Troubadour Obscura | Brouwerij De Musketiers

very good
230 Reviews
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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 UCLABrewN84
2.89/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with roasted malt, cocoa, acidic, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour cocoa and dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a below average beer that is definitely suffering from a mild infection, but is still fairly drinkable as it is.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As I poured this one I saw it as more of a stout than a Dark Ale, either way the color was indeed dark. The head was fluffy and tan in color. The lacing was very good on this brew. The smell of the brew has some chocolaty notes on the nose as well as some bready yeasty aromas and dark fruit sweetness. The taste of the beer was semi-sweet with a nice dry aftertaste. The mouthfeel was creamy and smooth, very nicely done. Overall this brew in my opinion was really good.

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Photo of metter98
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured dark amber-brown in color with a thick and creamy tan head. The head has excellent retention properties and a moderate level of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts in the nose, along with some hints of chocolate.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather malty and has hints of cherries and chocolate. There is some bitterness from the hops in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and is very smooth.
D: The beer was very easy to drink because the alcohol was well hidden.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Does this brewery have a surplus of sugar they they have got to get rid of?

A dark brown beer shows some crimson hues and a bit purple at times. Good head formation shows lightly tanned foam and lingers for most of the session. Also some lace evident.

Heavy malts set the tone for a lot of sweetness that dominates the glass. Dark and dried fruits of blackberries, raisons, dates, figs, plumbs, grapes, and currants. Light spice and tartness helps to balance out the residual sugar blast. Alcohols late also thin the beer to make it more drinkable. However up front, the beer is heavy, doughy, and sticky sweet. Light toasty notes get swamped and give an almost Sweet Stout taste and texture. Full, rich, and silky at times this beer would be very nice if it were not for the syrupy flavor and feel.

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Photo of brentk56
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a massive, rocky head; excellent retention and an intriguing pattern of lace

Smell: Cocoa, marshmallow and prune aromas dominate, along with vinous elements and hand rolled cigars

Taste: Opens with a malty blend of cocoa, marshmallow and red wine grapes; after the swallow, the prune and tobacco flavors appear and blend to the finish; there is a distinct smoky character throughout

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation - it has that foamy Belgian stout mouthfeel, for sure

Overall: An intriguing combination of flavors in a rather light bodied example of the style

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Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown (nearly black) with a 3-inch tan head. Looks somewhere between a dark Belgian ale and an English stout.

Smell: Coffee, black licorice, cream - very complex and difficult to pin down to specific aromas.

Taste/mouthfeel: Chocolate and coffee in the forefront. Very roasty but with an underlying fruity character that isn't common amongst stouts. Has a subtle tartness that is also present in De Dolle's Extra Export Stout. Creamy on the tongue, it's quite thick and chewy. Extremely smooth with no hint of alcohol. Pretty unique stuff, and very good.

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served cool, around 50º-55º.
Aged one year in the cellar, 11.2 oz. BBD: 09/02/09

Huge billowing head out of the tulip glass. Sticky tan lace all around, puffy and merengue-like. After 10 minutes it diminishes a bit, but surges again with a second pour. Deep burnt chestnut hue.

Aroma is lightly milky sweet with a lactic edge, roasted malt as well. Belgian yeast lends an indescribable fruitiness. Sort of simple. but the sum of it's parts is appealing.

Mellow body and feel, notes of malted milk candy, chocolate, slight bitterness to the roasted malt element. Well balanced, deceptively hidden alcohol. Not all that stouty, but certain characteristics lean in that direction. Mild sweetness, but not cloying. Lingering dry aftertaste, malty with alot of yeast character.

Overall very nice, a good Belgian to keep in the cellar, or to enjoy whenever you want a BSDA with more character.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a black color ale with a huge foamy dirty brown head with pretty good retention. Aroma of sweet malt with distinctive Belgian yeast note. Some sweet malt with a slightly bitter and coffee finish also dominates taste. More reminiscent of a Belgian dark ale then a stout but interesting nonetheless. Body is above average and alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of zeff80
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark burgundy color in the snifter with a two-finger, light brown head of long lasting foam. It slowly receded to leave sticky rings of intricate lacing.

