Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn StoutMadrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout

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very good

943 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 943
Reviews: 375
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 70
Gots: 130 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Shovelbum on 02-12-2006

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 943 | Reviews: 375
Photo of david131
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Absolutely pitch black. A big light brown head forms and leaves some awesome lacing. As the label says, "As dark as a moonless night."

S- Coffee, chocolate, sweet. Roasty and a little bit earthy with hints of cinnamon. Seems a little Englishy to me.

T- WOW. This is sour. Very strange how it is not all that noticeable in the aroma. A very unique contrast of sour and roasty. Very tart and sweet.

M- Creamy and smooth. A little cloying and dry but everything seems to work here.

D- One of the more unique beers I have had the pleasure of drinking. Definitely worth checking out.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I popped this bottle after hearing some bad news about a friend. It smelled chocolatey and roasty from the bottle. I let it breathe a minute or two and poured up. The pour came out brown and then black once the snifter was filled. The smell from the glass is funky and the roasty notes are subtle and hiding behind the funk. Whoa, the taste is funk, slight sourness and totally unlike any stout I have ever tasted! Lots of tartness, this is excellent and I swear Jolly Pumpkin is doing everything right with these beers especially the tiny bubbles in the mouthfeel. So what if it doesn’t “fit” the style, it is delicious! I can’t wait to get my hands on some bam noire. These are definitely finely crafted beers.

Photo of Onibubba
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got around to this one, and I am pleased to say it was well worth the wait. A black pour releases a high head of creamy fluffy mocha. Smell is sour, lets say cherries, with some evident roastiness. Taste is what I was hoping for and more. The qualities of a stout - dark chocolate, coffee, roastiness, hops - delivered with a slightly funky sour edge. Alcohol is a bit more evident in this beer than other JP offerings. Also different is the mouthfeel - smooth, creamy, with none fo the usualy JP carbonation. I love this. The bitterness of the hops, the roastiness, and the tartness of this ber produce a wonderful stout. Very nice job.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a jet black with a very small amount of tan head. It has very little lacing.

S: A very interesting smell to this one. The main aroma seemed to be that of chocolate or dark coffee.

T: The taste is all over the place. Starts off tasting like a normal stout beer, then when swallowed there are both sweet and bitter accents. Its almost like espresso and dark chocolate mixed. Very complex, but not all that appealing for me.

M: Very thick feel in the mouth as you would expect from most dark stouts likes this.

D: With the dominate aftertaste flavors this one is a beer that for me had to be sipped very slowly. It seems to make the mouth very dry after each swallow as well.

Overall an interesting experience, but not one I think I will try again.

Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750 mL bottle purchased from Capone's.

A: The ale is nearly opaque black, punctuated with red highlights. The head is thick and white, nicely lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: The nose starts off with the tart aromas so closely associated with Jolly Pumpkin. The twist here though is that the stout body manages to sneak through the wall of sourness, allowing a fuller, roasted grain scent to emerge.

T: The beer trends closely toward a stout up front, showing off roasted grains with prominent coffee and chocolate flavors. The open fermentation, however, doesn't take long to assert itself, following the initial stout body with a delicious tart flavor that is quite dry. The flavors overwhelm the stout body in the middle of the sip before allowing the darker flavors to come through near the end. The finish is equal parts burnt toast and sour pucker.

M: The stout is intriguing, giving equal time to both the tart and stout elements. If you are looking for a plain vanilla American stout, avoid this like the plague.

D: The ale is intoxiating, not from an alcohol perspective but from a uniqueness one. The flavors mix nicely, especially because I never would have expected them to.

Photo of malcontent
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Solid black body although somewhat lacking in the area of head, lacing and overall vitality.

Odd combo of lactic aroma and powdery esters along with a sharp cherry finish.

The first time that I've ever found Jolly Pumpkin's treatment of beer unwelcome. Sweet and sour cherry right off the bat although the tried and true roasted flavors force themselves to be tasted on the finish. Still the lacto doesn't meld well with the style (somewhat like Hitachino's Nest Lacto).

Thin for a stout and slightly astringent. Not something I'm going back to any time soon. Still a well made beer, just one made with questionable objectives.

Photo of putnam
2.7/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The fact that this is my 7th different JP beer causes me to expect something other than foursquare "American Stout." Maybe it will be zesty and peppery, like Hercule or De Dolle, or rather, maybe it will go even farther down that path ...

