1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

Not Rated.
Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

885 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 885
Reviews: 232
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 448
Gots: 87 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jerz on 12-14-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 885 | Reviews: 232 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a .5L New Belgium goblet (thanks Long!) in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Acquired at a beer store near my work. Expectations are above average; I don't recall having anything impressive from this brewery and American-brewed IPAs often disappoint with their penchant for dicksizing IBUs and hop content. Still, I remain hopeful. 10.00% ABV confirmed.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm a bit before serving. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger beige=light khaki colour head of nice full cream, good thickness, and great retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a nontransparent somewhat dull copper-amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Rather dark compared to most good beers in the style that I've had. It's not looking great, but the head does impress me.

Sm: Soapy hops. Floor cleaning liquid. Floral hop character. Some buried citrus when I really dig. Dries the nostrils. Not at all appealing. It just seems like a beer that will drain the palate for no particular reason. I'm not at all excited for this. A moderately strong aroma.

T/Mf: Soapy, but with a lightly creamy pine surge towards the climax. Floral hops are rampant throughout. Some grapefruit, but also some berry towards the finish; the bright berry is unexpected but adds a dimension. Hop bitterness is well disguised, but it still dries the hell out of the mouthfeel and lends the flavour a musty character that I'm not fond of. Sort of an unwarranted scratchy coarseness. It's otherwise pleasantly wet and thick enough. Carbonation is good; no problems there. Pale and amber malts just sort of sit there, helping build a backbone and lending body but not adding anything of interest. Seems a lot more attention was paid to the hops than the malts, and they don't work all that well together as a result. Decently balanced, but then the key to this style is balance. What it does do well is hide its high ABV - which is quite an achievement at 10.00%. That said, I could guess its ABV just by its heavy presence on the palate. She does get better as she warms, with light caramelized malt and more of the berry seeping in to offer a struggle against the overbearing hops. I acclimate to the soapiness as I drink, but I doubt I'll fully get past it. The finish is a definite highlight, almost evoking a bit of nectar. It's growing on me over time, but its flaws only minimize - they do not diminish completely. No yeast comes through.

Dr: Very drinkable for the high ABV, but not a contender in this style. When you brew this style, you have to bring more to the table if you want to stay afloat. I get what they're trying to do, and it's different from most beers in the style out there. Different, yes, but not better - though I applaud the experimentation. This is one every true fan of the style should try, but don't expect a beer of impeccable balance. This is its key flaw. I look forward to trying more beers from the brewery; this really shows promise. Would I get it again? Nope.

B-

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2012 05:15:19 | More by kojevergas
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

4/5  rDev -7%

04-05-2013 09:26:57 | More by beernads
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at the brewery and at Bruery Provisions.

Pours a clear golden orange color with a one finger white foam head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Streaks of lace left behind.

Floral, dank hop aroma with balance of earthy pine, citrus fruit notes and pale malt.  Strong pine needle presence along with pineapple and lemon peel followed by biscuity malts and subtle alcohol.

Chewy body thats fuller than expected with a really nice balance of earthy, grassy hops, tropical/citrus fruit and pale malts.  Dry and bitter up front with piny hops lingering over the sweeter notes.  Hints of pineapple, grapefruit and lemon peel countered by a  nice malt presence that provides balance without interfering with the hop flavors.  Subtle hints of biscuit and graham cracker before finishing with some boozy heat. The alcohol flavor towards the end of the palate takes away from the hops a bit but overall this beer is pretty good.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2012 23:59:00 | More by corby112
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4/5  rDev -7%

01-09-2012 01:42:49 | More by imperialking
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into a nonic. Thanks Andrew!