S - Very Belgian - dried fruit, currants, plum, raisin. A rich malty aroma, too.

T - Overall, the taste is similar to the aroma although all the flavors seem weaker. There is a mild spiciness, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale that is pretty easy drinking despite its high ABV.

D - Great look and aroma, but the taste couldn't match it. It was not bad, just a little weak/muted for the style.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to drabmuh for picking up this bottle in DC. Served in a wine glass.

Pours dark mahogany with a thick light tan head and some nice streaky lacing. Great retention. The nose is slightly roasty with some mild Belgian character to it. There are some dark fruits in there as well. The taste is roasty with a bit of oxidation and cardboard. Really dry and almost harsh finish. Medium body. Pretty good though it does not really stand out anywhere, and there are a few issues with the flavor.

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Photo of superspak
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, best before 8/6/2015. Pours slightly hazy deep reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, white grape, light pepper, light nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, white grape, light pepper, light nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Light peppery yeast spice/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, raisin, plum, pear, apple, grape, light nuttiness, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of dark/roast/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly bready/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian style imperial stout. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and fruity/earthy yeast flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of chinchill
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at HopCats. Pour is very dark brown; fairly clear with a small but durable head that leaves a good bit of sticky lacing.

The aroma and flavor are complex and rich, and certainly not like a typical export stout. In fact, this seems more like a Belgian strong Dark to me. However, there is a substantial component of dark roasted malts mixed in with the molasses, cooked dark fruits, and burnt sugars.

O: recommended.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 8/7/08 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramel, fruit, Belgian yeast, some spice and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, apples, citrus and spices. Then a hearty malt character and Belgian yeast breadiness follow. There's a mild hops presence that bring a little balance. Despite the name, I didn't find too many stout-like qualities. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, good representation of the Belgian Strong Dark style, this is a nice brown Belgian ale with some substance and strength making it worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Poured into a stem glass, a dark cola brown with just under a finger of a well-retaining tan head. (Teresa's mistakenly labeled this as a stout on their menu; both my wife and I suspected that it was more of a dark ale than a stout, and looking it up, it appears that we were right. Skills?) Aroma was roasty and chocolaty, and definitely bore a semblance to a stout, but lighter with much more dried fruit in the nose. Taste and mouthfeel was definitely lighter than a stout, but right on for a strong dark ale. Rich dark chocolate dominates, raisins, prunes, plums, licorice, with notes of yeast and a bit of alcohol warmth. On the heavier side of medium-bodied, and quite nice to drink.

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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 smcolw
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Impressive head that leaves clumps of lace on the glass. The color is closer to a porter--deep brown where light can shine through. Appears cloudy.

This beer has a very rich smell of overcooked caramels and brandy.

Quite spritzy--lots of carbonation which is balanced by the oily thick body. The flavor profile has raisin, toffee and alcohol. Nice bitter finish that seems to be a pleasant blend of hop and black patent. As it says on the bottle, this is a mild stout, but it retains its Belgian heritage.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Bruery snifter.

Another late-night snack tonight. it pours a dark, murky sienna topped by over a finger of wan tan foam. The nose comprises toffee, light roasted malt, graham cracker, sweet and mild cocoa, and a touch of walnut and cashew. The taste brings in more of the same, with the cocoa coming in stronger, and a touch of both cola and lightly acrid coffee being added to the mix. Not bad. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation, and a lightly creamy feel. Overall, a pretty decent export stout, nothing amazing but something fairly drinkable and generally enjoyable.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fresh bottle from Belgium. Thanks Caleb!

