Big Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Cigar City Brewing

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Big Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel AgedBig Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

569 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 569
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 353
Gots: 160 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cjgator3 on 06-16-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 569 | Reviews: 85
Reviews by OneBeertoRTA:
Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Zander for two of these 2012 editions.

Pour- A nice rich dark brown with 2 fingers of head

Smell- Huge or should i say BIG bourbon sweetness. Like enormous and powerful sweetness. It reminds me of a Backwoods Bastard on Steriods

Taste- very sweet, tons of flavor and an all around delicious version of the style. Zero booze, can't see the abv on the bottle but I can taste very little, if any heat. Just a sweet and delicious brew

Mouthfell- Medium carbonation, nice lacing, flavor really lingers on your tongue. Just a ton of sweetness. More flavor than any of the same style I can recall.

Overall- Fantastic beer. Will definately trade for more. I would consider this an entry level Scotch ale in that it is easy to drink, no booze and tons of flavor. Something special any new craft fan would love as would the vets.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.09/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Mike for pulling out this beauty at the tasting. It looks like a liquid, mahogany, wooden bureau with decent clarity at the edges. The middle would be clear, too, if the hue wasn't so cohesively dark. The tan head foams up quick and slowly settles to a collar that looks a bit lighter in color.

Deep and heavy bourbon infiltrates the aroma, complete with other various components you'd expect from a wee heavy; dark fruit sweetness, prunes, dates, some malty, brown sugar, a hint of caramel and black licorice, with a finishing note of smoke. The bourbon is not lost at all, and actually I'd go so far as to say it's the strongest part of the aroma by far.

For a second, I thought I accidentally took a sip from the glass of Buffalo Trace on the table; this sucker has such an enormous bourbon presence, and even a raw, whiskey-ish feel. If muscles were bourbon, Barrel Aged Big Sound would be Arnold Schwarzenegger. Less than 1% body fat, for real, dead lifting a car and takin' straight shots of whiskey to the dome.

Plums, sweet dates, brown sugar and a river of smooth and sweet toffee give the bourbon an extra leg with which to stand on, and they do their best to balance. Once you get a little more acquainted to the bourbon, the other flavors start to stand out a bit more. More fruit, more caramel and brown sugar, and a finishing touch of oak and toffee.

The bourbon will leave a lasting impression on your palate, long after the beer is gone, and it is accentuated by the fact that this beer feels way bigger than it really is. I couldn't believe it was only 8.5% ABV - it's very bourbon heavy and the body is quite large; creamy, smooth, thick, and heavy overall. Barrel Aged Big Sound flexes like a madman.

Very good beer, and probably the only time I've called an 8.5% ABV beer a "slow sipper", but it's eminently true here. I actually think it would benefit with some age, giving the bourbon a chance to mingle and settle in with the rest of the flavors and hopefully form a bond for the greater good. As it stands - still a great beer, just a bit hot at the moment.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to llcooldave for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma has some cedar notes, but what really comes through is the roasted malt and bourbon. I also get a hint of menthol in the aroma. The flavor is similar. The cedar is once again present, but it takes a back seat to the heavy oak, vanilla and maple notes. There is also a big whiskey character to the flavor, as well as some roasted malt and quite a bit of chocolate. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very nice.

Photo of ehammond1
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle

Thanks for sharing, womencantsail!

Dark murky brown throughout with a thin light brown head. This doesn't have a lot of visible carbonation, but does leaves some cling on the glass.

This a wonderfully aromatic beer. The bourbon barreling process has left this beer with an incredible vanilla, coconut, and oak aroma that is almost as good as any.

The flavor is no slacker either, and it follows in the same vein as the aroma. The bourbon character throughout this beer is a marvelous example of the transformation beer can possess after barreling. A low to moderate level of bitterness accompanies the mild bread and caramel notes mixed in with the bourbon.

Medium to thick bodied with low carbonation. Incredibly drinkable.

A wonderful treat, and I'm so glad at the opportunity to try this one.

Photo of chinchill
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

At the RBWG-2015.
Cloudy brown south a limited head.
Plenty of bbl effect. Perhaps a tad too sweet.
Thick full Syrupy body with medium light carbonation.
Lots of whisky [Heaven Hill? ).

Photo of jeonseh
3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared at NWI tasting group bottle share

A - Dark brown with a light oak accent on the sides. It also leaves a thick coating as it swirls in the glass. There is only a light amount of foam on the side

S - Malty, light peat, light bourbon sweetness

T - Light caramel sweetness upfront. Then, there is a bourbon sweetness, slight smoky peat and chocolate and roasted malts

MF - Light body and carbonation. Slightly watery. Light oak in the finish

O - Solid scotch ale that has a nice barrel presence that adds a nice sweetness to it

Photo of timc100
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%

Pours dark for a scotch ale - great creamy beige head. Fantastically rich aroma of toffee, caramel, bourbon, oak, oaky vanilla and sweet brown sugar and some very light sweet smoke. A lot of chocolate as it warms Very rich whiskey and caramel. Tastes very smooth - rich barrel, whiskey, and scotch ale flavors. Finishes with booze, toffee, caramel, and chocolate. Crazy, but brings positive dark lord qualities to mind.

