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Hop Strike Black IPA - Tommyknocker Brewery

Not Rated.
Hop Strike Black IPAHop Strike Black IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

422 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 422
Reviews: 188
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 13
Gots: 9 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kirkpjr on 06-04-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 422 | Reviews: 188 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cjgator3


4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 04:51:15 | More by cjgator3
Photo of zoso1967


4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hop Strike pours a deep ruby color with a surprisingly deep khaki head. The head is nice and frothy, but fades fast. The good news is it leaves very nice lacing in its wake.

The aroma is a very nice mix of hops, spicy rye and roasted malt. Pine and citrusy grapefruit aromas mingle well with some charred coffee and bitter cocoa. Not much sweetness is detected in the nose.

The flavor is another very nice mixture of roasty, chocolaty malt and the bold American hops. The roasted malts have an almost smoky sort of character and a very nice cocoa been vibe to them. The hops are just what you would expect in an American IPA, but take on a new flavor dimension when mixed with the roasted malt and the rye. I really like how the rye interfaces with the dark malts. I surely need to track down more dark brews that use rye in the malt bill. The malt sweetness seems to be fairly plain, letting the beer’s other attributes shine.

The mouthfeel is medium with a very low carbonation, but that is fine me. It has just enough to keep the mouthfeel alive without becoming too much when combined with the bitterness. The finish is dry with a very nice charred and hoppy ending.

I must say, this brew was a very pleasant surprise. I have not been terribly impressed with TommyKnocker in the past, but this brew is really well put together and quite tasty. If this were just a India black ale I am not sure how good it would be, but that rye really puts it over the edge. Very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 12:14:00 | More by zoso1967
Photo of Beaver13


2.35/5  rDev -37.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 02:38:32 | More by Beaver13
Photo of Tone


3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 4/5 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, roasted malt, hint of rye, and slight citrus hops. Fits the style of an American IPA, or an American Black Ale, not a Rye Beer. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops, roasted malt, and sweet malt. Overall, not complex, but very well blended.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2011 17:41:49 | More by Tone
Photo of Mitchster


4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed with 2-row, Munich, 34 & 75 Crystal, Carafa III, Chocolate malt, and roasted rye. Hopped with Chinook, Summit, and Willamette. 7.0% ABV, 78 IBU's. $1.79 for a 12oz. single @ BevCo.

Pours out to a clear very dark walnut, forming a modest light tan head with good retention and nice sheets of lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The nose is wonderful...you get a really nice balance of the spicy rye, the skunkweed from the Chinook and Summit, the carob and cocoa from the chocolate malt and some really nice toasty, Oolong tea, and biscuit smells as well. The taste is a recap of the aroma, but perhaps not as intense and not as well balanced. The bitterness, while moderate, hogs the show from the subtleties I pick up in the nose and the rye really adds a dirty, earthen flavor. Lighter bodied than I would expect from a 7.0% beer.

A really good beer, but almost a great beer. If I could, I would ditch the rye (replace it with pale 2-row), and knock down the IBU's to maybe 60-64.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 21:56:10 | More by Mitchster
Photo of BARFLYB


3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Out of a bottle into a pint glass.

Hop Strike pours a tan/brown color out the bottle resulting in a very dark shoe polish brown when clumped in the glass. A lasting cap of cream colored foam, with nice splotchy lace.

The black in this black/rye IPA comes out in the nose with big roasted malts and some black coffee notes. The rye is hard to make out but a nice blast of piney hop scent rounding it out.

Roasty flavor up front with old coffee. The hop bill comes up in the middle and is quite grassy and earthy tasting, not citrus forward. Rye malt comes through in the finish with a clash of all three leaving a burnt aftertaste.

Feel is medium bodied and malty while hops play a factor in an aggressive mouth feel in the finish. A bit sharp on the tounge after some swigs, the carb is felt.

An interesting beer and a nice mix of styles. Im not to big on the black IPA concept as it defeats the purpose, but the rye aspect in Hop Strike makes for something new, although not a everyday beer, and at that, only one.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 07:16:45 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of dubinsky


3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this as part of my Beer of the Month club. Poured from 12oz bottle into a 6oz tasting glass and split with a friend.

A - Pours a dark brown and most black with red highlights. The bottom of the glass really shows the redness. A short off white head sits atop this beer eventually leaving no lacing behind.

S - IPA huh? This smells sweet and malty, like a porter. I do pick up some hops but i think that Tommyknocker is trying to ride the IPA wave a bit too hard with the beer offerings i have tried.

