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Hop Strike Black IPA - Tommyknocker Brewery

Hop Strike Black IPAHop Strike Black IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

403 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 403
Reviews: 188
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.07%

Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kirkpjr on 06-04-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 403 | Reviews: 188 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of MinorThreat


4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle poured and capped off draught at Tommyknocker. Thanks for bringing it all the way to the DTC Dave!

A-Pours like thick coffee. Very dark, even when poured it really doesn't have that "its so red its black" appearance. Nice thick mocha colored head with decent retention and good lacing.

S-Yup, there are some high AA% hops in this one. Smells like Chinook and Summit. Spicy, citrus fruit and pine with a good roasted grain and chocolaty back.

T-Lots of citrus and spicy hops right up front that give way to roasted cereal grains, coffee and chocolate. The rye pops out a little and seems to work well with the heavily roasted grains to bridge the gap between hops and malt with a nice sharp, crisp roasted bitterness.

M-My initial reaction was that it was thin based upon the color association with big thick beers. The taste of the beer matches the mouthfeel well, not too dense, stays light and refreshing on the palate.

D-It hides the plus/minus 7%ABV very well. It is a complex, well integrated beer that I could have two or three of. Highly recommended.

Serving type: growler

09-13-2010 16:46:34 | More by MinorThreat
Photo of Ratman197


3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler poured a clear dark reddish brown witrh a lasting tan head. Aromas of skunk bud, pine, earthiness, roastiness, carmel and light onion. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and smooth with a dry finish and moderate carbonation. Flavors of roasted malt, carmel, earthiness, pine and light grapefruit with a hint of onion and a smooth dry lingering roasty bitter finish.

Serving type: growler

09-05-2010 23:52:56 | More by Ratman197
Photo of superdedooperboy


4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

Pours a deep, clear ruby-brown with wonderful garnet highlights when held to the light. A fat, frothy head of light tan foam shows marvelous retention, holding tight throughout and lasting to the finish, grabbing tightly to the walls of the glass, leaving behind thick, bubbly curtains of lace as the glass empties.

Sweet caramel and molasses show themselves in the nose alongside a big whiff of spicy rye and faintly citrusy hop notes. A bit mellow, but enticing nevertheless.

Medium-bodied with a very mild carbonation, things are uplifted a bit from the start when the whopping spiciness of the rye malt melds with the sweet, almost chocolaty malt flavor. Malt sweetness circles around the edges, but the rye spiciness combined with the moderately bitter, citrusy and piney hop notes balances perfectly, moving into the finish a bit dry and drying out still more in the end, with a distinct rye character lingering afterward.

Infinitely drinkable, this is one masterpiece of a rye ale, wonderfully balanced and delightful. Alabamans are lucky to have such a great brew dedicated to their cause, and I only wish that this could accompany Terrapin's Rye Pale Ale on local taps in Augusta, GA.

Serving type: growler

06-05-2010 05:23:51 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of kirkpjr


4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first time adding a beer, and what better one than a beer brewed specifically for Alabama's Free the Hops.

Picked up a growler of this at Dee's.

Poured into a SA perfect pint glass.

A: Pours a thin but dark brown. One finger of beige head. Looks like a typical brown ale, dark but somewhat transparent in the right light. Lacing present all around the glass.

S: Nice citrus and tangerine hops upfront. Also some chocolate and cocoa nibs are present in small amounts. Nice combination of the malt and hops. Reminiscent of Sweetwater's Happy Ending.

T: The smell follows right into the taste, but with the order reverse. Light chocolate and roasted malts upfront, followed with a juicy citrus hop finish. Very smooth and enjoyable, with just enough richness and bite. I couldn't detect very much spice typical of rye beers.

M: Medium to full body, despite the thin pour. Also slightly creamy - I can only imagine what this would taste like on cask. Moderate carbonation. Very nice combination of chocolate and citrus hops stick to the tongue.

D: Very drinkable and very flavorful. A great combination of styles. A little rich to be sessionable. Thanks to Tommyknocker for dedicating this tasty beer to AL!

Serving type: growler

06-04-2010 02:21:08 | More by kirkpjr
Photo of jadpsu


4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Body is black with a 1-finger tan colored head that leaves behind some decent lacing.

S: Roasty malts with some coffee coming thru along with sharp piney hops.

