Knuckle Sandwich - Bootlegger's Brewery

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Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,019 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,019
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 436
Gots: 132 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,019 | Reviews: 250
Photo of Drinkerofales
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at my local Oggi's

a - Great color, a clean amberish-orange, slightly murky

s - hops, grapefruit, citrus, and a malt sweetness undertone

t - bright citrus hops up front, with malty sweetness in the middle, and both on the back, a excellent changing of the flavor throughout

m - it feels almost light, the right amount of alcohol flavor and feel, doesn't feel like the high abv it is

o - this has rapidly become one of my top 5 beers of all time, just wish it was more available, even going to the brewery itself they didn't have any. If I would want anything from this beer it doesn't have, it would be that I could have it all the time.

DOA

Photo of Jefe73
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
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!

Photo of Treebs
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared at the UFC tasting, small pour into my Deschutes snifter. I don't remember who brought this, but thanks!

A: Pours a hazy amber with a thin white head that recedes to a film ring.

S: Nice pine and some resin with a lingering fruity ester over a nice solid light caramel malt.

T: Slight sweet fruit with a nice resin-like quality with a very subtle pine in the background. Again the malty backbone is integrated nicely.

M: Medium bodied with a nice malty flavor that lingers with some bitterness. Nicely carbonated as well.

O: Not my favorite DIPA, but it was definitely a want for me and I'm glad I got to try it.

Photo of jsanford
3.79/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber from clarkenstein (cheers!). Poured into a Pint Glass.

Pours a hazy dark copper with a fluffy off-white head that hangs around for a bit, eventually leaving streaky lacing as it settles to a squat cap. Big aromas of pine resin, tropical fruit, grapefruit, and some slightly sweet caramel malt. Taste is a bit of a let-down from the nose, not as tropical as I was hoping. Lots of pine resin and grapefruit in there, though, with more sweet caramel malt and a bit of noticeable alcohol "burn". Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly sticky, with a touch-over-medium body and good, sharp carbonation. Overall a solid DIPA, I just wish the taste lived up to the amazing nose!

Photo of Centennial
3.4/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First time having this and I know it has some age on the bottle so this review will be based upon that. Serving- 22oz bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance- A lighter amber with golden color shining through when held up to light and overall pretty clear.

Smell- Citrus, Honey and hop spiciness

Taste- crisp and hoppy when cold but after it warms to room temperature some weird barleywine and bready qualities

Mouthfeel- Clean, a little syrupy.

Overall- Not bad, but not what the hype makes it to be. I need to try this fresh when the next batch comes out to give my final review.

Photo of Satchboogie
3.87/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours copper, slightly hard to see through, 2-finger off-white head. Tight head with foamy top, great retention, and good lacing.

S: Huge orange, grapefruit, pineapple, pine, and mango. Very tropical. There seems to be a good bit of sweetness. Slight hint of vegetal in the background.

T: Big let-down from the nose. Not as much tropical and bright fruit as I was expecting. More herbal and pine with a lot of astringency, lots of grapefruit. Extremely sharp flavors and bitterness. Big sweet malt base akin to a fresh American Barleywine. Sharp bitterness in the finish (semi-dry), slight vegetal quality too. Alcohol is warm and noticeable in the taste.

M: Close to full carbonation, moderate carbonation. Sweet and malty and a semi-dry finish, not all that crisp/clean and refreshing (a tad bit boozy).

O: This is more like a fresh American Barleywine than a DIPA in my opinion. It doesn't have that bright, clean character with a light malt base that I come to expect from a DIPA. To sweet and almost briny at times. The alcohol presence isn't bad for a 10% beer, but I also don't like any alcohol character in my IPAs/DIPAs. A good DIPA, but overhyped I believe.

Photo of sendsilk
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this in a recent trade with Airfoil, thanks Tom!

This one appears about as dark an orange as I can imagine. Imagine a pumpkin starting to rot, not a nice analogy, but the color is appropriate. Wonderful hop aroma, nice and citrusy with some pine malt and spice.
T-wow, now I know why it's called a knuckle sandwich as it pretty much punches you in the face! Exceptional hop presence. I paired this with an Italian sausage and it really worked well together as the spice of the sausage really worked well with the hops. M is good and I am so glad to have gotten to try this!

Photo of jpmclaug
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.79/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Thanks to PeprSprYoFace for sending me this.

Appearance: The appearance of this beer is phenomenal. A full cherry copper color with a rich, creamy white head. Sheets of lace have great cling.

