Big Sound Scotch Ale - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 530 | Reviews: 178 | Display Reviews Only:
4.15/5 rDev +1.5%
Shared at one of the Tampa BA gatherings. I still need to find a few bottles of this for myself.
Pours a nice red with a great lingering head. Great looking beer.
Very sweet smell with all the wonderful characteristics of the style. Great balance in the nose.
Great schotchy taste with nice finish. Good sweet notes in the beer. Drinks like candy.
This might be one of the smoothest beers I've had. It is liquid velvet. Wow.
This is an all-day everyday beer. Great for sessions or with food. Like I said, I must find some bottles.
11-06-2009 18:04:57 | More by RomaniIteDomum
4.03/5 rDev -1.5%
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.
11-01-2009 02:20:51 | More by portia99
4.28/5 rDev +4.6%
Time for the Big Sound - I've been waiting for this one!
Just pouring it I can see within the stream of liquid that it's got a crimson cast to it. It's a bit hazy though. It's a deep chestnut with a dark amber glow along the base of the glass. The tan head is massive, and frothy, and it just doesn't want to die down. It's got lots of big bubbles mixed into it and it almost looks like swiss cheese. It does settle though, and becomes more like a creamy cap of baby swiss. The lacing is really nice though, and it leaves rings and curtains as it goes.
The nose is less bombastic, and it's gently sweet with a softly caramelish and gently fruity, berry and jam-like, edge.
That follows into the flavor, and I was surprised at how restrained it is. I was expecting more sugary malt, but this is actually right on par for the style. So many American brewers take it a notch beyond this and go over-board, but this is in check. It reminds me of Belhaven 80 -/-, although it's been so long since I've had one that I'm not even sure about that. I know it's not as roasty as the 90 -/- though, but it's technically stronger. More importantly, it's balanced. And balance is the key to Scottish and Scotch ale. It's malt, and then malt backed by low-level hops, and then more malt, and then more hops - and then a subtly lingering malty and just slightly hoppy and bitter finish. And the stunningly smooth and creamy mouthfeel on this one only makes that all the better!
So, moving to drinkability, at 8.5% this is an amazingly smooth and consumable beer. There's just enough caramel and sweetness to the malt, and just enough hop and bitterness to balance it - and the alcohol is very well cloaked! I'd imagine one could simply enjoy this until they passed out!
Nicely done! And well worth trying!
10-13-2009 01:00:43 | More by NeroFiddled
3.8/5 rDev -7.1%
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.
09-18-2009 03:28:02 | More by AKBelgianBeast
4.1/5 rDev +0.2%
Bottle shared at a BeerAdvocate tasting hosted by mfielden - thanks, Mark!
A - Pours a ruddy dark brown color with a beige head.
S - Aroma of caramel malt, dark fruits, and a hint of smoke.
T - Sweet and malty with lots of caramel and toffee with a little cherry, scotch whiskey, and smoke/roast. Great Scotch ale.
M - Really smooth and full palate with a somewhat dry finish.
D - Pretty high for the style.
09-15-2009 00:17:29 | More by nickd717
4.05/5 rDev -1%
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.
09-08-2009 04:32:28 | More by nickfl
4.15/5 rDev +1.5%
This is the final brew from my most recent trade with BeerLovinGirl. Many thanks to her.
This one is a deep, dark brown that shines red in the light. A tan head sticks around at a couple fingers and leaves some patchy lacing behind.
The aroma is earthy, a little smoky, and malty with notes of dark fruits. There's also an RIS-like molasses, licorice and bitter chocolate note.
The taste follows suit, with more strength in the big smoked malt. It really has the characteristics of a big RIS. Underneath is a gentle fruit note, with some astringent coffee and the subtle note of a toffee-like caramelized sugar. The finish is dry with some toasty grains.
The mouthfeel on this one is pretty full, with light carbonation and a balance of smooth and crisp.
This is a big, bold, tasty brew and a nice one from Cigar City.
09-03-2009 02:53:17 | More by Brenden
4/5 rDev -2.2%
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.
08-29-2009 03:23:38 | More by gford217
4.1/5 rDev +0.2%
Big thanks to hopdog for sharing this preview of what will soon be available in the SE PA market...
Appears a semi-transparent toned mahogany with a small, beige head that leaves spotty bits of lacing around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, light smoke, raisins, molasses, and earthy minerals.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with dark fruit, smoke, and cocoa standing out amongst the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and drinkable.
