Hop Knife Harvest Ale
Tröegs Brewing Company

Hop Knife Harvest AleHop Knife Harvest Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American IPA
Ranked #395
Ranked #4,349
4.06 | pDev: 8.87%
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Hop Knife Harvest AleHop Knife Harvest Ale
Notes: Hop Knife Harvest Ale recognizes the tradition of hand-harvesting hops at their peak. Our HopCyclone process creates a spiral of hop dispersal during fermentation, releasing a bounty of citrus, resin & tropical aromas. #3 of 4 in our Hop Cycle seasonal series.
Reviews: 212 | Ratings: 1,445 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Oopssorryy:
Photo of Oopssorryy
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours thinly, but a rich deep golden color, with amber highlights. It started off with a small white head, but this quickly disappeared into a ring around the rim. Small bubbles can be seen quickly rising up through the clear brew. Lacing is minimal, spotty at best. Not too surprising giving the poor retention of head I've seen thus far.

Strong citrus dominates the nose, a grapefruit quality is strongly noted, along with a bit of earthyness lurking in the background. The flavors follow the nose to perfection. Starts startlingly sweet, with grapefruit flavors leading the way, waging a blitz across the tastebuds. There is a bit of a piney resin taste hiding in behind this strong citrus flavor, adding a bit of complexity you don't notice at first. The finish sees the citrus take a back seat as some more earthy flavors take over, and the bitter bite from the hops makes its presence felt and known. It finishes bitter and dry with just the slightest note of citrus lingering around, coating the tongue.

The mouth feel is pretty light, making for an extremely easy drinking beer. Carbonation is tightly controlled, and complements the bitterness well. A nice beer, one of the better IPAs I've had.

 1,207 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%

Great to see that Troegs has finally made it to NC.I poured one and a half bottles into an imperial nonic,a clear bass color with a lacey thinner white head atop.Nice hop complexity in the nose with some fresh cut grass,pine resin,and tropical fruits over top of a nutty and mildly sweet caramel/biscuit base.The hop complexity also transitions over to the flavors,herbal and grassy with some light sweet onion,and tropical fruits,the malts have complexity to boot,nutty and somewhat sweet caramel with a shot of alcohol in the finish.Damn this is what harvest ales strive to be,another big winner here from Troegs!

 615 characters

Photo of drtth
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled July 23, 2015 with best by date of Jan 23, 2016.

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a clear amber color with a 1/2" ivory head that recedes to a ring, a thin layer of foam and some patches of leggy lacing. Sipping creates scattered patches of foam that slide down the sides of the glass leaving a few patches and legs of lacing behind.

The aromas include pine resin, citric zest with a background of some tropical fruit.

The flavors are pretty much as expected from the nose, with pine resin, citric zest and a bit of those fruits mixed in with a supporting background of malt sweetness that stays in the background as it should in a beer showcasing hops.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied and has a light crisp character from the moderate, prolonged carbonation. The finish begins with the resin fading to leave the citrus center stage. That fades into touches of tropical fruit before the sweetness goes dry and lightly bitter, leaving me wanting another sip.

Overall, I really like this beer and will certainly be having it again as I have a full case to enjoy and track as it changes over the next few weeks. I'd say Troegs has another winner here to get me started drinking Harvest Ales for this year.

 1,244 characters

Photo of far333
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Clear apricot colored with a wispy white head that disappears quickly. Inviting aroma of tangerines and subtle pine. Bright flavors of citrusy hops, lots of tangerine, orange, and grapefruit rind, more flavorful than bitter, though a subtle bitterness offsets the honey malt flavors. Slightly slick mouthfeel, but a damn good beer.

 334 characters

Photo of Jtg66821
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smooth, crisp IPA. A beer you can enjoy a few glasses of without being overpowered by the hops. Great beer to sip on when watching the Pittsburgh Steelers dominate. Cheers!

 172 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.64/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I really have to hand it to the Trogner brothers - not only have they redone the labeling (and what happened to my original approved pic?) on their beers, but they have begun putting many of them in CANs. Thanks for listening to me about The CANQuest (tm), John & Chris!

From the CAN: "Handcrafted by the Troegs Bros."; "Alc./Vol. 6.2%[;] IBU 87[;] Color: Deep Amber[;] Fl. Oz. 12[;] Hop Cycle: Fall[;] Hops[:] Cascade, El Dorado, Citra, Centennial, Chinook, Columbus"; "Hop Knife recognizes the time-honored tradition of hand-harvesting hops at the peak of their maturity. At the end of fermentation, the beer flows through our HopCyclone releasing a bounty of preserved citrus rind, crushed jungle and tropical aromas." "Crushed jungle"?!? No wonder the uninitiated make fun of craft beer! I am not going to defend that one.

