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

585 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 585
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 359
Gots: 154 | 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: 585 | Reviews: 86
Photo of Jeffo
3.54/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this rare gem from boatshoes a while back. Thanks again for all the fun trades man. Always a pleasure. Drank this one right after a fresh bottle of the base beer.

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2009
Bottle 167 of 246
Red wax

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, ver loose looking, fizzy, light tan head with decent retention. Head fades to a splotchy wisp and ring. A perfectly clear bistre brown body with no carbonation evident. Light ring remains but leaves no lacing by the end. Ends a bit flat looking. Basically the same as the fresher base beer, but the head was even thinner perhaps.

SMELL: Oak and wood with much of the base beer still there. Leather, dark fruits, with some nice toffee and caramel aromas as well. Milder bourbon qualities are there, and this is milder on the nose overall, though the barrel does contribute another layer to this. Quite nice.

TASTE: The base beer is still there for sure, then with some bourbon, oak and vanilla coming out nicely after the swallow. Leather, dark fruits, grape flavors, as well as some nice toffee and caramel sweetness though the middle and into the barrel flavored finish. Some milk chocolate there as well. Medium aftertaste shows a nice balance between the sweet base beer and barrel components and lingers nicely on the palate. A pleasant drink, and more complex than the base beer.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation with enough weight on the palate. Not all that creamy, a touch prickly on the palate perhaps, goes down fine and finishes rather sticky for the style. More weight than the base beer, but not quite as creamy, unfortunately.

OVERALL: A bit of an improvement on the original, as the barrel adds complexity to the base beer instead of dominating it, but at the same time, it's not quite as bold as I'd hoped and the palate could be a little creamier. I never had this beer fresh, but if I had to wager a guess, I would say that this has held up alright. However, I can imagine it was better fresh, and it is a 8.5% beer, so if you're holding onto one of these, you might think about doing something with it while it's still decently enjoyable. Cheers again for the trade boatshoes!

Photo of macrosmatic
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

A: Opaque, extremely dark brown. Forms a thin tan head with no visible carbonation.

S: Relatively light bourbon aroma overlays a big dark roasty malt sweetness.

T: Follows the nose - big sweet roasted malts. The bourbon presence isn't as heavy-handed as some recent BA treatments from CCB, which is perfect here. It still hides a bit of the raisin fruitiness present in the base beer, but I don't miss it much. This is really, crazy good.

M: Thick sticky mouthfeel, heavy body. The alcohol is noticeable obviously, but only adds to the beer. Minimal carbonation sensation.

O: Truly an excellent beer. Highly recommended.

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 Sean9689
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, light tan head, thin collar, wisps on top. Nose is coconut, bourbon, oak, burnt sugars, caramel. Flavor is coconut and bourbon, some oak, bourbon alcohol hotness that's toned down quite a bit since last time I had this. Caramel, burnt sugars, vanilla on the finish. Body is medium to full, good carbonation, creamy sweet finish.

This is aging nicely, but I think it has another 6 months to a year left...I have one bottle left so I'll report back next time I visit this one. Right now, drinking great, lots of sweetness and the booze is slightly hot. Recommend.

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 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 corby112
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber/chestnut brown color with a 1.5 finger beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.  Streaks of spotty lacing left behind.

Nice barrel presence in the nose with dry oak, toasted coconut, vanilla and spicy bourbon.  Doesn't overpower the base beer allowing sweet and roasted malt notes to come through.  Hints of caramel, toffee, hazelnut and chocolate.  Slightly smokey but not acrid or burnt smelling.  Smells great!

Medium bodied with a strong barrel character that adds another layer of flavor to the base beer.  Some dry oak along with silky vanilla, toasted coconut and a delicious spicy bourbon character.  Although the barrel flavors are strong, they are perfectly integrated into the flavor without overpowering the base beer.   Lots of excellent bourbon flavor but barely any heat making it deceptively drinkable.  Underneath the barrel, there is a nice combination of sweet and roasted malt notes.  Slightly smokey with hints of dark chocolate, toffee, caramel and oatmeal lingering into a somewhat dry finish.  Highly recommended!

