Obscurite | Ithaca Beer Company

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Very Good
115 Ratings

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A complex black stout brewed with Belgian candy sugar. Delicate chocolate aromatics cascade into coffee, dark fruit and vanilla flavors.

Added by MLaVioletteJr on 02-17-2014

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 115 |  Reviews: 28
Reviews by KTCamm:
Photo of KTCamm
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Morris Tap and Grill as part of Ithaca top takeover. Late spring 2014.

Pours dark black, light tan ring of foaming. Coffee/espresso nose. Lighter roaster coffee bitter taste.Sugary too and hints of vanilla bean. Carbonation is on the lighter side. Has a good taste, but not remarkable.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #88 (May 2014):

Inviting yet slightly brash at the same time, massive with a deep maltiness to boot. No matter how pleasing the sweetness starts off with every sip things get serious. Firm roasted character with a big warming alcohol tell the real story. Ends up being a lot more fun to sip than anticipated.

STYLE: Belgian Stout | ABV: 10.1% | AVAILABILITY: Rotating

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Photo of utopiajane
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours the darkest brown/black and with a bit of thickness to it. Sports a fat creamy head of chocolate colored foam that lasts and lasts. Leaves alcohol legs and a wet lace as you drink. Nose is a touch of hop floral and a bit of candi sugar. Then a roast that is bold but also has a softness, dry woody yeast and a bit of vanilla. A smooth chocolate over top of that and a brief whiff of black licorice. No dark fruits in the nose except for a berry type sweetness. No alcohol either.

The taste is like a wonderful contradiction between textures and flavors. The malt is soft, smooth and silken. Weak coffee. The carbonation is ample but does not bite . The roast is dry and bold as brass even a touch bitter. Then there is a bit of wood, and a bit of vanilla. The chocolate is bittersweet and just when you thought you would have to give up on any dark fruits there is some ripe cherry. Candi sugar is not too sweet. This finishes dry and with a dramatic bit of smoke and char, plus a touch of bitter form hops which seemed to have disappeared until now. Only a bit of warmth from the alcohol as you drink and the lingering bitterness of the roast in the final moments.

Ithaca tried this bit of smoke character in their beer double zilla and I loved it . I like it very much in this beer too. This is a stout but gentle in the mouthfeel. Expansive malt brings bold and roast flavors to a softer more delicate palate. It is not unctuous or too complex. Simple straightforward and belgian in it's bearing. Drinks very well and well done!

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Photo of MadScientist
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Billolick
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, with best before notching area on the side of the label.

Pours darn near black, very dark tan head, leaves a thick collar and larger spots of lacing.

Dark grains and black coffee on the nose.

Flavorful stout, with more coffee, as well as dark chocolate, light smoke/wood, dark grains and some alcohol in the rear and in the finish.

Enjoyable, heady sipper.

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Photo of lostandwandering
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of butters_mcgee
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Box of Belgians landed on my doorstep thanks to a six pack sampler from good pal wvsabbath, this brew is a tribute to Troubadour Obscura , Obscurite'. Belgian style stout, looks great in the glass, pitch black when held toward the light, nice tan mocha head forms fine Belgian style lacing. Aroma hints of cocoa, milk chocolate, herbal hops, bitter yeast notes. First sip is a nice experience dark fruit plums, raisin in the finish, upfront dark roasted malts provide hints of acidic coffee and raw cacao dark chocolate notes. Alcohol is evident and marries with the dark malt profile leaving only a bit of burn on the back end of the palate, I feel this rough ethanol flavor would fade with a bit of age, still a young Box of Belgians just released from Ithaca. I'm pretty well versed with Belgian ales due to my long standing relationship with the Sharp Edge. Great overall finish I really enjoyed this Belgian style stout, very tasty full flavored even with the rough edges I understand where they were going with this one.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of benalbert
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of CloudStrife
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 01/22/14.

A: Pours a very dark brown appearing black in the glass with a thin khaki head on top. Fairly quick to dissipate, it leaves a few spots of lacing.

S: Certainly got a Belgian kick to this stout. A dose of licorice, candied sugar, smokiness, roasted malts and a touch of alcohol. All are fairly strong making you realize this is going to be a serious brew.

