Tommyknocker Hop Strike Black IPA
Tommyknocker Brewing’s Hop Strike isn’t just your typical black IPA. The 6.5% ABV and 78 IBU beer also has a welcome bit of rye within its dark depths to make it a bit more intriguing and separate from the Cascadian crowd. In addition to the rye, the beer also has a blend of Chinook, Wummit and Willamette hops. The end result is one of the better Tommyknocker beers I’ve had thus far.
The key to this beer was the subtlety to the rye. It’s not in your face as a dominant trait, but lingers nicely in the background adding a balanced counterpoint to the dry-hopped brew.
Hop Strike pours dark, dark brown with an ever-growing tan head — seriously, the thing wouldn’t stop rising in a column over the top edge of the glass.
Once some of the foam finally settled down, a solid citrusy hop profile and a subtle roast malt wafted up from the surface. I didn’t get much of a rye presence in the nose.
For the lack of rye in the aroma, it certainly makes up for it in the flavor arena. Again, it’s use isn’t to be that of the front-runner of the flavors, but more as a point of balance for the pine and grapefruit that the hop blend brings to the table. There’s a light roast malt character, a touch of cocoa and the welcome rye that lingers wonderfully in the drying finish.
This well balanced and medium bodied brew isn’t your typical black IPA. The addition of the rye in the mix is a great touch and one that adds that little something extra to the brew. I could certainly seeing more of Hop Strike showing up in the household fridge in the future.