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Knuckle Sandwich | Bootlegger's Brewery

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
255 Reviews
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Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jerz on 12-14-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
255
Ratings:
1,065
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
21.96%
 
 
Wants:
438
Gots:
145
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 255 | Ratings: 1,065
Photo of ottovon
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

shared a bomber with whiterascal

A: pours out a coppery red, with a fluffy, off-white head.

S: the smell is pretty amazing. a lot of hop in the nose. it is citrusy and very fruity. it has a lot of pineapple.

T: it has a lot of citrus and pineapple from the hops. i get some caramel from the malt as well. a little bready-ness.

M: it is pretty smooth. a medium-thin body with low carbonation.

D: i could drink this all night long. You can not tell the abv at all.

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Photo of UnknownKoger
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a half pint at the brewery and then got my growler filled. I was interested to see how the almighty Knuckle Sandwich would hold up in growler form. Suffice to say, I'm not disappointed.

Poured from my growler into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. Opening the growler one day after getting it, there is still a ton of carbonation! There was a very audible pop and hiss followed by the lovely citrusy, piney aroma hitting my nose.

Color is great. Reddish copper. Very thin head which dies away quickly. Maintains its carbonation.

Taste is outstanding. This is one of my favorite DIPAs. It's not too overwhelming. The citrus and piney character of the hops works perfectly with the sweet caramel-y malts. At 10%, there is some booze present in the taste, but not enough to make me feel like I'm getting punched in the face.

This is an absolutely fantastic beer and very deserving of thefullpint.com's beer of the year award. Cheers!

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Photo of Reema
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 22 oz into a pint glass

Pours a dark red amber color. Smells of malty sweetness, hops dank, orange blossom honey, slight tropical fruit, pine resin, and slight peach. Taste reflects the smell. Initial malty sweetness that leads into piney floral dank hops flavors and bitterness, followed by a small sweetness that finishes with a small bread like aftertaste. Very tasty. Feel is thick, slightly oily, with sufficient carbonation so that it isn't flat. Ideal for a DIPA. Overall this is great beer with great characteristics that make this tasty and a treat to drink.

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Photo of brian44556
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip. Bottled 1/14/2016.

Pours a deep bronze, with a small, off-white head that bubbles away rather quickly. A bit of lace lines the glass. A lot of sweet, heavy malt on the nose with a distant dank, tropical fruit smell to compliment. Taste is very malty, faded tropical hops, and pretty grassy. I would like to try this fresher. Carbonation is a bit low, extremely creamy mouthful, and easy drinking for 10%. This is a tasty DIPA, it has lost some of the heavy floral hop profile I enjoy at 4 months old, but it has some very unique characteristics and a wonderful malt profile.

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Photo of mikul93
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A A dark amber with a nice 2 finger head. Nice lacing

S Big combination of grapefruit and sweet malt. Almost bready. Very nice smelling beer.

T Sweet malt, grapefruit and hops hit you all at once. The flavors don't really come one after the other. It just hits you all up front leaving a mild bitterness on your tongue.

M Medium body with a creamy texture to it. Nice carbonation

O It's definately a unique DIPA. The smell is just fantastic! The taste was good, but not great. It lacked that crispness. I enjoyed it though.

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Photo of PhiloPsych
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light peach color as it pours from bottle, quite dark copper in the glass with a big long-lasting head. The smell is strong on caramel malt and brown sugar with some fresh-baked bread, also maybe a bit woody and even just a touch earthy. Taste is very sweet and malty for an IPA, with some very sweet, almost candy-like fruit flavors as well as all the characteristics of the aroma. The hops are lightly herbal in the nose and herbal and slightly piney in the taste. The hops and malt go in different directions, but have the overall effect of balancing each other out—from a distance, so to speak. This is a formidable beer and as my second round, it is getting me drunk, despite having no really noticeable alcohol heat (the alcohol is hidden by the bready, sweet malt). This beer sells fast when it is released and it deserves the attention—it is a unique brew. It doesn’t quite resemble a barleywine, it isn’t really an amber/red, it has some brown or Scotch ale characteristics, but certainly goes outside the boundaries of those styles, too. I suppose you can call it a double IPA as it’s billed, but it isn’t normal. Good on Bootleggers for producing an intriguing beer.

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Photo of Ultraman9000
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of SDtastentune
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Dark amber orange yellow, good lace, good head but I pour it slow!

S - Citrus zesty hops, dank pine, kushy??

T - Citus & some hops, more zesty and balanced grapefruit kinda fruits but has a great manageable aftertaste

M - Medium to more carbonation, I like that though. Great balance with a not over the top aftertate surprises me for a 10% DIPA

D - I think this drinks easy for a 10% DIPA, But very flavorful and rich, reminds me of an Islander IPA from Coronado brewing. Thumbs WAY up for a brewery doing it right outta nowhere!