CCB kills another BA beer. They are at the top of the game, and this is outstanding.

Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear winner of our horizontal tasting, thanks Tom. Big brown coloured beer. The bourbon is there in the aroma and the taste and dominant, but it was well done. Fuller mouthfeel, caramel, . Woody, characteristics of Coconut and vanilla, a sipper in drinkability.Some smoke, good for the style.

Photo of cjgator3
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

On-tap at Redlight Redlight. I am a huge fan of the regular Big Sound but the bourbon barrel aging puts it over the top. Fantastic brew! Big and malty with huge bourbon notes from the barrel aging. Overall, fantastic brew from CCB! I hope to see this beer again!

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cigar City. Served in a taster.

Appearance - Deep mahogany. No head. Thin collar but not much else.

Smell - Bourbon, but it's not intense. Vanilla and butterscotch. Big caramel maltiness.

Taste - Similar to the smell. Bourbon rounds out a strong caramel and butterscotch. Molasses heaviness. Not too sweet though. Hop presence in the back provides a touch of balancing bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Heavy. It's got some heat too it, but it's not too much from either the beer or the barrel. Lowish carbonation.

Overall - Good. The barrel is nice, but the beer could use more... something. It's a boatload of caramel and some Bourbon.

Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A massive thanks goes out to bross242 for bringing this one out during cmrillo’s 40 Beers* @ 40 Birthday Bash! Served from bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Poured dark brown with a minimal tan head that subsided to basically none quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, vanilla, wood, sweet alcohol, and dark chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I was really put back by the aroma on this one as it was really well balanced and intense. I wish this would have carried over to the flavor, but the flavor was still quite good though. Definitely glad I got the chance to try this one and I suggest you do the same.

Photo of hopsbreath
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Update: Got another bottle of this thanks again to urwithdave! Drank over the weekend and it's still fantastic. Not sure it's actually better then last time, but I feel like I need to make a statement with my score now that my admiration is affirmed. That's why it's getting a couple extra tents of a point over my original score. Just an excellent beer overall and highly recommended.

Original review from New Years 2012: 4.6/5.0
Thanks go out to urwithdave for sending a green waxed bottle of the recent release my way. Shared with some fellow beer drinkers on New Years Eve.

A: Murky prune with a butterscotch colored wispy head that quickly recedes to a tiny bubble glass ring. Obvious thick legs, just the way I like 'em. 4.5/5

S: Very boozy and heavy on the bourbon. I like a huge barrel forward beer and this is in that range. The base beer simply works as a great vehicle for the liquor. Sweet, peppery spice, and loaded with vanilla. Fantastic barrel character. 5/5

T: Sweet and ridiculously rich. A little butter and heavy on the booze. Loads of the vanilla from the nose, well integrated coconut, and solid wood. 4.5/5

M: Moderate body and low carbonation. Long lingering finish. 4.5/5

O: Great fucking beer. I want more. Thanks Dave! 4.5/5

Photo of Rutager
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Big thank you to Msquared2 for this treat!

Appearance. Pours a deep cola-brown with a finger and a half of thick, light-beige head.

Smell. Sweet caramel candy, smooth bourbon, and old barrel wood. Nice.

Taste. Sweet caramel malts and smooth bourbon, nice barrel wood flavours, vanilla and brown sugar, and a little earthy peat.

Mouthfeel. Full body, maybe on the low side, slightly sticky. Lowish carbonation.

Overall. Probably the best I've had of the style.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.74/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle (2009 vintage drank in 2013): Poured a cloudy dark burgundy color ale with a small dark brown foamy head with light retention and some light lacing. Aroma of bourbon notes with light vanilla with a heavy malt base with quite a bit of residual sugars. Taste is also dominated by heavy caramel malt with quite bit of residual sugar with some medium bourbon notes with light vanilla notes. Body is full with medium carbonation and light warming alcohol notes. Drank very well for a four year old beer but ultimately this beer is a sipper and can’t be enjoyed in large quantities.

Photo of jsanford
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a CCB Snifter. 2011 Vintage.

Pours black with brown edges and a thin khaki head that settles to a very slight haze and bubbly ring. HUGE bourbon aromas pour from the glass, followed by sweet malt, caramel, and a touch of chocolate. One of the most Bourbon-forward brews I've seen in a while. Taste is similarly Bourbon-heavy, lots of caramel, oak, and vanilla mingle with dark dried fruits, malt, and brown sugar. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium-full body and low carbonation. Overall an excellent Barrel-Aged offering from CCB, I needed something positive after the travesty that was the Rum Barrel-Aged Big Sound. Blegh.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Bob at Curran's tasting.

Pours a clear dark brown, sort of the color of caramel, with a half inch head, and only the smallest amount of lacing.

Smells like caramel, bourbon, some toasted malt, and toffee.

