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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: 643
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: 643
Photo of Hojaminbag
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one came to me in a recent trade with Mikesgroove. Thank you for yet another nice beer Mike.

Big Sound smells promising, as it obviously focuses on malt, which I like in my scotch ales. Bread, molasses, toffee, a hint of hops and some booze.

I like this one. Lots of malt without a ton of sweetness. Molasses and toffee are there, but they are quickly overtaken by some toasted malt and a bit biscuit that dry the taste out. Just a little bit of dry, powdery, cocoa taste. At the core is a little bit of dark fruit in the form of raisins. The finish has a slight amount of hop bitterness, and a blast of warmth from the alcohol.

Almost chewy feeling with some warmth in the finish.

I'm starting to dig Cigar City stuff more as I try more of their beers. This one is a very nice Scotch Ale. (798 characters)

Photo of Overlord
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (897 characters)

Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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! (896 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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. (412 characters)

Photo of Danny1217
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, little tan head that quickly fades and leaves a thin layer at the top.
Smells of grapes, toffee, roasted malts, brown sugar, leather, and oak. A little bit of booze on the nose too. Best way I can describe it is that it smells like a red wine, but in beer form.
Tastes of spice, toffee, caramel, raisins. A bit of a roasty flavor. Nice alcohol warmth, but isn't overpowering. Nice full body, medium carbonation.

A nicely complex Scotch ale. Cigar City never disappoints. (484 characters)

Photo of philbe311
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a frikin at Capone's...

A - An intensely murky and hazy medium brown color... A thin creamy light tan colored head...

S - The nose was surprisingly subdued... Some toasted malty goodness... Nutty... A certain outdoorsy aroma... A slight note of butterscotch...

T - Sweet caramel... Toffee... Brown sugar... Touches of cherry... A hint of nuttiness...

M - Arguably the smoothest beer that has ever cross my lips... On the fuller side of medium bodied... Creamy and rich... Delectable... Just the slightest carbonation...

D - Quaffable and easy going sip after sip... If I could have a firkin of this one hands at all time I would, but unfortunately I'll likely have to settle for this lone memory and what a good memory it was... (741 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrives a 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. Would like some smoke/peat presence, too.

An addendum: I dropped the taste score one half point because the sweetness expanded as it warmed. (768 characters)

Photo of portia99
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (986 characters)

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.85/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On cask at capones.

A- ruddy red brown with a beautiful 2 inches of creamy off white head.

S- smooth and creamy toffee and caramel with some yeasty fruity goodness.

T- wow! Toasted malts and sweet candied cherries. Some peat and mossyness.

M- creamy and full bodies with that perfect carb on a firkin.

D- all day every day. I want this stuff in my fucking veins main line style. Baller shit from a baller brewery. (423 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - A hazy mahogany with spotty bubbles that make an insane ghostly residue in place of lace.

S - The smell is of a campfire freshly extinguished; the peat melds with cherry, chocolate and toffee to produce a flavor not unlike the chewing tobacco, Levi Garrett. Or perhaps smoked figs, if such a thing exists.

T - The flavor is better on cask; it is still sweet and smoky, but perhaps smokier and definitely more subtle. The balance is even greater, the melding of the flavors is at such a high level. The sweetness has dropped out a bit, which is a welcome development, and indeed all of the flavors have been toned down by the cask. The resulting beer is immensely enjoyable, with a natural and rustic quality to it. No pretense; this is 'real ale'.

M - The feel is smooth and lightly carbonated; the low pressure of the cask works wonders for this brew.

D - I am not a 'homer', CCB is really that good. (911 characters)

Photo of WeisGuy
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle from Tampa Whole Foods

a - pours a deep brown with burgundy highlights, three finger mocha head, good retention and lacing

s - toffee and caramel dominate with a good deal of smokiness and wood also mixed in, lighter hoppy and oatmeal aromas

t - as with the nose, caramel and toffee are the predominant flavors, light orange flavors on the midpalate, finish has some smokiness mixed in with the sweet caramel and toffee and orange notes, alcohol is not very noticeable, very smooth flavors and, most importantly, not cloyingly sweet like several examples of this style that I've tried

m - medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation, fairly sweet on the finish, definite alcohol warming effect

d - very drinkable for the style that I don't typically care much for, I would have no problem polishing off the bottle with little help, flavors are complex enough to keep it interesting and the sweetness is restrained enough to keep the palate fresh

Probably the best example to this style that I've tried. Another winner from CCB. (1,047 characters)

Photo of macrosmatic
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at CCB tasting room. Poured into a snifter.

