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Troubadour Obscura - Brouwerij De Musketiers

Not Rated.
Troubadour ObscuraTroubadour Obscura

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

366 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 366
Reviews: 219
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 13
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Musketiers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TastyTaste on 09-21-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Troubadour Obscura Alström Bros
Ratings: 366 | Reviews: 219 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HattedClassic
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours to a nice two fingered head. The head comes out tan and creamy that lasts for a while. I recommended letting the bottle sit a little bit just in case it ends up being shaken up a little bit. The beer itself is a clear brownish red.

Smell: Spicy and fruity with a hint of roasted malt and an undertone of dark chocolate

Taste: Spicy and fruity with dark chocolate overshadowing the malts but not covering it. The stout has a slightly bitter aftertaste that doesn't last too long.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation and a very creamy feel to it.

Overall: I think this is a pretty good beer every and a while and a nice change of pace from the stouts that I usually drink. I would probably recommend this as more of a fall beer than anything else.

HattedClassic, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of SisuPride
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured nice and dark with a few centimeter head which drizzled to a few millimeters before I finished it. As the label described it was chocolate malt goodness but also had a milky sweetness to it. A little bitter at times but overall I'd drink this beer a plenty - one of the better stouts I've had in the last few months. Still not sure where the "mild stout" came into play but I'll take 'em mild if they are like this one.

SisuPride, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of beerwolf77
2.68/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle split and poured into to tulips.

A: Dark cinnamon brown, two fingers of light khaki head. Sticky lace left behind.

S: Dark fruits, light coffee, chocolate and a strange off putting metallic aroma that I can't figure out.

T: Full on iron mineral flavor. Once past the well water I get chocolate, coffee and good amount of bitterness. This is hard to drink.

M: Medium to light body. Modest carbonation.

O: Not sure if it's a bad bottle but this was not good.

beerwolf77, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of Viggo
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, not sure where I got it but its been in the fridge for quite a while.

Pours a murky and opaque dark reddish brown, pretty muddy looking, loose and pillowy light tan head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, some lace spots stick.

Smell is interesting, sweet and malty, candi and brown sugars, caramel, lightly biscuity malt, raisin and dates, lightly oxidized, a touch of spice, not bad.

Taste is similar, very sweet up front, fruity and candi sugar like, caramel, very faint chocolate, a bit of biscuit and fruit through the middle, cherry and raisins, a bit of alcohol spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, age has made this super smooth. Not too bad.

Viggo, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded brown with a fine even speckled lacing forms down the sides of my Chimay chalice. Hints of cherry and Belgian spice, go well with mild dark chocolate creaminess. Flavor fulled with tart fruit cherries/raisins, and hints of creamy chocolate. Mouthfeel medium bodied creaminess, fine effervescent definitely a mild Belgian stout compared to bigger brasher American counterparts. Drinkability overall is very good, not the best or worst Belgian around one of thos beers that I'm glad I could buy a reasonable priced single around 4 bucks for a year old bottle. Good deal with some age on it aleady from 6/10/10.

WVbeergeek, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of JMforman
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A housemate brought this home the other night.

A- Hazy dark brown. Good tan head and good retention
S- Toffee, cherry, caramel, coconut. Very nice
T- Chocolate, toffee, espresso, cherry
M- Smooth and a bit peppery. Medium to full
D- Strange for the style, but definitely tasty.

JMforman, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of HiAIPA
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At the Lion's Pride, nad this in a Troubadour tulip. Pours a jet black with nice three finger head that dissapates slowly. I agree with others this is difficult to classify. Aromas of dry hopping, cocoa, biscuit and a slight funk/sour component. Tastes like a combination of a double brown, quad, and dry hopped stout. Not too boozy at 8.2%, not too sweet, short dry finish makes this very drinkable. Good.

