Obscura Cacao | Telegraph Brewing Company

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Obscura CacaoObscura Cacao
31 Ratings
Obscura CacaoObscura Cacao

Brewed by:
Telegraph Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Herb and Spice Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by justintcoons on 03-12-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 31 |  Reviews: 7
Reviews by cxr1037:
Photo of cxr1037
3.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up last night. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Bruery tulip.

a - hazy, reddish brown. a few centimeters of head that disappears quick

s - odd. cacao nibs, herbal, earthy.

t - cacao nibs are for sure a big part of the taste. some earthy/dirty vegetables. i get a little dark fruit and roastiness on the finish, as well.

m - well carbonated. the cacao nibs leave some bitterness.

o - I don't think this was worth the $13 i spent on it. it sounded like an interesting concept but ultimately a bit of a let down. i'd like to see this in 12 oz bottles for much less money. not bad, but not great.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Cynic-ale
3/5  rDev +2%

Photo of 01001111
4/5  rDev +36.1%

Photo of GRG1313
2.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of oline73
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

The beer pours a dark brown color, I thought it would be darker. The smell reminds me of Belgian spice and bananas. It's light and sweet, but there isn't much chocolate. The flavor has a note of banana, but is very mild overall. There is just a hint of sweet malt and a mild chocolate flavor.

 332 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of JohnK17
3.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of justintcoons
3.8/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #99.
Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours amber with a reddish hue. Has 3 fingers of white head that leaves behind some spotty lacing. Cloudy with aggressive carbonation.

N: Banana bread, musty old book, cocoa nibs, caramel and candy sugar.

T: Banana bread, banana peel, cereal grains and caramel upfront. Mid-palate reveals suggestions of stone fruit such as plum & nectarine along with the mustiness of an old book, honey and wet cardboard. Finishes with the cocoa nibs coming through adding some slight bitterness along with almost tangy apricot/banana peel flavors, some very earthy funk and some dirty espresso notes.

M: Light-medium bodied, smooth, clean, bitter and dry.

O: A lot of honey and banana throughout. The cocoa nibs add to a strange finish. The mustiness comes off rather pleasant to me. Reminds me of a DFH Ancient Ale particularly Theobroma (with banana peels added.) Strange, quite refreshing and worth a try. I will definitely try some more of Telegraph's weird detours.

 998 characters

Photo of drewone
2.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of UnknownKoger
2/5  rDev -32%

Photo of nmann08
2.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of kojevergas
2.12/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap (also known as a cage) over a cork acquired at a local SoCal beer store for $13.00 and 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 really think this brewery is underappreciated. A collaboration with twenty-four blackbirds chocolate. "Ale brewed with cocoa beans and with cocoa beans added." Batch number 123.

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No issues with liquid surging out of the bottle upon opening. Just a satisfying plop.

A: Pours a half finger beige-light khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and above average (>2 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear translucent orange with amber hues. No yeast particles are visible. Vibrance is average. No bubble show. It's not what I expected, and it's not all that great - but there are no overt flaws. Not unique or special, but generally appealing. No lacing as the head recedes.

Sm: Burnt brown bread, banana, toast, artificial tropical fruit (with accompanying syrupy sweetness), smoke, and nuts. I don't get any cocoa/cacao at all. Cereal grains. Very vegetal. Boiled cabbage comes to mind. A mild to moderate strength aroma, and to be honest a rather off-putting one. Where's the cacao I expected? No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. I'm starting to get real doubtful about this one.

T: Mango, murky tropical fruit, malty sweetness. Syrup, even traces of slight oxidation. Banana. I don't get any cacao/cocoa whatsoever, nor even any chocolate malt notes - nothing. Floral hops. Yeah, this is just badly executed. Bland and vaguely redolent of cardboard. Boring. Balance is awful; build is poor. Really not liking this at all. This shouldn't have made it to market. All that's really here is a thin fruity character that won't satisfy anyone.

Mf: Thin, lightly watery. Lacks body. Poor presence on the palate. Smooth and wet. Unrefreshing. Carbonation is also a bit troublesome. Poorly executed. Doesn't suit the flavour profile at all.

Dr: A misstep from Telegraph. This shouldn't have seen release; this definitely wasn't what they were going for. Unforgivable at this price point too. This one's to be avoided. I'm a little bitter I paid $13 for it. Probably the worst beer I've had from Telegraph to date. Really disappointed in them. Difficult to drink due to its low quality. I'll finish the bottle, but I won't enjoy it.


 2,615 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.48/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I can't improve on the detailed review by kojevergas. This is a bit of an oddity, but a very dull one. The color is a nice orangey amber, but the promising white foam dissipates after the first trip to the lips.

I totally don't get the chocolate and cocoa hype on the label. I just don't taste it. It has no scent of chocolate. There is, instead, some old fruit cocktail left in the can a couple days. Something earthy and a hint of tart plums. I don't taste malt or hops, but there is a slight dirty bitterness at the end.

Flat and slightly oily sensation. A travesty at $12.19 for the 500 ml bottle purchased at Bottleworks in San Diego. A few of the Telegraph offerings I've tried have been interesting, but the concept of this one is utterly forgettable.

 760 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.29/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a slightly murky orange with a white-orange head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of cooked vegetables and cocoa powder. Unfortunately, the taste is exactly the same. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty bad beer with some off aromas and flavors.

 435 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.25/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of sholland119
3.25/5  rDev +10.5%

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3/5  rDev +2%

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3/5  rDev +2%

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2.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of ADZA
3.18/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A massive thanks goes out to MrKennedy for this one and even though this hasn't the highest reviews I've been keen to try and for a ale with cocoa beans added I expected it to be a dark colour but it pours a light hazed anger hue with a creamy two finger head that stays and stays and leaves some nice lacing,the smell is quite tart it's dried apricots,figs,candy apples and sticky toffee it's not what I was expecting but not offensive by any means,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated maybe a little too much and has tastes of apricots,figs,candy,a slight touch of chocolate and finished with a mild fruity bittersweetness and overall it's different but not something I'd buy again cheers.

 705 characters

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2.5/5  rDev -15%

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1.25/5  rDev -57.5%

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3/5  rDev +2%

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4/5  rDev +36.1%

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3.5/5  rDev +19%

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Obscura Cacao from Telegraph Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.94 out of 5 with 31 ratings