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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.
very good

442 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 442
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 15
Gots: 14 | 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: 442 | Reviews: 190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tdm168
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
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 Herky21
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: As dark as it gets with contrasty white lacing and a solid head that sinks fast.

Smell: Smokey, roasted scent underlies the sharp aromas of the hops. The aromas are both flowery and savory.

Taste: 78 IBUs makes for a bitter ride, but the smoked rye adds a mixture of sweet caramel and even more bitterness actually.

Mouthfeel: Soft and velvety. It's full-bodied and when I say velvety I mean the bubbles rub against your mouth and the sharpness of the beer seems like its tearing at the enamel in your teeth. It's great.

Overall: Strike! illustrates why Black IPA's exist. Definitely get some if you can. It's so good.

Photo of JoeAmerican77
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
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 zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, black color with a one-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled roasty and malty with some nice pine notes.

T - Good pine and citrus hop bitterness with a nice backbone of rye, chocolate and roasted malt.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really nice black ale/rye IPA. One of the better brews from Tommyknocker.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 ounce bottle into a cervoise glass. No exclamation point in the name on my bottle.

A: Though brilliant red in the light, it's dark, opaque brown on the table. A nice finger and half of off-white, creamy head. Good lacing.

S: Nice and hoppy, but with an unmistakable metallic taint. Touch of maltiness.

T: No metal here, glad to say! Rich, with robust chocolate malts admirably balancing the hop presence. I am intrigued and appreciative. The aftertaste is lightly dry, perhaps from the rye.

M: Lightly carbonated, rather thick.

O: Interesting, excellent beer. Recommended. Would definitely have again.

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by 12/12/2011

12oz bottle into snifter

A - medium-dark brown/black body, clarity and red light through edges, dense light tan head.

S - light medicinal masks other scents, some pine, some rye, some chocolate. Floral notes.

T - Malt-forward, some dryness of rye spice. Chocolate and toffee.

M - medium body, fairly smooth.

O - not bad. Not too interesting, not as much hops as I'd like, but its ok

Photo of russpowell
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
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 McNealc31
2.9/5  rDev -22.5%
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 xnicknj
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours an opaque black color with beige head resting on top. Dissolves slowly leaving plenty of cloudy film and patchy walls of lacing.

Bright juicy hop tones in the nose with citrus and peel. Apricot and almost tropical sweetness followed by rye spice. Roasted malts as well with a hint of nuttiness.

Bitter and juicy up front with citrus and pine notes. Orange with apricot, hint of pineapple. Rye spice is soft but still present. Pleasant malt backbone with lighter touches of chocolate, caramel, and nuttiness. Finishes bitter and dry.

Medium body, well carbonated, sticky and dry on the tongue. Drinks really well, an interesting and tasty hybrid style which doesn't go way over the top, but succeeds in blending a few different profiles.

Photo of Durge
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Discovered at the Mellow Mushroom in Greensboro, NC this one is a dark black, transluscent mohogany color with a flimsy light tan head and modest lacing. The aroma is grapey cream soda with bold and beautiful pine hops and light bready malt. Very nice. Put to the palate I’m tasting lots of delicious root beer malt sweetness and intense charcoal pine hops. Beautiful flavor with a medium-light bodied brew with lively carbonation and a crisp feel for the style. A great hop brew with personality that seems very drinkable to me.

Photo of mattcrill
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Pleasant powdered cocoa notes up front. Earthy and piney hop notes assert their presence quickly. Doughy bread-like character that is well knit into the hop and chocolate charater.

Appearance: Dark brown pour with shoe leather edges. Sticky off-white head that retains well and laces the glass softly.

Flavor: Chocolate covered candy orange slices on the front end. Nice earthy and citrus hop character that is subdued but noticeable. Clean fermentation character. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is long and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly creamy and slippery. No alcohol heat.

Overall impression: This reminds me of Founder's Black Rye. Bottle says it's a "Black IPA" but the strong rye character takes it to another, much more interesting level. I haven't been impressed by anything Tommyknocker has done so I'm completely blown away by this. Strong work.

Photo of rrski198
4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Almost opaque. Looks more of a stout than anything else. Its actually darker than some stouts i've seen. Nice mocha colored head.

S: Smells like chocolate covered hops. Its like a hopped up chocolate stout.

T: Follows the nose exactely. This is quite unique and really good. I have had other black IPAs that are very heavy on the hops with little to the malt outside of the color. This is certainly a step above. Malt is sweet, semi lactose stout, and the bitterness is of pine needles.

M: Full, round, great balance. Sweet first, but the sweetness sticks around with the hops that take hold toward the end. Very nicely done.

O: My favorite balck IPA to date is Stone's 15 aniversary. This is nothing like that but just as enjoyable. I really dig how this style is now being duplicated by enough brewers to have a wide variety or flavors. This is a must try!

Photo of rembrant
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours near black and opaque, nice beige head, leaves a lot of lace and froth on the glass

A bit of coffee scent, something earthy and a subtle hops that's hard to define, hints at tangerine.

Does use the malt side effectively,almost a porter with a hoppier finish. Has elements of coffee and a bit of chocolate. The Rye doe not come across so much as rye but as an earthy complexity.

The hops have a bit of pine,a tiny bit of citrus but overall is a moderate hop snap for a black IPA. I thought there was a tough of apricot or papaya in the finish

The effect is somewhat between Edmund Fitzgerald and Tumbler with a fairly complex flavor and a bit more bitter to the end. Odd,but I like it because it finds an original take that tastes good.