T - Let me start off by saying this is a good tasting beer, but not as a Black IPA. This really makes me think im drinking a hoppy porter. There is a ton of chocolate and rye malt that completely overpowers the hops.

M - Medium bodied with good medium carbonation. Fairly slick on the tongue and very drinkable at 6.5 % ABV.

O - As i mentioned this would have been a good porter or rye beer but as a Black IPA as the label implies i'm not impressed. As with their pick axe "IPA" which is really a Pale Ale, they have tried to do the same with this beer with is really a Rye Beer. Too bad, cause this could be decent as a porter.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 23:49:54 | More by dubinsky
Photo of BB1313


3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New 12oz bottles, best by Nov. 21, 2011. Pours a pitch black, no light getting though. Decent off white head and nice lacing. The aromas are great, best part of the beer, IMO. Lots of ripe dank, pungent hops.. really funky and complex! The chocolate and rye malts definitely take a backseat. Now the flavors aren't bad at all, but I was a tad letdown due to the great nose. The hops still run the show, but the chocolate makes its' presense known. Slightly spicy, but I didn't really pick up on the rye at all. Mouthfeel is nice, but I thought it would be thicker due to the rye. It's easy to drink, bottle reads 6.5% ABV, and by the time you're done with the beer, you won't even feel it.. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing.

Nice beer, I liked it.. and maybe w/ a few tweaks this could be an off the charts Black IPA. But for right now, it's good and worth checking out. This was fresh and smelling so good..

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 01:51:35 | More by BB1313
Photo of claytong


3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i always hold these beers up to the trout hop which isnt fair because that just blows the others out of the water, so ill try and be more generous than i want to be, also not getting as much rye as i hoped

appearance - black with hints of red and brown. nice tan head comes up to an inch in a 6 oz pour.

smell - i can smell the rye, but (ill give a little spoiler) theres not much in the taste...pine tar and hops

taste - roasted malts, not as i expected but leaning towards malts used in over the top stout

mouthfeel - bitterness lingers and dries up the mouth in a not so nice way. good body and good carbonation

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 02:35:22 | More by claytong
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thick hoppy goodness, a rich aroma with a hint of spice comes through on the nose right away. really nice blended notes of pine resin, warm malts, a nice touch of buttery middle and a touch of rye. really well done and this carries over to the flavor perfectly. smooth, effortless feel on this one delivers a light hoppy goodness with hints f spiced rye and buttery malts. nice clean finish with a light dryness and a touch of kick

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 04:48:29 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tommyknocker : Hop Strike

Pours a deep black in color with a decent off white foam cap with large soapy bubbles leaving lots of lace. Aroma is decidedly malty. Lots of caramel and toasted malts upfront. In the taste, malty again with alittle rye spice and small hop presence in the finish. Mostly caramel, roast, and slight coffee flavors. Dry cocoa. Alittle flowery citrus and mild bitterness on the back end. Medium to full bodied feel. Overall, a decent black IPA with a small rye and hop presence.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 04:27:10 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of DrDemento456


4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow a black Rye IPA. Love me some roast and hops so this should be tasty.

A - Color is a dark brown with a nice ruby red hue and it is nicely carbonated with tons of bubbles in the base of the glass and a slightly tan head that has some pretty good lacing.

S - Wow the spice of the rye smells good in the one with roast as a nice second fiddle. I can detect some hops in the nose a very nice pine.

T - Huh it seems to be all there, the roast not to heavy just giving a bit of smoke the rye which is balanced and gives it a bit of spicy twang in the finish, and a nice bit of bitter pine in the middle bringing the whole thing together. After the second sip the pine sticks around seconds after I drink.

M - Pretty medium bodied as expected for the ABV.

Overall I don't think I love the idea since I am not a huge fan of rye beers but it does add a dimension to the black IPA I have not yet seen in any other beer. Drinkable and kinda glad I have 3 more, will have to try it again after a heavy stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 22:42:06 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of godlessape


4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:Cloudy deep dark brown, almost black with quarter inch head that dissipates quickly.

Smell:Incredible piny citrus hops covered over a roasted caramel malt.

Taste: As good as it smells. Toasted dark rye with with robust coffee and caramel notes.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, light bodied. Maybe could use just a wee bit more carbonation.

Overall: This is a great beer, and it won't be my last.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 16:58:29 | More by godlessape
Photo of Imsothirsty

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark in color, not quite stout, a little light comes through. Thick finger of head, nice lacing.

Smells delectable. Roast coffee and piney hops both come out strong, with a little bit of hops.

