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Obscura American Brown Ale | Cucapá Brewing Company

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Obscura American Brown AleObscura American Brown Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cucapá Brewing Company
Mexico
cucapa.com

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by fido on 04-08-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
88
Ratings:
137
Avg:
3.43
pDev:
17.49%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 137
Photo of roddwolff
4.17/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, i served bad in a pilsener glass and got a giant head of foam. Turning to the review:

A: Very dark brown-violet color, the foam is bright and dark with excellent retention, the label says it's a tribute to the color of our people (from Mexico) and has 4 types of malts;

S: Strong roasted malt, toffee, molasses and peanut;

T: Starting again with roasted malt but this time with hazelnut, then we have chocolate, coffee and a few hops, the roasted flavor persists all the time;

M: Little dry and sweet, on the palate is bitter, full body but not become robust;

D: Lots of flavor and decent amount of ABV, better than Cucapá Clásica, but i'm betting on the Chupacabras Pale Ale which i expect to review soon.

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Photo of Pepeton
4.12/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice surprise this beer, which is only fair after waiting so long to try it --along with two other brews from this micro: Chupacabras Pale Ale y their Barleywine.

Micro beer distribution here in México, just as in the US, or so I've read, sucks big time. So, two other fellow BAs and your truly bought some cases of Cucapá beers, and had them delivered by freight trucks. :-)

Well, the wait was worth it.

Pours a dark ruby, with lively red hues when seen through a light. Tan bubbly head, 2.5 inches high; vanishes rather quick. Tight lacing.

Smell is very well balanced roasted malts and earthy hops.

Taste is, just as the nose, balanced. Bitterness was the first taste I got, but malts quickly took over. Caramel and roasted malts, some toffey and mocka coffee. Nice.

Mouthfeel was creamy, really creamy, with a dry finish. Smack!

With 4.5% ABV, drinkability is doubtless high.

¡Salud!

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Photo of bradybeer
4.1/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a glint of deep ruby red. head is thin and is the color of coco.

Nice hop aroma which is overshadowed by a roasted malt aroma that reminds me of mexican hot chocolate.

In tasting this beer I detect notes of chocolate, raisin, and prunes? The malt sweetness finished with a hint of hop bitterness.

Carbonation is medium and mouthfeel matches this.

Drinkability is high-I could enjoy a number of these with some chicken mole enchiladas.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.07/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a large mug.

A: Both body and head have a slight reddish hue. Head was small (possibly too light of a pour on my part) but has good staying power. Overall body is perfectly clear with a medium brownish-red coloring.

S: The aroma is great, like candy. A rich nutty maltyness floats away from this one. Maybe just a slight toast as well.

T: A nice amount of flavor considering the slightly lower abv. Nutty, malty notes, but maybe a little too sweet. A little more bitterness would be welcome.

M: Overall nice, but might be a little slick?

O: This would make a great session beer. It has good flavor and finishes fairly clean, though the mysterious mouthfeel might ware on you.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can into a pint glass. The packaging seems to indicate that this is a "Limited Production". I'm assuming that since this I don't seeing any other reviews for this in cans, that it is in reference to the packaging and not the beer.

Pours a deep looking dark amber, with 3 big foamy fingers of light tan head (definitely darker than off-white). Retains with a thin creamy look that leaves a strong smattering of spotty lacing back. Good strong look here to this. The aroma is roasty, doughy, and fairly fruity in the nose. Lighter notes of caramel, cocoa, and a touch of earthy hops round this out.

The taste is toasted and doughy with sugars all at once, with a definite fruity presence to it that mixes with some lighter tones of chocolate, caramel, and brown sugar to imbue a much darker flavor to it. Hops are spicy and put a more moderate assertiveness to this, drying the backend of the profile out and lingering along with some residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm crispness to the carbonation but this is overall very easy in the mouth despite a touch of heft and warmth (which feels bigger than 4.5%) to this.

This was a most welcome surprise, as I had picked this up on a lark while out in So Cal the other month and this was my first ever Mexican Craft Beer. There was a surprising amount of flavor here, with the mouthfeel having a crisp yet smooth feel to it that reminded me a lot of a Lager. Color me impressed, and I will definitely keep an eye out for more from these guys next time I'm out in the area.

 1,557 characters

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear brown colored beer with a nice light brown colored head.

Good scent of patent malt and coffee with a trace of Kahlúa coffee in there. Lightly fruity mostly from yeast esters and faint chocolate but this seems to be more of a coffee beer.

