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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

802 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 802
Reviews: 348
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 63
Gots: 96 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Shovelbum on 02-12-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 802 | Reviews: 348 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nlmartin


3.88/5  rDev +0.8%

Many thanks to Sholand for sending this beer to me as part of Blind Beers 2. This beer has been lurking in my fridge for awhile and this morning it was on. The beer was served in a tulip.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a dense black coloration. The head of the beer is massive and the color of milk chocolate. Perfect head retention noted on the beer. The lacing is literally as thick as pancake batter.

Smell: I knew exactly what brewery this beer was from the aroma. A major league brett / buggy yeast jumps at my nose. This has to be from Jolly Pumpkin. Underneath this umbrella of brett is nicely roasted coffee and cocoa with some sour cherries and tart cider aromas.

Taste: The sour tart flavors lead the flavor. The brett doesnt overwhelm the other flavors in the beer and works well. Dark coffee, cocoa, black cherry and figs enter the picture a bit of a burnt ashy flavor peaks its head out as the beer warms up. Alcohol is nowhere in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: The body of the beer is light with an active gentle carbonation. The beer has a very nice puckering sourness. Alcohol is present in a nice warming fashion.

Overall: The beer is a nice funky combination of sour and stout. Perhaps a bit much for me to try to take down by myself as it is a 750ml bottle; however, I am going to linger over this bottle for a bit this morning. I will definitely give this beer another go around at some future point.

03-23-2011 13:03:43 | More by nlmartin
Photo of Jesse13713


4.35/5  rDev +13%

Blend 2 Bottled on 1-5-11

Appearance - Two fingers of chocolaty cola-like head are noticeable immediately. Creamy and slightly solidified head. The beer is completely opaque and black. It looks like a traditional stout. The lacing clings to the glass well and is quick to fade.

Smell - It's got that traditional and trademark Jolly Pumpkin sour smell to it. Smells of light cherry fruits. Strong hints of Belgian yeast litter the nose as well. Very slight hops and malts are in the background as well.

Taste - Hmm this is quite radically different beer. The taste starts off as sour as most Jolly Pumpkin brews. I am then greeted by a mixture of light to dark cherries. Then, instead of tasting more fruits I get tastes of coffee and very faint chocolate. A very complex and carefully brewed beer.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - A complex and medium bodied lambic stout. The tastes of coffee and chocolate are very subtle and are more noticeable on the finish. Very drinkable and easy to finish a bomber of. Really enjoyable to sip at nighttime.

03-23-2011 02:38:19 | More by Jesse13713
Photo of JLeege


4.43/5  rDev +15.1%

Blend 5~Bottled 1-21-2011, a very young bottle
Poured into a large snifter

Appearance- Pours black with a creamy tan, 1 finger head. No light enters the glass. A little lace is left behind.

Smell- Sweet chocolate & slight bitter coffee, dark fruits, cherry is predominant, earthiness, a bit woody and smoky. Exactly how you would expect a stout from JP to smell.

Taste- Sweeter choco malts up front leading into strong "JP" notes. A quick spike of citrus fruits, turning towards tart cherry, purple grape, plum, oak and vanilla. Slight brett. A hint of smoke, almost faintly jerky like. Towards the end of the drink the stout characteristics show up more, sweet milk chocolate, subtle bitter coffee, and some chalky cocoa. Lingering chocolate covered cherries on the palate.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, with fairly bubbly carbonation, still a bit sticky and coating; pretty dry overall. People bitch about the feel of this, but it works well for me. Somewhat refreshing with the tartness. ABV's are hid nicely.

Overall- This beer is strangely misunderstood, so it gets a fairly bad rap from many. It is an intentionally slightly sour stout from Jolly Pumpkin, it shocks me when people say it is not what they were expecting. I think it is excellent execution by JP, fulfilling a seldom used unofficial "style." Also, these bottles only improve with age.

03-19-2011 03:22:26 | More by JLeege
Photo of Wasatch


3.08/5  rDev -20%

Thanks goes out to G311 for this brew.

Blend 1, 2010

Poured into a chalice a black color, very nice carbonation, HUGE thick/creamy three-finger tan head, which leaves some thick/creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, sour/funky, with some chocolate/toffee notes. The taste is sour/funky, yeasty, slightly malty, with some dark notes. Medium Body. Drinkable, not a bad brew, but it's not an American Imperial Stout to me. I know that JP is known for their Sours/Wild Ales, but they should not be putting this shit in an Impy Stout.