Black roasted barley aromas mix with sensations of moist hop-infused wood. I consider the quite hushed, almost silent aroma profile to be a sign of "correctness." Base tagged. Here come the JP flavors, like a knot of oozing green hemp and punishing oily black bitterness. A glimmer of maraschino liqueur and sweet lemons makes it live, but it remains a very somber, brooding liquid. I don't enjoy the aftertaste. I want a little more fruit and less brett.

Photo of Drew966
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Madrugada Obscura Dark Dawn Stout pours virtually jet black with a thick tan head from a brown 750 ml bottle that has an absolutely beautiful label. The aroma is interesting, it is a bit sweet, a bit sour, and a bit woody. Wow, the taste is not like any beer I've had before. There is quite a bit of sourness, and there is some coffee in the finish, but this is not like any stout I've ever had. Wood becomes more evident in the flavor as the beer warms. The bottle says it's a Belgian inspired stout. It's certainly a very interesting beer, very well made, I think I can appreciate what they are going for, but it's not a beer I think I'll revisit.

Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting beer from the folks at Jolly Pumpkin.

The beer pours a beautiful black color, with decent head retention and fair lacing. On the nose this beer is very complex. I get conflicting aromas of both sweet cherry and sour cherry, with some very noticeable tartness. There's also a hint of orange citrus. On the palate this beer is fascinating. Not even sure how much I like this beer (not a big fan of sour stuff), but I can't help but admire the intermingling of flavors. Aside from the obvious tartness, I aslo get some coffee, chocolate, and chocolate caramel. Flavors are layered in this beer, with the beer tasting completely different on the finish then what you pick up initially. The beer has a pleasant mouthfeel and the abv. is VERY well disguised. I would never guess this is an 8% beer. The beer finishes very smoothly and, but for the tartness, is very, very drinkable.

Very impressive beer that I'm guessing is not for everyone. I'm not even sure it's for me. Nevertheless, this is a beer that I can't help but be impressed by.

Photo of DrJay
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a giant tan head, the beer itself is very dark brown with mahogany edges. Great head retention with lots of solid, clumpy lacing throughout. The aroma has a pleasant chocolate/roasty base with a little tart, acidic vinegar and a bit of funkiness on top. The flavour was roasty and burnt up front with acidic and vinegar notes following close behind. Complexity emerged as it warmed - dark chocolate, earthy and woody, with a sweet, fruity finish. Quite dry, plenty of tannins, medium bodied with creamy carbonation. What an interesting beer! It's really quite strange the way the flavours and aromas come together, but it really worked for me.

Photo of dgallina
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml dark brown bottle. Beautiful label, but no best-before date, as usual for Jolly Pumpkin.

Pours a deep brown / black color, with only the faintest trace of light at the edges. An inch of thick head at the top with lots of lace clinging to the sides. Smells very winey for a stout. Sour oak, balsamic vinegar, and vanilla predominate. Lactic chocolate malt can be detected in the nose, but not much due to the strength of the others. The oak-aged sourness continues through to the flavor. Tart aged vinegar and grape in the front blends into a mellow burnt bread and chocolate malt finish. The sweet & sour combination lingers along with spicy alcohol. Body is creamy but light and easy-drinking. A bizarre combination of Flemish sour ale and stout. Quite a shock at first, yet oddly likable and refreshing. One of the oddest beers I've experienced to date.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What an interesting beer- very different than almost all American stouts,and really a different style altogether. Maybe a Belgian stout, or more appropriately a wild stout. Pours black with some ruby highlights and a fairly thin head that sticks around as a thin cap. Some spotty lacing as well. The smell is a funky combination of brett sourness and stout roastiness with some dark cocoa tossed in to the mix. The taste is similar, with the brett funkiness growing as the beer warms and breathes. Sour up front with roasty grain and chocolate flavors developing. There is also a late hit of chocolate and a lingering bitterness. Very unusual and quite good. Fairly crisp and refreshing despite the roastiness. Deliciously different.

Photo of rajendra82
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer came in a brown, 750 ml. Bomber, and I chose a tulip glass to pour it in. It looked quite good with a black, opaque body, and a three finger tall tan head. The smell was typical of a Stout with roasty smells of coffee, chocolate, as well as some toffee being detected. The taste was where big departure from the standard mold came, as the sourness was something I was not expecting here. Taste was something like a mixture of a Wild Ale and a Stout. The Brettanomyces funk, lactic sourness, and lightness of the former were somehow combined in this same beer with chocolate roastiness, bitter hops, and burnt grain astringency of the latter. The oaky and vanilla flavor common to the barrel aged versions of either was also present. It leaned more heavily towards a Wild Ale than a Stout, despite the way it looked. Big kudos to Jolly Pumpkin for pulling off this creative melding of these seemingly divergent styles. The body and the mouthfeel were very thin for a typical stout, but they did work well for this odd creation. Easy to drink after the initial shock wore off. This would have been right at home in a Fantôme lineups, as the creativity was astounding.