Taste is great/good. I get the malts first, lots of coffee, a little nutty. Next is the rye which only contributes a small amount in my opinion but its welcome. FInally solid hop finish, mildly bitter mostly pine, some citrus

Mouthfeel is medium light with lots of carbonation.

Overall I would pen this more as a black IPA than a Rye brew. Very good and worth a try if you see it.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 01:26:47 | More by Imsothirsty
Photo of beerguru14


4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour, Color, & Aroma:

Pouring the beer into a snifter (I was questioning if this was the correct glass for this style), the first thing I noticed was how dark it was. Of course I was expecting it, but my brain still gets confused when it sees IPA and then a dark beer comes flowing out of the bottle. Anyway, enough nonsense. The carbonation in the beer was extremely high, the beer foamed quickly and lasted for a long time making me slightly impatient. I didn't have enough fingers to measure the head on my initial pour. The advantage of a pour like that is that I had a significant amount of time to look at the head. Similar to where the beer was brewed, it was very rocky and frothy.

As expected the aromas were very complex. Initial smells was of citrus, then heavy roasted malts, followed quickly be pine and then chocolate. The aroma was like a dance in which every characteristic knew when to put its foot forward. I enjoyed having my nose in this beer. Other aromas I was getting faints wisps of were toffee, hints of molasses and some earthy tones.


How can I describe this beer effectively. In the past, I have tried beers in which have so many conflicting characteristics that the beer was distracting at best. I was curious to see if this beer would be the same. I mean look at the style: Black Rye India Pale Ale. So many dominating characteristics go into each an IPA, Rye beer, and a black beer whether it be a schwarzbier or stout. I figured this would also have some distracting elements.

I happy to realize I was wrong. Chocolate and a slight coffee robustness was most prevalent when I first took the sip. Grapefruit and earthy hops quickly followed the malts. Lastly, a hint of toffee or caramel was slightly coming through.

Finish and Body:

What I enjoyed about the brew was how creamy it was; however, the rye still provided a hint of dryness so the beer wasn't too sweet. I would say the finish of the beer was the most unique part about it. An earthiness was very prominent at the very end that washed the other fantastic flavors away. I am relatively sure the earthiness was from the use of the rye, but a style of hop could have also been the culprit. I can see how that particular finish may be too unique to some people, but I for one enjoyed it.

Final Thoughts:

As my first and only commercial example of a Black Rye IPA, I didn't know what to expect from the style. I hope I have the opportunity to more examples of the style, but until then I believe Tommyknocker did an excellent job brewing up another master piece. Prost!

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 21:44:20 | More by beerguru14
Photo of GPHarris


4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a four-fingers thick dense and pillowy tan head into a snifter that left thick sheeting and lacing throughout. head really billows as well. the body was a dark black.
s - dark roasted chocolate malts with a hint of rye.
t - big piney and spicy hops with some roastiness underneath.
m - thick and bubbly.
o - really good beer and the rye goes well with the roastiness.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 15:01:55 | More by GPHarris
Photo of nickfl


3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The beer pours with half a finger of tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles quickly and leaves light lace on the glass.

S - A spicy note of rye with some sweaty pine hop aromas.

T - Dark sugary notes of caramel and turbinado up front with a little bit of rye bread. More brown malt in the middle and the rye note swells in the finish and pine hop flavors bring with them a moderate bitterness that just barely balances out the malt.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - I expected this to be very hoppy and the aroma more or less reinforced that assumption. I was then surprised to find that the malt almost completely dominated the flavor profile. There is a lot of dark sugar and even more rye character. This beer has more actual rye flavor than any other I have had. In interesting take on the black IPA idea and probably the best Tommyknocker beer I have tried so far.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 04:24:02 | More by nickfl
Photo of pigc


4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Newer label than pictured. Says 6.5% alc/vol, IBU 78. Best by Aug 29 11.

A - Pours nearly pitch black with one and a half finger head that leaves lacing clinging to the sides.

S - Dark chocolately robust malts, molasses and burnt brown sugar.

T - Toffee, caramel, chocolate and then a wave of hops balance out the sweet malt well.

M - Light to medium, very thin.

O - A solid offering from Tommyknocker. Nice rye/black ipa offering. At 8.99 a six pack this is a great beer for the price.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 02:55:15 | More by pigc
Photo of BretSikkink


3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany, murky, tall head. Great look.

Aromatic. Tobacco, citric hops, and a dry chocolate. Good power, very nice.

