Big Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged | Cigar City Brewing

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Big Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel AgedBig Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

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

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cjgator3 on 06-16-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
92
Ratings:
650
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.08%
 
 
Wants:
374
Gots:
165
For Trade:
18
User Reviews
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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 650
Photo of Rifugium
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Cigar City, Tampa, FL

Definitely the highlight of my visit to Cigar City. I had no problem shelling out for a couple bottles to take home.

Poured a dark brownish amber, opaque, with a small creamy tan head that retained as a thick ringlet and left soapy lacing on the glass. Nice aroma, sweet with dark sugars, vanilla, bourbon-soaked wood. Though it's a different style, this conjured memories of Mother of All Storms and King Henry. The taste reflected the aroma, all the toffee, brown sugar and caramel goodness, vanilla, smooth bourbon, subtle oak, notes of raisin, fig, papaya, and a dash of cocoa. Great. Heavy-medium body, meh, might as well call it full-bodied, smooth and creamy, chewy with not too much of a boozy bite to it. A good sipper. So glad this was in bottles when I was down there.

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Photo of rev3rb
3.63/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottom Line Up Front: A big, malty, complex ale that has many factors to it. This is not a beer to expect or drink lightly.

Decanted a 26 oz. bomber in a goblet.

Appearance: Very dark almost black with a very thin white head that dissipates quickly. I was in a darker room though so it might have more of a deeper color than what I could perceive.

Smell: The aroma of bourbon is very predominant. Aromas of dark fruit also prevalent.

Taste: There is very complex malty taste to this beer. Lots of dark fruits throughout the palette. Finishing with a light bourbon aftertaste. Also warm and boozy.

Mouthfeel: This beer is quite heavy almost sticky on the palette.

Overall: This is a good strong ale definitely not for the weak of heart... or palette. Sip this one.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to brewbetter for lending a hand with this one! enjoyed from a ccb snifter.

a - brew poured a deep ruby purple that settled in the glass as black. at first there was a thin grey bubbly head, but that didn't last long, leaving nothing more than some scattered bubbles around the edge of the surface.

s - chocolate plums. figgy and with decadent woody booziness.

t - much like the nose, but leads with decadent woody booze soaked chocolate with some dark fruit tossed into the mix. nice caramel notes set this off into the scotch ale realm as opposed to giving a BSDA vibe.

m - boozy sting for certain. the alcohol really works with this beer. much more smooth than say a backwoods and more full bodied and chewy as well.

o - overall, a very nice barrel aged scotch ale. on the boozy side, but it works. the barrels impart nice chocolate notes along with the bourbon and the wood. there is no mistaking this as a barrel aged brew. VERY enjoyable.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a very dark amber/brown, almost to the point of being black.

S: Strong bourbon aroma upfront in this beer. I get a lot of nice caramel sweetness that goes very well with e bourbon flavors. Underlying milk chocolate adds to the complexity. Typical CCB yeast.

T: Similar to the aroma, but now caramel sweetness comes in stronger than the bourbon with a bit of malted milk ball as well. Strong bourbon comes in after this adding a ton of nice sweet complexities like toffee, oak, and a nice fruitiness. Quite boozy, but not over the top.

M: Quite thick with low, creamy carbonation.

O: Definitely lots of bourbon, booze, and sweetness, but the flavors go very well together. And it just oozes typical CCB flavors.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cigar City. Served in a taster.

Appearance - Deep mahogany. No head. Thin collar but not much else.

Smell - Bourbon, but it's not intense. Vanilla and butterscotch. Big caramel maltiness.

Taste - Similar to the smell. Bourbon rounds out a strong caramel and butterscotch. Molasses heaviness. Not too sweet though. Hop presence in the back provides a touch of balancing bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Heavy. It's got some heat too it, but it's not too much from either the beer or the barrel. Lowish carbonation.

Overall - Good. The barrel is nice, but the beer could use more... something. It's a boatload of caramel and some Bourbon.

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Photo of Auracom
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Happy halloween! Huge thanks to Raffy for getting this to me. 8 oz. poured into a FFF Rastal on October 26th, 2012.

A - Very black for this style, with the heft I've come to expect from CC. Small, 1/2" head reduces to bubbling in seconds. Plentiful alcohol legs.

S - Hefty bourbon barrel aromas. Coconut, oak, vanilla. touch of honey-soaked dark fruit. I pull slight candied sugar and a general sweetness more reminiscent of a scotch ale.

T - Sweeter notes of brown sugar and caramel. A bit less of the bourbon but it's well integrated adequately rich.

M - Extremely smooth and medium bodied. Low to moderate carbonation. Semi-sweet finish.

