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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

1,002 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,002
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 438
Gots: 122 | 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: 1,002 | Reviews: 247
Photo of PretzelCity
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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

Appearance- pours a sparkling orangish red with one finger of grainy white foam on top. it sticks to the glass and has some lacing. This one is pretty

Aroma- grapefruit, watermelon cantaloupe, flowers and strawberries even a bit of grandma's good soaps!

Taste- The Floral Hoppy nose leads to a sweet citrus forward punch in the tongue. It drops off almost immediately to a butter scotch candy finish with a slightly earthy after taste. I think this is very well balanced for a DIPA. Maybe a lot of late addition hops...

Mouthfeel- The booze is completely hidden. It was a little sticky/syrupy but all those hops have to be bittering something. Carbonation is well done

Overall- I think it is exemplary of the style. a big hop punch in the face, its beautiful in the glass. It is a beer I would sit in LA traffic for. It is a beer I would get a growler of and share with friends. But because it is such a pallet shredder i don't know if I would order multiples. Wow * days into the new year and I have a stellar beer in my glass Life is good !

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

Can I handle a growler of this stuff for the next few days? On to the beer:

It's darker than other beers of the style. Shimmering, electric amber with hues of orange, yellow, and red. It shines at you like a jewel! It leaves some good creamy lacing as the head settles down. Lots of goodness in the aroma. A little crackery malt for the base, and lots of hoppiness. Grapefruit, pineapple, lychee, passionfruit, and resin all emerge.

Some DIPA's are bitter, some are balanced, and some are juicy. This is an example of a juicy DIPA. It's never goes bitter, and it doesn't fatigue your palate. At first, there a big burst of sweet orange. Afterwards, mango, grapefruit, passionfruit, pine, and a crackery maltiness creates the overall flavor that makes this beer great. The aftertaste is on the dry side, with little leftovers of dry malt and grapefruit. There's enough texture in the mouth, carbonation is low (but not anywhere near being too little), and there is hardly a trace of the 10% ABV being felt. Come to think of it, it's been awhile sicne I've had a beer this drinkable with this kind of strength.

The DIPA field is crowded, but Knuckle Sandwich can stick its head over most of the field with its different approach to your palate. Needless to say, put this on your wish list hopheads.

Photo of thumperskibum
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of womencantsail
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Bootlegger's

A: The pour is a clear amber color with a fluffy off-white head and great lacing.

S: A quick whiff gives one a blast of fresh citrus hops. Plenty of grapefruit and a touch of pineapple work wonderfully with the pine character.

T: The flavor is wonderfully balanced (in a west coast sort of way). The bitter and piney hops are the star of the show with plenty of grapefruit to go along with it. There is an ever so slight touch of caramel malt to go along with it.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation and a dry finish--fairly standard here.

D: I would never have guessed that this is 10% ABV. Such an easy drinking and wonderfully hoppy DIPA.

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 BevMoAndrew
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a mug from tap at Hollingshead

The Bootlegger's Knuckle Sandwich pours a golden honey-like color in the mug with a thick white froth, good head retention, & nice lacing. The nose is absolutely amazing with pronounced aromas of grapefruit, apricot, mango, pine, fresh floral hops, spiced herbs, caramel, & fresh baked biscuits that follows through on the palate. The beer is full bodied, has a definite hop presence - however balanced with the malt - good acidity, smooth mouthfeel, & long finish. Although I have never had too many Bootlegger's beers, I heard about this one through the grapevine & couldn't pass up the opportunity to try it. In all honesty, I'm not one for DIPAs because I find them to be unbalanced, however, this DIPA is absolutely amazing! Highly Recommended!

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.

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

Received today from tyrsis! What an awesome surprise!!! Thanks man!

A- Pours a deep amber/orange into my DFH glass. Small but thick head floats atop and fades slowly leaving a ton of sticky, drippy lacing!

S- A punch in the nose from the piney, sweet citrus! NICE! Pineapple, summer peaches, grapefruit, basil, wet hay and what seems like a ton of sweet malts! Hints of caramel and candied citrus.

T- WOW! Grapefruit, apricots, fresh cut pine, pineapples, spicy basil, and a load of sweet maltiness. What an amazing balance! The sweetness cuts thru the dank, piney hops... and the hops hold on and leave your tongue astringent, while leaving plenty of room for the caramel sweetness.

M- Thicker and more oily than most IIPA's thanks to the malt bill. Awesome citrus/pine punch that hangs on and doesn't let go. Tons of tropical fruit! Pineapple, mango, and citrus! I love the sweetness that shines thru!

O- I gotta get ahold of more of this. I have a feeling that with the sweet malts that hold this IIPA together... this could turn into a really nice Barleywine if properly cellered for a few years! This is damn close to perfection!

Photo of Vanlingleipa
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, the ultimate balance of sweet malt and hops.

This beer pours as a non-remarkable brownish-amber that is topped with a 1/4" head and sticky, thick lacing clinging to the side of the glass.

