Troubadour Obscura | Brouwerij De Musketiers

very good
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Troubadour ObscuraTroubadour Obscura

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Musketiers

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TastyTaste on 09-21-2003

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Reviews: 230 | Ratings: 416
Photo of Phatz
4.82/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Troubadour Obscura Mild Stout from Belgium. I have never had a stout from Belgiam and it turns out it is not a stout at all... even better it is a Belgian Strong Dark. And boy is it strong and dark and lovely in every way.

Allowed to warm to almost room temperature and served in my snifter glass.

Appearance: Pour brown with suggestions of ruby in the hue. A frothy tan head caps the beer. As it fades into a halo it continues to leave terrific lacing behind.

Aroma: Chocolate and carob with a plum twist and a cherry and licorice note. It has another attribute that I couldn't put my finger on at first but I think it is dark rum cake I smell. Absolutely sensational in the nose!

Taste: Oh my goodness is this sweet and rich. It is loaded with plums and dates and figs and prunes and carob and cherries oh my! The body is malty and laced with brown sugar interwoven amongst the fruit flavors. Simply sweet. Caramel comes into play and then some boozy attributes like a port and brandy are showcased especially in the finish. As the plum fades from my mouth the Troubadour leaves a hint of nuts and ginger prancing on my tongue long into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as silk with low fine carbonation that slide across the palate and can force any drinker to stop… sip and savor, as it is divinely delectable!

Drinkability: NO DOUBT this is a sipping night cap of a beer. Don’t waste this treat on any sort of misuse. Sip and savor and enjoy every last drop. I did.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Estarrio
4.73/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was one of the beers that I chose to bring back with me from Belgium. As I crack the bottle and begin to enjoy this lovely brew, I can easily see why it made the cut.

Poured a dark, murky brown with subtle red tones. The amazing coffee colored head takes on a life of it's own. Persistent head? Heck, this one was still growing after several minutes in the glass. When the brew was gone, the glass was left adorned with sticky, frothy lacings along its walls.

Creamy caramel, cherry, raisin, doughy yeast, chocolate, sweet and roasted malts, candied sugar...Wow! This is one of the more complex Belgian strong dark ales that I've head the pleasure of enjoying. There is a bit of spicy alcohol present as well.

The mouthfeel is velvety with ample, fizzy carbonation that lends to a creamy consistency. 8.5% I could easily session this drinkable nectar.

The taste is every bit as complex, smooth and balanced as the aroma. The predominate esters include cherry, Muscat and raisin. There is a pleasing malt backbone with a touch of chocolate, caramel and roasted flavors. An earthy yeast taste, really ties the flavors together. The aftertaste has a bit of spicy booze. Other notable flavors include a touch of oak, vanilla and brown sugar. There is so much going on and it all works so well together!

This is easily one of my favorite Belgian strong darks. I'd absolutely love to see this in the states.

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Photo of rallison
4.62/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at just under cellar temp into a Gulden Draak goblet.

A: Dark dark brown with a 2 finger fluffy tan head that lasts very well (and nice lacing too!).

S: Prunes, raisins, dates, molasses. Yummy!

T: Oh man, first sip is delicious. Prunes at the forefront, along with those raisins and dates. Tons of dark fruits! Candi sugar sweetness is back there, along with some chocolate and molasses. Maybe even some red wine thrown in for good measure. Delicious!

M: Nice and rich - full bodied for sure. Perfect carbonation level enhances this richness.

D: Intense flavors, so not exactly sessionable. But, give me a bomber and I'd probably finish it.

Highly recommended. This, folks, is tasty! Put it this way - I've had quite a few brews, so it takes something special for me to really notice it - I noticed this one!

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Photo of GClarkage
4.62/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/17/06- Purchased at Ledgers Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle. Best by date on cap of bottle. Poured into my Alesmith tulip.

Appearance- Deep black with some dark cherry highlights. Full, oevrflowing pockmarked head. Chunks of caking lace everywhere.

Smell- Very nice bittersweet chocolate in the nose along with dark roasted sugary malt. Maybe even a touch of fruit in the nose.

