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Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

Not Rated.
Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

969 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 969
Reviews: 240
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 10.96%
Wants: 448
Gots: 114 | FT: 6
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
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Ratings: 969 | Reviews: 240 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rjhami
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Photo of thumperskibum
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of womencantsail
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

Photo of scottfrie
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into tulip.

A: Pours a deep golden amber with a thick and greasy tan head that faded into an oily collar that left strings of thick lace down the glass.
S: Super fresh a potent scent of citrus medley coupled with tropical fruit nectars, flower gardens and perfume. Tropical fruits are sweet and mix well with an onslaught of grapefruit, orange zest, sweet ripe tangerines and clementines. Flowery perfume pokes through the mix as well.
T: Bitter yet smooth notes of grapefruit pith, tangerine juice, orange rind, and sweet passion fruit, mango and papaya. Notes of flowers and sweet fruit nectars bring up the finish, and the aftertaste is tingly and sweet with a slight note or two of the base malt. Sweet tropical fruits linger long after the swallow.
M: Thick and heavy mouthfeel, syrupy but not overly oily, greasy, or sweet. Carbonation is tingly and smooth, with a chewy body and extremely well hidden alcohol.
O: Impressive nose, impressive tastes, very impressive mouthfeel. Drinks like a beer half the ABV. More than just a citrus bomb in taste, there is plenty of other hop profiles layered in the flavors. Nose is phenomenal, I definitely enjoyed this one.

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 azdback
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner glass. Caramel orange with a stiff, creamy off-white, two-finger head, which as of yet isn't going anywhere. Big chunky pads of lace; this ones stickin around like your in-laws at Christmas.

Smells exactly like I expect a big west coast DIPA to smell. Pink grapefruit, and tangerine peel, with some sweet malt. No alcohol or yeast is detectable. This would be a great air freshener for my car.

Mmmm...Again, exactly what I have come to expect from a west coast DIPA. What a hop-bomb! Same citrus flavors as the aroma, pink grapefruit bitterness, and tangerine sweetness, and a slight hint of pine at the end. Great sweetness from the malt, but it definitely takes a back seat. There is some alcohol present, but If I wasn't reading the bottle, I would not guess 10%.

Lightly syrupy, great carbonation, which tickles my lips and tongue a little. Similar feel to a barleywine, but with more tongue wrecking bitterness. The sweetness masks the ABV very well.

As my palette has evolved, especially over the past year, the hop punch that I have always loved, has started to take second to the malt backbone in a lot of DIPA's like Pliny, and Dreadnaught. Knuckle Sandwich is proof that hopheads like myself can still enjoy an in your face celebration of bitter citrus hoppiness.

Photo of smakawhat
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of LevitatedEep
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my Chimay glass.

A - Red and orange in color not much head but some nice lacing.

S - Smells delicious, lots of pine and malty....cannot stop sticking my nose in the glass....this one should taste great.

T - MMM this one is very tasty...bitter but not overwhelming...a tasty sweetness slides down my throat along with the bitter hops...very nice.

M - Very nice....not too carbonated, it is almost perfect.

D - Very easy to drink for a DIPA....could session this one forsher...

Another great Southern Cali DIPA and I live a few miles from the brewery yay!

Photo of cavedave
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jobcrackerbah for this Ca. masterpiece. Enjoyed 7-23-11

A long lasting, light tan head provides staggering sheets of cotton candy lace to the glass, and sits atop a cloudy dark amber beautiful IIPA.

Wooaaahh, what a great aroma, a bit of caramel is all that holds together pine and citrus hoppitude, full of lesser mango, pineapple, even some nectarine in this complex and strong perfume. Think Abrasive, but a touch more complex.

The flavor of this defies proper description. I could break it down, but let's do it this way. It has the full malt bill of Maharaja, but it is easier to drink, more complex, and has more fresh hop flavor. It has the alcohol spice of Dreadnaught, but more complexity to hop profile. It has the hop profile to equal PTE, Abrasive, Hop Henge, Tricerahops, and Kryptonite, but more body in the malt bill, and more pleasant bittering. Just a mindblowing and wonderful treat.

