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Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

Not Rated.
Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

Educational use only; do not reuse.

247 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 247
Hads: 1,040
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 442
Gots: 137 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 247 | Hads: 1,040
Photo of rand
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From bomber to tulip glass

A: Pours a dark amber in color, reddish hue, and forms a frothy, tightly-bubbled head. Little islands of lacing are all over the glass as I gently twirl.

S: Strong tropical scents up front, hops smell more fruity than piny. The sweet caramelly malts are everywhere and give the hops a run for their money. The alcohol is quite prevalent as well, propelling the bouquet.

T: Yeah, the tropical notes are at the front again, but they're quickly met by the rich layer of caramelly malts. The combination creates a flavor akin to lush tropical fruit, like a ripe mango. Of course, when reviewing a big, hoppy IPA, the bitterness is discounted, so this isn't to say this is some kind of candy-like brew - it's plenty bitter. The alcohol is nicely masked, unlike the nose, and the bitter-sweet combination carries to the finish.

M: Perfectly chewy and rich, with the bubbly carbonation wiping the palate clean between each sip.

Wow, another phenomenal West Coast DIPA. This one gives Pliny a run for its money. I've been spoiled lately - from Alpine's Bad Boy, to Kern River's Citra release, and now this. It's hard to compare and say which one is simply "better". They're all delicious and distinct. I'm just happy more and more brewers are finding ways to make these amazing ales.

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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).

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

A: Pours dark reddish amber color with half finger to finger of head. Hazy look

S: Citrus hits the nose with some punch. Grapefruit and a little bit of orange.

T: Citrus grapefruit and orange bitterness up front. Sweeter finish. There was a punch to this one.

M: Light feel w/ not too much carbonation. Impressive given its darker color.

D: An all around excellent DIPA that should be produced far more than it is.

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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!

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

HUGE thanks to mrmiles for sending this very desired west coast DIPA in a thank you box! I missed this beer by a day at THREE different places on tap (including the brewery) during a recent trip to SoCal.

A-Deep, dark copper with a medium, fluffy, light tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left attractive decorative lace.

S-From the opening in the bottle I received a blast of fresh citrus hops. After my pour that same aroma remains but it is now blended with bitter grapefruit rind, a touch of pine, a little pineapple and spicy notes in the back. Malt sweetness is barely noticeable.

T-I was a bit concerned with how dark this beer was that the malt bill might get in the way of the hop beauty but no, I was wrong! A massive and wonderfully balanced (read hop forward with malt support) west coast DIPA. The bitter citrus rind and pine resin hops are front and center with a subtle, ever so light touch, but you know it is there caramel malt sweetness in the finish.

M-Medium body with a nice sharp bite, good lingering hop bitterness and a drying finish.

D-Really--this is 10%--HA! I am certainly impressed with this one and am a little miffed I couldn't track it down on tap. Oh well, at least I get to enjoy this one in a what seems to be about as fresh as a bottle can get fresh! Certainly a brew that is worthy of all the praise it has been getting lately! Thanks again Miles for the chance to lay into this one!

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Photo of tut2528
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to beachstrength49 for this one!

A: poured into a FFF Teku, it pours a deep ruby red, with about 1/2 fingers worth of head. lacing is present, but more spotty than anything.

S: awesome explosion of hops and sharp orange peel and grapefruit. the fruitiness of this brew is simply amazing. the orange reminds me of a creamsicle. pine also comes through and it sits perfectly with the rest of the brew. One of the best smelling brews I've had.

T: the malt really comes out here is the main player of the brew. The hops are still very much present, but the fruits take a back seat which I wasn't really expecting since they were so prominent in the nose. I also pick up on a slight touch of alcohol heat with some cream in the finish.

M: strong medium bodied brew, that has a fair amount of carbonation. I enjoy the sweet maltiness that is left on the palate that is complemented by a slight pine bitterness.

O: a very solid brew all the way around, and very enjoyable. Very impressed with my first offering by Bootleggers, and I wish I had access to this on a regular basis. And once again thanks Chris for sending this out to me. It was awesome.

