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Obscura American Brown Ale - Cucapá Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Obscura American Brown AleObscura American Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

88 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 88
Hads: 133
Avg: 3.44
pDev: 13.95%
Wants: 0
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cucapá Brewing Company visit their website

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: fido on 04-08-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 88 | Hads: 133
Photo of metter98
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is very hazy amber brown in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly died down, leaving a thin film of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of dark and nutty malts in the nose along with some notes of raisins.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has some additional hints of chocolate flavors towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and somewhat thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink. Nothing really stands out about the taste as being interesting, although it is a cut above many of the other beers I’ve had from Mexico.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle, day 3 of the 2013 Craft Beer Advent Calendar. 4.8% ABV on this one, with a newer (than the one on here, at least) label, depicting, I think, some native Mexican art.

This beer pours a clear, fairly dark red-brick amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, cushioned, and bubbly tan head, which leaves some decent gnarled tree growth lace around the glass as things slowly drop away.

It smells of gritty, crackery caramel malt, oily bar-top nuts, weak bittersweet cocoa, a bit of cold coffee, dark sugar reduction, and a plain earthy, mineral-like dryness. The taste is bready caramel malt, Toffifay candies, a bit of sweetened black tea, and more very soft earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is quite understated, and barely noticeable for the most part, the body an adequate medium weight, and generally smooth, with a small stab at a nutty creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel, toffee, chocolate, and nuttiness all carrying on.

One of the better beers that I've had from this Baja Californian brewer, if a little unbalanced towards the sweet side, but there's no lack of overall flavour here. More of a dessert accompaniment, I would imagine, perhaps a nutty brownie or the like (and not just 'cause I have some of that left over from lunch!)

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Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Weibull for sending this as an extra!

Pours a deep shade of chestnut brown, and glows red in the light. Foam rises to the rim and settles to a thin skim, leaving sparse lacing.

Toasty malt and brown sugar in the first whiff. Solid malty base, a mild raisin sweetness with a little floral hop bitterness in the end. Some residual mild roast flavors hang around too. Pretty big flavors for such a light drinking ale.

This is definitely one to break the "bad Mexican beer" stereotype.

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Photo of zeff80
2.8/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Poured out a clear, brown color with ruby highlights. It had a two-finger, tan, bubbly head of foam that left some sudsy rings of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, mild chocolate and toffee. There were subtle floral notes.

T - A little nutty with some chocolate, but there was an odd sourness. It didn't fit.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - Looked good, smelled good but it didn't deliver on taste. Odd sourness!

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can into a pint glass. The packaging seems to indicate that this is a "Limited Production". I'm assuming that since this I don't seeing any other reviews for this in cans, that it is in reference to the packaging and not the beer.

Pours a deep looking dark amber, with 3 big foamy fingers of light tan head (definitely darker than off-white). Retains with a thin creamy look that leaves a strong smattering of spotty lacing back. Good strong look here to this. The aroma is roasty, doughy, and fairly fruity in the nose. Lighter notes of caramel, cocoa, and a touch of earthy hops round this out.

The taste is toasted and doughy with sugars all at once, with a definite fruity presence to it that mixes with some lighter tones of chocolate, caramel, and brown sugar to imbue a much darker flavor to it. Hops are spicy and put a more moderate assertiveness to this, drying the backend of the profile out and lingering along with some residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm crispness to the carbonation but this is overall very easy in the mouth despite a touch of heft and warmth (which feels bigger than 4.5%) to this.

This was a most welcome surprise, as I had picked this up on a lark while out in So Cal the other month and this was my first ever Mexican Craft Beer. There was a surprising amount of flavor here, with the mouthfeel having a crisp yet smooth feel to it that reminded me a lot of a Lager. Color me impressed, and I will definitely keep an eye out for more from these guys next time I'm out in the area.

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Photo of chinchill
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle of "American Brown Ale" enjoyed at La Internacional Cerveceria in Cozumel, MEX.

Pours with a good sized and very durable head. The aroma is lightly sweet and spicy.

