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Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

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

816 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 816
Reviews: 230
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.67%


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: 816 | Reviews: 230 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bump8628
bump8628

Oklahoma

4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/2 liter pour at Hollingshead's Deli.

Medium amber with an inch or so of persistent off-white head.

For some reason the nose on this beer is muted, especially for a DIPA. I get faint whiffs of the requisite citrus and pine and not much more. Hmm...not impressed so far.

There they are! The hops reveal themselves once the beer hits the palate. Herbal, pungent, piney, with a splash of citrus peels to boot. Malt actually holds its own admirably with a solid backbone of caramel. Medium-dry with a nice sticky feel that coats my tongue in lupulin goodness.

A nice DIPA from a brewery I hadn't heard of before. Where's that 10% ABV? This one drinks more like an 8%er.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2010 15:06:07 | More by bump8628
Photo of mrotstein
mrotstein

California

5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: bit of a dark orange/yellow color

S: This is where it hits. As soon after they serve me the cup I can smell it easily from 2 feet away. Smelling of wonderful hops and floral scents

T: Very good. Not too bitter, not too malty. Just right. I can keep drinking this if it was available in a unlimited quantity in my cup

M: Not heavy, goes does very easily and doesn't over power the senses

D: Like I said, Amazing, can drink this all day

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2010 20:22:07 | More by mrotstein
Photo of WOTO97
WOTO97

California

4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a 1/2 pint at Bootleggers. This beer is fantastic. Loads of tropical hop notes on the nose, equally matched on the palate. Lots of pineapple, passion fruit makes for a very refreshing beer. The 10% abv is dangerously hidden beneath the generous hop bouquet. Slightly disappointed with the appearance--nominal head (may have been the pour). The mouthfeel was a little thin, which I think I might like even though it works against the traditional DIPA (TIPA?). Extremely refreshing easy to put back a few of these hop monsters.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2010 20:14:09 | More by WOTO97
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a medium amber with a soft white head, nice lace.

S: Tropical notes of pineapple and passion fruit, reminds me a bit of BP Dorado.

T: As with what my buddy DoubleJ said about it, this DIPA is juicy, a wet hop feel almost. Big pineapple, mango and pine, nice complexity. Go here for tropical fruit in an a SoCal DIPA.

M: Medium/full-bodied, easy on the palate, wet/juicy.

D: I liked this DIPA a lot, Bootlegger's is certainly impressing me as of late.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2010 04:20:46 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2010 18:52:04 | More by womencantsail
Photo of antioch
antioch

California

4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bootleggers Tasting Room

A - Pours a light amber/straw color with a nice white head and great lacing.

S - DIPA, need I say more? Grapefruit, pine, resin, citrus and maybe a bit of sweetness peeking through.

T - DIPA, need I say more? Bitter up front, in the middle and at the end. Grapefruit, pine, citrus, resin flavors show through the whole time. Definitely one of the better DIPA's out there.

M - Nicely carbonated on a fairly heavy beer. The carbonation seems to allow the flavors to really penetrate the tongue.

D - Decently drinkable for a high alcohol brew. After Strong Ale Fest, a lot of people I had talked to said this was one of their favorites at the festival. Great beer!

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2010 16:40:06 | More by antioch
Photo of More_betterness
More_betterness

California

4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Grab a bottle every time I see it available! Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Lost Abbey teku.

A: Deep amber, almost ruby hue topped by a light tan head. Even after having this beer multiple times it is still slightly off putting seeing an ipa this dark. Despite its non-conformity still a good looking beer.

S: Massive, resinous hops up front. Mango, orange, and pineapple followed by sweet caramel malt.

T: Sweet tropical fruits and bitter pine followed by rich caramel sweetness. The malt character really accentuates the tropical aspect as the sweetness couples with the hops nicely. Bitter finish with a hint of warming alcohol.

M: Medium bodied for your average beer, but viscous for an ipa. Average carbonation.

O: This was the first DIPA I ever truly loved a few years ago,and it's easy to see why. While this amount of malt character in an ipa is now usually a detriment to a beer IMO, Bootleggers does a fantastic job of pairing a hefty malt sweetness with aggressive hop character in this one. The result is a beer that is far from the standard dry DIPAs with little to no malt character, but still an exceptionally balanced and well crafted brew. Love it!

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 01:51:43 | More by More_betterness
Photo of McStagger
McStagger

California

4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not been impressed with this brewery thus far. Still, this one approaches whale status, so I figured I'd see what the hype was about.

A: Rich ruby/amber. Half finger of off white head. Carbonation is moderate, with tiny bubbles rising to the surface. Retention is moderate, lacing is stellar.

