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

272 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 272
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 15
Gots: 27 | 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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Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 124
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque black with a tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is pretty bland with some roasty malt and herbal hop aromas. Taste is the same but seems quite watery tasting. There is a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer with noting that really stands out in my opinion.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: very large tan foam head with scattered lacing on a deep dark brown body.

S: nice chocolate and roasted malts. Hops are a little mild and mostly earthy.

T: very nice combination of roasted malts and coffee with earthy and slightly sweet citrus hops. These balance each other out well which is rare for this beer style in my experience.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: nicely balanced beer in both malt/hop mix as well as coffee bitternes and chocolate/citrus sweetness. Very good.

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 brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a translucent chocolate color with tawny highlights and a frothy tan head; the retention was decent and it left a nice pattern of lace

Smell: Strong mocha aromatics, with a roasty character and undertones of caramel and pith

Taste: Opens with a coffee flavor that brings along a chocolate element underneath; by mid-palate, a minty citrus character arrives to take the flavor profile in a bitter direction; the hops dominate the brew through the finish, though the coffee and chocolate linger for quite a while

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I am rating a fresh bottle of the recently released bottling - looking over the reviews, I have the sense that the current bottling has dealt with the carbonation and hopping issues associated with the previous version(s); still, I would agree with those who maintain that this is more of a hoppy porter than a Black IPA; in any event, I really like this beer and think that in its current version it is truly an unappreciated gem

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

A fascinating beer that combines what's great about IPA's, Schwarzbiers, but with a Porter-like body.

The Black Pearl begins with a dark brown color (think big Brown Ale or Porter), and with subtle carbonation, short but sturdy head formation and retention, and with good lacing. The low-lying carbonation is likely due to the hand bottling but I honestly prefer this because it give a cask ale-like impression and I believe that most beers are over carbonated to begin with.

Surprisingly, the aromas of toast, toffee, and light coffee rise first. But the seconday hop notes aren't far behind. Quite piney, grassy, and resiny with lighter qualities of citrus rounding out the hoppy nose.

Flavors of malt also show a first impression. The toast-coffee-toffee flavors are soon dwarfed by those hoppy flavors which fade nicely into a decidedly bitter finish that is again accentuated by the bitterness of the toasty, coffee-like grains.

The body of the beer seems more like a sturdy Brown or a moderate Porter. Malty and medium froathiness gives way in the middle of the palate to the hop bitterness and dryness. But the hop dryness is once again met with the malty wetness of the toffee sweetness. I'd prefer to see the ultimate dryness of an IPA to govern the finish.

A very nice beer that's riding the experimental wave of the Dark IPA's. I think it needs more hop dominance in the nose and taste and with a drier finish. This would religate the toast and coffee as a distant complimentary character to enhance the hops instead of competing with them. Nevertheless, the beer seems to be error free and quite tasty. Always welcome in my glass.

Thanks Ding!

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma roasted malt, faint floral/citrusy hops, chocolate, coffee.Taste coffee, bitter chocolate, pepper, bitter hop finish. Excellent!

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 zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, dark, dark brown color with a small, tan head of foam. It left a few rings of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel, roasted malt and cocoa. There was a mild grassy/floral aroma, too.

T - It tasted of rich roasted malt with a spicy hop character. It tastes a little like a super hopped porter.

M - It was crisp, sharp and quite dry. A medium bodied ale that is quite smooth.

D - This is a pretty good black double IPA. Again, it really tastes like a very hoppy porter.

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

Appearance: Pours out a clearish, dark brown body with a bubbly, sudsy, beige-colored head.

Smell: Pleasant mix of various hop and malt notes: roasted barley, robust coffee, chocolate squares, citrus, and lightly resinous pine. A bit of warmth pulls out more chocolatey tones.

Taste: Dark, roasty maltiness developing tastes of bittersweet chocolate and Colombian coffee with some soft caramel sweetness. An iota of dark fruitiness. The hops are made to compete with the earthy roast character here, though still they manage to present pine wood, citrus fruits, and a few coarsely-chopped mint leaves. Moderate bitterness that couples with the roastiness. Finishes dry, subtly warming, and roasty with a few final hints of spice and citrus zest.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a moderately smooth mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly enjoyable, well-rounded brew. Not nearly as notably hoppy or bitter as some of these so-called Black IPA's (or in this case Walnut Brown IPA) on the market today, which is fine with me. It's good to see RJ Rockers rolling out some new brews now that they've settled down in their new facility.

Photo of nickfl
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured with a massive head of medium tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles at a moderate pace, but leaves a thick, rocky layer of lace on the glass.

S - Bready notes of chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar.

T - Dark malt and burnt sugar up front with some chocolate notes creeping in. Brown sugar and burnt caramel in the middle with a finish of pine, bitter hops, and roasty malt.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Not bad, but the hop character is a bit lacking, especially in the aroma. Still, the malt is handled rather well and I like that there is an assertive level of roast character but it is not heavy enough to be confused with a stout.

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 mactrail
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very attractive pour in the Duvel tulip. Dark brown with chestnut edges, with a fine grained foam and nice swirls of lacing along the glass. A serious mouthful with a nice sudsy character.

Rich and malty at first taste, and slightly sweet. The hops emerge with a long bitter boil. There are a lot of black, charred flavors with burnt sugar. Sort of salty. Overall, this is a huge beer with the whole array of dark malt flavors in all their variations. Hops are just restrained enough but more than ample in the aftertaste.

Quite sippable big dark brew. I wish I could remember where I came up with this bottle.

