Rockhopper IPA | RJ Rockers Brewing Company

48 Reviews
Rockhopper IPARockhopper IPA

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This ninety-minute west coast-style IPA has nine hope additions of Warrior and Amarillo and comes in at a whopping 90 IBUs. A tongue-twisting treat for the hophead in all of us!

Added by mikesgroove on 02-28-2010

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Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 91
Photo of upstatewoodie
4.45/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well were do I start, the rockerhopper is on point. Upon recieveing my pint i noticed it has great caramel coloring and a good foamy white head. now it was time to drink Wow! this IPA has a smooth, crisp, and clean body to it, with just enought hoppyness. It finishes so nicely, you will find yourself saying "i got time for one more" I did!

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.38/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle with a penguin on the label into a tulip glass. Gave it an aggressive pour after letting it warm a while. Pours a beautiful amber with a sticky ivory head that gently collapses.

Has a pine-hop smell, with a generous sweet malt aroma underneath. A faint straw smell underneath as well?

Plenty hoppy, this one starts with a tobacco and spice bite with a fair amount of astringency, followed by a smooth-ish malt sweetness, ending pleasantly bitter.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a gently nip of the top of the tongue. The tongue dries and throat slightly constricts with this one.

This was a gift from a friend travelling up from the South. Too bad, because if I could find it locally, I'd pick it up again.

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Photo of Spica66
4.28/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from MikesGroove- Thank you, Mike!

Poured from bottle into pint glasses.

A: Deep caramel leaning towards amber color. Very nice head development and retention. Nice lacing on the glass. Very nice beer to look at.

S: Citrusy hops on top of malt. Smells delicious!

T: Very nice citrus and resin flavored hops. Good malt backbone. Very balanced.

M: Very smooth, almost creamy. I actually am surprised this is not a DIPA...

D: Wonderful beer to drink. Nothing gets in the way or overpowers any other part of the beer.

This reminds me a very lot of FFF Dreadnaught - and that, in my mind, is a very good thing!

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Photo of turnerk3
4.23/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours light amber hue that is accompanied by an exceptional true white head. The head is not only prominent in appearance, but it also does well to lace the glass.

S: A citrusy hop aroma is the first noticeable essence that is followed by a slight floral characteristic.

T: The hops flow over from the smell to the taste contributing a pleasant citrus, floral combination. The sweetness of the malt is absent in the taste, but it does alleviate the bitterness from the hops on the palate.

M: Perfect carbonation distributes the flavors splendidly. There is pseudo dryness, but the genuine texture is slightly resiny. The combination makes a highly easy to drink beer.

O: RJ Rockers is a relatively local brewery, and this just happened to be one of their recently brewed batches. There is a noticeable difference from last years brew, and that difference is definitely a favorable one.

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Photo of argock
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.69.

A: Very hazy true amber with sticky 2-finger vanilla ice cream-colored head with good retention and fine spots and other assorted smudges of lace.

S: While this brew has a buttery, toffee hops presence, the hops provide an earthy, resiny quality that mixes well with the malt character. Pine and herbal aromas are there too but only support the resin quality.

T: Caramel, toffee malt hits first but is blasted away with heavy resin hoppiness with citrus, pine, and earthy-herbal tones. THe bitterness is most in the back end, but it will make you wobbly -- it takes no prisoners. Aftertaste is a bit of papery malt with more resin. An excellent example of a no-holds-barred East Coast IPA.

M: Body is slightly lacking but it is sticky and has a pretty good mouthfilling, coating quality. Carbonation is prickly in a good way.

D: I am really impressed with this brew -- it lays down the law with strong hops bitterness. I wish more plain pale malts had been used to prop up the body a bit more, but, all in all, this is a really good beer and one of RJR's best offerings to date. A great brew for lovers of the East Coast IPA loadedf with resiny bitterness.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thrilled to see the new offering from RJ Rockers make it into Greenville. Grabbed a pint of this at Barleys last night. Consumed on 02/27/2010.

