Winter Ale - Telegraph Brewing Company
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kojevergas:
3.43/5 rDev -8.8%
750ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork and a well-concocted straightforward label served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I actually quite like Telegraph. 7.5% according to my bottle; Batch number 117.
Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption (the label advises to "enjoy it cool, rather than cold." Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
Yields a satisfying pop upon removal of the cork. Adequate carbonation is anticipated.
A: Pours almost entirely foam - save for a finger's worth of actual body. The ambitious head is light khaki in colour, with good cream and thickness - and superb retention (7+ minutes). Overcarbonation is suspected. Body colour is a refined dark cherry-red; translucent and transparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. I really like the vibrant body; it's quite appealing for a winter warmer. No lacing as the head recedes.
Sm: Not at all what I expected. Dark ripe fruit; plum, grapeskin, maybe juicy pear. Pleasant spice like cinnamon, allspice (when I look for it), and nutmeg. Majestic raisin - really evocative. A bit of fig roll. I look for chili notes and don't find any. Caramel. Chocolate malt. I'd venture to say the fruit notes are actually dominant; surprising given what the label suggests they're going for. I expected a chocolatey chili-heavy winter warmer; this is not that. Biscuit malt. Belgian candi sugar. Very interesting and appealing. I'm intrigued. A moderate strength aroma. A bit of biscuity yeast does come through. I don't detect any alcohol.
T: The candi sugar hits me first. I notice the fig and the fruit after that - they're right there on the climax, with prominent raisin character. Not as much grapeskin as the aroma suggested. Sure, there're sprinklings of spice - cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe allspice. I don't get any chili notes; maybe I just don't know what sweet anchos are. I guess I expected hot or spicy chili notes but this is cool and refreshing in a fruity way. Caramel comes through. Nowhere near as much chocolate as I expected; it's just there as a light cocoa powder. The biscuity malts and candi sugar take centre stage here. I don't know that this tastes anything remotely like Mexican hot chocolate, but I do know that I like it. Balanced and well built. It's a bit on the simple side, but there's some subtlety here that I really appreciate. A pleasant surprise, overall.
Mf: Smooth and wet. It's actually undercarbonated, contrary to its appearance. Carbonation may be the biggest issue with this beer; it even starts to come off just a touch thin and watery as it warms. Good body and presence on the palate. Complements the flavour profile quite well but I don't know that it feels custom-tailored specifically to its flavours. Well-executed any way you slice it.
Dr: You have to drink this one with an open mind; it's probably not what you'd expect. Hides its ABV well. A solid winter warmer from Telegraph - a brewery that is quickly rising in my mental ranking of Californian breweries. Still, its price point is its biggest failing. Very drinkable and approachable; this would make a great introductory beer for the style but I don't know that it's convential per se. None of the toasted malt emphasis you find in most winter warmers is present here. It's intriguing and probably best regarded as a Belgian dark with a twist. And a such, it's quite a success. Bravo, Telegraph. I'd get this again on-draught or aged.
04-11-2013 03:16:03 | More by kojevergas
More User Reviews:
3.7/5 rDev -1.6%
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.
12-25-2010 20:59:54 | More by augustgarage
3.58/5 rDev -4.8%
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.
12-16-2008 02:31:44 | More by MiScusi
2.85/5 rDev -24.2%
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.
01-23-2008 07:19:13 | More by McGowan
1.9/5 rDev -49.5%
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.
07-20-2012 21:02:42 | More by jmarsh123
4.45/5 rDev +18.4%
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.
12-25-2008 19:17:43 | More by mikesgroove
3.98/5 rDev +5.9%
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.
02-04-2007 06:24:54 | More by rallison
3.9/5 rDev +3.7%
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.
12-04-2011 03:04:29 | More by metter98
4.4/5 rDev +17%
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.
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)
12-11-2011 04:51:47 | More by mwilbur
3.78/5 rDev +0.5%
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..
01-22-2010 05:08:16 | More by gthornton
3.63/5 rDev -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.
10-01-2011 01:51:28 | More by Zorro
4.05/5 rDev +7.7%
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!
12-24-2006 04:23:59 | More by JayTheFinn
3.83/5 rDev +1.9%
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.
12-05-2011 18:25:27 | More by rfgetz
3.03/5 rDev -19.4%
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.
12-01-2011 00:57:32 | More by Thorpe429
3.88/5 rDev +3.2%
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.
12-19-2007 18:03:48 | More by grub
Winter Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.