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 superspak
3.54/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 9/23/2011 bottle code on the bottom. Pours pitch black color with a dense 2 finger tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some good spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big apple skin, roasted malt, chocolate, biscuit, and toast. Aromas are very off balanced, way too much apple aromas. Something went wrong here. Taste of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, toast, biscuit, char, coffee, herbal, pine, and earthy spiciness. Fair amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, char, pine, and herbal spiciness for a good bit. Nice balance of roasted flavors with hop bitterness; with a very robust amount of roasted flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden at 9.5%; with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Very smooth to sip on. Overall this is a nice black IPA that is quite robust with roasted flavors. Other than the obvious fermentation flaws in aromas with this particular bottle, it was still quite enjoyable. I will have to revisit this again and hope I get a better bottle.

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 Huhzubendah
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black opaque bod with an inch of tan head that sticks around for the duration. Aromas include roast and chocolate first, followed by some hop and pine character. Pretty tasty brew here. I wouldn't have guessed it was nearly 10% abv. Medium bodied and well balanced. Moderate bitterness but not overpowering. A nice sipper.

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

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1" tan colored head. Mild lacing paints the glass.

Smell: chocolate and pine tones are dominant with some softer sweet malt tones in the background.

Taste: nice malty beer. Loads of chocolate, prunes, grapefruits, pine, and lighter roasted coffee flavors create a well balanced beer. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and velvety at the finish.

Drinkability: slower sipping big IPA. Loads of flavor but one glass on draft was just not enough for me. Nice beer.

Photo of billab914
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Pours black with a thin tan covering on top. The head retreated to the sides of the glass but left excellent lacing on the sides.

Aroma is a mix between the citrusness of the hops and the roastedness of the grains. They almost cancel each other out in that neither one is dominant. The taste is pretty much like someone mixed a stout with an IPA. Its hoppy and citrusy but also roasty with some chocolate and coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium to thick bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, I really enjoyed drinking this one. It really tastes like someone blended an IPA with a stout, and that's not a bad thing. The two flavor profiles balance each other out pretty nicely. It definitely has more stout characteristics then the other black IPA's I have had, with a little more of the chocolate and coffee flavors.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a wax dipped bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, brown-to-black coloring with a thin, foamy, light tan head. Aromas of chocolate, brown sugar, subtle resinous notes, licorice, some tropical fruit sweetness, and some pine notes. The chocolate and roast characters come up the most in the nose. Flavors are heavily roasted, and yet incredibly smooth. Chocolate and caramel blend on the forward tongue, with a rich, creamy backbone, some bitter and piney notes in the background, and a roasted, almost smoky highlight. Very well blended and balanced. The body is light and smooth, with a roasted, rich, and slightly bitter aftertaste. The finish has a bitter linger, both chocolate and hoppy. This is a solid, heavy, very tasty brew. Worth searching out.

Photo of liamt07
2.94/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle brought out by Jon, 650ml into a few glasses. Nice wax dipped cap, but as others have mentioned, super thick and more than a bitch to cut through.

Pours a dark brow, with some deep burgundy highlights. Not black (listed as a Dark IPA) so I'm not docking any marks. A few fingers of a brown tinged khaki head. Great retention and lacing. nose is less impressive, some muddled and certainly not outstanding hopping, sweet dark fruits, burnt brown sugar. Not alot of IPA character to be found. Taste starts with the dark fruits again, and finishes roasty with some faint coffee flavour. Mouthfeel is too thin and roasty for my liking, with a bitterness that's just as undesirable. Medium carbonation. Moderately interesting overall, but I'm not picking up any real "IPA" qualities per say. Leans towards more of a moderately hopped English porter than anything. Meh.

Photo of ppoitras
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Blue waxed cap..

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the cloudy dark brown brew. Head recedes at an average pace, with lots of sticky lacing. Aroma is substantial, leaning more towards dark malt than the earthy hops.

Taste starts with almost acrid dark grain flavor, which tries to hand the baton in the middle to the piny bitterness, but the burnt character never leaves. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, but it and drinkability are limited by the over-assertive darkness in this brew.

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

Picked up a 650ml bottle while vacationing on Fripp Island, South Carolina

Appearance: poured smoothly into a pint glass with about an inch of khaki, quickly dissipating head, dark dark brown, almost black, barely allowed any light through the glass

Smell: pretty solid, like a mellow version of an IPA, slightly hoppy with a little malt as well

Taste: good flavor, nothing overpowering, good hoppiness with an interesting aftertaste, pretty good

Mouthfeel: very smooth with almost no carbonation

Drinkability: it's good but not overly special, it's worth a try but probably only good for a single at a time

I'm pretty indifferent on this one, if that says anything.

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

Poured from 22oz waxed bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: entirely black with a thick finger of frothy dark tan foam. Good lookin'!

Smell: big, rich coffee, toffee and malt aromas with a little bit of vegetal hops. I'd think imperial stout before American Black Ale. Still, the aroma is smooth and enticing, if not particularly hoppy.

Taste: malt starts off with a light fruitiness, possibly due to the alcohol or to fruity hops. It then segues into a rich coffee roast flavor which is smooth all the way through. See my style comments above.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and a lightly creamy silkiness. Pretty good, although more in line with a black ale than an imperial stout.

Overall: this beer doesn't really fall into an established category. It is technically an ale which is black which is made in America, but that's about as much as you can say for putting it in this style category. Still, it is a yummy beer I'd be glad to quaff again.

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 avalon07
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was an inch of foamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A very underplayed aroma of coffee, roasted malt and hops.

T: Tasted of coffee, malt, and a woody quality up front, with a mild hoppiness in the finish. Not overly dynamic, but pleasant enough. Closer in character to a porter than a Black IPA.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A slightly uneven beer, but drinkable enough.

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Black Perle Dark IPA from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.