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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

782 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 782
Reviews: 346
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 16.06%
Wants: 62
Gots: 94 | 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)
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Ratings: 782 | Reviews: 346 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of athensbeermaster


4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep dark black with a thick rootbeer loke head that hangs around for some time! The nose has some sour licorice and diesel aroma. The taste has yeasty bread dipped in soy sauce. Kinda a salty sour flavor going on. What a unique stout. The mouthfeel is light for a stout but who cares this beer has so much going on I don't miss the typical malt flavors. The drinkabilty is pretty smooth if your open to crazy flavors. I would drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2008 04:59:07 | More by athensbeermaster
Photo of tempest


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with a couple friends, served in a red wine glass.

At first sniff, I wasn't as fan. The chocolate malts, mixed with the sour element, kind of smelled like sour chocolate milk. However, as it warmed, the two elements separated to create a please tangy cocoa smell with hint of oak barrel vanilla. The flavor follows suit with a sour tang mixed with dark chocolate and a hint of coffee that relax into a balanced, bitter aftertaste.

I'd call this an American Wild ale, as I think the wild elements define this beer much more than the dark malts - I'd also call this delicious. Give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2008 17:02:44 | More by tempest
Photo of ryrust5301


3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This beer looks damn good after it's poured. Dark heavy black with a head that came to a hefty tan two finger height. Huge amounts of lacing left all over the glass, blanketing it with a tan coating.

Smell - A definite sour cherry funk swirls all around this one. Not much else can be detected. It definitely smells like a Jolly Pumpkin brew.

Taste & Mouthfeel - High amount of carbonation with a sour hit to the palate. Chocolate and coffee flavors help to give this one a backbone. Toasted malts mix in with a tart fruitiness (Cherries) to finish bitter and dry on the back of the tounge.

Drinkability - Sour beers aren't my cup of tea, but this one is quite intresting as it holds together very well as a mix of sour and stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2008 06:01:50 | More by ryrust5301
Photo of Med


4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 266

The beer pours black and completely opaque with a huge cocoa tan head that stays around very well and leaves a ton of lacing. The smell is layered, with chocolate, toffee, coffee, and a noticeable oakiness (bourbon?). The taste surprised me by having a much more bitter hop flavor than I picked up in the nose. Still some nice cocoa and coffee, and the oak (bourbon?) barrel taste comes through very well, and the finish lasts forever leaving a sour tinge right on the tongue. Mouth is medium with great carbonation. Not as thick or creamy as expected but very pleasant. Overall I find this to be an exceptionally drinkable stout. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 23:50:37 | More by Med
Photo of smellody


4.72/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Man oh man, how I love Jolly Pumpkin and this beer is no exception. Leave it to JP to pull off a barrel aged flavored stout that has a sour tinge to it...for me, heaven.

I shared this with three fellow BAs at Oldsmar Tap House (Oldsmar, FL,) from a 750ml bottle into small snifter taster glasses.

Appearance - Dark as night, with a lacey caramel head that lasted the entire session. Seemed think on the pour as well, like motor oil.

Smell - Once it warmed up, we were able to fully enjoy this beers complex aroma. It has the typical JP funkiness with hints of fruit (maybe cherry) and roasty chocolate. I sniffed it so much, at one point I almost inhaled it, it smelled so delish.

Taste - Not sure how they did this but for me it started sour and ended with a chocolate roast. I love the almost bret funkiness aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel - Low level of carbonation, smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability - just incredible. I didn't want the bottle to end, and with the ABV so subtle, I would have had a second bottle if I wasn't driving as I didn't know I was drinking such a robust stout. Amazing as always JP - keep up the good work.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2008 01:13:58 | More by smellody
Photo of largadeer


3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black with brown highlights, totally opaque. The first pour produces a perfect 3 finger head and the retention on this thing was ridiculous, it never came close to receding.

Smell: Typical stout aromas of cocoa and roasted malt are mixed with a big wild bretty aroma, notes of oak and slight sourness. Strange to say the least.

