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: 415
Photo of Gueuzedude
2.44/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Best by date of August 2008, Sampled February 2007
Labled a stout, but really pours more like a dark brown ale, or really a Porter. This beer is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, amber tinged tan colored head. The beer sits a deep, dark brown color in my glass and shows ruby highlights when held up to the lamp. The aroma is a mix of concentrated fruit notes like raisin and fig, as well as a sort of cheesy note, and some definite notes of Madeira and sherry. The lasts too really become noticeable as you dig around in the aroma. There is a nice spiciness to the aroma as well, with notes of clove leading the way, but also notes of ginger, a touch of anise, and even some fenugreek. There is definitely something cheesy going on here though.

Up front the beer tastes of raisins and prunes, as it moves back off the tongue a lightly tart note becomes noticeable. In the long finish a note similar to port, and perhaps even a touch of sherry is noticeable. Very little roast character is noticeable, which is not entirely unexpected in this Belgian brewed beer.

The beer just does not do it for me, it tastes a bit too much like fermented prune juice to really be all that palatable. It never reaches horrible, and I could easily drink this if politeness demanded it. Fortunately it does not, so I will not.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A thick head on top of a dark brown beer. The head is stabile and looks like a cooks hat.

Smell is exceptional, caramel and light roasted notes with a little diacetyl. The yeast gives a ripe banana and slight solvent smell.

Taste is caramel with definate roasted notes and some chocolate. The yeast is really very beautiful, ripe bananas with solvent and some slight butter. There is some alcoholwarming, but it is not sharp. Body is medium and the beer is a bit sticky and sweet.

A great beer which looks like Westmalle Dubbel, but then even better.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Nice dark amber color with a nice head that gave some pretty heavy lacing.

Smell - Chocolate with roasted coffee. Mild molasses with a hint of nuts. I smell a sour note but it is very subdued.

Taste - Sour apple mixed with chocolate and roasted coffee. The sour notes really make themselves known on the tongue.

Mouthfeel - Incredibly pleasant and crisp. The sour notes excite the palate and mix with the bitter chocolate notes. There is very little carbonation.

Drinkability - An exciting stout. The apple notes really balance with the bitter chocolate to make this incredibly drinkable and distinct. I definitely plan on getting more of these.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Like most belgian stouts, this is quite the oddball beer, but very interesting nonetheless. Pours to a dark nutty brown, quite opaque. What little light shows through in the edges of the glass reveal it to be fairly hazy. The head is minimal, though it leaves a light washy lacing.

The smell is very complex. Almost smells like a red wine, like a cabernet sauvignon. Some sweet berry and grape like aroma lies over a nice cocoa and coffee. A hint of dark candi sugar. Little to no roastiness. A bit of a bready yeastiness and fig as well.

The taste is not quite as appealing, though not unpleasant by any means. The roast is more apparent in the flavor than in the nose, coming to the forefront of the taste. Still has the same elements of the nose beneath. If it were any less roasty, it would taste like a fine cab-sauv. Very dry in the finish with a lingering chocolate, coffee, and fig aftertaste. Also has a fairly intense oaky character.

The body is fairly light and dry on the palate. A bit peppery. Carbonation is mild, providing a slightly creamy mouthfeel. This is a good, interesting, and unique brew for sure. It tastes like a stout, but it is distinctly belgian as well. Just not clean enough to be too drinkable, and it seems to be all over the board. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try this, however.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a bottle at the end of the night at Waterhuis in Ghent.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy ruby-brown with a thick brown head that thins to half an inch leaving heavy lace.

Smell: Light fruity aromas of raisins and cherries. Malty with some light caramel.

Taste: Sweet malts, a bit of caramel. Tart with a roasty bitterness. Nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation with a lightly dry finish.

Drinkability: Balanced!

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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 ccs
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - It glows a deep, dark amber when held up to the light. There is very little head and what there is is a nice toffee color.

S - It seems that the bottle I got might be a little old. There is the overwhelming alcohol aroma combined with chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and oak.

T - It has the slightly sour belgian taste combined with a deep roast note. When the sour fades, the roast continues with a residual coffee flavor.

M - It's beautifully chewy, slightly lighter than a traditional stout and very pleasant.

