Hop Strike Black IPA | Tommyknocker Brewery

Hop Strike Black IPAHop Strike Black IPA
466 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 466 |  Reviews: 193
Photo of dubinsky
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
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 BB1313
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

New 12oz bottles, best by Nov. 21, 2011. Pours a pitch black, no light getting though. Decent off white head and nice lacing. The aromas are great, best part of the beer, IMO. Lots of ripe dank, pungent hops.. really funky and complex! The chocolate and rye malts definitely take a backseat. Now the flavors aren't bad at all, but I was a tad letdown due to the great nose. The hops still run the show, but the chocolate makes its' presense known. Slightly spicy, but I didn't really pick up on the rye at all. Mouthfeel is nice, but I thought it would be thicker due to the rye. It's easy to drink, bottle reads 6.5% ABV, and by the time you're done with the beer, you won't even feel it.. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing.

Nice beer, I liked it.. and maybe w/ a few tweaks this could be an off the charts Black IPA. But for right now, it's good and worth checking out. This was fresh and smelling so good..

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Photo of claytong
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i always hold these beers up to the trout hop which isnt fair because that just blows the others out of the water, so ill try and be more generous than i want to be, also not getting as much rye as i hoped

appearance - black with hints of red and brown. nice tan head comes up to an inch in a 6 oz pour.

smell - i can smell the rye, but (ill give a little spoiler) theres not much in the taste...pine tar and hops

taste - roasted malts, not as i expected but leaning towards malts used in over the top stout

mouthfeel - bitterness lingers and dries up the mouth in a not so nice way. good body and good carbonation

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
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 Stinkypuss
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tommyknocker : Hop Strike

Pours a deep black in color with a decent off white foam cap with large soapy bubbles leaving lots of lace. Aroma is decidedly malty. Lots of caramel and toasted malts upfront. In the taste, malty again with alittle rye spice and small hop presence in the finish. Mostly caramel, roast, and slight coffee flavors. Dry cocoa. Alittle flowery citrus and mild bitterness on the back end. Medium to full bodied feel. Overall, a decent black IPA with a small rye and hop presence.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow a black Rye IPA. Love me some roast and hops so this should be tasty.

A - Color is a dark brown with a nice ruby red hue and it is nicely carbonated with tons of bubbles in the base of the glass and a slightly tan head that has some pretty good lacing.

S - Wow the spice of the rye smells good in the one with roast as a nice second fiddle. I can detect some hops in the nose a very nice pine.

T - Huh it seems to be all there, the roast not to heavy just giving a bit of smoke the rye which is balanced and gives it a bit of spicy twang in the finish, and a nice bit of bitter pine in the middle bringing the whole thing together. After the second sip the pine sticks around seconds after I drink.

M - Pretty medium bodied as expected for the ABV.

Overall I don't think I love the idea since I am not a huge fan of rye beers but it does add a dimension to the black IPA I have not yet seen in any other beer. Drinkable and kinda glad I have 3 more, will have to try it again after a heavy stout.

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Photo of godlessape
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:Cloudy deep dark brown, almost black with quarter inch head that dissipates quickly.

Smell:Incredible piny citrus hops covered over a roasted caramel malt.

Taste: As good as it smells. Toasted dark rye with with robust coffee and caramel notes.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, light bodied. Maybe could use just a wee bit more carbonation.

Overall: This is a great beer, and it won't be my last.

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Photo of Imsothirsty
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark in color, not quite stout, a little light comes through. Thick finger of head, nice lacing.

Smells delectable. Roast coffee and piney hops both come out strong, with a little bit of hops.

Taste is great/good. I get the malts first, lots of coffee, a little nutty. Next is the rye which only contributes a small amount in my opinion but its welcome. FInally solid hop finish, mildly bitter mostly pine, some citrus

Mouthfeel is medium light with lots of carbonation.

Overall I would pen this more as a black IPA than a Rye brew. Very good and worth a try if you see it.

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Photo of beerguru14
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour, Color, & Aroma:

Pouring the beer into a snifter (I was questioning if this was the correct glass for this style), the first thing I noticed was how dark it was. Of course I was expecting it, but my brain still gets confused when it sees IPA and then a dark beer comes flowing out of the bottle. Anyway, enough nonsense. The carbonation in the beer was extremely high, the beer foamed quickly and lasted for a long time making me slightly impatient. I didn't have enough fingers to measure the head on my initial pour. The advantage of a pour like that is that I had a significant amount of time to look at the head. Similar to where the beer was brewed, it was very rocky and frothy.

