Black Perle Dark India Pale Ale | RJ Rockers Brewing Company

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Black Perle Dark India Pale AleBlack Perle Dark India Pale Ale
Very Good
Black Perle Dark India Pale AleBlack Perle Dark India Pale Ale

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

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

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.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 293
Photo of SoccerSeuss
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Chosen from the 'on tap' board from a local restaurant because I had never heard of the brewery and sampled very few of the style. Brought to me in a pint glass, very dark coffee brown with a nice foamy dark tan head that retained for most of the drink. Good lacing. Notes of roasted malts and floral hops on the nose, though still reminded me of an IPA. As some of the other reviews mentioned the taste was semi-sweet and more like a stout though still had the hoppy citrus or piney bitterness in the finish. Medium to almost full bodied. I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

There are some in the bottle backlog that I am just very happy to finally be drinking & reviewing. This is one of them, due to its not having an approved pic in place previously, it got shunted to the side. I have been diligent in my winnowing down process to ensure that a pic is taken, resized, submitted and approved before I open the bottle. The process is MUCH more streamlined than in the past!

From the bottle: "Stop by & visit us in Spartansburg, SC"; "90 min OCTOhopped IPA"; "Drink Smart"; "Handcrafted Every Bottle/Drop/Time"; "Know Your Beer Black Perle Dark IPA [-] A dark, roasted twist on the traditional IPA, this octo-hopped beer packs the punch of eight malts. Big and balanced, it walks the line between a Black IPA and an imperial stout. Surprising hints of sweetness followed by a smooth, complex finish make it a hidden treasure."

Upon Pop!ping the cap, I gave it a gentle pour as a nod to its age. No sense stirring settled lees unnecessarily. It took a pretty vigorous in-glass swirl, however, to raise even a finger of foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head which quickly fell back to wisps. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), but it had garnet highlights at the edges. Nose smelled of dark chocolate and deeply roasted coffee. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but close. The taste was much like the Peppermint Patties that I grudgingly distributed at Hallowe'en a couple of weeks ago. Why "grudgingly"? Because I like them & wanted them for my greedy self! This tasted of semi-sweet dark chocolate and cool mint, cool breeze! 9 %?!? Coulda fooled me! This was eminently drinkable. Finish was semi-dry, but it left a really cool, minty flavor as an aftertaste. I am not usually a fan of the style, but this one worked for me.

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

Poured from a growler into a nonic glass. Pours dark with some ruby notes. Good lacing lingers.
Aroma is of roasted malt and mild, almost floral, hops.
Taste is interesting. I agree with the other reviewer that this IPA is a little more like a stout for flavor. The flavor really comes out when the beer warms a little. Mildly sweet not bitter.
Mouthfeel is medium carbonation.
Overall, an interesting beer. I like it for a cold night.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

"A dark, roasted twist on the traditional IPA, this octo-hopped beer packs the punch of eight malts. Big and balanced, it walks the line between a black IPA and an imperial stout. Surprising hints of sweetness followed by a smooth, complex finish make it a hidden treasure." Brewed in the style of an American Black Ale, available originally in 22 oz. bottles, rereleased in 2013 in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs and on limited draft. Vertical review alongside the 22 oz. bottled original ale.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 56 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a caramel mocha colored head of a creamy frothed consistency over a dark brown, near black body. Retention is average and lacing is light and spotty. 3.75

(Smell) Light earthy roasted barley, a touch of chocolate and caramel grain with a moderate sweetness and a lightly bitter hop profile of piney and herbal hop notes. Smells more of a hoppy porter or even a stout as the ale comes off more malt-centered. Potency is medium. 3.5

(Taste) Medium roasted grain, chocolate syrup and caramel candy creates a moderate but highly drinkable dark ale base, only slightly giving way to soft dank, citrusy and piney hop resins, which provide slightly more bitterness than flavor. Finishes on a note of mild roast and light chocolate sweetness. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) The texture is slick, silky, lightly chewy and moderately dry. Carbonation is mild, generating a light frothiness and a softly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is about evenly sweet to bitter. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) This is a fairly respectable, if not too simple Black Ale. Lots of accessibility with a mildly mannered hop profile, bitterness and a simple but enjoyable malt character. Based on the label, I expected a bit more hop and malt complexity but am not necessarily disappointed by what we have here. At a reasonable price, this is a fairly enjoyable ale. 3.5

