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Black Perle Dark IPA - RJ Rockers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Perle Dark IPABlack Perle Dark IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

269 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 269
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.09%
Wants: 15
Gots: 29 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
RJ Rockers Brewing Company visit their website
South Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: casemw on 11-10-2009

The first release in the "Ales from the Dark Side" series...A dark, roasted twist on the traditional IPA that uses an absurd amount of malt and is "octo-hopped" with the German Perle hop. The biggest beer in the RJ Rockers linup to date.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 269 | Reviews: 123
Reviews by raszputini:
Photo of raszputini
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours dark brown with a moderate light tan head. Hoppy nose. I'm not really an IPA guy, but this doesn't really taste like an IPA. It's almost like a hoppy Imperial Stout. Distinct roasted malts, maybe some chocolate or cocoa. Hops are robust but not overwhelming, and are tempered by the malts. Enjoyed it a lot. I'll buy it again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #39 (Apr 2010):

Is a new beer style emerging? The Black IPA, known by some as Cascadian Dark Ale, and most seem to be double in strength. Hoppy dark beers? We are down with that.

Dark and heady, not nearly pitch black but pretty damn dark, and the lacing does a great jump, staying on the glass. Minty, piney and mildly orangey hop nose runs up against a wall of toasted grain and brown bread aromas. Smooth, with a well-rounded medium body. Very light-roasted maltiness throughout; carob powder and mild roasted coffee comes to mind. Hops keep on coming back around with pungent waves of pine, citrus and herbal hop oil. Bitterness is clear in its intention and cuts through the beer quite easily, yet the malt base does not fall apart ... balance is present. Hoppy and choco- laty make for a bittersweet finish.

"New style" debate aside, this is an amazing beer--heavy on malt and hops with a whole lot of balance for the taste buds to be pleased with.

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to mntlover. Pours a dark mahogany body with a medium sized tan head. Lots of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma is grapefruit hops and dark roasted coffee beans.

Medium body and carbonation with a mild chewiness.

Tastes like an ultrahopped porter. Coffee and dark chocolate malty notes are balanced by citrusy grapefruit hops. Alcohol is concealed very well. Finishes with a roasty bitterness.

More like a hoppy porter, as many have noted, but quite enjoyable.

Photo of far333
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with ruby highlights and a full inch of frothy rocky beige foam, and some particulate matter in suspension.

Low aroma of toasty malt.

Flavor starts off mild toasty malt, quickly becomes dark and roasty, with notes of sharp espresso and cocoa, some wood and leather. Maltiness is well balanced against a hop bitter made up of pine and grapefruit, some orange rind. Well-balanced beer with lots of flavor nuances, but all of them are fairly tame.

Even mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, finishes slightly tannic. Tasty, but could be more bold.

Photo of chinchill
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%

On tap at the brewery.
Black and opaque with an excellent tan head.
Aroma has both medium and dark roasted malts, clearly leaning to the dark side.
Flavor is a way more hoppy and has notably more earthy/herbal flavor. Medium-high bitterness (IBU = 80).

Photo of bensbeers
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Interesting brew for sure. Pours out a huge, fluffy tan head over a pitch black body; minimal lacing. Smells rich and warm - notes of bourbon, vanilla. Even a little bit of oak. Taste is bitter, mostly smoky at first. The bourbon and vanilla sweeten it, but still mostly bitter. Feels medium bodied, but still light on the tongue.

Not sure where the IPA name comes from. Didnt get any hop taste or smell, the quintessence of an IPA. I would definitely classify this as an imperial stout - boozy, malty and smoky. Still a great brew though. And a killer bottle - love the wax. Just not what I was looking for on a warm day. Cheers!

Photo of Metalmonk
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

WTF??? Just peeled the wax off, and the bottle cap looks corroded and rusted, like something you'd find in a 50-year-old unopened bottle. Also worriesome is a feeble "ziss" when popping the cap. Makes me fear this cap wasn't tight and oxidation has set in.

It looks healthy enough: a light tan head, half an inch thick and super-creamy, but it thins to a bubbly skim in about a minute. It's dark indeed, a deep milk-chocolate brown.

Smells healthy enough too: prickly hops are smoothed by a cream/milk-like sweetness, subtle nuttiness, rich toffee and a bit of roast.

