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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 ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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 jmfc8237
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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 krisandajt
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Gyle41386
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of ffejherb
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of billab914
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
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 blackie
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
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 dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
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 rwdkosak
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours darker than expected, compares to a dark brown ale, very slight head that isn't retained long. Smell is good but nothing that I'd close my eyes and really take in during each sip. Taste has a full malt and just hints on chocolate note before hops take over and pull the IPA style back to the fore. Mouthfeel is good but again, nothing i'm going to savor sip-to-sip. Drinkablity is down a bit at 9.5% but it's still a good brew if you're looking for something other than your typical IPA.

Photo of saintwarrick
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brew pours a dark soda color with a somewhat minimal head, sort of light tan, but just enough to lace the head of the beer. It's hardly as much as any IPA, black or not. Aroma is nice and solid, dark maltiness, some cocoa like a stout. Taste has chocolate an coffee notes. There is a bit of bitterness at the end, but not enough for the style. Most I BIPAs are more bitter than this, I have found. Not a bad brew, I like stretching the boundaries, but for this style, this brew is a bit behind the curve.

Photo of Jmoore50
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just wonder what the perfect appearance of a Dark IPA looks like? It is supposed to look like a RIS or what? Either way this pours a very dark brown color, maybe even black. Held up to the light it shows that maybe it is a dark ruby color with lighter edges. With an aggressive pour it produces a two finger khaki head. It leaves a heavier lacing, really nice.

The smell is not very strong but lots of dark roasty malts with pine hops. Very faint smells that bash into eachother.

The taste is okay, but tastes like a half-half. There is lots of dark roasted malts in this, with a bit of chocolate. LOTS of pine hops with a bit of a fruity aspect as well. They just don't blend very well, either that or this style just confuses me a bit. I thought that for a while this style was a gimmick, but I had Port Brewing's Dark IPA and liked it. This is not bad by any means, but I would rather have a golden oily DIPA.

The mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated for a DIPA and is very enjoyable. I am going to drink the bomber with no problem, and it was an interesting brew.


Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
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 obywan59
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
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

Photo of russpowell
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
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 upstatewoodie
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! what a great beer. Fortunately i had someone to drive me home. The alchol was well hidden and before i knew it my face was numb and my ship was setting sale.

Beer had the familiar taste of a dark beer with a hint of chocolate. Best of all unlike most dark beers i have tried the Black Perle is not as heavy and i was able to put back a few.

Thanks to Rockers for giving me a Hoppy New Year!

Photo of jgasparine
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- An aggressive pour yielded a 1/2" light beige head, which slowly receded to reveal some nice edge lacing. The body was an opaque deep garnet color, with no visible carbonation. Intriguing.

S- Smells of sweet caramel malts and molasses, nicely balanced with earthy hops. Aromas are big and well-balanced... like an imperial English IPA (rather than an Imperial American IPA). The anticipation is building.

T- Up-front are the sweet caramel and molasses flavors, which are slowly overtaken by some high-alpha hop bitterness in the middle and into the finish. The finish itself features a strong quinine-like bitterness. Lots of beautiful nuances throughout: dark chocolate, bitter orange and marshmallow. Simply wonderful!

M- BIG silky body; textured with unattenuated sugar and a fine carbonation. Coats the mouth for extended gratification!

D- Dangerously drinkable. Delicious. And the alcohol is exceptionally well-hidden!

Photo of therica
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= dark mahogany, little head.

S= dry malts in abundance, hints of hops florals, dark chocolate and/or dark coffee.

T= very bold and complex malts, slightly sour-bitter taste of hops plus the dark chocolate, very good.

M= slightly dusty (dark Swiss chocolate?), ongoing dry grassy malts and hops.

D= very drinkable if you enjoy this style.

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

Somewhat muddy looking and dark in color. Not much carbonation visible but some sticky lacing left behind. Ho hum aroma-quite hoppy but lacking any real "bright" floral or citrusy hop notes. Decent enough flavor-a mellow roasted grain flavor with a heavy handed hop presence but like the aroma stays somewhat 1 dimensional to me. Full mouthfeel-finish is somewhat dry. I was really looking forward to this and somewhat dissapointed. Doesnt scream hops enough like I thought it would. Maybe thats harder to pull off in a dark beer.

Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lighter shade of black with one-finger head that shrinks down to a thin layer quickly.

Deep roasted malt leads the way. Light hop character.

Lots of deep roasted malt followed by quite a bit of hop bite. Quite a bit of sweet smokey peat as well. Notes of coffee, burnt sugar and grapefruit citrus are present.

Higher end of medium bodied, smooth and a bit velvety.

Very drinkable. Dark IPA/DIPA's are a style that I really like. They have the best of both worlds and are pretty unique at this point. I really think this is a well crafted beer and worthy of a try for most anyone. Glad I had the chance to sample this one.

Photo of mntlover
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is good at lest in bottle, nice blue label with blue wax around the cap. Pours black brown with small one finger tan head that falls to clump of bubbles and leaves some lace behind.

Aroma is caramel malts with good roasted notes mixed in also, some peat maybe something earthy anyway. As far as hops go light citrus notes not very powerful for supposed black ipa but probably ended up in this category as well as any of them.

Taste is lots of caramel malts with black patent mixed in some roasted notes, peat again maybe some earthy notes anyway. Taste is more porter like then black ipa really, not bad but not as good as i was wanting it to be. Hops are light in taste to at least for a malty porter, some decent bitterness with citrus notes grapefruit, pine finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation, might be touch more then medium really.

Drinkability is good more like a hopped up porter then black ipa, while it is good brew not something i would repeat buy, at this price anyway.

Photo of RDAdams
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I received an 18 oz bottle in a Christmas gift exchange at my LHBC. The wax sealing is clever, but a PITA to remove.

The pour was surprising clear for a dark beer.

The appearance suffers from a weak tan head

The aroma is roasted malt and black patent with a faint (and I mean very faint) touch of hops.

The taste is a full roasted malt backbone wth an almost chocolate flavor. If not for the hops in the background, it could be mistaken for a Scotch Ale.

The mouthfeel is OK - not as full bodied as the taste would indicate.

It is OK for drinkability. But assuming the cost is between $8.50 and $10, I'd buy something else.

If I had been judging this beer at a competition, it would have scored in the low 30's. That would have been based on 1/2-3/4 oz sample. I would have missed the 9.5% ABV. After 16 oz, this beer is packing a wallop. Now I say a 35, but then many say I am "The Russian Judge".

This review was written while drinking it for the first time.

Photo of anexetastos
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Argh, maties! The Black Perle has set sail! Captain Barbosa here to give a review. . . .

This beer has no true style under the BJCP guidelines, unless and Imperial IPA, Category 14C. It's pretty close to that, only better. This beer is outstanding!

Aroma: intense hop aroma with a mild malty background. Hops are slightly citrus-like.

Appearance: Very clear, but dark. I would wager that there is a load of black patent and roasted barley. Sustained head.

Flavor: Wow. HUGE. immediate delivery of hops and malts, with the warming of the high alcohol to follow. The bitterness is well-balanced by residual sweetness (probably from dark cystal malts) and the lingering heat of alcohol. This ship is balanced on the rolling sea of beer. No Diacetyl or off-flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and drinkable. The carbonation is full and fitting for the size of this beer.

I love this beer. Brew it again. Can't wait for the next installment of the Ales from the Dark Side (make it a Belgian . . . .).

Photo of Seanibus
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer got off on the wrong foot with me - the wax used to seal the bottle makes it quite difficult to open with a conventional opener. Don't mess with my access to your beer. Just a thought.

Pours a syrupy black with a slow developing off tan head that falls away quickly. The aroma is thick and plummy, with a strong carmelly edge. The flavor is, well, kind of weird, to be honest - sharp, woody, roasty, with a dark caramel character and a deep hop bitterness. There is some slightly piny hop character, but most of what I am getting is malt. To call this an IPA is difficult. What is it? I dunno - a thin, hoppy porter, perhaps? A really dark, hoppy brown ale? It is hard to categorize.

There is a strong wallop of alcohol buried behind the malt, and the mouthfeel is slightly viscous.

Good? Yeah, I guess so. This is not a bad beer, but its not one I will spend a lot a lot of time with.

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