Big Sound Scotch Ale | Cigar City Brewing

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
720 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
720
Reviews:
202
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
10.02%
 
 
Wants:
192
Gots:
191
For Trade:
18
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 720 |  Reviews: 202
Photo of ROGUE16
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Rizzy17
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of leitmotif
3.69/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 2GOOFY
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of gford217
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle courtesy of Gillard, poured into a snifter.

Pours a very dark mahogany brown in the glass that shows a dark, clear copper when held up to light. There's a solid creamy tan head that recedes fairly slowly and leaves almost no lacing.

The aroma is pretty subtle and straight-forward for the style with a big slightly-smoked caramel malt backbone with some dark fruit mixed in. Hints of molasses and chocolate are in there is well.

The taste is a more vibrant version of the nose with the sweetness still dominating but with a more pronounced smoked peat flavor, especially in the finish which is slightly dry and has more coffee bitterness than I was expecting. The dark fruits, chocolate and vanilla all contribute to the sweetness.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and medium to full bodied with good carbonation.

This is a solid effort from Cigar City and a very good Scotch ale. I wouldn't put it near the top of the list of their beers, but it's a drinkable and sweeter version of the style.

 1,008 characters

Photo of jophish17
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Jeffo
3.12/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dad picked this one up for me from the brewery when he was in Florida for Spring Training in 2012. Thanks for swinging by pops!

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, looser 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.

SMELL: Dark malts, leather, dark fruits and spicy yeast notes on the nose. Much like a Belgian strong dark ale, with caramel notes and some dark bread as well. Medium strength.

TASTE: Somewhat mild up front, though some leather and dark fruits do make an appearance. Flavor picks up at the swallow with lots of sweet flavors, including grapes, toffee and caramel flavors. Milder but lingering finish of sweet malts, grapes, and a touch of bitter coffee at the end. Quite sweet and a little lack-luster initially.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly light on the palate. Creamy enough, goes down smooth and finishes rather sticky for the style. A touch light perhaps, but nothing is off-putting.

OVERALL: This was just alright. I've had piles of wonderful beers from Cigar City, but this one didn't quite do it for me. A little light in body and the flavor lacked up front a bit. Still an enjoyable beer, but I think I expected more from this one. Cheers again for doing the leg-work pops. Love trying stuff from this brewery.

 1,471 characters

Photo of prototypic
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big Sound pours a dark, nut brown color. Light cutting through gives it a golden brown look. A caramel colored head covers the top and stands about two and a half fingers tall. It's very slow to recede. Lacing was certainly sticky, but light.

The nose is impressive. It's chock full of malts...brown, caramel, and a little chocolate. There's a bit of a sweet smell to it. But, a light cocoa/chocolate presence is also noted. Roasted coffee is relatively prominent. That's welcome in my book. It blends well with the wealth of malt present. Alcohol is blended well and isn't very noticeable. Smells good to this guy.

The flavor is excellent. Probably even a little better than the nose. This stuff hits on all cylinders! It kicks off with a sweet, caramel/toffee flavor. The brown/caramel/chocolate malt base is very strong. Light chocolate and cocoa flavors aren't as strong as the caramel, but they're duly noted. Coffee is probably the x-factor here. It adds quality depth and strong character to the overall flavor. Alcohol is masked well and goes largely unnoticed. It finishes sweet with a touch of java. Very impressive.

Big Sound has a medium body. It's very smooth due to light carbonation. More body would probably add something here, but I can't complain too much. Drinkability is very high. This is a quality Scotch Ale that's simply delicious. It might be a little hefty, but it's going down like a dream.

This is my first beer from Cigar City Brewing. I must say, it's a big time winner in just about every respect. Big Sound is a fantastic Scotch Ale. Its greatest attribute is the coffee flavor. It really ramps up the flavor a lot. It doesn't have any big weak points. More body would probably improve the feel a little. Otherwise - spot on! Go find a bottle.

