1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Troubadour Obscura - Brouwerij De Musketiers

Not Rated.
Troubadour ObscuraTroubadour Obscura

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

367 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 367
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: 367 | Reviews: 219 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of theopholis
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours an semi-hazy, brown with ruby highlights. The head is small, light brown, with so-so retention and some, but not much lacing.

Smell- Nice, complex malt sweetness in the smell, with notes of dark fruits (especially plum and raisins), cocoa, and a mild breadiness. Very inviting smelling.

Taste- Wow. Starts off with a stong, dark malt with malt sweetness, and some bitterness from the roasted grains. Lots of flavors you'd expect from a liquor made of dark fruits, with a huge jolt of licorice in the middle. Also get some notes of chocolate and even a tobacco flavors. Not as spicy as a lot of Belgian darks. As the beer warms a little, you get a nice alchol warmth to it. Quite complex.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. The carbonation level is a bit low for the style, but that brings out the flavors so much better. I don't care for the high carbonation a lot of Belgian ales have.

Drinkability- Probably not that close to style, but I find this to be one of the most pleasurable Belgian darks I've had.

theopholis, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a massive, rocky head; excellent retention and an intriguing pattern of lace

Smell: Cocoa, marshmallow and prune aromas dominate, along with vinous elements and hand rolled cigars

Taste: Opens with a malty blend of cocoa, marshmallow and red wine grapes; after the swallow, the prune and tobacco flavors appear and blend to the finish; there is a distinct smoky character throughout

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation - it has that foamy Belgian stout mouthfeel, for sure

Overall: An intriguing combination of flavors in a rather light bodied example of the style

brentk56, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of Sixpoint
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Mahogany chestnut hue with lovely beige head poured into my shaker pint glass (only one available).

Sweet honey and licorice malt backbone with appendages of subtle peppery hops. Lingering caramel apple coating with spicy clove finish.

Medium bodied with bright and active carbonation and effervescence.

Nothing outstanding about this brew, but technically flawless nonetheless and a fantastic ale on a cold January New York evening.

Sixpoint, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark ruby brown. No head. Nose is mild malts. Flavor is smooth, but with a slight popping edge to it. Mild malts mixed with yeasts. Firm sweetness. I have had this on the bottle before and still stand by what my memory serves about my previous review. This is like a mild stout mixed with a dark belgian ale. Feel is nice and smooth on the liquid and with a great amount of bubble on the tongue. Highly drinkable. Easily sessionable. Smooth and so well crafted.

RblWthACoz, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of wagenvolks
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't run into Belgian stouts too often, so this one was a pleasant surprise.

Into the beer mug poured a cola-colored body with streams of carbonation bubbling throughout. A creamy, tan head, 1" in thickness and superbly retained floated on top. The aroma presented soft, hoppy notes paired with a caramel, malty backbone. Notes of cinnamon, cocoa, and orange peel mixed in as well.

As for the flavor, oh my! I was utterly unprepared for the bitter onslaught of coffee & chocolate. Raisins and dark rum puckered the sides of the mouth while a peppery spice and a solid, warming alcohol note washed over the entire palate. The body was of medium consistency, slightly overcarbonaed, and finished a bit chalky down the gullet. Troubadour's "Mild Stout" wasn't mild at all; rather, its intricate aroma, flavor, and bitterness made for an interesting brew that I would certainly go after again.

wagenvolks, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a soft dark brown hue with a one and half finger creamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft upfront chocolate malt with some complimentary estery aromas.

The taste consisted of a light chocolate malt, some cafe au lait character, a touch of sweet smokiness and a decent yeast spice.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side with a slightly dry finish.

Overall a tasty stout. Very unique.

plaid75, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of genog
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich dark brown color with a creamy, milky one inch head in a tulip glass. Smell is similar to a belgian more so than a stout. Lots of sugary, yeasty, and dried fruit tones. Taste is coffee and chocolate at first followed by some dry fruit sweetness. Mouthfeeling is nice and creamy as well.

genog, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of dedrinker
2.38/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not a stout by any stretch of the imagination. Dark murky brown. Nose of fruit, malts, and sugar. Tasted like one of, or a combination of a) a Belgian dubbel. b) an aged and oxidized American Barleywine. c) a limp weizenbock. So not impressed. I did not finish it, and had the bartender take it back. It wasn't bad, but I am judging it according to its professed style. If a friend had home-brewed this as a Belgian dubbel, then I would have been impressed.

dedrinker, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of largadeer
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown (nearly black) with a 3-inch tan head. Looks somewhere between a dark Belgian ale and an English stout.

