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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: 445
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 reebtaerG
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured bomber into Lost Abbey Teku no date on bottle

A-Pours a deep copper orange with a two finger off white head. Great lacing.

S-Aroma is of pine, grapefruit, sweet malts, caramel, and some tropical hops.

T-Taste is very similar to the aroma but has a bit more hops and caramel.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium to full body. At the beginning it's slightly creamy and finishes slightly dry. Has great carbonation.

O-Overall a great DIPA, I enjoy the balance of the hops and malt. I would definetly get one again. (516 characters)

Photo of Hophead717
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bomber poured into a large snifter. This is from the latest batch, so less than two weeks old.

A: A dark, hazy golden brown, with a thin head that dissipates fairly quickly. Lots of lacing hangs to the glass.

S: Dynamite. Sweetness from the citrus upfront-namely grapefruit and tangerine. There's a tropical scent here too...mango if I'm placing it correctly. Very interesting and unexpected from a DIPA. Some piney notes as well, but they are in the back. Mild notes from the hops, but the sweet citrus/fruitiness leads the way. This beer smells fantastic!

T: Sweet mango and grapefruit lead the way, as with the nose. Lots of flavor from the hops, but it's incredibly well-balanced with caramel maltiness mid-sip. The finish brings some pine into the picture, as well as some bitterness from the hops, which lingers. The alcohol is definitely present in this beer-not unexpected as it weighs in at 10%. If I had to guess the ABV, I would have guessed higher than that from the taste. This really is a full-flavor beer with a strong presence from each flavor I'd like in a DIPA, plus a curveball with the juicy mango.

M: Medium, with some creaminess as well. It's maybe a teeny bit thinner than I'd like upfront, but very good. Well carbonated.

O: A great DIPA. I was super excited to receive this in an LIF from baybassboy and BdubleEdubleRUN. Reading reviews about it, I got pumped, thinking it might be the best IPA I've ever had. While it's not, Knuckle Sandwich is one hell of a beer and I definitely will seek it out in the future! This beer is staying on my "Wants" list! (1,586 characters)

Photo of SierraFlight
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into shaker pint. Orange amber body with two finger plus head that lasts. Lots of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Aroma is of orange peel, pine resin, sweet malts, and citrus juice. Taste is bitter citrus peel and pine balanced with sweet candied grapefruit and a caramel malt ribbon. Medium-full body, sticky, resinous texture, moderate carbonation, bitter finish. (383 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (1,697 characters)

Photo of pjkelley82
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this (along with other dipa's) at a East VS. West Dipa Head to Head Showdown I hosted on 8/27/13

Got this one via trade... a great beer...

Round 2 East DFH 90 West Knuckle Sandwich

Overall I picked 90 over this one but this was no easy battle. Quite honestly this was the hardest choice of all the rounds... it was a split decision with 90 winning appearance and mouthfeel but not by much.. color for me went to ks along with taste and smell. Ks was a hell of a lot smoother and easy going with a nice juicy feel to it. I'm glad I have a little left over to enjoy abooouuuut... now! Ks placed 8th of 10 (609 characters)

Photo of PretzelCity
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (819 characters)

Photo of SFLpunk
3.76/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for this one! 22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. No date.

Pours a reddish amber with thin, off-white head. Crystal clear. Luscious citrus and piney hops on the nose with a caramel aroma too. Palate is spritely with hops, bitterness and slick, sweet medium amber malt in the center. Well, rounded bitter IIPA with some sweetness. Solid. (359 characters)

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

Poured a bottle of this into a tulip glass.

A: Really interesting color, very dark amber with lots of deep red colors involved, a bit off the beaten path which I quite like. The head on this baby is really impressive, nice frothy texture, ivory color with hints of caramel undertones where the head and the beer collide. Lovely lacing on the glass.

S: This smell amazing. Lots of fruit up front with the nice hoppy aromas on the back end balanced with the subtle scent of grain. Really really intriguing and inviting nose.

T: Nothing short of spectacular here, really lovely fruit, notable citrus but also some tart fruits like apples or berries come through with a really powerful hop flavor. This is balanced with some sweet malts at the end for a really complex taste, but one that is balanced and has me asking for more more more.

M: Nice and crisp with good bubbles, but also smooth and inviting.

O: This is really top notch, I heard that they don't brew too much of this anymore which is a real shame because it is truly a world class beer. I tend to drink a lot on the hoppy side and this is without a doubt, one of the best IPAs or DIPAs I've had in a long time. (1,176 characters)

Photo of silentjay
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazy dark copper/brown color with a very big light tan head that sticks around a while, lacing well.

lots of grapefruit and citrus hops with some tropical fruits and some candy sweetness.

flavor starts with tropical fruit, candied fruits, grapefruit, citrus. a bit of pine. flavors are in your face, but alcohol is not harsh in the least for a 10% ABV.

medium bodied with decent carbonation and a good amount of lingering resin.

Very strong entry into the DIPA field. Nothing I haven't had before in some other beers, but a very solid in-your-face DIPA. (557 characters)

Photo of lanciloti
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into a snifter glass. (release #18 2014)

Appearance: A dark amber. Creamy tan head.