08-24-2009 20:19:46 | More by weeare138
4.22/5 rDev +3.2%
Pours a very dark, ruby red with a tan, one finger head. Decent retention on the head, but not much lacing left around the glass. A nice sweet malt aroma, but not too strong. There is a cornucopia of caramel, brown sugar, and a little chocolate. In short, it smells very sweet! The taste is much more strong than the aroma would indicate. Although, one thing the aroma hinted to is there, sweet, very sweet flavor. There is the same mix of caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate, but it is far more pronounced. I continue to be impressed, and amazed, by the strong flavor CCB packs in to every brew. It might not always be exactly to style, but it is delicious. A rather thick mouthfeel and fair amount of alcohol make this one a bit of a slower drinker. There is also a bit of a bitterness bite at the back-end that slowed me down. Overall, another great offering from CCB.
08-18-2009 23:46:52 | More by bhalter8
3.98/5 rDev -2.7%
750ml bottle acquired in trade with daknole (thanks!).
Poured a deeper amberish/brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of earthiness, toffee, roast, and some dark fruits. Tastes of lighter earthiness, dark fruits, chocolate, and smoke.
08-14-2009 20:45:00 | More by hopdog
4.45/5 rDev +8.8%
Went to the brewery a few weeks ago and picked up some of their brews at the nearby store.
A- I think I had a bad pour, I'm excited! Poured dark red, nearly brown. But, I can't comment on the head because I ruined that.
S- I don't think I can smell. I don't pick up much scents sometimes. I do smell the roasted malty character, but that's about it.
T- Very nice complex flavor! Roasted Malts, sugars,great, nuts, alcohol all blend well.
M- Even with the very malty taste, which is common with Scotch Ales, you don't have a huge sticky after taste. Very smooth, balanced, clean!
08-01-2009 18:50:07 | More by jbone78
3.65/5 rDev -10.8%
Consumed 2.3 oz of this brew for reviewing purposes. Heated in an oven for five minutes at 400 degrees, then I dropped it into a vat of liquid helium. BRRR!! When it got back to room temperature, I was ready to try it.
Pours a dark, deep brown with a bubbling, long lasting tan head. Quite a bit of foam on these cigar city brews.
Smells like a bit of roasted malt, sweet caramel, and maybe ... some nuttiness? Earthiness? Not sure.
Taste is mostly sweet, with a strange astringent coffee bittering agent that lingers on the aftertaste, mostly rich roasted grainy caramel malt, and that nuttiness from the aroma becomes more prevalent. Maybe a hint of vanilla ... can't be sure. There's also a strange kind of butteriness to it. Somewhat unusual wee heavy that almost reminds me more of an uber-malted brown ale.
Made it through the big bottle, but not that drinkable, all things considered.
08-01-2009 10:48:11 | More by Overlord
4/5 rDev -2.2%
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.
07-21-2009 00:28:06 | More by seaoflament
4.28/5 rDev +4.6%
bottle courtesy of a LIF from the very generous tpd975. thanks greg!
750ml bottle. sampled july 4/09.
pours slightly murky deep dark red-brown with a dense cap of brown head. the head drops slowly and leaves plenty of thick lace behind.
aroma is great. rich caramel and toffee. toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. light alcohol. earthy and a touch woody.
taste is good. much like hte aroma, this is all about the malt. rich caramel and toffee. bit of coffee and dark chocolate. lightly toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. hint of smoke. light alcohol. a bit earthy. some dark fruit. low bitterness level, more coffee and chocolate than hops.
mouthfeel is great. medium-large body. medium carbonation level. silky smooth.
drinkability is great. excellent balance, hiding its alcohol almost completely. great complexity and depth. makes me wish i had a few more bottles!
07-18-2009 00:36:55 | More by grub
3.43/5 rDev -16.1%
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).
07-11-2009 17:26:33 | More by LilBeerDoctor
4.35/5 rDev +6.4%
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!
07-07-2009 17:16:04 | More by Viggo
3.98/5 rDev -2.7%
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!
07-06-2009 02:21:55 | More by BEERchitect
4.5/5 rDev +10%
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.
07-02-2009 00:43:58 | More by mikesgroove
4.03/5 rDev -1.5%
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.
06-23-2009 01:11:40 | More by ahatcher78
3.58/5 rDev -12.5%
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.
06-20-2009 15:24:45 | More by Gueuzedude
4.2/5 rDev +2.7%
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.
06-14-2009 18:47:26 | More by Onenote81
3.9/5 rDev -4.6%
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.
06-12-2009 23:25:08 | More by FtownThrowDown
4.28/5 rDev +4.6%
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.
06-12-2009 00:44:27 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
4.47/5 rDev +9.3%
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!
06-07-2009 01:44:08 | More by maximum12
Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 530 ratings.