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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Ratings: 47 |  Reviews: 35
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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Photo of gford217
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Justin for this bottle shared with some ATL folks.

The bottle popped with a fairly aggressive pop and proceeded to flow out the top of the bottle a little bit. The pour is black with a massive bubbly tan head that recedes quickly to a small collar

The aroma is good with tons of roasted chocolate malts, tobacco, leather m,sweet fruits and coffee. The only issue is that there is a definitely sourness that pervades from the very beginning. Nothing overpowering, but enough to notice.

The taste is excellent and I get none of the sourness from the nose. It's dominated by the charred black malts from the stouts and the candied fruit of the old ale. Throw in the chocolate, espresso, bourbon and tobacco and you've got quite a tasty brew.

The mouthfeel is bothersome as it's damn-near effervescent, which is certainly overdone for this style.

The taste really salvages this beer for me. It's excellent in that regard, but something tells me there's an emerging issue with this one. I'm definitely glad I opened it when I did as I can't imagine this particular bottle getting better.

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Photo of tpd975
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by Joey Reder at a tasting at my house.

A: Pours a nice deep black with a tight tan head. Lite retention and some spotty lace.

S: Aromas of char, mild booze, chocolate, and caramel lead the way. Mild barrel character with hints of vanilla and coconut.

T: Love the taste of this one. Not much Bourbon character left in the barrel but still plenty of oak. The base zhukov really stands out and provides lots of roast and chocoalte. The winter warmer provides enough candy like sweetness to provide balance. The mild barrel makes this one pretty enjoyable.

M: On the full side of medium in body, smooth.

D: Good one of the more drinkable BA brews.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.97/5  rDev +34%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Ben for cracking the first of his Ruriks.

A - I looks like a nice Double Stout, with a rich mocha head and sticky lace.

S - Whoa! Battle of the barrels; I am getting some elements of Buffalo Trace of course, but the Apple Brandy Hunahpu makes a surprisingly big impact on the aromatics (and flavor) overall. Lots of booze, vanilla, char, dark-sweet maltiness, anise; delectable.

T - Perhaps the best beer from CCB yet. The crazy part is that it is likely going to improve with age. Everything that went into it is discernible, appreciable, available, sublime and fantastically balanced. So it has all of the RIS brutality of Zhukov, the giant toffee-malt-bomb aspects of WWWW, and the icing on the BA cake is the Brandy Hunahpu; all of that is magnified and enhanced by the Buffalo Trace barrels. This stands out, along with JD Blackbeerd, as the best barrel-aged beer I've had.

M - Velvety and viscous; it feels luxurious.

D - I am obviously a fan.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Sean for sharing this one. Bottle #110/204. Served in a snifter glass.

A - Pours with a half-finger of dark tan foam that settles to a persistent thin cap. A few splotches of lace are left on the sides of the glass. The body is black with a tinge of brown at the fringes.

S - Bourbon, wood, burnt malt (i.e. scorched Earth) from the Zhukov, caramel sweetness from Winter Warmer. Not getting much Brandy Hunahpu's here. This is still pretty boozy and almost liquor-like.

T - Taste is an improvement, with more apple brandy notes and less of the burnt flavors. Again, bourbon, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruits. It totally makes sense to me that this is Imperial Stout cut with Old Ale. Finish is roasty and bitter.

M - A little lighter than I expected, but still medium-full in body. Low carbonation. Pretty smooth, and with less heat than I expected from the nose.

D - This was surprisingly easy to drink. Three of us put down the bottle no problem, and it wasn't a struggle at all. I'm looking forward to seeing what another few months of age do for this one.

Note - I tried another bottle and it tasted like ash and red pepper flakes. Not sure why there is such extreme bottle variation.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, #110/204, into CCB snifter.

A - Pours black, light tan-colored head. There's a nice ring around the glass and some head remains on top as the cap.

S - I get a majority of Winter Warmer, orange liquer-esk nose, lots of hot alcohol. I can get some of the brandy Hunahpu's but not any of the Zhukov.

T - This is where this one shines. Not near as hot as I was expecting, which is great. Nice bourbon notes from the Buffalo Trace barrels, chocolate (both milk and dark), apples, oranges, vanilla, oak/barrel, cinnamon. Anyway, I could probably go on here, but I won't. Very complex for such a young beer with very little alcohol hotness. Impressive.

M - Full bodied, rich and smooth, semi-dry finish.

D - I had two snifters worth and was very satisfied. We split the bottle three ways and killed it. This beer is excellent, and I imagine in a year or so, it's going to get even better.

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Photo of DosBeerigos
4.7/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opened and shared a bottle with several others on 6/26/10.