The taste starts out mildly sweet with a good level of roasted malt and chocolate flavor at the start. Interesting, tastes like chocolate but smells like coffee. Lightly bitter aftertaste as much from dark roasted malt as from hops. Nice mellow beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Excellent drinkability, even for a style that isn't my favorite. This brewery has completely surprised me by making EXCELLENT beers. I ignored this brewery for a long time just assuming they were a gimmick or another Corona wannabe but I was WRONG! If you see this brewer's beers show up in your local store I suggest you try them all.

 856 characters

Photo of karait95
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown reddish color, really attractive presentation with a good head on top, not too dense but with good retention and light brown color, slow dissipation with traces on the glass when banished.

S: Nice malty smell, full barley with some sweetness to the nose, also the hops that make the smell balanced and some how complex but pleasant.

T: Really good tasting, a toasted malty full flavor with a little sense of sweet ant bitter, this bittersweetness that happens slowly not really fast or disgusting.

M: Pleasant sensation, with medium ending with some bitterness at the end but not a hard one but interesting.

One of the best Cucapa and with it a good Mexican Brown Ale.

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Photo of ZAP
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice enjoyable easy drinking brown ale.

Aroma is malted milk and roasted malts...also a rustic, herbal hoppiness which smells a little bit like a mix or minerallyness and BO

Taste is malted milk chocolate balls, roasted malt, mild roasted nuts..Some rustic herbal hops blend nicely and keep this from being a sugar bomb.

Body is medium...high carbonation cuts into the malt chocolate sweetness as well...

Probably the best mexican beer I have had. This is a legit, good brown ale..almost schwarty like with the cleanness to it...this would drink nicely out in the mexican sun...

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Photo of Natural510
3.97/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no dating

Pours a deep, dark brown, opaque, with a small amount of tan foam and slight but solid ring of lacing.

Roasted malt scent, with hints of caramel and nuts.

Caramel-heavy on the flavor as well, without being too sweet. Roasted quality of the malt comes through well, and there's an added hint of cocoa and hazelnut.

Nice body; easily drinkable in warm or cool weather. Carbonation sufficient without being too gassy.

This is the best of the Cucapa beers I've had so far. Quality all-occasion brown ale which goes down easy and can be drunken in volume at 4.5%ABV.

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Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Solomon420 for this!

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights. It has a creamy tan head with some lacing.

The smell is grainy with some roast. Something akin to "malt balls" comes to mind - caramel and towards chocolate. It has some earthy hops mixed in.

The taste is sweet, lightly roasted nuts, some caramel - towards chocolate. An earthy/fruity bitterness balances the sweetness in the finish.

It has firm carbonation and is the lighter side of medium-bodied, with a grainy texture.

Easy to drink. An enjoyable brew with a rich maltiness (though a bit broken by the carbonation), in a lighter way. Sweetness well-balanced in the finish, making it thirst-quenching. A very nice brown ale!

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Photo of rallison
3.93/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh bottle picked up a week ago at South Bay. Poured at just under cellar temp into a Gulden Draak glass.

Dark brownish/black color with a nice 1 1/2 finger light tan head that recedes to a good bit of coverage with minimal lacing.

Smells of bready malts and caramel. Maybe a touch of dark fruit and roastiness.

Taste is surprisingly good, especially given the alcohol. Caramel. Nice touch of dark fruits. Some smoky roastiness. Delicate flavors, but nice. Make sure you serve this one warm enough, or I could see this all falling apart. I wouldn't mind having it a touch richer, but it's still nice.

Mouthfeel is a bit light, but acceptable. Drinkability is good on this one. The alcohol makes this a true session beer.

Recommended. A nice bock indeed.

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Photo of Giggy
3.92/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a can, so I was quite surprised to see this pour a beautiful dark orangish brown. A off-white head formed but it didn't last long.

S: Very powerful dark grains like barley and toasted goodness.

T: Pronounced roasted malty flavor, coffee, roasted nuts, pepper, and a sweet under note.

M: Medium body. Light mouthfeel in comparison to it's appearance .

O: Was pleasantly surprised by this one.

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Photo of Lazerlobe
3.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Greg for the gift.This is my first experience with Cucapa but I may seek out some more.

Pours a nice reddish brown with some khaki head.

I'm getting some sweet malt with a hint of toast and not too much else.

The toast is in there but a little lighter than I'd expect from a brown. The sweetness is accompanied by some vanilla and roast.

