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Winter Ale - Telegraph Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Winter AleWinter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

65 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 3
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Telegraph Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JayTheFinn on 12-24-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JayTheFinn:
Photo of JayTheFinn
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another tasty brew from Telegraph of Santa Barbara, California. This is new ale has a great deal of spiced flavors, creating a good scent, a wonderful taste and a marvelous aftertaste that makes you long for more. Here's a snippet from the description on the bottle, "...Inspired by Mexican hot chocolate, Telegraph Winter Ale warms even teh coldest of nights with hints of cinnamon, allspice, and sweet ancho chilies...using generous amounts of chocolate and caramel malts". It's a sweet, spicey delight perfect for the holidays!

JayTheFinn, Dec 24, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

ste5venla, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of Jgrody
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Jgrody, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of augustgarage
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750mL caged-and-corked bottle into a snifter. Batch number 65. Cork bursts out violently, but this wasn't a gusher. Served lightly chilled.

Burgandy body shot through with crimson highlights. A tall creamy wheat head persists, leaving wide creamy swaths of lacing, which dissipate in a slow sandy trail amidst shimmering tears.

Caramel corn, challa, and plenty of spice in the nose.

Low bitter chocolate with a hint of ancho flavor (though without any real heat) on the palate. No perceptible hops. Any bitterness comes from the chocolate flavors. The allspice sort of ties together the different malt flavors leading into a dry leafy finish. No diacetyl, despite the partially buttery aromatics.

Creamy, effervescent (one could argue over-carbonated I suppose), and pillowy mouthfeel. Neither the chili or the ABV adds any real heat - the "warmer" part of this beer is a touch lacking except for the combination of spices.

A novel subtle take on the style - distinguished by the effects of bottle conditioning (lots of yeast at work) compared to other examples.

augustgarage, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of MiScusi
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Toronado SD. Pours a very dull looking dark brownish to almost black. No head to speak of. Looks kinda oily in the glass. Smell is quite sweet, as is the taste. This beer is on the sweeter side, no real roasted notes or anything picked up, but it has a definite spiciness to it, being brewed with cinnamon and allspice. I didn't pick up any of the ancho chillis it was brewed with, not sure how they influenced the taste. Not bad, would maybe have again.

MiScusi, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of McGowan
2.85/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

750ml corked bottle. Poured 1/22/08 into a tulip.

Aroma: Black cherries stuck in pinecones. Peppery spice overwhelms. Just a tad medicinal.

App: Inky black. Held up to the light a gorgeous ruby edge appears. Quarter-inch cream-colored head dissipating quickly into a persistent rim.

Flavor: Piney, resiny, anise, peppery, zesty; cardamom and cinnamon. Finish evokes watermelon, of all things.

Mouth: Thin and veering toward over-carbonation. Almost like cola. I like some viscosity in my winter warmers. Easy to drink, though. Quite dry.

Overall: A decent offering from Telegraph. Not stellar, but by no means objectionable. Worth a try.

McGowan, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of caseyoharaa
4/5  rDev +6.4%

caseyoharaa, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of jlb502
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

jlb502, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

jaydoc, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of jmarsh123
1.9/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours deep brown with a big creamy tan head. Good retention. Poor lacing.

Cinnamon bomb on the nose along with a heavy dose of nutmeg. I can tell this may be challenging.

Absolute spice bomb. Tons of nutmeg reminding me of my least favorite pumpkin ales along with a heavy dose of cinnamon. Chocolate attempts to come through, but really it's hard to pick anything out over the abundance of spices.

Medium to light bodied a bit high on carbonation.

Blech. This beer is horrible. Nutmeg and cinnamon dominate everything and it's nearly undrinkable. My drain is going to be drunk tonight.

jmarsh123, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

First off I just have to say I really friggin enjoyed this beer. I got this one along with a few of the other telegraph bottles earlier in the week and brought this one over to the parents house louse night. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/24/2008.

The pour was very nice. A rich dark brown with a slight purple hue to it on the outsides of the glass. Rich looking to say the least and nearly opaque. There was a touch of tan head at first, but it just kept building and eventually a full one inch of chocolate colored foam came forward and stayed until the very end.

Super rich aroma that just transformed the warmer it got. Rich notes of chocolate, chilli, slight raisin and prune notes and touches of light grain. The flavor was more of the same, incredibly complex and really impossible to describe. Lots of cocoa here as well as light touches of chili and prunes, raisins, hints of everything. Rich and velvet like texture was the highlight here. I am not sure what the ABV was but this thing was damn nice to sip on for a while.

Overall I thought this one was outstanding and one of the best beers I have had all year. I would love to have a couple of these laying around for sure.

mikesgroove, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of rallison
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature from a 750 corked bottle into a Duvel glass.

A: Wonderful dark, black body. 3 finger tan/light brown head that leaves a nice lacing.

S: Belgian yeast notes. Reminds me of some of the Unibroue beers.

T: Definitely has Belgian yeast characteristics. Taste is of Coca Cola, chocolate, and spices. Just a bit of alcohol in the back, but it's pretty well hidden.

M: High amount of carbonation, very similar to Unibroue beers. I am personally not a fan of this much carbonation, as it gives it a soda-ish feel. However, letting it sit does improve this and lends itself to a smoother mouth. Body is medium for this style of beer. Also feels a bit on the sharp side (partly due to the carbonation).

D: It's tasty and interesting, and not very heavy, so it does well here.

