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

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Big Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel AgedBig Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel Aged
64 Ratings
Big Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel AgedBig Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by KevSal on 10-13-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 19
Photo of Alpar
1/5  rDev -70.6%

Photo of ktrillionaire
1.55/5  rDev -54.4%
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 TheDudeRules
1.7/5  rDev -50%
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 jsanford
1.74/5  rDev -48.8%
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 Kaydogg
2/5  rDev -41.2%

Photo of seeswo
2/5  rDev -41.2%

Photo of pixieskid
2/5  rDev -41.2%

Photo of surlytheduff
2.25/5  rDev -33.8%

Photo of womencantsail
2.29/5  rDev -32.6%
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 Agold
2.5/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.64/5  rDev -22.4%
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 t0rin0
2.75/5  rDev -19.1%

Photo of MasterSki
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
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 Mora2000
2.88/5  rDev -15.3%
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 yourefragile
2.99/5  rDev -12.1%
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 jarrgal
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of DoctorB2B
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of bsuedekum
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of heyta
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of starrdogg
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of nmbr0ne
3.03/5  rDev -10.9%
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 maximum12
3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
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 mothman
3.23/5  rDev -5%
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 lionssoccer13
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Big Sound Scotch Ale - Rum Barrel Aged from Cigar City Brewing
Beer rating: 3.4 out of 5 with 64 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.