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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn StoutMadrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Shovelbum on 02-12-2006

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Reviews: 370 | Ratings: 978
Photo of zander4dawin
3.44/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, smell like chocalate, tart, banana. Mouthfeel is sharp and sour on a light body. After taste doesn't linger long. Not much oakiness. ---.-.-.--.-.-.-.-.-.-.-..-.--.-.-.-.-.-..-.--.-..--..-.-.-.-.-.--...-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-..-.-.-.-.-.-.--.-..--.-.-.-.-.-.--..-.-.-.-.-.-

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Photo of woemad
2.96/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

1pt.9.4oz. bomber purchased at Enoteca in Post Falls, Idaho for $16.99. This might be the single most expensive beer I’ve purchased in terms of price (though not most expensive per ounce – that honor belongs to the Cognac Beer Geek Brunch Weasel). I purchased this because it was the first beer I’d ever seen of this brewery and the first Michigan beer I’ve laid eyes on (except perhaps cans of Strohs spotted in supermarkets in Berkley and Royal Oak while staying with my teetotal grandparents as a child). According to the bottle, this was brewed February 3, 2012, part of batch # 980.

Poured a dark brown that took on a midnight black appearance once safely in my glass. Light was not permitted to pass through it. Big, creamy tan head.

Slightly sour, acidic aroma. There’s also some dark fruit scents to be had.

Hmm. Not so much a sour stout as a fruity sour beer that happens to be pitch black! A moderately sour fruit flavor dominates the taste, instead of the “roasted malts and bitter hops” mentioned on the label. As it warms, there’s a little “woodsiness” in the background from the oak aging, and a very faint roasted malt flavor, but the sour, green apple-like fruit flavor stays in charge. It’s not exactly bad, but it’s weird and it is light years from what I was expecting. I was expecting a Belgian take on a typical barrel-aged Imperial Stout, so I can’t help feeling disappointed.

Thin, prickly mouthfeel.

This could be called a dark sour ale rather than a “Belgian inspired stout” and it would be a perfectly fine stylistic description. That’s not what I was expecting going into this beer and I feel cheated, especially in regards to the price. I might try another beer from this brewery if I should see any others, but I think I’ll be giving this one a wide berth.

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Photo of dionito
1.51/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Looks ok, black, what else do you expect a stout to look like, right. Barely any head, ok overall.

Smell is sour with a hint of roast. More than sour, acidic. Not nice, no way I was expecting this. Did not like it at all.

Taste is plain awful. I like sour beers, but this is more acetic than lactic. Vinegar. That's good for salad dressing, not for beer. And if you add the roast to the mix... What kind of joke is this? Not a good one.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Where's the creaminess of an imperial stout? Is this infected or was done like this on purpose?

Overall an awful beer. I'm glad I paid $2 for a taste rather than $14 (YES, $14) for a 12oz pour. Bad beer, bad price, great disappointment. Why had I ever heard anything good about this beer? I do not get it. Will not try again.


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Photo of prandlesc
2.3/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Sadly surprising. It has a nice dark color as expected from a stout. Even with a robust pour it has a limited to nonexistent head, which is not completely out of style for a stout, but somehow I expected a little more. The aroma has a hint of coffee that is shadowed by a hint of sourness. And It is sour for a stout - especially without any label reference to its tartness. Overall, it's a rather nasty tasting stout - it may be a fine sour, but one can't really call it a stout.

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
1.27/5  rDev -66.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Looked to be ok, smell, ah....taste....yuck! Disgusting is a gift for how this beer tastes. Truly undrinkable.... I took three drinks, tried hard to like each drink....cringed each sip and unfortunately, yet thankfully, poured this bottle of shit down the drain. The drain even puckered as it reluctantly accepted the shitty contents of this bottle.

Appearance, not bad....looked ok
Smell, a bit off, but wanted to try this beer
Taste, yeah this is where everything went to shit...sour nasty filtered through a dirty pair of underwear taste...repulsive
Mouthfeel...the taste just made it downright tough to swallow this crap
Overall, disgusting

The really unfortunate thing...I traded some good beer for this crap! Yuck!

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Photo of reebtaerG
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Lures on 4/14/14

A-Pours a very dark brown color with a smallish light brown head on it.

S-Nose is very roasty, with just some hints of some floral hops and sour coming through underneath.

