Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

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Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,010 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 1,010
Reviews: 248
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 436
Gots: 127 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jerz on 12-14-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,010 | Reviews: 248
Photo of Rutager
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pretty clear, rich amber-orange, nice finger of cream coloured, sticky looking head. Sweet malts, with citrus and ripe tropical fruits and a bit of sharp alcohol on the nose. Big sweet malts, citrus rinds, some over-ripe tropical fruits. Medium-full body, medium-low carbonation. Big IPA here, good stuff.

Photo of Thedusanmandic
3.26/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I'm only here so I won't get fined.

Photo of Kraj30
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

its pretty solid IIPA... not too boozy

Photo of SierraFlight
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into shaker pint. Orange amber body with two finger plus head that lasts. Lots of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Aroma is of orange peel, pine resin, sweet malts, and citrus juice. Taste is bitter citrus peel and pine balanced with sweet candied grapefruit and a caramel malt ribbon. Medium-full body, sticky, resinous texture, moderate carbonation, bitter finish.

Photo of dmgeng
4.91/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was strongly recommended by my brewing mentor and I was on a mission to procure it. Thanks to Rick760Sd for this one!

A - Deep amber color, one of the darkest DIPAs I've ever seen. Very clear beer with a fluffy coarse white head and moderate lacing. Pours pretty thick for a DIPA.

S - Extremely strong fresh hop fragrance with tons of floral, pine, resin, and citrus fruits. Smells like a freshly pulled dry hop bag. There is some orange, tropical fruit like peach, and an herbal character to bring together the awesomeness. Overall great aromatics.

T - Out of the gates this is a Simcoe bomb! The resin, pine, dank, and citrus all pound the tongue. "Knuckle Sandwich" is very appropriate with the hop flavors and the hop bitterness that punch the palate. There is a tremendous amount of sweet malt backbone that tries to simmer down the bitterness and does well. There is a caramel and alcohol tone that blends very well with the pine and resin making this a beastly beer.

M - High mouth-feel with medium carbonation. Very resinous and hoppy bitter with the maltiness trying to compensate. The balance is a good attempt but just a big beer!

Overall, a tremendous beer. Not as fruity or as citrusy as other DIPAs but with the extreme resin and pine to go along with the grapefruit and peach it is just amazing. The big malt, caramel character took me aback but it was really quite delicious and made this beer more robust and flavorful. If you love hops this more "East-Coast" style DIPA is pretty awesome.

Glass- Imperial Nonic

Photo of beerthulhu
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Ice tea coloring with a slight, bready textured peanut shell toned head that was moderately retaining. Healthy carbonation factor within, with a sticky, thin, lace band.

S: Aroma was sticky pine resins, flowery dry citrus, wet grapefruit, with background nuances of sweetly toasted malt. Decent level of awareness.

T: Toasted malt and dry citrus with juicy grapefruit and sticky pine upfront. Spicy hops, dry mango and tropical fruit hints. Glimpses of toasted sweetness, figs, tangerines-orange spiciness and apple-caramel. Alcohol spiciness of cinnamon and tarragon.

M: Sticky hop resins, sticky malt with a fairly sharp bite of carbonation. Very good malt depth, dry, spicy bite of hops off the tongue.

O: Overall big sticky malt body and sticky hop resins and as good as advertised. A very good mixture of juicy hops, sweet malt, dry hopping and alcohol spiciness. Incredible drinkability, the 10% abv is nearly non-detectable behind the big malt backing and hops and adds a nice deal of spiciness. A bomber goes way to quickly, a worthy repeat anytime and one i wish i had access to. Received as xmas present, the price + shipping cost is worth the endeavor.

Photo of stonefan55
3.01/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Too malty should be more of an American strong ale

Photo of Hop_Thirsty
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very solid DIPA. Explodes with pine both on the nose and pallet.

Photo of Gpartnoff
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Phenominal beer. The hype on it was on point. It's a go to double IPA. Glad it's local, got mine at seagate liquor in Hb. They have over 400 craft caguamas.

Photo of reebtaerG
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured bomber into Lost Abbey Teku no date on bottle

A-Pours a deep copper orange with a two finger off white head. Great lacing.

S-Aroma is of pine, grapefruit, sweet malts, caramel, and some tropical hops.

