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Obsidian Imperial Porter - Rum Barrel Aged - Cameron's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Obsidian Imperial Porter - Rum Barrel AgedObsidian Imperial Porter - Rum Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

24 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 24
Hads: 72
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cameron's Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 05-17-2013

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (17) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 24 | Hads: 72
Reviews by hopsolutely:
Photo of hopsolutely
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not certain whether this bottle is thanks to CanBIF (thank-you mtomlins) or the one we had in the cellar beforehand, but either way it is a reasonably aged bottle from which I expected a nice blend and smoothness. Unfortunately, or fortunately for those who enjoy such elements, many rough edges are still in tact.

Pours an oily near-black with ruby highlights at the very edge of the glass after being held up to light. Has a reasonable chocolate coloured head with good retention and resultant lacing. Barrel-forward aroma showcases a lot of oak wth some brandied fruit and roasted dark chocolate malts. Not certain I'd have been able to get "rum" if it wasn't listed on the label, but definite elements of a fruitcake soaked in liquor. The barrel tannins dominate the taste more heavily, with an earthy twinge to the bitter & hot finish. Dark chocolate is present but overshadowed by the oak. Not as well balanced as the aroma and with a harshness in the transition between body and finish that I'd expected to dissipate as it warmed.

Glad to have tried, but more "barrel" than my personal tastes require.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of FadetoBock
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of chuckgietzen
3.56/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JonnyBeers
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of biboergosum
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

650ml bottle, shiny red foil around the cap. Nice to finally try a big beer from this brewery.

This beer pours a rather solid black, with pervasive red cola basal highlights, and a tower of foamy, frothy, bubbly, and nitro-tap-esque cascading tan head, which leaves a stellar array of warming back windshield lace around the glass as it slowly dissipates. Pretty sexy.

It smells of lightly roasted caramel malt, toffee, bittersweet powdered cocoa, black licorice, reduced dark sugar, subtle grainy barrel notes - vanilla and wood fibre, mostly - a touch of wet ash, and a faint sweet rum booziness. The taste is gritty dark chocolate, bready caramel malt, thin anise, molasses, ethereal sour milk notes, a simple rum cask warmth - dry vanilla, grainy wood, and brown sugar - and a loitering ashy earthiness.

The carbonation is pleasant enough with its light frothiness, the body medium-full in weight, and generally quite smooth, with a hint of burgeoning aerosol creaminess. It finishes off-dry, the cocoa, caramel/toffee, and rum sugar sweetness sort of pulling back, and allowing the grainy wood and sly lactic tartness to emerge, all under the watchful eye of the murmouring alcohol heat.

I gotta give this one credit - it fully duped me into thinking I was drinking a big chocolatey, brainless, boozy, wood-blasted new world porter. And I was, until the thing warmed a tad (I think), and the sweetness became noticeably offset by a decent drying trend, motivated by hop, sourness, and alcohol alike. I like this, I really do, even if the rum character is duct tape over the mouth muted at best.

 1,603 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick black pour. Nice amount of head. Very porter, with burnt parts, virtually no rum detected but yes there was some wood-barrelling characteristic. Not super drinker but a decent porter to bring to a tasting. Decent aroma like the wood in a sauna. Middling mouthfeel. A bit of investment and risk to go for a SE from this brewery, which has to prove itself. A 330 ml would have made better sense.

 399 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mlockman
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I am hardly a fan of rum, but this was quite tasty. Enjoyable mouthfeel, the flavors of this beer definitely seemed more nuanced/melded as it warmed up. Nonetheless, it left a bit of a strange aftertaste in my mouth that I'm having trouble reconciling even as I write this review.

 280 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of DougT
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark black with 2 finger pillowy tan head that slowly settles leaving tons of lace and settling into a thick cream layer across the surface of the brew.

Smells of smoke, rum, chocolate, roast malt, plumbs and dark fruits.

Hop bitter and black malt with a sharp bite from the alcohol predominate the first hit. Some malt sweetness and chocolate tones drift in on a second sip. Rum flavors the aftertaste. Balance is a little off allowing a bit much alcohol taste to come through.

Feel is medium to full. Not very creamy but a nice tingle from the carbonation is present.

Overall very good, but the sharpness of the liquor bite is detracting. But otherwise good flavor and a nice winter warmer.

