Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Telegraph Popping Up Around LA

Telegraph, the small brewery out of Santa Barbara, CA, is one I don't hear about too often. They have a couple bottled offerings but after a short search this last Summer I learned the closest place for me to buy them was about 3 hours north. After that I pretty much forgot about them until I saw their California Ale appear on tap at Father's Office in Santa Monica. I made the poor choice of ordering that after a Pliny the Elder, but I saw enough in it to want to give it another go eventually.

In addition to this, I saw the Telegraph Stock Porter on tap at Lucky Baldwin's last night and ordered a glass. I wish I had known the details about this beer at the time because it has some interesting properties. What they do is blend two batches of beer to make this porter. One batch is higher alcohol and barrel-aged in American Oak while the other is lower alcohol and not barrel-aged. What I've also unofficially found out is that they use a Belgian yeast strain to ferment this porter (though it is quite obvious in the smell and taste). The beer came to me dark brown in a Piraat tulip and had a huge tan rocky head on it. The smell screamed out Belgian yeast all the way. The taste was very similar to some Belgian strong dark ales I've had. Earthy, spicy, roasty. It was quite a challenge to the brain, with the name trying to convince you it's a porter while everything else about it argued a dark Belgian ale. Well, you gotta hand it to them for producing not only something you don't see often (or at all?) but making it pretty good to boot. That glass wasn't bad, but now I'll really be looking forward to getting back to the California Ale, which I had also seen on the menu at Lucky Baldwin's.

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