The pour was dark, almost caramel colored amber with a nice two finger head of pure white on top. Great retention as it coated the insides of the glass with a thick, spider like lacing. Aroma is deep grapefruit and citrus coming out right away. Warming brings a hint of a light buttery malt that lies underneath. Clean, crisp medium body starts out the tasting. Smooth, would be the best word to describe this as it very well balanced. Clean and sharp hop notes, fresh with tons of oily, resiny goodness are coming through now. I sit back and relax with it as it unfolds with a smooth, buttery goodness and a nice dry, and very clean finish that begs you to come back for another sip.

Overall I am very, very impressed here. This may be the best I have had from RJ Rockers to date. A very solid IPA that I would guess is going to be very warmly recieved.

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Photo of Seanibus
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer starts out fairly conventional, but improves surprisingly quickly, picking up a rich, sharp citrusy bitterness that almost feels and tastes like a boozy mint extract.

Pours hazy amber with a minimal head. The aroma is bready and a bit minty, with a sharp liqueur-like sting. The flavor at first is malty and dull, but a few sips begin to bring up a surprising minty quality that coats the tongue and cools the mouth. Very surprising and not unpleasant.

The mouthfeel is thin, but clings on the finish.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #43 (Aug 2010):

Nine hop additions in a 90-minute boil produced 90 IBUs--geekin' out. Fine-bubbled lacing tells the story, while the deep amber color offers some mystery. Tangerine, ripe pears, a hint of spice from the hops and sweetness from the malt all make themselves present in the nose. This beer is smooth, with hops that quickly pull on the palate with an herbal, pungent bitterness. Caramel sweetness makes a quick showing, then is covered with hops. There is a layer of estery alcohol within. It is also a bit fruity, but the hops pretty much mute that with each sip taken. This is kind of a hardcore IPA--brash, in your face and perhaps off the wall, but it works.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy orange-blond body with a nitro-like offwhite head, sticking heavily to the glass.

S - A strong dose of hops and citrus in the nose.

T - A very nice sweet, robust hop taste. Not much hop spice, but sweet mellow hops splashing around. Mild citrus tang but alot of sugar sweetness in here. The hops seem toned down by the sweet sugar.

M - Slightly bitter grainy mouth. Pretty balanced but sweet on the palate and in the aftertaste.

O - This beers sweetness could be toned back as I was looking for a deeper and more pronounced hop character. Still a pretty nice IPA.

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Photo of swierczt
3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured part of 22oz. bomber into a goblet. Nice deep orange in color and hazy in its appearance (seems to be unfiltered?). Off white head about 1 finger thick dissapates quickly.

S - Fresh cut grass, pineapple citrus fruits, some caramel sweetness and biscuit like yeasts.

T - A fair amount of hops on the palate, pine resin, some pineapple/pear. A touch of bready yeast. Hops linger a bit in the finish, but they are not overwhelming.

M - Medium carbonation. A bit slick and oily on the palate.

O - This is the best offering yet that I've tried from RJ Rockers. Liked it better than the Black Pearle and Son of A Peach. A solid IPA, but I didn't get the hops bite that I was expecting for 90 IBUs. I'd try it again.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Noticably darker than many in the style. Caramel colored. An aggressive pour yields little for head retention. Minimal lacing. Noticable particulate in there as well.
S- Earthy with some citrus notes in there. Enough malt in there as well.
T- Buttery malt with some caramel notes. Hops are earthy with a bit of citrus in there as well. Finishes more citrusy than aroma or initial tasting would suggest. Definite improvement of hop quality as it warms. Well balanced.
M- Smooth carbonation. Decent enough body. About as dry of a finish as you'll find.
O- A solid Ipa. The appearance is a bit of a downer, but otherwise a pretty impressive balanced IPA.

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Photo of aasher
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to get a 22oz bottle from thagr81us as one of his extras in a trade when I went down to Spartanburg. It poured a rich and cloudy medium brown/amber collaboration. The light cream head dissipated quickly and laced the glass. It looked like the prototype IPA. The smell on the other hand was average. It was just mildly hoppy. I desire more from an IPA. The taste was good but nothing spectacular. It was a smooth hoppy. The mouthfeel was light and hoppy, yet not overly. I would've liked a little more. It was very drinkable. The alcohol wasn't present and it was pretty light and smooth. It's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of csparace
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Smell (4.00) – Yeasty and sweet. Heavy on grapefruit and chocolates. Makes me think it is going to be a dark beer. Fruit is prevalent. Attractive smell.

