Chalsk (1104) - North Caldwell, New Jersey, USA - AUG 30, 2013
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle with Damico. Pours a black color with a tan head. Aroma of candi sugar, peat, and smoke. Sweet sugary peaty taste with a light smoke and toffee taste. Medium mouthfeel. Excellent brew!
ebone1988 (1425) - Dearborn, Michigan, USA - AUG 12, 2015
4.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared with koleminer20. Aroma is caramel, bourbon barrel, booze. Appearance is dark ruby, light tan head. Taste is great, lots of sweet malt, caramel, toffee, bourbon barrel, nice. Mouthfeel is perfect, perfect carbonation and thick. Overall, very very nicely done.
onceblind (7496) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 7, 2016
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Deep cola brown hue with a fat dissipating head, with a lovely aroma of brown sugar, bourbonny oak, caramel, a touch of coconut and deep dark sugary malty booze. Big boozy and deep flavor thatís caramalty, loaded with bourbon and brown sugary coconut and dark malt, oak, and boozy brown sugar again. Just big and sweet and oaked and caramelly.
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - AUG 2, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle from CCB Big Sound Release Party. Pours a muddy dark brown to black with a massive tan creamy head that settles slowly. Aroma is sweet and malty with subtle bourbon notes and other notes of vanilla, carmel, toffee, ripe dark fruit, some hints of toffee and wood. Flavor is sweet and malty with notes of bourbon, vanilla, wood, caramel, toffee, chocolate, some hints of a light nuttiness. Generally medium body with a pleasing malty, light bourbon finish. Bourbon definitely does not overpower this beer but complements all the great flavors lurking about.
cmillward (497) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 6, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Kindly shared by the GodOfThunder. Pours a nice thick brown with a creamy tan head. Nose is bourbon, caramel, lush touches of chocolate and vanilla, brown sugar as it warms. The unbarreled version didnít strike me as particularly sweet, but this comes across as pleasantly sweet with caramel, oak, bourbon, vanilla, hints of cherries and dates, some chocolate, lots of malt. Drying sensation from barrel tannins and the alcohol, quite lush, lots of small bubbles, not syrupy. The barrel served this well!
thirdeye11 (6073) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JAN 9, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
( 750ml 2009 bottle marked # 158/246 thanks to ericandersnavy - Rating #600!) Pours very murky brown with nice oily tan head. Nose of wood, caramel, biscuit. Taste of sweet malt, caramel, lightly toasted grains. A thick delicious body finishes this one.
This is probably the best scotch ale Iíve had, and my favorite Cigar City beer so far.
hamilton23 (619) - Alpine, California, USA - APR 2, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle 189 of 246. Poured as part of a CCB night at my house. We drank this side by side with the standard version. We did this same type of side by side recently with Alesmith Wee Heavy and BA Wee Heavy. Very similar to the Alesmith tasting, we universally found the original version to be better than the BA version. The aroma is heavy on the bourbon, some chocolate and vanilla. Taste is mostly bourbon...most of the original flavors of the base beer are absent. I really wanted to like this more than the standard, but it just fell a bit short.
JaBier (7027) - Capital City, Ohio, USA - SEP 6, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared by some awesome folks at the Jackie Oís bottle release on 8/27/11. Muddy brown color with no head. Aroma of bourbon, oak, caramel, chocolate and cherry. Chocolatey and toffee/caramel flavor to start with vanilla and oak before a bourbon and chocolate finish. Really good stuff.
JPDurden24 (1673) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - AUG 13, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark brown pour, tan head. Aroma has bourbon, vanilla, oak and dark fruit. Flavor has oak with some bourbon notes, vanilla, caramel, and smoke. Very, very good!
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 14, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip. From notes.
Bourbon Barrel Big Sound has a full, opaque brown color in the glass. There was a tiny head on top after the initial pour, but it faded to nothing rather quickly.
The nose is a sign of good things to come. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla gracefully step in brown of caramel, burnt sugar, orchard fruits, and peat.
Typical Scotch Ale sweetness starts off the flavor, with brown sugar and toffee leading the way. Quickly the bourbon barrels send the rest of the sip on a less sweet trajectory, smoothing out the sugars with a nice bourbon and vanilla presence. There is general fruitiness in the middle of the sip that works nicely with the other flavors as well. Woody oak notes blend well with the peat notes in the original beer. The end finishes smooth, with the flavors coming together and wrapping up nicely.
Where I may be most impressed with this beer is in the body. Not only does the beer survive the barrel aging process with its body intact, it actually drinks bigger than the 8.5% that it is. It seems that instead of wearing away at the body, the barrel aging process only removed some of the sweetness and added a smoothness to the texture that I like. If anything, the carbonation seems a little light.
Cigar City has done a very good job with their barrel program. Nearly every beer they have chosen to age in barrels has emerged better than when it went in.