Last Friday, Meg and I hit up Norm's and I picked up something very new that I had not heard of and I thought I'd share. It's brewed by RJ Rockers. I know, it sounds like a fake brewery, doesn't it? The same way PJ Skadoo's sounds like a fake restaurant that might appear on a Saturday morning episode of Saved by the Bell. But I assure you that it is a real brewery in Spartansburg, SC. A couple of weeks ago Norm's was sampling two RJ Rocker brews, the Patriot Pale Ale and the Bell Ringer. Both brews were great. Here goes some tasting notes:
Pours a golden yellow color with average white head. The smell is very grassy. The taste was mostly citrusy with a little grassiness. Mouthfeel was medium bodied with an average amount of carbonation.
All in all this one was very drinkable. I was reading some of the reviews on BA and some people were comparing it to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I personally thought it was a little different (maybe the grassiness) and worth picking up. This is what a pale ale should be, flavorful, but still easy to drink. I would have bought a sixer, but lately I have been home brewing pale ales like they are going out of style, so I decided to pass until I finish up my home brew pales. A great choice for tailgate season.
Right from the start I knew I was going to like this beer. With a name like Bell Ringer you know you are in for some "in your face hoppiness." I note that BA has this listed as a Double IPA. However, the RJ Rockers website does not classify this as a Double IPA. I like to think of it more as an American Strong Ale, mainly because the color is darker than your usual DIPA and the hops are not as aggressive as your usual DIPA. Whatever!
It pours a deep caramel color with little head. It smells of hops. There is a hint of malt, but the hops are dominate. Citrusy hops more than piney hops. The taste is complex, there is a fruity tartness to it that reminds me of purple sweet tarts (unique, eh?). There are plenty of citrusy hops, but not over done.
Don't drink more than a couple or the 8.5% ABV will sneak up on you and ... ring your bell. I picked up a sixer and I am loving it.