Big Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel Aged
Cigar City Brewing

Big Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel AgedBig Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel Aged
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Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
3.4 | pDev: 24.71%
Mar 15, 2016
Oct 13, 2011
Big Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel AgedBig Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel Aged
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
3.9 by M_chav from New Mexico on Mar 15, 2016
3.92 by szmnnl99 from Michigan on Mar 07, 2016
3.75 by olradetbalder from Sweden on Dec 02, 2014
3.5 by DrBier from Pennsylvania on Jul 25, 2014
3.5 by koopa from New Jersey on Jun 21, 2014
4 by iL0VEbeer from New Jersey on Jun 16, 2014
3.5 by moonknight31 from California on May 31, 2014
3 by jarrgal from North Dakota on Apr 26, 2014
3.5 by zestar from California on Oct 27, 2013
5 by Justinlikesbeer from Florida on May 28, 2013
4 by manutdfan from Florida on May 27, 2013
3.25 by lionssoccer13 from Florida on Feb 26, 2013
3.25 by spycow from Illinois on Jan 14, 2013
Photo of jmarsh123
3.81/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
by jmarsh123 from Indiana

Been dreading opening this one after reading about the infection right when I was shipped the bottle. Glad I finally did.

Pours dark reddish brown with a bubbly tan head. Good retention and lace.

Aroma shows it's definitely infected, but it isn't overly acentone like. Smells like a kriek mostly with a nutty grainy caramel malt character.

Not too bad for an infection and not nearly as bad as some others I've had recently. Lots of nuttyness. Caramel/toffee with some fig character which IIRC all would come from the base beer. A nice tart cherry balances this out, but isn't overpowering. Actually a pretty good addition. Rum peaks in at the end to add a bit of a burn with some oak.

Infection definitely dried out this beer more than probably intended, but ok with me since I like dry beers. Fortunately even though it's not perfect mouthfeel the infection didn't thin it out too much or cause overcarbing.

Glad I sat on this for a while as it appears to be rounding into something drinkable if not intended. We all rather enjoyed this and if you just told me it was a dark sour, I wouldn't have batted an eye. A few issues due to the infection, but I've had many non-infected beers be much worse than this.

Nov 27, 2012
4.75 by Brewseph from California on Nov 12, 2012
3.25 by beernads from Florida on Sep 15, 2012
2.75 by t0rin0 from California on Sep 10, 2012
3.5 by Chico1985 from Massachusetts on Aug 15, 2012
3.5 by Yallnumbskulls from Massachusetts on Aug 12, 2012
Photo of cbutova
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by cbutova from Massachusetts

A- Slim pint glass pour. Dark red brown body with a foamy tan head forming to a few fingers with decent retention. A nice cloud and some good lace too.

S- Infected but very interesting. Smells like a Kriek. Tart cherries for sure and green apple sours. Really not much else but some nutty brown malts.

T- A bit more of the base beer here. Nutty brown caramel malts with some big raisins balance out the infection. A nice tart cherry flavor adds to it all. Really no rum to me this point but oak for sure.

MF- Moderate carbonation and a dried out body. Slight alcohol warming.

Really quite nice for an infection, toward the Kriek end of things. Glad I sat on this for a while.

Aug 11, 2012
Photo of Alieniloquium
2.64/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1
by Alieniloquium from Florida

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes. I should preface this review by saying that I was fully aware of the infection before opening. It's difficult to review to style, as I thought that it tasted quite interesting, but clearly not to the scotch ale style.

Appearance - Nice head. Deep mahogany. Good lacing. Looks great, really.

Smell - Apples. Slight tart acidity. Some cherry aromas. No rum and no malt. No barrel, either. If I'm honest, it doesn't smell bad at all, though.

Taste - Immediate tartness. Dry fruit of the apple persuasion. Tastes like an oud bruin. Dry bitterness and astringency with an odd finish.

Mouthfeel - Very dry and very light. High carbonation.

Overall - I find this to be drinkable. It's obviously not what was intended, but it has its merits. To style, it's awful. As a Flanders Red or an Oud Bruin, it could be passable. Not good, but passable.

Jul 05, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
2.88/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
by Mora2000 from Texas

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle. Drank in early December 2011.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the rum and vanilla, with some dark fruit, chocolate and oak. The flavor is different and is showing signs of infection. There is a ton of tart dark fruit, with some chocolate, smoke, cranberry, vanilla and rum thrown in. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I wish we could have tried a non-infected version since I bet it would have been pretty tasty.

May 21, 2012
2.25 by surlytheduff from Tajikistan on May 20, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5
by MasterSki from Canada (ON)

Bottle thanks to thetomG. Served in a Närke snifter.

A - Ample tan foam settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and small spots of lace. Very dark brown body - unusually dark for the style.

S - Yep - definitely infected. Musky funk, sour cherries, tart apple skins, as well as some rum and oak. Not much alcohol presence thankfully. As it warms up some of the original beer's chocolate and caramel flavors come out.

T - The taste seems less adversely affected by the infection. More typical scotch ale flavors - dark fruits, molasses, rum, and some mild oak in the finish. Not bad actually.

M - Creamy texture but slightly thin, lower carbonation, slightly chewy, a touch of alcohol warmth, and a dry and tannic finish.

D - Not as horrible as I expected, but clearly infected. Tastes better than it smells, but I wouldn't gamble on opening any other bottles of this one. Best just to return them to Cigar City for refund/exchange. Hopefully they try again down the road. Interesting to try - I didn't pour my glass out, but I didn't refill it either.

