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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

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BA SCORE
86
very good
377 Reviews
THE BROS
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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn StoutMadrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States
jollypumpkin.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
377
Ratings:
1,005
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
16.27%
 
 
Wants:
67
Gots:
166
For Trade:
12
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Reviews: 377 | Ratings: 1,005
Photo of largadeer
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black with brown highlights, totally opaque. The first pour produces a perfect 3 finger head and the retention on this thing was ridiculous, it never came close to receding.

Smell: Typical stout aromas of cocoa and roasted malt are mixed with a big wild bretty aroma, notes of oak and slight sourness. Strange to say the least.

Taste/mouthfeel: Flavors of baker's chocolate, charred malt, woody tannins and tons of brett funk. High carbonation on a medium body. The mouthfeel is bone-dry. The finish is a bizarre mix of roasted malt, funk, sourness and oak.

 571 characters

Photo of Wildman
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured pitch black and formed a huge foamy medium tan head that left latticed lace as it slowly subsided. Very much like a rootbeer float, typical Belgian style. The aroma was of malt, chocolate and that Belgian farmhouse element. The flavor was of malt, chocolate and coffee. The body was medium light and the finish slightly burnt. Not a bad beer, but rather light for a stout, yet not complex like a Belgian. At 10 dollars, I just have better options from Michigan.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Jet black in color and very highly carbonated. Almost as if it is infected-the foam goes on forever. Great looking beer but a hassle to get to as you wait for some of the foam to receed. Somewhat sour and funky aroma. Heavily wild, Belgian taste and flavor. Funky-brett?-flavors. Not a lot of the roasted notes I was expecting. Puckering and tangy mouthfeel. I have had Jolly Pumpkin beers in the past though this is a tad different. Decent enough beer but none of the stout characteristics I am looking for. Too Belgian. Might be me but I dont think so overall. See if you like it-dont think I could do it a second time. Great label though.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown in color with a huge rocky head. Plenty of nice webbing on the glass and a continuous froth remains atop the beer.
Smell is the same wonderful tart/funkiness that you'd expect from JP. This is a completely different stout than I've ever had and I'm loving the twist. Plenty of dark roasted malts/chocolate coming through that reminds you this is a stout. Full and creamy mouthfeel. I've yet to have a bad beer from JP. I love them!

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Photo of rye726
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is near black with some maroon hues and a silky dark brown head. Nice lace and retention.

The nose has roasty malts, chocolate, espresso, and ripe berries. There is also a nice oak and vanilla presence. Rounding it it out fruity wild yeast presence.

Taste has dark malts, bitter hops, cocoa, molasses, espresso and tart citrusy yeast.

Medium body is well carbonated. Another tasty brew from JP.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks very much to northernbrews for the opportunity to try this one. 750 ml bottle (no batch#) served in a nonic. Poured an opaque black color with a three inch khaki-colored head reminiscent of milkshake froth. Rings of sticky lacing with good retention present during the tasting. Scents of chocolate, dark fruit and a mild citrusy funk. Funk is more pronounced in the flavor, but not overwhelmingly so, as well as the presence of a mild roastiness and coffee character; some slightly metallic undertones became apparent as the brew warmed. Lively mouthfeel (lots of effervescence) with citrus character in the nose pronounced as a sour pucker at the finish. Creative tribute to the style, not at all what I initially anticipated, based on the nose, but the boldness affects the overall drinkability in my opinion.

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Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this beer was awesome. I didn't know what to think when I was told this was a sour stout. Leave it to Jolly Pumpkin to pull it off. This was way better than I expected.

Poured part of a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - This brew poured like thick motor oil. It produced a solid 2 finger latte foam texture head. A swirl of the glass brought the head back immediately - excellent retention. It is nearly opaque black. The head leaves behind some great lacing. This is a nice start.

Smell - The scent on this beer is amazing. Of course it has that typical Jolly Pumpkin funkiness. I get notes of sour cherry, peach, and roasty chocolate. It has a distant herbal hop aroma that really brings up the rear - the scent is crazy.

Taste - What an awesome feat of brewing madness. This brews opens with a sour note and ends roasty - I think that if it had been reversed, this beer would have failed. The sour is tied to sweet chocolate which then evolves to roastiness when is then tied to hoppy bitterness. What an awesome roller-coaster ride. The acidic nature of the sour flavor cuts through the sweetness. The sourness increases as it warms. The ABV is completely hidden in this one.

