Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn StoutMadrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Shovelbum on 02-12-2006

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Reviews: 380 | Ratings: 1,013
Photo of AdamMac
1.12/5  rDev -70.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Q: Can a good beer go bad in the bottle while waiting for a good home?

I am so sorry to rate like this, but this Stout had all the markings and ambiance I was looking for, but is the only beer in my known history that I leapt from the table to wash my mouth out upon first taste. Please, someone tell me the whole lot is not this way.

But just in case... This beer poured black as a cold night, just what I like! But didn't head very much. And what little head (foam) appeared was brownish and collected around the rim. The smell was acidic, sour, and had a full body underneath, but was overpowering in the sour. Upon first taste, it was not a swell of flavors, rather a sharp and staunch attack on the taste buds. I tried to stomach through, but could not withstand. I did, literally, jump up and run for the sink.

I double-checked afterward, and had the same reaction. I asked for a second opinion, and my wife, too, thought there was something wrong.

If anyone believes a beer could go bad, like it sat on the ocean floor for 100yrs after a shipwreck, just got brought to the surface and we're tasting for posterity sake, please let me know. I hate to give a bad rating if something was wrong with the juice. But if this is the way it's supposed to taste, believe me, it's not for the weak at heart.

I was really looking forward to a stout with my T-bone. :-(

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
1.27/5  rDev -66.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Looked to be ok, smell, ah....taste....yuck! Disgusting is a gift for how this beer tastes. Truly undrinkable.... I took three drinks, tried hard to like each drink....cringed each sip and unfortunately, yet thankfully, poured this bottle of shit down the drain. The drain even puckered as it reluctantly accepted the shitty contents of this bottle.

Appearance, not bad....looked ok
Smell, a bit off, but wanted to try this beer
Taste, yeah this is where everything went to shit...sour nasty filtered through a dirty pair of underwear taste...repulsive
Mouthfeel...the taste just made it downright tough to swallow this crap
Overall, disgusting

The really unfortunate thing...I traded some good beer for this crap! Yuck!

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Photo of Buebie
1.41/5  rDev -63%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

2008 Bottle, Batch 266.

Popped the cap and beer gushed like Mt. St. Helen's. Made a nice sticky mess all over the floor. Placed the bottle in the sink and it proceeded to spew beer all down the drain. Poured softly into an oversized snifter producing 3+ inches of dark brown froth. This has the appearance of infection.
Black in color, no light penetration, slick thin legs of lace.

Aroma of wet cardboard, sour funk, fermented cherries and boozy heat. As well as roasted grain and dark bitter chocolate and a little chemical cleaning solution. be completely honest this tastes like shit. I haven't eaten shit, but this is what I imagine shit tastes like. Dark burnt grains, burnt coffee, dads burnt food he forgot on the grill. This leaves a horrible aftertaste. Fermented cherries, just an awful mess.
Mouthfeel is thin and extremely over carbonated.

Horrid beer.

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Photo of CoalCellar
1.46/5  rDev -61.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured from a 1.5 year old bottle into my troegs glass...

A: Standard black, builds a thick, unrelenting, microbe fueled chocolate head. Wayyyy too much head for a stout.

S: Sour...microbe...jolly pumpkin funk. No roasted/alcohol smells to be found. Funk is good in certain styles, not what I want to smell when I open a stout.

T: Terrible. This was officially my first drain pour...ever. Lots of jolly pumpkin style funkiness, a flat bitter finish. This was the biggest letdown I've ever had. Perhaps sour stouts just aren't for me. Sour funk isn't what I look for in a stout, and I think the microbes worked on this one a tad too long.

M: Thin and watery.

D: Again, was a drain pour. Not too drinkeable. IMHO the worst offering from Jolly Pumpkin I've had.

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Photo of Gryphon69
1.5/5  rDev -60.6%

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 dionito
1.51/5  rDev -60.4%
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 vidisad
1.56/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The back of the bottle reads "Blend 2, 2010.

