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Obscura Arborea - Telegraph Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Obscura ArboreaObscura Arborea

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

38 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 38
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 19.23%
Wants: 8
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Telegraph Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: beagle75 on 04-10-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rtaps
4.22/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out and all turned into foam, once in started to settle down. It was a very deep dark orange leaving spotty lacing around the glass.

smells of carmel and fruit. then just a hint of malt

The only way i can think to describe the taste is, like an apple juice with an ale bite to it. Can definitely taste the alc. in it.

mouth feel in med to full body. little bit dry afterwards.

overall the is a good beer. have to give it a little time for the foam to settle down but is worth the wait

Photo of rand
4.13/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a Mikasa tulip glass

Batch 77

The beer is creamed-copper in appearance (if that's a legitimate color description) with a huge pillow-y head that never recedes. Tones of woodsy dank and unripe berries float about, but in the ether - the nose lingers and takes a few whiffs to pull it in.

The taste is much more pronounced with toffee-like malts playing against tart cherries. There are notes of drying oak that mix well with a subtle hop snap, keeping the sweet aspects in check. Alcohol is apparent but not aggressive. Finishes long, sweet and sour.

I don't get the low (or average) reviews here. My bottle's been aging for a little over a year (maybe longer) so that might be what 'smoothed' it out, but I don't think that's the entire reason. The brew produces a super-sudsy head, almost billowy, but it doesn't FEEL over-carbonated, something I can't stand. Over-carbing wouldn't get better with age. And I'm trying to pinpoint why the consensus feels this has a disjointed flavor profile - I'm getting a pretty smooth play of sweet and sour and bitter washing over the palate. Hmm...maybe I got a good batch? Or there's a bit of group-think here on BA? Well, no need to speculate...I've been drinking a lot of this style lately and this beer, at least my bottle, is a good example.

Photo of seand
4.05/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the most violently carbonated beer I've ever opened. Just loosening the cage starts the cork sliding out, and once it comes out (with a very loud pop), foam immediately starts gushing out of the bottle. I had a glass ready, as I had been warned, but once that was filled up with foam and the bottle showed no signs of stopping, I had to scramble for a second glass. There was foam coming out of the bottle for several full minutes, with me trying to pour out enough to get it to stop without losing too much, and still more ended up down the drain than I would have liked. Crazy.

A: If you can get it poured, it's a dark slightly translucent brown amber, with mountains of sticky off white head. Head retains for a while, and leaves solid walls of lacing.

S: Tart funkiness, with citrus backed by a solid malty sweetness.

T: Nicely balanced blend of sweet and tart, with a fair amount of funk on top. The alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Very very highly carbonated, medium to full body.

Overall this was pretty interesting; tasty, but unique. If I have it again I'll need a bigger glass around to catch the first 1/3 of a bottle or so that comes out in foam.

Photo of GuruDel
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of DaveHS
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-As soon as I removed the cage, the cork started sliding out. I managed to grab it before it popped out on its own. It opened with a loud POP and immediately started overflowing. Open this one over the sink and have a glass ready to go. Pours hazy iced tea brown with nearly 4 inches of rocky, foamy light khaki head. Leaves substantial, chunky lacing.

S- The nose is lemony and tart, with aromas of sour cherry, red wine vinegar and musty old wood.

T/M- The lacto sourness has more of a lemon custard tartness than anything resembling the traditional sour cherry flavor attributed to the Flemish Sour/Oud Bruin style. As it gets closer to room temperature a, pleasant biscuity/shortbread malt quality emerges. The bright, initially tart mouthfeel becomes mellow and creamy mid-palate, with a slightly metallic finish that abruptly falls off. The carbonation is chewy and prickly, evenly distributing the sour and sweet flavors. The 9%ABV is well hidden for the most part, exposed only in part through the drier than average finish.

O-Not really a true Flemish Sour/Oud Bruin, but a beer worthy of your attention.

Photo of Beerenauslese
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I read elsewhere this was a gusher, so I opened this after it was chilled to about 45 degrees. Cork loosened with a resounding champagne pop, but no gushing. Hard to pour this one without the head expanding voluminously. About a 2 inch head was the best I could do, which was eggshell white, thick and foamy. Has pretty good head retention, and leaves lots of sticky lace on the glass.

Smells of lemon, dark cherries, brown sugar, barnyard funk, and old wood.

I like how this beer tastes, and it is not disappointing, but it doesn't exactly fit the brewer's style objective of a sour cherry Oude Bruin. it is not as sour as Oude Bruins typically are, such as Rodenbach. The lacto takes it in a lemony sour direction, yet it is also characterized by a dark caramel malt sweetness, accompanied by a metallic cola taste and spiciness, reminding me of an abbey ale with a lacto fermentation. It has a husky and spicy dark fruit character in the finish, probably dried dark cherries. The flavor cherry only comes through in the long dry finish. Oak is there to lend some smoothness but it isn't that prominent in the taste. This beer crosses style boundaries, but it ends up being a smooth and balanced beer.

