Troubadour Obscura | Brouwerij De Musketiers

very good
231 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 231 | Ratings: 418
Photo of Mako82
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a snifter glass

A - Dark nutmeg color in appearance, too dark to tell if it was cloudy. Poured a high fizzy head, which dissipated quickly. Did leave a nice ring.
S - First smell is of yeast/bread, followed by spice and a hint of chocolate. Slight hint of alcohol in the background.
T - First thing I noticed was it was bitter from start to finish, but not overpowering. Pick tastes of roasted malts and subtle chocolate. Spice isn't as apparent as what I smelled initially.
M - Medium carbonation, kind of tingly on the back of my throat
O - Overall I think it's a better than average beer, but probably will not grab my attention again...but I can be easily persuaded.

 696 characters

Photo of MikeyMikee
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at Fridge temp from a 11.2oz bottle.

A- Really elegant, burnt mohagany color with a light brown head. Good retention and good lacing as I keep swirling and drinking.

S- Very rich roastiness right away with dark fruits integrated nicely into the aroma.

T- Sweet chocolate, even some dark chocolate and some darker fruits like dates and/or plums. theres also a bit of spice form the yeast I guess. It really is a very well balanced beer, hitting all the bases: sweet, roasty, slightly bitter and the alcohol is not even apparent.

M- Very full bodied and creamy with carbonation a bit on the high side but it works very well with the beer. It's a bit dry on the end which is probably from the alcohol (8.2%) and it works really well with the beer. Other than that there is barely any sign of this beer having a high ABV which is probably quite dangerous if you dont know what your drinking.

O- Really great beer. I dont drink belgians too often but this really is an awesome beer to relax with on any evening, any time of year.

 1,036 characters

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.

 731 characters

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

Pours a very muddy brown. Head is lightly tan, but massive and rocky. Leaves tons of spongy lace.

Aroma is pleasant chocolate and roasted malt. Carried mostly the same into the taste. A hair more bittersweet, with just a touch of heat in the throat from the alcohol.

Creamy texture, but not full bodied. Pleasant though.

Drinkability is good, alcohol is not very noticeable. Interesting and tasty beer.

 407 characters

Photo of Brabander
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, brewery the Musketiers sure know how to brew beer! I have had other beer from them which was quit good but this one is very special.

Poured in my Struise glass. Best before april 2014. Just in time...

Very darkred/brown fluid (almost like red wine) with a enourmous head which very slowly disappears. No cabonation but the rest is so lovely that i give it this high rating, well deserved.

Smell is outstandingly nice, I can not describe the smell but it is pleasant. Light cocolate and coffeenotes. Alcohol is well hidden....

 533 characters

Photo of boudreaux
3.41/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep brown color with some ruby red notes; nice thick tan head, about 2.5 fingers thick

S: strong roasted malt aroma, dark chocolate, coffee, and some spice notes

T: robust roasty malt, coffee, spice, and dark chocolate; very unlike a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but not bad

M: good carbonation, sweet and bitter dry balance; sweet, malty finish

O: not a bad beer. However, more like a Porter or Stout than a Belgian Strong Dark Ale

 444 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 7/21/11. Date on bottle of 9/12/11. Poured in to Duvel tulip glass.

A - Dark amber/medium brown colour with one finger of espresso coloured head.

S - Caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit, toffee. Some bitterness and some alcohol are evident.

T - Sweet overall taste with caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruit and chocolate. A bitterness is evident as well, which cuts through the sweetness a little bit and lingers in the finish. Tastes like a cross between a stout and a dark Belgian ale.

M - Medium body with a good chew. Light to moderate carbonation.

 572 characters

Photo of Jules11788
3.07/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a cloudy, murky, dark brown color like tootsie rolls, slight reddish hue as the light hits it; two finger-width head, medium lacing. This is a pretty ugly beer.

