Campeador - Rurik Ale (2010) | Cigar City Brewing

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Campeador - Rurik Ale (2010)Campeador - Rurik Ale (2010)

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.25%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Two styles of beer comprise this blend, old ale and imperial stout. Rurik is the second beer in the Campeador series, a barrel-aged collaboration between Knightly Spirits and Cigar City Brewing.

Added by Gtreid on 05-30-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 47
Photo of Gobzilla
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a very dark brown in color that was almost black with a very thin head that almost left no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: pretty trippy pepper aroma upfront in the nose with chocolate molasses sweetness, signs of bourbon barrel booze, herbal notes, hints of caramel and some roasty character coming through.

T: Once again the pepper character was pretty overwhelming on the palate as well alongside herbal notes, caramel, molasses, brown sugar sweetness, bourbon barrel accents with a touch of booze, hints of vanilla, roastiness and subtle underlying char flavor.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a roasty, char, semi sweet, peppery, earthy herbal, mild boozy and chewy finish.

O: I don't think it was infected and didn't taste tart or sour but something did seem rather odd about this beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pitch black. Small tan head, maybe an inch hangs for a bit and then slowly fades into the abyss leaving a dark, ominous looking oil like liquid in front of me. As I lean in and try to get a whiff of this, I fall back, drowning in a sea of vanilla and butterscotch. It is bourbon overload, everything I have ever dreamed a barrel aged stout could be is coming to me now. Rich notes of vanilla, toffee, caramel, butterscotch are all surrounding a huge boozy middle. Its like some sick and twisted candy bar only I could enjoy. Each sip now becomes its own voyage into a realm of sweet boozy bliss, tons of dark and complex fruits work their way in and this is just a wonderful mix of everything, very impressed here.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.8/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to ktrillionaire! Bottle 125/204.

Very very dark brown. Thick frothy dark tan head, a solid two inches, gradually reducing to about half an inch. Thick tan lacing.

Aromas of dark chocolate, red apple, berries, bourbon and brandy, herbaceous scrubland... complex and delicious.

Tastes sweet, roasty, fruity, herbaceous, and mildly acidic but no signs of an infection having taken hold. Chocolate, caramel, red apple, pear, red grape, burnt raisin, toasty bourbon and brandy barrels. Utterly tasty. Long finish, complex herbs, chocolate, and caramelized oak.

Full bodied and creamy. Great flavor and balance make this quite drinkable.

A pleasure to drink, the best beer I've tried from Cigar city so far. Glad this was a good bottle.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.63/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Sean.

A - Bottle was slightly infected, with a slow gush coming. Black pour with an overly large tan head as the result of infection. Some lace left on the sides.

S - Some funk, caramel, winter warmer spices. Has some pepper coming through, with just way too much spice and some infection smell that is not good at all.

T - Taste is about the same as the nose, sad it's infected as I heard this was a good beer when it wasn't. Pepper and spice is a pour mix and some of the buffering molasses and choco that would hve been present has been soured by the infection making for a bad tasting beer.

M - Too much carbonation, full bodied, once again, infection spoiled.

O - Had potential, but the infection really killed it. Too bad, seems like the odds of getting an uninfected bottle are pretty slim now.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Redlight Redlight; January 2011
The beer is a bit of a gusher and pours with a brown-tinged foamy head that sits on top of a black beer. The nose has a fruity, green apple like note that starts to get funky with notes of dank-cheese and moldy wood that speaks to at least a Brettanomyces influence of some sort. The malt is certainly not surpressed here though as there is a rich notes of cocoa, and ample roast grain notes towards the finish. The ripe cheese-character seems boosted by diacetyl notes. The aroma is actually quite complex and fun to be smelling, this is certainly going in a completely different direction than intended; it makes me think of Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Reserve in that it is a funky, dark / roasted beer.

