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Hop Strike Black IPA | Tommyknocker Brewery

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very good
192 Reviews
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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 GRG1313
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found a bottle this weekend while in Denver. Pours black with a nice off white/tan head.

Nose is simple but really nice fruited fresh coffee - not complex or layered, just straightforward. Pleasant roasted grain character. Some fresh fruit/pineapple hop tones.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium. Fresh but nothing special.

Flavors are pleasant and appealing. Again, straightforward fresh coffee flavor but with a very big and appealing hop bitter coffee character and flavor.

There are assertive hops in the nose, flavor and especially the finish which is a long bitter hop character and the most appealing part of this one. Big big finish. Worth the try and would likely try again, especially with food.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single finger head, nice lacing on a dark body with light getting through. Very mild coffee and chocolate notes in the aroma. The taste is mostly a musty, dark roast with coffee and chocolate notes.
The name makes me think IPA but this is more of a mildly hoppy stout. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Overall drinkable but the name is confusing. It's a stout with no more hops than any other stout for me.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pretty good bottle of brew here. smells very hoppy and lightly roasty, nothing like some of the other more heavy black india pales. flavor is bold pine forest hops and a good dark chocolate finish, bittersweet. mouthfeel is nice, plenty of bubbles, and a nice drinkable medium body. love the aftertaste and hoppy finish of this one. worthy offering from tommyknocker, and fairly priced.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This HopStrike pours out as a very nice looking black ale with a brown colored head on top. I found the lacing to be pretty good. The smell of the beer has a well blended balance of hops and roasted malts. I wasn't able to pick up much rye on the nose though. The flavor was rich with hops and dark malty flavors. Again the rye was almost too subtle for me to pick up on. The mouthfeel was pretty nice here, it had a good body to it and left a dry feeling in your mouth. Overall it's not a bad Black IPA but it's not my favorite either.

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Photo of metter98
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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Mellow here in G-boro.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep chocolate brown with a half finger off white head atop,mild leafy hop and earthy tones in the nose,the rye is subdued.Flavors are a good mix of dark bread,bitter chocolate,and herbal/citric hops,all come together pretty well.The hops dont "strike" to hard but its a nice well rounded rye/CDA hybrid to be had.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by Jan 23, 2012. Pours crystal clear dark brown color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts. Some nice soapy lacing on the glass as well. Aromas of caramel, grapefruit, pine resin, orange, chocolate, roasted malt, rye, bread, and some spicy hops. Nice and fairly well balanced aromas. Taste of huge caramel, biscuit, chocolate, rye, roasted malt, grapefruit, orange, pine, and spicy hops. Nice amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of rye, biscuit, chocolate, roasted malt, and spicy hops on the finish for a bit. Medium carbonation and body; with a very nice creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Good balance of roasted malt presence and hop bitterness. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Very smooth drinking. Overall a damn nice black IPA. Great roasted malt flavor presence with a nice amount of hoppiness as well.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz bottle into an IPA flute.

Pours black, maybe more of a deep murky brown (you can see some ruby coming out across the bottom), with several fingers of light mocha colored head. This leaves behind a rich foamy looking cascade of lacing that hangs in thick sticky patches down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells leafy and spicy with some slight metallic hints. Rye has presence up front of the nose, while fresh green citrus mingles with crunchy roasted notes. Pronounced chocolate character comes out across the back.

The taste is bitter green fruit and burnt roast, while the rye adds a dry doughy feeling spiciness to this. All add an even sharpness to this across the palate, while sweet chocolate hangs on the edges, keeping all of that assertive character in check. The finish is all aggressiveness, with notes of dry pine, spice, pith and char all hanging fairly heavily in the mouth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm prickly feel to the carbonation up front but then gets more smooth and silky feeling on the edges where all of that chocolate sweetness is. There is some light warmth here from the ABV but it mostly just adds some extra intensity to all of those burnt and bitter flavors.

I liked the flavorful aggressiveness of this, with the rye and hops not disappointing here, yet this was just balanced enough so that things didn’t get too over-the-top. This was a solid pick-up and probably the best beer that I’ve had yet from Tommyknocker.

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Photo of chinchill
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. bottle served in a ping glass.

A - Pours a very dark brown with lighter than expected tan head. Head has good duration and leaving plenty of lacing.

S - A nice spicy citrus hop aroma with plentiful chocolate malt notes and some aroma of baked bread.

T- The flavor is less hoppy and more malty than indicated by the aroma. The rye component comes forth in the flavor. Mild-moderate bitterness,,with a fair amount of roast and chocolate malt character, particularly in the finish.

M - The body is medium with a nice moderate level of carbonation.

O - A very fine black rye IPA with sensory characteristics that match the proclaimed style, if a bit less hoppy than the usual IPA.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $6.50 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Made its way to my table a black body in appearance, ah, but wait, there are some hints of dark ruby at the far, far edges if the light strikes it just right. Slim, ivory-hued head.

Smell: Roasted grains, pithy citrus rinds, and a wafting resinous scent of cut pine garnished with a few drops of clean alcohol.

Taste: Opening roastiness with a quick shot of citrus, then, back to fire-licked grains, an ultra faint hint of chocolate, then, back to the hops with light florals and resinous pine and a single pearl onion. Medium bitterness assisted from the roasty astringency of the malts and zesty rye. Touches of lemon and grapefruit. Closes out dry, moderately roasty, and with some lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: It's a decent brew, and, for me, one of the better releases from Tommyknocker.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pumpernickel brown with muddy pumpkin highlights and a chunk of bubbly foam that filled almost half the glass on the pour. Thick sheets of baby Swiss-like lace are beginning to be laid down as the suds slowly shrink. Looks like lots of hop resins are in the house.