A: Opaque, dark brown to black with slight ruddy undertones. Forms a half-finger tan head that quickly fades to foam. Mild amount of visible carbonation.

S: Dark roasty malts, dark fruits, and malty sweetness with a bit of dark cacao.

T: Sweet roasty malts, dark fruit and raisins, a bit of coffee & cacao. This is a bit boozy with a sweet sticky finish.

M: Heavier body, a smooth mouthfeel, and a moderate alcohol presence. Not overly boozy to the point of detraction.

O: This is pretty good, indeed much better than the infected bottle I had. A darn good scotch ale. (649 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 CampusCrew
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at the Kickbacks Cigar City/St Somewhere dinner. I'm reviewing this by memory on this I had this at the Kickbacks Cigar City/St Somewhere dinner. I have had most of CC's regular beers but I have not tried this yet. Finally got to try this malt monster of a scocth ale. It's heavy with with a tad of sweetenss. one of the best I have had in the styly. (361 characters)

Photo of babaracas
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red-brown with a dense two finger tan head, settles to a half inch leaving sticky thick clumps of lace. Smell: lots of caramel, dark bread, some cherry, a little peat, faint green grassy/leafy hops. Taste: mildly roasty and a little smoky, lots of sweet caramel, a little chocolate, some earthy bitterness in the background. Medium-full bodied and creamy, with a sticky finish. The least interesting beer I've tried from CCB, but still quite enjoyable. (465 characters)

Photo of Zachtheporter
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1pt 9.4 fl oz bottle into a Big Eddy snifter.

A- Pours a deep dark brown that almost looks black from a distance. Upon pouring there is a bubbly fizzy 1 finger tan head. Upon dissipating the dead leaves behind a thick collar and a layer of lace on top of the beer.

S- The aroma to this Wee Heavy is fairly pungent for the style. I was able to smell it from even a foot or so away. Overall the scent is very sweet with a slight smokiness and peatiness. There are strong notes of caramel and brown sugar, as well as slight notes of coffee, wood, vanilla and aged tobacco. There is also a slight chocolateyness to it that reminds me somewhat of tootsie rolls.

T- The taste is big, sweet and malty just like the label says. Just like in the smell, there are strong notes of caramel as well as a slight smokiness. some notes of tobacco and coffee take a backseat to the tremendous amount of malty sweetness. The taste helps to somewhat mask the alcohol content, however it is still present .

M- the mouthfeel is very reminiscent to a well made RIS in certain aspects. It's heavy of course with a smooth and velvety feel to it, as well as a low carbonation. Somewhat creamy.

O- This is a straight up malt bomb! A Great quality Wee Heavy and one of my new favorites! Definitely a sipper. I could see this going great with a nice cigar! (and not just because its made by a brewery called Cigar City!). Drinking a bottle of this to myself was awesome, yet foolish. I can't wait to get my hands on more of this in the future. (1,539 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, opened at Mikkeller & Friends in Copenhagen, poured into a mini pokal glass. Thanks Emily!

A- Pours dark brown, thick and viscous looking, produces a tiny head that quickly disappears.

S- Sweet, malty aroma of caramel, dark fruit, molasses, and bread.

T- Quite sweet and sugary, loads of caramel, molasses, caramelized dark fruits, some boozy rum flavors and breadiness.

M- Full-bodied, thick and rich, moderate booze warmth.

O- A solid scotch ale, but overall a bit more sweet than I would have liked, it's a beer worth trying but I would recommend splitting this with a few friends. (604 characters)

Photo of DoctorB2B
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: ruby and quite clear, thick pink creamy two-finger head to boot.

Smell: Smells of sweet ripened dark fruits, a bit of smoke as well.

Taste: With a scotch ale, I expected some peat, and it wasn't there with this one ... I was just a little sad about that. However, I got from the taste what I got from the nose, sweet and slightly boozy dark fruits.

Overall: Got this is a trade with Dolfan84, glad I got to try it. Sure I'd like to have a more of the traditional wee heavy. (490 characters)

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my CC snifter. Color is a deep brown awesome lighter brown colored lacing that clings to the edges and won't let go. A little murky and somewhat a rubyish tint to it.

Nose is mostly of toasted malts, a slight berry,frutitness and maybe a touch of smoke.

