Friday, July 02, 2010

Roosters Whiskey-Cask Matured Stout

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.


ZakAvery said...

Must hunt this down - was that at Cross Keys?

I'll have to have a word with Sean about his spelling though - surely it's been in a whisky cask, not a whiskey cask?

Bailey said...

Sounds interesting, although I'm not always convinced by whisky flavours in beer. I wonder why more British breweries aren't just making rauchbiers, given that Schlenkerla is becoming weirdly ubiquitous?

Leigh said...

Zak - I know what you mean about the spelling! seems to be one that a lot get slightly wrong! It was sampled in Foley's on Friday - but the Cross Keys is usually a sure bet for Roosters wares. Bailey - it was just that - interesting. Agree re: smoked beers - does seem to be a largely untapped style in the UK?

Bailey said...

And meanwhile, those Bambergers are cleaning up! The usual dialogue when I introduce a friend to rauchbier:

"Eurgh -- it tastes like Frazzles! It tastes like bacon! Eurgh!"

"My round. What do you want?"

"I'll have another of those bacon beers, please."

Leigh said...

'Bacon Beer'....maybe if they just called it that, it would sell more...!

Rob of Ilkley said...

This sounds absolutley delicious. I love dark beers with smokey flavours. I need to head up to Knaresborough for a session at Blind Jacks!

We had beer from Thornbridge - St Petersburgh Stout at the last Ilkley Beer Festival. This had a lovely smokey, peaty sort of flavour, very reminiscent of whisky. Although at 7.7% ABV it had to be drunk with caution.

Leigh said...

ALright Rob, good to hear from you. I've not tried the St Petersburgh, but when it comes to Thornbridge, I'd try anything of thiers.