S: Big caramel malts. Bruising, even. Hops are evergreen, grapefruit. Some alcohol in the nose. Underlying sweet stone fruit, hint tropical. Seems muted, given the name.

T: Much, much better than the nose. This one hits and hits hard. Hops are hugely sweet. Tons of stone fruit, tropical fruit. Spruce and pine and lemon peel on the end. Huge maltiness helps to accentuate the tropical hit. Sweetness is borderline cloying, but the bitterness pops in at the last second to balance it out. Fruitiness of the hops comes back into play in the finish. Very, very fruity finish. Not terribly dry.

M: Very light bodied for the crazy high abv. No alcohol detected whatsoever.

O: Not your dry west coast IPA. Way too malty for my taste, but the quality is there.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 06:55:00 | More by McStagger
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout

Georgia

4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from j47paco (thanks!). No dicernable bottling info. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours a deep but transparent russet amber with a finger and a half of manilla head. A thin film of tiny bubbles remains as well as a halo that leaves some nice lacing.

Smells of sweet juicy fruits. Mandarin, mango and slight pineapple with some noticeable caramel malt hues. Good stuff for sure.

Taste delivers on the nose. Quite fruity and bittersweet. Mandarin/ tangerine, orange zest, mango/ papaya, subtle pineapple, grapefruit, mild pine, sweet caramel malts, biscuit and a nice little booze kick. Great malt sweetness that reinforces the bitter, juicy hops. Absolutely delicious.

Oily, slick and coating, this has a medium full feel with moderate carbonation. Juicy, bitter hops and sweet malts linger in the finish.

A DIPA that's right up my alley. I'm quite fond of the juicy, tropical, citrusy West coast style hops with a bold malt sweetness that can't be ignored. With no bottling date I can't be sure but the hop aromas/ flavors are bright enough that my guess is this is pretty fresh and I can see how freshness would have a huge impact on someone's perception of this. Either way, I truly enjoyed the bottle I was given and would happliy drink it again anytime.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2014 04:40:02 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of lazydayspoiler
lazydayspoiler

California

4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 17:12:15 | More by lazydayspoiler
Photo of lanciloti
lanciloti

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into a snifter glass. (release #18 2014)

Appearance: A dark amber. Creamy tan head.

Smell: Sweet caramel and apricot. Great hop aroma.

Taste: I get a lot of sweet fruit and caramel out of this beer. Alcohol burn comes after about 10 minutes.

Mouthfeel: Nice mouthfeel, good amount of malt. Very full and creamy.

Overall: Reminds me a little of Maharaja, but even sweeter. Easy to drink for 10% abv. Would like to drink again. Cheers!!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 21:09:33 | More by lanciloti
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 01:59:49 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 04:05:32 | More by scottfrie
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi

California

4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Um, I'm not really sure what Bootleggers is trying to go with here. Very copper and East Coast in color like a R Kelly remix; still, the aroma is lush with West Coast tropical fruits like R Kelly walked out of the closet and made a smoothie. It's slightly sticky (which Raul likes) buts it's a bit sugary like a factory made dessert at your local elementary school.

I don't know... it's perplexing. I like it, but like a David Lynch film, jump in and get ready for a varied result.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 04:11:31 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of JohnG190
JohnG190

New York

4.76/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to StonedRaider for another outstanding trade! Pours a beautiful golden amber with a thick white head. Decent retention with nice lacing. Aroma of peaches, tropical fruit notes, whiff of citrus, with a hint of cat pee. Bitter throughout the palate with lots of peach, pine resin and caramel notes from the solid malt backbone. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, a very underrated DIPA, outstanding fruity bitterness. Great job Bootleggers!

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 22:56:39 | More by JohnG190
Photo of pjkelley82
pjkelley82

New York

4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this (along with other dipa's) at a East VS. West Dipa Head to Head Showdown I hosted on 8/27/13

Got this one via trade... a great beer...

Round 2 East DFH 90 West Knuckle Sandwich

Overall I picked 90 over this one but this was no easy battle. Quite honestly this was the hardest choice of all the rounds... it was a split decision with 90 winning appearance and mouthfeel but not by much.. color for me went to ks along with taste and smell. Ks was a hell of a lot smoother and easy going with a nice juicy feel to it. I'm glad I have a little left over to enjoy abooouuuut... now! Ks placed 8th of 10

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 02:15:49 | More by pjkelley82
Photo of sleuthdog
sleuthdog

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 23:46:57 | More by sleuthdog
Photo of Samuel906
Samuel906

California

3.11/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Honestly, I don't know what all the hubbub about this beer is. I was pretty disappointed. Best thing about this is the way it looks, a deep dark amber with the fluffiest head I have ever seen. Smell was lots of grapefruit but muddied and sweet. Taste wasn't too far behind. Sweet molasses, orange, caramel, mango and very yeasty. Very heavy and syrupy. This was thick, sticky, sweet, and hard to drink, and the hops seemed distant. The only thing I can think is that I got a bum bottle that wasn't fresh. I am willing to try this again if I could guarantee the freshness but as it stands, a pass for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 05:43:05 | More by Samuel906
Photo of bierbrauer
bierbrauer

Wisconsin

4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber from Fullerton Beverages. Was not available at brewery, either in bottles or on tap.

