On many occasions we’ve regaled you, Gentle Reader, with tales of hoppy valor on the part of Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company– their flagship IPA (Jai Alai), Brown Ale (Maduro), and Imperial Stout (Marshal Zhukov) need no introduction, and have spawned numerous highly-rated derivations. In our last shipment from the snowbird Sixpacks, we received a collection of beers unrelated to these familiar standbys. With gusto, Herr Hordeum and I tucked into bombers of Big Sound, a Scotch Ale from our favorite Florida brewery.

NOTES: Slouch’s Beer Cave and Hordeum Ranch via Skype, rocking the Cigar City snifters.

STYLE: Scotch Ale

ABV: 8.5%


Hordeum: An aggressive pour. No issues with this foaming up like the Seabass.

Slouch: Pours like cola…

Hordeum: C-O-L-A cola, … but smells more like grape soda.


Slouch: Same fizzy, tan carbonated head resembling cola, disappearing just as fast.

Hordeum: Two fingers worth.


Slouch: Very little to speak of here.

Hordeum: But the carbonation is very fine, giving the beer a creamy texture.


Hordeum: Aforementioned grape soda, Flintstone’s vitamins, a little peaty funk but not as pronounced as some other scotch ales.

Slouch: Maple syrup, coffee, offset by a lactic sour aroma, burnnt rubber, bandaids.


Slouch: Take Shelter! Someone just detonated a malt bomb.

Hordeum: Maybe that is the “big sound.” Definitely not silent-but-deadly.

Slouch: Slight hop bitterness on the closing credits. Too little, too late?

Hordeum: This is a fruit bomb as well: tart cherries, prunes (wait, no, dried plums), raisins (wait… currants, that’s more pretentious), and other things I will make up later.

Slouch: Three words for you- “Dark Stone Fruits”

Hordeum: Oh man, my pancreas is kicking into gear. It could use some more hops to balance out the sugar.

Slouch: This beer could use more hops like William Wallace could’ve used a little help from Robert the Bruce at Falkirk.

Hordeum: Robert the Bruce (Three Floyds) is a better beer than this. While we are doing understatements, this beer could use more hops like Mel Gibson could use a sensitivity workshop. This beer could use more hops like “Blaster” could use more “Master”.

Slouch: Two men enter! One man leaves!

Hordeum: This beer could use more hops like “The Man Without a Face” could use a …. face?

Slouch: I’m gettin’ too old for this shit.


Slouch: Frickin’ thick. This could come in a plastic bottle shaped like a woman of color.

Hordeum: Like a woman who is dating Uncle Ben?


Hordeum: Oh man, that is a big bottle.

Slouch: Yes, drinkability is low. But it is 40 degrees and raining outside (just like Scotland) so screw it.


Hordeum: The bright fruit flavors are intriguing, but when it comes down to it, this is just too sweet.

Slouch: If this was some other brewery, I’d probably rate it lower, but I’m afraid to give Cigar City a bad review.


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