Bell Ringer | RJ Rockers Brewing Company

188 Reviews
Bell RingerBell Ringer

Brewed by:
RJ Rockers Brewing Company
South Carolina, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our high gravity offering weighs in at 8.5% ABV and is delightfully loaded with malt and hops. This is an ale worthy of your sturdiest goblet or most treasured stein. Ring it!

Added by mikesgroove on 08-16-2007

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Reviews: 188 | Ratings: 473
Photo of StarSAELS
1.69/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Huh? "Strong Ale?" Since when? I found this completely, totally boring. The appearance was the best thing about it, though compared to other strong ales, this was... odd. Cloudy amber with bits in the bottom of the glass. No aroma, even with vigorous swirling. Taste is -- where is it? Nothing on the palate, no aftertaste, not even a hint of what I drank when I burped... and it was a little burp, because carbonation was -- where was it? Body was only a little bit denser than water. Heck, I'm not even sure I'm getting a buzz off this.

I wish I could say, "Maybe it was just this bottle," but this is the third of three in the sampler pack, and they were all the same. Dull, boring...

*edit: okay, I take one thing back: the buzz kicked in* ;-)

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Photo of fuzzbalz
2.01/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

No date on bottle, almost no carbonation and very murky. No hop bitterness and very very sweet, lots of malt for sure but pretty one noted. Mouthfeel was very cloying and sweet. I suspect it was a very old bottle.

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Photo of DIM
2.59/5  rDev -30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

a: This was a clear, golden blood orange color. It poured with a large, firm, sticky head.

s: Potpourri or tea-like fruit and some toffee.

t: Weak tea-like fruit and a short, sugary finish.

m: Pretty this for the high abv.

o: Bland and uninspired.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average. Acquired as part of the RJ Rockers variety box - which I purchased at Hi Time Liquor in Costa Mesa, California.

Served refrigerator cold.

A: Pours a one finger head of light fluffy cream, decent thickness, and good retention for the ABV. Colour is a semitransparent dark amber-copper. No yeast particles are visible. Nothing unique or special here.

Sm: Cream, toasted malt, butterscotch (diacetyl?), and dark malts. A moderate strength aroma. Not especially appealing, but generally inviting I suppose.

T: Clean malts with butterscotch atop - quite a pleasant addition. Nice amber hops are scarce but present. Cream. Mildly dark malts form the foundation. A simply built but enjoyable brew. Balanced and built decently. Lacks complexity or subtlety, but it's pleasant to drink.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream. A touch overcarbonated, likely a byproduct of mass production. Thick enough. I find it too smooth.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. Fans of the style will enjoy it but it's nothing to write home about. Hides its ABV well. I wouldn't have it again, but I don't regret purchasing it. Might be better on draught or even nitro.

A poor candidate for aging. Might pair well with gloucester.


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Photo of SFrankBrew
2.8/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes: 12 oz Bottle. On sale -- should have known to avoid right there. Pours a cloudy orangish color with a finger nail thick white head. Aroma is sweet malts, caramel, no hops, fruit and brown sugar. Taste is malt, malt, bread, malt again, caramel, and a little more malt. No hops to speak of. The malt kind of beats the beejeezus out of the hops. I have tried a number of RJ Rockers brews now and they are pretty much all super average, boring beers.

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Photo of BeerBeatnik
2.82/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a non-iced pint glass. Pours a pleasant-looking bright light amber with a pretty good sized foam head. Probably a majority of the beer is made with 2-row grain without a large hop bill. Not a IPA. Some dark notes. Tastes slightly malty. Carbonated okay with a mouthfeel.

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Photo of brew3crew
2.85/5  rDev -23%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

picked thia up on an in person trade in north carolina. Been meaning to try it for a while now

A-very murky in color. Hazy amber is the best I can think of.
S-I can't quite put my finger on it. Very sweet. On the nose
T-picking up some oaky flavors. Sweet throughout.
M-decent body with a smooth aftertaste
D-goes down smoother than the smell implys. Not too shaby.

Maybe I got an old bottle...willing to try again

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Photo of Minkybut
2.9/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a strange apricot color and was cloudy. It poured a tan head. The smell of this beer was hoppy for sure. There was maybe a little hint of caramel taste but it was blown away bt the high alcohol content. I will not buy again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the bottle at SAVOR 2011. Served in a goblet.

