Review #88 – Blackjack The River Farmhouse Brown Ale 82/100
I met one of the brewers from Blackjack brewery at the last Liverpool Craft Beer Expo, he seemed like a nice guy and appreciated that I knew a fair bit about his beers, telling him that his Glenfarclas cask aged beer was one of my favourite beers of all time. So far Blackjack have produced consistently top notch beers, and this brown ale is equally fantastic.
Out of the bottle and into the glass it’s incredibly effervescent, producing a huge off-white head. The beer is a deep walnut brown colour and moderately hazy.
On the nose there is a lot of funk with this one, just as you’d expect from any good farmhouse, slightly ester like with notes of spiced fruit cake, banana loaf and plum jam. There is a slight metallic aroma present but it isn’t at a level I find unpleasant.
On the palate, this beer is nowhere near as carbonated as I was expecting it actually has a really mellow and smooth texture with a slightly chewy mouthfeel. The beer produces a flavour profile that is a nice mix of sweet and savoury; each sip is like eating a handful of trail mix followed by a mouthful of rich coffee cake. There is a lot of spice present with notes of vanilla, black peppercorns, cumin and cinnamon coming through.
The beer has a long, medium dry finish, the flavours that stick around are that of earthy hops, similar to what you’d find in some Belgian beers, the hop profile kind of reminds me of Orval. Again there is a slightly metallic flavour that comes with this one, it’s neither pleasant nor unpleasant but I think it adds to the character of the beer as I think farmhouse beers characteristically have some odd flavours.
A great farmhouse brown ale from Blackjack.