Troubadour Obscura | Brouwerij De Musketiers

very good
418 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 418 |  Reviews: 231
Photo of eric5bellies
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a bar in Oudelem, Belgium

A - Pours a nice mahogany colour with an off white head that reduces to a film.

S - Quite sweet with molassis and spicey dark fruit

T - Very malty with molassis and dark fruit.

M - Medium body and carbonation

D - Great example of style

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

A - Dark reddish brown color with a fine, tan color head.

S - Roasted malts and a lot of sweet, dark fruits. Nice belgian yeast with a bit of cocoa in there.

T - Little bit stronger than what was on the label, but in reflection, I don't know what a "mild stout" is. A lot of very roasty malts and a strong dark fruit taste that has some nice sweetness to it as well.

M - Creamy with a nice amount of carbonation. Full bodied.

D - A sipper, not a bad drinker, but definately not easy.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A clear, brown liquid, with a creamy bone white head that is thick enough to dimple the surface of the liquid and leaves lacing down the sides of the glass.

S- Belgian milk chocolate, alcohol, fruit, earthy hops... Pretty unique and hard to pinpoint.

T- Earth, chocolate, and fruits. There is something a little different about this, and it is not really drawing me in for more. I can appreciate what they are going for though.

M- Creamy carbonation, with a bit of a hoppy bite at the end. The sweetness is nice.

D- An interesting beer. The alcohol is hidden fairly well and in combination with the creamy carbonation aspect, this drinks rather nicely.

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

Beer from a relatively new brewery (since 2000).
Dark red-brown ale with a big head, nice lacing.

Smell: roasted malts, sweet fruits like cherries and plumbs.
Taste is of roasted malts. Some wild yeasty notes, and dark dried fruits.
Aftertaste isn't too sweet though.It's actually more dry and bitter than expected.
Medium body.

Unbalanced, complex; a very promising brew: it's bold and rough; the alcohol in it is easy.

I'm very willing to be more patient with this brewery, to see if they develope this brew even more in the upcoming years.

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

Esters and alcohol sweet berries are present in the nose but also a powerful touch of coffee, caramel and mocha extremely pleasant. The taste is spicy but spicy but it is also sweet and caramelized, this a very good way. A finish a little bitter but with a persistent spicy on the tongue, plus a coffee liqueur reminiscent of an Italian espresso. Lots of flavors in the nose and mouth.

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Photo of biglite351
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - tall tight tan head. Brew is somewhat cloudy with red around the edges.

S - it has that scent that is unique in bocks. Maybe a bit of a mix between a stout and a bock.

T - malty with noticeable chocolate. A little sweet like a bock

M - coats with a bit of tingle on both the front and back of the tongue.

D - one or two is okay, but I do not think that more than that would work.

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Photo of WhiteOak
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A volcanic gusher upon opening. Hazy brown, not quite opaque. Big, dark tan head with lace. The final pour was heavily loaded with sediment particles.

S- Chocolate covered cherries, caramel, wet grains, vanilla, wet earth, dried dark fruit.

T- Bitter, dark roasted malt. A touch of sweetness puts this just off-dry.

M, D- Creamy & soft edged, medium-heavy weight, and quite drinkable with the ABV unapparent. The CO2 was making for well-integrated drinking for such a gusher.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

P- Al's of Hampden

A- A nice foamy pour that yeilds about a 3 finger head. Somewhat bubble lacy but not overly. a nice dark brown color. The head takes about 10 minutes to dissipate.

S- a very sweet and fruity smell. It almost smells like a caramel apple dipped in stout. Alcohol rounds out the aroma.

T- a carbonated stout that has strong flavors of coffee and caramel. Chocolate and sweet dark candied fruit.

M- bubbly and creamy. A very gaseous beer as well.

D- at 8.2 this is a nice beer to slowly drink. Overall, not a bad style and it is really tasty. I could def go for another.


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Photo of BMoney575
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 5-7-10
Best before 10-10-11

Pours a deep brown color, as cloudy as you could possibly get. The tan head is immense, and leaves thick, chunky lacing. Retention is excellent.

Smell is very good, sweet, mildly Belgian, with lots of crisp fruit aromas. A very pleasant fermented quality gives way to a boozy kick that adds another dimension.