This is where this beer really shines. How could it be this viscous, this full of flavor, have this stupendous of a finish, and be so easy drinking and light in mouth? Hopefully one day I will find out and put the knowledge into beers of my own making.

One of the top 4 IIPA I have enjoyed (PTE, HT, Abrasive the others). A must try, just superb.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
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 billshmeinke
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic.

Two fingers of fluffy off white head atop a clear amber body. Amazing retention and lacing.

Smells of orange, pine, grapefruit and hints of lemon. A total citrus bomb.

Tastes follows smell. Just tons of hoppy citrus goodness. I don't know what else to say, it's quite awesome. Pretty big maltiness to balance out the hoppiness.

Heavy end of full bodied. Well carbonated with a huge bitter and spicy bite at the end.

I need more of this beer in my life.

Photo of Trueant1
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish orange hue, average white head. Nice lacing.
Smell is sweet malty, bready, pine, and floral.

well above average taste and mouthfeel. Taste is very malty sweet up front with alcoholic and sweet sweet fruits dominate. Pineapple, figs, grapefruit, and just pure dark sugars! An alcoholic taste mixed in with a perfectly carbonated mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is also sweet and medium bodied. This brew is a BIG surprise, unexpected. Great dipa!

Photo of freshflesh
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Lofreqwave
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sebowski who is a great BA. But, he is really a doochebag since he is a Redskins fan and my long time Fantasy Football commish! Cheers.

Pours with a thin head. Nice lacing on the glass. Darker redish in color. Smells fairly sweet and citrusy. Taste is a classic West Coast hop bomb. I don't detect much of the alcohol which is dangerous with the ABV. Worth seeking if you are a hop head. Recommended.

Cheers!

Photo of ehammond1
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle (2011)

Bootlegger's Brewery
Fullerton, CA

Thanks for sharing Sam!

Deep, dark, yet barely clear amber. Thick, off-white, persistent head that lasts, and lasts, and lasts. Sticky sheets of lacing down the glass.

This is one pungent and incredibly aromatic DIPA. Only a few have matched it in intensity...though when I really stick my nose in it, it's just a touch too sweet for my liking (though it's still good!). A lot of citrus hop aromatics, some sweet honey and lemon, and a bit of spicy black pepper.

Bitter yet balanced flavor. A ton of hops, a ton of citrus, and a good amount of caramel malt to balance. This DIPA does everything in sort of a West Coast meets East Coast type of way, then the hops take over and you remember who's boss! Really an incredible beer. Perhaps the first time I've actually been (literally) sad I don't have any more of this beer to fill my glass with...there's about 4oz. left sitting in my glass and I don't want to finish it...because then it'll be gone (until next year! (fingers crossed!)).

A rich, thick, and hearty mouthfeel, though incredibly drinkable.

An absolutely fantastic, hoppy, yet balanced, BIG DIPA.

This one ranks.

Photo of Nickqb7
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Dirksen
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of champs86
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of adamsneighbor
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had knuckle sandwich on tap at the brewery it was exceptional.

The beer has very nice color a dark caramel brown color with good carbonation.

Aroma was excellent a good hop nose with floral, grassy notes not over bearing just right.

The taste was surprisingly smooth it had great hop/malt balance and for a 10% abv beer it was not boozy at all which surprised me.

Also this beer has great mouthfeel it has good body and just the right amount of carbonation to make an exceptional dipa thanks bootleggers.

Photo of rolandboy
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of jdaddy
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Rating is based upon average of bottles versus draft. Would certainly rate this on draft at 4.75 however the bottles received at the brewery were noticeably less impressive. Don't get me wrong, still a wonderful IIPA. No dates on the bottles however understanding they sell out of Knuckle Sandwich every few days, I assume they are fresh.

The draft at the brewery was more hop forward with a substantial malt base. With the bottle I find the hops to be less present with the malt still there. The good news is the heavier malt in both the draft and bottle product is pleasing.

Photo of sorvats
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 969 ratings.