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 comes across at the finish with a dry after taste.

M: Medium body on the tongue and mouth. Carbonation is moderate, with a good overall mouthfeel.

O: I liked it.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 00:14:13 | More by jadpsu
Photo of candcholt


2.15/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I usually love black IPAs, but not this one.

This beer has an unpleasant smell. It tastes a bit better than it smells, but the taste is at once dry (the dry like it makes you thirsty dry) and oddly sweet. No hoppy burst like you hope to get out of an IPA.

Drinkable, but I would never reach for it again, and I'm glad I bought only a single bottle to check it out.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 12:49:03 | More by candcholt
Photo of bark


3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The colour is deep brown-red (70 EBC), the liquid is clear. The two finger compact brown head sinks slowly leaving some lacing.

The smell is smooth with bitter hops and roasted malts. Coffee, dark chocolate and dry malty flavours. Hints of chalk and crayons.

The taste is dry with some bitterness. Distinct notes of milk chocolate emerges. Roasted notes, some chocolate, burned rubber and dried fruits. Medium body. The aftertaste got some citric notes, crayons/wax and caramel malt. Alcohol and chocolate. Growing bitterness and hints of ashes and salt in the finish.

The carbonation is medium strong, the small bubbles short-lived. The liquid is medium smooth.

The best before date says “APR 07 14”, I guess that his beer is brewed one year before that day. That could probably explain why it taste more like an American porter/stout than a Black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2013 20:17:02 | More by bark
Photo of Omnium


2.78/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a dark ruby red color, 1 finger of fizzy tan head, little lacing.
S - Smell is bad, I mean real bad, reeks of overly sweet dark cherries, a lot like cough syrup, ammonia, no hop aroma what so ever. There's a little bit of old coffee grounds, some very confusing and somewhat roasted malt scents.
T - There's definitely diacetyl here, raisins, a little plum, some stale coffee, bittersweet chocolate, cherry cough drop.
M - Thin, fizzy, stick and sweet all in the same.
O - Over the course of a few years I've given Tommyknocker the benefit of the doubt every time I've tried something of theirs. And every time I've poured their beer down the drain. I know this sounds snobbish, but they really have no clue what they're doing. I wish I could get proven wrong, but this is supposed to be a black IPA. There's no discernible hop traits at all, heck its name is "Hop Strike"! There's barely any good traits for a black ale either. The aroma is offensive and the taste doesnt make up for it.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2013 01:33:58 | More by Omnium
Photo of DenverHopHead


4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle purchased at the Tommyknocker Brewery into a snifter. Dated best by 12/9/13.
Appearance - very dark, black as a stout, thin layer of a dark beige, almost brown head. Lacing is adequate.
Smell - from the bottle; chocolate, some rye malt; from the glass the hops are more profound.
Taste - starts off with chocolate, some coffee and a hint of rye malt, finishes with the hops taking the lead.
Feel - not too heavy, easy to drink, well balanced beer!
Overall - I'm becoming a huge fan of the Black Ale/IPA! This one isn't as complex as I'd like, but still a solid brew!

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 01:32:55 | More by DenverHopHead
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 03:06:33 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of Kendo

New York

4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 02:36:36 | More by Kendo
Photo of ColdWaffles


3.24/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Tommy Knocker Hop Attack BIPA

Reviewed from copied notes from the Spring. Poured from 12 oz into Sam Smith pint.

A: Dark, dark amber color, very lightly opaque. Little brown head, laces the glass well enough. 3.5/5

S: Mild roast malt and pine hop scent. 3.25/5

T: Hops (piney) still most prominent here, but there is a nice roast malt background. 3.25/5

M: Slightly creamy, but it is rather thin. 3/5

O: This isn't bad but it doesn't impress me. 3.25/5

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 00:20:54 | More by ColdWaffles
Photo of gleemonger


3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown, almost black with a large creamy tan head that dimples and takes a long time to dissapate. Some average lacing down the glass.

A pretty even blend of sweet roasted malts and piney and citrusy hops. Kind of picking up a bready yeasty character too, which I doubt was intentional. Not bad, but the yeast smell kind of ruined the smell for me.

This one definitely leans more malty than hoppy to me, with roasted malts taking the forefront, with some chocolate tones and sweet fruit. The piney and citrusy hops are there in the background, and I'd like a lot more, given the style. As with the smell, I'm getting too much yeast in the flavor too.

