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Knuckle Sandwich | Bootlegger's Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
255 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
255
Ratings:
1,063
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
21.96%
 
 
Wants:
438
Gots:
144
For Trade:
4
Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jerz on 12-14-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 255 | Ratings: 1,063
Photo of johndoe8
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of mothman
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours 1 finger of creamy beige head. Color is a lot darker for a dipa. It is a dark amber gold.

Aroma: A lot maltier than I was expecting for a Cali DIPA. Very bready with some caramel malt flavors. It is still hoppy. Floral and a bit citrusy.

Taste: Again, this DIPA is malty. It is kind of off putting. It is hoppy, but all the bready malts bog it down. Some citrus fruits. Floral notes. Biscuit flavors.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a sticky hoppy aftertaste.

Overall, I was surprised to see this on the top 100 list. It just isn't a very exciting DIPA. Not something I would really want a lot of.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received in a trade with womencantsail, shared at a recent tasting. I wanted to like this beer, I was rooting for it but it just didn't live up to what I expect from a DIPA. I would try it again on draft but I think I would skip it in the bottle if offered again.

Beer is ruby red, it's darker than I expected, almost looks like nugget nectar, I guess that's fine, mostly clear, thin off white head of small bubbles. Like I said, it was dark but looks OK.

Aroma is earthy and malty, I was warned that this is a maltier IPA, the aroma reveals that.

I think this beer walks the line between a DIPA and a barleywine but in my opinion falls on the barleywine side of the line. It is sweet, the middle of the beer is a little earthy and piny and finishes with some nice bitterness but it's not a great DIPA by any measure. At least I don't think so.

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Photo of vande
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really only want to say is, BUY IT! If you can find it and you like IPAs, DIPAs, hops.. You will love this beer!

A strong golden rod pour leaving very little lacy on the glass after sitting a minute too.. The nose and moth ~ both strong, well balanced hops flowing here...An excellent pairing the the first burgers on the grill today... Mouthfeel - smooth and too easy to drink.

If/when I get a chance to snag more..I'm sure I will!!

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Photo of adamsneighbor
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up at the brewery while out in Cali for the Bruery RS Party. Big thanks to womencantsail and t0rin0 for bringing this one to my attention as I would have otherwise overlooked it while there. Served from bottle into a Green Man snifter. Poured a deep red-orange with a one finger very light tan head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, orange zest, caramel, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, bitter hop, and alcohol. It ha d medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a damn nice DIPA. You can defintely tell this is a higher-ABV brew. The citrus aspect in this one is nothing short of excellent. A pretty nice flavor all-around going on here. If I'm honest, the alcohol aspect of this one definitely hurt the drinkability. If you haven't tried this one before, you definitely need to make the effort.

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Photo of azdback
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Masterski (Alex) for providing this surprise in a recent trade. Alex is a stellar trading partner.

First thing I have to say is that as I popped the bottle I got a blast of the aroma. Fantastic. And no, I didn't open the bottle with my nose near the opening. Very fragrant, floral, fresh and plenty of grapefruit coming through.

A thin finger plus head stays for just a short while and settles to a think cap. The beer is a very bright and clear copper/amber color with no visible carbonation. An unexpected amount of lacing for the head that developed. There were sheets of lace lining the glass.

Wow, excellent DPA. While this is a hop focused beer, there is a great balance here. The malt backbone is fantastic. Big fruit flavors with plenty of tropical notes. There is a sense of the alcohol, but again the balance is spot on. Doesn't feel like a 10% abv. This is a top notch DPA. I get a note of honey in the finish. The aftertaste is also fantastic.

The carbonation is almost like a cask conditioned beer. The feel is very smooth and just wonderful. I am falling in love with this beer as I work my way through the bottle.

Phenomenal Beer

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

GLASS: St. Bernardus Oversized Wine Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
Thanks to RodBurg for this one!

This pours up a dark shade of amber with some light ruby tinting. It is slightly darker than anticipated, for a DIPA. (Still looks great, though!) A head of creamy looking, white-colored, foam sits on top. It forms a head that is about a finger thick, then recedes to a very nice surface covering. The lacing is thick and very sticky.

Hops are absolutely front and center with this one....as they should be. Lots of resinous, 'green', dank notes are here, mingling with some nicely sharp citrus notes and even some passing tropical hints. Pine, grapefruit, orange, lemon zest, pineapple, mango, nectarine....it just keeps on going. A light hint of earthiness. A definite touch of caramel malt sweetness is on the backside of this one.

This is a beer with a great sense of balance to it. The hops are definitely the star and make themselves known, right away. They come out bitter and fruity, which is a touch of balance, on it's own. Then the maltiness comes in, just a little bit, to bring a touch of sweetness to the mix. The hops come back up with a good deal of pine notes. They bring a wonderful earthiness with them which gives a good touch of dryness to the finish.