Taste is different, strong malt right up front, with big bitterness. The finish is deeply smoky, with a hint of clove. Not particularly complex, and the smokiness takes over after a few sips.

Mouthfeel is very fizzy and full, which does not suit the smooth and smoky flavors.

Drinkability is decent, but the flavors are strong and not helped by the mouthfeel.

Overall, different, and worth a try.

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Photo of chaz01
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Chappy's Taproom in Dayton in conjunction with a Belgian Beer event they've been having all month. Served in a special 6 ounce mini-wine glass.

A: Brownish color with a nice thick brown head.

S: Dark fruits, plums and cherries along with sweet brown sugar aroma.

T: More dark fruits in the taste, including figs and dates, but not as sweet as the aroma indicates. Picking up a subtle orange peel flavor as well, but no roasted coffee or malt flavors that I'd expect from a stout.

M: Medium bodied, with some cocoa and orange in the finish.

D: This is very good and I'd certainly seek it out again. I'm a bit puzzled by the stout label, as it's not normally what I'd expect from a stout. Lots of flavor, would go well with a hearty stew, or by itself on pleasant outdoor evening on the patio.

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Photo of sdjakep
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - dark brown with red hue mild carbonation head 1" or so tan in color good retention NICE LACE

s - malty with a hint of coffee fruit and cocoa

t - slight sour dark fruit taste with cocoa and a nice alcohol bite at the end

m - very smooth with a perfect amount of carbonation

d - very enjoyable i loved it and would recommend it to any none dark beer drinker as a nice starting point

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Photo of tempest
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Abe's Cold Beer for $4 and poured it into a tumbler. It opens with a big raisin aroma. The flavor follows the dried fruit character with bready cocoa notes that remind me of an English brown ale. Oddly enough, this beer seems a lot like an imperial English brown ale, if such a thing existed. The body is relatively drinkable and there's a mix of dark barley flavors with complimentary fruit. Overall, a well-made and interesting Beglian.

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

A: Pours dark brown, slightly amber, with a thick brown foamy head. The head leaves significant lacing on the inside of the snifter. Beautiful.

S: Smells strongly of Belgian yeast, slightly tart, with a bit of a roasty backbone underneath. Hints of sourness, perhaps some lactobacillus?

T: Flavor is very complex. Strong roasted malt notes up front, much like an ordinary British stout, but with a significant Belgian yeast presence. Also some sourness, again probably from lactobacillus, and with a dry malted aftertaste. Sourness becomes more prominent as the beer warms.

M: This beer has a moderate thickness, with a low carbonation and a mild drying astringency on the back of the tongue. Very slight chewiness.

D: Overall this beer seems like an almost perfect mix of a great Belgian Strong Dark Ale and a nice British stout. Could be a bit more tart, could have a bit more complexity, but overall, very nice.

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Photo of kegger22
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Troubadour Obscura Mild Stout (BSDA) was a dark brown color with a modest beige head that rapidly reduced to a collar.

The aroma was very sweet cocoa and reminded me of an old ale.

The taste sweet molasses, cocoa and raisins. The warmer it got, the better it tasted.

The mouth feel was medium bodied, oily and moderately carbonated.

Drinkability was good for an 8.50 ABV, flavor was up there, but it was a bit pricey for a go to beer.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown body with ruby trim, topped by a tan finger of foam that leaves moderate lacing, receding at a medium pace. Chocolate, anise, and more than a little tobacco confront the nose. It has been some time since I enjoyed a beer flavored with tobacco; interesting.

Sour flavor to start, but sweetens a bit as it warms, this grew on me the more I had it. At first, I honestly didn't enjoy it yet, after several minutes, dark chocolate and tart berry (cranberry?) emerge. There is also a distinct roasted coffee flavor in it as well; complex and trick, but good stuff.

Tart, bitter, but also somewhat creamy in texture, Obscura indeed lives up to its name. It's a highly unusual stout, one of the most unique I've ever had. It isn't one that's easy to belt back by any means, but it's overall quite good and challenging. Fine stuff.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes (10/15/09) at Belga Cafe in Washington DC.

