Hop Strike Black IPA - Tommyknocker Brewery

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Hop Strike Black IPAHop Strike Black IPA

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457 Ratings
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Ratings: 457
Reviews: 194
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.14%
Wants: 17
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kirkpjr on 06-04-2010

Hop Strike is a dry hopped black rye IPA. The beer is characterized by an intermingling of spicy citrus hops and chocolate malt. Substantial 78 IBUs are balanced by roasted rye resulting in a nice depth of malt character and deep color.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 457 | Reviews: 194
Reviews by Kendo:
Photo of Kendo
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle (best by date is in September; consumed July 5, 2013) into a pint glass. Body is black with a 1-finger tannish-colored head that leaves behind nice lacing.

S: Roasty - coffee, roasted barley malt and some earthiness. Smells like a porter.

T: Interesting mix of flavors - coffee, some chocolate malt, earthy hops and piney hops, with a touch of rye spice. I like. Lingering piney bitterness and the rye comes across as minerally at times.

M: A tiny bit thin in heft - call it medium, but on the thinner/weaker side. Carbonation is moderate, with a good overall mouthfeel.

O: Good stuff.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Mellow here in G-boro.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep chocolate brown with a half finger off white head atop,mild leafy hop and earthy tones in the nose,the rye is subdued.Flavors are a good mix of dark bread,bitter chocolate,and herbal/citric hops,all come together pretty well.The hops dont "strike" to hard but its a nice well rounded rye/CDA hybrid to be had.

Photo of RockyRaku
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this into a pint glass. The head was about 1-2 fingers, creamy with some lacing....contrary to other reviews, this had light carbonation and a seemingly thinner head. This combined with the black and hazy finish made an pleasing appearance. I took many liberal whiffs of this beer and I came across what seemed to be a strong and inviting toasty and smoky aroma with a slight sweet smell. I tasted dark fruit and pine. Beer had a decent amount of appealing flavors that did not linger too long. . The beer was relatively smooth with an above average full bodied sense...but not overpowering. Hops and malts seemed to be very balanced. I may try this again a bit warmer sample... initially it may have been too cold.

Photo of warnerry
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 2/2/11; No freshness date

A - Pours a very dark brown, but not black, with a good three fingers of head. Head has decent retention.

S - Hops are prominent but are nicely balanced by chocolate malt. Smell is actually pretty subdued.

T - Wow, this is a pretty meaty brew on first taste. The chocolate malts seems to come through the most, followed by the spiciness of the rye, with hops not really coming through until the finish, but lingering nicely on the tongue when they do show up. Kind of works well together, but a bit of a hodgepodge as well.

M - Medium, very malty mouthfeel, with some lingering hop bitterness.

O - Certainly not easy drinking, or something I would come back to (though this is, admittedly, not my favorite style), but a pretty decent brew that I am glad to have tried.

Photo of Beaver13
2.4/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with a smallish off white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet roasted malts, rye and a little chocolate.

The flavor is heavy tarry bitter roast with some sweet malt, and some rye comes out in the strong bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, the flavors don't mesh at all. It just tastes weird with the harsh tarry bitterness, spicy rye and sweet malt.

Photo of Billolick
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, "Best By" dating on the side of the label

Pours very dark brown, frothy tan head, slow to settle, leaves a nice thick collar, fine sheeting and spots of lace.

Complex nose with hints of chocolate malts, and citric hops.

Sniff leads to the palate, with more chocolate and citrus picked up.
Carbonation is on point and I'd say this is on the slightly heavier side of the mouthfeel scale.
Better then average hoppy black ale (they call it a black IPA on the label). Worth a try.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into teku glass; jet black in the glass with a tight medium cream-colored head that barely fades at all, and leaves rings of dense, delicate lacing when it finally does.
Smell is dry metallic dark roasted malt, hint of coffee, and some slight piney/herbal hops.
Taste is sweet chocolate malt, hint of bitter coffee, and a bittersweet herbal/pine hoppy IPA finish.
Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and medium-full.
Overall, this "black IPA" is a little more towards the simple black ale side of the black ale spectrum. Needs more hops in my opinion to be a black IPA, but it's still a pretty good black ale.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by March 5th, pours a nearly black color with amber ruby highlights shining through the glass, head is a light khaki tan color, forming fine even speckled lacing patterns. Aroma has an earthy spicy dankness going on with complementary rye character going on this beer smells pretty good. A mild black IPA with spicy rye notes in the finish, upfront herbal/citric hops catch my palate and the dark roasted malts carry everthing along until it finishes with that classic spicy rye character. My first black rye IPA, and it works pretty well. Great herbal hops, citric green fresh hop quality with the dark roasted malts profile offering a touch of dark chocolate roasted malt character. Mouthfeel has a nice rolling dry character with spiced rye edges, even flowing carbonation with slick hop oils. Overall very enjoyable beer that I need to try more of, I'm not a big Tommyknocker fan but this is fantastic black IPA.

Photo of chinchill
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. bottle served in a ping glass.

A - Pours a very dark brown with lighter than expected tan head. Head has good duration and leaving plenty of lacing.

