Robust Ale
Telegraph Brewing Company

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American Strong Ale
Ranked #184
Ranked #29,612
3.75 | pDev: 12.8%
Telegraph Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 16
Reviews by bulletrain76:
Photo of bulletrain76
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at the brewery. They described this as a stronger version of their california ale. Pours a deep orange-amber color with a medium head. Sweet fruity and yeast aroma with pears and tartness dominating. The flavor is malty and sweet, with a little less tartness apparent than the california ale due to the added residual sugars, but still tangy and crisp. Definitely belgian leaning in character, and displays the house yeast tendency toward a dry tart flavor. Quite nice, but definitely less sessionable than the California ale.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked magnum.

Pours a clear tawny color, sediment was left in the bottle. The carbonation is very expressive but not gushing with enough lacing on the glass to keep me happy. Strong bottle conditioning here. Smells of apple tart, doughy biscuits and a hint of citric peel. Smooth a very responsive carbonation that yields a lot of tiny bubbles in the mouth. Biscuity malt meets earth musty yeast, hops tangle with the alcohol with a citric pepper combo then all flavors meld into a chaotic complex mess that makes me want to take another sip. Raw and rustic yet still clean enough to be able to hold on to some drinkablilty.

All in all this is a winner, by far one of the more interesting beers I have tasted this year.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample at Stone. This beer pours a hazy dark amber color with a medium beige head that diminishes slowly. Thin rings of lacing on the glass. Aroma of malt and spices along with touches of hops and plum. Medium-bodied with sweet spice and malt flavors coupled with dark fruit and hops in the background. The finish is mildly sweet at first with touches of warm alcohol and hops in the aftertaste. Pretty good overall.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Polished persimmon orange with Sunkist borders and an expansive crown of golden khaki colored froth that filled the vast majority of the glass on the pour. The lid looks like sticky meringue and is doing a pretty good job laying down chunks and chunklets of lace.

It's difficult to pin down the style on the nose alone. Then again, this offering is a 'bigger and bolder version' of California Ale, which doesn't fit neatly into any one category either. Robust Ale smells most like a Belgian strong amber ale...

... which is how it tastes too. This is interesting ale that has quite a bit going on in each mouthful. Belgian yeast has to be part of the brewing equation. Cascade hops are a no-show, but then the bottling date was way back on April 10, 2009. Although aging it was never my intention, it certainly didn't do any harm (with the exception of that whole citrusy hop thing).

Belgian strong amber is still the starting point for comparison's sake. Flavors include well-toasted bread, steely caramel, spent tea leaves, a faintly funky and phenolic fruitiness, an Oktoberfest-like (or peanut brittle-like) toasted-earthy nuttiness, and a woodsy-peppery spiciness that is what allows the word 'complex' to be used in the end.

The freshly zested grapefruit vibe of Cascade hops would've been out of place anyway. Even though 7.5% isn't as hard to hide as a hippo in a hot tub, TBC did an excellent job keeping things smooth-edged and easy drinking. Almost two years of age probably had something to do with that.

A Belgianesque mouthfeel was neither expected nor delivered. What has been provided is solidly medium in heft, with low-end bubbles that still add enough lift and energy, even as the bottom third of the bottle approaches.

Telegraph Brewing Company Robust Ale is probably a vastly different brew when fresh. When approaching its second birthday, it's an enjoyable American-brewed, Belgian-style strong amber ale that is keeping my palate intrigued throughout every one of the 750 ml. Definitely worth a look.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Massive pop from the cork, prompting a "warn me next time" look from my wife. Not as much of a gusher as you might expect from that, but a fine-grained froth forms about three inches on top of a lightly orange-golden brew. Nose presents a slight tartness like yellow apple or pear. Doughy, biscuity malt notes. Slight citrus element. Sweetness edges up into Munich territory.

Much carbonation in the mouth - overly done in my point of view. Some lacing, but not a lot. Earthy and malty, with a seriously musty yeast action. Light fruitiness, almost like a white wine - think muscat grapes. Boozy with some citric zest - just a little too strongly alcohol for this abv. Not a huge fan, but definitely interesting enough to go for a bomber.

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Photo of seaoflament
2.14/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to Joey for sharing this one last night at La Bella. From a corked and caged 750ml bottle.

Poured a dark golden color with over an inch of foam, some retention and a formation of a ring. There were some yeast floaties in the beer that didn't help the appearance.

Not so robust on the nose, not that complex either. The main aromas I picked up were banana, phenols, and hints of pale malt.

Very similar to the aroma with some banana upfront, phenols, plastic, pale malt, and a metallic finish on the first sip. Later on I tasted a bit of red apple and toast. A few sips later the beer began to have a grainy, medicinal, and aspirin kind of taste. Not that good at all.

The worst aspect of this beer was probably the mouthfeel. As soon as the beer enters the mouth it is a rush of carbonation and the beer just turns mostly to foam. Very fizzy and somewhat of a filmy texture on the tongue. I couldn't finish my 7-8oz pour...I tried to gulp it but the carbonation wouldn't let me.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Solomon420 for the growler.