T - Great stuff, makes Founders Backwoods Bastard seem like a bastardized version. Would unquestionably revisit.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.54/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this rare gem from boatshoes a while back. Thanks again for all the fun trades man. Always a pleasure. Drank this one right after a fresh bottle of the base beer.

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2009
Bottle 167 of 246
Red wax

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, ver loose 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. Basically the same as the fresher base beer, but the head was even thinner perhaps.

SMELL: Oak and wood with much of the base beer still there. Leather, dark fruits, with some nice toffee and caramel aromas as well. Milder bourbon qualities are there, and this is milder on the nose overall, though the barrel does contribute another layer to this. Quite nice.

TASTE: The base beer is still there for sure, then with some bourbon, oak and vanilla coming out nicely after the swallow. Leather, dark fruits, grape flavors, as well as some nice toffee and caramel sweetness though the middle and into the barrel flavored finish. Some milk chocolate there as well. Medium aftertaste shows a nice balance between the sweet base beer and barrel components and lingers nicely on the palate. A pleasant drink, and more complex than the base beer.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation with enough weight on the palate. Not all that creamy, a touch prickly on the palate perhaps, goes down fine and finishes rather sticky for the style. More weight than the base beer, but not quite as creamy, unfortunately.

OVERALL: A bit of an improvement on the original, as the barrel adds complexity to the base beer instead of dominating it, but at the same time, it's not quite as bold as I'd hoped and the palate could be a little creamier. I never had this beer fresh, but if I had to wager a guess, I would say that this has held up alright. However, I can imagine it was better fresh, and it is a 8.5% beer, so if you're holding onto one of these, you might think about doing something with it while it's still decently enjoyable. Cheers again for the trade boatshoes!

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

A: Opaque, extremely dark brown. Forms a thin tan head with no visible carbonation.

S: Relatively light bourbon aroma overlays a big dark roasty malt sweetness.

T: Follows the nose - big sweet roasted malts. The bourbon presence isn't as heavy-handed as some recent BA treatments from CCB, which is perfect here. It still hides a bit of the raisin fruitiness present in the base beer, but I don't miss it much. This is really, crazy good.

M: Thick sticky mouthfeel, heavy body. The alcohol is noticeable obviously, but only adds to the beer. Minimal carbonation sensation.

O: Truly an excellent beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Update: Got another bottle of this thanks again to urwithdave! Drank over the weekend and it's still fantastic. Not sure it's actually better then last time, but I feel like I need to make a statement with my score now that my admiration is affirmed. That's why it's getting a couple extra tents of a point over my original score. Just an excellent beer overall and highly recommended.

Original review from New Years 2012: 4.6/5.0
Thanks go out to urwithdave for sending a green waxed bottle of the recent release my way. Shared with some fellow beer drinkers on New Years Eve.

A: Murky prune with a butterscotch colored wispy head that quickly recedes to a tiny bubble glass ring. Obvious thick legs, just the way I like 'em. 4.5/5

S: Very boozy and heavy on the bourbon. I like a huge barrel forward beer and this is in that range. The base beer simply works as a great vehicle for the liquor. Sweet, peppery spice, and loaded with vanilla. Fantastic barrel character. 5/5

T: Sweet and ridiculously rich. A little butter and heavy on the booze. Loads of the vanilla from the nose, well integrated coconut, and solid wood. 4.5/5

M: Moderate body and low carbonation. Long lingering finish. 4.5/5

O: Great fucking beer. I want more. Thanks Dave! 4.5/5

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Photo of Sean9689
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, light tan head, thin collar, wisps on top. Nose is coconut, bourbon, oak, burnt sugars, caramel. Flavor is coconut and bourbon, some oak, bourbon alcohol hotness that's toned down quite a bit since last time I had this. Caramel, burnt sugars, vanilla on the finish. Body is medium to full, good carbonation, creamy sweet finish.

This is aging nicely, but I think it has another 6 months to a year left...I have one bottle left so I'll report back next time I visit this one. Right now, drinking great, lots of sweetness and the booze is slightly hot. Recommend.

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Photo of julian89
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft poured into tulip.

Appearance: A very dark brown, opaque, with a decent 1 inch cream head, minimal lacing and fair retention.

Smell - Oak, bourbon, caramel, burnt dark sugars, dark fruits, and a fair amount of earthy smoke and peat. I love the smoothness it's received from the bourbon barrel age.

Taste - It matches the smell quite well. Large amount of bourbon taste with caramel and vanilla and earthy smoky balance. For the booze percentage it's fairly drinkable.

Mouthfeel -Very smooth with a medium to thick body. Carbonation is well balanced as well. Seems like a bigger beer than 8.5%.