S - A nice spicy citrus hop aroma with plentiful chocolate malt notes and some aroma of baked bread.

T- The flavor is less hoppy and more malty than indicated by the aroma. The rye component comes forth in the flavor. Mild-moderate bitterness,,with a fair amount of roast and chocolate malt character, particularly in the finish.

M - The body is medium with a nice moderate level of carbonation.

O - A very fine black rye IPA with sensory characteristics that match the proclaimed style, if a bit less hoppy than the usual IPA.

Photo of GilGarp
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Hop Strike is a very dark murky brown color. The head is creamy but settles quickly. Good lacing left behind.

Aroma is nice and hoppy, very little roasted malt character.

Flavor is a bit of a let down after the hoppy aroma. It's a lighter porter type of body with good hop bitterness but not as much in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and nicely carbonated.

Overall a decent black IPA but not one of the better ones.

Photo of tdm168
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Village Draft House

Arrived in a 12oz chalice; pitch black with a thin lacing of brown head. The nose is very pleasing; roasted malts, a hint of chocolate, and floral hops. The taste is very similar; roasted malts up front with a clean, floral finish with hints of chocolate. As the beer warms, there are some noticeable peppery characteristics that come from the rye. It's medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and very smooth.

This beer has a little of everything that I love. I'm a huge fan of the Black IPA movement and I'm also a huge fan of rye beers. The rye is subdued until the beer warms leaving one with the impression that this is just another decent black IPA. Once the beer warms though the rye is noticeable and works so well with the roasted malts and the hop character. This is a beer worth checking out!

Photo of JoeAmerican77
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here in colorado we have a thing called snow. After it falls and fills the streets of Interstate-70 which serpentines between the gorgeous ski areas of Summit County (Vail, Breck, Keystone etc.) our 4-wheel drive machines churn and mix that pristine white into a browned out slurry of cold slush. And that my friends it what tops off this beer. 3 fingers of it rest over an almost lightless black ale...Robust, roasted malts and pine cone cocoa nibs make up the nose, which is highly tantalizing. A good portion of coffee and cocoa create a base taste that sets up the rye style hop bitterness perfectly.

Heres the most beautiful thing about this beer, it is so darn balanced you don't even notice it is a whole 78 IBU's. If asked to guess I would have placed it around 45 or so do to the maltiness counterbalancing on the other side.

OK Tommyknockers you got me this time. Great presentation, great nose, flavor and body.

Photo of WoodBrew
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried the Hop Strike whilst in Orlando at the House of Beer. The beer poured a nearly opaque dark brown color with very nice 1/2 finger thick off-white head that left a generous lace. The smell included sweet malt, roasted malt, hint of rye, and slight citrus hops. The taste was citrus hops, roasted malt, and sweet malt, essentially matching the smell. Mouth feel was a medium body with so so carbonation. Overall, not the best Black IPA I have had, but the lower abv made this B-IPA sessionable.

Photo of cjgator3
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a dark black color with a nice light tan head with great lacing and retention.

S- The aroma has some dark malts and a good dose of fresh citrusy hops. Smells good!

T- The taste like the aroma is dark roasted malts up front with a little sweetness sneaking in and finishing up with a lingering bitterness from the hops.

M- The mouthfeel is somewhere between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I am a big fan of most of the black IPAs out there and this one did not disappoint.

Photo of McNealc31
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The aroma is an interesting mix of chocolate, rye, and a bunch of grapefruit. The color is quite nice, too. Pitch black with some maroon around the edges. The grapefruit is all over the flavor as well. The rye is nice, and I do get some chocolate, but the finish is like I just drank a glass of grapefruit juice.

Not my favorite Black IPA. I wanted more of the "black" side of things and the grapefruit is way too much for my taste.

Photo of tempest
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Farmhouse. This poured a near-black dark brown with a light light brown head. I was surprised by the pleasant spicy rye aroma, when there isn't a lot of character in the taste. This is a light-bodied IPA with a mix of light cocoa and roasted malt with fruity citrus hops. I only wish that for the drinkability, it was a bit less alcoholic. Still, a tasty beer for rye and black IPA fans.

UPDATE 1/25/11: Had a bottle and the thought the balance of hops, dark grains and rye had improved. It's a fine example of a black IPA as well as a rye beer. The floral, juicy citrus hops lead to spicy rye, which finishes with chocolate grains and a final hoppy kick.

Photo of plfahey
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance-Deep mahogany brown with relatively good clarity. Moderately tall pale khaki head has good retention and shows some nice lacing.

Aroma-Black, bittersweet chocolate and green spicy/piney hops. Background notes of nutty rye, roasted malt, and bread crusts. Slight herbal hop notes as well.

Flavor-Delicious chocolate with lighter notes of rye bread crusts, nuts, and rye fruitiness. Green, herbal, and pine hop flavors with moderate hop bitterness in the finish. Finishes with slightly acrid, dry, black cocoa powder flavor and some woodsy hop flavor. Quite tasty.

Mouthfeel-Medium to medium full body with smooth viscosity from the addition of rye. Moderate to moderately low carbonation. Silky smooth and creamy.