Vertical Notes:
2009 (6 Years Aged):
Pours a frothy foam head of a caramel tan complexion, a touch lighter than the 2013 batch, but with more staying power, but an equally dark body. Distinctively apple sour and funky body, sudsy and sharp hop oils, cold roast and mellow graininess, a considerably out-of-date ale could deliver no worse. The flavor is about identical to the aroma, with bold green apple flavor, light tartness and faded roast and chocolate characteristics, hops are nowhere to be found. The texture is slick, oily, lightly chewy, moderately dry with a slightly more buzzy carbonation. Alcohol presence is low. Still fairly drinkable even though most of the flavors that define this beer have faded into obscurity, there is a remaining light sweetness and a soured fruit flavor, likely nowhere near the original beer's intent. I forgot about this long-lost bottle, but you probably shouldn't go out of your way to intentionally age a black IPA as the end result isn't pretty.

RJ Rockers Brewing Company's
Black Perle Dark India Pale Ale

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown with off white head. Smells pleasantly of flowery, fruit (citrus) and piney hops, bready, toasted malts. Tastes malty sweet up front before hop bite of flavor, hint of coffee, unsweetened cocoa, hint of smoke and leather and clean, bitter sweet finish. Medium bodied with the barest carbonation,.
Overall a tasty, complex beer combining some great features of a dark malty beer with the pungent bite of hops. Well balanced, and ABV well hidden amidst the flavors.

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Photo of Gryphon69
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wow, not like any black ipa ive been around.
More like a mild hoppy stout with some nice dark flavors.
Has a reallllly good taste, for whatever it is.

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Photo of hophugger
3.04/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an extremely dark black with little to no head and decent lacing. Looks a little flat. Aroma is malty with a faint smell of hops. Taste is more malt than hops and this one drinks more like a very bitter stout than a dark IPA. Malt y notes are present but am having a hard time with the bitterness..

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Photo of Sludgeman
2.9/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

On tap at Westover Market in Arlington, VA. Poured in a stemmed tulip.

Looks like a black IPA, but that is where comparisons stop.

Very low bitterness and the hop aroma is almost non-existent.

There is an odd fruitiness to the taste and aroma - almost like RJ used some fruit.

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Photo of chinchill
2.9/5  rDev -24.7%

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).

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Photo of bubseymour
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Provided in a trade from my eager young beer drinking cadet whom is far surpassing my beer snobbery talents now. Bottled on date 12-4-13 and drinking it on 6/20/14, so the hops may have faded some for a black IPA.

Appearance is that of an imperial stout. There is a trace of a head about 1/2 finger thick and surprisingly it holds for quite a long time as carbonation rised from the glass to sustain it. After 3-4 minutes, its actually getting bigger.

Smell - This beer smells delicious. A perfect balance of roasted coffee and chocolate IMO.

Taste - if there were hops in here to make it a dark IPA, the age has faded the freshness of it. It really does taste more like an RIS to me. And an excellent one at that. Nice sweetness up front, with chocolate notes, slight coffee flavor and a hop crispness in the finish but not overly bitter.

Mouthfeel - Very buttery and creamy.

Overall - my expectations were low, but this one was quite the diamond in the rough. I highly recommend this beer for RIS / Black Ale lovers.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Picked up this one on a clearance from Butler's. Guess I should have known that it was a dark IPA with the name. Decent looking beer with not a lot of head. Not a fan at all, had a lot of maltiness but then way to much bitter that seemed out of balance and had the taste of an ash tray on the end, the roast with the bitter finish just did not work. A little bonus overall due to ABV. I was disappointed.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of jwill303
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Malty, Roasty, Hoppy! Cant ask for much better. Great Beer, one of the finest in the RJ Rockers collection. Get ready for a ride to the Dark side of IPA brews. Very dark appearance , great smell and tastes awesome! Try it and you wont soon forget the Black Perle.