Crisp, kind of light, and heavily carbonated with a nice bite. Pretty creamy and smooth. Nice feel.

Not super impressed with this one. I have to wonder if the batch was infected because of the yeasty character, but apart from that it still just didn't strike me as a particularly great black IPA. It was kind of all over the place, like a cross between a red ale, a porter, and an IPA, switching back and forth between all of the above.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 20:37:14 | More by gleemonger
Photo of barczar


3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque brown/black with brown highlights and a modest quarter inch light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Booze, dark fruit, chocolate, and light roast notes form the initial aroma. Nutty, toasted malt and pine emerge. There's a bit of an acetone character.

Citrus underpinnings are initially overwhelmed by roast malt in the flavor, which becomes coffee bitter at the finish. Grapefruit becomes more of a standout in subsequent sips. The malt backbone is not harshly roasty, as chocolate and nutty notes add complexity. Perfumey floral hops surface in the aftertaste.

Body is a touch full, with slightly low carbonation and a hint of astringency.

Not extreme in any direction, but a good balance of roast and citrus. Not overly bitter, either. The acetone notes are somewhat offputting.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 15:58:01 | More by barczar
Photo of Jparker37


4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an oversized tulip. Best by 4.1.13

A - Big tight tan head holds on for a long while. Not opaque but very dark. Nice amount of lacing.

S - Packed full of pine hops. Mild floral and citrus notes. Malt chimes in as smooth chocolate and biscuit.

T - Has strong malt presence. Creamy chocolate malt leads into a more spicy hop flavor midway. Bitterness is middle of the road in strength. Leaves my mouth with a semi-dry feel and a lingering spicy/piney hop flavor. Hides almost all signs of alcohol.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, semi-dry.

O - This beer is loaded with aroma and flavor. I tend to gravitate towards Black IPAs that focus a little more on hops but I did enjoy this interpretation. The chocolate malts lended greatly to the smooth feel of this beer and held a nice profile of flavor. Great feel and is quite deceptive in strength.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2013 02:15:49 | More by Jparker37
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.14/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BB 1/13. consumed 3/13.

A: Dark ice tea pour appears a very dark brown in the vessel. The head is thin, milky, weakly holding, and khaki in color. Lacing is spotty, spacious, small and uneventful. The coloring appeared more dark brown then black with some dark melot edges from lighting.

S: Floral hops on the nose, orchard and dry celery tones with a strength that is a bit underwhelming per style.

T: Flavor faired a bit better, roasty pine, soft burnt woodiness, dry coffee, dry citrus and toasted rye leaves a bit of lingering peppercorns and caraway behind. Chocolate coffee roast and some burnt caramel sweetness sneaks in.

M: A bit above average for the mouthful, average rate of carbonation, body leans on the lighter side of medium while there was a bit of chewy oat texture.

O: Overall an average rate of drinkability, some level of hop respectability, though the complexity was rather lax and laid back. A C+ feels about right here.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 00:14:59 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of TMoney2591


2.91/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

It'd be pretty odd to strike a vein of hop cones whilst pickaxing through a mine shaft, eh? Anyway, this stuff pours a dark garnet-brown topped by a finger of glowing off-cream foam. The nose comprises toasted malts, pine sap, light molasses, and sour grapefruit rind. There's a strangely acrid quality in there, despite the thick pall of roasty sweetness up front. The taste continues this harsh dichotomy, stark proof that disagreements far too often lead to battles, rather than orchestrated discussion. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a generally unattractive and clashy black IPA, the two things you wanna avoid when brewing the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 00:12:26 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of klkatz


3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

good dark cola coffee black... nice. (4.5)

taste (3) is MALTY... guess I'd expect more Rye - is this an IPA (where's the bitter?) - though seems traditional IPAs aren't bitter, just the American ones...

aroma is malty, smokey... yummy. 3.5

overall - I'd save this for the cold nights of Monday Night Football... late season games in december...

gets a pretty good rating from me... would bye if I saw on the shelf... well done.

Idaho? No... You da ho!

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2013 02:14:13 | More by klkatz
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Magic Hat glass that the owner of Fox & Parrot gave me.

A: Almost pitch black, big mocha head.