Taste- Oak flavored background. Peppery, with a mild smoky character. Milky smooth with chocolate notes. Had an odd flavor I can't put my finger on as well, but it's a good one.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, silky and creamy. Cask like carbonation level. Thick, yet not a full mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Flavors meld excellent together. Very well rounded per style and in every category. Wonderful stout that I highly recommend.

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Photo of MoreBeer215
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark but not your typical stout dark. Looks like a flat cola.

Smell: Rich and robust with hints of toffee and chocolate.

Taste: Balanced with layers of malts, not unlike its aroma.

Feel: very little carbonation while still being very sippable.

Drinkability: quite drinkable. surprisingly sessionable if you can handle an 8.2% ABV beer.

I'm not quite sure how this stout is mild--certainly not in alcohol. Perhaps its low level of malt and complex belgian yeasts combine to make this a very quaffable stout.

Certainly a stout for lovers of Belgian brews that fear darker, malty beers (porters & stouts). I can see those who enjoy stouts sharing this beer with those who may not normally enjoy this style.

A unique beer worth trying, no matter your tastes.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A dark brown stout with a huge head that lingers all down the glass. A nice look.

S - Dark (very dark) chocolates, coffee, char, cherries, chicory, yeast, maple. Excellent depth.

T - A dark chocolate flavor with a touch of coffee, faint cherries, bananas and chicory. Aftertaste was mild and slightly fruity with mostly the lingering foretaste.

M - High carbonation, thin, very refreshing.

D - Fantastic. Worth seeking out, will definitely enjoy again if I ever find it again.

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Photo of tomordonez
4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip. Nice chunky head. Looks dark brown almost black. Smells like coffee, chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, roasted malt, wood fire. Medium body, low carbonation, tastes like burnt candy, bitter chocolate, brandy-like, a little like Guinness but better. A lingering coffee finish. Powerful dark flavors that shadow the alcohol. I would drink it for breakfast if it wasn’t so strong

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Photo of roblowther
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.2 bottle. Pours almost black with a medium density tan head that soon dissipates. Smells of cherries, soft malt, leather, and a hint of hops. Taste backs the smell. Dark cherries with just a hint of roast, oak, tannins, and a little carob in the finish. Mouthfeel is soft, buttery, and just the right carbonation. Very drinkable, with no hint of the abv and a flavor that is somehow satisfying and thirst-inducing all at once. It's the perpetual motion machine of beers. And again. And again. And again.

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Photo of sneakymagician
4.54/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It was reddish in color, but it's appearance made you wonder what it tastes like. This doesn't taste anything like a stout - more like a wine. I'm not saying that the taste was bad, it tastes nice, just very different. It would be a good choice to recommend to wine drinkers, who want to know what beer to try first.

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Photo of hansavijaticar
4.54/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Something between foreign stout and dubbel. Smell of dark fruit, bitter aftertaste. Unique. Very recommendable. I liked it better than Magma and Westkust from the same brewery.

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Photo of rayjay
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BB 23/08/08. Purchased at Ledger's Liqour, Berkley, CA. Great looking beer, with lots of deep browns and reds and purples coming together to make a perfect gentle black. Slightly transparent like a dubbel. Nice fluffly foam. Great nose as well, big and full, slightly sour like Orval, a bit of pleasant diacetyl, and sweet smelling deep roasted, but not blackened, malts.

Delicious and refreshing, and absolutely no sign of alcohol or high gravity. Sweet and sticky, yet not thick or viscous. Milk chocolate, malt, carmel, Rolos®. Great light mouthfeel, perfect gentle carbonation, subtle spring water backbone. Great drinking. It's absolutely delicious, and perhaps the most un-intimidating stout to convert your fellow beer drinkers. Cheers!

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Photo of bonbini26
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Blind Tiger in NYC in a tulip glass

Apperance- dark ruby/brown color with about a two finger head white head, with mild lacing

Smell- chocolate, roasted coffee

Taste- sweet, carmel notes, def. finished like stout but this beer is def. beligum at heart

Mouthfeel- Smooth, creamy, rich I could keep this in my mouth all day

Drinkability- goes down smooth, great drinking beer, 8.5% is hidden very well

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Photo of Radome
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a goblet.

A - Beer was crystal clear and a dark, dark brown-red color. Head is tan-colored and made up of tiny, persistent bubbles.

