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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn StoutMadrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout

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very good

820 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 820
Reviews: 349
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 65
Gots: 99 | FT: 8
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Shovelbum on 02-12-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 820 | Reviews: 349 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +29.9%

kkrez, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of sbricker
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

sbricker, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of lpotter
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

lpotter, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Weidman26
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

Shared with j gyorfi blend 1

1. Impressive nose, scintillating aromatics both deeply musty and oak laden and sour funky and admitedly borderline shocking.
2. Thick 3 finger mocha head with lacing remnant throughout the consumption. Rich tar colored body 0 translucent appearance suitable for a dark ritual.
3. Tastes filling enough to fit the style and abv. Supports the style very well. Almost feels like a hybrid stout/Belgian dark. I assume this is the intention
4. Masterful. I mean yeah. Disgusting and perfect in the same note. The most intricate balance of the black keys and Bach. It has a very dirty sludge like wine flirtaeousness to it. Cannot be compared but by trying it yourself. Dip into the murky wells of funk and tastebud jolting sour for this one. It definately puts one on the brink of earthly sin and the abyss. Indulge pleasantly.

Weidman26, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of peacebone116
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured from 750-mL bottle (blend 10, 2-16-2011) into Delirium snifter on 11/3/11.

A: Syrupy dark brown with delicate tan head that is retained for quite some time.

N: Very strong sweet smell of...almost a vinegar-like note that is quickly pushed out of the way by a beautiful mocha/chocolate. This note is followed by a distinct creamy, yogurt-like scent that lingers in your nose.

T/M: Not at all what I anticipated based on the nose. This beer sucker punches you in the mouth with tartness. Roasted notes of vanilla and chocolate hit quickly, and intensely in the middle, followed by a sour finish that lingers before giving away to the coffee like bitterness. The mouth feel is surprisingly light, despite the thick looking pour. It finishes quickly, leaving only a coffee note on the finish.

Overall, a very interesting beer. Not sure what to really make of it with regard to style, because i do not think that this is truly an American Imperial Stout. However, I do enjoy its category busting flavors. Definitely a Jolly Pumpkin beer.

peacebone116, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of MaxSpang
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%

Blend 2. Bottled 1-5-11, enjoyed 11-1-11. Served in a snifter.


This is an imperial stout, and it looks like it - very dark black with almost no light coming through. Pretty viscus, but not syrupy. The head was about 2 fingers, and was a latte color. The bubbles were very small, probably due to the bottle conditioning.


It's definitely a Jolly Pumpkin ale - this has a nice bit of sour vinegar-like aroma at first sniff. After a few more sniffs, the stout quality comes out. There's some nice roasted notes, and a bit of coffee and even some sweet milk chocolate. All of these are behind the sour smell, so it's a little hard to find them - but they are there. There's a little breadiness in there as well, as well as some raisin and dark fruits. There's a little spice aroma that reminds me of Belgian yeast character. The alcohol is slight, and the oak comes through towards the end. Interesting smell - but tasty!


Not nearly as weird as I was expecting. That being said, there's a definite sourness and a definite stout flavor. First, the sourness: this is what you first taste when sipping this beer. It's not as sharp or acidic as other Jolly Pumpkin beers, and is actually quite smooth in the beer as a whole... Which is a BIG surprise! After a few more sips, the sourness is more of an afterthought rather than taking over the tongue. It's sort of a slight vinegar sourness - it's the house Brett strain. Now we are at the stout flavor: there's a good amount of roasted character in here. There's some nice bready flavors, as well as a bit of bitter chocolate. It actually has a normal stout taste - which is, again, unexpected.


This beer is pretty smooth. The body is medium-high, and has a crisp and dry finish. I would have expected the funky crotters to munch away all the sugar, but there's a good bit of sweetness left in this beer. Compared to other Imperial Stouts, though, it's fairly dry.


On one hand, it's a weird beer. On the other hand, it's a really balanced and well-made beer. Jolly Pumpkin knows how to put funk in beers that don't normally get wild, but it pays off in beers like this. Whether it's the breathtaking artwork on the bottle, or the crazy but delicious beer inside, this is a solid brew that I will be picking up again for sure.


MaxSpang, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Poured into a snifter. Blend 2, 2010.

4.0 A: For the first time I'm glad I overchilled the bottle. First pour gave me nearly all head. Eventually, I got a full pour. Black color. Pillowy light brown head that retains well and leaves a good bit of frothy lacing behind.

4.5 S: I'm really liking the aroma on this. Soft roastiness with silky sweet chocolate. Tons of tart cherries. Underneath comes the JP essence. Funky barnyard, musty basement, and wild orchard. Surprisingly herbal as well. Everything comes together extremely well. I just wish the aroma had more strength.

