Telegraph Winter Ale

Delicately Spiced Beer Is Perfect Holiday Treat

The beer fairy stopped by my desk one night last week, leaving
for my drinking pleasure a champage-sized bottle of Telegraph
Brewing Company
‘s Winter Ale. telegraph%20winter.JPG My gut reaction to such seasonal
brews is mixed: part of me wants to love the celebratory
concoctions, but my smarter part knows that most special ales,
especially winter ones, are entirely overspiced and not really much
like the beer flavor I’ve come to know and love. And I feared that
this one, “inspired by Mexican hot chocolate” with its blend of
allspice, cinnamon, and ancho chiles, would just be another
overspiced holiday offering.

So it was with great glee and surprise when I opened the ale
that evening and discovered one of the tastiest winter beers I’ve
ever had, a subtle balance of intriguing, creative flavors
delivered on the back of a sturdy stout. telegraph%20brewing%20company.JPG The first hint of its success was the
chocolatey aroma that arose when I poured the thick, black fluid
into a small glass and watched a rich, cocoa-colored foamy form.
The first sip revealed a thoroughly complex flavor, enhanced I’m
sure by the use of the sweet ancho chile, and the following tastes
made me smile more and more.

After about half my glass, I realized that I was drinking an ale
whose brewers understood the notion of wintery flavors but didn’t
go crazy on the spice rack. telegraph%20winter%20ale%203.JPG They even suggest serving it cool, not
cold, which is further evidence that they know their techniques and
are proud to let their flavors come out at a slightly
warmer-than-normal temperature. Normally fine with sharing whatever
I’ve got, it was with uncommon remorse that I lamented sharing my
bottle with three other friends. (They liked it too, though I’ve
had one coworker since complain that the subtle spices were still
too much for her. But then again, she’s not a lover of stouts
anyway.) Since that night, it’s been the only beer I talk about.
And I can’t wait to find more. The Details: Telegraph
Brewing Company
is located on Salsipuedes Street and
online at The Winter Ale is available at
liquor stores and on tap at various
around town. To sign up for the brewery’s newsletter,
click here.


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