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Photo of lanciloti
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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!!

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Photo of sholland119
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Vanlingleipa for the chance to try this one.

A-Pours a murky amber with a frothy off white head and good lacing.

S-Delicious. Big blast of citrus hops with a lot of caramel malt behind it. Not very typical of the West Coast style, but very well balanced.

T-Very nicely balanced malt and hops. Sweet malt and citrus hops are on a very equal footing.

M-Medium bodied, a bit sticky woit good lingering bitterness.

O-Really delicious DIPA. Very well done.


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

The world famous Bootknuckle Legger Sandwich shipped over the pond by Vanlingleipa. Love me some hoppy goodness. Cheers dude!

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, fluffy, cream white head with very good retention. Perfectly clear burnt orange in color with slightly higher levels of carbonation for the style. A splotchy wisp and ring remains leaving some decent lacing down the glass. Good looking beer for sure.

SMELL: Bold and hoppy nose on this one. Lots of honeydew melon, pineapple, mango, and some piney goodness. Light caramel notes, but this one is mostly fruity and piney.

TASTE: Aggressively hoppy with pine notes up front, as well as an array of fruity mango, melon and pineapple into the hoppy bitter swallow. Bold and lingering finish is plenty hoppy with lots of pine, some light melon sweetness as balance, and a good dose of spicy alcohol as well. A little boozier than expected, but it works well with the piney, grassy hop bitterness. Really flavorful and enjoyable, the the fruit notes in the nose were a little outdone by the piney hops here.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of creamy carbonation. Smooth and oily on the palate, goes down fine with a slight bite at the swallow and finishes a touch mouth coating. Some biting bitterness and a touch of alcohol linger on the palate. Really nice feel.

OVERALL: One of my favorites in the style, and probably the best pine-forward DIPA I've had to date. While I usually prefer more citrus forward IPA's, this one delivered a great bouquet of aromas and flavors that it almost made me forget my normal preferences. A real treat, and one I'd love to drink on a regular basis. Thanks again for the beers Vanlingleipa! I hope you enjoy your package as well.

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Photo of chumba526
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a somewhat hazy amber with a light brown head.

It smells of grassy dank hops, caramel like malts. I get a nice pine like hop flavor and a mild bread like malty smell. there is also a mild citrus flavor. the smell is a equal mix of hops and malts.

It tastes initially of pine and grassy hops and mild toffee. I get a mild citrus orange like hop flavor. I get a malty bread-like and rich flavor from the beer. it ends with a mild hoppy bitterness that is paired with a nice sweetness. It is a perfect blend of hops and malts.

It has a somewhat thick and creamy mouth feel with moderate carbonation.

Overall a malt heavy but still hoppy DIPA. It tastes kind of like a west coast take on a English style imperial IPA. though I like lighter DIPAs This is a great beer.

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Photo of Dan3279
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to get this bomber through a friend out in California through a trade. I have been on a huge IPA kick lately and this one has been close to the top of my list.

I poured the bomber into the pint glass to find a clear amber body with a small white head that had little lacing.

If the smell is any indication of how this beer tastes then the hype is real. The aroma has a very strong hop / citrus / floral presence.

WOW, the taste is great, the hops dominate the front end, you notice the grapefruit / citrus flavors that mellow out into some caramel like sweetness and ends on the bitterness you would expect. At the same time I'm left wanting more, and couldn't wait for my next sip.

The drinkability was solid, balanced with the carbination and alcohol. I would never guess that this beer had an ABV of 10%.

Overall this is a fantastic beer and I would highly suggest getting a bottle or two if you have the means to.

