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RATINGS: 90   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.39/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
Inspired by Mexican hot chocolate.Telegraph Winter Ale warms even the coldest of nights with 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.Be sure to enjoy it cool,rather than cold to fully appreciate its complexity.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
ineedbeer (1368) - Oakland, California, USA - JAN 23, 2014
Bottle is approximately 3 years old - Batch 65.Aroma is mostly dominated by the spice, but there are also some dark fruit esters and malt notes. Light cinnamon and chili with moderate to moderately heavy allspice; I wish the all spice was more balanced with the other notes. Some raisin and prune with medium dark caramel notes and a light chocolate character. As it warms the chili is more noticeable. Pours a clear brown with hints of ruby highlights and a thick tan head that has really good head retention. Medium lacing with faint legs. Flavor is slightly to moderately sweet with spice again being the dominant characteristic. This time the chocolate notes are a bit more noticeable, but there is still a lot of allspice with lighter amounts of cinnamon and even less of the chili. Medium light dark fruit notes of plum, prune and raisin. Medium dark caramel and toffee notes. Medium low but balanced bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to medium full bodied with medium to medium high carbonation. Low astringency and medium low alcohol warmth. Overall an alright beer, but I find the allspice to be overpowering and it hides the more delicate spice notes (unless they disappeared due to age). No signs of oxidation, but a slight faded character to the malt. Could use richer chocolate notes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
beerbaaron (1816) - Arizona, USA - DEC 17, 2014
Draft. Dark ruby brown with creamy beige head. Without reading any deScription, this comes across as a decently made but otherwise snoozefest ’winter ale’ with too much holiday spice and uninteresting malt profile. Some Belgiany yeastiness makes things a little more interesting.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
arminjewell (8842) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - JAN 30, 2015
Pour out of 750 mL bottle, dark reddish brown pour with off white head, aroma brought notes of chili, caramel, toffee, hints of spice into some cinnamon, clove, touch of allspice, hints of cocoa. Taste is a mix of caramel, toffee, dark fruit, hints of nice cinnamon, slight pepper, touch of cocoa, finishing sweet, slightly dry.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - OCT 19, 2007
Pours a nearly opaque dark mahogany with a thin-lacing tan head. Aroma of lightly sweet dark caramel malt and a hint of cinnamon toward a semi-tart finish. Body starts with a sweet dark caramel and spiced finish with light fruity tartness throughout. Finishes thinner and semi-tart with a hint of doughy yeast. Interesting, but I’d like it without the tartness.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bb (7754) - Alamo, California, USA - DEC 29, 2008
Draft. Rich amber beer with an off-white head. Slight dark fruit, caramel aroma. Berry fruit and caramel flavor with some spice. Medium body. Fruit, caramel, spice, andbready malts linger.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JAN 2, 2009
Courtesy TheCheeseMan. Pours a clear, dark, chestnut brown color. A foamy, beige colored head is well retained. Sudsy lacing mostly rejoins the body. The aroma shows a fairly complex and inviting blend of dried caramel, dehydrated figs, chestnuts, nutmeg, and allspice. A hint of vanilla lurks somewhere within, with a glint of smokiness, but no heat, stemming from the chilies. Flavors are basically the same, dry and earthy, with a light caramel and dark fruit sweetness, and slightly bitter, woody wintertime spices. Medium bodied and semi-dry, the palate is perhaps a shade weak and overly active for the style. This is a fairly nice, tasty wintertime brew.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (4045) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 24, 2009
November 2008 Bottle Date; Sampled January 2009,br> A soft pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, lightly browned, full tan colored head. The beer is a very dark, burnt brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells quite sweet more from spice notes and a touch of cinnamon than from the actual malt. I do believe I detect a touch of spicy chile in the nose as well, it is just a touch in the finish, but seems to add an earthy chile note. Caramelized malt adds some brown sugar like notes and there is also a light toasted grain character. By far the sweet spice notes are the most noticeable part of the aroma, but as the beer warms a bit more of the chile starts to come out; this accentuates some berry notes and there is also a touch of cocoa now towards the finish.

A prickly carbonation greets my tongue up front and adds a tartness from the carbonic acid. Some aggressive swirling releases some of the excessive carbonation, but there is still a tartness to this brew. This has a spiciness reminiscent of sweet baking spices (a mix of cinnamon, clove and perhaps a hint of nutmeg), that also add a touch of bitterness to the finish. The chile adds some spice and chile flavor to the finish without really being hot at all. There is a bitterness here in the finish from the roasted malt, which also adds some roasted, toasted character to the front end of the beer as well. This is pretty light bodied, though it does have some heft to it that becomes a bit more balanced as the beer warms up. This is quite fruity tasting at times and reminds me of tart currants, some berry notes, as well as some tannic red grape flavors. The malt also seems to contribute a touch of dark cocoa flavors in addition to the toasted notes.

This is an interesting beer. The ancho is not quite prominent enough and the beer itself doesn’t quite seem like it is rich enough to support the additional ingredients. This definitely has a certain tartness to it as well, though I think this is due to the dark grain and mash schedule than from any infection.

Purchased: South Bay Drugs, Imperial Beach CA

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Oakes (13931) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 2, 2009
Dark brown colour. Murky. Rich, chocolate aroma with good fruit and spice as well. Very spicy palate with light chocolate notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - FEB 3, 2009
Growler from the brewery last December, and somehow forgot to enter my notes until now. Dark purple-brown. Richly spiced aroma that does indeed have some similarities to mexican chocolate. Caramel and sharply spicy flavor. Finished a bit astringent. Started quite good, but by the end the spices were a bit heavy handed, and there wasn’t much chocolate flavor as advertised. Fun to split with a bunch of people, but I wouldn’t want a whole bottle of this to myself.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Plovmand (7184) - Helsinge, DENMARK - NOV 28, 2009
Bottle. Dark reddish brown with a small off white head. Very fruity aroma with some spices. Sweet fruity flavour with lots of malt, caramel, light chocolate and dark fruit. Quite vinous.

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