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Hopknocker Imperial IPA - Schmohz Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hopknocker Imperial IPAHopknocker Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
73
okay

84 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 3.08
pDev: 20.45%
Wants: 1
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Schmohz Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 32
Photo of JamesShoemaker
3/5  rDev -2.6%

This is my first bottle from Schmohz, a brewery that has, shall we say, never been on our bar-hopping tour in Grand Rapids. 12 oz bottle, no date, 9.5%, can't believe how dark this looks in the bottle. It also sports one of the worst labels I've ever seen: cheap, faded colors, and an ominously flat-chested south German serving woman who looks anything but confident in the beer I'm about to drink.

I was going to give this beer the benefit of the doubt and really try to write a full review, but I can't bring myself to waste my time. A few observations will have to do. It's super dark (like Quad dark), it has some kind of candied (or bad) yeast, so it drinks more like a Belgian dark ale than anything else, there are no hops I can detect, and I literally don't believe that it clocks in at just under 10%. Like, seriously, I call bullshit.

If this beer had been advertised for what it was, a 6% ABV Belgian dark ale, I think its scores would be substantially higher. But the false advertising or extremely poor craftsmanship obviously pissed off the BA community (myself included).

Avoid.

Photo of Havbeer
2.57/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Too dark in appearance for my liking for an imperial IPA. Along with the heavy color was a heavy taste. An almost chocolaty taste, similar to a stout, which just doesn't belong . . . If you are an imperial IPA fan, this beer is worth a try, just don't buy a whole 6-pack ... and don't have high expectations on this one . . .

Photo of Morakaton
1.58/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Honestly, this was one beer I hated. Perhaps it wasn't as fresh as would be preferred, but this is one of the only time's I've ever drain poured a beer that wasn't BMC swill.

The beer started off on an okay note. It poured a nice murky brown color, formed a decent head, and had some piney and citrus aromas going. However, when the foul wretch hits the mouth, all I could taste was alcohol. The beer was quite literally an over malted mess with so much alcohol heat that neither of us could stand more than a few sips. Perhaps if someone handed me a fresh bottle for free I could be coerced into retrying it, but neither me nor my friend enjoyed it at all.

For a much better Michigan double IPA, check out Kuhnhenn DRIPA, Greenbush Brother Benjamin, or Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree.

Photo of Durge
3.23/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A thick murky brown concoction with way too much sediment collecting at the bottom, a decent tan layer on top and pretty good lacing. The aroma suggests a quick whiff of grass-pine hops but says more about dank malt and alcohol. Really sort of devoid of merit. Upon tasting, nearly all hop hopes are dashed, a touch of grassy pine perhaps at best. But again it's mostly nutty malt and alcohol. The grassiness actually builds as you go but nothing can undo the alcohol dominance. It doesn't necessarily warm like so much alcohol but it tastes that way and it's a big disappointment. Where's the beef? The body is medium and it has a somewhat aqueous feel with a hint of chalkiness on the tongue. Carbonation tasteful, a bit "tingly". Overall, it becomes more drinkable as you go but the alcohol just seems like a spoiler here and the hops are generally MIA.

Photo of biegaman
3.07/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Hopknocker was supposedly designed for "serious hop heads" but I've got to wonder what kind of Imperial IPA this flat, nearly turbid dark mahogany ale really is. The beer's pretty much the same colour as the bottle! It sure doesn't look like hops were the priority in this recipe...

It certainly doesn't smell like it either. The beer displays a rather busty, pretty blonde on its label but its aroma is the polar opposite of that: flat, uncomely and full of brown malt. There's a trace of weedy earthy character but, by and large, it shows nothing but mildewy cereal grain and a roasty, overly astringent coffee-like note. Nothing exactly smells "off"... except the recipe.

Were it intended as something else - an imperial brown ale or old ale maybe? - the flavour wouldn't be considered half-bad. I'll go on record as saying it tastes pretty good to me. Of course, to be sure, as an Imperial IPA it misses the mark by a country mile; the flash-in-the-pan trace of pine resin goes nearly unnoticed amidst the alcohol and roast malts.

Flavour is one thing but mouthfeel is quite another - it's the reason low-fat ice cream is less enjoyable than the real thing. The beer is flat carbonation wise but also lacks any kind of tangible texture; hops should be sensed as well as tasted and this offers no kind of citric, resinous or grassy sensations. Still, it's surprisingly drinkable for such a poorly-made 9.5% beer.

Hopknocker is an unfortunate Imperial IPA. While it had certain elements that I liked, there's really no way around saying that this recipe is desperately in need of a complete overhaul (though some people might insist the label art is fine as is). If I didn't know any better I'd of thought that Schmohz Brewing Company was merely the garage of a couple homebrewers.

