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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
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Reviews: 247 | Hads: 1,042
Photo of ArrogantB
3.38/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A friend shared this bottle and I had mixed feelings about this beer. It looked like it was a dark orange color with a small wispy head. The smell was quite hoppy, pine and citrus. The flavor was also nce and hoppy with more pine but it was also sweet, syrupy, and astringent. I was happy to only have to finish eleven ounces because a full bomber would be too much.

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

Thanks to Matt at the Green Jug for the heads up. After looking at the reviews of this I was very excited to go and pick it up tonight.

Appearance - Pours a clear, caramel looking color into my JP Pint Glass. About two fingers of tan colored head is achieved with a moderate pour, which dissipates relatively fast, leaving trace lacing.

Smell - Damn! Citrus aromas are just flowing from the glass. Ripe grapefruit, passion fruit, orange, pine, slight hops, no "noticeable" caramel sweet backbone besides the ripeness from the citrus.

Taste - Damn again! An immense citrus burst is the first flavor to hit my tongue. The ripe citrus (mainly grapefruit in the taste) gives way to a moderate bitterness from...it would appear grapefruit yet again but unripened. Slight pine and hops in the middle which gives way to an unexpected malty backbone, though I am not complaining because of the way the citrus just takes over. I'm a huge citrus IPA/DIPA fan and this beer is right up the alley of what I remember The Oracle being like last year. The finish is of slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, creamy almost, lower carbonation, finishes just a hint dry.

Drinkability - Pretty freaking drinkable. I'm going to test this with a PtE that I have chilling in my refrigerator after I finish this review. Slight alcohol taste and warming, though overall it is pretty well hidden. Pretty balanced overall - not too malty, bitter, or citrusy. Glad after reading reviews the beer lived up to what I was hoping it would be. Hope this is available more often because I will be picking this up regularly to get my citrusy DIPA fix. Very quaffable.

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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 TheJollyHop
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bootleggers, poured into a mason jar (interesting)

Golden, reddish amber- crystal clear- no head.

Grapefruit, pine, herbs and flowers on the nose. Pine sap, grapefruit again, tangerine and mango too, herbal hop undertones on the taste. Sticky sweet caramel with a sweet finish. As the beer warms a slight tomato like flavor comes through, but not in an unpleasant way. Crisp flavors, surprisingly balanced; not messy like many other DIPAs.

Medium to light bodied with a medium to high carbonation level which works very well with this style. Solid DIPA.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Stone Bistro on 6/29. Review from notes.

a - deep golden, almost burnt orange color, quarter-inch ivory head with decent retention and lacing, fairly clear with only minimal haze

s - huge grapefruit dominated aroma, lighter notes of pine and caramel malt, wisps of alcohol in the nose

t - big bitter and sweet grapefruit explosion up front, pine mixes with citrus on the midpalate along with light caramel notes, finish is pine bitterness and light sweetness along with a decent alcohol heat

m - medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation, nice alcohol warming, pretty dry on the finish

d - not overly drinkable for the style, you can taste the alcohol but it's not overwhelming, pretty harsh on the palate, but that's essentially what you're asking for with a big DIPA, I like that the sweetness component is a bit more muted than many recent DIPAs I've tried

Great effort by Bootleggers here. It's only the second beer I've had from them, but the first exceeded expectations, as did this one. Well worth seeking this one out.

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Photo of SShelly
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Tonys darts away.

Pours medium amber, crystal clear with light white head.

Aroma is a small blast of hops with some sweetness behind.

Decent upfront bitterness with strong hop finish, a little sweeter than I expected. Really smooth for the alc percentage, pretty darn enjoyable, in fact probably my favorite thing I've had from bootleggers so far.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Solomon420 for this amazing extra.

A: Pours amber with a nice white head and a bit of lacing as it goes down.

S: Quite a bit of citrus and pine throughout. Not completely dominating, but very powerful.

T: Citrus and pine again. Quite a bit of bitterness. Balanced between different hop flavors, but definitely not by the malt.

M: Medium body with good carbonation and a nice resinous dryness.

D: Very drinkable. Not quite as good as the Citra we sampled that night, but an excellent DIPA and a huge surprise.

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Photo of Overlord
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a surprisingly dark amber/orange color. No real head, just a wisp of off-white foam.

Smells like a bunch of juicy bitter grapefruits, a splash of pine and pineapple, more grapefruit, and a bit of malt.

Tastes like some malt, bitter grapefruit ... surprisingly well balanced. Great juicy mouthfeel.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Whole Foods Venice for a Bootlegger's tasting event. Very suprised to see Aaron hooking up a keg along side a Black Phoenix tap already flowing. Pours amber-orange with a nice white head. The nose is lovely with a strong citrus note. Taste is well balanced with resiny hops and good malt backing. Did I mention the citrus? Very solid DIPA, right up there with the best. Grateful and pleased to have it again. Aaron is doing it well. Go seek it out, you'll be glad you did.

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Photo of PretzelCity
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of bump8628
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/2 liter pour at Hollingshead's Deli.