Taste/mouthfeel: Flavors of baker's chocolate, charred malt, woody tannins and tons of brett funk. High carbonation on a medium body. The mouthfeel is bone-dry. The finish is a bizarre mix of roasted malt, funk, sourness and oak.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2008 14:55:03 | More by largadeer
Photo of Wildman


3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured pitch black and formed a huge foamy medium tan head that left latticed lace as it slowly subsided. Very much like a rootbeer float, typical Belgian style. The aroma was of malt, chocolate and that Belgian farmhouse element. The flavor was of malt, chocolate and coffee. The body was medium light and the finish slightly burnt. Not a bad beer, but rather light for a stout, yet not complex like a Belgian. At 10 dollars, I just have better options from Michigan.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2008 23:32:59 | More by Wildman
Photo of lackenhauser


3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Jet black in color and very highly carbonated. Almost as if it is infected-the foam goes on forever. Great looking beer but a hassle to get to as you wait for some of the foam to receed. Somewhat sour and funky aroma. Heavily wild, Belgian taste and flavor. Funky-brett?-flavors. Not a lot of the roasted notes I was expecting. Puckering and tangy mouthfeel. I have had Jolly Pumpkin beers in the past though this is a tad different. Decent enough beer but none of the stout characteristics I am looking for. Too Belgian. Might be me but I dont think so overall. See if you like it-dont think I could do it a second time. Great label though.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2008 02:44:32 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of FtownThrowDown


4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown in color with a huge rocky head. Plenty of nice webbing on the glass and a continuous froth remains atop the beer.
Smell is the same wonderful tart/funkiness that you'd expect from JP. This is a completely different stout than I've ever had and I'm loving the twist. Plenty of dark roasted malts/chocolate coming through that reminds you this is a stout. Full and creamy mouthfeel. I've yet to have a bad beer from JP. I love them!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2008 23:53:29 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of rye726


4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is near black with some maroon hues and a silky dark brown head. Nice lace and retention.

The nose has roasty malts, chocolate, espresso, and ripe berries. There is also a nice oak and vanilla presence. Rounding it it out fruity wild yeast presence.

Taste has dark malts, bitter hops, cocoa, molasses, espresso and tart citrusy yeast.

Medium body is well carbonated. Another tasty brew from JP.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2008 03:30:19 | More by rye726
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks very much to northernbrews for the opportunity to try this one. 750 ml bottle (no batch#) served in a nonic. Poured an opaque black color with a three inch khaki-colored head reminiscent of milkshake froth. Rings of sticky lacing with good retention present during the tasting. Scents of chocolate, dark fruit and a mild citrusy funk. Funk is more pronounced in the flavor, but not overwhelmingly so, as well as the presence of a mild roastiness and coffee character; some slightly metallic undertones became apparent as the brew warmed. Lively mouthfeel (lots of effervescence) with citrus character in the nose pronounced as a sour pucker at the finish. Creative tribute to the style, not at all what I initially anticipated, based on the nose, but the boldness affects the overall drinkability in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2008 21:53:06 | More by Jwale73
Photo of MiguelMandingo


4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this beer was awesome. I didn't know what to think when I was told this was a sour stout. Leave it to Jolly Pumpkin to pull it off. This was way better than I expected.

Poured part of a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - This brew poured like thick motor oil. It produced a solid 2 finger latte foam texture head. A swirl of the glass brought the head back immediately - excellent retention. It is nearly opaque black. The head leaves behind some great lacing. This is a nice start.

Smell - The scent on this beer is amazing. Of course it has that typical Jolly Pumpkin funkiness. I get notes of sour cherry, peach, and roasty chocolate. It has a distant herbal hop aroma that really brings up the rear - the scent is crazy.

Taste - What an awesome feat of brewing madness. This brews opens with a sour note and ends roasty - I think that if it had been reversed, this beer would have failed. The sour is tied to sweet chocolate which then evolves to roastiness when is then tied to hoppy bitterness. What an awesome roller-coaster ride. The acidic nature of the sour flavor cuts through the sweetness. The sourness increases as it warms. The ABV is completely hidden in this one.

Mouthfeel - This brew has medium/full body. It has a slight acidic feel as it washes over the tongue. Good level of carbonation to cut through the acidity and the sweetness.

Drinkability - This beer is awesome. Who would have thought a sour stout would be this awesome? This brew was conceptually and technically executed perfectly. The ABV is hidden, the smell and taste are awesome, what more could you want?

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2008 06:16:57 | More by MiguelMandingo
Photo of cjgator3


4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 266. 750ml bottle. Pours a dark black color with a creamy tan head that possesses incredible retention and lacing. The aroma is very dark and roasty with just a hint of sour funkiness and yeast. I am also picking up some oak in the aroma as well. After the enticing aroma, my mouth is watering in anticipation. The taste is a nice dark and roasty stout with a good amount of bitterness, that is joined with that unique Jolly Pumpkin funkiness. Damn, there is a lot of roastiness and bitter coffee flavors in the finish. Overall, this is a really unique offering that I enjoyed. I wouldn't want to drink this every night, but it is something different that I can appreciate for it's uniqueness. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2008 02:32:50 | More by cjgator3
Photo of JDV


3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of MiguelMandingo. Thanks!
Pours a rich chocolately brown to black color with not much head to speak of. Smell is wood, a bit funky and tart roastiness. Taste is als tart and roasty with sour cherry like flavors mingling with chocolate. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Reminds me of a cherry stout, but is a bit more unique than that with some added complexity. Enjoyed this much more than I expected.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 18:08:34 | More by JDV
Photo of Halcyondays


3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black/dark brown, with a thick milk chocolate coloured head, thick lacing, good head retention, big bubbles.