Flavor is where Black Perle starts to weaken. There's a good bit of creamy flavor and especially feel here, but it's overtaken by total burnt popcorn char. The hops are bitter and leafy, and along with that burnt flavor, any sweetness and creaminess is severely diminished. Something metallic lingers in the finish, making it even more difficult to enjoy. Some good news is that the alcohol is well-hidden, hardly even detected. But maybe it's just that the uber-roast is so distracting. There's something really nice here, flavor-wise, but it's being oppressed.

The "Black IPA" style is an exciting one, if so new that it's hard to define just yet. But I like the idea, and I like that a fairly under-hyped, even unremarkable brewery like RJ Rockers are at least delving into such wide-open territory. They've failed to truly put their mark on the style, but it's a decent stab worth trying once. Unfortunately for them and every other brewer, Southern Tier threw their hat in the Black IPA ring with Iniquity, which will be incredibly difficult for anyone to match. Let the games begin...

Photo of dirtylou
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, blue wax - hard as hell to get off

sent by a man who once bonged a bakers dozen beers before lunch, on a weekday

appearance: poured into hopleaf tulip - not black really, more like a dark cola body, bubbly beige head

smell: grapefruit hops, creamy caramel malt, earthy, black pepper

taste: a twisted dipa - spicy rye loaf, black pepper, creamy caramel, tobacco, bitter grapefruit rind. interesting enough

mouthfeel: starts bright and hoppy and finishes spicy, dry, with a light booze linger

drinkability: good

Photo of Damian74Shensky
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler served in a goblet.
A-Deep brown, fluffy tan head, excellent lacing
S-Roasted malts, coffee and alcohol
T- dark chocolate/roasted malts with a bitter taste of hop, coffee
M-creamy,medium body, moderate carb.
O- Great beer, thought it was more of a bitter hopped porter than a black IPA but would get again.

Photo of russpowell
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brown tinged mahogany with a sliver or 2 of mocha head. Sheets of lacing cling to the glass in a vortex pattern with fairly decent head retention

S: Brown bread, spicy rye & not near enough hops in the nose

T: Brown bread, earthy, herbal & woody hops, brown sugar sweetness & dryness, plus charred grains up front. Leafy hops & brown bread dance as this warms, along with earthy hops, a touch of black pepper & toasty malt, plus a touch of boozey coffee. Finishes with toasty malt, burnt coffee grounds & a touch of grainyness

MF: Chewy, low carbonation & fairly nice balance

Drinks fairly easy for the style & abv. A good stab at a black IPA, hops weren't perfect, but were still well done in this one. A touch pricey @ $8 a bomber, but unique enough that I shall buy it again. Exceeded by expectations & then some!

Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours black with 1 ½ fingers of mocha colored frothy head. This stays foamy and rich, leaving a big sticky latticework of lace behind. The aroma is hoppy and roasty all at once, with it being hard to pinpoint exactly which dynamic really takes full control of the nose here. The hops are floral and resinous with a big blast of citric grapefruit juice. Roast and coffee are equally big here, giving off dark and smoky textures that give this a crunchy feel in the nose. Maybe just a smidge of warmth is detectable but the strength of the flavors appear to cover it up nicely.

The hops are in full force in the taste and are loaded up with resins, spice, and an immense burst of bitter grapefruit. But man, does this get roasty and toasty underneath with a dark bitterness that has a bit of a smoky edge to it. Luckily, there is also a decent amount of sweetness present from the chocolate malts and even some from the citrus. Lingering spice and pine really add some intenseness to the finish, along with some extra notes of dark roast on the tailend. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a prickly feel towards the back of the swallow but for the most part, this has a big bubbly creaminess to the carbonation that helps smooth out a lot of the alocohol beef that is present. There really isn't much of an alcohol taste to this per se but just the overall thickness of this starts to wear on thee ole' palate after a full bomber of this.

Nice. Not shortage of hops or roast at all here, as this came off to me as one of the better Black IPAs that I've had recently. The higher ABV got to me after a while but it in no way stood in front of those bold flavors. It's nice to see RJ Rockers raising the bar on their offerings here.

Photo of ohiobeer29
2.48/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Nice blend here good mix of stout and black IPA very drinkable

Photo of hophugger
3.04/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an extremely dark black with little to no head and decent lacing. Looks a little flat. Aroma is malty with a faint smell of hops. Taste is more malt than hops and this one drinks more like a very bitter stout than a dark IPA. Malt y notes are present but am having a hard time with the bitterness..

