Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

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Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

246 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 246
Hads: 1,032
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.53%
Wants: 443
Gots: 137 | FT: 5
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: 246 | Hads: 1,032
Photo of Jefe73
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle received in a trade, thanks Corey (PeprSprYoFace) and poured into New Belgium Globe.

A - Pours a hazy, dark amber with a two finger, off-white head. Good retention and lacing throughout the glass.

S - Smells pretty fresh considering this package went back and forth from CA to FL twice...damn, FedEx! Big hop nose and tons of citrus, just what I'd expect from a good DIPA. Getting some caramel notes in there as well.

T - Taste is very similar to the nose. Citrus, tropical fruit and pine notes hit you right up front. It then balances out nicely with some sweet malt on the back end.

M - For 10% abv, they did a nice job of really covering up the alcohol, no burn whatsoever. Medium body, with a nice, smooth medium carbonation. Slightly sticky too.

O - I had been seeking this beer out for awhile and I definitely wasn't disappointed. I think the hype is well deserved and I would definitely recommend buying or trading for this one. Cheers! (963 characters)

Photo of davidbowers13
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jodan for the hookup on this. Served from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Copper/Orange in color with a off white head. 2 finger head with a gentle/normal pour. Lacing moderately sticks to the glass.

S - Sweet floral citrus notes. Not over-powering like some DIPA's can be. Very well balanced hop and malt characteristics.

T - Very well balanced and sweet up front with a nice citrus hop finish. Hides the 10% ABV very well. So good I keep going in for another sip as soon as I finish the last.

M - A little heavier as it warms, but still a very easy drinking beer for a 10% DIPA.

O - Definately a front runner for one of the best DIPA's I've had. A great balance of sweet malt and hops. Not over powering on the hops, so if you're looking for a DIPA that won't wreck your pallet with a huge hop bomb, this is it. (834 characters)

Photo of willjschmidt
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a medium-dark copper color with a very thick egg white head. Quite a bit darker than the typical DIPA.

S: Lots of citrus.

T: A unique DIPA. Loads of citrus, grapefruit, mango, and tangerine. Lots of sweetness in the form of caramel. Very little bitterness, a bit in the finish.

M: Medium, a bit above average in carbonation.

O: Interesting DIPA, tons of hop flavor and aroma with very little hop bitterness. (421 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle courtesy of Hophead84. Thanks!

A: Red shaded towards plum purple.1/2" head. Decent legs.

N: Perfect blend of fruit, pine and malt. Pineapple, mango, pine, earth floor, caramel/toffee. Lots of the tropical fruits really bumps this up for me.

T: Lots and lots of caramel and pineapple. Mango. Very sweet, but balanced out with a moderate pine and earth floor.

M: Very full. Semi dry. Alcohol is well hidden.

O: I look forward to having this every time, and I’m not disappointed. If I lived near Fullerton, I'd always have Bootlegger's beer in stock at my house. (583 characters)

Photo of Popp24
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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! (804 characters)

Photo of buffs9
4.47/5  rDev +4%
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. (335 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +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. (523 characters)

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

Got this as an extra in a trade (thanks Don) and am really enjoying it. The smell is hop deliciousness, not pine or citrus, but that hop flavor that reminds you of hop malt (whatever you might want to call that). It tastes like a hoppier DFH 90 minute. That could just be freshness, but actually the 90 minute never struck me as altogether that hoppy. There is fair amount of residual sweetness that teeters right on the edge of being too sweet, though I don't believe it crosses that line. I would love to have this next to a Hopslam, because my guess is that it would sit somewhere between a Hopslam and a 90 minute.

A really good DIPA, in particular if you don't mind them on the sweeter side and absent a brutal dryness.

Review revisited 2/24/11:
Upped smell, mouthfeel and taste .5 each. This is a really fantastic, malty dipa. (835 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (1,184 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Bright orange color with a small head and good lacing. No where else to really go with this one.

S - Tropical fruit, grassy hops, little bittering, nice citrus. Caramel malt backbone is surrounded nicely by the hops. Good stuff.

T - This is a great tasting and shockingly awesome beer. Citrus hops and tropical fruits and a nice sweetness and the caramel in the malts is not overpowering. Alcohol is indetectible in this one.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbionation.

