Big Sound
Cigar City Brewing

Big SoundBig Sound
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Style:
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #14
ABV:
8.5%
Score:
91
Ranked #3,275
Avg:
4.11 | pDev: 9.98%
Reviews:
202
Ratings:
720
From:
Cigar City Brewing
 
Florida, United States
Avail:
Spring
Wants
  189
Gots
  189
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Big SoundBig Sound
Notes: 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
Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 720 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Treyliff
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep brown with a small foamy head that has short retention

S- smells of dark fruit with notes of fig & raisin, caramel & toffee, as well as light chocolate

T- sweet caramel and toffee up front followed by prune and fig. Mid-palate gives some earthy notes, the finish is malty and sweet, linger of fig & caramel

M- medium body and moderate carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and finish

O- solid straight-forward scotch ale

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Treyliff from West Virginia, Jul 02, 2017
Photo of TH28
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle. 1/12/16 bottle date. Appearance: Deep brown with ruby red hints and relatively clear. Low lying khaki colored head dissipates quickly. Aroma: Rich caramel maltiness, with dark cherry and plum notes. Just a hint of roast and toasted bread. Taste: Rich, sweet maltiness heavy on caramel, toffee, and bread crusts. Finished with a clean, balanced hop bitterness and a touch of dark cherry. Mouthfeel: Heavy bodied, with a low carbonation and a moderate alcohol warming. Finish: Leaves a rich lingering maltiness on the tongue, with some toasted bread and toffee Overall: Top notch scotch ale. Strong aroma with lots of malt complexity with a range of caramel, toffee, toasted bread, and dark fruit flavors. Relatively easy drinking considering the ABV. Six months of age and this still has very strong flavors without being harsh and abrasive. Interested to see how this changes with some age.

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TH28 from Florida, Jul 03, 2016
Photo of sulldaddy
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. Beer is a gift from MHorridge during my recent trip to Tampa. THANKS!
the beer pours a rich dark mahogany with deep garnet notes and no light passing through the glass. A very minimal beige head foams up and fades to nothing instantaneously after the pour. NO head remains during the sampling. I hit the appearance a bit for the lack of good foam.
The aroma is lots of malt and sweetness with caramel and brown sugar and bits of molasses. No hints of any hop presence and the booze is well hidden too.
First sip reveals a pretty thick body with sticky coating texture and very fine yet tingly carbonation. The beer coats my palate after each sip and maintains the flavor and a bit of roast in my mouth.
Flavor is sweet and malty as expected with lots brow sugar and molasses. I get some rich dark chocolate and dark fruit with fig and raisins. I dont get any hops here, and I also dont get any black peppery booze or heat for that matter.
This is a complex, thick and smooth brew that is very enjoyable and is a bit of a sipper due to the thickness, but not something that burns after each sip. Glad to have got this bottle back with me from Tampa.

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sulldaddy from Connecticut, Jun 12, 2016
Photo of jprince103
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, didn't know what to expect initially. I wasn't overly enthused by the pour. However, the nutty smell and taste was shocking. The strong alcoholic taste was a bit of a shock. 8.5% isn't your bud light, but i've drank plenty of higher ABV beers with less alcoholic flavor. However, this was a great beer to have after supper.

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jprince103 from Florida, Jun 06, 2016
Photo of Ciocanelu
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany color with light brown head. Aroma has intense dark fruits like dates and dried cherries. Taste starts also fruity with a hint of burnt sugar. Finishes really balanced. Medium body and carbonation. Overall it's a nice scotch ale, true to style and really well made.

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Ciocanelu from Romania, May 18, 2016
Photo of LMO1190
4.74/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks. Nice dark brown color. About 3 fingers of head on pour in a sniffer.

Smell= Very malty , sweet, with dark fruits. Smells awesome.

Taste= Caramel, Figs, vanilla.

Feels, very smooth.


This beer is a must have. I am going to get a few bottles and cellar it. Good stuff!!!

