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 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 dmbsteve
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First of all this is a damn cool bottle, but it was a bitch getting the wax off.

Lighter in color than I expected (but then they call it a "dark" IPA, not "black", so it's OK). Pours dark brown with amber highlights, light brown/tan head. Thin head recedes quickly. Light lacing.

Smells is very malty. Caramel is dominant. Very little hop aroma, compared to others of this style.

Taste is roasted malts, caramel, and toffee. Good bittering hops to balance, but again the flavoring hops just aren't there for this style.

Mouthfeel is medium and drying. Beer has a sticky and syrupy quality that is more prominant as it warms.

Overall a good quaff. Very drinkable for 9.5%. The alcohol is well hidden by the heavy malts. I would buy this again and recommend it to others...if nothing else for the cool bottle. But it happens to taste good too.

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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 PDXHops
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler poured into an oversized snifter. Pretty badass looking- near black with a huge blanket of uneven foamy tan head that slowly reduces into a thick skim. Great retention with a crazy amount of sticky lace rings.

Nose is exceedingly heavy on the roast, to the point of somewhat muffling. A fair amount of chocolate. Rather stoutlike.

Tastes pretty damned good, but is this really a CDA? I say no, but it's a heckuva imperial stout. Thick, creamy and loaded with chocolate, roast and hoppy goodness. Booze is alarmingly well-hidden. Sticky, coating mouthfeel is equal parts sticky chocolate and burnt malts. In the interest of rating 'to style', I have to dock some points here (too thick/sweet/chocolatey for the CDA style), but this is well worth seeking out, style be damned. Picture a thicker, more chocolatey Smuttynose Imperial Stout. I'm tempted to cellar a few bottles of this to enjoy down the road.

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Photo of GSmithBeer
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: good dark black ipa appearance. nice color.
S: didn't pick up too much aroma from the sample i received.
T: good taste. but not sure it belongs in the black ipa category.
M: mouthfeel was nice. good carbonation.
O: after having the abita black ipa at the event i think this one fell a little short to that one. it's not bad by any means. the people serving didn't really know all that much about it. it hid the alcohol well, but it's just not memorable.

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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 raszputini
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours dark brown with a moderate light tan head. Hoppy nose. I'm not really an IPA guy, but this doesn't really taste like an IPA. It's almost like a hoppy Imperial Stout. Distinct roasted malts, maybe some chocolate or cocoa. Hops are robust but not overwhelming, and are tempered by the malts. Enjoyed it a lot. I'll buy it again.

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Photo of cichief
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle.

A-Pours jet-black, nice brown head.

S- Hints of coffee, good floral hops nose.

T- Coffee and sweet malt, but nice hops finish.

M- Medium bodied, lots of flavor, no alcohol burn.

D- Not too heavy, but with the alcohol level it would not be a session beer.

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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 Bung
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Fairly opaque black pour, nice finer of frothy off white head. Marginal sticking to the glass but descent retention.

Aroma, toasted malt and light chocolates. Herbal hops, very light citrus hops. kind of mild.

Taste, more here. Excellent blend of roast malt, herbal and citrus hop flavors. Hint of pine blends into cocoa. Finishes pretty dry with the roast, cocoa and anise.

Don't get the heat, though it is a big beer. Lighter side of medium bodied, coats well though. Carbonation keeps it just a bit livelier than creamy.

No problem drinking this one. The best from RJ's I've had yet.

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Photo of DaveAnderson
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sadly, this was the only SC beer I was able to try when i was in SC visiting family. Shared a bomber with my sister. We both enjoyed it.

A - Nice and dark, with a decent, 2-finger head, and good lacing.

S - Malty, roasty. Not as many hop aromatics as I like. But pleasant, nonetheless.

T - This is a pretty good black ale. I thought the hops were missing, but there's good balance here. And some of those hop aromas materialize when I drink. They're still muted when I just smell.

M - Rich and creamy, but still much lighter than a stout.

D - Pretty nice. Could have finished the bomber by myself.

In all, this was a great introduction to SC beers. I hope to try more.

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Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1" tan colored head. Mild lacing paints the glass.

Smell: chocolate and pine tones are dominant with some softer sweet malt tones in the background.

Taste: nice malty beer. Loads of chocolate, prunes, grapefruits, pine, and lighter roasted coffee flavors create a well balanced beer. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and velvety at the finish.

Drinkability: slower sipping big IPA. Loads of flavor but one glass on draft was just not enough for me. Nice beer.

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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 twiggamortis420
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber I received from both mikesgroove and COBeerBuff, in the same week no less! Pours a near-black color with a stubbornly small tan head - even with a mighty aggressive pour.

Nose is fruity hops, dark fruit yeast esters along with some chocolate and roast. Yea, I know...those are some pretty generic CDA descriptors, but that was what came to mind. How about some chocolate covered cordial cherries topped with some toasted coconut...happy now?

Taste speaks to me more in the language of a hoppy stout than a dark IPA, but even the definition of that is debatable right now. Certainly not Cascadian, as the hops on this are more earthy and blunted than its Pac-NW brethren. I like the light sweetness and the heavy roast, so this beer is quite tasty for my palate and does not disappoint in the least. Reminds me of a much smoother, less robust Storm King. 9.5% - really? Hides it well. The IPA comes out more as it warms...more in the form of bitterness than flavoring though. Very enjoyable beer, and I liked it much better than Rockhopper (only other RJRBC beer I have tried).

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Photo of SFrankBrew
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It was short-lived and left minimal lacing. It smelled of chocolate, cocoa and toffee. A slight floral aroma. Would have thought of a more hoppy smell should have come from a IBA. It had mild bitterness. It was smooth. A medium to heavy bodied ale with a dry finish. This is a good IBA. But, not the best I've ever had.

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

A- Black appearance certainly looks the part
S - More roasted and chocolate notes than I expected. Not a bad thing
T- Really nice taste. Just missing hop character.
M - well carbonated
D - Easy drinking for the ABV.
Just missing that all important ingredient hops.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Black body, maybe really dark brown with a tan head on top.

S - Big roasted grains, and chocolate notes. I would guess this was a porter by the aroma

T - chocolate and roasted grains mingle. Not picking up much in the hop department though.

M - medium bodied, a good amount of carbonation

D - Easy drinking and pretty good. I think the brewer misclassified this one. I'd say it fits firmly in porter category. If I rated this as a Black IPA it would be rated lower but I'm only going to ding it one point in drinkability.

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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 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 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 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 far333
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with ruby highlights and a full inch of frothy rocky beige foam, and some particulate matter in suspension.

Low aroma of toasty malt.

Flavor starts off mild toasty malt, quickly becomes dark and roasty, with notes of sharp espresso and cocoa, some wood and leather. Maltiness is well balanced against a hop bitter made up of pine and grapefruit, some orange rind. Well-balanced beer with lots of flavor nuances, but all of them are fairly tame.

Even mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, finishes slightly tannic. Tasty, but could be more bold.

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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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