Overall, this is a sweet beer and on a warm day like today, it's way too easy to drink. Mexico's best brewery?

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Photo of charlzm
3.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 02/14/09.

Pours a clear, deep brown with mahogany highlights. A one finger off-white head disappears almost immediately, leaving a very fine skin of foam. No bubbles to be seen in the glass.

Aroma is sweet with notes of honey and pitted fruits. Apricots, even?

Beer is quite sweet. A little nut flavor, but not much. Honey and sweet apricot. Some fig flavor as well. There is an unexpected and short-lived bitter finish which seems to be due mainly to burnt malt. It actually works. A bit of drying parch on the tongue and alcohol warming in the belly.

Unexpectedly flavorful, the only ding against the drinkability of this beer is its close to cloying sweetness.

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Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Weibull for sending this as an extra!

Pours a deep shade of chestnut brown, and glows red in the light. Foam rises to the rim and settles to a thin skim, leaving sparse lacing.

Toasty malt and brown sugar in the first whiff. Solid malty base, a mild raisin sweetness with a little floral hop bitterness in the end. Some residual mild roast flavors hang around too. Pretty big flavors for such a light drinking ale.

This is definitely one to break the "bad Mexican beer" stereotype.

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Photo of tubacharlie
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two-finger tan colored head develops when poured full bore, with very good retention and some lacing, though mostly smooth and even-layered. Nice amber-brown color, like a Texas BBQ sauce or a light cinnamon molé, with good clarity until the dregs are swirled and added to the glass. Even then, pretty clear, with just enough haziness to tell it is bottle conditioned.

Smoky mesquite aroma wafts upwards from the large glass stein with hints of earthy hops. An obscure, foreign flavor emerges from the combination of four malts used, with a strong grain influence accented by a touch of hops. Not overpowering or intense, but mellow and intriguing.

A well rounded and drinkable brew that would pair nicely with quesadillas camaron or molé pollo. Good choice to celebrate Cinco de Mayo or sip at a pinata-bashing birthday.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.86/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great look, with a tall mocha head that has great stick and lacing. Superb, and really stands out from the other Mexican obscura beers.

Nose is muffled, but includes a faint metallic tint to the malts and a whiff of spicing as well.

The flavor also includes a metallic note, but enough roasted malt is added to the toasted, caramel notes to be considered quite good. There's some faint Christmas spicing towards the back end and the body is creamy with high carbonation.

Best of a lackluster style. Definitely worth a look though.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To inagurate the service of my Eisenbahn Weizenbock glass I bought in Brazil a week ago, I choose ... a beer from Cucapá. On to the beer:

Not much of a head on top of this pretty, ruby brown colored beer. It still looks good without a head. The aroma is quite good, malted toffee is dominant here. Mild hoppiness and nutty aromas too. To taste...oh yum, I like this beer. Tea leaves and toffee chews introduce themselves to the palate at first. The background is nutty while the toffee and green tea note continue to play a duet through the experience. A fruitiness seems to mix itself into the sweet toffee flavor. Lighter than average mouthfeel with a moderate carbonation...in this case the carbonation seems to work in its favor.

Fruity, toffee, and imported from Mexico. Another quality offering from Cucapá.

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Photo of BDLbrewster
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a creamy light cocoa color with plenty of visible carbonation.

The smell is not bad, mostly musty herbal hops partnered with subtle hints of milk chocolate and some coffee.

The taste is a combination of a spicy pale and an American brown. Lively herbal hops add much more flavor than bitterness, and the malt bill is healthily throwing off sweet chocolate reminiscent of a ball park malt cup.

The mouthfeel is solidly medium bodied with just enough carbonation to rise above syrupy and really kick this into session territory.

I was really amazed by the overall quality here. Who would have thought, Mexican craft beer... Low ABV, refreshing and overall extremely enjoyable. Nice.

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Photo of fido
3.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cucapá Obscura pours a brown color with nice foamy head that dissapers fast leaving a little lacing; Smell is of caramel malts; Taste is of roasted sweet caramel malts, chocolate and some pepper in the flavor; Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied beer, good carbonation.

¡Salud!