Mouthfeel has a special mix of briskness and richness with the hops in this bringing a bitter on the end yet not dominating the malts in the flavor. The result is a very drinkable beer.

This is a jack of all trades,an interesting and tasty brew,and a plu for this brewery.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a deep brown hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a roasted malts, dark chocolate and a piney malt.

The taste consisted of roasted malt, charcoal and rye spice. A light sweetness and piney hop highlighted the experience.

Overall a tasty black IPA. Nice rye addition.

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

First had: on tap at Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids & Solids, Longmont, CO

Hop...black...rye...pale...ale. There's a lot to like in that description. Poured a dark brown, almost black, with a small tan head that retained as a ringlet. Complex aroma: roasted malts hit me right away, with grapefruity hops soon to follow, resin, and a spicy rye character in the background. A good mix of all the aforementioned qualities in the taste, with the resinous and citrusy hops taking the foreground, but a definite roasty base, slight cocoa and caramel tones, with a bready, spicy pumpernickel distinction. Nice! I liked it. Medium body, moderate carbonation, full of flavor, and quite nice to drink.

Photo of nitro0292
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by Oct. 24, 2011. 12 Bottle poured into a tulip. Produced a cappuccino colored one finger head. Head recently moderately to form a solid ring. Solid black and opaque - no light is getting through. Good lacing all the way down.

Smelled of coffee, chocolate, roasted grains and some floral and piney hops. Smell is well balanced, you that both roasted grains and American hops are in here.

Taste was more of the same. Balanced, without the hops or the malts dominating, but each getting some action. I don't get a ton of rye, but I can get the hint. Finish is fairly dry and not overly bitter or roasty, quite smooth. It doesn't taste like 78 IBU's, but that is likely a result of the roasted malts and residual sugars.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, more akin to a stout than a hopped-up IPA. Like everything else with this brew, right in the middle and highlights all of the attributes. Carbonation is medium low, with just enough dancing on the tongue to keep the flavors popping.

I know this beer contains rye, but it seems it is a minor portion of the mash and given all the factors, I think this needs to be an ABA/Black IPA.

One of the better black IPAs I've had, but not the best.

Photo of Pintofbrown
2.6/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: This is either one of the darkest rye's available, or it is a black IPA with special attention to the black part. It is not quite opaque, can see the other side of the living room when held up to the light, but it is a nice dark mahogany. The sandy head built to about one finger of foam. It is okay.

Smell: Quite the interesting profile; there is pepper and a roasted smell, almost like roast beef, that must be the rye in the nose. Almost no hops, unless they are blending with that extremely weird rye smell. I am not sure this is going to be my thing.

Taste: And...This is not my thing. For a black IPA, it really does not do anything right. The dark malts are not making any interesting contributions, and the hops are not here, or they are buried. And the rye is just making this...weird taste, like a roasted meat flavor. It has the sour bitterness of an IPA, but with the roasted / burnt malt flavor, it is just not gelling.

Mouth feel: It is a medium to light mouth feel thanks to the carbonation: it is not watered down which is nice. The aftertaste is a mess of bitterness and alcohol. Why I get burn in a seven percent ABV brew is anyone's guess.

Overall: I appreciate that Tommyknocker was running with this idea of a good, hoppy rye beer, and I wish it worked for me. But whatever this was, it did not work. Maybe try some different hops that gel better with the rye? Or get away from that roasted malt and try a sweeter, or bready malt.

Photo of PokerGod
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- dark red to brown color. Not very transparent. Crazy, thick, volatile head, 2 inches easy. Wonderful lacing.

Smell- hops. Overboard hops. Spicy, clove smells. Nice aroma.

Taste- for a beer called 'Hop Strike' I exected a bigger hop-bang for my buck. Hoppy, but not over-the-top. Tasty. Malts shine through in the middle, and it brings it back to a hoppy spicy, herbal finish. Maybe that's the rye. ?

Overall- a good IPA.with nice color. Well balanced. I would drink again, but not sure if I would buy again.

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

Pours dark brown to almost black in color. Brown and deep cherry red hues can be seen when held directly to the light. Cream colored head stood about a half inch tall following my medium pour, but has settled to a thin lace after a few minutes. Pretty good stick.

I'm getting roasted malts, spicy rye, and hop bitterness in the nose. Aroma was pretty strong when I first poured it, but it's really mellowed out some now.

Wow. I'm getting the rye, the malts, and the hops. Really easy to pick up on all the flavors here. Super balanced and quaffable. Rye and hop combo leaves you with some nice lingering spiciness on the back end.

Medium bodied with a carbonation level which sits just below the middle of the road mark and I'm digging it.

This beer is really well done overall. It should have been placed in the Black Ipa category though.

Morey's Bottom Line: This is one of the easier drinking Black Ipa's that I've had. I could probably do a six pack on a cool fall evening.

Photo of ummswimmin
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at the local bar. It looked kind of like a light stout. Pretty black with some thin-ness. There was minimal head (probably from the bartender's generous pour).

The body was right on for the style. It is like an IPA (thin). There was a decent amount of bitterness on the back end, but not from the hops. The coffee bitterness hung on for quite a while.

Speaking of hops, I didn't get much in the aroma or in the flavor. This would be a better example of a porter, than a black IPA. It was a little disappointing to be missing the hop flavor.

It was a decent beer, but it kind of missed the mark of my expectations.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hop Strike Black IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 442 ratings.