This is a nice brown ale with fairly good balance overall and very good bitter-sweet balance. Unlike some recent American Browns, this ale is markedly more malty than hoppy. The flavor is good but not great and features dark brown bread with a hint of hops.

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Photo of smcolw
3.26/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Starts with a two-finger beige head. Recedes in a rocky fashion but it leaves no lace. The color is solid brown where some light will shine through if bright enough.

No darker malt aromas but there is plenty of chalkiness. A slight touch of alcohol.

Thin bodied with a high level of carbonation. There's a harshness to this beer from what I believe is a chocolate malt. There's a muted sourness in the background--reminds me of cherries.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.22/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cucapa Obscura Cerveza.

Dark brown coloring, transparent at the foot, and sides, slim, then gone head, negligible.

Aroma: raisins, cola, nuts....pretty limp, otherwise.

Taste: Hmmm. Soft and wet. Same flavors from aroma, big on the raisins in this one, nice and malty, dark tones, black malt, but not too much in character. Nothing really does the trick in this one.

Not a bad beer, but it lack in many ways what would set it apart and make it good. Very blase', lackluster mouthfeel, unimpressive flavors...lacks carbonation, sits limp and loose. Blah.

Wish this was free, but glad it was cheap.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Dave for bringing this one over. Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - A finger and a half of quick-dissolving tan foam that leaves a nice cap but minimal lacing. Dark brown with a hint of red and lots of tiny bubbles racing to the top.

S - Mild malty smell, with hints of chocolate and nuttiness. Pretty understated, but nice all the same.

T - Cocoa, molasses, caramel malt. Pretty standard brown ale fare. Still probably the most flavorful Mexican beer I've had.

M - On the lighter side and a little bit watery, low carbonation, some nice residual stickiness. It's appropriate for the ABV and style, but it's not all that interesting.

D - If I was in Mexico this would be an excellent session choice, but in the US I'd pick a good half-dozen brown ales before I got to this one. Still, the carbonation, ABV, and mild flavor make it pretty drinkable.

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Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Solomon420 for this!

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights. It has a creamy tan head with some lacing.

The smell is grainy with some roast. Something akin to "malt balls" comes to mind - caramel and towards chocolate. It has some earthy hops mixed in.

The taste is sweet, lightly roasted nuts, some caramel - towards chocolate. An earthy/fruity bitterness balances the sweetness in the finish.

It has firm carbonation and is the lighter side of medium-bodied, with a grainy texture.

Easy to drink. An enjoyable brew with a rich maltiness (though a bit broken by the carbonation), in a lighter way. Sweetness well-balanced in the finish, making it thirst-quenching. A very nice brown ale!

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Photo of woodychandler
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The CANQuest is unstoppable! Someone had heard of my efforts through the grapevine and brought a CAN each of both of the CANned Cucapa beers to a recent trade show for me. CAN you believe it?!?

The pour resulted in two fingers' worth of deep-tan head with low retention. Oh well. The color was a deep brwon with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose was malty sweet with light notes of coffee and chocolate underlying. Mouthfeel was medium with a soda pop-like fizziness and I got a harsh astringency on the tongue, initially, which gave way to a more pleasant cocoa/coffee flavor. Finish remained mildly chocolate/coffee, but that initial sourness seemed to linger. I would go with the Chupacabras and leave this on the shelf.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A vigorous pour produces a three-finger thick, lightly brown tinged, tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is a dark, black leaning, burnt, super concentrated opaque, red color that shows a brilliantly clear, rich, ruby hue when held up to the light. At first whiff this beer smells, unsurprisingly of hops; lightly herbal with a bit of a sweet citrus / berry component added in for good measure. Richly toasted malt notes add an almost roast note and there is a fair amount of caramelized character that has toffee over-tones. Dark malt notes end up being the most noticeable part of the aroma, which is aromatic, but not all that rich or deep in complexity.

A medium carbonation, when combined with the lighter body create a bit of a fizzy texture to this beer. Flavors of toffee in the middle take on a lightly roasted character and the beer finishes with a bitter, roast grain note. The bitterness in the finish is also contributed by hops, but the roast grain is what seems to linger on the tongue with a bit of astringency. While quite light bodied, the beer is actually fairly sweet, though not at all cloying. The lightly burnt, caramel sweetness helps to offset the dry roasted notes. A touch of herbal hop character adds just a touch of hop flavor to this beer.

