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Black Perle Dark IPA - RJ Rockers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Perle Dark IPABlack Perle Dark IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

248 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 248
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.79%
Wants: 15
Gots: 19 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: casemw on 11-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 248 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

22oz waxed bottle into a Hopus tulip pours a deep not quite opaque black that shows some brown highlights when held to light. The beer is topped by a thin slowly diminishing head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice blend of dark malts and subtle but present citrus hops. The taste is a very nice blend of dark malts, cocoa, and nice lingering bitter citrus hops. The beer is medium bodied with fairly well hidden alcohol. This is a very enjoyable strong Black IPA, one I would love to see available in the Raleigh area.

01-05-2011 03:07:55 | More by atsprings
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +15.7%

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

01-04-2011 22:19:27 | More by brentk56
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -6.5%

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.

12-18-2010 13:22:08 | More by avalon07
Photo of beer4colin


3.53/5  rDev -7.8%

I too love the bottle. The Black/Bule contrasts are stunning. The wax top is grand, albeit a bit difficult to open.

A - Besides the stunning externals, this pours a pure dark into a pint glass with a big, big mahogany head that laces nicely on the way down.

S - Very nice roast aroma.

T - Big roast, very woody but not hop slammy. This is closer to a smoked porter than other Black IPAs that I have had. I am a bit disappointed in the finish as it degenerates into a charred wood taste. I almost wonder if they have not just thrown in charred chips for flavor.

D - Good for Bomber but not multiples.

12-07-2010 23:18:46 | More by beer4colin
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz


3.4/5  rDev -11.2%

not gonna lie, i was attracted to the bottle with the blue wax. nice label and everything. also never really noticed or heard of rj rockers so why not give it a shot.
pours a smokey black with minimal head retention and lacing that dies off very quickly.
smells a little muted. little bit of roasted and chocolate malts, mild hop character.
id have to go with the notion that it really falls more along the lines of a hoppy porter. the ipa aspect just doesnt come to fruition, particularly because the malt and chocolate come through more than the hops. this is a tasty beer, i just feel its mislabeled. its very drinkable, and i love sipping on it. the carbonation is perfect and id love more, just not at the $11 price tag. worth seeking out at least once.

12-01-2010 04:35:46 | More by Kkottonmouthkngz
Photo of CliffBrake

New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%

This beer poured a very dark reddish amber - almost opaque, with a minimal head and only a hint of lacing.

The aroma is dominated by roasty malts with a hint of chocolate.

The malts also dominate the the flavor, which is decidely sweet, with some herbal and bitter hop flavors bringing up the rear to give it more of a hop presence than your average porter, but not nearly what I expected for a black ipa.

Nice mouthfeel and a decent drinking beer.

11-30-2010 01:39:15 | More by CliffBrake
Photo of PicoPapa


3.98/5  rDev +3.9%

22oz bottle with blue wax on the cap. Pours a black color with some dark brown hues to it. Good amount of head. Minimal lacing. Interesting aroma. Roasted malts and pine hops. A slight bit of citrus. Taste is mostly piney hops but with a nice amount of roasted malts and chocolate flavors to it. Aftertaste has some citrus, but not a lot. I haven't had too many Black IPAs yet but I am really digging this one. Nice mix of flavors to it. Worth seeking out this beer for certain.

11-29-2010 07:17:45 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of deltatauhobbit


4.47/5  rDev +16.7%

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.

11-27-2010 20:03:45 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of begforme4484


3.55/5  rDev -7.3%

Pours a dark mohagany brown, it's almost black except it lets just a little light shine through. 2.5 fingers width tan head, good retention and spotty lacing.

Mainly roasted malts in the nose. A hint of citrusy hops, but it's really hard to detect. No hint of the 9.5% which is nice. Seems like a run of the mill black IPA by smell.

It tastes like a porter. Like Stone Brewing's take on a porter. It's smokey, slightly malty, roasted, and hoppy. It doesn't taste like an IPA. Being a fan of porters and stouts myself, I still enjoy it. If you read the description on the bottle, it really reminds you of an IPA that you would pull out of a sunken ship or somewhere that would make an IPA age into a porter. :/

Medium bodied, mild carbonation, and a slight bit chewy.

