Monday, 23 May 2016

Triptick (IX) - Roosters Brewing Co.

Here at Plus One we love to keep it local (not ‘The League Of Gentlemen’ sort of local) so we were thrilled when Yorkshire based brewery 'Roosters' sent us over a trio of tipples to enjoy. Roosters have been around for quite some time now in the grand scheme of things, 1993 they first hit the scene starting off with an all cask affair. Since then however they have been keen to stay relevant, adding keg, cans and bottles to their range in 2014 after investing in a canning line. 
From their more traditional Yorkshire roots, grew a desire to please the ever-growing craft beer community by experimenting with different styles of beer and ingredients. A subsidiary of Roosters, Outlaw Brewing was formed in 1996 with the premise of producing experimental beers, and was re-launched in late 2012. We will be reviewing one of Outlaws beers in this article too. The three beers in question are; Roots Rock Reggae, a pineapple and grapefruit IPA from Outlaw Brewing, The Red Baron, a red India ale with rye, and Ragged Point, a west coast stout, both from Roosters. I’m looking forward to the Roots Rock Reggae, it’s a beer I had been wanting to try but had feared it had eluded me. It should be an interesting taste test, I love an IPA, red IPAs are one of my favourite styles, and stouts are a grower for me, I used to despise them but my tastes have developed. Right, enough with the filler, onto the beers!

Roots Rock Reggae:  6.4% Pineapple & Grapefruit IPA – Outlaw Brewing

The colour is caramel, a beautiful hazy orange. A thick and frothy cloud white head sits a top, with the aroma of resinous grapefruit beaming out. The taste, is a little different then I was expecting. My initial note was it tasted like an alcoholic Um Bongo! Tastes of orange, grapefruit, both the fruits piths, and a hint of pineapple. Predominantly pithy though, more so than the actual fruity taste. The bitterness is big too but the bitterness is coming more from the volume of grapefruit rather than the usual IPA characteristic. It’s very earthy too with a medium malt bill and I’m even detecting bananas in here, this may just be my mind playing tricks on me based on the fact it’s in a yellow can with a tropical theme! It all tastes just a bit too harsh to start with for me though, maybe it’s just an adjustment period but it did calm down after a third of the can and I began to enjoy it more. I do wonder when it was canned as I see its best before August ’16 but have heard stories that each can delivers a slightly different taste sensation. 3.5/5

The Red Baron:  5.7% India Red Ale – Roosters

Basically, this is a Rye IPA worded slightly different. Roosters have two big British rivals brewing terrific styles of this at the moment with Beavertown and their 8 Ball Rye IPA and Brewdog’s Albino Squid Assassin. If you have read one of my previous Triptick’s you’ll know just why I love rye beers and what sort of flavour they can add to the table. A hoppy nose to greet you and then an instant wall of bitterness on first taste. The beer sticks to the glass leaving a tiger pattern as the beer empties. This is very tasty and easy going with jammy hops and a little bit of strawberry and vanilla in the background. It’s got a beautiful sticky mouth feel and the rye malts offer a touch of spice to the proceedings and there’s caramel like malt as well, did I mention there are six different types of malt used! Cranberries and light citrus deliver the fruit notes and the final parting shot is its ability to leave you salivating, a real juiciness that red IPAs seem to deliver time and time again. I want to point out too how much I enjoy the artwork on this can, very classy whilst not being over the top. 3.5/5

Ragged Point:  5% West Coast Stout – Roosters

OK, so let’s get this out the way straight away. This isn’t a stout is it, come on, it’s a black IPA. It’s hopped with four American hops in the form of Cascade, Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic and has medium carbonation, again, black IPA. That said, whether it a stout or a black IPA it doesn’t matter because it’s delicious. Jet black in colour with a quickly dissipating head to get us started. A creamy coffee and toffee malt base albeit tame – a tick from me, some bitterness – another tick, and juicy grapefruit hoppiness – tick tick tick! I don’t recall anybody saying a stout was juicy but this one is (*cough* black IPA) There is a sort of soil like grittiness which isn’t bad at all and the conclusion is dry. I really enjoyed this – 4/5

So, who’d have thought it. It was a shock to me but the proof is in the pudding. The winner was Ragged Point West Coast Stout. I think however the real winner here is hops. A highly hopped stout has beaten an older, less hopped IPA in Roots Rock Reggae, a beer in which I thought would be triumphant.  I think the thing with RRR is that it’s so different to any other beer that its more of a shock than anything else, and like most things, the more you try the more you enjoy. The Red Baron while being really tasty would lose out to its British equivalents Albino Squid Assassin and 8 Ball Rye IPA but I’d say any beer of this style would struggle against those two.
Some really interesting and tasty beers from Roosters here with some good ratings really across the board. These are more seasonal beers and I hope that in the future Roosters will make these a little more accessible to the public as they seem to be few and far between.
Words - Beer Baron Lincs
Roosters official

Many thanks to Tom and all at Roosters for providing Plus One Magazine with these three beers for us to review. 
You can find their whole range of drinks on Roosters web site.