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

a beautiful clean amber pour with 2 fingers of detergent-like white head, great retention, nice amount of lacing. smells of piney hops, caramel, spicy herbal notes - basically, a very nice smelling hop bomb :)
one sip and i'm sold! i get a taste of what seems like warrior (spicy garlic/herbs), simcoe (tangy/cat pee-like haha), cascade (pine, grapefruit, floral).. the malt profile is there behind all of the hops, and is a nice sweet malty caramel-like flavor.

a medium body, modestly carbonated beer, has a nice heavy chest warmth to it, but is so tasty you overlook the heaviness and plunge right in. in no way is this a "well-balanced" dipa, but i like to look at it two ways, well balanced with hops and malt, and then well balanced hop profile, which this one would fall into in my vision (or taste, rather). the mix of different hops throw your palate in a frenzy, but it evens out in the end and you are left with a delicious mix of grapefruit, piney, spicy flavors in your mouth. it's hard to figure out which hops work well with each other, and sometimes just throwing in your heavy hitters in high quantity works perfectly.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

deep dark orange. Perfect one finger of thick head. Nose is predominantly grapefruit, with a bit of spicy hop notes and pine. It’s the grapefruit that’s dominant though. Medium body. Decent malt character, but this one is all about the hops. First two thirds on the palette is fruity hop flavor, grapefruit rind and maybe peach. Back third is pleasant bittering. A great beer

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Photo of amphion1065
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to DearthVader for sending me two bottles of this, which lasted me as many days. Enjoyed one (the one I’m officially rating) from a tulip and another from the Alpine pint glass Brian was kind enough to send along. Both were just over a week old.

Knuckle Sandwich pours a deep, copper orange, bordering on maroon. Some red highlights in the body, which is pretty clear, but I can’t take my eyes off of the head. Billowing, sticky, and white, the two fingers never quite receded. Cobweb-like lacing on this one: with just the slightest swirl I was able to coat my glass entirely. Gorgeous.

The smell is a rich mélange of citrus fruits and deep malts. Grapefruit, lemon, maybe a little nectarine and orange, too. I expected more of a hop explosion, but to be honest it’s not quite there. It’s obviously fresh, and although it lacks the hop bomb characteristic I’ve been conditioned to expect from a West Coast DIPA, it’s still excellent.

The taste was similarly unexpected. Rich waves of malty flavor, with a slight, crisp hop profile. Not bracingly bitter – actually, not too bitter at all. It’s very fruity and incredibly smooth, just vastly different than other top-ranked beers I’ve had in the style. I should note that the ABV is virtually nonexistent – it masks it perfectly.

Mouthfeel is really, really excellent: well carbonated and crisp, the flavors are really allowed to shine despite the body being on the heavy side.

I shared my first bottle with a budding craft beer drinker, who was surprised when I told her that this was a DIPA. I shared my second with fellow BA myspoonistoobig, who agreed that this didn’t quite fit the West Coast DIPA paradigm. Upon reflection, I think that Knuckle Sandwich combines a lot of the best qualities of DIPAs from both coasts, and that mix is what makes it so special. I sampled this alongside Pure Hoppiness, Kern 5th Anniversary, and Furious, and this was easily best in show.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Kim for holding these for me...

A - Pours maple with a one finger off white head. Head retention is decent, but there is not much lacing to be had...

S - Good dose of citrus fruits and hops. Also pick up some sweet malts, and a hint of pine...

T - Lots of sweet caramel up front. Grapefruit, and tangerines follow with a hint of pine, and some floral hops. Ends with a hop bitterness and some lingering grapefruit. Delicious. Caramel becomes more apparent as beer warms up a little. Abv is well hidden...

M - Nice creamy feel. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation...

O - Bootlegger's comes through big with a big time brew. Definitely something that is going to be in my rotation when it is around...


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Photo of imagese
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured into a perfect pint

A- light amber with a orange hue. thick 1 finger head that fades to a nice thin layer that laces nicely

S- intial burst of dark and sugary citrus hops followed by some more sweetness in the malt and a very funky and earthy ending. Almost like Society Garlic in fresh bloom.

T- Awesome tart citrus hops with a faint sweetness, then more hop awesomeness!

M- Thick and nice. Coats the tongue and mouth like there's no tomorrow

D- The high ABV doesn't come thru anywhere. Scary smooth

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks goes out to womencantsail for this bomber. No freshness date but I know this was recently released... Split into two michelob celebrate tulips.