I got this beer as a birthday present from a very good friend.
I appreciate his effort to give me a beer I never had before but I will most likely never drink this beer again.

This beer has a very sour scent, it smells almost rancid. It's very tart. I don't see why they categorized this beer as a stout. It only looks like a stout.
I don't taste almost any malt in it. This beer has a very vine-like character. The taste is extremely sour.
This beer is very hard to drink.

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Photo of maximum12
1.6/5  rDev -58%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

750 ML bottle & let's get right to it.

Pours dead black, plenty of carbonation that races right up to the edge of the glass. Smell is pretty nice, chocolate, roast, but a bit on the light side. That's OK.

Madrugada Obscura should be bloody fucking sued for false advertising. This is either god-awfully infected or brutally intentional & not noted on the label. Straight-up vinegar, with a backdrop of sour puss. Three sips. Done.

Fucking offal. If this was intended, shame on Jolly Pumpkin. If it's not, shame on Jolly Pumpkin. This blows. Drain pour.

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Photo of Verecund
1.72/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Blend 4 (Jan. 2011). Opened on November 11, 2011.

Huge gusher here. Poured as quickly as I could into my glass - managed to get 3-4 ounces in before the head brimmed over the lip. I poured more into a second glass. And guess what? The beer still managed to slow gush out of the bottle, even as only 4-6 ounces remained in it.

The beer itself has a massive lightly-tanned head. Dark, dark purple.

Oak, leather, licorice, and sour cherries on the nose. A tiny bit of chocolate, but this one has a fairly "spoiled" lactic acid plus funk nose.

Immediately tart, with some sweet and tart cherry. A good bit of roasted, bitter malts hit the mid-palate. Not a pleasant transition on the palate - to boot, I don't even like the opening note - with a woody/oaky finish. Some lactic acidity; lots of vinegar/acetic acid. Weird, spoiled fruit with the bitter and sweet chocolate just doesn't work.

Medium full with high carbonation.

I normally like JP, and I knew the style coming in, but this just doesn't do it for me: overcarbonated, too bitter, major sour milk component, disjointed. I drainpoured what the drain hadn't already claimed. I'm guessing this is better "fresh."

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Photo of BDTyre
1.78/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Blend3, 2010 on the back of the bottle.

So far not impressed with this beer. I opened the cap slightly to release the pressure and after a few seconds it started oozing out the opening. Not beer - just head. I finally got the cap off after draining some of the foam and it just oozed out like soft serve ice cream. After pouring a bit off and getting a glass full of foam, the bottle kept oozing.

Extremely sour scent - it smells almost rancid. There is nothing stout, Belgian, nor any combination of the two in this. Very tart and unpleasant.

The taste is similar, though I do detect some presence of roasted malt, black coffee and even chocolate. Not as bad, bit still very sour. If most imperial/double stouts display a wine-like character, this would be vinegar.

Mouthfeel is decent in terms of carbonation, but this is very thin and not at all stout-like.

Very hard to drink. A struggle. Bad bottle, bad batch? Even after letting it breathe and warm there is negligible improvement. Definitely not worth repeating.

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Photo of Gassygunslinger
1.84/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Note here that I can understand that people enjoy their sours. I cannot attest to being an expert on all styles, or even enjoy all styles enough to judge their worth effectively...

That being said, if you call a beer a Russian Imperial Stout that is "Brimming of roasted malts and bitter hops)", and it turns out it's actually a sour ale (with NO heads-up whatsoever on the bottle giving you a hint that this is actually a sour), I think it's understandable to be irritated after dumping a fair amount of cash into what you thought was a barrel-aged stout.

So, because of the poor labeling, I believe I can rightfully critique this as a Russian Imperial Stout. After all, if I order a cheese burger and you give me a salad, I think I can safely call it a terrible burger on account of the lack of beef and cheese.