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LMO1190 from Florida, Apr 24, 2016
Photo of Myotus
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured at 47F from a 22oz bottle (bottled 12Jan16) into a thistle glass. Consumed on 10Apr16.
LOOK: An astounding five fingers worth of light brown foam is formed after pouring. The gargantuan foam head immediately begins to recede via a cascade for about 20 seconds. A fingers worth of foam is lost in this manner. Once the cascading ceases, the remainder foam head eventually dissipates into a half fingers worth within 3 minutes. Dark brown in color with a ruby tint. Rising bubbles are subtle in quantity and small in size. Lacing is very thick and moderate.
SMELL: Very strong aromas of molasses harmonize with strong caramel, toffee, and sweet bread along with mild aromas of coffee, smoked goodness, tree nuts, plums, figs, and black cherries to create an ultimate balance of sweet and bitter.
TASTE: Strong black cherry, plum, and fig flavors first explode onto the palate, satisfying my sweet tooth that longs for unbalanced beers. Strong flavors of molasses, caramel, and toffee along with mild sweet bread flavors immediately add to the sweetness, further satisfying my sadistic sweet tooth. Some balanced is finally achieved once mild flavors of bittersweet coffee, tree nuts, and smoked goodness caress the palate while all previous flavors press on, except for black cherry, which grow stronger.
FEEL: This is so incredibly full-bodied, I can practically chew this beer. Carbonation levels are moderate. The beer goes down smooth and creamy while also clinging to the back of the throat like syrup. Finishes with a strong and unpleasant dryness.
NOTE: One of the best of its style that I have had. Somewhat unbalanced and leaning towards the sweeter side, this beer isn't for everyone. My main complaint is that there is too much cherry going on. That's a personal bias, however, since I do not like cherries too much.

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Myotus from Texas, Apr 11, 2016
Photo of SFC21
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
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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SFC21 from Florida, Apr 10, 2016
Photo of Benish
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown, almost ash-like in color. Half inch tan head that dissipated quickly. No lacings around the glass. No sediment.

Smell: just after pouring, I instantly smelled toffee and some caramel. Once it warmed up, the toffee was absent and instead I smelled mostly sweet malt with subtle hints of cherry.

Taste: started out with notes of toffee, vanilla, and oak. Little burnt at the finish with notes of cherry. It left a bitter-tea aftertaste but not in a bad way. Eventually as the beer warmed up, it became more sweet and less complex.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, silky, and smooth.

Overall: it's a good wee heavy. Just wouldn't call it spectacular. This definitely could use barrel-age treatment. Clearly the barrel-aged version is a hit, which I hope to try someday.

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Benish from Wisconsin, Feb 17, 2016
Photo of larryarms847
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a touch of red, a thin quarter finger of brown foam.

Subtle smoke, char, and peat notes right up front, followed up by a touch of sweet chocolate, and light notes of bakers spices.

In flavor, I'm picking up a lot more of those bakers spices, cinnamon and nutmeg mainly, but enveloped by a glove of smoky peat, subtle fig/dark fruit, and a bit of roasty goodness.

Medium-heavy bodied, low carbonation, sweet, smoky, nice balance.

Overall, as a sucker for Scotch ales this one left me impressed, but I'd like to see the spices dialed down a bit.

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larryarms847 from Illinois, Feb 06, 2016
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very dark brown color with a miniscule head.
Sweet malt aroma. Some peat. A tiny bit of dark fruit and chocolate.
Taste of toffee. Smoky/peaty. A hint of plum and chocolate.
Medium-bodied.
Great beer.

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lordofthewiens from New Mexico, Jan 29, 2016
Photo of ThickNStout
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
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 core42
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very smooth Scotch ale that smells good and tastes great. Lots of flavor without the lingering peaty aftertaste that some other Scotch ales have. Definitely one of my favorite Scotch ales out there

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core42 from Michigan, Jul 29, 2015
Photo of mig100
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.

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mig100 from Texas, May 21, 2015
Photo of hAle2theWort
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this aging for a few months and wish I had had it sooner. This is yet another incredible creation from the Beer Gods and CCB. Not too heavy, balanced, wonderful finish.