A - Dark mahogany brown, towering 2.5" head with ample lace and excellent retention. Nice strands of lacing. 4.5

S - pilsner malt, cereal grains, with fruity esters of pears, white grapes, and a light roasted character. Could be more pronounced. 4.0

T - initial toffee with fig/dark fruity sweetness leads to a gentle blend of expresso and dark chocolate. Light tang of blackberries and alcohol in the finish. 4.5

M - very velvety smooth and rich. Good Belgian style carbonation. 4.5

D - very good, I would definitely drink a few. 4.0

Note - flavor and aroma is much more pronounced as it warms. Alcohol is still well blended into the beer.

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Photo of sholland119
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from scottg in the Review This! BIF. Thanks!

A-A cloudy cedar brown with a fluffy tan head that has great retention.

S-Belgian yeast, raisins and caramel. A bit of oakiness and vanilla lurk in the background.

T-Roasty (where did that come from?) with muted dark fruit sweetness. Raisins and some booziness in the finish.

M-Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D-Nice if lacking in complexity for the style.


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Photo of DoctorDog
2.91/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into a snifter. "23/04/11" is printed on the top of the bottle cap. ABV on bottle is listed @ 8.2% (as opposed to the 8.5% currently listed here). Label image has also changed significantly; It now has a crest with a lute on it, and no sign of the bard.

A- Very dark brown. ~1 1/2 fingers of tan head, which fades slowly to a thin cap.

S- Quite sweet and malty, with hints of dark fruit/raisins. As head dies, a musty cardboard odor begins to surface.

T- First thing that stands out is a healthy dose of wet cardboard/oxidation. Moderately sweet. Hints of dark fruitiness are present, but obscured by the off flavor. Not truly terrible, but hard to get past the carboard.

M- Moderate carbonation, medium-full, and fairly creamy, thought the "wet cardboard" seems to give it a bit of an overly dry feel.

D- Mediocre. Taste was a bit sub-par, but everything else was more or less OK.

Future outlook: I feel fairly confident that I got an "off" bottle, and I might give this another shot if it strikes my fancy.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

33 cL bottle tried 3 Dec 2009.

Poured in a ~6 oz wine glass. Head wants to form directly in the bottle, have to pour before it makes a mess. Medium tan head. Clear dark brown color with reddish highlights. Well carbonated. Aroma is quite sweet, syrupy, reminiscent of pumpkin, chocolate, sorghum. Starts fairly syrupy, like a moderately sweet molasses. Pumpernickel. Some leather and tobacco. Boozy, ethanol is warm in the finish and aftertaste. Sweet and syrupy throughout. Medium body. Like a strong sweet brown alemore than a stout.

Decent but quite a bit more syrupy sweet than I prefer.

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

Troubadour Obscura poured ontap into a Troubadour tulip glass. A deep pour yields a dark brown liquid with a huge foamy head and nice lace work.

Aroma of chocolate, bready malts and suggestions of fruits. Inviting and appealing.

A melancholy collection of Chocolate, Oak, Vanilla. Bready malts are there in the flavor dept. as well. Cocoa is prominant and pairs well with the malt, slightly roasted around the edges. Hop bitterness is low, just a tad minerally. Great woody/oak notes in this beer, alcohol is played down but this beer does remind one of its strength from time to time. Port like flavors develop as the beer approaches room temperature. Excellent.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and silky smooth.

Drinks very solid for a beer of such strength. Not often do I come across a belgian stout but this mild stout was fantastic.

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

On draft at a local beer bar. Beer is brown and clear and has very low carbonation. Head is thin and diffuse and made up of brown bubbles.

Smells like a brown ale with a slight amount of roast in the nose.

Beer tastes good, sweet and vanilla with a nice mild roast flavor at the end. Beer is silky smooth and has notes of caramel in the aroma and in the forward mouth, burnt sugar or roasted brown sugar. This beer tastes a lot darker than it is. Drinkability is high and mouthfeel is good.

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

Thirsty Monk in Asheville. Cloudy dark brown pour with a good sized light tan head. Taste was sweet, malt, raisin, molasses, brown sugar, but kept in check with the roast nut, bitter fruit and carbonation. There is a little caramel and chocolate then just slight coffee hints in the finish. Interesting beer, worth trying if you can.

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Troubadour Obscura from Brouwerij De Musketiers
3.9 out of 5 based on 418 ratings.
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