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Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

Not Rated.
Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

Educational use only; do not reuse.

247 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 247
Hads: 1,042
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 22.2%
Wants: 442
Gots: 138 | 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: 1,042
Photo of LaChupacabra
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of whatthehull
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured (last night 3-8-11) into a New Belgium snifter

A - a cloudy blood orange, 1 finger off white head and nice lacing

S - grapefruit, huge citrus hop, pine, sap, sweet malt, bong resin, Oaked bourbon, fresh mango, pineapple, some orange, beautiful hops and sweetness. A really friendly bitterness. Man this is awesome

T - the alcohol is up front, but it's so nice. Hops galore. Sweet malt, beautiful citrus fruits, especially grapefruit, very nice floral. Such a balanced beer

M - light, fluffy, carbonated, sweetness sticks around, coats the mouth in beautiful ipa glory

D - for the hop head and hop scared alike. Very nice, easy to drink and even easier to enjoy!

Final thought - The price is high @ $6.49, but it is so excellent. Can't say a bad thing about this beer!

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Photo of JohnG190
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
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!

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Photo of sleuthdog
4.28/5  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!

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of tut2528
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of buffs9
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle thanks to Salukialum for the hookup

A: Great 1/2 inch of foam, dark orange/ruby color, very pretty.

S: hoppy piney sweetness, grapefruit.

T: Some great hop punch which is smoothed out by grapefruit and citrus in the middle.

M: a bit oily, smooth

O: A damn fine double IPA, wish I could be this locally b/c I'd buy it often.

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Photo of roodie
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: I must say at first pour a pungent piney hop note releases from a foot away... Also. It looks quite good. Semi opaque yellow/amber/rose with a nicely formed and well retained pale tan head. Good lacing as well.

S: mango tang and a funky sour seaweed/tea leaf, meet up with a mild recently fallen brown pine needle.

T: Balanced, rich, and dry finishing aka: The things great DIPA's are made of. Individual hop flavors are sort of smeared together creating a somewhat muddled yet long finishing expression.

M: High carbonation and good hopping leads to rich but drying.

O: very complex and while I don't love this stuff to death it has a number of things going well for it. keep it up guys and dial that motha in.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
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.


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Photo of readbaron
3.61/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful (seriously, gorgeous) dark orange with 2 fingers of white foam. The foam piles on top and lingers, coating the glass in a sticky lacing. However, it did fade - somewhat unusual for a DIPA.

Smell is a bit dissapointing for all the hype - lots of sweetness and honey malt, followed be a dollop of piney hops and a strong note of alcohol.

Taste is a lot like the nose - lots and lots of honey and malty sweetness, before finishing with bitter piney hops. Not much citrus. Reminds me a little bit of hopslam, only sweeter and not as hoppy. (I prefer hopslam)

Feel is good - medium bodied, a touch sticky, and nicely carbonated.

Overall - pretty tasty, but I don't get the hype around this one.

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Photo of abrand
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bomber poured into pint glass

Pours a copper color with huge 3 finger white head. Good retention and exceptional clarity. Smell is dominated with citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruit with plenty of hops. Taste is spot on with a nice balance of sweetness up front with a bitter finish from the hops. Amazing beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall this is one of the better DIPA's I have had. Pretty high ABV but flavor profile hides it well.

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Photo of Joshpu
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Darker orange, looks similar to a peach color.

S: Smells like heaven... smells like peach and grapefruit, hoppy

T: Tastes nearly like heaven, at the front getting grapefruit and peach and hops, followed by a malty taste.

M: Mouthfeel is great, the malts and grapefruit linger, along with the peach, i could taste this all day long...

Overall: Amazing beer, the alcohol is pretty much completely masked.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.91/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was strongly recommended by my brewing mentor and I was on a mission to procure it. Thanks to Rick760Sd for this one!

A - Deep amber color, one of the darkest DIPAs I've ever seen. Very clear beer with a fluffy coarse white head and moderate lacing. Pours pretty thick for a DIPA.

S - Extremely strong fresh hop fragrance with tons of floral, pine, resin, and citrus fruits. Smells like a freshly pulled dry hop bag. There is some orange, tropical fruit like peach, and an herbal character to bring together the awesomeness. Overall great aromatics.

