Knuckle Sandwich
Bootlegger's Brewery

Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich
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Bootlegger's Brewery
California, United States
Imperial IPA
Ranked #302
Ranked #1,672
4.27 | pDev: 10.54%
Jul 27, 2022
Dec 14, 2009
Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.16 by Bwag from New York

Jul 27, 2022
Rated: 4.37 by Patrick2012 from California

Oct 25, 2021
Rated: 4.3 by Curt3 from New Jersey

Jul 12, 2021
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Reviewed by BillAfromSoCal from California

4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
16 oz can dated 9/02/20 bought off a room temp shelf at trader Joes on about 10/5/20 then refrigerated until poured into a large tulip glass on 10/13. Deep amber color with just a little bit of haze and a little less than 1 finger thick creamy off-white to light tan head. Lots of thick lacing. Fairly aggressive malt and hop fragrance but in line with expectations for a good DIPA. Malt-forward flavor but with really good hop balance. Nice chewy, viscous mouthfeel but zero alcohol burn, despite the 10% ABV. I probably would rank this higher than 4.5 overall but the 10% ABV in a 16 oz can is like drinking 3.2 OZ of your favorite 100 proof whiskey. I would strongly prefer this in a 12 oz offering if I have to do anything constructive afterward.
Oct 14, 2020
Rated: 4.29 by Pinz412 from Pennsylvania

Apr 09, 2020
Rated: 3.73 by WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

Feb 01, 2020
Rated: 4.49 by jmbeerdude91 from Arizona

Jan 20, 2020
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Reviewed by ovaltine from Indiana

4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Crystal clear copper color with a light tan head, this old school DIPA features citrus and piney hop aromas, and a significant caramalt aroma. Wow.

The citrus and pine are balanced perfectly on the taste, but it’s the slightly sweet caramalt that is the linchpin in this beer, masking the significant ABV (10%), making this dangerously drinkable.

The mouthfeel is a bit oily, but not cloying, an impressive feat in a big DIPA. I’d drink this until it came out my ears - and then take a nap. Love it.
Dec 01, 2019
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Reviewed by Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Big thanks to Derek for the can. It's been at least 5 years since I've had the pleasure.

Much more red than I remember. A deep amber hue with wonderful clarity. A thin light khaki head lies above leaving behind minimal spots of lacing.

My daughter initial impression and much to my memory, this thing is bursting with sweet smelling pine sap. And oxymoron of sorts, I guess. Anyhoo, digging in a bit more, a bit if burnt rubber, which is something I've always gotten with certain hop varieties. Especially Chinook. A pinch of dried grapefruit rind creeps in as well.

Flavor bursts with damp evergreen and citrus, much to what the aroma would indicate. Touches of caramel. Got a little spicy thing going on too. Very nice.

A little slick, but still smooth and dry enough of a finish to allow for bigger sips. Dangerous, considering the elevated abv. Obviously bitter, but sweet enough to perceive well balanced.

Not exactly what I remember from the Fullerton classic. A fine brew either way, and it hits you right in the kisser, as any proper knuckle sammich should. Cheers.
Nov 22, 2019
Rated: 4 by grapeshops from California

Oct 10, 2019
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Reviewed by Bruno74200 from France

4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Clear amber with a not really long lasting head.
Muted nose, mostly on the grapefruit, resinous, some toffee notes.
The taste follows plus a certain candiness, which is improved by the sweet mouthfeel
Some bitterness but quite nicely put.
Dangerously drinkable for the abv. Which is a good thing for now. We'll talk about it in 1 or 2 hours
Aug 25, 2019
Rated: 4.14 by Roguer from Connecticut

May 28, 2019
Rated: 4.12 by alexsanvic from California

May 01, 2019
Rated: 4.1 by Blazer22 from Colorado

Apr 13, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by Mattias from Sweden

Feb 09, 2019
Rated: 4.53 by Jbean9021 from California

Jul 30, 2018
Rated: 4.11 by shivtim from Georgia

Jun 28, 2018
Rated: 3.95 by deereless from Colorado

May 29, 2018
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Reviewed by vikinggary28 from California

4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a nice amber / orange colour with a thin tan head and some nice lacing. Smells of piney hops blended with some citrus and slight fruits. Taste very good, the sweet malts counter the bitter hops nicely and with what tastes like grapefruit and pineapple creeping through this is a nice summer beer. The 10% abv is well hidden and could pack quite a punch if you weren't aware of it. Prost!
Feb 17, 2018
Rated: 3.92 by Hop_God from California

Jan 11, 2018
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Reviewed by superspak from North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Got as a gift from RaulMondesi. 22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/19/2017. Pours crystal clear deep orange/amber/light copper color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky cream colored head with fantastic retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big tangerine, grapefruit, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, berry, lemon zest, orange peel, light pepper/pine, caramel, toasted bread, biscuit, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very slight booze in the aromas as it warmed. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity/tropical hops and dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of huge tangerine, grapefruit, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, berry, lemon zest, orange peel, light pepper/pine, caramel, toasted bread, biscuit, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate pine, citrus peel, grassy, spicy bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of tangerine, grapefruit, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, berry, lemon zest, orange peel, light pepper/pine, caramel, toasted bread, biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical hops and dark/bready malt flavors; with an awesome malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from bitterness. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready, fairly sticky, and slightly resinous balanced mouthfeel that is fantastic. Alcohol is very well hidden, a mildly increasing warmth of 10% lingering after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic DIPA! All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical hops and dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to drink for the big ABV; with the mellowly bitter/drying finish. Extremely juicy hop complexity; sizable malt backbone, but never overly sweet/heavy feeling for the ABV with nice adequate lingering hop dryness. A highly enjoyable offering. Loved the hop profile, very classic tasting.
Jan 06, 2018
Rated: 4.24 by gboley from California

Jan 06, 2018
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Reviewed by evanwoertz from California

4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
just a bit buttery, a touch floral, malty and not too bitter but still a fantastic double IPA. full feel and robust taste with a little complexity and like the best imperials, smooth and accessible.
Nov 14, 2017
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Reviewed by thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Pours a really dark orange-amber color with three fingers of sandy, tan head. Long-lasting with decent lacing.

