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Knuckle Sandwich | Bootlegger's Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
255 Reviews
THE BROS
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Send samples
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 notchucknorris
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Definitely dark for a DIPA. Ruby color with a sand colored head that holds up pretty well.

S: Candied citrus, a little banana, some nice citrus hops and a little bit of funk as it warms.

T: I was expecting a little more from this one, but it's definitely one of the better DIPAs I've had. The citrus hops kick in pretty quick with some grapefruit pith and lemon rind. The malts come in before the hops are allowed to get too bitter but the hops return on the finish, which is pretty resiny. Mouthfeel is good and the carbonation is perfect. Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Jeremy!

Pours a medium clear orange, with an off white finger of head. Nice lace, decent retention

Nice hop punch! Citrus, some pine and touches of resin, orange peel, light bread maltiness.

It's a solid hop bomb on the taste, juicy citrus and some tropical fruits, pineapple, flowery hops, light pale malt sweetness. Pleasantly surprised by the lack of daunting maltiness.

Great body, medium, not too heavy, making it great drinking, good solid carbonation.

Fantastic DIPA. Great balance and drinkability and a hop monster to boot!

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Photo of KYGunner
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The world famous Bootknuckle Legger Sandwich shipped over the pond by Vanlingleipa. Love me some hoppy goodness. Cheers dude!

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, fluffy, cream white head with very good retention. Perfectly clear burnt orange in color with slightly higher levels of carbonation for the style. A splotchy wisp and ring remains leaving some decent lacing down the glass. Good looking beer for sure.

SMELL: Bold and hoppy nose on this one. Lots of honeydew melon, pineapple, mango, and some piney goodness. Light caramel notes, but this one is mostly fruity and piney.

TASTE: Aggressively hoppy with pine notes up front, as well as an array of fruity mango, melon and pineapple into the hoppy bitter swallow. Bold and lingering finish is plenty hoppy with lots of pine, some light melon sweetness as balance, and a good dose of spicy alcohol as well. A little boozier than expected, but it works well with the piney, grassy hop bitterness. Really flavorful and enjoyable, the the fruit notes in the nose were a little outdone by the piney hops here.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of creamy carbonation. Smooth and oily on the palate, goes down fine with a slight bite at the swallow and finishes a touch mouth coating. Some biting bitterness and a touch of alcohol linger on the palate. Really nice feel.

OVERALL: One of my favorites in the style, and probably the best pine-forward DIPA I've had to date. While I usually prefer more citrus forward IPA's, this one delivered a great bouquet of aromas and flavors that it almost made me forget my normal preferences. A real treat, and one I'd love to drink on a regular basis. Thanks again for the beers Vanlingleipa! I hope you enjoy your package as well.

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Photo of rawfish
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark rusty hue, clear with a large fluffy off white head. Moderate clumps of lacing and good retention.

Huge floral aroma, spicy, grapefruit and pine resin. Very punchy with slight caramel sweetness and butterscotch syrup.

Solid malt undertones of caramel and and bread integrates well with a spicy and herbal hop flavor. Pine, sweet onion and spicy tobacco, no citrus at all in the hops. Alcohol is very prevalent and lingers along with a steady earthy bitterness.

Medium bodied, hefty alcohol on the palate, really punchy. Dries decently.

Probably one of few IPAs I've had with no citrus flavor in the hop profile , the malt is really interesting building a varied spice note, more like a really hop forward double red ale. Great nose, heavy hitter on the alcohol. Grungy and rugged DIPA.

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Photo of Florida9
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark amber, approaching brown, in color. Forms a voluminous creamy off-white colored head that slowly reduces to a very think ring around the edge and leaves globs of lacing on the way down.

S: Somewhat dank. Almost musty. With lots of citrus, orange, and grapefruit.

T: Starts off with sweet malts, light sweet caramel, and a strong orange-citrus flavor. There is some subtle orange blossom floral quality and some pine as well. A little bit of alcoholic spice on the finish.

M: Medium bodied and sweet. Texture is slick, almost syrupy. Moderate bitterness. Appropriate carbonation.

O: Wow, this one was not what I was expecting. Nothing like the typical West Coast IPA style, much maltier and sweeter with lots of hops, but a restrained bitterness.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-02-05 in Columbia, PA

A - Mildly hazy, ruby-amber-orange with an initial 2-finger offwhite head that drops to 1/2-finger fairly quickly and leaves a light-medium amount of banded lacing.

S - Orange flesh, brown bread, tea, hop floral. Different. Pleasant. Not overpowering.

T - Interesting blend of flavors. Lots of toffee-butterscotch malt, pineapple, pine, candied orange, tannin and lemon zest bitterness. It's sweet but not cloying. The alcohol helps cut the sweetness. The aftertaste is very nice with lingering citrus rind bitterness tinged with pine, some hop cone oils and sticky-lip malt sweetness.

M - Medium-plus body and light-medium carbonation. Sticky, resinous and mildly prickly.

O - I really enjoyed the taste and feel of this brew. Serve this on the warmer side to enjoy the taste complexities. Will look for this again.

