White Knuckle Double IPA - Marin Brewing Company

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White Knuckle Double IPAWhite Knuckle Double IPA

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343 Ratings
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Ratings: 343
Reviews: 252
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 141
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Marin Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 03-08-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 343 | Reviews: 252
Reviews by juhl31:
Photo of juhl31
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

-looks rawls good. something that is tasty looking. good head

-not as much smell as i would have liked. little fruity and some hops

-a nice solid flavor. a bit sweet, not overly hoppy. pretty smooth

-solid mouth

-a real drinkable double. ranks well for me, but nothing totally crazy

More User Reviews:
Photo of turfy
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Poured a deep golden amber with an off white that disappated fairly quickly, leaving behind a consistent thin film and a nice ring. Good lacing.

Smell - A nice, unique blend of aromas. A perfumy floral is what struck me first, along with a tangerine/citrus smell. Very nice.

Taste - A bright, clean tang of citrus fruits, and a touch of malt sweetness...thought of honey. Initial taste is followed by a pleasant hop bite that lingers just a bit. Very nice!

Feel - Superb. Not thin and not heavy or cloying...just about perfect with the right amount of carbonation. Did I say it was just about perfect?

Overall - This was my first White Knuckle. I was VERY impressed and will seek this out whenever I can.

Photo of Hendry
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

When looking at White Knuckle's label, one can't help but notice how "busy" it is: all sorts of colorful artwork and graphics, completely festooned by the prestigious awards it has garnered over the years. Seems like a lot to live up, so anticipation is high.

Pours the color of a grade A amber maple syrup with a fluffy finger and a half of creamy Navajo white head. Splotchy lacing all up in the Lawson's tulip.

Aroma is of naval orange zest and pine: sweet malt detected but in a well balanced manner.

Halfway through the bomber, I concluded that this particular style of IIPA closely resembles the outrageously Simcoe hopped (and dry hopped) New England Imperial Red Ales that I have enjoyed (Lawson's Steve's Back Yard Red Ale new recipe, Maine Beer Co. Red Wheelbarrow).
The flavors are a welcome reflection of the aroma, only the malt plays an even lower profile role in the mix, which is outstanding.

Mouthfeel is medium and creamy. This DRINKS like the hoppy Imperial Reds also, carbonation spot on for the style.

I was floored by White Knuckle, and think it may be my favorite bottled IIPA from Cali. You can easily see why it has won a cornucopia of awards after having the pleasure of consuming this heavenly bomber. I can only hope availability is good on White Knuckle because it is one I want to revisit again, and again!

Photo of RoyalT
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Deep, thick, and rich orange color with lots of (hoppy?) sediment floating around in my Ruination glass. The head was conservative but long lasting, leaving a beautiful big bubble lacing.

Smell – This nose is very balanced and reminds me of the 7th Anniversary Stone (I just had one yesterday). The sharp but tastful distinctive pine and citrus hop aroma is complimented with a secondary but firm toasted malt presence. I can pick up some light summer fruiting as well, but this one is all about the hop/malt balance.

Taste – The flavors bring out the characteristics of the nose very well. They are big, with gigantic malt and hop aspects that make this one big beer. Going back to the Stone comparison, this one is heavier on the malt side, but balanced for sure. It has some of the orange fruitiness as well. This one made for a wonderful nightcap.

Mouthfeel – I felt that this was the ale’s strong point. This was exceptionally smooth and creamy. Keep in mind this this is full-bodied as well. How they got such a big beer so creamy I do not know.

Drinkability – This is a special ale that went down incredibly well. I can’t imagine ever getting tired of drinking this one.

Comments – Thanks to mickeymac for sending this one my way. He knew what he was doing when he plucked this one off the shelf. This is a classic, destined to crack the BeerAdvocate’s top 50 when it gets enough reviews.

Photo of wrycon
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, reddish-orangish-tan hue. Tiny off-white head dissipates at a moderate pace. Smells of ripe tangerine, pine, slight wood. Nose is not sharp, but thickly malty and musky. Malt presents itself first along with that tangerine; almost a blackened tangerine. Hops explode after, changing the dynamic to a sharply bitter, piney affair. The back is a combo of the two with the malt cutting just enough of the hops to leave the mouthfeel full, but not overpowering. A bit maltier than I prefer my IPAs. I can get over that, though, due to the rich flavor.