S - Serious malt aroma, with some nuttiness, mocha and alcohol. It smells like a Russian Imperial Stout, which I was not expecting from the description of "Mild Stout".

T - Wow--this is an imperial stout! This has the roasty, chocolatey notes, bourbon-like alcohol and malt, malt, malt. There is a strong hop bitterness, but not to the level of a Russian imperial stout. I don't really detect any yeast notes that I would expect from a Belgian dark strong ale. Obscura really has all the characteristics of an imperial stout, but it is slightly less hoppy, alcoholic and flavorful than a typical example.

M - Medium to heavy body. Lots of alcohol burn. Carbonation is noticeable, but not extreme. Very well done.

D - I had no idea what to expect from a Belgian "Mild Stout", but this beer is excellent. It is a kinder, gentler imperial stout that is just delicious.

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Photo of Arthuros
4.48/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Very good dark Belgian ale, with caramel flavours and a reddish colors. Very sweet in mouth, the bitterness kicks in to subside after a few minutes. Delicious beer which I'd wholeheartedly recommend

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Photo of spartanfan
4.48/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on draft at Capone's

A: Pours a translucent brown color with a massive rocky head on top. As the head fades it leaves a lot of sticky lacing behind.

S: Aromas of chocolate sweet malts and distinct Belgian yeast scents.

T: Very nice flavors of coco, sweet malts and Belgian yeast. Milder flavors than I'm used to from a stout this strong, but it is very complex and intriguing.

M: This beer is incredibly smooth and easy to drink. It has a somewhat lower than average level of carbonation, but it works very well with the dark flavors of this brew.

D: This beer is very drinkable. It is unbelievably smooth and I've never tasted a beer like it. It keeps me coming back drink after drink.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle
Label has a man laughing and holding a glass of beer.

Pours a nice head that falls into a thin layer and a nice lacing.

Smell is very nice: dark, coffee flavors and dark fruit undertones with some spicyness.

Taste is very smooth and refreshing, it doesn't have the hard coffee flavors of a regular stout, but it has different flavors of nutmeg and dark fruit tones that are very good. It also has a strong pepper flavor due the higher alcohol content.

Mouthfeel is very enjoyable and smooth. It floats down my throat very nicely.

I really enjoyed this stout and without a doubt will have another one.

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Photo of SisuPride
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured nice and dark with a few centimeter head which drizzled to a few millimeters before I finished it. As the label described it was chocolate malt goodness but also had a milky sweetness to it. A little bitter at times but overall I'd drink this beer a plenty - one of the better stouts I've had in the last few months. Still not sure where the "mild stout" came into play but I'll take 'em mild if they are like this one.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown body that still allows some light to shine through (just a little). Light brown head. Huge, rocky head with some damn good retention and lacing.

Smells malty with a touch of fruit.

Up front there is big chocolatey/coffee malt sweetness. Follows with some light, smooth fruit flavors. I swear I can taste some peppery yeast in there too.

Good mouthfeel, a little lighter and smoother than I expected, but I enjoyed it.

Considering the big flavors in this brew, I think it is highly drinkable. Not too thick, well balanced carbonation.

This is a great brew. Not exactly what I expected, but I enjoyed it and will certainly be trying it again.

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Photo of wl0307
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from the Beer Circus in East Croydon, London. The bottling date is 30/06/04, so I think now is the good time to savour it~~

A: served lightly chilled in a big tulip-shaped wine glass, it pours an extremely dark chocolaty hue with slightly ruby hint, coming with a huge, cappucino-like tight, frothy tan head with good head retention, lacing the glass just as tight and fine~~
S: overwhelming aroma of juicy dark malts + a port-wine like richly fruity as well as sugary texture, preserved black-plums+figs, with hints of sour edge of very dark chocolates + cinnamon + licorice-kind of herbs... after swirling, a deeper, perfumy nose comes through, underlined by more sweetish dark fruits and juicy malts.
T: upfront a lively, sweetish malty and dark-fruity (sweet plums) flavour is followed immediately by a bittersweet turn, leading fast to the mid-flavour of lightly bitter flavour of chocolates and light-roast coffee beans, laced with moderate herbal hoppyness... finished with lingering, herbal-bittersweet aftertaste and a touch of spice and roastiness touch deep down the sides of the tongue...
M: outstanding mouthfeel, refreshing and lively upfront, softening as more complex and bitter elements of flavour develops, ending absolutely rounded and mellow.
D: nearly full-flavoured, it's not a terribly complex brew but shows a very clear and balanced structure for a strong dark beer, without sharp alcohol intervention anywhere throughout the drink~~ A beautiful, mellow dark beer to savour as digestif!

