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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

871 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 871
Reviews: 355
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 73
Gots: 105 | 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: 871 | Reviews: 355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
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?

Photo of cjgator3
4.08/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of JDV
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.81/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

Photo of Romulux
3/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

Photo of Deuane
3.08/5  rDev -20%
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.

Photo of triplecoil
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of Mudpuppet
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of IPAcraig
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

Photo of jdubjacket
2.69/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

Photo of DackAchan
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -7%
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
2.78/5  rDev -27.8%
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
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
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 +4.7%
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 +3.4%
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 +16.9%
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
2.43/5  rDev -36.9%
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
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
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
4.37/5  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
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
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
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
87 out of 100 based on 871 ratings.