T-Taste is roastier than it is bitter, but there is a little bit of hoppy bitterness with a sour notes on the back end.

M-Has a light/medium body and okay carbonation

O-Overall a great beer thou it is not anyway a stout. It is a hybrid of a sour and stout.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sample on tap at Max's (3/11/14)

A: Pitch black with good lacing.

S: Sour, tart and funk with a lot of cherries.

T: Tart. Sour. Nice taste of cherries. This is only vaguely a stout at all.

M: Smooth with only a tingling of carbonation.

O: This is a good beer, but it is quite pricey given what it is.

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Photo of kaufmaal
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with some reddish brown highlights. Very little carbonation and no head. This one has some chocolate and some dark fruit aromas, some vanilla and licorice. The taste is very unexpected and, for me, unsatisfactory. It starts sour, and finishes sour and bitter - vinegar sour, dark chocolate bitter. Not much viscosity to it, and it's very thin and a bit watery.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt. 9.4 fl. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter
Blend 7
Bottled 2-8-2011

A - This beer is black. There is no light coming through at all. The pour produced a couple inches of chocolate colored head.

S - It smells sour. I get some tart dark fruit aromas.

T - It starts out sour with some green apple with a segue to tart dark fruit. Then I get some roasted malt on the finish.

M - Medium

O - I just told a friend the other day that I did not think that Jolly Pumpkin beers were that sour. I spoke too soon. I really like this beer. It has some good funk, and the roasted malt on the finish is fantastic. This is right up there with my favorite JP beer, Noel de Calabaza.

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Beer pours jet black with a think and creamy tan head. No highlights, this is a very dark beer.

Aroma is bitter/roast and funky. It is quite clear that the beer is going to be lip puckering sour just from the aroma. The bitter/roast aroma does not go great with the funky aroma, think sour coffee.

Beer is sweet, sour, and a little chocolaty. The finish is both funky and bitter/roasty. Just like the aroma this kind of clashes. It is not as bad as the aroma but it certainly confuses the taste buds.

Body is full and beer is silky and smooth, just like a stout should be.

Overall and ok beer. I do not think dark malts and funk go all that well together. That being said it is not terrible and would be worth trying, although maybe not at 18$ a bottle!

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Photo of mikem0487
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Blend 10-Bottled 02/12/13. Poured into ale glass.

A-Poured a dense black body with a thin brown pinkys width head. Lacing and head retention are minimal.

S-Great smell from this BA beer. Oak, roasted chocolate and subtle hints of vanilla sweetness are throughout the nose. None of those belgian esters from the yeast are apparent.

T-The belgian notes from the yeast shine through on the tongue. This taste like a belgian stout now. Roasted/chocolate malts give way to the sweet/sour from the Belgian yeast strain and barrel aging that it acquired. Nice sweet taste throughout with notes of plum and raisin mixing well with the malt notes and belgian yeast. Delicious stuff right here.

M-Medium to light for a stout with the mouthfeel, real dry finish and good carbonation.

O-Another great beer from JP. The aroma smells great but does not give away its belgian characteristics like the taste does. The beer is defiantly on the acidic side and you notice that as you sip on the beer more and more. If you enjoy eclectic beers you will really enjoy this brew. Cheers.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I saw this as a sour but as it poured dark brown into the glass I thought there was mistake. All the looks of a stout with a thick head of foam.

The scent had some sour lemon qualities but an evidentiary charred malt comes out with pop. The aroma is smokey and sweet with touches of chocolate and barley.

Despite being ready for an exceptionally sour opening I still puckered when I took the first sip. Trust Jolly Pumpkin to hit you in the face with a stout but this is truly the biggest disparity I've experienced in a beer. Tart and sour in its opening salvo it ends in a dry, charred malt like a true stout.

The feel is smooth but bitter, moderately carbonated but tart.

This is a true Jekyll and Hyde beer, two divergent concepts that meld so well.

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Photo of stephens101
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The loose and bubbly dark tan head falls off quickly.

Has a sweet milk chocolate nose with a touch of soured dark fruits, cream, taffy and a certain nuttiness.

Much lighter than expected with a surprising and profound tartness up front. It doesn't pucker, but doesn't back down either. A little grain and alcohol is noticed, along with faint chocolate. Grape juice and plum wrap it all up nicely.

Like taking communion with a beer instead of fruit juice. I can get behind that kind of tradition right there.

