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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

851 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 851
Reviews: 352
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 74
Gots: 102 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 851 | Reviews: 352 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rifugium
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Dark like a stout, but with a big flavor explosion of a sour ale. And I thought it was a pumpkin ale!

Shared a 750ml bottle with a friend. Poured dark brown with a tan head, and appeared a bit hazy. Chocolate malts in the aroma overcome with dried fruits. Blast of unexpected sourness in the taste, with dried cherries and raisins and some semblance of papaya actually. Malty backbone with just a hint of chocolate. Not quite full-bodied for a stout. Very drinkable, but a full bottle for one person might be a bit much.

Rifugium, May 12, 2011
Photo of dciBA
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Nice loud psshhh upon popping the cap. Foam started spilling out immediately. After quickly pouring into my tulip the beer was black with billowing caramel head. Classic stout look from a not so classic take on the style.

The nose has all the usual stout smells. Cocoa, milk chocolate, and roasted coffee beans all coming into play. What sets this beer apart from your usual imperial stout is the classic Jolly Pumpkin funkiness. The brett funk mixes in perfectly with the other smells. Very unique nose, but very appetizing from brett fans.

Taste follows smell, with the brett being more dominate than you would expect. Despite the funk coming so hard, the other flavors are still shining through quite well. Lots of dry cocoa, and freshly brewed coffee working with the musty barnyard flavors surprisingly well. I wasn't sure what to expect flavor wise with this brew, but it works perfectly.

Here's where this one doesn't quite work. The carbonation was way too high initially so I let it sit for a while. After it flattened out a bit the flavors and mouthfeel were much more suited for the style. The finish is also quite dry which is a little odd. Both high carbonation and dry finish are classic Jolly Pumpkin I just think they could have adjusted things for this brew. Overall still a very tasty and unique beer. Well worth seeking out for fans of the funk looking from something a little(alright maybe a lot) different.

dciBA, May 09, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with minimal head

smell: sour, malts, mocha, chocolate, coffee

taste: sour, malts, mocha,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium to full body

overall: a very interesting and complex beer. so glad to be able to find some Jolly Pumpkin in the area and give them a try. I will be back for more.

Cheers,
The CPJ

THECPJ, May 08, 2011
Photo of Pahn
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split two ways, into a tulip. Sticker on the bottle says "Blend 11, 2/17/2011".

Appearance: Moderate pour yields a two and a half inch brown head that dissipates steadily leaving a few small islands of lacing. Pours a solid black and leaves little lacing.

Smell: Fairly prominent lactic sourness, cocoa, roasted malt, some mild coffee, and brett. Surprisingly sensible chocolaty and bretty bouquet (not 2 smells that I would imagine blending well).

Taste: No surprises after the smell. Really nice mix of a sour American wild ale and a roasty stout. Mild sweetness, with a strong amount of carbonation and bitterness. The balance between somewhat rich sweetness, roasted character, brett tang, and sourness is tenuous, but consistently gets struck without the beer becoming a mess.

In fact, it not only stays in balance, but gets better and better. Lots of interesting, fruity and chocolaty complexity comes out as the beer warms. 8.1% ABV isn't really tasted, but the aftertaste is a bit boozy.

I can see why a potential drinker of this beer might be dubious, but the taste wins me over at least.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Creamy and watery. Very carbonated. Weakest element of the beer, but not bad.

Overall: Great, convincing blend of disparate flavor profiles. It's a pricey bottle, and not something I want to drink every day, but you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Pahn, May 08, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4/10/11

On tap at Stone.

A: Very dark, near black, with a creamy light brown head.

S: Dark chocolate melds with lactic dark sour cherries and plum. Faint wet leather and mustiness. Combination of cherry and chocolate is exceptional.

T: Moderate lactic sourness up from and throughout, combining with rich dark chocolate and tart and sour dark cherries and plum. Earthy and lightly bitter. Nice flavor.

M: Full in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is chewy, creamy, and sticky.

Overall: A very nice and enjoyable sour stout. Recommended.