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

P: A choppy billowing sea of midnight and crowned with crashing waves of thick bubbly espresso tinted foam.

S: Loads of roasted malts, baking chocolate, cocoa powder, oak, vanilla, sweet prunes, figs, barley and coffee. Aroma is similar to a chocolate forward porter with a tickle on the nose.

T/M: Taste follows the nose but brings more bitterness to the party. Bitter cocoa and spices flow over the roasted malts. Velvety feel that coats the tongue and lingers bitter cocoa and natural spices.

O: Super lush and flavorful. Love the rich chocolate and bitterness orchestrated into a well balanced brew. This is a must try. Cheers!

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Photo of lochef81
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is my first encounter with RJ Rockers and it was definitely a good one! This offering pours a very deep black color with two fingers of tan head that gives way to a handsome light brown film and a significant amount of lacing. The nose on this one is light and unremarkable but carries notes of chocolate, coffee, lots of roasted malts and a little bit of hops. Honestly for a black ipa, I'd of expected more hops here. It seems closer to a porter than a black ipa. The flavor is rich and deep. Lots of coffee and chocolate notes with a very nice roasted malt presence and a touch of hoppy bitterness. This is a very well crafted ale. Possibly mislabeled, but very good and very drinkable. I look forward to my next beer from this brewer.

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Photo of reebtaerG
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served into a pint glass at Lures

A- Pours black with a nice tan head and lots of lacing.

S-Aroma is not too strong and is mostly roasted coffee, maybe some chocolate and some citrus/piney hops.

T- Smokey taste, malty sweet well balanced with a hint of hops. A so so taste.

M-Full bodied, smooth and oily on the palate. ABV is noticeable but well hidden and not overpowering.

O-Overall a good beer. Seemed more like a stout than a black IPA

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Photo of gcamparone
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter.

A- pours a deep brown body with a small off white head that reduces at a medium rate and leaves some lacing.

S- Wow! Not what I was expecting. Doesn't smell like an IPA.. Rather, a dark, heavy sweet malt aroma, vanilla, bourbon, toffee, coffee. Inviting.

T- A nice, roasty, sweet malt flavor dominates the palate.. Toffee, coffee, milk chocolate, some hop bite on the follow through which leads to an absolutely delicious charred flavor that sits on the tongue.

M- lacking in this category, slightly thin with medium carbonation.

I was pleasantly suprised with this offering.. I'd call it a hoppy porter rather than a "black IPA" or even black ale. Very nice .

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Photo of Ego
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

70s earth mama mega muff even on an easy pour, pretty soapy, nice bubble stack o' consistency, decent lacing, pretty darn black, no light is bothering an attempt at breaking through this thing, a nice looking brew indeed

slightly burnt malts (in a pleasant way) dark chocolate licorice, dry cocoa with bits of spiciness, a touch boozy in a bourbon fashion, some wood notes in there also, a really nice mix of flavors, you can keep going back an extract little things each time

taste etc...
full mouth feel without being too heavy, the carbonation is on the verge of silky but remains a touch prickly (it works well here), this definitely drinks like a bigger black IPA than most, the ABV is not shy but gladly does not dominate the flavors, the flavors are of a nice mild IPA or even APA with roasty slightly burnt notes (nice), the bitterness of the usual IPA is somewhat muted by the roasted/burnt tone, I like the linger on this puppy, you get both a stomach burn from the alcohol and the nice slow burnt flavor kind of playing off each other

very tasty and well made brew, if black IPAs are your thing and you don't want it to be just a psycho hopped IPA that happens to be black... stop and frisk this beer, you should dig it... good stuff.

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Photo of BucBasil
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the wax sealed bomber into a large snifter.

Appearance:This beer, simply put, looks amazing. From the presentation (not too hard to get into the wax - a bit more work but who doesn't love feeling like a pirate with this bottle) and labeling (hops inside a sunken treasure chest), I am already pumped for this beer. Pouring it out , the beer is a very very dark brown with almost no light shining through. Hw=ead was dark tan, almost brown, and foamy. Lasted about a minute with some traces lacing the glass.

