Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

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Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,020 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,020
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 436
Gots: 132 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,020 | Reviews: 250
Photo of abrand
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Ranger Creek tulp. Thanks to LadyofMuchBeer for the IP trade!

An aggressive pour lends a towering, fluffy 2" cap of light custard foam. Beneath, the beer is a deep amber hue with an iced-tea core. A bit dark for a IIPA, but still very attractive. The aroma is big, but balanced. Tropical fruit notes of mango and pineapple lead the way, followed by a hint of pine and sweet caramel-toffee malts.

Creamy malts and caramel candies lend an initial sweetness that morphs into a hefty malt backbone throughout each drink. The hops punch in mid-sip with a minty, piny bitterness and finish with a sticky resin note that mingles with tropical fruit and a flash of gummy booze. Alcohol is inconspicuously mild for the 10% ABV. Mouthfeel is chewy and borders on thick/cloying/sticky, but still goes down smooth thanks to a creamy carbonation level. Knuckle Sandwich is a sweet symphony of hops and malt--perhaps more in the strong ale/barleywine department, but I like 'em that way every now and then.

Photo of Florida9
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark amber, approaching brown, in color. Forms a voluminous creamy off-white colored head that slowly reduces to a very think ring around the edge and leaves globs of lacing on the way down.

S: Somewhat dank. Almost musty. With lots of citrus, orange, and grapefruit.

T: Starts off with sweet malts, light sweet caramel, and a strong orange-citrus flavor. There is some subtle orange blossom floral quality and some pine as well. A little bit of alcoholic spice on the finish.

M: Medium bodied and sweet. Texture is slick, almost syrupy. Moderate bitterness. Appropriate carbonation.

O: Wow, this one was not what I was expecting. Nothing like the typical West Coast IPA style, much maltier and sweeter with lots of hops, but a restrained bitterness.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Half Acre tulip.

A- dark caramel with a 2" beige head, and traces of lacing remain.

S- tons of citrus, orange and grapefruit with dank hops.

T- sweet malts, candi sugar,lots of orange and grapefruit with nice pine bitterness at finish.

M- medium body and carbonation. Super creamy, viscous and some slickness to it.

O- excellent dipa! Perfectly balanced, nice sweet citrus and hop bitterness.

Photo of Duff27
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good half inch off white head on a darker red body. Splashy clump lacing and above average head retention.

Danky musty citrus smell, somewhat sweet. Oranges.

Candied grapefruit. Yum. Minimal alcohol heat. Nicely balanced with caramel malts.

Somewhat creamy, adequate carbonation.

Wow one of the best DIPAs ive had in awhile for sure. Extremely well balanced, just tasty. Thanks kawilliams81!

Photo of OneBeertoRTA
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber served in my CBS snifter.

This is nearly visual perfection. Reddish-gold body, excellent clarity. Topped with a huge, thick, sticky, yellowish head. Doesn't come much better, but it's not quite a 5.

Nose is candied citrus in the best tradition of the West Coast IPA.

Flavor is sweet, but fairly light malt encrusted with massive hops. I'm getting serious citrus with some pineyness. Reminiscent of White Rajah. Just an outstanding flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium weight, medium carb. Slick and toothstripping.

Overall, this is a first quality West Coast DIPA. Glad for the great info on BA, or I would never have even heard of this beer. Thanks to dfernandez77 for the trade. Great trader!

Photo of Tucquan
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-02-05 in Columbia, PA

A - Mildly hazy, ruby-amber-orange with an initial 2-finger offwhite head that drops to 1/2-finger fairly quickly and leaves a light-medium amount of banded lacing.

S - Orange flesh, brown bread, tea, hop floral. Different. Pleasant. Not overpowering.

T - Interesting blend of flavors. Lots of toffee-butterscotch malt, pineapple, pine, candied orange, tannin and lemon zest bitterness. It's sweet but not cloying. The alcohol helps cut the sweetness. The aftertaste is very nice with lingering citrus rind bitterness tinged with pine, some hop cone oils and sticky-lip malt sweetness.

M - Medium-plus body and light-medium carbonation. Sticky, resinous and mildly prickly.

O - I really enjoyed the taste and feel of this brew. Serve this on the warmer side to enjoy the taste complexities. Will look for this again.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received today from tyrsis! What an awesome surprise!!! Thanks man!