HopHead84, May 05, 2011
Photo of output01x
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25.4 oz. bottle (Blend 2 Bottled 1/5/11) into a snifter glass.

A strong pour yields a 1 1/2-finger tan-colored head that slowly recedes after a few minutes to a clumpy dusting and thick foam ring. The body is a chocolatey black with no traces of color when held to light. Minimal lacing is seen throughout consumption.

The standard dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts aromas are present. However, sweet raisins, white grapes, and a slight funk really shake up the nose.

Dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors start each sip but are quickly overtaken by a funky grape sourness. A dry chocolate aftertaste finishes each sip. The standard stout flavors flow perfectly with the sweet sourness.

Full bodied with excellent carbonation, this beer makes its presence known. Easily sippable and not really sticky, the carbonation seems to allow for excellent balance.

Quite simply, I love this beer. It is the perfect combination of imperial stout and sour. Now if only Jolly Pumpkin barrel aged this in bourbon and maple barrels...

output01x, May 04, 2011
Photo of ajcormier
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type: Bottle

A- Black, 100% opaque, slight lacing with a 1" caramel head. Liquid ivory black silk. Poured with a viscosity less than a RIS but still had weight to it.

S- Tart and sharp off the front. Dark cherry, bitter notes followed by some nice roasted espresso. I didn't get any of the "soy sauce" notes as mentioned in other reviews. Soy/vinegar notes are usually associated with oxidation of the beer. I wonder if the version on tap served at the Armsby should have been pulled through a bit before serving. No hate here, I love that place; just wondering...

T- smoooth, beautiful robust coffee notes wild a wild cherry tart middle palate. Not overly sour but a nice balance of bitter meets smooth coffee. I thought it was incredibly balanced with no alcohol esters. I've been getting into sours, geuzes, krieks and such but have a deep love for big malted roasty beers. Bias aside this beer has both and does each very well. As I've never tasted anything like this before I don't have anything to compare it to. New beer category?

M- As this is clearly not a RIS or American Double it doesn't have the big mouth. Instead has a light palate with good drink-ability. As it is however a "Belgian stout" I was expecting perhaps a bit more body. It was nice though. I wouldn't be wanting an oatmeal stout to have sour notes, so the lightness of the body lent itself to work with the tart palate.

ajcormier, May 03, 2011
Photo of Satchboogie
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from Notes:
On tap at Armsby Abbey

A: Dark brown, light and clear around the edges. Basically no head.

S: Sour and tart, soy sauce, vinegar, although I hate saying this, the first thing that actually came to my mind when I put my nose to this was "Ugh, outdoor stadium bathroom in July".

T: A sour with roasted malt. Vinegar with apple skin, typical sourness, some vinous qualities in the middle to finish. The roasted malt comes through with a little chocolate and sweetness, but not much. There's a bit of funk, though I don't really get a soy sauce flavor that I got in the nose, just maybe a touch of it. A sour that's got a little roasted qualities, a little dark and chocolate, and just a touch of bitterness.

M: High carbonation, light body, champagne like, very dry and vinous finish. Don't get any alcohol.

O: Easily the weirdest stout I've yet had, maybe the weirdest beer period. It's more a sour with a little roasted malt and chocolate. It's alright, but not something I'd look for again.

Satchboogie, May 01, 2011
Photo of dragonWhale
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh what fun it is to have this beer sliding down your throat!
Been thinking about buying a bottle and having it on tap just solidifies my suspicions and vague memories of its awesomeness.
Black with brown highlights, a bit of head that fades and stays a little bit..
Big chocolate and vanilla at first, later, some tart cherry, definite brett influence.
One sip reveals the true beauty. Big brett, tart cherry, a bit of vanilla, sour but not a big sour, just making an indentation of sexiness. A little bit of that JP funk. There's a little datelike action going on too.
A little thin for the stout category here but we all know that ain't what it is. It may say stout on the label, but this is Jolly Pumpkin. And this is a damn fine brew.

dragonWhale, May 01, 2011
Photo of laituegonflable
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown colour; dark indeed with a glimmer of brown noticeable at the edge. Head is ochre - a bit too generous maybe, but sinks to leave a nice marshmallow puff and trails of pleasant lace behind. Beautiful density to it as well.

