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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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

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very good

912 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 912
Reviews: 365
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 73
Gots: 115 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Shovelbum on 02-12-2006

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 912 | Reviews: 365
Photo of mrbeermug
4.63/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Dark brew with just a hint of amber and really nice small and soft looking bubbles more typical of many belgian-style brews and very appealing to the eye. Not thick or syrupy.

S - Interesting mixture of dark malts and bright tangy and fruity sourness come through on the nose. Very distinct from other stouts and not as heavy.

T - Absolutely distinct and memorable flavor. Incredibly well balanced with some light flavors of roasted chocolate malt combined with a rich, but subtle sour and savory component, with even a hint of the creaminess and funk of a good blue cheese.

M - Carbonation is evenly but softly present throughout, the beer is not heavy but balanced between a bright upfront presence and a soft creamy swallow. The sourness lingers delicately on the palatte afterwards.

Overall - Brewing a sour stout like this is gutsy and its execution is outstanding. I remember this beer's flavor amidst a litany of great stouts and look forward to its release every late winter/early spring from Jolly Pumpkin. Great on tap, too. This, to me, is one of Ron Jeffries' best efforts.

I think a number of the folks rating this beer lower seem newer to or surprised by the style of sour beers and Jolly Pumpkin in general and since sours take some getting used to, not everyone is prepared. Having lived in Ann Arbor and tasted some 20 different beers from JP, including some aged up to 7 yrs, I come back to this one whenever it's released as among my favorites.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.
Bottled: 03-4-2011

A - Pours a nice dark brown with some slight black hints. There is a nice tan head that forms and has some nice dense bubbles with some bigger medium sized ones. Recedes at a medium pace down to a thin film.

S - Slight woody notes and some mild tartness starts off followed by some nice bitter chocolaty notes and some toasty fresh baked bread. There is some oat notes as well as some nice slight roasty malt notes.

T & M - A bit on the lighter side. Starts off with some woody notes as well as some mild tartness. Some traditional JP funk is present as well as some slight roast. It is a bit more watered down than expected. The slight sour notes are interesting and don't really take away from the beer but I've never had a sour stout. Its pretty interesting but not my favorite.

O - Its interesting and has some complex flavors but the sour notes through me off. Not too delicious.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been really stoked to try this beer. Basically because I'm used to the JP funk and tartness...and very curious how this would work with a stout. I am very pleased. Pours pitch black with a light brown head that looks just like a delicious, thick, IRS should. Then it gets weird... Scent is sour grapes with hints of chocolate and some funk. I LOVE these JP beers...they're so unique! Taste is initially tart citrus combined with dark chocolate. Then i get some bittering hops, followed by roasted cocoa. This flavor is hard to completely put in words, but it's amazing. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with tart, dark, roasted, deliciousness. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this beer is AMAZING! I could drink this every night!

Photo of jmfc8237
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into A sniffer and have immediate hints of expresso like foam forming a nice head. Moderatly heavy lacing and a stream of web coating the rim. Intense aromas of coffee and sour grapes. Bitter sweet chocolate and expresso followed by a sour tart grape finish. As it warms the coffee/toffee flavors become more prevalent. Finished this with a smile and was pleasantly surPrized by it's finish.

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

Picked this up at the Burlington Canal's last week, based on a comment in a thread regarding where to start in sour beers, if you are one of the uninitiated. Thought a Sour Stout would be interesting.

After uncapping, a steady stream of foam began pouring out of the top of the bottle for no less than 3 minutes. Had to leave it on the edge of the sink for a while, to make sure it wouldn't start dumping foam all over the place. Not sure if this was because it hadn't sat long enough in my fridge, but I had it in my cellar for a week, and in the fridge for about 2 hours, all upright. Not much moving around, but who knows.

After it stopped overflowing, I poured myself a glass into my Allagash stemmed pint glass. Poured a 1.5 finger dark caramel head, with lots of percolation. Smelled sour, but in a good way. Looked like a standard stout, so wasn't sure what to expect.

First sip had me pulling a pucker face. Wow, this is some sour stout. Lots of dark fruit, pungent phenols, like a plum sour patch kid. Felt slick on the tongue, and left you with a sour coating on the roof of the mouth that lingers for over 15 minutes after a sip. Spicy burn in the aftertaste, and you can taste the alcohol.

Overall, great introduction to Sours, and to Jolly Pumpkin. I enjoyed it, but will probably pick up a different offering from the JP next time.

Photo of Blanco
2.78/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

reviewed from notes

Black with a tan head. Starts off looking like every other stout, but with an apparently higher carbonation level than most others of the style. the smells are actually primarily of roasted malts. Taste is immediately reminiscent of a porter, but after a bit a metallic funk comes through and hints of wild yeast. Early on this is interesting and it took me about half the beer to figure out what to make of this. After a bit I decided I didn't really like what was going on. The wild yeast and the roasted flavors don't really go and the beer seems to be having a tug of war. medium-bodied. I don't really "get" this beer, just like I don't really "get" most stouts that are twisted into something different with new yeast strains.

Photo of MufflnMan
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass. Dark as night... with an attractive mocha head that sticks to the sides.

Smells of yeast, caramel, hint of cocoa and fruit in the background.

Taste... woah! A very unexpected tartness gives a strong finish, cherries and fair amount of hops for a stout. In the front, subtle caramel and cocoa flavors with a bit of yeast again, much like the nose.

Mouthfeel has decent carbonation for a stout and pretty dry as well.

Overall, a Flanders style stout? Veryyyy different to say the least!

Photo of Beanmeister
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark! I would say this is a black beer. a nice thick brown head that didn't last long
S-Very strong smell sweet and bitter at the same time.
T- Tart sweet bitter all add to the complexity of this beer. defiantly a stout. has a lasting taste
M-great for sipping
O- i Enjoyed this beer and i plan to drink this beer again. One beer should last you a good while. Take your time with this beer... Enjoy it.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Had on tap at the Henlopen City Oyster House in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

A: Beer was served in a nonic glass and was dark black with some ruby highlights when held up the light. A nice one finger, foamy head, sad on top. Nice retention and left behind some pretty good lacing.

S: A different aroma for an imperial stout, but not unexpected since its a JP beer. An interesting combination of sourness/tart and roasted malt, some cocoa, and a hints of vanilla.

T: Starts off very much like an imperial stout with some heavy roasted malt, coffee and chocolate. This transitions to some tartness with a combination of tho on the finish.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with good carbonation. Drinks quite smooth.

O: Well, its different. It is an interesting take, but I am just not sure I really liked it or if I was fascinated the idea of it. The flavor was good, but did not order a second.

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

I really am digging this. It is alot more sour then i was expecting, as i thought the dark malts would cover some of the brett, and while there is a strong supporting roasty quality, the sour cuts right through and comes out into the spot light and keeps this one dry and tart. besides the Sour and funk going on the Roasted malts have only some chocolate and a Kiwi tartness that is really cool.

I have really started to like most of JPs beers. i just wish they were not so expensive.

Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of dciBA
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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.


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.

Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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.

Photo of output01x
4.35/5  rDev +13%
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...

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.

Photo of Satchboogie
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of dragonWhale
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of laituegonflable
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of TexIndy
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
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]

Photo of emmasdad
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Photo of jhdrislane617
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
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.


Photo of jminsc76
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of TheWhiskerReview
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 912 ratings.