HiAIPA, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of Reaper16
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle -- best by 12/04/12 -- served into a tulip glass

Pours a dark chestnut color that is mostly too dark to see through. The beer obscuras light from shining through (see what I did there?). If you hold the beer underneath direct light, you can see some red in the body at the very bottom of the glass. In that sliver of red you can make out a very active column of carbonation jutting up to the top of the body. That lively bubblestream manifests itself in the form of 2.5 fingers of light khaki head. It takes about five minutes for it to dissipate down to even one finger, so you could say that Troubadour Obscura's head retention is excellent. Lacing is like a wall of meringue.

Strange aroma, and one that defies easy classification. It smells in turns like a Dubbel, a BSDA, and an export stout. Essentially, the beer smells like lots of raisins, backed up by a dusting of cocoa powder and a caramel/toffee component. Some smells the cocoa shines brightest, others the raisins, etc. Overall it's a bit like a box of Raisin Bran cereal that accidentally had some Cocoa Puffs mixed in, even though that's impossible because Raisin Bran is a Kellog's cereal and Cocoa Puffs is a General Mills cereal. I'm trying to pull more aromas than that. There's a small amount of roast that comes across like a grilled hamburger. That's about it.

Obscura is such a strange beer. It does not immediately taste like a stout, despite its labeling. It has the somewhat vinous fig & raisin dark fruits component that is indicative of Belgian Strong Dark Ales. So it makes instant sense to your palate why its style here on BeerAdvocate is BSDA. But it also has the chalky sort of hot chocolate mix meets roasted barley flavor of many foreign export stouts. It's interesting and not unpleasant by any means, but the combo is missing some depth to take to the next level.

The carbonation will not die on this beer. It remains very prickly on the tongue even after this bottle has been open for close to an hour. The level of activity doesn't benefit this beer's stout side or its BSDA side. Drinkability is likewise pretty average for the style. It isn't offensive or poor by any means. Just decently benchline drinkable.

Obscura is an interesting experiment that doesn't result in a great beer. That's OK. It was worth a shot. I don't see myself buying this again, but I can also see some people really digging this beer's unique flavor profile.

Reaper16, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Over at the Pride.

Pours a reddish/brown color into a Troubadour tulip with a huge fluffy tan head, fades at a slow rate, even after fading a bit there's a good sized fluffy cap that remains on top for almost the entire time, large amounts of lacing on the glass.

Smell is primarily roasted caramel malt, light hop balance, hints of chocolate and dark fruit.

Taste is quite interesting and I agree with the server that it's like an amber ale was blended with a stout, it has medium carbonation but on the high side for a straight stout but this is a more unique representation, roasted caramel malt with a slight chocolate aftertaste, strength is well hidden and is highly drinkable.

deltatauhobbit, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of Chincino
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer on-tap yesterday.

The beer poured a dark brown/mahogany color. The aroma was rich of maltiness, coffee, with a bit of chocolate.

Medium carbonation, full of flavor.

Great beer, but could not drink more than one in a session.

Cheers!

Chincino, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of brystmar
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: brown with red hues with 1.5 fingers of creamy, manila-colored head. Good retention, sticky lace.

S: roasted malts, dark fruit, spices, booze, chocolate? Pretty interesting.

T: this is a Belgian stout indeed. Combines the qualities of a dubbel or quad with roasty stout malts. Stout-y qualities dominate the first half, spicy Trappist flavors bring it home at the end. Finishes dry with plenty of alcoholic warmth.

M/D: full-bodied and highly carbonated -- a rare combination. Works better than I'd expect on paper, but I still prefer creaminess. Average drinking here.

brystmar, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Beautiful deep, matte brown with mahogany highlights when backlit. Nice cream-tan head that pours a few fingers high without much effort.

S - A light affair of toffee, creamer and booze.

T - Burnt edges on a nice roast coffee. Some toffee and a touch of caramel as the profile sweetens. There's a breadyness that may or may not come through depending on how you interpret the toffee backend. Glimmer of woody hops right before the finish.