T - Out of the gates this is a Simcoe bomb! The resin, pine, dank, and citrus all pound the tongue. "Knuckle Sandwich" is very appropriate with the hop flavors and the hop bitterness that punch the palate. There is a tremendous amount of sweet malt backbone that tries to simmer down the bitterness and does well. There is a caramel and alcohol tone that blends very well with the pine and resin making this a beastly beer.

M - High mouth-feel with medium carbonation. Very resinous and hoppy bitter with the maltiness trying to compensate. The balance is a good attempt but just a big beer!

Overall, a tremendous beer. Not as fruity or as citrusy as other DIPAs but with the extreme resin and pine to go along with the grapefruit and peach it is just amazing. The big malt, caramel character took me aback but it was really quite delicious and made this beer more robust and flavorful. If you love hops this more "East-Coast" style DIPA is pretty awesome.

Glass- Imperial Nonic

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Photo of stxSS07
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber split with lookitsmp

A- Pours a dark amber with a one finger off-white head. Carbonation streams off the bottom. Leaves big chunky lacing. Good looking brew.

S- Sweet juicy grapefruit, piney-hop notes, sweet caramel and malt come through as well.

T- Bitter piney, flowery hops. Acidic and juicy grapefruit bite. Nice sweet caramel malt backbone in the finish.

M- Medium bodied. Carbonation does a great job cleaning and drying out the palate.

O- One of the better west-coast DIPA's I've had and I'm really glad I got to try this. I'd put it just a notch below Pliny and Hopslam.

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Photo of bs870621345
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heard about the comparisons of this to PtE.

Pours amber with an inch and a half of white head. Tiny bubbles that last all day with nice lacing down the glass.

Smells of a huge hop presence. Grapefruit, orange, and pine hops. Strong caramel backbone there to hold the hops up.

Taste follows smell. This, is a perfect DIPA. Explodes with orange/grapefruit and carries into a mellow pine taste with caramel on the end. Finishes clean.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and moderate mouthfeel.

Drinkability is amazing for 10%. Didn't even realize it was that high.

Gives PtE a run for its money, I say that it wins.

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Photo of chickencoop
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Green Jug for always having Bootleggers, and this recomendation, as well as the closest place besides WF-Santa Clarita that serves my Bottleggers fix from Oakland. On with the beer. Deep amber pour, big and sweet citrus on the smell and taste. The taste is smooth, get's a little more boozy as it warms but way to drinkable at 10%. great beer, need more.

update 1-7-11; one of the most consistant DIPA's out there.

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Photo of Centennial
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First time having this and I know it has some age on the bottle so this review will be based upon that. Serving- 22oz bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance- A lighter amber with golden color shining through when held up to light and overall pretty clear.

Smell- Citrus, Honey and hop spiciness

Taste- crisp and hoppy when cold but after it warms to room temperature some weird barleywine and bready qualities

Mouthfeel- Clean, a little syrupy.

Overall- Not bad, but not what the hype makes it to be. I need to try this fresh when the next batch comes out to give my final review.

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Photo of Celtics17
4.75/5  rDev +11%

So many flavors come through. Without a doubt one of the best Double/Triple/Imperial IPA's I've had. I get the normal sweetness, and tropical fruit with a bite of grapefruit. I also get a nice hint of vanilla coming though.

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Photo of iadler
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of jrnyc
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle as a surprise substitute from DarthKostriter, thanks Cory! Taken from a 22 oz bottle and poured into a Stone glass.

A -Is this really an IPA? Nice color, medium head, if I didn't know it I would think it was a Stone Levitation. Have never had an IPA or DIPA that looks like this.

S: As soon as the bottle opens, the smell comes through. Awesome smell!

T: Very good tasting IPA, a different taste than most of the other IPAs I like.

M:Wow, 10% alcohol, the alcohol is masked very well, do not really taste it at all.

O:This is a very good beer. If I had this in a blind taste test, would not think it was an IPA. I really enjoyed this one, it went down very fast and feeling the effects of 22 oz and 10% abv!

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Photo of Dan3279
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of Trilogy31
4.3/5  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.

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Photo of More_betterness
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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!

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.37/5  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

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