A: Cloudy copper in appearance. Almost has a wheat ale look about it. Decent amount of head especially for a growler.

S: Very musty and earthy. Some banana. The blurb says pear but I am not picking any up.

T: Starts off with s strong malt taste. Slightly bitter. Then it goes into a tea like taste. Very smooth and subtle. Hints of some fruit at the end before it finishes sweet.

M: Med body. Carbonation is good for a growler.

D: Very enjoyable beer. The low ABV for a strong ale really lets you enjoy this beer. Again thanks to Solomon420 for the growler. Nice take on the style.

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Photo of charlzm
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed at Lucky Baldwin's, 07/02/08.

Slightly cloud orange/amber hued beverage. Very well carbonated with lots of small bubbles making their lazy way up to the surface, replenshing the creamy off white head.

The only aroma I could detect was an unfortunate aluminum smell.

Flavor is in the barleywine universe, with sweet, nearly syrupy malts up front. This gives way to spice at the end (Ginger? Cinnamon? I can't quite put my finger on it). Lasting bitterness. Carbonation prickles the tongue slightly in a very agreeable way.

Surprisingly drinkable for its strength, I finished off the pint fairly quickly.

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Photo of popery
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at City Beer Store. They called it a Belgian IPA. Reading over these reviews, I wonder if they're playing with the recipe or something.

At any rate, it's a hazy light golden-amber beer with a pretty good head. The aroma was a bit too light but good. Oranges and mild Belgian yeast were were all mixed up. As a Belgian IPA, it certainly needs more hops. As a generic strong ale, it's still a bit underwhelming in flavor. It was interesting and complexity lurked in there, but even after warming it up a bit, the flavor wasn't big enough. Subtle spice and dark fruit mix with the orange hops in the nose for a fairly tasty beer. The alcohol is well-hidden. At any rate, it's a good Belgian-influenced ale that just needs some amplification to really shine.

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Photo of bret27
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle courtesy of bulletrain76

S: Like a saison? Yeasty, citrusy, smooth, little hoppy.

A: yellow/orange, white fluffy head

T: Yeasty/earthy, spice, caramel, mild hops coming through.

M: Belgian style, not too thick, leaves slickness on palate.

D: Good.

Overall: Tastes like an average saison. Not too exciting, but a drinkable beverage.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

534th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
750 ML C/C
Bottle Date 3/30/10

Split 3 ways for a buddies birthday last night.

App- A nice vibrant orange with a one and half head. No cling to this one.

Smell- A little different to me to pin down but was caramel and some citrus.

Taste- A little malty, with caramel sweetness and a lot of citrus with a touch of spice.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Nice soft bubbles.

Drink- I know I put down some of the other numbers, but this thing was very tasty. Very drinkable, not sign of the ABV and just different.

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Photo of wedgie9
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted from 750mL bottle at Lush Roscoe. Pours clear amber with a thick off-white head. Some cereal and banana with candy sugar and light spices. Flavor is malty with some unsweetened chocolate and a hint of chicory. The body is medium with overbearing carbonation and a long finish with malt and very light hops bitterness.

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Photo of itsfreeasinbeer
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: two finger beige head with a cider colored body.

Smell: green apple.

Taste: sweet malt is the dominant component with apple flavor and hops rounding the beer out. The aftertaste is bready. Overall very good strong ale that is atypically malt-dominant upon first taste as opposed to the standard American styling of strong ales, which seem to be typically more hop prevalent.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied and well carbonated.

Drinkability: This is my first sampling from Telegraph, and I have to admit that I've really enjoyed this ale and will be trying their other offerings. It is a solid interpretation of the style that is unique in its flavor.

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Photo of ravot
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to @skawars1 for the bottle. Bottled Jan 21st, 2010.

Serving type: Bomber poured into a Surly Darkness tulip.

Appearance: Pours a light amber, HUGE head. Just under 2 inches. In the glass, it looks like I poured a red ale. There is no lacing after the head is gone.

Smell: From the bottle, uncorked. PANCAKES! banana, cinnamon. Once poured into my snifter, heavy aromas.
Raisins. More bananas, pear notes appear after about a minute.

Taste: Grassy notes, minimal banana tastes but drinks heavily like pear juice. really interesting. I can taste the malt, slightly roasted/burnt.

Mouth-feel: Sparkling like a cider, then it gets really dry in the aftertaste. I'm not big on ciders so this is a few points dropped in my book. it's definitely not bad but i didn't expect this.

Overall: I'm not big on ciders so this is a few points dropped in my book. it's definitely not bad but i didn't expect this. this thing was aged for 4 years and 6 months. Carbonation is heavily existent. I'm curious how this bottle tasted fresh because the smelling notes on this bottle are excellent and I can only imagine what it was quickly after bottling.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Jodio
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Robust Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 16 ratings