T: As with the aroma, this is one intense brew. Initial sweetness hits your tongue with a mix of licorice and heavily roasted malts. Then a mix of Belgian flavors works its way into the mix giving you that classic yeast flavor. Aftertaste finishes with a lingering malt and Belgian yeast.

M: Medium to full body with a pretty sticky mouthfeel. Pretty hot brew alcohol wise, certainly a sipper.

Overall a little intense now and not something I'm really into. Has the potential with the roastiness and Belgian qualities but the sweetness and hotness is a bit too much for me.

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Photo of informaticsDoc
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of whatname
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of tenacioustomato
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of mikefuski17
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of Gmann
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a short dense brown head that settles into a light cap.

The aroma is of roasted malt with caramel sweetness. Carob and a subtle raisin note. Kind of faint.

Much bolder in the flavor department. Big roasted malt flavor, RIS territory. Strong anise and carob notes. Scorched caramel. Candi sugar and what taste like milk sugars provide sweetness. Some subtle phenols from what I assume is a Belgian yeast strain. A bit medicinal. Some dark fruit notes round out the flavor profile.

Moderate feel with fizzy carbonation. Doesn't really have a stout type of feel. Sweet and roasty bitter on the palate. Good balance, almost clean but does have a lingering roasty bitterness in the finish.

A very nice Belgian inspired stout. I would say it is mostly stout and not a BSDA. Great roast flavor.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Bakers chocolate coloring with a saddle brown tinted head of 1.5 inch magnitude. Great retention . lending to a thin, skimmy milky covering. Lace coverage behind measures in the 50% coverage of the vessel.

S: The nose is of freshly grounded coffee beans, oily, roasty fresh, with vanilla, dry chocolate hints on the trial end. Moderate in strength it smells like a dry milk stout aroma wise.

T: The flavor is dry milk chocolate, with some creamer. Yeasty notes of banana are fresh with some pancake batter, and bittering chocolate. Fresh dough with a dry barnyard fade closes things out.

M: dry and bittering, creamy, light to medium bodied with a lingering chalky aftertaste.

O: Overall pretty good yeast factor, dry chocoalte creamy and bittering, consumed at the higher end of the drinking spectrum.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +2%

12 ounce bottle, best before May stamped on the label. What year, I 'm not exactly sure because the stamping on the bottle is smudged so I can't tell when this was bottled. I'm guessing 2013 since that's when the label is dated. Served in a Great Lakes Brewing chalice, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Both the head retention and lacing are good. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted and burnt/charred malt, chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some dark fruit and a bit of anise noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and syrupy with low/moderate carbonation. I liked this brew, but I thought it was more regular stout than Belgian-stout like. With that being said, I think it's worth trying since it's still good and tasty.

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Photo of spokeydonkey
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a dark brown/black with a dark tan head that sticks around for a while. Minimal lacing on the glass despite the robust head.

Smell is of roast with minimal Belgian ester notes and no discernable hops. Smells like a rich stout.

Taste is balanced heavily towards roast barley. Slight sweetness up front gets elbowed out of the way by bitter, smoky notes. A bit harsh, like overextracted espresso. I'm not getting much character of the belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel is on the light-medium side for body with a bit of astringency at the end that comes in with the roast notes.

Overall I wouldn't seek, this out. It's out of balance for my palette towards the roast side.

I've tried all the varieties in the box of hops and the IPAs are the clear winners here. The tripel is decent, but not as complex as other tripels out there and this one's the weakest of the bunch.

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Photo of Goldndomer
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AndrewBV
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Mineo
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of logicalparadox
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Single bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY, along with the other entries in this Box of Belgians mix pack from Ithaca.

Pours a deep, dark black. Great look to this one, no light penetrate through, looks thick and meaty. About a one inch head or so, ok lacing down the glass.

Smells like burnt sugar, chocolate, and roastiness.

Interesting tastes. Chocolate, slight oak, roasted/burnt malts, slightly sour twang, tobacco, leather, and a weird sugary flavor that I can only describe as sour rock candy. Never had the flavor before in a beer, and it's interesting. Not sure I completely like it.

Full bodied mouthfeel, strong carbonation that gives the stout a bit of a bite.

A good Belgian stout, with some unexpected flavors.

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Obscurite from Ithaca Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 115 ratings