Pours a medium copper color with a small white head. Sparse lacing on the way down. The nose brings some caramel malt and quite a bit of booze. Lightly-sweet bread in the background. The flavor has a bit of booze with some fairly-strong caramel notes. Sugary malt throughout. Medium body with a bitter and slightly-dry finish. Odd beer. Never came together.

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Photo of Omnium
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle > Bow-Tie Pint

A - Murky orange gold with two fingers off an off white foamy head, medium lacing.
S - Blehhhh alcohol, canned fruit mix, sweet malts, bready.
T - So weirdly malty, and sweetened canned fruits, some metallic kinda taste, lots of hop bitterness in the end.
M - Bitter, sticky, chewy, cloying
O - This is just flat out bad. Its not a good strong ale, nor a good double IPA

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Photo of PatLarsen
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very cloudy copper coloured body with an orange glow and a thin-ish tan head. Aroma of strong malt, alcohol, caramel, pit fruits. Malty flavour with not much behind the initial taste showing some alcohol, a bit of pit fruits and not much else really. Aftertaste shows a little bit of hops (I'm pushing the envelope here to find something positive) and a tiny bit of pit fruits and almost nothing else. Overall, a pretty uninteresting beer - I was expecting much more from the taste, but this one is very weak in the flavour - the look and smell are okay, but there is nothing at all to this beer. I think I've grown tired of giving RJ Rockers my money to be uninspired by their work. It's almost as if they throw 3 ingredients in and a little hops, and call it a day on all their stuff.

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Photo of EJ6759
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I like to take a brewery completely in as far as profile, and RJ Rockers doesn't stack up for me. This latest offering pours with very thick orange color. Lots of floaties in this beer. White head that doesn't remain around. Aroma is sugary sweet with no hops to think of, brown sugar and sweet bread. Flavor is bitter, sharp alcohol. Sweet sugar and bread. Finish is boozy. Slightly sweet but mainly distasteful. Steer clear.

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Photo of hopdog
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle shared courtesy of Josh.

Poured a medium and hazy amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, nuttiness, caramel, and some fruitiness. Tastes of citrus, caramel, and the same fruitiness. Lighter alcohol in the finish.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3/5  rDev -18.9%

picked up a mixed case from bell beverage, all of the beers have been either over-carbonated or infected. poured this beer in a pint glass, but it overflowed for the first 2/3, then was able to handle it. I homebrew and drink many brews over 1 year old but hard to handle this level of carbonation as a mistake so Im reviewing it s an attribute.

poured into a standard pint glass, color is amber head is is deep.

aroma is neutral malts, then heavy on caramel like malts and older, but previously fresh hops.

taste is sim-ilar to the aroma, malt forward but lightly hoppy. interesting ale, but mixed results. I like the idea but would need to try this fresh

mouthfeel is neutral for an ale, a bit biting from some thinner carbonatoin but not unpleasant

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Photo of MayLattimore
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Okay, I'm a little confused by this beer. It says American Strong Ale and then it says its an Imperial ESB. Clearly, this beer has an identity crisis going on. For me it was super malty. There were no hops to really speak of. While you could get that it was pretty high in the alcohol value - that's all there is to this beer. Malt and alcohol. The appearance had the look of a ESB, I guess. There was no real smell other than dominating malt. The taste was a bit boring. Just a malty carmel. Again, a bit boring. Not all that impressed so far with RJ Rockers.

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Photo of rlshep
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hit right away with aromas of vanilla, caramel and chocolate. A little bit of alcohol.

Appearance is fairly cloudy. An orangeish amber color. One finger white head, some lacing.

Flavors are caramel, dark fruits, a bit raisony, some brown sugar. High amount of residual sugars and sweetness. At 8.5% this is expected, but maybe not this much. Bitterness is medium-high, but not enough to counteract the sticky sweetness. No noticeable hop flavor.

Medium-high mouthfeel from sweetness and high carbonation. Alcohol very noticeable.

Overall not a bad beer. I'll age some of these and drink the rest. However, sweetness and alcohol turn me off on this beer. I don't see me picking it up again.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A very neutral DIPA not too bitter nor sweet. Just malty and an average hop profile. Poor aroma. Beautiful amber slightly cloudy. Mouth feel was a bit creamy with a little bite at the end. Medium body and semi dry finish.

