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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

857 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 857
Reviews: 352
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 16.06%
Wants: 73
Gots: 105 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

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

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Shovelbum on 02-12-2006)
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Ratings: 857 | Reviews: 352 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a black body with a medium-sized, short-lived beige head.

Smell: Roasted barley aroma with notes of dark chocolate, plums, toffee chips, and licorise, all with a faroff sourness.

Taste: Roasted barley with a chocolatey bent. Sourness soon follows, never allowing the distant sweetness to advance. Hints of licorice, plums, and herbs. Roast, sourness, and a bright acidity fuse together for the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Fizzy carbonation.

Drinkability: As always, it's another weird, wild ride from Jolly Pumpkin.

Photo of AndoBrew
2.73/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

*did not like would not buy*

app: dark as night, nice head, and enough lace to name it lacey..

smell: smells like a thin water filled but yummy stout. roasted malts, no soy or asian sweets.

taste: a sour stout. odd, so sour, coulda been a really good stout!, but the sour! I dunno! the stout side is rich and nice, the sour side is lacking in balance and depth. it would work if the two fit together better.

mf: to spritzy, i dont like it.

drinkable?: kinda, it is stout and sour, so not very, but.. whatever.. so odd.

Photo of AlexJ
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sinister jet black pour with a towering head of stiff mocha froth that lasts and clings beautifully. Stiff peaks form a crown that eventually settles into a lasting shroud.

The aroma is cold coffee, roasty dark malt, cocoa, and dark fruits, cherries and raisins. There is a smoky charred wood character with tart and mineral yeast. Subtle undertones of oak and funky must emerge as it warms.

The flavor is bitter dark and dusty chocolate and coffee grounds with a nice addition of Belgian dark fruits and slightly spicey hops. The characteristic JP must and lively sourness comes accross and grape must and earthy minerals. The are undertones of light spice and dry oak. Complex and quite dry with an aftertaste of dark malts and wild yeast.

Body is slick and silky with aggressive carbonation that quickly settles, leaving the mouthfeel creamy and smooth. This is a strange animal, a Belgian-inspired strong stout with tart wild yeast.

Photo of weeare138
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance...explosive bottle upon opening. This was a first release obtained in a trade. Appears near black, opaque dark brown with the thickest, rockiest 5 finger tan head that slowly fades out and doesn't want to go away. Obvious sticky lacing is left all around the glass.
Smell is of oak, tart currants, raisins, roasted nuts, bitter chocolate, brown sugar, black patent malts, and light notes of vanilla. Notes of burnt toast in the nose.
Taste mimics the aromas with black grapes, semi-sweet bitter cocoa up front, roasty in the middle leading to raisins, figs, currants, with a brown sugar ending that lingers for a second.
Mouthfeel is smooth, velvetty, hint of astringency, decent mix of sweetness, and tartness with bitterness from the dark malt.
This one grew on me. Not too many others out there like this one. Very original.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a two finger head of tan foam that sticks on top. Some lacing as well. Head stays around awhile, looking good. Aromas of chocolate and roastiness. A fruity aroma with some funky sourness and an oak undertone. Slightly spicy and quite interesting!

First sip brings a mild roasty maltiness along with some chocolate and light fruit tones. Flows down with a touch of smokiness. Sour tones come through and they can be quite strong. Earthy yeastiness brings in a spicy aspect. Oak comes through on the finish with some herbal hop bitterness. Sour lingers on after each sip.

This is a light bodied stout here for sure. Easy drinking and quite interesting. Not sure I could drink all that much of it myself, but it's a good bottle to share with friends or family. Another JP brew worth looking out for!

Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown body with a big, frothy, rocky, mud brown head. Laces beautifully. Roasted barley on the nose, with dark chocolate bitterness, milk chocolate and dark fruit sweetness, vanilla, and oak. Tart, funky twang throughout gives the aroma a very unique quality.

Light roasted malt quickly gets overtaken by a tart, funky, sour wave. Dark chocolate bitterness and sweetish fruits show up underneath the wave. Roasted coffee bitterness comes on in the finish. Medium-full body with a slightly syrupy, well-carbonated feel. A very interesting stout with the Jolly Pumpkin stamp on it that works really well.

