Hop Strike Black IPA
Tommyknocker Brewery

Hop Strike Black IPAHop Strike Black IPA
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IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Ranked #410
Ranked #30,475
3.78 | pDev: 12.7%
Tommyknocker Brewery
Colorado, United States
Very Good
Hop Strike Black IPAHop Strike Black IPA
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 195 | Ratings: 468 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of maddogruss
maddogruss from New Jersey

3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Based on notes from 2011. Had this from a bottle.
A: pours a black body with small tan head with ok retention and lacing
S: sweet, roasted coffee/chocolate smell with some alcohol undertones
T: sweet roasted taste; nice subtle hop and rye spiciness/bitterness
M: a little thin, but ok overall
D: ok mouthfeel and taste combo; a little thin, but alcohol was warming; decent overall

Nov 25, 2020
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a nonic pint glass.
The appearance was a nice looking dark brown close to black color capped by a small off white foamy head. This head slid off at a fair pace. Some lace, somewhat messy.
The aroma had a blend of sweet and floral rye notes playing with some citrus hops and dark chocolate malts. Slight roast and earth notes round out the backside.
The flavor was moderately bittersweet rolling through some floral rye notes and a touch of roast. Light aftertaste of rye floral hops, dark chocolate and earthiness.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Carbonation seemed fine. ABV felt good. Nice finish of dry dark chocolate, floral rye and roast.
Overall, pretty good rye black ale, however, I must admit whenever I see rye in a beer, I am almost always looking for the same three characteristics of sweet, floral and spicy and this beer only had the sweet and the floral.

Feb 13, 2019
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Wasatch from Colorado

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a nice black color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice one-finger thick/creamy off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, with some citrus. The taste is hoppy, slightly malty, with some citrus. Medium body. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

Apr 05, 2017
Photo of tigg924
tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear, dark brown, with one inch head and moderate carbonation. Taste is roasted malt, coffee grounds, and light piney hops with a touch of milk chocolate. Medium bodied and nicely balanced. Above average super drinkable example of the style. While I prefer others in this style, this one is certainly good.

Sep 28, 2015
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micromaniac129 from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A pretty good black IPA.
Pours dark with a good size mocha head.
Aroma is hoppy with some roasted barley. Hops are bright and fresh while the malts have a balancing roastedness.
Taste is similar to the nose. It tastes fresh and bright. Malty with just enough rye to give it a spicy taste.
A bit gritty on the palate but sometimes they are.
A solid beer.

Feb 08, 2015
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brewdlyhooked13 from Ohio

3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opaque, but I detect a reddish muddiness. Ridiculous foam, the glass fills up with a finger of beer, the rest is bubbles. Takes a while to get the beer into the glass. Massive lacing.

Aroma - Good roast presence, some grain sweetness.

Taste - nice mix of grain, roast, and a nice earthy nip of hops. Clean finish, enduring finish of the two flavors that make this style one of my favorites.

Mouthfeel - I don't know what happened with the carbonation, this thing is super bubbly. Mouth-filling, a bit heavy but it helps fight the foam.

A little over-carbonated, but flavorful and enjoyable.

Jan 12, 2015
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jadpsu from Georgia

4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Mar 02, 2014
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candcholt from Pennsylvania

2.16/5  rDev -42.9%
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.

Dec 28, 2013
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bark from Sweden

3.29/5  rDev -13%
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.

Sep 19, 2013
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Omnium from Pennsylvania

2.74/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

Sep 17, 2013
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DenverHopHead from Colorado

4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
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!

Sep 05, 2013
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BurgeoningBrewhead from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Sep 02, 2013
Photo of Kendo
Kendo from New York

4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Jul 06, 2013
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ColdWaffles from Pennsylvania

3.24/5  rDev -14.3%
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

Jul 04, 2013
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gleemonger from California

3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Jun 13, 2013
Photo of barczar
barczar from Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

May 27, 2013
Photo of Jparker37
Jparker37 from Wisconsin

4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Apr 23, 2013
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.12/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Mar 30, 2013
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

2.93/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

Mar 30, 2013
Photo of klkatz
klkatz from Pennsylvania

3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
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!

Mar 03, 2013
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Chaney from District of Columbia

3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Feb 24, 2013
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metter98 from New York

3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Jan 20, 2013
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RockyRaku from Arizona

3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Dec 18, 2012
Photo of DannyHartman

3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Nov 25, 2012
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GiantMidget from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
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!

Nov 19, 2012
Hop Strike Black IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 468 ratings