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Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

Not Rated.
Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

918 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 918
Reviews: 233
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 454
Gots: 97 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jerz on 12-14-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 918 | Reviews: 233 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rallison
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

rallison, May 07, 2010
Photo of ghostwalker
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

ghostwalker, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of Cavery
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Cavery, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

HuskyinPDX, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of srandycarter
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

srandycarter, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of Duff27
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

Duff27, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of Klym
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another in a session with Cavery. Poured into a Stone nonic.

A: Deep strawberry lollipop color with a 1 inch head, but one that lasts throughout almost the entire drink.

S: Watermelon, hops, cherry, strawberry and a little pineapple tart. Definitely a fruity scent hiding shyly beneath the hops.

T: A fruit cocktail no doubt. The same fruits in the nose and more. Taste slides off smoothly with an unusually sweet aftertaste.

M: Taste is thick and a little grainy, almost like a smoothie. At the same time, with the fruit cocktail esque flavor the mouthfeel seems almost entirely appropriate.

O: This was a pretty self-distinguishing DIPA. I didn't expect it to be so different or good. By far the fruitiest DIPA I've had and second only to Kern 5th anniversary in terms of blending its hops into an overall delicious flavor. Natural flavors and deep sweetness, this one is a winner and a far cry from your run of the mill IPA.

Klym, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of Ultraman9000
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured into a Sam Adams "perfect pint" glass.

Bomber purchased in late November/early December, following most recent bottling by Bootlegger's (and increased distribution--yay!).

A: Pours rather dark for a DIPA, an overall light caramel-brown with hints of gold around the edges. 1/2" plus of off-white foam, with bubbles fizzing up at first before beers clears up entirely (no haze evident).

S: Piney, sweet, light caramel notes evident at first; citrus notes are upfront yet hard to pin down... possibly lemon zest, pineapple-like, even peach-ey.

T: Although this is certainly a hop bomb, the hops hit the edges of the palate first, as the strong malty/caramel backbone carries more weight at first. As the beer leaves the palate, hops close in from the edges to take over and finish strong, but with an overall smooth transition of flavors.

M: While the caramel flavors create a mildly syrupy taste, this doesn't linger long as it segues smoothly into a lighter feel mid-taste (aided by the appropriate mid-high carbonation), before leaving a lingering note of biscuit and caramel drizzle.

D: Amazingly drinkable for the ABV; alcohol is hardly evident until the glass is finished and you realize that 10 oz. of this beer can catch up to you real quick. Can be drunk quickly if not careful, but also great for savoring slowly.

Overall, a delightful beer with components that should attract hop-heads and malt lovers alike. It may test the boundaries of what characterizes a DIPA, but really showcases what flavors can be combined in what some perceive as a one-trick pony kind of style. Personally, this beer single-handedly converted me from a timid hop consumer into a full-fledged DIPA fan.

Ultraman9000, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of MbpBugeye
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Callmecoon for this bad ass extra.

Appearance
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.

Smell
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.

Taste
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.

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

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

MbpBugeye, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Mora2000, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of sendsilk
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
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!

sendsilk, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of roodie
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into a maudite tulip

A: dark amber, with latte colored ~1 finger foam head. low retention of head. no obvious lasting carbonation, moderate lacing.

S: hops and caramel. bitter and resin-y.

T: what you smell is what you get. truly a great mix of hops and caramel, not hop or malt forward. bitter on the end.

M: very smooth, once again the hops and malts balance each other out. would benefit from more carbonation.

D: drinking this beer is a great experience. loving the smell and the taste. easy to drink, but it hides it's ABV, so don't drink too many!

O: if you can get this beer, DO IT! i am open to picking this up for people and doing trades for beers i can't get here in CA.

roodie, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of kemoarps
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours more red than I had expected, but still within that amber range. call it amber rose (what up Wiz Khalifa!). Minimal almond meat head that dissipates for the most part but leaves a little ring around the rosie edge. A rich, deep hue (a couple of years ago I would have made a Raiders joke out of that).