Mouthfeel - This brew has medium/full body. It has a slight acidic feel as it washes over the tongue. Good level of carbonation to cut through the acidity and the sweetness.

Drinkability - This beer is awesome. Who would have thought a sour stout would be this awesome? This brew was conceptually and technically executed perfectly. The ABV is hidden, the smell and taste are awesome, what more could you want?

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Photo of cjgator3
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 266. 750ml bottle. Pours a dark black color with a creamy tan head that possesses incredible retention and lacing. The aroma is very dark and roasty with just a hint of sour funkiness and yeast. I am also picking up some oak in the aroma as well. After the enticing aroma, my mouth is watering in anticipation. The taste is a nice dark and roasty stout with a good amount of bitterness, that is joined with that unique Jolly Pumpkin funkiness. Damn, there is a lot of roastiness and bitter coffee flavors in the finish. Overall, this is a really unique offering that I enjoyed. I wouldn't want to drink this every night, but it is something different that I can appreciate for it's uniqueness. Recommended.

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Photo of JDV
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of MiguelMandingo. Thanks!
Pours a rich chocolately brown to black color with not much head to speak of. Smell is wood, a bit funky and tart roastiness. Taste is als tart and roasty with sour cherry like flavors mingling with chocolate. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Reminds me of a cherry stout, but is a bit more unique than that with some added complexity. Enjoyed this much more than I expected.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at the Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black/dark brown, with a thick milk chocolate coloured head, thick lacing, good head retention, big bubbles.

S: JP funk, chocolate.

T: Get a start with light coffee and espresso, dark chocolate, then the lactic acidity comes in and glides the beer to it's finish. An interesting take on a stout, a throwback to the days when porter and stout where aged in oak barrels, and sent across the sea. Possibly the closest one can get to a 18th-19th century stout contemporarily.

M: Light carbonation, acidity, I'd reckon' a pH around 3-4, refreshing for a dark beer.

D: An interesting beer to have on cask, really brings the darker flavours to the limelight, sour stout, now there's an interesting idea, but it worked.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.73/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a deep black color stout with a big light brown foamy head with some good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of roasted malt is mix with some sour bretty notes. Taste is also a mix between some roasted bitter malt notes with some sour and bretty notes which didn't mix very well IMO. Medium body with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I am usually one up for experiment but the mix between stout and bretty Belgian is something I could do without.

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Photo of Romulux
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

UHH! I am not sure what just happened,here.I either love this stuff and it opens my mind to a whole new way of looking at beer or it is the worst bottle of pisswater,I have ever had.I am torn.

I have scored this beer as all 3.0's.But there is NOTHING average about this.I split it right down the middle because of my love/hate relationship with it.

Sour?/Sweet?, Beer?/Wine?.There's alot going on here.Everyone should give it a try and decide for themselves.Jolly Pumpkin is definitely marching to a different drummer.

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Photo of Deuane
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Black with dark brown highlights. Thin tan head that reduces to a film.

S-Raosty with sour notes. Some scent of dark fruit. A very interesting scent...not in a bad way.

T-Whoa! This is quite sour to start..but then, Oh..roastiness. Personally this is a bit to up front sour for me. I do like the flavours that develop after the sourness disapates.

M-Thin with a puckering quality. I really do not enjoy this for a long period.

D-Too sour for me and an odd flavour that I dont want in a stout. I certainly always like to try a new beer but this is not one that I will revisit.

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Photo of triplecoil
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a weird beer.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours rich and super dark with a thin tan head that hangs out around the edges throughout the drink. Nose is classic JP funk with roasty malts and alcohol. Taste is sweet and sour with a strong bitter aftertaste. Some really bitter chocolate, raisins, and a lot of grapefruit shine through. Mouthfeel is pleasant throughout, nice carbonation and slightly syrupy.

Easily one of the strangest stouts I've ever had. The funk and the roast seem to temper eachother to a large extent, which I think is the real triumph of this beer. Not a bad brew at all.

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Photo of Mudpuppet
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 750ml into a Riedel snifter glass. Pours a pitch black with a dark tan lacy head.

S- Extremely complex! Jolly Pumpkin funk for sure. But you also get dark sweet malt notes. I would say the JP funk is stronger in the nose though.

