I've kicked off the New Year by picking up some of these limited-run beers by Rooster's. Two Pales and a Black IPA, so nothing in the same ballpark of experimentation as Pumpkin Ale or Jasmine IPA but as we've said numerous times before, Rooster's don't bottle often so it's worth picking these up. Plus, Christmas and the New Year deserves special beers, eh?
So - XS American Pale up first. Deep amber in colour, those extra darker malts in the grain bill give a lovely, sweet backbone for the hops to sit on top of. Chinook, Simcoe, Crystal, Riwaka and hop du jour Citra have all been flung into this brew, so as you can imagine, the aroma is incredible. Gooseberry, Pineapple, Lychee, and (if I can get a bit Oz Clarke for a second) cut grass all vie for attention. Lovely. On the sip, it's smooth (I suspect from the toch of wheat that's present), fresh, and juicy - not dry at all - and weighing in at 5.5%abv makes XS APA quite simply an excellent, quaffable Pale Ale. It is sweet, don't get me wrong, but it's balanced perfectly and in excellent condition too - lively and vibrant.
I'll let you know what I thought of the others as the week unwinds.
Edit - It's not just me that rates it - here's what Hopzine thought....