03-18-2011 22:21:54 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ccrida


4/5  rDev +3.9%

Blend 1, bottled 1-4-11, poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Madrugada Obscura is blackish brown with a big, dark tan head, leaving nice lace.

Smell is roasty, a little lime zest.

Taste is good, but not as good as the first bottle I had of this a few years ago, which was aged longer then this one. Chocolate, some fruity esters, a hint of brett funk, but really muted. Should have aged it.

Mouthfeel is dry, medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, a nice Belgian stout at this pint, with only a tinge of brett, but this one has so much potential, I really should have aged. Scored as an average of this experience and my memory of the aged bottle, which blew my mind.

03-17-2011 03:03:33 | More by ccrida
Photo of MarcatGSB


4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

Purchased from The Noble Grape in Chicago for $15.99. Poured from bottle into Goose Island wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a thin black, with one finger beige/charcoal head. Good lacing on glass. Beautiful circular rings thru-out the head, typical of the wild character. Body turns out to be an opaque brown.

Smell: Typical JP nose. Sweet berries, fermented fruit. The yeast strain is very apparent, followed by an unusual malt/roast balance. Mothballs. Moist card board like aroma when I really get in it.

Taste: Has a fruity, funky front. The malt/funk is a very interesting balance. Chalky, roast malt flavor. Sort of a weak body. The sour character really takes over, yet the malt backbone turns the sour into a sweet/sour combo.

Mouth: Mouth feel is vibrant. Lively, and funky. Good mouth, puckering effect towards the back.

Drink and Overall: I'm a homer, and biased. I really like this beer. Although the funk really takes over, I've never had anything quite like it before, so I'm intrigued. Pricey bottle, but I would pick up another, and let it sit for a while to see how it would handle. I'll try anything from JP at least once...

03-17-2011 00:56:31 | More by MarcatGSB
Photo of smakawhat


3.45/5  rDev -10.4%

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter. Blend 11, bottled February 17th 2011.

The pour comes out like a dark walnut to reveal a very simple dark brown body. Head has some good staying power and is very uniform. It's a real nice cocoa brown, and gives some nice spotted leopard print lacing with an occasional stripe. This is a real nice looking beer.

The first smell was of boozy malt, then it gives way to smoked salted jerky meat. This sensation really makes my mouth water. Really smells like smoked dried salted meats, I enjoy it. Nothing else I can detect.

Taste is kind of a letdown. Wet bodied and slightly lemon sour, some hints of cigarettes on the finish. I was hoping this would be packed with flavor but it just isn't, and what little flavor there is just does not match with what is on the nose at all, it's as if this beer just did a 180 on me.

It feels more like a weak American stout, and sour and stout is not something I like. I was unaware that ALL of Jolly Pumpkins beer are sour in some form. Had I know that I would never have bought this. I guess I was hoping for something more bold. This is also not cheap so I'll never buy this again. Boy this started out so well and just went downhill... Drinkability is a pass for me this is not my thing, but if those characteristics are what you are looking for this is your bag then.

03-16-2011 22:30:12 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +3.9%

From tap to 4oz snifter at ChurchKey on 3/14/11
*From notes

A: Dark - it just sucks the color right out of the room. Nice one finger head and some impressive lacing.

S: JP's specialty - a really nice and funky essence of wild yeast. This one is well layered and extremely elaborate. Traces of smoke, malt, dark chocolate, fresh cut herbs and copper all weave together like a mosaic.

T: Mouthwatering, earthy funk. Charry and lavish malt comes to play, roping this one off and arresting the wild and craziness of the forepalate.

M: Soft and tickly carbonation. It's lighter then I'd like and takes away from the complexity of the brew.

O: One more round of applause for Jolly Pumpkin. Their Madrugada Obscura is one hell of a different and all together enjoyable take on an ADIS.

I'll bet with some age on it, this one will be something really special.

Thumbs up.

03-16-2011 22:26:43 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of Jmoore50


2.68/5  rDev -30.4%

This is one of the first Jolly Pumpkin beers that I really didn't like. They have a very interesting bug blend going on in their brewery and its incredibly different than the usual. Still delicious, but incredibly interesting. This beer was not a favorite of mine because of the lactic sourness with deep roast of an Imperial Stout.