M - Light body with a moderately carbonated mouthfeel. Dry finish.

D - Moderate. Nice taste but the burnt flavors wear you down over time.

vfgccp, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of zeff80
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark burgundy color in the snifter with a two-finger, light brown head of long lasting foam. It slowly receded to leave sticky rings of intricate lacing.

S - Very Belgian - dried fruit, currants, plum, raisin. A rich malty aroma, too.

T - Overall, the taste is similar to the aroma although all the flavors seem weaker. There is a mild spiciness, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale that is pretty easy drinking despite its high ABV.

D - Great look and aroma, but the taste couldn't match it. It was not bad, just a little weak/muted for the style.

zeff80, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of JLeege
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours a deep deep amber color, with a creamy two finger head. Decent retention with a little lace.

Smell- Dark fruits, belgian yeast, slight notes of chocolate.

Taste- Very raisony throughout. A touch of chocolate and bitter coffee. Some slight belgian yeast notes as well. Despite the subtle nauances, dried raison completely dominates the palate.

Mouthfeel- A tad thick with medium carbonation.

Overall- Mild Stout? This is really just your typical belgian dark ale. Not bad, but the dominating raison flavor become a little to much for me, finished the bottle, no problem, but I dont see myself revisiting this one.

JLeege, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to drabmuh for picking up this bottle in DC. Served in a wine glass.

Pours dark mahogany with a thick light tan head and some nice streaky lacing. Great retention. The nose is slightly roasty with some mild Belgian character to it. There are some dark fruits in there as well. The taste is roasty with a bit of oxidation and cardboard. Really dry and almost harsh finish. Medium body. Pretty good though it does not really stand out anywhere, and there are a few issues with the flavor.

Thorpe429, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of jsprain1
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep hazy brown that matches the glass bottle, topped by long lasting, lace leaving, manila folder colored clumpy head.
S- Smells of deep chocolate and dark fruit.
T- Flavor is strangely, but enjoyably tart. Chocolate, some dark tart flavor.
M- Light body for style, creamy carbonation.
D- A very tasty beer that I think may even be a shade better than their blonde.

jsprain1, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle refers to the beer as "mild stout" and the listing here is "Belgian Strong Dark Ale." A rather unusual beer that, quite frankly, I don't know what style category really fits. Pours a surprisingly murky black with tan highlights and a uniformly dispersed yeast sediment. Predominant flavor is sweet caramel malt - almost barleywine-ish in flavor, without as much sweetness or any hops bittering. Some Belgian candy sugar and yeast flavors. Not a stout as I would consider it, but enjoyable.

Brent, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of bluejacket74
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce bottle with 21/04/12 printed on the bottle cap. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a dark reddish/brown color with about an inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is dark fruit, toffee, molasses, chocolate and roasted malt, it's a very sweet and malty smelling brew. I think the taste is mostly like the aroma, but it's a bit stronger and has the addition of some sweet spice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and slick with high carbonation (too much carbonation for me). Drinkability is decent, it's certainly not hard to drink at all. Not a bad brew at all, I'd buy this again.

bluejacket74, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of bobsy
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Troubadour Obscura is a lovely looking beer and the epitome of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale (or in this case, a Belgian Stout). It pours a deep reddish brown with mahogany highlights and a large lumpy tan head that laced beautifully and stayed the course.

I've had a few beers in my time, but I'm still somewhat of a newbie when it comes to Belgian stouts. They seem to have some nice spicing to compliment roasted and chocolate malts, and a significant dark fruit presence. In some respects it seems to have a number of traits in common with the baltic porter, but with an obvious spicy character. That's exactly what we see here in both the nose and on the palate. All of the above flavours combine with a delicately balanced mix of sweet and bitter and a prominent dash of molasses. Excellent, complex stuff! The only potential strike against this beer is I wish that it had a heavier mouthfeel, but as it is its still a pleasant weight, with its medium heft and creamy carbonation.

