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 metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is close to jet black in color (traces of red are visible near the edges of the glass when it is held up to a bright light) and also has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high tan head that only died down a little, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass..
S: There are light to moderate aromas of chocolate malts in the nose along with some notes of roasted malts; these become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the strength of the flavors is reversed with the roasted malts being more prominent. There are also some hints of burnt malts and slight amounts of pine resin hops, the latter of which contributes a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and both smooth and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Dryness from the roasted malts lingers through the finish. The beer also coats your mouth a little.
O: This is a very enjoyable and flavorful black IPA that is also remarkably drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

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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 nickfl
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured with a massive head of medium tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles at a moderate pace, but leaves a thick, rocky layer of lace on the glass.

S - Bready notes of chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar.

T - Dark malt and burnt sugar up front with some chocolate notes creeping in. Brown sugar and burnt caramel in the middle with a finish of pine, bitter hops, and roasty malt.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Not bad, but the hop character is a bit lacking, especially in the aroma. Still, the malt is handled rather well and I like that there is an assertive level of roast character but it is not heavy enough to be confused with a stout.

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Photo of katan
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a pint

A - Pours a dark brown color, with just a little bit of black highlights. Head formation is about nil, mocha in color.

S - Very sweet, huge amounts of sugar - comes across as chocolate, raisins, perhaps prunes. Hopping is pretty low - perhaps a little bit of citrus.

T - Starts off lightly sweet, nutty, oatmeal. Gets much stronger with hard hits of chocolate and raisins. Mid-stream gets a big alcohol burn, finishes with lots of retained sticky sweetness. The aftertaste finally brings the bitterness.

M - Full bodied, very thick and creamy, lacking in carbonation. Sticky, hot from the alcohol.

O/D - An okay beer, seems to have a tough time getting an identity. A bit filling and a pretty potent alcohol punch makes a 22oz bomber a bit hard to get down.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
9.5% ABV, 2314 on back of label.

A - RJ Rockers Black Perle is as dark as the depths the label depicts, pouring a midnight black with a tall, dense foam head. After the minute off aspect of the nose, the thick, quickly rising foam isn't so shocking. Slow to fall, tan fingers of lace are left gnarled on the glass.

S - Heavy dry cocoa and mustiness give off an earthiness that's reminiscent of a wood-paneled basement. Strong earthy hops come through in waves, trying to balance the roasted malt nose that's predominant. It smells good, but something...unusual still seems off about it, lingering in the background.

T - Bittersweet chocolate and coffee splash in and out like waves lapping the shore. Earthy hop attributes add subtle pine resin notes, but are relatively muted in the presence of all the malt. After swallowing, the finish lingers with a milk chocolate-like thickness and flavor on the tongue.

M - Tight carbonation dances on the tongue with extreme effervescent, once again, pointing to an infection issue hiding behind the bold malt and hop. Besides the champagne-like feel, it's stout-like thick with a smooth, milky feel and acrid bitter finish. Dry from the hops, but definitely not bitter from them.

O - Black Pearle showed some real potential, but this American Black Ale from RJ Rockers has an issue. It's very faint in the aroma and almost undetectable in flavor, but the abundant and unnecessary carbonation is a telltale sign of problems (I should know, with all the homebrew I keep botching). Beyond that, I'd ask for more hop bitterness and flavor to combat the assertive malt profile in this Black Ale, but it's definitely drinkable and not offensive.

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Photo of DCon
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 650mL bottle of this from The Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton, MO for $7.49. Poured from the Blue Waxed topped bottle w/ a Ship on the front of the label into a 0,47l New Belgium Oversized Snifter Glass. Has no freshness date but definitely from 2011.

Aroma- A rich and roast nose. Tons of light coffee like attribute with hops wanting to come out on the nose but surely can't because of this malt character. Good overall.

Appearance- Pours a .5, dark tan colored head that dies fairly quick. Has a deep brown colored body with no clarity. Leaves a few suds behind on the glass.

Flavor- Once again, tons of malt, roast, and light coffee flavors. The hop is tough to find out but judging by the medium-high bitterness level, I suppose it is in here. Slight burnt flavor as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Sticky, and has tons of hop in the finish mixed with roast.