D - Dangerously drinkable at 10%, and a grea beer I'd love to have again. (551 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very hearty and robust caramel color meets the eye with a bubbly thick foam head.

The nose is exquisite with lemon, watermelon, grapefruit and tangerine. The caramel malt back bone is obvious but not intruding.

The flavors are diverse and intense with fruity and herbal hop characters and a malty backbone. Lemon, watermelon(which is unusual), tangerines and grapefruit meet a musky herbal hop tone. The malt has barley, caramel and cola nut flavors as well to support a deeply complex beer.

This drinks with superior smoothness and a deceptively refreshing feel.

I rank this amongst the best DIPAs I've ever had...I wish I had more. (639 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured bomber into Lost Abbey Teku no date on bottle

A-Pours a deep copper orange with a two finger off white head. Great lacing.

S-Aroma is of pine, grapefruit, sweet malts, caramel, and some tropical hops.

T-Taste is very similar to the aroma but has a bit more hops and caramel.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium to full body. At the beginning it's slightly creamy and finishes slightly dry. Has great carbonation.

O-Overall a great DIPA, I enjoy the balance of the hops and malt. I would definetly get one again. (516 characters)

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
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! (420 characters)

Photo of adamsneighbor
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (511 characters)

Photo of jdaddy
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

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. (584 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting notes from 2/4/11.
Thanks to Ultraman9000 for this one.
Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Medium amber colour with one finger of thick & bubbly off-white head that stuck around for a while. Translucent. Appears filtered.

S - Citrus hops hit the nose at first - grapefruit and tangerine - followed by a sweet caramel malt backbone.

T - Citrus and piney hops and a sweet caramel malt backbone. Very bitter, especially in the finish but overall a well balanced DIPA.

M - Medium body, chewy. Lightly carbonated. (518 characters)

Photo of Dspohn
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Bomber for $7.99, into a tulip. I was told this bottle was very fresh but I dont believe there's any bottle dating info. It was delicious regardless.

It's really a great looking beer, bright red/orange with a good sized peach-tinged white head. Left lots of nice lacing, especially on the second pour. The aroma is intense, I could easily smell it from a few feet away right after it was poured. I'd say the smell is a touch better than the taste, but both are full of tropical fruits, pineapple, papaya and peach are are all pretty prominent. Not super heavy on bitterness or pine aspects, definitely what I'd consider to be more of a juicy, sweet IPA. Carbonation is right where it should be and the drinkability is off the chart with little evidence of alcohol. Pretty impressive for a 10% beer, I would've guessed it was around 7.5%. Comparable in flavor profile to Sculpin, Just Outstanding, or Summer Yulesmith, so check this beer out if you like those IPAs. One of the better IPAs I've tried recently, I really wish it was available locally but at least the brewery is only a few hours away. (1,106 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Half pint on tap at the brewery. This provided a much needed dose of lupulin after The Bruery's barrel tasting.

The beer is a darkish amber with a thin white head. Clarity is quite good.

The aroma is awesome. Huge resiny, sappy, evergreen goodness. A touch of dry biscuity malt, some candied grapefruit. More on the dry side, but there's a touch of sweet fruitiness.

It's light on the tongue, but massive in flavor. There's a lot of candied grapefruit and resiny pine. Some sugary sweetness too, but just a touch - this is far from being a malty DIPA. Strong but clean bitterness in the finish. This is a fantastic beer that I wish I could have enjoyed more of. (665 characters)

Photo of Joshpu
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Darker orange, looks similar to a peach color.

S: Smells like heaven... smells like peach and grapefruit, hoppy

T: Tastes nearly like heaven, at the front getting grapefruit and peach and hops, followed by a malty taste.

M: Mouthfeel is great, the malts and grapefruit linger, along with the peach, i could taste this all day long...

Overall: Amazing beer, the alcohol is pretty much completely masked. (451 characters)

Photo of BrewtifulMind
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Bootlegger's tasting room

Wow. Didn't expect this from Bootlegger's. This one pours a dark amber, almost copper in color. I could smell this thing on the bar as soon as the lovely barmaid set it down. It smelled of sweet, and citrus fruits, and upon closer inspection, the pungent hops and sweet malts filled my nostrils. This brew tastes just like a world class DIPA should. Potent of hops and citrus, but also a sweet backend from the malts. There's a slight burn of alcohol, but not very noticeable. Very well hidden, just enough to warm the chest. For being such a manly beer, the mouthfeel is very light and refreshing, with just the perfect amount of carbonation. Overall, I would say this is definitely one of the best DIPA's I've had. Up there with the juggernauts of IPA's. Definitely worth hyping this one up. Go get yourself some. Cheers. (860 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bottle of this into a tulip glass.