Nose is a little underwhelming. Earthy with some floral sweetness to it. Not unappetizing, just doesn't give a full preview of the deliciousness lying in wait. Some caramel.

Flavour is where this beer really shines. Hops are certainly front and center, kind of a blend/cycle between floral/grapefruit citrus/piney. A touch of caramel sweet on the back end.

Reallly drinkable. Medium bodied. If this were available in my area (and for a reasonable price), I'd drink it very often. If you like well crafted west coast IPAs, it's certainly worth getting your hands on.

kemoarps, Apr 26, 2013
Photo of TheJollyHop
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bootleggers, poured into a mason jar (interesting)

Golden, reddish amber- crystal clear- no head.

Grapefruit, pine, herbs and flowers on the nose. Pine sap, grapefruit again, tangerine and mango too, herbal hop undertones on the taste. Sticky sweet caramel with a sweet finish. As the beer warms a slight tomato like flavor comes through, but not in an unpleasant way. Crisp flavors, surprisingly balanced; not messy like many other DIPAs.

Medium to light bodied with a medium to high carbonation level which works very well with this style. Solid DIPA.

TheJollyHop, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of KevSal. Thanks, Kevin!

A: Pours a slightly hazy, dark amber body (bordering on reddish-brown) with a nice, full inch of dense beige head. It retains well and leaves some sticky lace down the sides of my pint glass.

S: I remember this being pretty malty, and the nose confirms that memory -- lots of caramel malt found here. However, this also has a prominent citrus nose that is much more powerful than I remember -- either freshness helps (the bottle is a week old from the just-released batch), or they tweaked the recipe slightly. I detect a tangerine-grapefruit-orange blend; none of the tropical notes I really enjoy in [D]IPAs, but great nonetheless. There is a touch of pine needle at times.

T: The taste is initially sweet caramel, but it segues nicely into candied grapefruit, orange, tangerine. The finish closes out with piney bitterness; I can tell it would be really bitter if it didn't have as much caramel as it does. Some exhalations reveal a light pineapple character. It's reminiscent of some Triple IPAs, which are redolent in the hop candy effect (sugar drizzled over citrus and pine) -- it's an effect that works well when the bottle or keg is really fresh, I imagine, but my experience with a slightly older or possibly oxidizing growler wasn't quite so hot. I make the latter comment because I distinctly recall these guys filling studiously to the 64oz line in their screwtop growler, which was hilarious in its cheapness and worrisome for the headspace. Bottles are presumably better; this one is.

M: There is a small sugar burn on the back end, similar to what some Triple IPAs have. It doesn't really hinder drinkability (see below), but I wish it were a bit cleaner. ABV is well-hidden. Carbonation is higher than you'd find in some comparable DIPAs; it makes the medium-plus body easier to swallow.

O: I'm really surprised at how fast I downed this. I shit you not, from start to finish it was 20 minutes. Seek it out.

Arbitrator, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of koopa
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber received in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours a copper to burnt umber with a 2 finger foamy ivory crown. Decent retention and lace are displayed.

Smell: Nice strong citrus hops (mainly grapefruit) / pine hops over light caramel malt with a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Same as nose with a really nice resinous pine hop that adds to the grapefruit and sweet malt mix.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the heavy side of medium and is a bit chewy. Carbonation is decent.

Drinkability: Goes down fairly easily but is also a bit high octane.

koopa, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of sleuthdog
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into 7venth Sun tulip

Pour: Pours a dark hazy orange with a bright white head. Lacing is sticky and soapy.

Smell: Sweet piney with big citrus and tropical aromas. Caramel, malty and some floral.

Taste: Definitely much more citrus than pine in the taste. Tropical, fruity, and sweet. I do get a lot of the malt backbone in this one. I'm digging this one! Bitterness is subdued by the overall sweetness I believe.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy feel. Mild bitterness and has that sticky sweetness to it.

Overall: This is good!

