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Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

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Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,014 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,014
Reviews: 249
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 435
Gots: 129 | 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: 1,014 | Reviews: 249
Reviews by ThePorterSorter:
More User Reviews:
Photo of dmgeng
4.91/5  rDev +14.7%
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 KYGunner
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
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 beerthulhu
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
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 smakawhat
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
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 ThickNStout
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
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 More_betterness
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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 scottfrie
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of McStagger
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
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 Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to someone for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the grapefruit. From the smell of it, this beer is all about the hops. The flavor is also very hoppy. I get a lot of grapefruit and orange notes with some biscuit and caramel malt mixed in. Even with all the hoppy flavors going on, the bitterness is still fairly low and makes the beer very drinkable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sebowski who is a great BA. But, he is really a doochebag since he is a Redskins fan and my long time Fantasy Football commish! Cheers.

Pours with a thin head. Nice lacing on the glass. Darker redish in color. Smells fairly sweet and citrusy. Taste is a classic West Coast hop bomb. I don't detect much of the alcohol which is dangerous with the ABV. Worth seeking if you are a hop head. Recommended.

Cheers!

Photo of ehammond1
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle (2011)

Bootlegger's Brewery
Fullerton, CA

Thanks for sharing Sam!

Deep, dark, yet barely clear amber. Thick, off-white, persistent head that lasts, and lasts, and lasts. Sticky sheets of lacing down the glass.

This is one pungent and incredibly aromatic DIPA. Only a few have matched it in intensity...though when I really stick my nose in it, it's just a touch too sweet for my liking (though it's still good!). A lot of citrus hop aromatics, some sweet honey and lemon, and a bit of spicy black pepper.

Bitter yet balanced flavor. A ton of hops, a ton of citrus, and a good amount of caramel malt to balance. This DIPA does everything in sort of a West Coast meets East Coast type of way, then the hops take over and you remember who's boss! Really an incredible beer. Perhaps the first time I've actually been (literally) sad I don't have any more of this beer to fill my glass with...there's about 4oz. left sitting in my glass and I don't want to finish it...because then it'll be gone (until next year! (fingers crossed!)).

A rich, thick, and hearty mouthfeel, though incredibly drinkable.

An absolutely fantastic, hoppy, yet balanced, BIG DIPA.

This one ranks.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rather dark for a dipa, usually the best ones tend to be in the orange, vein, but this one here was best described as brown. Looked good though. Amazing aroma, plinyesque to say the least. Swirling hop varieties in a massive dry hop, even some good malt aroma of caramel comes through.

Great taste, low bitterness, hides the alcohol quite well, you really start to feel it though (not taste) as you get towards the end of a bomber of these. Lots of pine without the bitterness, same for the pineapple. Such a smooth mouthfeel to the beer.

Extremely highly recommended. A must for any self proclaimed hop head. Especially the one dimensional ones. This one is unique enough to expand some palates who don't like anything but big hops.

Photo of jmadrigal2
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bomber thanks to unitmosnter.
Cracked this open and didn't smell much hops. Smells like some of the IPAs my buddie has brewed. The smell is sweet like candy, piny and alcohol. Appearance is dark amber with little head, good lacing though. Since this bottle is only 2 weeks old the taste was better than I was expecting. I wouldn't let this one sit over 2 weeks though. This beer is very balanced. I get big sweetness with a bit of hops and the alcohol is apparent on the finish. I like drier IPAs myself so I wasn't really expecting to be all about this one but it was good. It was a great beer and I loved having it fresh but I don't think I would seek this out again unless it was on tap.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
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 RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Everything about this DIPA is good. Not felling the great or wow factor in the recent hype it's received for about 6-8 months now.

Has this beer I want to say 3-4 months ago, picking up a bottle from Beer Revolution in Oakland and they would only sell one bottle per person, hiding it in the back. Said that it's been in the store for 4 days so pretty fresh I assumed.

Where citrus is to WC Dipa's I got a creme brulee and fresh vibrant hop caramel with some pine in the finish. Both nose and taste. Reminds me of a well-done midwest, teetering on East Coast DIPA. Nice change of pace.

Mouthfeel was light and pillowy. Creamy almost. Light carbonation gave a great creamy mouthfeel to a 10% DIPA...what booze?

Just missed by expectations due to hype but did not dissapoint in the least.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice bright clear amber color with a slight ruby tone. Nice frothy tan head with decent retention and lacing.

Amazing nose. Very nice sweet citrussy notes including orange peel and sweet ruby red grapefruit.

Amazing balanced flavor. Excellent sugary malt character on the back end supporting the great citrus and floral hop notes. Very nice aftertaste like a grapefruit-sugar brulee.

Nice full bodied mouthfeel that is creamy yet a tad tacky coating the entire palate. Good carbonation.

Overall this is one of the beat DIPAs out there. The nose is Perfect. The flavor is amazing and So Well Balanced. We need more hop production so we can get more of this stuff made!

