Winter Ale | Telegraph Brewing Company

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84
good
81 Ratings
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Winter AleWinter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Telegraph Brewing Company
California, United States
telegraphbrewing.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by JayTheFinn on 12-24-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
81
Reviews:
45
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
11.17%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of jmarsh123
1.95/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours deep brown with a big creamy tan head. Good retention. Poor lacing.

Cinnamon bomb on the nose along with a heavy dose of nutmeg. I can tell this may be challenging.

Absolute spice bomb. Tons of nutmeg reminding me of my least favorite pumpkin ales along with a heavy dose of cinnamon. Chocolate attempts to come through, but really it's hard to pick anything out over the abundance of spices.

Medium to light bodied a bit high on carbonation.

Blech. This beer is horrible. Nutmeg and cinnamon dominate everything and it's nearly undrinkable. My drain is going to be drunk tonight.

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Photo of khall
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

Photo of McGowan
2.84/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

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Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
2.9/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle to a Thistle
Labeled Batch 117

Appearance- pours a reddish brown with 3 fingers of light tan foam. coarse bubbles that linger a bit. No lacing and for a beer with a cork, I expected it to be a little more chapagne-y. Not that this is bad !

Aroma- cinnamon, clove, chili, all spice, a little carmel butterscotch in there.

Taste- clove, cinnamon, allspice a hint of butterscotch. Virtually no heat or presence from the chilies. maybe it is being eclipsed by the hops? Hops Chilis vegetal all smears. No distinct hop character.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, the label says it was based on mexican hot chocolate, which I understood to be almost like a hot chocolate pudding, than a beverage. Maybe it needs some cacao nibs, chocolate malt, lactose, oats even? I do appreciate the carbonation level in this though, and the alcohol warmth is hidden well.

Overall- This one is spicey, I could see it pairing well with game meats, pumpkin pie or other desserts.
It is a valiant effort for a holiday ale and it is festive as a re-gifted fruitcake! But If I wanted chilies, i would go to a Stone Smoked Chipotle Porter. If I wanted Cocoa, I would go to a Young's Chocolate Stout, If I wanted Spice I would go to your favorite Pumpkin ale (Pumking/punkin?). This one maybe tries to do too much... I know It's hard to please everyone in SB. The Townies, the college kids, girls in Ugg Boots, surfers, Hippies, Oprah and her cronies, but Just be true to telegraph it'l come ! Dig the wit beer

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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.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
3.06/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of mcallister
3.13/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

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Photo of vurt
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.

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Photo of SShelly
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of Brez07
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
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)

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Photo of kojevergas
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork and a well-concocted straightforward label served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I actually quite like Telegraph. 7.5% according to my bottle; Batch number 117.

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption (the label advises to "enjoy it cool, rather than cold." Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Yields a satisfying pop upon removal of the cork. Adequate carbonation is anticipated.

A: Pours almost entirely foam - save for a finger's worth of actual body. The ambitious head is light khaki in colour, with good cream and thickness - and superb retention (7+ minutes). Overcarbonation is suspected. Body colour is a refined dark cherry-red; translucent and transparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. I really like the vibrant body; it's quite appealing for a winter warmer. No lacing as the head recedes.

Sm: Not at all what I expected. Dark ripe fruit; plum, grapeskin, maybe juicy pear. Pleasant spice like cinnamon, allspice (when I look for it), and nutmeg. Majestic raisin - really evocative. A bit of fig roll. I look for chili notes and don't find any. Caramel. Chocolate malt. I'd venture to say the fruit notes are actually dominant; surprising given what the label suggests they're going for. I expected a chocolatey chili-heavy winter warmer; this is not that. Biscuit malt. Belgian candi sugar. Very interesting and appealing. I'm intrigued. A moderate strength aroma. A bit of biscuity yeast does come through. I don't detect any alcohol.

T: The candi sugar hits me first. I notice the fig and the fruit after that - they're right there on the climax, with prominent raisin character. Not as much grapeskin as the aroma suggested. Sure, there're sprinklings of spice - cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe allspice. I don't get any chili notes; maybe I just don't know what sweet anchos are. I guess I expected hot or spicy chili notes but this is cool and refreshing in a fruity way. Caramel comes through. Nowhere near as much chocolate as I expected; it's just there as a light cocoa powder. The biscuity malts and candi sugar take centre stage here. I don't know that this tastes anything remotely like Mexican hot chocolate, but I do know that I like it. Balanced and well built. It's a bit on the simple side, but there's some subtlety here that I really appreciate. A pleasant surprise, overall.