 706 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed form the 12 oz bottle in a pint glass. This nice imperial porter pours a deep muddy brown verging on black with a decent light tan head of foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin layer, and nice lacing. Nose of deeply roasted malts, light coffee, dark bakers chocolate, light vanilla, and sweet dark brown sugars. Flavors exceed the nose with rich deeply roasted malts on all sides, subtle char, dark bakers chocolate, and hints of raisins. Middle to rear of the palate features dark coffee and light vanilla blending nicely with brown sugars and very light rum notes that are easily taken for brown sugars. Finish is deeply roasted bitter malts with a lightly carbonated and lightly slick mouth feel that goes down very nicely. A stout drinkers porter a nice equal of the sum of it's parts. Could use a touch more of the rum note, but still solid with a moderate warming effect. Solid.


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Photo of Bung
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DaveBar
4.44/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the LCBO for around the $9.00 or so for a 650ml bottle. Served t 6deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high brown head that films out in 2mins. Super dark almost black color.

S- Has the rum scent for sure. Lots of coffee and malt too. A touch of heat takes this score down from 4.5 to 4.25

T- Excellent porter! The rum accentuates the beer and does not overpower. Good BA blend. Coffee overtones and with a solid malt backbone takes this beer up a notch or two

M- Dry and fresh. Has this most light bitter aftertaste that takes this beer down from perfect for a porter

O- One of the best porters I have ever had. Excellent blend.

Food Pairing

This wonderful porter went well with...... Pulled pork roast.


 741 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt with some sweet notes and some subtle rum barrel notes. Taste is a mix between some dry roasted malt notes with some light rum barrel notes with slightly sweet finish. Body is bit lighter then I was expecting with some good carbonation. Dryer then I was expecting with not as much rum notes as I was originally expecting.

 468 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to tulip.

A - Black with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Roast, some chocolate and lighter toasted oak aromas with some spice.

T - Roast and char up front, giving way to some chocolate, woody/oak notes and a touch of spice. Some warming throughout.

M - Medium body. Moderate carbonation.

O - Fairly average overall but not bad relative to Cameron's past efforts at barrel aging. Nice to see an improvement.

 426 characters

Photo of irishkyle21
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of CurtisD
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of parintele
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StoutHunter
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Giggy
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spinrsx
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of thehyperduck
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO a few months ago, and served barely chilled. Can't find a bottling date anywhere, but I'm assuming it's from last winter's batch, which makes it about 5-7 months old.

Pours an opaque jet-black colour, capped off with one finger of dense, creamy beige-coloured head. A thick curtain of uninterrupted lace is painted onto the glass by the receding head, which within 2-3 minutes has been replaced in its entirety by a modest-sized foamy collar. The aroma is rich and enticing - there's caramelized sugar and molasses sweetness, with a mouth-watering array of dark, roasted malt notes. Baker's chocolate, fig, oak and vanilla are all present and accounted for, with a bit of coffee and even a slight hint of anise. The rum is barely noticeable, which would be a bummer if I were a big rum fan (fortunately, I am not).

A satisfying strong porter, with the barrel-borne features of the flavour profile acting more as a complementary role than as the focal point. Molasses and sugary caramel sweetness come through right off the bat, with notes of toasted bread crust, figgy dark fruit and dark-roasted coffee also swirling across the palate. Hints of vanilla and rum are also noticeable, but not particularly prominent. It finishes with a mixture of baker's cocoa and a pronounced bitter, roasty earthiness that becomes increasingly ashy into the aftertaste. A slight booziness is noticeable, but it blends nicely with the rest of the flavour profile, rather than being a detriment. Medium-full in body, with mild carbonation levels that gently agitate the palate, with a silky-smooth feel on the tongue.

Final Grade: 4.15, an admirable A-. Cameron's Obsidian Imperial Porter is a truly robust beer. I can understand the argument that the barrel features are a bit subdued - in fact, I can agree with that. But just because I'm not being slapped in the face with rum-soaked oak after every sip, does not make the final product any less appealing to me. It is still rich-flavoured, beautifully balanced, and one of the best products that this brewery has sent to the LCBO. It's good, but the $11 price tag still stings a little - and would prevent me from buying more than one of these per batch.

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Obsidian Imperial Porter - Rum Barrel Aged from Cameron's Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.