Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

Not Rated.
Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

969 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 969
Reviews: 240
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 10.96%
Wants: 445
Gots: 113 | FT: 5
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jerz on 12-14-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 969 | Reviews: 240 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WOTO97
4.4/5  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.

Photo of More_betterness
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
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 dwagner003
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of TequilaVoodoo
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of bierbrauer
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of johlac66
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Jeremy!

Pours a medium clear orange, with an off white finger of head. Nice lace, decent retention

Nice hop punch! Citrus, some pine and touches of resin, orange peel, light bread maltiness.

It's a solid hop bomb on the taste, juicy citrus and some tropical fruits, pineapple, flowery hops, light pale malt sweetness. Pleasantly surprised by the lack of daunting maltiness.

Great body, medium, not too heavy, making it great drinking, good solid carbonation.

Fantastic DIPA. Great balance and drinkability and a hop monster to boot!

Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  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!

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bomber thanks to Ryan and split with milwaukeeclassic while he dictates from the website Things Republicans Hate. Teaser: yoga and NPR.

Burgundy with a consistent quarter inch head and minimal bubbleage

Once opened and even prior to being poured, this beer can be detected from across the room. As odd as it may sound, predominant scents include fresh sliced pineapple and hot oven baked pie. Really it's quite appealing.

Tastes like it smells. Caramel sweet pie, pineapple, whipped cream, and crust. Drinks like a dessert. Minimal heat on the back end is very welcome considering the 10% tag. Certainly not a hop bomb, but all the elements of a solid DIPA are here.

Smooth and viscous; an enjoyable treat.

Much appreciated Ryan...thanks again for the opportunity.

Photo of Chaz33187
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reddish orangey glow
S- very piny and a bit fruity. very powerful exciting smell
T- very original and well balanced choppy malty booze taste. The first taste is a breathe of life. Alcohol isnt well hidden, but its strangely welcoming. Towards the end of the beer, the bitterness did linger a bit.
M- sharp booze bubbles, very fizzy but it doesn't ruin the beer
O- incredibly unique IPA. It has this scotchy choppy balance that really surprises you.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of Sideswipe
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber into a tulip.

The beer pours a very dark red, coppery color with a two finger head of white foam. Decent lacing. Aroma is citrus fruit and bready malt. Taste is overwhelming citrus hops. Exellent bitterness gives way to a very nice malt profile, which balances this brew nicely. Feel is thick and viscous, in line with the style. Drinkability is very good. The excellent taste and wonderful bitterness of this beer hide all traces of the ABV, making it too easy to down a bomber. I will bs seeking this out again

Photo of tut2528
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of Overlord
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a surprisingly dark amber/orange color. No real head, just a wisp of off-white foam.

Smells like a bunch of juicy bitter grapefruits, a splash of pine and pineapple, more grapefruit, and a bit of malt.

Tastes like some malt, bitter grapefruit ... surprisingly well balanced. Great juicy mouthfeel.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Ranger Creek tulp. Thanks to LadyofMuchBeer for the IP trade!

An aggressive pour lends a towering, fluffy 2" cap of light custard foam. Beneath, the beer is a deep amber hue with an iced-tea core. A bit dark for a IIPA, but still very attractive. The aroma is big, but balanced. Tropical fruit notes of mango and pineapple lead the way, followed by a hint of pine and sweet caramel-toffee malts.

Creamy malts and caramel candies lend an initial sweetness that morphs into a hefty malt backbone throughout each drink. The hops punch in mid-sip with a minty, piny bitterness and finish with a sticky resin note that mingles with tropical fruit and a flash of gummy booze. Alcohol is inconspicuously mild for the 10% ABV. Mouthfeel is chewy and borders on thick/cloying/sticky, but still goes down smooth thanks to a creamy carbonation level. Knuckle Sandwich is a sweet symphony of hops and malt--perhaps more in the strong ale/barleywine department, but I like 'em that way every now and then.

Photo of IKR
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber color with a generous off-white head that slowly faded.

Smell: Pine and citrus fruit aromas.

Taste:The pine and citrus fruit aromas carry over to the taste. The malts make themselves known as a slight caramel taste. The alcohol is not a factor in the taste. It's extremely well hidden. I find the hops well integrated and not upfront in this beer. Very clean after-taste.

Mouth-feel: Medium body with a good level of carbonation.