Photo of SaltyLime
2.3/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I hesitate leaving a bad mark in the stout category, but to be honest - this one did not suit me the least bit. I could not finish the entire bottle but, learned enough from the first glass to decide not to buy this one for myself again.
First off, the bottle's label was just mesmerizing, I picked up the bottle immediately when I saw it at the liquor store and a devilish grin came into fruition as I read the beer's name and the word "stout." I saved it for a special occasion, my return from a 4th rotation in Iraq, and shared it with guests along with Stone IRS, Old Raputin, and an assortment of other stouts and porters.
Appearance - it looked like your typical beautiful stout, dark brown that gets darker in the snifter and nice thick tan head.
Smell - nice. toasted malts, chocolate, coffee. I was duped by what I thought was a milk stout's lactose smell.
Taste - the smile I had from the expectation quickly turned into a shocking look of "who the hell pissed in my beer?". It had a very strong sourness that I was not prepared for or wanted in my beer. I'm sure some will love it, but spoiled milk off of a dirty dish rag is what comes to my mind.
Mouthfeel - It was a medium to light body if I remember correctly, but the taste destroyed any possibility of enjoyment once it hits the palate.
Drinkability - I could not finish the bottle even with several friends giving it a try and will not buy again unless I want to start a cool label collection.

Photo of david131
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Absolutely pitch black. A big light brown head forms and leaves some awesome lacing. As the label says, "As dark as a moonless night."

S- Coffee, chocolate, sweet. Roasty and a little bit earthy with hints of cinnamon. Seems a little Englishy to me.

T- WOW. This is sour. Very strange how it is not all that noticeable in the aroma. A very unique contrast of sour and roasty. Very tart and sweet.

M- Creamy and smooth. A little cloying and dry but everything seems to work here.

D- One of the more unique beers I have had the pleasure of drinking. Definitely worth checking out.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I popped this bottle after hearing some bad news about a friend. It smelled chocolatey and roasty from the bottle. I let it breathe a minute or two and poured up. The pour came out brown and then black once the snifter was filled. The smell from the glass is funky and the roasty notes are subtle and hiding behind the funk. Whoa, the taste is funk, slight sourness and totally unlike any stout I have ever tasted! Lots of tartness, this is excellent and I swear Jolly Pumpkin is doing everything right with these beers especially the tiny bubbles in the mouthfeel. So what if it doesn’t “fit” the style, it is delicious! I can’t wait to get my hands on some bam noire. These are definitely finely crafted beers.

Photo of Onibubba
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got around to this one, and I am pleased to say it was well worth the wait. A black pour releases a high head of creamy fluffy mocha. Smell is sour, lets say cherries, with some evident roastiness. Taste is what I was hoping for and more. The qualities of a stout - dark chocolate, coffee, roastiness, hops - delivered with a slightly funky sour edge. Alcohol is a bit more evident in this beer than other JP offerings. Also different is the mouthfeel - smooth, creamy, with none fo the usualy JP carbonation. I love this. The bitterness of the hops, the roastiness, and the tartness of this ber produce a wonderful stout. Very nice job.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a jet black with a very small amount of tan head. It has very little lacing.

S: A very interesting smell to this one. The main aroma seemed to be that of chocolate or dark coffee.

T: The taste is all over the place. Starts off tasting like a normal stout beer, then when swallowed there are both sweet and bitter accents. Its almost like espresso and dark chocolate mixed. Very complex, but not all that appealing for me.

M: Very thick feel in the mouth as you would expect from most dark stouts likes this.

D: With the dominate aftertaste flavors this one is a beer that for me had to be sipped very slowly. It seems to make the mouth very dry after each swallow as well.

Overall an interesting experience, but not one I think I will try again.

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

A 750 mL bottle purchased from Capone's.

A: The ale is nearly opaque black, punctuated with red highlights. The head is thick and white, nicely lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: The nose starts off with the tart aromas so closely associated with Jolly Pumpkin. The twist here though is that the stout body manages to sneak through the wall of sourness, allowing a fuller, roasted grain scent to emerge.

T: The beer trends closely toward a stout up front, showing off roasted grains with prominent coffee and chocolate flavors. The open fermentation, however, doesn't take long to assert itself, following the initial stout body with a delicious tart flavor that is quite dry. The flavors overwhelm the stout body in the middle of the sip before allowing the darker flavors to come through near the end. The finish is equal parts burnt toast and sour pucker.

M: The stout is intriguing, giving equal time to both the tart and stout elements. If you are looking for a plain vanilla American stout, avoid this like the plague.

D: The ale is intoxiating, not from an alcohol perspective but from a uniqueness one. The flavors mix nicely, especially because I never would have expected them to.

Photo of malcontent
3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Solid black body although somewhat lacking in the area of head, lacing and overall vitality.

Odd combo of lactic aroma and powdery esters along with a sharp cherry finish.

The first time that I've ever found Jolly Pumpkin's treatment of beer unwelcome. Sweet and sour cherry right off the bat although the tried and true roasted flavors force themselves to be tasted on the finish. Still the lacto doesn't meld well with the style (somewhat like Hitachino's Nest Lacto).

Thin for a stout and slightly astringent. Not something I'm going back to any time soon. Still a well made beer, just one made with questionable objectives.