The appearance is a 4. Looks like a Russian Imperial Stout. Dark, with a little bit of a head (not that much, but it's understandable being barrel aged). The lack of head is what knocked it down to a 4.

Smell is a 2.5. While not offensive (kind of citrusy), this is where you start to have your doubts about what you're drinking.

For taste, I give it a 1. There is no hint of the dark roasted malt or the heavy hops that characterizes a Russian Imperial Stout. The palate is overwhelmed by sour. Being unaccustomed to sour beer, I honestly couldn't taste the beer over the lemon juice. Again, I'm not judging sour beer as a whole. I don't care for it, but understand that others may be fond of it. That being said, it might be a great sour beer, but it's a god-awful Russian Imperial Stout. The only thing that it has in common with an RIS is the color.

Mouthfeel is a 3. I can't honestly say that the mouthfeel was offensive (the mouth-taste was doing the heavy-lifting there). Nor can I say the mouthfeel was spectacular. It was average.

Overall I give it a 1. It is the absolute worst RIS I've ever had, and had to drain pour. I apologize for the soap box, but I believe Jolly Pumpkin needs to label their product better. Otherwise I might just start selling tap-water and call it Scottish Ale.

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Photo of johnlapolla
1.93/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I looked this up to see if they had a batch gone bad and I got a bottle. But from the reviews it seems the funk is the norm. I could not get past it, I had to dump it. I opened the bottle and it kept gushing. I still think I might have had a bad one. It tasted like a home brew gone bad. Too bad, I like their other beers a lot. The appearance was lovely and I was very excited. I was not expecting a sour beer, I was looking forward to something dark and roasted. I really don't know if I can judge this beer from this bottle. Did anyone else have one that was just over the top yucky? Or do I just not like this style?

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Photo of cryptichead
2/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I generally enjoy sours and most other Jolly Pumpkin offerings out there, but this is way too sour for a stout and besides the dark appearance there are no other stout characteristics. Plus too much of a vinegar taste. Definitely outside of the bell curve on this one.

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Photo of prandlesc
2.3/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Sadly surprising. It has a nice dark color as expected from a stout. Even with a robust pour it has a limited to nonexistent head, which is not completely out of style for a stout, but somehow I expected a little more. The aroma has a hint of coffee that is shadowed by a hint of sourness. And It is sour for a stout - especially without any label reference to its tartness. Overall, it's a rather nasty tasting stout - it may be a fine sour, but one can't really call it a stout.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2.34/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nice pour, with a solid black body, and a nice mocha finger of head.

Very tart aroma, basically acidic and sour. As it warms some more, there is some roast notes and chocolate, but even still, it's hard to cut the sour.

Taste is sour, sour, sour. There's some roast and chocolate, but it's fainter than in the aroma, and never stood a chance against the tart/sour qualities.

Feel was less than stellar, with a medium feel and a good dose of carbonation.

This just didn't do it for me. I can get behind the idea of a sour stout, but for me, there has to be a balance...and there was so little balance that it just seemed pointless to be a stout in the first place. Another gripe is completely omitting the fact that this is a sour stout from the labeling. I know JP largely deals in sours, but not every beer they make is a sour, so how's about throwing a little warning out there?

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Photo of harrymel
2.36/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Blend 2: Bottled 05JAN11

A: pours a black stout with a little over one finger of caramel head, this falls to a moderate sheet of the same. Some spotty lacing. Pretty good looker.

S: Whew! Oak wins the nose here. Plenty of oak if I forgot to mention. Some chocolate notes, some licorice. Some woody alcohol.

T: Some tartness up front. Some sweet cherry notes. Really not tasting like a stout at this point. Some toasted malts, and some roasty coffee. Pretty simple, and tart. Just a little more funky than I would like.

M: A bit thin with moderate carb. Uber dry on the finish.

