Friday, January 27, 2012

Now Pouring: Tommyknocker Brewery Hop Strike Black Rye IPA

Tommyknocker Brewery, Colorado
6.5% ABV
78 IBU
BeerAdvocate score: 87
RateBeer score: 94

I first ran across Hop Strike on tap this past summer on a trip out east and was really impressed by it. I was pleased to find it this week at my local liquor store. If you're a hophead, this is worth a try.

As indicated by the name, it pours a deep, dark black with faint mahogany edges that are only noticeable when held to the light. It sports one finger dense beige head that dissipates over a few minutes to a thin layer of lace. At 78 IBUs, it's no surprise that you get a nose full of hops right off the bat. It's very piney with just a slight whiff of malt.

With all that hop smell, you'd think it might be an overpowering IPA but it is surprisingly well balanced. Of course you get the citrusy hops, but you also get sweet malt and rye. With a medium bodied mouthfeel and moderate carbonation, it's really a lot more drinkable than the name would lead you to believe.

As the beer warms, the hop flavor mellows making the malt and rye more predominant and you can begin to taste a little biscuit and caramel.

The icing on the cake for me is the unbelievable lacing this beer leaves behind. With each sip another ring of lace tracks your progress. I don't know if I've ever had another beer with this much sticky lace. It almost makes the beer fun.

All in all, this is an impressive brew. At 6.5% you can drink a couple without it going to your head. I'll give it an A- and I look forward to the remaining five I have in the fridge.

Thanks for stopping in!

From the draft I had this past summer.
Look at that lacing!

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