Photo of putnam
2.6/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The fact that this is my 7th different JP beer causes me to expect something other than foursquare "American Stout." Maybe it will be zesty and peppery, like Hercule or De Dolle, or rather, maybe it will go even farther down that path ...

Black roasted barley aromas mix with sensations of moist hop-infused wood. I consider the quite hushed, almost silent aroma profile to be a sign of "correctness." Base tagged. Here come the JP flavors, like a knot of oozing green hemp and punishing oily black bitterness. A glimmer of maraschino liqueur and sweet lemons makes it live, but it remains a very somber, brooding liquid. I don't enjoy the aftertaste. I want a little more fruit and less brett.

Photo of Drew966
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Madrugada Obscura Dark Dawn Stout pours virtually jet black with a thick tan head from a brown 750 ml bottle that has an absolutely beautiful label. The aroma is interesting, it is a bit sweet, a bit sour, and a bit woody. Wow, the taste is not like any beer I've had before. There is quite a bit of sourness, and there is some coffee in the finish, but this is not like any stout I've ever had. Wood becomes more evident in the flavor as the beer warms. The bottle says it's a Belgian inspired stout. It's certainly a very interesting beer, very well made, I think I can appreciate what they are going for, but it's not a beer I think I'll revisit.

Photo of John_M
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting beer from the folks at Jolly Pumpkin.

The beer pours a beautiful black color, with decent head retention and fair lacing. On the nose this beer is very complex. I get conflicting aromas of both sweet cherry and sour cherry, with some very noticeable tartness. There's also a hint of orange citrus. On the palate this beer is fascinating. Not even sure how much I like this beer (not a big fan of sour stuff), but I can't help but admire the intermingling of flavors. Aside from the obvious tartness, I aslo get some coffee, chocolate, and chocolate caramel. Flavors are layered in this beer, with the beer tasting completely different on the finish then what you pick up initially. The beer has a pleasant mouthfeel and the abv. is VERY well disguised. I would never guess this is an 8% beer. The beer finishes very smoothly and, but for the tartness, is very, very drinkable.

Very impressive beer that I'm guessing is not for everyone. I'm not even sure it's for me. Nevertheless, this is a beer that I can't help but be impressed by.

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

Pours with a giant tan head, the beer itself is very dark brown with mahogany edges. Great head retention with lots of solid, clumpy lacing throughout. The aroma has a pleasant chocolate/roasty base with a little tart, acidic vinegar and a bit of funkiness on top. The flavour was roasty and burnt up front with acidic and vinegar notes following close behind. Complexity emerged as it warmed - dark chocolate, earthy and woody, with a sweet, fruity finish. Quite dry, plenty of tannins, medium bodied with creamy carbonation. What an interesting beer! It's really quite strange the way the flavours and aromas come together, but it really worked for me.

Photo of dgallina
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml dark brown bottle. Beautiful label, but no best-before date, as usual for Jolly Pumpkin.

Pours a deep brown / black color, with only the faintest trace of light at the edges. An inch of thick head at the top with lots of lace clinging to the sides. Smells very winey for a stout. Sour oak, balsamic vinegar, and vanilla predominate. Lactic chocolate malt can be detected in the nose, but not much due to the strength of the others. The oak-aged sourness continues through to the flavor. Tart aged vinegar and grape in the front blends into a mellow burnt bread and chocolate malt finish. The sweet & sour combination lingers along with spicy alcohol. Body is creamy but light and easy-drinking. A bizarre combination of Flemish sour ale and stout. Quite a shock at first, yet oddly likable and refreshing. One of the oddest beers I've experienced to date.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What an interesting beer- very different than almost all American stouts,and really a different style altogether. Maybe a Belgian stout, or more appropriately a wild stout. Pours black with some ruby highlights and a fairly thin head that sticks around as a thin cap. Some spotty lacing as well. The smell is a funky combination of brett sourness and stout roastiness with some dark cocoa tossed in to the mix. The taste is similar, with the brett funkiness growing as the beer warms and breathes. Sour up front with roasty grain and chocolate flavors developing. There is also a late hit of chocolate and a lingering bitterness. Very unusual and quite good. Fairly crisp and refreshing despite the roastiness. Deliciously different.