Photo of nkersten
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured gently from bottle into LA tumbler. A bright amber orange with a small off white head that fades to a collar with good lacing. Smell is malty and grassy, lots of pineapple and tropical fruits. Taste is an amazing balance of sweet fruity hops and equally sweet malt flavors. Strawberries, slightly bitter, a bit of alcohol, tropical fruit and pineapple. Medium bodied and a medium light carbonation. This is an amazing beer, one of the best balanced double IPAs i have ever had. The hop and malt flavors meld perfectly together, this is what a balanced IPA should taste like. The 10% is pretty well hidden too... Overall a very solid beer.

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Bruery Provisions store and bar. There was some buzz about this beer, where it will be on tap and the like. I found it to be a bang on DIPA, but not living up to any hype. Golden orange coloured body. Orange taste, the IBU certainly up there. Leaning on the bitterness, but still balanced. Middle bodied. What's not to like.

Photo of augustgarage
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ Tony's Darts Away - served in (multiple) 10oz nonics. Reviewed briefly from notes:

Deep amber body with bright orange-ish highlights. Pasty lacing; good retention.

The aromatics are stunning and deliver wave after wave of tropical fruit - mango, kiwi, guava, pineapple...then a fresh burst of kumquat and other citrus. Super fresh hop notes abound.

The flavor delivers more of the same fruity goodness backed up by a potent alpha-acid bomb of juicy hop bitterness. Excellent. Sweet/tart/then finally dry finish with a lasting IBU-induced glow.

Creamy, medium-bodied, and faintly oily mouth-feel.

Bootlegger's has outdone themselves with this one - one of the fruitiest takes on the style I've sampled; and quite strong without being overwhelming or totally unbalanced (though this is still a beer for hop-heads).

Photo of Thedusanmandic
3.26/5  rDev -23.8%
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 JeffBob
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from tap at Bootleggers brewery into a beer glass.
A Great 1/2 inch of foam
S aroma of fantastic hoppy piney sweetness.
T At first bitter hops then sweetness hits you fading away to a nice bitter hop aftertaste.
M bitter dry and smooth
O just fantastic this beer ruined most IPA's for me.

Photo of EchoParker
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

It's hard for me to give this beer a true ranking and review as it's been so inconsistent. It used to be something I really sought out but it seems to be less and less delicious every time I try it. I thought it was just me but the other night I ordered one and commented that it was better than last time but still not what it once was. The bartender shrugged and said, "tell me about it. I hear that every time we get a keg."
Its a good beer even a very good beer but it was once a great beer.

I have very strong recollections of the searing hop aromas and flavors that dominate my nose and mouth from the time I lift the glass until a minute after I gulp. The resinous pine and tropical notes are still there but just not a pronounced as I vividly recall.

Carbonation and mouthfeel are still really good.

I'll keep drinking it and hope that this latest upswing is a sign of things to come from my boys at Bootleggers.

Photo of adamsneighbor
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had knuckle sandwich on tap at the brewery it was exceptional.

The beer has very nice color a dark caramel brown color with good carbonation.

Aroma was excellent a good hop nose with floral, grassy notes not over bearing just right.

The taste was surprisingly smooth it had great hop/malt balance and for a 10% abv beer it was not boozy at all which surprised me.

Also this beer has great mouthfeel it has good body and just the right amount of carbonation to make an exceptional dipa thanks bootleggers.

Photo of Psyko
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Knuckle Sandwich
650ml Bottle purchased at Bootleggers Brewery 11/23/12
Served in a tulip Glass

A: This beer pours a nice dark amber with a 1-2 finger head with some lacing. Some alcohol legs are visible. A small head lingers.

S: Sweet citrus and pine dominate the aroma. there is no alcohol in the smell.

T: Malty pineapple flavors dominate the initial flavor profile. Some mango with a quickly dissipating bitterness finish the back end. This beer is on the sweeter side of the DIPA spectrum. This specific batch is a little more sweet and a little less hoppy than previous batches in my opinion. Even with the small variations this is a great beer.

M: This beer has a thick mouthfeel. The effervescence does help cut down the syrupy mouthfeel, but the finish is still slightly sticky.

O: This another great West Coast DIPA. Find it now. Recommended.

Photo of PretzelCity
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass on Tap at Tony's. Poured a nice deep golden amber color into the glass with a white one finger head that quickly faded to lacing around the glass. The smell is a hop punch in the nose. Lots of citrus and pine stand out, not a lot of malt detectible. Taste is more of the same, lots of citrus and piney hops. It reminds me of the first time I had Sculpin. Flavors like grapefruit jump out. The mouthfeel is great for me. Syrupy hop resin makes this beer thicker, with body and bite. The hops tingle your tongue with each sip like hop pop rocks. Not overly bitter but enough to get you in the back corners of your mouth. This beer is smooth and very drinkable, but at 10% it won't be drinkable for very long. I really like what Bootlegger's is doing and I think this is their best offering by far.

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Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 1,014 ratings.