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 HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4/27/2012

Thanks!

A: Deep reddish brown with a finger of light brown froth.

S: Huge candied granny smith caramel apple aroma with a strong bourbon presence. Toffee blends with vanilla and brown sugar. Killer nose.

T: Sweet caramel and toffee with strong brown sugar and candied notes. Red apple carries through with lots of bourbon and lesser notes of vanilla. Alcohol is mild near the finish.

M: Lower full body with matching carbonation. The mouthefeel is silky and sticky.

Overall: An awesome beer.

Photo of FosterJM
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1141st Review on BA
Draft to Taster

@Cigar City

App- Medium soda colored brown with some lighter edges. No head and very smooth. Mix of chocolate and flat soda.

Smell- Big malty scotch ale notes come in 1st and thin citrus with the big bourbon vanilla and oak coming next. Small sting from the booze.

Taste- Very well layered with small sugary malts and then the bourbon behind it. The flavors give a sweet note and a punchy candy treat flavor with vanilla.

Mouth- A lighter medium body and almost creamy with a medium body and lots of bourbon remain.

Drink- This was a good beer. Layered, sweet, sticky and lots of bourbon and vanilla come out as well.

Photo of Chico1985
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Much thanks to Cam for sharing this bottle. Sept 2011 bottling.

Pours what might be an extremely dark red, but may as well be black. Pretty nice tan head, so-so retention. Some legs on the glass.

Good scent, buttery caramel malts, bourbon, brown sugar. Very nice but loses some strength with time.

Sweet and dark caramel, buttery malts and bourbon stick out the most, the bourbon is big but not overbearing. Some dark fruit, vanilla and maple, big oak presence as well.

Smooth and quite velvety mouthfeel, but pretty hot, would've guessed this was maybe 10%.

The booziness dragged this down a bit for me but pretty awesome nonetheless, lots of good flavors here.

Photo of cbutova
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, Sept2011 bottle.

A- Black pour pretty much dark brown into a pint glass. Pretty nice tan head forms with decent retention. Cloud stays around and a creamy ring leaving nice webs of lace.

S- Bourbon mellow whiskey and a good oak barrel presence smoothed out by big sweet syrupy maple feel almost, dark fruit and butter for sure, brown sugar.

T- Follows the nose quite nicely with more dark fruit (rasb, cherry) here. Very nice mellow whiskey and vanilla oak presence, some of the dark sugars gives off a maple feel.

MF - Moderate feel that is both oily and somewhat creamy, moderate carbonation, slight warmth from alcohol.

Awesome scotch ale with a nice mellow and flavorful whiskey oak feel, drinks very well smooth, awesome balance of style flavors.

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 AleWatcher
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled shared by aasher at his place.

The nose on this incredible-- huge bourbon, vanilla, charred oak with toasted coconut, and plenty of caramel malt action.
The flavor is great, not as amazing as the nose, but damn close. A nice sweet bourbon booziness is perfectly integrated, but the only problem I have is that there's a little flavor from the malt that I associate with oxidation-- though I'm certain there's no way this beer is oxidized already!

Feel is velvety and lush... Nice and full with firm carbonation.

Overall-- quite damn sold. Easily my top scotch ale.

Photo of aasher
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was courtesy of Preismj. Thanks for hitting this HUGE want Matt!

This beer pours a full bodied syrupy stained wood brown in color with an off white lacing. The nose is beautiful. It features a good amount of sweet bourbon barrel, vanilla, oak, and a ton of coconut. The flavors follow the same lines. It features a lot of coconut, vanilla, bourbon, molasses, and rich smooth malts. The flavor is superb. It drinks full in body and is really smooth. I really, really like this one. It's a nice example how barrel aging can add a lot or complexity to an already great beer. Imagine a bourbon barrel aged Mounds candy bar.

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 trxxpaxxs
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage...

A: Pours a super deep brown, almost black, with a half finger of kahki colored head. The foam doesn't take long to fade into oblivion, and you can begin to see the light brown edges of the beer.

S: The nose is bourbon, caramel, malt, and mild spice. It's sweet and hot. Smells pretty good for the style.