Photo of Roman5150
2.84/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

bottle into snifter

appearance: dark amber brown, 1 finger white head

smell: caramel, lots of malt, not really any hop presence

taste: Tastes more like a strong brown ale or a barleywine, alcohol is apparent, hardly any hop bitterness, i'm not sure why this is a "DIPA".

mouthfeel: not very carbonated, thick and syrupy

overall: HOnestly, I wouldn't buy this again. Not very good for a DIPA, maybe if they labeled it something else it would be rated higher but I expect some sort of hop presence in a DIPA, and this has none. It tastes, smells, and looks like a high abv brown ale.

Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A strongly red ale malty characteristic to a secondary hoppy ale. Drinkable, but not what you would expect from a DIPA. Caramel. Fresh from Champane's. Drinkable on some nights, not for me tonight. Middling mouthfeel, off-white coloured body. I would drink this if I couldn't find a beer during a natural disaster.

Photo of andrewjraab
3.3/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark caramel brown with about an inch of off white head. Quickly the head disappeared and left zero retention or lacing.

S - Malts, caramel, some yeast, faint hop characteristic smell.

T - Oak flavored and earthy with a nice amount of hops. My complaint is that as the brew came to room temp it got worse and seemed a tad flat and one note.

O - Kind of seemed like a "home brew" beer, but overall it is worth a try.

Photo of jera1350
3.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Rouse for this one!

A murky copper body with a dense little head of tan foam that leaves plenty of lacing.

A very barleywine like smell. Caramel and toffee malt with a touch of burnt sugar. Hops are there, although a bit light.

A huge hop punch in the mouth up front. A very pungent and dank hop presence that blends with a bit of astringent alcohol. Solid barleywine like malty backbone. Fruit notes come in as it warms. Not bad, but a little messy.

Full bodied with a touch of prickly carbonation and a sticky finish.

It's not a bad overall beer by any means, but could use some refining. If thought of as a barleywine, this fits the bill.

Photo of jeremyd365
1.92/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appeared a dark amber with a white head. Smelled like pear or apple juice with a bit of hop. Mouth feel was medium bodied and the taste was not per usual IPA. It tasted juicy with a small hop finish. Too much alcohol in the flavor. This did not seem like an IPA at all to me.

Photo of Giggy
3.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank this at the brewery. Served in a Schmohz Brewery pint glass.

A: cloudy chestnut brown, orange around the edges. Light tan head that disappeared fast.

S: caramel with slight fruits, slight hops, slight spices and nuts. Key word is slight, not a lot to the aroma.

T: spicy, caramel, dates, prunes, pine

M: easy to drink. Alcohol is not completely hidden in this one. Tingle on the tongue.

O: I will drink it to support the small Michigan Brewery. I wouldn't necessarily consider this a IIPA, just an above average strong ale.

Photo of TomToro
3.59/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Color is dark brown

Mouthfeel is thick and little carbonation (I prefer less)

Taste reminds me of a Tripel I had recently, but not as strong
Not what I expected from a DIPA. Something is overpowering the hops. Perhaps too much sweet and I detect a leather smell.

Strong Alcohol that doesn't show. Sneaks up on you.

Won't have more than one as it's very filling.

Good to Average beer. Won't buy another, but won't refuse a cold one from a friend.

Photo of cindiwindi1025
2.81/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a - BROWN. thick, opaque brown. this took me by surprise, i have never come across a brown dipa/imperial ipa and i have had ALOT of them. wispy tan lacing.

s - smells like watered down leather and not much else.

t- about what it smells. theres a litte brown sugar sweetness, very light piney hops, alot of straw flavor. very flavorless. quite disappointing. the alcohol is not detectable at all in the taste.
there is absolutely no aftertaste or flavor to savor.

m - decent. slick with light carbonation, slight alcohol tingle that fades quickly.

o- disappointed. dipa/imperial ipa are my favorite beer styles. this has no characteristics associated with either. its bland and boring. wont be buying this one again.

Photo of Vonerichs
2.77/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Visually, it's not impressive at all. It's a toffee colored murky brown with minimal tan head. It looks nothing close to an IPA.

Smell is earthy and pine hops, but they're overshadowed by a brown sugar sweetness. It has a musty scent to it.

Blah. Earth (dirt) and musty flavor with a punch of rubbing alcohol. Light touch of brown sugar is the only forgiving quality.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation was alright by me.

I feel like overall this beer isn't is bad as I've scored it, but it's nothing more than average.

Photo of GRPunk
2.91/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle depicting the buxom blonde, poured into a Duvel tulip.

A- Wow! Not what I was expecting. 1-finger tan-brown head was created by a moderate pour. It hung around as a thin film. Any sticky spots fell back into the body. What a body!? Rich, brown color. Much, much darker than expected. Maybe not a typical DIPA, but it still looked pretty nice.