The malt can get a bit astringent at times especially in the finish. This beer is lacking an overall integration and smooth balance; everything doesn't quite mesh. I like that this beer is quite light, it makes this beer quite quaffable and the flavors are, for the most part, quite nice.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To inagurate the service of my Eisenbahn Weizenbock glass I bought in Brazil a week ago, I choose ... a beer from Cucapá. On to the beer:

Not much of a head on top of this pretty, ruby brown colored beer. It still looks good without a head. The aroma is quite good, malted toffee is dominant here. Mild hoppiness and nutty aromas too. To taste...oh yum, I like this beer. Tea leaves and toffee chews introduce themselves to the palate at first. The background is nutty while the toffee and green tea note continue to play a duet through the experience. A fruitiness seems to mix itself into the sweet toffee flavor. Lighter than average mouthfeel with a moderate carbonation...in this case the carbonation seems to work in its favor.

Fruity, toffee, and imported from Mexico. Another quality offering from Cucapá.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear brown colored beer with a nice light brown colored head.

Good scent of patent malt and coffee with a trace of Kahlúa coffee in there. Lightly fruity mostly from yeast esters and faint chocolate but this seems to be more of a coffee beer.

The taste starts out mildly sweet with a good level of roasted malt and chocolate flavor at the start. Interesting, tastes like chocolate but smells like coffee. Lightly bitter aftertaste as much from dark roasted malt as from hops. Nice mellow beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Excellent drinkability, even for a style that isn't my favorite. This brewery has completely surprised me by making EXCELLENT beers. I ignored this brewery for a long time just assuming they were a gimmick or another Corona wannabe but I was WRONG! If you see this brewer's beers show up in your local store I suggest you try them all.

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Photo of akorsak
2.12/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to Woody for this can.

A: The brown ale is a full reddish brown color, dark enough to be opaque. On closer inspection, ruby red highlights emerge. A thin band of head hangs around the edges of the glass.

S: A little metallic and off-smelling. Not a good sign of things to come. No hint of the toffee and caramel mixture that I've noticed before.

T: More caramel in the taste, enough to mask any unpleasantness (like in the nose). No way around calling this one either infected or past its prime.

M and D: The ale looks very attractive in my glass. Things just move downhill from there. I didn't finish it.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this bottle in a mixed six pack.

This pours a dark brown with reddish hues and a 1 finger head of off white foam.

The smell is light but I get a milk-like smell with some caramel malt sweetness.

The taste is *very* grainy with some roasted malt, a little bit of chocolate and coffee, and a flavour there in the background, sometimes in the foreground...a sourness/tartness? Weird. It's definitely distracting me but not in such a good way. Still, overall, I'm enjoying the brew. A good effort, imho.

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Photo of pat61
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Brilliant chestnut, ½” off-white head, dissipates to a film, good lacing Smell: Malty sweetness, dried fruit, faint chocolate.
Taste: rich malt, traces of dark dried fruit, a little chocolate sweetness throughout, not a lot of hops.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium to medium full body, dry finish.
Overall: Drinkable but somewhat on the sweet side.

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Photo of bluejacket74
2.98/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce can. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a brown color with a half inch off-white head. Head retention is low, lacing is decent. Aroma is toasted malt, chocolate, and a bit of a vinegary aroma. The taste is the same as the aroma, the toasted malt and chocolate is there, but so is a slight vinegar taste. I'm pretty sure this beer isn't supposed to be like this, I don't remember trying many brown ales in the past that have a vinegar taste to them. However, this actually doesn't taste bad at all. Mouthfeel/body is light, it's a bit slick but also a bit watery too. Drinkability is average, it's not bad to drink but it isn't exactly enjoyable either. I'm pretty sure I have an old can of this, I'll have to try this fresh (or fresher than what I have now) in the future.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.47/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a twelve ounce can.