The taste is actually not nearly as funky as I had expected given the nose of this beer; flavors of brandy, caramelized candy apples, ample vanilla, and some toasted coconut all jump out at me and are much more in line what I would have expected of this beer. The finish has some astringent, burnt roast-grain character to it that provides some burnt acidity to it (the acidity is definitely more from the dark malt as opposed to from the funkiness). The funkiness does seem to have contributed some tartness to this beer though, and there is only a very light mustiness and a touch of over-ripe cheese character. This is still a big, rich, chewy beer with a dark malt sweetness and it hasn’t shown too many signs of drying out; this could become quite explosive over time though. The finish has a hot alcohol note to it and there is quite a bit of spicy oak in the finish as well; this definitely finishes with a belly warming character. I definitely enjoyed this beer quite a bit, it was definitely an experience and I like where the funkiness took this beer in the nose, even if it wasn’t intended.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Alan for sharing this bottle at the Rosso release. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours black with a thin mocha head that sticks around for a bit before falling and leaving a touch of lacing on the edges of the glass. The nose has quite a bit of bourbon and oak and, luckily, is not infected. Strong roast component with a bit of coffee. Taste is filled with roast and coffee and has a bit of the barrel character coming in behind. The feel is medium with good carbonation. Overall, glad this wasn't infected, but there wasn't all too much going on.

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Photo of Gfunk720
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Casey for this bottle. Been holding out on this one for a while, hoping it was not infected... guess not.

A- No gushing, but just pours with a huge foamy head. The beer is pretty much black, but the head is a chocolatey color. They head doesn't really go away, it's just everywhere.

S- Smelled funky and off right away. The smell from the mouth of the bottle just smelled like a sour. I don't really get much else off of this.

T- It actually tastes surprisingly ok. Smooth and creamy at first, transitioning to a taste of funk and barrel. Some notes of chocolate, and some dark fruit. It then turns creamy, but finishes with a strong funky flavor. It almost reminds me a of a Cascade beer, as the funk blends quite well. However, I know it was not intentional.

M- Awesome, probably the best part of the beer. Is still quite complex despite the infection. Still no problem with body or carbonation though.

O- I wish I got to try this beer in it's glory, as it has obviously turned a bit. Despite that, it is still some what tasty. An interesting beer to say the least.


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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Body is an opaque very dark brown, nearly black hue. Pours with a 1-2 finger off-white head that remains at 1 finger. Some lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Nose is interesting and good-slightly sour overall. Sour cherry, chocolate, oak, and a hint of alcohol come through.

T- Individuals are hard to discern as this is a bit of a mess. Dark overripe fruit is the highlight with a hint of anise-yes- I am getting a bit of RIS here. There is a slighty sour highlight over the initial flavor and the oak is in the bakcground but hard to find. Finish is slightly sour-with overripe dark fruit being the highlight again.

M- Medium to high carbonation-and a slightly thick full body.

D- This bottle is probably infected-but the unintended sour aspects are the highlight of this brew as the way-too overripened dark fruit/anise combination would certainly be more prominent had the sour not been there. This is a decent brew overall-but not the best from Cigar City.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a jet black liquid with a light brown head, creamy and robust with a thin lacing left.

S-the nose has some heavey bourbon and wood in it, dry sawdust, dark cherries, roasted to burnt malts, burnt coffee. the nose is different but not bad.

T-the taste has some light bourbon up front, dry sawdust and barrel behind and rather prevalent. notes of vanilla and chocolate come in showing some malt body. very sweet in the back with a hint of sour cherry. might have a slight infection.

M-good feel, medium body and creamy, strong carbonation with a full finish.

D-this may be slighlty infected as there is some notes of sour cherries in the back, I actually like that coupled with the dry woody sawdust. the bourbon fades and it sweetens as it warms. easily drinkable and interesting balance.

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Photo of Douglas88
4.92/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

105/204. A huge thanks to Ibrew2or3. A cool label. Pours out a pure black as night hue with a medium beige head. The aroma is amazing; huge barrels, vanilla, dark fruit, earthy and almost smoky in the intensity. The flavor just blew me away; huge dark fruit conquering all like the namesake Russian ruler, sweet and very oily, lots of barrel but not over the top instead it adds to the experience with woody, bourbon and vanilla flavors. Some dryness from the barrels competes with the oily viscous nature of the dark fruity roasted malts. Molasses. Very much like a barrel aged Dark Lord without the overly sweet flavors in some versions of DL. This is certainly a Imperial Stout. No doubt about that. Wonderful. Joyous in its experience. This will covert you to beer for life. I love that after 2,000+ ratings I can still find these kinds of beers.