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hAle2theWort from Maryland, May 16, 2015
Photo of danh53
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown ale with one finger head that disappears and leaves little lacing on the glass. Aroma of molasses, coffee, caramelized brown sugar. Dark fruit comes through a little in the taste, especially prunes. Chocolate comes through as it warms.The mouth feel is medium and smooth. Not the biggest fan of scotch ales, but this is one of the best.

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danh53 from Florida, May 09, 2015
Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Hmmm, not sure where to place this one. Not good nor bad. Solid brew. May be a bit too sweet. Feels like brown sugar or something. But I am enjoying it. Yum

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Photo of mynie
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Regular (not BA) Big Sound. On cask at the brewery.

Pours brown. Smells like chocolate and booze. I had to ask whether or not it was barrel aged, as the alcohol nodes were so pronounced.

Once sipped, the aroma's intensity gives way to a different intensity. Big, burny booze washes up against zippy brown ale malt, and the affect is akin to a beer that starts off as a bock but ends as an almost-too-sweet super boozy brown. At no point is the beer bad, but it never quite ties together.

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mynie from Maryland, Mar 03, 2015
Photo of mtvolkens
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark in glass. Almost black until you pick up the glass and see deep red color with a tan head that is not falling. A slight milk chocolate upfront with an immediate alcohol hit. You can feel it as you swallow and it finishes with a sweet cream finish. Very very good scotch ale.

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mtvolkens from Florida, Feb 28, 2015
Photo of barfootbandit
4.93/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this beer from a bomber. This beer was phenomenal and probably one of the best scotch ales I have ever had. Very dark color with aromas of peated scotch-y malts. Scotch-y flavors are present with hints of caramel, toffee, and roasted malt. Scotch-y peated flavors are similar to flavors from Islay whiskey casks. An 8.5% ABV helps the overall taste as well and makes this a hearty beer. Absolutely loved this beer and highly recommend it.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%

A-Black in the glass, clear brown when pouring not much carbonation, one finger head that does last.

S-Earthy, peaty, toffee, caramel, with chocolate and roasted malt.

T-Great balance. Earthy with nice peaty and grassy/dirt flavors to start. The finish is rich chocolate/toffee/caramel.

M-Medium bodied, velvety, not much carbonation.

O-A style that more people need to make. One of the better ones.

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rlee1390 from Indiana, Nov 21, 2014
Photo of delta490
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Poured a very deep brown, not sure if it's cloudy or clear because you can't see through it. Almost no head or lacing. Aroma is minimal, but it has a big malty sweet flavor. Notes of caramel, fruit and nice sweetness from the alcohol. No carbonation and little oily on the texture, but not in a bad way. A great big Scottish ale.

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delta490 from Virginia, Oct 10, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a nice big malty scotch ale, a little too sweet for my palate overall, and certainly too sweet to take down too much of. i like its density though, and its grain richness. in some ways its like a dopplebock on the grain front, this may be a little less german, but its dark caramel and dried red fruit complexion is in line with that. earthy up front before the sweet, dark amber to mahogany in color, thick in body but not overly so. carbonation is upbeat for the style, which really helps with the sugar. there is a real molasses character to the front end, and even a mellow hop bitterness there too. it just feels like dessert to me. a glass of this brings cures the itch of both a sweet tooth and an individual in need of a little buzz. you cant taste the booze in it really, but i can definitely feel it after even half a glass. solid beer overall, well made, but not all that different and quite sugary in the finish.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the House of Brews. Served in a short pint.

Appearance - Deep brown. Small off white head and collar.

Smell - Toffee. A little fruity and buttery.

Taste - Sweet caramel. Dark fruits. Mild hop flavor in the middle. Nutty after that and a little boozy.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Kinda sweet. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Good without being special. I'm surprised I've never reviewed this.

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

Had this on cask at the Brick Store Pub awhile ago- reviewing from notes. Poured a deep brown, almost black, with a big creamy head and the typical cask carbonation. The smell is a little light, but very malty and a bit redolent of chocolate. The taste has big malt flavors, but fairly dry overall. Meaty, almost bacony and and maybe with a touch of hay. Very interesting and quite good. Very smooth in the mouth with a drying tannic finish which is very welcome. Overall, delicious!

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Big Sound from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 720 ratings