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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

64 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 64
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: 64 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BrewerB
BrewerB

Florida

4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a New Belgium globe. Formed a 2.5 finger thick off-white head that collapsed down with little lacing but remained atop the dark brown beer. Good clarity.

S - Initial aroma is heavily slanted towards the spices. Cinnamon, allspice, vanilla are all present. There's a sweetness playing a role here as well. And a tinge of pepper-like spice. I'm also picking up on what smells like banana though. Interesting complexity in the aroma.

T - Roasted malts, hints of peppery-spice, vanilla, and cinnamon all mix together in a curious first sip. Finishing moderately with a lingering touch of sweetness. Bitterness is moderate and I'm having difficulty picking up specific hop character. Semi-sweet chocolate.

M - Medium-light bodied with a moderate to moderate-low level of carbonation. Expecting a little more body here to complement the complexity of flavors.

D - I'm glad to get my hands on this beer as it's the first I've sampled from the Telegraph lineup. While not my favorite Winter Warmer, it's a worthy attempt at the style. The variety of spices and dark malts mix well together but a little more body could help spark more of my tastebuds' interest.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 08:21:57 | More by BrewerB
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle at 50 degrees, courtesy of SouthBay Drugs.

Pours dark mahogany with a ruby translucency when held to the light. A solid two inch head of beige in the shoulders of the tulip faded slowly to reveal a full skim coat on the surface and a few errant dots of lacework.

Aromatics lead off with spicy phenols, cocoa, pepper-dusted raisins, and roasted toffee. Hints of cardamon, cloves, caramel, nougat, and smoke follow through. A hint of Spruce resin and dried pineapple linger. Warming on the nose and complex. A bit of Brett?

Medium bodied with a crisp and slightly creamy mouthfeel. A bit prickly with a bit of tackiness.

Roasted malt, pepper-rubbed cocoa nubs, and spicy raisins start the palate. Hints of char, menthol, and cardamon step forward.

Finishes with a building, spicy warmth, lingering dark-roasted cocoa, and pepper-dusted raisins. Fairly dry with a nicely balancing bitterness.

Nice beer, and I think some more time in the cellar would really pull this one together and mellow out some of the spicing.
I like it as is though.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2009 23:02:49 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 19:17:43 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of SShelly
SShelly

Oregon

3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark Red/ruby color with a low offwhite head that doesnt stick around too long.

Aroma is light and malty, hints of sweetness, with a very small amount of spice behind it.

Flavor is immediately sweet and malty, quite a bit of spice upfront as well, though not from the peppers, all I taste is all-spice. actually its kinda scary how much this tastes like all-spice. Behind that is a light pepper flavor.

Leaves quite a bit of sweetness in the mouth, not my favorite winter/spiced beer ive had, not horrible but damn that all-spice flavor sticks around.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2008 04:36:02 | More by SShelly
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2008 02:31:44 | More by MiScusi
Photo of vurt
vurt

Oregon

3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Corked 750 ml bottle purchased from Red Carpet Liquors in Glendale. Label indicates that this beer was "Bottled on Dec. 20, 2007." Served in a nonic pint glass.

Appearance:
Beautiful deep reddish brown with burnt orange highlights. A finger of dense foam the color of white pepper reduces to a thin cap that lasts to the bottom of the glass.

Smell:
Sweet and very spicy-- nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Seriously phenolic. A slight cayenne pepper note tickles the nose. Underneath it all there's some roasty, chocolatey character.

Taste:
Very sweet at the start, followed by a gust of spices and enough phenolic character to make me think this is really a dubbel instead of a spiced brown ale. Some tart plum flavors on the heels of the spices. Finishes somewhat drier than it starts, with an odd pumpkin note. Cayenne and alcohol set up a warming glow at the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel:
Full-bodied, smooth and round, with just enough texture from the carbonation. Nice.

Drinkability:
Too sweet and too spicy for me (and I *like* spiced beers). Every element is shouting for attention. I don't know if this is strong enough to age, but I think it would be worth trying, just to ramp down the level of sweetness and spicing.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 10:36:04 | More by vurt
Photo of McGowan
McGowan

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2008 07:19:13 | More by McGowan
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a dark jet black, with a small tan head, no real lacing to be had.

S: An interesting an striking scent leaps out of the glass on the first sniff, fir trees, nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices abound, with a bit of malt.

T: This is one of the more heavily spiced Winter Warmers that I have had, heavy bitter nutmeg on the first taste, which I was enjoying, but delving deeper into the brew reveals even more flavour. Spruce and fir resin, sweet cherries, bitter orange peel and cinnamon are also there. A fan of nutmeg or other spiced beers will love this stuff.

M: A little too much on the weak side, watery and thin, but has an interesting texture from all the spices used to keep it interesting.

D: A nice Winter Warmer to try in January, it brings back the Christmas feeling with its unique taste, definitely worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2008 02:09:57 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas tasting with biegaman and grub, 750 ml bottle.

Pours an opaque black/dark brown, thick tan head, lace rings, thick layer, great retention, looks pretty sweet. Smell is funky, lots of fruit, sour cherries, spice, caramel, light chocolate, quite nice. Taste is sour and funky at first, very fruits, strawberries and cherry, chocolate, touch of roast, very spicy, a bit lemony in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, silky smooth. Good funky stout, Telegraph is definitely doing some fine beers. Thanks a ton Jan!

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 21:08:47 | More by Viggo
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 18:03:48 | More by grub
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

3.1/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a damn fine looking winter warmer. Dark russet colored, completely opaque. Almost black. A tall tan head shows that this beer has great carbonation. Fades quickly into a topper and leaves some lacing thin and sticky.

Dark fruits with a bit of berry and nut on the aroma. Full of nutmeg and cinnamon with a pinch of clove. Blue and black berries with a trace of anise almost black licorice. This beer is a year old and there is a slight souring lingering in the background is that the culprit.

This is one odd duck. Somewhat peaty with a very in your face floral herbalness surrounded with spices. Big on spice. Dark fruit takes a back door to the spice as a matter of fact but this is one of those brews. Things seem to be all over the place. Not a bad WW but something is just missing. Very perfumey with a mouth that is thin in the mid palate and long with perfume in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 21:54:49 | More by mcallister
Photo of bjohnson
bjohnson

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

thanks to solomon420 for sending this offering as part of my ba anniv. gift. 750mL bottle. corked and caged.

Pours an uncharacteristic and surprising thick black color with a frothy and foamy one finger caramel colored head. Big bubbles lazily breaking on top of the head. Nice retention holds with stick thick lacing down the glass. Smells a bit more like a dubbel than a winter warmer. Belgian phenols. Sour notes on top of a sweet chocolate undercurrent. Soft on the nose. Spicy chili's are noticeable. An interesting smelling brew.

Strict sour notes take over the entire senses and scorch the palate. Nestle chocolate powder and coffee notes follow in right before the finish. Sweet fruit concentrate flavors are very noticeable and thin the brew out. To thin in my opinion. Not a very great brew---half drain pour for me--i hope my drain was thirsty.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2007 02:19:11 | More by bjohnson
Photo of rallison
rallison

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2007 06:24:54 | More by rallison
Photo of JayTheFinn
JayTheFinn

California

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!

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2006 04:23:59 | More by JayTheFinn
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Winter Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.