Category Archives: Rooster’s Brewery
…So we’re finishing off this little Roosters week with Oxymoronic Black IPA, weighing in at 6.5% abv. With this brew, Rooster’s have chosen to go 100% with Simcoe hops, both in the kettle and in the dry-hopping. Looking black in the glass but turning deep red when held to the light, there’s a woody note in the nose alongside a bitter-orange pithiness. That might sound odd, but it’s actually quite pleasant after the aroma-riots of the last two beers.
It’s still smooth, but the slight roasted-malt note running through the body does distract me a little, personally. There’s a drying, coffee-led note just lingering on the back there, which is not what I expect from an IPA. I did warm to it as the bottle emptied, but the initial reaction to this was a little ‘well….that’s interesting’. And I think that’s my overall feeling about Oxymoronic. Interesting. Not a bad beer – far from it – just not what I expected, and I’m not completely sold on it.
Overall, I’ve been really impressed with this new threesome from Rooster’s. If these were bottled more often I’m sure they would sell, and I’d love to see the APA in particular available widely – a fantastic beer and my pick of the bunch. I also commend the (moderately) low abv’s on these beers. They are meant for sharing, savouring and enjoying. I did all that.
…Next up is the 2XS, the bigger, badder brother of the APA. Again, a fresh and zingy pint indeed, albeit with a slightly darker amber colouring this time. Nelson Sauvin, Cascade (remember Cascade? Seems like the first beer I’ve seen in ages apart from my homebrew that uses them!), Chinook, Citra, Simcoe and Citra all jostle for position in the nose. Looking at that hop-list, you know what neighbourhood you’re in, and I’m pleased to say 2XS delivers that grassy, grapefruity, slightly catty, green-hop aroma perfectly. If anything, the nose is more tart, and less sweet, than the APA.
There’s a good, thick mouthfeel and hints of digestive biscuit in the body; the sip is long and very refreshing. Again, it drinks nowhere near its 7.1% abv. If anything, the hop finish is restrained, despite the ‘hop-head’ claims on the label – but that’s not to say it fails; far from it. What you’ve got is a slightly amped-up APA and a worthy addition to any modern IPA fiend’s vault.
A couple of post-worthy snippets caught my ear this afternoon: Firstly, Market Town Taverns have announced that they are currently refurbishing the forgettable Waterhole on Great George Street and turning it into Veritas Ale & Wine Bar. It should be opening in early October, and given MTT’s track record, this is great news for Leeds beer drinkers. Along with the imminent opening of East of Arcadia, and another site in Meanwood, it would seem MTT are going from strength to strength. And well deserved, too – MTT represent a safe pair of hands, and Veritas will form an intriguing little beer circuit at that end of Leeds with Foley’s and The Victoria.
Speaking of Foley’s, they’ve just been shortlisted for the Publican Cask Ale Pub of The Year, along with another Yorkshire stalwart, The Sheffield Tap. Congrats to both, and well deserved, I might add.
Brewery News; Rooster’s have a pumpkin ale ready for Halloween – keep an eye out – and the ever-popular Naylor’s have opened a new Beer Emporium, selling their wares and also a few homebrew supplies, as well as a bar, at their brewery. Knowing how many Ale enthusiasts live in the Keighley area, I’m sure it’ll be popular. Wharfebank are now stocking an IPA named WISPA, and thier eagerly-awaited Black Tom Mild is now available. Keep an eye out. Anyway, that’s it. Keep on reading – and drinking. Cheers.
I’ve been drooling since I heard the news a few weeks back that perennial TGS demi-god Sean Franklin and his crack team at Roosters were brewing up some one-offs this year. Whiskey-Cask Matured Stout (5.7abv) is first on the list, and it doesn’t disappoint.
From a brewery that is revered for its use of the aroma hop through pale ales, it’s a welcome diversion from type. Firstly, the beer has a powerful aroma – peat, smoke and woody notes hit the nose in an alchohol-heavy haze that really punches the message home. This is a mature beer, and like it says on the pump-clip, the whiskey notes are right up front, not hiding in the background.
On the sip, that powerful aroma fades away, leaving a surprisingly smooth, roasted body with a bitter note at the end that’s more espresso than bitter chocolate, with no real trace on the tongue of its not-to-be-messed-with abv. That smokiness lingers throughout. A longer-lasting head would have been nice, but that’s just a petty remark at the end of an entirely enjoyable beer. You couldn’t drink a lot of it, but that’s beside the point – this is a wonderful beer, and an intruiging one at that – only a few hours later, I’m craving another hit.
Kudos to local boys Ilkley Brewing Co – thier pale thirst-quencher Mary Jane is now a guest ale in the House of Commons, just to top off an award-winning few months. Good work. Other local tidbits – keep an eye out for some excellent sounding one-offs from Rooster’s in the next few weeks, including an UK-hopped IPA & a Whiskey-Barrel aged Stout, amongst others….popular Saltaire are holding a beer festival on September 17th – tickets will be available from Saltaire Brewery directly from 1st July…Great Heck Brewery have bought O’Donaghues in Wakefield, so there will be a regular outlet for their beers there – as well as an upcoming launch for the newly minted Ridgeside Brewery, who are currently brewing their first batch of beer…and finally, moving out of Yorkshire, belated congrats to The Highland Brewing Company, whose wonderfully complex Orkney Blast has won Champion Beer of Scotland at CAMRA’s recent national real ale festival. A fitting award for a wonderful beer.