Friday, 2 September 2011

Now Drinking: Rooster's Baby-Faced Assassin

I'm not really sure that I can add anything to the video through the medium of the written word, to be honest. It's all there for you to watch - a bit of blather, a bit of drinking, the 'Pliny cackle' as I smell it.

I was given this at a party that Rooster's hosted a couple of weeks ago. They invited a load of people along, got some great beers in, and spoiled everyone rotten. The best beer I tried that day was Deschutes' The Dissident, a beer so rare and fabulous that not only did Sean Franklin spend four hours drinking a bottle one evening, but he liked it so much that he insisted on having some air-freighted over for all his guests to enjoy. The Dissident is a beer so complex that it makes Deschutes' The Abyss seem a bit flabby and one-dimensional in comparison. I can say that for sure, because Sean also had some of that flown in for the party. Here's what I said about The Dissident in "500 Beers":

"More of a lambic-brown ale hybrid, this has fruity and sour nose, and a smooth, complex cherry-accented tartness to the palate. I'm not sure there are enough superlatives to describe the complexity of this, so I'll just moan with pleasure. Mmmmm."

You can see why I was Beer Writer of the Year 2008, can't you?

Yes, it says "Baby-Faced Ass" above the video. Hilarious.


  1. loved this review zak, sounds like a fantastic beer and your info about Roosters was really interesting. I only got the chance to meet Tom briefly at the IPA day event (along with yourself) but he seemed like a genuinely nice bloke and his talk was interesting too.

    As you say, it looks as though roosters are in safe hands and it'll be interesting to see what these guys produce in years to come.

  2. 400g at 1 minute? I'd be worried that adding all those hops would knock the temperature so much you wouldn't get nearly as much bitterness as you expect - though I'm sure the beer would be awesome nonetheless. Though if Basic Brewing Radio is to be believed our understanding of IBUs is completely off anyway. James on BBR has developed the 30 minute IPA where you use DME, have a 30 minute boil and add the hops within that boil - that really brings out a clear hop character and is a great quick way of making a really good beer...

  3. Neil - I think it could be a new dawn for the Rooster's brand - not that there was anything wring with it in the first place of course!

    Brother Logic - that sounds interesting - do you have a link to that info?

  4. The projected IBU's on the Chinook brew was in the region of 20 - perhaps a little more when you take into account the amount of time the wort 'stands' for before being fully cooled. Sadly, the brew picked up an infection, but I think (time permitting) a co-lab home-brew with Zak, using a slightly tweaked version of the recipe, is on the cards...

  5. It was 15 minute pale ale not 30:

    And the IBU stuff is on the basic brewing web page

  6. I think if I'd watched that video without sound it would still be clearly evident how much you enjoyed that beer, I didn't of course and it sounds an absolute stunner.

    What I find fascinating about reviews like this is the depth of knowledge that is attained by proper home brewing and experimental avenues this must get you down.

    I don't brew myself but hope to one day space permitting, as I'm really keen to see what can be done if you brew beer from scratch rather than the old fashioned tinned malt jobbies. GhostDrinker has a bottle for me which will be my first experience (no pressure Ghosty)

    Anyway thanks for a cracking review, if ever this does make it to a commercial product and hits Beerritz, I want one, put me down for a pre order… Cheers Phil

  7. Tom - I look forward to it

    Brother Logic - thanks for that, I'll give it a listen

    beersay/Phil - that's a very nice thing to say thanks. And will it make a commercial release? Hmm, watch this space....

  8. Hi Zak, interesting video on an intriguing beer, thanks.

    I was wondering what is the difference between this approach and doing a combination of "regular hopping" and loads of dry hopping? (Assuming the same target IBU is reached).



  9. Chris - good question! My take on it is that you get a different sort of flavour from using hops in the boil than you do from 'regular' hopping and then dry hopping. You're using more hops later to hit the same target IBU, and so are inherently getting a lot more flavour and aroma. The test batch that Tom did had no dry hopping, and was one of the most powerfully aromatic beers I've ever had the pleasure to drink.

  10. The Dissident has caused so many arguments at the judging table. You are spot on about it being a Lambic Brown Ale Hybrid perhaps a touch of fruit beer in there aswell, awesome beer but not a Flanders Red. The left over judging entrys are always hotly desired by the stewards.

  11. Ha ha, the bit where you take your first sniff at about 5:54 is brilliant! You could do a three second edit around that point which would make your point pretty well.


Sorry about the word verification - the blog was getting spammed to bits.