Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tommyknocker Brewery - Hop Strike Black IPA; Imperial Nut Brown Ale

The Tommyknocker Brewery has been brewing in Idaho Springs, Colorado since 1994.  Tommyknockers are legendary elves who lived in the cracks and crevices of the area's gold mines in the 1800's.  They could be heard singing and working, but were rarely seen.  They were known to steer miners out of harm's way and to finds of gold.

Hop Strike Black IPA - This 6.5% ABV beer pours an absolute black, with a small head of light brown foam that leaves sticky lacing of light to medium density down the glass.  The aroma is fresh, piney, citrus hops dancing over dark roasted malt, with coffee and dark chocolate.  The two combine to create an almost smokey effect, like walking by a burnt building on a dewy morning after a fire the day before.  The taste is dark roasted malt forward, with all the flavors of the aroma.  It drinks like a dark, rich stout that finishes with a fresh, bracing hop bitterness.  I like how this beer finishes.

Imperial Nut Brown Ale - This 9.0% ABV beer is brewed with maple syrup.  It pours a somewhat hazy, very dark brown and ruby in color.  It is very dark.  There is a slight head of light brown.  The aroma is very sweet, malty, caramel, somewhat burnt, a bit nutty.  The taste is malty, very sweet, caramel, roasted, nutty, with just enough hops to balance the sweetness and prevent it being cloying.  The mouthfeel is a bit flat, but otherwise a pretty tasty beer.  I expected it to be too sweet, but it is not.

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