Overall: Good beer. I put this one alongside such DIPAs such as DFH 90 and Pliny, well-balanced DIPAs that go for a balanced taste profile, which works for me due to the fact I'm no one's hop head. I'm a Imperial Stout/English Barleywine/Belgian fan but I liked this beer and definitely thought it was the best Bootleggers offering I tasted.

Photo of Acsanchezz
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A tasty brew that goes down easy with great flavor. Nice amber color with a healthy head. Smell is pleasant but not too strong. Taste is it's strongest point, oh wait the great mouthfeel makes it that much easier and smoother to drink. Nice mixture of hops with a nutty flavor to balance it out. Hard to believe this brew has 10% ABV.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of rallison
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent DIPA.

Lots of citrus, caramel and grapefruit notes in the nose. Taste is nicely backed up by the caramel malt body but is quickly taken over by juicy, citrusy hops. No alcohol bite despite the 10%ABV.

Nice lacing on the glass.

Very drinkable. Wonderful DIPA with a nice malt backing. Highly recommended.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber served in my CBS snifter.

This is nearly visual perfection. Reddish-gold body, excellent clarity. Topped with a huge, thick, sticky, yellowish head. Doesn't come much better, but it's not quite a 5.

Nose is candied citrus in the best tradition of the West Coast IPA.

Flavor is sweet, but fairly light malt encrusted with massive hops. I'm getting serious citrus with some pineyness. Reminiscent of White Rajah. Just an outstanding flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium weight, medium carb. Slick and toothstripping.

Overall, this is a first quality West Coast DIPA. Glad for the great info on BA, or I would never have even heard of this beer. Thanks to dfernandez77 for the trade. Great trader!

Photo of Cavery
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with Klym over the weekend, part of an impromptu kitchen session.

Poured into a Stone Nonic.

A: Plum flesh with a slightly darker cream head at about 3 fingers height. Noticeably darker for the style, and a fairly noticeable organic fog. Unexpected visual, but not disappointing in the least.

S: Hibiscus and plum tea with a bit of an herbal hop linger. Very ephemeral nose, leaves as soon as it goes. Light spices tickle the nose, but I surrender in trying to name them. This nose went some new places for me.

T: Honey drizzled hop cone. Really herbal without any medicinal or bitter aspect. Slight blood orange with a heavy studding of flax seed. Cloves in a deep home-brewed cider. Strawberry sweetness challenges my palate to go deeper. Grape-nutty malt linger. A fascinating take on American DIPA, an obvious flavor deviation from other California offerings.

M: A lighter carbonation that doesn't suck. It's low, but not invisible. I say the mouth with the flavor is pushing the envelope of higher ABV DIPAs. It's the satin glove on the painters hand. So smooth and genre bending.

O: This one really grew on me. Malty deep sweetness that errs on the side of ciders, warm teas, and summer garden berries. It comes at you like a barley-wine made to be consumed fresh. Blossoms are favored over fruits alone. A beer that graduates summa cum laude in the class of other American DIPAs. Alcohol is nowhere to be found, but it attacks you in the end like a ninja.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of srandycarter
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an update upon retrying another vintage. It is much better this go around on 10.12.12. Earlier review follows.

A - Dark caramel, brown sugar and apricot look to it. Light does pass through. Nice near white but small head. Lots of large bubbled cling lace. Cascading bubbles all around the glass like champagne.

S - Big malt. Caramel. Lots of hops trying to duke it out.

T - Taste very much like smell. Not quite a barley wine, but kind of border line between DIPA and American Strong Ale.

M - Fat, thick, creamy. Good carb. Nice balance on two extreme factors colliding.

D - SO glad I tried it again. Great beer.

~~~

Review 4.8.11
a 4.5- Clean, clear, honey amber, lots of head, stays a spell. Cling lace all over the place.

S - 4.5 Spicy, hoppy, malty, all promise big stuff.

T - 3.5 Way under whelmed. Light and soft. No malt drive or hop bite.

M - 3.5 Under carbed and wimpy in most respects.

D - 4 Easy enough to drink!

Photo of Duff27
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good half inch off white head on a darker red body. Splashy clump lacing and above average head retention.

Danky musty citrus smell, somewhat sweet. Oranges.

Candied grapefruit. Yum. Minimal alcohol heat. Nicely balanced with caramel malts.

Somewhat creamy, adequate carbonation.

Wow one of the best DIPAs ive had in awhile for sure. Extremely well balanced, just tasty. Thanks kawilliams81!

Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 969 ratings.