Very tasty black IPA, and the rye notes really shine in the flavor. Smooth and easy drinking. A solid and quite delicious beer-highly recommended.

Photo of dbossman
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Near black with a small but steady tan head; lacing is intricate

S: Lots of rye breadiness coupled with pine, flowers, and weed? a subtle citrus makes this an interesting and nice smelling beer

T: The rye maltiness is most prevalent up front and then the pine bitterness comes back but in the end it's the chocolaty breadiness that stays on the tongue

F: Creamy with a pleasantly low amount of carbonation--this beer sits nicely on the back of the mouth

D: This is a really nice offering from Tommyknocker--their best that I've had; this is a tasty and easy drinking Rye PA; nice work guys!

Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a wide flute glass. Dark brown with a reddish hue and a two inch dirty white head that quickly fells to a quarter inch.

Smells of rich roasted malt, a little chocolate and some citrus. Very pleasant.

Unfortunately the taste does not follow the smell. Watery, light roasted malt and a little burnt malt. There is some citrus bitterness and a touch of rye spice. It is too subtle.

Light body, moderate carbonation.

It is the first black rye IPA I have come across and I like it for that. I wish it had some more flavor to it, more rye or malt, either one would work well.

Photo of russpowell
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours garnet-hued mahogany with 3+ fingers of billowy tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Peppery & grainy notes

T: Peppery notes, with charred grain, hints of grassyness & herbal hoppyness up front. Charred grain with hints of astrigency as this warms, plus Baker's chocolate, grainyness becomes juicer as this warms more, even a bit of coffee. Finishes crisp, with more charred grain & piney notes arriving to give this a touch more complexity

MF: Creamy with medium body, fairly good balance

Not a bad rye beer, almost pulled together for a better score, still one I'd try again if jonesing for a rye beer...

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

16 oz bottle into an IPA flute.

Pours black, maybe more of a deep murky brown (you can see some ruby coming out across the bottom), with several fingers of light mocha colored head. This leaves behind a rich foamy looking cascade of lacing that hangs in thick sticky patches down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells leafy and spicy with some slight metallic hints. Rye has presence up front of the nose, while fresh green citrus mingles with crunchy roasted notes. Pronounced chocolate character comes out across the back.

The taste is bitter green fruit and burnt roast, while the rye adds a dry doughy feeling spiciness to this. All add an even sharpness to this across the palate, while sweet chocolate hangs on the edges, keeping all of that assertive character in check. The finish is all aggressiveness, with notes of dry pine, spice, pith and char all hanging fairly heavily in the mouth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm prickly feel to the carbonation up front but then gets more smooth and silky feeling on the edges where all of that chocolate sweetness is. There is some light warmth here from the ABV but it mostly just adds some extra intensity to all of those burnt and bitter flavors.

I liked the flavorful aggressiveness of this, with the rye and hops not disappointing here, yet this was just balanced enough so that things didn’t get too over-the-top. This was a solid pick-up and probably the best beer that I’ve had yet from Tommyknocker.

Photo of beerhan
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pitch black color with thin cocoa head that fades fairly fast and turns into a white lacing. Smells chocolatety but that is pretty subtle. There is a little pine to the taste and some hop presence that is mostly on the after taste. An interesting tingle on the tongue that is not the most pleasant but still a pretty good beer. It tastes pretty good but is a little heavy. Its been a while since I have had this on tap but it is definitely more enjoyable that way.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with tall and tan head. Really good lacing.

The smell is pretty passive. I pick up a little chocolate, some spine, and pine.

Spice from the rye, a dose of pine, and some dark chocolate. The chocolate isn't very prevalent, but adds a nice touch. My knock is that it finishes a little soapy, like dish soap.

Mouthfeel is slick and lightly carbonated.

It's an easy drinker. A decent beer with some interesting qualities, but nothing outstanding.

Photo of nickthetick
3.54/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: up to the light it has a brown black look that light can barely get through. Big light khaki bubbles make it look like a coke and it has the head retention of a coke.

S: the dark rye malt is there and is balanced with great citrus hop notes.

T: right up front its like a gourmet deli bread, toasty and deep dark malts. There is a good hop presence that doesn't give a huge flavor.

MF: extremely light body and too effervescent, like seltzer water.

D: meh, I wasn't too awful impressed with this beer, it is my first rye beer so maybe my palate isn't in tune with the rye beers.

Photo of duderus123
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance -DARK Brown, Bordering Black, it does have some clarity The head didn't hang around... who needs it with an ale.

Smell - It smells pretty dank. India's are always pretty hefty ... my nose is confused...

Taste - It's almost like a chocolaty licorice flavor comes out. Malt taste is very dark, hops are strong and dry but take a back seat to the kick you in the teeth roasted malt flavor. Very bitter, but very good.

Mouthfeel - Heavy. It leaves a syrupy feel in your palate

Overall - Not for the faint of heart are any IPA's. It smells hefty, it tastes hefty, it feels hefty, it looks hefty. I wish it was a bit hoppier, but its a good one

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Hop Strike Black IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 457 ratings.