Hopknocker Imperial IPA
Schmohz Brewing Company

Hopknocker Imperial IPAHopknocker Imperial IPA
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Style:
American Imperial IPA
Ranked #3,918
ABV:
9.5%
Score:
78
Ranked #46,596
Avg:
3.18 | pDev: 19.81%
Reviews:
37
Ratings:
99
From:
Schmohz Brewing Company
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  2
Gots
  14
SCORE
78
Okay
Hopknocker Imperial IPAHopknocker Imperial IPA
Notes:
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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 99
Reviews by jsurfs82:
Photo of jsurfs82
3.25/5  rDev +2.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of JamesShoemaker
3/5  rDev -5.7%

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.

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Photo of SNhopsfan
4.14/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The dark color was a surprise but the rest of the characteristics were fantastic. Hoppy but smooth, I would definitely purchase again.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.58/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big surprise.
With that label, I'm thinking these guys aren't thinking about brewing. With the designation of an AIIPA, I'm thinking these guys are home brewers who haven't quite done their homework in home-brew school.
But I get a lesson I learn too often: don't judge a book or a beer by its cover.

Looks a totally surprise. Its dark malts are a welcome change.
Smells are not the rip-snorting hops I expected; rather I get a deeply malted, fruity brew like an American barleywine.
Tastes are the same. I'm still looking for the hop assault and it does not come. Balanced; unlike most AIIPAs.
Finishes dry with the fruit and bitter playing nice. Again, balanced.

My first from Schmohz, so I went on their website. I was a bit surprised that they are a teenaged brewery. (I thought they were startups.) But they are old enough to keep it all going. Two breweries and content with distribution limited mostly to Michigan.

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Photo of Wildman
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a murky medium amber color and formed a light tan foamy head and left trace lace as is subsided. An aroma of hops, pine, and citrus. The flavor was of pine, caramel and pepper, The body is medium light and the finish slightly bittersweet. A session IPA more than a standout type.

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Photo of Mitchster
2/5  rDev -37.1%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.21/5  rDev -30.5%
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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Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.48/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of orbitalr0x
2.46/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours from the bottle a deep dark reddish brown with a small head that quickly fades and some visible floaties in the glass. Probably the darkest double IPA I have ever seen myself. Aromas start off with some caramel malts and a bit of a fruity undertone but there is where it pretty much ends. Not very appealing at all with no hop profile going on and what reminds me of a dirty water smell. Not sure I want to proceed further.

First sip brings caramel and biscuit malts upfront that leads into a fruity flavor profile. Hints of diacetyl meander through as it flows down with a kick of hop bitterness (that's where they were hiding) along with some pine and herbal afterthoughts. More on the malty side than hoppy though really. Not really enjoying this one, kind of a mess of a DIPA.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good creaminess. It's not overly heavy and pretty much on point for the style overall. Still, I just didn't enjoy this beer overall as it didn't live up to the style. I wouldn't seek this one out again but I'd like to try some of the breweries other offerings.

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Photo of Derek
2.8/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I sampled this at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Fest.

A: Golden-bronze, clear, very little head.

S: A little pine, citrus & caramel.

T: Citrus hops, a little grass and pine. More of a lack-luster American pale malt flavour (than quality continental malt). Not enough bitterness.

M: Moderate body and carbonation.

D: Easy drinker, but not enticing. I'd find it more sessionable with some more bitterness.

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Photo of akttr
2.5/5  rDev -21.4%

Photo of biegaman
3.07/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of beveritt
3.18/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.45/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of midlifec
3/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +25.8%

Photo of GRPunk
2.91/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of Durge
3.23/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of youngleo
3.8/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

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Photo of freewill35
3.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of jera1350
3.58/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of BlissJunkie
2.75/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of hdrider
1.46/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Went to a little hole in the wall local bar the other morning. Seen they had some beer other than the typical budmillercoors. Seen an IPA a IIPA. I thought great!!! ordered the IPA fisrt, then the double.

Poured dark and a bit thick with little head or lacing
smelled very little hops, more grainny malt, much like a scotch ale.

If I didnt know this was supposed top be a IIPA I would have thought it was a bad scotch ale with a little bit more hops than usual.

Very dissapointed in the brew. not reccomended. Too bad though because its made here in Grand Rapids.
I will say this however, I am glad the little hole in the wall bar is at least trying to get some better brew in. It is better than BUd LOL

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Photo of Another6Pack
3/5  rDev -5.7%

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Hopknocker Imperial IPA from Schmohz Brewing Company
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 99 ratings