S- Very rich. Almost barley-wine territory here. I got raisins at first. Leather and tobacco come through strong. Malts create a caramel/brown sugar effect. It's missing those crisp hops I like in a DIPA (grapefruit, maybe pine). It would be wonderful as a strong ale or barley-wine.

T- It matches up with the aroma. Tobacco-like hops pair with a rich, malty backbone. Hints of Hawaiian sweet bread. It straddles the DIPA and barleywine styles. Some pine in the finish.

M- Very full feel. Moderate carbonation. While well hopped, there wasn't a bite in the mouthfeel. Alcohol is sweet, not burning.

O- There are high standards for the category. It's an interesting take, but missing the hop punch A little too earthy, not enough citrus or pine for me. I'd rate it much higher as a strong ale or barleywine.

Photo of youngleo
3.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a nice inch and a half head. Head was a little brownish in color. Also had some big bubbles in the head. Left some very nice lacing with every swallow. Brew itself was brownish in color, with a slight red tint. Had that hoppy pine smell. Also a slight sweet smell. Also I thought strange, it had a slight chocolate aroma. Tasted very good. Then again, a little chocolate, hops, and malt. Also hints of fruit or maybe apple. Again I thought the flavor was very good. Felt good in the mouth. I thought carbonation was about right. I think overall this brew was very good. With the higher alcohol content you couldnt make this a session beer. But you could certainly enjoy drinking a few and enjoying the flavor. I would buy and enjoy again.

Photo of zachary80
3.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small head, but I didn't give this a very good pour. Head is off-white and fades. Leaves good lacing.
Body is brown with hints of red. I remember this as being a little more red when I had it on tap

Smell is a little strange. Some aromas similar to those in wild ales. Slightly grassy. There is something pretty offputting as well, but not sure what it is

Taste is surprisingly fruity, lots of citrus flavors come through. Not much of the traditional hop flavors come though. Pretty sweet overall. Slightly sour. Almost like a Flanders Red. Slightly unpleasant aftertaste.

Good mouthfeel. Overall very drinkable for being 9.5%, but this seems misclassified

Photo of DannyDan
3/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Pours a reddish dark mahogany that has a thin tan head with some retention and little lacing.
S. the smell is floral hops and citrus along with a sweet syrupy like sugar.
T. the taste is floral hops along with some citrus followed by some alcohol, some weak tasting sweet caramel, some sugary syrup that has a watered down sweet taste to it and finally it finishes off with the citrus.
M. The mouthfeel is a sticky, yet chewy feel that sticks to the lips.
D. It is a drinkable beer, but not for me since this double IPA did not seem to have any outstanding malt characteristics or that strong hop bite that is expected in an IPA, let alone a double IPA.
I think the Brew Master at Schmohz might want to go pick up some Bell's Hop Slam Ale to get an idea of how a DIPA should look, feel and taste.

Photo of cadaugherty
2.12/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a globe glass-

Oh my god, are we sure this is a DIPA? It pours a dark copper with red highlights and a couple fingers of head. Not really the look I'm used to. The nose is mainly sweet malt with a hint of hops. It smells like a strong ale not a DIPA. The taste is all about the dark fruits, I'm thinking rum cake while sipping here. I think what we have here is a drain pour gentlemen.

Photo of beveritt
3.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label depicts, as do most of these guys' labels, a buxom girl holding beer. No freshness dating.

Appearance: Pours with 1 1/2 fingers of medium tan head. This settles to a thin layer of foam, leaving behind decent lacing. The beer itself is the color of tarnished copper and slightly cloudy. Solid layer of compact sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Slightly sweet caramel malt with hints of tart cherries and distinct high ABV sweetness in the finish.

Taste: Spicy hops upfront, followed by an orange citrus tartness. Some malt upon which these flavors are layered, but not much depth. Very little bitterness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Average to average plus carbonation. Body is just okay, a little on the thin side.

Drinkability: Spicy and hoppy, yet not to the level I typical associate with a DIPA. Also lacking sufficient malt to balance it out. All in all, everything seems dialed back a bit and significantly out of balance. Not bad, but won't be seeking this out again.

Photo of Mitchster
2/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

$7.99 for a mixed 6'er, I think. Listed on the bottle as an Imperial DIPA, at 9.5% ABV. Pours out to a very dark brown, forming a dark yellow head with average retention and sparse lacing. The carbonation is mild to moderate. This is the darkest DIPA I've ever seen. The aroma is of crystal malt with caramel, a faint hoppiness, cola, and maybe sour milk and kiwi fruit when swirled. The mouthfeel is tart and syrupy. The taste starts sour like citric acid, then into a sour candy sweetness and cola, followed by a mild metallic bitterness, and an aftertaste of leather and chemicals.