A- Pours a deep amber/orange into my DFH glass. Small but thick head floats atop and fades slowly leaving a ton of sticky, drippy lacing!

S- A punch in the nose from the piney, sweet citrus! NICE! Pineapple, summer peaches, grapefruit, basil, wet hay and what seems like a ton of sweet malts! Hints of caramel and candied citrus.

T- WOW! Grapefruit, apricots, fresh cut pine, pineapples, spicy basil, and a load of sweet maltiness. What an amazing balance! The sweetness cuts thru the dank, piney hops... and the hops hold on and leave your tongue astringent, while leaving plenty of room for the caramel sweetness.

M- Thicker and more oily than most IIPA's thanks to the malt bill. Awesome citrus/pine punch that hangs on and doesn't let go. Tons of tropical fruit! Pineapple, mango, and citrus! I love the sweetness that shines thru!

O- I gotta get ahold of more of this. I have a feeling that with the sweet malts that hold this IIPA together... this could turn into a really nice Barleywine if properly cellered for a few years! This is damn close to perfection!

Photo of corby112
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of augustgarage
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ Tony's Darts Away - served in (multiple) 10oz nonics. Reviewed briefly from notes:

Deep amber body with bright orange-ish highlights. Pasty lacing; good retention.

The aromatics are stunning and deliver wave after wave of tropical fruit - mango, kiwi, guava, pineapple...then a fresh burst of kumquat and other citrus. Super fresh hop notes abound.

The flavor delivers more of the same fruity goodness backed up by a potent alpha-acid bomb of juicy hop bitterness. Excellent. Sweet/tart/then finally dry finish with a lasting IBU-induced glow.

Creamy, medium-bodied, and faintly oily mouth-feel.

Bootlegger's has outdone themselves with this one - one of the fruitiest takes on the style I've sampled; and quite strong without being overwhelming or totally unbalanced (though this is still a beer for hop-heads).

Photo of TheCrowsNest
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of onefalsemove711
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel Tulip glass from a 22oz bomber.

Pours deep amber with a 1" creamy white head and nice lacing. I'm really enjoying the caramel, toffee and citrus aromas with a lingering touch of slight grassiness. On first taste I detect spicy hops, grapefruit rind and toasted caramel malt. Mouth feel is full and the carbonation is full and refreshing.

Overall is this is a really great DIPA that deserves to be mentioned among the heavy weights in it's class. I enjoyed it tremendously and won't hesitate to pick one up next time it comes around.

Photo of CliffBrake
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to breaks808 for the bottle. Appreciate him going out of his way to track this down before it evaporated.

Deep orange color with a light head that leaves pretty lacing. Very dark for a DIPA, which is seems like a hint of things to come.

Pleasant and pronounced floral/fruity aroma. Very different than any IPA I have experienced before. Strawberry is the dominant note that I pick up here. Smells great but very unexpected.

Fruity hops share the spotlight with a big caramel malt base. The hops show a bit of pine toward the finish.

Fuller body than most DIPA's - malty and mouth-coating.

A tasty beer. Well suited to dessert or sipping after-dinner. I think it seems more like a barleywine than a DIPA. An east-coast style DIPA from the west coast???? That is a first for me!

Photo of dfernandez77
3.54/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On a scale of 1 to 5, most I rate get 2.5 to 3, very few get a 4, and you have to really knock me out to get above a 4.

Appearance: Warm amber color. Medium fluffy white head, laces gently, Very clear.

Aroma: Pine, desert sage, melon skin, nopales (prickly pear cactus pads). Toasty sweetness like saltines, slightly caramel. Starchy fruit sweetness like dragonfruit.

Flavor: Predominantly resin and citrus segment skin bitterness, desert sage herbal follows, slight grassiness. Clean malt profile and invert sugar residual sweetness – similar but not quite like the residual sweetness in a big Belgian Tripel. Some booziness present, but not offensively fusel or hot – appropriate tripod balance to the hop and malt characters.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, and finishes astringent and bitter – hop oils all over the finish. Gains some slipperiness and opens fruit characters as it warms.

Overall: A very solidly made aggressive DIPA. This release (June 2013) hangs somewhere between an unbalanced west coast hop assault DIPA, and a fat malty east coast DIPA. Well done.

