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 mwilbur
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a very dark, muddy brown with 1/4 inch dark tan head that fairly quickly recedes. Appears thick and heavy. Nice.
S: Caramel malt, cured meat, dark dried fruit (e.g. fig), and a hint of smoke and salt.
T: Chewy and soft caramel malt, molasses, fresh dark dried fruit (e.g. dark cherries), mildly roasted coffee, dark and dense grain bread, and a hint of nuts. Nice complexity!
M: Soft, chewy, dense, fresh. Full body. Lingers and matures nicely on the palate as well! Phenomenal here.
D: Extremely drinkable. Wonderful complexity...excellent for style. ABV is perfect and well hidden. Seek it out!

 655 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of donnyowens
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aepb1
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- deep dark brown body with a creamy tan head

S- dark sweet cherries and some molasses

T- caramel, toffee, dark fruits, molasses, big flavor and that's wonderful!

M- full-bodied and creamy with a lower level of carbonation

O- a great scotch ale. Very nice to sip on a cold florida evening!

 294 characters

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jmdrpi
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL capped bottle, no date to be found.

appears deep dark brown, almost black. nice thick 1/2" head, that leaves lacing. good head retention too.

aroma is sweet and a bit boozy. tastes of toffee, hazelnut, brown sugar. rich flavors. mouthfeel is incredibly smooth.

one again, Cigar City impresses.

 305 characters

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

Looks like a big Scottish treat for me tonight: Cigar City’s Big Sound. Now, while Scotch ales aren’t my favorite style, I’ve really started to like CCB. Thanks again, Stankonia, for an awesome LIF.

A: Pours very dark, a thick red-brown, with a viscous-looking body – one of those beers where the head takes a while to materialize. Eventually, that medium-tan cream appears, and it’s just as thick: almost two full fingers high at the start. Soon, though, it changes texture to become more light bubbles than anything, deflating at a medium rate; finally, it rests at a silky half-finger of beige cream. Not a lot of lacing, but with a good enough presence to be attractive.

S: Ah, surprisingly skunky! It has a nose that’s quite a bit like their Guava Grove saison: light lemon zest and guava, with a really light scent of sweet cherry syrup. Not cloying, but extra sweet; it’s like the smell of a cherry slushie. Good, but that’s all the malts really have to offer. Plus, the boozy Scotch aromas that are normal for this style are actually quite light, as they can’t really do a lot from behind the fruits. An odd, one-dimensional, but entertaining nose.

T: Wonderfully smooth; the flavors are rich, yet insanely drinkable. First off are those great fruits: peach cobbler, pear, cinnamon apple, and a sweet vinous character. They’re some of the best sugars I’ve had in a beer in a while. Roasted malts, empowered by this profile, lay quietly over the palate with a mild smokiness and caramel. They bring in woody alcohol, maple spice, and dark fruits, the characteristic Wee Heavy flavors, but with all the support of the skunky yeasts. It finishes with a hint of chocolate and a chewy wheat graininess. So much different that the other Scotch ales I’ve tried, but so damn tasty.

M: So smooth, a viscosity that’s just as drinkable as the flavors in the palate – I’ve finished a 750 mL bottle in no time. Be careful, because this 8.5% beast goes down like water; there’s really only a hint of astringency from the rindy fruits of the palate.

O: I have never, ever had a Wee Heavy like this, and I doubt I’ll ever have another. This beer is one-of-a-kind, demonstrating such impressive craftsmanship from Cigar City; even in the nose, the light fruits caught me off guard with their unique power. The flavor profile was just delicious, as well, topped off by an amazingly drinkable body. This one’s for the record books: a Wee Heavy that shovels its alcohol down with complex flavor and mind-blowing drinkability.

 2,555 characters

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

moose3285 sent me a bottle of this a while back. Thanks, Mike!

The pour is deep crimson with great clarity and pleasing reddish highlights. There's a dense, mocha-colored head with excellent retention that leaves some lacework.
The nose is just outstanding. Big notes of vanilla, toffee, butterscotch, a moderate nuttiness, some chocolate. Mildly fruity as well, I get some rich plum character. Quite a fabulous nose, really. A touch of alcohol comes through in the back as well.