I Crack!ed the CAN open and CANducted an inverted Glug for the first time in a while. This led to some intense foaming so I backed off and allowed it to settle into two-plus fingers of dense, tawny head with good retention. It left some wonderful lacing on its way out, leading me to question why I do this, since I hate doing dishes. Color was Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity, leading to a visit from the Gelt Gang - Midas, Croesus and Mammon, all clamoring for a taste. I usually go for a pretzel break when they show up. Nose smelled heavily of ... crushed jungle! Wow, what truth in advertising! Actually, it smelled most strongly of tropical fruits, followed by citrus fruit, underlain by pine notes. Mmmm. Oh, how I have missed getting my hops fix these past few weeks. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was really pine resin-like, but also fairly fruity, although harder to discern between citrus and tropical than on the nose. The HopCyclone seemed to be paying off. The finish was dry, but not as bitter as you might expect from the inclusion of so many different hops. Good stuff!

My original bottle review, dtd 05 October 2014 follows:

Another from The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop that needed an approved picture before I would be willing to Pop! it open. I have no problem with taking pictures and resizing them for approval, but I wish that the approval side of the process could be more expeditious.

From the bottle: “Hop Knife Harvest Ale recognizes the tradition of hand-harvesting hops at their peak. Our HopCyclone process creates a spiral of hop dispersal during fermentation, releasing a bounty of citrus, resin & tropical aromas.”

I Pop!ped the cap and began an agro pour that filled the glass pretty quickly with a pseudo-cascade, becoming liquid with a three-finger cap of dense, tawny head with great retention. Color was Amber to Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-plus quality clarity enabling me to see into the future. In the interim, the head fell, leaving behind some nice, sticky lacing. As to the nose, when they say “resin”, they mean the resin that you might dig out of the bowl after several days of heavy use. Ha! It smelled like a big bag of dank. There was also a big minty presence and some underlying caramel malt, but mainly, it was green! Mouthfeel was viscous and it seemed and felt like I had ladled a scoop of it onto my tongue, rather than taking a draught from the glass. The taste was initially literally breathtaking. I swallowed and my breath was taken away by a rush of cool mintiness. It lacked only the pepperiness or I might have guessed that rye had been involved. OMFG, if you are into hops, you are really going to enjoy this one. I missed out on “citrus” and “tropical”, but the mintiness and the caramel flavors were just phenomenal. A truly outstanding example of an AIPA! I am so convinced of what I am saying that if you buy one based on my review and don’t like it and feel that I have misled you, I will refund your cost. It is just that good. The only reason that I will not assign it a 5 is that I could not perceive everything that the label mentioned.

 4,005 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber verging on copper; the moderately-sized head leaves a few shards behind

Smell: Tropical fruit, resins and pine; really bright

Taste: A touch of the biscuit and then the hops take over, bringing tropical fruit (pineapple and guava) and pine flavors; resinous tones build, after the swallow, and the hops verge on but never become overly bitter

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I know the label claims citrus but I am getting more in the way of pine; in any event, this is a very tasty harvest IPA with just the right amount of malt balance for my palate

 628 characters

Photo of teromous
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

In tiny white print against a light green background next to the "Alc/Vol 6.2% | IBU 87" I can see "FRESHEST BY 112516 160720-302 06:57"

Appearance: From the get-go this is a very good looking beer. It instantly pours a wonderful dark copper body with a creamy white head. Perfect clarity. The dark copper body looks absolutely fantastic. This is the kind of beer you just want to take a photo of. It leaves some good lines of lacing on the glass and although the head is short it retains well.

Aroma: I am getting a nice mango aroma which is evenly matched by this lightly alcohol-laced malt aroma. It is not quite a caramel aroma but just malty. There is also a pine resin aroma. The overall aroma is very nice but not the freshest smelling.

Taste: It feels like that malt and pine resin hop flavor push the forefront of flavor and it is immediately grassy tasting. The overall flavor of the beer is grassy with a pine undertone. It doesn't have any amazing off-the-wall flavors but it is nice.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is pretty awesome. It has a good strong bitterness but it maintains a body that is on the lighter side of medium. No texture to the beer which gives it a very clean presentation on the palate and a nice crisp finish.

Overall: I liked the beer. It is not a beer I would recommend to everyone but if you like a light pine reson flavor with an abundance of grass then this beer is for you. That grassy character does give this a nice Indian summer feel and while I don't see myself buying it all of the time it has a character that I could see evoking a sense of nostalgia. I would buy it again.