The carbonation is pretty vigorous, much like champagne when the beer is first poured. Together with the sourness, the carbonation gives it a nicely refreshing mouthfeel.

Telegraph has been bending styles for awhile now. This is an interesting dark, slightly sour beer that comes off pretty smooth in the end. I'd definitely have this again.

Photo of marqoid
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of jmechy
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of ricecracker420
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at The Blue Palm. A nice drinker for the style. Sour yes but very well malted backbone. Light brown and very lacy, something fine to look at. Sour and wild. Oaky, why I like these beers. Still decent mouthfeel. Satisfying. Suitably carbonated.

Photo of beagle75
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft service into a tulip glass at Beachwood BBQ.

A: Slightly hazy, dark amber color with a peripheral residue of white bubbles. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Surprisingly focused crystal malt that is accompanied by a lactic bite and a hint of rustic oak. There is a funky thread that comes and goes, sometimes suggesting green plant stems while giving more of an impression of an infected wound at other times.

T: Begins dry, with sourness that predominantly features lactic acidity, but with just enough of an acetic bite. Flavors follow the smell closely, with a definite malt presence of heavy toasted grain as well as more faint caramel. The sourness never steps outside of a restrained level of intensity, and the same can be said about the smoothing wood presence. Fruit is not featured here--if this is a kriek, then they weren't trying very hard. The finish remains malt-forward, leaving a hint of brown sugar to linger in the absence of bitterness.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, balanced and slightly creamy on the palate whereas acidity is more tasted than felt, with moderate carbonation.

D: This is an approachable California-brewed sour that appears to model itself as a Flanders red ale. The detectable presence of wood adds credibility that the palate can sense, but some further transformation of the malt may be required for this to threaten the Rodenbachs of the world.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a medium amber with a light white head, leaving some soapy lace.

S: Smells like a wet dog spritzed with lemons. Also a note of pinto beans. Interesting if not super appealing.

T: Flavour brings a lot more to the table. Good oak character with noticable peach and lemon along with some mild citric type acid.

M: Medium-bodied, mild acidity, pretty smooth, very light carbonation.

D: This is a good wild ale from Telegraph who consistently show that they can do these types of beers well. I could never see this as a Flanders Red, though it shows some of the characteristics. Don't think you'll get anything close to Rodenbach.

Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From the Telegraph website: Flanders Oud Bruin, 9%
"Batch No. 77" on the label.

Explosively charged, the cork slides out with a bang. No gush, but a slow creep of rising foam slowly surfaces a minute later. Into a large tulip glass, there's an instant dispersion of foam billowing in the glass, even with the slightest trickle from the bottle. Swirling the glass whips it into a pruneish tan meringue. Color is a murky dark chestnut brown, with reddish hints in the light. Like a cumulonimbus cloud, the foam defies gravity and pushes above the rim, forming irregular peaks and crags. It coats the glass like suds from a bubble bath, sticking in fluffy 3-dimensional shapes all around the edges.

Musty basement aroma, cherry pits, minerals and wet stone.

Dark fruit flavors, tart cherry, currant, dried plum, bitter grape stems, tannic oak and grape skins. Woody and dry aftertaste. Lingering flavors of wine grapes, black cherry, and oak.

Extremely carbonated, and a bit astringent unfortunately. The bitterness of the wood is a little off-kilter, though not a deal breaker here. Reminiscent of La Roja and Haandbakk, though a little rough around the edges.

Photo of brewandbbq
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Pours cloudy mahogany with a massive three-plus inch head of dense bone. A slow retreat revealed a solid skim cap and thick ropes of lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with hints of chocolate malt, balsamic vinegar, appleskins, and caramel. A vineous hint steps forward.

Medium bodied with a crisp, sharpish mouthfeel.

Sour apples drizzeled with molasses and toffee starts the palate. Sweetish and slighty tart with plenty of malt and chocolate.

Finishes with lingering residual sugars, fig-smeared apples, and a light tartness.

Although this beer does share some character with an Oud Bruin, it is just too sweet and not vineous and tart/sour enough. It's like it just never got to finish it's path. Maybe some time in the cellar would help.

Photo of augustgarage
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 77. 9% ABV. Chilled briefly then poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my Rodenbach flute.

Opens violently, though it isn't a gusher. Six fingers of beige merengue floats over the surface of not-quite-clear sinopia liquid. Surging liquid settles down slowly. Superior retention, thick heavy lacing. If you allow the bottle to "breath" for a couple hours (chill accordingly), the carbonation level fades to an acceptable level.

Several varieties of tartness in the nose - cherry pits, lemon, along with a vinuous oaky note. Faint caramel assuages the sour notes.

Very malty and dry palate entry with hints of cocoa and old cork. The lacto adds some earthy phenols and a sweaty acidity. Finish brings to mind cherry, black-currant, and orange marmalade spread on toasted black bread. Sweet-ish overall with a few layers of wild notes. Flavors are interesting but fade quickly.