Excellently crafted beer that deserves a little bit more recognition than it gets - I'm curious to try their other offerings based on this.

bobsy, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
2.63/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

From a 330 ml bottle, on to the beer:

Creamy burnt brown/orange in color, the head on top is large and shows very good retention and some rings of lacing. I was expecting something of a black color. Anyways, the aroma is hard to figure out. It's medicinal, grape, dark chocolate, turkey jerky...something just doesn't bring it all together.

It tastes like a poor mix of rauchbier and Belgian dark ale. The individual notes are nice, but the mix is not. There's some jerky, dates, a slight sweetness, spicy, minerals...kind of enjoyable, but messy. The smooth feel of the liquid and its medium-hevay mouthfeel bring hope, as does a dark chocolate aftertaste. Still, that's not enough to rescue this beer. Não mais!

DoubleJ, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of mgbickel
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to OneDropSoup for bringing a few bottles of this to our recent tasting. Not sure if this is a stout or not, but anyway...

Poured about 3oz into a Perfect Pint glass. The short pour yielded a yellowish/tan head that hung around and stuck to the glass nicely. The body is dark brown with ruby edges.

The nose has lots of molasses, dark fruits and a caramel/coffee/chocolate mixture.

As the nose indicates, the taste has a fermented fruit sweetness followed by a bitter, coffee finish. There is a spiciness in the background also...almost a peppery cinnamon.

Medium bodied, creamy yet a little oily; mild carbonation.

Pretty interesting...not sure what category this falls into, but it is drinkable nonetheless.

mgbickel, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of sketchpunx
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown with a massive four finger tan head into my corsendonk tulip. The smell is odd. I can't quite place it and I'm not sure if I like it, but it reminds me of something very specific...
The Taste of this is really interesting. Very sweet up front with lots of chocolate and roasted malts. Very creamy mouthfeel. Lots of Chocolate and coffee notes come through in this. a bit of alcohol comes through at the end. I like this beer more with each sip. A very different stout to say the least. Interesting and complex, but perhaps just a tad too sweet for my taste.

sketchpunx, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from BA Mag Oct 2007.

Though the label says "Mild Stout," this appears to be nothing of the sort, and confusing a lot of users on BeerAdvocate.com. Let's see what all the hoopla is about.

Deep and dark, color is a near opaque ruby red. Creamy tan head drops to a healthy lacing and sticks. Smells of sweet, overripe fruits with a deep caramel beneath. Super smooth and creamy on the palate--velvety texture. More dried fruits soaked in alcohol, with a semi-tart cherry flavor and leafy bitterness. Gummy center. Sweet with toffee, notes of chocolate, some roast coffee, hint of fig meat, and a tangy molasses. Dry chicory, burnt and smoky edges. Black pepper, under a slightly warming alcohol. Finish is dry, with lingering malty notes and some yeasty characters that eventually clean up nicely.

Definitely not a Stout in the traditional sense, but the Belgians are great at putting their own unique twist on things. It's a bit sweeter than expected, but complex and easy on the palate. A good pick, and worth checking out for a completely different kind of Stout.

BeerAdvocate, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of eric5bellies
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a bar in Oudelem, Belgium

A - Pours a nice mahogany colour with an off white head that reduces to a film.

S - Quite sweet with molassis and spicey dark fruit

T - Very malty with molassis and dark fruit.

M - Medium body and carbonation

D - Great example of style

eric5bellies, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured dark amber-brown in color with a thick and creamy tan head. The head has excellent retention properties and a moderate level of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts in the nose, along with some hints of chocolate.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather malty and has hints of cherries and chocolate. There is some bitterness from the hops in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and is very smooth.
D: The beer was very easy to drink because the alcohol was well hidden.

metter98, Jul 04, 2010
Troubadour Obscura from Brouwerij De Musketiers
87 out of 100 based on 366 ratings.