Hop Strike Black IPA | Tommyknocker Brewery

very good
465 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 465 |  Reviews: 193
Photo of notdriving
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of GilGarp
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Hop Strike is a very dark murky brown color. The head is creamy but settles quickly. Good lacing left behind.

Aroma is nice and hoppy, very little roasted malt character.

Flavor is a bit of a let down after the hoppy aroma. It's a lighter porter type of body with good hop bitterness but not as much in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and nicely carbonated.

Overall a decent black IPA but not one of the better ones.

 479 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of moserine
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of dasmusik
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of rwilde
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

 357 characters

Photo of virinow
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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

The last beer to try in my Tommyknocker variety six pack. The beer poured a dark black color (like the name indicates) with little to no light passing through. The nose is straight hops.

The taste is mostly hops, but not a whole lot more bitter than a normal IPA. However, there is a different taste balancing out the hops. I am guessing this is the dark rye malt that the bottle says it is made with. Overall, this is a unique take on an IPA. The only thing that confuses me is that this is considered a "black ale."
I have had black ales before that are nowhere near as hoppy. When these are all categorized together, it makes it harder to find a beer like this one. I would definitely recommend trying it though, especially if you like IPA's.

 747 characters

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Dmart1223
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer; Tommyknocker's been hit or miss.

This beer pours coal black with a mocha head that retains well. The smell was where I found most of the hops – definitely some spices there. But the beer itself was much thicker than I thought it would be, with more and different flavors than the smell suggested. It has a thick mouthfeel and the toasty rye malts take center stage, especially with the head. The hops didn't announce themselves until the end, and they linger.

This is a complex beer. It might be my favorite from Tommyknocker. The only thing that would've made it better was a little more hoppy flavor that the IPA name suggests. If anything, it would've just added to the cocktail of flavors this beer already packs.

 764 characters

Photo of Ohiovania
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of seanwhite
5/5  rDev +32.3%

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.

 810 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Two fingers worth of moderately creamy froth that is off-white in color... Solid retention... Once receded what is left is a mixed veil of lacing with some pillow pockets of froth... The color is a deep dark garnet color... A slight bit of carbonation can been seen rising along the sides of the glass in streaks... A very nice looking offering...

S - The smell is rather unique and quite a bit of mixed bag... The is a slight hop pungency... The rye character is undeniable and right at the forefront with the hops... Also mixed in are a hodge podge of other aromas... Some roasted malts... Some notes chocolate... Some cherries... The complete mix also ads some muskiness...

T - The hops rise to dominance on the palette in the beginning... The hops are of an earthy nature... Once the hops begin to subside, the rye component really begins to shine... All other notes picked up in the aroma never materialize on the palette... Overall there is excellent balance and complexity...

M - Fairly standard... Medium bodied... Light but brisk carbonation... A bit of dryness... Even and consistent...

D - In interesting brew without any doubt... Arguably the best Tommyknocker brew that I've had to date... Note my favorite beer, but one that challenges the palette and displays the artisan-ship in beer... Worthy of seeking out and trying for the curious...

 1,363 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had to search multiple times on various tommyknocker beers to make sure they are the right beer. They seem to change label art and descriptions often. some consistency would be great, the beer is what I'm after not the bottle art.

That being said let's review this beer...

Appearance was pretty dark, almost opaque, with a small head and spotty lacing.

Smell is good, roasty with a good hops presence, some earthy rye.

Taste is better than the smell, good stuff here. Roasty flavors come through first, with some coffee, toffee and chocolate finishing second, and a nice pungent rye aspect up next, finished with a good degree of hoppiness. This is about the best tasting tommyknocker I've had yet.

Body is a bit watery but ample. It's fairly satisfying and not too heavy on the ETOH.

Overall it's a pretty decent beer. It's about halfway between rye, IPA and porter, ambiguity intended.

 901 characters

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

Look: Black and totally opaque with a 1/2 inch tan head and good retention and some spotty lacing

Smell: Dark roasted malts, coffee and citrus hops

Taste: The rye malt really shines through on this guy. Very nice malt flavor backed up by a hint of dark chocolate and coffee. No real hop presence

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation

Overall: Real good black IPA and worth a try

 390 characters

Photo of chickenflea
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle from six-pack. Aroma of hops, pine, malt, brown sugar, and rye. Poured deep amber/brown in color with a large, creamy, dense, tan/light brown head that diminished but lasted throughout. Clear. Sparkling. Very good to excellent lacing. Flavor is light to medium sweet, and medium to heavily bitter. Tastes of hops, pine, malt, light brown sugar, and rye. Medium body. Dry texture. Average carbonation. Hops, pine, malt, rye, and slight brown sugar finish is dry. The beer is tasty warm or cold. I wish the beer had a touch more carbonation. Overall a fine brew.

 567 characters

Photo of RobertColianni
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A: It's black. Black as hell to be exact. The head is frothy and fairly thick. A good inch of cream colored love on top.

S: Smells like sawdust/wood. Heavily. Also, fresh barley. Before I brew at home I taste my malts. This smell is overwhelmingly dark malt.

T: This beer is so good. It tastes like Brauhaus Schmidtz on South Street smells. Brats. Really good brats. Charred brats. Perfectly charred brats. Such a sweet kick at the end, too. Almost acidic like grapefruit.

M: Very bubbly. It's there, but it doesn't really feel like it. A little weird.

OVERALL: This beer tastes alot different, right now, a opposed by the first time I had it. I guess the nuts, dried fruits, and cheese I had last time really influenced flavors.

NOTE: Live review.

 753 characters

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.

 1,013 characters

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.

 1,485 characters

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.

 938 characters

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!

 838 characters

Photo of Herky21
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 626 characters

Hop Strike Black IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
3.78 out of 5 based on 465 ratings.
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