Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Telegraph Gypsy Ale

Type: Sour/Wild Ale
Origin: Santa Barbara, CA
Price: $12.35/750mL
ABV: 8.0%
NSP: 4.86

Not sure why Telegraph hasn't gotten more attention from the Non-Snob crew.  They're pretty easy to find, and while a bit on the pricey side they're not really out of range for our usual aim.  Maybe it's just that their style is a little different from most California breweries (i.e. they're not IPA-centric), so they get little fanfare.

Speaking of IPA-centric, I grabbed this at Bottlecraft after an afternoon (yes, that's three "aft"s within four words) at Alpine, which initially seemed like it might not be a wise idea.  But I was wrong, it was a brilliant idea, because sours are the perfect palate cleanser in the beer world.  This one's brewed with rye, wheat, and plums, plus brett.  All things that run counter to IPA, which fits right in with Telegraph's style.  The smell is fairly yeasty up front, but with a nice rich tartness (plums as an adjunct make a lot of sense at this point).  It's not horsey at all, which means they managed to keep the brett from going completely batshit.  All in all, it smells deliciously winy.

The flavor follows the nose pretty well- lots of winy fruit, with little spoiled flavors (maybe a touch at the end).  The rye's noticeable here, bringing some pepperiness in, which is a perfect accent to combine with the plums.  Just delicious all the way around.

So, if I had to pick a beer that approaches wine as closely as possible, this might be it- so many of the flavors and smells here (dark fruit, acidity, pepper) are way more wine-like than beer-like.  Highly recommended.  I should also note that either my phone typing skills dissolved on me, or the day of drinking 7.5%+ beer kicked in (though the former can obviously be correlated with the latter), because my final note for this was: "All in sll delicious, eould buy agsin ins heartbeat." 

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