Drinkability for me, is limited to one. Usually I can drink IPAs all night. I can even drink Stone SSRA all night, but this is heavy to drink like a porter.

11-14-2010 03:04:15 | More by begforme4484
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

11-12-2010 13:06:45 | More by thagr81us
Photo of merlin48


4/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

06-26-2010 16:56:24 | More by merlin48
Photo of aasher


3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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.

06-15-2010 01:56:39 | More by aasher
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -16.4%

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...

06-11-2010 22:03:53 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of dhd1491


3.85/5  rDev +0.5%

Dark to the point of opaque; kind of muddy appearance with no head. Aroma and taste are almost cloyingly sweet. Somewhat disappointing because I know the owners of RJR and wish them well. Redeeming qualities are that is goes down very smooth for such a high abv; no real alcohol bite. Nice earthy, smoky notes. In fact, if the sweetness were a bit less pronounced, this is a complex and flavorful brew.

06-02-2010 22:20:05 | More by dhd1491
Photo of zeff80


3.98/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

05-28-2010 02:34:32 | More by zeff80
Photo of Zekezilla


3.6/5  rDev -6%

Tried this on a whim. I really like the brown ale that RJ Rocker has to offer so decided to try this. I'm trying to branch out with IPAs. I've just developed a taste for a significant hoppiness in beers so decided this may be a good starter, being maybe a combination of a stout appearance and IPA taste. The verdict: it's pretty good but nothing exceptional. Pretty hoppy, thin in mouthfeel. Not sure what's supposed to be special this beer except....it's really dark in color and it's hoppy:? Am I missing something?

04-24-2010 01:40:56 | More by Zekezilla
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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.

03-25-2010 20:24:37 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of portia99


3.45/5  rDev -9.9%

22oz blue wax sealed bottle received in trade with beernerd81. Thanks for this one Ben! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Described on the bottle as a Dark IPA...pours a dark, dark brown with hints of amber when held up to a light. Nice finger of cream colored head tha drops quickly to an uneven layer of various bubble sizes with some eratic lacing left on the sides of the glass. Not bad for a 9.5% beer.

S - Hmm, dark IPA...smells kinda like a thin, hoppy imperial stout. Lots of dark roasted malts and some coffee like bitterness. Not much for hop aroma just a small amount of earthy hop varieties. Smells good...as a brewery described IPA, it is lacking (but I don't really know what a dark IPA is anyway?) hop aroma for sure. Blind pour - this is a light, somewhat bland impy stout.

T - Dark and roasted flavors dominate...lots of burnt malt and coffee. Hops are subtle yielding only a modicum of fruity, citrusy hop flavor. At any rate, it doesn't stand up to the heavily roasted malt flavors - just sits neatly in the background. I like the flavor of this beer, but I really don't know how to judge this...IPA - NO...Imperial stout - maybe...just a hoppy, thin version. Anyway, the brewery says its an IPA, so I'm rating it that way...but I think I like this beer more than the rating would suggest.

M - A bit thin in body, carbonation is tame but adequate...plenty of life but I wouldn't be upset if there was a little more either. Hoppiness is felt more in the aftertaste, a fruity and somewhat grassy flavor is left behind after the swallow and this lingers for a long time...not a bad thing. Definitely in line with an IPA in this category.

D - So...I'm liking this beer quite a bit, but I'm not sure I agree with the style here. Blind tasting, I'd call this a weak Impy Stout. As an IPA it falls short in hop character...kinda defies definition. Blend half IPA and half Impy Stout and blend together well and this is what you get. More of a hoppy, thin Impy Stout than anything...in that regard it is a pretty easy drinker. More than anything, I'd say disregard the style, drink it for pure enjoyment, and don't worry about the rating. Good beer...enjoyable...I'd have another anytime.

03-17-2010 23:51:44 | More by portia99
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

03-16-2010 22:32:02 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of jmfc8237


3.83/5  rDev 0%

A-poured dark brown and very viscous into a tulip style glass. Had a bit of dark caramel with nice wavy lacing and moderate head retention.

S-burt molases and caramel notes with a slight woodsy evervescence. Nice choc.malt notes at the end.