An average beer deserving an average rating.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of bobbyc881
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange-amber, slightly off-white head fizzles down thin and leaves a bit of lace behind. Slight haze to the beer, moderately carbonated.

Aroma is pretty neutral. Nothing really jumps out. Some slight sweetness, maybe a little pine.

Taste starts with both sweetness and bitterness competing. For some reason they don't really play off each other too well. The hop bitterness is a bit harsh, and lacks the flavor & aroma hops to round out the profile. The malt backbone is there, but seems to fight the bitterness, rather than provide a platform for it's showcase. Residual flavor is somewhat unpleasant.

The lingering bitterness reduces drinkability points. The 8.5% alcohol is well-concealed, though, and aids in the drinkability. I am however, glad to see more Southeastern breweries taking on these big styles we've been so deprived of.

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Photo of DrJay
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

mikesgroove was kind enough to send this one along in a recent trade. Thanks Mike!
A little on the hazy side with an amber/orange hue. There was a smattering of off-white foam from the pour that quickly settled to a thin ring and skim of fine bubbles. Looked sort of viscous during the pour. Floral hop aroma with quite a bit of caramel. Note of citrus and pine were present, but weren't very strong. Solid bitterness, not overpowering, that became piney towards the end. Quite sweet, lots of caramel particularly just before the finish, which then stayed fairly balanced between malt and pine. Hint of lingering alcohol on the tongue. Full bodied with carbonation a little bit low, fairly smooth and viscous. Nicely balanced and easy to drink, but lacking the hoppy punch that I expect from a DIPA. It seemed like it was crossing into american barleywine territory, especially in the flavour.

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Photo of scratch69
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a hazy reddish-brown with a fingers worth of head. Fair amount of lacing.

Smell- Nutty, caramel aroma.

Taste- Very hop forward with a nutty, caramel malt finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with a average amount of carbonation.

Overall- Not bad but not too memorable either. I don't think I would try this one again.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a pint glass

L - It is amber with golden highlights and hazy. Two inches of beige head cap it off.

S - The aroma is of toast and caramel.

T - I get caramel malt right off the bat. It starts sweet. Then biscuit flavors come into play. There is a mild citrus bitterness in the finish.

F - Medium

O - This is a big, malty brew. The alcohol is well hidden, but it is not in my wheelhouse.

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Photo of Dontlikebud
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure if I got a bad bottle or not but my beer had a metallic aftertaste that was unpleasant. It was also too sweet and syrupy for me. Not awful but I won't drink it again.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours orange/red with a small 1/16 inch fairly white head. Smells of alcohol and malts. First sip is rather bland with the malts over powering the hops. A slight note of fruits is present in this light bodied beer The 8.5% ABV is very well hidden - unfortunately so is much of the flavor. This tastes more like a session beer than a high gravity. Not the punch I want in an DIPA.

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Photo of Risser09
3.24/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Mexican tulip - fridge - 2009

Appearance: Pours a very hazy copper color with a towering 5" yellow/cream colored head. It shows great retention. The head has some swiss cheese bubble holes that can be seen through the glass. Lots of foamy lace is left behind.

Smell: Strong, sweet malt aroma of cereal grains. The beer has no hop aroma and actually smells sort of like fresh popcorn, sans the butter.

Taste: Mostly malt flavor, with some hop bitterness. I sense flavors of caramel malt, cereal grain, cherry and alcohol. It has slight characteristics of a dark rum. Lots of booze.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, bitter, boozy and very attenuated. Medium body with lingering bitterness. Warming alcohol goes deep into the belly.

Drinkability: A decent brew. it's very timid with it's flavor and aroma. Almost like a baby QUAD. Worth a try.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear copper with no head to speak of. A smattering of froth.
Smell: not much happening at all.
Taste: a bite of hops up front with a bit of malt that softens the bite. These don't balance IMO, they're battling a little.
Overall: I know this sounds contradictory but the beer was a more satisfying experience as a whole than it would seem from the individual scores. Gonna have to revisit this to make sure I give it a fair shot.

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Bell Ringer from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 473 ratings.
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