 1,619 characters

Photo of A_bit_of_the_Sacrament
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For my very first review I wanted to review something special. Since Hop Knife has only been available in my market for less than 24 hours I thought it would be nice to be one of the first to review it.
I cracked open the bottle and poured it vigorously in to a chilled Troegs pint glass. Despite my aggressive pour, the beer yielded only a quarter inch of head which quickly disappeared with the first sip. The nose on this beer has all the hoppy characteristics of an American IPA and the floral notes shine. The front side was as citrusy as I expected but was backed up with good malt balance at the finish.
As someone who has shied away from IPA until recently I didn't expect to be floored by this one. However, I was pleasantly surprised an thoroughly enjoyed it. Hop Knife is definitely worth a try, although I suspect those who are true IPA junkies will find it a bit lack luster.

 890 characters

Photo of Tucquan
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%

Had this on 2014-08-14 in Columbia, PA from a bottle and again on 2014-09-06 on-tap at the brewery.

A - Clear golden-orange with a 1-finger off-white head that fades quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - Lush dollop of various hops with an emphasis on pine, citrus, moderate dank and floral. Some malt sweetness is evident too. Nice!

T - Hop forward, vegetal hob bud flavor followed by orange citrus flesh, pine, biscuit, herbal/medicinal and a long-lingering orange zest bitterness.

M - Light-medium body and medium-high carbonation. Prickly, resinous and crisp.

O - A tasty brew with all the popular, well-done flavors one would expect from a harvest ale. Emphasizes the citrus and hop flavors more than the malt; nothing like a Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere, which relies on a big malt/caramel bill to balance the fresh hops.

 844 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Not anymore than a finger's worth of crisp audibly fizzy off white colored head... Minimal at best retention gives way to a full veil of lacing and modest collar... The color is a warm inviting slightly vibrant amber... There are some assertive golden undertones when back lit... A moderate bit of quick paced carbonation rises randomly throughout...

S - A glorious hop nose to start... Bursting at the seams with a mix of juicy citrus and resiny goodness... A bit more sweet citrus than pungent resins... Quite intoxicating... A light malt base in the form of caramel and cracker lies way beneath the surface... The outstanding aroma probably has a bit to do with the fact that this was bottled just over a week ago... I'm curious to see how this one holds up after a couple of weeks in the fridge...

T - Light tropical fruit and citrus to start... A rich graham cracker malty goodness surfaces next... Bread crust... Next comes a mix of piney and earthy hops... The bitterness intensifies a bit on the finish in the form of earthy pungency...

M -A touch of juiciness to start... Sturdy and medium bodied... Assertive carbonation... Starts to turn a bit chalky midway through and the chalkiness continues to intensify before it finishes with a slight touch of dryness... A light astringency on the finish...

D - World class aroma... Pedestrian in all other facets... While this is a nice addition to the Troegs seasonal line-up, it will always remind me of what it replaced and I would much prefer that Dead Reckoning still occupied this spot in the rotation...

 1,574 characters

4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is good. Better than I was expecting. Maybe not mind blowing, but a gorgeous golden orange color, hops and mild sweetness on the nose. Taste follows with more hops. Bitterness is perfect for balance. Great beer.

 216 characters

Photo of stakem
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

Thanks wishuwerebeer for sharing this 12oz bottle with me. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a crystal clear copper color with a big off-white bubbly head. Some spotty lace hangs on the wall of the glass.

The nose is pungent with wonderful fresh and juicy grapefruit juice-like hop character. Very hop forward and delicious smelling of fresh hops with floral and grassy quality.

The taste however is like dirty cantaloupe mixed with vegetables, grass and buttery diacetyl. How in the hell can something smell this wonderful and taste like licking a garbage can?

This is a light bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. I am very glad I got to try this without wasting any money on it. If offered this beer again, id certainly enjoy smelling it but ill be damned if id drink it. Yuck.

 802 characters

Photo of NoProblem
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of RyanGoodman
2.99/5  rDev -26.4%

Photo of CayseyW
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of wellsnb
4.1/5  rDev +1%

Photo of ajm5108
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty standard & straightforward IPA, the hops are more citrusy & juicy and not so much bitter, though there is some of that present. It is pretty balanced, there is a good malt presence, almost a dry rye flavor, to counter the hops. Slick but not oily, sessionable.

 267 characters

Photo of BierRunner
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Certainly a harvest ale, but well hopped so none of that cloyingly sweet mealtimes. Good carbonation and a light copper color. Very refreshing beer. Tastes like Fall.

 166 characters

Photo of bboynfuel
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of rypkr
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hopyard57
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of brpendergast85
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of HayleyHK
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of pine, tropical fruits. Taste is of piney hops, pineapple, a good bit of bitterness, very dry at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a solid beer.

 259 characters

Hop Knife Harvest Ale from Tröegs Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1445 ratings