T-chocolate and smokey wood with a slight tinge of fig and caramel.

T/M- very heavy handed but well blended malt profile that def.overpopulkates any hops. Nice mouthfeel and is a good session beer.

03-13-2010 02:16:36 | More by jmfc8237
Photo of BEERchitect


4/5  rDev +4.4%

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!

03-01-2010 04:21:12 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of krisandajt


3.3/5  rDev -13.8%

Appearance: Interesting. A rough pour into my Duvel glass shows the beer to be a very dark brown, almost black, with absolutely no head. If I didn't know any better, I'd say this beer was more of a porter than anything else, though it didn't seem to be very thick. Of course, with a name like Black Perle I suppose this is to be expected.

Smell: Not really picking up much bitterness from the hops, surprising for a DIPA. There's definitely a sweet quality to the nose, with an almost chocolate like hint to it. Not bad, but not what I'd expect from an IPA.

Taste: Well, the "almost" chocolate quality I picked up in the nose is confirmed in the taste. Very subtle hop presence, definitely more of a sweet, roasted chocolaty kind of taste. If it weren't for the label specifically calling this beer a "Dark India Pale Ale" I would figure this beer to be a slightly hoppy porter.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy, which is the result of a lack of carbonation, and a nice medium- to full-body.

Drinkability: I'm not quite sure how to approach this beer. If judged purely by style I would say it failed. If judged purely by taste I would say it did well. A very interesting beer to be sure. I will end by saying this: an IPA this is not. As a hop head I am a little disappointed. However, no matter what style this beer claims to be, it does taste good and in the end that is all that really matters. Though I may not give this beer top marks for style, it tastes good and I would certainly have it again.

02-27-2010 01:21:14 | More by krisandajt
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

Pours a cola color. Smallish mocha-colored head leaves behind some rings of lacing.

To be totally honest, I thought this smelled more like a sweet stout or a porter than a Black IPA. Lots of caramel, roasted barley, some chocolate, and just a light dash of hops. It's a solid nose, but it's certainly no Black IPA/DIPA.

Flavor follows. Roasty finish with a light hoppy bitter kick. Tasty, no doubt.

Medium body, perhaps a bit thin, and lightly carbonated. Booze is pretty well-masked.

This is at least the third different example I can think of involving an in-state brewer producing a tasty beer that doesn't really fit the style guidelines. But, then again, I'd rather have a really tasty porter/sweet stout than a by-the-book, but not very good black IPA.

02-26-2010 02:12:18 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of ffejherb


3.95/5  rDev +3.1%

22oz. bomber into snifter on 2/15/10.

A - Poured a dark brown, cola-colored liquid with a thin beige cap that yielded thin strands of stringy lace.

S - Opens with citrusy hops, light herbal notes and a hint of wood/oak character. Malt character is dark and rich, suggesting caramel and chocolate as well cookie dough. Slight waft of alcohol also emerges as the liquid warms up a bit.

T - Like the aroma, citrus hops are at the forefront, followed by a touch of wood and dark roasted malts suggesting chocolate and caramel. The alcohol heat builds as the liquid reaches room temperature.

M - Medium bodied, a little thin perhaps, with a slight oily texture and light carbonation. Finishes fairly dry with subtle alcohol warmth and moderate bitterness on the palate.

D - Solid dark IPA and a cool bottle to boot. This was my first experience with this brewery, and I'm intrigued. While the mouthfeel was slightly thin, I thought this was a good IPA overall, although I didn't get DIPA from this brew.

02-17-2010 01:44:21 | More by ffejherb
Photo of paco1029384756


4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

Bottle thanks to mikesgroove.

Pours a very dark brown, near black color with a small off white head with pretty good retention.

Scent of sweet syrup, grainy earth, dry sugars, sweet hops, and a touch of roastiness. Balanced well, one of the more impressive smelling Cascadian Dark Ales I have had.

Taste of roasted malts, sharp grain, caramel, some coffee, subtle sweet, juicy hops, and soft sugars lasting throughout. This one was fairly harsh initially, but as it opened up a bit, I started to like it a lot.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slick with a refreshing bite of carbonation.

02-05-2010 00:31:32 | More by paco1029384756
Black Perle Dark IPA from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.