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Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

Not Rated.
Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

959 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 959
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 452
Gots: 110 | 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: 959 | Reviews: 238 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of coldmeat23
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

GLASS: St. Bernardus Oversized Wine Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
Thanks to RodBurg for this one!

This pours up a dark shade of amber with some light ruby tinting. It is slightly darker than anticipated, for a DIPA. (Still looks great, though!) A head of creamy looking, white-colored, foam sits on top. It forms a head that is about a finger thick, then recedes to a very nice surface covering. The lacing is thick and very sticky.

Hops are absolutely front and center with this one....as they should be. Lots of resinous, 'green', dank notes are here, mingling with some nicely sharp citrus notes and even some passing tropical hints. Pine, grapefruit, orange, lemon zest, pineapple, mango, nectarine....it just keeps on going. A light hint of earthiness. A definite touch of caramel malt sweetness is on the backside of this one.

This is a beer with a great sense of balance to it. The hops are definitely the star and make themselves known, right away. They come out bitter and fruity, which is a touch of balance, on it's own. Then the maltiness comes in, just a little bit, to bring a touch of sweetness to the mix. The hops come back up with a good deal of pine notes. They bring a wonderful earthiness with them which gives a good touch of dryness to the finish.

This is medium-to-full-bodied and has a light-to-almost-medium level of carbonation. This works very well for this particular beer. It allows it to remain crisp, yet have a good dose of creaminess which makes it very smooth and enjoyable.

This is one exceptional beer. It is full of big, rich, bold flavors. They are balanced out to the almost perfect level. They don't 'battle' with each other, they let each other have their own chance to shine. It is delicious and beautiful.
On top of that, the 10.00%abv is absolutely nowhere to be found! You probably couldn't drink this one all night, but you could seriously drink it until you fell over! The best part is that you'd have no idea why you were no longer able to stand...of your on accord.
Seek this one out, people.

coldmeat23, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of arod951
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%

arod951, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best IPA's I've ever had. Better than hopslam. Maybe not as good as Younger, Elder or Heady Topper but I might have to give it 4th place.

On Tap at Bootlegger's in OC. Super fresh.

Pours an amber honey color. Very clear with a very nice sticky white head and lacing. Very good lookin beer.

Aroma isn't as good as the IPA's I listed that were better but still pretty good. Very citrucy hops. Little bit of peach and tangerene.

Taste is awesome. Sweet like a hopslam but the hop profile is better IMO. Tons of citrus and peaches and a bit of honey. Sooo tasty.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Sweet and malty but not chewy. The hop bitterness and the malt profile makes it feel amost dry and malty at the same time. If it's possible.

Overall an awesome beer that I hope they expand their brewery for so they can make it all the time and it won't be in such short supply.

PeprSprYoFace, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of ejyoung
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Second time having this beer and I love it more with every sip. Great color with an off-white head. The smell is one of my favorite parts of this beer - amazing hop aroma with pineapple, citrus, and pine. Powerful smell. The taste is just as excellent. Fairly malty compared to some other DIPAs but still has great hop presence. I could use a little more carbonation, otherwise mouthfeel is good. Super easy to drink for 10%.

Seems like this beer is picking up steam lately. I wouldn't be surprised to see this get a lot more notoriety soon. One of my favorite DIPAs I've ever had.

ejyoung, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of gshak
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

If there ever was a perfect beer to represent the double IPA style, for me this it is!
A - straight pour out of the bottle into my Kostritzer stemmed glass. Formed a 2 finger's width of head subsiding into a thin ring leaving some lacing on the glass. The beer itself is bordering on yellow-orange tending towards light amber in color.
S - Whoa - guava is supremely dominant. This must be a super-fresh bottle! I pick up some papaya, honeydew, grapefruit, peaches. Mind blown!
T - Taste follows smell. Initial blast of sugary sweetness completely belies 87 IBU worth of hoppy bitterness. This is like drinking straight-up fruit juice. Sort of like a guava, papaya, grapefruit punch. The sweetness gradually diminishes as the beer flows through the mouth, indicating the counteraction of the hops and dries out towards the end. At no point do you feel any unwelcome bitterness or alcohol heat. The only indication of the 10% ABV is after a couple of sips, when you feel the warmth in your chest.
M - Perfect mouthfeel. The maltiness lends some body, but the carbonation and hops play together perfectly to make the mouthfeel lighter and quaffable. This is the sort of a beer that makes you take big gulps and let it play around in your mouth before swallowing it bit-by-bit.
O - Much as I like to rate this a perfect 5 (and the beer itself is worthy of this), I must deduct a point somewhere for not putting a bottled-on date anywhere on this brew. Brewers - not everyone might be as lucky as me to land a fresh bottle, please note and help us appreciate you better!
This beer is an ode to hops. Supremely well-balanced, supremely aromatic, supremely enjoyable. Even if I may never get to try this beer again, this beer has left an indelible impression on me, and will be the new benchmark for all DIPAs to follow.

gshak, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of Jules11788
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a two finger-width head, slight lacing, good retention; nice clear golden-honey color.