Orange, caramel and pine in the nose.

Piney bitterness with orange, caramel sweetness, a little peppery note, and nice smack of alcohol.

Medium bodied, slightly syrupy, with modest carbonation.

Classic, old school DIPA that matches the name. My type of beer. 9/5/17 canned on date.
Oct 08, 2017
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Reviewed by Ri0 from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured 16oz can into snifter. Color is a bright amber, clear, with a 2 finger white head. Very nice retention and lacing. Juicy aroma, sweet malts and bitter citrus/pine hops and some fruity notes. Citrus hops, pine hops, fruity hops...hops...hops... Some sweet caramel malt flavors round out all the palate destroying hops. Light bodied with excellent carbonation. It is refreshing and bitter all at once. Terrific red IIPA that is similar to some others I love.
Oct 06, 2017
Rated: 4.49 by Lance_Pearce from Michigan

Aug 26, 2017
Rated: 4.17 by bb-magic from Florida

Aug 16, 2017
Rated: 3.98 by boogerisu from Iowa

Jun 19, 2017
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Reviewed by Nhazu10 from California

4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
From what I'm told, this varies depends on batch. I got that from the bartender and the reviews verified his comment. First of all, if you can handle hops, this is a must try.

Look: red tint, not too heavy
Body: on the heavier side, it's an imperial
Taste: medium bitterness on the front of your tongue. Subtle on the way down.

Highly recommend
Jun 09, 2017
Rated: 4.34 by thatsarealplane from California

May 15, 2017
Rated: 4.16 by themegamancave from Illinois

May 05, 2017
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Reviewed by R_i_P from California

4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I wish Bootlegger's would brew this DIPA in consistent batches. Last June/July 2016, the batches of Knuckle Sandwich ("K-S") were nirvana. The Nov. 2016 batches sucked big time -- almost no carbonation and inadequate hops. The batch bottled on 12/02/2016 was better, but not stellar. The 12/03/2016 batch was incredible -- wonderful carbonation! In Jan. 2017, my local Albertson's stopped carrying this DIPA altogether. Even Hi Times in Newport Beach, CA didn't have it. WTF?

Albertson's finally restocked in Feb. 2017. I yanked a few bombers off its refrigerated shelves on 02/10/2017. Some of the bombers were bottled on 12/03/2016. The rest on 12/27/2016. 10% ABV. Bad-ass looking label.

K-S pours a clear, dark copper. The 12/03/2016 batch has superb carbonation with 2 fingers of ecru foam and very nice lacing. The 12/27/2016 batch has low carbonation with ¼" of tawny foam that dissipates quickly -- no lacing whatsoever. Both batches smell of orange zest and malt. The taste of both batches start with a huge note of orange zest, pine, dank and malt. Huge malt backbone. This isn't your standard 2 rows of Optic malts. Alcohol warms this mixture and gives a nice boozy taste. This DIPA will get you hammered! The 12/03/2016 batch was insanely superb; however, the 12/27/2016 batch was very good, but nothing more.

If only Bootlegger's would get their sh*t together! When brewed right, this DIPA is world-class. Although I wish last winter's crappy batches were just a fluke, I sincerely doubt it. Whatever Bootlegger must do to improve the batch-to-batch consistency of this DIPA, they'd better do it bloody soon. Otherwise, they'll never dredge this awesome, yet vexatiously inconsistent, world-class DIPA out of obscurity. Respect must be earned!
Feb 17, 2017
Rated: 4.43 by Keeling from California

Feb 05, 2017
Rated: 4.48 by leprechaunandfatman from Ohio

Feb 04, 2017
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Reviewed by michaelsmayhem from California

4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
A - Murky appearance. Deep brown color, very slight red tint. Pours a very small head, 2-3 centimeters.

S - The smell is very subtle (although this is my weakest sense), perhaps smells a bit sweet. Can't quite make it out, but it is pleasant. Nothing overtly bad.

T - Very smooth taste for 10% ABV. Not boozy in the slightest, even a bit of a sweet aftertaste. Although it pours a small head, the carbonation is steady and bubbles form throughout the drinking experience.

M - Provides a smooth thick warmth every sip.

O - Extremely easy beer to drink. If you are going strictly off taste alone, you will find yourself drinking more of it a lot quicker than you might expect.
Jan 11, 2017
Rated: 4.2 by CraftBeerRyan from California

Dec 20, 2016
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Reviewed by silverblaze540 from Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A - A cloudy amber with minimal head.

S - Hints of pine and grapefruit, but not particularly strong.

T - Citrus then a bitter pine, with a sweet aftertaste.

M - Moderately thick with some burn from the alcohol.

O - The aftertaste is sweet and overall not too bitter. Also seemed a bit on the thick side for a DIPA. Enjoyable.
Dec 16, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by mpenske from California

Nov 25, 2016
Rated: 4.11 by brayton from California

Oct 22, 2016
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Rated by TheChairman from Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Granted it's been months since I tried a Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA, but my recollection of that beer was exactly what I tasted with this one.
Oct 18, 2016
Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 1118 ratings