A: A darker DIPA, copper, hazy. Dense, tan foam that drops quickly and leaves sparse lacing.

S: Very pleasant fragrance -- strong fruit with slight floral & pine.

T: Delicious, rich, sweet, mango & grapefruit. No alcohol taste. Very balanced.

M: Full, with very low carbonation. Some heat. Fresh finish.

O: Now I understand why this is so scarce. It's really good.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2013 00:03:55 | More by bierbrauer
Photo of pkalix
pkalix

California

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
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....

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 22:42:39 | More by pkalix
Photo of jbaker67
jbaker67

Pennsylvania

4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

deep dark orange. Perfect one finger of thick head. Nose is predominantly grapefruit, with a bit of spicy hop notes and pine. It’s the grapefruit that’s dominant though. Medium body. Decent malt character, but this one is all about the hops. First two thirds on the palette is fruity hop flavor, grapefruit rind and maybe peach. Back third is pleasant bittering. A great beer

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 13:34:09 | More by jbaker67
Photo of JonathanC
JonathanC

California

4.83/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Knuckle sandwich provides a great amount of hops that brings a smooth taste which lingers for a great 10 second ordeal. HIGHLY UNDERATED.Finding this beer is a true treasure as every liquor store in CA seems to sell it within days of stock. If you get the chance to try this brew, you are lucky. This is Bootleggers masterpiece, it is considerably comparable to Pliny the elder. I would never pass a knuckle sandwich up. "All 78 bottles sold within 3 days of restock" says liquor store owners.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2013 02:29:32 | More by JonathanC
Photo of Slackerville
Slackerville

California

3.78/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Not a beer for the timid.

At double digits for ABV I was skeptical considering the prevalence of double IPAs at breweries recently that have overpowering sweetness from unfermented sugars. That was not the case with this beer, great hop character initially on the nose and mouth, then finished clean, crisp, and strong. Overall lots of hops, body, and of course alcohol. Knuckle Sandwich is probably about as balanced as this can get since any aging would negatively affect the rich, fresh hop nose and make the beer more bitter than desired.

It's great to see how often Bootlegger's rotates through different beer styles at their brewery and a wide range of 22 oz bottle offerings can be found throughout Orange County.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2013 15:58:48 | More by Slackerville
Photo of DovaliHops
DovaliHops

California

3.29/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Awesome extra in a recent trade. Pours a hazy, mahogany color with a small, off-white head that disappears quickly. Scent is packed with tropical fruit, citrus hops, and more tropical aromas. Has a very sweet aroma with a pretty heavy malt backbone. The aroma is very nice on this one. Taste is interesting. It starts off with some lovely tropical fruit flavors...it kinda gets messy here. Flavor is VERY boozy and sweet. And it's very hard to get over this stage... The hops seem to have been very mute in this beer, and the booze and sweetness take over. I'm really hoping this is just an old or bad bottle, because I've heard great things and been wanting to try this for a very long time. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and slightly sticky. Drinkability is not very high. Overall, pretty disappointed in this one. Way too sweet and boozy. I can handle sweet and boozy IPAs if the hops are there to back it up, but they just weren't there. Wish they put dates on their bottles so I could see if this was just a really old bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2013 08:41:56 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Redundant thanks again to Kyle2k10 for a trade that is reaching epidemic proportions, & knocking this long-time want off my list. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

First, nice bottle art...then the pour, which is lively, orange, & looks like is has hops, malt, & water. Orange, filtered, middling clear. Nose is promising, pine, grapefruit, with a backing band of light, sweet fruits.

Knuckle Sandwich is...balanced. Stingers of caramel come out of the firehose with bruising force. The pine & grapefruit in the nose comes through, but it's held down by the malts. Waves of sweet follow; a slow, moderate, lingering bitterness rounds the beer off. I'll give its due for being easy drinking, this is a beer of mass destruction.

A very good beer; a little less balance & heavier hand on the hops would have pushed this skyward easily. So close to great in this mouth. But, heck, I'd never turn one down.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 02:29:48 | More by maximum12
Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 816 ratings.