Black Perle Dark India Pale Ale | RJ Rockers Brewing Company

very good
123 Reviews
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.

Added by casemw on 11-10-2009

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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 289
Photo of bubseymour
4.62/5  rDev +20.9%
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 anexetastos
4.62/5  rDev +20.9%
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 . . . .).

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Photo of southernbelle09
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My first Rockers review in a while after trying this on tap at The Tap Room beside the brewery. Poured into a pint glass, this one was an almost-black brown color and had a 1/2 inch tan head. The smell is a roasted-coffe-hoppy trio and quite nice. I was really surprised that this beer wasn't over-the-top hoppy in terms of taste. The sweetness of the malt really balances out this beer making it a fairly easy drinking beer. It is quite filling and I wasn't able to drink more than a pint of this, but it was a very tasty beer and I hope they brew it again next year!

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Photo of jgasparine
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
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!

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Photo of obywan59
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
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

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Photo of woodjm
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a 22 oz bottle with blue wax sealing. A really cool looking bottle. Pours a thick, dark color with big, sticky tan/off-white head. Smells of malt, mild hops, and alcohol. With this being an imperial IPA I expected a stronger hop aroma. This is a full flavored beer with the sweetness of the malt dominating on the front end while the finish is predominatly a roasted, hoppy combo. Mouthfeel is thick and rich, it leaves a layer inside your mouth. Drinkability is the best thing about this beer. For such a big beer, it is an easy drink and one you have to be carful with. Outstanding!

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Photo of jwill303
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
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 deltatauhobbit
4.47/5  rDev +17%
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.

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Photo of doughanson78
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to 67couple for this.

A: Very black. No light getting through. One and a half finger mocha colored head, with some bigger bubbles. Great retention and lacing.

S: Very malty. Roasted caramel and chocolate. A decent floral and piney hop aroma coming through. Some very light citrus hops and some light coffee.

T: Sweet chocolate and caramel upfront. A roasted piney coffee bitterness comes through well. Some citrusy floral notes in the aftertaste. Very nice taste on this one. I think I like the taste better than Stone's 15th.

M: Medium to full bodied. Good mouth coating. Higher carbonation makes it very crisp. Nice dry finish.

O: I don't know... IMO this is giving Stone's release a run for it's money. Would like to try side by side. This might be a tad better blended. Would like to know a bottled on date to know if this had sat a bit. Definitely one you should want to try if your a fan of the style.

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Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
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

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Photo of gcamparone
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
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 upstatewoodie
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
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!

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, no date. cap is sealed with blue wax. looks nice, but this style of beer is meant to drink fresh, so not very functional.

pours black, with just some brown highlights around the edge of the glass. light tan colored head, decent lacing and retention. aroma is both toasty and hoppy, kinda piney.

taste of mild roasted malt, finishes with strong hop presence, earthy. flavors are nice and complementary. on the thicker side, but it's smooth. nice mouthfeel.

solid example of this "new" style. I recommend!

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Photo of 2BDChicago
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
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 BucBasil
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
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 BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  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.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a bomber with a beautiful prussian blue wax-dipped top into a tulip glass. Pours black-brown with dark ruby highlights and a dark khaki head.

S - Dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and piny hops.

T - A really varied and intense flavor. Deep dark chocolate mixes with roasted dark brown sugary malts, almost sort of a molasses like acidity, moving into a really strong, pleasant hop flavor.

M - Medium bodied.

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! Pleasantly surprised by this brew! Enjoyed my first 22oz bottle on 17 Feb 12, poured at about 55 degrees or so. Nite quite room temp, slightly chilled. Really nice black IPA. This is the first beer I had from this brewery and it is pretty good. A little unhoppy for an IPA, and tastes more of a really good porter of mild stout. Deep malts and sugars are dominant in this ale. I am actually surprised that it only has a 87 rating (at this current time), and think that it deserves quite bit of a better score.

A: Deep black pour...
S: Malts, sugars, and more malts! really nice..
T: The best part of this I said, has flavoring more of a porter or stout...
M: Really smooth
O: One of the better Black IPAs...itza nice!!!

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Photo of henskejk
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

A - Beer is a deep dark brown, not quite black. small amount of light brown head.

S - smells a little bit sweet and roasted/toasted with a distinct hop character as well

T - Good balance between the bitter hop character and roasted malt. the two sets of flavors seemed to complement each other fairly well. Also, no distinct boozy flavor was present for this 9.5% offering

M - medium body and pleasantly carbonated.

O - overall this was a very good beer, drinkable despite being 9.5%, flavors not too overwhelming. a balanced and tasty drink. would recommend to others and will likely buy it again.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
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 EgadBananas
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to JM03 for this treat!

Pours a very dark, muddied brown color. Head is minimal (less than a finger) and light tan in color. Doesn't stick around for long, but does leave some spots behind.

Aroma, though pleasant, would be wonderful if just more pronounced. Roasted malts, some sweet chocolate, and hints of pine and citrus.

The taste is were its at. Big roasted malt taste, with bits of toasted bread, chocolate, and a splash of coffee. Afterwards, you get the hops of citrus and pine with a pleasant lingering bitter bite at the end. Very nice.

Feels creamy, medium bodied, nicely carbonated.

Drinkability is solid. The bomber will be a breeze; this goes down easy.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: very large tan foam head with scattered lacing on a deep dark brown body.

S: nice chocolate and roasted malts. Hops are a little mild and mostly earthy.

T: very nice combination of roasted malts and coffee with earthy and slightly sweet citrus hops. These balance each other out well which is rare for this beer style in my experience.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: nicely balanced beer in both malt/hop mix as well as coffee bitternes and chocolate/citrus sweetness. Very good.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
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 msubulldog25
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 oz. bottle, shrouded in a royal blue wax cap. 9.5% ABV is both unexpected and kinda ridiculous; called a 'Dark India Pale Ale' on the label, but at that strength, this is a 'Dark IMPERIAL Pale Ale' if there ever was such a thing. Capped with an 'RJR' crown ~ 'Handcrafted. Every Beer, Every Drop, Every Time'. Poured to a Widmer Bros. pint glass; thanks to Ian/Mississipping for sending.

A: Completely 'dark'; if not for some bordering shards of ruby-mahogany this is 'black'. Porter-like, if not stout-like, darkness. Khaki foam atop, a finger and a half of sudsy froth - decent retention and awe-inspiring lace, a gauzy veil of a million pinpricks.

S: An ashy smokiness then pure chocolate, dark and rich. Black and malty, a really wonderful coffee and toasted nut aroma. Strength wavers, but overall it's really pleasant.

T: Lots of dark (charcoal and smoke) bitterness right away, less-than-subtle hints of pine resin hoppiness. Some citrus (orange, tangerine), then cocoa and darker chocolate then a darker chicory/espresso coffee roast - wow, that is EVERYTHING you'd want from the style!

M: Kinda creamy, but altogether roasty and smooth. Medium-heavy build to this one, latent burnt bitterness creeps in from behind. Alcohol girth is hardly detectable.

D: I'm not a big fan of the whole Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale/ American Dark Ale thing, but this is pretty good. With a subtle strength that nudges toward 10% , you must respect this despite its sneaky subtleties. Worth a try...nah, strongly recommended! Thank, Ian, for introducing me to a pretty damn good CDA/BIPA/ADA/whatever... I'd have it again!

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Black Perle Dark India Pale Ale from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 289 ratings.
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