Smells...tart...? Okay, wasn't expecting that. Very funky with a big cheese mould aroma, lots of balsamic vinegar, some lemon and raspberry as well. Yes it's very fresh, nothing rough about it at all. I'm intrigued more than anything, but it's also very pleasant.

Taste is insanely tart for how dark it is. Bit of a cocoa character on the front that immediately takes on big funk, with Belgian barnyard notes, citrus and vinegar all vying for supremacy. Lots of underripe cherry as well and a really well-aged port character overriding it all. The sweetness of that kind of lingers and leaves everything in its wake. For all this beer's impudence, at the heart of it is a very mature, very refined palate.

A bit harsh on the front, with the acidity being really quite noticeable. Mellows out nicely towards the back though but could use some more body on the front to quell the puckering.

What a fascinating and unique beer. Such incredible tartness at times managing to stab with violent enthusiasm through the dark maltiness. It's wonderful though; dark, tart and distinctive. A beer to stand proudly on its own, iconoclastically defying the conventions of any style characteristics.

laituegonflable, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of TexIndy
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Tag on back of bottle says Blend 5 Bottled 1/21/11. Was a dark mahogany color with good center carb. Had a small brown head that settled into a thick collar. Moderate, slow sliding lace with none sticking.

The aroma was heavy on sour cherries, brett, dark chocolate, roasted malt and vanilla. Interesting aroma mix between a dark stout and the brett but I like it. The taste I didn't like as much. I love me a good sour and I love me a good stout but something about the blend here just didn't suit me. I can taste good elements in each but the overall mix just didn't hit me right. Not a drain pour, or even close to it, but just couldn't get into it. Tart mouthfeel with crisp carbonation.

Overall, a miss for the reasons listed above but worth trying if you like brett. Appreciate the stretch here but I'll stick to some of the other fine JP offerings next time. Not avail here in TX - got from Ummagum in a care package. Rotation - glad to have tried it but one is enough. [N;N]

TexIndy, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I saw this one at the liquor store the other day, and passed due to price. Seeing it on tap at Hops and Pie, I felt compelled to try it (thankfully).
Poured a deep black (w/ruby highlights) color, with a bit of a tan head. Very tart on the nose, dried cherries, milk chocolate and roasted malt. On the palate, this one is medium bodied and tart, with flavors of chocolate, brett and roasted malt. An excellent beer.

emmasdad, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of jhdrislane617
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours deep black with ruby hues. A solid fluffy light mocha head hangs around and leaves spotty lacing. A fine looking beer.

Pleanty of dark fruit in the nose but i'm also picking up a bit of strawberry as well as some clove, vanilla and some alcohol. Very funky with a bit of coffee and chocolate in the background. My first experience with Bretts and i'm intrigued.

The taste follows the nose and is a bit overwhelming. Very funky and sour but i'm digging it. To lump this into the american imperial/double stout style isn't really fair to either party. I really enjoy the taste, slight markdown due to the funkiness not normally found in this style.

Over the palate it's smooth with good prickly carbonation and a slight twinge of alcohol in the finish.

I say we call this a Flemish Style Stout? As a fan of imperial stouts I was really enamored with this beer. It provided both a reason to delve into the world of sours and warranted my first BA review.

Slainte!

jhdrislane617, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of jminsc76
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, pours an espresso brown head atop an impenetrable black body. Thick legs as I tilt, with the head reemerging readily.

Aromas of coffee and berries, with a slight degree of funk. Not highly intense, just enough to exhibit a wonderful bouquet of sharp stout-like sweetness.

Flavors: so if you are expecting a powerful, robust Double Stout that happens to include a small to medium quantity of Jolly Pumpkin funkbombedness, you’re going to be disappointed. The stout characteristics are there, though primarily on the finish (way on the finish, like, at the back of the tongue practically). Instead expect more of a light Belgian Dubbel with that signature sharp funk and oak taking full reign from front to midpoint.

