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Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

Not Rated.
Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

247 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 247
Hads: 1,037
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.53%
Wants: 444
Gots: 135 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 247 | Hads: 1,037
Photo of phingdong
3.24/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Tried 2 bottles that I was told were within a month of bottling. Thanks to my trading partner for chance to try this.

A - Much darker than I expected. A nice looking brown/amber with a two finger creamy head.

S - First smell is of faint juicy, dank hops which quickly fades to a sweet, malty (apple juice) aroma. Smells like an old IPA.

T - I was told this would be a bit maltier than most west coast DIPAs, but wow was it malty. The malts overpower any hops that are trying to get through here. Much too sweet with a bit too much alcohol coming through.

M - Great mouthfeel. Very creamy and thick bodied. Coats nicely.

Overall this beer was a letdown for me. Not what I have come to expect or enjoy from a west coat DIPA. Too sweet and malty, with no hop explosion to speak of. I'm glad I was able to try it. I'd like to try it again on tap to see if it is any better. (875 characters)

Photo of LSUPT
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, thanks to DearthVader, to NB globe
Pours a light brown with a slight amber tint. 2 finger head with a slight beige tint. The head is gorgeous and leaves nice thick lacing before gradually dissipating to a thin film with lacing that glistens nicely but, after hanging on for a moment, dissipates.
Wonderful floral aroma that isn’t immediately noticeable but is coaxed out with a good swirl, as well as pineapple/mango fruity aromas and crisp sweet malt.
Pine is noticeable in the taste as well as some of the fruity flavors similar to the smell. Bitterness is almost unbearable at first but eventually becomes quite enjoyable.
You really feel the alcohol with this one but the texture and mouthfeel is nice. Pretty low carbonation and while it goes down smooth it does make the alcohol and bitterness more pronounced.
At first I was not enjoying this beer as much as I though I would but it really grew on me. Different than DIPAs like Pliny in both appearance and taste this is still a very good interpretation of the style. (1,040 characters)

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
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! (420 characters)

Photo of Trilogy31
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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. (444 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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. (458 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip. It poured a a deep caramel color with a big, frothy, white head filling the top two inches of the glass. Decent head retention with some very nice lacing as well.

The aroma has a huge malty, caramel, candied fruit like presence to it. The hops come through pretty nicely and add some floral, tropical fruit and citrus characteristics. Definitely surprised how malty this one was, but it was a pretty nice aroma overall.

The taste starts out with more of the malty, caramel and some candied orange flavors. Midway it starts to turn more hoppy with some grapefruit bitterness coming out. It has a decent amount of floral, juicy, citrus hops and they mesh with the sweet malty flavors very nicely. Very nice mix of flavors to it overall.

The mouthfeel feels pretty big for the style but seems to fit the beer well. carbonation is moderate. Overall it was a very tasty beer, the sweeter malty flavors were very good and a nice change of pace from the normal hop bomb DIPA's. Everything came together pretty nicely in it and the sweetness complimented the hops pretty nicely. Very good beer overall. (1,153 characters)

Photo of Dan3279
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (943 characters)

Photo of joepais
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for sharing this treat with me. We poured the brew into strait glasses and were greeted with a nice two finger white head that laced it way all the way down the glass. The body of the brew was a nice shade of amber. This is a west coast IPA no bones about it. The nose is hoppy and citric good grassiness and floral notes. The flavor is hop bitter forward with almost no malt sweetness coming through. I can see why the Hopheads dig it. The flavor is bitter hops upfront with an ever slight malt sweetness making this brew a very drinkable DIPA. The body is medium with great carbonation adding to the ease of consumption. Yes this is definitely one of the better west coast DIPA I have had this year. (718 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip on 4/4/11

"I did it on a growler once. That bitch was like, uhhhh. Like a tuba."
-MbpBugeye (who was also kind enough to share this bottle)

Density, haziness and a deep amber color; has a rather rustic look about it. Kind of coppery. One thumb of puffy, clingy foam. Thin layer of bubbly retention with nice patches of drippy lace.

Smells dank and potent; right on. Deep reserves of citrus; spicy, zesty and pithy. Grapefruit, lemon, tangerine and some mango notions. A touch of pine throughout. Overtones of the fuzzier aspects of Simcoe and Citra. Malts come across as sugar cookies and a hint of bread.

Tastes good but not as good as it smells. Citric hops are still prominent but seem to be more of a mish-mash of spiciness and zestiness. Solid, appreciable maltiness; sugar cookies, bread. Not to say it's overly sweet, though - just plenty fleshed out. Piney with moderate bitterness all around.

The feel is fairly dense for the style and kind of grainy. Carbonation seems appropriate. Some slickness as it warms. Though not hot, the alcohol is noticeable.

It has nothing to do with knuckles. It has nothing to do with sandwiches. It has everything to do with smelling amazing. Definitely worth a shot. I'd certainly drink it again. (1,275 characters)

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! (944 characters)

Photo of JeffBob
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from tap at Bootleggers brewery into a beer glass.
A Great 1/2 inch of foam
S aroma of fantastic hoppy piney sweetness.
T At first bitter hops then sweetness hits you fading away to a nice bitter hop aftertaste.
M bitter dry and smooth
O just fantastic this beer ruined most IPA's for me. (301 characters)

Photo of Nuggethops
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber (thanks to StevenT562) into an imperial pint glass

Pours a dark amber with a reddish hue. An aggressive pour yeilds a one finger head which dissipates to a frothy white cap, decent lacing with a solid ring after each sip Aroma is of piney hop oils up front with citrus/grapefruit and caramel in the back.