I was curious about a Belgian stout..and this one did not disappoint. I could see this as a "breakfast beer" with a nice brunch. But it will pack a punch with 8.5% alcohol. I liked it and will get more. And drink them one at a time.

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

A Belgian Stout, interesting.

Appearance: Dark brown body, light still shines through, though. Head is medium height, tan, and very creamy looking.

Smell: Light chocolate malt, sweet, and a little smokey.

Taste: Wow, this is interesting. Lots of sweet chocolate and roasted malt flavoring, alcohol is very warming. There is something else, though. This beer is listed as a BSDA, but it could be a sweet stout, or some combination thereof.

Drinkability: Worth a shot, it's a a great combination of two great styles.

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Photo of dgallina
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml slim brown bottle dated best-before 8/23/2008 on cap.

Pours very dark brown with half an inch of tan head that disappears quickly, leaving thin lace. Toasted coffee and powdered chocolate malts in the nose, with an undercurrent of dark fruit (plums, raisins). Simple yet satisfying flavor. Chewy grains up front. Develops nice toasted bread and powdered cocoa in the center. A touch of drying hops and warming fruity alcohol in the aftertaste. Alcohol is well integrated overall. Medium to heavy in the mouth; balanced more towards carbonation than creaminess. Satisfying, though not particularly easy-drinking due to the strength and body.

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

What an interesting beer. Disguises its high alcohol content completely. Very smooth-drinking, medium-bodied beer, with a great deal of subtley. Has some of the rich malty stout taste, with hints of chocolate, but ends up being dominated by the spicy Belgian dark ale taste, with some hints of prune or plum. Seems like an effective blending of the two styles. Very much worth returning to.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$3.99 at LaBodega in Riverside, CA. in July 2006; tasted in late August 2006 ( I wanted to make sure I got it done before it's best-by date of 8-26-2008).

Pours a beautiful deep ruddy brown, with a nice sitting (and lasting) tan head atop. Aroma is of hot chocolate powder and slight roastiness Semi-sweet. Flavor follows through, but is much less sweet. Dark heavy fruits (cherries, plums, a bit of apricot) remind me that this isn't really a stout, but is a Belgian Dark Ale. The body is rich and filling, with more carbonation than expected for a stout-BSDA. A very tasty brew, not in the class of some of the best BSDA around, but very tasty indeed.

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

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting on 8/16/06: Dark reddish-brown color with a thin and creamy off-white head. Minimal lacing. Mild malt and caramel aroma. Medium-bodied with a roasty character. Malt, dark fruit and chocolate flavors are present. The finish is tart fruit at first, then sweeter fruit and malt. Above average.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok...this is interesting....they call it a mild stout and it comes in at 8.5% ABV. Hmmmm....
Pours a deep deep reddish brown almost black. Nice full finger tan head that melts almost immediately to very thin lacing.
Aromas are definitely Belgium in nature....Belgium yeasts faintly but Belgium style malts intensely. Roasted coffee and chocolate....toasted malts...faint alcohol on the tail end.
Taste is again distinctly Belgium....toasted to burnt malt, roasted coffee and dark, deep chocolate. There is a hops presence because I have an immediate drying after swallowing being left with reminisces of bitter sweet chocolate, but I can't identify it. Nothing citrus or piney there. Just pleasant drying.
After taste is sort of, 'give me another sip of liquid chocolate''s dry and bittersweet chocolate all the way for me.
I like this. Definitely a different stout from anything I have tried....definately a Belgium taste and finish to it. Definitely worth the high price for 11.2 oz and definitely worth another.
This is either a wonderful stout or a wonderful belguim dark ale...I can't decide.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass hazy amber brown with a tan frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was chocolate with dark fruits, raisins and prunes, through the massive head. As the head retreated the nose was greeted with expresso coffee roast and a bit of an earthy character. The aroma became smoky as the head finally fell into place near the surface of the beer.

The flavor was less robust than expected. The flavors were a light roast with more of the smoky character. The roast and smoke were accompanied by a light caramel character with some chocolate. The dark fruits in the aroma were restrained in the flavor, yet still had some presence. A light Belgian yeast spice was present, but in the background.