Photo of acrawf6
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark, pretty much black other than some light coming through the sides, with a nice rich and thick tan head that retains very well with nice lacing.

Smell. The yeast really seems to give it the belgian characteristic that i get here. It is tart, earthy and slightly fruity of tart apples. In the big whiffs i can get a small hint of sweet chocolate. But there is certainly a belgian feeling to it, like a flanders or saison or the like.

Taste. The aroma carries on in the taste with more of the tartness...not a strong tartness, but more than i would expect. The is a smoked maltiness to it that goes right along with the apples that i have never tasted before in another beer. Besides the small smokiness there is also a roastedness/bunt to it that seems a bit like charcoal. Though i do get a little oak flavor in the beer, it is more of an earthyness than the specific oak. Aftertaste has just as much tart to it, but after a few seconds i can really get the burnt flavors.

Mouthfeel. For a stout, it is light, but this isnt a typical stout. Carbonation is at a low, but nice level. The beer is creamy.

Overall, very very interesting. I do not like the description of it on the bottle, but i do like this beer. It really hides the 8.1% quite well. One of the more unique beers i have ever tried. It is quite the hybrid of stout and belgian. It is certainly one i would like to have again, but i would not want it too often, as it is really leaving me wanting a strong and sturdy stout right now.

Photo of Viggo
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at biegaman's super extravaganza spring Saison tasting! I brought this one to the table, courtesy of nlmartin for BC2!

Pours a deep black, very opaque, thick tan head, nice lacing on the glass, settles to a thick layer and ring, very dark and mysterious beer! Smell is insane, vinegar, dark roasted coffee, chocolate, vanilla, toffee, grains, JP sour funk, awesome! Taste is similar, sour vinegar acidity, roast, chocolate, toffee, oak, sour funk, more chocolate, spicy finish, really unique! Mouthfeel is medium bodied, low to medium carbonation, super smooth, pretty wild stuff, never know what flavour is next! Thanks Nate!

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a pleasantly surprising black that when held to the light reveals a little bit of port around the edges of my champaign flute. The head is a light tan that leaves a nice lacing.

There's a big fruity hit of bret that's all cranberry and cherry. There may be a touch of vanilla here, but it's hard to detect.

Coming from the presuppositions of the smells, the flavor rings true with a heap of sour bret fruitiness. Just when I thought I had the taste tied exclusively to the smell, the flavor transitions into a charcoal brown caramel and cocoa. This transition is legendary and remarkably balanced between the coal and sour. Sadly, this leaves the mouth tragically dry and a bit numb.

Feels light and crisp with only the slightest bit of viscosity to reminding me of the sweeter elements present.

A novel and well recieved experiment for sure. A delight to sip and explore, but after a few glasses, it's novelty wears off.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a black body with a light tan bubbly head and a strong wall of microbubbles that stick to the side of the glass. The body is pretty opaque and the bubbles can only be seen on the side of the body.

S- The big smell of fresh brewed coffee has notes of dark fruit and a tart note to them. As the beer warms the coffee notes increase but there are dark roasted malt notes in the background.

T- The big taste of coffee has nice flavors of cream with some tart cherries followed by wood that hangs on after the finish. There is some chocolate malt notes and dark roasted notes that come through after it warms.

M- This beer has a medium full mouthfeel with a nice creamy texture. The finish doesn't have any alcohol heat.

D- This beer is a big coffee beer with some tart notes that add nice compliment but there is not enough depth.

Photo of ejquin
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is beatiful dark dark black with a fluffy, pale yellow head that laces nicely. Smell is roasted malt and cofee with a hint of hopy sweetness and some funk thrown in. Taste is bizzare. Starts of malty and roasty with cofee notes which fades quickly (but not completely) to a puckering bretty sourness, finishing on a mix of sourness, roasted malt in the back, and some hop bitterness coming through. Definitely complex and unique. Mouthfell is fine, medium to light body, would have liked it a bit heavier. Drinkibility not bad, I thought it would be worse with the sourness of the beer.

Overall this was definitely a unique beer. It was good too, better than I thought it would be. I wouldnt have thought brett sourness and stout would go well togther but it works.

Photo of brewcrew76
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours solid black with a thin brown head and patches of lacing.

S - Roasted malt and chocolate with tart cherries and spicy belgian yeast.