S: JP funk, chocolate.

T: Get a start with light coffee and espresso, dark chocolate, then the lactic acidity comes in and glides the beer to it's finish. An interesting take on a stout, a throwback to the days when porter and stout where aged in oak barrels, and sent across the sea. Possibly the closest one can get to a 18th-19th century stout contemporarily.

M: Light carbonation, acidity, I'd reckon' a pH around 3-4, refreshing for a dark beer.

D: An interesting beer to have on cask, really brings the darker flavours to the limelight, sour stout, now there's an interesting idea, but it worked.

Serving type: cask

03-09-2008 20:48:23 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.75/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a deep black color stout with a big light brown foamy head with some good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of roasted malt is mix with some sour bretty notes. Taste is also a mix between some roasted bitter malt notes with some sour and bretty notes which didn't mix very well IMO. Medium body with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I am usually one up for experiment but the mix between stout and bretty Belgian is something I could do without.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2008 20:04:17 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Romulux


3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

UHH! I am not sure what just happened,here.I either love this stuff and it opens my mind to a whole new way of looking at beer or it is the worst bottle of pisswater,I have ever had.I am torn.

I have scored this beer as all 3.0's.But there is NOTHING average about this.I split it right down the middle because of my love/hate relationship with it.

Sour?/Sweet?, Beer?/Wine?.There's alot going on here.Everyone should give it a try and decide for themselves.Jolly Pumpkin is definitely marching to a different drummer.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2008 23:26:09 | More by Romulux
Photo of Deuane


3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Black with dark brown highlights. Thin tan head that reduces to a film.

S-Raosty with sour notes. Some scent of dark fruit. A very interesting scent...not in a bad way.

T-Whoa! This is quite sour to start..but then, Oh..roastiness. Personally this is a bit to up front sour for me. I do like the flavours that develop after the sourness disapates.

M-Thin with a puckering quality. I really do not enjoy this for a long period.

D-Too sour for me and an odd flavour that I dont want in a stout. I certainly always like to try a new beer but this is not one that I will revisit.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2008 16:19:04 | More by Deuane
Photo of triplecoil


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a weird beer.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours rich and super dark with a thin tan head that hangs out around the edges throughout the drink. Nose is classic JP funk with roasty malts and alcohol. Taste is sweet and sour with a strong bitter aftertaste. Some really bitter chocolate, raisins, and a lot of grapefruit shine through. Mouthfeel is pleasant throughout, nice carbonation and slightly syrupy.

Easily one of the strangest stouts I've ever had. The funk and the roast seem to temper eachother to a large extent, which I think is the real triumph of this beer. Not a bad brew at all.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2008 00:53:07 | More by triplecoil
Photo of Mudpuppet


4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 750ml into a Riedel snifter glass. Pours a pitch black with a dark tan lacy head.

S- Extremely complex! Jolly Pumpkin funk for sure. But you also get dark sweet malt notes. I would say the JP funk is stronger in the nose though.

T- Like eating a grapefruit. Not grapefruit notes but actual grapefruit. You get JP funk for sure...Pedio, and Lacto with some Brett. You also get citrus notes from the funk/sour with dark coffee and chocolate notes. This is a million flavors in a beer. Every time I taste I get different notes. GRAPEFRUIT!

M- A bit thin for a stout but about right for a sour beer. Good level of carbonation too

D- Oh yeah I could drink a few glasses of this. Nice easy drinker. A bit high on alcohol but very enjoyable. Try this if you get the chance.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2008 00:19:35 | More by Mudpuppet
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #400.

How cool is this! I figure that I'm just starting to get comfortable with my range of consideration in my second year and I follow BAs who have considered almost TEN TIMES that in only twice the time. So, what do I know? Doesn't matter...the following are "notes to self":

I've been really curious about this one for some time now.

