Big Sound Scotch Ale | Cigar City Brewing

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
197 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
197
Ratings:
682
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
19.07%
 
 
Wants:
190
Gots:
189
For Trade:
21
Big Sound Scotch AleBig Sound Scotch Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by cjgator3 on 12-05-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 197 | Ratings: 682
Photo of BARFLYB
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Out of the firkin @ Capone's for Philly Beer Week, I love this city and the burbs.

Big sound has a murky brown muddy look to it, the color is a light brown with some small tan spots here, not the darkest scotch ale i've seen. A nice dark tan bubbly head on top that leaves small squiggly lines. There is actually some sludge at the end of my pint, nice!!

Smell is big with an apparent nuttiness along with a decent amount of hopping for a scotch ale, some grapefruit. Some roasted malt aroma along with sweet sugar and toffee sweets.

This is perhaps the best scotch ale I have had in years, no joke. The taste is superb and does not come off as a malty mess. The malt is there and sweet along with brown suga and toffee, but there is a nice cherry with dark fruit along with some nice citrus rind from some hops, not major though. Nuts and just some dank ass beer, My eyes opened.

The feel is killer. This beer really goes well off a firkin. If I had this in a bottle, this may not be the case, but right now Im in heaven. Medium bodied, smooth, malty sweet, backing hop presence, carb is there, this is bonkers.

I drank a whole pint with ease, I wanted another, but I was driving, I would of had more real quick, this beer is good, no it's great, the firkin just puts it over the edge, this is what beer is all about, this is the pinnicle, the source, the bees knees, the tits, whatever it is, it's ballerific.

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Photo of Duff27
3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Mocha colored one-inch head on top of a cola=brown beer. Good head retention and lacing!

S- Dark caramel malts with a touch of cola.

T- Low hops, per usual for the style. Dark malts with some chocolate and toffee notes. Well hidden ABV.

M- Creamy/syrupy. Well carbonated but with very, very small bubbles.

D/O- A good example for the style overall but for the money I believe there are better options. Worth a try though if you are a huge Scotch Ale fan like me.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

inflatablechair brought this to a tasting a couple weeks ago... Thanks Sam!!

1" lite tan head... very deep brown.. pretty clear brew...

Nice traditional Wee Heavy aromas punctuated with crusty dark bready malts.. some fruity aromas that should probably not be there..

Flavor is pretty nice expected maltiness... the lite roastiness is there.. so is a bit of minor caramel.. earthy tobacco .. but there is also some odd fruity esters that make me think of dark cherries.. the fruitiness is pretty mild, but a bit out of place...

good body and a mild carbonation...

I wish I had taken better notes on this one.... I still say it was pretty good... Thanks Sam!!!

4/4/4/4.5/4

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Sebletitje for this brew.

750ml Bottle

Poured into a chalice a nice deep dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy/creamy tan head, with some stick lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slight bourbon, and some caramel. The taste is malty, sweet, slight bourbon note, slight tartness, and caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this one surprised me very tasty, recommended.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at the Brick Store Pub awhile ago- reviewing from notes. Poured a deep brown, almost black, with a big creamy head and the typical cask carbonation. The smell is a little light, but very malty and a bit redolent of chocolate. The taste has big malt flavors, but fairly dry overall. Meaty, almost bacony and and maybe with a touch of hay. Very interesting and quite good. Very smooth in the mouth with a drying tannic finish which is very welcome. Overall, delicious!

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Photo of aasher
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
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

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter) Thanks to Gunnerman for this gem.
A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a slight hint of red glow. There is light tan head that is thick and creamy turning rocky with sheets of foam sticking to the glass and then sliding back into the beer. There are some a few tiny bubbles stuck to the glass.
S- This beer has a soft caramel hint with a tart note and a soft dry caramel biscuit quality. There is a rye bread aroma with a roasted cocao nibs arom finishing with a soft fusel hint in the finish.
T- This beer has a big chocolaty roasted flavor with a slight vinous quality to the black malt finish. There is a strong but pleasant chalk flavor to the dark malt.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and only a soft alcohol heat hint.
D- This beer has a big complex dark roasted chocolate malt flavor but it still stays smooth and almost silky.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

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Photo of jbaker67
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a big khaki colored head of foam. The aroma has rich toffee and dark fruit notes. Some chocolate notes are there as well. The taste is more of that dark fruit and chocolate sweetness. Some sherry notes, perhaps. Big, chewy mouthfeel and body. Lower end of carbonation.

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Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
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!

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Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle had in my cellar for about 9 months, let's see if it was worth the wait.

Aromas are really Belgian forward which I did not expect; lots of dark fruit with some raisin, dark caramel malts, slight nuttiness and mild peat all upfront. Some very nice toffee and hints of caramel with some earthiness, maybe from the hops but I cannot be certain.

The taste begins with some raisin and sweet brown sugar upfront blended with a nice creaminess quickly followed. I almost get a delayed chocolate and plum taste in the middle. As it warms the beer becomes exponentially sweeter and borderlines cloying.

The mouthfeel is medium to fll bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is sweet and sticky from all the sweet malts, wish there was a tad bit more hops ornsome kind of bitterness to balance the sweetness.

