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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
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 38
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 19.23%
Wants: 7
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:
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 brewandbbq
3.68/5  rDev +8.9%

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.

brewandbbq, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
3.73/5  rDev +10.4%

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.

Halcyondays, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of beagle75
3.78/5  rDev +11.8%

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.

beagle75, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%

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.

Sammy, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of GuruDel
4/5  rDev +18.3%

GuruDel, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of DaveHS
4/5  rDev +18.3%

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.

DaveHS, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of Beerenauslese
4/5  rDev +18.3%

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.

Beerenauslese, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of marqoid
4/5  rDev +18.3%

marqoid, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of jmechy
4/5  rDev +18.3%

jmechy, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of ricecracker420
4/5  rDev +18.3%

ricecracker420, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of seand
4.05/5  rDev +19.8%

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.

seand, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of rand
4.13/5  rDev +22.2%

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.

rand, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of rtaps
4.22/5  rDev +24.9%

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

rtaps, Oct 22, 2011
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Obscura Arborea from Telegraph Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.