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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

255 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 255
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.76%
Wants: 15
Gots: 20 | 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)
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Ratings: 255 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChristianBlack
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Black appearance certainly looks the part
S - More roasted and chocolate notes than I expected. Not a bad thing
T- Really nice taste. Just missing hop character.
M - well carbonated
D - Easy drinking for the ABV.
Just missing that all important ingredient hops.

Photo of jpmclaug
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Black body, maybe really dark brown with a tan head on top.

S - Big roasted grains, and chocolate notes. I would guess this was a porter by the aroma

T - chocolate and roasted grains mingle. Not picking up much in the hop department though.

M - medium bodied, a good amount of carbonation

D - Easy drinking and pretty good. I think the brewer misclassified this one. I'd say it fits firmly in porter category. If I rated this as a Black IPA it would be rated lower but I'm only going to ding it one point in drinkability.

Photo of gopens44
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -Pretty dark with tinges of red peeking around the edges of my glass. Thin mocha colored head that runs off pretty quick

S - Malty, coffee, maybe some plum aromas as well.

T - Bitter and a touch sour. Their is a slight hint of coffee, as well as a raisin taste hiding in there.

M - Thin, dry, medium carbonation and just a touch of a bitter aftertaste.

Not the best ABA I've had. I'd like to put some age on it just to see what happens with the sourness. Experiments are fun!

Photo of 2BDChicago
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Decent ruby brown color. Normal foam head of tan medium bubbles.

S: Very unique aroma of dark sweet fruits and appealing, earthy muskiness.

T: Surprise, not really sweet, earthy, low smokiness, and a coffee finish. It seems thinish at first, but after repeated tastes I realized it's a little sticky. Would never guess the abv level.

D: I liked this beer but have no idea what to compare it to. I guess what I like is how different it is, yet it well balanced. But there's multiple layers of taste and flavor and in a weird way they all work together. Oh, and I drinking a year old bottle. Cool brew, must have again.

Photo of ppoitras
3.15/5  rDev -18%
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 BeerAdvocate
4.22/5  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 far333
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
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 atsprings
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of brentk56
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
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 avalon07
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Photo of beer4colin
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of CliffBrake
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
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 begforme4484
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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 merlin48
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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 aasher
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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 Metalmonk
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
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 dhd1491
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
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 Zekezilla
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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?

Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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 portia99
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Black Perle Dark IPA from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.