T-Taste is very similar to the aroma but has a bit more hops and caramel.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium to full body. At the beginning it's slightly creamy and finishes slightly dry. Has great carbonation.

O-Overall a great DIPA, I enjoy the balance of the hops and malt. I would definetly get one again.

Photo of MonkeyBread
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: normal for a DIPA. Slightly darker than usual a nice light tangerine/ruby red color. Head is the perfect amount of white foam.

Smell: pretty mild on the nose. Malts are very present with a caramel-like sweetness. Hop notes of citrus and tropical fruits. Again, this is not an DIPA with a huge aroma to it.

Taste: First thing that stands out is how wickedly smooth this beer is for 10% ABV you would never think it. Alcohol is completely hidden. One of the most malt forward DIPA's I've had, as advertised on the label. Especially on the front the malty sweetness shows off its presence. As you move into the middle and finish the hops make themselves known coming across very tropical of mangoes, melon (rare), citrus, tangerine, grape fruit. A bit of floral, herbaceous notes are present as well. Ends with a normal DIPA bitter finish but it doesn't linger unpleasantly.

Mouth Feel: excellent, like the rest of the beer it is smooth throughout. No unwanted carbonation, crispness, syrupy/viscous quality or thin body. The body really fits with the overall style and in my opinion objective of the brewer.

Overall: This is a fantastic DIPA. It takes the hop notes of a traditional West Coast IPA (although more tropical fruits the grape fruit and citrus is very present and West Coasty) and adds a hefty malt backbone. This takes the best parts of West and East coast. I don't like the bone dry, no malt presence West Coast / San Diego IPAs, this really hits the spot by adding a big malt sweetness that complements and balances the beer. Get your hands on this one if you can. Would love to blind taste test this against the other top DIPAs.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Frothy, blanket-like cream-colored head a finger thick. It look

s velvety and majestic. Impressive. Body is a glowing amber color. 5

S- Sweet, dank and piney. Lots of caramel. 4

T- Continued sweet caramel, light citrus and a moderately resinous finish. 4

M- Thick and big-bodied with a mostly sweet feel before a bitter, dry close. Alcohol is nowhere to be found and there's a nice burst of effervescence mid-palate. 4.25

It's a nice beer with perhaps less aromatics than I expected, but the overall product works well.

Photo of jdaddy
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Rating is based upon average of bottles versus draft. Would certainly rate this on draft at 4.75 however the bottles received at the brewery were noticeably less impressive. Don't get me wrong, still a wonderful IIPA. No dates on the bottles however understanding they sell out of Knuckle Sandwich every few days, I assume they are fresh.

The draft at the brewery was more hop forward with a substantial malt base. With the bottle I find the hops to be less present with the malt still there. The good news is the heavier malt in both the draft and bottle product is pleasing.

Photo of Nugganooch
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle with my FW snifter glass
Notes from 09/21/2014

A: Dark amber body with a real garnet look. Darker than most any IPA I have come across with a touch of murkiness to it. Half finger width of khaki tan suds holds over somewhat. A few swathed ribbons of lace paint the glass on the way down.

S: The nose is saturated with resinous pine needle and complimented by softer currents of candied grapefruit and flowers. I get a very clean bready malt cracker note with a dusting of lemon zest. Really nice and pungent with a heavy hand in the piney hops.

T: A juicy hop blaster loaded with sappy evergreens. I get tons of pine with grapefruit, tangerine, lemon-lime, and some more stone fruit like elements of peach. Super resinous with a big bitter sharpness on the palate yet balanced by a moderately hefty malt bill. Bready malt cracker sustains through to a drying finish. Some faint booziness but its welcomed here at 10%+. A great DIPA overall.

M: The body is moderate with decent balance teetering between light and heavy. Very bitter with a long lasting resinous linger and a good drying at the finish. Lightly warming with alcohol.

D: Big, bold, and brazen with some major pine resin factor. Despite the rub of latest production efforts here KnuckleSando is still a great DIPA. Let’s face it this is the beer that put Bootlegger’s on the map. The rest of their stuff has been pretty hit or miss. Definitely worth trying out and stoked to finally nab this one in San Diego.