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Photo of ChicagoNick
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a FFF teku glass.
Virtually no carbonation. Dark brown. No lacing to speak of. Silky appearance.

Smells sour, as expected. Tart Cherries. A little roasty. A little astringent.

Taste: funky cherries, awesome chocolate bitterness left on the tongue although not immediately noticeable. Not getting any coffee/espresso flavors that most reviewers seem to get.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Velvety. I'd buy this again just to experience it, again.

Great beer! Madrugada Obscura is exactly what I imagined (and hoped) it would be.
Blended really well. Its effectively a tart chocolate covered cherry. I've had propitiation, a sour porter from Russian River, and now this sour stout. I'm sold on the style and can't wait to try more similar beers.


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Photo of Beerdanza
4.41/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whoa! This is a unique experience. I can't compare it to other beers I've tried. It's almost not beer, but something else entirely. It's sweet, and then sour. Very smokey, and malty. There is some oakey taste, but less than expected. It has low carbonation, and an almost savory aftertaste. The closest thing I can compare it to is very high end balsamic vinegar, the kind you actually sip.

I imagine that some beer lovers will not like this at all, but I love it. It's fascinating. It's a sipping beer. I wouldn't drink it all the time, but I definitely plan to have it again. If you like something different and unusual once in a while, give it a try.

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Photo of srhoadsy
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served chilled into a flute.

Pours a deep sable color with very short light brown head that quickly disappears leaving no surface layer or lacing.

Aromas of bittersweet chocolate and dried stone fruits.

Chilled the flavors are all about sour cherries and raspberries. As it warms you start to get hints of dark chocolate, coffee and a hint of leather.

Light bodied with a crisp mouthfeel. Light carbonation with a mild aftertaste.

Overall a very interesting and hard to rate beer. It is a stout in name only, more of a grand cru. If you like sours and can get ahold of a bottle, I would definitely recommend.

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Photo of Theseanlewis
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aged 18 months. Bottle 2/13/12 Drank 10/15/13

A- dark brown to black in color. Initially heavily carbonated but the head dissipates quickly.

A-roast up front followed by an old sour basement smell. Not Brett but the smell of old wood. Old cacao.

T- earthy and sour at front. Light bubbly carbonation followed by a smooth tartness. The sourness smoothes out and leaves a dry espresso roast flavor lingering with a faint boozieness.

M- very thin for a stout, still well carbonated and light. East to drink Based on the heat of the alchohal.

O- delicious. Drinkable. A stout I could drink all day, smooth. Not filling full of flavor. Age calms both stout and sour flavones melding two distant flavors.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Blend 4, bottled Jan 14, 2013

Beer is jet black with a large tan head, Good retention and lacing.

Smell is a nice blend of roasted malt and funky, tart cherry. Some chocolate as well. Nice blend of two (usually) distinct elements.

Taste follows the nose. Roasted malt and chocolate blended very fluidly with funk and sour cherry. Very impressive how well the flavours are integrated. It is not one then the other, and they do not clash. Just two obviously different elements that come together fluidly and nicely. Finish is both tart and slightly bitter.

Full bodied, moderate to high carbonation level. Somewhat astringent, and fairly tart.

Overall, very enjoyable stuff. A really nice rendition of a sour stout - not the most common style in the world.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.39/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Not quite black with a subtle, creamy mocha head of half a finger. Not much sticks around. Soapy lacing to speak of.

S- Aroma of roasted malt and funky belgium yeasts. Some coffee. Swirling around in the glass really brings out the tartness aspects of the sour. Rusted metal and some booze. I'm intrigued and a little intimidated at the same time.

T- Not quite ripe fruits make and interesting pair with the roasted malts. Crisp pears, apples, dry white grapes and possibly sour cherries give way to toasted malts and earthy hops. Mouth puckering tartness rounds out the drink. Acidic lemon. Balanced. Interesting to say the least.

M- Mid body but has a light feel to it. Quite dry. Powdery almost. Fairly drinkable.

O- stoked to finally try a sour stout. While it may be a style that will take some time for me to warm up to, this is a valiant effort by JP. It really pushed the boundaries of my palate. I look forward to trying more of their work.