Mouthfeel is thin and light, with little to no thickening upon swishing.

Overall, this is drinkable and tasty but misses the mark. I really was hoping to taste a roasty and robust funkbomb stout with plenty of coffee and/or molasses and/or chocolate, but all I get is a tease at the finish. I mean the aromas yield plenty of stout characteristics, why can’t the flavors do the same? Still good though, and perhaps I am missing the point considering it’s a Jolly Pumpkin beer.

jminsc76, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of TheWhiskerReview
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blend 14. Bottled 3-4-2011

Pours pitch black with a one-finger tan head. Superb retention and sexy lace.

The nose is much more delicate than I expected- notes of maple, vanilla, mushroom and coffee-flavored taffy. There is a serious earthiness that is very reminiscent of old-world style red wine. The hops seem to be of the noble type, contributing somewhat neutral floral tones.

Palate is medium-bodied and creamy, with a tartness that lasts from beginning to end. There's a roasty, malty sweetness and a touch of bitterness in the middle which fades back into the tartness on the long finish- flavors of coffee, spicy oak barrel, vanilla.

Like a good red wine, give this beer about 25-30 minutes to breathe. It opens up wonderfully with an intense earthiness, while the palate, which seems overly-tart at first, becomes much more harmonized. This was the last of the three JPs to come through Nashv recently, and I'm certainly going to search out the rest when I get the chance to travel to other states.

TheWhiskerReview, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of chugalug06
4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark as night with an great tan foamy head. Pours a GREAT head too. Very nice lacing/"tiering"

S - Funk for sure. Very chocolate and sour too. Smells like vanilla wafers. Oaky and rich.

T - Yep, there's funk. Deep, dark, true, and rich... Great oak flavor too! A very typical JP sour.

M - Great, beautifully rich and elegant feel. Perfect carbonation to boot. Coats and disperses flavor excellent. Smooth.

D - WOW. One of the best brews I've had in sometime, extremely rich and enjoyable. Hard to put down and let open up...

A definite MUST try. Great recommendation by CT W&S. Thank you!

chugalug06, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Monument Wines & Spirits in Concord, CA, and brought back to Australia to share with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe. We put it straight up after Port Brewing's Older Viscosity, and this is an extremely different style of American Impy Stout.

Pours a deep brown-black, with an incredibly frothy head of ochre brown. Lacing is thick, full and heady, and the body looks appropriately thick, with a leavened, lightened quality. Looks good.

Nose is confusingly wild, giving that classic funky Jolly Pumpkin barnyard/bière de garde sour character, with plenty of clipped hay and resin. Indeed, there's very little darkness to it on the nose, despite the appearance and the expectations. It's one confusing and upsettingly exciting beer.

Taste is similar. Certainly, it has a big acidic spike, and a huge organic funkiness, but this is (remember) based on a very dark and slightly astringent body. Certainly, there's some dark roasted characters coming through on the back, that mesh and clash with the acidic vinous characters which make it excitingly odd.

What a weird beer. In fact, I expected this to be Jolly Pumpkin taking a more mainstream route to establish a genuine American Imperial Stout on their roster, but what we've got is their cheery and subversive take on the style. Without a doubt, it's American: the weirdness clearly demarcates it this way. But it's also classic Jolly Pumpkin: uncompromising, fresh and iconic.

Love it.

lacqueredmouse, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of SupaCelt
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blend 7, bottled February 8, 2011:

A lush dark abyss with a small cocoa tan head. Lacing takes hold and persists.

The nose is Jolly Pumpkin. Sour and woody with a muted roasty chocolate stout character in the background where it somehow fits.

The taste is something far outside of the ordinary in the imperial stout realm. The sour tones hit up front and cause the lip smacking pucker in classic fashion while the stout richness dawdles behind before coming in to proclaim itself. The oak is beautifully subtle and imparts an enjoyable woody presence that pokes through the sourness and ends up complimenting the roasted and milky classic stout profile. The complexity unfolds and grows ever more deep as warmth settles in. The amazement grows. Oh the charm that invited and welcomed bacterial infection can conjure.