 1,779 characters

Photo of muskiesman
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of DmanGTR
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of macrosmatic
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A: Opaque, dark brown to black with slight ruddy undertones. Forms a half-finger tan head that quickly fades to foam. Mild amount of visible carbonation.

S: Dark roasty malts, dark fruits, and malty sweetness with a bit of dark cacao.

T: Sweet roasty malts, dark fruit and raisins, a bit of coffee & cacao. This is a bit boozy with a sweet sticky finish.

M: Heavier body, a smooth mouthfeel, and a moderate alcohol presence. Not overly boozy to the point of detraction.

O: This is pretty good, indeed much better than the infected bottle I had. A darn good scotch ale.

 649 characters

Photo of kell50
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of tommyguz
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Holland
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours dark brown with light brown highlights and a big tan head.

S: smells largely of pear(!), apple, peat, smoke, and roasted malt.

T: very fruity for a scotch ale. This has tons of pear and apple up front, then some roasted malt, smokey wood, and peat.

M: well carbonated with a medium body. I don't like that it seems too carbonated.

O: very good beer, good drinkability, but it's a bit expensive at $10 or so for the bomber.

 438 characters

Photo of Wowcoolman
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of FosterJM
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1195th Review on BA
Bottle to Bruery Tulip
750ml

Thanks to GuruDel for sharing

App- Murky light colored brown with some off notes of amber and some creme in there. Not really a head to speak of, more of a couple fast popping bubbles.

Smell- A traditional scotch ale smell. Had a nice blend in the nose. The sweetness of the the malts and toffee, a bit bitter and it did have some coffee. Even the cherry on the nose was unexpected.

Taste- I liked it. Had a bit of everything and still held the style together well. The malts and sweet worked and even though it had a slight sour note to it, it worked well. Not overly boozy as some of the style are. A nice sipping beer.

Mouth- A lighter medium body and a medium full carbonation. A little creamy and it left some good malty toffee sweet notes.

Drink- Nice beer. I believe this one was aged about 1-1/2 years. Nice bottle for a birthday in prompteau tasting.

 914 characters

Photo of masterofsparks
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

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

This has a black profile but it holds a top of Brown that seems to ease into the darkness. The head has a lot of stiffness and survived well.

The aroma was of fresh brewed tea, less leaf and more of the finished product. There is some raisin or dark fruit in the nose with tobacco and a grain malt.

The grain flavors are more to the front and seem to take over. As a fan of strong malts and grain I found this to be very enjoyable. This ended with a raisin sweetness that kept the dried fruit intact.

The feel is very lively, very light and super easy to drink.

Very good beer with a lot of personality.

 607 characters

Photo of Jamison85
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of mrebeka
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of calcnerd
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of tpd975
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark amber almost black hue. The head was a full one finger of mocha goodness. Okay retention with a nice smattering of lace.

S: Mmmmm this is what malt goodness smells like. This one oozes caramel, toffee, molasses, and dark brown sugar. Hints of chocolate hide beneath this malt mountain along with a touch of dark fruit.

T: Wow I hate to feel like a homer everytime I crack a CCB, but to be honest there are very few if anyone doing what they do. This beer is packed with flavor. The sweet malt goodness is off the scale. Tons of brown sugar and gooey caramel. Touches of molasses and nuts. There is a nice dose of chocolate with notes of dark fruits. A bit or earth and a dash of deep roasted malt round things out. This is an Imperial Scotch Ale that is in a class that only includes AleSmith Wee Heavy.

M: Rather full in body for the style. Smooth, Rich, Bold, Awesome!

D: Great I consumed an entire 750ml and pondered opening another. Alas I will save it for another day. I checks in at over 9% ABV this year so this is one that can hang around for awhile.

Wayne and Joe does it again. I bow to your greatness :)

 1,140 characters

Photo of IckyT2012
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Coorsy
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Big Sound Scotch Ale from Cigar City Brewing
4.09 out of 5 based on 720 ratings.
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