I agree with the other reviewers here. This tastes like a really bad homebrew barleywine attempt. It's nowhere close to being a DIPA. Schmohz has a ton of work ahead of them. Out of this mixed six pack, I haven't had one good beer. Yuck.

Photo of Lauthaha
3.41/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an average beer mug at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Appearance: I'm a little nervous to try this one...no head whatsoever suggesting a lack of carbonation. Thick dark brown (read: murky) color dotted with what looks like chips of white paint. Maybe it's just the batch, or maybe it's just the sediment left over from brewing, but this beer is by far the worst-looking beer I've had this year.

(amendment: read some other reviews and realized that it was my mistake to pour the sediment into my glass...whoops! LoL...I raised the score from a 1 to a 2.5)

Smell: Thankfully MUCH better than the appearance. Robust flavor permeates the air; coffee and/or toffee, gentle hoppiness (for an Imperial IPA), and an enchanting sweetness that is at present unidentifiable. Also, in spite of the high ABV, there is very little in the way of "alcohol" when it comes to scent. This is perhaps the beer's redeeming quality.

Taste: Very good; very good. Boldness and strength are supplemented equally by bitter and sweet sensations. The finish is anything but ambivalent, however; it is, in fact, almost too sweet. Were the aftertaste a bit less wild, I might give the taste a five. As it is, it's still better than average. Just what I expect from an Imperial IPA.

Mouthfeel: Better carbonation than it had appeared, but aside from that, it's perfectly average. Goes down without a struggle, feels much lighter than it looks.

Drinkability: It's a very tasty beer, but the high ABV combined with the over-sugary aftertaste make it more of a dessert beer or a sipper. Definitely wouldn't make it a daily choice, but I would still recommend it to a friend.

This particular bottle seemed like perhaps something was wrong with it. The look was ALL wrong; luckily, the taste and smell of the beer saved it from being absolutely terrible. Definitely worth the two dollars I paid for the 12-ounce, but not much more. Try it if you like DIPAS or Triples.

Photo of Jpatrix
3.83/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. A dark translucent amber color. Darker than expected but appealing. Smell was typical of IIPA's I have had before but this had more of a hop aroma than earlier. A deep carmel with hints of citrus but not overpowered by the hops. The 9.5% abv is not glaring. A more robust feel that was quite delightful. A bit hoppier than earlier Hopknocker's I have tried. Worth a try.

Photo of BMoney575
3.45/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 2-24-10

Pours a nice deep amber, until I pour all of the clumpy yeast in. Now its a disgusting blend of red/brown beer and light brown chunks. My fault.

Smell is sharp, bitter hops with an earthy edge and a bit of astringency. Much more subtle than expected, by not unenjoyable.

Taste is thin, almost nonexistent malt, followed by a sharp bitterness and a flavor I can only describe as peanut butter. No as bad as I was expecting, though.

Mouthfeel has a nice thickness, but is watery and slightly metallic on the finish.

Drinkability is only decent, but the alcohol is well-handled.

Overall, give it a shot.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.21/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Extremely murky caramel brown with blurry tangerine highlights. This has to be the darkest DIPA in the history of DIPAs. The head is golden brown sugar in color and looks to be firmy creamy in texture. An attractive king's crown of lace is beginning to be laid down now that some amount of deflation has occurred.

The nose is almost 100% caramel malt and is barleywine-like more than DIPA-like. A whiff of citrus fruity hoppiness is barely perceptible, but that's only if my nose risks getting wet. 136 IBUs seems to be a ridiculous claim given what the beer smells like. On the other hand, bitterness and hop aroma/flavor aren't necessarily synonymous.

Hopknocker Imperial India Pale Ale is not a good effort. Not even close. If blinded, I would have guessed boozy, too thin, caramel-malted English barleywine... from a brewery that has a lot to learn about craftsmanship. Other than a bracing bitterness, there isn't much about this beer that says American DIPA.

Flavors include watery caramel, tart grapefruit juice, wood resin and a few shots of grain alcohol. After every small sip, I find myself grabbing the mouse and clicking the last three scores down another half-notch. Looks like the final resting place has been reached. The gravestone should read 'not yet gone, but soon to be forgotten'.

This may be the thinnest DIPA that I've ever consumed. Did they add any malt at all? Not only that, but there aren't many bubbles, despite a healthy 'pffft' on crown cracking.

Hopknocker IIPA is not good beer no matter how you slice it. Bonecrusher Stout was lousy as well. If Schmohz hopes to compete in one of the most outstanding craft beer states in the nation, they need to step up their game in a major way. Trouble is, they have a long way to go to be considered average.

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Hopknocker Imperial IPA from Schmohz Brewing Company
73 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.