S: Wow! HUGE floral notes with LOTS of tropical fruits and a deliciously fragrant resinous, piney hop smell. This beer smells like what I would imagine heaven would: fantastic.

T: Shit... this is incredible! Lots of tropical fruits with a citrus-y, piney, floral hop sweetness that settles into a nice smooth malty bitterness on the end. One of the best tasting DIPAs I've ever had (if not the best).

M: Medium thickness; lightly carbonated; buttery and smooth with no boozy sharpness whatsoever. Where is the 10% abv hiding?

O: This is a stunningly incredible DIPA. One of the best (if not the best) examples of the style that I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. It reminds me a lot of a fresh Drake's Denogginizer, but slightly better. If you EVER see one of these on the shelves, pick it up immediately. Outstanding in every way.

Jules11788, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of AnthonyAdelizi
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%

AnthonyAdelizi, Oct 01, 2014
Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter, a deep orange amber with a big off white head that dissipates slowly leaving some lacing, clear

S: tropical fruit, pineapple, mango, papaya, orange, grapefruit

T: heavy bitter hops up front, grapefruit, lime, fades into mango, pineapple, papaya, sweet finish that is heavy on floral hops with some pine resin, great malt profile

M: fairly viscous with higher carbonation, alcohol only slightly noticeable

O: This is a really top notch DIPA, that hasn't been hyped much at all. I had never heard of it until a friend from work sent it to me; thanks E.J.! It is on par with some of the best West Coast DIPAs I've had. It is well worth seeking out.

M_C_Hampton, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of LBBeer
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at The Factory Gastrobar in Long Beach, CA.

A--Deep Copper color, ivory head. Not much lacing.

S-Deep sweet malt note, combined with bright citrus, and a balanced floral note.

T-This is my favorite beer currently being brewed because there is a giant dose of sweet malt to go along with and absurdly good citrusy hop profile. I have gone head-to-head against Port's Mongo and Drake's Denogginizer, and found them to be poor substitutes.

M-When I take a drink of this beer, for a second it feels like a really well-built European ale, and then the hops catch up and its true awesomeness is asserted.

D--Honestly, I could use even a bit more malt, and a skosh of roastiness.

There is no better double IPA.

LBBeer, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear dark amber color with a HUGE 3 inch bone colored head. Thick foamy ring lacing on the drink down. A very beautiful beer. Smells of fresh pine hops, sweet malts, peach/nectarine. Taste is beyond delicious. Herbal piney hops, sweet malt base, and a very tropical peach-like fruitiness. Hardly any lingering bitterness on the tongue. 10% ABV is extremely well hidden in this beer. Good carbonation with a medium body. Slightly creamy and sticky. Drinkability is absolutely perfect. Very hoppy but without extreme bitterness, tasty malt backbone, and a wonderful fruity taste. I only bought one bottle and I wish I bought more. I will be on the lookout for this one from now on. A must try if you see it.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of vande
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really only want to say is, BUY IT! If you can find it and you like IPAs, DIPAs, hops.. You will love this beer!

A strong golden rod pour leaving very little lacy on the glass after sitting a minute too.. The nose and moth ~ both strong, well balanced hops flowing here...An excellent pairing the the first burgers on the grill today... Mouthfeel - smooth and too easy to drink.

If/when I get a chance to snag more..I'm sure I will!!

vande, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of LaChupacabra
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark amber color with a good two fingers of off-white head. Head dissipated quickly leaving a small amount of spotty lacing. The nose on this one is big on tropical fruit and citrus. Pineapple, grapefruit, mango, sweet malts and a bit of boozy alcohol scent stand out. The taste is an intense blend of the aforementioned. A lot of succulent fruit, alcohol and a sweet, malty backbone coming through. Creamy, medium mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

One of my favorite D/IPAs. I wish this stuff was around more often.

