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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

67 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.97%
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: 67 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brez07
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed as part of the Blind Beer BIF #6. 750ml C&C bottle served in a snifter

A: Dark brown pour, looks like cola. Impressive 2 finger off white head that sticks around for what seems like forever (4)

S: Boom, clove explosion! All I get at first, but as it opens up, some banana mixes in. Loads of dark fruit and other spices, including ginger. Faint hint of booze (3)

T: Dark caramel malt, providing a small amont of roast. Some grapeskin. There is also a tiny amount of smokiness too. Clove has a large presence. A bit leathery (3.5)

M: Medium bodied. Good amount of carbonation at first, then becomes lighter over time (3.5)

D: This beer is... good. Not great, not bad. A little higher than normal. Hits where it should but doesn't shine (3.5)

Brez07, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of Hex92
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had high hopes for this one, it came close, but it didn't quite hit the mark. Looks good, nice head, good color.
S- all spice
t- clean, little spicy, maybe a bit like pumpkin pie
M- lots of carbonation, otherwise good.

Interesting beer, but unfortunately it doesn't deliver on the initial impression.

Hex92, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pint, 9.4 oz. bottle into a pilsner glass. Color was dark mahogany, closer to black than anything else. Just over an inch of head. Nice amount of frothy lacing on the top, that stayed throughout the beer. The film was sporadic, but stayed. The film always looks better in a pint glass than a pilsner glass, so I’ll take that into consideration.

Initially smelled deep spices with cinnamon and gingerbread the only two I mentioned. Gingerbread is a spice you say? Well it is for this beer. Also smelled cloves, caramel, chocolate and toffee. Good smelling beer.

The taste wasn’t as much like the smell as I would have thought. I got gingerbread first, followed by cinnamon and a deep dark chocolate aftertaste. Spices rule the day here.

Full body. Slick texture. Average carbonation. Long spicy finish.

I liked this beer. It was definitely what I could call a winter beer. Too bad I live in California and can’t really appreciate the winter nature of it. Good beer.

BucannonXC5, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Bruery Provisions

Pours a dark amber color with a finger of off-white head. Strong spice aromas of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. There’s a nice little bit of banana aroma and dark fruit, too. Maybe a little bit of coffee. The flavor is nicely sweet with quite a bit of caramel, toffee, and spices. Nutmeg and cinnamon seem to be the most prominent. Some hints of banana as well as cherries. Medium bodied and medium carbonation.

womencantsail, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of bigoteetoe
4/5  rDev +6.4%

bigoteetoe, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of jlb502
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

jlb502, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of kegmasterxlarge
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

kegmasterxlarge, Dec 19, 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 Kkottonmouthkngz
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Kkottonmouthkngz, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of phichifiji00
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Almost black with a subtle red hue. Thick tan head that fades slowly. Moderate lacing.

Smell: chiles, orange peel, caramel, chocolate.

Taste: Cinnamon, ancho chiles, caramel, orange peel, chocolate, spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, creamy, smooth.

Overall: A very tasty beer. Again a wonderful beer from Telegraph and very surprising. The spices and chiles are wonderful, the citrus notes balance perfectly and the chocolate and caramel background is well done. Very drinkable. The best winter beer I've had so far this year. Telegraph has been a great surprise for me this year.

phichifiji00, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of Murrhey
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had in a taster at Bruery Provisions in Orange. Poured in 2 oz tulip glass.

A- Off white head. Thick lacing. Deep red-brown color.

S- Spicy. Brewing spices. Molasses.

T- Sour, spicy, bitter. Bit of a booze kick at the end.

M- Medium bodied, lingering grainy finish.

O- I've had better winter warmers. Not bad though.

Murrhey, Dec 06, 2011
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 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 earitt
4/5  rDev +6.4%

earitt, Dec 03, 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 caseyoharaa
4/5  rDev +6.4%

caseyoharaa, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of elNopalero
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was from Batch 65, picked up last spring and been sitting on it all year waiting for longer days and cooler weather to crack it open.

Poured it and saw a bit of a thin lacing on a ruddy amber brew. Not a lot of carbonation. But what an aroma! A hearty bouquet of cloves, cinnamon, allspice greets my olfactory nerves. It tastes sweet and Belgian-y, as if a rogue prankster Trappist monk snuck some yeast into a tasty holiday ale. I enjoyed the distinct flavor of the ancho chiles. More of a nuanced hint than anything upfront or overpowering but I thought it made for an interesting, layered brew. My favorite of a recent night’s tasting. Glad I picked up two of these so I have one more to enjoy.