Like It? I Do

Photo of Dmann
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first Marin Brewing Co. beer and if this is any indication of the quality of their other brews, I've got a lot more beers to look out for. This double IPA poured a very nice reddish orange color with a small frothy white head that stuck to my glass like glue. The smell was great, I could sniff this one all night! Great hop oil scent along with nice sweet pine and citrus scents. This double IPA was not the overpowering hop monster I thought it was going to be. The hops were there for sure and very in your face, but not at the expence of making this an un balanced beer. The great malt profile was just as important to the flavor as the hop blast and really shows off the talents of the brewer(s). Good job on this one, highly recommended!

Photo of warriorsoul
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to RedwoodGeorge for the bottle...
Pours a hazy bright color with a full finger of off-white head...lacing is almost non-existant and this glass was hand cleaned today.
Grapefruit and citrus in the nose with an earthy, oaked aroma...malt shines through with a gentle twirl of the snifter.
The taste is extremely delicous...definitely a double with a piney/ganga like hoppiness that sticks to the enamel on my teeth.
A solid malt backbone to balance this one out in the finish with no alcohol detected whatsoever.
Mouthfeel is perfect and the carbonation is where I like to see it...goes down too easily and at 8%, I could have a few pints of this (as long as I am going nowhere) with very little effort.
Very stoked to get the chance to try this one...quite solid.

Photo of Mora2000
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for this bottle.

Pours an orangish-brown color with a small white head. The aroma is very citrusy. You also get some biscuit malt. There are tons of citrus hops in the flavor but not too much bitterness. For a DIPA, this is very balanced with a nice malt backbone. Medium mouthfeel and very easy to drink.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to buckeyenation for this fine brew. Pours a little foamy but it settles quickly. Medium amber in color. Huge hop smell of pine & citrus. The taste matches the smell so this is a very hoppy brew even for a West Coast DIPA. Mouthfeel is smooth but a bit bitter from all of the hops. It is a drinkable beer for a hop head like myself but expect to be punched in the mouth with hops when you drink this beer.


Photo of AHebel
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

White Knuckle is an exceptional DIPA. Pours a hazy, redish- amber brown with great activity in the glass right after the pour. Little head with slight retention. Poured into a pint glass. The nose is mild compared to it's taste, which brings citrusyness and a slight caramel maltiness (i think). Slightly dry. Medium bodied, with just enough carbonation. High drinkability for a double. My favorite DIPA so far, just passing by Mad River's Steelhead.

(My review doesn't do this beer justice.)

Photo of magictrokini
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the one I've been searching for as it is one of the hardest beers to get in Southern Cal. Pours copper orange, with a thick tan head. Fresh cut pine and a wheelbarrow of grapefruit, pineapple, mango and citrus in the nose. The taste is huge, even bigger than the nose. Hops with more hops, tons of resin, grapefruit, and blood orange blend well with the crystal malt. A fair amount of caramel malt balances the beer so it isn't a total hop bomb. An instant favorite.

Photo of ironlung
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The fabled White knuckle...

This is the second batch I've gotten my hands on since I moved into the bay area (the guys @ liquor wherehouse held a bottle for me this spirng. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!). I have to say this is speical stuff. Arnie told me it takes 9 weeks to ferment, that's why he can only do a batch from time to time. Perfect Balance on this one. The 9.1% this batch came out to be is soo well hidden, I only noticed it when I could barely walk up the stairs after 4 hours @ the brewery! I got a case [no growler fills this batch :( ], after sharing I'm down to 4 bottles. Man I'm rambling. So all I can say is I'm a devout "knuckle-head". One of the best double IPAs out there. If you see it, you're insane not to try it!

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Minty, grassy nose. Pours brilliant amber under a 2” white foam cap that slowly descends to a thick film. Produces thick lace. Very creamy palate with fruit, malt, biscuit to graham cracker in the background, slight caramel, melon and orange finishing with a slight herbal astringency. Medium full body and creamy carbonation.

Photo of glid02
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Pours a clear amber color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth caramel malts with good amounts of citrus and pine hop aromas. The hops are definitely there but they're muted compared to what I was expecting.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although a bit more robust. Sticky caramel malt flavors with very light hints of toastiness kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of hops - citrus, pine, and herbal, in that order. The hop flavors fade a bit midway through the sip then carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is great. It's got a very nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the intensity of the hops in this one. I'll have to give it another shot to make sure it wasn't just a keg that had been sitting too long. Either way, it's still worth a shot.