Poured Black with a nice tan head into my Cigar City Snifter.

The nose on this SEXYYY beer had a nice amount of dark chocolate and roasted malts. There was a bit of boozy-ness but not overpowering.

The taste was very similar to the nose, but very mixed up at a cooler temperature. Once it warmed up a bit the chocolate came out HUGE....sooo good! The bourbon was surprising light, which was nice instead of other beers which are just over the top with that bourbon flavor. The body was silky smooth, and felt perfect on the palate.

Overall an amazing beer that will probably be a perfect 5.0/5.0 in about a year or so. I really recommend sitting on this, even if you only have one, for atleast a year and let the flavors settle down and blend a bit together.

Hats off to the guys at CCB and Knightly for another fantabulous beer!

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

A special thanks are in order for dosbeerigos for opening this up. I probably would have never known about this one if not for you ;)

A: Pours black with a light creamy tan head. Head dissipation was quick and didn't really pull off any lacing as consumed.

A: Toffee and Caramel sweetness upfront, smells lightly of booze (Bourbon). There is an awesome blend of dark, chocolate, and roasted malts. I couldn't pull out any hop aroma. There is also hints of raisin. Where this beer excels in comparison to others in this category is that the malt presence is very well incorporated and not lost in the booze or other aromas. This beer is very "balanced" in the aroma, excellent.

F: Boozy bourbon upfront but not overpowering. The mid body of this beer is made up of the dark chocolate and roasted malts, and surprisingly finishes slightly bitter. The balance is towards the chocolate and roasted malts but is perfectly paired with the bourbon flavors.

M: Light in body and carbonation, but drinks velvety smooth / savory. There is an initial warmth from the bourbon but not overwhelming. No creaminess/astringency.

O: This is very similar to a Lost Abbey Angels Share, but a bit more complex in aroma and flavor. As in the description above, overall the malt characteristics are allowed to shine through in this beer. My only recommendations are: I would have enjoyed a little more head retention which in turn would have also helped out the mouthfeel and appearance. Overall experience with this beer is pretty phenomenal.

Recommend buy 1 and drink it and save one for very special occasions.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.52/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle
Bottle 146/204

A- 750ml bottle dipped in black wax. Poured into a snifter. Pours a very dark brownish black color, almost pitch black but it does have some brown hues. A tan colored head sticks around forever with great lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is dark and roasty with some chocolate and caramel notes as well as a good dose of bourbon and vanilla notes from the barrel aging. Fantastic aroma!

T- The taste starts out sweet yet roasty with a big bourbon presence. I'm not a huge fan of barrel aged beers because some can be over the top but the flavors really work well together in this one.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. Cigar City consistently has some of the best combination of body and carbonation in their beers.

D- Overall, Rurik is another fantastic beer from Cigar City. I enjoyed the first Campeador, but I really enjoyed this second installment. I always look forward to trying new releases from CCB because they knock almost everything out of the park.

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

Deep black body with a thick fluffy tan head.

Amazing smell. Dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, a sweet graham cracker quality or cookie dough, with hints of bourbon, a cinnamon like spice and brown sugar.

Some great complexity. Vanilla and oak up front with some more bourbon sliding in with it. Burnt sugar and caramel notes all around with some apple skin and pear notes towards the finish. Aftertaste has a sweet candied apple quality with herbaceous notes, hazelnut and some earth.

Mouthfeel is silky and resinous with a slightly dry finish. Has a hearty body with low carbonation. Some peppery alcohol heat on the way down as well.

Really opened up some more as it warmed. Aftertaste turned a little more roasted and coffee like. The alcohol is in there but lingers in the background and doesn't intrude. Plenty of bourbon flavor and some nice dark chocolate sweetness. Reminds me of Piroulines in aroma at times. Very drinkable and dangerously smooth.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip. Was lucky enough to get to try this one shortly after the 110k #3 release.

A: Pretty much black. The pour dropped a huge two finger of wet sand colored head, that hung around and left tons of great lace.

A: I get the whiskey striaght away, but it is backed up by a healthy dose of black, roasted, and chocolate malt. I get caramel and loads of vanilla. Not much of a hop presence.

T: Very nice! I have been a fan of the burbon and whiskey treatments of CCB stouts, and this one is no different. The whiskey is forward, but the sweetness of the malt is really quite palate pleasing.

M: Thick, creamy, and full bodied. Light carbonation makes it a touck oily, but not in a bad way.

D and overall impression: Drinkability for a brew like this is actually pretty nice. The whiskey and high ABV will limit it some. Overall, I like this version of Campeador better than the Fergus Mor. Glad I got a chance to try. Skal.

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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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