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Photo of Deuane
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to mrmiles for sending this very desired west coast DIPA in a thank you box! I missed this beer by a day at THREE different places on tap (including the brewery) during a recent trip to SoCal.

A-Deep, dark copper with a medium, fluffy, light tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left attractive decorative lace.

S-From the opening in the bottle I received a blast of fresh citrus hops. After my pour that same aroma remains but it is now blended with bitter grapefruit rind, a touch of pine, a little pineapple and spicy notes in the back. Malt sweetness is barely noticeable.

T-I was a bit concerned with how dark this beer was that the malt bill might get in the way of the hop beauty but no, I was wrong! A massive and wonderfully balanced (read hop forward with malt support) west coast DIPA. The bitter citrus rind and pine resin hops are front and center with a subtle, ever so light touch, but you know it is there caramel malt sweetness in the finish.

M-Medium body with a nice sharp bite, good lingering hop bitterness and a drying finish.

D-Really--this is 10%--HA! I am certainly impressed with this one and am a little miffed I couldn't track it down on tap. Oh well, at least I get to enjoy this one in a what seems to be about as fresh as a bottle can get fresh! Certainly a brew that is worthy of all the praise it has been getting lately! Thanks again Miles for the chance to lay into this one!

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Photo of Sean9689
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chris for this one, who said it was "relatively fresh". Poured into a Cantillon tulip/snifter thingy.

A - Pours a reddish color, thin collar, some spotty whisps on top.

S - Grapefruit, alcohol, pine, dank citrus, and lots of sweetness. I'm surprised by the high level of sweetness here, and I though this would be a huge amount of hoppy bitterness. Oh well.

T - Sweet citrus, pine, large amount of malty sweetness, tropical fruits. The sweetness once again surprised me, but it was a hoppy sweetness as opposed to a huge malty sweetness. That said, I would like a little less of that and more bitter notes. This is an attempt at a HopSlam-type DIPA, but it's not really close.

M - Medium, good carbonation, pine/resin finish.

O - A solid DIPA, but not mind-blowing at all. A little too much sweetness and not enough citrus/floral hops. Too many other awesome DIPA's out there for me to worry about going back to this one any time soon. Slightly above average.

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Photo of pkalix
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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....

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Photo of srandycarter
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an update upon retrying another vintage. It is much better this go around on 10.12.12. Earlier review follows.

A - Dark caramel, brown sugar and apricot look to it. Light does pass through. Nice near white but small head. Lots of large bubbled cling lace. Cascading bubbles all around the glass like champagne.

S - Big malt. Caramel. Lots of hops trying to duke it out.

T - Taste very much like smell. Not quite a barley wine, but kind of border line between DIPA and American Strong Ale.

M - Fat, thick, creamy. Good carb. Nice balance on two extreme factors colliding.