Smell: Coffee, black licorice, cream - very complex and difficult to pin down to specific aromas.

Taste/mouthfeel: Chocolate and coffee in the forefront. Very roasty but with an underlying fruity character that isn't common amongst stouts. Has a subtle tartness that is also present in De Dolle's Extra Export Stout. Creamy on the tongue, it's quite thick and chewy. Extremely smooth with no hint of alcohol. Pretty unique stuff, and very good.

largadeer, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Troubador Obscura, 12 oz brown bottle. "mild stout."

mmm, I like Belgian stouts...

Dark brown, with ruby tints, lovely toasted tan head, a match for Belgian cocoa powder. Beautiful.

aroma: soft, light chocolate, sweet, but solid...darker delights come forth in time, more maple and anise. Very nice.

Taste: Full-bodied, nice chocolate flavor, sweet, then bitter, then smooth. Some mild astringency, but sweet cocoa is king. Lays long on the palate. Lingers in the memory.

Exceptional and intriquing. Tasty, tasty, tasty.

4.5/4/4/4.5/4

feloniousmonk, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with amber hints and a tan head. Aroma of a Belgiany sweet roasted malt. In the taste, a sweet roasty malt. A smooth, big body mouthfeel and a sweet malty aftertaste.Nice and smooth, nice body. More porter-ish than a stout, but still tasty and quite different.

OWSLEY069, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of smurphy77
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A lithe and fizzy beer with darker flavors. Nice combination of texture and taste. From the tap, this beer poured dark brown with a one finger head that lasted til the last drop. Smelled of dark roasted malts and tootsie rolls (stuck in halloween mode maybe).

Flavors of molasses and a sweetness reminiscent of root beer with bright soda-like carbonation to boot. Slightly bitter aftertaste that comes with a faint note of alcohol.

This beer is very easy to drink, although I don't know if I could have more than one at a time. Certainly worth a try, if for no other reason than it is quite a unique brew.

smurphy77, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of Foxman
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a murky, velvety mahogany with genuine ruby highlights, fetching in an afternoon's sun. A thick finger of dense light tan head sustains for an adequate while. Bursts of lacing star the inside of the glass.

The aroma is rife with dark fruit, caramel toasted malt, a mild lactic bite, molasses, and plentiful spicy esters. Not to mention, the alcohol, while restrained, is amply present.

Upon sipping, and believe me, it was just an initial sip, the malt is again sweet with caramel, but also with a more up-front candy sugar sweetness mixed with toffee. Dried fruit, being raisins and prunes, provide an earthy fruit effect. Cocoa and a mild layer of general spice glide into a soft sourness that itself morphs into a light lash of alcohol. The finish is a nicely lingering extension of a the slightly bitter and crisp spiciness. The flavor is full and bold, and attractively complex.

Medium bodied, the carbonation pricks the creamy flow of malt, generating a lively and fun presence.

Mild stout, huh? I'm not sure I can get my arms around that, but it is a very stately, complex, and blended Belgian, with plenty of guts and finesses, each in turn. It stood up to and wonderfully complimented a fine Italian blue cheese, Blu del Moncenisio. Even as a standalone, it is utterly enjoyable, if at times a bit too big for its own good, maybe blurring some edges in spots. The ABV is spookily disguised, lurking and waiting for one's foolish over-indulgence. And yet, it goes down well, clean in the end, and refreshing, especially with the right gustatorial pairing. So call it what you will, it's a pleasure.

Foxman, Oct 19, 2007
Photo of barrelman
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew has been lurking in my fridge for about a year and a half. I just couldn't seem to take the label seriously. The appearance would've been a 4.5 if not for it.

Terrific hues of red streak through the darkness. Caramel and slight butter hit the nose to pleasurable affect. Flavor is good until the end when it drops out and leaves some alcohol bits in my nose. I know it's 8.5 but I was hoping that the crystal would help mask it a little more.

Mouth is creamy and thick. Drinkability is better than I thought and will try this one again.

barrelman, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of techdiver
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep chestnut brown with a substantial head that dissipates slowly

Dark fruit, caramel malt nose.