S: Almost like a black and tan. Big dark malt component, followed by some hops. Pedestrian.

T: Same as the nose, only the roast won out by a nose.

M: Carbonation was fine, lotsa lacing.

O: Meh. Not a fan of the style overall, but I'm warming up to it base on entries by Stone and Firestone Walker. I'll pass.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 04:14:16 | More by Chaney
Photo of metter98

New York

3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is nearly black in color—amber is visible at the sides and bottom of the glass when it is held up to a light source. It poured with a finger high frothy tan colored head that has good retention properties and consistently left a short head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of dark, roasted malts in the nose along with hints of pine resin hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some notes of chocolate malts along with a moderate amount of hop bitterness. There are notes of spiciness from the rye in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this Black IPA to be quite easy to drink because it has a good base of malts supporting the hop bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 03:08:02 | More by metter98
Photo of RockyRaku


3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 04:02:16 | More by RockyRaku
Photo of DannyHartman

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As I pour a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, a nice 2-inch tan head appears atop a brew that is blacker than black.... As I hold it under the light; however, I see a tint of amber red.... This brew has good retention and leaves tons of lacing throughout the drink.

I take a whiff and get upfront toasted malts followed by earthiness, pine, and even a little cocoa.... Funny thing is that there isn't much of a hoppy smell for being an I.P.A..

During the drink, I mostly get toasted malts like the nose.... Again, there's only the slightest hoppiness in the taste just like the nose.... Strange due to the fact that it's an "I.P.A.".... I also get a little coffee in the taste.

I'd say this is a medium-bodied brew with moderate carbonation.... It's very silly and smooth with a bitter and boozy aftertaste that lingers for a bit.

Overall, this is an interesting brew.... I enjoyed it, though it wasn't what I was expecting.... Would certainly try it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 19:24:38 | More by DannyHartman
Photo of GiantMidget


4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Third bottle of this that I've had from a Tommyknocker variety sampler purchased at Limerick Beverage in Limerick PA.

Poured into a pint glass, significant off white/brownish head, I would say easily 4 fingers, overflowing the glass.
Much lacing.
The color is to be expected from a black IPA, however that head was a bit much for my liking. Felt like I was only drinking half of a beer.

Malt and hop scent emerges quickly, slight pine as well.
Very toasted nature, hops and bitter but not overpowering.
The 78 IBU is not lost on this one...very evident.

Very well rounded black IPA, full carbonation and a palate pleaser.
I'd recommend any black IPA fan to check it out!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 01:49:06 | More by GiantMidget
Photo of JoEBoBpr


4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very nice dark amber and caramel brown with a good 0.25 inch light cream head that is dense and recedes fairly quickly. (4.5)

Starts off with some awesome grassy and herbal pine that is not too intense but very rich and fuul. There are some roasted malt notes and slight cocoa notes. Very nice aroma. Delicious mix of resinous piney hops with some nice spicy rye notes and some slight sweetness. The back end of the aroma is dominated by the rye spice and grain earthiness. (4.0)

Upon first inspection. Delicious. Rye IPA notes mixed in with some roasted, darker malts. Spicy hop notes start things off and play well with the spicy, earthy grains. There is some slight malt sweetness and a slight cocoa note as well that works well with the earthy grain, the rye spice and the resinous and spicy hops. Mouthfeel is smooth and silky with some good carbonation. (4.0) (4.0)

Very good ABA. Not strong or extremely hoppy. Great balance of the dark malts the rye spice and the hops. (4.0)

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2012 02:50:54 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of dfillius


4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 1 finger of thick tight head with stellar retention. Looks like Whipped cream with hard peaks! Ideal. Dark brown clear liquid is 2 steps shy of black. I'd like it to be a little darker for an ABA.
S: Pine, coffee, dark chocolate. Some apple-y fruit ester. Pleasant.
T: Mellow, pronounced roast with fair APA level bitterness leaning towards the grapefruit side. Slightly sweet. I like ABA's a bit hoppier. This is more like an American Brown Ale maybe. Tasty regardless.
M: Smooth and silky, as if it was poured from a nitro tap.
O: An easy drinker. Very enjoyable. I'd like a second pint. I'd maybe buy a 6-pack. This won't be the last time I have this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2012 20:41:45 | More by dfillius
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Hop Strike Black IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 403 ratings.