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California Ale - Telegraph Brewing Company

Not Rated.
California AleCalifornia Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

106 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 17.09%
Wants: 7
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Telegraph Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Telegraph California Ale is our flagship beer and is our interpretation of the unique ales that were commonly brewed up and down the West Coast in the 19th century. It is an unfiltered medium-bodied beer, with a rich amber color and a rocky, white head. The beer is crafted using domestic American ingredients and fermented with a unique yeast strain that accentuates the hoppy spiciness, while also imparting fruity and subtly tart flavors. The aromas are spicy and earthy, reminiscent of the rich agricultural valleys surrounding Santa Barbara.

(Beer added by: SBPCGuru on 03-15-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 106 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BeerManDan:
Photo of BeerManDan
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%

When poured in the glass, the color was a reddish brown with a load of foam and a fair amount of lace. The smell citrus and hops was sort of weak and not impressive. The taste of hops, citrus and a yeasty carbonation. As this ale warmed up the carbonation and flavors became more softer and not as bitter as when first poured.

BeerManDan, Jun 18, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.05/5  rDev -14.6%

Appearance - This poured a deep orangish-brown with an overly-explosive head.

Smell - The light, easy grain that typifies the style was present but trounced by a heavy yeast aroma.

Taste - The yeast came on way too strong and ruined the delicate balance of this ale.

Mouthfeel - This is a bit bigger than light-bodied but I wouldn't say medium. It had some nice carbonation and no bitterness.

Drinkability - The grain base of this ale was wonderful but the heavy yeast character ruined the experience.

RoyalT, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of Beerswag
3/5  rDev -16%

Beerswag, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of magictrokini
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%

Surprising beer. Pours clear copper with a big white head. Spicy hop and malt nose; akin to a Sierra Nevada. The taste is very smooth. Sweet malt and crisp hops, nice balance of citrus and resin, with a very distinctive finish. Sour, funky, bretty, and delicious. Its like a Flemish take on an APA. Neither overrun the other, but instead bring out the best in both.

magictrokini, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of ELDAVIS69
4.8/5  rDev +34.5%

This is probably one of my favorite Telegraph beers. 750ml poured into my super classy HOTD tulip, the beer pours an intense amber hue with great head retention. Smell is that of yeast & honey with a dash of farm animal. Taste is superb I'm diggin the yeasty spiciness/funk, overall a damn good beer from an under appreciated local brewery.

ELDAVIS69, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev +5%

LXIXME, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -9%

acurtis, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of ste5venla
3.25/5  rDev -9%

ste5venla, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of sloejams
4.33/5  rDev +21.3%

I've had this beer now several times and each time I find myself enjoying it more. My brother now lives in Santa Barbara; so one fine sunny afternoon while visiting him, we biked over to the Telegraph Brewery. It's a small operation that offers tastings - I definitely recommend swinging by if in SB.

Since then I've been seeing their quality beers popping up throughout Los Angeles and more often than not - it's this one.

It's darker and a bit maltier than a traditional saison. In fact, there's no indication by Telegraph themselves that this is a saison. The rest of the elements certainly suggest it though. It has the pepper and citrus tones. A flavor that is quite complex but enjoyed so simply. The malty edge Telegraph infuses will probably be a bit confusing initially - for me the first two times I've tried it. But it warms up to you and you can easily see how this helps it transcend to a be a beer that can be enjoyed all year round.

sloejams, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of dertyd
3.75/5  rDev +5%

dertyd, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of MiScusi
4/5  rDev +12%

On tap at Father's Office in Santa Monica, CA. Poured light brown and had lots of earthy and spicy character to it. Thought there was quite a resemblance to the Russian River Perdition I had earlier. Carbonation was very lively and on the higher side. I have to go with an all around good for this beer because I think it could be an exceptional one to start a night out with. I will need to sample this again to pick up it's nuances.

MiScusi, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of sjones5045
3.75/5  rDev +5%

sjones5045, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of GeorgeH
4/5  rDev +12%

GeorgeH, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of caseyoharaa
4/5  rDev +12%

caseyoharaa, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%

$7.49 for a 750 ml bottle at Lone Hill Liquor in Glendora, May 2008.

Pours a medium amber, more biere de garde looking than saison. A low-moderate carbonation requires a hard pour ro get a head, but once it's there, it lasts a long time.

Aroma of butterscotch and bready malts, a bit of organic tartness alongside.