A: Really interesting color, very dark amber with lots of deep red colors involved, a bit off the beaten path which I quite like. The head on this baby is really impressive, nice frothy texture, ivory color with hints of caramel undertones where the head and the beer collide. Lovely lacing on the glass.

S: This smell amazing. Lots of fruit up front with the nice hoppy aromas on the back end balanced with the subtle scent of grain. Really really intriguing and inviting nose.

T: Nothing short of spectacular here, really lovely fruit, notable citrus but also some tart fruits like apples or berries come through with a really powerful hop flavor. This is balanced with some sweet malts at the end for a really complex taste, but one that is balanced and has me asking for more more more.

M: Nice and crisp with good bubbles, but also smooth and inviting.

O: This is really top notch, I heard that they don't brew too much of this anymore which is a real shame because it is truly a world class beer. I tend to drink a lot on the hoppy side and this is without a doubt, one of the best IPAs or DIPAs I've had in a long time. (1,176 characters)

Photo of johndoe8
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

hope it's not a cop out going 4.5 down the line. this beer is pretty damn good. the hops fade pretty quickly, so if it's more than a couple weeks old, it's definitely a different experience than having it fresh.

i've had it from tap and bottle, but bottle most recently, and the grassy notes have subsided slightly (the bottle being 2 weeks old).

otherwise, this is a great DIPA. it hides the abv EXTRemELy well. It has a nice balanced malt backbone, which you only find from some really good DIPAs (think expo hoppiness or pliny the younger).

it loses slightly to my other all time favorite dipas (expo and pty), b/c the hops are not as strong as those, but it's definitely some good company to be in. (707 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 22oz bottle thanks to t0rin0. Greatly appreciated Bobby! Served in a pilsner glass.

A - Pours with a generous amount of orange-tinged foam that settles to a persistent cap, leaving behind copious splotchy lace. Hazed bronze body.

S - Dankness, chives and green onion, pine, citrus zest, tropical fruits, a hint of burnt sugar but otherwise a mainly sugar cookie malt backbone.

T - Taste is less malt-forward, with more tropical fruits, citrus, and pine, with a little bit of sugar and toffee malt in the finish. Surprisingly low bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - Smooth medium body, medium carbonation, and a dry finish with plenty of residual oily resins. 10%? Really?

D - This is a great DIPA, although more what I expect from the Midwest as opposed to California. Still, going toe-to-toe with something like Surly Abrasive Ale is no shame. Highly recommended. (873 characters)

Photo of jrnyc
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle as a surprise substitute from DarthKostriter, thanks Cory! Taken from a 22 oz bottle and poured into a Stone glass.

A -Is this really an IPA? Nice color, medium head, if I didn't know it I would think it was a Stone Levitation. Have never had an IPA or DIPA that looks like this.

S: As soon as the bottle opens, the smell comes through. Awesome smell!

T: Very good tasting IPA, a different taste than most of the other IPAs I like.

M:Wow, 10% alcohol, the alcohol is masked very well, do not really taste it at all.

O:This is a very good beer. If I had this in a blind taste test, would not think it was an IPA. I really enjoyed this one, it went down very fast and feeling the effects of 22 oz and 10% abv! (730 characters)

Photo of JWD
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was cool, i had never heard of this and it was an extra in a recent trade. VERY COOL.

Alright, i love my DIPA and this did not disappoint and it continues to drive the point that there are a ton of GREAT beers out there outside of the hyped alternatives.

I pour this into a pint and it was a deep golden redish color with a bright white frothy head like most big DIPAs would and should look like. The body of this beer looked pretty big, thick and rich.

I really enjoyed the dank, skunky, pine forest of a DIPA that this was, this is an exceptional beer and worth seeking out if you are in the area of it. GREAT BEER.. (628 characters)

Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 246 ratings.