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

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Obsidian Imperial Porter - Rum Barrel AgedObsidian Imperial Porter - Rum Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Cameron's Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 05-17-2013

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 84
Photo of bylerteck
2.6/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

From notes.

A - Poured black with a two finger faded brown head. Mild spotty lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Sweet malt, rich, sugar, roast.

T - A little booze, roasty, quite sweet, cola, sugar. Became quite sweet later with a rough woody flavour as well. Didn't end up being overly tasty.

M - Cloyingly sweet finish. Good carbonation, body was too light and felt medium at best.

O/D - Not my favourite porter by a long shot. Way too sweet. Barrel character added far too much sweetness and the base beer couldn't cope. Couldn't finish this one.

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Photo of TerryW
3.44/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Great looking beer. Awesome looking head over top of a walnut black brew. Long-lived chunky head, with lots of lace. Impressive.

You can smell lots of charcoal in the beer. A bit of alcohol, but nothing really rummy. Similar to taste. Lots of charcoal, some chocolate, bitter and dry to finish after a sweet start up. Generally sweet overall. Not bad, but not overwhelming beyond looking so good.

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Photo of decimator
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle poured into a goblet. ABV 9.2%.

A - Poured a deep near black with a thin light brown head, head reduced to nothing, zero lacing.

S - Roasted/toasted flavours with coffee & dark chocolate, vanilla, hint of spiced rum

T - Roasted/toasted flavours, some molasses, some vanilla, a bit of wood, some booze in the finish. As it warmed up a slight sour tang became noticeable.

M - Medium-low carbonation, heavy body, finishes dry with some heat.

O - The rum barrel aging is subdued. Overall a decent beer.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 650 ml bottle to a pint glass.

A: deep dark almost black, no light penetration even when held up to the window. A cola like head of two fingers upon pouring with good retention, breaking down to a thin film.

S: roast, coffee, some sweet and perhaps oak?

T: roast is forward, followed by coffee and sweet.

M: moderate to thin carbonation, this beer feels slick and yet it lingers.

O: the claim to fame on this beer is supposed to be the rum barrel aging. Perhaps I have an immature palate, but I could not sense this at all. This is a decent porter, and I think it is one of the better I have had from this province, so they have that going for them. All in all, it is an easy to drink porter.

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Photo of mlockman
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
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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Photo of Jeffo
3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this at the LCBO in Waterloo.

From a bomber into a snifter
Spent 7 months in Caribbean rum barrels

APPEARANCE: A dark brown pour yields a small, medium looking, tan head with good retention. Head fades to faint wisp and ring. Black body with lower levels of carbonation evident. A dotty wisp and ring remain but leaves no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Oak, vanilla, caramel notes, with dark chocolate on the nose. Rum notes, with a pinch of roasted grain as well. Pretty nice, and bold enough as well.

TASTE: Caramel, oak and vanilla up front, with a rum and oak finish. Dark chocolate bitterness, sweet caramel, rum and vanilla linger on the palate. Pretty solid really. Caramel sweetness, rum sweetness and oak are balanced by bitter dark chocolate and a touch of roasted rain. Good.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. Alright.

OVERALL: This is pretty good actually. Not as impressive as their Rye IPA, but still a solid and enjoyable barrel aged porter. The nose is probably the best part of the brew, but it's still a solid all around effort. Well balanced and worth checking out if you get the chance.

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Photo of peensteen
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nearly jet black, one finger of creamy tan head, good retention with nice lace. Nose is of black liquorice, roast and some chocolate also, oak is there but subtle, just a bit of coffee as well as a bit of vanilla-coffee crisp. Taste is roasty with chocolate, more herbal anise and liquorice like in the nose, some spice and rum flavours, a bit of oak and vanilla, chocolate aftertaste, a bit of booze and a bit astrigent. Medium carbonation, medium body. A decent porter and by far the best barrel aged beer they have made but not much worth getting excited about here.

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Photo of Sammy
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

$ 11.87 (Including tax)/bomber ($ 0.540/oz) at Oppermann’s, Saginaw, MI
Undated bottle at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter; allowed to warm to 50 degrees.
Aroma – pretty much like every barrel-aged brew; oaky and some roasted malt.
Head small (Maximum < 2 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, dense and creamy with some rocks, decent retention finally diminishing to an irregular six to ten mm creamy ring and a thin layer with a large rocky island.
Lacing excellent – wide rings of tight lacing connected by short stalactites, mostly tiny bubbles with a few small one to break the monotony.
Body – dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor – starts off with some harsh alcohol and a little bit of rum, little to no vanillin, no roasted malt chocolate or caramel. After it warms, the alcohol becomes less harsh to the taste but begins to be felt in the gastric tract. Not really tasting or smelling any hops. No diacetyl.
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

You’d think a beer from an oak aged series brewed in a town called Oakville would have a little more oakiness evident in the flavor as well as the nose.

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 3.5, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.75.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from the LCBO. Served in a snifter at Jason's place while watching a 3OT thriller.

A - Dark tan foam settles to a partial cap, thick collar, and splotchy lacework. Very dark brown body.

S - There's a lot of oak and wood present, but not a ton of overt rum spirit character; perhaps they rinsed the barrel or the rum largely evaporated en route to Canada. The base beer has plenty of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a yeasty dark bread character to it. I'm not totally upset by the faint rum character, as too much rum can be overpowering.

T - The taste is sweeter, with some light spice and molasses from the rum, particularly as the beer warms up. Oak isn't as intense here, with dark chocolate, anise, and roasted malt rounding out the flavor profile. Alcohol is reasonably well-concealed.

M - Medium-full body, pleasant carbonation, and a mildly dry and tannic finish. Not much alcohol presence for the listed 9.2%.