The appearance on this one is deep black. It has some darker cocoa edges, no real head. Poured hard, strong carbonation bubbles and a real thick body.

The smell threw me for a bit of a loop, wasn't expecting this type of sourness in this beer. Its got a strong lemon and citrus sourness to the smell and taste that I didn't think paired with the strong chocolate and roasted malts. The wort from this beer was probably fantastic, but once it soured I'm not sure it went in a positive direction.

The sweetness from the Imperial Stout lay down a good first few tastes of chocolate and coffee with bitter black patent, then the array of off sourness that made my face pucker followed. You start to focus entirely on the sourness, ruining the impressions of the Imperial Stout. Lemon and grapefruit tartness with a dry earthy taste. It lingers for a while.

The mouthfeel was interesting and fairly complex. I enjoyed the picking out the flavors and how they played with each other. Overall it wasn't for me. Flavors not blending very well and off flavors I didn't enjoy.

03-14-2011 21:58:05 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of timtim

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +3.9%

black with a coffee-and-cream colored head that holds for a bit and leaves a little lace. nose reminds me of those chocolate covered cherries you see at the cash register in bodegas that have the liqueur surrounding the cherry. just like that to me, but with a darker, purer chocolate, a higher quality cherry, a more subtle alcohol kick and a touch of roastiness/coffee mixed in with some earthiness for good measure. wood is faint. almost not there. taste is very harmonious, with roast, chocolate and dark fruit in great balance. a hint of sour/tart seems to creep up, but is nipped in the bud by a slight hoppy/roasty bitterness. medium-full body that is soft and finishes mildly bitter. overall, a very subdued, classy and elegant take on the style. a bit of a let-down for me because i was expecting more wood and funk, but i am wondering if more would have thrown it all off. as usual with jolly pumpkin, well made and fun, although this probably isn't one i will be revisiting.

03-11-2011 11:51:36 | More by timtim
Photo of nova009


3.88/5  rDev +0.8%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

A- pours a dark brown nearly black, huge fluffy mocha colored head appears and retains very well, spotty lacing but what sticks is pretty sticky

S- really interesting smell with this one, everything seems to blend together with nothing being overpowering, i get the classic JP funk from the start, dark roasted malt and coffee flavors follow, small amount of bitter chocolate, there seems to be a little bit of oatmeal, i can't wait to taste this

T- roasted malt hits the palate first, slightly creamy vanilla with some woodiness to it, bitter chocolate and coffee mixed in, the tartness comes in at the end and finishes bitter, interesting taste, can't say i'm completely crazy about it

M- medium body, somewhat high carbonation, finishes kind of dry and bitter, doesn't coat the palate completely

D- fairly easy to take down, an interesting take from JP, I can't say I'm really crazy about this, something about the roastiness of the stout mixed with the sour funk just doesn't smoothly, not a bad beer just not for me

03-10-2011 01:33:04 | More by nova009
Photo of Hophead101


3.78/5  rDev -1.8%

drank on 3.6.2011 - from sitarist in blind beer #4. blend 2, bottled 1.5.2011

poured out of a 750ml bottle into my chalice glass. what a great looking beer. dark as night with a rich luscious frothy tan head. It is lasting quite some time as I watch the few bigger bubbles pop as the head dissipates on it own snail-like pace. once the head finally exited stage left, it left a nice thin collar and a uniquely random film on top. the beer continues with good fast falling lacing.

the smell on this one is quite unique. with the dark color - i was expecting to be smelling some bourbon or roasted malts - but get more of a sweet smell. there is some faint smokiness and some faint coffee (I think). not an overpowering smell, but I keep putting nose on glass to keep trying to discern the aromas (wow - I realize I just used the term 'nose on glass' as opposed to t*ts on glass. I hate growing up). there is also some grape flavors - so thinking this might be a wine barrel aged beer.

wow. very tart swallow the first go around. some roastiness in the background, but very tart for the most part but also a plentiful amount of hops. there is a good bit of oakiness in here as well. bitterness and roasted malt in the end. a unique brew. medium body with plenty of carbonation.

03-07-2011 04:02:44 | More by Hophead101
Photo of dgfair

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%

750 ml bottle poured into Chimay goblet. Batch 360/362.

The bottle opened with a pop and gushed all over my countertop...probably the biggest gusher I've had. It didn't settle down until I finally poured the last of the beer into the glass. Dark black in the center with the slightest touch of brown around the edges when light hits the glass. Foam is light brown and very aggressive, but finally subsides to a small layer and lacing around the glass.

