Until I really delve into tasting more good single malts it's safe to say I know more about Rum than I do whiskey. Unfortunately most brewers (and particularly those from North of the border) seem to prefer whiskey barrel ageing to it's more tropical cousin. It's a shame as there is a lot a more depth of character to good quality rum than most people give it credit for, it ain't just for swigging with coke.
My rum tips? Try Green Island Spiced Gold from Mauritius, neat with ice, for a semi sweet, vanilla and lightly spice tinged tinged sipper; or Mount Gay Sugar Cane, that's good stuff too.
Anyway, back on point! It says on the BrewDog blog that this Imperial Porter is the first rum aged beer they or Lost Abbey have made, but I'm going to assume they meant the first they've bottled, because BrewDog have certainly brewed and then rum aged a beer before, because I drank it. Almost a year ago exactly I reviewed the rum aged Bitch Please and loved it - unfortunately they didn't choose to bottle this version and went with the Whiskey aged version for general sale.
But enough of all that. On to the beer itself.
The aroma is boozy and intense with molasses and brown sugar (hello rum!) sitting behind a very slight phenol character and a hint of fruity dark chocolate and vanilla. Were the rum barrels previously home to whiskey I wonder?
The flavour is more of that molasses hinted at in the aroma, alongside sweet fruitcake, loads of dark and dingy rum character yet it's surprisingly light (for the abv), fruity and porter like. There's no big thick roastedness as you'd get with imperial stout but there is a chocolatey richness to it. Quite sweet, boozy and satisfying with a faint touch of vanilla latte in the finish.
If you like dark rum then you'll love this, just like I did. If you don't like rum then I'm not sure, but if my advice means anything. Give rum a chance!
Big thanks to James from BrewDog for sending this beer over for review.