Photo of sloejams
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz from Beverage Warehouse, West LA

Until I can have an 100+ IBU IV drip, I guess I'll have to settle with some the West Coast finer Double IPAs. This one is no exception.

You know the deal: HOPS. Lots and lots and lots. I had the White Knuckle on cask at the SD Strong Ale Fest. It was good, not great. I think the style does not lend itself well to the cask. This was my first time having in bottled form and it is infinitely better.

Photo of samtrillo
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - beautiful amber orange with high lacing and a small ring of clinging white head.

S - citrus and tropical fruit and piney. Strong aroma.

T - sweet caramel malt with a bitter finish. Less fruity than I imagined from the nose. Still pine and citrus from the hops.

M - smooth medium body perfect lite carbonation.

O - it's very strong and tasty. Great double for the IPA and west coast hop fan.

Photo of watermelonman
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a pretty plain brown with a small head. It's leaving some great lacing behind, though.

The taste is just plain good. Hops are all around but remain tolerable. The finish leaves bitterness on the tongue in a very pleasant fashion. It's pretty clean and very drinkable, all things considered.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.89/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been able to find this brew down here in
So. Calif.

Pours a deep golden orange with an impressively dense two finger off-white head that lasts and lasts with tons of sticky lacing as you drain the glass.

Aroma is 'in-your-face' pine oils and citrus peel hops...but still sweetly so.

Taste is a mountain of bitter citrus peel (grapefruit) hops with pine oil and a very, VERY nice balance of sweet amber malt.

Aftertaste is clean with no cloying from the sweet malt; just a dry, bitter hops aftertaste making you want another sip.

...and another.

...and another.

Excellent! I thought the recipe was the same as the Hopscycle, but this is a much more balanced and refreshing DIPA, IMHO.

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.74/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this White Knuckle Brew on Tap at Marin Brewing Company Last Night. I wanted to give it another chance as I had a 22oz bomber a month ago and was not impressed. I remember White Knuckle being excellent a couple years back.
*NOTE* The Chalk board stated this was a 8.7%er

Appearance - a bit dark for a DIPA poured into a 10oz glass. I saw a review that hit it on the head: A Couple shades darker than copper - almost dark carmely heavy looking DIPA. No head at all - the glass completely filled to the top although I did not spill a drip.

Smell - Definately the BEST part of this brew on Tap. A bouquet of Hops that hits the nose with a wonderful display of power. THICK double hopped sticky Floral aroma. My buddy next to me had the babbiest of Baby sips I've ever seen stating the aroma hit him in the face as if it were a cannabis cup. (He Being from Marin, that is a good compliment)

Taste - Good. Not Great. Delivers that hop bomb most of us loving DIPA's look for but more malty than I expected - the citris not there so much but the Floraly Grapefruit is there in front and the back. This beer reminds me of a toned down Hopsycle focused on the floral. Aftertaste a bit heavy - not to go so far as to say syrupy but close. From my experience so far this month On-Tap is much better - Much Better than in the 22oz bottle. (I was at their Brewery however) I remember liking this beer better last year and the year before that.

Mouthfeel - Both Hoppy and Malty more focused on floral hops. A Bit Thick. Alcohol is there, not overpowering but you sure know the 8% is there.

Drinkability - It seems as if people are comparing every DIPA to Pliny these days and it's just not fair. Pliny is perfection of the DIPA style, Hands Down. This beer is heavier to drink at 8% in comparing to Pliny. White Knuckle tastes more of 9%

Would not pay $9.99 again for 22oz this beer as I did about a month ago but overall...good.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.19/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this one from Floydster.

Pours a a deep golden orange hue with slight haze and a good fluffy off white head that retains very well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is suprisingly weak in the hops department, alot of sticky old IPA-like malt presence though.

Yep. This has got to be old. Either that or incredibly overrated. Taste is up front with old ass IPA bready malt stickiness. There's still some bitterness trying to hang on, but as far as the hop profile is concerned, this one is totally underbilled, as it sits now (pretty sure this is an old bottle)

Mouthfeel is a little bit viscous, but not bad for the style. Carbonation is good.

Drinkability would probably be quite solid if this didn't taste like a malty mess and was somewhat balanced out by a hop profile.

