In early March, I got to be part of a surprise party in Kentucky for a friend I had not seen since I lived in Germany in the 80s. I also got to hang out with a few of my friends from that time in my life that I had not seen since. It had been 24 years since I'd seen most of them. I took a few of my beers down there, including the original Red Rooster.
I was surprised how my friends enjoyed this simple beer. The chocolate rye imparts a slight mocha aroma and flavor in conjunction with the Willamette hops. I get a similar result when I taste Sierra Nevada's Porter, but the rooster is only red, not dark like a Porter.
I don't know when the last of these was drank, but since that time, I was thinking about how I could improve upon this recipe. I decided to substitute 2 lbs of rye malt in place of 2 lbs of 2-row malt, and dry hop with an extra ounce of Willamette. The recipe looks like this:
Red Rooster Ale
10.0 lb 2-Row Pale Malt
2.0 lb Rye Malt
0.5 lb Caramunich II
0.33 lb CaraWheat
0.33 lb Chocolate Rye
1.50 oz Willamette (4.5%AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 oz Willamette (4.5%AA) @ 30 min.
1.00 oz Willamette (4.5%AA) @ 0 min.
1.50 oz Willamette (4.5%AA) Dry Hop 5 days prior to bottling
Danstar-Lallemand Nottingham dry yeast, 11 grams
While I bottled the last batch, I had a kegging system set up this time around. I wasn't able to do a side-by-side comparisson, but from memory, I know that 1) I made this one stronger, since the original had a target OG of 1.046, but it ended up 1.041. In that regard, this one ended up at 1.055, so it went from 3.8%ABV to 5.93% ABV (I was hoping for around 6%). The rye gives it a bit more of a spicy taste. Unfortunately, the beer is kind of cloudy. It tastes great. It's got the same kind of mouthfeel, like it's begging for a nitrogen tap, it's creamy, and feels like a thin film of foam is left on the roof of your mouth. The aroma is kind of woody and smells of malt. It doesn't have a big hop nose like American IPAs.
Once again, I have to thank Dawson over at Northern Brewer for his Dawson's Multi-Grain Red ale. It was the inspiration for me to brew this red ale, which is more like a reddish-brown.