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Big Sound Scotch Ale | Cigar City Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
197 Reviews
THE BROS
-
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Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
197
Ratings:
682
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
19.07%
 
 
Wants:
190
Gots:
188
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 Chaney
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Currently the #7 ranked Scotch Ale on BA.

I got this bottle at the Total Wine right up the street from Cigar City.

A: Sitting there idle, it looked like a liquid piece of shit. Again, shit brown, with a nice 1/8 finger beige head that stuck around.

S: Malt bomb for sure: Melted caramel, maybe a tinge of butterscotch, but not much.

T: I got the cherry and toffee somewhat, but got raisons and dates overall. Damn good for this style. Smooth finish IMO. Neither dry nor wet.

M: Thick and somewhat sugary, but not too. No booze overall, and a good bit of lacing... but most of it fell back into the snifter.

O: Pretty good, but I'll still give Alesmith Wee Heavy the honors in this category.

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Photo of DIM
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a dark mahogany chestnut color. It poured with a thick, creamy, and long lived light tan colored head. Pretty sticky too.

s: Massive maltiness, very deep. This changed fairly dramatically as it warmed as well. At various stages on the way to room temperature I detected lots fruit in the form of raisins, cherries, and plums. All were on the sweet side in a very enticing way. I also got toffee, chocolate, and just a trace of floral warmth. Big and beautiful.

t: Plenty going on here as well. Moderately sweet throughout, I tasted raisins, a little chocolate, and toffee. The finish dries out with some floral cherries.

m: Full bodied, but I wish it had been a bit more so. The carbonation was gently foamy and long lasting.

d: Big thanks to tpd975 for this via my Nobody wants to see a beer geek naked BIF. This was only the second non-Austarlian beer I've had in a month, so its possible my enthusiasm is a bit inflated. Whatever the reason, I'm quite saddened by my rapidly emptying glass. Great stuff from CC, thanks again Greg!

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Photo of Danny1217
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of jsanford
3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Cigar City Snifter.

A - Pours a dark cola brown with ruby highlights and a big creamy head of khaki that has great retention and leaves spotty lacing as it recedes.
S - Nice aromas of caramel, chocolate, dark berries, and coffee with just a faint touch of smoke.
T - Follows the nose nicely with flavors of chocolate, caramel, and coffee with a bit of dark cherry, orange peel, and smoke. Bit of a metallic twang to this, I'm thinking the bottle may be past it's prime, but it's still a decent beer.
M - Smooth and creamy, slightly sticky, with a medium-full mouth-feel and moderately prickly carbonation.
O - Solid example of the style, the high ABV is masterfully hidden.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of Overlord
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
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!

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Photo of philbe311
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
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...

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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.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.13/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
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.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.17/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of portia99
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

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Photo of babaracas
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of SFC21
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle dated 01/12/16, poured into a tulip. Cola colored with a thin, tan head that dissipates quickly but lingers on the side of the glass.

Smells of sweet malts, plum, light smoke, some figs, and cola.

Taste is molasses, dark fruits, light smoke, a little booze and some wood that leaves a dry finish.

Really smooth, well balanced beer. Drink this at cellar temperature to really let the layers of flavor open up.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from a friend. Bottled 3/19/15. Served in a Cigar City teku.

Pours a deep but transparent burgundy with a finger and a half ecrue head. The bubbles fade to a thin, broken rail without leaving any lace.

Aromas of sweet malts and little else. Caramel, toffee, bread and an almost cocoa note.

Flavors of caramel, bread, vague dark fruit, toffee, very faint smoke, molasses, almost woody earthiness, trace coffee, brown sugar, fruit skins, vague chocolate and some mild alcohol.

Semi creamy medium feel with faily light carbonation. No surprises in the aftertaste- caramel, toffee and brown sugar.

Big Sound is a sweet, no frills malt display. Ultimately it is nice standard scotch ale.

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Photo of Zachtheporter
4.5/5  rDev +10%
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.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Bilco for sharing this beer

Review adapted from notes taken 3/31/12

Appearance: Reddish brown, beige head, spotty lacing, retains a nice ring

Smell: Caramel, sugar, a lot of sweetness - toasted bread, bread crust, toasted malts - a hint of fruit, and some booze

Taste: Not a typical Scotch ale, sweet - very caramelized, sweet and malty - toasted malts, bread, dough, molasses, toffee, hints of chocolate and dark fruits

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body, smooth, nicely carbonated

Overall: Good stuff

This was an interesting Scotch ale. Bigger and sweeter than the average, with some interesting flavors. This is worth a try, but it's not mind-blowing.

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

Looks like a big Scottish treat for me tonight: Cigar City’s Big Sound. Now, while Scotch ales aren’t my favorite style, I’ve really started to like CCB. Thanks again, Stankonia, for an awesome LIF.

A: Pours very dark, a thick red-brown, with a viscous-looking body – one of those beers where the head takes a while to materialize. Eventually, that medium-tan cream appears, and it’s just as thick: almost two full fingers high at the start. Soon, though, it changes texture to become more light bubbles than anything, deflating at a medium rate; finally, it rests at a silky half-finger of beige cream. Not a lot of lacing, but with a good enough presence to be attractive.

S: Ah, surprisingly skunky! It has a nose that’s quite a bit like their Guava Grove saison: light lemon zest and guava, with a really light scent of sweet cherry syrup. Not cloying, but extra sweet; it’s like the smell of a cherry slushie. Good, but that’s all the malts really have to offer. Plus, the boozy Scotch aromas that are normal for this style are actually quite light, as they can’t really do a lot from behind the fruits. An odd, one-dimensional, but entertaining nose.

T: Wonderfully smooth; the flavors are rich, yet insanely drinkable. First off are those great fruits: peach cobbler, pear, cinnamon apple, and a sweet vinous character. They’re some of the best sugars I’ve had in a beer in a while. Roasted malts, empowered by this profile, lay quietly over the palate with a mild smokiness and caramel. They bring in woody alcohol, maple spice, and dark fruits, the characteristic Wee Heavy flavors, but with all the support of the skunky yeasts. It finishes with a hint of chocolate and a chewy wheat graininess. So much different that the other Scotch ales I’ve tried, but so damn tasty.

M: So smooth, a viscosity that’s just as drinkable as the flavors in the palate – I’ve finished a 750 mL bottle in no time. Be careful, because this 8.5% beast goes down like water; there’s really only a hint of astringency from the rindy fruits of the palate.

O: I have never, ever had a Wee Heavy like this, and I doubt I’ll ever have another. This beer is one-of-a-kind, demonstrating such impressive craftsmanship from Cigar City; even in the nose, the light fruits caught me off guard with their unique power. The flavor profile was just delicious, as well, topped off by an amazingly drinkable body. This one’s for the record books: a Wee Heavy that shovels its alcohol down with complex flavor and mind-blowing drinkability.

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Photo of mntlover
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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