You can see through the pour and its dark brown; can't be sure if it's clear or cloudy. A gentle pour yields better than a full finger foamy tan head that fades fairly quickly to surface, but visible effervescent tiny surface pools struggle to keep it a live. A nice amount of Belgian lacing present. The smell is really complex. There is a malty residue on the lip of this bottle that smells like sticky chocolate malt. A big whiff past that reveals the 'funk' awaiting below. I'm really pleased that this sample doesn't seem overwhelmingly wild or sour. The tart character seems to become more prevalent as it warms and the closer you get to the goodies at the bottom. So keep it cool & drink it fast (what a stupid thing to say!) This sample was undisturbed for a number of days before this review. Light bodied, substantial carbonation lends a creamy texture to the mouth without being overwhelming. A very nice complex touch if you ask me. The roasted malt flavor is more subtle than the tart or bitter hop (& funk) but well within the tolerance of those that chose to consider this Brewer's interpretation and expanded definition of this style. Hey Man!, don't be distracted. Take time to "smell the roses"!

Hey BigDaddyWil, thanks much for the opportunity. I'll be knocking on your door for more of this. Peace.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2008 23:51:33 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnished mahogany with generous highlights of cherry and gold. The three finger head looks like frappuccino, or one of those other coffee-based beverages that I see people drinking. The foam melts in appealing fashion and is responsible for extensive sheets of Swiss cheese-like lace... that look better on subsequent pours than they do initially.

With a single sniff, I could have identified Jolly Pumpkin as Madrugada Obscura's brewery of origin given three guesses. That's because the funkiness of the Brett overwhelms all else. I didn't say 'obliterates all else' because roasted malt is present in the background. Much less Brettanomyces would have been much better.

I'll be the first to admit that I am not a Jolly Pumpkin fan because I don't think that every(!) single(!) style needs to be injected with bugs. Personally, I love wild ales, bieres de garde, saisons and all the rest. In fact, Russian River is one of my favorite breweries. It's just that there's a limit. And these guys blow right by it.

Having said all that, I'm not surprised that my two favorite JP beers are Oro de Calabaza and Biere de Mars, both bieres de garde. That's because they're *supposed* to be funky. Madrugada Obscura, against all odds, is delicious beer too. That's probably because the roasted malt is able to stand up to the wild yeast (unlike, say, wheat malt), keeping the base style from losing its identity.

It's still a close call and I'm unable to identify any subtleties that might be coming from the roasted and/or chocolate malt. At least the beer has some sweetness and bitterness to go along with the incredible tartness. Just think of MO:DDS as a milk stout brewed with spoiled milk. Mmm...

In order to be considered good, the body/mouthfeel either needed to be full and milkshake creamy (like an American stout) or silky and expansive (like a Belgian ale). The fact that it's neither is why the score is what it is.

Even though the final score won't necessarily reflect it, Madrugada Obscura is one of my favorite Jolly Pumpkin brews, following only the ones mentioned above. While this is an interesting ride, I'm unlikely to fork over $9.99 for another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2008 21:42:27 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of IPAcraig


3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I picked this beer up at Liquor Loft in Tallahassee.

This beer pours a rich, inky black with a mocha head. it had some some good lace.

A nice roasted smell, that is overpowered by a sourness that seems misplaced. A bit of earthy oak tries to emerge from the black abyss. As it warms, the acidity dies down, revealing chocolatey undertones.

The sourness is very potent in this beer, emerging over what would normally be a fairly big roasted character; though it has been kept in check by the bugs. This beer is very acidic. A bit of hop bitterness in the first taste is apparent. Earth and oak linger in the tounge.

This beer is extremely complex, but the flavors dont really come together very well. I love the idea of JPs beers, but not the execution.

Not a very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2008 00:55:02 | More by IPAcraig
Photo of jdubjacket


2.68/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got a bottle of this at Brickstore pub. Had heard alot about Jolly Pumpkin, and considering I love stouts, I thought that this would be win-win.

Turns out I was wrong.

Looks like a normal stout, but smells and tastes VERY tart and VERY sour. Apparently it was due to the oak aging according to the barkeep, but I have had oak-aged stouts, and none of them was this tart. Mouthfeel was not very smooth and it was kind of hard to choke down. I had to spread this bottle around to those in my party, all of whom were reluctant to help me finish it.

Best part of this beer is the label. I'm glad I tried it, but I don't think I'll try it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2008 23:41:03 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of DackAchan


4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Good appearance, dark in color, pours with a dark brown two finger head that laces well for a stout.

S- Smells a little sweet, roasted fruit is the best I can place it. Barley with some bitterness to it as well.

T- Almost a dark wine taste to it. Definately some grape taste to it, hints of roasted barley and a definate sourness. Good balance between bitter, sour and sweet.

M- Medium body, not harsh on the tongue, smooth.

D- Not too sour, good drinkablity.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2008 20:43:48 | More by DackAchan
Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 782 ratings.