Gypsy Ale
Telegraph Brewing Company

Gypsy AleGypsy Ale
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Wild Ale
Ranked #1,315
Ranked #19,851
3.91 | pDev: 11%
Telegraph Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Gypsy AleGypsy Ale
Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 52 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Moose90
Moose90 from Washington

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 750ml Vintage Bottle poured into tasting glass

A — Pours nicely into the glass, beer appears as a light amber hue with a slight bit of haze to it. Little to no head, or retention, but it's a sour, so that's fair.

S — Quite fruity and bright, bit of raspberry, strawberry, tart lemon. Little bit of peachiness and the slightest bit of grape must and plums.

T — Slightly sour and tart, little bit of bitterness, really not as sharp as the nose might suggest. There is a bit of a strawberry sweetness that comes through, quite refreshing.

M — Nice amount of effervescence to this one, little bit of a quick finish.

O — A good beer overall, nice notes of berries, just wish it brought a little more sour to the table.

Jul 21, 2015
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BowWowWowYippyYoIPA from California

3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 2014

Look - Very pretty, slightly hazy golden amber with a thin white head. Nearly flawless bubble distribution with very small bubbles. Head dissipates but leaves a thin veneer on the top. 4.75 paws.

Smell - Very inviting and vinous. Notes of strawberry, yogurt, white wine, and the slightest hint of butterscotch. Nice sour presence with bits of blackberry and stone-fruit, more nectarine like than plum. Very nice. 4.25 paws.

Taste - The fruity sourness is up front with the strawberry yogurt taste. Not super sour, but you do get a bit of pucker. It's too bitter however, especially on the finish, with a bit of a sudsy soapy hop presence. Pleasant overall though. 3.5 paws.

Feel - A little thin, but milky at the same time. Not a lot of carbonation, with the sourness having more of a presence than tingle from the CO2. 4 paws.

Overall - A very nice beer, but the bitterness is a little off-putting. Definitely worth a try, but I've had better wild ales from telegraph. 3.75 paws.

Feb 18, 2015
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neurobot01 from California

4.02/5  rDev +2.8%

Pretty good sour. The front reminds me a lot of Agrestic, but there's a nice fruitiness that quickly predominates. The only thing keeping it from a higher score is a slightly watery taste. I'll probably snag another bottle to see how it handles a little age.

Nov 29, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Orange golden body. A little haze. Nice off white head.

Smell - Very plummy. A little bit of sour. Musty. Mostly fruit.

Taste - Follows the smell. Plums are strongest. More grainy malts. Some sourness, but not a ton. Very fruity.

Mouthfeel - Moderate sourness, but it's pretty clean. Enjoyable.

Overall - Good fruit, not a lot of other flavors, but it's alright.

May 28, 2013
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch 113

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber; an inch of foam fades away over the course of a minute or two, but there is plenty of lacing left behind

Smell: The plums dominate the aroma bringing a prunish character to join the white grape, green apple and Brett

Taste: As with the aroma, the plum flavor is a bit overwhelming, leaving the white grape, green apple and Brett characteristics to play a supporting role; underneath, there is just a hint of caramel that lingers from start to finish; plenty of funk in the mix, as well

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with tingly carbonation

Overall: The flavors don't really come together for me with this beer - too plummy, too grapey; not enough sour beer elements in the mix; interesting, though, and worth a try

May 13, 2013
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by noodleuser.

The beer is golden to amber colored with a small, fizzy head. The aroma brings fruit, pale malts, light funk. Tart with fruit notes, cider, and some acid in the finish. Puckering with some alcoholic warmth in the finish. Overall, pretty tasty beer. I'd have this again.

May 11, 2013
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Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

8% ABV confirmed. 750ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Acquired for $12 at a local SoCal beer store. Expectations are high; I've enjoyed Telegraph beers in the past and I love a good sour. Dig the simple label. Brwed with rye, unmalted wheat, and plums. Fermented with brettanomyces. Batch #113.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Yields a pretty satisfying pop upon removal of the cork. Yields a pleasant glug-glug sound during the pour.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and good (6+ minute) retention. Body colour is a dark hazy orange. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. No real lacing as the head recedes. Generally appealing for the style. Not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Biscuity brett funk. Bright berry fruit; I wouldn't guess plum if I didn't see it on the label. Floral hop character. A hint of tartness. Hay. Clean malts. Heavy wine-esque notes like grape skin and white cherry. A mild strength appealing aroma. I'm excited to try it.