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage. Served from tap at the brewery release party into an RJ Rockers shaker. Poured a massively dark brown almost black with a one and a half finger light tan head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, chocolate, and subtle bitter hops. The flavor was of roasted malt, subtle bitter hop that intensified upon swallowing, and very slight chocolate. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nicely balanced Black IPA. With this one being as fresh as possible the hop character is in full bloom right now. The aroma on this one was quite nice and had a good flavor to follow it up. This one is a must try if you are a fan of the style.

Photo of Gmann
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near black color that is brown around the edges. The mocha colored head is frothy and reminds me of chocolate milk.

The aroma is quite chocolatey and has a brownie batter note. I pick up some wood notes here and there but not much roast. I don't really pick up any hop aromas either. I like the chocolate aroma but feel that the beer should have some roast and hop aromas to be true to the style.

The taste has the roasted malt notes. Not super strong but does bring a ground coffee flavor. This is coupled with both a semi-sweet and milk chocolate flavor. Some light wood and char notes as well. However, not much of a hop presence, perhaps some grassy/earthy notes. Maybe light pine, hard to tell with the roasted malt.

Moderate to full feel with soft carbonation, which leads to a nice silky feel. Fairly sweet on the palate but does finish with a mostly roast bitterness but does have a hop bitterness as well. Not a bitter attack on the palate like most from this style.

I like the flavors in this beer. It has really nice chocolate notes to go along with a medium roast. There really isn't much of a hop presence so it takes some style point hits.

Photo of GSmithBeer
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: good dark black ipa appearance. nice color.
S: didn't pick up too much aroma from the sample i received.
T: good taste. but not sure it belongs in the black ipa category.
M: mouthfeel was nice. good carbonation.
O: after having the abita black ipa at the event i think this one fell a little short to that one. it's not bad by any means. the people serving didn't really know all that much about it. it hid the alcohol well, but it's just not memorable.

Photo of Bung
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Fairly opaque black pour, nice finer of frothy off white head. Marginal sticking to the glass but descent retention.

Aroma, toasted malt and light chocolates. Herbal hops, very light citrus hops. kind of mild.

Taste, more here. Excellent blend of roast malt, herbal and citrus hop flavors. Hint of pine blends into cocoa. Finishes pretty dry with the roast, cocoa and anise.

Don't get the heat, though it is a big beer. Lighter side of medium bodied, coats well though. Carbonation keeps it just a bit livelier than creamy.

No problem drinking this one. The best from RJ's I've had yet.

Photo of ThaneMcC
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown with off white head. Smells pleasantly of flowery, fruit (citrus) and piney hops, bready, toasted malts. Tastes malty sweet up front before hop bite of flavor, hint of coffee, unsweetened cocoa, hint of smoke and leather and clean, bitter sweet finish. Medium bodied with the barest carbonation,.
Overall a tasty, complex beer combining some great features of a dark malty beer with the pungent bite of hops. Well balanced, and ABV well hidden amidst the flavors.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
9.5% ABV, 2314 on back of label.

A - RJ Rockers Black Perle is as dark as the depths the label depicts, pouring a midnight black with a tall, dense foam head. After the minute off aspect of the nose, the thick, quickly rising foam isn't so shocking. Slow to fall, tan fingers of lace are left gnarled on the glass.

S - Heavy dry cocoa and mustiness give off an earthiness that's reminiscent of a wood-paneled basement. Strong earthy hops come through in waves, trying to balance the roasted malt nose that's predominant. It smells good, but something...unusual still seems off about it, lingering in the background.

T - Bittersweet chocolate and coffee splash in and out like waves lapping the shore. Earthy hop attributes add subtle pine resin notes, but are relatively muted in the presence of all the malt. After swallowing, the finish lingers with a milk chocolate-like thickness and flavor on the tongue.

M - Tight carbonation dances on the tongue with extreme effervescent, once again, pointing to an infection issue hiding behind the bold malt and hop. Besides the champagne-like feel, it's stout-like thick with a smooth, milky feel and acrid bitter finish. Dry from the hops, but definitely not bitter from them.

O - Black Pearle showed some real potential, but this American Black Ale from RJ Rockers has an issue. It's very faint in the aroma and almost undetectable in flavor, but the abundant and unnecessary carbonation is a telltale sign of problems (I should know, with all the homebrew I keep botching). Beyond that, I'd ask for more hop bitterness and flavor to combat the assertive malt profile in this Black Ale, but it's definitely drinkable and not offensive.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to JM03 for this treat!

Pours a very dark, muddied brown color. Head is minimal (less than a finger) and light tan in color. Doesn't stick around for long, but does leave some spots behind.