Smells like it too. In fact, hops are pummeling chocolate rye into submission. Citrusy and resinous Chinook dominate a hop bill that also includes Newport, Glacier, Nugget and Summit. Thankfully, the garlic and onion-like quality of that last one are at a low ebb.

Hop Strike is just as much black IPA as rye beer. Having said that, the back half of each mouthful is bursting with rye malt earthiness, so perhaps the chosen style is the more accurate one. 78 IBUs seems generous, epecially since the bottled version hasn't yet seen its two month anniversary.

It's still hoppily delicious beer that is nicely balanced by its malts (pale, crystal, chocolate and chocolate rye). Although spicy Summit hops have a definite say in the flavor profile, there's so much else going on that they're easily tolerated. Cocoa notes emerge as the beer continues to warm.

The mouthfeel is slightly too skimpy and is very slightly underbubbled. Not a deal-breaker, but enough so that this score falls a fraction below the others. Easy drinking, though.

Tommyknocker Hop Strike Rye-IPA is good beer that would have a chance to be better beer with a few well-chosen tweaks. My suggestions: 25% more malt, 50% more hops, better bubbles, and jettison the Summit hops. Here's hoping the brewery plans a year-round release.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +9%
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

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Photo of Slatetank
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Wegmans in the mix a six, poured chilled into a pils glass.

The color is more of a dark brown than black with hazed clarity and ruby accent with thin tan cap. The bead is fine with lace as a film. The smell of coffee and sweet tinges of light orasted malt with vegetal and floral hop esters and hint of dark fruit w/ slight dark malt aroma that comes off burnt. A feel that is fruity with mild caramel sweetness and balance of bitter and citrus acidic tinges with a tangy texture and light toasted maltiness but subtle creamy accent with gentle woody and earthy dry finish. There is an ample amount of carbonation.

The taste is lightly roasted up front with slight caramel malt flavor and a mild maijuana-like dank herbal taste and slight veggie tea-like flavor with some astringent notes. The taste has a gentle biscuit taste from the malt with moderate toffee-like nutty and sweet sugar flavor . The hops are minty and with a subtle tang of fruit from the yeast gives a lime-like tanginess and mild burnt toast rounds out the flavor in the finish. Overall I agree with the majority who find this to be good, decent enough beer, but in the scheme of Black IPAs this doesn't have enough hop flvor and is not dry enough. The roast isn't too far out of place, but it has some raisin-like notes from the dark crystal that tend to compete with the dank hops. this is a beer I enjoyed but don't think it is a great example of the style

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

Thanks to Andre for sending this one my way.

A: The pour is the usual dark brown that you see in the Black IPA style with a finger or two worth of tan head.

S: A very dank hop aroma to this one. Some big time grapefruit notes along with a very oily hop character as well. There are also plentiful chocolate malt notes and a mild roast. A subtle spice quality from the rye.

T: The flavor relies heavily on the citrus (grapefruit) and the pine is there to a lesser extent. The bitterness is what I might call moderate, with a fair amount of roast and chocolate malt character.

M: The body is medium with a nice carbonation to it, fairly lively and prickling.

D: I've only had a few beers from these guys, but I've liked them for the most part. Maybe not the most amazing black IPA, but quite good.

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Photo of russpowell
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
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...

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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 WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by March 5th, pours a nearly black color with amber ruby highlights shining through the glass, head is a light khaki tan color, forming fine even speckled lacing patterns. Aroma has an earthy spicy dankness going on with complementary rye character going on this beer smells pretty good. A mild black IPA with spicy rye notes in the finish, upfront herbal/citric hops catch my palate and the dark roasted malts carry everthing along until it finishes with that classic spicy rye character. My first black rye IPA, and it works pretty well. Great herbal hops, citric green fresh hop quality with the dark roasted malts profile offering a touch of dark chocolate roasted malt character. Mouthfeel has a nice rolling dry character with spiced rye edges, even flowing carbonation with slick hop oils. Overall very enjoyable beer that I need to try more of, I'm not a big Tommyknocker fan but this is fantastic black IPA.

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

What a nose on this one. Real citrus and pine hop tones that hit you when you first open it. Unfortunately, it drops to a lesser strength not long after the pour. The flavor profile is nice, but honestly, I was expecting a bit more punch after the initial whiff of the nose. It's still decent though. Nice enough black ale tones that keep it interesting enough. I bet this would be good on cask. Doubt I'll ever see that though. Worth trying.

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Photo of tdm168
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
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!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried the Hop Strike whilst in Orlando at the House of Beer. The beer poured a nearly opaque dark brown color with very nice 1/2 finger thick off-white head that left a generous lace. The smell included sweet malt, roasted malt, hint of rye, and slight citrus hops. The taste was citrus hops, roasted malt, and sweet malt, essentially matching the smell. Mouth feel was a medium body with so so carbonation. Overall, not the best Black IPA I have had, but the lower abv made this B-IPA sessionable.

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Photo of Billolick
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, "Best By" dating on the side of the label

Pours very dark brown, frothy tan head, slow to settle, leaves a nice thick collar, fine sheeting and spots of lace.

Complex nose with hints of chocolate malts, and citric hops.

Sniff leads to the palate, with more chocolate and citrus picked up.
Carbonation is on point and I'd say this is on the slightly heavier side of the mouthfeel scale.
Better then average hoppy black ale (they call it a black IPA on the label). Worth a try.

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