T: Hm. I like it! White and red grapeskin. Crisp apple skin. Clean pale malts. Rounded brett yeast. Light tart fruit. Very lightly sour; very pleasant and not at all puckerworthy. Very timid for a sour; this would make a great introduction to sours. A touch of white cherry. Plum skin. A bit citric. Very bright white plum; the plum here is not the dark fruit of a quad. Fruity and refreshing. No alcohol comes through at all. I search for rye but don't find it. I do get pale wheat when I look for it. I want more tartness and sourness, but it's pleasant as it is, if a bit timid. Balanced and enjoyable for the style. It's different from what I expected, but quite good all the same. A tasty sour from Telegraph. I quite fancy it. Grapeskin is dominant.

Mf: Sticky. Smooth. Wet. Lightly refreshing. Suits the flavour profile well. Good carbonation. Good body. Good presence on the palate. Lightly juicy. Well-executed. Fairly acidic. Luscious.

Dr: A very approachable sour from Telegraph. Highly drinkable; I'll have no trouble killing the entire 750 alone. I'd definitely get this again; it's a bit pricey but it's worth it if you're in the mood for a drinkable fruity sour. Would pair extremely well with almost any food save for chocolate or desserts. I'd recommend an acidic salad or lemon chicken. The ABV is extremely well hidden. This is solid stuff from Telegraph. I'm impressed. I do wish the price was better, but that's often the case with this brewery.

High B

Mar 28, 2013
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Beerenauslese from California

4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark clear amber, pours with a half inch head that dissipates to a ring. No lacing.

Smells of medium roasted malt and fresh sour plum fruit along with some raspberry/cherry notes and Brett band-aid.

Rye malt nicely complements the fresh sour plum taste, and tannins add a little depth to the flavor. Brett adds a spicy wild character. Moderately sour, complex and well balanced.

Light body and crisp carbonation give this a cider like mouthfeel. I think this would be better with a little more malt body. Finishes clean and a just a bit dry.

This is a tasty, sour ale with complexity and depth.Light in body, it seems more wine/cider like. With a good level of acidity, it is quaffable on its own and can stand up to a variety of foods.

Sep 06, 2012
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brokensail from California

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a cloudy, reddish-amber color with an off-white head. A very strong plum fruitiness to the beer. Lots of Brett funk and yeast, a bit of red grape, and perhaps some wine. Just a light tartness on the nose. The flavor has a more pronounced tartness and a good plum flavor. A little bit of rye, wood, and a hint of vanilla. Really interesting and fairly enjoyable.

Jul 30, 2012
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thagr81us from South Carolina

3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to cmrillo for sharing this one after a night filled of ticking! Thanks brother! Served from bottle into a Ommegang Three Philosophers chalice. Poured ruby red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount very quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, tart cherry, sour, wood, and subtle vinegar. The flavor was of sweet malt, tart cherry, tart, sour, funk, fruit, and wood. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. The aroma on this one was really quite nice as was the flavor. The tart cherry aspect definitely dominated on this one. The funkiness really shined through on the followthrough on this one. Definitely worth trying if you get the chance for sure.

Jun 09, 2012
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ShogoKawada from Pennsylvania

2.72/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

reviewed from notes, enjoyed @ MA BA tasting. Poured into Stone VE Tasting glass. Thanks to augustgarage as always.

A- Ruddy brown, hazy. Biig head, takes a few pours to let the head settle out.

S- Lots of alcohol, smells like some homebrew portuguese wine I've had.

T- The plums come on strong- plum skin tartness is abrasive, with the rye spiciness coming through as well. Not sure if these two flavors should be mixed... clashing, for sure.

M- Bitter, strong spicy rye builds and is really off-putting. Plums are pretty sweet as well.

O- I like the concept but it's not working. Meh.

Jun 25, 2011
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jlindros from Massachusetts

3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had at the huge whale-ish tasting at Chris's. Thanks to ShogoKawada for this one, batch 57.

Pours with a big fluffy head and light lacing, dark reddish maroon purplish brown like color.

Nose isn't too heavy, some dark fruits, plum, touch of date/fig, bit of nectarine without the citrus part, light funk on the nose, touch of rye.

Taste is light funk, light spicy rye, light malts and wheat, some light plum, light dark roasty like malts, light warming booze, little solventy though, bit of sweet barley, sticky finish, warming booze, but more rye on the finish as well.

Mouth is medium bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall not bad but not great, lots of various interesting flavors mixed but don't seem to blend well.