Overall this is a very good scotch ale but lacks the balance I crave in this style. Too much sweet dark fruits and not enough dark roasted malts or hops to balance; that is literally the first time I have ever written that which says something. A good beer but would be better served in a smaller bottle because 22 oz is just too much because of the sweetness in my opinion.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

moose3285 sent me a bottle of this a while back. Thanks, Mike!

The pour is deep crimson with great clarity and pleasing reddish highlights. There's a dense, mocha-colored head with excellent retention that leaves some lacework.
The nose is just outstanding. Big notes of vanilla, toffee, butterscotch, a moderate nuttiness, some chocolate. Mildly fruity as well, I get some rich plum character. Quite a fabulous nose, really. A touch of alcohol comes through in the back as well.

The palate opens rich and robust with a solid grainy character with some robust caramel, toasty, nutty malts. Toasty, mildly bready, there's a pronounced brown sugar character that marries very well with the rest of the palate. A touch of cocoa as well? This beer also has the intense malt character (not really sweet, but particularly strong, noticeable, rich brown sugar notes) that I remember BA Old Stock/ Angel's Share having, and that's high praise.As with the nose, there's some fruitiness, a general dark fruit character, more prune-like? Sweetish on the finish, this beer is medium-full in body with a moderate carbonation. The finish is excellent as well, with a pleasant fruitiness as well as toffee and a light alcohol character. All told, this is more along the lines of an old ale than a dyed in the wool wee heavy, but still, an excellent beer. I think I can unequivocally say that this is the best Cigar City Beer I've had. Thanks a TON, Mike! I must now seek out the BA version!

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Photo of rfgetz
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy brown with some red highlights, nice sticky khaki lacing. Scent is of brown sugar, toffee, cherry, nuts, earth and booze. Taste is very sweet and boozy, almost cloying. Working past the harshness, tastes of toffee, earth and some dark fruit. Full bodied, creamy due to the cask pour. A nice ale that is a touch too harsh in the sweetness and boozyness.

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Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Darren - thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy chestnut brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of lightly toasted malts with good amounts of toffee, lighter amounts of tobacco, and lighter still amounts of spicy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors with hints of toastiness kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are crisp toffee flavors with hints of leafy hops and tobacco. A very mild amount of spicy hops enters into things right before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have a few more with no problems.

Overall this beer follows the trend set forth in many other of CCB's beer with hints of tobacco which I'm a huge fan of. Not an exceptional beer but not far from it either, worth a shot.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes on 09/29/2011.

poured into a tulip glass and shared with several friends.

Appearance: Dark brown bodied beer with mahogany reddish hues. A light to medium brown head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Sweet and fruity. Malty with hints of smoke. Lots of dark fruits.

Taste: It starts off with huge toffee and caramel notes. Blending into dark fruits and a hint of smoke. Also has an earthy peat character to this beer. Massive malty & sweet profile on this beer that showcases the yeast which shows up in the form of the fruity notes.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with medium levles of carbonation. Sticky beer with a nice clean finish. Its surprisingly drinkable and nt at all boozey.

Overall: Still liked this beer, but not true to the Scotch/Wee Heavy style. Too much fruit not enough smoke.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great bottle shared by jdiddy. Pours a deep mahogany with a rocky, one inch, cream-colored head. Nose reveals raisins, brown sugar and a vinous quality. Taste is chocolatey, earthy and pruney. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a slightly assertive carbonation. This is a really exceptional Wee Heavy. Definitely one of my favorites for the style, if not my favorite.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL capped bottle, no date to be found.

appears deep dark brown, almost black. nice thick 1/2" head, that leaves lacing. good head retention too.

aroma is sweet and a bit boozy. tastes of toffee, hazelnut, brown sugar. rich flavors. mouthfeel is incredibly smooth.

one again, Cigar City impresses.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-dark brown with reddish hues and quite hazy. the head is a tan color with good retention and thick lace

S-metalic notes blended with an underlying chocolate. toffee after the metalic notes with light dark fruit sweetness. the metalic notes start to fade as it warms and I swirl it

T-lots of chocolate with that metalic note in the mix. a good bit of toffee, notes of scotch. light notes of dark fruits in the back, cherries with a touch of plum. again, the metalic flavors seem to fade in time.

M-extremely smooth and creamy on the palate, good full body and chewy. low carbonation but doesn't fall off.

D-this is pretty tasty as it warms up and the metalic notes fade. nice flavors and everything seems to compliment each other well.

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Photo of maximum12
4.49/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very dark brown color with a miniscule head.
Sweet malt aroma. Some peat. A tiny bit of dark fruit and chocolate.
Taste of toffee. Smoky/peaty. A hint of plum and chocolate.
Medium-bodied.
Great beer.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.08/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle pours a near black color with a modest tan head. Lacing decent.

Nose is malty and fruity, raspberries galore! Surprisingly fruity and the yeast seems ahead of the malt even, a bit of a departure from the norm when it comes to Scotch Ales. No smoke and no peat...hmmmm....

Fruits and sweet toffee malts are ridiculously prominent. Like drinking blackberry malt juice. I could see this appealing to some, but it is the anti-me kind of beer. I look for smoke, peat and rich malts in a Scotch Ale, and this has none of the above. Ugh...sugary, fruity mess of a beer. If I had to guess, it is fermented at way to high of a temp. I find this to be a pretty poor example of a Scotch Ale.

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Photo of Brenden
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.