Big Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel Aged
Cigar City Brewing

Big Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel AgedBig Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel Aged
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
3.44 | pDev: 24.42%
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Big Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel AgedBig Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel Aged
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 64 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jmarsh123
3.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

 1,216 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

 680 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.64/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

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.

 899 characters

Photo of Mora2000
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

 516 characters

Photo of MasterSki
2.8/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

 1,055 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


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.

 633 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

 1,286 characters

Photo of kbutler1
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 474 characters

Photo of mothman
3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

 653 characters

Photo of jsanford
1.74/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

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)!

 917 characters

Photo of nmbr0ne
3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

 594 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yes I was looking for infection, but opened minded that this bottle could have been pure of taint.Nothing indicated from the aroma. From the taste however, Lactose comes out, it is weird. Syrupy, cherry. a bit medicinal. Where's the rum?
Horizontal tasting of Big Sound beers, thanks Tom.Good dark colour and head. Still drinkable, though altogether different from the style.

 375 characters

Photo of womencantsail
2.29/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle thanks to Eddie.

Pours a murky brownish-amber color with a finger of off-white head. Strong smell of sour cherries. A bit of rum, wood, and vanilla, but the sourness is distracting. The sourness comes through on the palate as well, unfortunately. It really takes away from the malt flavors and overemphasizes the booze. On the thin side of medium bodied with significantly more carbonation than the bourbon.

 415 characters

Photo of TheDudeRules
1.7/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I've had this beer twice now. First time I thought it was a fluke but it clearly is not. Infection extreme comes to mind. Dark brown pour with some head. Smell is tart cherry. Taste is awful. Sour tartness rounded out with butter. A drain pour in every sense of the phrase. But hey it has a wax top so rare equals good right? What a miserable failure.

 351 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

yet another bottle shared by starrdogg, thanks again Matt.

This beer is very weird. The only thing that looks correct about this beer is the look, which is a nice dark brown with a ring of tan head, just like the other variations, and thats where the 'normal'-ness about this beer ends.

S: Uhh, is this consecration? or a wild ale? It smells like one. It has a definite fruity and green apple tartness in the smell, when it warms a lot a little bit of raw malt comes through. Infected, but you know it's not a bad aroma. I'm not sure how to rate this.

T: Taste isn't nearly as fargone as the smell, has a sort of roasted malt porter quality to it. A little bit of tart burned cherry is there though and a little butter (diacytl). Some clove, some wine notes, reminds me of the Captain Lawrence smoke from the oak wine barrel, but not nearly as balanced or complex. Tasty but odd.

M: Overall its ok but the infected ness leaves the palate a little shocked.

Overall its ok but definitely infected.

 1,002 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black as night dark oil color with a huge tan head that caps the top very nicely. Lots of smooth, chocolaty lacing drips down the sides and coats the entire glass with a thick wall of chocolate colored lacing.

The aroma is warming, boozy and full of tartness? didnt see that coming. wood, tobacco, and leather all coming forward, but driven back by this tart flavor, the warmer it gets the more fruit comes forward and the chocolate and leather like flavors fade.Really not sure what this is, was, but very interesting.

 520 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
1.55/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I hate to say it, but this is a terrible drainpour of a beer. It pours a deep mahogany hue, and is capped with a fizy soda-like head. The nose smells like NYC garbage. Hot garbage. The taste is just way way off, like miles off, reminiscent of the horrendous original Bolita Brown infection of several years ago. There is no barrel character, no maltiness, nothing good; just rotten fruit and cardboard, if I am pressed to quantify it. This beer just totally lacks any redeeming qualities in this condition. Sorry to any y'all holding bottles of this, it seems they are most likely tainted.

 589 characters

Photo of yourefragile
2.99/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle by Starr, served in a glass.

Thin, dark but clear mahogany with a massive, fizzy khaki head that never fades and leaves no lacing. Aroma is tart, green apple and vanilla with mild rum and chocolate. Fizzy, medium thick body with a soft bitter finish. Sweet flavor throughout, light malt and more apple and fruit throughout. Not much barrel or base beer presence. Despite the initial realization this is turning south, it's not all the way there yet. Still lagging behind the regular and bourbon versions.

 512 characters

Photo of aasher
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was sent as an extra by preismj, thanks Matt! I shared it at the FFF 15th Anniversary party with a few BAs.

It poured a pretty full bodied mop water brown in color with a slight beige lacing around the glass. The nose was really surprising. You didn't get the boat load of crystal malts that you do from the regular version. The chocolate malt aromas are completely absent. Instead you get this somewhat strange, green apple like tartness. I just didn't expect that. It's not offputting, just different. It makes me wonder which type of rum they used. The flavor too features a prominent amount of green apple and an interesting tartness. It really tastes nothing like the regular. You just don't get the malty sweetness that the original features. As it warms you get some slight sherry notes as well. It drinks full in body and coats the palate. Overall this is just an odd beer. It didn't feature any rum characteristics that I'm used to so my impression of this beer is that it missed the mark. It just has much apple, and apple skins to it yet not in a Calvados kind of way.

 1,092 characters

Big Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 64 ratings