Another good, solid beer from Telegraph. Recommended.

rallison, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear yet very dark reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense tan head that quickly died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface..
S: There are moderately strong aromas of spices in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is a complex mixture of various spices but is much stronger. Allspice and cinnamon seem to stand out in particular; there are some initial flavors of chocolate malts while peppery spices are present in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is a good representation of the style and goes down easily because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

metter98, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of mwilbur
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip. Batch #95.
A: Pours a very dark brown with nice 2 inch light tan bubbly head. Very good retention. Only a modicum of light comes through with backlighting.
S: Chocolate malt, toasted grains, cinnamon, clove, allspice, melon, hint of pine, and a dash of spicy pepper. Great complexity for style.
T: Clove, chocolate, cinnamon, ancho chile pepper, wood smoke, cedar, and a strong malt backbone. Wonderful complexity here too! Perfect balance. Increase of spicy pepper with warming.
M: Creamy up front, mildly dry and bitter middle and finish (porter-like), subdued spicy acidity.
D: Excellent complexity and drinkability. ABV is spot on perfect for this brew. Seek it out and enjoy! Best winter warmer I've had to date.

11/28/13:
Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip. Batch #95. Bottle still opens with a loud pop.
A: Pours a very dark brown with luxurious 2-3 inch light tan head with excellent retention. (4.5)
S: Toasted malt, cinnamon, clove, dark dried fruit, mild chocolate, and a hint of spicy pepper. (4.25)
T: Cinnamon, dark dried fruit, clove, sweet caramel malt, wood smoke, and mild chili pepper. Has held up very well over time. (4.5)
M: Light-medium body. Sweet, mildly dry, hint of hot spice. Nice lingering and maturing on the palate. (3.75)
D: Still holds strong (has only lost a half-step) as an excellent brew...especially for style. (4.25)

mwilbur, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of TeamUgly
4/5  rDev +6.4%

TeamUgly, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of gthornton
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Mainly dark brown with a slight reddish translucence. Fizzy head at first, fading to very little to no head with no lacing.

S: Lightly of mayan chocolate - bitter chocolate and mild chili. A hint of fig.

T: Mildly sweet on the front of the tongue, with a slight chili spice rounding out the finish. The chili flavor becomes stronger as the beer warms. And you burp mayan chocolate!

M: Fizzy when sitting on the tongue, but smooth in the finish. As the beer warms and you drink more, the added chili leaves a tannic feeling on the tongue.

D: Easy and fun to drink, probably at its best with a traditional mexican meal. Not exactly the showstopper or refreshing flavor to bring to a party. It's a winter ale - good for cuddling, too, on what happens to be the only thunderstormy day in San Diego..

gthornton, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of khall
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

khall, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of Zorro
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown colored beer with a tall tan colored head.

Smells spicy with molasses and cinnamon being the strongest scents. Black Licorice is fairly strong here and there is a little allspice.

Starts out sweet with a sweet licorice aftertaste. Drier than the smell indicated this is only very slightly sweet. Good spice flavor something like a sugar free spice drop candy. Not much more than to it, a mild spice flavored dark Belgian style ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is worth a try. Still if I want a spicy beer I know some better.

Zorro, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of rbrefbeerman
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

rbrefbeerman, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of rfgetz
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with some muted red highlights, full cap of tan head, moderate lacing. Scent was quite bold and hinted at cocoa powder, chili powder, light caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg, light herbal notes at the end. Taste brings components of scent together with the spices being fairly bold, sometimes overpowering. Surprisingly medium bodied, some heft needed to back up the bold flavors. Nice mix of flavors, a bit harsh when nearing the end of the bottle. A sipper to be shared for sure.

rfgetz, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of kegmasterxlarge
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

kegmasterxlarge, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of the Rare Beer Club. Served in a mug.

Pours a deep brown color with a thin light tan head and a bit of lacing as it goes down. The nose carries a bit of chile and spices plus a slight metallic note. A bit of roast as well. Flavor has spice and a dosing of chile heat. Light chocolate and roast. Medium body with good carbonation. A little bit to it with a semi-sweet finish. Nothing too off, but not particularly enjoyable.

Thorpe429, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of grub
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

christmas tasting hosted by biegaman on dec 15/07. he contributed this one. thanks jan!

750ml bottle, corked and caged.

pours deep brown, not quite black, with a small dense brown head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. dark chocolate. bit of funky sourness. hint of alcohol. light roast. grain and crackers.

taste is good. lemony sourness. light funk. bit of dark chocolate. bread and crackers. grain. hint of roast. just a hint of cinnamon. bit of dark fruit.

mouthfeel is good. low carbonation level. nice and smooth. medium body.

drinkability is good. neat funk. nice balance. good depth to this one that keeps it interesting.

grub, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of raulazzer
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

raulazzer, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

No intro here, just review: It pours a deep brown-ruby topped by about two fingers or so of cream froth. The nose comprises light cocoa, anise, cinnamon, clove, Belgian candi sugar, brown sugar, light plum, dark fruits, and a touch of black pepper way in the background. There's a decided BSDA feel about this smell, if you ask me. The taste holds notes of dark fruits, anise, light smoked pepper, clove, allspice, light cocoa, vanilla bean, light molasses, and a touch of roasted malts for good measure. It's all a bit much when it strikes the tongue, but somehow it misses being too much. Suffice it to say, a whole helluva lot is goin' on with this stuff... The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, the parts are generally positive, but the sum is a mish-mash of overly-complex flavors that never really coalesces into anything truly good. Not sure if that makes sense or not... I will say that the pepper in the background does some nice things with the finish, keeping my tastebuds on their toes. Beyond that, though, I think the flavor din is just too loud for its own good.

TMoney2591, Jan 19, 2012
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Winter Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.