Thanks beachstrength49...really enjoyed this Chris!

sleuthdog, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of Psyko
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Psyko, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of onefalsemove711
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel Tulip glass from a 22oz bomber.

Pours deep amber with a 1" creamy white head and nice lacing. I'm really enjoying the caramel, toffee and citrus aromas with a lingering touch of slight grassiness. On first taste I detect spicy hops, grapefruit rind and toasted caramel malt. Mouth feel is full and the carbonation is full and refreshing.

Overall is this is a really great DIPA that deserves to be mentioned among the heavy weights in it's class. I enjoyed it tremendously and won't hesitate to pick one up next time it comes around.

onefalsemove711, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of notchucknorris
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Definitely dark for a DIPA. Ruby color with a sand colored head that holds up pretty well.

S: Candied citrus, a little banana, some nice citrus hops and a little bit of funk as it warms.

T: I was expecting a little more from this one, but it's definitely one of the better DIPAs I've had. The citrus hops kick in pretty quick with some grapefruit pith and lemon rind. The malts come in before the hops are allowed to get too bitter but the hops return on the finish, which is pretty resiny. Mouthfeel is good and the carbonation is perfect. Glad I got to try this one.

notchucknorris, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of Trilogy31
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty dark cherry red, with a creamy eggshell white foam cap. Nose is sweet bready malts, caramel, bright bitter citrus, biscuits with honey, and a slight floral scent. Taste has nice tropical fruit notes, more citrus, some pine balanced by a pleasant mild sweetness and a refreshing bitter finish. This is a great example of a dipa at 10% abv and especially in comparison to double jack and hoptimum which i found to be cloying sweet.

Trilogy31, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of Tucquan
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-02-05 in Columbia, PA

A - Mildly hazy, ruby-amber-orange with an initial 2-finger offwhite head that drops to 1/2-finger fairly quickly and leaves a light-medium amount of banded lacing.

S - Orange flesh, brown bread, tea, hop floral. Different. Pleasant. Not overpowering.

T - Interesting blend of flavors. Lots of toffee-butterscotch malt, pineapple, pine, candied orange, tannin and lemon zest bitterness. It's sweet but not cloying. The alcohol helps cut the sweetness. The aftertaste is very nice with lingering citrus rind bitterness tinged with pine, some hop cone oils and sticky-lip malt sweetness.

M - Medium-plus body and light-medium carbonation. Sticky, resinous and mildly prickly.

O - I really enjoyed the taste and feel of this brew. Serve this on the warmer side to enjoy the taste complexities. Will look for this again.

Tucquan, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of johnnieoz
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber poured into the trusty Jämtlands tulip.

A: A beautiful darker shade of amber crowned by a lasting off-white head, which leaves some nice lacing.

S: This is a serious hop bomb and the favorite petroleum-fumed hop variety (?) is leading the way. There are also some distinct citrus aromas on the nose.

T: Initially this seemed too sweet on the tongue. But after the third or fourth sip, it became apparent that this was simply the malty backbone of the Knuckle Sandwich. This is a superbly balanced DIPA with all manner of hops flavors, from mango to pine, mingling with the malts.

M: Carbonation, check. Hop oils, check. Full-bodied, check. Dry, check.

D: A brown bomber of this beauty is ultimately a little hard for this reviewer to finish on his own. Perhaps it's the 10% abv in tandem with the aforementioned sweetness. Toning that down a bit (not necessarily the abv) would benefit the Sandwich.

Bootlegger's has a winner here, and a small disclaimer here. I had a bad experience with their Hefeweizen - it seemed to have citrus added to it though this was not the brewers intent. Anywho, I need to revisit that one. I was thrilled to see this at the Beverage Warehouse in MdR, and at $5.99 this will become a staple.

johnnieoz, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of lazydayspoiler
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served out of a bomber in a tulip glass

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

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

T - Smell carries through, enhanced with minimal citrus body

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

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

lazydayspoiler, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of PicoPapa
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Orthodoxkardia for this one.

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

PicoPapa, Feb 18, 2014
Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 918 ratings.