3.0 T: The taste isn't bad, but the flavors don't integrate as well as in the nose. Moderate roastiness. The chocolate is still there, but it gets overshadowed by the sourness in this. Actually, just about all of the stout flavors are dominated by the wild flavors. Lactic acid tanginess runs rampant. Brett funkiness in the order of horse, barn, earth, and wild apple. Musty basement and musky woods. Tart cherry again.

3.5 M: Medium body. Despite aggitating the glass quite a bit, there's still too much carbonation. Could be creamier, but okay all around.

3.5 D: An interesting experiment, but way too much money to justify ever buying this again. It simply isn't worth the $13 I spent on the 750.

DavoleBomb, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of mntlover
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

Pours a black with a nice brown two finger head that falls slow and laces well.

Aroma is wow nice roasted malts great chocolate notes that linger into smokiness. Nice tart cherry notes some oak dry notes and bard yard funk to round it all out.

Taste is roasted malt some bitter bakers chocolate with coffee notes. Taste is mostly tart cherries and funk with some dry oak notes. Finish is lingering tartness with some coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel is big medium with peppy carbonation to bring out the tartness.

Overall all quite enjoyable would be about perfect with a touch more malt notes.

mntlover, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of Gosox8787
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Presentation: Batch 11, bottled 2-17-2011. 750 mL bottle poured into my Dogfish Head tulip.

Appearance: Foams up and gushes a bit as it is opened. Pours a dark brown, near black color with a nice, pillowy, creamy medium brown head. The retention is superb.

Aroma: The barrel notes really stand out here. Big barnyard funk, lemon, tart cherries, and some oak are all noticable. Big chocolate and light smoke make for a nice backdrop.

Taste: The combination of roasted and sour is really interesting here. Tart lemon and cherry notes hit upfront. Tons of funk is present here at this age. Oak and an herbal, earthy note balance this out nicely. End with milk chocolate and a touch of smoke. Really unique and delicious.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied as the barrels have really seemed to cut down on the creaminess.

Overall, I was really pleasantly surprised by this. There are so many ways a sour stout could be a trainwreck, but this managed to combine the better aspects of the two. I had no problems finishing the bottle. It would be really interesting to see how this progresses in the bottle. I would definitely try again.

Gosox8787, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of zachary80
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%

Bottled 2-2-11

Black body topped by a creamy tannish-brown head. Nice sized and leaves perfect lacing down the glass.

The smell is great, like a combination of an imperial stout and a flanders red ale. Tart cherry is more prominent than the malty sweetness.

Wow...that is an overwhelmingly sour beer. First sip is almost pure sour and tart, which lingers with a combination of roasted malt and bitterness. The sourness is not as powerful on subsequent sips. Some acetic acid type flavors.

Mouthfeel seems a little thin for an Imperial Stout, but would be fine for a Wild Ale.

Overall an exceptional beer. A little more body and malt character to hang with the sour and this would be a 5.

zachary80, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%

A – Nice bubble structure with great retention and ok lace.

S – Brandy, red wine, prune, dark chocolate and coffee. Oaky tang.

T – Dry and irony throughout. Tart pear and cherry lend fruit to the early profile. Oaky middle, with coffee and dark roast. Acidic lime and spicy ginger add a surprising brightness to the backend.

M – Over carbonated for the style. Medium body.

O – Delicious and complex. Definitely an edgy, off-style stout.

vfgccp, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of Wadsey
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%

Madrugada Obscura, batch 359/361, which I purchased for $12.39 at Siciliano's February 2009. 

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A:  Pours darkest of browns with creamy mountainous head that lasts forever and leaves lacing reminiscent of an arts-and-crafts stenciled border. Along the glass' edge, the beer appears brown and clear. Difficult to see bubbles, but I bet this is quite effervescent. 

S: Lactic sourness, of course, but powdered dark chocolate and chocolate truffles assume a primary role in smell. Additional aromas include tart cherries, spice and damp wood. 

T: Tartness and roasted malts do strange bedfellows make. The roasted malts present themselves as powdered dark chocolate and chocolate truffles. The tartness strikes more of a lactic note.  Medium-high bitterness joins malts and creates an almost burnt roasted taste. Additional tastes include light copper and low-grade funk. 

M: Medium body and medium-high carbonation. Lively mouthfeel, which is another odd dimension of this most unusual stout. 

O: Madrugada Obscura is too much of a divided beer to rate very well. Still, I admire Jolly Pumpkin's ambition to create something radically different. Interesting, but I would be surprised if I seek it out in the future. 

