Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rooster's GCB (Bottled)

In the Summer I attended a colleague's wedding, which took place in a well-known (but not to be named in case they read this) castle in North Yorkshire. To be honest, I had steeled myself for a day on the wine, but my spirits lifted immensely when I saw that the token cask ale on offer was GCB, brewed by Rooster's.

GCB (or Good Cheer Beer) proved to be exactly that, and by the time the day was over I had switched four (yes, four!) of my lager-guzzling colleagues to sample copious pints of GCB. Not surprisingly, I count this as the major success of the day. And yes, we did drink it all. Because at 3.7%abv, you can. Judging from the label ('Crack open a Conversation'), Rooster's simply want GCB to be a relaxed, easy-going beer to be drunk whilst catching up with buddies or dissecting the weekend's football results. And in that respect, it succeeds; and yes, I'm talking about a session ale.

The dreaded 'S' word. Sessionable beers, especially good ones, should be the ultimate test of the brewer's art; and I disregard any comment around 'Session' automatically equalling 'Boring'. It's a boring argument that has some credence due to the amount of bland beer out there. But show be a good brewer and I will show you at least one good beer in their range that you would describe as 'Sessionable'. Brewers that make boring session beers usually make boring beers, full stop. Anyway - GCB is a vibrant copper-yellow colour, and has a hint of wet straw on the nose, alongside a digestive-biscuit note. On the sip, you've got a surprisingly assertive yet well-rounded flavour; that sweet malt-biscuit body again and a lemon/lime bitterness, which fades out with another pithy, grapefruity note.

All in all, a great beer to stock that fridge with. Rooster's have made waves this year with the likes of Mocha Stouts, Jasmine IPA's and Pumpkin Ales to choose from alongside the usual Pale range. Now, if only we could get more bottles....

The question on the back of the bottle asks: 'Beatles or The Stones?'. My answer? Both. Sorry. what mood I'm. Although Revolver takes some beating any time of the day.


Ghost Drinker said...

Tried this last night, thought it was great. A really nice 'starter' beer.

Mark Dredge said...

I find that many session beers, or beers under 4%, can struggle in the bottle and not have the same impact of cask (I think that's why we won't see bottles of Hophead or Pint on the shelves). It's always good to find one that works.

Roosters have been really interesting this year. I wish I could get more of their beer generally!

Leigh said...

Mark - very good point - would love to get my hands on Pint as often as possible!