Photo of rajendra82
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer came in a brown, 750 ml. Bomber, and I chose a tulip glass to pour it in. It looked quite good with a black, opaque body, and a three finger tall tan head. The smell was typical of a Stout with roasty smells of coffee, chocolate, as well as some toffee being detected. The taste was where big departure from the standard mold came, as the sourness was something I was not expecting here. Taste was something like a mixture of a Wild Ale and a Stout. The Brettanomyces funk, lactic sourness, and lightness of the former were somehow combined in this same beer with chocolate roastiness, bitter hops, and burnt grain astringency of the latter. The oaky and vanilla flavor common to the barrel aged versions of either was also present. It leaned more heavily towards a Wild Ale than a Stout, despite the way it looked. Big kudos to Jolly Pumpkin for pulling off this creative melding of these seemingly divergent styles. The body and the mouthfeel were very thin for a typical stout, but they did work well for this odd creation. Easy to drink after the initial shock wore off. This would have been right at home in a Fantôme lineups, as the creativity was astounding.

Photo of acrawf6
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark, pretty much black other than some light coming through the sides, with a nice rich and thick tan head that retains very well with nice lacing.

Smell. The yeast really seems to give it the belgian characteristic that i get here. It is tart, earthy and slightly fruity of tart apples. In the big whiffs i can get a small hint of sweet chocolate. But there is certainly a belgian feeling to it, like a flanders or saison or the like.

Taste. The aroma carries on in the taste with more of the tartness...not a strong tartness, but more than i would expect. The is a smoked maltiness to it that goes right along with the apples that i have never tasted before in another beer. Besides the small smokiness there is also a roastedness/bunt to it that seems a bit like charcoal. Though i do get a little oak flavor in the beer, it is more of an earthyness than the specific oak. Aftertaste has just as much tart to it, but after a few seconds i can really get the burnt flavors.

Mouthfeel. For a stout, it is light, but this isnt a typical stout. Carbonation is at a low, but nice level. The beer is creamy.

Overall, very very interesting. I do not like the description of it on the bottle, but i do like this beer. It really hides the 8.1% quite well. One of the more unique beers i have ever tried. It is quite the hybrid of stout and belgian. It is certainly one i would like to have again, but i would not want it too often, as it is really leaving me wanting a strong and sturdy stout right now.

Photo of Viggo
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at biegaman's super extravaganza spring Saison tasting! I brought this one to the table, courtesy of nlmartin for BC2!

Pours a deep black, very opaque, thick tan head, nice lacing on the glass, settles to a thick layer and ring, very dark and mysterious beer! Smell is insane, vinegar, dark roasted coffee, chocolate, vanilla, toffee, grains, JP sour funk, awesome! Taste is similar, sour vinegar acidity, roast, chocolate, toffee, oak, sour funk, more chocolate, spicy finish, really unique! Mouthfeel is medium bodied, low to medium carbonation, super smooth, pretty wild stuff, never know what flavour is next! Thanks Nate!

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a pleasantly surprising black that when held to the light reveals a little bit of port around the edges of my champaign flute. The head is a light tan that leaves a nice lacing.

There's a big fruity hit of bret that's all cranberry and cherry. There may be a touch of vanilla here, but it's hard to detect.

Coming from the presuppositions of the smells, the flavor rings true with a heap of sour bret fruitiness. Just when I thought I had the taste tied exclusively to the smell, the flavor transitions into a charcoal brown caramel and cocoa. This transition is legendary and remarkably balanced between the coal and sour. Sadly, this leaves the mouth tragically dry and a bit numb.

Feels light and crisp with only the slightest bit of viscosity to reminding me of the sweeter elements present.

A novel and well recieved experiment for sure. A delight to sip and explore, but after a few glasses, it's novelty wears off.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a black body with a light tan bubbly head and a strong wall of microbubbles that stick to the side of the glass. The body is pretty opaque and the bubbles can only be seen on the side of the body.

S- The big smell of fresh brewed coffee has notes of dark fruit and a tart note to them. As the beer warms the coffee notes increase but there are dark roasted malt notes in the background.

T- The big taste of coffee has nice flavors of cream with some tart cherries followed by wood that hangs on after the finish. There is some chocolate malt notes and dark roasted notes that come through after it warms.

M- This beer has a medium full mouthfeel with a nice creamy texture. The finish doesn't have any alcohol heat.

D- This beer is a big coffee beer with some tart notes that add nice compliment but there is not enough depth.

Photo of ejquin
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is beatiful dark dark black with a fluffy, pale yellow head that laces nicely. Smell is roasted malt and cofee with a hint of hopy sweetness and some funk thrown in. Taste is bizzare. Starts of malty and roasty with cofee notes which fades quickly (but not completely) to a puckering bretty sourness, finishing on a mix of sourness, roasted malt in the back, and some hop bitterness coming through. Definitely complex and unique. Mouthfell is fine, medium to light body, would have liked it a bit heavier. Drinkibility not bad, I thought it would be worse with the sourness of the beer.

Overall this was definitely a unique beer. It was good too, better than I thought it would be. I wouldnt have thought brett sourness and stout would go well togther but it works.

Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 857 ratings.