Very tasty little number. Toffee up front and center with a nice touch of mocha in the mix. Slightest bit again of smoked cedar. Finishes very clean with a slight hop linger.

Full bodied, silky smooth feel,great carbonation. Neither to watery or to thick. Perfect balance.

Awesome offering from CC. (568 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.44/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one was bottled Aug 20, 2012.

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Pours chocolate brown, with no highlights. This one is as opaque as my leather couch. Topped with a very creamy, frothy, milkshake looking cappuccino colored head. Copious amounts of lacing. Wonderful looking for a scotch ale.

Aroma is a bit lacking. None of the smokiness, peatiness, caramel, deep roastiness associated with most of the style. There is some caramel as well as some dark fruitiness. Alcohol esters are definitely noticeable. Slight bit of chalkiness with this one also.

Decent flavors. Again, a bit muted. Not overly sweet, which I like. None of the smokiness or tobacco qualities I like. Super malty with more dark fruit flavors and a bit or raisins shining through. Full bodied and chewy; very sticky.

Overall, a decent beer. Certainly not tops for the style but above average. Price point is nice so I would probably get this one again. (955 characters)

Photo of shand
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big Sound pours out a deep brown color with a decent head that quickly drops to a ring. The aroma is intensely malty with just a bit of smoke. The taste is awesome, this is a huge and rich Scotch ale that provides a massive amount of malt flavors. There's a bit of sweetness over the slightest amount of peaty smoke. There's a solid amount of booze on the finish as well. The mouthfeel, like most big Cigar City beers, is exceptional. It's got a pretty large body, yet is very smooth. The drinkabiliy is very good. Overall, Big Sound is a solid Scotch ale. There's a little less peat presence than I'd like, but it's otherwise nice and complex. (644 characters)

Photo of mntlover
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark deep brown with red hints when held to the light. Sports a big tan head that falls slow with tons of sheet lace. Very nice looking.

Aroma is big, big malts caramel, hints of peat, some light coffee notes underneath. Some dark fruit notes sprinkled with more sweetness also chocolate hints.

Taste is smooth from the beginning lots of sweet malts caramel, toffee peat hints sprinkled with more sugary sweetness. Nice fruit notes figs, plums and cherries mingle through out. Finish is smooth favorable malts.

Mouthfeel is big and really smooth, very enjoyable.

Overall very nice big smooth malty sweet goodness. Love to have a few of these set back for cooler weather. (683 characters)

Photo of smb
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light, quickly dissipating head, slightly swirly, dark brown/burgundy. Aroma is caramel, toffee, molasses and brown sugar. Awesome. Taste follows through on the brown sugar mainly, with huge bready maltiness sticking around on the palate, along with some booze. Very nice overall. (280 characters)

Photo of robwestcott
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured aggressively from the bottle a thick, dark reddish brown to a dogfish head signature glass with a frothy, finger and a half mocha colored head that leaves a nice bit of lace as it slowly recedes.

aroma of malt, and dark fruits, fig, plums, and raisins, followed by an almost cloying sweet caramel sugar and vanilla extract.

a very sweet tasting beer, again, dark fruits are forward, figs and plums in particular followed by vanilla. very malty, and if there's a hops presence, i cannot place it.

medium carbonation, smooth and sweet to the tongue.

drinkable enough, i'll be emptying the 750ml bottle tonight. (619 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bilco for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Pours with almost no head. Vestiges of a light tan head cling to the edges of the beer...barely. Amber bordering on dark copper. Very clear.

Smell: Caramel malts and biscuit. Underlying overcooked malt note adds a nice bit of depth to an otherwise basic malt profile. Dusting of citrus, but that's stretching it. Loads of sweetness from the malts. Bread crust and some darker sugars. Some raisin/dark fruit notes buried in there as well. Dough and crust.

Taste: Almost a spot-on-replica of the nose. Big chewy malts. Caramel and hints of molasses over a solid bready, almost doughy, malt presence. Tiniest hint of hops on the back, but it's quickly covered over by the sweetness from the malts. Dark fruit rounds the whole thing out. Raisins.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and almost full. Carbonation is minimal, but it works with the style and the profile.

Overall: A solid take on the style. I'm glad I ended up sharing this bottle with a couple friends as it would be a task to drink a whole bottle alone. Nice flavor, but it's not gripping. (1,099 characters)

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