Taste echoes the nose with a very evident licorice element previously undetected.

Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel with fine carbonation.

Very drinkable brew, most enjoyable.

techdiver, Oct 07, 2007
Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served cool, around 50º-55º.
Aged one year in the cellar, 11.2 oz. BBD: 09/02/09

Huge billowing head out of the tulip glass. Sticky tan lace all around, puffy and merengue-like. After 10 minutes it diminishes a bit, but surges again with a second pour. Deep burnt chestnut hue.

Aroma is lightly milky sweet with a lactic edge, roasted malt as well. Belgian yeast lends an indescribable fruitiness. Sort of simple. but the sum of it's parts is appealing.

Mellow body and feel, notes of malted milk candy, chocolate, slight bitterness to the roasted malt element. Well balanced, deceptively hidden alcohol. Not all that stouty, but certain characteristics lean in that direction. Mild sweetness, but not cloying. Lingering dry aftertaste, malty with alot of yeast character.

Overall very nice, a good Belgian to keep in the cellar, or to enjoy whenever you want a BSDA with more character.

emerge077, Sep 20, 2007
Photo of beerphilosopher
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pors a deep ruby red color, nearly black until held in the light. Topped off with a tall, frothy head of light tan foam that leaves streaks of lacing in the tulip glass. The nose is of roasted malt, mollasses, raisins, and dates. Very warm and very rich. The palate reminds me in some small way of Achel Brune, but slightly more biting. This is a Belgian strong dark ale, not a stout, at least in the traditional sense of the word. Dark roasted malt, figs, raisins, and more black-strap mollasses in the palate. The 8.5% alcohol is quite well hidden, but does provide a nice warm finish. Speaking of finish, this ale is not cloying but does have a lingering sweetness. Aggressively carbonated, it leaves fairly clean and dry however. Thich in the mouth, but alive with carbonation. This is an intriguing beer. Very rich and complex - a pleasant Belgian strong dark ale in every respect, I'd say. If I had another bottle, I'd want to cellar it for a year or two and see how the flavors and mouthfeel round out. Still, very nice as it is now.

beerphilosopher, Sep 14, 2007
Photo of Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750-ML bottle with a perma cork pulls out with just hand strength. This batch says 8.2% ABV on the bottle.

Opaque brown beer that can pass a little red light but not much. Tall light brown head.

Smell is sweet and extremely fruity to the nose, lots of raisin and dark dried fruit scents. Bit of sugared pineapple and cherry, this smells pretty much exactly like the candied fruit assortments that you can buy at Christmas time. Strong brown sugar and molasses scent. A little bit of chocolate and brandy in the scent. A surprise for sure this is one of the best smelling beers of its type and it is very complex.

The taste begins sweet and smoky with quite an unexpected and strong flavor of smoky malt and chocolate. Sweet with a little balancing tartness that I believe is patent malts sour, bitter, smoky and sometimes metallic tastes. The smoky taste never really goes away and that makes this a lot like a Scottish Wee Heavy. The stout part of this I can't really taste except for some bitterness, this is really closer to Scottish ale. Lots of brown sugar and dark preserved fruit flavor. Strange but this does have some Musk Melon flavor to it.

The mouthfeel is good.

Can't exactly say drinking this beer is a chore, in fact it is quite good. Definitely one of those freestyle Belgian Ales that succeeds. The Brew-master has taken ideas from many different beer styles and countries and melded them into something of a Belgian take on the sweet stout but it tastes more like a Wee Heavy to me. Recommended for those who don't care too much about definitions and strict interpretations of beer styles.

Zorro, Sep 08, 2007
Photo of gmcfarre
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into St. Barnardus Chalice
Cap labeled "Best Before 23/08/08"

A - Pours a dark, chestnut brown color with a minimal tan head that fades quickly. Lacing is moderate and produced in rings. Nearly opaque, but not quite.

S - Strong, sweet dark fruits (raisin, plum come to mind) with earthy caramel scents and lots of spice. Really pleasant and outgoing scent.

T - Sweet raisins and caramel with some traditional Belgian spices batting around your palate. High alcohol content is well hidden at first, but becomes slightly more prominent with its burning aftertaste as the beer warms. Very little hop activity, if any. Tasty and balanced.