UPDATE:
Enjoyed (revisited) this in December, 2012.

It’s still pouring with some vigor. Appears a toasty malty brown mahogany color with billowy foam that dies down into a tight ring. I get an aroma of clove, nutmeg, cocoa nibs, a light chile ancho hint on the nose. This brew is remarkable with some age—the flavor hits all the right notes and still holds up. Cinnamon and some spice give a light kick. Still has a great body & smooth finish.

elNopalero, Nov 15, 2011
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 Beerenauslese
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is a pretty dark translucent brown. Poured to a half inch head in a snifter, the head quickly dissipates to a thin veil and a thicker ring, leaving motile clouds of lacing.

Aroma of chocolate, prune, cinnamon, clove, and juniper berries. Pretty intense and interesting.

Tastes quite spicy, in a holiday way, with some tree botanicals like juniper berries, or even spruce tips (like Alaskan winter ale). There is a little ancho chile pepper bite on the top of the tongue. Maybe it is just the chiles, but if that is all that is in here, then chiles are a good choice for a holiday ale, adding a nice peppery spice. There is also some dark chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in the mid-palate. This finishes cleanly with a lingering chile and chocolate bitterness, but wet on the tongue.

Body is light as is the carbonation, giving this a slightly fizzy mouthfeel, like a mineral water.

As a winter ale, it packs alot of taste in a light package, which makes it pretty drinkable, if you can handle all the spiciness, that is. I think it is best consumed with holiday foods. I am saving my other bottle for next year--should be good as the spicy elements mellow out into a smoother whole. We'll see.

Beerenauslese, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of seand
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark clear brown, with a fair amount of bubbly tan head. A layer retains pretty well, but doesn't leave much lacing.

S: Sweet winter spices, cinnamon, chocolate, brown sugar.

T: Much like the smell, sweet and full of spices. Cinnamon is again apparent, along with a chocolate note through the middle. The balance is nice overall, though pretty far on the sweet side of things.

M: Medium to light body, medium carbonation, dry finish. Quite smooth.

D: Very drinkable, a nice seasonal choice.

seand, Jan 28, 2011
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 dwilson01
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a growler into my new belgium tulip glass, minimal head tops the brew and little carbonation rises through it. The body is composed of a mahogany brown color.

The scents emanating from this one are pretty dense, I get winter spices along with a slight pine wood. Rosemary, thyme, and nutmeg with sprinklings of cinnamon come through, also a small amount of cranberry-raisin too which I think interesting.

The flavors follow from the nose pretty well but seem a little more bland than I would like, I think my growler had a weak seal and it's pretty flat so that could be why. Some maple sugar, pine, light spicing, and fresh cranberry come through well though, I think with more carbonation these flavors would be much more pronounced though.

The mouthfeel is a little weak, again I think this a product of the carbonation lack but it does go down pretty smooth!

dwilson01, Dec 06, 2010
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 bulletrain76
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Growler from the brewery last December, and somehow forgot to enter my notes until now. Dark purple-brown. Richly spiced aroma that does indeed have some similarities to mexican chocolate. Caramel and sharply spicy flavor. Finished a bit astringent. Started quite good, but by the end the spices were a bit heavy handed, and there wasn't much chocolate flavor as advertised. Fun to split with a bunch of people, but I wouldn't want a whole bottle of this to myself.

bulletrain76, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of jminsc76
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a large foamy head, reddish in color, which explodes out of the bottle once I popped the damn cork. The body is an impenetrable brown/reddish body, virtually the color of coca-cola. Decent legs as I tilt the glass.

The overall smell is intense, with initial aromas that include prunes, figs, and spices. As it warms, additional aromas include coca-cola, apple cider/sour apple.

Flavors are peppery, with sour apples, spices, and a slight quantity of caramel. It's not highly enjoyable at first due to the overwhelming heat (and I am not talking about the alcohol heat, but the heat from the chilies); as it warms the spicy hot, peppery flavors become dominant.

Mouthfeel is slightly phenolic, but fairly light-bodied. Not bad.

Overall, a decent Winter Warmer. While I can't say I enjoyed it immensely, it does make me want to come back and try again due to the broad range of flavors from apple cider to chilies (chilies in a Winter Warmer: that's cute).

jminsc76, Sep 02, 2009
Winter Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.