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

859 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 859
Reviews: 353
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.36%
Wants: 73
Gots: 108 | FT: 10
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)
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Ratings: 859 | Reviews: 353 | Display Reviews Only:
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5/5  rDev +29.9%

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4/5  rDev +3.9%

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5/5  rDev +29.9%

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5/5  rDev +29.9%

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4/5  rDev +3.9%

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5/5  rDev +29.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

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4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

Photo of Weidman26
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of peacebone116
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of MaxSpang
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.


Photo of DavoleBomb
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of mntlover
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of zachary80
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of vfgccp
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Wadsey
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. 

Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 859 ratings.