T- Like eating a grapefruit. Not grapefruit notes but actual grapefruit. You get JP funk for sure...Pedio, and Lacto with some Brett. You also get citrus notes from the funk/sour with dark coffee and chocolate notes. This is a million flavors in a beer. Every time I taste I get different notes. GRAPEFRUIT!

M- A bit thin for a stout but about right for a sour beer. Good level of carbonation too

D- Oh yeah I could drink a few glasses of this. Nice easy drinker. A bit high on alcohol but very enjoyable. Try this if you get the chance.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #400.

How cool is this! I figure that I'm just starting to get comfortable with my range of consideration in my second year and I follow BAs who have considered almost TEN TIMES that in only twice the time. So, what do I know? Doesn't matter...the following are "notes to self":

I've been really curious about this one for some time now.

You can see through the pour and its dark brown; can't be sure if it's clear or cloudy. A gentle pour yields better than a full finger foamy tan head that fades fairly quickly to surface, but visible effervescent tiny surface pools struggle to keep it a live. A nice amount of Belgian lacing present. The smell is really complex. There is a malty residue on the lip of this bottle that smells like sticky chocolate malt. A big whiff past that reveals the 'funk' awaiting below. I'm really pleased that this sample doesn't seem overwhelmingly wild or sour. The tart character seems to become more prevalent as it warms and the closer you get to the goodies at the bottom. So keep it cool & drink it fast (what a stupid thing to say!) This sample was undisturbed for a number of days before this review. Light bodied, substantial carbonation lends a creamy texture to the mouth without being overwhelming. A very nice complex touch if you ask me. The roasted malt flavor is more subtle than the tart or bitter hop (& funk) but well within the tolerance of those that chose to consider this Brewer's interpretation and expanded definition of this style. Hey Man!, don't be distracted. Take time to "smell the roses"!

Hey BigDaddyWil, thanks much for the opportunity. I'll be knocking on your door for more of this. Peace.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnished mahogany with generous highlights of cherry and gold. The three finger head looks like frappuccino, or one of those other coffee-based beverages that I see people drinking. The foam melts in appealing fashion and is responsible for extensive sheets of Swiss cheese-like lace... that look better on subsequent pours than they do initially.

With a single sniff, I could have identified Jolly Pumpkin as Madrugada Obscura's brewery of origin given three guesses. That's because the funkiness of the Brett overwhelms all else. I didn't say 'obliterates all else' because roasted malt is present in the background. Much less Brettanomyces would have been much better.

I'll be the first to admit that I am not a Jolly Pumpkin fan because I don't think that every(!) single(!) style needs to be injected with bugs. Personally, I love wild ales, bieres de garde, saisons and all the rest. In fact, Russian River is one of my favorite breweries. It's just that there's a limit. And these guys blow right by it.

Having said all that, I'm not surprised that my two favorite JP beers are Oro de Calabaza and Biere de Mars, both bieres de garde. That's because they're *supposed* to be funky. Madrugada Obscura, against all odds, is delicious beer too. That's probably because the roasted malt is able to stand up to the wild yeast (unlike, say, wheat malt), keeping the base style from losing its identity.

It's still a close call and I'm unable to identify any subtleties that might be coming from the roasted and/or chocolate malt. At least the beer has some sweetness and bitterness to go along with the incredible tartness. Just think of MO:DDS as a milk stout brewed with spoiled milk. Mmm...

In order to be considered good, the body/mouthfeel either needed to be full and milkshake creamy (like an American stout) or silky and expansive (like a Belgian ale). The fact that it's neither is why the score is what it is.

Even though the final score won't necessarily reflect it, Madrugada Obscura is one of my favorite Jolly Pumpkin brews, following only the ones mentioned above. While this is an interesting ride, I'm unlikely to fork over $9.99 for another bottle.

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Photo of IPAcraig
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I picked this beer up at Liquor Loft in Tallahassee.

This beer pours a rich, inky black with a mocha head. it had some some good lace.

A nice roasted smell, that is overpowered by a sourness that seems misplaced. A bit of earthy oak tries to emerge from the black abyss. As it warms, the acidity dies down, revealing chocolatey undertones.

The sourness is very potent in this beer, emerging over what would normally be a fairly big roasted character; though it has been kept in check by the bugs. This beer is very acidic. A bit of hop bitterness in the first taste is apparent. Earth and oak linger in the tounge.

