Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gypsy Ale Revealed

A beer named Gypsy Ale doesn't give much of a clue as to what's in the bottle.  This mystery element is why Telegraph Brewing's Gypsy Ale (Batch 57) sat in my beer cabinet for months.   I was unsure what I had in Gypsy and didn't want to open it when I wanted something simple, and have it turn out complex; or have it turnout one dimensional when I was in the mood for some depth.  In the spirit of "beer is for drinking, not thinking" I popped the cork on Gypsy Ale over the weekend.  Mystery no more, Gypsy Ale was an amazing beer.

Gypsy was brewed with Brettanomyces yeast, which brought out sour, wild flavors.   I didn't know it was a sour, what a treat.  It poured a clear amber with a modest foam, which belied the flavor and complexity in the glass.   The label says it was brewed with local (near Santa Barbara) plums and these showed in the beer's subtle, sweet flavor and in its aroma.  Gypsy had a near perfect balance between sour and sweet, and the yeasty funkiness permeated the entire bottle.  Its abv was 8%, which is at the high-end of my sour abv range, as higher abvs can be cloying, almost medicinal.  Gypsy's first drink was as good as its last, a superb sour ale.

When I opened Gypsy Ale I didn't remember that the Beer Samizdat had ranked it as the No. 2 beer of 2011.  I'm glad I didn't know this and came to the conclusion myself that Gypsy's one first-rate beer.  Telegraph's website says Gypsy is available in late summer and early fall.  I need to get my hands on another bottle this summer, and am not going to wait to drink it.


Jay H. said...

Yeah! You're the only other person I've read that's had this beer. It came and went very quickly. Brian at Telegraph did say that they're going to be brewing it every year. For all the great beers these guys have made, this is my favorite.

Beer Rover said...

Telegraph does make some great beers. I like another one of its sours Petit Obscura. I am glad Telegraph is brewing Gypsy annually. This year's batch of Gypsy will get more buzz.