Mf: Smooth and wet. It's actually undercarbonated, contrary to its appearance. Carbonation may be the biggest issue with this beer; it even starts to come off just a touch thin and watery as it warms. Good body and presence on the palate. Complements the flavour profile quite well but I don't know that it feels custom-tailored specifically to its flavours. Well-executed any way you slice it.

Dr: You have to drink this one with an open mind; it's probably not what you'd expect. Hides its ABV well. A solid winter warmer from Telegraph - a brewery that is quickly rising in my mental ranking of Californian breweries. Still, its price point is its biggest failing. Very drinkable and approachable; this would make a great introductory beer for the style but I don't know that it's convential per se. None of the toasted malt emphasis you find in most winter warmers is present here. It's intriguing and probably best regarded as a Belgian dark with a twist. And a such, it's quite a success. Bravo, Telegraph. I'd get this again on-draught or aged.

B-

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Photo of Jgrody
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of jlb502
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of djrn2
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

November 2008 Bottle Date; Sampled January 2009
A soft pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, lightly browned, full tan colored head. The beer is a very dark, burnt brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells quite sweet more from spice notes and a touch of cinnamon than from the actual malt. I do believe I detect a touch of spicy chile in the nose as well, it is just a touch in the finish, but seems to add an earthy chile note. Caramelized malt adds some brown sugar like notes and there is also a light toasted grain character. By far the sweet spice notes are the most noticeable part of the aroma, but as the beer warms a bit more of the chile starts to come out; this accentuates some berry notes and there is also a touch of cocoa now towards the finish.

A prickly carbonation greets my tongue up front and adds a tartness from the carbonic acid. Some aggressive swirling releases some of the excessive carbonation, but there is still a tartness to this brew. This has a spiciness reminiscent of sweet baking spices (a mix of cinnamon, clove and perhaps a hint of nutmeg), that also add a touch of bitterness to the finish. The chile adds some spice and chile flavor to the finish without really being hot at all. There is a bitterness here in the finish from the roasted malt, which also adds some roasted, toasted character to the front end of the beer as well. This is pretty light bodied, though it does have some heft to it that becomes a bit more balanced as the beer warms up. This is quite fruity tasting at times and reminds me of tart currants, some berry notes, as well as some tannic red grape flavors. The malt also seems to contribute a touch of dark cocoa flavors in addition to the toasted notes.

This is an interesting beer. The ancho is not quite prominent enough and the beer itself doesn't quite seem like it is rich enough to support the additional ingredients. This definitely has a certain tartness to it as well, though I think this is due to the dark grain and mash schedule than from any infection.

Purchased: South Bay Drugs, Imperial Beach CA

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Photo of Furlinator
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Rock & Brews Rancho Cucamonga on 02/14/17.
A malty red ale with plenty of Winter spices. Too much cinnamon, in my opinion.

132 characters

Photo of MiScusi
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

No intro here, just review: It pours a deep brown-ruby topped by about two fingers or so of cream froth. The nose comprises light cocoa, anise, cinnamon, clove, Belgian candi sugar, brown sugar, light plum, dark fruits, and a touch of black pepper way in the background. There's a decided BSDA feel about this smell, if you ask me. The taste holds notes of dark fruits, anise, light smoked pepper, clove, allspice, light cocoa, vanilla bean, light molasses, and a touch of roasted malts for good measure. It's all a bit much when it strikes the tongue, but somehow it misses being too much. Suffice it to say, a whole helluva lot is goin' on with this stuff... The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, the parts are generally positive, but the sum is a mish-mash of overly-complex flavors that never really coalesces into anything truly good. Not sure if that makes sense or not... I will say that the pepper in the background does some nice things with the finish, keeping my tastebuds on their toes. Beyond that, though, I think the flavor din is just too loud for its own good.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Batch # 117.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, chile, slight cocoa, and a variety of Winter spices. Taste is much the same with earthy spice and chile flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some very earthy aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Winter Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 81 ratings.
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