LaChupacabra, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of vma
4.84/5  rDev +12.6%

vma, Today at 02:16 AM
Photo of JonathanC
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Knuckle sandwich provides a great amount of hops that brings a smooth taste which lingers for a great 10 second ordeal. HIGHLY UNDERATED.Finding this beer is a true treasure as every liquor store in CA seems to sell it within days of stock. If you get the chance to try this brew, you are lucky. This is Bootleggers masterpiece, it is considerably comparable to Pliny the elder. I would never pass a knuckle sandwich up. "All 78 bottles sold within 3 days of restock" says liquor store owners.

JonathanC, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of werdnacross
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Purchased at Wades Wines, my local bottle shop; Lucky me.

A-Dark amber color, slightly opaque with a solid head

S- Strong alcohol presence, just the way I like it.

T- Bitter, Hoppy, Malty, All around great tasting beer.

M- Strong taste, a little overbearing but still great.

O- A great beer a bit difficult to come by but will try to get my hands on it whenever I can.

werdnacross, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of snpub540
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. It pours a copper hue with red highlights. It is topped off by a cream colored head that has some nice stickiness to the side of the glass. Slightly hazy with a nice stream of bubbles.

The aroma is perfect. There is floral, citrus, tropical fruit, and resiny pine notes all coming through. Malty sweetness and a hint of the alcohol are also there. My nose was stuck in the glass for awhile. Yeah, its that good!

Taste is also perfect. Its a hop heads dream, but it is also sweet. It is also strong and refreshing. How can it be so many things all at once. Resiny bitter hops, with a nice fruitiness. Alcohol warmtyh slightly in the finish but very smooth in general. This is by far the most complex IPA I've ever tasted.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and it is very pleasant. Drinkability is great for a double IPA. I just wish this was a regular offering because I could possibly drink this beer every single day. It's that good.

snpub540, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of noattention
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%

noattention, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of LawLow74
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%

LawLow74, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of Reagan1984
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Masterski (Alex) for providing this surprise in a recent trade. Alex is a stellar trading partner.

First thing I have to say is that as I popped the bottle I got a blast of the aroma. Fantastic. And no, I didn't open the bottle with my nose near the opening. Very fragrant, floral, fresh and plenty of grapefruit coming through.

A thin finger plus head stays for just a short while and settles to a think cap. The beer is a very bright and clear copper/amber color with no visible carbonation. An unexpected amount of lacing for the head that developed. There were sheets of lace lining the glass.

Wow, excellent DPA. While this is a hop focused beer, there is a great balance here. The malt backbone is fantastic. Big fruit flavors with plenty of tropical notes. There is a sense of the alcohol, but again the balance is spot on. Doesn't feel like a 10% abv. This is a top notch DPA. I get a note of honey in the finish. The aftertaste is also fantastic.

The carbonation is almost like a cask conditioned beer. The feel is very smooth and just wonderful. I am falling in love with this beer as I work my way through the bottle.

Phenomenal Beer

Reagan1984, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of Drinkerofales
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at my local Oggi's

a - Great color, a clean amberish-orange, slightly murky

s - hops, grapefruit, citrus, and a malt sweetness undertone

t - bright citrus hops up front, with malty sweetness in the middle, and both on the back, a excellent changing of the flavor throughout

m - it feels almost light, the right amount of alcohol flavor and feel, doesn't feel like the high abv it is

o - this has rapidly become one of my top 5 beers of all time, just wish it was more available, even going to the brewery itself they didn't have any. If I would want anything from this beer it doesn't have, it would be that I could have it all the time.

DOA

Drinkerofales, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of BrantleyJ
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow! I was pleasantly surprised by this DIPA. I picked up a few bottles from my local grocer after hearing good things about it. The hop aroma is intoxicating. If I could create an air freshener for my truck that smelled as good as Knuckle Sandwich I would. It tasted a good as it smelled, and surprisingly drinkable for a 10% beer.

BrantleyJ, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of JohnG190
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to StonedRaider for another outstanding trade! Pours a beautiful golden amber with a thick white head. Decent retention with nice lacing. Aroma of peaches, tropical fruit notes, whiff of citrus, with a hint of cat pee. Bitter throughout the palate with lots of peach, pine resin and caramel notes from the solid malt backbone. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, a very underrated DIPA, outstanding fruity bitterness. Great job Bootleggers!

JohnG190, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of SuperbikeShaun
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

SuperbikeShaun, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of pumptrick
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

pumptrick, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of MrVonzipper
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

MrVonzipper, Jul 20, 2011
Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 959 ratings.