The smell is funky and roasty, with a lot of residual sweetness. Brown sugar, cherry, amaretto, caramel, and a little bit of a red wine vinegar smell. Very complex on the nose, and it really opens up as the beer warms close to room temperature.

The taste is very different, and I definitely can't rate this as a stout. I think this would better fit the American Wild Ale category. The taste starts off with funky brett and then moves into a roasted malt flavor...very close to burnt. There is a little bit of cherry and oak flavor that comes through behind the sourness and roastiness that is actually very nice. Decent amount of complexity here, and I enjoy the different layers of flavor.

This beer has a tingly mouthfeel that might be a tad too much for me. I would prefer something this complex to be a little more subdued in the mouth to allow the flavors to come out more. A pretty easy drinker for either a stout or a wild ale, but nothing you will want to knock back multiples of.

Overall, this beer is probably rated fairly low due to the fact that some people may come in expecting a big stout and get a sour wild ale. I enjoyed the beer and would return to it again at some point in the future.

01-26-2011 03:12:29 | More by dgfair
Photo of olympuszymurgus


4.18/5  rDev +8.6%

Opened with a crack, big carbonation comes out and fills the room with the aroma of smoke, wood, cherries, vinegar and ash. A bit of geyser flowing, expected from a two year old bottle of a barrel aged belgian/sour stout opened at nearly room temp.

Tastes of roasted grains, tart fruit, oak, over steeped black tea, and a hint of booze. Very enjoyable, very different. Mouthfeel is thin which is expected but detracts from the flavors. I could drink this occasionally, as a rare treat.

Jolly Pumpkin, You are my man crush.

12-31-2010 23:16:54 | More by olympuszymurgus
Photo of Buebie


1.35/5  rDev -64.9%

2008 Bottle, Batch 266.

Popped the cap and beer gushed like Mt. St. Helen's. Made a nice sticky mess all over the floor. Placed the bottle in the sink and it proceeded to spew beer all down the drain. Poured softly into an oversized snifter producing 3+ inches of dark brown froth. This has the appearance of infection.
Black in color, no light penetration, slick thin legs of lace.

Aroma of wet cardboard, sour funk, fermented cherries and boozy heat. As well as roasted grain and dark bitter chocolate and a little chemical cleaning solution.
Taste....to be completely honest this tastes like shit. I haven't eaten shit, but this is what I imagine shit tastes like. Dark burnt grains, burnt coffee, dads burnt food he forgot on the grill. This leaves a horrible aftertaste. Fermented cherries, just an awful mess.
Mouthfeel is thin and extremely over carbonated.

Horrid beer.

12-06-2010 00:50:49 | More by Buebie
Photo of Spider889


3.63/5  rDev -5.7%

Bottle had a sticker that said: Blend 2, 2010 that was layered over a sticker that (after working hard at it) said Blend 1, 2010. Not sure if that means anything, this seems like a beer that would do fine with some age on it.

First thing I get is exploding beer when I crack the cap. This beer sat on a shelf at home for two weeks, then in the fridge for a couple days - upright the entire time. So I'm guessing it had something to do with the temperature and/or being overfilled/over carbonated.

Poured a dark black with a red/brown head with medium retention. No light got through. Looks like a thinner stout.

The smell was all Brett - very funky, dry, and bready. There was the traditional sweetness there and that was it. I got no stout flavors despite the descriptors on the bottle.

Tasted immediately of a cherry champagne - sweet and fruity with funky Brett flavors. Very tart, and finishes very dry with some nice stout flavors masked beneath it all - coffee and roasted malt. As it warmed I picked up on grannysmith apple skins, some soapiness, and wet hay. That gave way to plum and mild semi-sweet chocolate.

A medium bodied sour, very highly carbonated, tart and dry. I felt the usual stout coating on the inside of the mouth from the blackened malts.

Drinkability was enough for me to finish the bottle myself, but over time it became more and more of a chore. Also as it warmed I got less and less stout flavors, and I never really could smell much other than Brett and maybe some cherry fruit.

This beer was interesting but WAY oversold on the stoutness. And at $11.99 I'd rather spend a few more dollars and spring for a Cantillon if I want a sour.