Medium amber with an inch or so of persistent off-white head.

For some reason the nose on this beer is muted, especially for a DIPA. I get faint whiffs of the requisite citrus and pine and not much more. Hmm...not impressed so far.

There they are! The hops reveal themselves once the beer hits the palate. Herbal, pungent, piney, with a splash of citrus peels to boot. Malt actually holds its own admirably with a solid backbone of caramel. Medium-dry with a nice sticky feel that coats my tongue in lupulin goodness.

A nice DIPA from a brewery I hadn't heard of before. Where's that 10% ABV? This one drinks more like an 8%er.

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Photo of mrotstein
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: bit of a dark orange/yellow color

S: This is where it hits. As soon after they serve me the cup I can smell it easily from 2 feet away. Smelling of wonderful hops and floral scents

T: Very good. Not too bitter, not too malty. Just right. I can keep drinking this if it was available in a unlimited quantity in my cup

M: Not heavy, goes does very easily and doesn't over power the senses

D: Like I said, Amazing, can drink this all day

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Photo of rallison
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a medium amber with a soft white head, nice lace.

S: Tropical notes of pineapple and passion fruit, reminds me a bit of BP Dorado.

T: As with what my buddy DoubleJ said about it, this DIPA is juicy, a wet hop feel almost. Big pineapple, mango and pine, nice complexity. Go here for tropical fruit in an a SoCal DIPA.

M: Medium/full-bodied, easy on the palate, wet/juicy.

D: I liked this DIPA a lot, Bootlegger's is certainly impressing me as of late.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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

On-tap at Bootlegger's

A: The pour is a clear amber color with a fluffy off-white head and great lacing.

S: A quick whiff gives one a blast of fresh citrus hops. Plenty of grapefruit and a touch of pineapple work wonderfully with the pine character.

T: The flavor is wonderfully balanced (in a west coast sort of way). The bitter and piney hops are the star of the show with plenty of grapefruit to go along with it. There is an ever so slight touch of caramel malt to go along with it.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation and a dry finish--fairly standard here.

D: I would never have guessed that this is 10% ABV. Such an easy drinking and wonderfully hoppy DIPA.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A growler that was purchased and given to me by my very lovely girlfriend. Thanks babe!

A: A dark and deep amber color that supports a 1 ½ inch cream colored head. The lacing is pretty intense as well, leaving streaks along the side of my Alpine glass.

S: A very pronounced pine-like aroma that is back up with strong malt backbone. To better describe it, the smell reminds me of a bunch pine needles packed into a very bland muffin.

T: Robust hop and alcohol presence upfront that is then followed by perhaps the most complex malt bill for any D IPA I've ever had. The malt body first hits with a variety of spicy notes, including black pepper, but then transforms into a very musky brown sugar finish. The alcohol seems to add to finish as well, bringing out a slight woody note.

M: Has a full-body feel to it, a little heavy for the style, but never the less...still alright with me. On the other hand, the finish is slightly dry...most appropriate for the style.

D: The more and more I think about it, there's a lot similarities between this DIPA and the ones Avery puts out...extremely malty with a powerful hop punch. A lot of times, I find their beers hard to finish...but this one has something to it that makes it slightly easier to gulp down. Not sure what it is, perhaps it's the complex malt bill...or how well the alcohol is hidden. Overall, this is something I would definitely order two pints of.

Overall: A definite Knuckle Sandwich to say the least...I think I may even have black eye from it. A must try. Cheers!

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

On tap at the Bootleggers Tasting Room

A - Pours a light amber/straw color with a nice white head and great lacing.

S - DIPA, need I say more? Grapefruit, pine, resin, citrus and maybe a bit of sweetness peeking through.

T - DIPA, need I say more? Bitter up front, in the middle and at the end. Grapefruit, pine, citrus, resin flavors show through the whole time. Definitely one of the better DIPA's out there.

M - Nicely carbonated on a fairly heavy beer. The carbonation seems to allow the flavors to really penetrate the tongue.

D - Decently drinkable for a high alcohol brew. After Strong Ale Fest, a lot of people I had talked to said this was one of their favorites at the festival. Great beer!

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Photo of vacax
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Knuckle Sandwich pours out into my chalice with a light amber color, so it would appear to be fairly malt balanced. Cream colored head caps the top, just under two fingers in height, plus decent retention and lacing.

The nose knows none of this malt balance nonsense, and with appropriate West Coast Double IPA gusto it screams of pine needles, grapefruit, and a touch of pineapple. Tastes of high octane hop bomb, loaded up with pine, flora, unripe oranges. Moderate to intense bittering on the midpalate along with "triple" IPA flavors of alcohol and hops combining into one seamless beast. Finish is floral with a bit of lingering cookielike sweetness, which is the only malt in the experience beyond the color.

I feel I can safely say this is an exceptional example of the style. Medium to heavy in body, but a crisp prickly carbonation balances it out properly. Outstanding beer worthy of being talked about.

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