S: Sweet character with lots of chocolate and roasted character coming through. Mocha or creamy coffee. Some sort of spicy note hidden in there. I feel like this is finding the hidden treasure and waiting to open it. You have some idea of what's inside, but can't wait to get in there an experience it. Some indication of the alcohol in there, but so covered by tons of characteristics in so many directions it becomes negligible.

T: Interesting and unexpected. A surprisingly light body here with little indication from the aroma of the strength of the smell. Still there is a chocolate and roasted note in there. Just very strangely light. That's the only way I can explain it. Finishes bitter sweet and very smooth with more chocolate characteristics. Hop presence is very subdued, or else very covered by other notes. Not overwhelming, this is more like a very drinkable stout. EDIT: As the beer warms a bit, the finish becomes noticeably more hoppy and bitter. Very much more to style. Not sure if that's better or worse...

Overall: A very good beer, but a bit expensive. The presentation was great and it was a very fun beer to drink all the way through. I have nothing bad to say about this beer, only pretty good things. A surprisingly subdued beer, like it's been pre-aged or something. A very good beer, but not really a black IPA I don't think.

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Photo of bensbeers
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Interesting brew for sure. Pours out a huge, fluffy tan head over a pitch black body; minimal lacing. Smells rich and warm - notes of bourbon, vanilla. Even a little bit of oak. Taste is bitter, mostly smoky at first. The bourbon and vanilla sweeten it, but still mostly bitter. Feels medium bodied, but still light on the tongue.

Not sure where the IPA name comes from. Didnt get any hop taste or smell, the quintessence of an IPA. I would definitely classify this as an imperial stout - boozy, malty and smoky. Still a great brew though. And a killer bottle - love the wax. Just not what I was looking for on a warm day. Cheers!

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Photo of gkatsoris
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Black duh. A huge, monster tan head. The head disappeared within 30 seconds, with no lacing at all. But the head was huge.

S: Wood. Vanilla. Bourbony. Roasted Malts. Alcohol. Floral hops. Butterscotch.

T: Pretty woody and bland. Roasty malts. Really close to an APA.

M: Medium bodied. Thin and chewy.

O: One and done. And let down.

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Photo of EkimGram
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Entry from my beer journal dated 3/3/12

Appearance: 22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Colour is dark, oil black with a thin toffee-coloured head that fades to just a film.

Smell: Lots of dark, roasted malts backed by spice, dark fruits, and alcohol.

Taste: Primary flavours are burnt and roasted malts followed by strong and bitter hops. There are two very distinct parts of this beer. A little unbalanced but tasty nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: Solid, medium body with a nice, soft, velvety feel to it. A mild amount of carbonation brings this beer to life.

Overall: An extremely roasty, burnt, and bitter beer that isn't for the faint at heart. Its appearance mirrors its flavours.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to my buddy Glenn for this bottle. Reviewed from notes. Poured from wax-sealed bomber into a CCB pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown, nearly opaque, with low visible carbonation. Forms a half-finger tan head.

S: Dark roasty malt chocolate with bits of coffee, vanilla & toffee. Pine and grass hops, boozy, with an almost oaky sweetness and vanilla.

T: Follows the nose. Sweet roasted malts - cacao, vanilla, caramel-sweet toffee. Some pine hop bitterness with the roasted malt bitterness, but these don't last long on the palate.

M: Hefty weight to the body for a black IPA. Moderate carbonation sensation, and the alcohol is noticeable but doesn't detract.

O: I'm torn how to score this one. This is a tasty beer, and a solidly enjoyable porter. But it doesn't come close to me as a Black IPA. I think they either need to go back to the drawing board with the hop profile, or just relabel it as a somewhat-hoppy porter. I think I'll give scores for the beer overall. I'd estimate 2.75 for style as listed.

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Photo of Damian74
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler served in a goblet.
A-Deep brown, fluffy tan head, excellent lacing
S-Roasted malts, coffee and alcohol
T- dark chocolate/roasted malts with a bitter taste of hop, coffee
M-creamy,medium body, moderate carb.
O- Great beer, thought it was more of a bitter hopped porter than a black IPA but would get again.

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Black Perle Dark India Pale Ale from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 293 ratings