Telegraph Winter Ale is a seasonal beer from Santa Barbara, California’s Telegraph Brewing Company. This winter warmer clocks in with a modest 6.5% ABV.
Inspired by Mexican hot chocolate, Telegraph Winter Ale warms even the coldest of nights with its hints of cinnamon, allspice, and sweet ancho chilies. Using generous amounts of chocolate and caramel malts, we brew this beer in limited quantities as a special treat for our friends and families and to celebrate the holidays. Be sure to enjoy it cool, rather than cold, to fully appreciate its complexity.
Telegraph Winter Ale pours a dark brown with amber highlights throughout the glass. The head starts as a 1/2 inch of manila, before fading to a ring of mild foam.
The smell is of oak, molasses, cough syrup and root beer. A chili pepper like spiciness can also be detected in the nose.
This is a spicy beer! The ancho chilis are definitely present in the flavor and jump right out at you with your first sip. After you get past that initial blast of heat, I picked up allspice, ginger root and an earthy sourness. Drinking this reminds me of a root cellar and/or drinking something medicinal. Keeping with this idea, the aftertaste is similar to honey cough drops.
Mouthfeel is light-to-medium bodied. As you would expect from such a chili-ladened beer, Telegraph Winter Ale has a heat to it that dries out your mouth.
The reference to Mexican hot chocolate is completely understandable and this might be the most unique Winter Warmer I’ve ever had. When drinking this beer I picture myself getting vegetables ready for the winter, canning them and putting them in the cellar. Not a great beer, but I can’t say I’ve had anything like it in this style.
Overall: 5.5 out of 10
As a WINTER WARMER: 5.5 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: Boulder Harpoon WINTER WARMER, NEVER SUMMER ALE, 21st Amendment FIRESIDE CHAT,