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Photo of techdiver
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep chestnut brown with a substantial head that dissipates slowly

Dark fruit, caramel malt nose.

Taste echoes the nose with a very evident licorice element previously undetected.

Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel with fine carbonation.

Very drinkable brew, most enjoyable.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow was this ever a treat. It looked like chocolate pudding with a half inch of dense head that could've been whipped cream. The nose was dark berries and a spicy sweetness. The first sip, and all that follow are thick and creamy, with the taste dominated by very mild plums, and trailed by seductive roastiness. Anyone who enjoys either stouts or the darker belgian ales will probably enjoy this. Anyone who likes both will be thrilled! Each sip was sheer delight!

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Photo of jdhilt
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a five finger dark cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Cloudy brown color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet caramel nose. Flavor is sweet caramel and molasses. I like the brewer's idea of a light brown. Label has the ABV at 8.2%. $4.29 for a 330ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of erikm25
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a chocolate brown hue. A hint of a dark amber if held up to the light. Creamy one and a half inch head. Solid carbonation and lots of lacing there.

S: Malt mixed with dark fruits and brown sugar. Thick rich molasses and caramel blended nicely with the roasted fruit aromas.

T: Definite chocolate and coffee tastes here. The alcohol is disguised nicely by a licorice and dark fruit texture. Smoked plums or toasted apricots smothered in caramel.

M: Medium body with a long finish and a lingering taste.

D: Very impressed.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful black cherry with generous tangerine highlights. My usual pour has resulted in a large crown of golden brown sugar colored creaminess. The foam is also nicely sticky, as evidenced by a fairly impressive array of sea foam lace. Who says a stout needs to be opaque to look good?

Speaking of which, the brewery calls this beer a stout, so why can't we? It's about time Belgian stout became a recognized style on this site. The nose is wonderfully deep and rich, featuring plenty of roasted and chocolate-like aromas, along with dark fruit and spice. Good beer looks to be mere seconds away.

Troubadour Obscura is a wonderful version of the style, no matter what style one settles on. Interestingly enough, tart is almost as prominent as sweet, bitter and spicy. Tastes like chocolate-covered plums. Maybe even cranberries. This is complex beer than should become even more complex as it warms.

In addition to the flavors mentioned above, there's a fair amount of anise and a hint of molasses. A tremendous medium-dark fruitiness, however, is the star of the show. Figs are in there, as are raisins. The amount of clove is just right. In fact, everything about this Brouwerij De Musketiers stout is just right.

The mouthfeel isn't quite in the upper echelon of Belgian ales, but the beer is still a treat to drink. The carbonation provides a lush creaminess that makes drinking quickly a soft summer breeze. It's rare that I'm almost out of beer at this point in the review.

Troubadour Blond Ale is good stuff. Troubadour Obscura Mild Stout is even better. I saw 4-packs up in Madison several days ago (new label) and didn't buy one. Now that I've tasted what this exceptional ale has to offer, I won't make that mistake again.

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Photo of far333
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a crystal snifter at cellar temperature.

Hazy brown with orangey highlights and a big fat 2 inch head of thick and dimpled foam that lingers long and leaves wide sheets of lace rising up the sides of the glass.

Aroma of cocoa and brown sugar, plus hints of molasses and raisin.

Rich and complex flavor with lots of nuances moving in and out. Cocoa and plum and fig and molasses and espresso and raisin and deeply roasted malt, hints of bready yeast and overripe dark fruits. Some spiciness in the finish. Some smokey charred oak lingers, along with a cherry or currant tartness.

Full and chewy mouthfeel, but finishes tingly and a bit crisp and tannic.

This is fantastic, I could sip it all night.

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Troubadour Obscura from Brouwerij De Musketiers
3.9 out of 5 based on 416 ratings.
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