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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 the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

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.

02-21-2010 02:53:08 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Beerswag
Beerswag

California

3/5  rDev -16%

07-20-2014 13:49:07 | More by Beerswag
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

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.

12-16-2008 18:56:32 | More by magictrokini
Photo of ELDAVIS69
ELDAVIS69

California

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.

02-27-2011 03:02:56 | More by ELDAVIS69
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME

New Mexico

3.75/5  rDev +5%

10-24-2013 23:25:19 | More by LXIXME
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -9%

11-30-2013 05:30:43 | More by acurtis
Photo of ste5venla
ste5venla

California

3.25/5  rDev -9%

06-20-2013 19:10:07 | More by ste5venla
Photo of sloejams
sloejams

California

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.

02-13-2008 19:30:37 | More by sloejams
Photo of dertyd
dertyd

California

3.75/5  rDev +5%

01-12-2014 07:03:22 | More by dertyd
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

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.

11-10-2007 05:30:53 | More by MiScusi
Photo of sjones5045
sjones5045

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +5%

12-08-2013 20:36:34 | More by sjones5045
Photo of GeorgeH
GeorgeH

California

4/5  rDev +12%

07-13-2013 22:52:54 | More by GeorgeH
Photo of caseyoharaa
caseyoharaa

California

4/5  rDev +12%

11-22-2011 00:03:01 | More by caseyoharaa
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl

California

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.

06-10-2008 02:34:56 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of foxyaardvark27
foxyaardvark27

Washington

3.75/5  rDev +5%

01-16-2014 04:41:56 | More by foxyaardvark27
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

12-24-2008 00:38:35 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of rallison
rallison

California

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.

01-29-2007 08:31:37 | More by rallison
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

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.

01-10-2012 03:42:24 | More by metter98
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

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.

10-16-2010 21:04:55 | More by plaid75
Photo of TeamUgly
TeamUgly

California

5/5  rDev +40.1%

01-08-2012 21:21:25 | More by TeamUgly
Photo of RichardWalter
RichardWalter

California

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.

03-30-2009 21:40:46 | More by RichardWalter
Photo of megahurts4
megahurts4

Louisiana

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.

11-23-2013 03:55:50 | More by megahurts4
Photo of Pugs78
Pugs78

California

3.5/5  rDev -2%

08-24-2012 01:01:04 | More by Pugs78
Photo of wedgie9
wedgie9

Tennessee

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.

09-27-2010 20:14:10 | More by wedgie9
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.22/5  rDev +18.2%

750 ML from the San Luis Obispo BevMo.

Near clear amber colored ale with a tall off-white to tan colored head that dissipates fairly fast. Quite dark for a beer in the Saison category. Amber might be generous and maybe I ought to be calling this a brown colored beer. But there is a bit too much orange in there to really call it brown.

The smell is a little sweet and spicy with the flowery aroma that you would expect from a beer of this type. Quite spicy for this beer type and much more like a Belgian pale in this respect. Lots of pepper and a little cinnamon and coriander.

The taste begins dry and quite spicy and a little bitter. Quite a smack in the mouth taste-wise this is certainly no mild and subtle beer this really gets your attention. Dry and peppery and solidly bitter this isn't a Saison with lots of subtle flavors this is the type that stuns you mouth with the power of it. Definitely at the extreme end of Saison flavor.

The mouthfeel is rather thick for the style.

Drinkability is always subjective to the drinker but for this beer it will be more so. Very powerfully flavored this is comparable to Imperial IPA in its flavor intensity. I would have to call this an extreme beer and the strongest flavored Saison I have ever tasted. If you want a mild flowery beer then THIS is NOT the beer for you. I you like EXTREME beers then this IS a beer for you.

08-11-2007 05:32:45 | More by Zorro
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California Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.