As expected the aromas were very complex. Initial smells was of citrus, then heavy roasted malts, followed quickly be pine and then chocolate. The aroma was like a dance in which every characteristic knew when to put its foot forward. I enjoyed having my nose in this beer. Other aromas I was getting faints wisps of were toffee, hints of molasses and some earthy tones.


How can I describe this beer effectively. In the past, I have tried beers in which have so many conflicting characteristics that the beer was distracting at best. I was curious to see if this beer would be the same. I mean look at the style: Black Rye India Pale Ale. So many dominating characteristics go into each an IPA, Rye beer, and a black beer whether it be a schwarzbier or stout. I figured this would also have some distracting elements.

I happy to realize I was wrong. Chocolate and a slight coffee robustness was most prevalent when I first took the sip. Grapefruit and earthy hops quickly followed the malts. Lastly, a hint of toffee or caramel was slightly coming through.

Finish and Body:

What I enjoyed about the brew was how creamy it was; however, the rye still provided a hint of dryness so the beer wasn't too sweet. I would say the finish of the beer was the most unique part about it. An earthiness was very prominent at the very end that washed the other fantastic flavors away. I am relatively sure the earthiness was from the use of the rye, but a style of hop could have also been the culprit. I can see how that particular finish may be too unique to some people, but I for one enjoyed it.

Final Thoughts:

As my first and only commercial example of a Black Rye IPA, I didn't know what to expect from the style. I hope I have the opportunity to more examples of the style, but until then I believe Tommyknocker did an excellent job brewing up another master piece. Prost!

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Photo of GPHarris
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a four-fingers thick dense and pillowy tan head into a snifter that left thick sheeting and lacing throughout. head really billows as well. the body was a dark black.
s - dark roasted chocolate malts with a hint of rye.
t - big piney and spicy hops with some roastiness underneath.
m - thick and bubbly.
o - really good beer and the rye goes well with the roastiness.

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Photo of nickfl
3.88/5  rDev +4%
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 pigc
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Newer label than pictured. Says 6.5% alc/vol, IBU 78. Best by Aug 29 11.

A - Pours nearly pitch black with one and a half finger head that leaves lacing clinging to the sides.

S - Dark chocolately robust malts, molasses and burnt brown sugar.

T - Toffee, caramel, chocolate and then a wave of hops balance out the sweet malt well.

M - Light to medium, very thin.

O - A solid offering from Tommyknocker. Nice rye/black ipa offering. At 8.99 a six pack this is a great beer for the price.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany, murky, tall head. Great look.

Aromatic. Tobacco, citric hops, and a dry chocolate. Good power, very nice.

Peppery, with a hint of green onion. Pine and citrus is there, although not the same as the nose. Chocolate is more prevalent. Sweet, but balanced.

Too thin, but still quite a good beer. Seek out.

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Photo of IronLover
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 16oz bottle with no freshness date. Dark brown to black in color with a deep muddy haze. Started with a short bubbly froth that quickly reduced to a bubbly, light wispy cap. Roasted and chocolate malt aromas with citrus hop aromas struggling to show through. Creamy smooth with tight, subdued carbonation. Dark roasted malt up front with chocolaate malt and roasted coffee following through the middle. Citrus hop flavors kick-in in the middle as well and slowly overwhelm the roasted maltiness. Finishes semi-dry with a hoppy, espresso-like bitterness. The flavor profile improved as the beer warmed a bit. If it wasn't called a black IPA I would have calledit a hoppy stout. This style is still a bit undefined for me. I didn't get the "hop forward" character that other reviews reported.

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Photo of shand
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic.

This brew pours a dark brown color with a finger of whitish head that fades quickly. The aroma is nice, it's quite complex with citrus and piney hops, roasted malts, and a nice rye twang. The taste is very nice, the hops are forward the whole time, but there's a nice roasted malt and coffee presence in the back, with some rye sneaking in on the backend. The mouthfeel is nice, it's quite crisp and has a fairly light body for the style. The drinkability is very good. Overall, a very nice Black IPA.

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Photo of BlackBearForge
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown nearly black in the glass much like a porter with a small off white head that falls quickly leaving modest lacing.

The aroma has sharp hop scents of citrusy grapefruit and dark malts.

The flavor is all about bitter citrus hops, all about grapefruit first and foremost, up front with nicely muted dark malts with a hint of chocolate backing them up along with the sharp bite of rye. Finish is nicely bitter.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium, with moderate carbonation.

Hop Strike is the first beer I've had from Tommyknocker and like most of the beers I've had from Colorado breweries I am impressed. I'm not entirely sold on Black IPAs but this is a good hoppy beer with a dark rye twist.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
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 JayS2629
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown; almost black with creamy tan head that fades fast but leaves sea foam lacing.