Wadsey, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of johnlapolla
1.8/5  rDev -53.2%

I looked this up to see if they had a batch gone bad and I got a bottle. But from the reviews it seems the funk is the norm. I could not get past it, I had to dump it. I opened the bottle and it kept gushing. I still think I might have had a bad one. It tasted like a home brew gone bad. Too bad, I like their other beers a lot. The appearance was lovely and I was very excited. I was not expecting a sour beer, I was looking forward to something dark and roasted. I really don't know if I can judge this beer from this bottle. Did anyone else have one that was just over the top yucky? Or do I just not like this style?

johnlapolla, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of BumpkinBrewer
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%

A - Pours jet black with a huge foamy head. You can tell the bugs are still working their magic.

S - Roasty, slightly sour/funky smell with a little coffee and chocolate lingering in the nose.

T - Much like the smell. The funkiness is prevalent up front but if you let it linger on the palette a few, the chocolate and coffee notes start to shine through.

M - Very dry, light on the palette, the sourness leaves a bit of a tang on the tongue.

O - Not a huge fan of the funk, it's just not my thing. But this brew was still tasty and may open my palette to styles the like.

BumpkinBrewer, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of babaracas
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Pours an opaque dark brown with lots of tan foam. Smell: a big blast of barnyard funk upfront, vinous, leather, then dark chocolate with hazlenut and a coffee note. Less funk would have been appreciated because there's a nice stout down in there somewhere. Taste: vinous, moderately tart, probably from the aroma I'm tasting a little "leather." Second wave is powdery chocolate, mild roast, earthy, some tart plum. High carbonation as you'd expect, but then it thins out (good for the wild / bad for the stout; average for the combo). Interesting wild ale / semi-impy stout hybrid, but the balance between styles is a bit skewed in the wrong direction for me. "Batch 359/363."

babaracas, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of Vengeance526
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

Pours a dark black color with a large brown head that has decent retention and leaves plenty of lacing.

Interesting aroma of roasted malt and chocolate mixed with hints of sour cherries, licorice and figs.

First sip is immediately sour, followed by a lighter note of chocolate and a touch of smoke. The sour cherry flavor comes back towards the end and lasts into the finish.

Medium body with medium to high carbonation. Certainly interesting to try but this isn't something I would probably want to have again any time soon. When I feel like grabbing JP, this one just doesn't strike me as much as some of their other options.

Vengeance526, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%

On-tap at Beachwood Brewing

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color with a rather tall off-white head.

S: As with any Jolly Pumpkin beers, this one is quite sour and lactic. There's a nice earthy funk along with sour cherries and lemon zest. A fair amount of grass and straw as well as some light oak.

T: The flavor is pretty heavy on the wood and earth notes; much more so than the nose. A bit of dark chocolate, black pepper, lemon zest, and mild fruits. The tartness and lactic character is not as pronounced on the palate.

M: Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.

O: There was a slight booziness that came through as I drank a bit more of this. It was still good, but not the best Jolly Pumpkin has to offer.

womencantsail, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of Thads324
3/5  rDev -22.1%

blend 11, 2-17-2011
A : pours a lovely velvety black with no way to see through. A really big tan head that is thick and sticky. lacing everywhere throughout the entire glass.

S : smells a bit like freshly brewed espresso. Lots of hottness with this one. Boozy boozy. a bit of leather in the tail end like a new leather belt. A little bit of a berry scent, like dried raspberries sort of.

T : starts sweet and a bit hot but not much. The beginning is sweet and berry-like, although I can't put my finger on what type of berry. Followed up by a bit of roasted malt, a hint of chocolate and coffee. There is a hop bitterness that is subdued heavily, but it is there, lingering in the back part of the middle of the profile. Finishes with more of the sweet and odd berry flavor.

M : watery and not as full bodied as a big stout should be. Drinkability is good however.

A very weird beer indeed. It says it is belgian influenced, but I can't explain the weird berry-like flavor. Otherwise the light body isn't bad, but this beer should be more flavorful. I get no oak, and as the beer warms I'm beginning to think that the old "oak junk" is giving it that berry-like flavor that you don't want. could do without all this mess...

Thads324, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of harrymel
2.33/5  rDev -39.5%

Blend 2: Bottled 05JAN11

A: pours a black stout with a little over one finger of caramel head, this falls to a moderate sheet of the same. Some spotty lacing. Pretty good looker.

S: Whew! Oak wins the nose here. Plenty of oak if I forgot to mention. Some chocolate notes, some licorice. Some woody alcohol.

T: Some tartness up front. Some sweet cherry notes. Really not tasting like a stout at this point. Some toasted malts, and some roasty coffee. Pretty simple, and tart. Just a little more funky than I would like.

M: A bit thin with moderate carb. Uber dry on the finish.

