Monday, February 23, 2015

Return to the Beginning

The first time I tried a beer from Cameron's Brewing, from Oakville, Ontario, I picked up a couple of bottles of their seasonal Imperial porter, Obsidian. And because I measure the worth of a brewery by how they make my favourite types of ale—IPA or stout/porter—I held this brewery in high regard.

I loved the richness and full flavours of this Imperial porter. And because I usually pick up at least one bottle of beer when I plan to review it, I decided to put the second bottle away.

And now, it's time to return to the first Cameron's beer I had, to return to where my appreciation of this brewery began.

Almost a year and a half after picking up this beer, I was more than ready for my second bottle. And what I found out by looking at my new tasting notes and my old tasting notes surprised me.

I have a good memory when it comes to taste. When I think back to a beer I've had and enjoyed, I can almost taste it, as though I had drawn a swig from a fresh bottle. When I prepared myself for this second sampling, I expected to get lots of rum, chocolate, and malt off the nose. I expected my taste buds to be greeted by wood, cigar, and coffee. I knew there would be alcohol in the finish, and that the presence of the 9.2 percent would build as I drank more.

I was ready. Let's see my new notes.
Obsidian Imperial Porter—Oak Aged Series—Rum Barrel (9.2% ABV)
Cameron's Brewing Company
Oakville ON
Appearance: deep walnut with a creamy, taupe head that settles to a thick cap. (No change in its look.)

Nose: rum, prunes, and black licorice. (The rum is still there but the other aromas have intensified into richer fruit and strong candy.)

Palate: chocolate comes on strong from the start, followed by rich espresso and toasted malts. There is a nice balance between the oakiness and the alcohol, which culminate in a full finish. (The wood seems to have mellowed and the cigar flavour has dropped away, giving prominence to the coffee. While there is still a presence in rum-laden oak, it warms the mouth in a lingering finish.)

Overall impression: this Imperial porter has aged well in the time since I first tried it. For a strong beer, it is extremely drinkable, in that it goes down easy. There is loads of flavour without overpowering the taste buds. I would say that I can probably stay down in a cellar for another year or two without losing its robustness.

Sadly, I only bought two: luckily, it's readily available now, in the LCBO.

Beer O'Clock rating: 4

So, while my memory of this beer stays intact, the order of the flavours needs an update. Not a total do-over, but a return to the beginning.


No comments:

Post a Comment