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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:
Photo of TeamUgly
5/5  rDev +40.1%

TeamUgly, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Honeybourne
5/5  rDev +40.1%

Honeybourne, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of rjlCO
5/5  rDev +40.1%

rjlCO, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of ELDAVIS69
4.8/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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 SBPCGuru
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer out of a growler at the brewery on 5/19/06 for a tasting party.

Color is dark caramel. Flavorful and delicious beer. Medium carbonation makes a great mouthfeel. Medium head retention with slight lacing down the glass. Very well balanced (malt & hops) beer. Would drink again for sure.

This beer fits the Amber Ale / Siason category and is not your ordinary beer by any means. This says a lot since I have sampled over 200+ beers from local and global breweries. When I find a beer that impresses me, I let everyone know it. Take my guidance and try this beer on draft or pickup a growler at the brewery.

SBPCGuru, May 24, 2006
Photo of SBBeer
4.43/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Let me start off by saying this beer is a staple in my quiver. While mentioned repeatedly as a saison, it has a much maltier character then your typical farmhouse ale.

This one of those beers that you need to get to know. At first it may seem a bit strange in that it doesn't clearly remind you of a beer you know. In the same vein at first look it appears to be a brown ale with a thin white head. After your taste you quickly realize it is nothing like a brown ale but instead fits smewhere in the belgian world

After one or two you can really appreciate the subtle characteristics of this fine beverage. I highly recommend this beer and a trip to the brewery will make your SB trip.

SBBeer, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of sloejams
4.33/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 JohnK17
4.25/5  rDev +19%

JohnK17, Jul 11, 2012
Photo of chocosushi
4.25/5  rDev +19%

chocosushi, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of rallison
4.22/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 Zorro
4.22/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Zorro, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of bbb099
4.22/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared w/ mjyoung

A - Cloudy copper color with foamy, white colored head.

S - Dominated by fruity aroma with citrus hops and toasted grains smell on the side.

T - Mild flavors of yeast, cereal, and sweet malt. Ends on a slightly hoppy note. More flavorful than the well known Anchor Steam.

M - High amount of carbonation. Medium bodied. Not bad at all.

O - One of the better California commons out there. Definitely recommend a try.

bbb099, May 09, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours amber with a frothy almost gushing white head, fair retention.

S: Yeasty white pepper, almost Bretty, hay.

T: Candied oranges, rum, tangerine. Yeasty, rustic flavour. Saison like for sure.

M: Nice full carbonation, but not over the top. Full-bodied, crisp.

D: An intriguing beer. Very tasty, another winner from Telegraph. I don't know why it is listed as a Common, it's an ale and Telegraph says it's in the farmhouse style. Whatever its true style it's good stuff.

Halcyondays, May 01, 2010
Photo of crwills
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasting at biegaman's place with grub, viggo, lexx, blankboy (RB), and tupalev (RB). I didn't write down who brought what, unfortunately, so thanks everyone!

Poured a mildly cloudy brown with no head at all -- but still looks very nice, great colour! Aroma is floral hops and a slightly sour tinge, and the flavour carries this excellently. Funky saison aroma, more hops in the flavour than I'd expect, but the uniqueness made it great. Bitter, crisp aftertaste.

My highest rated beer of the tasting! Good stuff!

crwills, Jun 04, 2007
Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on Saturday, 2/7/09 in Camarillo, CA.

Served in a 16oz pint glass. Served at nice temp. I ordered a seared ahi tuna app to compliment.

A: Quasi-cloudy reddish-brown color w/ a 1/4" white head. Lacing throughout.

S: This was the only dissappointment, really. Not much to be had here.

T: Is it an amber? Is it a saison? amber/saison? As this is my favorite style, it startled me. Amber, malt, spice - a nice combination. Well-balanced. Carb was good. Imagine if more ambers took a page out of this book...

M: An amber consistency. Wonderful on the palate.

D: Strong drinkability. A session beer through-and-through. If JJ Brewsky's didn't have so many delicious selections, this would definitely have been ordered again (& again)!

Let me know if you want to trade. These folks are very limited on distro. Well-recommended!

ILikeGoodCider, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of magictrokini
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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 MiScusi
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 GeorgeH
4/5  rDev +12%

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

caseyoharaa, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 itsfreeasinbeer
4/5  rDev +12%

itsfreeasinbeer, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Beermazter310
4/5  rDev +12%

Beermazter310, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of Omer4176
4/5  rDev +12%

Omer4176, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at biegaman's super extravaganza spring Saison tasting! Biegaman cracked this one open.

Pours a cloudy orange/brown, thin off white head, lace spots, settles to a thin layer, head lasts. Smell is neat, sweet, honey, bit of funk, sour fruity middle, citrus/lemons, kind of yeasty. Taste is similar, malty, wheat, citrus, sourness, floral and fruit, bit of vanilla, yeast and fruits in the finish, decent complexity, flavours work well together. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, good drink, easy to put down and refreshing for the heat. Thanks Jan!

Viggo, Jul 10, 2007
Photo of nygannon
4/5  rDev +12%

nygannon, Aug 04, 2013
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California Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.