Troubadour Obscura - Brouwerij De Musketiers

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Troubadour ObscuraTroubadour Obscura

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very good

374 Ratings

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Ratings: 374
Reviews: 221
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 13
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Musketiers visit their website

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)
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Ratings: 374 | Reviews: 221 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a super thick cream light tan head that takes up about 1/2 of the glass and pushes above the rim. There is a warm brown body that is dense but lets light in toward the base of the beer. There is a super strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that keep that head growing.

S- The slightly sweet earthy black malt aroma has smells of dark caramel sugar following it with a white candy sugar and cream note in the finish.

T- This beer has a light musty almost horsy taste followed by notes of brown sugar and dark black roasted malt with hints of dark toffee. There is a light bitterness in the finish that is from roasted malt and not hops with a light alcohol taste to clean of the finish. The horsy taste increases as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a light pucker at the finish.

D- This beer has a nice dark malt flavor and some nice wild yeast characteristics. This is a creative beer that shows fusion done right can really make a good beer.

Photo of grub
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle sampled at the burger bar in las vegas june 5th/07.

pours medium brown with a big dark tan head. the head drops fast with no lace.

aroma is nice. bit of alcohol. very light roast. nutty - walnut shells? nice light caramel sweetness. milk chocolate. definitely a stout from belgium. shades of belgian dark ale with a bit of dark fruit - date and fig.

taste is neat. belgian strong dark ale meets sweet stout. light alcohol. bit nutty. bready malt. lots of date and fig dark fruit. nice light roast and bittersweet chocolate to keep it in check. medium bitterness level. bit of toffee and caramel.

mouthfeel is ok. medium-high carbonation level is just a bit too high. has the dry finish of a belgian but with a solid medium-large body of a stout. just a hint of astringency.

drinkability is good. i really enjoyed this combination. the high carbonation is the biggest flaw to me, and even that isn't too bad. a great marriage of stout and belgian. just give it a good swirl to loose some carbonation and it's great.

Photo of mynie
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice pour into a Delirum Tremens chalice. Very dark with a respectable head.

The smell of Belgian yeast overpowers roasted stout malt. Really smells much more like a Belgian dark than a stout.

Tastes the same. Very sweet yeast, dark Belgiany spices, and only a slight node of stout grains that are actually rough enough to be from a porter. It ends on the odd taste of cola.

Not what it was presented as, but a good beer nonethless.

Photo of drpimento
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

foist off, don't know the status of this brewery. Bodega used to get troubadour amber with the other label of the "happy guy". Anyway - this was served with a light head and some lace. Mahogany color. very aromatic malty character. Flavor's the same, but more intense. a little booziness. and an odd bit of peatiness, like a misplaced scotch ale. delicious.

Photo of shadow1961
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Troubador Obscura Mild Stout pours out a tan head over a black brew. The
nose is dark malts, dark fruits, and something like scotch. The flavor is sweetish
malt up front with a sharp bitter chocolate finish, and yes, a bit of a hint of scotch
boozyness in the mix. The mouthfeel is a bit thin for a stout, but dry. Not bad at all.

Photo of rayjay
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BB 23/08/08. Purchased at Ledger's Liqour, Berkley, CA. Great looking beer, with lots of deep browns and reds and purples coming together to make a perfect gentle black. Slightly transparent like a dubbel. Nice fluffly foam. Great nose as well, big and full, slightly sour like Orval, a bit of pleasant diacetyl, and sweet smelling deep roasted, but not blackened, malts.

Delicious and refreshing, and absolutely no sign of alcohol or high gravity. Sweet and sticky, yet not thick or viscous. Milk chocolate, malt, carmel, Rolos®. Great light mouthfeel, perfect gentle carbonation, subtle spring water backbone. Great drinking. It's absolutely delicious, and perhaps the most un-intimidating stout to convert your fellow beer drinkers. Cheers!

Photo of Estarrio
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was one of the beers that I chose to bring back with me from Belgium. As I crack the bottle and begin to enjoy this lovely brew, I can easily see why it made the cut.

Poured a dark, murky brown with subtle red tones. The amazing coffee colored head takes on a life of it's own. Persistent head? Heck, this one was still growing after several minutes in the glass. When the brew was gone, the glass was left adorned with sticky, frothy lacings along its walls.

Creamy caramel, cherry, raisin, doughy yeast, chocolate, sweet and roasted malts, candied sugar...Wow! This is one of the more complex Belgian strong dark ales that I've head the pleasure of enjoying. There is a bit of spicy alcohol present as well.

The mouthfeel is velvety with ample, fizzy carbonation that lends to a creamy consistency. 8.5% I could easily session this drinkable nectar.

