Big Sound
Cigar City Brewing

Big SoundBig Sound
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Style:
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #15
ABV:
8.5%
Score:
91
Ranked #3,696
Avg:
4.11 | pDev: 9.98%
Reviews:
204
Ratings:
723
From:
Cigar City Brewing
 
Florida, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
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: 204 | Ratings: 723 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Dfeinman1
Dfeinman1 from Florida

4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Found an older one of these in my cellar it held up really well. A bit alcoholly but definitely hits of fig and raisin with still some carbonation left.

Mar 04, 2021
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a relatively old (5 years plus) bottle of "Big Sound," it pours a clear dark brown with a short lived light brown head that soon diminishes to a thin layer and ring. In the nose, alcohol and dark fruits. In the mouth, the alcohol is evident and the flavor is of the dark fruits and caramel. It ages reasonably well.

Oct 10, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

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

Jul 02, 2017
Photo of TH28
TH28 from Florida

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.

Jul 03, 2016
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

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.

Jun 12, 2016
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jprince103 from Florida

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.

Jun 06, 2016
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu from Romania

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.

May 18, 2016
Photo of LMO1190
LMO1190 from Florida

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!!!

Apr 24, 2016
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Myotus from Texas

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.

Apr 11, 2016
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SFC21 from Florida

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.

Apr 10, 2016
Photo of Benish
Benish from Wisconsin

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.

Feb 17, 2016
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larryarms847 from Illinois

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.

Feb 06, 2016
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens from New Mexico

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.

Jan 29, 2016
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout from Georgia

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.

Nov 17, 2015
Photo of core42
core42 from Michigan

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

Jul 29, 2015
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mig100 from Texas

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.

May 21, 2015
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hAle2theWort from Maryland

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.

May 16, 2015
Photo of danh53
danh53 from Florida

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.

May 09, 2015
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iTunesUpdates from Florida

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

Apr 26, 2015
Photo of mynie
mynie from Maryland

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.

Mar 03, 2015
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mtvolkens from Florida

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.

Feb 28, 2015
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barfootbandit from Maryland

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.

Feb 07, 2015
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390 from Indiana

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.

Nov 21, 2014
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delta490 from Virginia

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.

Oct 10, 2014
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

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.

Oct 07, 2014
Big Sound from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 723 ratings