S: Very strong malt smell with hints of toffee and a little tiny bit of dark fruits; some earthy notes with a little yeasty characteristic; overall though the malt pretty much overpowers much of the other aromas.

T: Sweet chalky malt up front; subtle (and boy do i mean SUBTLE) but very nice flavors of chocolate and roasted coffee round out the back end, with a nice roasty bitterness that lingers on the back of the tongue. Again, the malt overpowers much of the other flavors as they try to break through. The coffee and chocolate notes are very tasty, but so light that they barely register on the tongue after it's been assaulted by the initial malt bomb.

M: Medium-light body; very smooth with slight carbonation; dry finish that allows the flavors to open up along the middle of the palate -- this helps bring forth the chocolate and coffee notes near the end, but it's just not enough to push through the malt. Also, this has absolutely NO boozy hint at all. For 8.2% it covers up the alcohol exceptionally well.

O: This was a very underwhelming brew. It had some interesting characteristics, but overall it was just too dry and lightly flavored, and the yeasty malt is so overpowering that it covers up the delicious chocolate and coffee notes that reside just below the surface. It has the potential for greatness, but gets muddled down by an unbalanced flavor. For $5 a bottle (33cl), I don't think I'll ever be getting this again.

 1,617 characters

Photo of socon67
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, on tap at The Good Life - Massapequa NY
A - Pours dark brown with a reddish hue. Some lacing in the glass, and a quickly disspating brown foam.

S - Complex scents of fudge, brown sugar, caramel, and roasty malt. Very nice!

T - Taste is subdued with flavors of chocolate, toffee, and caramel. This is a sweet beer that has a stout like taste.

M - Tastes heavy, and is a sipper. Hits pretty hard, but is not harsh on the palate or tongue.

O - Very glad to have tried this one. Would easily recommend this to a stout drinker. Probably the most layered belgian dark I can recall.

 601 characters

Photo of DaveBlack
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown, burnt orange color with a huge 4 finger head with long retention and a ton of lacing.

S: Smells of roasted malts, caramel, brunt sugar, and yeast. Really a good smell, not much like a stout, but good.

T: Hit of the yeast, peppery with allspice and caramel. The taste of alcohol covers everything, adding a nice warming sensation. Taste is somewhere between a brown ale and a Belgian-style.

M: Lots of carbonation, thick and sticky. Matches the flavor well.

O: A good beer. Not great, but definitely worth drinking. I don't really know what is considered a "mild stout" but this didn't seem anything like a stout to me. It was drinkable, though, and the flavor complemented rather than hid the alcohol. Interesting beer.

 734 characters

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.

 1,044 characters

Photo of GeezLynn
2.11/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance was none too impressive as well as indicative of things to come. Body was a dirty dark brown shade with a billowing off-white head. The smell was an unpleasant combination of green apples, candi sugar, and Belgian yeast along with musty and plastic characters. Flavor was even more off-putting that the aroma. A mixture of apple juice and cheap day-old coffee was what it most reminded me of. While very fruity, it was at the same time bitter and ashy. The mouthfeel was on par with the rest of this beer…..just poor. Thin and way over-carbonated for an overall prickly feel. Terrible.

Wow. Double checking to make sure I have the right beer here. This was supposedly purchased at Four Firkins and I doubt improper conditions are to blame for this violation of my senses. Not a good experience for me. In fact, worst beer of 2011.

 844 characters

Photo of phishgator
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Golden Draak tulip glass. Nice dark amber/brownish color with a slightly tan head. The carbonation is high. The lacing is there, but not a good sticky mess with some other belgian darks. Notes of candi sugar, roasted figs, whole wheat toast are in the aroma. The flavor is roasted vanilla beans with a bit of pepperiness. The taste is close to Golden Draak, but with with a roasted compound. The body is a little thin for the style. I will have to revisit this one again and get another take.

 506 characters

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

Nice sugary and roasted take on a Belgium stout.

