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

Not Rated.
Big Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel AgedBig Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

562 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 562
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 353
Gots: 160 | FT: 15
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: 562 | Reviews: 85
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look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip. From notes.

Bourbon Barrel Big Sound has a full, opaque brown color in the glass. There was a tiny head on top after the initial pour, but it faded to nothing rather quickly.

The nose is a sign of good things to come. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla gracefully step in brown of caramel, burnt sugar, orchard fruits, and peat.

Typical Scotch Ale sweetness starts off the flavor, with brown sugar and toffee leading the way. Quickly the bourbon barrels send the rest of the sip on a less sweet trajectory, smoothing out the sugars with a nice bourbon and vanilla presence. There is general fruitiness in the middle of the sip that works nicely with the other flavors as well. Woody oak notes blend well with the peat notes in the original beer. The end finishes smooth, with the flavors coming together and wrapping up nicely.

Where I may be most impressed with this beer is in the body. Not only does the beer survive the barrel aging process with its body intact, it actually drinks bigger than the 8.5% that it is. It seems that instead of wearing away at the body, the barrel aging process only removed some of the sweetness and added a smoothness to the texture that I like. If anything, the carbonation seems a little light.

Cigar City has done a very good job with their barrel program. Nearly every beer they have chosen to age in barrels has emerged better than when it went in.

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look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

With a big emphasis on sweetness, Big Sound uses the two headed monster of malt and booze to create a strong and savory taste that drinks like a meal. ...or at least the dessert part.

Very dark brown and cast with complete opaqueness, the beer simply looks malty as its heavy haze and darkness carries a visual weight that's uncompromising. A slow rise of creamy foam tops the glass with mousse proportions. As the head slowly creeps back into thec beer it trails with spotted lacing patterns. A swirl of the glass shows brandy-like legging to accompany the pocketed lace.

Its deep malt richness layers on the nose with Dopplebock-like character as its earthen peat elements are shy to show. And then the bourbony undertow offers up sultry caramel, vanilla, aged oak and undeniable booze. Walnut, chocolate, molasses, and coffee are all represented, as well as the estery profile of grape, cherry, date, and fig.

To taste, the beer seeps into the taste buds with a sweet and savory taste that melts the palate and the soul. Toffee, smoky chocolate and rum project early on and with high intensity. But then the toastier, peppery, tobacco, and coffee-ish earthen tones set in at mid palate- and then the late charge of unmistakably bourbon, cherry, oak and tepid wood-derived bitterness.

Full bodied, full flavored, and long lasting- the ale clings on to all the surfaces of the mouth and are reluctant to release. All that residual sweetness lingers indefinitely and keeps the beer much more of a sipping ale than a drinking one. Warm, peppery, and mildly earthen- the tannin and phenolic spice do little to balance the textures and keep the beer squarely focused on malt.

Complex as hell, but palate fatigue falls on the mouth as I meander through a mere glass of the ale. It begs for a side accompaniment of tangy sharp cheddar, cheesecake, or a fragrant Churchill cigar for both reprieve and for completeness.

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750ml green waxed bottle 2012, poured into tulip 4/6/13 big cheers to MasterSki and Sean9689 for the bottle

A reddish dark cola when held to the light with enough clarity to almost see the other side of the glass, two fingers of tan foam leaves just a few random patches of lace

S the nose has a fair bit going for it, lots of dried fruit, raisins, prunes, cherries, is the peat just in my mind? either way the smokes very faint, vanilla, oak, bourbon and ju-jubes, there's some booze in there with loads of hard toffee, soft caramels and brown sugar, smells amazing

T more wood and booze, everything from the nose is still there in one form or another but just slightly toned down, there's a little spice I can't place and I want to say nutmeg or cinnamon but I just can't quite grasp it, excellent flavor but the nose was a hard act to follow

M tannins and booze give it almost a numbing effect, slightly syrupy and sticky on the lips and slick on the gums, leaning towards full and it warms my chest, lingering finish of candied raisin bourbon

O oh man if the smell carried through this would be one of the best brews ever, great job with the barrel complexity in what I can only assume was a great base

I should've sat on this one for a while, a long while, booze popping up here and there is my only real complaint. I could smell this all day but I drank well before midnight, great stuff that will be even better down the road

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Big Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 562 ratings.