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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: 1,040
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 442
Gots: 137 | 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: 1,040
Photo of Acsanchezz
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A tasty brew that goes down easy with great flavor. Nice amber color with a healthy head. Smell is pleasant but not too strong. Taste is it's strongest point, oh wait the great mouthfeel makes it that much easier and smoother to drink. Nice mixture of hops with a nutty flavor to balance it out. Hard to believe this brew has 10% ABV.

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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 Hophead717
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
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!

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Orthodoxkardia for this one.

22oz bottle. Pours a reddish brown color with a half inch of head. Quite the interesting color for an IPA. Lots of lacing. The aroma is lots of tropical fruits. Mango, guava, pineapple and sweet grapefruit. The taste is much like the aroma. Juicy tropical fruits with some piney hops. Some caramel malts as well. Pineapple and warming alcohol at the finish. Creamy, heavy mouthfeel. Pretty bitter Imperial with lots of tropical fruit flavor. The 10% ABV is very present but it still drinks easily. Overall, oustanding Imperial IPA I hope to have again.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip on 4/4/11

"I did it on a growler once. That bitch was like, uhhhh. Like a tuba."
-MbpBugeye (who was also kind enough to share this bottle)

Density, haziness and a deep amber color; has a rather rustic look about it. Kind of coppery. One thumb of puffy, clingy foam. Thin layer of bubbly retention with nice patches of drippy lace.

Smells dank and potent; right on. Deep reserves of citrus; spicy, zesty and pithy. Grapefruit, lemon, tangerine and some mango notions. A touch of pine throughout. Overtones of the fuzzier aspects of Simcoe and Citra. Malts come across as sugar cookies and a hint of bread.

Tastes good but not as good as it smells. Citric hops are still prominent but seem to be more of a mish-mash of spiciness and zestiness. Solid, appreciable maltiness; sugar cookies, bread. Not to say it's overly sweet, though - just plenty fleshed out. Piney with moderate bitterness all around.

The feel is fairly dense for the style and kind of grainy. Carbonation seems appropriate. Some slickness as it warms. Though not hot, the alcohol is noticeable.

It has nothing to do with knuckles. It has nothing to do with sandwiches. It has everything to do with smelling amazing. Definitely worth a shot. I'd certainly drink it again.

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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 lazydayspoiler
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served out of a bomber in a tulip glass

A - dark amber, reminiscent of fat tire or dog fish head, frothy head that settles quickly with nice lacing

S - dried apricot and vanilla on the front, carmel on the back

T - Smell carries through, enhanced with minimal citrus body

M - Smooth, malty, minor carbonation, slight alcohol on the finish

O - The 10% is well hidden, and like a playground bully, sneaks up to sock you in the face. High quality in the spirit of DFH 90 minute.

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Photo of Psyko
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Knuckle Sandwich
650ml Bottle purchased at Bootleggers Brewery 11/23/12
Served in a tulip Glass

A: This beer pours a nice dark amber with a 1-2 finger head with some lacing. Some alcohol legs are visible. A small head lingers.

S: Sweet citrus and pine dominate the aroma. there is no alcohol in the smell.

T: Malty pineapple flavors dominate the initial flavor profile. Some mango with a quickly dissipating bitterness finish the back end. This beer is on the sweeter side of the DIPA spectrum. This specific batch is a little more sweet and a little less hoppy than previous batches in my opinion. Even with the small variations this is a great beer.

M: This beer has a thick mouthfeel. The effervescence does help cut down the syrupy mouthfeel, but the finish is still slightly sticky.

O: This another great West Coast DIPA. Find it now. Recommended.

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Photo of onefalsemove711
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of pkalix
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

burnt orange candy color. very minimal head.
grapefruit and pine in the nose.
grapefruit and pine in the taste. smooth and bitter at the same time.
Pliny on tap all day yesterday. Knuckle sandwich today. life is good. hear lots of people comparing this Knuckle Sandwich to Pliny; they're trying to compliment the Bootlegger brew and the similarities are in the smoothness. Pliny is a little more balanced, but this one is far off. this one has a little more sticky syrup-y kind of to it. overall, very decent and nice abv....

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Once again, a huge thanks to SpdKilz. Cheers Carleton!

Poured into Stone IPA glass.

Poured aggressive and down the middle. A billowing four and a half finger oatmeal colored head towers over the glowing burnt orange body. The body, slightly hazed, is a bit on the darker side but still gorgeous. Excellent head retention, a solid two and a half finger head refuses to recede. Blankets of moth eaten lacing remains holding tight to the glass.

The aroma is packed with hops. Dank resinous and juicy citrus hops collide. The citrus comes out on top but there is a nice green sticky there to balance things out a bit. Very subdued malt profile in the nose. A subtle pale malt scent coupled with a touch of crystal is all you get.

My hop tooth has been seriously satisfied. I cannot argue the breweries claim that "copious amounts of North American hops" were used, this comes across quite clearly. Strong citrus and tropical fruit flavors saturate the tongue. I am not a fan of caramel flavored malt in my IPA/DIPA's but Bootlegger's uses this flavor well. The caramel is subtle and melds with the fruitiness leaving a smooth and pleasant sweetness.

Medium bodied DIPA. The texture is very smooth and nearly creamy, carbonation is moderate. The finish is not quite as dry as I would like though it is very fitting for this particular beer.

I can see why people are talking, this is a very good beer. Knuckle Sandwich is bordering on the top tier of the DIPA category. Very smooth and even flavor. The alcohol is well hidden and does not become an issue. Drinks nearly as easy as any DIPA I have had. Excellent beer, big things are ahead for Bootlegger's.

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Photo of beagle75
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, medium amber color with two fingers of off-white foam head that diminishes to a large lofty pad. Heavy lacing remains.