Smell: The aroma is very sweet, and this sweetness begins the downfall of Knuckle Sandwich. Lots of full caramel notes balance or even overpower grapefruit and sticky pine aromas.

Taste: The malt presence is full and bready. A soft honey sweetness grows until it is a nearly out of control caramel bomb. Where are the hops? When the grapefruit, apricot, and pine bitterness finally come in, it is too little too late. The sweet malt controls the flavor the whole time. A light alcohol presence is noticeable at the end, but nothing out of the ordinary for a 10% DIPA.

Mouthfeel: The body is fuller than I would really prefer and almost chewy from the strong malt presence. The tight carbonation works well with the full body, providing a light creaminess and still guiding excess flavors off the tongue with each sip. A bit of alcohol burn in the back of the throat.

Overall: When I first started drinking IPA's, I liked beers that had a nice malt sweetness to go along with a strong hop presence. Now, just give me the hops. I can see why this is popular, it is just is not quite what I am looking for.

Photo of readbaron
3.61/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful (seriously, gorgeous) dark orange with 2 fingers of white foam. The foam piles on top and lingers, coating the glass in a sticky lacing. However, it did fade - somewhat unusual for a DIPA.

Smell is a bit dissapointing for all the hype - lots of sweetness and honey malt, followed be a dollop of piney hops and a strong note of alcohol.

Taste is a lot like the nose - lots and lots of honey and malty sweetness, before finishing with bitter piney hops. Not much citrus. Reminds me a little bit of hopslam, only sweeter and not as hoppy. (I prefer hopslam)

Feel is good - medium bodied, a touch sticky, and nicely carbonated.

Overall - pretty tasty, but I don't get the hype around this one.

Photo of MikeytotheB
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Across the bored a great DIPA! Pretty color, nice head. Great pine, and pineapple notes on the nose. Taste follows suit with the pine and pineaple and many floral notes. If this were easily accesible for me it would be on the top of my list for must haves all the time!

Photo of portia99
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle received in a recent trade with Vanlingleipa. Thanks! Poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a near perfectly clear ruby tinted deep amber color. A thick and creamy finger + of tan foam rides on top for a long time. Slowly fades to a creamy, low cap with some foamy lacing left on the glass.

S - Smells very fresh...big hop aromas up front. Lots of citrus - oranges and tangerines, heavy grapefruit mixed with assertive pine notes too. Has an overall sweet and juicy character to it. Really not getting much of any malt character in here, which is a bit surprising to me given the color of this.

T - As expected, lots of hoppy flavors for a first impression. Bitter, but not overly bitter - hops focus more on the flavors than IBU's. Grapefruity, pineapple, a bit sweaty, piney. Unlike the aroma, there is a solid malt base that gives some hints of sugary sweetness which I think really enhances the citrusy hop flavors. A bit of alcohol noticed on the inhale and definitely gives a bit of a bite in the flavor too. A touch of butter on the finish, which is usually distracting to me, but somehow manages not to bother me here...can't explain it.

M - A solid medium body with a full creamy and smooth carbonation. Solid all around. Balance is pretty good...I suppose balance is the right term, but not really. This is most definitely a hop bomb, but manages to not seem over the top - hence the feel of balance.

O - I always wonder about these well-hyped IPA's/DIPA's. It seems that many of them are good but not great...just another good beer in a sea of good beers. This being said, this one really does stand out as an excellent example of the style. Definitely a hop lover's dream - tons of hop flavor in here - perhaps a bit more body than I'd ideally like to see, but I'm probably just nit-picking here. Definitely worth seeking out...not necessarily an easy one to get, but definitely worth the effort.

Photo of doppelme
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer smeels of crisp citrus fruits with a bit of a resiny stinch as well. It pours a dark orange body with a sticky off white head. The beer is bitter upfront with a lingering sweetness at the end. The alcohol is hidden well but you can sense that after one bottle you probably will be able to feel a little buzz going. It is moderatly carbonated with a sticky texture to the beer. Overall this is a beer I would drink again and one I would love to always have around if that was possible.

Photo of axeman9182
3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, thanks to DearthVader for the killer extra. This one was poured into my Duvel tulip.