May 08, 2012
Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by HopHead84 from California


A: Near black with a finger of beige foam.

S: Nice, the bottle isn't infected. Rum accompanies plum and grape. Lots of tannic skin notes. Strong red apple aroma (like the bourbon version) and accompanying brown sugar.

T: Red apple and brown sugar with candied citrus. Effusive fruitcake blends with rum, toffee, and caramel. There's a little booziness in the finish with some chocolate.

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

Overall: We were expecting an infected drainpour but the beer was in good condition and pretty damn enjoyable. Almost as good as the bourbon version.

Apr 29, 2012
3.5 by Deshon2688 from California on Mar 30, 2012
4 by javier69 from Florida on Mar 04, 2012
3.5 by Spider889 from Ohio on Feb 14, 2012
Photo of maximum12
3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
by maximum12 from Minnesota

Thanks to kbutler1 for busting this open at a recent gathering of bottles & people. Big 750ML bottle split, what, five ways or thereabouts.

Pours like Big Sound, a natty mingling of black on red; & no gushing. Jackpot? And the smell is dead on, huge ringlets of rum dripping off the glass. Lottery winner? Doesn't smell infected! Not much of the base beer visible underneath all that rum-soakedness, though.

Big Sound Rum Barrel Aged isn't the sour, nasty drain-pour that the reviews make it out to be; maybe we got lucky. The rum is still strong in the taste, but not as wicked as the nose. The rich, heady malts of the base beer are noticeable only with effort underneath, but there is certainly an ascetic, out-of-place cherry tartness present. Not enough to wreck the pleasing characteristics, just enough to say "Hey, leave me on the radiator for a day or two & I'll turn into piss-ant vinegar". That underlying shame detracts from the beer, & likely is the culprit for the bludgeoning death of the grand underlying Big Sound (which I'm terrifically fond of).

Well this wasn't great, but not bad either; decent enough. The nose gives a hint of how good this might have been without the bugs; really unfortunate. As is, drinkable, but not one I'd rush to revisit anytime soon.

Feb 10, 2012
Photo of kbutler1
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by kbutler1 from Minnesota

Bottle. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head. Nice aroma with notes of rum, a slight sweet note to the nose but could be the rum, and dark fruit. Medium mouthfeel. This does have a slightly sweet dark cherry note to is but it is hard to tell if that is infection or the rum. There is for sure a fruit like note to both the aroma and the taste but otherwise this is really tasty. Somewhat Surly Five"ish" so it really isn’t a scotch ale but its tasty nonetheless.

Feb 06, 2012
Photo of mothman
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
by mothman from Minnesota

Thanks to Kevin for sharing.

I think we got a non infected bottle. Pours a smalle layer of beige head. Color is a dark burnt mahogany brown.

Aroma: I get a huge amount of rum flavors here. It is fairly fruity. Caramel and toffee malts. Smells a little sour, maybe a cherry flavor.

Taste: lots of tropical fruits and rum. It's hard to say if it's infected or not. Caramel and chocolate and toffee malts. Some spices.

Mouthfeel: roasted and dry. Medium bodied with a fine amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, it was an decent beer, but I think it is boarder line infected but it's still drinkable. It just doesnt remind me much of a scotch ale.

Feb 04, 2012
4.5 by trxxpaxxs from New York on Jan 15, 2012
4 by BastionShaw from Florida on Jan 15, 2012
Photo of jsanford
1.74/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5
by jsanford from Georgia

750ml bottle poured into a CCB Snifter. Figured I'd drink this while I had friends over, hate to drink an entire infected bottle by myself.

Pours an almost-black brown with mahogany highlights and a thin khaki-colored head that settles to a slight haze. Blergh, infection. This has the same cranberry and dirty pennies thing going on that I've tasted in numerous CCB brews, along with some oak, vanilla, and a hint of Rum. Taste is similarly off, more cranberry, cherry, malt, and oak. Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy, with too-high carbonation. We tried to soldier on and finish the bottle, but in the end this was a total drainpour, and total waste of $20. I know that it's impossible to tell what can happen to a beer in a barrel, but given the sheer number of infected beers I've had from CCB, I'm done. Not buying it anymore, and it's a shame since when they're good, they're GOOD (including the Bourbon Big Sound)!

Jan 14, 2012
Photo of nmbr0ne
3.03/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5
by nmbr0ne from Florida

Poured into snifter from bottle.

Appearance: Good amount of off-white head. Maroon-ish color. Looks good.

Smell: Funk, tart, cranberries, cherries, hints of apple, and smallest amount of rum. Early indication that this was definitely infected. Still smells decent though.

Taste: Definitely tarty. Green apples comes to mind along with cranberries. Very dry finish.

Mouthfeel: A lot of carbonation. Very light and thin.

Overall: It sucks that the beer was infected. The end result was not horrible, but it wasn't good either. The appearance was the best thing about this beer, which sucks.

Jan 04, 2012
2 by pixieskid from Germany on Dec 16, 2011
2.5 by Agold from Pennsylvania on Dec 16, 2011
2 by Kaydogg from Pennsylvania on Dec 16, 2011
4 by Miamilice from Virginia on Dec 15, 2011
3 by DoctorB2B from Virginia on Dec 14, 2011
Big Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 64 ratings