The palate opens rich and robust with a solid grainy character with some robust caramel, toasty, nutty malts. Toasty, mildly bready, there's a pronounced brown sugar character that marries very well with the rest of the palate. A touch of cocoa as well? This beer also has the intense malt character (not really sweet, but particularly strong, noticeable, rich brown sugar notes) that I remember BA Old Stock/ Angel's Share having, and that's high praise.As with the nose, there's some fruitiness, a general dark fruit character, more prune-like? Sweetish on the finish, this beer is medium-full in body with a moderate carbonation. The finish is excellent as well, with a pleasant fruitiness as well as toffee and a light alcohol character. All told, this is more along the lines of an old ale than a dyed in the wool wee heavy, but still, an excellent beer. I think I can unequivocally say that this is the best Cigar City Beer I've had. Thanks a TON, Mike! I must now seek out the BA version!

 1,479 characters

Photo of Curmunchkin
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Mikemcgrath4
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%

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 JWhat
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bruce0920
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of zachthelaxer93
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of WoodBrew
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Suck a bottle of this no the cruise to give a break from the standard crap served on teh boat. The color is deep dark teak color with a creamy light tan head. Head dissipates to a thin broken film in just a few minutes but leaves some impressive lace.
Smell is rich and sweet with roasted malt, soy, caramel and candied sugar. Nicely balanced.
Taste is very similar with notes of roasted malt, soy, sweetness, dark fruits and dark chocolate with a hop note way in back.
Smooth, rich, creamy and full-bodied, this is a good brew. Only downside would be that it is a bit too sweet, even for me. Light effervescence and a light coating of the palate but no real warming like I expected. A good beer for sipping, as in dessert. Had some smoke/peat presence, too.

 758 characters

Photo of zep9865
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at a beer tasting courtesy of aasher. Pours a dark muddy brown with 2 fingers of tan foam head. Lacing is minimal

s-alcohol is most definitely detectable on the nose of this beer with molasses, burnt wood, and raisins. Chocolate is there as well.

t-the molasses and raisins in the smell are very representative in the taste. Sweet, but not overly malty.

m-carbonation on this beer is perfect; enough, but not too much. The different flavors that my palate experience are remarkable.

o-sucks that I'm really at a loss for words for this beer. It is very very good.

 575 characters

Photo of philbe311
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a frikin at Capone's...

A - An intensely murky and hazy medium brown color... A thin creamy light tan colored head...

S - The nose was surprisingly subdued... Some toasted malty goodness... Nutty... A certain outdoorsy aroma... A slight note of butterscotch...

T - Sweet caramel... Toffee... Brown sugar... Touches of cherry... A hint of nuttiness...

M - Arguably the smoothest beer that has ever cross my lips... On the fuller side of medium bodied... Creamy and rich... Delectable... Just the slightest carbonation...

D - Quaffable and easy going sip after sip... If I could have a firkin of this one hands at all time I would, but unfortunately I'll likely have to settle for this lone memory and what a good memory it was...

 741 characters

Photo of mntlover
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark deep brown with red hints when held to the light. Sports a big tan head that falls slow with tons of sheet lace. Very nice looking.

Aroma is big, big malts caramel, hints of peat, some light coffee notes underneath. Some dark fruit notes sprinkled with more sweetness also chocolate hints.

Taste is smooth from the beginning lots of sweet malts caramel, toffee peat hints sprinkled with more sugary sweetness. Nice fruit notes figs, plums and cherries mingle through out. Finish is smooth favorable malts.

Mouthfeel is big and really smooth, very enjoyable.

Overall very nice big smooth malty sweet goodness. Love to have a few of these set back for cooler weather.

 683 characters

Photo of jbone78
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hello,
Went to the brewery a few weeks ago and picked up some of their brews at the nearby store.

A- I think I had a bad pour, I'm excited! Poured dark red, nearly brown. But, I can't comment on the head because I ruined that.
S- I don't think I can smell. I don't pick up much scents sometimes. I do smell the roasted malty character, but that's about it.
T- Very nice complex flavor! Roasted Malts, sugars,great, nuts, alcohol all blend well.
I like!
M- Even with the very malty taste, which is common with Scotch Ales, you don't have a huge sticky after taste. Very smooth, balanced, clean!

-Bye

 604 characters

Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

 483 characters

Photo of GlennWB
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cheesy26
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of RyantheReformer
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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