Overall Impression- Once again, this style ALWAYS makes my head hurt, wondering what I should be looking for... This one was drinkable with malt covering up most of the hop flavors. Good all around and starting to enjoy RJ Rockers and their beer portfolio.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into DFH Signature.

A - Pours black with a thin almond head. Shows great lacing.

S - Dark chocolate, roasted malts, and a large amount of oak. The smoke, booze, and oak contribute a lot of whiskey elements. I don't get many hops for a Black IPA.

T - Just as roasty as the nose indicated. Sweetens a bit as it warms with chocolate and macadamia nut. Somewhat bitter finish, although more from the char than the hops, I think. Alcohol isn't prominent and this one drinks easily.

M - Carbonation is light and the body is medium-thick. Smooth.

O - Pretty good beer, although not the best example of the style. Dark and roasty malt flavors are fantastic, but it lacks the hop complexity that I love in Black IPA. Not bad for the price, but there are better options out there.

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Photo of superspak
3.54/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 9/23/2011 bottle code on the bottom. Pours pitch black color with a dense 2 finger tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some good spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big apple skin, roasted malt, chocolate, biscuit, and toast. Aromas are very off balanced, way too much apple aromas. Something went wrong here. Taste of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, toast, biscuit, char, coffee, herbal, pine, and earthy spiciness. Fair amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, char, pine, and herbal spiciness for a good bit. Nice balance of roasted flavors with hop bitterness; with a very robust amount of roasted flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden at 9.5%; with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Very smooth to sip on. Overall this is a nice black IPA that is quite robust with roasted flavors. Other than the obvious fermentation flaws in aromas with this particular bottle, it was still quite enjoyable. I will have to revisit this again and hope I get a better bottle.

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Photo of Strix
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black, frothy tan head, decent lacing.

Primarily roasted malt, a smoky note, a bit of pine but not getting much in the hops department.

Very earthy, malt, sugar, murky chewy hop notes blend together. Dark chocolate/pine finish. Notable lack of particularly IPA-like flavors.

Medium-thick mouthfeel, fairly smooth.

This strikes me more like a big porter than a Black IPA. It was fine, but I wouldn't necessarily say it is deserving of a wax coating. The impression I got is there are a ton of ingredients involved, but they sort of all wash out distinct flavors.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - black brew with a beige head that thinned to a few bubbles around the glass leaving a streak or two.

S - lots of roasted malt and chocolate in the aroma.

T - as with the aroma this beer is full of roasted malt and chocolate with a bitter finish.

F - medium bodied, it goes down smooth and easy.

O - a good example of the style.

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

Poured from 22oz waxed bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: entirely black with a thick finger of frothy dark tan foam. Good lookin'!

Smell: big, rich coffee, toffee and malt aromas with a little bit of vegetal hops. I'd think imperial stout before American Black Ale. Still, the aroma is smooth and enticing, if not particularly hoppy.

Taste: malt starts off with a light fruitiness, possibly due to the alcohol or to fruity hops. It then segues into a rich coffee roast flavor which is smooth all the way through. See my style comments above.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and a lightly creamy silkiness. Pretty good, although more in line with a black ale than an imperial stout.

Overall: this beer doesn't really fall into an established category. It is technically an ale which is black which is made in America, but that's about as much as you can say for putting it in this style category. Still, it is a yummy beer I'd be glad to quaff again.

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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 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 bigbluebeerguy
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Deep, dark brown, almost black, with no light penetration. Voluminous sand colored head, with a smooth and creamy texture. Moderate lacing through the glass.

Nose is just a touch disappointing, I was expecting more in the way of hops. As it stands, I get mostly sweet malts and some slightly charred bread crust.

On the tongue, things pick up quite nicely. Smooth, bitter chocolates and the charred bread come through, some ghostly coffee undertones linger in the mid-palate, while a nice pine and ever so slight citrus hop bite steps in to finish things off. The malt backbone holds up nicely throughout.

Mouthfeel is slightly above average, not too thin, with a fairly decent astringency lingering. Medium body and carbonation, hides the alcohol very well. Would not have guessed 9.5%.

Overall the best offering I've had from this brewery. Would definitely pick it up on my next trip to SC.

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Photo of cvm4
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured black and had a nice one finger tan head.

S - Malts, dark chocolate and coffee.

T - Roasted malts and coffee on the front. In the end you get some dark chocolate and bitterness. The abv is well hidden.