The taste is every bit as complex, smooth and balanced as the aroma. The predominate esters include cherry, Muscat and raisin. There is a pleasing malt backbone with a touch of chocolate, caramel and roasted flavors. An earthy yeast taste, really ties the flavors together. The aftertaste has a bit of spicy booze. Other notable flavors include a touch of oak, vanilla and brown sugar. There is so much going on and it all works so well together!

This is easily one of my favorite Belgian strong darks. I'd absolutely love to see this in the states.

Photo of rallison
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at just under cellar temp into a Gulden Draak goblet.

A: Dark dark brown with a 2 finger fluffy tan head that lasts very well (and nice lacing too!).

S: Prunes, raisins, dates, molasses. Yummy!

T: Oh man, first sip is delicious. Prunes at the forefront, along with those raisins and dates. Tons of dark fruits! Candi sugar sweetness is back there, along with some chocolate and molasses. Maybe even some red wine thrown in for good measure. Delicious!

M: Nice and rich - full bodied for sure. Perfect carbonation level enhances this richness.

D: Intense flavors, so not exactly sessionable. But, give me a bomber and I'd probably finish it.

Highly recommended. This, folks, is tasty! Put it this way - I've had quite a few brews, so it takes something special for me to really notice it - I noticed this one!

Photo of GClarkage
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/17/06- Purchased at Ledgers Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle. Best by date on cap of bottle. Poured into my Alesmith tulip.

Appearance- Deep black with some dark cherry highlights. Full, oevrflowing pockmarked head. Chunks of caking lace everywhere.

Smell- Very nice bittersweet chocolate in the nose along with dark roasted sugary malt. Maybe even a touch of fruit in the nose.

Taste- Oak flavored background. Peppery, with a mild smoky character. Milky smooth with chocolate notes. Had an odd flavor I can't put my finger on as well, but it's a good one.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, silky and creamy. Cask like carbonation level. Thick, yet not a full mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Flavors meld excellent together. Very well rounded per style and in every category. Wonderful stout that I highly recommend.

Photo of KingG
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle.

Served at cellar temp and poured into my Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance is good. Pours very dark brown with a decent pancake head that dies down to a pinkie-nail sized foam. Pretty good amount of lacing.

Smell is good. Nutty yeast; smells very Belgian. Milk chocolate and alcohol as well. Very nice. (i like)

Taste is above-average. Chocolate up front with dark fruit and a little bit of alcohol in the back end. Sweetness is above-average and a bit cloying. Definitely lighter than a stout which is what it claims to be.

Mouthfeel is very good. Carbonation is perfect. This beer dances over the tongue and cheeks very well.

Drinkability is good. An easy drinker for sure. Too bad the small, cloying sweetness knocks off some points though.

Overall: A tasty Belgian style ale that gets lost in the shuffle amongst the greats. Worthy of me drinking again for sure. Recommended.

Photo of Braudog
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I’m not a very good label reader ... I had not idea this was a stout! Anyway, it poured a dark chocolate thinge with a poofy head. The aroma is much stronger than a "mild stout" that’s for sure ... stiffly alcoholic. Likewise, as I sip on this, while this is an enjoyable brew, it’s a strong one, and would take the weekend stoutie by surprise. Strong bitter dark cherry, alcohol, dark plum and an obscenely sweet twist at the end. (#2739, 3/7/2007)

Photo of drseamus
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The bottle cap of this bottle indicates that it is best before 8/23/08 and was consumed on 2/25/07. I poured it into a Chimay glass. The head falls quickly on this beer and leaves just the dark brown body. The center of the beer blocks light, but a large amount (for a stout) does get through at the edges exposing a lighter brown hue. The aroma is more typical of a dark belgian beer than a mild stout as it is labeled. It has a pretty strong malty presence, but there is some roasted aroma in there as well. There is also a weird smell in there that reminds me of green or purple olives, but it is pretty faint. The first thing I notice as I taste it is the creaminess. It is the typical creaminess that I find in dark belgians. The primary flavor is the roasted malt, and it is good for a stout. This is an excellent combination of a dark belgian and a stout.

Photo of Gueuzedude
2.42/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Best by date of August 2008, Sampled February 2007
Labled a stout, but really pours more like a dark brown ale, or really a Porter. This beer is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, amber tinged tan colored head. The beer sits a deep, dark brown color in my glass and shows ruby highlights when held up to the lamp. The aroma is a mix of concentrated fruit notes like raisin and fig, as well as a sort of cheesy note, and some definite notes of Madeira and sherry. The lasts too really become noticeable as you dig around in the aroma. There is a nice spiciness to the aroma as well, with notes of clove leading the way, but also notes of ginger, a touch of anise, and even some fenugreek. There is definitely something cheesy going on here though.