This is medium-to-full-bodied and has a light-to-almost-medium level of carbonation. This works very well for this particular beer. It allows it to remain crisp, yet have a good dose of creaminess which makes it very smooth and enjoyable.

This is one exceptional beer. It is full of big, rich, bold flavors. They are balanced out to the almost perfect level. They don't 'battle' with each other, they let each other have their own chance to shine. It is delicious and beautiful.
On top of that, the 10.00%abv is absolutely nowhere to be found! You probably couldn't drink this one all night, but you could seriously drink it until you fell over! The best part is that you'd have no idea why you were no longer able to stand...of your on accord.
Seek this one out, people.

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

had on tap at the tasting room. Only enough time and sobriety for a halfpint of one beer, so I had to go with this. It only seemed logical. Amber and sexily foamed up above the cloudiness. Aromas popping high into the air. I wave my whiskers from above, peering into the beer's soul. Grapefruit and sticky pine. The resins dominate, with some sweet malt and a little alcohol. It's exceptionally drinkable, truly it is. The balance is excellent between the sweet malts and the titanic hop presence. Big bitterness up front cut into by the malt sweetness, followed up with waves of hopgasms. Resinous, sensual, yes, delicious. Perhaps one day I shall return, Bootlegger's.

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Photo of werdnacross
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Purchased at Wades Wines, my local bottle shop; Lucky me.

A-Dark amber color, slightly opaque with a solid head

S- Strong alcohol presence, just the way I like it.

T- Bitter, Hoppy, Malty, All around great tasting beer.

M- Strong taste, a little overbearing but still great.

O- A great beer a bit difficult to come by but will try to get my hands on it whenever I can.

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Photo of whatthehull
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured (last night 3-8-11) into a New Belgium snifter

A - a cloudy blood orange, 1 finger off white head and nice lacing

S - grapefruit, huge citrus hop, pine, sap, sweet malt, bong resin, Oaked bourbon, fresh mango, pineapple, some orange, beautiful hops and sweetness. A really friendly bitterness. Man this is awesome

T - the alcohol is up front, but it's so nice. Hops galore. Sweet malt, beautiful citrus fruits, especially grapefruit, very nice floral. Such a balanced beer

M - light, fluffy, carbonated, sweetness sticks around, coats the mouth in beautiful ipa glory

D - for the hop head and hop scared alike. Very nice, easy to drink and even easier to enjoy!

Final thought - The price is high @ $6.49, but it is so excellent. Can't say a bad thing about this beer!

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.95/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared this bottle at a tasting... Served in pints.
Thanks to Sideswipe for the chance!

Pours a dark amber color... 2 finger off-white head. Respectable retention and lace. Not impressed, but not bad.

Smells malty. Real malty. Caramel and biscuit with some toasted bread notes too. Very biscuity. The hops are mostly floral and citrus-- they come in weak compared to the malts...

The taste starts off caramel sweet but dries a little to reveal biscuity and toasty flavors. The hops are grapefruit, orange and floral... Decent balance, but no real bitterness to cut through the sweetness up front. I prefer a bit more punch. The body is generically middle of the road. Medium full feel with some syrupy tendencies and some lingering oiliness. I prefer prickly and clean. The bitterness has an odd and unpleasant coffee-like quality that really doesn't belong.

Overall, this beer just isn't my preferred take on the style.

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Photo of LBBeer
4.84/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at The Factory Gastrobar in Long Beach, CA.

A--Deep Copper color, ivory head. Not much lacing.

S-Deep sweet malt note, combined with bright citrus, and a balanced floral note.

T-This is my favorite beer currently being brewed because there is a giant dose of sweet malt to go along with and absurdly good citrusy hop profile. I have gone head-to-head against Port's Mongo and Drake's Denogginizer, and found them to be poor substitutes.

M-When I take a drink of this beer, for a second it feels like a really well-built European ale, and then the hops catch up and its true awesomeness is asserted.

D--Honestly, I could use even a bit more malt, and a skosh of roastiness.

There is no better double IPA.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear dark amber color with a HUGE 3 inch bone colored head. Thick foamy ring lacing on the drink down. A very beautiful beer. Smells of fresh pine hops, sweet malts, peach/nectarine. Taste is beyond delicious. Herbal piney hops, sweet malt base, and a very tropical peach-like fruitiness. Hardly any lingering bitterness on the tongue. 10% ABV is extremely well hidden in this beer. Good carbonation with a medium body. Slightly creamy and sticky. Drinkability is absolutely perfect. Very hoppy but without extreme bitterness, tasty malt backbone, and a wonderful fruity taste. I only bought one bottle and I wish I bought more. I will be on the lookout for this one from now on. A must try if you see it.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best IPA's I've ever had. Better than hopslam. Maybe not as good as Younger, Elder or Heady Topper but I might have to give it 4th place.