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Photo of nkersten
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle provided at recent tasting by Sean - thanks! Pours a brownish black with a thick bubbly head, some lacing and a reddish hue. Smell is dark malts, brandy, caramel, and burnt sugars. Taste is bitter dark chocolate, spicy peppers, grapes, roasted, charred wood, some dark malts and a little alcohol warmth in the finish. Heavy body with a medium carbonation. Glad I got to try this, but not the most drinkable beer for me.

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Photo of maximum12
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to AgentZero for this last-minute Darkness Day trade (which turned out kind of funny because we actually traded hellos about 11AM & traded at 1PM not knowing who each one was). We swapped good Cigar City brews - I with the knowledge that there was a good chance this one might be infected. Spin the wheel, deal the cards, looking for an ace & a jack. Bottle 141 of 204.

Popped open over the sink - no foaming. I put down the bottle, raise my arms in victory, & whoop a little. Pours slick, surly, & dark into two glasses with scarce a whisper of head or life. Tentatively I lean over to take a whiff - another victory! Barrel oozes off the edge of the glass into my nose. Chocolate & vanila & warm malts ride shotgun. Niiice.

Campeador Rurik Ale is filthy dark. The barrel dominates the first quarter of this act, balanced off against Cigar City's trademark dump of charred, burnt, roastiness that I enjoy so much. Fingerfuls of chocolate, vanilla, & cascading malts fill in the cracks. After that a smoky burning forest crashes into the glass & finishes like a burning brand. A piece of the barrel, of course.

Excellent beer, & I kind of feel like I won the lottery, or at least drew an 9 hitting on 12. Another great beer from Cigar City. Thanks AgentZero, I owe you one.

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Photo of nickd717
3.01/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle thanks to Blazer06.

Pours jet black with a two-finger tan head that leaves some foam on the beer.

The aroma is roasty with coffee and sweet malt notes, and...brett. What?

The flavor is a little like a poor man's Cuvee Delphine, in that it has considerable brett presence. Besides that, there's roast, caramel malt, chocolate, coffee, and sour cherries. This probably got some unintended bugs in there, but that being said, it's not too bad.

Medium-full bodied with extremely high carbonation, probably from the brett, which is not exactly befitting of this beer.

Overall, well, it seems to have an infection, but I still enjoyed it.

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Photo of portia99
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle received from JAXSON in trade (bottle 63 of 204),poured into an Allagash fluted glass

A - Pours a very deep black with a huge rocky 3 fingers of foam. Some loose lacing is left behind on the glass as the foam descends.

S - Heard that these could be infected...first smell indicates this one might be in that grouping. I get a definite sourish astringency...almost flanders brown like. A bit herbal, some cooling sensation in the nose, some caramel notes too. Not quite as expected.

T - interesting...definitely infected...still some interesting character here tho. Sour astringency, but also some deep roastiness, definitely get some of the chile pepper as well as the cinnamon. Too bad about the infection....drinks like a flanders brown, still enjoyable, but definitely not what it was intended to be

M - Foamy and abit thin. Astringency throughout. definitely infected...

D - Have a feeling that this would have been very good if not for the infection. Still not a drain pour, but there are definitely issues here. disappointed for sure, but glad to get a chance to tey this.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Re-review off a bottle sampled on 10/9/10, courtesy of nickd717. It was clearly infected; tasted of dark cherries and a hint of funk. The clarity and sharpness of flavors had faded and the beer was a muddled, dirty mess. It had some spice, strong flavors of earth, a weird bitterness, and roast. The flavors were poorly integrated (my mental picture, as I was drinking it, was that the beer adjuncts had separated the way water and oil do). Bizarre stuff.

I'm averaging the scores: F for the second bottle, A- for the first bottle.

Original review:

It appears bottle variation exists with this one. Masterski, nerd, and largadeer all partook in the crappy bottle reviewed by largadeer and HopHead84 (below), as well as a good one later. I had the privilege of enjoying a good one last night, so I came home and scribbled some notes. That's what I'm uploading here.

Thanks to nerd for sharing this.

A: Pours a pitch black body. Very thick and even somewhat leggy in the glass. The pour produces a large mocha head that recedes quickly. Quite a nice appearance.