Presentation: 33 cl brown capped bottle. Old fashion label trying to have an aged look with cream and burgundy colors, dated typography with the name of the brew and Troubador emblem. Small back narrative with a brief description and serving suggestion. Notes best by date on the bottlecap (16/03/13), and 8.2% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Clear deep amber to brown pour with an ecru frothy and towering head. Tremendous retention, almost hindering serving the whole brew, rich traces of lacing, and good surface memory.

S - Sweet nose, sugary, fresh, very fruity, lactic dash over more sugar and a dark fruity advance, dry prunes, figs...

T - Hmmm, here one can see where the play with the stout notion comes up. Plenty of roasted malt notes, sweet... coated in that sugary and fruity sense. Coffee notes, a touch of chocolate even, linger around the Belgian yeast in the palate.

M - Medium/full body, moderate carbonation riding rather nicely with a smooth flow that leads to a nice bitter/sweet finish.

O - It has a nice flow, the hefty sugar towards the end may tire the palate a bit but other than that it is quite stimulating as a BSDA-Stout hybrid.

Notes: Not necessarily what is expected lately within the bracket of Belgium Stouts, this is a different twist, leaning more on the roasted and sweet notes. A slight disconnect seems present between nose and flavor but overall this is well worth the try and rather tasty if one does not mind the predominantly sugary experience woven with the other characteristics.

 1,590 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.5/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip.
8.2% ABV, Serving temp. 42° to 50°F, 10/02/13 on the cap.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for sharing?

A - Clear dark brown, almost black with a light tan head that quickly rose to three fingers. Good retention and thick collars of lace coat the glass.

S - Dark roasted malts add notes of dirt and dusty cocoa with a bittersweet chocolate hint. Fully metallic, the nose is pretty distracting. A swirl brings out more Belgian yeast notes of earth and dust. Not appealing in the least.

T - Roasted malt has a dry cocoa and chocolate flavor at first that's quickly washed away by a heavy metallic flavor. Light Belgian yeast hides in the background.

M - Metallic! Dusty, dry with a medium body and slightly acrid bitter finish.

O - I wouldn't want to have this one again. It's far too metallic in nature. Nuances of Belgian yeast are lost to the disgusting and off-putting metallic mouthfeel and flavor. Drain-pour.

 962 characters

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

Appearance: Pours to a nice two fingered head. The head comes out tan and creamy that lasts for a while. I recommended letting the bottle sit a little bit just in case it ends up being shaken up a little bit. The beer itself is a clear brownish red.

Smell: Spicy and fruity with a hint of roasted malt and an undertone of dark chocolate

Taste: Spicy and fruity with dark chocolate overshadowing the malts but not covering it. The stout has a slightly bitter aftertaste that doesn't last too long.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation and a very creamy feel to it.

Overall: I think this is a pretty good beer every and a while and a nice change of pace from the stouts that I usually drink. I would probably recommend this as more of a fall beer than anything else.

 760 characters

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.

 436 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
2.71/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle split and poured into to tulips.

A: Dark cinnamon brown, two fingers of light khaki head. Sticky lace left behind.

S: Dark fruits, light coffee, chocolate and a strange off putting metallic aroma that I can't figure out.

T: Full on iron mineral flavor. Once past the well water I get chocolate, coffee and good amount of bitterness. This is hard to drink.

M: Medium to light body. Modest carbonation.

O: Not sure if it's a bad bottle but this was not good.

 473 characters

Photo of Viggo
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, not sure where I got it but its been in the fridge for quite a while.

Pours a murky and opaque dark reddish brown, pretty muddy looking, loose and pillowy light tan head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, some lace spots stick.

Smell is interesting, sweet and malty, candi and brown sugars, caramel, lightly biscuity malt, raisin and dates, lightly oxidized, a touch of spice, not bad.

Taste is similar, very sweet up front, fruity and candi sugar like, caramel, very faint chocolate, a bit of biscuit and fruit through the middle, cherry and raisins, a bit of alcohol spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, age has made this super smooth. Not too bad.