The mouthfeel approaches light on the wings of the sourness. It manages to weigh in appropriately albeit by a thread. It toes the line of being a bit thin as far as technical criteria, but as this ale is essentially a style in and of itself it maintains its status.

Overall, this is an interesting and enjoyable creation that broadens the ideals of a familiar style. This brewer follows its own unique heart and does it well. This artisan ale is unique. While excellence absolutley abounds these days, finding something that you have never come close to experiencing in the craft brew realm is still a complete rarity. This is one of those rarities. Bravo for originality. If intentionally sour ales are not your cup of beer, you may not see the beauty in this. This is bread for the starving.

SupaCelt, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This used to be on my Wants so when it finally made it down to Indiana I had to grab a bottle. This bottle was from Batch 2, 2010. This Dark Dawn Stout poured a viscous dark, dark brown with a billowing caramel brown soapy head. I poured a bit into my glass after opening the bottle and just looked over and foam started creeping out the top! I had heard this bottle could be a gusher but didn't expect it to begin after I had already poured a full snifter. It smells of caramel malts, some dark fruit, and has the trademark Jolly Pumpkin sour aroma. I like it. The flavors are really interesting. It features dark fruity sweetness and almost a tart peach like sourness that I really like. It's just really interesting. Only Jolly Pumpkin would "infect" a stout on purpose. It drinks medium in body and definitely stimulates your palate. It made my taste buds go crazy. It's not the most drinkable stout but drinking a bottle yourself is possible.

For what they set out to do, they did it well. If you compare it to other stouts then you won't be a fan but if you're a fan of Jolly Pumpkin then this one is up your alley.

aasher, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high creamy tan head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are strong aromas of dark fruits in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the initial taste has flavors of dark fruits and a bit of sourness; however, these are quickly followed by roasted malts and finishes with a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The combination of fruity and roasted malt flavors is rather interesting yet it also makes this beer one that needs to be sipped slowly.

metter98, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 03/25/11 notes. Thanks to jslot38 for sharing this one; thanks Justin. Be warned, the bottle we opened was the worst gusher I've ever seen by far.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour fruit, brett, oak, chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Some of that definite JP/brett smell.

t - Tastes of brett, sour fruit, oak, tart fruit, chocolate,and coffee.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - Another nice beer from JP. It has a lot of that JP funk/brett mixing with some classic stout characteristics. Would have again.

mdfb79, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

on tap at devils den in philly

Pours a decent blacked out color with a fading toffee head, filmy retention with light lacing on the glass.

Complex nose with chocolate and woody alcohol, tart cherry with wet funk, raisin and dates, toasted malt as well.

A big wave of sour up front with cherry and raisin. Fruit juice mixes with some lighter sweetness. Light tones of chocolate and caramel attempt to peek through amidst the avalanche of sour, overripe fruit. Somewhat harsh metallic rotting cherry is the primary flavor that I just couldn't escape. Finishes dry, tart, and warm.

Fuller medium body, higher carbonation, dry and lingering. Honestly this reminds me more of an infected stout than anything else. I like Jolly Pumpkin and understand their unusual take on beer styles, but this was pretty tough to drink, and the 6oz pour I got was more than enough.

xnicknj, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of bamadog
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I've been sitting on this one for just over a year now and finally pulled it out of the closet for a try. Review is from notes taken on 3/25/2011 and poured from the bottle (batch 360/362) to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is dark brown/near black and it starts with a massive 2 and 1/2 finger dark tan head that is super thick and foamy; body looks a little thick and viscous on the pour, so that's pretty exciting and the body is dark (as it should be since it's called "Dark Dawn Stout") and entirely opaque; head lasts for forever and a day and eventually falls to a firm and full cap that lasts throughout the drink.