Appearance (4.00) – From a bomber into a Matilda glass. Pours with a frothy one finger head that is leaving quickly. Loads of carbonation coming to the top. Glows a peachy orange amber. Couldn't ask for much more in the lacing – actually as I get further down its surprisingly nice.

Taste (3.75) – First thing that comes to mind is a roasted presence. The hop crunch isn't quite as heavy as I would have thought for the advertised 90 IBUs. You get a decent malt presence as well. The finish is quite long and leaves you with quite a large amount of hops considering the smaller than average hop content in the body.

Mouthfeel (3.75) – Good carbonation level. Pretty smooth. The bitterness is pretty satisfying, all things considered, and leaves my thirst quenched.

Overall (4.00) – I'm pretty satisfied by this IPA. Is definitely outstanding but it does the job. The appearance is surprisingly good, especially the lacing. This is a beer that doesn't kill your wallet nor your faith in humanity. I'm a happy camper.

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a South Carolina Gamecocks 2010 NCAA Baseball National Champions (that was a mouthful) pint glass. Always excited to try "local" versions of my favorite style. Also, haven't had too many beers from R.J. Rockers, so it will be good to see where they stand with the other SC brewers.

Pour favors orange with a solid finger of white foam. Head retention is pretty good, and there's some decent lacing stuck to the glass. So far, so good.

The aroma is standard East Coast IPA. Very, very sweet buttery malt scent. Now, there is a fair amount of grapefruit/orange, and a little bit of resin. Not a great nose, but nothing really wrong with it.

Flavor follows the aroma. Not exciting, but not unpleasant. Barely hoppy enough up front, but there is a pretty nice finishing bitterness. Lots and lots of malty sweetness.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Little dryness in the finish. Absolutely no hint of alcohol. Easy drinker. Definitely a step in the right direction.

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Photo of cdizinno
3.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, deep orange-amber color with off-white head and light to moderate lacing.

S: Mainly a malty scent. Nothing much with hops going on. Some light floral honey, but smell is almost non-existent, the only disappointing thing about the beer.

T&M: Medium bodied, very smooth. Nice floral hop taste that is very well balanced with the malts. Finishes semi-dry with oily-hop bitterness throughout.

Very good brew for RJ. I've had some better, regular IPA's, but this is fairly good for the style.

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Photo of begforme4484
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle has a penguin on its label.

I thought to myself, how can you go wrong if it has a penguin?

It pours a mix between copper and brown. Pretty hazy. Very minimal off-white head which recedes quickly. Nice lacing on the glass.

Has a blended smell. Earthy hops and bready malts present, neither of which over power the other.

Overall taste is bitter. It's bitter upfront which gives way to some citrus and matly notes. Strong bitter finish that lingers.

Medium bodied with mild carbonation. Could drink another if I were so inclined.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a standard RJ Rockers pint. The appearance of this beer was orange with only a small amount of head present. The aroma had a very nice hop note to it (as would be expected). While this beer was advertised to have 90 IBUs, all 90 did not show up to the party. It did however have a nice flavor with medium bitterness that was light on the palate. Overall this is probably one of the nicest beers I've tried from RJ Rockers. However, it is quite hard to find as they do not bottle it that I have ever seen. Might be worth a shot to track down for a true hop-head.

UPDATE: It is now bottled and available.

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Photo of pkalix
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

really? the last review on this brew was SIX MONTHS AGO ? ? how does THAT happen?
apple cider in appearance. completely apple cider. nothing to speak of for head (until the next, much more vigorous, pour) and it smells more like candy than an IPA. slightly bitter on first sip, and very sweet, much like the other RJ brews I remember having. sweet caramel versus a hoppy bitterness is about what this one comes down to. light on the palate, hardly any carbonation. overall, it's pretty good for a single beer. I wouldn't try too many of these in a row, and I know i'm a gonna gag finishing this 22 oz'er, but it's still very tasty. just a little too sweet and a little too amateurish, if you know what I mean.
subsequent sips have given me 1) a slight ammonia odor, although not over-powering or totally offensive, 2) a "locker-room Rush" aroma, if any of you remember that stuff from our high school days in the late 70's - early 80's, and 3) a bready, dough-y, carnival-type pastry aroma like the funnel cake (?)... overall, it's of consistent quality, though.
one additional note as I finish this bottle: I DID NOT expect the hazy, sediment-like froth that poured out as I tipped the bottle up. odd for an IPA, no?

