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Archive for the ‘Brewer: RJ Rockers’ Category

RJ Rockers Bell Ringer and Blue Mountain Full Nelson

October 28th, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Blue Mountain, Brewer: RJ Rockers, Country: America, Grade: B plus, Grade: B regular, Style: ESB, Style: Pale Ale

8.5% ABV bottled

It’s a workout being a beer geek!  Constantly researching the latest hot releases, scouring the city (if not the country (if not the world)) for bottles, walking aimlessly around town trying to find a bar with “acceptable” offerings for you palate.  You know, sometimes it just feels good to relax and drink with no expectations.  When I was at my friend DW’s house in Virgina recently, admiring his massive beer fridge, I saw two six-packs for two beers I’d never heard of from two Southern breweries I’d likewise never heard of.  The War of Northern Aggression seems to still have a lingering affect on the quality of microbrew coming out of the dirty dirty, but I’m always willing to try something new.  I asked DW if I could snag a bottle of each before I headed back to New York and he gleefully agreed, clearly wanting to get these brews off his hands.  I love to try new stuff and it’s great to test your reviewing skills on beers with absolutely no buzz–neither positive nor negative–that could taint your objectivity, but I still threw these two into my fridge expecting to use them as nothing more than 3-AM-last call-don’t-want-to-waste-the-good-shit-in-my-apartment beers.  I was, quite frankly, pretty wrong.  I actually ended up drinking Bell Ringer to kick off some early college football watching on Saturday.  It was a pleasant pleasant surprise.  I haven’t had many ESBs (Extra Strong Bitters) in my life and after this one I intend to try many more.  An ESB is kinda best described as a DIPA without the bitterness, oddly enough.  Bell Ringer was indeed hoppy hoppy hoppy sans bitterness, boozy but drinkable, well balanced and flavor-packed.  I wish I’d swiped more bottles from my buddy.  Don’t be scared to try this one if you live in the miniscule swath of land where it is distributed.  I believe this is the first beer I’ve ever had from South Carolina and in that regard, it’s the best I’ve ever had from the Palmetto State*.  (Whatever a palmetto is.)


5.6% ABV bottled

Bell Ringer was a very pleasant surprise and Afton, Virginia’s pale ale offering was pretty darn enjoyable too.  Bursting with a nice Cascade hoppiness yet still fairly balanced.  A pronounced bitterness, yet quite drinkable.  Easily as quality a pale ale as some of the more “famous” breweries’ flagship offerings.  I would never be upset to do a little session self-shitcanning with Full Nelson if I lived in Virginia.  I need to quit being so reluctant to try all these “unacclaimed” beers out there in the world, because, as I just found out, many are quite nice.**


*Though I’d love to get my hand on some COAST stuff.  Any one?  Any one?

**Yankees in SIX!  Book it.