08-27-2010 07:08:07 | More by Spider889
Photo of Gobzilla


4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

A: poured a pitch black with a tan finger of head that left lots of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: off the bat I got oatmeal, chocolate, slight coffee, and a good malt presence that seems to tie in the notes really well. There is also roasty charaters as well.

T: the taste has some really good chocolate flavors with a nice creamy maltiness and also gave way to oatmeal notes but surprisingly had slight tart and roasty accents.

M: the brew was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation that had a slight sweet but tart, toasty, and creamy finish.

D: actually drank pretty good and was decent across the board which was damn tasty and great offering from JP.

08-12-2010 07:43:41 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of vidisad


1.53/5  rDev -60.3%

The back of the bottle reads "Blend 2, 2010.

I got this beer as a birthday present from a very good friend.
I appreciate his effort to give me a beer I never had before but I will most likely never drink this beer again.

This beer has a very sour scent, it smells almost rancid. It's very tart. I don't see why they categorized this beer as a stout. It only looks like a stout.
I don't taste almost any malt in it. This beer has a very vine-like character. The taste is extremely sour.
This beer is very hard to drink.

07-10-2010 06:47:03 | More by vidisad
Photo of KAP1356


3.18/5  rDev -17.4%

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Victory Golden Monkey tuliped snifter...

A - Pours a very thin dark brown body with a massive pillowy white head. The head took some time to recede.

S - Stout eh? So far it is nothing but Brett and funk; but a darker more robust funk. I can smell some dark fruits: prunes, figs, etc. Coming back after letting it sit for a while and warm a bit, I can now smell the roasted malts and a slightly stout like smell, but it is obviously working very hard to break through the Brett funk.

T - Not quite a stout in my opinion. Very funky Brett like taste that is almost sour to taste. Very thin and nothing that would make one think of a stout. Again, like the smell, after letting it sit and warm for a bit, I begin to taste the roasted malts and more stout like flavors of chocolate and some dark fruits.

M - Very thin, almost too thin if you're going to classify this beer as a stout. Very carbonated and fizzy as well.

D - I would not be going back for more after this bottle. It was interesting to taste for sure, but it should more likely be classified as a Wild Ale brewed with roasted malts. The Brett just seems to overpower the entire profile; both smell and taste.

07-08-2010 17:27:41 | More by KAP1356
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

1.85/5  rDev -51.9%

Blend3, 2010 on the back of the bottle.

So far not impressed with this beer. I opened the cap slightly to release the pressure and after a few seconds it started oozing out the opening. Not beer - just head. I finally got the cap off after draining some of the foam and it just oozed out like soft serve ice cream. After pouring a bit off and getting a glass full of foam, the bottle kept oozing.

Extremely sour scent - it smells almost rancid. There is nothing stout, Belgian, nor any combination of the two in this. Very tart and unpleasant.

The taste is similar, though I do detect some presence of roasted malt, black coffee and even chocolate. Not as bad, bit still very sour. If most imperial/double stouts display a wine-like character, this would be vinegar.

Mouthfeel is decent in terms of carbonation, but this is very thin and not at all stout-like.

Very hard to drink. A struggle. Bad bottle, bad batch? Even after letting it breathe and warm there is negligible improvement. Definitely not worth repeating.

06-17-2010 06:43:44 | More by BDTyre
Photo of hayesez


3.43/5  rDev -10.9%

Picked this one up yesterday in Bloomington and cracked it open tonight. Reads "Blend 2, 2010" on the back. I had tried it at Dark Lord Day and was looking forward to doing it again on a fresh palate. Cracked it open while getting some work done in the office. A bit of a gusher with the majority landing in my glass, but a meaningful amount hitting the floor. Calmed down when being poured.

Poured into my DFH signature glass several different times. Deep dark brown with a very intriguing head. The head obviously billowed up quickly as I poured my glass about half-full of beer. After giving it some time to settle and drinking a bit, I filled it up again. The original head was very fluffy in the middle with large loosely packed bubbles on the outside. As it settled those larger bubbles became smaller and assimilated with the rest of the head becoming a tan color. The second pour created a billowing up of more loosely packed bubbles pushing the original head upward. This second layer is a darker tan. Upon my third pour, it was more of the same. At this point, I had three layers of head, each varying in bubble density and color. It looked like the multi-layered sand art I've seen in the past - very interesting. Lots of thick lace left on sides.