This beer is extremely complex, but the flavors dont really come together very well. I love the idea of JPs beers, but not the execution.

Not a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of jdubjacket
2.69/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got a bottle of this at Brickstore pub. Had heard alot about Jolly Pumpkin, and considering I love stouts, I thought that this would be win-win.

Turns out I was wrong.

Looks like a normal stout, but smells and tastes VERY tart and VERY sour. Apparently it was due to the oak aging according to the barkeep, but I have had oak-aged stouts, and none of them was this tart. Mouthfeel was not very smooth and it was kind of hard to choke down. I had to spread this bottle around to those in my party, all of whom were reluctant to help me finish it.

Best part of this beer is the label. I'm glad I tried it, but I don't think I'll try it again.

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Photo of DackAchan
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Good appearance, dark in color, pours with a dark brown two finger head that laces well for a stout.

S- Smells a little sweet, roasted fruit is the best I can place it. Barley with some bitterness to it as well.

T- Almost a dark wine taste to it. Definately some grape taste to it, hints of roasted barley and a definate sourness. Good balance between bitter, sour and sweet.

M- Medium body, not harsh on the tongue, smooth.

D- Not too sour, good drinkablity.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a black body with a medium-sized, short-lived beige head.

Smell: Roasted barley aroma with notes of dark chocolate, plums, toffee chips, and licorise, all with a faroff sourness.

Taste: Roasted barley with a chocolatey bent. Sourness soon follows, never allowing the distant sweetness to advance. Hints of licorice, plums, and herbs. Roast, sourness, and a bright acidity fuse together for the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Fizzy carbonation.

Drinkability: As always, it's another weird, wild ride from Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of AndoBrew
2.78/5  rDev -27%
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 AlexJ
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sinister jet black pour with a towering head of stiff mocha froth that lasts and clings beautifully. Stiff peaks form a crown that eventually settles into a lasting shroud.

The aroma is cold coffee, roasty dark malt, cocoa, and dark fruits, cherries and raisins. There is a smoky charred wood character with tart and mineral yeast. Subtle undertones of oak and funky must emerge as it warms.

The flavor is bitter dark and dusty chocolate and coffee grounds with a nice addition of Belgian dark fruits and slightly spicey hops. The characteristic JP must and lively sourness comes accross and grape must and earthy minerals. The are undertones of light spice and dry oak. Complex and quite dry with an aftertaste of dark malts and wild yeast.

Body is slick and silky with aggressive carbonation that quickly settles, leaving the mouthfeel creamy and smooth. This is a strange animal, a Belgian-inspired strong stout with tart wild yeast.

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Photo of weeare138
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance...explosive bottle upon opening. This was a first release obtained in a trade. Appears near black, opaque dark brown with the thickest, rockiest 5 finger tan head that slowly fades out and doesn't want to go away. Obvious sticky lacing is left all around the glass.
Smell is of oak, tart currants, raisins, roasted nuts, bitter chocolate, brown sugar, black patent malts, and light notes of vanilla. Notes of burnt toast in the nose.
Taste mimics the aromas with black grapes, semi-sweet bitter cocoa up front, roasty in the middle leading to raisins, figs, currants, with a brown sugar ending that lingers for a second.
Mouthfeel is smooth, velvetty, hint of astringency, decent mix of sweetness, and tartness with bitterness from the dark malt.
This one grew on me. Not too many others out there like this one. Very original.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a two finger head of tan foam that sticks on top. Some lacing as well. Head stays around awhile, looking good. Aromas of chocolate and roastiness. A fruity aroma with some funky sourness and an oak undertone. Slightly spicy and quite interesting!

First sip brings a mild roasty maltiness along with some chocolate and light fruit tones. Flows down with a touch of smokiness. Sour tones come through and they can be quite strong. Earthy yeastiness brings in a spicy aspect. Oak comes through on the finish with some herbal hop bitterness. Sour lingers on after each sip.

This is a light bodied stout here for sure. Easy drinking and quite interesting. Not sure I could drink all that much of it myself, but it's a good bottle to share with friends or family. Another JP brew worth looking out for!

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Madrugada Obscura, Dark Dawn Stout from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
3.81 out of 5 based on 1,005 ratings.
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