Smell: The nose is pretty robust and it's definitely a JP beer - signature brett funk/tartness that oozes out of all of their bottles is abundantly present; bit of a dark cherry fruitiness to the tartness this time, though, and there is a bit of a roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate as well; I haven't had a lot of stouts that are infected (accidentally or intentionally so), but this one just seems pretty unique in this aspect; as it continues to sit in the glass and warm a little bit, a bit of a Belgian yeastiness that holds just a touch of a banana scent to it.

Taste: Pretty solid -- comes across very bitter and tart right up front, nearly overpowering and at first I'm a little underwhelmed by it and felt it was a little one dimensional with the strong brett presence; as the tartness slowly fades, there's a bit of a mulchy/leathery flavor that continues to evolve to a familiar roasty and earthy ground coffee aspect and a touch of the bittersweet chocolate; there's really quite a bit going on here and it's one that needs to be sipped and enjoyed very slowly to pick up all of the subtle nuances -- not something I would crave on a regular basis, but it's really good overall and worth trying and savoring, I'll definitely pick up another the next chance I get.

Mouthfeel: Body is of near medium weight and the carbonation is quite potent, but not quite sharp -- comparative to most JP beers, it foams up and is lively; a cottony dry coating is left all over the mouth that really holds the funky flavors long into the aftertaste; the belly is left a little warm from the acidity of the beer, and likely partly because of the 8.1% ABV.

Overall: Like I mentioned in the taste, it's pretty unique and it's a challenging beer -- definitely not for a beginner to the higher end beer world or sours. It's good, and would be great for a group tasting to hear what others are getting out of it at the same time, and likely something that would be great in the winter time as well, but the funk is a little overwhelming throughout and the beer itself isn't something I believe I would find myself craving.

bamadog, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's the other day.

Dark brown with reddish brown highlights, there's a dense, brown head with good retention. The nose is roasty and sour. The sourness brings to mind acidulated malt, as it has a very sharp lactic character. Cocoa, roast, burnt sugar and mild fruit character are all present, as is a little coffee. The palate opens super sharp and fruity with plums and cocoa. An intense lactic sourness is present. Burnt sugar and toffee help temper the sourness , along with a nice roasty malt character that's been thinned out by the yeast. The sourness is very sharp and is actually moderately unpleasant, but it the 5oz serving size, it was enjoyable. Drying, roasty and fruity sour on the finish, this is solid. Not as enjoyable as the last bottle I had.

DefenCorps, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of coldmeat23
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: St. Bernardus Oversized Wine Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
BATCH 359

A VERY dark brown liquid. Hell, we can call it black and no one is going to argue. A two-finger head of creamy brown foam sits on top. This dissipates to a very nice surface covering. The lacing is on the verge of being curtains and is very sticky.

Man, that is a Jolly Pumpkin nose, for sure! Lots of oak tannins. Some funky bug presence, like barnyard notes, wet hay and a slightly sweaty horse saddle. Some interesting hints of tanginess, almost sour notes. Big notes of cocoa powder and milk chocolate give an impression of chocolate covered (sour) cherries. Beautiful hints of smooth vanilla. Light traces of dark fruit notes.

The slightly tart/slightly sour/mostly earthy notes dominate this beer. Earthy hits first, followed by the tanginess. Along the way, you get vanilla beans and cocoa powder. The oak tannins are probably the strongest that I've ever encountered in a beer. Light hints of milk chocolate. Someone seems to have walked by with a cup of coffee. Light traces of dark fruits, mostly cherries. Light hints of roasted malts. Mild touches of barnyard hay.
The funky side of Jolly Pumpkin definitely dominates the stout in this bottle. That's not a bad thing, though. This is very tasty.

This is almost full-bodied and has a high level of carbonation. Fortunately, it is (natural) bottle-carbonation and is full of little tiny bubbles. They give this a nice level of creaminess, which works very well. Very smooth.

I can't help but knock this overall rating down a little bit. It's not so much for my personal tastes though, as much as I'm thinking of other people who may want to try it. I think that it's wonderful, but I understand that the funkiness could turn some people off to it.
It's very delicious, but certainly not for everyone.

coldmeat23, Mar 24, 2011
Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 851 ratings.