Smell: Sweet caramel and apricot. Great hop aroma.

Taste: I get a lot of sweet fruit and caramel out of this beer. Alcohol burn comes after about 10 minutes.

Mouthfeel: Nice mouthfeel, good amount of malt. Very full and creamy.

Overall: Reminds me a little of Maharaja, but even sweeter. Easy to drink for 10% abv. Would like to drink again. Cheers!! (459 characters)

Photo of axeman9182
3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, thanks to DearthVader for the killer extra. This one was poured into my Duvel tulip.

Knuckle Sandwich pours pretty dark, it's straight up amber, moving towards a dark red. There are some very nice, clear light red highlights. There's a solid three fingers of light tan foam topping the beer, and it just sits there, taking its sweet time inching down the sides of the glass. Intricate webs of lacing are left behind, absolutely gorgeous looking beer. The nose is a little lacking in pungency, but there's a pretty nice orange aroma, with some caramel sweetness in the background. Caramel is present again at the front of the flavor profile, with a surprisingly mild hop bite following it. Back end hoppy flavors largely consist of the orange note from the nose, but with a bit of a citric tangerine element to it as well. The body is surprisingly light for a 10% beer, and it's paired with a nice bubbly carbonation. Knuckle Sandwich is a pretty tasty beer, and one with a less common hop profile. That said, with a name like that I was expecting much more of an all out hop assault. (1,097 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 cdkrenz
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep reddish brown body with transparency allowing images through clearly. Head is superb at two plus inches with a thick, frothy, firm texture and top of the line stamina. This is an amazing looking DIPA.

S - Citrus hops are clear and evident as they fill the room upon pour. I cannot wait to sample this hoppy brew.

T - Citrus and leafy hops accompanied by a slightly sweet malty backdrop.

M - Ever so slight coarse feel along the top of my tongue. Thick and chewy feel throughout with a sticky remnant on my lips.

~ This is a solid brew. One that I would love to sample from a fresh tap. I bet this bad boy really packs a punch when only a week in the keg. (668 characters)

Photo of sendsilk
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
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! (583 characters)

Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.68/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 7/7/11 - consumed 2 1/2 weeks from bottling.

Appearance -- pours a ruddy golden amber with a thick sudsy parchment head. Lots of lace. Photogenic, albeit a bit dark.

Smell -- Brimming with caramel malt, juicy citrus, and pineapple. There is also some hop-derived spiciness that seems to hang in the background. To describe the smell in one word: sticky.

Taste -- Tangerine and pineapple, plum and assorted drupes - very fruit-forward, with a modicum of spiciness and mild leafy bitterness. Caramel malt sweetness is quite apparent without the necessary hop bittering to lend balance. decent complexity, but as time progress the malt sweetness begins to taste cloying. Lingering flavors of caramel malt, sticky ripe fruit, and faint leafy vegetation.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation and a hint of booze bite. Sticky/oily finish.

Overall -- Is there huge batch variation or what? I just don't see how this beer has earned it's accolades. It's sticky sweet and terribly lacking in crisp hop bitterness that typifies the style. If somebody told me this was their 90 Minute IPA homebrew clone, I would tell them they did a fairly convincing job.

Your mileage may vary. (1,198 characters)

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.87/5  rDev +13.3%
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. (695 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 kemoarps
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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. (876 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My contribution to the debouchery

A-nice red color with a nice white head

S-not very strong on the hops. Piney and malty

T-very malty with a slight bit of hhops. Hops are more in the aftertaste. Good beer but a slight dipa

M-medium body and smooth

O-good beer but I wouldn't say it was on par with all the normal double ipas (330 characters)

Photo of afksports
4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

If I'm not mistaken, this is the highest I've ever rated a beer. Damn near perfect in appearance, smell, taste, mouthfeel and drinkability. Knuckle freakin' Sandwich from Bootlegger Brewery in Fullerton, CA. Thank you, Martin, for this in a trade. Thank you, me, for asking for it. Holy cow. This may be a new Top5 beer. Definitely my top IPA. And I had it side by side with Pliny the Elder.

In appearance it's a robust and deep amber that's nearly clear, with brilliant head and lacing throughout. That head smells like floral and sweet hops aromas paired with a perfect malt balance that's full of caramel. The taste begins malty caramel with hops, then the hops really take effect, and then it finishes clean. As it warms, the finish with hops bitterness becomes more evident, but it stays mild. So somehow the folks at Bootleggers have figured out how to pull out the brilliance of the citrus, pine, and floral elements of hops without having the bitterness be overwhelming. A bready character to the malts is probably part of it.

This isn't just drinkable. It's all I want. The carbonation is perfect and fills the mouth on every sip - even to the end of the bottle. Even the booze, at 10%, is in perfect balance. I don't even notice it. My adrenaline is pumping I'm so excited. I must have more.

End review. I just don't have any other words. (1,352 characters)

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
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! (684 characters)

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. (1,814 characters)

Photo of billshmeinke
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (478 characters)

Photo of rallison
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (318 characters)

Photo of cavedave
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (1,264 characters)

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