Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Big Sound Scotch Ale | Cigar City Brewing

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Big Sound Scotch AleBig Sound Scotch Ale
BA SCORE
4.09/5
Exceptional
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:
#2,366
Reviews:
202
Ratings:
720
pDev:
10.02%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
189
Gots:
191
Trade:
18
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 720 |  Reviews: 202
Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of eawolff99
4.5/5  rDev +10%

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 dar482
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of lupercmda
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is caramel and toffee malt with some smoke and chocolate. I also get some woody and oak notes even though the beer is not barrel aged as far as I know. The flavor is heavy on the milk chocolate with some light smoke and toffee. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. One of the better Scotch Ales I have tried.

 417 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of BARFLYB
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Out of the firkin @ Capone's for Philly Beer Week, I love this city and the burbs.

Big sound has a murky brown muddy look to it, the color is a light brown with some small tan spots here, not the darkest scotch ale i've seen. A nice dark tan bubbly head on top that leaves small squiggly lines. There is actually some sludge at the end of my pint, nice!!

Smell is big with an apparent nuttiness along with a decent amount of hopping for a scotch ale, some grapefruit. Some roasted malt aroma along with sweet sugar and toffee sweets.

This is perhaps the best scotch ale I have had in years, no joke. The taste is superb and does not come off as a malty mess. The malt is there and sweet along with brown suga and toffee, but there is a nice cherry with dark fruit along with some nice citrus rind from some hops, not major though. Nuts and just some dank ass beer, My eyes opened.

The feel is killer. This beer really goes well off a firkin. If I had this in a bottle, this may not be the case, but right now Im in heaven. Medium bodied, smooth, malty sweet, backing hop presence, carb is there, this is bonkers.

I drank a whole pint with ease, I wanted another, but I was driving, I would of had more real quick, this beer is good, no it's great, the firkin just puts it over the edge, this is what beer is all about, this is the pinnicle, the source, the bees knees, the tits, whatever it is, it's ballerific.

 1,416 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three finger thick, nicely amber tinged, full amber color. The beer is a dark amber color that has a concentrated redness to it. When held up to the light the beer shows a nicely concentrated, red, ruby color. The beer has an interesting note to it up front, it is quite sweet with an almost cinnamon like character to it sweetness; almost reminds me of a deeply caramelized, cinnamon sweetened red-hot. There is a touch of toasted grain underneath the sweet aroma. Perhaps this is a bit too cold (though it is at 50ºF / 10ºC), a quick stint in the microwave has me noticing a bit more caramel character rather than straight sweetness, some berry like fruit character as well as more toasted malt character. Actually the sticky sweetness has now all but disappeared. The aroma started out a bit on the simplistic side, but it does get a bit better if you really let it warm up, though it still doesn't quite have the complexity that I was hoping for.

This is sweet tasting with a thick, chewy body that easily tames the sweetness, which definitely is not cloying. The beer finishes with a touch of warming alcohol as well as a chewy, whole grain toastiness, and a deeply caramelized malt character. A bit of caramelized, marshmallow character is in the middle and the finish has a hint of roast grain that adds just a hint of bite to balance a smidge of the sweetness. This does have some salty smokiness to it as well, which is quite subtle and I would guess is not from any actual peat smoked malt. This has a touch of fruitiness to it with mostly a raisin-like note that likely is contributed by the malt character. While the sweetness is not too much in this warmed up beer, it does still have a candy like note to it with all of the caramelized specialty malt character floating around in this beer.

In hopes of cutting the sweetness I have taken to eating an overly sweetened brownie, this does tame the beers sweetness, but actually brings a touch of tartness out in the beer. It does accentuate a touch more of the light roast character, a slight bit more smokiness, as well as bringing out more of the toasted malt character.

Not a bad beer, I must admit that I got a bit too caught up in excitement around this brewery, my expectations of grandeur where probably a bit too much, but I was expecting a lot more from this beer. It doesn't quite have the complexity and balance that I really want to see in a great example of the style. Really my biggest complaint here is that the beer has a bit too much sweetness; it does need some sweetness, but if it was a touch drier it would really allow a lot more complex malt character to come through. A touch more age might round this out a bit though; six months to a year might see this beer peaking.

 2,810 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

inflatablechair brought this to a tasting a couple weeks ago... Thanks Sam!!

1" lite tan head... very deep brown.. pretty clear brew...

Nice traditional Wee Heavy aromas punctuated with crusty dark bready malts.. some fruity aromas that should probably not be there..

Flavor is pretty nice expected maltiness... the lite roastiness is there.. so is a bit of minor caramel.. earthy tobacco .. but there is also some odd fruity esters that make me think of dark cherries.. the fruitiness is pretty mild, but a bit out of place...

good body and a mild carbonation...

I wish I had taken better notes on this one.... I still say it was pretty good... Thanks Sam!!!

4/4/4/4.5/4

 682 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of Raziel313
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mltobin
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Kelp
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Stinger80OH
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jbaker67
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a big khaki colored head of foam. The aroma has rich toffee and dark fruit notes. Some chocolate notes are there as well. The taste is more of that dark fruit and chocolate sweetness. Some sherry notes, perhaps. Big, chewy mouthfeel and body. Lower end of carbonation.

 292 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

A- Capped 750ml bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head that forms into a ring of lace around the glass.

S- The aroma is nothing short of a big malt bomb with a lot of sweet malts with notes caramel and toffee with a touch of hops.

T- The taste is fantastic! A lot of sweet malt, caramel and coffee flavors dominate the palate. There is also just a hint of peat as well, with a touch of hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is a fantastic sipping beer. Overall, this is another fantastic beer from CCB. The beer keeps getting better and better as it warms up in the glass. I can't wait to taste what the next beer released by Cigar City!

 763 characters

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

Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to hopdog for sharing this preview of what will soon be available in the SE PA market...
Appears a semi-transparent toned mahogany with a small, beige head that leaves spotty bits of lacing around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, light smoke, raisins, molasses, and earthy minerals.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with dark fruit, smoke, and cocoa standing out amongst the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and drinkable.

 444 characters

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 pathman
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of rfgetz
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy brown with some red highlights, nice sticky khaki lacing. Scent is of brown sugar, toffee, cherry, nuts, earth and booze. Taste is very sweet and boozy, almost cloying. Working past the harshness, tastes of toffee, earth and some dark fruit. Full bodied, creamy due to the cask pour. A nice ale that is a touch too harsh in the sweetness and boozyness.

 365 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

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.