The finish was dry with lasting roast, smoke, but mostly chocolate into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a sizeable carbonation. A tasty brew, but not overly complex. The alcohol in the beer was really only present in the warming that occurred after consumption. I guess if Belgium produced a porter, this would be it.

11.2 ounce bottle. Best before 09/02/09 on cap.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark burgundy, burnt umber body with a nice two finger khaki head. Hard to tell if this beer is filtered or what. Head has fallend to some wispy clouds on the top of the glass with a nice ring holding down the fort.

S: Loads of candi sugar on the nose. Bit of vanilla, butterscotch and some dried cocoa.

T: Begins like a traditional dubble. Lots of sweet candi goodness and dark dried fruits. From there is gets into a more "stout" realm with taking on some serious chocolaty characteristics with minor coffee flavors. Finishes quite roasted, charred grains but certainly not over the top. Interesting mix of worlds.

M: Medium to full bodied with a nice carbonation

D: Surprised this beer doesn't get better ratings than it does. I find it quite amusing and really like it when Belgian beers keep with their roots but stray to other styles outside their borders.

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Photo of woemad
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle purchased at Jim’s Homebrew in Spokane for $4.87. I bought this because I have never seen a Belgian beer claiming to be a stout before, even a mild stout, as this one does. Freshness date is on the otherwise featureless bottle cap, and claims to be “Best before 23/08/08.” The label features a sexually ambiguous looking individual sporting a Robin Hood-style hat that is extending his tongue in a manner that looks less like it’s inspired by thirst for the goblet of beer he’s holding than some sort of sexual desire for it that is best not explored further.

Pours a very dark brown that takes on a slightly more muddy shade of the color when held to the light. Big, light tan head that sticks around for a while in my Duvel tulip glass. The copious sheets of lace left behind by my agitation quickly recede, leaving spotty evidence of their existence.

Initially, the nose is mostly of Belgian yeast and mild spices. As it warms up, mildly sweet chocolate notes can also be detected. This makes me think it’s a Belgian version of a sweet stout, as I’m not getting much of anything that resembles the roasty, coffee-ish characteristics usually encountered in what is billed as a stout.

The taste is very similar to the smell. The predominant players are Belgian yeast and spiciness, with a mild, sweet chocolate in the background, along with a very mild, prune-like dark fruit flavor. This could probably be marketed simply as a dark Belgian ale, with the “stout” left off, without any repercussions.

While not knocking my socks off, this is a pleasant tasting Belgian ale that won’t disappoint unless you’re looking first and foremost for a stout. It goes down easily enough, giving little notice of its 8.5% abv. The price will probably not have me returning to this anytime soon, however, as there are enough dark Belgians around that are cheaper and just as good, if not better. Certainly, the St. Bernardus Abt 12 I bought at the same place for a slightly cheaper price has no fear of being passed over next time in favor of this beer.

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Photo of clickpush
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Had a bad start w/ this one - as soon as I uncapped it the beer was spraying everywhere. Fortunately, I was planning on using a wide mouth wine glass so I just held the bottle over the large opening and let it all fall in. But it was a great experience after that: comes out a beautiful dark brown color with reddish hues. One finger of a tan head that goes down quickly and leaves excellent lacings behind, teased by the few scattered bubble trails in the body of the beer.

Nose: Immediate notes of cocoa and pineapple. Lots of fruity characters and a touch of smoke... but overall a little too faint to add much to the attraction.

Mouth: The first thing I notice is the strong carbonation, hitting the front of the mouth and continuing all the way through. The beer tastes predominantly of malts, starting smooth and finishing even stronger. It carries a touch of sourness that I normally don't like in my dark beers, but this one was not harsh enough to scare me away, and actually added some character. Some black pepper taste and a warm alcohol exhale.

