Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Knuckle Sandwich | Bootlegger's Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich
BA SCORE
4.28/5
Outstanding
1,096 Ratings
Knuckle SandwichKnuckle Sandwich
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery
California, United States
bootleggersbrewery.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#684
Reviews:
262
Ratings:
1,096
pDev:
10.51%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
426
Gots:
157
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,096 |  Reviews: 262
Photo of Jefe73
4.45/5  rDev +4%
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!

 963 characters

Photo of davidbowers13
4.45/5  rDev +4%
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.

 834 characters

Photo of Nhazu10
4.45/5  rDev +4%
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

 349 characters

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

A: Pours a medium-dark copper color with a very thick egg white head. Quite a bit darker than the typical DIPA.

S: Lots of citrus.

T: A unique DIPA. Loads of citrus, grapefruit, mango, and tangerine. Lots of sweetness in the form of caramel. Very little bitterness, a bit in the finish.

M: Medium, a bit above average in carbonation.

O: Interesting DIPA, tons of hop flavor and aroma with very little hop bitterness.

 421 characters

Photo of Sarlacc83
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle courtesy of Hophead84. Thanks!

A: Red shaded towards plum purple.1/2" head. Decent legs.

N: Perfect blend of fruit, pine and malt. Pineapple, mango, pine, earth floor, caramel/toffee. Lots of the tropical fruits really bumps this up for me.

T: Lots and lots of caramel and pineapple. Mango. Very sweet, but balanced out with a moderate pine and earth floor.

M: Very full. Semi dry. Alcohol is well hidden.

O: I look forward to having this every time, and I’m not disappointed. If I lived near Fullerton, I'd always have Bootlegger's beer in stock at my house.

 583 characters

Photo of Popp24
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Bruery tulip glass.

A - A glowing amber color with a thin lace of head. It almost looks burgundy.

S - The nose on this one is very tropical. I pick up grapefruit and pineapple. Very nice and aromatic.

T - This one is very balanced and smooth for DIPA. Up front you get the grapefruit and tropical flavors the nose suggests and then you get a nice hop bitterness. I also get some malt which I figure is balancing this one out nicely.

M - It's actually a little syrupy because it leaves a nice lacing in your mouth.

O - I think the hype for this beer is warranted. For a beer that is 10 percent it is easy to drink and actually smooth for a DIPA. I feel that they really hid the alcohol well in this one. Wow I keep taking more sips and I just have to say that this is one to seek out!

 804 characters

Photo of Jonbw
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bsling
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rand
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From bomber to tulip glass

A: Pours a dark amber in color, reddish hue, and forms a frothy, tightly-bubbled head. Little islands of lacing are all over the glass as I gently twirl.

S: Strong tropical scents up front, hops smell more fruity than piny. The sweet caramelly malts are everywhere and give the hops a run for their money. The alcohol is quite prevalent as well, propelling the bouquet.

T: Yeah, the tropical notes are at the front again, but they're quickly met by the rich layer of caramelly malts. The combination creates a flavor akin to lush tropical fruit, like a ripe mango. Of course, when reviewing a big, hoppy IPA, the bitterness is discounted, so this isn't to say this is some kind of candy-like brew - it's plenty bitter. The alcohol is nicely masked, unlike the nose, and the bitter-sweet combination carries to the finish.

M: Perfectly chewy and rich, with the bubbly carbonation wiping the palate clean between each sip.

Wow, another phenomenal West Coast DIPA. This one gives Pliny a run for its money. I've been spoiled lately - from Alpine's Bad Boy, to Kern River's Citra release, and now this. It's hard to compare and say which one is simply "better". They're all delicious and distinct. I'm just happy more and more brewers are finding ways to make these amazing ales.

 1,308 characters

Photo of Keeling
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

On-tap @ Tony's Darts Away - served in (multiple) 10oz nonics. Reviewed briefly from notes:

Deep amber body with bright orange-ish highlights. Pasty lacing; good retention.

The aromatics are stunning and deliver wave after wave of tropical fruit - mango, kiwi, guava, pineapple...then a fresh burst of kumquat and other citrus. Super fresh hop notes abound.

The flavor delivers more of the same fruity goodness backed up by a potent alpha-acid bomb of juicy hop bitterness. Excellent. Sweet/tart/then finally dry finish with a lasting IBU-induced glow.

Creamy, medium-bodied, and faintly oily mouth-feel.

Bootlegger's has outdone themselves with this one - one of the fruitiest takes on the style I've sampled; and quite strong without being overwhelming or totally unbalanced (though this is still a beer for hop-heads).

