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

636 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 636
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 186
Gots: 171 | FT: 16
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: 636 | Reviews: 191
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 Patrick999
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

From the 750ml capped bottle. Poured into a snifter. As others have noted, this is a really dark Scotch ale. Some red highlights if held to a lamp. Persistent thick head.

Excellent aroma. I get ripe sweet cherries, cedar, lavender, sweet tea.

Wow, this is tasty, but it's awfully sweet and thick. I can tell it's going to be a chore to finish the bottle. In the future, I won't open one of these unless I have several people to share with. I get a lot of the sweet cherries drenched in maple syrup. Tastes cinnamon bun-like. It's really sweet. Good, but I think the sweetness detracts from the complexity that would otherwise develop. I can definitely see why people rate this highly; it just runs a little contra to my personal preferences.

It's the epitome of a beer you share out big time. I'd have a hard time even finishing a 12 oz bottle.

Photo of mwilbur
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a very dark, muddy brown with 1/4 inch dark tan head that fairly quickly recedes. Appears thick and heavy. Nice.
S: Caramel malt, cured meat, dark dried fruit (e.g. fig), and a hint of smoke and salt.
T: Chewy and soft caramel malt, molasses, fresh dark dried fruit (e.g. dark cherries), mildly roasted coffee, dark and dense grain bread, and a hint of nuts. Nice complexity!
M: Soft, chewy, dense, fresh. Full body. Lingers and matures nicely on the palate as well! Phenomenal here.
D: Extremely drinkable. Wonderful complexity...excellent for style. ABV is perfect and well hidden. Seek it out!

Photo of dstc
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark with a huge, frothy, light brown head. Head falls very slow. Big sticky lace.

Bold malt aroma with hints of dark fruit and coffee.

Big malt taste. Cherries and plums with a nice sweetness. Coffee flavor is mild, ends a bit metallic and with a roasted flavor. Very bold.

Full and chewy in the mouth and smooth.

Awesome brew. So bold, flavorful and chewy. Very nice.

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 aubuc1
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a steady, but somewhat thin creamy tan head.

Big huge sweet bready malt with a roasty finish. Oozes malt.

Taste is bold up front of dry roast, then more sweet malt. More complex than most scotch ales.

Mouthfeel is very creamy but it is a little boozy and/or astringent.

It took me a while to find this for some reason, and this really is an excellent beer.

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 brownbeer
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 32oz CC growler thanks to Mike B. Thanks again.

The deepest of mahogany color with a light brown head.

The nose is mostly of raisin and licorice. Ends up being sort of a dark dark dried fruit extravaganza.

Up front, molasses, plump, sweet raisin, licorice, and fig. A dried fruit trail mix, if you will. In time, the layers just keep unfolding. Carob, sour cherry on the back end, and just an array of exotic flavors that have developed throught the experience. Another rich, full-bodied, yet approachable beer from Cigar City. Awesome.

I think if I had only sampled this in a lineup there is no way I would have thought it was this good. Sitting down with a glass of it and focusing on only it, was amazing. Just nudging out Old Chub, this is my favorite, at least American, Scotch Ale.

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jeff for sharing his March Madness Winnings. From notes, 5.21.

Pours a deep mahogany-brown color with some tight, 1 finger creamy light beige foam. Fades somewhat quickly to a good film with abstract clinging lace in my tulip.

Aroma has some darker notes than I had expected, rich, brown sugar, caramel but also some darker chocolate and toasted bread notes. Some roasted nuts, it smells pretty good. Taste isn't super sweet but has some characteristics and flavors that lean toward sweet. Big toffee and toasty notes, some caramelized brown sugar and a charred malt note that wavers toward the tiniest hint of smoke. Dark fruits, namely a dull-ish raisiny note. Rasinets? Though there is some bitter chocolate here too, leading to a very distinct, semi-sweet chocolate wafer cookie finish.

