Troubadour Obscura | Brouwerij De Musketiers

Troubadour ObscuraTroubadour Obscura
Liked This Beer
3.89 w/ 423 ratings
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: 423 |  Reviews: 231
Photo of thekanna
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque brown with miles of frothy, lacy, tan head. Effervescence is really visible as myriad trails of tiny, effervescent bubbles are rising to the top.

S: Molasses like sweetness with tones of spicy cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. Esters and yeasts are detectable but not overpowering.

T: Powerful taste of roasted malts and smoky, dark chocolate which end in bitter coffee. Estery taste is briefly present with the malts but gets drowned out in the bitterness.

M: Slightly tingling sensation on the tongue gives way to a smoothness and slickness as it goes down.

D: Great for sipping. It's complex enough to be Belgian, yet has an overall English quality to it. Excellent balance of the two.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1/2 off taps at brasserie V on inauguration day

cell phone notes

appearance: served in a nice chalice, strong mahogany body, garnet tints, tan creamy froth

smell: sweet and roasty, light chocolate, pruin/raisin, caramel malts

taste: nice - a little sour, a little sweet, a lot roasty...dry chocolate, pruin/raisin/date, smoky, a touch of rum. nice find indeed

mouthfeel: smooth and robust

drinkability: good

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Photo of HappyBivouac
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into an Ommegang glass. The bottle is different from the one on the site, and more to my liking. Best by date on the bottlecap of 23/05/10

a- cloudy dark brown an a light tan head that dissipates quickly leaving a thin bubbly film. pretty pleasant to look at, actually. The head after calming down has a really interesting appearance involving lots of large and small circles making a pattern. That's the best way I can describe it but I haven't seen this phenomenon before.

s- smells of belgian yeast fruity sweetness and tartness. Lots of mildy tart and sweet fruits like raisins, white grapes, apples and pears. Not so bad.

t- very bready with subtle sour/sweet fruits right upfront with a little bit of brown sugar. There are very, VERY subtle hints of roasted chocolate and coffee, but not enough to round this out. The weird thing is there is no discernable flavor in the middle. It feels like the taste enters the mouth and seems promising, then suddenly vanishes like a ghost. The finish is a strong definite belgian yeast tartness. The long-term aftertaste is an unpleasant yeasty sour feeling. None of the flavors--though strong--seem to have any sort of fullness to them, and overall it seems very unbalanced and/or lacking. This doesn't taste like a stout in any way, shape or form, either.

m- a medium to medium-heavy body that clashes and contrasts with the weird ghostly vanishing taste. Would love this feel in other beers, not so much here.

d- like I said, the flavors are strong but don't present themselves well at all. I got tired of the taste and heavy body of this beer, so I couldn't see myself having another or buying this ever again.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 6/6/08. Bottle. Pours a cloudy brown with a nice tan head. Aroma strongly of raisin as well as brown sugar. Flavor again of raisin, sweetness, slight hint of coffee. Even though I don't like raisin flavor in general, it was enjoyable in this beer. Not too sweet and the alcohol was well hidden. This tasted like a Belgian strong ale, not a stout. Good beer.
6/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

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Photo of benmiliron
2.73/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Paid $3.99 for a bottle. Bottle was 6 mo. past "best by" date. Dark tar or molasses in the glass. Nice tan head falls fast. Smell is alcohol and spice. Taste is the most interesting. Dark candied fruits and alcohol, a bit of yeast, dates, and an unpleasant bite of something medicinal. Mouthfeel packs a punch with sharp carbonation.

Probably too old a bottle, but there are too many beers out there to try this again. No thanks.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with red highlights and a short off-white head. Aroma was soap, funky yeast, marshmallows, prunes, and cocoa. Taste was much better. Rich chocolate, mocha, coffee, and toasty malt. It rapidly turns to cherries, yeast, and caramel/spun sugar/too sweet raisins. Interesting Belgian take on a stout.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Belgian Stout I split with my friend John, while sleeping on his couch because my GF had kicked me out of the house. If it seems like a did a lot of reviews while in that painful relationship, it's because I did. Out of the bottle the beer was a cloudy dark mahogany color. Huge three finger head of mocha-like foam that retained beautifully and left curtains of sticky lacing on our glasses. The aroma was clearly Belgian, complex fruity esters, roasted malt and coffee. The flavor profile was similar, starting sweet with chocolate then going into the fruit and tangy yeast before swinging to the bitter end for an acidic, coffee finish. Complex and distinctly European. I prefer American stouts personally but if you dig the over the pond kind you must try it.