The aroma is enticing with lots of roasted malt, black coffee, a touch of cocoa, rye and earthy notes of hops. A touch of floral hops peeks through.

The taste follows, but the malts lead more than in the nose. Most of the hops are aroma. Rich, dark roated rye bread, toffee, cocoa, and black coffee. A nice roasty, dark tasting beer. Burnt dark sugar notes, and a touch of citrus and earthy hops peeking through.

Overall, very drinkable and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of antlerwrestler19
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown to almost black with a one finger head with a light caramel/brown color. Low retention with a quickly disappearing head and little lacing left behind. Smells of caramel-like malt and a presence of rye with a subtle hop backing. Up front I taste rye and a balance of the malt and hops with a slightly bitter finish followed by an aftertaste mainly of almost a slight chocolately taste and hops. It leaves my mouth feeling watery and a bit sticky as well. Overall this is a decent beer and my first sample of any beer by TommyKnocker - not bad at all if you're in to dark RyePAs.


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Photo of rawfish
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, nearly black with some lighter brown highlights. Mocha colored head is only one finger high with good retention and decent lace.

Chocolate malts lightly toasty with a dash of cinnamon. Hops come in dark and slightly earthy, grapefruit and herbal.

Chocolate and cocoa powder slighty spicy. Hop profile is earthy with a good amount of acidic fruit mixed in. Herbal with a grapefruit and passion fruit backing a little smokey and tart on the finish. Dries rather well for a dark beer and bitterness comes in very late.

Heavier body and very low on the carbonation, a tad syrupy as well. Rye adds smoothness but so does the lack of carbonation.

Nice flavors to this beer, rye-black-ipa seems to combine all the trends in the beer world today. In addition it drinks like a stout, a low carbonated sipper with hop flavors and no alcohol feel. Interesting, all the ingrdients make an impression and at the very least this is worth trying due to being so unique.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Peace Tree Pint.

A: Pours a dark copper mahogany with 1/2 finger of tan head. Good retention and lace.

S: Rye, chocolate malt and citrus hop aromas. Pretty good.

T: Roasted malt up front yields to sweet rye and then comes the grapefruit, finally returning to the roasted malt at the end. A bit of coffee-like bitterness in the finish. The alcohol is warm but not hot and doesn't interfere with the flavors.

M: Medium light mouthfeel, a bit of oil on the tongue, but also creaminess as well. Pleasant.

O: A nice little beer. I think the style is correct as a rye beer because it's not bitter enough for an IPA overall, but it does have its IPA moments as well. I would buy this again. First beer I've had from Tommyknocker and I would be interested to try others from them.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
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 chinchill
4.03/5  rDev +8%
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 drtth
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a dark, dark, brown that is almost black, with a light tan ¼” head that recedes relatively soon leaving some lacing on the sides of the glass. With sipping the lacing becomes widespread and clings tenaciously to the sides of the glass. There are sheets, and rings and areas of leggy lacing that cling to sides of the glass even to the end of the beer.

Smell: The aroma is filled a touch of chocolate from dark roasted malt along with a touch of pumpernickel bread. The hops that dominate the scene are definitely citric and lightly spicy with a bit of pine mixed in.

Taste: The flavors from the hops include grapefruit and a light touch of pine that overlay but do not conceal the malt and rye backbone, creating a nice dark character reminiscent of pumpernickel. The spiciness of the hops contributes nicely here.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied with carbonation that is persistent and lightly prickly for most of the beer. The finish is moderately long and fades into an ending that seems to have a touch of light, sweet licorice to it.

Drinkability: I enjoyed sipping my way through this one and each sip followed easily from the one before it. While there are some other beers in this style I’d choose over this one I’ll be quite happy to have it again next time I find it on offer. My overall impression is that the beer is well made. While I prefer a touch more dryness in the finish and to me it seems to lack some of the complexity of a few other examples I’ve had it’s nonetheless a good beer and well worth trying.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice cola like color with a khaki colored one to one and a half finger head which gives way to a nice tight head of retention. The are rings of lace up and down the glass, very nice look to this beer. The aroma is of coco and roasted malts along with rye spiciness and hints of citrus. The taste has a nice rye spiciness over top of a dark chocolate malt taste. There is also a hint of dark fruits. The end is finished up with a slight citrus hop bite. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Overall it is very enjoyable but it didn't do anything over the top. Its a beer to like but not to love.

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Hop Strike Black IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 466 ratings
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