Originally, the funkiness dominated the nose on this beer. Tart fruits are prevalent. However, the deeper I get into the bottle, the more I smell the roasted malts, dark chocolate, and stouty fruit smell. It is not what one would expect from an imperial stout...unless they knew that it was Jolly Pumpkin. I'm not convinced I'm really a fan of the smell, but it is definitely interesting.

The taste (regardless of how much of the bottle I've had) is definitely not that of a stout. It is dominated by the brett and has a little semblance of an imperial stout. It starts off very wild before moving into what can be recognized as the pre-brett stout. A bit of roasted malt and a hint of chocolate emerge before the finish reminds you that you are definitely drinking a Jolly Pumpkin beer. Interesting, but given the style, not what one would expect. Very thin feeling for an imperial stout. I'm a huge fan of this style of beer, but mouthfeel is a big component of that. This falls way short.

Overall, I actually enjoyed drinking this beer. Ranking against other Imperial Stouts will detract for the Beer Advocate rankings I assign, but certainly a noteworthy beer. Frankly, I'd drink another one just to look at head pile up.

Consumed: 6/8/2010

06-09-2010 02:35:18 | More by hayesez
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

A Poured black with good carbonation and a dirty white head

S: Funk, roasted malts, fruits, booze

T: Roasted malt, funk, tasted some Earthiness, dark fruit and a sourness, sting of booze on the end and booze is warming throughout

M: Carbonation was good, medium to big body

D: Would not drink again

05-31-2010 20:33:28 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of htomsirveaux


4.08/5  rDev +6%

750 mL bottle tried 3 Jan 2010.

Served in a 0.4 L Kur Pils snifter. Large brown head. Medium carbonation. Dark brown in color. Aromas of molasses, dried fruit, cocoa and ethanol. Sweet and fruity tart to start. Lost of burnt roastiness in the middle. Tart cherries and raisins. Lots of drying oakiness in the finish. Slightly syrupy body.

Tasty but don't need a lot of this one.

05-18-2010 01:03:43 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +14.3%

Batch 360/362

Appearance: Pours a suitably obscure dark color with a magnificent foamy head that leaves an impressive pattern of lace

Smell: Oak and sour cherries dominate the aroma, but underneath one can find, plenty of roast, dark fruit and chocolate

Taste: Opens with a wild and musty flavor of oak, sour cherries and roasted/charred meat; by mid-palate, a hint of sweet chocolate sneaks in underneath; after the swallow, the lactic sour flavors dominate the other subtle aspects into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body, somewhat creamy, with a lovely delicate foamy carbonation

Overall: Lots of complexity and very interesting; Jolly Pumpkin is a master at presenting lactic sour beers in a range of styles; my first review of this beer had lower scores but re-reviewing Batch 5 (bottled 1/21/11) was an eye-opener that bumped the scores up considerably

05-13-2010 02:02:42 | More by brentk56
Photo of jmalex


3.48/5  rDev -9.6%

I was inspired to try this beer after hearing Jamil and company try to clone it on the Brewing Network. I'm now drinking it while relistening to the episode.

APPEARANCE: Poured into my Duvel glass and wow, did it foam up like crazy! After I finally got it poured and settled down (20 minutes or so), it appeared dark brown to black in color with (obviously) a huge, rocky, dark tan head.

SMELL: The aroma definitely has more sour and tart Belgian than dark chocolate stout-ness. The dark grains are there though but seem to compete with the tart yeast aromas rather than work with them. As it warms, things really start to get interesting with oaky aromas of vanilla doing their best to round everything together.

TASTE: Tart through and through. Yeast sourness is joined by oaky tannins to create something much more resembling a Belgian farmhouse ale. I don't think I could even come close to guessing the color of this if I didn't see it with my own eyes. The only indications of the darkness are on the finish and well after the swallow. A subtle chocolatiness joins the sour and gives you a kind of jarring double take.

MOUTHFEEL: A quite thin body is joined my a medium carbonation to again create a very misleading perception. But for what the beer is, this is probably where it should be.

DRINKABILITY: Reasonably good for a fine sour beer like this. This one will take me all night, but I'm okay with that.

I didn't quite know what to expect from this, and this definitely wasn't it. It'd be nice if it had more of a balance between the Belgian sour and the big black stout flavors. But I won't complain when I get to drink a nice sour beer and this certainly qualifies.

04-28-2010 01:41:29 | More by jmalex
Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 802 ratings.