Hop Strike Black IPA | Tommyknocker Brewery

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Hop Strike Black IPAHop Strike Black IPA

Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by kirkpjr on 06-04-2010

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Reviews: 192 | Ratings: 464
Photo of hopfacebrew
2.11/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up a bottle in the single section at Lukas. Undated. Poured to pint glass. The beer pours a deep murky brown almost black color with a 1 finger head with extremely limited retention and no lacing. In the light the edges appear a mahogany mocha color. The nose is set by a foundation of roasted malts from which a citrus hop character expands. However in the middle of the aroma a distinct raisin character begins to dominate. Not pleasant. Overall the nose is a bit muted. The taste starts out nicely with a strong roasted malt foundation again from which the citrus hop emerges. However, just like the nose the unpleasant raisin flavor emerges and dominates the palette. So much so that I can't detect other flavors. Medium bodied and relatively smooth but the flavor is overbearing and ruins this beer.
I must have had an old beer or mishandled beer based on the ratings other have posted, as this is not good. At all. My favorite style or beer, and a beer I likely won't return to.

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Photo of candcholt
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.22/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I almost never buy tommyknocker beers but I thought what the hell since I am a sucker for IPA's. Dark brown/black in color with a decent head and lacing. It has a skunked smell to it that must be from hops but I do not find it pleasant at all and I enjoy a nice dank smell, this was ewww, colombus hops? The flavor was a little citrus from the hops, chocolate and the rye must be messing with me because I then get a smoky nastiness, just not good at all. It gets slightly better as it warms but overall I would not buy this again.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.4/5  rDev -36.5%
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.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
2.63/5  rDev -30.4%
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.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.64/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip on 10/29/11

Best by January 30 '12

Dark brown with deep grape juice colored highlights. Ample head crests at two and a half fingers and recedes slowly raised trails of lace across the glass. Thin layer of retentive bubbles.

The aroma is a tame sort - mild notes of pine and earthy hops with a hefty malt presence. Toasted rye bread, cocoa powder and hints of roasted dark chocolate. Not bad, but lacking emphasis.

The taste is pretty lackluster as well. hops seem downplayed and those that are there carry little more than a generic generic earth/pine combo. Hints of roasted chocolate in the back. The rye was used with a heavy hand it seems, and seriously clusters up this already yawn-er of a beer. Toasty with a moderate rye spice on the finish.

Decently fleshed out feel; higher side of medium body. Moderate carbonation stays out of the spotlight. It's certainly on the dry side.

Overall impression - this is a lower mid-range "Black IPA" that doesn't benefit from rye malt.

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Photo of rhartogsq
2.71/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I had a bottle with the new logo design, so it was relatively new and fresh.

A. kind of black/brown
S. A little hoppy, a touch of coffee, but nothing too strong on the nose.
T. I didn't pull anything resembling an IPA out of this. Was like the hops were left out. I am not sure if the bottle was bad, or this was how it usually is.
M. a little bubbly, otherwise, nothing stood out, but nothing was off putting with it.
O. If anyone can tell me that I had a bad bottle, I would be happy to try it again. I like black IPAs a lot, and was disappointing with it. I am just hoping it was a bad bottle, and not a bad recipe.

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Photo of Omnium
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
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.

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Photo of McNealc31
3/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

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Photo of dubinsky
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
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.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

$4.25 16 oz bottle from Abe's.

Black body with brown highlights, topped by a hefty slab of tan bubbles of all sizes.

Low key aroma, but I seem to be getting hints of coffee, chocolate, citrus, and rye.

Taste starts with notes of rye mixed with coffee, followed by a mild hop bite at the swallow. But its all too blended and not distinct characteristics.

Medium mouthfeel carries things along nicely.

Drinks fine, but not something I'll look to have again.

More and more I question the whole black IPA style, and throwing another component in made for even less clarity. If you're in to BIPAs give it a try, otherwise, I'm not so sure.

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Photo of dlello2
3.24/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Nice. Black IPA color. Little head.

S - Not all that much going on. Very little hop presence. Malts come through and maybe a touch of caramel.

T - Decent. Average. The best thing I can say about it is that it tastes very refreshing. Not much hops and even the malts take a back seat. Not overly sweet. Nice.

M - This was the best part of the beer. Perfectly carbonated, perfect medium body. Very sessionable.

O - Maybe I should have had this beer fresher (this one spent a few months in the fridge) but for me it was as average as they come. Not that I wouldn't enjoy it again... just not one to seek out.

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Photo of ColdWaffles
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

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Photo of suspect
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Dark brown pour. Aggressive pour leads to a thick 2 finger espresso foam colored head. Lacing sticks to the entire glass.

S: Lots of toasted malts with a pinch of hearty hops to go along with it. Not an amazing smell but good nonetheless.

T: Good enough mix of toasted malts and hops but there really isn't much else going on the flavor.

M: Okay, kind of thin. Plenty carbonated.

O: Pretty average black IPA. Not great, not terrible. Pretty easy drinker.

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Photo of GoldHorde
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hop Strike fulfills the categorical style of a Black IPA. I think it would be a good style definer in taste tests to show newbies where the center of the catchers mitt is soft. It lacks only an effort to accentuate a character of the style; meaning the special attention that brewers labor for when trying to get someone in the choir to solo. I think this beer is well made for the Black IPA style, technically.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

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Photo of bark
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.

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Photo of klkatz
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!

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Photo of HeavyMetalBrew
3.37/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Significant signs of carbonation. Little to no head. A dark purple/amber color.

S: Earthy/spicy hops. Toffee.

T: Earthy hop flavors. Some spiciness. Roasted flavors. Toffee. It's really good at first, but the aftertaste is a little weird.

M: Very carbonated. Dry finish.

Overall: An average beer. Not as good as I was hoping for, but not as good.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of warnerry
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 2/2/11; No freshness date

A - Pours a very dark brown, but not black, with a good three fingers of head. Head has decent retention.

S - Hops are prominent but are nicely balanced by chocolate malt. Smell is actually pretty subdued.

T - Wow, this is a pretty meaty brew on first taste. The chocolate malts seems to come through the most, followed by the spiciness of the rye, with hops not really coming through until the finish, but lingering nicely on the tongue when they do show up. Kind of works well together, but a bit of a hodgepodge as well.

M - Medium, very malty mouthfeel, with some lingering hop bitterness.

O - Certainly not easy drinking, or something I would come back to (though this is, admittedly, not my favorite style), but a pretty decent brew that I am glad to have tried.

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Photo of iabeerbaron
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black pour with a small white head; minimal lacing around the glass. Aroma of roasted malts, dark chocolate. Very good hop flavor up front with not as much bitterness as I anticipated. Nice roasted malt finish with the hop bitterness coming through at th end. A reall nice Black IPA.

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Photo of brown2cu
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a cola like shade of brown under a patchy head.

S: Heavy on bitter roasted malt and rye. I am not getting any diverse hop notes; however, I believe I detect some pine.

T: Again, heavy on bitter roasted malt as well as some hop spiciness. The hop aspect of this beer is piney, and earthy in nature.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: I don't care much for this beer. I find it underwhelming, and the hop aspect severely underdeveloped. This is probably more of a rye beer than anything.

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Hop Strike Black IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
3.78 out of 5 based on 464 ratings.
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