Up front the beer tastes of raisins and prunes, as it moves back off the tongue a lightly tart note becomes noticeable. In the long finish a note similar to port, and perhaps even a touch of sherry is noticeable. Very little roast character is noticeable, which is not entirely unexpected in this Belgian brewed beer.

The beer just does not do it for me, it tastes a bit too much like fermented prune juice to really be all that palatable. It never reaches horrible, and I could easily drink this if politeness demanded it. Fortunately it does not, so I will not.

Photo of Absumaster
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A thick head on top of a dark brown beer. The head is stabile and looks like a cooks hat.

Smell is exceptional, caramel and light roasted notes with a little diacetyl. The yeast gives a ripe banana and slight solvent smell.

Taste is caramel with definate roasted notes and some chocolate. The yeast is really very beautiful, ripe bananas with solvent and some slight butter. There is some alcoholwarming, but it is not sharp. Body is medium and the beer is a bit sticky and sweet.

A great beer which looks like Westmalle Dubbel, but then even better.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Nice dark amber color with a nice head that gave some pretty heavy lacing.

Smell - Chocolate with roasted coffee. Mild molasses with a hint of nuts. I smell a sour note but it is very subdued.

Taste - Sour apple mixed with chocolate and roasted coffee. The sour notes really make themselves known on the tongue.

Mouthfeel - Incredibly pleasant and crisp. The sour notes excite the palate and mix with the bitter chocolate notes. There is very little carbonation.

Drinkability - An exciting stout. The apple notes really balance with the bitter chocolate to make this incredibly drinkable and distinct. I definitely plan on getting more of these.

Photo of neonbrown82
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Like most belgian stouts, this is quite the oddball beer, but very interesting nonetheless. Pours to a dark nutty brown, quite opaque. What little light shows through in the edges of the glass reveal it to be fairly hazy. The head is minimal, though it leaves a light washy lacing.

The smell is very complex. Almost smells like a red wine, like a cabernet sauvignon. Some sweet berry and grape like aroma lies over a nice cocoa and coffee. A hint of dark candi sugar. Little to no roastiness. A bit of a bready yeastiness and fig as well.

The taste is not quite as appealing, though not unpleasant by any means. The roast is more apparent in the flavor than in the nose, coming to the forefront of the taste. Still has the same elements of the nose beneath. If it were any less roasty, it would taste like a fine cab-sauv. Very dry in the finish with a lingering chocolate, coffee, and fig aftertaste. Also has a fairly intense oaky character.

The body is fairly light and dry on the palate. A bit peppery. Carbonation is mild, providing a slightly creamy mouthfeel. This is a good, interesting, and unique brew for sure. It tastes like a stout, but it is distinctly belgian as well. Just not clean enough to be too drinkable, and it seems to be all over the board. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try this, however.

Photo of EPICAC
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a bottle at the end of the night at Waterhuis in Ghent.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy ruby-brown with a thick brown head that thins to half an inch leaving heavy lace.

Smell: Light fruity aromas of raisins and cherries. Malty with some light caramel.

Taste: Sweet malts, a bit of caramel. Tart with a roasty bitterness. Nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation with a lightly dry finish.

Drinkability: Balanced!

Photo of Phatz
4.83/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Troubadour Obscura Mild Stout from Belgium. I have never had a stout from Belgiam and it turns out it is not a stout at all... even better it is a Belgian Strong Dark. And boy is it strong and dark and lovely in every way.

Allowed to warm to almost room temperature and served in my snifter glass.

Appearance: Pour brown with suggestions of ruby in the hue. A frothy tan head caps the beer. As it fades into a halo it continues to leave terrific lacing behind.

Aroma: Chocolate and carob with a plum twist and a cherry and licorice note. It has another attribute that I couldn't put my finger on at first but I think it is dark rum cake I smell. Absolutely sensational in the nose!

Taste: Oh my goodness is this sweet and rich. It is loaded with plums and dates and figs and prunes and carob and cherries oh my! The body is malty and laced with brown sugar interwoven amongst the fruit flavors. Simply sweet. Caramel comes into play and then some boozy attributes like a port and brandy are showcased especially in the finish. As the plum fades from my mouth the Troubadour leaves a hint of nuts and ginger prancing on my tongue long into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as silk with low fine carbonation that slide across the palate and can force any drinker to stop… sip and savor, as it is divinely delectable!

Drinkability: NO DOUBT this is a sipping night cap of a beer. Don’t waste this treat on any sort of misuse. Sip and savor and enjoy every last drop. I did.

Hope this is helpful.

Troubadour Obscura from Brouwerij De Musketiers
87 out of 100 based on 374 ratings.