Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn StoutMadrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #2,032
Ranked #11,922
3.91 | pDev: 15.86%
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn StoutMadrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout
Reviews: 390 | Ratings: 1,042 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MaxSpang:
Photo of MaxSpang
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Blend 2. Bottled 1-5-11, enjoyed 11-1-11. Served in a snifter.


This is an imperial stout, and it looks like it - very dark black with almost no light coming through. Pretty viscus, but not syrupy. The head was about 2 fingers, and was a latte color. The bubbles were very small, probably due to the bottle conditioning.


It's definitely a Jolly Pumpkin ale - this has a nice bit of sour vinegar-like aroma at first sniff. After a few more sniffs, the stout quality comes out. There's some nice roasted notes, and a bit of coffee and even some sweet milk chocolate. All of these are behind the sour smell, so it's a little hard to find them - but they are there. There's a little breadiness in there as well, as well as some raisin and dark fruits. There's a little spice aroma that reminds me of Belgian yeast character. The alcohol is slight, and the oak comes through towards the end. Interesting smell - but tasty!


Not nearly as weird as I was expecting. That being said, there's a definite sourness and a definite stout flavor. First, the sourness: this is what you first taste when sipping this beer. It's not as sharp or acidic as other Jolly Pumpkin beers, and is actually quite smooth in the beer as a whole... Which is a BIG surprise! After a few more sips, the sourness is more of an afterthought rather than taking over the tongue. It's sort of a slight vinegar sourness - it's the house Brett strain. Now we are at the stout flavor: there's a good amount of roasted character in here. There's some nice bready flavors, as well as a bit of bitter chocolate. It actually has a normal stout taste - which is, again, unexpected.


This beer is pretty smooth. The body is medium-high, and has a crisp and dry finish. I would have expected the funky crotters to munch away all the sugar, but there's a good bit of sweetness left in this beer. Compared to other Imperial Stouts, though, it's fairly dry.


On one hand, it's a weird beer. On the other hand, it's a really balanced and well-made beer. Jolly Pumpkin knows how to put funk in beers that don't normally get wild, but it pays off in beers like this. Whether it's the breathtaking artwork on the bottle, or the crazy but delicious beer inside, this is a solid brew that I will be picking up again for sure.


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More User Reviews:
Photo of Gryphon69
1.5/5  rDev -61.6%

A- Black with a dark brown head, spewed everywhere upon opening

S- Sweet fruits

T- Sour, tart watery, lots of carbonation

M- Watery and fizzy

O- Not a stout at all, nothing about it is a stout except maybe the color. It is a dark sour, terrible lableling and garbage for a stout

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Photo of thelagerheads
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is where other beers come to be decimated and pronounced simpleton swills of bulging Amerigo. In fact this is the war of the worlds brew that comes out of the ground and goes GEEE GLEEENNNNK and then starts zapping people and turns them to quivering dust piles. I saw a man carrying a case of Bud Light walking in 95 degree heat as I was driving towards the Jolly Pumpkin headquarters today and I cursed his existence and made inside my brain those exact same GLLLEEEKEKKEKE sounds and he was gone from the face of the planet beer. I pulled in and mooched three samples with this being the last and bought three bottles with this being the first tasted. What you have here is a copper bodice and the queen is being fed chinked off pieces of the Sphinx and grape wine and the blood of three virgins. Her hair is flaming and her mouth is cursed with the comprachico's everpresent and everlasting grin-smirk-smile. You have a porter with God's little magic wand in it making a mushroom cloud of exploding suds that implodes from the center down in a burst of purple froth. You have to harness this head because it whips around and screams and threatens to put your life in the dustbowl if you don't dive right in and be overcome by excellence.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 2/13/2013. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tart cherry, green apple, lemon, raisin, plum, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark bread, licorice, light char, hay, straw, grass, oak, musty funk, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/funky yeast, dark/roasted malt, and oak barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of tart cherry, green apple, lemon, raisin, plum, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, dark bread, licorice, light char, hay, straw, grass, oak, musty funk, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roasted bitterness and light tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, green apple, lemon, raisin, plum, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, light char, dark bread, licorice, hay, grass, oak, funk, and yeast/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and robustness of fruity/funky yeast, dark/roasted malt, and oak barrel flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly acidic/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome Belgian sour stout. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/funky yeast, dark/roasted malt, and oak barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of rallison
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark black with a 1 finger tan head that leaves just a bit of lacing.