On Tap at Bootlegger's in OC. Super fresh.

Pours an amber honey color. Very clear with a very nice sticky white head and lacing. Very good lookin beer.

Aroma isn't as good as the IPA's I listed that were better but still pretty good. Very citrucy hops. Little bit of peach and tangerene.

Taste is awesome. Sweet like a hopslam but the hop profile is better IMO. Tons of citrus and peaches and a bit of honey. Sooo tasty.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Sweet and malty but not chewy. The hop bitterness and the malt profile makes it feel amost dry and malty at the same time. If it's possible.

Overall an awesome beer that I hope they expand their brewery for so they can make it all the time and it won't be in such short supply.

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

Had a half pint at the brewery and then got my growler filled. I was interested to see how the almighty Knuckle Sandwich would hold up in growler form. Suffice to say, I'm not disappointed.

Poured from my growler into a Sierra Nevada pint glass. Opening the growler one day after getting it, there is still a ton of carbonation! There was a very audible pop and hiss followed by the lovely citrusy, piney aroma hitting my nose.

Color is great. Reddish copper. Very thin head which dies away quickly. Maintains its carbonation.

Taste is outstanding. This is one of my favorite DIPAs. It's not too overwhelming. The citrus and piney character of the hops works perfectly with the sweet caramel-y malts. At 10%, there is some booze present in the taste, but not enough to make me feel like I'm getting punched in the face.

This is an absolutely fantastic beer and very deserving of thefullpint.com's beer of the year award. Cheers!

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

Pours out a orange/red, nice 2 finger head and lacing on tulip glass.

Smells like fresh fruits, pine smell, HUGE aroma on this. Nice sweet caramel smell malt on it as well.

Tastes how it smells fresh hop taste, with fruits on front with a nice balance of hops and malt backbone finish leaves you wanting more. 10% not detectable on this treat of a drink.

This is a dangerous beer for the non suspecting. Lives up to its name, drink too many its like Mike Tyson punching you in the face in his prime.

This beer belongs in the top tier of DIPA's in my opinion. Has all you want in that category and more. This is on my TOP 3 in the style, great brew Bootlegger's! Perfect score in my books.

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber into a tulip.

The beer pours a very dark red, coppery color with a two finger head of white foam. Decent lacing. Aroma is citrus fruit and bready malt. Taste is overwhelming citrus hops. Exellent bitterness gives way to a very nice malt profile, which balances this brew nicely. Feel is thick and viscous, in line with the style. Drinkability is very good. The excellent taste and wonderful bitterness of this beer hide all traces of the ABV, making it too easy to down a bomber. I will bs seeking this out again

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Photo of Rjhami
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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

A - Deep reddish brown body with transparency allowing images through clearly. Head is superb at two plus inches with a thick, frothy, firm texture and top of the line stamina. This is an amazing looking DIPA.

S - Citrus hops are clear and evident as they fill the room upon pour. I cannot wait to sample this hoppy brew.

T - Citrus and leafy hops accompanied by a slightly sweet malty backdrop.

M - Ever so slight coarse feel along the top of my tongue. Thick and chewy feel throughout with a sticky remnant on my lips.

~ This is a solid brew. One that I would love to sample from a fresh tap. I bet this bad boy really packs a punch when only a week in the keg.

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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 DefenCorps
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Shane! An awesome extra right off my wants list! I gather this is from the early January release.

Pouring surprisingly dark for the style, this is a clear, coppery red with a dense, off-white head that recedes to a disk, leaving a little lace. The nose is rather pungently hoppy with pine and spruce being most noticeable. Definitely spicy, the aroma definitely brings lijjat papad. Some malt sweetness is present too, but this is mostly driven by the hops . Reminiscent of Brass Knuckle, this is great stuff, a solid 4.25

The palate opens with a blend of sweetness that's a blend of both malt and hops. Mango, pine and spruce are all present, along with a mild toffee/ caramel character. I have a feeling my palate is permanently destroyed, 'cos this doesn't taste all *that* bitter, and it is tempered by the mild sweetness. Quite fruity, I do get some stone fruit as well, with some peach and maybe apricot. Drying on the finish, this has a little caramel, dark brown sugar and a moderate hoppy bitterness. Carbonation is mild, working quite well with the beer. Alcohol does appear, especially towards the finish, but it manages not to take too much away from the experience. Ultimately, the juicy, fruity hop character is an absolute pleasure to partake in, but having just finished my last pint of ABLE, this doesn't quite match up. Still, an excellent effort from this new to me brewery. Thanks again, Shane!

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.