.

Mouthfeel is overall, very good. A little slick, but it is to be expected. I've not had a scotch ale that is not a little slick in feel.

Overall, another amazing beer from a great local brewer. I can't even begin to explain how happy and proud I am to have Cigar City in my area. Their beers are awesome, and this is no exception. It's only a shame that Redlight didn't have any bottles for take home.

Note: When talking to one of the bartenders, he mentioned that they have another Keg of Bolita Brown. Whenever Big Sound is finished, this should be up and going. I can't wait as it's the only CC beer that's available in the Orlando area I've not yet tried. (1,280 characters)

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