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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(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 Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the House of Brews. Served in a short pint.

Appearance - Deep brown. Small off white head and collar.

Smell - Toffee. A little fruity and buttery.

Taste - Sweet caramel. Dark fruits. Mild hop flavor in the middle. Nutty after that and a little boozy.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Kinda sweet. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Good without being special. I'm surprised I've never reviewed this.

Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +1%
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.

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 rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the Cigar City Brewing tasting room in Tampa. Served in a pint glass, the beer is an opaque, black sludge looking brew with a ruby-red highlight showing around the edges, and a slight film of head. Sweet malt and boozey aromas. The body is round and smooth...holy shit! The flavor is the boozey characters of a smooth, smokey scotch, and the sweetness of melted brown sugar. Great bodied. The booze and sweet consumes the aftertaste. Great sipper. Light, lingering finish.

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
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

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 aasher
4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Photo of Duff27
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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!

Photo of cjgator3
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
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!

Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
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!

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

Photo of Jwale73
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of thagr81us
3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured a deep dark brown with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, maple syrup, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, maple syrup, caramel, wood, and subtle tart. It had a medium feel with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I really wasn't that impressed with this one if I am honest. Glad that the alcohol presence wasn't here though as it would have made it unbearable for me with these flavors. Nothing too memorable here at all. Worth trying if you get the chance but that is about it.

Photo of Brenden
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of rfgetz
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of maximum12
4.49/5  rDev +10%
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!

Photo of gford217
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of jbaker67
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of mynie
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Regular (not BA) Big Sound. On cask at the brewery.

Pours brown. Smells like chocolate and booze. I had to ask whether or not it was barrel aged, as the alcohol nodes were so pronounced.

Once sipped, the aroma's intensity gives way to a different intensity. Big, burny booze washes up against zippy brown ale malt, and the affect is akin to a beer that starts off as a bock but ends as an almost-too-sweet super boozy brown. At no point is the beer bad, but it never quite ties together.

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