S: Abundant pine and citrus is featured alongside a sweet toffee malt backbone, making for a full and encompassing smell. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with juicy grapefruit flesh and expanding acidity. The heavy caramel grain emerges in the middle as hop aromatics begin to fade, while bracing bitterness joins peaking acidity. The finish is fairly dry, with quickly fading bitterness, grapefruit peel, and an herbaceous note. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium viscosity, slightly acidic and syrupy on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D: Knuckle Sandwich has it all--sweet malt, West Coast hops, and a robust dose of well-hidden alcohol. With intense smell and flavor, this beer only suffers from a lack of smoothness that becomes apparent once it touches the palate. It is similar to other, less alcoholic DIPAs such as Hair of the Dog Blue Dot and Deschutes Hop Henge (some of my favorites of the style). It destroys DIPAs of similar strength--Port Hop 15 and Avery's The Maharaja come to mind.

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Photo of SierraFlight
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into shaker pint. Orange amber body with two finger plus head that lasts. Lots of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Aroma is of orange peel, pine resin, sweet malts, and citrus juice. Taste is bitter citrus peel and pine balanced with sweet candied grapefruit and a caramel malt ribbon. Medium-full body, sticky, resinous texture, moderate carbonation, bitter finish.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My contribution to the debouchery

A-nice red color with a nice white head

S-not very strong on the hops. Piney and malty

T-very malty with a slight bit of hhops. Hops are more in the aftertaste. Good beer but a slight dipa

M-medium body and smooth

O-good beer but I wouldn't say it was on par with all the normal double ipas

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Photo of regspeir
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle (Thank you Hamilton23!) poured into a Duvel tulip. Aggressive pour yielded a reddish amber with a smallish off-white head which never seemed to go away. Lacing was apparent throughout, as well. Nose was caramel, orange, pineapple, pine, and some grassiness. Taste was maple sugar, caramel, pineapple, and some spice. Mouthfeel was heavy for a DIPA with healthy carbonation, a little sticky and some booziness, although not unpleasant. This is NOT your typical west coast style DIPA (which I love) but VERY nice. It is well-balanced (NOT bitter), with a hefty malt backbone and just an all around interesting ride. I recommend you try it and only wish I could (again).

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Photo of billab914
4.23/5  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.

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. I'd been searching for this one for awhile and then got two bottles as extras in the same week. Thanks Brian and Dom for hooking me up.

Nice ruby caramel colored body with a slightly off white head on top. Oh baby what a great aroma. Lots of citrus and tropical hop notes, a little sweetness. Some dank resiny notes in the background but mostly citrus and tropical hop aroma. Maybe a little alcohol in the aroma.

Taste follows the aroma, big tropical hop notes with a little citrus in the finish. Not too bitter but plenty hoppy. Finishes with a sweet pineappley note and a little booze. Medium bodied, kinda stricky with a fair amoun of carbonation

Overall a really solid beer and I can see why others like it so much. However I would like a little more bitterness and a little less alcohol aroma/flavor. I'd love to revisit this one again especially if I could get a super fresh growler.

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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 LSUPT
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, thanks to DearthVader, to NB globe
Pours a light brown with a slight amber tint. 2 finger head with a slight beige tint. The head is gorgeous and leaves nice thick lacing before gradually dissipating to a thin film with lacing that glistens nicely but, after hanging on for a moment, dissipates.
Wonderful floral aroma that isn’t immediately noticeable but is coaxed out with a good swirl, as well as pineapple/mango fruity aromas and crisp sweet malt.
Pine is noticeable in the taste as well as some of the fruity flavors similar to the smell. Bitterness is almost unbearable at first but eventually becomes quite enjoyable.
You really feel the alcohol with this one but the texture and mouthfeel is nice. Pretty low carbonation and while it goes down smooth it does make the alcohol and bitterness more pronounced.
At first I was not enjoying this beer as much as I though I would but it really grew on me. Different than DIPAs like Pliny in both appearance and taste this is still a very good interpretation of the style.

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

22oz bottle.

Pours clear amber with a quarter inch head of beige. A thin whisp of fine bubbles remained on the surface for the duration as well as a few errant dots of lacing.

Aromatics lead off with a nice combination of pine and tropical fruit. Very much smelling like a So. Cal IPA. Spruce sap, tangerines, apricots, mangos, peaches, and melons. No dankness found to speak of, just plenty of citrus and a hint of pine.

Medium bodied with a light chew and a mild tackiness. Residuals and resins lend some gumminess to the mouthfeel.

Plump, juicy malt and fruit-laden hops start the palate. Grapefruit, apricots, peaches, and pine resin with sweet malt. A nice malt backbone but surprisingly malt-forward for a So. Cal IPA.
Medium bitterness for the style with some lingering sweetness.

Finishes with juicy malt, tropical fruit, and crushed pine boughs.

Tasty beer and somewhat fresh. A bit more malt than I like in my IIPA's though and on the sweet side. The nose is less than pungent also.

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Photo of Florida9
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber bottle poured into a Victory snifter. No bottling date present, but assume this is from the spring/early summer due to trade time line.

A: Pours almost a clear amber color. Finger and a half off white head. Good lacing on the glass. Stickiness on the glass.

S: Really resiny floral smells. Lots of grapefruit, which is surprising from the appearance. There is some carmel malts.

T: A crisp hop bite on tip of tongue. A nice malt balance on the middle of the tongue. The finish is long. Really solid brew.

M: Medium bodied DIPA. Stays with you a while, but doesn't completely destroy.

O: First offering from this brewery, and I really liked it. Lived up to the hype. I want to try this again when a little fresher, but even with some time....great beer.

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Photo of Retsinis
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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