Hop Strike Black IPA | Tommyknocker Brewery

Hop Strike Black IPAHop Strike Black IPA
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Average: 3.78 | pDev: 12.7%

Reviews: 194 | Ratings: 467

Ranked #420 American Black Ale and #26,095 overall.

ABV: 6.50% | Availability: Year-round

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Tommyknocker Brewery
Colorado, United States

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.
Very Good
Hop Strike Black IPAHop Strike Black IPA
Reviews: 194 | Ratings: 467
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 TheCondor
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I scored this brew in a Tommyknocker smapler 12 pack from the local grocery store. Had their standard Pick Axe IPA last night and enjoyed it, so I thought I would give the black IPA a whirl tonight.

Appearance - Black as motor oil with an imposing, thick creamy two finger head that didn't quit until halfway down the glass. Lacing was so wicked it should be illegal.

Smell - Smell of dark, roasted notes with a touch of chocolate and even a hint of coffee or coffee beans.

Taste - This beer has an impressive taste. The front side is the chocolate/coffee notes, finishing with that strong hops bitterness that nails the style well. There are hints of roasted notes in the taste as well, leading to an incredibly well balanced brew.

Mouthfeel - I'd say a medium carbonation. It wasn't as heavy as you would think given it's appearance and properties.

Overall - I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, as did my guest who I served it to as a trial run to see if this sampler was going to be any good. I could easily recommend this beer to anyone who likes this kind of brew. Good flavor, nice bitterness, great appearance...really represents this brewery well. I'm impressed.

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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 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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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured unto a nonic/pint glass.

Appearance: An almost opaque brown, body isn't overly bubbly but head is forever rising. A solid light tan at least 2 fingers (FYI I poured this beauty slowly and still rose like the undead).

Smell: Flowers, sounds crazy but true....comes off piney a bit.

Taste: Tastes as good as it smells, sometimes it's hard to describe this as an IPA because how easy it is to drink.

Mouth: Settled in the bottle this beer looks and tastes great but the feel is the weakest property of the beer. Just a mild shake you feel that it might be a tad too over-carbonated.

Overall: My only complaint about this bdeer is how much it foams but other than that this is by far my second favorite "dark" IPA. Easy to drink and full of flavor which just almost compliments anything you pair it with...cheers to all and happy new years!

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

Poured into a pint glass.

It's a solid black with a thin tan head. Little to no lacing.

It's got some hefty grass hops. There is a nice roasty smell as well.

It's got a lot of grass/piney hops. There is a nice roasted malt backbone. There are some chocolate notes as well.

It's medium bodied with appropriate carbonation.

Overall, this is one of the better beers from Tommyknocker. I couldn't help but compare this to Iniquity, but it pales in comparison.

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Photo of plfahey
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance-Deep mahogany brown with relatively good clarity. Moderately tall pale khaki head has good retention and shows some nice lacing.

Aroma-Black, bittersweet chocolate and green spicy/piney hops. Background notes of nutty rye, roasted malt, and bread crusts. Slight herbal hop notes as well.

Flavor-Delicious chocolate with lighter notes of rye bread crusts, nuts, and rye fruitiness. Green, herbal, and pine hop flavors with moderate hop bitterness in the finish. Finishes with slightly acrid, dry, black cocoa powder flavor and some woodsy hop flavor. Quite tasty.

Mouthfeel-Medium to medium full body with smooth viscosity from the addition of rye. Moderate to moderately low carbonation. Silky smooth and creamy.

Very tasty black IPA, and the rye notes really shine in the flavor. Smooth and easy drinking. A solid and quite delicious beer-highly recommended.

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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 Duff27
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best By: Feb 13 2012

A- One inch tan head on a very dark red body. Wonderful head retention and clumpy lacing.

S- Chocolate sweetness with a touch of pungent hops, works well together although somewhat faint

T- Has that oniony hop flavor, Summit hops? Nicely balanced with the sweetness of the rye/chocolate notes. Leaves a desirable (for me) lingering bitterness.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Medium to medium-low carbonation, creamy.

D- Very impressed with this Tommyknocker brew and truth be told, I haven't really liked anything else by them. Could put down a few of these and be perfectly content. Recommended for dank Summit hop/Rye fans.

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Photo of Kromes
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A hazy dark dark brown with a thick tan colored head that leaves nice lacing down the glass.

S: Smokey, roasted malt with a nice pine hop aroma.

T: More of the same...the flavor up front is of smoke and roasted malt with a pine hop flavor. The roasted malt dominates the hop, which I don't mind too much since the malt is nice and smokey.

M: A good feel, medium body with a nice smooth peppery carbonation.

O: I think this is Tommyknockers best that I've had to date. No off flavors and this is pretty tasty. Well balanced.

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Photo of jsh420
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

best by jan 02 12

pours dark dark brown big chunky tan head that had great retention and cover the glass with lacing

smells like a hoppy xmas wreath with roast and coco malts

taste is just like the nose but with some orange citrus and some tangy flavor

mouthfeel medium light body with good carbonation very smooth and creamy

overall this was a very solid beer reminded me of some hoppy porters out there - new world alpha klaus - i did get one a bad bottle infected gusher out of the sixer

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Photo of isaiahcutright
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle, bottled dated best buy OCT 27 2011 so a little dated, but pours a nice hearty black color with a nice off white two finger head. Has a powerful hop aroma with a nice hint of the rye. Tastes exactly how it smells hoppy up front with a hearty malt backbone, and a spicy rye finish. Overall a very nice, and different take on a newer style of brew.

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

On tap at World of Beer in Tampa

A-Pours black with just a few hints of light peeking through. Ample mocha colored head has good retention and settles into a thin cap. Leaves spots of lace as I drink.

S-What I'm picking up is pleasant, though it is a bit subdued. Roasted, almost charred malt is balanced by some citrusy hops. A hint of chocolate as well. Wish the nose was more pronounced.

T-Nice balance here. The roasted malt comes in strong with a slightly bitter citrus hop bite balancing things out. Hints of chocolate come in mid-palate and linger.

M-Medium body, smooth, creamy. Carbonation is lower than I expected, but it suits this beer well.

O-This is a good beer. Nothing world class, but it is a solid entry into the category.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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 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...

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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Hop Strike Black IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 467 ratings