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Photo of shivtim
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the thirsty monk in Asheville. Served up in a glass from the brewery!

Deep red-black brew, nice mahogany tints to the edges. Decently sized head is dark beige.

Smell is roasty chocolate malts. Taste is toasted malts, dark chocolate and fruits, and some spice that seems vaguely Indian subcontinent-esque, if that makes sense. Nice interaction between the deep fruits and delicate spice.

Very solid brew.

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Photo of IPAcraig
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opened this one whilst watching the battle of my almae matres.

Good looking beer Creamy, sticky head atop a black body with ruby edges.

This beer has a spicey, roasted taste and aroma. Nice but perhaps lacking depth. A bit warm in thie finsih with a hint of soy.

Light belgian style mouthfeel.

A good beer, but not great.

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Photo of Overlord
2.06/5  rDev -47%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is a stout?

Pours a cloudy dark brown. Large tan head. Smells... bad. Chocolate gone bad, rotten fruit ... oxidized coffee? Taste is, again, bad. Seemed metallic/oxidized, a rancid cafe au lait flavor ... just really unpleasant. Mouthfeel too thin for a stout.

I've had several Belgian stouts now, and I have strongly disappointed by each one. Clearly, not my style.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice mahogany with hints of ruby and a big, fluffy tan head giving way to substantial lacing which lasts throughout the beer.

Great aroma consisting of dark fruits, spice, roasted malt, and dark bread.

The taste brings out many characteristics I did not detect in the aroma including a prominent sweet chocolate to accompany the dark fruits and roasted malt with just a touch of bitterness as declared on the bottle.

Medium to light body with much to offer the palate and fairly generous carbonation.

Drinkability is great! Tons of flavor, smooth going down and always leaves you craving the next sip.

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Photo of prototypic
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This one pours a nice looking dark chestnut brown color. There's plenty of scarlet highlights around the edges despite it's slightly hazy appearance. The head is tan in color and easily two and a half fingers deep. It was slow to dissipate and left a sticky coat of lace clinging to the glass.

Smell: The nose is very nice, but falls well short of spectacular. It's primarily a well blended mix of chocolate and roasted malts. In true Belgian fashion, it smells lightly spiced. There's some dark fruit aromas at the secondary level. This is a complex and nice smelling beer. But, it seems like the malts tend to push everything else around.

Taste: The flavor is much even keel and well done. Chocolate and roasted malts are very flavorful and well balanced. Neither seems to win the tug of war, but it is worth noting that the chocolate malts strongly resemble milk chocolate (rather than dark). It features a light spicy flavor. Other than clove, the spices are unidentifiable, but really liven up the flavor. There's some light dark fruit flavors (mostly raisin and plum). Surprisingly, no alcohol is noted. It finishes sweet and slightly sour. Indeed, this is a very complex and flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and has a pretty nice feel. Perhaps it's a tad too light. Carbonation is active, but it remains nice and smooth. Drinkability is very high. This is really an easy drinking beer, especially taking the 8.5% abv into account. It goes down way too easy for that stature.

Troubadour Obscura's a very impressive beer. I didn't quite know what to expect from this one. Color me very surprised and impressed. It's packed full of flavor and is very complex. Yet, it's an approachable and very drinkable beer. I think it could stand a little more body and a little work on the nose. But, it's a very good beer nonetheless. Definitely one to check out.

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Photo of craytonic
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Thirsty Monk in Asheville, NC

Beautiful dark mahogany pour, nice head, good lacing.

Nose of dark fruit, brown sugar, roasted malts, and spice

Taste: Dark fruit (raisins, figs, prunes), brown sugar, molasses, roasted malts, cranberries, spice, a little port/sherry

Mouthfeel: Not a perfect Belgian, but still very good and enjoyable.

Highly drinkable, very enjoyable.

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Photo of guntherhophead
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark amber-brown w/light-beigehead. Some tracing, respectable retention.
S-Sweet malt, dough, raisins, light cocoa, molasses, very faint spice.
T-Sweet malt, raisin, chocolate malt (erring in favor of the malt), light hops in the finish that cleanse.
M-Medium body w/velvety mouthfeel and w/perfect amount of restrained carbonation.
D-This is not a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It lacks the spice character, and even the bottle says "mild stout." Also, the abv is incorrect (8.2% on bottle). The alcohol is somewhat can tell it's strong, but it goes down very smoothly.