 827 characters

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

A: Pours dark reddish amber color with half finger to finger of head. Hazy look

S: Citrus hits the nose with some punch. Grapefruit and a little bit of orange.

T: Citrus grapefruit and orange bitterness up front. Sweeter finish. There was a punch to this one.

M: Light feel w/ not too much carbonation. Impressive given its darker color.

D: An all around excellent DIPA that should be produced far more than it is.

 418 characters

Photo of RudyMcCrafferty45
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of More_betterness
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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!

 1,172 characters

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!

 1,431 characters

Photo of tut2528
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to beachstrength49 for this one!

A: poured into a FFF Teku, it pours a deep ruby red, with about 1/2 fingers worth of head. lacing is present, but more spotty than anything.

S: awesome explosion of hops and sharp orange peel and grapefruit. the fruitiness of this brew is simply amazing. the orange reminds me of a creamsicle. pine also comes through and it sits perfectly with the rest of the brew. One of the best smelling brews I've had.

T: the malt really comes out here is the main player of the brew. The hops are still very much present, but the fruits take a back seat which I wasn't really expecting since they were so prominent in the nose. I also pick up on a slight touch of alcohol heat with some cream in the finish.

M: strong medium bodied brew, that has a fair amount of carbonation. I enjoy the sweet maltiness that is left on the palate that is complemented by a slight pine bitterness.

O: a very solid brew all the way around, and very enjoyable. Very impressed with my first offering by Bootleggers, and I wish I had access to this on a regular basis. And once again thanks Chris for sending this out to me. It was awesome.

 1,156 characters

Photo of lanciloti
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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!!

 459 characters

Photo of sholland119
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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

 470 characters

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.

 1,778 characters

Photo of chumba526
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

 776 characters

Photo of Hop_Thirsty
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very solid DIPA. Explodes with pine both on the nose and pallet.

64 characters

Photo of Dan3279
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to get this bomber through a friend out in California through a trade. I have been on a huge IPA kick lately and this one has been close to the top of my list.

I poured the bomber into the pint glass to find a clear amber body with a small white head that had little lacing.

If the smell is any indication of how this beer tastes then the hype is real. The aroma has a very strong hop / citrus / floral presence.

WOW, the taste is great, the hops dominate the front end, you notice the grapefruit / citrus flavors that mellow out into some caramel like sweetness and ends on the bitterness you would expect. At the same time I'm left wanting more, and couldn't wait for my next sip.

The drinkability was solid, balanced with the carbination and alcohol. I would never guess that this beer had an ABV of 10%.

Overall this is a fantastic beer and I would highly suggest getting a bottle or two if you have the means to.

 943 characters

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

a beautiful clean amber pour with 2 fingers of detergent-like white head, great retention, nice amount of lacing. smells of piney hops, caramel, spicy herbal notes - basically, a very nice smelling hop bomb :)
one sip and i'm sold! i get a taste of what seems like warrior (spicy garlic/herbs), simcoe (tangy/cat pee-like haha), cascade (pine, grapefruit, floral).. the malt profile is there behind all of the hops, and is a nice sweet malty caramel-like flavor.

a medium body, modestly carbonated beer, has a nice heavy chest warmth to it, but is so tasty you overlook the heaviness and plunge right in. in no way is this a "well-balanced" dipa, but i like to look at it two ways, well balanced with hops and malt, and then well balanced hop profile, which this one would fall into in my vision (or taste, rather). the mix of different hops throw your palate in a frenzy, but it evens out in the end and you are left with a delicious mix of grapefruit, piney, spicy flavors in your mouth. it's hard to figure out which hops work well with each other, and sometimes just throwing in your heavy hitters in high quantity works perfectly.

 1,136 characters

Photo of Brolo75
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip. Bottle 1/14/2016

A: Pours an amber color with an off white, almost vanilla colored head, beer is clear, lots of lacing, not seeing much carbonation streaming off the bottom. Probably the darkest IIPA I've ever seen.

A: Resin, pine, hints of grapefruit peel, slight garlic/onion aroma, sweet malts on the backend, has lots of aroma, smells really big.

T: Pine, resin, grapefruit peel, sweet malts, some floral notes, moderate amount of bitterness, finish is dry, piney, sweet, lots of flavor, alcohol does come through.

M: Medium bodied with a big dry finish, could use some more carbonation.

O: A big IIPA, piney, resiny, dry citrus notes, very malty, if you like IIPA with big malt backbones this beer is for you. I had this when it first was brewed a few years ago, and it was really malty. Now it's balanced and a bit more enjoyable.

 879 characters

Photo of dmsohyea
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Knuckle Sandwich from Bootlegger's Brewery
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 1,096 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.