O: the more I drink this, the more I wish I would have had this six months ago. This has too much tartness for my preferences in a stout. Reminds me of the early signs of Abyss '09. No thanks.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.37/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First time I've seen this in the area. The few beers I've sampled from Jolly Pumpkin have been outstanding so this is a must pick up. Poured this into a chalice it forms an easly managed loose tan head.

Good god man whats up with the sour twinge that cannot be ignored? It smelled really nice. It smelled like bakers chocolate and a slightly toasted malt base. Taste was just absolutely ruined by this astringent sour twinge that tasted nothing like a spoiled beer. Tangy at times and as it warmed it got more intense. I'll give it the unique just doesn't work on the palate.

Notes: I'm glad I only got one bottle as I was thinking about getting a few more while it was available. It honestly tastes like a blend of a kickass stout and a Bier de garde or gueze of sorts. While I like both styles, the "mix" was not worthy of bottling.

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Photo of SaltyLime
2.43/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I hesitate leaving a bad mark in the stout category, but to be honest - this one did not suit me the least bit. I could not finish the entire bottle but, learned enough from the first glass to decide not to buy this one for myself again.
First off, the bottle's label was just mesmerizing, I picked up the bottle immediately when I saw it at the liquor store and a devilish grin came into fruition as I read the beer's name and the word "stout." I saved it for a special occasion, my return from a 4th rotation in Iraq, and shared it with guests along with Stone IRS, Old Raputin, and an assortment of other stouts and porters.
Appearance - it looked like your typical beautiful stout, dark brown that gets darker in the snifter and nice thick tan head.
Smell - nice. toasted malts, chocolate, coffee. I was duped by what I thought was a milk stout's lactose smell.
Taste - the smile I had from the expectation quickly turned into a shocking look of "who the hell pissed in my beer?". It had a very strong sourness that I was not prepared for or wanted in my beer. I'm sure some will love it, but spoiled milk off of a dirty dish rag is what comes to my mind.
Mouthfeel - It was a medium to light body if I remember correctly, but the taste destroyed any possibility of enjoyment once it hits the palate.
Drinkability - I could not finish the bottle even with several friends giving it a try and will not buy again unless I want to start a cool label collection.

 1,463 characters

Photo of ManLikeBeer
2.47/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It's difficult to rate this beer as it's clear that the brewers set out to make something DIFFERENT. Well, they succeeded. This is cask conditioned, so there's not a lot of head, but it looks great. Smells of the roasted malts and of coffee. Then the taste. . .
Holy crap! There's a huge sourness in my stout. There's a balance of sweetness and hops and even mouthfeel that struggle to get through, but just can't overwhelm the lemon concentrate. I respect the brewer's attempt to do something new. I just isn't the stout for me.

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Photo of alcstradamus
2.48/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Black with a huge billowing 4 finger head that takes forever to recede. Smell is pungeant hops and belgian yeast. A decent amount of spices are present as well.

The taste is rather odd. Seems that the roasted malt character is just begging to burst out but is being held back by an odd hops character and a light sour/sweet/tart combination that just doesn't work too well. I thought this one might be a little more similar to Black Albert, but alas it ends up just being a mess. A bit gross and completely undrinkable. Not sure what they were really going for here, but it just doesn't work. I see why this beer has such polarizing reviews.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
2.51/5  rDev -34.1%
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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Photo of xnicknj
2.56/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

on tap at devils den in philly

Pours a decent blacked out color with a fading toffee head, filmy retention with light lacing on the glass.

Complex nose with chocolate and woody alcohol, tart cherry with wet funk, raisin and dates, toasted malt as well.

A big wave of sour up front with cherry and raisin. Fruit juice mixes with some lighter sweetness. Light tones of chocolate and caramel attempt to peek through amidst the avalanche of sour, overripe fruit. Somewhat harsh metallic rotting cherry is the primary flavor that I just couldn't escape. Finishes dry, tart, and warm.