Drinkability - Very good, the best beer I had on this particular day at Brick store, next to the barrel aged Ten fiddy.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to llcooldave for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma has some cedar notes, but what really comes through is the roasted malt and bourbon. I also get a hint of menthol in the aroma. The flavor is similar. The cedar is once again present, but it takes a back seat to the heavy oak, vanilla and maple notes. There is also a big whiskey character to the flavor, as well as some roasted malt and quite a bit of chocolate. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very nice.

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Photo of corby112
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber/chestnut brown color with a 1.5 finger beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.  Streaks of spotty lacing left behind.

Nice barrel presence in the nose with dry oak, toasted coconut, vanilla and spicy bourbon.  Doesn't overpower the base beer allowing sweet and roasted malt notes to come through.  Hints of caramel, toffee, hazelnut and chocolate.  Slightly smokey but not acrid or burnt smelling.  Smells great!

Medium bodied with a strong barrel character that adds another layer of flavor to the base beer.  Some dry oak along with silky vanilla, toasted coconut and a delicious spicy bourbon character.  Although the barrel flavors are strong, they are perfectly integrated into the flavor without overpowering the base beer.   Lots of excellent bourbon flavor but barely any heat making it deceptively drinkable.  Underneath the barrel, there is a nice combination of sweet and roasted malt notes.  Slightly smokey with hints of dark chocolate, toffee, caramel and oatmeal lingering into a somewhat dry finish.  Highly recommended!

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Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A massive thanks goes out to bross242 for bringing this one out during cmrillo’s 40 Beers* @ 40 Birthday Bash! Served from bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Poured dark brown with a minimal tan head that subsided to basically none quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, vanilla, wood, sweet alcohol, and dark chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I was really put back by the aroma on this one as it was really well balanced and intense. I wish this would have carried over to the flavor, but the flavor was still quite good though. Definitely glad I got the chance to try this one and I suggest you do the same.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4/27/2012

Thanks!

A: Deep reddish brown with a finger of light brown froth.

S: Huge candied granny smith caramel apple aroma with a strong bourbon presence. Toffee blends with vanilla and brown sugar. Killer nose.

T: Sweet caramel and toffee with strong brown sugar and candied notes. Red apple carries through with lots of bourbon and lesser notes of vanilla. Alcohol is mild near the finish.

M: Lower full body with matching carbonation. The mouthefeel is silky and sticky.

Overall: An awesome beer.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1141st Review on BA
Draft to Taster

@Cigar City

App- Medium soda colored brown with some lighter edges. No head and very smooth. Mix of chocolate and flat soda.

Smell- Big malty scotch ale notes come in 1st and thin citrus with the big bourbon vanilla and oak coming next. Small sting from the booze.

Taste- Very well layered with small sugary malts and then the bourbon behind it. The flavors give a sweet note and a punchy candy treat flavor with vanilla.

Mouth- A lighter medium body and almost creamy with a medium body and lots of bourbon remain.

Drink- This was a good beer. Layered, sweet, sticky and lots of bourbon and vanilla come out as well.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Much thanks to Cam for sharing this bottle. Sept 2011 bottling.

Pours what might be an extremely dark red, but may as well be black. Pretty nice tan head, so-so retention. Some legs on the glass.

Good scent, buttery caramel malts, bourbon, brown sugar. Very nice but loses some strength with time.

Sweet and dark caramel, buttery malts and bourbon stick out the most, the bourbon is big but not overbearing. Some dark fruit, vanilla and maple, big oak presence as well.

Smooth and quite velvety mouthfeel, but pretty hot, would've guessed this was maybe 10%.

The booziness dragged this down a bit for me but pretty awesome nonetheless, lots of good flavors here.

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Photo of cbutova
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, Sept2011 bottle.

A- Black pour pretty much dark brown into a pint glass. Pretty nice tan head forms with decent retention. Cloud stays around and a creamy ring leaving nice webs of lace.

S- Bourbon mellow whiskey and a good oak barrel presence smoothed out by big sweet syrupy maple feel almost, dark fruit and butter for sure, brown sugar.

T- Follows the nose quite nicely with more dark fruit (rasb, cherry) here. Very nice mellow whiskey and vanilla oak presence, some of the dark sugars gives off a maple feel.

MF - Moderate feel that is both oily and somewhat creamy, moderate carbonation, slight warmth from alcohol.

Awesome scotch ale with a nice mellow and flavorful whiskey oak feel, drinks very well smooth, awesome balance of style flavors.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark opaque pour, light brown head.

Big syrupy sweet malty nose. Did this thing ferment? Dark fruit, prunes, raisins, figs, etc. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla. A bit buttery.