D - SO glad I tried it again. Great beer.

~~~

Review 4.8.11
a 4.5- Clean, clear, honey amber, lots of head, stays a spell. Cling lace all over the place.

S - 4.5 Spicy, hoppy, malty, all promise big stuff.

T - 3.5 Way under whelmed. Light and soft. No malt drive or hop bite.

M - 3.5 Under carbed and wimpy in most respects.

D - 4 Easy enough to drink!

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Photo of ehammond1
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of koopa
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber received in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours a copper to burnt umber with a 2 finger foamy ivory crown. Decent retention and lace are displayed.

Smell: Nice strong citrus hops (mainly grapefruit) / pine hops over light caramel malt with a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Same as nose with a really nice resinous pine hop that adds to the grapefruit and sweet malt mix.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the heavy side of medium and is a bit chewy. Carbonation is decent.

Drinkability: Goes down fairly easily but is also a bit high octane.

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Photo of harrymel
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Andrew for this brew, Cheer's andrew!
Bottled: unk

A: Pours a blood orange ale with single finger light tan head. This dissipates relatively quickly leaving a medium sheet of the same. Little to no lacing. Excellent clarity.

S: Lots of pine and resin on this one. Not as much citrus as anticipated. Some hints of cotton candy. ABV obvious here. Plenty sweet from the ABV and malt profile. Above average, but not great.

T: Sweet, boozy, hot on the ABV again. Plenty of pineapple, pine, resin flavors. Medium to low bitterness on this one.

M: Medium to high body with low carbonation. Long slick finish.

O: Well done brew, but would take any of Alpine's offerings over this any day of the week. ABV isn't justified in the relative simplicity of the flavor profile.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Frothy, blanket-like cream-colored head a finger thick. It look

s velvety and majestic. Impressive. Body is a glowing amber color. 5

S- Sweet, dank and piney. Lots of caramel. 4

T- Continued sweet caramel, light citrus and a moderately resinous finish. 4

M- Thick and big-bodied with a mostly sweet feel before a bitter, dry close. Alcohol is nowhere to be found and there's a nice burst of effervescence mid-palate. 4.25

It's a nice beer with perhaps less aromatics than I expected, but the overall product works well.

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

Look: Blood orange color with a nice 1/2 inch head a decent amount of retention and some very nice lacing

Smell: Very wonderful mild floral and citrus hops. A hint of sweet caramel. I am glad this does not smell like a hop bomb like I was worried about. Smell is damn near perfect.

Taste: Follows suit of the nose except the hoppy notes are just a bit more pronounced. Lovely citrus piney and floral hop flavor balanced out perfectly by the malt. Well done

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a medium amount of carbonation. It is creamy and leaves a nice malty coat all over your mouth

Overall: This is probably my favorite DIPA and I believe this completely destroy's PtE. Such great balance of malt to hop profile that as of right now I think seperates it from other DIPA's

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Photo of jsanford
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
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!

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Photo of Overlord
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a surprisingly dark amber/orange color. No real head, just a wisp of off-white foam.

Smells like a bunch of juicy bitter grapefruits, a splash of pine and pineapple, more grapefruit, and a bit of malt.

Tastes like some malt, bitter grapefruit ... surprisingly well balanced. Great juicy mouthfeel.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Ranger Creek tulp. Thanks to LadyofMuchBeer for the IP trade!

An aggressive pour lends a towering, fluffy 2" cap of light custard foam. Beneath, the beer is a deep amber hue with an iced-tea core. A bit dark for a IIPA, but still very attractive. The aroma is big, but balanced. Tropical fruit notes of mango and pineapple lead the way, followed by a hint of pine and sweet caramel-toffee malts.

Creamy malts and caramel candies lend an initial sweetness that morphs into a hefty malt backbone throughout each drink. The hops punch in mid-sip with a minty, piny bitterness and finish with a sticky resin note that mingles with tropical fruit and a flash of gummy booze. Alcohol is inconspicuously mild for the 10% ABV. Mouthfeel is chewy and borders on thick/cloying/sticky, but still goes down smooth thanks to a creamy carbonation level. Knuckle Sandwich is a sweet symphony of hops and malt--perhaps more in the strong ale/barleywine department, but I like 'em that way every now and then.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber (2012) into dimple mug glass. This beer pours dark amber orange with a nice off-white pillow-y head. The nose was very nice where I picked up tons of cirtrusy notes – grape fruit, sweet malts. The taste was extremely smooth, massive grapefruit and a two punch malt-hop character. There was a nice hoppy and piney flavor to it as well. The high ABV was dangerously masked. Sweet malt backbone to balance the grapefruit and hop bitterness.This is a beer I would love to have any time!

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Stone Bistro on 6/29. Review from notes.

a - deep golden, almost burnt orange color, quarter-inch ivory head with decent retention and lacing, fairly clear with only minimal haze

s - huge grapefruit dominated aroma, lighter notes of pine and caramel malt, wisps of alcohol in the nose

t - big bitter and sweet grapefruit explosion up front, pine mixes with citrus on the midpalate along with light caramel notes, finish is pine bitterness and light sweetness along with a decent alcohol heat

m - medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation, nice alcohol warming, pretty dry on the finish

d - not overly drinkable for the style, you can taste the alcohol but it's not overwhelming, pretty harsh on the palate, but that's essentially what you're asking for with a big DIPA, I like that the sweetness component is a bit more muted than many recent DIPAs I've tried

Great effort by Bootleggers here. It's only the second beer I've had from them, but the first exceeded expectations, as did this one. Well worth seeking this one out.

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Photo of seeswo
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of Marius
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at a tasting. Very dark brown pour with a tan head. Smells of citrus hops, grapefruit. Tastes like malt sugars, honey, citrus and caramel. Bitter-sweet aftertaste.

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Photo of MonkeyBread
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: normal for a DIPA. Slightly darker than usual a nice light tangerine/ruby red color. Head is the perfect amount of white foam.

Smell: pretty mild on the nose. Malts are very present with a caramel-like sweetness. Hop notes of citrus and tropical fruits. Again, this is not an DIPA with a huge aroma to it.

Taste: First thing that stands out is how wickedly smooth this beer is for 10% ABV you would never think it. Alcohol is completely hidden. One of the most malt forward DIPA's I've had, as advertised on the label. Especially on the front the malty sweetness shows off its presence. As you move into the middle and finish the hops make themselves known coming across very tropical of mangoes, melon (rare), citrus, tangerine, grape fruit. A bit of floral, herbaceous notes are present as well. Ends with a normal DIPA bitter finish but it doesn't linger unpleasantly.

Mouth Feel: excellent, like the rest of the beer it is smooth throughout. No unwanted carbonation, crispness, syrupy/viscous quality or thin body. The body really fits with the overall style and in my opinion objective of the brewer.

Overall: This is a fantastic DIPA. It takes the hop notes of a traditional West Coast IPA (although more tropical fruits the grape fruit and citrus is very present and West Coasty) and adds a hefty malt backbone. This takes the best parts of West and East coast. I don't like the bone dry, no malt presence West Coast / San Diego IPAs, this really hits the spot by adding a big malt sweetness that complements and balances the beer. Get your hands on this one if you can. Would love to blind taste test this against the other top DIPAs.

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