Fuller medium body, higher carbonation, dry and lingering. Honestly this reminds me more of an infected stout than anything else. I like Jolly Pumpkin and understand their unusual take on beer styles, but this was pretty tough to drink, and the 6oz pour I got was more than enough.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
2.62/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter glass from a vintage bottle (dated 02/14/2012).

Appearance: Deep dark browny oil color. Thin body with medium bubbles creating a tan head that rises to roughly a notch below a finger's length.

Smell: Desirable smell but awkward for an imperial stout. Hints of lemon and yeast, get what I mean.

Taste: Honestly Having a a boatload of imperial stouts, this one has to be the worst. Very sour with a hard hit of lemon, feels like your chewing into the skin as well. Also feels like they breweres threw wheat grass into it and to call this an imperial stout is a disgrace.

Mout: Because of the fact it is somewhat sticky, that's why I am not grading it any lower. Chewy, kinda reminds me of rye bread.

Overall: Honestly do yourself a favor and leave it alone, God knows how much money I paid for it but do not see myself finishing the bottle. I have at least five other choices Iimperial stouts) which blow this out the water. Salud!

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Photo of bowersdm
2.63/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

around 12oz of a normal JP bottle poured into a goblet. Batch 360/362.

A - jet black, no hint of light shining through at all. an aggressive pour yielded no head to speak of.

S - roasted barley and roasted barley. a smokiness that suggests charred barley. dark chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and a funky aroma (very subtle) round out the scent. the funkiness came across as very musty, almost like the stale air in an old mildew-infested attic...or because of the brett, a barn, but I think "musty attic" better approximates the scent.

T - roasted and slightly charred barley start the taste out. this is quickly followed by a weird funkiness that I can't describe (it's very grassy, earthy, with a lot of mustiness and something else), but I have come to figure out that it is brett, so I'll go with barn and horse blanket (or musty attic as suggested above.) It's very much like Orval and it's also just as dry. I did not find any fruit flavors at all as others have suggested. The taste was finished off with dark chocolate and near lip-puckering sourness. I didn't really enjoy it.

M - waaaay too much carbonation. the excessive carbon dioxide gave the beer a very tingly sensation that almost seemed to make the beer feel more sour/funky.

D - honestly, the only thing that's stopping me from drain-pouring this beer is the $12 that i paid for it. I understand that Jolly Pumpkin makes a lot of sours, but I don't think that those strains of yeast belong in an Imperial Stout, even if it is a Belgian-inspired IS.

I will say this: It's a beautiful label design, probably my favorite.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.63/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Shocking the palate with sharp acidity, mouth puckering tartness, and coffee-like bitterness- this takes the taste buds on a journey miles long in a single sip.

The vinous ale pours with a dark barkish brown with the haze of suspended cocoa with the thin off-white head of lattes. Light on structure, the foam falls quickly with minimal lace. A fairly still beer in short order.

Very tart to the nose with acids that range from red wine vinegar to sour grapes, limes, and under ripened cherries; all are backed by a woody and coffee-like scent.

A burst of sourness and fruit tartness invade the palate with the serious flavors of the soured white grapes, tart cherries, and lemon rind have absolutely no mercy on the palate. The odd malt back of charred grains, roast coffee bitterness, and wood never allow any meaningful sweetness or starch to support the sourness- only providing an odd bitter-sour-ashy interplay that disagrees with the palate.

The mouth feel takes the brunt of the unpleasantries. Sour fruits start with a delightful and clean acidity before the ashy roast bitterness and oak derived astringency attack the sides of the tongue, inside jaws, and back of the throat with a powdery pang of saliva sucking needles.

Sourness and stouts are a complicated blend of textures, tastes, and balances- if it's going to work, I hardly believe that it could happen in a dry beer as it would almost have to have much more residual sweetness and body than what's on display here.

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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
3.81 out of 5 based on 1,013 ratings.
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