A: Pours a deep copper color with a light tan head about an inch thick that recedes to a good quarter of an inch that has some nice staying power. Nice spots of lacing as it continues to recede.

S: Incredibly fruity and juicy, lots of tropical fruits, pineapple, and a respectable amount of citrus as well. A decent amount of caramel and smooth malt as well. Doesn't have the super resinous "dank" quality that I had expected. One of the more unique aromas from a DIPA that I've ever come across.

T: Very strong bitterness on the back end that is a combination of alcohol and alpha acids, the tropical fruit flavor comes through quite a bit more as it continues to warm. Pineapple and mango are really the ones that come to mind. The bitterness really is clean and potent, my tongue is reeling a bit. This definitely isn't on the sweet side of the spectrum, as it is incredibly dry and bitter. The only thing holding it back from being a 4.5+ on the taste is the hoppy flavor, its there, but from the nose I figured it would be a bit more intense. Not bad but not quite there either.

M: Medium body, perfect carbonation, and an incredibly dry finish for the size of the beer. Alcohol is hidden very well, almost too well until the beer reaches my stomach where I can feel the heat.

D: Dangerous, for all the things that can go wrong with a DIPA being too sweet, or too boozy, this one hits all the notes exactly how I like it. Splitting this bomber will not be hard at all as this is one of the better DIPA's I've had in some time.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Callmecoon for this bad ass extra.

Wow, what an amazing color. Its dark for the style, a few shades darker than white zin. Its a blushing bright ruby. A modest haze gives this glass a satin appearance. The darker color doesn't contaminate the head's pure whiteness. It has a dense, sticky pure white cap. Its a wonderful contrast to the darker ruby body.

Delicious. I could tell this was gonna smell awesome as soon as it hit the glass. Sugary citrus fills the room. Cotton candy and a little bit of cat piss and moth balls come in and out. Some how the cat piss and moth balls don't trigger disgust, nor do those aromas seem out of place. Flashes of banana build a fruit salad with all of the lovely citrus.

Perhaps a little more malty than I'd like from this beer based on its aroma. Very little bitterness. Its all very candied, sweet and juicy citrus, like an ambiguous juice blend. There is lots of cotton candy (the blue kind) as well. The malts seem a little darker than most of the style, its not caramelly but not crackery either.

Resinous as all hell. Sticky hop oils galore. The carbonation is unobtrusive. The finish is very hoppy with a nice moderate dryness.

Very damn good. Such a pretty beer with an amazing aroma. I'm super happy that callmecoon was able to extra this.

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Photo of bierbrauer
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber from Fullerton Beverages. Was not available at brewery, either in bottles or on tap.

A: A darker DIPA, copper, hazy. Dense, tan foam that drops quickly and leaves sparse lacing.

S: Very pleasant fragrance -- strong fruit with slight floral & pine.

T: Delicious, rich, sweet, mango & grapefruit. No alcohol taste. Very balanced.

M: Full, with very low carbonation. Some heat. Fresh finish.

O: Now I understand why this is so scarce. It's really good.

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Photo of WOTO97
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a 1/2 pint at Bootleggers. This beer is fantastic. Loads of tropical hop notes on the nose, equally matched on the palate. Lots of pineapple, passion fruit makes for a very refreshing beer. The 10% abv is dangerously hidden beneath the generous hop bouquet. Slightly disappointed with the appearance--nominal head (may have been the pour). The mouthfeel was a little thin, which I think I might like even though it works against the traditional DIPA (TIPA?). Extremely refreshing easy to put back a few of these hop monsters.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Vanlingleipa for the bottle!

Pours a deep caramel with a huge frothy off-white head leaving sticky lacing all down the glass.

Smells like a tropical paradise. A good hefty caramel malt backbone is overwhelmed by ripe mango, papaya and citrus.

Starts out with a citrus/tropical fruit flavor although it is subdued compared to the nose. Some lush caramel malt peaks in to balance out the hops. This is definitely more in the balanced than hop bomb category. Finishes with a very smooth pine and tropical fruit bitterness. Alcohol is extremely well hidden.

Thick and creamy, but finishes bitter and dry with good carbonation.

