My #12BeersOfXmas – Day 9 – FullHouse Tripel IPA (Pinot Noir Barrel Aged) – Black Jack Beers (Manchester) – 10% abv – Barbeerian (Prestwich, Manchester)

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Black Jack have been brewing great beer since 2012 just down the hill from The Marble Arch, but have only started bottling in the last month or so. They’ve obviously been planning for a while though as this beer has been aged for 6 months in an oak Pinot Noir barrel. The beers I’ve had so far have been excellent from Rob and the guys, but this – in strength – is on a whole new level!

Almost amber and slightly hazy with a lasting white soft foamy head, there is quite a complex aroma to this beast. It’s fruity yes, with banana, grape some peach and mandarin too. There is also a yeasty hit too with what smells like a little clove. Like I said, there’s a lot going on here!

Some of those flavours transfer to the mouth too. Yes there’s some banana, a little clove and some orange fruit. This is one hell of a full-bodied beer, a big creamy smooth mouthful, with all that fruitiness followed by more than a hint of that red wine oaky cask. The first mouthful had what I initially thought was an alcohol burn, but the second mouthful onwards reveal just the big fruitiness, the oak and a quite sudden dry sticky hop finish with a yeasty funk in there too. Very low bitterness and none of the tannic astringency that I was expecting from a red wine cask.

This is simply a beautiful, big fruity boozy hit of a beer. Up there with the best that I’ve had from Black Jack. And that is praise indeed!

And Donkey is wobbling. He LOVED it – a bit TOO much if you ask me!

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