Maybe a little too carbonated right out of the bottle, but otherwise this is perfect mouthfeel. Nice and viscous, bubbles still felt on the tongue though. Good substance to it, but never felt too heavy or overbearing. I really like the 8.5% abv point as well. Alcohol was well hidden, but the robustness of the flavors still makes this somewhat of a sipper. I think I might have tried a sip of the BA version before, but now I really would like to revisit it.

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 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 Lothore
3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of Rogorama
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the better scotch ales I've tried. Opened a 2012 bottle on DLD. The malts really take over in this one, with a slight hint of cherries. The coffee didn't really come out as much as I had hoped, but it was still a very nice beer overall. Looking forward to trying the barrel aged versions!

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 saintwarrick
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brownish brew pours with a quick rising tan head. Lots of nutty almond and malty aromas fill the nose, some light brownies also. Taste is very sweet and malty, right on style. Dates and sweet bready malts dominate with some cocoa mixed in and over-sugared coffee; body is thick and sweet while the alcohol is very well hidden. Some bitterness at the end keeps this brew from getting to cloying. Very well-crafted brew as always from CC.

Photo of Beerbuddha
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This brew poured a nice deep copper color with a nice solid off white head. Lacing present throughout.

Smell: Wonderful aroma of caramel, tobacco, roasted malt and dark fruit.

Taste: The taste in similar to aroma. Caramel and dark fruits dominate. Slight tea like bitterness which balances the sweetness well. Nice booziness comes across.

Mouthfeel: This is one full bodied brew with very little carbonation.

Overall: Incredible brew! Perfect brew for the colder nights! On a side note I actually marinated some pork shoulder in this brew and it was incredible.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Avagadro
3.52/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy, chocolatey brown color with no head formation. A very dull looking brew.

S: Very little aroma, but what is there is nice: dark berries, chocolate, and caramel.

T: I'm starting to see a common trend with CCB's malty brews; they're all too sweet. Big sound boasts notes of black raspberries, coconut, and toffee, with dark chocolate on the finish. The flavors here are great, but they are too rich when combined with this brew's low attenuation.

M: Very full body, little carbonation, and nice chewy texture.

O: A decent brew marred by excessive sweetness. I'm starting to not trust CCB's malty beers, because they all contain the same mistake. If sweet brews are your thing, more power to you. I just can't give high marks to a brew like this.

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 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 aepb1
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- deep dark brown body with a creamy tan head

S- dark sweet cherries and some molasses

T- caramel, toffee, dark fruits, molasses, big flavor and that's wonderful!

M- full-bodied and creamy with a lower level of carbonation

O- a great scotch ale. Very nice to sip on a cold florida evening!

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

A-Pours a dark brown with a one finger mocha colored head that has very good retention and leaves plenty of sticky lacing all the way down.

S-Roasted malt, sweet caramel, dark fruit and maybe a hint of tobacco. Very pleasant nose.

T-Lots of slightly sweet roasty malted goodness here. Caramel, toffee, plums and cherries, a bit smoky too. This is good.

M-Full bodied, very creamy, a bit chewy and sticky. Coats the palate well. Great mouthfeel.

D-Its a beer you take your time with no doubt, but I had no trouble finishing the entire 750 myself. It was a pleasure to do so.

This is another great beer from CC. Just wish their stuff was more widely available.

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split this 750 during another good night of beers with Joe. Pours a dark brown color with a brownish-yellow head. Retention and lacing are just okay.

The nose is pretty intense. Caramelized brown sugar is at the forefront, with a medium amount of chocolate, some vanilla, and nutiness. A little bit of booze comes through when it warms, just barley keeping the aroma from a higher score.

The flavor is very concentrated and sweet, with the same flavors as described in the nose, with a bit more emphasis on creamy nuttiness. When Joe mentioned it tasted like a creamy, sugary chocolate wafer bar, I couldn't think of anything else. That description fit too well for me not to steal it in this review.

The mouthfeel is on the heavy side for the style, with mid to high carbonation and a lingering, sweet finish. This beer really impressed me, especially since I haven't been a fan of the style to this point. I might have to seek out some more examples, but I'm afraid I'll be disappointed after this one.

Photo of LuckySevens82
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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.

Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 636 ratings.