Photo of Celtics17
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

So many flavors come through. Without a doubt one of the best Double/Triple/Imperial IPA's I've had. I get the normal sweetness, and tropical fruit with a bite of grapefruit. I also get a nice hint of vanilla coming though.

Photo of TATTSNSNAPBACKS
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Haven't been a fan of too many of the IPAs Bootlegger's has been coming out with. This one how ever was a great Double IPA. 10% !! That's what I'm talking about!

Photo of smakawhat
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a spiegelau IPA glass.

Big thick and tall, creamy to foamy light tan head, billowing like a giant fist off the pour and quite uniform in bubbles. Body color is very dark and nearly brown but goes to deep bronze red and just can see through it. Edges provide lots of lighter red and orange color, but bleeds like blood. Just creeping, slow, and small rising carbonation. Great looking brew.

Real neat aroma. Dank hints, a sort of mix of juiced garlic roasted sweet onion notes and faint fruit somewhat indistinct senses, kind of tangerine citrus barely. Somewhat complimenting, but not getting in each others way too much. Goes to hop smoke aromas also which is real nice. This I think could be off putting for some but I am enjoying it nicely.

Palate is just... uh... WOW... this is so thick and juiced with coating sugars. Pure icing sugar like feel. Thick brown sugar malt sweetness and practically like drinking hop maple syrup and thick toffee caramel. Palate brings some more big fruit notes, but the caramel sweetness takes over in an impressive way. Finishes with dank qualities, and big almost cherry and raspberry fruit pie like finish. Mild bitterness, just a bit sugary.

Overall this is really impressive and different from nose to palate. REally not what I was expecting making it that more impressive. It is however, just a bit too sweet, and it takes over from the hop aroma and flavors just a little too much. But dang this is going to drink fast.

Photo of KYGunner
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very hearty and robust caramel color meets the eye with a bubbly thick foam head.

The nose is exquisite with lemon, watermelon, grapefruit and tangerine. The caramel malt back bone is obvious but not intruding.

The flavors are diverse and intense with fruity and herbal hop characters and a malty backbone. Lemon, watermelon(which is unusual), tangerines and grapefruit meet a musky herbal hop tone. The malt has barley, caramel and cola nut flavors as well to support a deeply complex beer.

This drinks with superior smoothness and a deceptively refreshing feel.

I rank this amongst the best DIPAs I've ever had...I wish I had more.

Photo of More_betterness
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Grab a bottle every time I see it available! Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Lost Abbey teku.

A: Deep amber, almost ruby hue topped by a light tan head. Even after having this beer multiple times it is still slightly off putting seeing an ipa this dark. Despite its non-conformity still a good looking beer.

S: Massive, resinous hops up front. Mango, orange, and pineapple followed by sweet caramel malt.

T: Sweet tropical fruits and bitter pine followed by rich caramel sweetness. The malt character really accentuates the tropical aspect as the sweetness couples with the hops nicely. Bitter finish with a hint of warming alcohol.

M: Medium bodied for your average beer, but viscous for an ipa. Average carbonation.

O: This was the first DIPA I ever truly loved a few years ago,and it's easy to see why. While this amount of malt character in an ipa is now usually a detriment to a beer IMO, Bootleggers does a fantastic job of pairing a hefty malt sweetness with aggressive hop character in this one. The result is a beer that is far from the standard dry DIPAs with little to no malt character, but still an exceptionally balanced and well crafted brew. Love it!

Photo of McStagger
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not been impressed with this brewery thus far. Still, this one approaches whale status, so I figured I'd see what the hype was about.

A: Rich ruby/amber. Half finger of off white head. Carbonation is moderate, with tiny bubbles rising to the surface. Retention is moderate, lacing is stellar.

S: Big caramel malts. Bruising, even. Hops are evergreen, grapefruit. Some alcohol in the nose. Underlying sweet stone fruit, hint tropical. Seems muted, given the name.

T: Much, much better than the nose. This one hits and hits hard. Hops are hugely sweet. Tons of stone fruit, tropical fruit. Spruce and pine and lemon peel on the end. Huge maltiness helps to accentuate the tropical hit. Sweetness is borderline cloying, but the bitterness pops in at the last second to balance it out. Fruitiness of the hops comes back into play in the finish. Very, very fruity finish. Not terribly dry.