Peppery, with a hint of green onion. Pine and citrus is there, although not the same as the nose. Chocolate is more prevalent. Sweet, but balanced.

Too thin, but still quite a good beer. Seek out.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 02:35:57 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of IronLover


3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 16oz bottle with no freshness date. Dark brown to black in color with a deep muddy haze. Started with a short bubbly froth that quickly reduced to a bubbly, light wispy cap. Roasted and chocolate malt aromas with citrus hop aromas struggling to show through. Creamy smooth with tight, subdued carbonation. Dark roasted malt up front with chocolaate malt and roasted coffee following through the middle. Citrus hop flavors kick-in in the middle as well and slowly overwhelm the roasted maltiness. Finishes semi-dry with a hoppy, espresso-like bitterness. The flavor profile improved as the beer warmed a bit. If it wasn't called a black IPA I would have calledit a hoppy stout. This style is still a bit undefined for me. I didn't get the "hop forward" character that other reviews reported.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 19:33:44 | More by IronLover
Photo of shand


4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic.

This brew pours a dark brown color with a finger of whitish head that fades quickly. The aroma is nice, it's quite complex with citrus and piney hops, roasted malts, and a nice rye twang. The taste is very nice, the hops are forward the whole time, but there's a nice roasted malt and coffee presence in the back, with some rye sneaking in on the backend. The mouthfeel is nice, it's quite crisp and has a fairly light body for the style. The drinkability is very good. Overall, a very nice Black IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2011 04:02:50 | More by shand
Photo of BlackBearForge


3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown nearly black in the glass much like a porter with a small off white head that falls quickly leaving modest lacing.

The aroma has sharp hop scents of citrusy grapefruit and dark malts.

The flavor is all about bitter citrus hops, all about grapefruit first and foremost, up front with nicely muted dark malts with a hint of chocolate backing them up along with the sharp bite of rye. Finish is nicely bitter.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium, with moderate carbonation.

Hop Strike is the first beer I've had from Tommyknocker and like most of the beers I've had from Colorado breweries I am impressed. I'm not entirely sold on Black IPAs but this is a good hoppy beer with a dark rye twist.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 22:48:04 | More by BlackBearForge
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tommyknocker Hop Strike Black India Pale Ale, …Colorado Mountain-town Craft Beer, Heavy on hops and balanced with dark rye malt. 6.5% Alc/Vol., IBU 178. "Tommyknocker Legend: Tommyknockers slipped into the mining camps of Idaho Springs in the 1800's with the discovery of gold in our mountains and streams. These mischievous elves, though hardly ever seen, were often heard singing and working. They guided many fortunate miners from harm's way and to the gold they sought."

Okay, enough nonsense, let's drink it up.

Deep black, slim, but staying cocoa-creamy head.

Aroma: hops hit first, then rich, dark malt. Grassy, citric, fruity. With darkness below.

Taste: again, hops are large and in charge, dominate the flavor, charge the palate. Tingly, spicy, bitter hops, choked back by chocolate malt. A difficult dance, one I've not enjoyed in the past. And I'm not sure I'm 100% with this one, either. It's a tough clash of disparate flavors. Bitter and sweet, tangy tart and treacly. Somehow it works, but I'm still not completely convinced. However, it's tasty, and there's no serious competition between the diverse elements. I'm happy with it. It's going down nice and easy.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 01:34:29 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of JayS2629


4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown; almost black with creamy tan head that fades fast but leaves sea foam lacing.

The aroma is enticing with lots of roasted malt, black coffee, a touch of cocoa, rye and earthy notes of hops. A touch of floral hops peeks through.

The taste follows, but the malts lead more than in the nose. Most of the hops are aroma. Rich, dark roated rye bread, toffee, cocoa, and black coffee. A nice roasty, dark tasting beer. Burnt dark sugar notes, and a touch of citrus and earthy hops peeking through.

Overall, very drinkable and enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 03:42:32 | More by JayS2629
Photo of antlerwrestler19


3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown to almost black with a one finger head with a light caramel/brown color. Low retention with a quickly disappearing head and little lacing left behind. Smells of caramel-like malt and a presence of rye with a subtle hop backing. Up front I taste rye and a balance of the malt and hops with a slightly bitter finish followed by an aftertaste mainly of almost a slight chocolately taste and hops. It leaves my mouth feeling watery and a bit sticky as well. Overall this is a decent beer and my first sample of any beer by TommyKnocker - not bad at all if you're in to dark RyePAs.


Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 00:11:03 | More by antlerwrestler19
Hop Strike Black IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 422 ratings.