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Photo of biglobo8971
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cant say enough good things. If you like a sweet DIPA with a hop bite, this is the beer for you. Thank you Beerdsy. Everything melds beautifully. You taste the sweetness of orange and have very little bite or after bite from the hops presence. Would mos def recommend this beer to any one looking for a hop forward beer, who is looking for more than malt sweetness.

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Photo of JonathanC
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a mug from tap at Hollingshead

The Bootlegger's Knuckle Sandwich pours a golden honey-like color in the mug with a thick white froth, good head retention, & nice lacing. The nose is absolutely amazing with pronounced aromas of grapefruit, apricot, mango, pine, fresh floral hops, spiced herbs, caramel, & fresh baked biscuits that follows through on the palate. The beer is full bodied, has a definite hop presence - however balanced with the malt - good acidity, smooth mouthfeel, & long finish. Although I have never had too many Bootlegger's beers, I heard about this one through the grapevine & couldn't pass up the opportunity to try it. In all honesty, I'm not one for DIPAs because I find them to be unbalanced, however, this DIPA is absolutely amazing! Highly Recommended!

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Photo of Sixofsigmas
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the grapefruit, citrus in general, and some small amounts of malt. This beer is all about the hops. The flavor is very balanced and hoppy. It is way too sessionable. I get a lot of grapefruit and orange notes with some biscuit and caramel malt mixed in. The ale is very sessionable with a medium carb....and huge drinkability.

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Photo of johnnieoz
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- pours a sparkling orangish red with one finger of grainy white foam on top. it sticks to the glass and has some lacing. This one is pretty

Aroma- grapefruit, watermelon cantaloupe, flowers and strawberries even a bit of grandma's good soaps!

Taste- The Floral Hoppy nose leads to a sweet citrus forward punch in the tongue. It drops off almost immediately to a butter scotch candy finish with a slightly earthy after taste. I think this is very well balanced for a DIPA. Maybe a lot of late addition hops...

Mouthfeel- The booze is completely hidden. It was a little sticky/syrupy but all those hops have to be bittering something. Carbonation is well done

Overall- I think it is exemplary of the style. a big hop punch in the face, its beautiful in the glass. It is a beer I would sit in LA traffic for. It is a beer I would get a growler of and share with friends. But because it is such a pallet shredder i don't know if I would order multiples. Wow * days into the new year and I have a stellar beer in my glass Life is good !

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Photo of davidbowers13
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jodan for the hookup on this. Served from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Copper/Orange in color with a off white head. 2 finger head with a gentle/normal pour. Lacing moderately sticks to the glass.

S - Sweet floral citrus notes. Not over-powering like some DIPA's can be. Very well balanced hop and malt characteristics.

T - Very well balanced and sweet up front with a nice citrus hop finish. Hides the 10% ABV very well. So good I keep going in for another sip as soon as I finish the last.

M - A little heavier as it warms, but still a very easy drinking beer for a 10% DIPA.

O - Definately a front runner for one of the best DIPA's I've had. A great balance of sweet malt and hops. Not over powering on the hops, so if you're looking for a DIPA that won't wreck your pallet with a huge hop bomb, this is it.

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Photo of fourplayed
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear red-orange hues with 2 finger rocky off white head..nice lacing.

Smells are Sweet citrus, oranges and grapefruit, nice. some fruit punch sweetness and pineapple detected...fairly sweet overall.

Taste of earthy hops with malt sweetness, some sweet fruits and citrus all mixed nicely...the 10%abv is very well hidden.

Medium body and carbonation with mild to medium alcohol warmth. Nice hop bite and dry finish.

A very good brew, nice balance of sweetness, fruits, citrus, hops and carbonation along with nice alcohol warmth. watch the10% abv it's very well hidden.

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Photo of bierbrauer
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber from Fullerton Beverages. Was not available at brewery, either in bottles or on tap.

A: A darker DIPA, copper, hazy. Dense, tan foam that drops quickly and leaves sparse lacing.

S: Very pleasant fragrance -- strong fruit with slight floral & pine.

T: Delicious, rich, sweet, mango & grapefruit. No alcohol taste. Very balanced.

M: Full, with very low carbonation. Some heat. Fresh finish.

O: Now I understand why this is so scarce. It's really good.

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Photo of imagese
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured into a perfect pint

A- light amber with a orange hue. thick 1 finger head that fades to a nice thin layer that laces nicely

S- intial burst of dark and sugary citrus hops followed by some more sweetness in the malt and a very funky and earthy ending. Almost like Society Garlic in fresh bloom.