Pours a dark, orange-amber with a massive foamy and bubbly cream colored head. Appearance of the head is slightly off as it is overly foamy, but still has long-lasting retention and a few webs of clumpy lacing. Aroma is a punishing blend of fresh grapefruit, grapefruit and more grapefruit. Some pine and sweet malt notes add some depth to the nose, but really... who needs that? :). Flavor is dominated by resiny, sweet grapefruit and abundant bitterness in the finish. Balance is offered by piney hops; the malt backbone has a very hard time making it's presence felt. There is also a hint of solventy alcohol that lingers near the back of the palate and some mild spice. Medium body with active, light carbonation. Balance, subtlety, depth beyond delicious fresh grapefruit hops, etc are not the strong point of this beer, but I don't really think they're meant to be either given the beer's name and label. The booze and the unchecked hop forwardness detracts from the drinkability a little, but this is a nicely crafted fresh hop fix.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2010 23:24:39 | More by yourefragile
Photo of oriolesfan4
oriolesfan4

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

02-08-2013 16:11:32 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can I handle a growler of this stuff for the next few days? On to the beer:

It's darker than other beers of the style. Shimmering, electric amber with hues of orange, yellow, and red. It shines at you like a jewel! It leaves some good creamy lacing as the head settles down. Lots of goodness in the aroma. A little crackery malt for the base, and lots of hoppiness. Grapefruit, pineapple, lychee, passionfruit, and resin all emerge.

Some DIPA's are bitter, some are balanced, and some are juicy. This is an example of a juicy DIPA. It's never goes bitter, and it doesn't fatigue your palate. At first, there a big burst of sweet orange. Afterwards, mango, grapefruit, passionfruit, pine, and a crackery maltiness creates the overall flavor that makes this beer great. The aftertaste is on the dry side, with little leftovers of dry malt and grapefruit. There's enough texture in the mouth, carbonation is low (but not anywhere near being too little), and there is hardly a trace of the 10% ABV being felt. Come to think of it, it's been awhile sicne I've had a beer this drinkable with this kind of strength.

The DIPA field is crowded, but Knuckle Sandwich can stick its head over most of the field with its different approach to your palate. Needless to say, put this on your wish list hopheads.

Serving type: growler

02-23-2010 06:43:24 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of duceswild
duceswild

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

02-08-2013 14:44:23 | More by duceswild
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.23/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2011 20:02:57 | More by mothman
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.05/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Darrell. Thanks!

A: Dark orange hue with a half inch of head and good lacing upon the glass.

S: Aroma is a bit odd and hard to describe. Hop scents are also present.

T: Bold and hop forward, but again, slightly off-putting and astringent.

M: Medium bodied and palate coating, with a slight metallic aftertaste.

D: This beer was mediocre. I found both the aroma and flavor to be a bit off throughout.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 21:22:32 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

09-08-2012 22:05:43 | More by drewone
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a spiegelau IPA glass.

Big thick and tall, creamy to foamy light tan head, billowing like a giant fist off the pour and quite uniform in bubbles. Body color is very dark and nearly brown but goes to deep bronze red and just can see through it. Edges provide lots of lighter red and orange color, but bleeds like blood. Just creeping, slow, and small rising carbonation. Great looking brew.

Real neat aroma. Dank hints, a sort of mix of juiced garlic roasted sweet onion notes and faint fruit somewhat indistinct senses, kind of tangerine citrus barely. Somewhat complimenting, but not getting in each others way too much. Goes to hop smoke aromas also which is real nice. This I think could be off putting for some but I am enjoying it nicely.

Palate is just... uh... WOW... this is so thick and juiced with coating sugars. Pure icing sugar like feel. Thick brown sugar malt sweetness and practically like drinking hop maple syrup and thick toffee caramel. Palate brings some more big fruit notes, but the caramel sweetness takes over in an impressive way. Finishes with dank qualities, and big almost cherry and raspberry fruit pie like finish. Mild bitterness, just a bit sugary.

Overall this is really impressive and different from nose to palate. REally not what I was expecting making it that more impressive. It is however, just a bit too sweet, and it takes over from the hop aroma and flavors just a little too much. But dang this is going to drink fast.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2014 00:53:27 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rather dark for a dipa, usually the best ones tend to be in the orange, vein, but this one here was best described as brown. Looked good though. Amazing aroma, plinyesque to say the least. Swirling hop varieties in a massive dry hop, even some good malt aroma of caramel comes through.

Great taste, low bitterness, hides the alcohol quite well, you really start to feel it though (not taste) as you get towards the end of a bomber of these. Lots of pine without the bitterness, same for the pineapple. Such a smooth mouthfeel to the beer.