S: Charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, grapes, chilis, and then a sting of booze. Not as expressive as I would like.

T: This is spicier (that is, more chili heat) than the Hunahpu's I opened last weekend. There's a small tobacco bitterness that I'm guessing is imparted from charred oak of some kind, but it's well balanced by a port / brandy sweetness, cherries, vanilla, chocolate, toffee, caramel, even some coffee. It's quite complex, and my favorite aspect of the beer is that it has a drying (not dry) finish from tannic astringency, which leaves a smoky, chili-heat tobacco residue in the aftertaste.

M: Chewy, full, and it has a lot going on. Substantial chili heat on the finish. I like it.

D: I suspect Cigar City as a whole has batch variation. I'm guessing the tanks settle a bit during the bottling process. I had two Hunahpu's bottles that were different from each other, and this bottle (which was half Hunahpu's) had more chili heat than the Hunahpu's itself. And yes, that DOES play into drinkability; the brewery is gaining steam and prestige, and their smaller batches command a higher trading price but (evidently) seem hit and miss. Still worth taking the plunge, I feel, but I would not give up something amazing and irreplaceable for one of these.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle thanks to Sean at our recent tasting...Light black pour with decent carbonation...I've heard most of these are infected, at first ours didn't seem to be. Only a hint of funk comes through. As it warms it becomes more prominent. However, my poor rating of this beer I can't pretty surely say is not due to the infection but the mess of a blend this is...Aroma is a hint of funk, but this is mostly dominated by the winter warmer portion of this blend, its very hot and spicy way too much pepper and spice comes through...The taste is more spicy pepper and not in a good way at all. Light roast but not enough to cut the peppers.

So many reasons not to get this; high chance of infection and the fact that it wasn't a good blend in the first place.

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5/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: thick thick black with a wicked mocha tan head.

S: brandy right up front with oak and choc. then some caramel and some vanilla. wow...cant wait...

T: tons of flavors with amazing balance. brandy, oak, and everything similar to a snickers bar throughout. yummy! This is amazing.

M: this beer has the best feel ever. perfection. Chewy velvety goodness. I have never had a beer with a more perfect mouthfeel than this one. I am freaking out right now.

D: Incredible beer. So smooth, not boozy, perfect balance. I wish they made more...Soo sooo soo good.

Thoughts: CCB makes alot of good beers. This is definitely one of their best. no doubt.

P.S. after reading some of the reviews... I see there was obviously some bad bottles out there. That is very dissapointing. I most definitely had one that was good and not infected.

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Photo of Bendurgin
1.55/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Andy cracked this one tonight. Overall, this has been rough on my emotions. I was really excited, and then incredibly bummed. So Andy spent a good spell painstakingly cutting the wax of this one, leaving a crumbing mess on the counter. He then popped the cap and erupts volcano Campeador Rurik Ale (2010). There goes, our paper towel supply. Andy ran to the sink, gusher in hand, me with two tulips ready for him to slap some black liquid in with a monster of a tan head. So the trouble began.

Andy then told this one may be infected. I don't keep track of his beers so this surprised me. I stuck my nose in it and I got a whiff of unwelcome tartness. A couple whiffs more I guess I smells smoke. Tart smoke. This sucks.

After smelling it for a while I reluctantly put this up to my lips and decided to taste. Well, that wasn't quite as bad, but still by no means any good. I get a little cocoa which I guessing comes from the Hunaphu and that unwelcome tart flavor. Tart cocoa. My liver is getting pissed at me because I keep taking sips.

Mouthfeel is smooth. This would be good drinking if it wasn't for the infection. What could have been. . . .

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Photo of andrewinski1
1.88/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Opened this gusher and ran to the sink. What landed in the tulip as black with a tan giant head that eventually shrank to a thick lacing.

The smell is tart with a bit of pepper.

The taste has a bit of tinny tartness to it. In the finish I can detect some of the remnants of Hunahpu's Imperial Stout that I enjoyed so much. Further sips don't reveal much more but instead highlight the tartness.

Good creamy mouthfeel adds to the "what could have been" feeling.