S: Smells of tart cherries, wild yeast and a touch of roastiness.

T: Unique. That is for sure. Refreshing sour cherry tartness upfront (but not as tart as the Duchesse, for example), with a pleasant stout flavor behind. Everything is nicely mellowed from the aging, and the cherry is actually less pronounced than I expected given the reviews. Sweeter coffee flavors are also in the background. Props to Jolly Pumpkin for a truly unique flavor profile.

M: Nice mouthfeel. Medium body with an ever so slight tingle of carbonation. Nice.

D: To me, this is a pretty drinkable beer considering the wild yeast characteristics. Everything is mellowed enough to make it pretty drinkable.

Overall, recommended. This is a well crafted beer - it's not for everyone, but everyone should at least give it a try.

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Photo of hickmancase
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of JustinMatthew
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of jkd03c
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a pleasantly surprising black that when held to the light reveals a little bit of port around the edges of my champaign flute. The head is a light tan that leaves a nice lacing.

There's a big fruity hit of bret that's all cranberry and cherry. There may be a touch of vanilla here, but it's hard to detect.

Coming from the presuppositions of the smells, the flavor rings true with a heap of sour bret fruitiness. Just when I thought I had the taste tied exclusively to the smell, the flavor transitions into a charcoal brown caramel and cocoa. This transition is legendary and remarkably balanced between the coal and sour. Sadly, this leaves the mouth tragically dry and a bit numb.

Feels light and crisp with only the slightest bit of viscosity to reminding me of the sweeter elements present.

A novel and well recieved experiment for sure. A delight to sip and explore, but after a few glasses, it's novelty wears off.

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Photo of dionito
1.51/5  rDev -61.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Looks ok, black, what else do you expect a stout to look like, right. Barely any head, ok overall.

Smell is sour with a hint of roast. More than sour, acidic. Not nice, no way I was expecting this. Did not like it at all.

Taste is plain awful. I like sour beers, but this is more acetic than lactic. Vinegar. That's good for salad dressing, not for beer. And if you add the roast to the mix... What kind of joke is this? Not a good one.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Where's the creaminess of an imperial stout? Is this infected or was done like this on purpose?

Overall an awful beer. I'm glad I paid $2 for a taste rather than $14 (YES, $14) for a 12oz pour. Bad beer, bad price, great disappointment. Why had I ever heard anything good about this beer? I do not get it. Will not try again.


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Photo of ortie
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of Kmat10
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of AndoBrew
2.78/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

*did not like would not buy*

app: dark as night, nice head, and enough lace to name it lacey..

smell: smells like a thin water filled but yummy stout. roasted malts, no soy or asian sweets.

taste: a sour stout. odd, so sour, coulda been a really good stout!, but the sour! I dunno! the stout side is rich and nice, the sour side is lacking in balance and depth. it would work if the two fit together better.

mf: to spritzy, i dont like it.

drinkable?: kinda, it is stout and sour, so not very, but.. whatever.. so odd.

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Photo of twowheelssoar
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Stinger80OH
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ali1987
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of krome
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Rekrule
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mquartuccio87
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of harpus
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of EROCK75
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Smurf2055
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of MLaVioletteJr
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Westsidethreat
2.51/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a thin looking uber dark brown beer. The head that billows out of the glass is tremendous..inches tall of thick and creamy dark tan bubbles.

S: Ha, I can smell brett. These crazy guys! Brett in a stout, whats next. Also some day old coffee, tootsie roll, grape juice and scratch and sniff chocolate.

T: Starts off tart and sour, much like cola and young grape juice. I’ve sampled many an infected beer that tasted like this, but this time they did it on purpose. Some cherries aspects come through with pronounced coffee grounds roastedness. But god that sourness is really aggressive and I’m having a hard time getting accustomed to it. I can’t do any more.

M: Full and creamy.

D: I love stouts. I love sour beers. This beer didn’t work. I’m not closing my mind to sour stouts from this point forward but this one needs to go back to the drawing boards. JP is one of my favorite breweries so it pains me to write this.

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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 1042 ratings