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler into my Duvel tulip (Growler from Greens in Piney Grove)

A - Orange-rub color with a decent sized white head on top, light lacing forms on the sides of the glass

S - a slight florally hop smell with a more pronounced buttery malt smell. Not nearly as hoppy as I was expecting.

T - Floral hop taste mixed with a stronger caramel malt backbone. Hints of buttery flavor. Not all that hoppy of a beer but enough hops to confirm that it is actually an IPA.

M - Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation. Finishes pretty smooth.

D - Pretty easy drinker. This beer is solid but nothing fantastic. I would not have a problem drinking this one again but I doubt I would seek it out or buy it over a lot of other IPA's I've had in the past.

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Photo of avalon07
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an orange color and a cloudy texture. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head and OK lacing.

S: A nice aroma of hops, malt, and some citrus.

T: Tasted of hops and citrus mainly with a malty backbone. There's also a grassy quality that doesn't do the flavor any favors. That being said, it gets easier to drink as you go along.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: While this beer has its flaws, for the most part it's drinkable.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a relatively clear amber color with a very nice head

Smell: Caramel, mint and pine

Taste: Caramel, up front, with a developing minty/piney flavor; by mid-palate, an assertive bitterness extends the hop profile and, while the caramel lingers underneath, this remains a relatively bitter IPA

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Overall: It looks like this beer has had some problems in the past and the recipe may have been re-formulated; in any event, it is a decent IPA in its present state, if just a tad too malty for my palate

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is resiny hops and earthy hops with a bit of toffee. The flavor is a lot of toffee and caramel with some earthy hops, resiny hops and pine hops. While there is quite a bit of hop flavor, there is very little bitterness, making this a very malty IPA. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of ChristianBlack
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22oz bottle last night and it poured a slightly orange color with a thin white head clinging to the edges and sides of the glass.

The aroma was citrusy with a malty sweetness.

The taste is grapefruit with a moderate dry bitterness in the finish. The malt flavors are highlighted with sweet, slight caramel flavor overall. It slightly overwhelms the hop character I look for.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good. The flavors mixed together pretty nicely. Pretty good beer overall, it wasn't exceptional but solid.

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Photo of billab914
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. It poured poured a slightly orange, darker amber color with a thin white head clinging to the edges and sides of the glass. The lacing continued as I drank it and left a nice trail on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a grapefruit citrusness to it with a bit of pine coming through in the hoppiness. A moderate malty sweetness comes through as well.

The taste shows more of the grapefruit hoppiness to it with a moderate dry bitterness in the finish. The malt flavors really come through as well and add a nice, sweet, slight caramel flavor overall. It provides a nice base for the hoppiness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it had some nice hoppy and malty flavors to it overall. The flavors mixed together pretty nicely and created a nice sweet hoppiness overall. Pretty good beer overall, it wasn't exceptional but was pretty solid and an easy drinker.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bomber into a Spaten Oktoberfest pint glass.

A: Hazy, orange-amber in color with a bubbly, frothy, two-finger head of white foam which was a tad creamy and held on with some decent lace. Relatively muddled clarity with some chill haze and some sediment floating amongst the yeast.

S: Candied tropical fruits, pineapple, orange and some herbal, spicy notes blend with grassy, floral and bitter hops.

T: Pretty malt-forward at first, with a sweet and sticky caramel malt and tobacco leaf flavor backed quickly by somewhat musty, candied fruits and a bitter, citrus fruit hop finish. A little sticky sweet and the bitterness doesn't linger in the right way, but it's okay.

M: Full-bodied and a bit heavy handed with the low carbonation and sweet, caramel malt base.

D: Not as hoppy of an IPA as I'd have hoped for, but the malt profile took me by surprise. It has a nice combo of sweet, heavy, almost syrupy malts combined with a decent amount of bitter, herbal, nosy hops that don't impact the overall perception all that much. The 7.5% ABV puts it near DIPA categories for me, and that's just fine, I say.

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Rockhopper IPA from RJ Rockers Brewing Company
3.53 out of 5 based on 91 ratings.
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