Ruby color with a bronze tinge to it. Two finger, khaki head after the pour, recedes to a nice layer of foam . Really like the bubbling.

Nice toasted malt aroma makes me think of nutty bread crust. There's also a tart, bloddy aroma that sort of ruins it for me.

The flavor starts off with some blood, then the toasty, somewhat nutty, malt flavors come around. Its a little tart. The palate is somewhat acidic. I think I got my hopes up when I bought this Mexican brown ale.

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Photo of avalon07
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a can to a pint glass. Had medium brown color and a somewhat cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. OK lacing.

S: Had that typical brown ale smell of malt and nuttiness. Nice, but exactly what you'd expect.

T: Tasted of malt, that nutty quality, and a sugary quality. Good, as brown ales go.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: Cucapa is head and shoulders above every other Mexican brewery. Obscura is a solid, drinkable, but unspectacular beer.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received from Solomon420. Thanks Damian! This brewery is new to me. Into my Sam Smith nonic

A: Crystal clear dark brown with reddish brown highlights. Thin brown head that recedes to a disk fairly quickly.

S: Robust with dark caramel malts, coffee, nuts, toffee and a molasses-like sweetness. Pretty good!

T: On the palate, there's a good bit of sweetness to open things up, of a nature similar to dark liquid malt extract with molasses, toffee and coffee. Fleeting on the finish, leaving a dry and mildly bitter coffee finish

M: Light but adequate in body with solid carbonation and a decent finish

D: Fairly drinkable but the LME sweetness is a little much for me

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Photo of ZAP
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice enjoyable easy drinking brown ale.

Aroma is malted milk and roasted malts...also a rustic, herbal hoppiness which smells a little bit like a mix or minerallyness and BO

Taste is malted milk chocolate balls, roasted malt, mild roasted nuts..Some rustic herbal hops blend nicely and keep this from being a sugar bomb.

Body is medium...high carbonation cuts into the malt chocolate sweetness as well...

Probably the best mexican beer I have had. This is a legit, good brown ale..almost schwarty like with the cleanness to it...this would drink nicely out in the mexican sun...

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Photo of Brenden
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a clear reddish brown in color. A light brown head pours out huge, looking a bit fizzy initially. Somehow there's so much of it, though, that when it fades it still sits at a respectable finger and a half and is quite rocky. Oddly enough, my pint glass is still filled with liquid. The head then faces to a thick foam that remains and plenty of patchy lacing is left on the glass.
Roasted malts and barley make the core of the aroma, backed by a hint of nuts. I get only the slightest touch of caramel sweetness. Earthy hops are also strong. A slight metallic tint sits in the aroma as well.
The same nice roasted malts and barley are in the flavor balanced by a sturdy dose of hops with some nuts. It gets oddly tangy toward the middle of the sip with a mildly astringent note as well, marring the finish of what would be an otherwise good flavor if not for the fact that a funky sourness kicks in partway through. It's still better than any Mexican beer I've tried yet.
This one's on the very light side of medium in the body. A prickly carbonation makes this one lively and doesn't go too far, though it could be slightly lessened. It's fairly dry and has a mildly grainy texture.
Craft beer from Mexico? Surely not. This one is certainly a step above almost everything if not everything from Modelo, Pacifico, or any of the pretenders.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.56/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle I got in a trade and looked very interesting. Nice brown color, smells good and is far too easy to drink. I'd love to try their barleywine This is the best beer I have had from Mexico (I haven;t had many). If you get a chance, buy this. I don't usually like brown ales but this is cool.

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Photo of FLima
3.49/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Brown color with a thin beige head with decent retention.
Mild aroma with notes of nuts and milky chocolate.
Flavor with notes of chocolate, raisin, mild cinnamon, some cocoa, hints of citrusy hops, pear juice, spicy yeast and cola. Mildly dry aftertaste with a low bitterness and some residual toasted note.
Light to medium body with proper carbonation.
This is actually an English Brown Ale with mild American hops. Thus expectations adjusted, this is refreshing, tasty, easy to drink and very well crafted. It could be less sweet and better balanced by hops, though.

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Obscura American Brown Ale from Cucapá Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.