M: Very light bodied for the crazy high abv. No alcohol detected whatsoever.

O: Not your dry west coast IPA. Way too malty for my taste, but the quality is there.

Photo of ThickNStout
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from j47paco (thanks!). No dicernable bottling info. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours a deep but transparent russet amber with a finger and a half of manilla head. A thin film of tiny bubbles remains as well as a halo that leaves some nice lacing.

Smells of sweet juicy fruits. Mandarin, mango and slight pineapple with some noticeable caramel malt hues. Good stuff for sure.

Taste delivers on the nose. Quite fruity and bittersweet. Mandarin/ tangerine, orange zest, mango/ papaya, subtle pineapple, grapefruit, mild pine, sweet caramel malts, biscuit and a nice little booze kick. Great malt sweetness that reinforces the bitter, juicy hops. Absolutely delicious.

Oily, slick and coating, this has a medium full feel with moderate carbonation. Juicy, bitter hops and sweet malts linger in the finish.

A DIPA that's right up my alley. I'm quite fond of the juicy, tropical, citrusy West coast style hops with a bold malt sweetness that can't be ignored. With no bottling date I can't be sure but the hop aromas/ flavors are bright enough that my guess is this is pretty fresh and I can see how freshness would have a huge impact on someone's perception of this. Either way, I truly enjoyed the bottle I was given and would happliy drink it again anytime.

Photo of lazydayspoiler
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served out of a bomber in a tulip glass

A - dark amber, reminiscent of fat tire or dog fish head, frothy head that settles quickly with nice lacing

S - dried apricot and vanilla on the front, carmel on the back

T - Smell carries through, enhanced with minimal citrus body

M - Smooth, malty, minor carbonation, slight alcohol on the finish

O - The 10% is well hidden, and like a playground bully, sneaks up to sock you in the face. High quality in the spirit of DFH 90 minute.

Photo of lanciloti
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into a snifter glass. (release #18 2014)

Appearance: A dark amber. Creamy tan head.

Smell: Sweet caramel and apricot. Great hop aroma.

Taste: I get a lot of sweet fruit and caramel out of this beer. Alcohol burn comes after about 10 minutes.

Mouthfeel: Nice mouthfeel, good amount of malt. Very full and creamy.

Overall: Reminds me a little of Maharaja, but even sweeter. Easy to drink for 10% abv. Would like to drink again. Cheers!!

Photo of PicoPapa
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Orthodoxkardia for this one.

22oz bottle. Pours a reddish brown color with a half inch of head. Quite the interesting color for an IPA. Lots of lacing. The aroma is lots of tropical fruits. Mango, guava, pineapple and sweet grapefruit. The taste is much like the aroma. Juicy tropical fruits with some piney hops. Some caramel malts as well. Pineapple and warming alcohol at the finish. Creamy, heavy mouthfeel. Pretty bitter Imperial with lots of tropical fruit flavor. The 10% ABV is very present but it still drinks easily. Overall, oustanding Imperial IPA I hope to have again.

Photo of scottfrie
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into tulip.

A: Pours a deep golden amber with a thick and greasy tan head that faded into an oily collar that left strings of thick lace down the glass.
S: Super fresh a potent scent of citrus medley coupled with tropical fruit nectars, flower gardens and perfume. Tropical fruits are sweet and mix well with an onslaught of grapefruit, orange zest, sweet ripe tangerines and clementines. Flowery perfume pokes through the mix as well.
T: Bitter yet smooth notes of grapefruit pith, tangerine juice, orange rind, and sweet passion fruit, mango and papaya. Notes of flowers and sweet fruit nectars bring up the finish, and the aftertaste is tingly and sweet with a slight note or two of the base malt. Sweet tropical fruits linger long after the swallow.
M: Thick and heavy mouthfeel, syrupy but not overly oily, greasy, or sweet. Carbonation is tingly and smooth, with a chewy body and extremely well hidden alcohol.
O: Impressive nose, impressive tastes, very impressive mouthfeel. Drinks like a beer half the ABV. More than just a citrus bomb in taste, there is plenty of other hop profiles layered in the flavors. Nose is phenomenal, I definitely enjoyed this one.

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Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 1,010 ratings.