Friday, March 9, 2012

Telegraph's Obscura Fortis

I read on Twitter that a rare, wild ale, Telegraph Brewing's Obscura Fortis, was available at Public Sessions, a restaurant not far from my house.  When I hear "wild ale," it's like a dog whistle, I come running.  Obscura Fortis is a big, sour (and sweet), wild ale.  It poured a deep mahogony, and was not as dark as the picture shows.  I noted that Fortis had an initial bitterness and a sweetness on the finish.  The sourness was less noticeable than other recent sours I have had, including Telegraph's amazing Gypsy.  I thought Fortis mellow for a wild ale.  I wrote that it was "hard to call it delicious but it was sure good." 

Fortis' ABV was over 9%, and you could taste the booze throughout.  I heard the term "hot" to describe prominent alcohol in beer last weekend on radio station FM94.9's Friday night "Rock & Roll Happy Hour with Stone Brewing."  The more alcohol you taste, the "hotter" the beer.  Obscura Fortis is one hot beer, with a booze profile bigger than beers with higher ABVs.  The alcohol overshadowed the wild yeast and other flavors, subduing its sour flavor while enhancing its sweetness.  I read on BeerAdvocate that Fortis was a one-time brew, so I'm glad I tried it.  I've now had three of Telegraph's Obscura beers - Fortis, Arborea and Petit - and the low alcohol Petit has been my favorite.

A quick note on Public Sessions.  Every time I go there I feel out of place, and it takes me about six months to forget and fall back into its hipster trap.  I guess I am too old and not trendy enough for Public Sessions.  I need to lose twenty years, grow a five-day beard and not mind paying $8 for an undersized beer I know nothing about, other than it's what all the cool cats are drinking.  I'll stick with Pizza Port Ocean Beach where the cool cats don't care that I'm an old fart, and a real pint is still only $5.

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