The beer is a dark mahogany color with a thick beige cap which coats the glass with sticky lacing. The aroma brings a myriad of fruits, to include apples, grapes. Dark malt and toffee notes. Pretty sweet, with prominent Belgian yeast and caramel tones. Definitely some plum, fig, raisin character in this one. Sweet apples soaked in alcohol. Pretty good.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.42/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Beautiful deep, matte brown with mahogany highlights when backlit. Nice cream-tan head that pours a few fingers high without much effort.

S - A light affair of toffee, creamer and booze.

T - Burnt edges on a nice roast coffee. Some toffee and a touch of caramel as the profile sweetens. There's a breadyness that may or may not come through depending on how you interpret the toffee backend. Glimmer of woody hops right before the finish.

M - Light body with a moderately carbonated mouthfeel. Dry finish.

D - Moderate. Nice taste but the burnt flavors wear you down over time.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded brown with a fine even speckled lacing forms down the sides of my Chimay chalice. Hints of cherry and Belgian spice, go well with mild dark chocolate creaminess. Flavor fulled with tart fruit cherries/raisins, and hints of creamy chocolate. Mouthfeel medium bodied creaminess, fine effervescent definitely a mild Belgian stout compared to bigger brasher American counterparts. Drinkability overall is very good, not the best or worst Belgian around one of thos beers that I'm glad I could buy a reasonable priced single around 4 bucks for a year old bottle. Good deal with some age on it aleady from 6/10/10.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A New addition to the ever growing list of beer available in NH.
Pours a deep brown with garnet highlights when held to light, huge khaki head shows great staying power and sticks itself all over the glass. The label calls this a mild stout, its listed here as a Belgian Strong Dark, I'm not sure how to rate this but here goes. Smells of light chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit and spicy Belgian phenols. Taste is rich with brown sugar and light chocolate with the Belgian spice cutting through the sweetness. Mild dark fruits are muted behind the other overpowering flavors. A hint of alcohol shows itself near the end of each sip but is soon overwhelmed. Finishes with a bit of lingering chocolate and a hint of ash. Crispy spirited level of carbonation, medium to full body, bubbly sweet sticky mouthfeel. I think there is more Belgian strong here than Stout. The roasted flavors are barely evident and the sugary sweetness lends itself more to that style. Overall this is a decent brew, but probably not something I would seek out again.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark ruby brown. No head. Nose is mild malts. Flavor is smooth, but with a slight popping edge to it. Mild malts mixed with yeasts. Firm sweetness. I have had this on the bottle before and still stand by what my memory serves about my previous review. This is like a mild stout mixed with a dark belgian ale. Feel is nice and smooth on the liquid and with a great amount of bubble on the tongue. Highly drinkable. Easily sessionable. Smooth and so well crafted.

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Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a mini-growler and an 11.2 ounce bottle (best before dating of 23/08/08 on the cap)of this brew @ Half time this afternoon. Both versions pour a nice warm dark almond shade of amber, the bottled version seems to be much more highly carbonated. Dark tan head, better retention on the bottled sample and similar spotty lacing left behind.Similar nose of sweet caramel, and malted sweet milk, more prevelant in the growler sample. Srong, flavorful brew, notes of brandy, malted chocolate milk, caramel, bitter dark chocolate and some vanilla. I preferred the growler version, smoother, lower carbonation, give this a try if you like dark, strong Belgians. Nice night cap kind of brew or perhaps give it a try with a chocolate dessert.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Troubador Obscura, 12 oz brown bottle. "mild stout."

mmm, I like Belgian stouts...

Dark brown, with ruby tints, lovely toasted tan head, a match for Belgian cocoa powder. Beautiful.

aroma: soft, light chocolate, sweet, but solid...darker delights come forth in time, more maple and anise. Very nice.

Taste: Full-bodied, nice chocolate flavor, sweet, then bitter, then smooth. Some mild astringency, but sweet cocoa is king. Lays long on the palate. Lingers in the memory.

Exceptional and intriquing. Tasty, tasty, tasty.


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