 725 characters

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.

 624 characters

Photo of JMforman
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A housemate brought this home the other night.

A- Hazy dark brown. Good tan head and good retention
S- Toffee, cherry, caramel, coconut. Very nice
T- Chocolate, toffee, espresso, cherry
M- Smooth and a bit peppery. Medium to full
D- Strange for the style, but definitely tasty.

 278 characters

Photo of HiAIPA
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At the Lion's Pride, nad this in a Troubadour tulip. Pours a jet black with nice three finger head that dissapates slowly. I agree with others this is difficult to classify. Aromas of dry hopping, cocoa, biscuit and a slight funk/sour component. Tastes like a combination of a double brown, quad, and dry hopped stout. Not too boozy at 8.2%, not too sweet, short dry finish makes this very drinkable. Good.

 406 characters

Photo of Reaper16
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle -- best by 12/04/12 -- served into a tulip glass

Pours a dark chestnut color that is mostly too dark to see through. The beer obscuras light from shining through (see what I did there?). If you hold the beer underneath direct light, you can see some red in the body at the very bottom of the glass. In that sliver of red you can make out a very active column of carbonation jutting up to the top of the body. That lively bubblestream manifests itself in the form of 2.5 fingers of light khaki head. It takes about five minutes for it to dissipate down to even one finger, so you could say that Troubadour Obscura's head retention is excellent. Lacing is like a wall of meringue.

Strange aroma, and one that defies easy classification. It smells in turns like a Dubbel, a BSDA, and an export stout. Essentially, the beer smells like lots of raisins, backed up by a dusting of cocoa powder and a caramel/toffee component. Some smells the cocoa shines brightest, others the raisins, etc. Overall it's a bit like a box of Raisin Bran cereal that accidentally had some Cocoa Puffs mixed in, even though that's impossible because Raisin Bran is a Kellog's cereal and Cocoa Puffs is a General Mills cereal. I'm trying to pull more aromas than that. There's a small amount of roast that comes across like a grilled hamburger. That's about it.

Obscura is such a strange beer. It does not immediately taste like a stout, despite its labeling. It has the somewhat vinous fig & raisin dark fruits component that is indicative of Belgian Strong Dark Ales. So it makes instant sense to your palate why its style here on BeerAdvocate is BSDA. But it also has the chalky sort of hot chocolate mix meets roasted barley flavor of many foreign export stouts. It's interesting and not unpleasant by any means, but the combo is missing some depth to take to the next level.

The carbonation will not die on this beer. It remains very prickly on the tongue even after this bottle has been open for close to an hour. The level of activity doesn't benefit this beer's stout side or its BSDA side. Drinkability is likewise pretty average for the style. It isn't offensive or poor by any means. Just decently benchline drinkable.

Obscura is an interesting experiment that doesn't result in a great beer. That's OK. It was worth a shot. I don't see myself buying this again, but I can also see some people really digging this beer's unique flavor profile.

 2,449 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Over at the Pride.

Pours a reddish/brown color into a Troubadour tulip with a huge fluffy tan head, fades at a slow rate, even after fading a bit there's a good sized fluffy cap that remains on top for almost the entire time, large amounts of lacing on the glass.

Smell is primarily roasted caramel malt, light hop balance, hints of chocolate and dark fruit.

Taste is quite interesting and I agree with the server that it's like an amber ale was blended with a stout, it has medium carbonation but on the high side for a straight stout but this is a more unique representation, roasted caramel malt with a slight chocolate aftertaste, strength is well hidden and is highly drinkable.

 686 characters

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

I had this beer on-tap yesterday.

The beer poured a dark brown/mahogany color. The aroma was rich of maltiness, coffee, with a bit of chocolate.

Medium carbonation, full of flavor.

Great beer, but could not drink more than one in a session.


 252 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.