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Bruery Provisions store and bar. There was some buzz about this beer, where it will be on tap and the like. I found it to be a bang on DIPA, but not living up to any hype. Golden orange coloured body. Orange taste, the IBU certainly up there. Leaning on the bitterness, but still balanced. Middle bodied. What's not to like.

Photo of rtaps
4.92/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

into a tulip glass

A very nice amber color, with an off white kind of frothy head. pretty good retention leaving lacing around the glass.

wow when i cracked/poured it the aroma hit me right away. nice floral, citrus and piny hops balanced well with grapefruit and a malty backbone

taste fallows the nose. big citrus, floral and piny hops balanced well with grapefruit and malt

medium bodied, medium carbonated, sweet smooth and slightly creamy

overall was worth the hunt and held up to the hype. Damn good DIPA with this and citra i dont know if i would need another one

Photo of buffs9
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of Retsinis
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh on draft @ instant replay

A: Hazy copper, honey amber color. Intial solid cap of head, good half inch. Slow settle, light smooth lacing.

S; Punch of juicy pineapple, citrus, touch of pine. Dried mango, peach skin.

T: Cararmel malt baclbone is pretty distinct. This is not a light dry DIPA. Maltiness shines through. Bitterness is well blended, & is layered with the malt.

M: a little sticky, light to medium carbonation

O: First off, thank you Stan for tapping this. What a treat. This is a DIPA I have not chased due to the demand, and the limited distribution. While a bit malty to Pliney, and not as clean as Citra, this is a good DIPA.

Photo of Hophead717
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
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!

Photo of flannelman808
4.16/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Vanlingleipa for the bottle!

Pours a deep caramel with a huge frothy off-white head leaving sticky lacing all down the glass.

Smells like a tropical paradise. A good hefty caramel malt backbone is overwhelmed by ripe mango, papaya and citrus.

Starts out with a citrus/tropical fruit flavor although it is subdued compared to the nose. Some lush caramel malt peaks in to balance out the hops. This is definitely more in the balanced than hop bomb category. Finishes with a very smooth pine and tropical fruit bitterness. Alcohol is extremely well hidden.

Thick and creamy, but finishes bitter and dry with good carbonation.

Oustanding beer. I wish a bit more of the tropical fruit in the aroma would have come through in the flavor, but still world class and stands up with the best of the DIPA world.

Photo of rand
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From bomber to tulip glass

A: Pours a dark amber in color, reddish hue, and forms a frothy, tightly-bubbled head. Little islands of lacing are all over the glass as I gently twirl.

S: Strong tropical scents up front, hops smell more fruity than piny. The sweet caramelly malts are everywhere and give the hops a run for their money. The alcohol is quite prevalent as well, propelling the bouquet.

T: Yeah, the tropical notes are at the front again, but they're quickly met by the rich layer of caramelly malts. The combination creates a flavor akin to lush tropical fruit, like a ripe mango. Of course, when reviewing a big, hoppy IPA, the bitterness is discounted, so this isn't to say this is some kind of candy-like brew - it's plenty bitter. The alcohol is nicely masked, unlike the nose, and the bitter-sweet combination carries to the finish.

M: Perfectly chewy and rich, with the bubbly carbonation wiping the palate clean between each sip.

Wow, another phenomenal West Coast DIPA. This one gives Pliny a run for its money. I've been spoiled lately - from Alpine's Bad Boy, to Kern River's Citra release, and now this. It's hard to compare and say which one is simply "better". They're all delicious and distinct. I'm just happy more and more brewers are finding ways to make these amazing ales.

Photo of Popp24
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Bruery tulip glass.

A - A glowing amber color with a thin lace of head. It almost looks burgundy.

S - The nose on this one is very tropical. I pick up grapefruit and pineapple. Very nice and aromatic.

T - This one is very balanced and smooth for DIPA. Up front you get the grapefruit and tropical flavors the nose suggests and then you get a nice hop bitterness. I also get some malt which I figure is balancing this one out nicely.

M - It's actually a little syrupy because it leaves a nice lacing in your mouth.

O - I think the hype for this beer is warranted. For a beer that is 10 percent it is easy to drink and actually smooth for a DIPA. I feel that they really hid the alcohol well in this one. Wow I keep taking more sips and I just have to say that this is one to seek out!

Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 1,020 ratings.