Strong bitter hop taste up front with a slight bitter citrus taste, this beer has a strong malt backbone that tastes of caramel and banana with a slight alcohol taste at the end. This is a dangerously drinkable DIPA, I could easily throw back a few of these and would never guess a 10% ABV if the bottle didn't say so.

Overall this is a delicious well balanced DIPA with a nice malt character to offset the strong hop aroma and taste, I would definitely seek out this beer again. (815 characters)

Photo of iadler
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Surly glass. Thanks Brian for this!

A- Reddish hue that has a less than 1 finger head that dissipates quickly

S- Pine, grapefruit, caramel, and a hint of banana. The smell makes it seem like it's going to be a hop bomb

T- Grapefruit and other citrus notes hit immediately, followed by sweet carmel malt and a slight boozy finish

M- Medium carbonation, fairly smooth yet a little chewy. Finishes dry and hard to detect the high ABV

O- A very good DIPA. Beautiful color and pretty balanced for the style. Glad I got to try to this and would be happy to have again. (588 characters)

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caramel body with a small soapy khaki head. Darker than I was expecting.

Big piney candied grapefruit skin aroma. Spicy black pepper in the background.

A ridiculous punch of Simcoe hop flavor. Big piney, meaty hops. Caramel sweetness and somewhat dry for the high abv and what seems like there may have been a lot of cara malts used (judging from the color). Or maybe they just used a little bit of a darker kind. Somewhat on the verge of becoming an imperial amber ale (å la Nugget Nectar) or a lighter American barley wine than a double IPA. Alcohol isn't really showing its face at all. (592 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Andrew for this brew, Cheer's andrew!
Bottled: unk

A: Pours a blood orange ale with single finger light tan head. This dissipates relatively quickly leaving a medium sheet of the same. Little to no lacing. Excellent clarity.

S: Lots of pine and resin on this one. Not as much citrus as anticipated. Some hints of cotton candy. ABV obvious here. Plenty sweet from the ABV and malt profile. Above average, but not great.

T: Sweet, boozy, hot on the ABV again. Plenty of pineapple, pine, resin flavors. Medium to low bitterness on this one.

M: Medium to high body with low carbonation. Long slick finish.

O: Well done brew, but would take any of Alpine's offerings over this any day of the week. ABV isn't justified in the relative simplicity of the flavor profile. (778 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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. (574 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (1,350 characters)

Photo of johndoe8
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

hope it's not a cop out going 4.5 down the line. this beer is pretty damn good. the hops fade pretty quickly, so if it's more than a couple weeks old, it's definitely a different experience than having it fresh.

i've had it from tap and bottle, but bottle most recently, and the grassy notes have subsided slightly (the bottle being 2 weeks old).

otherwise, this is a great DIPA. it hides the abv EXTRemELy well. It has a nice balanced malt backbone, which you only find from some really good DIPAs (think expo hoppiness or pliny the younger).

it loses slightly to my other all time favorite dipas (expo and pty), b/c the hops are not as strong as those, but it's definitely some good company to be in. (707 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours 1 finger of creamy beige head. Color is a lot darker for a dipa. It is a dark amber gold.

Aroma: A lot maltier than I was expecting for a Cali DIPA. Very bready with some caramel malt flavors. It is still hoppy. Floral and a bit citrusy.

Taste: Again, this DIPA is malty. It is kind of off putting. It is hoppy, but all the bready malts bog it down. Some citrus fruits. Floral notes. Biscuit flavors.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a sticky hoppy aftertaste.

Overall, I was surprised to see this on the top 100 list. It just isn't a very exciting DIPA. Not something I would really want a lot of. (667 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.4/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received in a trade with womencantsail, shared at a recent tasting. I wanted to like this beer, I was rooting for it but it just didn't live up to what I expect from a DIPA. I would try it again on draft but I think I would skip it in the bottle if offered again.

Beer is ruby red, it's darker than I expected, almost looks like nugget nectar, I guess that's fine, mostly clear, thin off white head of small bubbles. Like I said, it was dark but looks OK.

Aroma is earthy and malty, I was warned that this is a maltier IPA, the aroma reveals that.

I think this beer walks the line between a DIPA and a barleywine but in my opinion falls on the barleywine side of the line. It is sweet, the middle of the beer is a little earthy and piny and finishes with some nice bitterness but it's not a great DIPA by any measure. At least I don't think so. (848 characters)

Photo of vande
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
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!! (439 characters)

Photo of adamsneighbor
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had knuckle sandwich on tap at the brewery it was exceptional.

The beer has very nice color a dark caramel brown color with good carbonation.

Aroma was excellent a good hop nose with floral, grassy notes not over bearing just right.

The taste was surprisingly smooth it had great hop/malt balance and for a 10% abv beer it was not boozy at all which surprised me.

Also this beer has great mouthfeel it has good body and just the right amount of carbonation to make an exceptional dipa thanks bootleggers. (511 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up at the brewery while out in Cali for the Bruery RS Party. Big thanks to womencantsail and t0rin0 for bringing this one to my attention as I would have otherwise overlooked it while there. Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured a deep red-orange with a one finger very light tan head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, orange zest, caramel, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, bitter hop, and alcohol. It ha d medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a damn nice DIPA. You can defintely tell this is a higher-ABV brew. The citrus aspect in this one is nothing short of excellent. A pretty nice flavor all-around going on here. If I'm honest, the alcohol aspect of this one definitely hurt the drinkability. If you haven't tried this one before, you definitely need to make the effort. (934 characters)

Photo of azdback
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (1,299 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
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 (1,163 characters)

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