Jun 08, 2011
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portia99 from Massachusetts

3.11/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml corked and caged bottle (batch 57 - 2010) poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass. First bottle of a massive tasting with several BA's - bottle opened courtesy of ShogoKawada. Thanks!

A - Hazed, deep amber color, finger of fluffy head, good staying power, loose rings of lacing.

S - Heavily plummy, a bit boozy, wine-like, mild funk, a bit of solvent.

T - Plums, bitter, solventy, a bit rough. Rye shows throughout.

M - Medium body, light funk, bitter and fruity, medium carbonation level.

O - Not bad, not great. Not very tart or sour, fruity/plummy - not outstanding.

May 28, 2011
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch # 57.

Pours a murky dark iced tea color with a nice 2 inch khaki head that fades to a small cap. There is some sedimentation in this beer. Decent rings of lace around the glass on the drink down. Smells of balsalmic vinegar, some plum/dark fruit notes, and the funky Brett wildness. Taste is up front with a bitter earthiness, sour vinegar, with mild fruit flavors on the finish. There is a pronounced bitterness/acidity on the tongue after each sip. Beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp soda like bite. Overall, this is a pretty good wild ale but the bitterness detracts from the overall experience. Also, not as sour as I was expecting.

Apr 20, 2011
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #48 (Jan 2011):

Rye, locally grown plums and brettanomyces ... you have to love American brewing ingenuity! Muddled brown color; with a faint burgundy hue, ample lacing stays for the session. Spice, wild herbs, musty cellar and ripe fruit including plums, though a cherry-like smell does pop up in the nose. Deep smoothness meets a creamy medium body. Tartness of plums, spicy alcohol and rye, ghostlike barnyard and mustiness from the brett all ping the taste buds hard, but not in an overwhelming manner. A bit bready. Alcohol is hidden for at least a few sips, then starts to warm. Tart, semidry and spicy finish. A nearly perfect balance between tartness, spice, alcohol and malt character. Extremely tasty.

Mar 23, 2011
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flannelman808 from California

4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: medium plus brown with a garnet tinge. Offwite head with nice retention and low to medium lacing. Fairly murky looking.

S: smells like plums and dates and maybe rye bread? Citric in a way but also very overripened.

T: pow! Very flavorful stuff and rather good I must say! Plum tartness shines through but resolves with a ripened sweet balance. A true value buy. Lots of complexity... The Brett and bacteria are having a blast in a good way especially for 10 bucks. It's no wonder this stuff is already long gone!

M: rich and resolved

D: medium plus

Feb 11, 2011
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Mora2000 from Texas

4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle. Batch 57.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the caramel malt, but I also get some orange citrus notes as well as a little bit of tart lemon.

The flavor is closer to what I expected. I get some wheat and a little bit of caramel malt, but what stands out the most is a tart green apple component. Very dry and easy to drink.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Glad I got to try this beer.

Jan 21, 2011
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JohnGalt1 from Idaho

3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from MrBubbler.. Adam hooked up pretty much the entire SoCal wants brews. Cool.

Pours a hazy orange with a short lasting white head.

Nose is good brett funk.. dry.. dusty.. dank cellar.. and a bit of fruity esters... it has a good tang to it.

flavor is a nice brett playbook ... funky for sure but only sour enough to barely get into the fruity realm.. I think it seems like a brett spiked Hefe... a bit of sour plum pushes the "wild" category.. Basement brett is the name of the game... underripe pit fruit also is there...

Liked.. didn't love. I want to see this one with a lot more direction.


Jan 16, 2011
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Zorro from California

3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A clear brown colored ale without much head formation.

Smell is decidedly sour. Green unripe plum is what this smells like. Slight amount of wood in the smell.

Starts out sweet and sour plum flavor. Some horse blanket and mushroom funk.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Didn't know this was a bug beer when I bought it. Frankly this tastes like vinegar.

Dec 26, 2010
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Brew33 from Ohio

4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was told by a friend this was like a Poor Man's Consecration. I can see the similarities for sure.

Batch 57

The aroma is really good. Tons of Brett. Old cheese, some must, and an underlying tartness. Not crazy sour in the aroma. The taste is even less sour. A subdued tartness and plums really come to the forefront. A nice fruit character and a dry finish make this a winner. Slightly warming alcohol but no real burn. A nice beer.

It's not Consecration but it's a nice beer at a good price. I'd gladly buy this again if it were something I could get often.