M - Smooth, lightly carbonated and somewhat delicate for such a dark beer. Light to medium body with slightly sweet aftertaste.

D - A very enjoyable Strong Dark Ale that hides it alcohol well. Definitely worth a try if you can find it.

gmcfarre, Sep 04, 2007
Photo of ZAP
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Very dark brown with a big tan head

S-Hard/Mineral water....musty....a sour notes...

T-Begins sweet....some milk chocolate...roasted malts....finishes slightly tart...

M-Medium bodied...creamy texture.

D-Unique effort here....not sure if this is a stout or a Belgian Strong Ale...tastes like a blend...worth trying for the sake of trying something a little different. One is enough for me though...

ZAP, Sep 01, 2007
Photo of John_M
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I ordered this by accident the other night, thinking I was getting the Jolly Pumpkin Dark Dawn. As it turned out, the mistake was fortuitous, as I probably would not have ordered this beer otherwise. Much to my surprise, it was quite excellent.

Ordered on tap at Max's the other night.

The beer pours a nice, dark, rootbeer color, with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose I'll be damned it it dosen't have a bit of cola/rootbeer aroma, along with some cherry and vanilla. On the palate this is really yummy stuff. The beer has a very soft, creamy mouthfeel, with a lovely creamy, sweet chocolate, cherry and cola flavor profile. This beer is entirely too easy to drink, with the 8.5% very well disguised. The beer glides like silk across the palate.

This beer is so easy to drink, you could hurt yourself if you weren't careful. I'll definitely be ordering this one again, and next time it won't be by accident.

John_M, Aug 22, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, poured in a 'Troubadour Color Glass' (14oz, curvey U-shaped glass).

A - dark red-brown color with a rich creamy beige head that crowns your glass. Thanks to the refermentation in the bottle, we have lots of natural carbonation with lots of lace left on the empty glass.

S - malt, coffee and chocolate.

T - flavors are deep and rich, malty, clearly roasted (is it hints of coffee, is it hints of chocolate?). Deceptive, because the relatively high alcohol content is not immediately felt, except maybe a slight warming sensation. Complex aftertaste, with some licorice undertones, and a pleasant bitterness.

M - medium/full bodied, good carbonation.

D - one or two of these is a very nice tasty treat.

Final Note: this is a beer to savor and enjoy—let your taste buds experience every ounce of flavor.

JoeyBeerBelly, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of AChamberlain
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured at the Gate in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

A: Poured into pint glass. Dark, black. Thin head, probably due to pour.

S: Slightly sweet aroma. Sugary/creamy. A bit of chocolate maybe

T: This beer actually reminded me a lot of the Brooklyn Black Choc. Stout but a bit more of bore. Yummy altogether though. Good chocolate flavors.

M: Medium body. Not to thick and smooth.

D: Pretty drinkable, besides the strong alcohol flavor, but hey this is beer. I would definitely try again next winter.

AChamberlain, Aug 02, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had my first-ever bottle of this at Vol De Nuit in NYC, and took notes while enjoying it.

Poured a smallish light-tan head, on top of a deep milk chocolate color.

Aroma is toffee, dark fruits, burnt sugar and chocolate.

The flavor is so ridiculously close to a 5, but I just couldn't quite award it a grade of perfection. But man, this is delicious. Milk chocolate up front, followed by a fruity clip and gooey, creamy caramel background. Burnt toffee, yeast, peanut brittle linger in the finish. A lively spiciness emerges as it warms (probably more the alcohol than anything else).

Mouthfeel is creamy, milky, buttery, and moderately carbonated. Yummm...

YUM, I say again. Dessert beer for sure.

Metalmonk, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from aBelgian stout, but in hindsight I should've anticipated what I got - this beer is somewhat roasty (like a lot of American stouts) but balanced with a bit of sourness. The beer finishes rather dry, and the fruity sourness in this beer is imparted without any fruity stickiness. All in all this beer is quite solid all the way around, and I'd highly recommend it.

I had this at Roman's Pub in Milwaukee, served (as always) in appropriate glassware (a Unibroue tulip if I remember correctly). Appearance was black with some red "legs" as the light shone through it.

BeerBelcher, Jun 13, 2007
Troubadour Obscura from Brouwerij De Musketiers
87 out of 100 based on 367 ratings.