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Obscura Arborea - Telegraph Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Obscura ArboreaObscura Arborea

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
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:
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 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.

DaveHS, Jun 23, 2011
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.

rand, Nov 15, 2012
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.

seand, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of stevefinny
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

stevefinny, Jan 23, 2012
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.

Trilogy31, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of marqoid
4/5  rDev +18.3%

marqoid, Nov 20, 2011
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.

phichifiji00, Mar 07, 2012
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

rtaps, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of jwjon1
2.05/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a styro coffee cup in a hotel room--better than out of the bottle me thinks. Couldn't really tell you the color due to the cup plus 3" foamy head that refused to subside. Wasn't a gusher, but highly carbed and ready to foam at the slightest hint of a nucleation site. You've been warned.

Smells like highly diluted balsamic vinegar. And that's about it. Very one-noted. Just kinda blahhh.

Tastes was a little less blahhh. Maybe more of a blah. With the target being Flanders Oude Bruin, both the sweet and sour were way off the mark. More precise, though there is some sour there, there is really no sweet balance. In fact, this finishes unpleasantly bitter... oddly enough, a coffee bitter, with the coffee likely coming from the roasted malts and the bitter from the oak. It is not very refreshing as a result.

Not my cup o' brew.

jwjon1, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of jpajpajeff
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

jpajpajeff, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of GuruDel
4/5  rDev +18.3%

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

jmechy, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of guausullivan8
2.93/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I went to the store excited to get a local sour beer on my travels here in southern California, and was excited to try this beer because I will be going to Santa Barbara soon. Unfortunately I was very dissapointed. I may be too harsh of a critic, but it seems too young/commercial - but not so professional. Granted the sour taste is there- it just seems like they are just getting started on this project. It is very cloudy/chill haze. It seems rushed, and is WAY over carbonated in the bottle i got- making for a 1 inch pour into a snifter full of foam. really dissapointed- should have stuck with Russian River, or lost Abbey.

I left it in the fridge over night after that review to see if the rest of the bottle would get better with a little fresh air- Still way over carbonated, but the beer did get better.. still hazy though

guausullivan8, Jun 17, 2011
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Obscura Arborea from Telegraph Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.