The warmth and spiciness of the malt is almost like biting into a sweet bread, the taste sensation is felt in the sweet spots of the tongue and in the back of the mouth. Then the simcoe hops come in with a delicious bitterness. Wonderfully balanced with the malt.

Truly one of the top DIPAs currently brewed in the country.

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

Poured into a pilsner glass. Caramel orange with a stiff, creamy off-white, two-finger head, which as of yet isn't going anywhere. Big chunky pads of lace; this ones stickin around like your in-laws at Christmas.

Smells exactly like I expect a big west coast DIPA to smell. Pink grapefruit, and tangerine peel, with some sweet malt. No alcohol or yeast is detectable. This would be a great air freshener for my car.

Mmmm...Again, exactly what I have come to expect from a west coast DIPA. What a hop-bomb! Same citrus flavors as the aroma, pink grapefruit bitterness, and tangerine sweetness, and a slight hint of pine at the end. Great sweetness from the malt, but it definitely takes a back seat. There is some alcohol present, but If I wasn't reading the bottle, I would not guess 10%.

Lightly syrupy, great carbonation, which tickles my lips and tongue a little. Similar feel to a barleywine, but with more tongue wrecking bitterness. The sweetness masks the ABV very well.

As my palette has evolved, especially over the past year, the hop punch that I have always loved, has started to take second to the malt backbone in a lot of DIPA's like Pliny, and Dreadnaught. Knuckle Sandwich is proof that hopheads like myself can still enjoy an in your face celebration of bitter citrus hoppiness.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Whole Foods Venice for a Bootlegger's tasting event. Very suprised to see Aaron hooking up a keg along side a Black Phoenix tap already flowing. Pours amber-orange with a nice white head. The nose is lovely with a strong citrus note. Taste is well balanced with resiny hops and good malt backing. Did I mention the citrus? Very solid DIPA, right up there with the best. Grateful and pleased to have it again. Aaron is doing it well. Go seek it out, you'll be glad you did.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Half Acre tulip.

A- dark caramel with a 2" beige head, and traces of lacing remain.

S- tons of citrus, orange and grapefruit with dank hops.

T- sweet malts, candi sugar,lots of orange and grapefruit with nice pine bitterness at finish.

M- medium body and carbonation. Super creamy, viscous and some slickness to it.

O- excellent dipa! Perfectly balanced, nice sweet citrus and hop bitterness.

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 billshmeinke
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic.

Two fingers of fluffy off white head atop a clear amber body. Amazing retention and lacing.

Smells of orange, pine, grapefruit and hints of lemon. A total citrus bomb.

Tastes follows smell. Just tons of hoppy citrus goodness. I don't know what else to say, it's quite awesome. Pretty big maltiness to balance out the hoppiness.

Heavy end of full bodied. Well carbonated with a huge bitter and spicy bite at the end.

I need more of this beer in my life.

Photo of LevitatedEep
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my Chimay glass.

A - Red and orange in color not much head but some nice lacing.

S - Smells delicious, lots of pine and malty....cannot stop sticking my nose in the glass....this one should taste great.

T - MMM this one is very tasty...bitter but not overwhelming...a tasty sweetness slides down my throat along with the bitter hops...very nice.

M - Very nice....not too carbonated, it is almost perfect.

D - Very easy to drink for a DIPA....could session this one forsher...

Another great Southern Cali DIPA and I live a few miles from the brewery yay!

Photo of cavedave
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jobcrackerbah for this Ca. masterpiece. Enjoyed 7-23-11

A long lasting, light tan head provides staggering sheets of cotton candy lace to the glass, and sits atop a cloudy dark amber beautiful IIPA.

Wooaaahh, what a great aroma, a bit of caramel is all that holds together pine and citrus hoppitude, full of lesser mango, pineapple, even some nectarine in this complex and strong perfume. Think Abrasive, but a touch more complex.

The flavor of this defies proper description. I could break it down, but let's do it this way. It has the full malt bill of Maharaja, but it is easier to drink, more complex, and has more fresh hop flavor. It has the alcohol spice of Dreadnaught, but more complexity to hop profile. It has the hop profile to equal PTE, Abrasive, Hop Henge, Tricerahops, and Kryptonite, but more body in the malt bill, and more pleasant bittering. Just a mindblowing and wonderful treat.

This is where this beer really shines. How could it be this viscous, this full of flavor, have this stupendous of a finish, and be so easy drinking and light in mouth? Hopefully one day I will find out and put the knowledge into beers of my own making.

One of the top 4 IIPA I have enjoyed (PTE, HT, Abrasive the others). A must try, just superb.

Photo of Trueant1
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish orange hue, average white head. Nice lacing.
Smell is sweet malty, bready, pine, and floral.

well above average taste and mouthfeel. Taste is very malty sweet up front with alcoholic and sweet sweet fruits dominate. Pineapple, figs, grapefruit, and just pure dark sugars! An alcoholic taste mixed in with a perfectly carbonated mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is also sweet and medium bodied. This brew is a BIG surprise, unexpected. Great dipa!

Photo of freshflesh
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Lofreqwave
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
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 Nickqb7
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Dirksen
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of champs86
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

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Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 1,002 ratings.