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 chinchill
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%

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 Sludgeman
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%
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 liamt07
2.94/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle brought out by Jon, 650ml into a few glasses. Nice wax dipped cap, but as others have mentioned, super thick and more than a bitch to cut through.

Pours a dark brow, with some deep burgundy highlights. Not black (listed as a Dark IPA) so I'm not docking any marks. A few fingers of a brown tinged khaki head. Great retention and lacing. nose is less impressive, some muddled and certainly not outstanding hopping, sweet dark fruits, burnt brown sugar. Not alot of IPA character to be found. Taste starts with the dark fruits again, and finishes roasty with some faint coffee flavour. Mouthfeel is too thin and roasty for my liking, with a bitterness that's just as undesirable. Medium carbonation. Moderately interesting overall, but I'm not picking up any real "IPA" qualities per say. Leans towards more of a moderately hopped English porter than anything. Meh.

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Photo of hophugger
3.04/5  rDev -20.4%
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 JamieDuncan
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
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 UCLABrewN84
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque black with a tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is pretty bland with some roasty malt and herbal hop aromas. Taste is the same but seems quite watery tasting. There is a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer with noting that really stands out in my opinion.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
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...

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.24/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz wax dipped bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. Oily, resiny, clear lacing sticks to the glass. Off-white, almost beige head rests on an almost black body. Aroma seems to be dominated by phenol alcohol, definitely some hops in the glass but it's overwhelmed by the alcohol and maybe a touch of roasted malt. Taste is certainly bitter as expected, with a bit of expected heat following the aroma. Almost difficult to define the type or style of the hops used in the taste or aroma. Dare I say that this beer could benefit from some age? Overall, gets much better upon warming but a bit too hot.

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Photo of saintwarrick
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of reebtaerG
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
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 krisandajt
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.38/5  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.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1228th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint

Thanks to Cliffbrake for this one

App- Poured out more like a deep crimson/garnet into the glass. Looked brown in the glass. Had a very large three finger khaki head. Decent lace and cling.

Smell-  Really a fine line between a coffee stout and a malty brown ale. A bit of earthiness behind the nose.

Taste- A creamier malty beer with a bit of the abv being upfront and a touch over roasted. Pretty smooth for as large as it is. Pretty standard profile.

Mouth- A touch thick bodied but mostly thin. A medium creamy carbonation with residual malts and coffee.

Drink- A welcome extra with some good layers of flavor and big boozy background. Dont think I would have again but still good.

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Photo of gkatsoris
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
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 gopens44
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
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!

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

- from the notes
bomber bottle.
A - dark but not opaque with a small head.
S - light malts and distinct hops.
T - not as hoppy as I expected and even the malts fall short.
M - moderate body with carbonation a little low.
D - not greatly appealing but can certainly finish it.
Guess I expected something more extreme.
The best single word to describe it is


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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a dark cola-brown with a very thin ring of tan. Nice color but the pour was nearly flat.

Aroma of coffee, dark ripe fruit, toffee and vanilla.

The taste was dark ripe fruit upfront with coffee, dark chocolate and light pine hops. Finishes with a lingering roasted grain bitter note.

Light-to-medium bodied with a very light carbonation.

I was not overly impressed with this one. Especially the mouthfeel. It felt too thin.

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Photo of csiewert
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark chocolate color with a finger of tan head that leaves no lacing as you drink. The aroma is strong with chocolate roasted malt. The taste starts with chocolate malt and then moves to some slight bitterness... But there is no hop flavor to speak of, which is what i would have expected from how the beer was described on the bottle. The mouthfeel is ok with slight overcarbonation. Overall I would give this a try if you are more of a porter fan.

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.46/5  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.


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Photo of portia99
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
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 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 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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of aasher
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of CliffBrake
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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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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