D - Rum is a bit less present than expected, but otherwise it's a decent imperial porter with some mild oak and spirit mixed in. Overpriced for the quality, but drinkable all the same. I'd give it another shot if I saw it on-tap in a smaller serving size (5-8oz).

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(3.75): Beautiful black with a tall creamy, bubbly, mocha coloured head. Lengthy retention and streaky lacing.

(4.0) S: Oak, bitter dark chocolate, vanilla, rum covered darker fruits (raisins, plums, dates), and caramel. Not a strong boozy or oaky aroma but enough to compliment the other aromas.

(3.75) T: Bitter dark chocolate, black licorice/anise, sweet dried dates & raisins, oak, and solid caramel-like malt backbone. Alcohol is quite well hidden.

(4.0) M: Full bodied with a lower carbonation. Syrupy with a creamy and smooth texture. Appropriate.

(3.75) D: I am really enjoying these special Cameron’s releases. The oak presence is very nice and works well with the other tastes which can each be picked out. An intense anise/licorice flavour is another redeeming quality.

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Photo of DougT
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of jmkoscie
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle picked up from the lcbo which was poured into a pint glass at about 50 degrees.

A - Pours a deep black with no visible light penetration when held up to the light, caramel light head about half an inch thick which falls quickly into a thin ring which holds over time. No long term lacing.

S - Scent is heavily centred on roasted malts scents of dark chocolate and caramel with a hint of alcohol, limited coffee undertones.

T - A quick one-two to your tongue from an earthy coffee flavor and very dark chocolate, alcohol comes in to round out the major flavors. Lesser flavors of smoky wood and caramel are present

M - This beer sits very heavy on the palate but feels slick unlike some porters, almost like a beer oil but it works very well so the stong flavors don't overpower you.

Obisidian is a great name for this beer, it is similar to many porters in basic flavors but those flavors are much more pronounced and crisp while nearly hiding is 9.2% ABV

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Photo of mick303
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- into a tulip, a dark black colour, with nice whispy and bubbly film, great lacing.
S- mild roastiness, with boozy rum casks, sweet vanilla, quite interesting, lot of cool rum notes, brown sugar and herbal aspects. 4.25
T- smooth start with dark malts, lemony oiliness, smooth rummy woodiness, dark sugar, a kick of licorice comes into the finish where is gets quite dry. A lot of body, boo zones holds up well against the malts, woodiness melds fairly nicely. I thought the beer itself was less of a contributed than the BA. 4
M- full bodied, fair bit of alcohol on the feel but it drinks quite nicely, moderate carbonation, noticeable but works well enough.
A strong showcase for rum barrels which really run the show here, perhaps less than 7 months would have been preferable, I didn't pick up enough of the porter notes to really push this into great territory, still a strong rummy, sugary, woody, porter. Worth trying.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This porter pours a dark jet black, with good caramal head. Tastes very smooth, roasty with good chocolate roasted notes coming through in the finish. You couldn't taste the high alcohol and the mouthfeel was very nice. Not to thin, and not to thick. This is one of the better canadian porters I have had so far. Delicious stuff. Its really unfortunate how something like this won't make it out to southern ontario often, let alone regularly.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 6/3/2013. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and rocky tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, molasses, toast, dark bread, licorice, raisin, plum, fig, vanilla, toffee, oak, light smoke/char, light spiced rum, and roast/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, fruity yeast, and moderate rum barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, molasses, toast, dark bread, licorice, raisin, plum, fig, vanilla, toffee, oak, light smoke/char, light spiced rum, and roast/yeast earthiness. Good amount of roast/char bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, molasses, toast, dark bread, licorice, raisin, plum, fig, vanilla, toffee, oak, light smoke/char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice robustness, balance, complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, fruity yeast, and moderate rum barrel flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barrel aged imperial porter. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, fruity yeast, and moderate rum barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml bomber poured into tulip 14/2/14

A darkest of cola, I can see a little light through the glass but not much, big three finger mocha head has great retention but only leaves a few random patches of lace

S lots of dark roast, bakers chocolate, espresso, charred wood, and licorice, a little spice and wood, it wouldn't surprise me if it was spiced rum they used but the barrels not over the top, some root beer, vanilla, and raisins, smells great

T a little more char then the nose, barrel comes out stronger, some cola added to the mix, still solid but the nose takes it

M not all that heavy for the color, just on the creamy side of foam, a little tannin grit at first but slick after the fact, booze is very well hidden, more rum on the aftertaste then anywhere else with plenty of char

O lots of dark roast, well concealed booze, well rounded overall, could use dome more body but its a small complaint

I'm a little surprised this one doesn't get more love from my fellow BA's, I don't see any reason why people wouldn't enjoy this one, well worth trying for sure

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
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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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
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 leaddog
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate brown with two fingers of creamy light mocha head.

Smell - Roasted malts, rum, aged wood, dark fruit, cocoa.

Taste - Roasted malts, wood flavours, and a strong rum flavour. Dark fruit and cocoa finish it off.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light carbonation. Warming alcohol sensation.

Overall - A well crafted rum-barrel aged imperial porter. Excellent roasted malt and rum barrel flavours that blend together to make a warm, inviting brew.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tap @ Bihotz, Bilbao - Pours jet black with a medium tanned head. Nice lacing. Medium carbonation. Aroma - coffee, chocolate, roasted malts. Taste - sweet, smooth, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, hint of sourness - barrel aged, light alcoholic warmth, dry bitter finish. Solid BA Imperial porter.

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Obsidian Imperial Porter - Rum Barrel Aged from Cameron's Brewing Co.
3.82 out of 5 based on 84 ratings.
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