O: the more I drink this, the more I wish I would have had this six months ago. This has too much tartness for my preferences in a stout. Reminds me of the early signs of Abyss '09. No thanks.

harrymel, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%

Bottle (2011)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

Dark black and thick appearance. Tall, growing brown head that lasts. Regular, lined lacing down the glass. A gorgeous stout!

The aroma on this beer changes as it warms perhaps more than any other beer I've had. It begins slightly roasty and bready, evolving in to a tart, tangy, biting sour mixed with sweet fruit--like cherries or raspberries.

As with the nose, this beer really changes as it warms. It begins slightly roasty and bready, and at near room temperature, it's a biting sour mixed with some sweet fruit. There isn't a lot of typical-"stout" flavors left over. It's missing a depth, balance, and complexity I was hoping for. Tasty, and certainly unique.

Medium bodied. I was hoping for a more full, luscious mouthfeel.

An interesting and unique sour stout. For my tastes, I would have preferred a touch less of the acidic sour notes because the typical stout flavors got left in the dust, leaving this beer relatively one-note: sour.

ehammond1, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%

Damn, this beer poured out as a beer black color, there was a fizzy head that vanished rather quickly. The smell has no hints of sour at all. All roasted and burnt malt wooden aromas. The taste is sour as hell in my opinion, it gets more sour as it warms. The beer also gives off plenty of smokey qualities along with burnt or toasted malts. It has a touch of chocolate in there too. A stunning brew for sure. The mouthfeel was smooth and lightly carbonated. Overall it was a really great pairing with the spicy French toast, chocolate dipping sause and coffee cotton candy.

Knapp85, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of avaldivia
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Nice black color that when you held it up to the light, had really nice, faint, reddish, brown hue. Nice head and good lacing.

S: Very tart smell with a smokey, malt tinge on the end. Smelled of, cherries, and dark fruits.

T: Not as sour as I was expecting. Good tart bite in the beginning which then gives way to a dark malty coffee finish. became a bit more tart as it warmed.

M: Kind of light for a stout though, granted, this is not your everyday stout.

O: Glad i tried this one. Interesting and I never thought I would try a sour stout. I don't know if I would pick this up again because it was on the pricey side, but I glad I did once.

avaldivia, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

The beer is dark brown, nearing black, with a half inch of tan head that hangs out for a considerable period, leaving some random lacing in its wake.

The aroma brings roast, dark fruits, and funky yeast. Right away, it's apparent that this is not your average stout.

The funk asserts itself much more fervently in the flavor than in the olfactory senses. Dark fruits and funk, followed by roast, and a hint of slightly charred chocolate squares.

The body is fairly thin, with moderately low carbonation. Smooth on the palate, with a lingering funkiness in the finish.

Overall, a truly interesting beer from Jolly Pumpkin. I would have this again.

Huhzubendah, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of jayhawk73
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

Thank you Matt!

A- Pours a black color w/ a two finger chocolate head. Nice lacing on the glass. This beer is truly a black hole- no light to be seen through the brew. Nice looking stout.

S- Coffee, malt, funkiness, some muted fruit as well. Nice smelling beer, wish it was a little stronger, but temperature may take care of that.

T- Interesting. Basically a big stout w/ chocolate malt, coffee, and mild fruit in it. In addition, there's an equal amount of funkiness that takes over after the first taste. I like it, although it's probably not for everybody.

M- Smooth w/ carbonation and a dry feel. Probably the weak point of this beer. A little on the thin side feel-wise for me. Would like a little more heft in the mouthfeel. Still, not bad.

O- Very interesting beer from Jolly Pumpkin. I really enjoyed this one, but it's not for everyone. If you don't like funk in your beer, you might want to stay away. Otherwise, pick it up- it's definitely worth checking out if you haven't tried it.

jayhawk73, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of EgadBananas
2.3/5  rDev -40.3%

Nice pour, with a solid black body, and a nice mocha finger of head.

Very tart aroma, basically acidic and sour. As it warms some more, there is some roast notes and chocolate, but even still, it's hard to cut the sour.

Taste is sour, sour, sour. There's some roast and chocolate, but it's fainter than in the aroma, and never stood a chance against the tart/sour qualities.

Feel was less than stellar, with a medium feel and a good dose of carbonation.

This just didn't do it for me. I can get behind the idea of a sour stout, but for me, there has to be a balance...and there was so little balance that it just seemed pointless to be a stout in the first place. Another gripe is completely omitting the fact that this is a sour stout from the labeling. I know JP largely deals in sours, but not every beer they make is a sour, so how's about throwing a little warning out there?

EgadBananas, Jul 17, 2011
Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 820 ratings.