Great taste here. Some peat smoke, brown sugar, toffee, bourbon, burnt sugar, and a slightly boozey twinge. Some vanilla and coconut flavors from the barreling, as well.

Medium bodied, slick and smooth mouthfeel, very drinkable, because of the low amount of present alcohol.

Another great one, this night killed me.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

A: murky brown body with a slim filmy cap that slipped quickly into a thin collar

S: boozy dark fruits and figs and dates; toffee sweetness; vanilla and wood bourbon notes

T: dates soaked in bourbon whiskey; rich dark fruits richly fermenting; lush and plush and earthy and rustic; vanilla and liquor, brown sugar caramel and toffee; evades being too sweet

M: solid medium weight, subtle carbonation, smooth but with some tingle of spice; drying vapors in the roof of the mouth

O: this was a no-brainer - the Scotch ale's sugar character and fruit impressions are a natural setting for bourbon barrel aging - the vanilla and booze of the bourbon, plus the drying of the barrel vapors creates a decadent fruity array of aroma, flavor and feel.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

ich dark brown color coming forward right away. Nearly opaque with a small head of tan creeping up the sides throughout the session but eventually falling back down to earth. The aroma was wonderful with rich caramel and toffee notes that just exploded in the air. Hints of apricot and other light fruits bouncing around as well. Really the best flavor I could have imagined coming out of this one. Rich caramel and toffee flavors, hints of vanilla, pears and light tart flavors bouncing aorund. No alcohol at all, , it does not drink anywhere near this kind of strentght. Smooth, perfect carbonation with a drinkability that was off the charts. I just dont know what else I can say about this beer

Photo of oline73
4.07/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this at the Fluff bottle share before the Jackie O's release. Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany color with a small amount of off white head that fades quickly.

Smell: This smells really good. Initially I'm thinking sweet bourbon candy. Caramel and vanilla go really well with the malt. There is some dark fruit and bourbon too.

Taste: Thank goodness it is just like the smell. Very sweet with a strong bourbon presence. Brown sugar and vanilla notes with a warm bourbon burn in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side of medium with hardly any carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: I'm really glad I was able to try this beer. The bourbon went really well with the other flavors from the beer. I would definitely have another if given the chance.

Photo of Etan
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml, 2012 vintage, into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark molasses color with a nice light tan head.

S. Huge woody bourbon, marshmallow, oak, nutty, light malty spice.

T. Very bourbon forward. Caramel, marshmallow, vanilla, lightly bitter caramelized grain, oak, figs.

M. Medium-bodied, light carbonation, silky feel.

O: A very barrel-forward BA scotch ale. Certainly better than Backwoods Bastard in barrel character and body.

Photo of weeare138
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to josh for popping this one. Bottle 93/246...
Appears a brownish-red with a small, tan cap that quickly fades into a tiny collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, vanilla, booze, caramel, and toffee.
Taste is of the aromas with caramel coated apples, mild grapes, and ripe fruit pulling through.
Mouthfeel is chewy, medium bodied, boozy, with sticky, syrupy sweetness.

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark opaque pour, light brown head.

Big syrupy sweet malty nose. Did this thing ferment? Dark fruit, prunes, raisins, figs, etc. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla. A bit buttery.

Big bourbon and oak backed up by a malty sweetness. Buttery. Tobacco leaves and a little bit of a smokey pork flavor. This is a pretty decadent beer.

Photo of beerpirates
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

75 cl poured into a tastingglass

Very dark brown oily pour with a small slick of tan foam.
Aroma is sweet bourbon with vanilla and underlying peat, toffee, and light roasted grains.
Taste is bourbon with vanilla up front followed by light peat, darker malt with caramel, and alcohol spice.
Smooth and clean mouthfeel. Bourbon character is very nice but still allows the base beer to come through.
Really an excellent beer. Very good.

Photo of julian89
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft poured into tulip.

Appearance: A very dark brown, opaque, with a decent 1 inch cream head, minimal lacing and fair retention.

Smell - Oak, bourbon, caramel, burnt dark sugars, dark fruits, and a fair amount of earthy smoke and peat. I love the smoothness it's received from the bourbon barrel age.

Taste - It matches the smell quite well. Large amount of bourbon taste with caramel and vanilla and earthy smoky balance. For the booze percentage it's fairly drinkable.

Mouthfeel -Very smooth with a medium to thick body. Carbonation is well balanced as well. Seems like a bigger beer than 8.5%.

Drinkability - Very good, the best beer I had on this particular day at Brick store, next to the barrel aged Ten fiddy.

Photo of shand
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage.

Bourbon Barrel Big Sound is bourbony, oaky, velvety smooth goodness. This is one of the first times I've had a BBA beer that actually tempers the sweetness of the base beer. Big Sound off the shelf is tasty, but runs a touch too sweet for me. Somehow this is better. The mouthfeel is outstanding here, it's got a medium-bodied, ridiculously velvety feel. Basically, BBA Big Sound is amazing.

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Big Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 569 ratings.