Blend 17
Bottled 3-1-13
Consumed 8-1-13
$12.99 for 750 ml

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Photo of chickenflea
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber. Pours pitch black. Foamy head fades quickly. Nose is yeasty and sour like grapefruit. Aromas are espresso, some yeast, some grapefruit, and the all is buried by a powerful sour sucker punch. Taste is light bitter and very pronounced sour. Lightish body with lively carbonation. Like a dry stout on steroids! An interesting take on the style. I liked it. But it may be a little too interesting.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Vermont if I remember correctly. Blend 1. From notes.

A - Poured black with a two and a half finger thick fluffy light brown head. Strong carbonation. Lot's of spotty lace and a full finger of retention that stuck around for a long time.

S - Roasty, coffee, Belgian yeast, leather, very interesting.

T - Tons of funk. Really was really dominant. Dark fruit, dusty.

M - Strong carbonation, full body, tart cherry funk finish.

O/D - Slightly one dimensional. Tasty but lacked complexity. I think it did what it wanted to though and was enjoyable. Just needed to be less dominated by the yeast. Worth checking out.

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Photo of Spartan13
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into tulip glass.

A: Very dark. I was out camping when I had this so it was too dark outside to tell if it was completely black, but it is possible. Very small head that dissipated quickly.

S: I picked up on slight notes of chocolate, java, maybe some oak, and a mixture of light citrus.

T: Wow! This was my first experience with a sour, and it was quite interesting. There's a lot going on in this beer. Too much for me to put my finger on. The first thought I had was the citrus scent translated to a hint of an almost grape-like taste. I think it has to do with the oak barrel aging they use. As it progressed, the chocolate and spices began to come more prevalent.

M: The higher alcohol content seemingly cut down on the heaviness of the beer as it went down. It does leave a lingering taste that coats your entire mouth and back of throat for quite a while. Just enough to keep you thinking between drinks.

O) I'm not that big on stouts yet, but my first experience with a sour was a good one. Highly recommended if you're looking to try something unique.

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Photo of shand
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Dawn is a solid sour that doesn't have all that much to do with a stout flavor-profile wise. I would have liked to see a bigger melding of American Wild and Double Stout flavors, but instead this is all acidity, tartness, sweetness, and fruitiness. It's still a very good beer, with plenty of complexity.

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Photo of dcs1548
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A small to medium foam head, a smooth jet black color, and a very nice funky smell of chocolate, toasted cocoa, oak, and tart apples. A nice taste of cocoa and sour funk, with a nice finish of pleasant apple sourness and rich out. A very unique beer and a well crafted beer.

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Photo of flayedandskinned
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Blend No. #3, bottled on 1-11-13
Poured into a standard tulip glass.

Appearance: (4.5)
Pours a thick, impenetrable obsidian with a 3.5 fingers tall, dark khaki head which lasts for quite a while, considering that this is a barrel aged, soured stout. The head even leaves some light lacing behind as it recedes.

Aroma: (4.5)
Some soft lactic acidity greets your nostrils immediately as you bring the glass to your face, taking the form of light lemon juice and fresh cherries. Some traditional Belgian abbey yeast esters are present underneath the tartness; light stone fruit and raisins. Behind the tartness and fruitiness, there is a growing malt presence; roasted coffee, rich milk chocolate and even a slight hint of smokiness. All of these diverse aromatics are encased in a subtle, barnyard funkiness from the wild yeast strains of Jolly Pumpkin. Some whispers of vanilla become apparent as the beer warms. Truly unique smelling beer.

Taste: (4.5)
A soft, lemon forward acidity lands gracefully on your palate as soon as the viscous liquid enters your mouth. This lactic acidity, with some subtle barnyard characteristics, and faint stone fruit notes, slowly transforms into a dry, slightly tart, roasted malt finish. There is a growing toasted nuttiness and creamy chocolate presence on your tongue that is left intermingling with notes of acidic, bitter coffee and vanilla from the oak barrel. A light tannin presence adds some lovely texture to the ale.

Mouthfeel: (4.5)
Robust and creamy with a medium body. Soft, deliberate carbonation.

Overall: (4.5)
An amazing, complex stout that has been very well crafted and artfully blended; There is a tart, lactic presence, but it is very restrained and allows the more refined, traditional characteristics of the stout to breathe. This beer is very complex, but it is blended perfectly to allow the drinker to pick apart and dabble in it's subtle nuances. I do find my wishing that it had a stronger barnyard funkiness, but perhaps that will come with some age on the bottle. Highly recommended.

Final score: 4.5/5

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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
86 out of 100 based on 370 ratings.