M - Perfect mouthfeel that just coats and medium carbonation.

O - Easy to drink. Flavors meld together. More porter or stout than a black IPA though. On its on, not judging by its category, it's a great beer.

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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 adrock7309
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First let me point out that I am reviewing this beer more as a cascadian or even a porter/stout or black ale despite the bottle claiming that it is indeed a black IPA - which it most definitely is not.

Poured a jet black body with a nice mocha tan head which lingered.

The smell was full of roasty malts, burnt sugar and slight coffee but absolutley no hops.

No idea when it was bottled so if it was an IPA at one point - it has surely evolved.

The flavors were also very dark with some rich smoky and roasted malts, a nice sweetness and an overall pleasingly full mouthfeel.

Although we were all perplexed by the style indicated on the bottle - we fully enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of TechTriumph
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 12/17/11:
Bottle dipped in blue wax; No freshness date; Poured in a snifter.

A - Lives up to its name - pitch black in color; One inch of creamy, frothy, khaki colored head that leaves a decent amount of lacing

S - Nice inviting aroma; Notes of molasses, dark chocolate, leather, and woody tones

T - Flavors of sweet, dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, woody/leathery tones, and tobacco; Very subtle earthy hops step forward at the end of the taste, accompanied by coffee flavors; A little bitterness present from mid-taste to the finish; No hints of alcohol

M - A little carbonation; A shade under full bodied; Dry finish

O - Overall, this was a pretty solid beer. I was hoping for a bigger showing of hops to fit the Black IPA mold, but got a much bigger showing of Imperial Stout type characteristics. That said, I think I'll try this beer again if I see it, as this newly developing "Black IPA" style really intrigues me.

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Photo of Gmann
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near black color that is brown around the edges. The mocha colored head is frothy and reminds me of chocolate milk.

The aroma is quite chocolatey and has a brownie batter note. I pick up some wood notes here and there but not much roast. I don't really pick up any hop aromas either. I like the chocolate aroma but feel that the beer should have some roast and hop aromas to be true to the style.

The taste has the roasted malt notes. Not super strong but does bring a ground coffee flavor. This is coupled with both a semi-sweet and milk chocolate flavor. Some light wood and char notes as well. However, not much of a hop presence, perhaps some grassy/earthy notes. Maybe light pine, hard to tell with the roasted malt.

Moderate to full feel with soft carbonation, which leads to a nice silky feel. Fairly sweet on the palate but does finish with a mostly roast bitterness but does have a hop bitterness as well. Not a bitter attack on the palate like most from this style.

I like the flavors in this beer. It has really nice chocolate notes to go along with a medium roast. There really isn't much of a hop presence so it takes some style point hits.

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Photo of coldriver
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into Sam Adams glass. Pours a near opaque black with lots of suspended hop particles. Very good head and lacing. Aroma of roasted bready malts, alcohol and carrots. Hops and roasted malt give a nicely balanced taste as neither dominates. Nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel, but dry finish. This is a tasty and mellow version of an American Black Ale. Alcohol is well hidden for 9.5%!

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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 Florida9
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Beer is very dark brown, almost black, depending on the lighting. Does appear to have a slight translucency to it. Forms a moderate sized deep tan head. Decent retention and lots of lacing. There is some fine sediment on the second pour.

S: Nose is a blend of roasted malts, chocolate, herbal hops, and light coffee.

T: Taste starts off with a fairly strong blend of coffee and chocolate. Light sweetness that fades away gradually to piney hops and a mild bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with lower carbonation. Mild bitterness. Smooth yet dry.

O: Another good black ale with a nice balance between the hops and the darker malts. Nothing is overdone; nothing is missing. Good drinkability.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Although the bottling and labeling is stunning the wax encased top annoyed me. It's hard to dig through and you can't wedge a standard bottle opener on it to pop the top. An example of style over function.

Poured a 2" tan head with reasonable lifespan. Body is indeed dark, but not black, just a very deep brown with some red tinges when held to strong light. Smell is not particularly complex beyond malt and medium hops. Taste is pretty good - if this were a porter. There's malt, coffee, and cocoa, and a mild amount of hops. My issue with it is it's supposed to be a black IPA and there is nowhere near enough hops in this thing to be more than a subaverage IPA.

I'd call this a B+/A- porter but only a B- IPA, so I'll split the difference and give overall a B.

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