Really bummed this one feels infected.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 08/26/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting. Bottle #164/204.

a - Pours a dark brown with an inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells strongly of dark fruits. Also some funk to it, though I don't think it's infected. Smells of peppers, spice, smoke, roasted malts.

t - Tastes funkier than the smell. Tastes spicey, of peppers, dark fruits, chocolate, smokey roasted malts, little bit of alcohol.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - Wasn't the biggest fan of this one, though I was glad to try it. I enjoyed the 09 Campeador better, though I know it's a different blend. Little too much funky/pepper smell and taste to it for me

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Photo of billshmeinke
2.59/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle 3/204. Thanks to Chris at Blue Palms for sharing.

Pitch black with a one inch head. Some nice lacing left behind. Retention is pretty solid as well.

Smells pretty vinuous with dark fruits. Light sourness and lactic notes.

Mouthfeel is a bit chalky. Big and well carbonated. Pretty smooth tart and sweet.

One glass was enough. One of the better infected beers I have tried.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

#27/204 pulled out of Ditmier's cellar.... it is too bad he is no longer taking notes... this is pretty damn good and not the least bit infected despite the rumors.

Nice dark brown head.. good retention and lacing.. the brew is black..

Nose shows good vanilla and plenty of dark chocolate.... some background malt char.... the sweet malts tend to pull this one out of the middle rung... good fruits with late pours.

The flavor is pretty astringent... BLACK char astringent... still though plenty of milk chocolate and good malt sweetness makes this alot better than we were hoping for... The bourbon shows more with warmth and it makes it a much better brew... bits of dark dried cherries are also there.

Body is standard for big stouts... so is the carbonation.... I was surprised that it wasn't infected.

Thanks to Ditmier (my not rating RB buddy for pulling this one out :-) #27... man... just incredible... Eric, you're good people.... Molly is better.


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Photo of HopHead84
2.81/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5


Thanks Michael! Appears black with a nice thick toffee head.

The aroma displays dark chocolate and prominent notes of smoke, which gradually turn into an ashen char as the beer warms up. I detect light apple brandy character and big chili notes. When the beer warms the pleasant apple brandy fades, and the nose becomes rather consumed by harsh chili pepper notes and scorched malt and oak.

The flavor is a harsh roast that segues into decadent dark chocolate with apple and prominent chili notes (lots and lots of chilies). The chilies aren't all that spicy, but they contribute an unpleasant and tiresome flavor I can't get past, and the more I drink this, the more noticeable and oppressive the harsh burnt malt character becomes.

The beer is full bodied with a slightly thin mouthfeel and a moderate level of carbonation. Most of our group hated this, but I didn't find it to be terrible, but rather artless and somewhat harsh. I'm not sure what they were going for with this one. Not really worth seeking out with all the other barrel aged beers out there.

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Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex for sharing this!

Pours black with a woody mahoghany glint in the light. Very creamy mocha milkshake foam, sticky and chocolaty. Rich aroma with bourbon evident, buttery vanilla from the oak, some dark fruity plum also. Woody tobacco, sweet brown sugar and vanilla, drying oak in the finish. Rich and decadent, almost fudgy and definitely chewy. The fruit element is seamlessly blended with the roastier stout aspects. Delicious with no hints of infection at all. I would drink more of this if I could!

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Photo of largadeer
1.65/5  rDev -55.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks, Michael.

Rurik pours utterly pitch black and opaque with a nearly blackened tan collar. The darkness and viscosity is impressive, and it's well carbonated. Appearance is the highlight, unfortunately.

Burnt, tarry aroma, signature Cigar City burning asphalt. It's also very sweet with some soy sauce notes, entirely too reminiscent of teriyaki sauce, and there's an intense red pepper flake heat from the Hunahpu's component. Dark chocolate and (burnt) fruit also make an appearance.

Asphalt and tar are the first flavors to hit the palate. Soy sauce and harsh red pepper flakes are right behind the intensely burnt malt. There's plenty of sweetness too, bringing to mind dark chocolate, caramel and dark fruit. Incredibly viscous and astringent with palate-obliterating burnt bitterness, peppery spice and a finish that can only be described as a mix of soy sauce and tar, this isn't enjoyable at all.

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Campeador - Rurik Ale (2010) from Cigar City Brewing
3.71 out of 5 based on 47 ratings.
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