T- Awesome tart citrus hops with a faint sweetness, then more hop awesomeness!

M- Thick and nice. Coats the tongue and mouth like there's no tomorrow

D- The high ABV doesn't come thru anywhere. Scary smooth

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Photo of TheCrowsNest
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love Bootlegger's tasting room. No frills. Just beer. In mason jars.

Pours a rich copper. They fill their mason jars to the brim, so there wasn't much room for head. No complaints there.

Lemons, oranges, pine needles. Very fresh and inviting.

Goes right along with the taste. At 10% I didn't get much warmth, but the malt backbone supports the heavy hops.

Medium-full bodied. Dry.

An IPA that will stand with the best. I wish they still put this into growlers.

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Photo of WOTO97
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a 1/2 pint at Bootleggers. This beer is fantastic. Loads of tropical hop notes on the nose, equally matched on the palate. Lots of pineapple, passion fruit makes for a very refreshing beer. The 10% abv is dangerously hidden beneath the generous hop bouquet. Slightly disappointed with the appearance--nominal head (may have been the pour). The mouthfeel was a little thin, which I think I might like even though it works against the traditional DIPA (TIPA?). Extremely refreshing easy to put back a few of these hop monsters.

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Photo of Rjhami
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate to find this at my local market after never seeing it from the usual bottle shops. It was the last one. Poured 650ml into snifter.

Pours orange-amber, butterscotch meets root beer type color...darker than most of this style. Good retention on a low volume head, the lacing slowly drips down the glass, not that sticky.

The nose starts out with fresh pine and gradually gives way to a well balanced malt character. It has an excellent clean, sweet, butterscotch-like finish. Floral and citrus tastes immediately give way to the big malt finish, sweet again with caramel and a bit of alcohol.

Oh yes this is a DIPA that you can sink your teeth into. It lets you know right away with the warmth of the mouth, but that does not take away from a surprisingly medium bodied feel.

The malt backbone on this one is big time and yet so well balanced. Packs a big punch as the name implies and not to be taken lightly. It would be difficult to take down multiple bombers of this beer but definitely will be buying this next time it's on the shelf.

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

This was cool, i had never heard of this and it was an extra in a recent trade. VERY COOL.

Alright, i love my DIPA and this did not disappoint and it continues to drive the point that there are a ton of GREAT beers out there outside of the hyped alternatives.

I pour this into a pint and it was a deep golden redish color with a bright white frothy head like most big DIPAs would and should look like. The body of this beer looked pretty big, thick and rich.

I really enjoyed the dank, skunky, pine forest of a DIPA that this was, this is an exceptional beer and worth seeking out if you are in the area of it. GREAT BEER..

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Photo of jmadrigal2
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bomber thanks to unitmosnter.
Cracked this open and didn't smell much hops. Smells like some of the IPAs my buddie has brewed. The smell is sweet like candy, piny and alcohol. Appearance is dark amber with little head, good lacing though. Since this bottle is only 2 weeks old the taste was better than I was expecting. I wouldn't let this one sit over 2 weeks though. This beer is very balanced. I get big sweetness with a bit of hops and the alcohol is apparent on the finish. I like drier IPAs myself so I wasn't really expecting to be all about this one but it was good. It was a great beer and I loved having it fresh but I don't think I would seek this out again unless it was on tap.

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Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Josh at Whole Foods for hooking me up with a few bottles.

This brewery has been hit and miss for me. The Black Phoenix and mint porter both weren't up to bar imo.

The Knuckle Sandwich however lived up the hype. Nothing like Pliny as the abv is apparent.

Citrus up front with great carbonation and drinkability. Pours a nice orange color with a little more than an inch of head.

Hints of pine, pineapple and other tropical fruits with a strong caramel maltiness. This beer really hits hard.

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

On-tap at Bootlegger's tasting room

Wow. Didn't expect this from Bootlegger's. This one pours a dark amber, almost copper in color. I could smell this thing on the bar as soon as the lovely barmaid set it down. It smelled of sweet, and citrus fruits, and upon closer inspection, the pungent hops and sweet malts filled my nostrils. This brew tastes just like a world class DIPA should. Potent of hops and citrus, but also a sweet backend from the malts. There's a slight burn of alcohol, but not very noticeable. Very well hidden, just enough to warm the chest. For being such a manly beer, the mouthfeel is very light and refreshing, with just the perfect amount of carbonation. Overall, I would say this is definitely one of the best DIPA's I've had. Up there with the juggernauts of IPA's. Definitely worth hyping this one up. Go get yourself some. Cheers.

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Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.