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.76/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle found in a small wine market, Cabo San Lucas. A reddish root beer brown with three fingers of fluffy beige head. Pleasantly sweet aroma that evokes rum-soaked raisins, slightly soured molasses, cinnamon, and ripe pears ... Tons of sweet malts with subtle yeast character. Thick, sweet, and moderately fruity with low-grade carbonation. Much diacetyl character like its pale ale stablemate, ample rum raisin flavor with added chocolate syrup, pear, and cherry notes. Features the same unique cinnamon-like spice element. Finish is where any hops are first ascertained, slightly herbal and nutty in a way that recalls peanut butter. Enjoyable under the circumstances. In my view the balance is out of whack, overly sweet and in need of a few roasted notes or some added hop character. Great full and smooth mouthfeel though. Coats the palate. This brewery has morphed in my mind since trying their American IPA, which was solidly executed but safe. Their other brews have a peculiar sweet brown spice character than I can appreciate.

 1,038 characters

Photo of pat61
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Brilliant chestnut, ½” off-white head, dissipates to a film, good lacing Smell: Malty sweetness, dried fruit, faint chocolate.
Taste: rich malt, traces of dark dried fruit, a little chocolate sweetness throughout, not a lot of hops.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium to medium full body, dry finish.
Overall: Drinkable but somewhat on the sweet side.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Obscura opens to a nose that is fairly equally divided between citrusy hops and ash. The former bring bright pink grapefruit, lemon/lime, and grapefruit rind, with lighter touches of pine resin, and the latter add light, but definitely present hints of ash and black malt. The combination is strange, the hops definitely geared toward the more citrusy side, and the ash adding a layer of burnt grain that bounces off of the hops, not quite working with them, but still somehow complementing them. There are also good touches of brown sugar, as well as orange, white grape, and apricot fruit esters, and hints of burnt toast and Grape Nuts cereal. As a whole, this is one of the more unique aromas on the market, and almost has a kitchen sink effect, as if a whole bunch of leftover ingredients from several styles of beer were simply thrown into a pot, and then super-hopped. The result is clashing, but at the same time, intriguing.

On the tongue, the beer opens with the same mixed hop-and-ash note noted in the nose, but the hops are even more pronounced and citrusy here, with huge lemon/lime flavors mixing with pink grapefruit, and only slight touches of grapefruit rind and pine. These react strangely to the ashy, coffee ground-laden, black malt-like background, much the same way fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and coffee would, not quite meshing, but just intriguing enough to make you want to go back for a second sip. In that second sip, the flavors continue unabated, battling with each other, the tongue unsure quite what to do. There are supporting notes in here, including brown breads, biscuits, and hints of apricot and orange fruit esters, but it’s mainly hops and ash that win out. Late in the mouthful the ash actually wins out in the battle, flooding the tastebuds with ash and black malt. The aftertaste features a continuation of these ashy notes, with hops making a comeback as the ash dies off, and the hop notes linger for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, fizzing on the tongue.

Overall, there is much about this beer that is interesting, and by themselves, the hoppy notes and ashy notes would be quite nice. The combination of the two, however, doesn’t quite work, with sourness, bitterness, and sugary citrus flavors clashing wildly with ash and black malt. The result is still drinkable, but strange.

 2,398 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle, day 3 of the 2013 Craft Beer Advent Calendar. 4.8% ABV on this one, with a newer (than the one on here, at least) label, depicting, I think, some native Mexican art.

This beer pours a clear, fairly dark red-brick amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, cushioned, and bubbly tan head, which leaves some decent gnarled tree growth lace around the glass as things slowly drop away.

It smells of gritty, crackery caramel malt, oily bar-top nuts, weak bittersweet cocoa, a bit of cold coffee, dark sugar reduction, and a plain earthy, mineral-like dryness. The taste is bready caramel malt, Toffifay candies, a bit of sweetened black tea, and more very soft earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is quite understated, and barely noticeable for the most part, the body an adequate medium weight, and generally smooth, with a small stab at a nutty creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel, toffee, chocolate, and nuttiness all carrying on.

One of the better beers that I've had from this Baja Californian brewer, if a little unbalanced towards the sweet side, but there's no lack of overall flavour here. More of a dessert accompaniment, I would imagine, perhaps a nutty brownie or the like (and not just 'cause I have some of that left over from lunch!)

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Photo of LennyOvies
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

L- Clear brown body and a beautiful creamy head.
S- Toasted malt with a sweet-dry hint.
T- Toasted/sweet alternating flavor with some added bitterness.
F- Smooth and crisp.
O- My favorite beer from Cucapa, not the best ever but really good.

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Obscura American Brown Ale from Cucapá Brewing Company
3.43 out of 5 based on 137 ratings.
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