Flavor is a nice malt mix with a yeasty, slightly herbal tones, and a tart, almost sour ending (after a slightly sweet beginning). Interesting and enjoyable, a bit plain and toned down for my style, but easily drinkable.

Good stuff.

Dukeofearl, Jun 10, 2008
Photo of foxyaardvark27
3.75/5  rDev +5%

foxyaardvark27, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +12%

A very big thanks to a kind CA trader who sent me a bunch of these new beers to try. I was intriqued to say the least and dove into this one right first. Served chilled and poured into an oversized wine glass, this one was consumed on 12/22/2008.

The pour was very nice with a rich copper color coming through right away. Nice clarity to it really let the color shine through quite nicely. A small white head of foam rose up but quickly settled down into a light broken crown.

The aroma was very intresting I have to say. Rich notes of citrus hops, some light sour fruits and an abundance of grain notes. Carried over well into the flavor which I can only akin to a nice california steam beer with brett, super friggin cool. Smooth, mellow carbonation and a light body left this one with a nice clean taste to it. Very nice beer that was sippable despite low abv.

Overall I have to say this was a very nicely done beer. One of the most interesting light beers I have had and something of an enigma I have to say. Solid through and through and very much recommended.

mikesgroove, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of rallison
4.22/5  rDev +18.2%

On tap at Z's Taphouse in Goleta. Served in a 20 ounce hefeweizen style glass. Served a bit too cold, although not as cold as some places do...at least the glasses weren't chilled. Thank you Z's.

A: Nice semi-cloudy brown/red color with a 1/4" white head that stays as lacing throughout the whole session.

S: This was the only area that was not too impressive. Picked up some standard maltiness, nothing out of the ordinary here.

T: Interesting. That is my first impression. It really is an amber meets a saison, like other people have said. And this exact description was used by me while drinking it, only to come on here and see that as a common thread. But it's quite true. You get a good amber ale basically in the malt bill, but then get just a hint of the funky characteristics of belgian saison yeasts plus a nice spiciness. It really is a nice combo. And it's perfectly balanced, with just the right amount of carbonation. If more ambers had these extra characteristics, I'd be drinking a lot more ambers!

M: Very good. Body is consistent with the good amber ales.

D: Definitely very good. The perfect balance of this beer keeps it very sessionable. Extremely drinkable.

I know this beer is very local, but I'm glad to see another Santa Barbara brewer doing some interesting things. I'm really looking forward to trying their porter. I have high hopes based on this beer and the reviews for the porter. I'd recommend giving this a try if you come through the Santa Barbara County region. Or trade for a bottle, as these are bottled (distribution is extremely limited though).

So yes, recommended.

rallison, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev -2%

A: The beer is light amber in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a two-finger high off white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of citrusy hops and fruity yeast in the nose.
T: The taste has earthy flavors with hints of spices towards the finish and is accompanied by a very light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a high amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite tasty and is a good representation of the style.

metter98, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of plaid75
1.98/5  rDev -44.5%

On draft at Toronado, San Francisco, CA.

Poured a dark copper hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured doughy malts and bret.

The taste consisted of an unpleasant tartness.

The mouthfeel was average for the style with a moderate astringency.

Overall a confused steam beer. Not very good.

plaid75, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of TeamUgly
5/5  rDev +40.1%

TeamUgly, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of RichardWalter
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%

Pours tall. My glass was cold. Full pint glass with a little bit of lacey white foam that stays on the glass during the drink. Lighter reddish brown color. Opaque. No noticeable aroma.
Tastes full, hops, earthey, citrusy, hint of orange. Mouthfeel was also full with carbonation.
Great with fish tacos.

RichardWalter, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of megahurts4
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%

Telegraph California Ale

Appearance: amber, huge head, some nice lacing.

Smell: yeast, grain, and malty hop.

Taste: mild yeast, a maltiness, mineral water, and a light sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium-light and smooth.

Overall:
This is a decent brew. It is nicely crafted but has a potent mineral water flavor. It seems to mask most of the other nice flavors unfortunately.

megahurts4, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of Pugs78
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Pugs78, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of wedgie9
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%

Tasted from bottle at Lush West Town. Pours clear amber with a medium off-white head that leaves heavy lace. Nose is fairly light with some caramel malt and a bit of non-descript fruitiness, black licorice, and something metallic. Flavor is slightly tart up front with the malt and yeast kicking in heavily on the middle and finishing with solid bitterness, and the metallic flavor comes through as well. The body is medium with lively carbonation and a long, bitter finish.

wedgie9, Sep 27, 2010
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California Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.