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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 crookedhalo
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

33 cl bottle, crown stamping dated 23 Aug 08. Pours a muddy dark brown with port wine colored highlights. Fizzy, topped light khaki head. Suggestions of cocoa and biscuit drizzled with chocolate. Faint yeasty notes complicate the aroma. I always like running across these Belgian "stouts", they always amaze me how the brewers can capture glimpses at UK's best stouts whilst maintaining most of their quinessential Belgian style. The first couple of sips were the best, with the most pronounced stout character lingering through. Afterward, the beer drifted towards a more typical dark Belgian strong ale- some sherry, some dark roasted candi sugar and malt, and light chalkdust yeastiness. A bit more woody than I expected. Almost like it was a mad experiment of aging a Belgian dark ale in some old London Porter cask. Creamy, tasty, lightly astringent and strong.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark deep rich brown w/ plent of head and lacing. Super fine carbonation and tightly woven head.

Pretty big in the fruit department, mostly richer dark fruits although a little bananna creeps in there. Sharp smacking bitter ending. Pretty thick mouthfeel, sticks around for a while, leaving a solid layer goodness to sample for some time. Touch of Toffee in the background, gets a little gritty at times.

I dig this brew. Kind of an off the wall beer that goes many directions and ends up killer. I think you could easily find this candied and sweet but to me it hits all sides of the taste spectrum and lands safely. Fairly balanced, Interesting, Complex, Nice.

Nice little find at a nice little Santa Monica store.

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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 adamdotson
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a nice gentle tan head. Not that dark.

Strong toasty, roasted malt aroma. Roasted marshmallows and hickory smoked black cherries. Burnt vanilla. If I tasted this blindfolded I would not guess it to be a stout. It tastes more to me like a dubbel except with a much stronger roasted malt flavor. Not very strong on the usual chocolate and coffee. I taste very slight chocalate(more like milk chocolate). I couldn't taste any coffee flavor. Something about reminds me of coca-cola. Maybe the carbonation in combination with the sweetness.

Not that full of a body. The taste on the back of the tounge tastes more like roast and carbonation than hop bite. Not very hoppy for a stout.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer, but if I was craving a stout, this would not do it for me.

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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 Jredner
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is deeply fruity with cherry, apple and pear sticking out. Ample candied fruit notes as well. Cloudy red/brown with a typically large and fluffy Belgian style head. For is fruity with candy sugar and yeast also getting equal play. This tastes much more like a dubbel and even less like a Stout than Hercule. If there are chocolate malts in here they are lost int he sweetness and alcohol which is more assertive than I’d expect from an 8% brew. Still this does taste and feel good and while it isn’t my idea of a stout it is my idea of a good beer.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11.2 fluid ounce (330ml) brown glass bottle sealed with a silver colored crown cap that has a “Best Before 23/08/08” date inked on it. Dark brown colored neck label has the words “Troubadour Obscura”. Full color label which is the same as the new Troubadour Blond Ale except for the fact that the singing minstrel (or Troubadour) is holding up a darker glass of brew. Older labels tend to be two-color light and dark brown affairs like the ones shown in the BA Avatar. Listed at 8.5% ABV. Recommended serving temperature 42°F to 50°F.

Appearance: Dark brown brooding body with a polished cherrywood mahogany presentation. Creamy tan head is well defined and lasting. Firm conditioning and a very nice appearance in the Belgian goblet.

Nose: Dark but sweet fruits, toasty roasted malts, dark chocolate and warming alcohol plum laden aromas. Deeply inhaled this one is quite the treat.

Taste: This one has an amazing taste profile, lots of dark fruits, plums, figs, dates and some prune juice. Hints of tangy anise and liquorice mix in the background and the sweet start transcends this and rides down to a bitter-sweet finish. Port-like feel, vinous dark red wine traits on the tongue. As it warms roasted malts break through with some instant coffee and dark chocolate

Mouthfeel: Thick feel, lovely rich character and a simple yet definitive simple complexity that adds depth to this one. 8.5% but the alcohol is neatly compacted into the malts and amongst the dark fruits. Toffee twists with some earthy herbal quality hidden deep in the middle.

Drinkability: Tasty but mellow and complex but in an easily decipherable way. The solid feel supports this one from start to finish. This one grew on me, but I was soon at the bottom of the one bottle that I had.

Overall: I like the bitter-sweet profile in this “Mild Stout”. Not sure it has enough differentiation to be listed as a Stout though. Interesting stuff and well worth trying.

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Troubadour Obscura from Brouwerij De Musketiers
3.9 out of 5 based on 415 ratings.
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