Trying not only a new beer, but a new brewery tonight. RJ Rockers Brewing Company which is not too far down the road from me in Spartanburg, SC is the producer of Black Pearle Dark IPA, which they call a 80-minute octo-hopped IPA. And it’s dark, obviously. The presentation is definitely not an afterthought, as the bottle cap is topped with a fairly massive wax seal. The head, as you can see from the photo is huge and lasts an age, and had a texture that’s remarkably similar to the foam that you get from a root beer float. This beer has more foam than I’ve ever seen before. By a lot. I feared that might mean it was overly carbonated, but it’s not, not at all. It’s nearly flat, in fact, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The nose is super roasty with chocolate and coffee notes, and the middle is heavily hopped, with lots of bitterness balanced by sugary sweetness. There’s a bit of pine, but the middle is mostly citrus, bitter rind and sweet grapefruit and toffee. For all the sugar and bitterness in the middle, the finish is surprisingly dry, with notes of cocoa at the front. There’s an undercurrent of booziness throughout, but it’s subtle, and not unpleasant. This is a really nice, interesting beer, and I’m definitely going to be looking to sample more of RJ Rockers offerings in the future.
I give it a 4.5 out of 5.