Dec 14, 2010
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brewandbbq from New Hampshire

4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours murky brown with a half inch head of porous beige. Traces of threaded lacing and a partial skim coat remain for the duration of the glass.

Aromatics lead off with Brett-laden dark fruit and vineous funk. Wet horse, dusty boards, plum skins and pineapple pith. Hints of sherry, lemon, and soured fruit step forward. Malt to balance, there may not be any wheat in this one.

Medium bodied with a crisp, dry mouthfeel. Slightly slickish, but thats ok, I think the brew is fairly young.

Oaky tannins with husky malt, bark-rubbed plums, and a hint of bright acid start the palate. Some initial sweetness quickly gives way to bretty funk, vineous fruit, and finally a slight tartness.

Finishes bone-dry with lingering plum flesh and barnyard funk.

I was surprised by this one. Lots of potential here, but this one is tasting quite young and plenty of meshing needs to be done. I'd really like to revist an aged bottle in a couple of years. Kind of like an Oud Bruin with extra brett and fruit.

Nov 01, 2010
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augustgarage from California

4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch 57 - poured from a 750mL caged-and-corked bottle into my Troubadour tulip.

Cloudy sangria/burnt red body - glowing coquelicot with a touch of crimson as well - an unusual and lovely shade. Persistent, creamy, beige soft peaks form a lasting head. Sticky viscous legs enshroud thin yet sticky layers of lacing.

The aromatics are drool-inducing with waves of fresh juicy plums, wheat, and earthy/peppery funk from the Brett. Inticing.

The promise of the nose is largely fulfilled on the palate - biscuity tart rye/wheat notes synergize with the Brett. while a faintly medicinal (aspirin) flavor comes out mid-palate. A bright, deep fruitiness elevates the profile further. Despite a pervasive tartness, the finish is somewhat sweet for the style, suggesting some age might improve the balance (between fruit and funk) further.

Medium-bodied, almost sticky yet lightly effervescent mouthfeel.

While lacking the virtuosity gypsy music is known for, this is yet another passable/solid offering, and one of the most creative beers I've sampled thus far from Telegraph - worth a try if you enjoy sours.

Oct 26, 2010
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wethorseblanket from California

4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 57 pours an amber crimson red with a fine, thick and strong light-reddish head which fades ever so slowly. Smells of Brett yeast funk and barnyard hay/grass. Taste is wacky-do. Mildly tart and astringent, with a mellow somewhat blandness punctuated with that Brett sour/funk thing going on. Mouthfeel is prickly from the fine carbonation and Brett with a dry tart finish. Woody oak in the back grows as this warms along with the stone fruit (duh, plums). Overall this beer is a cross between a flemish red with its' strong oak tannic bite and a wild funky ale with huge Brett. Alas, the gypsy is forever on the move and can't quite stay in one place for long. Hard to really like, yet equally hard to dismiss.

Oct 21, 2010
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GRG1313 from California

3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium brown with red tint and white head. Head quickly fades but pleasant orange/red tint.

Nose is faint sour with a light plum character (likely there because you're looking for it) otherwise a nice simple sweet/sour nose. There is an earth tone smell that is likely brettanomyces but not quite funky, more earthy. Not unpleasant and adds some complexities.

Mouthfeel is rich and inviting with a light champagne carbonation. Flavors are sour plum with a sour vegetal character. Light funky and earthy brett in the flavors.

A light sour/very light "almost" lambic. Not tart and not real bright but a decent brew with a finish that is sour/bitter plum that leaves a "green" bitter character/flavor in the long finish that could be better. Actually quite drinkable. Just misses as a really good drink, primarily in the weak finish.

Oct 19, 2010
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billshmeinke from California

4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

An inch of off white head. The color of the beer is kinda hard to describe. It's really murky. Kind of brown with some khaki-ish highlights, it's sorta like the color of the inside of a plumb. Some lacing left behind. Head dies down to a ring around the edge of the glass with an island in the middle.

The smell is dry and fruity. Lots of brett character, and hints of plum. A touch of horse blanket.

Tastes of some plumb, slightly sour/tart notes, and some horse blanket. The wild yeast/brett is not super sour or tart, but it adds a nice funky characteristic.

The mouthfeel is really dry. Slightly tart, and pretty smooth.

Telegraph actually really impressed me with this one. I'm definitely gonna pick up a few more bottles of this.

Oct 06, 2010
Gypsy Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 52 ratings