Extremely highly recommended. A must for any self proclaimed hop head. Especially the one dimensional ones. This one is unique enough to expand some palates who don't like anything but big hops.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2011 18:06:38 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

03-09-2013 08:51:14 | More by zestar
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

02-22-2014 13:46:43 | More by Kelp
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 23:30:54 | More by billab914
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4/8/2011

Bottle picked up at Olive Tree and poured into a snifter. When I had this on tap I wasn't able to spend as much time with it as I would have liked, so I'm eager to revisit it. This bottle is as fresh as the night is young.

A: Deep orangish amber, much darker than a typical Southern California Double IPA. Big frothy beige head had good retention and scattered lacing.

S: This smells a lot like Hopslam. It has a similar marriage of caramel, grapefruit, and perfumy pine. There's a light candied sweetness that gives the impression of candied caramel citrus. Hell of a nose.

T: The flavor is also awesome, but not quite as good as the nose. Lots of caramel, grapefruit, orange, and pine, with a smooth moderate bitterness and a decided sugary character. Again, the sugary malt is not at all characteristic of the Southern California interpretation of the style, but the beer is undeniably great. This is essentially a Midwestern style Double IPA. Alcohol is deftly hidden for the high ABV.

M: Medium in body with nice carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky.

Overall: An exceptional beer. If you're expecting a San Diego Pale Ale, you won't find it here, but you will find a high quality Midwest style Double IPA. This is the closest thing to Hopslam that I've ever tasted, and I can't decide which I prefer. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 05:09:22 | More by HopHead84
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4/5  rDev -7%

03-03-2013 10:55:17 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

01-19-2013 15:17:52 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

06-07-2012 03:41:20 | More by Zaphog
Photo of GraduatedCashew
GraduatedCashew

California

3.25/5  rDev -24.4%

04-25-2013 16:39:43 | More by GraduatedCashew
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

11-23-2013 03:26:24 | More by tobelerone
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into my Narke glass...A super dark ipa, dark copper bordering on a shiney brown, semi clear. A huge tope head of about five fingers emerges77, a fluffy head that looks great. The retention is good and lacing is awesome, literally coats the whole glass. Stunner...An equally impressive aroma that instantly reminds me of a stronger Daisy Cutter. Grassy hops with caramel, no hints of alcohol or pine typical in a DIPA, love it! A unique hint of vanilla on the finish...The taste matches the muted dipa notes on the aroma, but they take it a bit too far. I like that its not an alcoholic pine bomb, but then again it could use more flavor overall, just pretty light. The front is very malty, caramel, and again some vanilla. Pineapple shows off some great notes as well, especially as it warms. The finish is a very smooth pine resin taste and sensation, not overly bitter, doesn't attack the senses...Mouthfeel is ok, lighter for a dipa, especially on the finish...Incredibly easy to drink for 10%.

A huge and positive surprise. An easy to drink malty dipa that I really enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 02:13:39 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 22oz bomberto Hess imperial pint glass on 1/23/12
*From notes

-- Muchos gracias, Samantha --

A: Pretty God damn dark. like an amber or fair brown ale. A standard pour yields a fluffy two finger head that sticks around. Beautiful and dense lacing rims the glass as the head slowly fades.

S: It's most certainly hoppy. The tropical, almost floral vibe on this is outstanding.

T: How the nose leads to this, I don't know. It's like two different beers, as this is much maltier then I expected. Sure it's bitter and piney, but there's minimal fruit to it. The finish is bitingly dry.

M: Above average, but not much more. The carbonation could use a bit more touch, and the overall body feels like a rough draft.

O: Not the beer I was hoping for. In fact I really don't get where the hype is coming from. The name, maybe the killer label? I don't know man. What I do know is that Knuckle Sandwich is a reasonably good beer, but with so many other DIPA options out there, I don't know if I'd track this down again.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 19:01:01 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jodan for sending me the bottle.

A - Pours a dark orange, almost brown in color with a tan head. The head fades a bit, but not completely. Some lacing left on the glass.

S - Strong grass, pine, and some orange peel.

T - Same as the smell, but with an equal malt balance.

D - Good carbonation, and a bit heavier than most DIPAs.

O - Smell is awesome, taste is just a step below. Great DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 01:26:05 | More by HuskyinPDX
Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 885 ratings.