Aroma, though pleasant, would be wonderful if just more pronounced. Roasted malts, some sweet chocolate, and hints of pine and citrus.

The taste is were its at. Big roasted malt taste, with bits of toasted bread, chocolate, and a splash of coffee. Afterwards, you get the hops of citrus and pine with a pleasant lingering bitter bite at the end. Very nice.

Feels creamy, medium bodied, nicely carbonated.

Drinkability is solid. The bomber will be a breeze; this goes down easy.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally got a chance to try this one and decided to break a long fast with this one last night, wish I had picked something else to be honest but oh well. Served cold and poured not a pint glass this one was consumed on 03/24/2010.
 
The pour was not what I was expecting. Deep brown color and nearly opaque save for a few touches of light peaking around the sides of the glass. No head on this, even with a vigorous pour I came no where near getting anything but a token coating of lace across the top, Not really the look I was going for by any stretch, still though I have scene worse. Tons of caramel and hot boozy notes in the aroma. Needs to mellow as the hops are not strong enough to really push through the dark malts they way they should( see stone). Still though warming improves it as hints of brown sugar and molasses start to take shape and come forward. Still though as I take each sip I am looking for more and more. There just seems to be something missing here that could really push it over the top. No matter through we continue on with it. Dark caramel tones and hints of piney hops dominate now and bring a boozy taste right to the front of the palate, again not really exactly what I had in mind, but it will do. Smooth, thick body does come off slightly slick at times but maintains a good level of carbonation to offset it some. Lots of alcohol and this is very evident here for sure.
 
Overall it was a decent offering I think it needed a little more though to push it over the edge. I have had much worse though it just seemed like it was a tad too big for itself.

Photo of blackie
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: the wax-dip chips away easily, a little rust underneath but the inner cap is a-okay, poured into a tulip snifter, the beer is an opaque dark brown with a thin surface layer of carbonation

s: the thick caramel malt body creates an underpinning for moderate roasted barley addition and citrus pith hop aroma, dusty cocoa, spicy booze, neither of the would-be features of the aroma - the roast or hops - manage to make much of an impression, lacks a harmony of ingredients but it's pleasant enough all told

m: carbonation on the light end, body medium-full

t: caramel backbone with a layering of full roasted malts that might provide more color than flavor - aside from a medium char flavor the caramel seems to stand out more, riding along is a full - but far from what would be "strong" in context - citrus hop flavor fading to a piney bitterness in the finish, a decent beer but lacking complexity and never inviting much interest

d: easy enough for the abv

had higher hopes for this beer, but it ultimately proves to be something of a letdown

bomber from Charleston Beer Exchange

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is close to jet black in color (traces of red are visible near the edges of the glass when it is held up to a bright light) and also has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high tan head that only died down a little, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass..
S: There are light to moderate aromas of chocolate malts in the nose along with some notes of roasted malts; these become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the strength of the flavors is reversed with the roasted malts being more prominent. There are also some hints of burnt malts and slight amounts of pine resin hops, the latter of which contributes a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and both smooth and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Dryness from the roasted malts lingers through the finish. The beer also coats your mouth a little.
O: This is a very enjoyable and flavorful black IPA that is also remarkably drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz waxed bottle bought at Julio's, wax on the cap was even stamped.

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with small tan head that fades fast and leaves only a few small spots of lacing on the glass.

The smell has a nice deep roasted malt aroma with a good amount of hop backing, more piney than citrus.

The taste is a good balance of roasted malt and hops, this definitely drinks more like a fresh hoppy porter than a Black IPA, the strength is very well hidden and is hardly noticeable, the bitterness in the aftertaste from the dark roasted malt and hops is just the right amount, soft carbonation gives it a decent creaminess.

The bottle looked really cool with the sunken treasure/pirate feel and suckered me in, fortunately the beer inside was quite tasty. This was the first beer I've had from RJ Rockers (I had never heard of them before either). Although they label it as a "dark india pale ale", it is more in line with a hoppy porter.

Photo of obywan59
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an oversized wine glass. Very dark brown with a hslf finger head leaving decent lacing.

Sweet dark chocolate in the nose. Doughy bread.

Moderately sweet creamy dark chocolate all the way through to the lasting bitterness in the end. It seems sweeter as the beer warms. Warming alcohol in the throat from the 9.5% ABV.

Medium thick body gives long lasting flavor. Smooth and creamy.

Very drinkable for a dark beer. The only thing slowing you down is the ABV

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Black Perle Dark IPA from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.