T - Brett sourness with tart cherries upfront followed by roasty malt, chocolate and coffee with some bittering hops in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with prickly carbonation.

D - The Belgian, brett aspects play very nicely with the stout. Very unique.

Photo of CortexBomb
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks like a stout, jet, off-tan head, which forms a light dusting. Smells like a Pumpkin beer though, big time sour on the nose which mixes with the roasted malt tones that one would expect from a stout. Different, and I like it.

Taste is a sour up front, and then on the back of the tongue, textbook JP. About midway through, the sour gives way to some roasted chocolate tones, and the sour actually changes character, becoming...lighter for lack of a better term. Not less intense, just different. Finish leaves the vaguest hints of coffee behind. The stout features are here, but you really have to look for them. This is yet another exceptionally sour beer from JP, though I do not feel that it has enough of a stout character beyond the appearance. There is a bit of that roasted tone, but the main flavour of this beer is still heavily dominated by the JP sour.

Mouthfeel, nothing amazing, but not poor either. It has some tingles, but it's fairly light. Average for a lighter style American stout. Drinkability, varies based on how my taste buds are feeling at the time. Sour beers can grate in large quantities, I would not be able to drink an entire bottle of this by myself in one sitting.

Overall: If you're a fan of JP this is a no-brainer, and the adventurous stout fans are probably well-served by giving it a go, but I don't feel that it is a particularly remarkable beer for its named category. If there was a "sour beer" subdivision, this would be a fine example of the style though.

Photo of russpowell
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent mahogany/black with 4 fingers of mocha colored head. Insane lacing & head retention was damn good as well

S: Musty & sour with hints of oak & chocolate.

T: Sour & oaky up front. Slight iron & bakers chocolate as this warms up. Chocolate asserts a little more along with warmth, as this gets closer to room temp. Finishes really bone dry with acidic notes, cherry sourness & a hint of coffee & bitter chocolate

MF: Rich & sparkly at the same time, hmmm

Drinks okay for the abv, have to ding this a little taste-wise because I'm not looking puckery sourness in my American Stouts. If they called this a belgian dark/sour I'd give it more, maybe a fullpoint taste wise. I think they were too artisinal with this one, give me a big malt profile in my stout! Only my second Jolly Pumkin beer, niether have really impressed me. Paired well with triple choclate ice cream though.

P.S. Loved the label, very evocative of the mood I think the brewery tried to set with this beer!

Photo of goochpunch
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out an opaque jet black with a cafe au lait head that stays as thick as a finger is wide. Nose is chocolate, espresso, toffee, vanilla, acidic funk, and with some unspecific berry tones. Taste begins with roasted characteristics while the funk creeps in, bringing in sour cherry and raspberry flavors and tartness, along with cider notes. The chocolatey flavors lay beneath the wildness until the drying and astringently tannic finish and the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light and prickly. Overall, this is a brilliant beer. Develops so much from beginning to end, as it warms up.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to aprilluvsbeer for this via trade!

A - Pours a rich black color with a billowy last the whole glass dark tan head.
S - Huge sweet malts - think breakfast stout, sour cherries and a nice espresso coffee.
T - What an odd stout. The classic stout flavors - espresso, bakers chocolate, rich malts interspersed with sour cherries and tart brett funk. Each sip is an adventure!
M - Medium bodied, smooth carbonation and sharp
D - Having adventured through some of the JP lineup I was in the right frame of mind for this brew. It's a highly engaging slow drinking beer.

Photo of crwills
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasting at biegaman's place with grub, viggo, lexx, blankboy (RB), and tupalev (RB). I didn't write down who brought what, unfortunately, so thanks everyone!

This was one wacky stout, and at the time I wasn't sure what to make of it. The more I think about it, the more I think I need to give it another go -- the scores I wrote down don't seem to do it justice... anyway, poured black with very few highlights into the sample glass -- great colour, actually. Malty, caramely stout aroma with some unique funky notes that carry into the flavour. Flavour is spicy chocolate -- reminds me of Mexican mole or something. Funky notes remain. The body is a little light for a stout. Still not sure if I'm a fan of this or not -- definitely would try it again, though.

Photo of ggaughan
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown, almost black body with a very thick chocolately looking head, nice and creamy. The nose of the beer was chocolately and rich with an interesting touch of funk. Trademark Jolly Pumpkin. The taste is very interesting. There is a nice solid malty chocolate taste up front that gives way to a sour funk as it finishes. Very interesting for a stout and actually pretty enjoyable.

Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 943 ratings.