Knuckle Sandwich pours pretty dark, it's straight up amber, moving towards a dark red. There are some very nice, clear light red highlights. There's a solid three fingers of light tan foam topping the beer, and it just sits there, taking its sweet time inching down the sides of the glass. Intricate webs of lacing are left behind, absolutely gorgeous looking beer. The nose is a little lacking in pungency, but there's a pretty nice orange aroma, with some caramel sweetness in the background. Caramel is present again at the front of the flavor profile, with a surprisingly mild hop bite following it. Back end hoppy flavors largely consist of the orange note from the nose, but with a bit of a citric tangerine element to it as well. The body is surprisingly light for a 10% beer, and it's paired with a nice bubbly carbonation. Knuckle Sandwich is a pretty tasty beer, and one with a less common hop profile. That said, with a name like that I was expecting much more of an all out hop assault.

Photo of jrnyc
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

Photo of brew3crew
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
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

Photo of BrewtifulMind
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of chumba526
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a somewhat hazy amber with a light brown head.

It smells of grassy dank hops, caramel like malts. I get a nice pine like hop flavor and a mild bread like malty smell. there is also a mild citrus flavor. the smell is a equal mix of hops and malts.

It tastes initially of pine and grassy hops and mild toffee. I get a mild citrus orange like hop flavor. I get a malty bread-like and rich flavor from the beer. it ends with a mild hoppy bitterness that is paired with a nice sweetness. It is a perfect blend of hops and malts.

It has a somewhat thick and creamy mouth feel with moderate carbonation.

Overall a malt heavy but still hoppy DIPA. It tastes kind of like a west coast take on a English style imperial IPA. though I like lighter DIPAs This is a great beer.

Photo of Vanlingleipa
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, the ultimate balance of sweet malt and hops.

This beer pours as a non-remarkable brownish-amber that is topped with a 1/4" head and sticky, thick lacing clinging to the side of the glass.

The warmth and spiciness of the malt is almost like biting into a sweet bread, the taste sensation is felt in the sweet spots of the tongue and in the back of the mouth. Then the simcoe hops come in with a delicious bitterness. Wonderfully balanced with the malt.

Truly one of the top DIPAs currently brewed in the country.

Photo of unitmonster
2.86/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served out of a 22oz bomber from the last release in July.

A - Standard yellow IPA/DIPA color. Generous head.

S - Alcohol, followed by hoppy pine and citrus smells.

T - More alcohol. This DIPA feels so imbalanced. Tons of malt flavor and really warm alcohol.

M - Great carbonation, finishes well.

O - Am I drinking the same beer as everyone else? I've had this and thought it was pretty bad. I had a small tasting and other people thought the same thing (note: different bottles that I did not buy). I feel like there are far better DIPAs out there then this.

Photo of IKR
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber color with a generous off-white head that slowly faded.

Smell: Pine and citrus fruit aromas.

Taste:The pine and citrus fruit aromas carry over to the taste. The malts make themselves known as a slight caramel taste. The alcohol is not a factor in the taste. It's extremely well hidden. I find the hops well integrated and not upfront in this beer. Very clean after-taste.

Mouth-feel: Medium body with a good level of carbonation.

Overall: Good beer. I put this one alongside such DIPAs such as DFH 90 and Pliny, well-balanced DIPAs that go for a balanced taste profile, which works for me due to the fact I'm no one's hop head. I'm a Imperial Stout/English Barleywine/Belgian fan but I liked this beer and definitely thought it was the best Bootleggers offering I tasted.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of sholland119
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Vanlingleipa for the chance to try this one.

A-Pours a murky amber with a frothy off white head and good lacing.

S-Delicious. Big blast of citrus hops with a lot of caramel malt behind it. Not very typical of the West Coast style, but very well balanced.

T-Very nicely balanced malt and hops. Sweet malt and citrus hops are on a very equal footing.

M-Medium bodied, a bit sticky woit good lingering bitterness.

O-Really delicious DIPA. Very well done.

HV

Photo of davidbowers13
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of Jules11788
4.89/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a two finger-width head, slight lacing, good retention; nice clear golden-honey color.

S: Wow! HUGE floral notes with LOTS of tropical fruits and a deliciously fragrant resinous, piney hop smell. This beer smells like what I would imagine heaven would: fantastic.

T: Shit... this is incredible! Lots of tropical fruits with a citrus-y, piney, floral hop sweetness that settles into a nice smooth malty bitterness on the end. One of the best tasting DIPAs I've ever had (if not the best).

M: Medium thickness; lightly carbonated; buttery and smooth with no boozy sharpness whatsoever. Where is the 10% abv hiding?

O: This is a stunningly incredible DIPA. One of the best (if not the best) examples of the style that I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. It reminds me a lot of a fresh Drake's Denogginizer, but slightly better. If you EVER see one of these on the shelves, pick it up immediately. Outstanding in every way.

Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 1,019 ratings.