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Photo of peabody
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out really dark and coffeelike with three fingers of tan small bubbles. Really a good looking pour in my Stone Tulip glass.
Smell is very fruity with fig and raisin aromas mixed with a malty caramel that smells really sweet. As it warms I get the coffee smell but is is very subtle but nice. Some alcohol is present here but not a lot.
Taste is caramelly sweet with a slight hint of plum and raisin. Not much coffee to be tasted here but you can get that in the bitter aftertaste. Very well balanced brew here. Nice.
Mouthfeel is very clean with just a tad of oily residue making you want another sip.
Just a bit too sweet for a session brew but still a great beer from Belgium.

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Photo of erikm25
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
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 bunnyhustle
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice. Nice thick off-white head, rich mahogany in color and good retention and lacing...a very nice looking beer. Smell complex with notes of sweet milk chocolate, some alcohol, caramel, and dark fruits. As it warmed it almost took on a red wine like smell. Taste was good but a little too boozy for me. Some chocolate, dark fruits (cherries or grapes it seemed like), a bit of coffee and a little too much alcohol. I also notice a slight metallic taste to it. The mouthfeel was thick and smooth, very warming as it goes down. Overall a great beer. I dont know if the metallic taste was just a bad bottle or not, but even with that, it proved to be a solid Belgian.

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Photo of Brad007
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish-black color with a two-finger head that fades down, leaving some decent lacing in the glass.

Aroma is rich with hints of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit. There's also an underlying creaminess present. Definitely smells like a stout.

Taste starts out smooth upfront with chocolate, dark fruit and coffee showing up in front. As the beer hits the back of the tongue, creaminess takes over.

Mouthfeel is just that: creaminess with some trace of bitterness from the coffee-like flavors. Carbonation is a bit too high. Alcohol is well-hidden.

Drinkability is solid here. I believe after some aging, this will develop more of a stout character. Similar to Allagash Black but with more polish. The carbonation isn't desirable to me but otherwise, it's a nice Belgian take on a stout.

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Photo of jeffmonarch
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle in a snifter glass.

A - Dark brown with a thin light tan head.

S - Really sweet with a liquor smell. Smells strong.

T - Very sweet and very mild as the name suggests.

M - Medium to full bodied with good carbonation.

D - This is good for a mild stout. I love stouts, they are my favorite style but I am not a fan of this mild style stout.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Ebenezer's.

Presented in a maudite goblet. Dark but not opaque black with a huge, pillowy tan head. Left wonderful lacing.

Slight aromas of alcohol, some chocolate, roasted malts and finally some yeasty aromas.

Tastes range as the beer warms. Starts off nicely enough with some light toasted malty flavor and then goes into some light alcohol finish. I also get the belgian kick with a earthy yeasty taste.

Another fun belgian stout. Pretty thin mouthfeel. I really like the drinkablilty of these beers despite the higher abv. They hide them fairly well and this one was very refreshing. I think I drank it in about minutes!

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Photo of ballewblake
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at New Beer in NYC. Poured from bottle dated good til 9/09, into chalice.

A dark ruby red with a one finger off white head on a semi aggressive pour. Smell is belgian yeasts, sweet, tangy, some sweet rich malts in the back. Taste is a little smokey on the back, sweet malts up front. Low carbonation, slick on the tongue, a pretty easy drink.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
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 +13.1%
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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Photo of dsa7783
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single, slender, 11.2 oz bottle purchased from State Line Liquors in Maryland...
Pours a murky, deep, dark, brown hue with a modest foamy and frothy head that quickly receded and left a small amount of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Malt-laden aroma replete with dark, candied sugars, yeast, caramel, a hint of vanilla, and prunes...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma, rendolent of figs, dates, currants, raisins, prunes, and semi-sweet chocolate...
Creamy, rich, thick mouthfeel with a good level of drinkability to match for such a strong and flavorful brew...
Worth a shot...

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Photo of bbothen
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - pours a pretty dark brown with a two finer light brown head. Tiny bubbles in this head.

S- Sweet fruit, chocolate, roasted aramos. All somewhat faint.

T - Slight roasted coffee up front with big fruit sweetness. Raisins. Interesting. I definately taste that belgian yeast in there as well.

M - Smooth & creamy. Very nice.

D - It's goes down fine. Just don't know if my palate could take more than one in a sitting. Hey, I'm gonna try!

This tastes much better as it warms up IMO. The recommended temp is 50*, which seems about right.

The more I try this style, the more I like it's uniqueness.

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Troubadour Obscura from Brouwerij De Musketiers
Beer rating: 74% out of 100 with 423 ratings
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