Heavy carbonation, good effervescence, relatively light-bodied, very slightly tannic.

Closer to an Oud Bruin than a Flanders Red, though the potent carbonation is a bit excessive for the style. Sweet and deeply malty for the style, though the sour notes are complex and interesting rather than simply vinuous. An interesting and original experiment worth a try if you have access to it.

Photo of phichifiji00
3.65/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light brown color, tons of thick off-white head that fades slowly. The pressure in the bottle blew the cork out as soon as the cage was removed. Tons of lacing.

Smell: Tart, malty undertones, earthy, dark fruit, sour cherries.

Taste: Tart, sour cherries, dark fruit, earthy, oak, caramel, raisins, plums.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, silky, creamy, somewhat tart.

Overall: Another tasty beer from Telegraph. Not as sour as I'd have liked, but very drinkable.

Photo of biegaman
3.58/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

The beer poured with an abundance of head that, frankly, made drinking a bit awkward - then again I was forewarned it might explode and overflow, so I suppose I should be thankful it isn't anything more than this thick mound. But it ain't so good looking, a murky prune-brown that allows no highlights. (Edit: the complexion would settle and give way to some clarity.)

My Spidy sense is telling me something’s a miss here. I realize the beer was intentionally soured, injected with a wild yeast strain and barrel aged with bacteria, but this musty scent of mildewed oak and sourness is not exactly delectable and lacks much of the appeal of other American wild ales and Belgian red ales. There's not much fruit, although rotted cherries could be entertained (and there's plenty of raisin-y sugariness).

More fruit is noted in the flavour, where raisins and dried fruits are joined by tastes of figs and tart cherry. Those are overshadowed, however, by tobacco leaf-tinted oakiness and plenty of dark caramel and molasses notes. It benefits from warmth, tasting eventually like a combination of tootsie-roll and cherry cola. Too bad that takes hours to develop...

I'm hardly exaggerating when I say that the carbonation is painful. Like a school of piranha, the bubbles have sharp little teeth that pick apart the palate piece by piece and then disappear into a numbed aftertaste. It almost comes up on you before you can even swallow it. It took me nearly two hours to finish the 750ml bottle because the bubbles and an assertive underlying acidity were too strong to be enjoyed for the first half-hour.

But I did come to enjoy it, eventually. Besides, sometimes it's just as important to investigate unsuccessful cases to see what went wrong and this beer really only has the one flaw; too bad the carbonation in this batch was too strong to allow appreciation of the beer's subtle tartness and sweet malty and fruit flavours. It's otherwise a nice attempt at a classic Flemish style ale.

Photo of FosterJM
3.55/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

608th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
750 Ml C/C
Batch 77

App- Very murky medium brown mixed with orange to produce a very odd color. It also poured with a nice two and a half finger head to it. No cling at all, just a sliding head with a pond like cover

Smell- Very oaky to me with a bit of dakrer cherries and bananas. A lot of yeasty and wild yeast at that. The Lacto really adds a dimension to it but not the best wild smells.

Taste- Taste somewhat follows the nose in that its a bit oaky and a little funky. Its very soft but not that much a soured beer. The lacto really does add a new dimension of a banana oak flavor.

Mouth- Medium bodied and very high carbed. Bubbles do a dance across your tounge. The oaky, funky character remains.

Drink- I really like what Telegraph does but this one falls just a bit short for me. I should have let it sit for a while but my patience wore down. Ill have this one again for sure.

Photo of Trilogy31
3.55/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a milk chocolate brown with a ridicously foamy head though the bottle wasnt the gusher others said it was. Nose has simple lemony citrus, rhubarb, sour cherry and an earthiness to it. The taste is a bit muddied by old wood that didnt seem to integrate its flavors well, bright tart citrus and rhubarb pie with almost a creaminess to it. Very nice carbonation to balance the sour acidity and the wood actually plays well in the mouthfeel as well as the abv being very hidden. A simple easy drinking 9% beer.

Photo of jpajpajeff
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of stevefinny
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of CelticAleMan
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of womencantsail
3.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The pour is amber in color with a big white head. Aroma starts off with a mild buttery note. Notes of citrus, light caramel, oak, and vanilla. Maybe a bit of apple and pear on the nose. Sort of has a fruit flavor baby food thing going on on the palate. Lightly tart, maybe some spice, a touch of oak and vanilla. Really a strange beer.

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle marked Batch 77 into a goblet. Pours a super hazy red/orange with a freakishly huge head. Nice lace.

The smell is pretty light. A touch of sour detected.

The taste is light as well, tastes like an American Amber with a hint of sour fruit. Light medicinal hop presence. Goes down smooth.

This would be a good intro to sour beers, not too tart but still has the basic taste down.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Batch 77.

Pours a clear honey brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour and tart with some fruity and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with a vinegar-like flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a really crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that seems somewhat unrefined.

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Obscura Arborea from Telegraph Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.