Gypsy Ale | Telegraph Brewing Company

Gypsy AleGypsy Ale
Liked This Beer
3.91 w/ 51 ratings
Gypsy AleGypsy Ale

Brewed by:
Telegraph Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SpdKilz on 09-30-2010

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 28
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
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.

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Photo of DFLB
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The 10th and final beer celebrating the first year anniversary of my beer posts is Gypsy Ale. Brewed by Telegraph Brewing Company, Gypsy Ale is a wild Ale crafted with plums and Brettanomyces.

The smell of Brettanomyces yeast affronts the aromas. The funk of the Brett is the scent we note from the air of the beer. The sweet vibe of berries are sensed too. Alcohol content is 8%, but belittled by the elements of the beer.

The tart experience is due to black berries and cherries. Cherries come first, and the black berries follow and broadens the tart. A hint of strawberries sweetens the beer.

Plum is subtle and felt in the finish. There's a white wine quality to the drink. White grapes are what we detect that creates this complexity.

Brewed with rye, it is extremely faint. You don't realize you are tasting it until you recognize it in the finish. A grainy texture plays with our mouth and it is raw, unmalted wheat. The Brettanomyces yeast accents the berries and creates volume to the depth of this beer.

Gypsy Ale is an impeccable beer. The tart comes off as a surprise. The plum takes such a backseat that you wonder where is it, but it will be sensed in the fluidity of the finish. The Brettanomyces yeast is overtaken by the tartness of the beer, but the smell of it gratifies on each drink. An extraordinary conclusion to the first year anniversary of my beer posts. Beautifully complex, Gypsy Ale is out of this world.

Cheers. Prost. Drink for the love of beer.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of augustgarage
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
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.

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Photo of GRG1313
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.

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

Appearance - Pours a ruddy brown color, similar to the consistency of unfiltered apple cider, into my RR Tulip. About a finger of white head is achieved with a moderate pour, that quickly dissipates leaving little lacing.

Smell - Heavy barnyard funk in the forefront. Must and wet hay that give way to the dark fruits (plums were used in the making of this beer) and slight tart/sour aromas from the brett.

Taste - The taste is similar to the nose. The barnyard funk is downplayed quite a bit though in my opinion, while the plums are quite a noticeable flavor. The brett makes itself known, but only just a bit, and honestly, not enough. I would like to see more sour/tartness and funk in this beer.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, decent carbonation though a bit on the lower side.

Drinkability - It is a easily quaffable beer, however, I almost wish it wasn't so easy to drink. As stated, I really wish that the beer had a more AWA or sour characteristic like RR sours (and I'm not trying to say it should match them - it's just that it's hard to even call this an AWA). An interesting beer, but will not seek this out in the future. I realize RR sours are about $12 for a 375 and this was $13 for a 750, however, I know I'd enjoy those 375ml of RR more than I would enjoy the 750ml of this. Oh well!

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Photo of GhostMilk
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice russet brown with a decent cream colored head that dissipates pretty quickly. The plums dominate both the smell and the taste, a nice mild tartness on the palate that's consistent as the beer warms. There's also a slight vegetable character to the smell of the beer and its taste, possibly due to the combination of rye and plum...

The funkiness of the brett is present but also nicely integrated - a great compliment to the sourness of the plums. The mouthfeel has an adequate level of carbonation, lending to the flavors and the beer's overall drinkability.

A tasty beer - though not pucker-inducing - that should appeal to fans of sours/wild ales and the brewery's high-quality product.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
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.


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Photo of SierraJosh
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of wethorseblanket
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.

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Photo of Zorro
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.

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Photo of Braz
3.31/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Very tart. Taste is alright but it smells like cat piss somehow.

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Photo of jlindros
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.

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Photo of raulazzer
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of womencantsail
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.

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Photo of SocalKicks
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of portia99
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.

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
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

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Photo of Beerenauslese
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.

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Photo of Hopbrizio
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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Gypsy Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
Beer rating: 76.5% out of 100 with 51 ratings
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