Oustanding beer. I wish a bit more of the tropical fruit in the aroma would have come through in the flavor, but still world class and stands up with the best of the DIPA world.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jodan for sending me the bottle.

A - Pours a dark orange, almost brown in color with a tan head. The head fades a bit, but not completely. Some lacing left on the glass.

S - Strong grass, pine, and some orange peel.

T - Same as the smell, but with an equal malt balance.

D - Good carbonation, and a bit heavier than most DIPAs.

O - Smell is awesome, taste is just a step below. Great DIPA.

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Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Josh at Whole Foods for hooking me up with a few bottles.

This brewery has been hit and miss for me. The Black Phoenix and mint porter both weren't up to bar imo.

The Knuckle Sandwich however lived up the hype. Nothing like Pliny as the abv is apparent.

Citrus up front with great carbonation and drinkability. Pours a nice orange color with a little more than an inch of head.

Hints of pine, pineapple and other tropical fruits with a strong caramel maltiness. This beer really hits hard.

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Photo of sendsilk
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this in a recent trade with Airfoil, thanks Tom!

This one appears about as dark an orange as I can imagine. Imagine a pumpkin starting to rot, not a nice analogy, but the color is appropriate. Wonderful hop aroma, nice and citrusy with some pine malt and spice.
T-wow, now I know why it's called a knuckle sandwich as it pretty much punches you in the face! Exceptional hop presence. I paired this with an Italian sausage and it really worked well together as the spice of the sausage really worked well with the hops. M is good and I am so glad to have gotten to try this!

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Photo of jlindros
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, an A rating for an IPA that doesn't have a huge reputation... or at least I haven't heard of it yet. Thanks a ton to imperialbeachbrw for this unknown gem.

Into my oversized snifter it pours a rich frothy large 2 finger head that fades semi quickly over a very clear mahogany copper orange color. The head fading leaves a slight lacing.

The nose has lots of juicy fruity hops, plenty of tropical fruit hops, some citrus, plenty of grapefruit, a bit of tangerine, pine, and even fruits such as juicy peach and clementine. I barely get any malt behind all the awesome hop aromas, just a touch of a light malt. The hops are very nice, no big heavy bitter hops, no astringency, no earthy hop aroma, and the piny hit is very light. Just lots of citrus and tropical juicy fruit hops.

Taste brings more of the hops, but not quite as much to start. Lighter fruity hops again, citrus, light tangerine and clementine, light grapefruit, and this time a little light herbal hop. Some other juicy fruits like peach and tangerine again. A slight spicy and piny hop flavor too. All the hops combine for a nice flavor, with some light bitterness but nothing rampant. A very light smooth malt flavor to deliver the hops, nothing much on that end. Just enough for a slight sweetness to balance the hops and carry the hops and bitterness to the mouth without the hops coming crazy on the astringency. A slight reddish malt flavor, with a bit of a toasty flavor, that combines well with the hops actually. The light sweetness continues onto the finish, which doesn't dry as well as I expected, but that could be a good thing as a big dry finish would make the hops get too bitter. The bitterness is balances very well, that intensifies a slight bit on the finish but never over bitter. More lingering fruits, a bit of pine and spicy hop, and a slight sticky feel that comes from the sweet finish. The booze is very smooth, drinks like a 6% not 10%!

Mouth is medium to slightly heavier bodied, with decent carbonation, and a very slight warming booze, very slight. There is also a bit of a gritty mouth feel too.

Drinkability is pretty good, with 10%abv beer drinking like a 6 or 7% beer, light sweetness, and the bitterness of all the nice hops is really kept in check well. The only issue with the finish is the slight gritty feel and it would have been a little bit nicer to dry a little bit more on the finish.

Yes, this was a very nice IPA, worthy of the A rating, and should get more recognition IMO. Thanks a lot James for sending this one for me to get to try. I may have to try more of these beers. Solomon420 got me hooked on Kern River a couple years ago when they were just starting out, and unknown. Now I think you have me set on trying more Bootleggers. Cheers to that!

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Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 247 ratings.