T: The beer starts off wet with a good bit of barrel character, malt, mild yeast, and mild spice. The caramel notes really shine through in the middle, as the bourbon fades a bit and the spice comes on. The finish of the beer is back to sweets and bourbon alcohol. The booze is well balanced in this beer.

M: Full bodied beer. It's wet and smooth to start. The malt/caramel notes make the beer sticky in the middle. As the beer tends towards the back end, it gets hot with alcohol, but remains coating on the palate. Lingering caramel and spice.

O: Very nice beer. I'm not a huge fan of Scotch Ales, but it's hard to turn down the chance to try something in a barrel. I'm glad I got the chance. This beer is solid, and a good runner up for best BA Scotch Ale, after Founder's Backwoods Bastard.

Photo of MasterSki
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle contributed by me. Served in a Hill Farmstead glass. 2011 vintage.

A - Quick-dissolving tan foam settles to pretty much nothing. A very dark brown, opaque, body with some chestnut highlights to it.

S - Oak, bourbon, caramel apples, burnt sugars, dark fruits, and a low amount of smoke and peat. Surprisingly boozy and barrel-forward for only 8.5% - I'm guessing this picked up some alcohol from the bourbon barrels.

T - Taste is largely similar, but with better-hidden alcohol. Caramel apples, toffee, bourbon, fruity yeast, with some oak presence to balance out the sweet flavors and keep things from getting too cloying or heavy.

M - Smooth, chewy, viscous, with a touch of alcohol warmth, and light residual burnt sugar stickiness. Medium-low carbonation is adequate and unobtrusive. Seems like a bigger beer than 8.5%.

D - This is quite good - I tend not to like Scotch Ales due to overwhelming sweetness, but this one has a nice balance of bourbon barrel and malt flavors. Very glad I managed to get this one over the rum version (which is what I initially wanted). Highly recommended if you're into this style.

Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beige head. Color is a copper amber.

Aroma: Phenomenal. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, oak. Sweetness. Rich. Caramel. Hoppy. Dark fruits show with plums. The bourbon, oak, and vanilla is spot on.

Taste: Much like the nose. Raisins, plums, dark fruits. Vanilla, oak, and bourbon. The bourbon is just awesome. Caramel with some smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and warming. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry.

Overall, this was a great beer. Very well done. Very easy to drink. I could have a lot of this one.

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 ThePorterSorter
4.25/5  rDev -3%

The beer pours a dark, tarry color with a thin tan head that settles quickly without lacing, but leaves spots of dark sediment at the bottom. The nose is dominating bourbony/malty sweetness, a slightly metallic ethanol, and subtle vanilla. The taste is slightly fruity with caramel sweetness that's quickly followed by a generous helping of woody barrel and ethanol. The mouthfeel is viscous, but not chewy sweet, lightly carbonated, has hinting alcohol, and a great barrel presence that unfortunately overtakes much of the scotch ale. This is really a great beer, only criticism is that the base beer is overpowered.

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 womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the bottle, Eddie.

Pours a murky brownish-amber color with a finger of off-white head. A nice bourbon and vanilla note to it on top of the rich caramel and toffee malt smells. The flavor is quite similar. Heavy bourbon, vanilla, and wood with a strong caramel malt flavor and some brown sugar. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another variant shared by starrdogg, thanks Matt, really a treat.

A: Nice brown color with crimson highlights. Ok head that dies to a tan ring.

S: Tons of bourbon, it really screams out pina colada with the pineapple and coconut notes flying out of the glass. Barley any of the original scotch ale and grapenuts comes through, but theres a little smoke. Maple syrup as well. Very cool but a little bizarre!

T: Awesome taste thats very well balanced with the very nice vanilla oak and brown sugar to the base smoky savory malts. Sweeter, but I enjoy it. Reminds me a lot of Port Brewing Older Vis in the bourbon and kind of 'strong ale' like malt profile in the beer, which is a good thing.

M: Very nice and smooth, no heat. Great feel that I'm finding is a trademark of a lot of Cigar City beers.

Overall a nice beer and very unique.

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.

Big Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 585 ratings.