Winter Ale | Telegraph Brewing Company

BA SCORE
84
good
81 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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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 jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

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.

 539 characters

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 metter98
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear yet very dark reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense tan head that quickly died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface..
S: There are moderately strong aromas of spices in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is a complex mixture of various spices but is much stronger. Allspice and cinnamon seem to stand out in particular; there are some initial flavors of chocolate malts while peppery spices are present in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is a good representation of the style and goes down easily because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

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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-

 3,655 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

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 mikesgroove
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.

 1,231 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Bruery Provisions

Pours a dark amber color with a finger of off-white head. Strong spice aromas of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. There’s a nice little bit of banana aroma and dark fruit, too. Maybe a little bit of coffee. The flavor is nicely sweet with quite a bit of caramel, toffee, and spices. Nutmeg and cinnamon seem to be the most prominent. Some hints of banana as well as cherries. Medium bodied and medium carbonation.

 440 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

 1,172 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Gobzilla
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

 2,163 characters

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.

 543 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.91/5  rDev +4%
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.

 881 characters

Photo of RBorsato
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.24/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at American Flatbread
Poured a deep brown with almost no head to it. Nose is sweet and spicy. Taste is spiciness and some zing to it, perhaps some cinnamon and chocolate. Not big on roasted malts either. Very light but really good. I picked up on perhaps a Belgian yeast. Nice hops, goreat malt profile, well balanced, tastes great and easily drinkable! Damn good brew.

 376 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with some muted red highlights, full cap of tan head, moderate lacing. Scent was quite bold and hinted at cocoa powder, chili powder, light caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg, light herbal notes at the end. Taste brings components of scent together with the spices being fairly bold, sometimes overpowering. Surprisingly medium bodied, some heft needed to back up the bold flavors. Nice mix of flavors, a bit harsh when nearing the end of the bottle. A sipper to be shared for sure.

 495 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.12/5  rDev +9.6%
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!

 545 characters

Photo of Hellpop65
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Sound_Explorer
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Dope
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 95.

A: A nice deep brown pour with a very effervescent light brown head atop it. Retention is quite good, never fully fades away. Lacing is pretty decent too.

S: Tons of cinnamon and some pepper. Maybe even nutmeg? Toasted caramel. Maybe some chocolate? Hard to tell under all the stinging spices.

T: As in the nose, tons of cinnamon with a mild but noticeable chile pepper hit after that. Some nice caramel throughout, maybe a hint of cocoa in the aftertaste. Spices carry through and linger around for a while.

M: Quite effervescent, perhaps a bit too much. Tingly cinnamon and pepper spice.

O: Honestly not a bad concept but poorly balanced. The cinnamon is super overpowering, followed by the chile spice. There's almost nothing else to the beer. A strong chocolate character would achieve the desired effect I think. Lower carbonation would help too.

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