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California Ale - Telegraph Brewing Company

Not Rated.
California AleCalifornia Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

106 Ratings
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 grub
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

group tasting may 26/07 with biegaman, Viggo, Lexx, crwills, blankboy@RB, tupalev@RB, and me (grub). everybody threw something into the mix and we had a great lineup of beer. biegaman contributed this one, so thanks jan!

750ml bottle, corked and caged.

pours reddish amber colour, getting lighter and more hazy towards the bottom of the bottle. very small white head drops fast and leaves no lace.

aroma is nice. bit of malt vinegar. light lemony sourness. bit of funk. light cracker malt. bit of citrus character.

taste is good. light cracker malt. bit of lemony sourness. medium-low bitterness level. touch of orange and grapefruit.

mouthfeel is good. medium carbonation level. fairly light bodied with a dry finish.

drinkability is good. balanced and interesting beer.

grub, May 27, 2007
Photo of bjohnson
1.78/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours a dark amber color with a slight haze. Puffy half finger white head. An interesting color for a saison--even though above it says they aren't marketing it as such. The wtf is this? Aromas of strong bubblegum and fruit notes. Candied sugar belgian esters with a sharp hop presence.

Yikes. Carbonation blast up front almost made me gag. Candied sugar malt notes with hints of caramel and bubblegum. Carbonation dries out the taste buds and leaves the a grassy like bitterness with a slight yeasty residue. Mouthfeel is actually a tad light despite the earthy flavors. I'm not sure what this beer is striving to emulate. A houblon chouffe or a spicy dubbel. It's not very well balanced with aspects crossing over many different styles. Suffice it to say, my drain was thirsty. Saison? definitely not. a mess? yep.

bjohnson, Apr 12, 2007
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 goschool
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at JJ Brewsky's in Camarillo, CA.

Appearance: The pour is deep amber with a frothy off-white head.

Smell: The nose has an earthy character to go with hops and sweet malts.

Taste: Initially, I thought this was a Fat Tire rip-off, but it's more like an amber meets California common meets saison. West coast hops and Belgian yeast are up front and sweet, fruity malts come in soon afterwards. It's just barely hop-forward.

Mouthfeel: It's medium-bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability: It's an interesting, well made brew, but its flavor profile isn't one that I could drink more than a large pint of in a session.

goschool, Nov 27, 2006
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 JayTheFinn
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had one of these after work out on the deck at Peabody's in Montecito. Great beer for such an occasion and location. It's very reminiscent of a hefeweizen but with a little more body and while going down much smoother. I like the cloudy look. I don't know why that tends to excite me, probably cuz whenever I've had a cloudy hefe or pale I do seem to prefer it over the pristine clear ones I've had. It's just a bias of mine, one that could probably smashed by a really decent beer in those styles.

JayTheFinn, Apr 08, 2006
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California Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.