Big bourbon and oak backed up by a malty sweetness. Buttery. Tobacco leaves and a little bit of a smokey pork flavor. This is a pretty decadent beer.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled shared by aasher at his place.

The nose on this incredible-- huge bourbon, vanilla, charred oak with toasted coconut, and plenty of caramel malt action.
The flavor is great, not as amazing as the nose, but damn close. A nice sweet bourbon booziness is perfectly integrated, but the only problem I have is that there's a little flavor from the malt that I associate with oxidation-- though I'm certain there's no way this beer is oxidized already!

Feel is velvety and lush... Nice and full with firm carbonation.

Overall-- quite damn sold. Easily my top scotch ale.

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Photo of aasher
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was courtesy of Preismj. Thanks for hitting this HUGE want Matt!

This beer pours a full bodied syrupy stained wood brown in color with an off white lacing. The nose is beautiful. It features a good amount of sweet bourbon barrel, vanilla, oak, and a ton of coconut. The flavors follow the same lines. It features a lot of coconut, vanilla, bourbon, molasses, and rich smooth malts. The flavor is superb. It drinks full in body and is really smooth. I really, really like this one. It's a nice example how barrel aging can add a lot or complexity to an already great beer. Imagine a bourbon barrel aged Mounds candy bar.

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Photo of jsanford
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a CCB Snifter. 2011 Vintage.

Pours black with brown edges and a thin khaki head that settles to a very slight haze and bubbly ring. HUGE bourbon aromas pour from the glass, followed by sweet malt, caramel, and a touch of chocolate. One of the most Bourbon-forward brews I've seen in a while. Taste is similarly Bourbon-heavy, lots of caramel, oak, and vanilla mingle with dark dried fruits, malt, and brown sugar. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium-full body and low carbonation. Overall an excellent Barrel-Aged offering from CCB, I needed something positive after the travesty that was the Rum Barrel-Aged Big Sound. Blegh.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage...

A: Pours a super deep brown, almost black, with a half finger of kahki colored head. The foam doesn't take long to fade into oblivion, and you can begin to see the light brown edges of the beer.

S: The nose is bourbon, caramel, malt, and mild spice. It's sweet and hot. Smells pretty good for the style.

T: The beer starts off wet with a good bit of barrel character, malt, mild yeast, and mild spice. The caramel notes really shine through in the middle, as the bourbon fades a bit and the spice comes on. The finish of the beer is back to sweets and bourbon alcohol. The booze is well balanced in this beer.

M: Full bodied beer. It's wet and smooth to start. The malt/caramel notes make the beer sticky in the middle. As the beer tends towards the back end, it gets hot with alcohol, but remains coating on the palate. Lingering caramel and spice.

O: Very nice beer. I'm not a huge fan of Scotch Ales, but it's hard to turn down the chance to try something in a barrel. I'm glad I got the chance. This beer is solid, and a good runner up for best BA Scotch Ale, after Founder's Backwoods Bastard.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle contributed by me. Served in a Hill Farmstead glass. 2011 vintage.

A - Quick-dissolving tan foam settles to pretty much nothing. A very dark brown, opaque, body with some chestnut highlights to it.

S - Oak, bourbon, caramel apples, burnt sugars, dark fruits, and a low amount of smoke and peat. Surprisingly boozy and barrel-forward for only 8.5% - I'm guessing this picked up some alcohol from the bourbon barrels.

T - Taste is largely similar, but with better-hidden alcohol. Caramel apples, toffee, bourbon, fruity yeast, with some oak presence to balance out the sweet flavors and keep things from getting too cloying or heavy.

M - Smooth, chewy, viscous, with a touch of alcohol warmth, and light residual burnt sugar stickiness. Medium-low carbonation is adequate and unobtrusive. Seems like a bigger beer than 8.5%.

D - This is quite good - I tend not to like Scotch Ales due to overwhelming sweetness, but this one has a nice balance of bourbon barrel and malt flavors. Very glad I managed to get this one over the rum version (which is what I initially wanted). Highly recommended if you're into this style.

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Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beige head. Color is a copper amber.

Aroma: Phenomenal. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, oak. Sweetness. Rich. Caramel. Hoppy. Dark fruits show with plums. The bourbon, oak, and vanilla is spot on.

Taste: Much like the nose. Raisins, plums, dark fruits. Vanilla, oak, and bourbon. The bourbon is just awesome. Caramel with some smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and warming. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry.

Overall, this was a great beer. Very well done. Very easy to drink. I could have a lot of this one.

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Big Sound Scotch Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
4.33 out of 5 based on 650 ratings.
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