Big Sound Scotch Ale | Cigar City Brewing

Big Sound Scotch AleBig Sound Scotch Ale
BA SCORE
4.09/5
720 Ratings
Big Sound Scotch AleBig Sound Scotch Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
cigarcitybrewing.com

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by cjgator3 on 12-05-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,307
Reviews:
202
Ratings:
720
pDev:
10.02%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
190
Gots:
191
Trade:
18
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 720 |  Reviews: 202
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Neat chocolate tasting beer, chocolate taste through and through. Chocolate colour, very lacey with almost no head. Very good drinkabiliy, sweetish, slightly above average mouthfeel, with understaetd carbonation. Slight scotch flavours.
On tap at the brewery.This was much better than in the bottle, of which I partook a half year later.

 337 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3 finger frothy head which rapidly dissipates with little lacing. Body is viscous appearing, black with only a little light passing through. Aroma is wide ranging with syrup, dark fruits, caramel and smokey notes intermixed. This one initially is very sweet and it hard to overcome. This one is very smooth. Sweet dark fruits, a little creamy with slight smokey hues and a maple like finish. Body is thick and light carbonation. Overall this one was way too sweet for my tastes to give this my top rating.

 505 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.67/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mhksuccess for sharing this one at my tasting.

Bottled 8/20/12.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Taste is much the same with a malty flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that with some solid aromas and flavors.

 560 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

 924 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -32.8%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A tremendous beer offered up by Cigar City- this, my first beer from the brewery. If all of them are equally as solid, then they are welcome in my glass. any time.

The beer starts with a dark brown hue and deep mohogany highlights comming through the edges. a billowing tan head forms above the beer and never reliquishes. Lots of lacing as the beer fades. This is how a Scottish Ale is supposed to look.

Serious malty aromas lead the way. Toffee, molassas, and syrupy barly flavors give a deep bready, melanoidin flavor witout too much residual sweetness. Phenolics of plastic and smoke give a complexity to the malts in the absence of hop aroma, though the plastics are as much a deterant as a benifit. Fruity throughout with plumbs, dates, figs, cherries, grapes, and raisons.

Flavors transfer the malt and fruity notes in a most bold sort of way. Rich flavors of malts are backlit with lighter chocolates, coffee, and nuttiness. Boozy rum flavors, combined with the fruits, give an almost caugh-syrup taste that proves too bold in flavor and feel. There is a lot going on in the taste.

There is a lot of body in this beer as well. Heavy toasted breads give a deeply creamy and malty texture without getting too sweet or sticky. Alchols become quite abrupt again with a hot and rough abrasion on the throat. A long, sweet linger of rum, cherries, and sunkist barley malts reappear in the aftertaste.

A great example of the style. Even the detractors are allowed in these lower levels. Thanks BigMcLargeHuge!

 1,515 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearancec: Pours a murky burnt caramel with a solid head that sticks and laces very nicely

Smell: Malty aromatics of toasted brown bread, caramel, tobacco and dark fruit

Taste: Opens with a pumpernickel bread and caramel flavor that adds a bitter tobacco element by mid-palate; after the swallow, boozy rum-soaked fig flavors emerge but a lot of the tobacco lingers into the aftertaste; despite the overall sweetness, there is also a subtle dry woody characteristic that lingers though the finish is filled with fig

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Complex and adventurous for the style, with a bitter undertone not often found in a Wee Heavy; I'm not mad for it as this is not my favorite style but it is well worth sampling

 788 characters

Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Good scotch ale appearance. It had cloudy/murky dark brown tones with a small, off-white head of thick foam. Nice retention and some lacing.

S - It smelled of peat and moss with a smoky aroma, too.

T - Good flavor blend of smoke, earthy hops and sweet caramel malt.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied beer that was somewhat chewy.

D - This is a very nice scotch ale/wee heavy. Glad I got to try this one.

 430 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep brown burgundy color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of rich sweet malt with some deep notes of caramel and toffee is enjoyable though very close to the overly sweet territory. Taste is also an enjoyable mix between some rich sweet malt with deep notes toffee and caramelized sugar. Body is quite full with OK carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I usually like some peat malt in my scotch ale but not sure it would have benefited this one since there is so much residual sugar.

 548 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 8/20/2012. Pours moderately cloudy very dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, molasses, raisin, cherry, apple, toast, pear, toffee, clove, light roast, peat smoke, dark bread, and toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and big complexity of dark/toasted malt notes with fruitiness and moderate peat. Taste of big caramel, molasses, raisin, cherry, apple, toast, toffee, pear, clove, light roast, dark bread, light peat, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, molasses, light and dark fruit, toast, toffee, clove, dark bread, light roast, light peat, and earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance with big complexity of malt and fruity flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a slick, creamy, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent scotch ale! Very nice balance and big complexity of malt/fruity flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,282 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Time for the Big Sound - I've been waiting for this one!

Just pouring it I can see within the stream of liquid that it's got a crimson cast to it. It's a bit hazy though. It's a deep chestnut with a dark amber glow along the base of the glass. The tan head is massive, and frothy, and it just doesn't want to die down. It's got lots of big bubbles mixed into it and it almost looks like swiss cheese. It does settle though, and becomes more like a creamy cap of baby swiss. The lacing is really nice though, and it leaves rings and curtains as it goes.

The nose is less bombastic, and it's gently sweet with a softly caramelish and gently fruity, berry and jam-like, edge.

That follows into the flavor, and I was surprised at how restrained it is. I was expecting more sugary malt, but this is actually right on par for the style. So many American brewers take it a notch beyond this and go over-board, but this is in check. It reminds me of Belhaven 80 -/-, although it's been so long since I've had one that I'm not even sure about that. I know it's not as roasty as the 90 -/- though, but it's technically stronger. More importantly, it's balanced. And balance is the key to Scottish and Scotch ale. It's malt, and then malt backed by low-level hops, and then more malt, and then more hops - and then a subtly lingering malty and just slightly hoppy and bitter finish. And the stunningly smooth and creamy mouthfeel on this one only makes that all the better!

So, moving to drinkability, at 8.5% this is an amazingly smooth and consumable beer. There's just enough caramel and sweetness to the malt, and just enough hop and bitterness to balance it - and the alcohol is very well cloaked! I'd imagine one could simply enjoy this until they passed out!

Nicely done! And well worth trying!

 1,796 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -2.2%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 720 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.