Overall, as it sits, not very good. It has potential, would have loved to have tried this fresh. And if it is fresh, then im incredibly dissappointed with it. Get this one fresh, or don't get it at all.

Photo of Sammy
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden slightly cloudy grapefruit colour. Bursting with flavour, and so so well balanced between the citrus grapefruit orange tangerine hop flavour and the malts balanced and adding above average mouthfeel. Lovely refreshing drinkability. Almost all the bomber was mine, and a couple sips felt like a bit over the top bitterness, that's what the style does.I have fond memories of Marin beers and this one did not disapoint. Thanks Augustgarage for coming through again.

Photo of augustgarage
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my 22oz Dogfish Head snifter.

Turbid persimmon body with pale orange peel and amber highlights. A magnolia netting forms along the edges of the glass, with a thin broken weather pattern in the center. Decent soapy lacing with creamy clear legs.

Biscuit malt aromatics support a wave of sweet hop notes. Perfume, light citrus, earth, and mild pine forest. Clover honey comes out when the beer warms a bit.

Brown bread, honey, a bit of orange and grapefruit on the palate. Moderate bitterness with a solid malt component. I wonder if this wasn't stronger at some point but without bottling dates I'm not sure how fresh this is. Very slight soapiness (wet/fresh hopped notes?) leading into an herbal, floral, fruity, and finally sharp and dry finish.

Smooth, soft, moderately carbonated, medium-bodied feel - a touch chalky, fairly warming.

Very refreshing, and just potent enough without being overbearing.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Its very deep amber - almost copper - body is clear but reveals visible particles of yeast sediment in suspension (rough pour, perhaps?). And its thin, creamy, off-white head holds well; maintains a thin surface covering; and leaves some nice lace throughout the glass. Impressive. The aroma offers a softly sweet, caramelish and bready malt that's backed by lightly floral and softly piney hops - an interesting twist as many double IPA's try to nock you out with their bold nose. The flavor, on the other hand, is all about hops and delivers a soft, lightly sweet and floral hop flavor entwined with a softly sweet and lightly toffeeish malt. It's exceptionally well-balanced, leaving it's sweet character to present itself upfront each time you take a sip; and then rising to balance and dry things out. The 8% alcohol by volume is very nicely cloaked, and doesn't make it's presence known until the very end of the glass. It finishes with a soft dryness; and lingers with some gently sweet malt and floral hops. Quite unique, and very drinkable despite its size. Certainly worth trying; even for people who might normally shy away from a very bitter double IPA.

Photo of cjgator3
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

A- I was surprised at how dark this beer is. It pours a dark amber color with an off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing and decent retention as well.

S- The aroma is sweet malt and a huge pungent hops. The hops are certainly the highlight of the nose, but there is a really solid malt presence as well.

T- The taste like the aroma features a big malt backbone to support the hops. Despite the large amount of malt, the hops still shine through very nicely and produce a very nice bitter flavor. This is a nice hoppy beer, but the malt helps balance this one out wonderfully. It is an extremely well crafted brew, no question.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Good, but nothing extraordinary to lift it past the 4 mark.

D- This DIPA is very highly drinkable despite being relatively high in alcohol. One of the easiest and enjoyable DIPAs I have tried.

Overall, Marin White Knuckle is definitely in the upper echelon of DIPAs. Maybe not the best, but it certainly holds its own. Highly recommended and worth seeking out.

Photo of mdvatab
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into imperial pint glass.
No bottled on date.

Aroma: Herbal, medicinal hop note up front. Pineapple upside-down cake, pineapple juice, and then more herbal hop.

Appearance: Very hazy amber body, off-white one-finger head hangs around for a while. Pretty decent lacing on this one.

Flavor: Earthy, woodsy, herbal hop note. A strong, dry bitterness shows up next. Some sweetness provides balance, but in the end doesn't stand a chance against the almost harsh bittering hops profile. Bitter iced tea finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, medium body, dull bitterness clings to the tongue, and tannins are a bit drying.

Overall: Not bad at all. Definitely not for someone who's averse to some bitterness in their brew. The hops in this one are a tad bit drying, but I personally prefer a dryer DIPA than one w/ a syrupy sweet malt bill. I had a taste for a bitter one tonight, and this one hit the spot!

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White Knuckle Double IPA from Marin Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.